Remember when I looked at the First Congressional District candidates on a number of issues ranging from eminent domain to their position on the Long War? Well, I’d love to do the same thing with E.J. Pipkin but he is practically a one-issue candidate, talking extensively about taxes. Between his website and his frequent mailings, I’ve only identified two parts of his platform he talks at any length about: taxes and border security. There’s many other topics he states support for but doesn’t go in depth, such as “protect our 2nd Amendment rights” or “fully fund our troops so we can win the war against terror.”
That’s not to say I disagree with a large portion of what he says, it just makes it more difficult for me to compare and contrast what he stands for to other candidates who write more extensively on issues. It’ll affect his eventual score.
Another thing he spends time talking about that’s not a pet issue of mine is his environmental stance, which to me includes his crusade against BG&E trying to recoup its costs for providing power to thousands of Marylanders. As he states on a mailing, “It’s wrong for big power companies to get rich off the backs of Maryland families struggling to make ends meet.” But if their cost for the materials to create electrical power goes up, what else are they supposed to do, lose money for their shareholders? I hate it when politicians play the class envy card, in this case against “rich” corporations. More troubling to me is whether he’d extend that same discourtesy to oil companies who attempt to improve their facilities, pass on their increasing raw material costs, or explore domestically for additional supplies. Most of you know I have that argument with Wayne Gilchrest.
Of the twelve items I scored other candidates on, there’s only five I can score for Pipkin. I will say that four of those are my top four but again a lack of depth will cost him.
- His pledge to “protect 2nd Amendment rights” will give him one point of the seven I awarded for that issue, simply because he’s not specific. For example, will he roll back government infringement on those rights?
- On taxation, because he does only the half-measure as I see it of keeping Bush’s tax cuts in force and abolishing the death tax, he’ll get 10.5 of the 21 points. More points would be his if he expressed support for the FairTax or more importantly repealing the Sixteenth Amendment. And while he also notes that tax cuts create jobs, ditching all of the red tape that Washington enforces would do so much more.
- He encroaches a little bit on my “role of government” category and its 23 points by advocating a Balanced Budget Amendment. To make that effective though he needs to work hard to cut spending and lower taxes, not make the taxes fit the spending. And what about baseline budgeting? I’ll give him three points.
- Border security and immigration is worth 25 possible points. It’s probably his strongest category, to be quite honest. And while it lacks some specifics, he addresses both sides of the issue in border security and employment. So I’ll give him 15 points there.
- He does want to support the troops and win the Long War. I’ve given the points for less so why not all 27 of them here?
When I add them up, he comes out like this in the standings. I deleted John Leo Walter since he dropped out of the race.
- Andy Harris, 87.5 points
- E.J. Pipkin, 56.5 points
- Robert Banks, 37 points
- Joe Arminio, 22 points
- Wayne Gilchrest, -20 points
It’s getting to be a race with three distinct points on the moderate to conservative scale among the three top challengers. On the moderate end is Wayne Gilchrest, on the conservative end is Andy Harris, and manning the middle of the road is E.J. Pipkin.
But we know what happens to those who inhabit the middle of the road, don’t we?