As candidate for attorney general of the state of Maryland, I believe the voters should have an opportunity to know more about me individually, as well as to understand why I am running for this office, and to gain a perspective on what can and will be accomplished during my term of office.
I was raised in Baltimore City, in the lower Pimlico area, and attended public schools. I graduated from Milford Mill High School, and went on to Franklin and Marshall College, and University of Maryland Law School, with honors, where I was a staff member of The Maryland Law Review. I am the first one in my family to attend college, and I worked through my college education and also my law school education. I have been recommended for a judgeship by the Judicial Nominating Commission for Baltimore County.
I am the former president of the Save-A-Heart Foundation, which raised millions of dollars for Baltimore and Maryland hospitals and volunteer fire companies, and am the past president of The Valley Heights Improvement Association, in the Greenspring Valley area. I have been an active member of the Beth El Congregation in Pikesville, Md., and am a past member of the board of trustees, the executive board, former comptroller, and former head of the legal committee. I attend synagogue frequently, and often times take part in the evening minyan, to make sure that a sufficient number exists for the minyan.
I have practiced law for 40 years, in the state district court system, circuit courts, state appellate courts, United States District Court, and the Fourth Circuit of Appeals. I am a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. My practice, of which I am managing partner, has ranged from three employees, up to 85 employees, so I have significant law office management experience. My personal practice consists of representing numerous businesses, particularly in the automotive and construction industries, as well as numerous small businesses, professionals, and individuals.
My decision to run was prompted by the failure of Maryland’s attorney general to investigate the failed Affordable Care Act website rollout, and the failure to attempt to recoup the waste of approximately $250,000,000 of Maryland taxpayer monies. I was shocked that our current
attorney general took no steps to that end, despite my attempts to prompt him to do so.
This was probably a primary motivating factor, but the reality is that I saw too many of my friends and clients leaving our beautiful state. Maryland geographically is a great place to live, with attributes that few states can match, as well as proximity to Washington, D.C., a deep water harbor, well-developed railway lines and highway systems. A state like Maryland should be attracting, and retaining business and should be flourishing economically. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
A primary reason for the Maryland malaise is the effect of one-party rule. This has led not just to high taxes, including business taxes, but regulations which are so excessive and burdensome, that business just does not want to locate here. Furthermore, businesses which had been here have left and businesses remaining here are giving thought to leaving. McCormick Spice Company, a stalwart Maryland company for more years than I can remember, is thinking about leaving the state. Beretta has left the state. Our Fortune 500 companies have dwindled to approximately three. From a business standpoint, Maryland is losing out. From an individual’s standpoint, Maryland is also unfavorable, causing the departure of many citizens, including numerous retirees, who had made significant contributions to our tax base.
While I cannot change the tax structure, as attorney general I intend to appoint a task force to begin examining onerous and overly burdensome rules and regulations promulgated by various agencies, and “pruning away” those regulations which make little sense. I will meet with business leaders in different areas of enterprise, to review the regulatory situation and work with business to improve same, without jeopardizing consumer rights. Maryland must once again be known as a “business friendly” state, rather than being rated as one of the worst states in the nation by Forbes magazine.
I will also expand greatly the arbitration and mediation services of the Office of Attorney General, giving citizens another venue to arbitrate differences with businesses and saving the time, trouble and expense of the court system.
Finally, I will attempt to bring “common sense” back to Maryland. The Office of Attorney General provides legal advice to every Maryland agency, and common sense will be the byword of any new rules and regulations which are promulgated, to assure that the benefits outweigh the costs.
In summary, I want our state to be great again. None of us, who live here and love this state, desire to see the continued exodus of friends, clients and businesses leaving for greener pastures.
My opponent has been part of the Annapolis power structure for 28 years. The last several years have been troublesome at best and terrible at worst. It’s time to have an independent attorney general, who has not been part of the Annapolis power structure, which has actually caused the state of Maryland to have a higher unemployment rate than the national average. This has never happened before in my lifetime.
Please consider voting for me, and let’s help bring some independence to the Office of Attorney General, and some balance to state government.
Jeffrey N. Pritzker is the Republican candidate for attorney general. He is a corporate attorney.