Maria Syms - Candidate for LD 28 House

June 24, 2016


Market Freedom Alliance 2016 Candidate Questionnaire

 

Section 1: Biography

Name:  Maria Syms

Specific office running for (include district):   Republican Candidate for Arizona State House LD 28

Address: Paradise Valley, AZ  

Campaign Phone: 602-430-0472

Campaign E-Mail: symsaz@gmail.com                               

Campaign Website: symsforaz.com

Twitter handle: @SymsForArizona

Facebook address: Syms for Arizona

Occupation:  Legal Policy Advisor/Assistant Attorney General, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich; Councilmember, Town of Paradise Valley

Previous occupations: See Attached Resume

Education:  B.A., Government, Smith College 1989; J.D., American University Law School 1992; Master in Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School of Government,

Family: Married 18 years to Dr. Mark Syms, ear surgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute.  Parents to 3 children, Matthew (14), Meredith (12) and Marinna (9)

What is your party registration and how long have you been registered as a member of that party: Republican, my whole life.

Previous public offices you've sought/held: Councilwoman, Town of Paradise Valley, 2015 to present.

Candidate for Mayor, Town of Paradise Valley, 2012

Clubs/Organizations you currently belong to: Chairperson, Advisory Committee on Public Safety, Town of Paradise Valley, 2015 to present.

Member, Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership, Governor’s Office of Youth Faith and Family, 2015 to present.

Attorney General Representative, Governor’s Sexual Assault Kit Task Force, 2015 to present.

Attorney General Representative, Arizona Voice for Crime Victims Consortium, 2015 to present.

 Are you using public funds in your campaign: No

Section 2: Getting to know you

1.  If you could sum up your platform with three key issues, what would they be:

As your Representative, I will remain a hard working advocate for opportunities that will make Arizona a leader in economic prosperity and job growth, quality education, and security for our families now and in the future.  As an Assistant Attorney General, I have pushed for state legislation and policies to promote small business and job growth, encourage the free market and keep more money in the pockets of hard working Arizona families. As a Town Councilwoman, I consistently stands against government "tax because we can" policies and wasteful spending.  As a mom of young children who attend schools in LD28, I am personally committed to maximizing the resources in Arizona classrooms so that educators and students have the best opportunity to succeed.  I will work for greater accountability of school funding so that the resources are directed to where they will do the most good.  As a former Assistant United States Attorney and long-time advocate of public safety measures, I recognize that economic and educational opportunities have little value without the peace of mind that comes with a safe and secure community.   I will continue to be a champion of public safety, victims' rights and defending our most vulnerable. 

2.  Tell us about one achievement, either professionally or personally, which you are most proud of:

I am most proud of the family my husband Mark and I have created and our three smart and dynamic children, Matthew (14), Meredith (12) and Marinna (9).  Mark and I moved to Arizona 14 years ago without any family here.  I consider it a great accomplishment that we relied on each other and created a joyful and supportive family of our own.

3. What are your thoughts on the current Presidential election :

I have done a lot of grassroots door to door campaigning and two things are very clear to me: (1) people distrust our current leaders and believe Washington is broken; and (2) they often feel disenfranchised by their own party.   For these reasons, Mr. Trump’s populist message resonates with people.  It is time for Republicans to unite and defeat Hillary Clinton and the legacy of the failed economic and social policies of President Obama.

Section 3: ISSUES

1. Governor Ducey recently started the Council on the Sharing Economy[1] with the goal of making Arizona’s economy a welcoming place for new businesses and to help us better compete with California. What are your thoughts on Arizona’s sharing economy, specifically, do you believe that it needs more regulation or less regulation:

As a legislator, I will support business-friendly laws that decrease burdensome regulations and taxes.  Small businesses are the backbone of the Arizona economy and we must do everything we can to get government out of the way and allow the free market to thrive.  Hardworking Arizonans deserve the opportunity to make a living and as your representative, I will work to create a business-friendly environment by cutting taxes, eliminating anti-competitive regulations, helping small business and start-ups thrive, cutting down government red tape, and promoting economic development and recruitment efforts so Arizona is first for commerce and job creation.  As an Assistant Attorney General and Legal Policy Advisor, I have worked with the Governor’s office to find ways to reduce regulations that hinder economic development in the occupational licensing context for example.  We should also strive to improve the permitting and licensing processes so it will be easier for businesses to operate.  I would also encourage the continuation of the moratorium on rulemaking so businesses can focus on development rather than compliance with unnecessary regulations.   

2. Many have claimed that Arizona must encourage its ‘sharing economy’ in order to allow our state to be competitive. This has meant creating new legislation for companies like Air B&B, Uber, Lyft, etc…to compete with regulated economies such as commercial hotels and car services. However the regulated economies argue that Air B&B and Uber must abide by the same legislation they have to, making it more difficult for those groups to operate. What are your views on companies like Uber and Lyft? Do you think there is merit in the argument that commercial hotels and car services are making:

I agree with the Governor’s efforts to remove the barriers to new business growth and oppose bureaucratic regulation of these industries.  The recent legislation the Governor signed is designed to protect the health and safety of Arizona citizens by requiring background checks and insurance.  I do not favor further regulations.  Name two areas where you believe there is too much Government regulation (either on a state or federal level):

At the federal level, President Obama’s environmental policies have been damaging to business growth and development.  Specifically, the Clean Power Plan and the ozone regulations are perfect examples of the federal government regulating simply because it can without regard to the facts or practical impacts in the form of permitting delays, construction limits, job losses, etc.  At the state level, I have advocated for removal of needless occupational licensing requirements that are merely artificial barriers to competition.

3. What are your thoughts on the current Presidential election :

I have done a lot of grassroots door to door campaigning and two things are very clear to me: (1) people distrust our current leaders and believe Washington is broken; and (2) they often feel disenfranchised by their own party.   For these reasons, Mr. Trump’s populist message resonates with people.  It is time for Republicans to unite and defeat Hillary Clinton and the legacy of the failed economic and social policies of President Obama.

4.  Do you believe that crony capitalism is a problem in Arizona? If so, how would you change that:

Leaders have a responsibility to maintain the trust of the people they represent.  We need to have open, transparent and accountable government so that political cronies and special interests are never put above the people.  As a legislator, I would support legislation calling for more open government and full disclosure of gifts, travel, etc. given to elected officials.   

5. Recently, many companies have left Arizona citing the lack of an employable workforce. Do you see this to be a true problem in Arizona and if so, what do you think can be done to fix it:

This is definitely a problem that Arizona must address if it intends to attract businesses and grow our economy.  Businesses are facing a skills gap and a retiring workforce that is making  it harder to find qualified workers.  We need to develop a talent pipeline especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.  We need to work with our community colleges and universities to ensure they are offering the type of training needed to attract companies to Arizona.

6. Subsidies have become prevalent in our economy, often times artificially supporting an entire industry for extended periods of time. What are your views on subsidies:

I am generally not in favor of subsidies as too much reliance on them results in temporary, artificial growth that is not a sustainable formula for long-term economic prosperity.

7. Is there an Arizona industry which you believe relies too much on subsides:

I don’t think government should be in the business of picking specific industry winners and losers.  By implementing a pro-business plan aimed at reducing regulations and taxes and providing an environment to create an educated workforce, we will attract businesses to Arizona. 

8. Do you think that Arizona should lower its corporate property tax with the goal of encouraging new businesses to move here? If so, what do you think the new rate should be:

Arizona should do what it can to reduce taxes so that it is competitive with other states in attracting business.  Our commercial property tax rate is higher than the national average and higher than other states in the southwest and California.   We should look at ways to reduce that in order to stay competitive.



[1] http://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2016/01/governors-council-sharing-economy


Maria Syms is a candidate for LD 28 House. She is running against: Kenneth Bowers, Alberto Gutier, Mary Hamway, Matt Morales, and Kelli Butler ( D ) 



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