Web Exclusive: Full Interview One on One with Maryland Lt. Gov. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Web Exclusive: Full Interview One on One with Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford

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Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (Photo: WBOC) Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (Photo: WBOC)

WBOC debuted a new segment called "One on One," in which we sit down with political leaders to get their take on the issues. WBOC's Steve Hammond sits down with Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford to discuss the state's present issues and future concerns. Below is the full transcript of the interview with Rutherford.

Steve Hammond: Mr. Lieutenant Governor thank you again for your time.

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: Thank you.

Steve Hammond: Let’s begin with today’s conference. What have you learned specifically about the Eastern Shore in the battle against heroin?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: Well, there's a greater need of course for cross state or interstate coordination because of the proximity to Delaware. There's a lot of discussion in terms of some of the counties that are adjacent to Delaware that the treatment, the closest treatment facility may be in Delaware versus in the county. And so there's a need for coordination with the health departments to help commissions of the neighboring counties. Also, just there's a lot of discussion about the possibility of methamphetamine becoming an issue here because it has been found in Delaware. That was something that was different from what we've been hearing in other jurisdictions.

Steve Hammond: But as you travel across the state you do hear common themes about the heroin problem.

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: Oh yes.

Steve Hammond: And in terms of a solution has there been an "aha" moment, this is clearly what the state of Maryland needs to be doing?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: I don't think there's an "aha" moment and there probably won't be one moment; there may be 20. I don't think it's going to be one suggestion to address the issue because it's so many levels. There’s the prevention side and how do we go about prevention education starting with the elementary school. It was mentioned earlier that there's education about the negative effects of tobacco that start in kindergarten. We don't start really talking about drug abuse until high school, there's some touch on it earlier but not really to the point where you can talk to her first or second grader and they can tell you that you should not smoke. But the first and second grader is not getting that information in terms of drugs. And I'm not to say that we should be starting up early in terms of something that's more pronounced. But we should be starting at a point earlier than what we're currently doing. That's on the prevention side. But then you get to the question of intervention where you find that your young person as a family member may be start to experiment with something. Ths is how to get that information or get to that young person to prevent them from doing something that's going to damage the rest of your life: the law-enforcement side in terms of the drug traffickers. So there are some things that we can possibly recommend to address the drugs that are coming into the state and then of course treatment for those folks who want to have treatment, having treatment available when and when they're ready. You have to be available when that person is at that point when they're ready to have treatment or to address the problem. And then of course, we want to deal with the potential of overdose death and how we address. So it's it's such a multifaceted issue so there'll be a lot of suggestions and hopefully a lot of "aha" moments.

Steve Hammond: You’ve been in both the public – the public and the private sector. What has surprised you most about your new job?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: What has surprised me most, I guess it's just it's so much time away from home. That’s probably - I’ve always had long hours in in the private sector working in government positions - it's been longer hours. But there's a lot of time where people want to talk to you, maybe interview you...that's additional time and then of course, transportation. To see people it takes you away from, as I said, do my my job. 

Steve Hammond: And everything takes longer than it’s usually supposed to. You’ve been asked to run for office before, is my understanding. What was different this time around?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: I'm older. It's a lot to do with it and this fly is here - I know this fly is driving us crazy. I’m not sure what we can do about it.

Steve Hammond: So let me ask this question again. So you’ve been asked to run for public office before and declined, so what was different this time around?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: I'm older, but more importantly my children are older. They were already out of the K-12 area so I didn't have that consideration that they may catch some kind of grief for whatever comes your dad is running for office. I just think it was at a right time largely because my friend Larry Hogan asked me and Larry and I have been friends for many years, and our families are friends with each other. What we didn't know until later is that his middle daughter went to school with my oldest son. They went to the same high school and they knew each other then. And so you know it just was the right time. And I thought there was something I could add.

Steve Hammond: I’m going to ask you what I asked Governor Hogan. What keeps you up at night in your new role?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: You know really it's having enough time to to really accomplish what we're setting out to do. We we came in with a lot of hope and ideas, we still have a lot of hope and ideas and making sure that we're able to accomplish more. So then you know the law-enforcement, health and safety issues are of concern but I want to make sure that we accomplish what we set out to do.

Steve Hammond: How did you come to be a Republican?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: My mother would tell you I always went my own way. I grew up in Washington, D.C. I first registered to vote as an independent and found out very quickly that the independent in Washington, D.C., has no vote because the Democratic Party of the Democratic primary makes the decision in terms of mayor and city council things of that nature. I found over time that I felt the Democratic Party, in particular for African-Americans, treated us like we were victims and I personally refuse to be a victim. Now I've had my radio stolen out of my car, I have had my apartment broken into before. This was years ago so I was a victim of those petty crimes but I'm not a social victim and I'd always felt that the economic opportunities, business development, was something positive if you could. Ronald Reagan said the best social program is a good job, and in particular entrepreneurism, was something I thought was very important and could be empowering for all communities. I found that the other party didn’t seem to appreciate that.

Steve Hammond: Is there anything that you disagree with the governor on? Social issues?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: We root for different football teams but that's another story and he does not like soccer, and I’m a soccer fan. So those are probably the two big issues.

Steve Hammond: What do you like most about your job?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: I like the feeling I can help people and I like to meet people. That's probably even more so than helping is that I like meeting people and so I enjoy the process.

Steve Hammond: And what do you like least?

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: The time, like I said. The least is turning down requests because we probably turned down about 80 percent of the requests that come in. And that's largely because we just can't do everything. A good percentage of them are at the same time and same day or it's just where you know it's 10 straight days of being out and doing something, that at some point you know,  I have to stay married so my wife wants to do something or I just need to relax for a moment.

Steve Hammond: Thank you for your time.

Lt. Gov. Rutherford: Thank you.

Steve Hammond: Appreciate it.

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