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Michael Moshe Starkman was a Republican candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 4th Congressional District (map) of Maryland. On February 12, 2008, he lost the Republican nomination to Peter James, who will challenge Democrat Donna Edwards in the 2008 congressional elections.
According to Starkman, past generations of Americans "have embraced freedom and rallied against the binds of government oppression." He said the problems of "spending and growth, exploitation of power, and an almost complete disregard towards the will of the people," were indicative of the government's irresponsible behavior.
Starkman has pledged to "defend the American taxpayer against special interests, expanded government, and corruption - wherever possible." According to his website, he believes "it is time for increased government-transparency and an emphasis on strict fiscal discipline." Starkman said he will support border security, US job protection, education, limited government, and the American family.
Positions, record and controversies
A Tough Start: Starkman grew up in a family that consisted of his mother and younger brother. As a young child, he watched his mother work 2+ jobs to pay bills, finish school, and make ends meet. Beginning as early as 5 years old, Starkman became responsible for the feeding and dressing of his younger brother. Despite all of this, he says that he never heard his mother say "it's not fair". Together, they took every day as it came to them and pushed forward. In his own words, "we were happy."
"I believe my strong work ethic and commitment to helping others can be traced back to my mother. It may be cliché, but I truly believe I would not be where I am today without her support, love, and strength."
Adolescence, Faith, Education: Growing up, Starkman attended a small, traditional Jewish School in his home town. It was there that he learned about charity, kind deeds, and the importance of traditional education. In his almost 10 years at this school, he learned the value of humanity and that all people are created in the image of God and that every person has value.
This lesson became significant in high school when his friends began to experiment with sex and drugs. Despite his youth, Starkman could not join as his friends risked their bodies and mind "for fun". His outlets were sports and video games. He joined his high school football, wrestling, and tennis teams in their respective seasons but made a decision not to attend raves or certain parties.
By the middle of his sophomore year his mother had become sensitive to his lack of after-school social life and "sports only" weekends. She felt this was unhealthy and signed him up with a local Synagogue Youth program. There, he recounts meeting peers who enjoyed sports, performed good deeds, and rejected drugs. He also re-found faith and began a long journey toward observant Judaism.
After high school, Starkman attended two years of college in Israel and two years in Silver Spring to receive a bachelor's in Talmudic Law. From there, he went on to George Washington University towards a masters degree in Education and Family Development.
Family: In the summer of 1998 he met his future wife at a summer camp in Silver Spring. They married in the summer of 2000 and, in his words, "I have been a better man since." Currently, they live in Rockville, MD and have 3 children: 2 boys and a girl.
Community Service: In the summer of 2000 and together with the Berman Hebrew Academy, the Starkman family founded a new synagogue where Starkman served as community leader for the first four years. The purpose of this congregation was to provide a community for parents and students of the Berman Academy, and to serve the local Jewish population as a synagogue within walking distance for families that do not drive on the Sabbath. Starkman was responsible for delivering the weekly sermon, providing adult-education classes for both beginners and learned congregates, and assisting families in a variety of life-cycle needs. Starkman said he believes those experiences "made me a stronger, more capable leader for those whom I represent."
Recently, according to his website, Starkman perceived a need within the Jewish community that he felt was not being adequately addressed:
I felt that traditional day school students were not getting appropriate exposure to "the real world" and were often left unprepared to deal with the variety of challenges that today's society presents.
In 2003 - together with the help of a close friend - he founded a not-for-profit organization that gives day school students opportunities to play organized sports; chat with mentors, teachers, and peers outside of the classroom about day-to-day living; and feel connected to a vibrant, yet traditional way of life. The organization runs an active program in Baltimore for high school boys and girls and a middle-school program in Philadelphia, PA. The Silver Spring program is currently being re-developed. The organization has worked with more than 600 students and teachers.
Professional Development: Starkman worked in technology and adolescent education for the greater part of the last ten years. Currently, he is self-employed through Moshe Technologies and has partnered with friends in promoting DC-Metro businesses through a joint marketing firm. Additionally, he remains committed to education and teaches supplemental Judaic-studies to public school students in Olney, MD.
Politics: Starkman says he feels strongly that hard-working citizens could be better represented by people who are genuinely concerned for the working family's best interests. Additionally, he is concerned about the increasing size of federal government and the pervasive, bi-partisan corruption therein.
In 2006, Jeff Stein entered the race for US Congress in Maryland's 8th district and asked Starkman to join his team in the capacity of campaign manager. During the course of the campaign (and after no Republicans stepped up), the Central Committees of Montgomery and Prince George's County nominated Starkman as their 4th District candidate for the 2006 general election. Starkman continued to work for his friend's campaign while doing what he could to promote his own. Over the course of the two campaigns, Starkman said, he enjoyed the opportunity to speak with hundreds of people and learn what the working man (and woman) are waiting for. Starkman said he found that the people of Greater Washington want a government that they can trust.
Money in politics
Committees and affiliations
Montgomery County Young Republicans, President Maryland Young Republicans, VP Club Development
More background data
Articles and resources
- 2008 U.S. congressional elections
- Portal:Maryland and the U.S. Congress
- ↑ "2008 Primary Results," The Baltimore Sun, February 13, 2008.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Starkman for Congress website
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "About Michael Moshe Starkman", Starkman for Congress website
- ↑ "2008 Primary Results," The Baltimore Sun, February 13, 2008.
- 2008 Race Tracker page on Maryland's 4th Congressional District
- Official Starkman for Congress campaign website