There are five fundamental values required to maintain a democracy:
First, a belief in the value and worth of the individual,
Second, the equality of all people,
Third, majority rule with rights for minorities,
Fourth, the necessity of compromise,
Fifth, individual freedom.
Prentice Hall, Magruder's American Government, William A. McClenaghan (2001)
Any attack or undermining of any of these values is an attack on our democracy. Our form of democracy has spread more prosperity to more people than any other form of government.
The purpose of the Constitution is stated in its preamble. First, in order to form a more perfect union, second, to establish justice, third, to insure domestic tranquility, fourth, to provide for the common defense, fifth, to promote the general welfare, and sixth, to secure the blessings of liberty.
The Constitution is designed to prevent the over reach of any government into our personal lives.
There are around 7,000 words and few specifics. That leaves the particulars for each generation to decide and defend. What is this generation going to do?
People in District 8 want a functional Congress that is working for the nation. That requires compromise and practical solutions in order to solve problems. My experience for 24 years is in county and city government in three states doing just that.
"We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth." Abraham Lincoln
The Federal Insurance Contribution Act or Social Security is a program that works. It must be protected for retirees now and for the future.
Medicare for people who are on the system now needs to be improved and increases in prices resisted. For those who have not reached retirement age we must recognize that there is no such thing as a free lunch . A program of reduced benefits that provides catastrophic coverage while encouraging each individual to be part of the health care solution should be made available to all Americans using Medicare as a model.
The federal government should operate in such a manner that both monetary and economic factors are stable. Fiscal responsibility would safeguard both the savings and retirement funds of all Americans while providing better business opportunities.
Luke Air Force Base is a national treasure. We have the weather, the flyways, the Barry Goldwater Range and clear approaches and departures. Luke is our important contribution to the national defense. The base also provides important contributions to our community.
We must make certain that anything that interferes with water allocations and water volumes to fill those allocations is constantly addressed. Water is critical to Maricopa County and Congressional District 8.
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Thank you very much for supporting efforts as an individual citizen to bring common sense and common values back to Washington.
If you are a resident of Arizona's 8th Congressional District, in other words you live in or near Anthem, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Peoria, Youngtown, El Mirage, Glendale, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, the Luke AFB community, Lake Pleasant or New River, and you are registered as a Democrat or Independent please sign my electronic petition on file at the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. I need several hundred valid signatures to be placed on the ballot.
Here is the link:
Just tap on this link to go to the Secretary of State's page for an electronic signature. There you will need to enter your name, driver's license number and date of birth.
Thank you very much for helping me with this necessary part to get on the ballot.
The institutions of democracy are designed to protect our form of government, a democratic republic, that succeeds because it spreads prosperity to as many people as possible. Our institutions of democracy must be respected and not attacked and diminished. Examples of those institutions are: The Constitution that supports our Republic, the press, the courts, the public schools, Congress, the law, the truth, science, higher education, the vote, the various public services and our states. Our military has also always been an institution of democracy.
I remember a time before the Environmental Protection Act when the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire and Lake Erie was dead from pollution. The Environment and protection of it is more important now than ever before. Science must be applied to solve global problems such as climate change. In our district water is an absolutely critical issue to both farmers and municipalities. Our water in the West Valley is pumped from the ground in the central and eastern part of Maricopa County it comes in canals. All of our dependable water comes from the north and is an interstate matter. The supply could be threatened by climate change. Allocations do not matter if there is no volume.
The preservation and support of our National Forests and Wilderness areas is more important now than ever before because we are making a lot more people but no more of these spectacular areas.
People brought to this country as children are not criminals. A legal means must be provided to recognize what they are now, Americans. We should also develop a pathway to citizenship for those that did violate the law provided they have proven themselves by their good conduct. The border must be under control but relying on an inanimate wall alone will not work.
The border itself is just one factor in a number of ways of how people got here and then ignored our laws on how long they stay. All methods of arriving here must be under our control and those that do come here must do so for their potential of bringing opportunity to our nation. Treating people as less than human beings by tearing families apart and inhumane incarceration violates the soul of our country. We are a better people than that.
There is no such thing as a free meal. Those that promise "free" health care are in error as much as those that call adequate health care for all Americans "socialist". Both of these positions are on the extremes. The answer is in the middle. Having said that, Health care for all Americans is a goal that will improve the entire medical system. Eventually this system is going to have to be managed in order to bring costs under control. Health care costs are now approaching 18% of our gross national product. People go into the health insurance business and invest in such stocks in the market to make money. People are being left behind in the existing system.
Due to the nature of the use of capital for profit, costs will continue to increase for health care coverage under the present system. We have a model that has succeeded in keeping costs down. It is called Medicare. Medicare as it stands now needs to be improved. We must guard against increasing costs for people who are on fixed incomes with any expansion of the program.
The state of healthcare in our country is a serious drag on our economy. It is no wonder that our manufacturers move to countries where health care is not provided by the corporation. It is no wonder that entrepreneurs do not strike out on their own with new business ideas because of the expense of health care to their family.
Health care is available it is just that too many can no longer afford it because health insurance has succeeded in driving the costs up assisted by our own tax dollar under the present system.
Highly personal decisions should be made by individuals with a minimum of interference from the government. No matter what side a person takes on this issue life is taken. If certain procedures are illegal the reality is they will happen anyway unregulated so that anything goes. This is not acceptable.
There should be no interference from the government for individuals concerning this issue. People should be able to live their lives to the fullest extent possible regardless of who they are.
Our government must work for all people so our nation can realize it's fullest potential by making possible the fullest contribution of each individual.
According to the United States Constitution the purse strings of our national government are held by the House of Representatives. The founding fathers intended for the question of the collection, overseeing and expenditure of public dollars to be close to the people. That is the reason Representatives are up for election every two years.
For twenty four years one of my jobs as a manager/administrator/councilman in one county and two municipal jurisdictions was the collection, oversight and expenditure of local revenues. With local government the citizens are not two years away they are right outside the door.
In all of those years all of the County Commissioners, Mayors, Town Councils and City Councils that I worked for without exception had three principles in mind. First, be honest. Second, use the money wisely and make it go as far as it can to serve the public (do not waste), third, do not be predatory, serve the public. Those principles were the same in all three states regardless of the political party. Falling short on these three points would have meant that I would not have been able to keep my job. These values are a "dyed in the wool" habit for me that I will take to Washington.
How can any nation expect to reach its full potential if rights, opportunities and support are not equally and appropriately provided to over half of the population?
Public taxes must be used to support public schools. Public schools admit everyone and are an institution of democracy. School administrators and teachers must not all be painted with a brush indicating failure. The vast majority of our public schools are succeeding. Once upon a time universities were affordable. Our state institutions of higher education must be made affordable again.
I have been a classroom teacher in Arizona's public schools for 13 years.
I see the tremendous good they are doing for our students and their families. We must quit choking public education at all levels and we must quit electing politicians who do the choking.
The right to peaceably assemble, petition, and redress grievances with the government is a Constitutional Right that must be defended and safeguarded at all levels of the government.
A free and independent press is an institution of democracy, and the right of the press to speak from facts and as truthfully as possible through investigations must be preserved for the benefit of our democracy.
This issue should be left to the discretion of each state. Fundamental lawmaking, if a law is not supported by the beliefs of a population it is unenforceable.
The federal government has a duty to operate in a fiscally responsible manner in order to protect the economy of individuals and families and to safeguard the saving and retirement funds of people who have worked for a lifetime to achieve financial independence. I believe that the debt of this country is one of our biggest threats when interest rates begin to climb. It will choke off the ability to address real needs that we have. We also have the added problem of who owns that debit because it reduces our national flexibility.
The budget that is in effect and related "tax reforms"demonstrate additional fiscal irresponsibility. They increase the national debit and make the disparity of wealth worse because the main benefit went to the very wealthy. We have to be able to raise interest rates to control inflation when it threatens to diminish the value of savings accounts, pensions and other forms of saving. We are painting ourselves into a corner with the huge and increasing national debt. It must be reduced and the legislative reasons that created this situation must be corrected.
The repeal of the Glass Steagall Act (Banking Act of 1933) has proven to be a mistake. That act protected the consumer and our financial system from irresponsible banking practices for over a half century. It is time to re-enact the Glass Steagall Act or something very similar that keeps bankers out of the stock market and other forms of speculation/gambling that causes the taxpayer to have to pay when their bets fail. Banks need to find their security in service to their customers and not from the federal tax payer.
If Banks are too big to fail then they are too big.
I have paid into this system for 50 years. Now I expect the government to keep its promises. Social Security must be preserved as a great stabilizer of our economy, not to mention a promise that must be kept. Social security is not broken so it does not need to be fixed. Do not fall for urban myths being put out by those who have something to gain from our accounts.
I strongly oppose efforts to privatize social security that would risk, for short term gains for individuals, the loss by people and society of these funds that have been built over a life time by working individuals who have paid the fees and now deserve the reward.
We know how to police our municipalities with a minimum of violence. It is called community policing and it requires knowing the community and de-escalating of situations instead of making them worse. Adequate resources need to be provided for our police departments so that community policing can be reintroduced across the nation in order to avoid the situations that we are hearing about all too often.
Those that deal in prevarication (lies) undermine democracy because it is very difficult to compromise when the facts cannot be agreed upon. Compromise is one of the fundamental requirements of a democracy that is essential to creating a more even distribution of wealth to the people and the stability that results from that distribution. Democracy in the United States has been responsible for the greatest spread of wealth to more people than any other form of government. The blessing of democracy must be preserved in our country. A big part of that is dealing in the facts.
George Washington distrusted political parties. He thought that they tended to distract from the interests of the nation. My family's roots are in the Democratic Party. These roots go back probably as far as Thomas Jefferson. The family stuck with the party through its proud times and also those times that were not so proud. I will occasionally quote Thomas Jefferson contradictory as he was but I will never quote Andrew Jackson or Jefferson Davis because of positions they took concerning human rights. I often quote Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
The first job I had was given to me by Republicans who were more concerned about the county they supervised than the politics of the person they hired. My father in law was a Republican's Republican and made his living as an attorney despite being blinded in World War II. He quoted Lincoln often and he was a huge influence on me.
I seek people of good will from all quarters whose first concern is the nation and the well being of all of our people. I need that attitude regardless of the source. The country needs that attitude. I intend to represent all of the people of this district whose concern is the health of our democracy and the Republic that democracy supports.
Private free enterprise works best when it competes in the market with new ideas creating new industry to serve needs of people that individuals are willing to pay for. Matters that involve human rights are best left to public sentiment administered by the government and not to private companies that are in pursuit of the dollar.
When private enterprise feeds at the public trough competition is erased along with creativity and innovation. Corporate welfare, crony capitalism and the sale of public influence creates injury to both public and private efforts. Such feeding on public taxes or power also diminishes public confidence in the government that participates because the possibility of corruption is so apparent.
Private enterprise is not designed to hold costs down it is designed to make more money for its owners. Without free competition private enterprise will do just that.
Where "right to work" laws are in place salaries are considerably lower. In my experience organizations are stronger when management and labor work together including on issues such as working conditions and compensation.
I oppose "right to work" laws. Let management and labor work out together what is best for success without artificial outside interference except to make certain that needed to make certain the playing field is level and fair.
The backbone of our economy is small business. Small business provides the bulk of our jobs along with creativity and innovation. Small business generates wealth and pays taxes. Small business provides hope. Our governmental policies need to nurture and sustain small business so that the potential of individual liberty is fully realized for our country.
We must make certain that the ground is fertile so that small businesses are able to take root and grow. We must make sure that the playing field is level. The lack of affordable health insurance for example is holding back the improvement of our country's standard of living generally. The lack of affordable health care has a particularly negative impact on small business and potential entrepreneurs with families who might otherwise be willing to take a risk on a good idea that would improve our nation's economy.
Entrepreneurs and pass through businesses want to spend their time and resources on their business and not paperwork to avoid taxes. The tax bill that was just passed by Congress does not put them on a level playing field with large corporations.
The best system ever devised to spread wealth is free enterprise because people get to keep what they have earned minus a percentage for the common good. With free enterprise the people are not working for "the man". The government's job is to provide a fair and level playing field.
As a City Manager in Litchfield Park I spent quite a bit of effort and time working on defending the base's approaches and departures from encroachment on the ground.
As an instructor pilot working for the Airline Training Center, a subsidiary of Lufthansa German Airlines, I learned more about the flyways and the Goldwater Range because we had to coordinate with the Air Force for the safety of our flights. Luke, Arizona weather, the flyways and the Goldwater Range are national treasures.
The United States Air Force is made up of professional dedicated individuals who will not participate in politics at any level. It is up to us as civilians to defend the mission of Luke.
I will certainly continue to do what I can because I believe our United States Military, all branches, are now and always have been since the start, institutions of democracy. The defense of this nation is one of the fundamentals mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution. Our military and our Air Force do that very well. We owe our support.
I am strongly opposed to the privatization of the Veterans Administration. Turning government services over to profit making organizations is more expensive in the long run and service will suffer. We should not allow service to the veteran to be replaced by a concern for profit. As the son of a veteran who returned from war with a severe case of what we now call post traumatic stress syndrome I can say personally how important the Veterans Administration was to my father and my family. My wife can say the same for her father who came home from war totally blinded.
We need to improve the Veterans Administration where needed and we need to allow sufficient support so that services are available to those that served and put everything on the line when the country called.
We were told when these wars started that there were weapons of mass destruction. Then we were told there were none after all.
Then we were told we were bringing democracy. There are five values needed for a democracy to function. 1. belief in the worth of the individual, 2. equality of all people, 3. majority rule with rights for minorities, 4. individual freedom, 5. the necessity of compromise. These values take hundreds of years to develop in a population.
Until someone tells me what the mission is for these wars I will not support the continued use of American personnel and treasure in this way. We have spent close to two trillion dollars according to Congressman Walter Jones' counter and that is just a down payment on what we will eventually need to spend on our personnel and their families.
What is the mission? Does that mission benefit all Americans?
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I studied how good laws are made in preparation for a career in local government that eventually included four jurisdictions in three states. Fundamentally, if the law does not reflect the values, beliefs, customs and traditions of those the law is intended to serve it is unenforceable. After twenty years on the enforcement side of the law and four years as a lawmaker on a City Council I can report to you that making law is a very tricky business because as Americans we are accustomed to being free particularly when the Bill of Rights is involved.
The ownership of firearms is very deeply rooted in our culture. Many people equate the ownership of firearms to liberty itself. It is an emotional issue. There are literally millions of people in this country who own firearms and do so in a responsible and lawful manner. Generally they own firearms quietly. Many would never be suspect because part of the tradition about firearms is that they are not spoken of.
Responsible firearms owners become sick and angry every time a criminal abuses their rights by brutally harming innocent people. I have talked to literally thousands of people during my campaign and I have not met one who favors disarming responislbe law abiding citizens. On the other hand I have not run into one who favors allowing one irresponsible criminla to be armed. It is the rights of responsible and law abiding people that we must bear in mind as we address the irresponsible criminal who abuses the Second Amendment.
I believe the best place to address the abuses of our rights is by addressing the shortcomings in administration of our existing laws. For example the Form 4473 that has to be completed for every firearms purchase from a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer covers all the right questions. The problem is that this form, as administered now, is on the honor system because too many of those that should be on the no buy list are not being reported to the center where the background checks are made. As a public school teacher in Arizona I am required under penalty of law to report child abuse that I suspect. The same should apply to those that are responsible for reporting to the background check center.
My understanding is that it is already against the law for any individual to sell or turn control of a firearm over to any individual who is on the no sell list. Doing so should be prosecuted or subject to civil liability. Transfer of control of a firearm to a stranger should go through a federally licensed firearms dealer. This would help identify stolen firearms and would protect honest private sellers. I believe people would call on dealers more if people understood existing laws.and the personal risks they are taking when they make a private sale to a stranger. Education is needed .
I believe that mechanical devices, modifications or alterations that allow a semi-automatic firearm to approach the rate of fire of a fully automatic firearm are probably illegal and if not could be made so by regulations enabled by better interpretation of existing law. If not regulated then a change of law is in order.
Liberty at any level concerning any of our rights brings risks. I believe these suggestions would help us better manage these risks in a way that is approved by the people our law is intended to serve.
I was raised in a devout Presbyterian household. Presbyterians are known for their scholarship of the Bible and believe that all that is necessary for salvation is contained there and so it must be personally understood. I was taught by both scholarship and fine example.
When I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I was instructed in the Old and New Testament by Dr. Bernard Boyd who was considered to be a legend on our campus and a Tar Heel icon in the state for his knowledge of the Bible. His courses were not known to be easy due to the detail he demanded. Later I was ordained as an ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church.
My mother who was known and respected for the life she lived and her scholarship of the Bible was particularly insistent that we respect all sincerely held religious beliefs because she said, "they might be right and we may be wrong". She believed that one day we will alone stand before our maker and answer for everything we did and failed to do.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
We value every individual.