Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Part 2 of Question I have for Debra Medina

Everybody makes mistakes. We all use poor grammar. (OK, some of us more than others.) We spell words incorrectly. (OK, again, some of us more than others.) We certainly say things we wish we hadn't said. This happens to political candidates more publicly than it does to the common folk. When I hear somebody back track from something that they said, this is what I want to hear clarification of what you really do think, not further ambiguity. These next few questions deal with this.

3. On Glenn Beck's show, many of us heard what Debra Medina had to say about the 9-11 attacks. There is no question that Glenn Beck came right after her on it, and I couldn't figure out why until I heard her answers to the question. I am all for holding the American government accountable to its people. It's true that we have the right as American citizens to hold our government accountable to us. That's not the question. The question wasn't if she believed other people were allowed to question the Bush administration on their culpability. The question was whether she was or not. Her answer to this day is that she does not have all the evidence. She might not be publicly asking the question but she's not saying straight out that she doesn't believe it either. I don't understand standing in the middle, unless you are trying to appeal to those people standing on the fence, or you really are a "Truther" but you know saying so is political suicide in the Republican party. When the other two Republican candidates were asked the same question, they had no problem responding immediately that there was no conspiracy by the Bush administration in the 9-11 attacks.

4. Many people believe that Debra Medina is such a great supporter of the 10th Amendment that she favors secession. She certainly led Texans to believe so in one of her recent speeches. On the steps of the Texas State Capitol, she said, “We are aware that stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war. We are aware that the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” (This is the moment that I am sure many of my friends thought that I would turn my support to Medina. But I have heard Perry speak at the Austin Tea party in support the 10th Amendment and secession if necessary.) Unfortunately, when asked what Medina meant by these comments, she backpedaled and said that she is not in favor of secession. I am not sure if that is true or if she felt political pressure. Either way, I believe that the people who support her for this reason would be disappointed. In fairness, I think she will be strong on the 10th Amendment, but I believe any Republican candidate will have to be at this juncture. With the healthcare law looming in Congress, Texas will have to protect it's pro-life laws with the 10th amendment.

To summarize before I move on to Part 3, if indeed I have time for a part 3. I believe that all the candidates that are running in the gubernatorial race this year are politicians, even those who proclaim themselves not to be. I believe that all of them have had issues on which I have agreed and disagreed. I choose to focus on Debra Medina, because I felt like when I looked into her and what she stood for I understood less about her than I learned. If I have learned anything, it is that change for the sake of change isn't always good.

50 Things (or fewer) I Need to Know about Debra Medina

This past Friday, the "Dallas Morning News" published a hard hitting look (excuse the sarcasm) at all of the gubernatorial candidates called "50 Things You Need to Know About _(insert Candidate's Name)__". To be fair, all of the candidates were covered in the same weak way. It read more like trivial pursuit game card answers than facts that I NEEDED to know about the candidates. Honestly, I am glad that Governor Perry's parents drove he and his then future wife around on their dates. That's probably a great policy that needs to be enacted by many more parents of sons! And it's great that Debra Medina's parents had her play the tenor sax. Music education is important. But, again, are these the things I need to know about the candidates?

When I started thinking about it, I realized that I knew many facts about where Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Governor Rick Perry stand on the issues. They have been in the public eye for a while now. But I still had many questions about Debra Medina, and the more I looked into her, the more concerned I became...

Here are my questions that I would have wanted answered from Medina before today. As there were no satisfactory answers to these questions, she did not receive my vote. It seems as though Medina, pushes hot buttons, then gets the crowd riled up, then after she gets the desired results, when she is asked what her plan is or what she meant by something, she backs off. This is the difference between being a candidate and being a governor.

1. Child Protective Services...In a speech in Witchita Falls, Medina said that CPS should be disbanded. This is a complicated issue. When you are a candidate you can afford to pick a hot button issue, like CPS, in an area that has a negative view of something, like CPS, and just push it. The crowd was riled up and walked away feeling like they were going to give their vote to Medina. Here are the questions...since CPS is provided for under law, does Medina understand all the complications involved in dissolving CPS? What is her plan for enacting a new law to provide for these services? While the Sheriff's department and local police departments could take on the criminal activities, what happens to the non-criminal services that CPS provides such as adoption services? Do we create a new agency for those? Are we really willing to burden an already over burdened police department with these services? Isn't that what the agency was created for? Wouldn't it be better to have an audit and overhaul of the system we already have in place?

2. On the elimination of the Personal Property Tax...Although I would love to see this, I don't want someone to just promise this to me. I have been down that road before, or as I am one to say, "This is not my first rodeo. And this is not even my first time in this event!" If you are proposing the elimination of Personal Property Tax, I would love to hear the plan. How much is Medina planning to raise the sales tax to make up for the tremendous amount of money that the personal property tax brings in? What will it be to raised on? Will the sales tax be raised all at once and the property tax be eliminated all at once or will it be done on a sliding scale each year for the next few years? Or is Medina waiting until she is elected to make a plan only to find as former Governor Gilmore of Virginia once did with his No Car Tax promise that it is not as easy as it seems.

I have seen the document on the tax swap, in fact, I have heard proponents of a consumption tax suggest that we may eliminate the illegal immigration problem if we eliminated the Federal Income tax in favor of the consumption tax. The idea is this, when you do not have personal property tax, you have more spending money, therefore you will consume more, therefore you will be taxed about the same as you would have been anyway. Either way, you are being taxed. The only time this doesn't work, is if you are personally responsible and you don't consume much, which we can all tell ourselves we will do. But don't worry, they have a plan for that!

This model that is being used by the Medina campaign (as well as others) was published by John Maynard Keynes. If you don't know who Keynes is, he is the British economist who suggested in the 1930's that government not the free market could provide for the full employment of their workers as long those workers were willing to be flexible in their wages. In 1999, Time magazine named him one of most 100 influential people of the 20th century saying, "His radical idea that governments should spend money they don't have may have saved capitalism".

Here is the "Keynesian prescription for alleviating either slow growth or a low level of output at
the state level would include the following types of policy measures 1. Increase government spending, thereby directly increasing aggregate demand 2. Lower taxes, especially through rebates that will have the highest probability of raising consumption 3. Raise taxes on savings and imports to discourage those activities and thereby increase consumption."

I am not interested in a Governor who wants to increase government spending and believes in John Maynard Keynes style of economy.

A Letter from Congressman John Carter

This letter was written to me by Congressman John R. Carter (House Republican Conference Secretary, Co-Chairman House Army Caucus, Republican Steering Committee, Committee on Appropriations, and current candidate on the Republican Primary Ballot in the 31st District, Texas)

Dear Christie,

With a Democrat-controlled White House, House of Representatives and Senate, Washington is without a check and balance against their liberal agenda. In this session, Republicans have worked together as never before to oppose massive increases in government spending and debt. At the same time, Democrats have marched out an agenda that greatly expands government into all sectors of our life, from healthcare choices to personal finances. House Republicans have continued the fight adamantly to protect American workers, the small business owner, and traditional family values. I will continue to fight our right to bear arms, defend the sanctity of human life, define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, fight for a fair tax policy, and support free and open markets.

I believe life begins at conception and I do not believe that government should condone the taking of innocent human life. that is why I was proud to support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as the Laci Peterson law. This law protects unborn children from assault and murder. Having served as a judge for more than 20 years, I fully realize the need to protect the rights of victims of violent crimes. Life is a sacred gift from God that must be cherished and celebrated. As a society, we must not take this precious gift for granted. As a committed member of the Pro-Life Caucus, I will continue to defend the sanctity of human life at all stages.

As a conservative Republican, I understand the importance of promoting our principles. Creating jobs, obtaining a balanced budget, reforming Social Security and other entitlement programs will continue to be my primary economic goal. You have my word that I will continue to strengthen our borders, promote a strong national defense, seek market based solutions to healthcare reform, lessen the impact of government in our lives, and as always, work to eliminate wasteful pork barrel spending. If I may be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

John Carter
Member of Congress

What does it mean to be a Leader in Congress?

We often hear in ad campaigns this time of year, that a candidate is a "leader". Did you know that there is an actual definition for "Leader" in Congress created by a statistical analysis of their participation in Congress? When someone in Congress is a Leader, with that capital "L", it means that they introduce more legislation than they co-sponsor.

It also means that they don't wait for others to introduce legislation or wait to sign on as a co-sponsor, hanging back to make the best political deal for themselves. They are constantly working towards what they feel is best for their district. Sponsoring these bills often gets them the labels, but they are willing to take on those labels because they feel that they are moving forward in accomplishing their goals for their district.

One of these Leaders is Congressman John Carter (R).

My friends and family will tell you that I haven't given a politician a break since the 70's. I have high expectations of the men and women who esteem themselves ready to serve this country in political office. You can be sure that when I say I hold Congressman Carter in high regard, I have heavily scrutinized him. I may support other candidates for other offices on today's ballot. I fully endorse Congress John Carter. This is not something I would ever say lightly.

Back for One Day!

I am in the process of creating a series of websites on our families network, which will be ready at the end of my one year sabbatical at the end of March/beginning of April. However, for this one day, in honor of today's primary, I will be blogging about the candidates on the Republican ballot in Texas!