Richardson, TX 75083-0343
Campaign Phone Number
I have lived in Texas for about 7 years, 6 of which have been in my home in Wylie.
I'm an Information Technology Specialist with over 14 years of experience focused on data protection and disaster recovery of large computer systems and databases. I currently work for a world renowned makeup company, and help support a handful of data centers around the world. I am the Sr. Administrator and architect for all the company data center's data protection systems worldwide.
I'm also an experienced UNIX administrator and programmer in a number of different scripting languages.
For a little extra income I also write political articles for Examiner.com
Weber State University - AS in General Science 1999
Salt Lake Community College - Political Science classes 2000
LDS Institutes, Religious studies - 1995-2001
HP certified IT Professional in HP-UX 2002
Amberton University - Business Accounting and Technical writing classes 2006
Various other IT related training including Quantum, Solaris, NetBackup, AIX, and others
Hillsdale College, Constitution 101 - certificate of completion 2012
I have a long history of volunteering at my church and currently serve as a membership clerk.
I'm a father of 3 wonderful children, am a husband to my beautiful wife for almost ten years, and work full time to help support their needs.
I have been actively involved in my church and have served in a number of capacities including: Sunday School Teacher, Priesthood Quorum Security and Teacher, and in other positions. I’ve also given speeches to the general congregation during church meetings.
I have been a webmaster for clubs, including the Utah Toyota Territory Off-Roaders Association (TTORA) 2003-2005. Before the Internet became main-stream I was running a computerized dial-up bulletin board system (BBS), and ran a BBS networking system called UTAHnet.
I'm a politics and religion blogger (spaldam.com) and have been writing for Examiner.com since 2009.
I have served as a delegate to both the Republican and Libertarian parties at local, county and state levels over the last 11 years, and in two different states.
All campaign funding and expenditures are reported to the FEC, and searchable on their web-site at:
As of September 2nd the campaign has raised over $2000 in monetary funds, and about as much in in-kind donations.
The People of Texas! As of September 2nd, the campaign has not received any money from lobbyists, corporations, special interest groups, or any political action committees.
I've had many opportunities in my career as an IT professional to provide direction and training to my fellow employees, including those in other countries such as China, Mexico, Russia, and others. These opportunities include designing solutions to complex problems, developing procedures for troubleshooting, handling complex issues, and training others on how to provide on-going support to critical and complex computing systems. I regularly bring up new ideas, or develop plans for upgrades to existing systems and programs. It is then my responsibility to train and lead my teammates towards implementing the plans and accomplishing them in a reliable and efficient manner.
I've had opportunities to work with church leaders to organize events and activities for my church; including conference tailgates, charity auctions, and other fun events.
I've worked with off-road vehicle clubs to organize and execute on events and outings.
Ron Paul. He stands up to his oath of office to uphold and defend the US constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. He does this with real conviction and integrity despite what others may say or think of him. He’s taken a lot of criticism for is positions, and been ridiculed for essentially promoting the “Golden Rule” and yet still does not waver.
I have ideas that I believe will help bring our Federal Government back under control, and back to its Constitutional foundation. I have outlined these ideas in what I call "The Clean Slate, and Proper representation Amendment." It is presented as a theoretical constitutional amendment, though many aspects of it could be implemented without an amendment. It encapsulates most of what I think has gone wrong politically leading to the way our government is run today. It's my attempt at hitting the problem at the source, rather than fighting little battles here and there.
You can find it here: http://worldhistory.spaldam.com/index.php5?title=The_Clean_Slate_Amendment
Both the incumbent and the Democrat opponent support initiatives that have brought our country to the financial crisis it is currently in. I understand the tough decisions that need to be made to get our government finances in order, and am willing to put those needs above politics.
The incumbent has voted for many controversially unconstitutional bills, and was rated by the John Birch Society as being 50% in-line with the constitution based on his voting record.
The democrat in this race is a strong proponent of "ObamaCare", and had a career as a lawyer for many bureaucratic government agencies, making her as much of a "Washington Insider" as the incumbent.
What we need in this country today is a fresh perspective from someone like myself that understand what it means to struggle to maintain a middle class lifestyle in the volatile economy we have experience over the last decade; someone who understands how important it is to balance the bottom line, and get the government out of our way so that we can thrive.
The House should have dealt with this issue years ago, before they became the crisis it is turning into; a crisis that will only get worse the longer we wait to act. It’s been over three years since the Senate passed a real budget, and instead have simply been authorizing expenditures and “continuing resolutions”. I expect the "lame-duck" session to produce some further facially damaging bills, crony-capitalism (or corporatism), bailouts, and other favors. The only way we will get a balanced budget is to elect people, such as myself, who understand the sacrifices required to balance a check book, and the importance of not overextend ourselves through frivolous spending.
Everything the Federal Government spends money on needs to be cut by at least 40%, and many redundant and unsuccessful bureaucracies and programs eliminated, just to balance the budget today. Unfortunately, when interest rates start to rise again, and baby boomers start to expect their Social Security and Medicare benefits (instead of paying income tax), this alone will still not be enough to prevent our federal debt from continuing to grow.
The three largest spending categories in the federal budget, claiming nearly a quarter of the budget each, are also the three main areas that both Republicans and Democrats have proven they are not willing to cut. These are Military spending, Health Care (including Medicare and Medicaid), and Pensions (including Social Security). If interest rates rise too much, simply paying for these three things along with the interest on the national debt could soon consume the entire GDP of the United States.
We need to start recognizing that there is a big difference between Military and Defense spending. We can no longer afford the Military spending that is used to police the world, and has made us the most aggressive country in the world for the last few decades. We can no longer afford to be the strong arm of the UN.
We need to understand that there are better more cost effective ways to provide charitable Health Care services to those who truly need it. The government’s involvement in Heath Care, or more accurately health insurance, with conditional requirements on doctors, clinics, hospitals, and the like, are the main reason health care costs are skyrocketing. The Government pays for about half of all Health Care in the country today, and as such providers use their rules as the standard for all procedures and billing. We also need to change perceptions of people to realize that health care is not a right to be guaranteed by government, but rather a personal responsibility as part of our daily maintenance.
Social Security was never designed to support the massive load that is about to be placed on it. The whole idea was ill conceived from the beginning, and is proving to be a very poor investment for those who have paid into it for many decades. It should be phased out over the next 20 years. This can be accomplished via finding alternative avenues for funding, implementing a needs-based test that must be met for payout eligibility, providing insensitive for delaying retirement and payouts, and opt-out options.
Yes. The current system is too complex, and is completely unfair to everyone. Any tax on income cannot be made completely fair because regardless of how it's done, there will always be someone who is impacted by it more servilely than others. Until we can repeal the 16th amendment, thus ridding us of a Federal Income tax, I would support a flat single-rate tax - of no more than 15% - with one single standard deduction for every individual (no joint filing or other deductions allowed). This deduction would be based on a level that is two times (2x) the current Federal Poverty Level.
If demanded to pass this bill, I would also agree to a cap on the maximum amount of taxes paid by any individual, again based on a multiple of the current poverty level of around 50-100x which today would equal about 1.1 million for the average single person.
Corporations under this same system should receive no deductions, caps, or tax breaks, but should only pay a flat rate of somewhere around 9%.
Again, I would only do this as an interim step to immediately simply the tax code, to stop manipulative practices and political games currently played with the current tax codes, until the 16th Amendment is repealed; returning us to the excise taxes and tariffs originally authorized under the US Constitution.
The problem most politicians have with economic and job growth is that they believe they are the ones who create the jobs. The reality is that government does not create jobs without increasing taxes or debt to pay for the salaries and benefits of its employees. This type of job growth removes money from the economy that could have been used more efficiently by the tax payers to pay for goods and services that would then spur economic and job growth.
Since the government does not actually add any value to the products and services it offers, unlike legitimate businesses, allowing the government to grow and expand to give people jobs does not actually help grow wealth or the economy.
The real problem we have today, that government can do something about, are the large number of complex tax codes and regulations that prevent entrepreneurs and small businesses from thriving. These are the same people who create jobs (not large corporations who typically get the handouts from government because they can afford the high dollar lobbyists). If we truly want to stimulate the economy, we need to enable small businesses and entrepreneurs by getting off their backs, making it easier for them to grow and innovate.
Giving handouts, like unemployment benefits, to people whom might otherwise be motivated to create their own jobs, or find other ways to be productive, and eventually grow the wealth of this country. There are better ways to help people then to simply giving them a check, while still making sure they have necessities like food and shelter.
Another problem we have today is that the aging population is preparing for retirement, and in doing so is slowing down on their purchases. The younger generation has been taught to expect handouts from the government to the point where they feel entitled instead of looking for ways to work for what they want. This combination of social mindsets and activities is preventing the new generation from filling in were the aging generation is leaving a void. This is directly caused by the welfare state that has slowly permeated our culture since WWII.
To truly stimulate the economy we need to remove today’s incentives to not work, remove the road blocks and red tape, and allow an environment of new ideas and innovation to flourish.
The overhaul that is needed for Social Security is to figure out how best to phase it out without hurting those who are already relying on it, and without bankrupting our country with the massive amount of unfunded liabilities it currently represents to our future federal budgets.
Originally Social Security was only going to pay out to people who lived beyond the average life expectancy, but this age limit has not been adjusted to keep up with the current life expectancy. Slowly adjusting this age on a tiered basis would be the first step until it once again reaches a level where it goes beyond the average life expectancy.
Second we need to encourage people to invest on their own, and not just in 401k's and other manipulative structures based on today's complex tax codes. The truth is that as baby boomers start to withdraw from their 401k's over the next decade, the stock market will go into a sell-off and fall in value, along with everyone else 401k's. A better option would be to stop taxing any and all kinds of investments and savings. Only allowing income taxes to be on what I like to call "realized income".
The Third thing we need to do is find new and better ways to fund Social Security, such as implementing a guest worker program were taxes and fees collected from it go directly towards Social Security, with no future obligation towards the guest workers. There are likely countless other ideas we could come up with to help generate infusions into the Social Security fund as well; like accepting charitable donations from all those billionaires who think they don’t pay enough taxes.
My solution to Medicare is to hand it over to the states and encourage them to setup a network of county hospitals and clinics run and paid for by volunteers. The states could provide the basic infrastructure and supplies, and even required that as a condition of being licensed to run an office or work as a doctor requires volunteering a couple of days each month to these volunteer run facilities. The biggest shift in thinking would need to be that free or charity health care does not come with any guarantees of quality or capability, but rather would have to be done on a best effort basis.
This would insure that those who cannot afford care can still get it, while incentivizing those who can afford premium care and/or insurance to pay for it. Anything more than this and we risk getting back to our current situation of government controlled and regulated insurance policies, increasing health care costs, and the threat of Medicare contributing to the bankruptcy of our government.
Yes! If rising health care costs combined with unfunded Medicare entitlements wasn't already going enough to contribute to the bankrupting our country, the Affordable Health Care Act (AKA Obama-Care) certainly will; especially when over 600 billion dollars is taken from Medicare to pay for it.
Nothing should replace it, as it is not the Federal Governments place, nor constitutional authority, to dictate health care or health insurance. Health Care is not a right. It is a personal responsibility to care for ourselves, and we certainly should look to the government for help in such personal matters.
What we really need is to do the complete opposite of what government thinks we should do: give people more choices. Expand Health Care Savings accounts to make them more flexible, tax free, and inheritable. When people have to pay for their own basic health care expenses, with insurance to cover the larger issues, we will quickly see a turnaround in the cost of Health Care as free market competition and increased consumer awareness drives costs down.
This country was built on the backs of immigrants who came here searching for freedom and a chance at prosperity. Today we still have a large attraction for immigration, but our laws are too restrictive to allow for the demand to be met. What this has led to is an underground or black market of illegal immigration that inevitably results in violations to basic human rights. As we move further away from giving people the freedom and rights the founding of our country made available, not just to ourselves but also the rest of the world, we will continue to deteriorate as a world leader.
We need to get back to a more liberty centered idea of immigration, allowing those in who want to come to help build the U.S.A. without a lot of unreasonable restrictions, and only keeping out those who wish us harm or who abuse our hospitality. Allowing in more legal immigration will actually help with many of today’s issues including: slowed economic growth, unfunded liabilities, and other similar issues. Many immigrants come here looking for opportunity as entrepreneurs and innovators that will help grow the economy; replacing the gap left by the aging and retiring baby-boomers.
My personal and recent experiences with immigrant friends are that they are treated worse than the criminals who choose instead to illegally invade our country. Combine that with an occasional amnesty bill, and it becomes more beneficial to come here illegally then to come here legally. In other words, our immigration laws are too strict, while our border security is too lax, and we will have a difficult time fixing either one, without also addressing the other.
I favor an immigration policy of providing — at clearly designated entry points into the country — short-term guest visas to anyone who is reasonably able to make the journey, pass a background, a health check, and not appear on any criminal watch lists. This would give them ample time and opportunity to gain residency through their employer — but without the requirements of minimum wage nor promises of social contracts – or voluntarily leave. Violations to their guest visa, including seeking government aid, could be used as grounds for deportation.
If there's one Federal Government Organization or bureaucracy that has failed time and time again to meet its intended goals, it would be the Department of Education. Instead of eliminating this failed experiment, politicians use is as a political tool to advance their own agendas and carriers; which is the real problem with our school systems today.
We need to get parents and teachers more control over their kid’s educations and the classrooms. We need to cut out all the top heavy administration and government mandates that have proven to be ineffective at insuring "no child is left behind", and only costs the tax payers money. If you cannot trust a teacher to do their job well and maintain control of their classroom, without a lot of oversight and administrative help, that teacher should be replaced.
I believe a good interim step towards improving education is a voucher system. If properly implemented it would not only save tax payers money, it would enable parents to seek the best possible education for their children, creating free market competition and ultimately insure money is not wasted on unnecessary overhead. The organizations who oppose this option are the teachers unions and politicians who would no longer be able to use our children's education to achieve their political power and big labor goals.
In the long run, the future of education will be a hybrid of on-line, home-based and/or community-based education. Technology using the internet and computers is already proving to be a powerful method of inexpensively educating people of all ages. These new technologies and a return to family based educational values is the key to a truly great education system where the parents and teachers have the most incentives to make sure “no child is left behind”.
If the Environmental Protection Agency really wants to help protect the environment they would seek to transform themselves into an independent research and development organization, instead of acting like the bullies of the environmentalists. Many of today's policies of the EPA are actually counterproductive and short sighted towards their own goals.
Energy production should be and can best be handled by private enterprise, working with the states to insure protection of property rights and to address environmental concerns. The energy policies and plans of the Federal Government should only deal with international trade and insuring smooth transactions, transportation, and comparable standards between states. It needs to be left to the free markets to research and develop energy sources that actually make sense. Getting government involved in subsidizing "green" energy companies has only led to crony-capitalism (or corporatism), and the loss of tax dollars given to failed and unsustainable ideas (Solyndra, anyone?).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) are the biggest hindrances today to our nation’s energy independence. Starting in operation on December 2, 1970, and October 1, 1977 respectively, they seems to correlate with a spike in oil importation into the U.S. that continued upward from 1985 thru 2007; showing a failure in the ability of DOE to meet its goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, which is only made worse by the EPA’s regulations preventing domestic exploration.
Environmentalists like to abuse situations such as BP's recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to further their own goals, and yet once BP stopped the leak (which they already had great incentives to do as it was costing them a great deal of money), and stopped trying to do natures job, the bacteria naturally in the gulf was able to do what it naturally does anyway; breakdown and eliminate the oil thanks to the natural seepage that already occurs in the gulf.
We often forget that Nature does have ways of cleaning itself up. While we certainly want to care for the earth and keep it clean, we need to also consider the impact on human life, and be more reasonable and confident about our own ability to pursue energy sources in environmentally friendly ways.
I believe that energy independence is becoming increasingly vital to the survival of our nation. The way to reach this is to enable our innovative scientists, engineers, and private corporations to explore and tap into our vast natural resources. To allow this to happen, we need to get our own government out of the way, so innovation and true capitalism (without the cronyism) can provide many diversified sources of energy in clean and responsible ways.
If we in the U.S.A. and other responsible, technologically advanced countries don't do it, then we risk allowing less developed, less careful, and less environmentally concerned countries doing it for us. This also takes jobs away from the US, reduces tax revenues and sends our hard earned dollars overseas every time we purchase energy. Instead we should allow it to stay in the country for re-investment into research, more jobs, and higher wages. This is a perfect example of were government regulation is the problem, and real capitalistic free market (without government involvement or subsidies) is the solution.
We all like to have clean air to breath, but to put a tax on the so called carbon based greenhouse gases is to put a tax on the very air that you breathe. The same CO2 emissions often targeted as the main man made cause of global warming is what we as humans, as well as animals, exhale as we breath. The most effective way to reduce CO2 levels in the air is to plant a tree and/or a garden, as plants inhale CO2 and exhale Oxygen while creating nutritional food for us to eat. In other words CO2, and other carbon based emissions, are an essential part of the cycle of life, and to attempt to tax and create laws to prevent such gasses is to putting a tax on our very lives.
I believe that we can and have achieved both progress and a cleaner environment with technological advances much more so than government regulations. Many new cars today exhaust cleaner air than the air in the most polluted cities. Our air is cleaner today than it was even a few decades ago and certainly cleaner then when coal and wood where primarily used for heating homes in large soot covered cities. We have technologies today for clean burning coal plants, and environmentally friendly oil and gas drilling.
To give credit for technological improvements to laws and government is short-sighted and disrespectful to the scientists and engineers who have actually made it possible through discoveries and innovation. Yet still today many more great ideas get left by the wayside, thanks to political posturing, special interest funding of "green" corporations, and illogical mandates and regulations of bureaucracies like the EPA and other regulatory boards that are unwilling to accept new ways of looking at the world.
There is a very simple solution to this problem that for some reason many people are unwilling to accept. Simply stop the unconstitutional war on drugs. This solution sounds scary to many, and it's certainly understandable to not want dangerous substances to be freely available; however, when you compare it to the prohibition of the 1920's with alcohol, it becomes obvious that this is a war we cannot possibly hope to win. Even when alcohol was illegal, thanks to the 18th amendment, many forms of homemade moonshine were just as dangerous as some street drugs are today; causing many to be blinded and even die. Violence and organized crime became rampant as people sold and consumed alcohol on the black market; very similar to the illegal drugs of today. This all stopped as soon as the 21st amendment was passed, and today alcohol is one of the biggest industries in America today with regulations and free market controls that prevent it from being lethal.
The most unfortunate victim of the drug war is hemp. An incredibly versatile, non-toxic, and relatively drug free plant that is outlawed today partly because it appears identical to another plant called cannabis from which marijuana is harvested. Hemp was grown by pilgrims to make many essential items used in their everyday lives including: cloth, rope, food, oils, etc. all without pesticides or herbicides. In the early 1900's it was expected to replace trees as the primary source of fiber for creating paper products.
This is just one of many examples were backwards thinking, fear mongering, and poorly placed "good" intentions have unintended consequences that are hurting or society, our environment, and ourselves more then it helps. Putting non-violent drug users in jail, sometimes for longer terms then violent criminals and high dollar fraudsters, does nothing to help these people or society. They need help and rehabilitation, not incarceration.
I do support this goal, but in reality this is simply another political game. There will still be military "advisers" in Afghanistan well beyond 2014, just as we still have military support in Germany that's been there since WWII, or Korea to help patrol the border between the North and South, along with hundreds more such examples.
We have over 900 military bases worldwide, most in peaceful countries where we provide them with the majority of their country's military defense systems. When you consider the budgetary constraints we have today, and the fact that our nation spends as much or more on military and defense then all other countries combined, it because blatantly obvious that there is a great deal of room for us to downsize our military spending across the board, including in Afghanistan.
We can't, at least not without starting WWIII. Iran is a sovereign nation, and we should respect their sovereignty and right to develop their own technologies even if they are nuclear.
It is our meddling in other countries, to prevent them from doing such things, or trying to force our ideals and values on them that has caused the "Blowback" that results in terrorist activities against our country. Trying to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons will only cause more conflicts for us down the road.
We should however keep an open dialog with Iran's leaders if for no other reason than to make sure they understand that unleashing a nuclear bomb on us or any of our close allies will result in an in-kind reaction. Of course this also requires that we keep an eye on what they are doing, and to be defensively prepared to retaliate.
Hopefully with time, through trade and cultural exchanges, we can come to a more trusting relationship with our Middle Eastern neighbors; however, this will not happen if we continue to dictate terms and conditions to these nations.
We should deal with China the same way we should deal with any other country; through trade, cultural exchanges, and openness. Let's try to have them as our friend, and not our enemy. When we try to "deal" with other countries, especially in a political sense, we tend to cause enemies; especially since our countries global policies change after WWII.
The number one biggest issue I see will not come from the government, but be caused by the US monetary policies, via the private banking corporation called the Federal Reserve. The use of the Dollar as the world’s reverser currency is being scrutinized by many Asian and middle Eastern countries who are calling for a new world reverser currency, possibly made up of a combination of other currencies. This will reduce our purchasing power of foreign goods, and is the biggest threat that I see to the solvency of the US Dollar and thus the US economy.
If we do not change our current spending habits and monetary policies, stop the debt from growing any further, and put real accountability or competition on the Federal Reserve, we will be so bankrupt in 10 years we will not be able pay back our debts to other nations, let alone fund Social Security, Medicare, the UN, or the military policing actions that so many today view as the top issues. This will inevitably cause us to lose our position as the world’s leading nation; upsetting the current power balance in the world today. China is quickly increasing the size of its military and with a bankrupt U.S.A. will take over many aspects of world dominance that we enjoy today.
Inevitably our world is changing, and today it is changing faster than ever. To those who are currently in power (in governments of all types, in global corporations, oil giants, global banking czars, the political elite, and the like) are fighting to hold on to decades old and unsustainable social and economic models that ignore natural orders and the laws of nature. The established powers are getting scared of the freedom loving, collaborative, and open social nature of the upcoming generation. My biggest fear is how they will react when the power they are so use to wielding, and continually trying to gain more of, is taken from them, and the damage they will attempt to inflict upon us in a final desperate fight to maintain their dominance.
We are already starting to see this struggle for control with laws and countries that attempt to control the internet (i.e. SOPA CISPA and PIPA), laws that giving more power to enforcement agencies like the Patriot Act and more recently sections 1021, 1022 of the 2012 NDAA. We've seen this with failing corporations looking to government for tax payer funded bailouts instead of clearing the way for new upcoming and more innovative companies to fill the void. And we definitely saw it in our career politicians at the GOP national convention when they rammed through last minute rules changes, despite obvious protests from the delegates, to silence the voices of the typically younger, freedom and peace loving, Ron Paul supporters.
No they are not, because they are too busy playing political games, and are out of touch with what people must due these days to make ends meet. They also do not understand the younger upcoming generation and why they are changing the world.
Here are a few examples of their political games:
Pro-life republicans had control of the white house and congress for six years, and did nothing to pass a pro-life law (to somehow un-do Roe vs. Wade). It wasn't until the democrats took control of the senate that they attempted to pass such a bill. This can only have been done this way to try and prove that democrats are opposed to protecting life, and to make Republicans appear as though they are fighting for it in an attempt to regain control of the Senate. In reality it was a way to remind voters of issues that divide them from Democrats and draw their attention away from the issues that unite both parties towards bigger and more intrusive government.
More recently, for two years, the democrats had complete control over the white house and congress, and despite all they claim to have accomplished during that time (increasing the size and intrusiveness of government), it wasn't until republicans took back control of the house that they started to complain about the “Bush Tax Cuts” that were supposedly preventing them from properly funding their new programs.
The only way to stop this divisiveness and political games is to change the game. We have to hit the problem at its root, and stop going after small victories while we are losing the larger war to save our Constitution and our freedoms. I am the only candidate who has a real plan to change the game that will enable people to be properly represented in congress, and give states back the sovereignty they lost in 1913; sovereignty that use to provide another check and balance to prevent an ever-growing, runaway Federal Government.
Since, the political elite have made sure they use political games, gerrymandering and other tactics to maintain their power, grow government, and make it increasingly more difficult for the average person to fully participate and be properly represents in the house.
The real reason congress today has an approximately 14% approval rating is a simple matter of mathematics:
Only about 60% of the population votes in a presidential election (significantly less regularly vote for their congressmen every two years), and half of those or about 30% of the population votes for the person who actually gets elected, the rest do not feel like they have someone to represent them in Congress. To make it worse, if you half it again to eliminate the people don't vote based on who they feel will best represent them, making their true desires know, but instead vote against the person they don't want to win and for someone the feel could win, you are now down to 15% of the population who actually voted for and got what they wanted.
What if instead of electing a single person to congress, we got to pick two persons from two different parties (or an independent candidate). In other words, each congressional district gets to elect two voting members to the House of Representatives. Even if only one of your picks wins, you can still feel like you have someone that you can rely on to represent your views in congress. This would put gerrymandering to an end, allow for more ideas and solutions to be presented and debated in congress, and ultimately diminish the two party system's control over our government; giving at least some of that control back to the people.
The Senate, before 1913, was a non-partisan and stabilizing body of well qualified statesmen appointed by the legislature of their respective states. Today they are subjected to political posturing, political games, and the ever-changing whims of popular ideas and fads. We must undo the 17th amendment to restore stabilizing effects the Senate once had in Congress, and give states back their sovereignty.
The House of Representatives needs to be bolder about impeachment of not only a presidency usurping as much power as he can via executive orders, but also of member of the Supreme court who seem intent on ignoring constitutional principles, rewriting laws with mandates into being considered as a tax instead, and exhibiting generally bad behavior.
Campaign Phone Number
My family and I have lived in what is now CD 32 since October 1986.
* Retirement pension
● Bachelor of Arts, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
● Doctor of Jurisprudence, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
● Democratic Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives
● Volunteer Interviewer, North Dallas Shared Ministries
● Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar
● Preston Royal Library, Volunteer Landscape Improvement Chair, Preston Hollow Democrats
● Member, League of Women Voters
● HD114 Member, DCDP Advisory Council
● Alternate Election Judge for Dallas County
● GOTV Chair, North Dallas Texas Democratic Women
In December 2011, I began my campaign for in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. House of Representatives, TX CD-32. I ran as a woman committed to a common sense approach to changing the dysfunction exhibited in Congress since 2009. As a first-time and mature woman candidate, I took my campaign to all parts of the newly-redistricted Congressional District 32. I won my primary with an average 84% in both Dallas and Collin County precincts in the new CD-32. My campaign is about representing the people of this District. I consider my success in the Democratic Primary and my commitment in the General Election to be representative of the courage to step forward and to present a message of common sense for the common good across this District an example of civic involvement.
Beginning in 2009, the Preston Hollow Democrats adopted, as a public service project, updating and improving the front and west landscaping of the Preston Royal Library. I was designated as PHD Chair for this project, and remained in that position throughout the entire process:
o I initially organized a clean-up of the front and west landscaping area of the PRL.
o Working with the PRL manager and Dallas Public Library management, the Dallas Parks management and the Preston Royal Library Friends, I gained approval of a landscape design developed by John Armstrong of Armstrong-Berger.
o The PHD volunteers, joined by volunteers from St. Luke's Boy Scout Troop 577 and PRL Friends volunteers, engaged in a clean-up and re-planting of the plants along the front of the PRL in preparation for implementation of the Armstrong landscape design.
o A delay occurred due to the sprinkler system's condition and need for repair/update. Coordinating with the PRL Friends and Dallas Library and Parks, a contract to make the necessary repairs was entered and the repairs completed in late 2010.
o I initiated and coordinated a fundraiser to obtain matching funds for the supplies, plants and services arranged through Mr. Armstrong. Plants, supplies and services not covered by proceeds from the fundraiser were subsequently donated by Armstrong-Berger, as well as by a number of small companies in the landscape design business.
o The project, which also included trimming the large oak trees in front of the PRL, was completed in April 2011.
o The Preston Royal Library Landscaping Project illustrated the value of combined public-private dedication to beautify a neighborhood library in a manner enjoyed by all who use the library and who pass by.
o I am proud to have been the leader who pulled together all the coordinating parts together for this achievement. I continue to be involved with this Landscape Project at the Preston Royal Library.
The only public office which I have sought is the current campaign to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas Congressional District 32.
Not nearly enough!
Less than $50,000.
Myself, my family and friends.
I have never been arrested. Aside from the occasional traffic ticket, I have not been involved in any criminal proceedings.
As a civil trial attorney for many years, I have been involved in a representational capacity in numerous civil suits.
As a beneficiary of an estate, I have been a plaintiff, along with 25 other heirs and the Estate itself, in one civil suit.
As a Candidate for Congress, I am leading a large group of volunteers toward the goal of my election to the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressional District 32. This is an important goal because it signifies our recognition that the current failure of incumbents to represent the interests of all of the people in their districts and in America as a whole is simply not acceptible. While this process to challenge the status quo of dysfunction is not yet complete, the leadership achieves an important goal.
I consider my leadership described in response to a previous, similar question is an example of leading a group toward achieving the important goal of improving and updating the Preston Royal Library.
Gabby Giffords, (D. Arizona, ret.)
While Gabby Giffords is no longer in Congress, I most admire ex-Congresswoman Giffords for her example of reaching across the aisle to obtain support for various legislative efforts in which she was involved.
● After being attacked in Arizona while engaged in her work as a member of Congress, Congresswoman Giffords exhibited amazing strength, determination and courage throughout her recovery. She recognized that, in spite of her progress, she was not physically able to represent her District for another term.
● Congresswoman Giffords worked positively with her colleagues, through her staff and other congressional members, to accomplish the completion of a final legislative goal and then submitted her resignation.
● These actions allowed her constituents to benefit from the completion of the passage of legislation important to the District, and showed the humility of recognizing that her constituents deserved more than she was physically able to provide as a representative of her District.
● The decision to resign also allowed her constituents to choose a successor without the conflict which would have likely developed during the general election, should she have opted to seek re-election.
Congress has become largely dysfunctional. The incumbent, Pete Sessions, is part of the problem. On January 20, 2009, while the Nation was celebrating The President's Inauguaration, Congressman Sessions, and other Republican Congressional leaders and strategists, were at a dinner meeting. At this dinner meeting, Congressman Sessions, along with fellow Republican leaders, agreed to focus his legislative efforts toward making the new President a one-term president. Even in the face of more than 700,000 people a month losing their jobs, the financial system of the United States on the verge of collapse, the automobile industry failing, people's houses being foreclosed, and the economy heading toward another great depression, Mr. Sessions decided to engage in a legislative version of Taliban assault tactics to obstruct passage of the President's proposals, rather than to direct all of his energies to enacting legislation to stop the job loss and to help the economy recover. As a result, the American people have suffered great personal economic losses over an extended period of time; public education has been underfunded and students have lost learning opportunities; industries have been hard hit or irrevocably damaged; our returning military have been delayed or denied job re-entry funding, and have had to face a 20% unemployment rate, much larger that the overall unemployment rate; our deficit has increased; our budget has not passed; economic uncertainty has reigned; tax code spending has increased; and Americans have lost a great deal of faith in our government's ability to provide good leadership, and to address the many demands our country must meet.
Our country faces a number of significant challenges. If I am elected, I am committed to work in a spirit of cooperation with others in Congress toward common goals for the common good: to help create more and better jobs; to support the recovering economy; to pass and fund legislation for improvement and maintenance of infrastructure; to advance educational goals, to protect the environment, to support First Responders and returning military; to advance fair, equitable and just budgets; and to achieve reasonable immigration reform. Tax cuts (originally designed to be a temporary measure to reduce a budget surplus) have not been allowed to expire, and tax loopholes enjoyed by wealthy corporations have not been closed. While I support continuing the middle class tax cuts, I oppose continuation of tax cuts for those in the higher income brackets for the reason that this county cannot afford such unfunded revenue loss. I will put the country's needs first.
I have the knowledge and experience to serve this Congressional District well. I am a leader who is well organized, a hard worker, and am better equipped to bring a fresh approach, civil discourse and a true commitment to honor the Oath of Office to which I would swear as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike Congressman Sessions' 2011 failure, I understand that it is not sufficient to stand before a television screen at a lobbyist's party to fulfill the Constitutional requirements for being sworn in as a Member of Congress. I understand that, until a member has been properly sworn in, no vote(s) cast by such member is authorized and that it is improper to seek to have other members overlook such unauthorized voting.
Only a Member of the House or Senate has the constitutional authority to vote to enact legislation. I am running for the House to bring a strong voice for women and a common sense voice for this District's interests as well as for the Country. I am tired of the do-nothing, dysfunction of Mr. Sessions' House. If Mr. Sessions is re-elected, than this District will experience more of the same. I have the knowledge, experience and willingness to pick up the significant, undone legislative challenges which will face each Member in the next legislative Session of Congress and to devise resolutions better than the current members' "kick the can solutions".
I am better prepared to address the interests, needs and concerns of the people of this District and to work in a positive manner to develop short and long term legislative plans which address jobs and the economy, budget issues, the deficit, and governmental services for the people. Pete Sessions is out of touch with the concerns, needs and interests of all of the people in new Congressional District 32. As an incumbent, Mr. Sessions caters to the interests of the few and ignores the concerns, needs and interests of the diverse community which is Congressional District 32. On January 20, 2009, Mr. Sessions joined other republican leaders to commit to block The President's efforts to fight the unemployment, economic recession and severe financial and manufacturing challenges encompassing this country's economic circumstances. During the past years, Sessions'votes have blocked economic recovery and job creation. Examination of his voting record since 2009 reveals that the majority of the bills which he has authored have been to lift import tariffs on items made in foreign countries such as bolts, nuts, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. As a result of his efforts, foreign manufactured items can be bought or sold in America for less than the same or similar items made by American manufacturers. Mr. Sessions has co-sponsored numerous bills or amendments which would have the government decide a woman's healthcare decisions regarding reproduction and other female health concerns. Mr. Sessions has voted more than 30 times to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordible Care Act, thereby threatening the strength of and funding for Medicare and Medicaid. Mr. Sessions opposes the savings for education loans to American students which has resulted from removing the middleman banks with their high fees and interest rates. Mr. Sessions protects unfunded tax code spending which increases the deficit without concomitant benefit to the people of this country at a time when the country cannot afford to waive revenues which it would otherwise receive. Mr. Sessions has signed the Grover Norquist pledge against taxes which conflicts with his sworn constitutional Oath of Office as a Member of Congress because it directs his loyalty to a third person rather than to the responsibilities and interests of the people whom he represents, and the people of the United States of America. Without consideration of the economic realities which we as a country face, Mr. Sessions continues to pledge "no new taxes", and supports the Ryan Budget which vicerates funding for the Nation's social safety nets: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Voters should choose me in the General Election because I am a woman with common sense who is better equipped through experience, knowledge and community service in this District to fight effectively for the interests of all of the people of this District, and to work with other Members of Congress in such a way as to restore the public's trust in their elected leaders. I will work to restore the economic engines of America and to bring more and better jobs to this District.
The only oath which I will take, if elected, is the constitutional oath of office for members of Congress. I will not allow the interests of a small group to control my duty to serve the people of this District and of the United States of America.
The House should work every day it is in session to deal with this Nation's economic and other problems. The Members of Congress are elected (and paid) to serve the people during the whole their term of office. One of the major problems created by Congressional dysfunction in the current Session is the cowardly failure of the incumbents to work for the common good and to reach compromises which benefit the best interests of this Country. If a member is unwilling to work honestly and earnestly for his/her whole term, then that member should resign and allow a new person to be sworn in who will work honestly and earnestly for the people as a whole.
Congress should engage in strategies which act as a catalyst to encourage more and better job creation, to support and encourage economic growth, to pass and fund legislation which invests in the infrastructure of America's transportation system, public education system,public structures and in research and development for 21st century energy and power, medical research and public health. Congressional strategies which invest in America will result in the creation of more and better jobs with the concomitent creation of more cash flow into the economy which will reduce the federal debt. In parallel strategy, Congress must address tax code spending which results in a lost of revenue without strategic value to the nation's interests and which cannot be sustained. Additionally, we must continue to reduce defense spending on unnecessary or unsuccessful projects while providing sufficient military funding to assure that the men and women in the military have the quality of equipment to protect them and to allow them to do the job required.
Congress' strategies should focus on job creation through funding infrastructure projects. This has proven effective in the past in putting more Americans back to work, with a resultant ripple effect benefitting businesses serving and supplying such governmental investment.
Congress should increase grants and government investment in research and development, in "green" technology, in energy for the future, in enhanced education and retraining, and in urban transportation development.
Based on the opinions of most economists and analysts, when an economy is in a slow recovery, government investment can do a great deal to speed up the recovery, to reduce uncertainty, and to put our country on more solid competitive footing in the world market. It is a mistake to focus on immediate control of the debt. A longer term plan for debt control and reduction is the better way to go until the recovery is solidly intact.
Private equity has been largely on the sidelines, rather than investing in our country's growth. Congress must consequently take a more active role in supporting economic recovery, thereby increasing available jobs at all levels. Putting people back to work will revive the American Dream and restore confidence. In contrast, continuing with the status quo kills the spirit of the American Dream and sets back a whole generation’s ability to achieve economic security, to have confidence in the future, and in our nation’s ability, through its people, to build on accomplishments to invent and develop for the future.
I support continuation of a progressive, equitable and fair U.S. tax code. The U.S. Tax Code is contained in Title 26 of the United States Code has is 3,387 printed pages. Title 26 of the US Code of Federal Regulations has twenty volumes and 13,458 pages in tota.
I favor focused reformation of the Tax Code. Specifically:
The 2003 tax cuts were implemented as a temporary reduction in taxes at a time when the U.S. had a budget surplus. Since that time we have had significant financial setbacks, as a result of the housing market collapse, as well as the unfunded costs of two prolonged wars. We can no longer afford to continue these across-the-board tax cuts. Nor can we afford to give subsidies and tax breaks to businesses and high income individuals where no corresponding benefit can be demonstrated. We are struggling with a significant deficit and need for revenue enhancement to support governmental operations.
The reduced tax rate for the middle income tax payers should continue for a fixed amount of time as the economic recovery strengthens and more people return to work.
The issue of the tax rate for capital gains and dividends should be revisited, along with the definition of "income" related to these areas.
The subsidy for oil production and research/development should be cancelled. The profitability these companies enjoy is enough motivation to encourage them to continue in their business. Tax incentives are not needed, unfunded and cannot be prudent to continue.
I favor an examination of the entire tax code, sector by sector. My goal is twofold: to reduce the complexity of the code, and to eliminate deductions which are not funded or otherwise justified, and which the country cannot afford. Public hearings should be held so that citizens can be aware of what is at issue and can make their voices heard.
I favor the continuation of the mortgage deduction but would consider whether there should be a cap on mortgage deductions, at least until the economy is on more solid footing.
Washington should spur greater economic growth by passage of bills which authorize and appropriate significant funds to invest in America. These investments would include, but not be limited to: repair, rebuild, maintain and build our transportation infrastructure (roads, interstate highway system, bridges, aviation, rail systems); repair, rebuild, maintain and build public structures (schools at every level, public facilities, libraries, parks and public recreation facilities); research and development grants in medicine, public education, public health, green technology and other energy sources. The focus and purpose of these investments in America must be directed at creation of jobs and at production of long term benefits, in addition to the near term injection of economic momentum. Earmarks for meaningless projects must be rejected.
Investment in public structures, facilities and research generally results in the involvement of the private sector through the government’s contracting process. In my view, economic growth and job creation is not an “either private or government” choice. The private sector’s focus is to develop and invest in projects to make a monetary return for the owners and investors involved. With the certainty of government investments in projects, it has been the pattern of the private sector to follow the potential for monetary return by creating and developing businesses, expanding existing businesses, and inventing new businesses which lead to more private employment. Given the dysfunctional Congress and the resultant economic uncertainty, it is understandable why the private sector has hung back.
Extending the unemployment benefits would only exacerbate the jobless situation if there were sufficient jobs at all levels available. Unfortunately there are not. Payment of unemployment benefits allows the unemployed to contribute to the economic flow by spending those benefits to pay for housing, food, and clothing, while searching for a job. When the unemployment rate is below 6%, the issue of such extensions’ benefits should be re-visited.
I support the continuation of Social Security to provide a social safety net.
I oppose privatization in any form and/or any use of a voucher system.
I would consider staging eligibility levels, so long as we recognize that certain employment categories have special demands on the body's physical/mental capacity, making it more difficult to work past age 65. Therefore, I would not support an across-the-board increase of the retirement age to 70.
I support the continuation of Medicare to provide a health coverage safety net.
I oppose privatization in any form and/or any use of a voucher system.
Funding of Medicare over the long term should include governmental bargaining, (as the VA does), with pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment suppliers, and other providers for those on Medicare so that the best price for the product is obtained and available to Medicare recipients.
I support repeal of the automatic reduction of provider pay for medical care of Medicare beneficiaries. Medical providers should receive a fair reimbursement for the medical services which they provide to Medicare beneficiaries.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides a basic roadmap for the goals of universal coverage. For example, the universal coverage provision helps to control escalating medical costs caused by the unpaid emergency care services provided to uninsured individuals which are then passed on to paying patients directly or indirectly through increased insurance costs.
Based on the Congressional gridlock over the past four years, it is not reasonable to expect that Congress could agree on any acceptable replacement providing the same or better benefits at a cost which this Country can afford.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act would:
1. lead to huge gaps of available medical services for those who have the greatest need of them;
2. drive up the deficit,
3. increase taxes (particularly at the state and local levels), and
4. place crushing medical costs on the medical providers and on those who have insurance or the ability to pay.
1. As a member of Congress, I would re-introduce and/or co-sponsor the DREAM Act in order to deal with the undocumented members of our communities who immigrated to this Country with their parent(s).
2. The Immigration and Naturalization Act(INA) should be amended to provide a pathway to either legal status, e.g., permanent legal resident, or citizenship, for undocumented persons who immigrated to this Country more than 20 years ago and who have lived productively in this Country.
3. The INA should be amended to provide a pathway to either legal status, e.g., permanent legal resident, or citizenship, for undocumented persons who have not been convicted of a felony and are in detention centers awaiting deportation where no country has agreed to accept their emigration and deportation. The amount of time in a detainee center without being deported for the reasons stated should not exceed a period of 24 months, and should be less if possible.
4. Any undocumented persons permitted to commence a pathway to legal status may not be counted against the INA's quota provisions so as to displace a pending immigration application.
1. I support the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is the basic statutory platform for No Child Left Behind’s concept, i.e., to try to have every child “grade ready” when he or she advances. However, it did not work because of its rigidity and its overemphasis on test scores.
2. NCLB created a “solution” in the schools of “teach to the test” rather than to provide each child with the opportunity to learn and to be educated. No teacher can make a child learn, but a teacher in a positive learning environment can offer the opportunity to learn and the tools to be successful.
3. While the goal of No Child Left Behind is an admirable one, it has had the unfortunate result of causing teachers to "teach the test", rather than focus on the goal of providing each student with the opportunity to truly learn.
4. I strongly support funding of education programs at all levels to provide all children with the opportunity to achieve in education, i.e., to read, write, spell, do math, learn science, geography, history, civics, languages, how to build and to repair, to play music and engage in art, sports, and good health practices, to learn the tools of daily living.
5. With respect to federal funding of education, federal grants to states or local schools must include provisions which preclude redirection of state education funds to non educational uses based upon the anticipated receipt of federal education funds.
6. The U.S. Department of Education, and other federal agencies which receive federal funds for education grants to state or local government, should engage in a mutual goal with state and local entities to avoid any student's failure to achieve to the best of that student's ability. The President's Race to the Top Challenge is an example of a program with a mutual goal of education.
1. I would balance the need for greater energy resources and the necessary protection of the environment by planning broadly. The United States has only 2% of the petroleum products available to be extracted and refined, whereas we use approximately 25% of the world's supply. This poses a serious challenge to meeting our future energy needs no matter how much petroleum and natural gas is extracted from U.S. soil or water.
2. We must therefore look beyond our current reliance on limited fossil fuels to fund research and development of alternate energy sources for the future. I support the President’s “all of the above” approach which includes fossil fuels as one energy resource to be developed.
3. The Administration has approved drilling permits in numerous areas of the Gulf and on other lease areas, once the entity seeking such permit has met the requisite drilling standards. I support an approach which incorporates standards for responsible practices.
4. We must exercise caution when drilling in environmentally sensitive areas. The BP failure in the Gulf of Mexico provided a serious challenge and learning experience which illustrated the catastrophe which follows human failure and haste in drilling under the ocean.
5. The production of natural gas through the fracking process and its requisite demand for millions of gallons of water presents serious issues of supply and demand. In Texas and in many other states, the supply of water for human consumption and for agricultural needs is in conflict with the fracking production process' water demands.
6. The fracking process introduces a number of contaminants into the water, putting into serious question the water's potential for re-use. The economics and the environmental viability of re-use of water from fracking operations need further study.
7. The environmental implications of the fracking process must also be taken into consideration. The current means and methods of the breaking the underground layers to extract natural gas and other products has health implications which have had an insufficient amount of research applied.
8. I support much more deliberation and study of the methods now used and the chemicals now injected, including the use of chemical markers, to determine how and where the injected chemicals travel within and/or from the layers under the ground, and what protections must be taken to ensure that those chemicals don't migrate in current use or in the future into the water tables and aquifers on which humans and animals depend.
I believe that the science has established the existence of man-made climate change. I support legislation to reduce the output of greenhouse gases. I would strengthen the Clean Air Act and the regulations which implement provisions addressing global warming, its causes, and downwind air pollution.
1. The United States should use strategies which maximize the delay, blocking and destruction of drugs crossing the U.S./Mexican border.
2. The United States should use every strategy to prevent the transfer of money, guns, or other products of the sale of Mexican cartel drugs in this country back to Mexico or outside of the control of the United States' government. Where state gun laws are ineffective to prevent the sale and transfer of guns and/or ammunition across the border or to internal criminal enterprises, federal law should be enacted to preempt and eliminate such sale and transfer of guns and/or ammunition.
3. The use of the forfeiture laws and programs to seize drugs and drug proceeds should be fully supported.
I support the President's plan. The United States has done what can reasonably be accomplished to assist the Afghans in the assumption of responsibility for their own security. It is appropriate to hand security over to Afghanistan and its people.
Negotiations and increasing economic sanctions are the appropriate steps. While many are worried that Iran, due to its nature, is developing nuclear weapons, it was not so long ago that such worry caused this country to attack Iraq in order to prevent Iraq's use of WMD. The result of that attack and ensuing war has been a long and costly endeavor. Military action should be taken only when: a) there is widespread consensus that it is justified; b) the goals of the military action are achievable; and c) that our country can afford to engage in another war.
The United States should continue to influence China's policies through negotiations, protection of trade rights, and continued cultural interaction and education.
Among the foreign policy challenges with which the United States will be dealing in 2022 are: the instability of Latin America due to the impact of the drug cartels on various countries' government through corruption and popular discontent; the expansion of "piracy" as a business model for second and third world countries; the economic consequences of the distribution of water on the various continents of the world.
With the now known January 20, 2009 decision of the republican leadership to block The President's efforts to bring about economic recovery, decrease unemployment, increase manufacturing and other initiatives for the sole purpose of defeating the President in a 2012 general election, it seems that there is a disconnect between those who place strategic political agendas before the oath of office each took to "protect and defend" this country and its interests.
The members of Congress have the capability but not the will to meet this nation's major challenges.
As a member of Congress, I would immediately work to engage with all other members of Congress for the purpose of finding as much common ground in defining the solutions to such challenges as possible.
I would use the experience I gained from the years when I worked in the Offices of Oren Harris, M.C. (Ark., 4th CD), Fred Harris, U.S.S. (Okla.) and J.W. Fulbright, U.S.S. (Ark.). During the late 60s and 70s, the members dealt with very divisive and strongly felt issues ranging from the passage of civil rights and women’s rights laws to the Viet Nam war. However strongly they argued on the House or Senate Floor, they made a point of cordiality and civil discourse with each other regardless of political party. In the summers, there were softball leagues on the House and Senate sides where softball games between Offices, without respect to party, were followed by pizza and beer or soft drinks. The staffs were cordial with each other and respected a different perspective without necessarily agreeing.
From this experience, I would work hard to find middle ground to pass legislation. I agree with Former First Lady Barbara Bush - "Compromise is not a dirty word." Gaby Giffords' approach of working with all of the House members to achieve legislative goals makes sense to me, and is an approach I will emulate.
Dallas, TX 75382-3047
Campaign Phone Number
I have lived in the Dallas area since 1988 and in the City of Dallas since 1993. I currently represent the 32nd Congressional District of Texas, and have been a resident since the district was created in 2003.
Member of Congress. Prior to being elected to Congress in 1996, I worked for 16 years in the private sector as a senior manager in the telecommunications industry.
BSS in Political Science, Southwestern University ‘78
I am a member of the Rotary, the National Eagle Scout Association’s national committee, the Executive Board of the Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America and an Advisor to the President of Special Olympics Texas. I am so an Adopt-A-Shoreline Team Leader in the effort to maintain White Rock Lake park, and an active member of Highland Park Methodist Church.
I have been particularly excited to support a local grassroots effort to establish and implement a comprehensive flood control and transportation plan for the Trinity River flood plain. This joint local/state/federal effort will better connect South Dallas to downtown, beautify the Trinity River waterfront, and open a new recreational nature area for North Texas. As a Member of Congress, I have worked closely with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, the local and national divisions of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and city officials to ensure that construction and levee maintenance is completed in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.
This project’s scope is ambitious, and the Trinity Commons and other community organizations are to be congratulated for their bold vision. This past year has been particularly exciting as we have seen the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in March of 2012 and many levee and other infrastructure projects begin to take shape. After many years of uncertainty and logistical hurdles, I am proud to see this project coming to fruition.
As Vice Chairman of the Rules Committee, I have monitored and fought for the legislation necessary to secure funding to help construct the new bridges that will span the Trinity River. This is a project that will have a lasting positive impact on the City of Dallas and is a testament of the community spirit that has made Dallas one of our nation’s great cities.
As an Eagle Scout, the importance of civic involvement and community service was instilled in me at a young age. Early in my career, I volunteered for the U.S. Junior Chamber (also known as Jaycees), mentoring young students in businesses development, management skills and community service. I was also a Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America and served as the Chairman of the Northeast Chamber of Commerce.
I first ran for Congress in a 1991 special election after Steve Bartlett vacated his congressional seat to become the Mayor of Dallas. Then, in 1994, as part of the Contract for America, I ran against John Bryant, the Democratic incumbent for Texas’ Fifth Congressional District. I barely lost that election by a total of 1,200 votes and ran again for that same position in 1996 when I was elected to Congress. I have been re-elected to Congress every election since then and am now serving my eighth term.
My campaign has raised approximately $1.35 million for this election. All of my campaign’s contribution and expenditure reports have been filed on time with the Federal Election Commission. They are available online.
Individuals may contribute up to $2,500 per election to a candidate for federal office. My campaign has thousands of active individual supporters who live in Texas.
No. I have never been arrested or been involved in any criminal proceedings or civil suits.
Shortly after being elected to Congress, I discovered that many parents of children with permanent intellectual disabilities were discouraged from working and increasing their income because of an unintended trap in the system. This trap hurt middle-class parents the most – those who were not wealthy enough to provide permanent health care security for their children with disabilities, but not poor enough to qualify for permanent government health support. Rather than letting siblings and immediate family members work at jobs, or continuing to advance in their own professions, these parents declined employment to prevent the federal government from disqualifying their children with disabilities for permanent health care support after they died.
I thought this trap was counterproductive. By increasing the income qualification level, these families could continue to work, pay taxes and save for their children’s future. Ted Kennedy co-sponsored my proposal, called the “Family Opportunity Act.” Senator Kennedy and I led a team that worked closely to get this bill signed into law in 2006. In this case the team did not just operate “across the aisle,” but across the Capitol to achieve our goal of providing for those who can’t help themselves in a way that restored options and dignity to their faithful guardians and families today.
In the 112th Congress, I have continued to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting legislation to assist families and those with disabilities. I am a proud cosponsor of The Achieve a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which allows individuals with disabilities to have the same tax-free savings accounts to plan for their future as every other American. Families and friends of those with disabilities can contribute to these plans. Parents can assist their disabled children to live an increasing independent life, with assets for a bright future, without losing the government benefits that will always be the necessary backstop.
While we are working to ease the financial burden on families with disabilities, we can work together to increase employment opportunities. I recently hosted a summit with Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, and dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs to break down the stigmatisms and remove the barriers to workplace. This work is just beginning and I look forward to furthering our mission with Senator Harkin and Governor Markell by hosting a summit in Dallas next year.
I have a deep admiration for Congressman Sam Johnson, my colleague who has dutifully served our country in several capacities. Before serving in Congress and the Texas State Legislature, Sam served in U.S. Air Force for 29 years and flew combat missions in both the Vietnam and Korean wars. He was held as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi for nearly seven years, including 42 months of solitary confinement. Sam is not only extremely brave, but is a fighter in all that he does. In my time working with him in Congress, I have been honored to join him in the fight to bring conservative principles to Washington and ensure Americans continue to enjoy the freedoms that so many have fought to protect.
I have proudly represented the people of North Texas in Congress since 1996, and strongly support empowering the free-enterprise system to allow for job creation, advancing a pro-business agenda, lowering taxes, and guaranteeing the retirement security for every generation. Spending 16 years in the private sector allowed me to understand firsthand the importance of fighting government waste and inefficient bureaucracy. As a Member of Congress, I strongly believe there is a solution to every problem in America and want to continue to focus my efforts on reforms that will lead to a better life and a smaller government for Texans and all Americans.
At a time when our debt is over $16 trillion and unemployment has been at or above 8% for 43 consecutive months, the American people need and deserve for their leaders to make tough decisions. As a conservative Member of Congress, I recognize that we cannot keep spending money we simply do not have and that we must get government out of the way for the free enterprise system to flourish. Instead of promoting a tax, borrow, and spend agenda, I am committed to pro-growth and fiscally responsible policies to get Americans working again, pay down our debt and ensure a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.
Congress should act now to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and we need to look no further than the latest report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to understand why. On August 22, the CBO released an updated economic report warning of a “deep recession” if the fiscal cliff goes into effect in January.
The dismal forecast from the CBO underscores the need for the Administration and Washington Democrats to quickly join the efforts of House Republicans to replace the looming defense cuts with common-sense reforms and spending cuts, as well as stop the tax hike set to take effect in January. The Democrats’ plan will cost our economy an estimated 700,000 jobs. On August 1, 2012, I voted to stop the proposed tax hike, which is driving uncertainty, discouraging investment and impeding job creation.
Additionally, this month the World Economic Forum released their yearly survey outlining the world’s most competitive countries. The US dropped two places from last year to 7th overall. The survey cited concerns over our looming fiscal troubles as a major reason. We must address our fiscal situation to ensure that America remains competitive in the international marketplace.
Earlier this year, I supported a package of spending reductions and reforms to replace the dangerous cuts to our national defense and key domestic priorities. Unfortunately, the Democrat-led Senate and White House continually neglect to offer a credible proposal to replace these arbitrary cuts that will threaten our national security, deprive our nation’s troops of critical resources and cause massive layoffs.
In fact, our federal debt recently surpassed $16 trillion, a harsh reminder that we must stop spending money we don’t have and make tough decision today to get our economy on a new path. To begin, Congress must rein in spending and live within our means just like every family and small business in America.
Americans have witnessed annual trillion dollar deficits and an additional $5 trillion of debt under President Obama through a fiscal agenda of more taxing, borrowing and spending. Since taking the House Majority, Republicans have worked relentlessly to end this unprecedented and reckless spending binge. House Republicans have offered bold, pro-growth solutions to tackle the drivers of our debt, cut government spending and lower taxes.
I have continually advocated for a limited government and fiscally-responsible policies to achieve American economic expansion. I believe this must start with a national budget that limits government interference into the marketplace, provides for our national security and eliminates wasteful government spending. Raising taxes – any taxes – provides cover for more wasteful federal spending.
Congress should focus on allowing American families and businesses to keep more of their hard-earned money, promoting pro-growth policies for job creation and reducing regulations that hold back business expansion. The importance of economic growth as part of a strategy to balance the budget cannot be overstated.
Our tax code is broken and far too complicated. That is why I support comprehensive tax reform to lower rates, close loopholes, diversify the tax base, reduce the number of tax credits and make our system more competitive for families and businesses. As a Member of Congress, I have repeatedly pushed to make the tax code flatter, fairer, and simpler to generate economic expansion and benefit all Americans.
I believe that lower personal taxes spur our economy by affording Americans the ability to invest more of their own money. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 99 – the Fair and Simple Tax (FAST) Act. The FAST Act would set tax rates for individual taxpayers at 10%, 15%, and 30%. It would also, eliminate the the death tax and gift tax, which allow the federal government double taxation. I also believe we should set a capital gains tax rate of 10% which would encourage investment and savings.
Along with personal tax rates, it is imperative to lower the tax rate paid by our nation’s employers. The US has the highest tax rate on business earnings in the world – roughly 39.6%. High business taxes reduce capital for companies to reinvest in their businesses, which stops job growth. In the 112th Congress, I introduced legislation to create an 18% flat business tax rate designed to make American companies more competitive internationally and spur our economy. This would put American employers on equal footing with their largest foreign-based competitors.
When done correctly, the government can play a positive role in spurring economic growth. Pro-growth reforms, such as those outlined in the House Republican “Plan for America’s Job Creators,” would give small businesses a renewed sense of confidence to invest, expand, innovate and hire again. Some of these reforms include: reducing bureaucratic red-tape; simplifying the tax code; boosting competitiveness for manufacturers; maximizing American energy production to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower gas prices; and, finally, cutting government spending to pay down our debt.
In the 112th Congress, I have introduced two bills specifically to assist job creators, and have cosponsored dozens of others. The first bill, H.Res. 72, directs House committees to review burdensome government regulations, focusing on their impact on our economy and ability to create jobs. Another bill I drafted, H.R. 158 (or the “EXPENSE Act”), allows companies to choose the asset depreciation schedule that best suits their individual business. This will create incentives for businesses to reinvest in their companies, buy equipment and hire new workers.
The unemployment system in this country has been in existence for more than seven decades, and I believe it serves an important purpose – to be a bridge to finding employment. However, in recent months we have seen President Obama rollback some of the “welfare to work” provisions included in the bipartisan Welfare Reform Act of 1996. These reforms provided accountability in the program and helped prevent fraud and abuse. My primary focus is working with my colleagues to promote pro-growth policies designed to put Americans back to work.
I strongly believe that seniors must receive the benefits they have been promised. They have earned those benefits and have planned accordingly during their working years. Congress must preserve these benefits for those at or near retirement, while also preserving and protecting the ability for future generations to plan for their own retirement.
Social Security’s trust fund will run dry as soon as 2033, and its disability program’s trust fund will be depleted by 2016 – before the next presidential term ends. Without reform, our entitlement programs will only be able to meet 75 percent of their obligations. I support the House Republican budget, “The Path to Prosperity,” which strengthens health and retirement security by forcing the President and Congress to address Social Security’s fiscal imbalance. Waiting to take action will only require more drastic steps in the future.
According to the 2012 Medicare Trustees report, Medicare will become insolvent in 2024 without reform. Just like Social Security, I believe it is critical to ensure that seniors receive the benefits they have been promised.
I support the House Republican budget plan, which saves Medicare for current and future generations – ensuring that there are no changes or disruptions for those at or near the retirement age. Our budget plan repeals the health care law’s unelected and unaccountable board of bureaucrats, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), that is empowered to cut Medicare, raise costs and jeopardize seniors’ access to care. Instead, our plan will give patients control over their own health care, as well as provide more assistance for those with lower incomes or greater health needs. Additionally, I support returning the $700 billion cut from Medicare to pay for the President’s health care law, which only accelerates Medicare’s current solvency crisis.
Congress should fully repeal the government-run health care law and I support replacing it with physician- and patient-approved health care policies that ensure every American has access to affordable health care coverage. A one-size-fits-all approach is not the answer for broad health reform; Americans must be empowered to take control of their health care decisions.
Of specific concern, millions of Americans who receive health care through their employer will not be able to keep their current plan, as the President promised. Additionally, Seniors on Medicare will receive their medical services through a system that was weakened due to the President raiding $716 billion from it to pay for ObamaCare.
The health care law was a 2,700 page bill that was forced through Congress and is estimated to cost our economy over 800,000 jobs. The Supreme Court ruled this summer that the health care law is a massive tax on American families and small businesses, which will only make it more difficult to get our economy to get back on track and for unemployed North Texans to find work.
House Republicans have voted several times to repeal, defund and dismantle the law and we will continue to fight for a full repeal. It is imperative that we restore the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship and put an end Washington bureaucrats’ power to make our health care decisions.
Securing the border and giving border agents the resources they need to be safe and successful at their mission must be done immediately. As part of my focus on an “enforcement-first” strategy, I have worked on efforts to empower local law enforcement to work more effectively with the Department of Homeland Security.
When criminal aliens are apprehended for non-immigration violations, local law enforcement must be able to communicate and coordinate with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials. The prosecution and incarceration or removal of illegal immigrants who commit crimes is essential to reducing gang activity and keeping us safe.
After we secure our borders and strengthen interior enforcement, we can then address those living in our country illegally, what policies can be implemented to guarantee future compliance with immigration laws, and how to determine the number of non-citizens we allow to enter our nation legally and temporarily to fill our employment gaps.
The issue of how to reduce illegal immigration should not be confused with the importance of legal immigration. One of America's greatest strengths is that we are a nation of immigrants, and I truly value the immigrants that built this country by working hard and becoming productive members of our society.
As a father of two sons, one of whom has Down syndrome, I understand the need for education programs that will teach and grow every kind of student. However, I do not believe that excessive federal funding and regulation is the answer to our education woes. Despite the fact that overall education funding per pupil has tripled since 1964, America’s national scores in math and reading have largely gone flat. Only one-third of American 8th grade students are proficient in reading and math, and in a 2006 international exam testing all disciplines, 30 countries achieved higher scores than the United States.
Though well intentioned, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – the eighth reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 – has only continued this detrimental trend in increased federal funding and bureaucracy in education with decreased results. I voted against NCLB when it was brought before the House of Representatives in 2001, and I will continue to fight to get bureaucracy out of our education system. National standards and tests have created a public school monopoly that has left little incentive for schools to be responsive to the needs of families and students. Power must be placed back in the hands of parents, local municipalities, and states so that we can continue to give our very best to our children and their children after them and ensure that America’s brightest days are not behind us.
The federal government’s role should be to integrate alternative sources and new technologies into a comprehensive “all-of-the-above” strategy for guaranteeing America’s energy independence.
America can achieve energy independence by using less energy and finding more sources. I favor common-sense solutions such as reasonable and technologically-feasible increases in fuel mileage standards and the use of highly efficient machines and buildings. I also support federal grants to make coal-burning power plants cleaner sources of energy.
The past decade has seen dramatic technological innovation which allows American companies to access previously unattainable North American energy reserves in an environmentally-friendly way. Advancements in drilling technology have also made shale gas recovery economical. Natural gas – found in abundance in North Texas and across the nation – is a cleaner burning fuel than several other conventional sources. Policies that promote recovering these environmentally-friendly resources are a critical component of a comprehensive energy policy. The Texas Railroad Commission’s standards for hydraulic fracturing are a great example of how the government can ensure we have the energy necessary to power our nation while providing the oversight necessary to ensure environmental safety.
The source of climate change is frequently debated and I believe scientific research should make the determination as to whether it is man-made or natural. That said, as the proud father of two sons I understand firsthand the need to conserve our natural resources and the environment for future generations. That is why I am a strong supporter of conservation efforts such as recycling waste, using efficient products, developing alternative energy sources, and conserving the natural resources available to us.
For over 10 years, I have been an Adopt-A-Shoreline Team Leader with For the Love of the Lake, a program dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of White Rock Lake Park as an urban oasis. Additionally, as an active Eagle Scout, I have learned the importance of protecting our country's natural beauty and conserving its natural resources. I learned to “always leave your campsite better than the way you found it,” as a young boy in Scouting, and strive to pass that message on to other Scouts and in my community.
I believe that we have made important strides to ensure that our nation has clean air, and I support those efforts when done properly. However, the Obama Administration’s EPA has consistently overreached in regulating greenhouse gases – a massive intrusion of government into the U.S. economy that stifles growth and destroys jobs, especially in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
In order to deal with drug cartels in Mexico, we must first begin with securing our border and giving our border agents the necessary resources. A secure border will help prevent drug cartels from causing destruction and disruption in our communities, as well as keep our neighbors safe. I support putting more resources and manpower into securing the border and believe it is critical to take action now.
Additionally, the vast majority of Mexican drug cartels demand stems from Americans use of illegal drugs. Addressing this problem through drug enforcement and education will decrease the demand for drugs and thereby diminish the cartels ability to perform acts of violence along our border.
Like every American, I want our troops to come home as soon as possible. However, I strongly believe that the stability of Afghanistan is critical to our national security and that the decision to withdraw all troops should be done with extreme vigilance. I believe handing all security of Afghanistan over by the end of 2014 should be consistent with the advice of our senior military leaders, as well as conditions on the ground.
This Congress, the House and Senate passed H.R. 1905 - the Iran Threat Reduction Act of 2011 – which was signed into law on August 10, 2012. This law states that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, escalate the level of sanctions against the regime’s human rights violators, and sharply tighten the enforcement of existing sanctions law. In light of the recent events in Iran, it is imperative to add new sanctions to our diplomatic arsenal to press Iran to abandon its illicit nuclear and repressive activities. The Iran Threat Reduction Act imposes tough new sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls Iran’s nuclear program and a significant portion of the Iranian economy.
Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons, support of terrorist organizations and open calls for the destruction of Israel are clear threats to all nations who seek peace. In Congress, I will continue to work towards imposing effective sanctions on Iran, as I believe we must take preventative measures to halt Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon.
The U.S. must encourage economic growth through becoming more internationally competitive and increasing our foreign exports. China, with its 1.4 billion consumers, is an obvious market to target for American expansion. However, we must also ensure that the global playing field remains even. That is why I co-sponsored H.R. 4105, which passed the House and became law on March 13, 2012. H.R. 4105 applies the countervailing duty provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930 to nonmarket-economy countries, giving our government the power it needs to fight against the countervailing and dumping business schemes carried out by countries like China and Vietnam.
Chinese businesses are on the move and we cannot afford to lag behind. As the Obama Administration continues to stall the Keystone Pipeline and other projects, Chinese firms are putting in their own bids for Canadian oil. We must ensure growth and encourage American industry and manufacturing through strategic use of our own resources. American companies are among the most competitive in the world, and the government should provide an environment which fosters creativity and competiveness to ensure that America leads the world economy in the 21st century.
As turmoil continues in the Middle East, I believe it will be increasingly important to be less dependent on foreign oil within the next ten years. That is why I support a comprehensive energy policy that explores all of our domestic energy capabilities; including opening up more of our nation’s resources for development, which will create jobs and allow us to have long-term energy security and independence.
When comprised of capable leaders willing to make tough decisions, Congress is capable of meeting our nation’s major challenges. Unfortunately, for the past four years our nation has been led by an Administration that has chosen to kick the can further down the road and ignore our fiscal crisis. To regain control over our $16 trillion debt and record deficits and to ensure that our retirement and health security programs do not become insolvent, we must have leaders that are willing to make bold decisions today. I strongly believe that if Republicans maintain control of the House, take back the Senate and win the presidency, we can reduce the size of government, cut government spending and begin to get our economy back on track.