Archive - Jul 22, 2012
Running for State Representative, I get a lot of candidate questionnaires. I try to respond to the ones that are most in line with my own political views and are most likely to help me out in my quest to represent the people of Woodbridge, Orange and Derby. Others are for organizations that I generally support, but not strongly, and I don't expect their support to help me out.
At the same time, I get questionnaires from organizations that I have significant disagreements with. In the efforts to make my views known, I'm going to respond to some of these questions here.
The first questionnaire that I received that really doesn't fit with my views is the National Right to Work Committee. It was sent to me from Springfield, Virginia, and I don't know people in the district that are involved with the committee. The closest I've found for connections between this organization and the people of Connecticut is funding it has received from the Walton Foundation. I know a lot of people who shop at Walmarts. I'm not sure that Walmarts, or other corporate sponsors of this organization, are really support the sort of rights to work that I envision.
Their first question is, "Will you support enactment of a state right to work law by the Connecticut General Assembly?" Well, is that a law about a right to work for a fair salary? The right to work in a safe work environment? Because those are the sorts of 'right to work' that I support.
The second question is "Will you support legislation that ends monopoly bargaining over government employees by union officials?" My response is that I will seek to uphold the constitution, including "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." I view public worker unions as an important method for people to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances. I suspect my answers would not win me the endorsement of this organization.
The second questionnaire that I received that I'm also declining to respond to is rom the "Connecticut Campaign for Liberty". Their return address is Port Byron, IL. However, their website lists a Springfield, VA address as a contact. According to Wikipedia, "Ron Paul founded the Campaign for Liberty with a portion of the over $4.7 million left from his presidential campaign, and it is also currently funded through donations by both mail and the internet."
I know that there are some Ron Paul supporters in Connecticut, so this organization would probably be more significant than the Right to Work Committee. The first two questions they about opposing a National ID as well as opposing the use of unmanned devices by law enforcement officials are interesting questions, and I believe we could have interesting discussions about this. However, their next two questions probably rule out their support of me. No, I will not support a "Constitutional Carry" bill that would allow any law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm concealed without a permit. In theory, I can see why people want this, but the problem is the moment that a person transitions from being law-abiding to being a front page mass murderer.
The following question is really over the top. "Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize State and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?" No. While ObamaCare is not the health care reform that I would like to see, it has many very important aspects and should not be repealed or nullified. With relatives that have worked in local law enforcement and federal law enforcement, I think it is irresponsible to encourage one set of law enforcement officials to arrest others over differences of political opinions.
The most recent questionnaire that I received was from the NRA Political Victory Fund. This may not have been a good week for the NRA, but I have to compliment them on their questionnaire. Like the other two questionnaires, they are from Virginia. However, this questionnaire is much more in depth and thought out. There are 26 questions on it. They start off simply enough with a question about the Second Amendment, followed by questions about "restrictive state legislation regarding the sale, use or possession of firearms or ammunition".
If I answer these questions truthfully, I imagine I can alienate people on both sides of the gun issue. I grew up shooting guns. I've eaten meat killed by hunters. I think people should be educated about gun safety and, if their interested, about "Connecticut's hunting heritage". I generally oppose blue laws, and do believe that the Sunday hunting ban in Connecticut should be repealed.
At the same time, I don't believe that people should be able to buy as many guns as they want with no waiting period. I don't believe that most people need assault rifles or to purchase over 6,000 rounds of ammunition online.
I'm wouldn't be surprised to get more questionnaires during the campaign. Generally, I like them, even if I disagree with the organizations sending them. It provides a good opportunity to think about the issues in a little more depth.
It was a beautiful sunny summer Sunday morning. I sat in the pew at Grace and St. Peter's church and looked at the alter. Flowers in their vases sat on the green cloth of the alter, flanked by candles. Church services always seem to have a different pace to them in the summer time. More relax, laid back.
As I sat quietly on the wooden pew I thought about where I would be a week hence. Weather permitting, I would be sitting on a hill in New York State, listening to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Gospel Wake Up Call. It is an important part of the trip to Falcon Ridge. Some years, they've actually had Gospel, and it has been amazing. Other years, it has been more ecumenical or even irreverent. In many ways, there is a deep spirituality, without the trappings of certain religious traditions, or embracing many traditions.
The Kennedy's have often sung "Stand" there:
Allah, Buddha, Yahweh, Jesus, Brahma
People get ready there's a train a coming
or Tracy Grammer and friends sing Dave Carter's great song celebrating evolution from a spiritual perspective:
This is my home, this is my only home
This is the only sacred ground that i have ever known
And should in stray in the dark night alone
Rock me goddess in the gentle arms of eden
What will Eddie from Ohio, Brother Sun and Girlyman have to offer next week? What other performers will find their way onto the stage to join them?
Falcon Ridge is starting soon and other than some of the logistics of setting up camp, I'm so ready.