By Elisha Dorfsmith
Several people have contacted me and asked how I will be voting in the November 2, 2010 general election. I have decided to go ahead and post a list of personal recommendations. Please keep in mind that these suggestions are mine and mine alone and do not represent any of the political groups or organizations that I work with.
I was a bit hesitant to post this list because while I adamantly support some candidates, there are many others that I begrudgingly support and will only be voting for because I have limited choices. There is at least one race that I will leave blank because I cannot in good conscience support the candidate running.
I considered explaining my reasons for voting for (or against) each candidate and Proposition but decided not to since there is so much on the ballot and a lengthy post could take away from the purpose. Instead, I would encourage anyone who questions one of my positions to ask me in the comments section and I will gladly explain my vote. Let’s debate the candidates and issues. If you believe I’m wrong, please let me know.
With that said, here is how I plan to vote on November 2nd:
United States Senate – David Nolan
Congressional District One – Paul Gosar (Can’t bring yourself to vote for Gosar? Nicole Patti is a qualified write in candidate on the Libertarian ticket. She has not been campaigning much but she is a great protest vote).
Governor – Barry Hess
Secretary Of State – Ken Bennett
Attorny General – Tom Horne
State Treasurer – Thane Eichenauer
Superintendent of Public Instruction: John Huppenthal
Corporation Commissioner – Brenda Burns & Gary Pierce
State Mine Inspector – Joe Hart
State Representative District 2 – Frank Mulligan
Flagstaff Unified School District Governing Board – Dolores Biggerstaff & Matthew Fleece
Prop. 106 – Yes
Prop. 107 – Yes
Prop. 109 – No
Prop. 110 – No
Prop. 111 – No
Prop. 112 – No.
Prop. 113 – Yes
Prop. 203 – Yes
Prop. 301 – Yes
Prop. 302 – Yes
Ballot Question 401 – No
Ballot Question 402 – No
Ballot Question 403 – No
Ballot Question 404 – No
(Note: There are several judges that are not on my list. I am no longer making recommendations on judges).
By Elisha Dorfsmith
‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me’
Conservative websites and blogs have been buzzing with the release of the new Republican plan: the “Pledge to America.”
The general consensus among conservatives and tea party members is that Republicans have finally seen the error of their ways and are coming back to champion small government, constitutional rights and personal liberty. I wish I could be so naive and trusting but I’m a realist.
Anybody remember the contract with America put forth by Newt Gingrich? How much of that was actually implemented? Let’s take a look at three popular items on the list:
- Require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply to Congress.
- Select a major independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse.
- Cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third.
So much for any of that actually happening. To give credit where credit is due, most of the contract was brought to the house floor for debate or votes but very little was accomplished. Republicans will blame Democrats for blocking the legislation in the Senate but many Republicans shied away from these bills when it came down to actually supporting them. On November 13, 2000 an article was published by Edward H. Crane, president of the Cato Institute. In it he pointed out that “… the combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%.” Not exactly what I would call success.
As anyone who has been paying attention knows, Republicans strayed even further away from the fiscal principles in the “Contract with America” during the Bush administration. Government grew, spending increased and liberties were lost. It became increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the two major parties.
The stunning Republican defeat in 2008 certainly sent a strong message to Republicans that it was time to wake up and reflect on where they went wrong. I’m sure the “Pledge to America” can partly credit tea party anger and conservative frustration for it’s existence. The big question is, are Republicans honestly waking up or are they simply pandering to win elections. I believe that a little waking up has taken place but a close inspection of the “Pledge” makes me doubt that they actually mean what they say.
Let me point out a few things that I find disturbing:
The “Pledge” throws a bone to Constitutionalists and libertarians like myself by promising to defend and support the 10th amendment. At the same time it slams states’ rights by suggesting that Republicans will support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage…even though many states have legalized it. I call that inconsistent doublespeak.
The “Pledge” also calls for sanctions on Iran and makes sure to include a statement that says:
“We will never apologize for advancing the cause of democracy and freedom around the world, nor will we abandon our historic role in lifting up those who struggle to receive the blessings of liberty.”
Sounds great on the surface but let’s be honest and say what they really mean. They promise to unapologetically keep policing the world through perpetual, unconstitutional, undeclared wars. If there is any promise in the “Pledge” that I believe they will keep, it is that one.
A lot of liars will be kicked out in November. Unfortunately, we will be replacing many of them with new liars. I sincerely hope that at least some will break the mold and transcend the status quo. I hope you will join me in holding our new representatives accountable by demanding that they uphold the Constitution, represent the people, and defend true liberty. Anybody can make a pledge but the proof in in their actions.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
A new Christian battle cry is ringing throughout the land and spreading like a virus through Facebook, blogs, message boards, and emails. It says:
“Islam is not protected by the first amendment because Islam is not a religion…it is a theocracy!”
These anti Muslim crusaders go on to say that “The Constitution is inseparable from Christian principles.”
Onward Christian soldiers! The best way to fight theocracy is by supporting a theocracy of your own…right?
Christian groups and leaders have been pushing for a theocratic form of government for years:
They have fought to ban certain speech because they find it offensive and contrary to their religious values.
They use the bible to justify their support for a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.
They use their religion to support the failed drug war.
They use the old testament to justify and support the death penalty.
Their holy book says that Israel is God’s chosen nation so they blindly support wars that protect Israel’s interests over our own.
In a nutshell, many American Christians would support making Christianity the national religion and forcing their values on other religions or those with no religion. Don’t believe me? Go read the archives of the Christian Coalition, the Moral Majority, or even Focus On The Family. A Christian theocracy is the ultimate goal.
I personally could care less what religion is attacking my personal freedom and trying to force it’s way of life on me. The Constitution not only protects all religions in this country but it also protects me from any religion that pushes for a theocratic form of government. Islam and Christianity are both wrong for trying and I refuse to allow either to take away my liberty.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
During the recent Republican congressional primary I had the opportunity to question a candidate about his support of the federal war on drugs. I asked him where the Constitution gives the federal government the power to break someone’s door down, terrorize a family, and haul the parents off in handcuffs…just because they are growing a plant. I said shouldn’t it be a state issue or a state and local issue? Why should the federal government have any say? He got a sheepish grin on his face and said that the commerce clause gives the federal government that power. I could only shake my head in frustration. This candidate claimed to be a Constitutional expert and earlier in the night he had been complaining about the many ways the federal government abuses the commerce clause.
We did find some common ground during our brief conversation. We both agreed that too many parents have dropped the ball and no longer participate in their kids lives. We agreed that personal responsibility is key and that individuals should be prepared to face the consequences for their bad decisions. We also agreed that there will always be people who make the wrong choices. Unfortunately, we could not agree on the proper role the federal government should (or should not) play.
That irreconcilable divide leads me to one of the biggest issues I have with many who call themselves “conservatives.” In one conversation they will complain about federal overstretch, excessive laws and loss of freedom. In another conversation they will adamantly defend the drug war no matter how hypocritical their arguments may be. They never seem to connect the two.
What makes those on the right who support the drug war any different from those on the left who want to ban cigarettes or salt or junk food? Cigarettes are legal but I don’t smoke because I choose to be responsible and not smoke. I don’t want the government telling me that I can’t smoke. I had a family member who was killed by a drunk driver. Does that give me the right to call for alcohol prohibition and demand that people stop drinking because alcohol causes bad things to happen? I don’t think so.
People can give example after example of the problems that occur when individuals use drugs but that does not give them the Constitutional authority to ban them. I can give many more examples of lives ruined by alcohol abuse (a legal drug). Would our anti drug friends be consistent and suggest that we go back to alcohol prohibition? I highly doubt it. Just about every anti drug conservative I know enjoys the occasional alcoholic beverage.
We can’t say that we support freedom in one breath and then in the next breath say that we want to take away people’s ability to make decisions for their personal lives. We can’t pick and choose which freedoms we want to give people. We certainly should not abuse the commerce clause to justify waging a federal war on drugs. Republicans and Democrats both need to abandon this idea that big brother needs to take care of us. A free society has no place for government nannies.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Snowbowl and the City Of Flagstaff are in the middle of a highly emotional debate over whether or not the City should sell water to Snowbowl for snow making. I won’t go into the history of the situation because it is long and beside the point of this post. For those who are not familiar at all with what is going on, you can find some background here:
Until now, I have been fairly silent on the issue. I have sent a couple messages to my friend Jeff Oravits who is on the water commission. As I told him, I am opposed to the new water deal for several reasons but the primary reason is the 11 million dollars that the federal government has promised Snowbowl if they use drinking water to make snow.
As many of you know, I am a supporter of business and growth and realize that businesses like Snowbowl strengthen our economy by creating jobs and bringing revenue to Flagstaff. That said, they should clearly do it with their own money. No more handouts. No help from the federal government.
I find it funny how businesses complain about federal rules and regulations all the time but they jump at the chance to accept federal dollars. You can’t have it both ways and it is important to remember that federal funds always come with strings attached.
Last night’s tea party meeting was an interesting experience. A member got up to speak about why she supported the deal and a clear split became evident. There were a few comments about using precious water to make snow at a time when many claim there is a water shortage in northern Arizona. There were lots of questions. Most of all, there was an outcry against the 11 million dollars the federal government was offering Snowbowl.
The man sitting next to me said “Let Snowbowl use their own damn money.” A guy across from me said something along the lines of “The tea party cannot complain about government spending and support this deal at the same time.” The majority of the people around me did not buy into the argument that the federal government would spend the money somewhere else so they might as well spend it in Flagstaff. That concept clearly went against what many of us believe the tea parties are about…cutting spending, limiting government and reducing dependence on unconstitutional federal programs.
The Snowbowl debate is still heating up and we will be hearing much more about it in the days to come. I would encourage tea party members, conservatives, and anyone else who is concerned about federal overstretch to be consistent and realize that limiting federal spending and cutting the federal deficit must start in our own back yard.