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The United States of America was founded upon the principles of Limited Government, Personal Liberty and Individual Responsibility under God. As Republicans, we believe that the role of government is to defend these principles and secure the rights of its citizens. We agree that government should “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” We reject the notion that government can, or should attempt to, guarantee or limit individual achievement. We affirm that all rights are God-given, and that the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution affirm those rights for all citizens. We believe that from freedom comes opportunity; from opportunity comes growth; and from growth comes progress and prosperity.
Government has no power or authority of its own except for that which is delegated by the people. All power and authority not explicitly delegated to government is retained by the people. We declare that: • • • • • • The will of the people must be respected. Those rights guaranteed to the Washington citizenry of initiative, referendum, and recall are necessary protections against an unresponsive government and must not be abridged. The Legislature should only be permitted to repeal or amend an initiative with a 2/3 vote in both houses; The fundamental right to own property must never be impinged upon; Freedom of speech, as guaranteed in the Constitution, includes religious and political speech in the public forum; Given that a moral and informed citizenry is essential to our republican form of limited government, we support the repeal of legislation that limits the free speech of religious organizations; The use of quotas or preferences to favor one person or group over another violates the right to be treated equally under the law; and Both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington protect the right of each individual citizen to possess firearms. Citizens have the right to concealed-carry firearms without penalty, fee, or registration.
Fair and open elections are vital to retaining our liberties and preventing our republic from becoming a tyranny. We believe it is the duty of government to provide valid elections by ensuring only legally registered citizens vote, only legal ballots are cast, every voter has the ability to cast their ballot in absolute secrecy as guaranteed by our state constitution, all legally-cast ballots are properly and impartially counted, and all voters and elections officials adhere to the letter of the law. We also believe that citizens have the right to actively monitor all aspects of the elections process and challenge irregularities. In order to further improve the integrity of our elections, we believe it is necessary to: • • • • • • Require proof of U.S. citizenship and residency in King County to register to vote; Ensure that only legitimately registered voters mark their own ballot; Use balloting techniques and technologies which are secure and verifiable, preserving the constitutionally guaranteed right of a secret ballot, including the ballots of overseas and military voters; Support the return to paper ballots counted at the precinct level; Ensure that the original, unaltered paper ballot as submitted by the voter remains the official record throughout the entire voting, canvassing, and certification process; and Investigate and prosecute all credible cases of voter registration and election fraud.
Our three-branch form of government with its system of checks and balances, as established by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Washington, is the best in the world. We believe in a strict constructionist interpretation of the two founding documents with full consideration of original intent. Both are inspired documents designed to protect us from those who seek power and control over us. Just as the temptations of man to control his neighbor survives the ages, so must the Constitution’s checks and balances. We must be wary of those who seek to weaken the Constitution by declaring it obsolete or contorting its plain meaning.
Our federal government was created by the states with powers limited to those in Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution and emphasized those limits in the Bill of Rights. The states and the people bear the responsibility to enforce those limits upon the central government. We believe that government exists to serve the people, and not the other way around. But above all, we believe in limited government. We support: • • • • • • • • • Less government interference so that individuals can have more choice in how they lead their lives and spend their money; Free market solutions for such current issues as the environment, healthcare, transportation, housing, and education; and we favor private initiatives to provide social services rather than relying on the government; Regular, independent performance and fiscal audits of government agencies by the State Auditor; and we call upon these agencies to make public the findings and, with full cooperation of the Legislature, give serious consideration to fully implementing each audit recommendation; Federal budget spending limits with the force of law; Full government compliance with all public disclosure laws and open public meeting acts and we condemn attempts by government officials to withhold information about their activities from the public by such tactics as claiming “attorneyclient privilege” or otherwise violating the intent of these laws; The Federal government protecting our Constitution by providing for the national defense, defending our borders, preserving our sovereignty and protecting the private property rights of citizens; Enforcement of criminal laws with stringent sentences coupled with strict parole supervision; Term limits for state and national senators and representatives; and That all elected officials be held accountable for violations of state and federal laws and any elected official convicted of a felony shall lose his or her government pension.
We believe that increasingly onerous and unjustified land-use regulations are affecting our ability to maintain a sustainable economy. Washington State and local governments have responded to rapid population growth by devising a Growth Management Act that violates the property rights guaranteed to state citizens under its Constitution. The implementation of this act, such as the Critical Areas Ordinance in King County, has taken property and violated usage rights without just compensation. The resulting regulations and fees are reducing the housing and land use choices for homeowners and renters at all economic levels. We support: • • • • • • Repealing the Growth Management Act and replacing it with sensible legislation that balances property rights and responsible stewardship of the environment; The respect and protection of individual property rights, including restriction of eminent domain to public works projects, as opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. New London; Requiring notice of proposed condemnation be published in print media and be presented to the owner by registered mail or other verifiable means; Full market compensation by the government and tax reassessment for reduction in use rights; Property tax reform that protects people from losing their homes and property due to spiraling property tax increases; and Preservation of historic water rights.
Economy & Jobs
We believe that free enterprise is the foundation of our country’s economic system. Protecting merit encourages entrepreneurship. The wealth of a nation rises as labor and capital is put to productive use. Jobs are created when capital is invested in a new economic activity. Government can have ‘payrolls’ but it cannot create any ‘job’ because it has no capital of its own. It can only tax and borrow. The current government’s spending and borrowing policy is redirecting investment capital toward government, by monopolizing credit. Private sector growth is being starved of working capital, and the ability to create jobs. Savings at all levels of society, personal and business, is the seed corn of an expanding economy. Our national tax and entitlement policies discourage savings. We believe in allowing people to keep more of what they earn. Foreign trade is essential. It expands our economy, creates job opportunities, and improves our competitive innovations. Free markets allow our economy to respond to foreign competition. Protectionist rules and tariffs impede our exports as well as our imports. We support bilateral trade agreements that open markets for our trade, and establish fair ground rules. Enforcing existing product safety rules can ensure the well-being of American consumers for imported goods. We believe economic opportunity is best achieved by:
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Reducing taxes and fees on businesses, especially the B & O tax on gross revenues without regard to any net profit; Promoting policies that encourage the creation and success of new businesses, which is the growth engine of the American economy; Reducing excessive regulatory barriers that discourage expansion of a venture; and Rejecting carbon tariffs and “Cap and Trade” legislation. The tangled mess of mandates, loopholes, and subsidies threatens our economy and trade relations.
It is the duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex. We acknowledge that families have primary responsibility for making their best educational choice. Families must be given the options to oversee the students’ education. Local school districts must be given the freedom from bureaucracy to provide education as directed by the local community and elected school boards. Schools will meet basic standards outlined by the state with an emphasis on the U.S Constitution, the Washington State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, reading, writing, history, U.S. history, mathematics and the sciences. Basic state standards must not be accompanied by onerous directives and unfunded mandates. Specific policy changes will lead to reform and success for our students. For example: • • • • • • Grant ultimate education responsibility to families by providing appropriately funded public schools, charter schools and tax exemptions for other choices, whether private or home-based. Recognize through funding, procedure and program responsibility that ultimate control of a school district resides in the elected school board and local community. Require annual academic and fiscal performance audits of each public school. Require that all children learn the English language. Provide and adequately fund language programs focused on integrating non-English speaking students as quickly as possible. Protect home-schooling from government interference. Encourage conservative leaders to be activists on school issues and run for local boards.
The traditional family is the cornerstone of a free society. Strong caring families with both a father and mother provide the ideal environment for raising and preparing children to become positive, contributing members of their community. We recognize that not all families have both parents in the home. We commend the many single parents, grandparents, and others, such as extended family members and adoptive parents, who accept the responsibility of preserving families. It is the right and responsibility of parents to provide for and direct all matters concerning the health, welfare, education and moral training of their minor children. In custody disputes, the government must not limit a child or children to one parent when both are equally capable and desire to take an active part in their children’s upbringing; except when there is proven criminal wrongdoing, abuse or neglect. Our laws must strengthen and sustain family rights and the traditional family structure. We support protecting the institution of marriage and its benefits to society by defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
We believe human life, from conception to natural death, is precious and must be respected in our culture and our laws. We stand with the Founders in declaring that everyone has a fundamental, unalienable right to life. We support: • • • Protection of innocent human life, pre-born or born, through all stages of life, illness and disability; Stem cell research which does not rely on human embryonic tissue; and Legislative prohibitions on human cloning, infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, research on human embryonic tissue, and assisted suicide.
We believe in a strong and free America, a nation that leads the world in demonstrating the values of peace, freedom, and human rights. We recognize that there are masses of people that want to enjoy our freedoms, but we must gain control of our borders, prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and win the war on terrorism. We believe in working with all nations to promote freedom, but under no circumstances should the sovereignty of the United States of America be subordinated to any foreign or international body. We believe: • Continuing to honor all past and current obligations to our troops and veterans is our duty;
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Local and state government must support and coordinate with national efforts to provide for our safety and security; Open access for military recruiters in public and private schools is proper and lawful; Gaining control of our borders and adopting a firm immigration policy is vital to national security; That all appropriate means must be used to fight terrorism; Our intelligence agencies must be strengthened and empowered to work together and to cooperate with immigration authorities and local law enforcement; Our national security must take precedence over international commerce, including securing our key infrastructure, ports and utilities; The historical doctrine of pre-emption in U.S. conflicts is worthy of support; It is important to support the efforts of our military and our allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and the world in building the foundations necessary for freedom; and Israel, as a sovereign state, has a right to defend itself against foreign enemies and state-sponsored terrorism. We support Israel in the war against terror in their homeland.
We are a free people. When government controls medical care and insurance it limits freedom. We believe it is the right of people in a free society to choose their own physician, medical care and health insurance in the marketplace. Socialized medicine, singlepayer plans and government takeover of private health insurance fosters a debilitating spirit that defeats a self-governing people. There is no guarantee of good health. By nature it is not and cannot be a right. Nor is medical care a right. It is a service offered by trained professionals. It is not free. It is best allocated in a free market where persons can make their own decisions. Medical care is a service provided by professionals. Managing personal health lies with the individual and is what you can do for yourself through responsible living. However, in a compassionate society, it is appropriate to assist those in need who cannot provide for themselves. The cost of medical care is a serious issue that demands responsible and sound solutions as it is one of the fastest rising costs facing business and citizens. At present, health insurance is one of the most heavily regulated sectors in our economy. Increasing state regulation plays a major role in driving up the cost and reducing the accessibility of medical care coverage. Innovative solutions built on free market principles are the best way of increasing access, affordability and quality within our health care system. We support: • • • • • • • • • • • • • As inviolate the vital doctor-patient relationship; Private insurance which allows individual choice of both in-state and cross-state providers, policies and coverage through Consumer-Directed Health Plans such as Health Savings Accounts, allowing interstate competition in health insurance; Insurance pools for small businesses and associations to acquire insurance which is tax-advantaged similar to large businesses and unions; Attachment of the policy to the individual allowing portability between jobs and during unemployment; Reform of Washington Medicaid by turning enrollees into active health care consumers by allowing them to use Medicaid money to purchase health insurance or to enroll in a Medicaid HSA plan that rewards healthy living; Restoration of variable-benefit plans, from basic to comprehensive, according to personal preference, with the option of lower premiums, higher deductibles and co-pays which will reduce unnecessary utilization; Guaranteed Access pools for high risk individuals e.g. chronic diseases and pre-existing conditions; Revision of the outdated tax code, giving persons in need a tax credit or voucher toward purchase of health insurance; Deductibility of medical insurance cost for all citizens and groups; Meaningful malpractice liability reform (Tort reform); The right of any medical professional to refuse to provide a service which would violate his or her conscience or professional judgment; Parents’ right to health care information concerning their minor children, and prior parental consent for all medical procedures, treatments and pharmaceuticals; and Providing that the exclusive regulator for the insurance company be the state of the home office.
Social Security was designed in 1935 as a supplemental income program for retirees. The increase in American life expectancy and expansion of benefits has made the system unsustainable. We must recognize the Social Security system cannot be the primary means for funding retirement; that responsibility rests with the individual. We need to take a fresh look at the program with an eye for the needs of current and future retirees.
Border Security & Immigration
The United States has the world's most vibrant economy, and a system of laws and government that ensures freedom. Our country is a beacon of hope for peoples around the world, many of whom live in countries with oppressive regimes and limited economic opportunities. We cherish America's heritage as an immigrant nation while understanding that our nation has the right and need to secure its borders, and to determine residency and citizenship requirements. Border Security It is imperative that the United States have secure borders. Any person coming into our country must fully comply with all U.S. entry laws. Secure borders, coasts and airspace help prevent terrorist attacks, smuggling of drugs and other illegal activity. We support: • • • Adequate Congressional funding of border security efforts and prompt completion of the border fence; Enforcement by Homeland Security and all existing law enforcement agencies of existing laws; and Improved security screening of incoming passengers, freight and commercial shipments.
Immigration One result of America's freedom and opportunity is the desire of countless millions to come to our shores to seek a better life for their families and themselves. Legal immigration and temporary work visas, if properly implemented, can bring people with needed skills to help build stronger businesses, a more vibrant economy, and increase the wealth and quality of life for all Americans. We support: • • • • • • • Stringent federal efforts to stem the tide of illegal immigrants through the enforcement of existing immigration and employment laws by all government agencies at all levels of government; After decades of pointless national rhetoric, Arizona has shown that enforcement of laws on employment of legal residents only can stem from illegal immigration. Congress and the State of Washington should adopt and enforce similar legislation; Rational reform of laws that provide government benefits to illegal immigrants; Streamlined programs for Temporary Workers and better documentation and tracking of said workers; Improved employer access to high-skilled workers in high-demand fields, which will help ensure that future business growth stays within our borders; Better tools and incentives for employers to verify employment status; and Rational reform of Family Reunification laws that would provide disincentives to those who would abuse this process.
We support the original intent of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868) which declared: ‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…’ and thereby recognized the citizenship of U.S.-born former slaves and nowise granted citizenship to the babies of aliens. Rather, to this day, babies born of foreign nationals temporarily inside the U.S. are nationals of the nations which claim the parents as citizens.
Harnessing energy at all levels is a driving stimulus of our economy and society. Our labor to produce and our technology have harnessed energy to serve the purpose to sustain and advance life. Energy as a public policy issue comes from mispricing of the costs of extraction or production of energy sources. It is not impossible to fairly assign risks and costs to environmental or public domain concerns. Some simply come from including true costs as pricing of the energy. Other impacts can become known when open dialog science reveals consequences that have been overlooked. Regardless of our views of whether fossil fuels are renewable or not, there is always a cost trade-off for generating additional energy supply. Alternative energy, as a replacement to fossil fuel should be evaluated in terms of energy efficiency. In other words, how much energy is returned on energy invested? Current alternative energy programs involving corn ethanol, hydrogen, batteries, and even solar cells fail greatly in this test of evaluation. Additionally, environmental trade-offs for ethanol and other biofuel productions don’t factor water supply resource damage and enormous losses of food production. America’s clean and non-carbon based energy needs can be met with proven nuclear power generation. Often repeated objections against nuclear, such as safety, construction costs, risks of a terror target, and waste disposal have answers from current applications around the world today. Plant building technology has progressed greatly over the last 30 years. New scalable smaller reactor designs can be sited easily. Reprocessing of spent fuel is done around the world, almost eliminating the contentious storage arguments. This low carbon energy should be our first response to oil import threats and controversial new drilling policy debates.
The Nation’s energy policy should be based on achieving energy independence as soon as possible by developing all forms of domestic energy to replace foreign sources.
An effective transportation system is critical to our economy and quality of life. Roads, rail, air, and sea transportation all play important roles in moving people and products in Washington. Government transportation policies should be responsive to the needs of the people and the economy and should improve the freedom of citizens to live and work where they choose. Immediate action and wise investment in our transportation is needed. We support: • • • • • • • • Limiting the use of transportation revenue to funding only transportation projects with spending focused on congestion relief; Protection of the 18th Amendment to the Washington State Constitution, which requires that gas tax funds “…shall be used exclusively for highway purposes”; Use of tolls on new projects limited to the cost recovery of each specific project; A decrease in regulation to allow for more free market solutions to transportation problems; Alternatives to fixed-rail passenger systems, which are costly, inflexible, and inconvenient; Increasing carpools, vanpools and mass transit to more neighborhoods; Measures to increase freight mobility; and Performance audits of all transportation projects.
The Republican Party has a long tradition of promoting responsible stewardship of our environment, such as the landmark Republican legislation that created our National Parks system and established the Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental policies should be based on sound, well-established science subject to all the rigorous debate and constant reexamination that is expected of scientific study and not based on political ideology. We all need clean air, water and land. We believe it is possible to have these without seriously damaging our economy or compromising our standard of living. We do not believe in using environmental issues for wealth redistribution. We support: • • • • • • Commonsense practices in forest, wetlands, fisheries, and wildlife management, promoting multiple uses of natural resources in most circumstances; Maintaining and adequately funding national, state and local parks so that they can be enjoyed for decades to come; Shoreline management programs that protect property owners while respecting water quality; Improved and affordable access for citizens to enjoy the public lands; Private property rights, which are the foundation of liberty and which deserve consideration in all environmental policy decisions; and That the science involved in climate change is not settled. Scientists around the world now question whether sufficient attention has been paid to the proven historical influence of natural solar cycles, and many other aspects of climate science.
State Labor Relations
There exists a fundamental conflict of interest between the governor and state labor unions in the area of contract negotiations. Labor negotiations should not be conducted by an elected official who receives campaign support from the involved unions. We recommend a law whereby state union contract negotiations shall be overseen by a joint committee of the legislature. Any emergency declared by the State Legislature should require state employee union contracts to be renegotiated prior to raising taxes.
King County Republican Central Committee Platform Committee
Dan Thwing – Committee Chairman Bob Carsrud – 1st District Luke Neil – 5th District Jack Lillis – 31st District Paul Hess – 32nd District LeeAnn Johnson – 33rd District Len Boscarine – 34th District Jeanne Congdon – 36th District Jeff Wyborny – 37th District John Vasko – 39th/45th District Tom Twiggs – 41st District Sam DeBord – 43rd District Ralph Kosche – 46th District Cory Cappelletti – 47th District Chuck Dermody – 48th District
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