Monday, June 12, 2006


1st District Survey

As I have reported several times this year on VOLuntarilyConservative, I have been approached by many of the 1st District candidates vying to fill the shoes of Bill Jenkins for an endorsement. I stated to them that I could not do so without some sort of questionnaire so that I could make an informed decision. I finally have generated that survey (with the assistance of those readers who left comments and suggestions), and it is contained below.

I feel bad about not producing this earlier, but, then again, the race in the 1st District appears to be a bit unenergetic at the moment. I have been to the 1st District each of the last 3 weekends, and with the exception of a few campaign signs and 2 billboards on I-40 for Richard Roberts, there doesn't seem to be nearly the buzz the 1996 primary carried after Jimmy Quillen retired. Perhaps this survey will catalyze this race as we head into early voting.

Here's the deal - I have forwarded this survey via e-mail to the candidates for whom I could locate e-mail addresses. Those candidates are Peggy Parker Barnett, Vance Cheek, David Davis, Dr. Phil Roe, Dan Smith, and Richard Venable. If anyone knows of e-mail addresses for Richard Roberts or Larry Waters, I would certainly like to forward a survey to their campaigns, as well. As I receive responses from the candidates, I will publish them here. I will also be notifying the print media within the 1st District of the responses. Those responses received by June 19th (one week from today) will be evaluated, and an endorsement will be issued at that time.

If you have any questions, leave them in the Comments section. Here is the survey:


Basic Information

Getting to Know You
Favorite Book:
Favorite Movie:
Favorite TV Show:
Favorite Restaurant:
Favorite Website:
Favorite Leisure Activity:
Favorite Vacation Destination:
3 Favorite Songs:
3 Most Admired People:

1) National Spending - The Republican-led Congress has done little to curtail spending since the GOP last came into power in 2003. The national debt is approaching $8,500,000,000,000.00 according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. Conservatives both in D.C. and beyond the Beltway have put forth possible solutions, from targeting earmarks (through Senator Coburn's "Pork Busters" program) to altering the budget cycle (as with Ed Bryant's calls for a biennial budget). This sparks two questions:
a) How do you propose that Congressional spending be brought under control so that present and future generations are not saddled with extreme debts?
b) Is your personal philosophy regarding the budget more along the lines of a traditional conservative or like that of former Congressman Jimmy Quillen, a 1st District hero who brought many federal dollars to East Tennessee that have assisted so many citizens of the 1st District?

2) Illegal Immigration - This is an issue that has garnered more attention as 2006 has progressed, with strong feelings lying on both sides of the debate. Everything from amnesty to shooting illegal aliens trying to cross over our borders has been put on the table. What specific measures would you support in the Congress to deal with this problem?

3) Abortion - The right to life has remained one of the most divisive issues in American politics for several decades. What are your views on the abortion debate? Do you believe that the power to regulate abortion (either positively or negatively) lies with the states or with the federal government? If you are pro-life, do you believe that there should be any exceptions where abortion should be allowable?

4) Military Intervention in the Middle East - President Bush has gone on the record as saying that American forces will remain in Iraq and Afghanistan until at least 2008. What are your views towards the current American foreign military involvement in the Middle East?

5) Energy Policy - Throughout the past several decades, America has drifted along without a sincere energy policy, resulting in others (whether sovereign states or corporations) dictating market forces regarding what we pay for energy and the sources of that energy (oil, coal, etc.). What would you add to a comprehensive national energy policy that would benefit the people of the 1st District?

6) Right to Bear Arms - Both the Federal and Tennessee Constitutions reflect strong language designed to protect the right to bear arms. What have you done personally to protect these rights, including passing knowledge to others or future generations?

7) Committee Assignments - Those who have served on Capitol Hill know that much of what you can accomplish depends on what committees or subcommittees to which you are assigned. What particular committee assignments would you push for if elected to Congress, and what would you hope to accomplish in those committees?

8) Goals and Terms - In thirty words or less, what do you hope to accomplish through your service to the 1st District? Also, do you pledge to term-limit yourself like Senators Bill Frist and Tom Coburn have done? If so, how many terms will you serve?

Although I am not running in District 1, I am running in District 7.

1.a) Both Democrats and Republicans are spending like crazy. I will not vote 1 penny to any unconstitutional bill.
1.b) My philosophy regarding the budget is no debt. No, I will not vote for Pork projects like Quillen. If there are any pork in a bill, I will vote against it.

2. Congress (not the President) has the authority to protect the boarder. I would send and spend what ever it would take to seal both the South and the North boarder and ports. No Amenesty

3. I am pro life, and though I believe that we can look to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to support an Amendendment to protect the unborn (except only to save the mothers life), the Constitution gives authority to the Congress to direct the Courts in to what the courts are allowed to rule on. Congress can just tell the districts courts they have no authority to rule on abortion and the can impeach members of the highest courts if they rule against Congress.

4. We need to support the troops by bringing them home. The CONGRESS has the only authority to send our troops to war and they have not done this since WWII. I do not support sending our troops to any foriegn nation without a declaration of war from Congress.

5. The department of Energy is Un-Constitutional. The Congress can support the increased production of energy by eliminating all of the restrictions and laws that prohibit drilling and nuclear energy production. Allow the free-market-capitalist to do the work.

6. I support the right to bear arms. I have personaly quit supporting the NRA since they 'caved in' and supported the Brady Bill. I like the Gun Owners of America, no compromise.

7. As an Independent, I would expect no committe assignments.

8. I do not beleive in term limits at the Federal level (un-Constitutional at this time). I would hope to reduce spending, reduce the size of government and to increase liberty, by voting against anything un-Constitutional.
Mickey -

Pretty good answers, actually. I disagree on the NRA (I was at HQ in Fairfax the day the Brady Bill died, and there were champagne corks aplenty), and the term limits question was really more of a self-imposed restriction, but overall, not bad at all.


Richaard Roberts website is at he can recieve your survey there.
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