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Principles very important to me
A Free Market

The economy is always better in the long term when we allow it to work freely. Since government intervention can sometimes provide short-term results, many people are tricked into thinking it works; however, we always learn in the long run the consequences of such interventions.

Perhaps the only thing government should be concerned with in a truly free market, is preventing people from cheating the market through monopolies.

Government historically seems to be the most reckless player in the economic game. Instead of actually breaking down monopolies, it has helped to create them.

Small and Local Governments

The worst form of government is no government, which we call anarchy. To avoid anarchy, we must have government.

History has proven to us time and time again that once people obtain power they will slowly start to use it inappropriately. One of the best ways to prevent the inappropriate use of power is to keep the concentration of power in local government.

In a republic, for which we stand, the government is run by the people for the people. The people; therefore, should give the power of government to the individual states. The people of each state will be most satisfied with their government if they elect government officials that in turn give as much power as possible to the various counties and cities of their state.

Keeping elected officials as close as possible to the people who have elected them will help most citizens maintain a higher level of satisfaction with the government they have elected.

We must do all we can to keep government as small and as local as possible.

States Rights and a Limited Federal Government

In great wisdom, the founding fathers of the United States of America carefully created a nation divided up by states. It certainly would have been easier and less expensive to create one nation, one state and one government.

However, even from the very beginning these great individuals realized that with many people come many differing opinions and a nation united by states would give more people flexibility to live in accordance with the dictates of their own conscience.

Our nation was created in a way that allowed the states to have their own opinions, their own regulations, their own laws and, therefore, their own government.

Our forefathers also recognized that as these states became united and worked together as one, it would give them great power, authority, influence and protection throughout the nation and entire world.

Therefore, it became necessary to create a federal government that worked on behalf of the states. The only reason we need a federal government is to do things the states have determined they cannot do effectively by themselves.

These include: border control, inter-state commerce and travel, regulate a common currency, military, space exploration and international trade (Note: see Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution for a complete list).

The people throughout the states vote to determine how they want the federal government to handle these things on behalf of their state. In short, the federal government works on behalf of the states. The states DO NOT work on behalf of the federal government.

A Proper System of Checks and Balances

“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” It is for this very reason that our forefathers were inspired to create an outstanding system of checks and balances that prevents any one person, and even any one group, from gaining too much power.

The Legislative Branch (Note: see Article I of the US Constitution), made up of the House and the Senate (i.e. Congress), should do nothing more than create the laws.

The Executive Branch (Note: see Article II of the US Constitution), led by the President of the United States, should do nothing more than enforce the laws that have been created by Congress.

The Judicial Branch (Note: see Article III of the US Constitution), made up of the different levels and categories of judges, should do nothing more than judge the laws that have been created by Congress.

Any crossing of these clear lines is unconstitutional and should be completely avoided for obvious reasons.

A Balanced and Approved Budget

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home where living within a budget, avoiding debt and saving for a time of need were critical and key elements in our family’s financial plan. I continue to believe this is outstanding counsel not only for individuals and families but even more for governments and other organizations.

Our current federal government operates completely opposite of this sound advice. It has refused to balance a budget, racked up an enormous amount of debt and has saved nothing for a time of need. If we do not remedy the situation as soon as possible there will be catastrophic consequences in the not too distant future.

No one likes to pay taxes; however, most people recognize taxes are necessary if we are going to live in a society held together by our government. Having said that, taxes should be paid to and spent by the most local form of government possible in order to increase accountability, prevent waste and eliminate the inappropriate use of government funds.

It is outrageous that our government consistently spends more than it makes despite the excessive amounts and variety of taxes it demands from its citizens. We are currently taxed through federal income taxes, payroll taxes, state and local income taxes, sales and use taxes, property taxes, gross receipt taxes, regulatory taxes and even tolls.

When hard working Americans are forced to give up more and more of their earned income through the payment of taxes, the incentive to work hard, take risks, be innovative and to succeed decreases, ultimately destroying everything this country was built upon.

Religious Freedom

a. A moral compass we can agree on

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout my life I have always referred to those inalienable rights as “free agency.” I have been raised to believe, like most people, that all people should be afforded the privilege to “worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.” In America, we call that Religious Freedom and our country was established on that principle.

There also comes a point when one person’s religious freedoms may take away from another person’s inalienable rights which also cannot be tolerated. For example, if a religious group started sacrificing their children in accordance with their professed religious beliefs, we as a society should be unwilling to tolerate that behavior regardless of anyone’s religious beliefs.

Therefore, the challenge that a healthy society must face is the fact that a line must be drawn that provides the appropriate balance between religious freedom and the protection of our inalienable rights. So who gets to draw that line and how is the line drawn? The answer to those questions in my opinion is the true meaning of religious freedom.

Public policies should be created by the voice of the people either by direct vote or by electing representatives they trust in accordance with their desires. Therefore, people not only have the right but the obligation to vote in accordance with their conscience as well as do all they can to influence other people to vote in a way consistent with their beliefs.

In that manner the line will be drawn in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people of that society.

States’ Rights allow different groups of Americans to draw different lines in accordance with the conscience of their individual states.

“It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Government of these States to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be preserved; and, on the present occasion, this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.” – Letter of Transmittal to the President of Congress on September 17th, 1787.

b. A strong national defense

Everyone recognizes there is both good and evil in the world we live in. By sad experience we have learned that certain people are entirely persuaded by evil and cannot be reasoned with. Therefore, force is the only means we have to protect ourselves against these individuals. That is the reason domestically we have police officers, prisons and jails. That is also the reason, internationally we must have a strong military.

I agree with Theodore Roosevelt quoting an old African proverb that we should “speak softly and carry a big stick.”

We must do everything in our power to keep the “war on terror” outside of the United States by fighting them in their territory.

Having a safe and secure border is a major part of a strong national defense.

Strong and capable countries have a moral obligation to help defenseless people against the evils of the world. The first step towards helping other people is being self-reliant. Right now the United States is not self-reliant; therefore, we must focus on that as our primary goal. How can we help other people if we cannot even help ourselves?

c. Caring for the poor in the right way

I believe you can measure the character of a country by the way its citizens take care of its poor, disabled and elderly. However, it is imperative that charity work be fulfilled by choice and not by force. Americans since the foundation of our country have been known both domestically and throughout the world for their enormous charitable nature.

In America, we have all kinds of voluntary groups that keep relationships together and build social trust. These groups include: churches, associations, clubs, charities, non-profits, shelters, youth organizations, recreational and developmental efforts. Society is most healthy when such groups are active in helping those in need. These groups and associations should do the heavy lifting in society by individual choice rather than by the force of the government.

Unfortunately, more and more of our political leaders seem to be entirely focused on crushing that good will by requiring Americans to give up their hard earned income by forcing socialist policies.

The forceful taking of more and more income from many individuals tends to eliminate the motivation of the worker to generate such income. Government has proven repeatedly it is ineffective compared to charitable organizations in taking care of those that are unable to take care of themselves and teaching and helping people become self-reliant.

World history has proven time and time again that socialist and communist policies do not work. They ultimately lead to the poverty of all people except the few at the very top.

Ironically, those politicians that seem focused on the forceful taking of other people’s money in the name of caring for the poor, disabled and elderly are consistently the same politicians that refuse to donate their own money to those same causes. Referring to this type of person, the Bible records Jesus Christ saying, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief…” Their true political motivations seem to be for their own personal gain, power and glory regardless of the known consequences it has on the country we love. If we want proof, all we have to do is look at their personal tax returns and calculate the percentage of their own taxable income they donate to charity. They are determined to give other people’s money away and hold themselves up for all the glory, while at the same time refuse to donate their own money.

d. Religious Diversity

Rather than focus on our differences we need to focus on what we have in common. Almost all religions, even those organized as Atheists, should share common basic values. The only thing I would ever ask of any other person is that they live what they believe. If all Americans, regardless of their religious affiliation, spent the time to determine what it is they believe and then fully committed to live in accordance with those beliefs, it would not only give us the power to change the United States but the entire world for the better.

The Family as the Fundamental Unit of Society

The fundamental unit of any society is the family. Governments should be created by the people, for the people in order to provide support to the individual families of that society. The government has been created to support the family unit. The family unit has not be created to support the government.

My personal belief is “marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” However, I fully recognize that the legal definition of “the family” should be determined by the voice of the people. Appropriate States’ rights would allow different states to have different legal definitions in that regard.

What are my qualifications?

John Calvin Slavens is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) in the state of Texas with more than 15 years domestic and international experience in the profession. A majority of his experience was with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, the largest professional services firm in the world.

EDUCATION

Masters in Accountancy and B.S., Accounting, Brigham Young University (“BYU”), Provo, Utah December 1999

  • Played varsity football (cornerback) while attending BYU; WAC Champions, Cotton Bowl Champions and ranked #5 nationally.
  • Degrees include minors in Information Systems and Portuguese
WORK EXPERIENCE

Currently serving as Chairman and Co-Founder of B-Strong Foundation, LLC (www.b-strong.org)

Owns and operates an asset management company specializing mostly in health care services, including: 2008 - Present

  • 50% ownership in A&G Dental Management Services, LLC which manages and operates 5 dental and orthodontic offices in the North Dallas area (www.aandgdental.com). Update: this was sold in January 2014
  • 50% ownership in LG Dental Management Services, LLC which manages and operates one dental and orthodontic office in the North Dallas area with plans for expansion (www.mintyfreshdentalandorthodontics.com).
  • 50% ownership in four health and wellness clinics located in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico with expansion in progress (www.redriverhealthandwellness.com)
  • 50% ownership in four chiropractor offices (www.redrockaccidentandinjury.com).
  • Various real estate and other business ventures
  • Stocks, mutual funds and money market accounts

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP: 1999 – 2008 (Manager)

Dallas, Texas: Manager 2006 – 2008

  • Private Client Services (“PCS”)
  • Serviced notable private companies, including several private equity portfolio companies

Sao Paulo, Brazil: Manager (main office for Central and South America) 2004 – 2006

  • Global Capital Markets Group
  • Recognized as a U.S. Standards expert, including Sarbanes Oxley, Significant SEC experience
  • Serviced notable private equity companies, including private equity portfolio companies, and public companies (SEC)
  • Involved with various secondary offerings with the SEC by foreign private issuers
  • Exposure to the world markets, including Brazilian and international (IFRS) accounting standards

Salt Lake City, Utah: 1999 – 2004

  • Audit and Business Advisory Services (Financial and System Audits)
  • Serviced notable private companies, including private equity portfolio companies, and public companies (SEC)
  • Involved with initial and secondary offerings (SEC)
  • Coordinated all real estate clients for the office
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Representative, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sao Paulo, Brazil June 1993-July 1995

  • Served in significant leadership positions, including assistant to the Mission President, which required supervising approximately 200 missionaries.

Eagle Scout

Volunteer teacher of a weekly Gospel study class with over 100 participants

PERSONAL

Enjoy family activities (especially with my wife of 15 years and our four year old son), sports, outdoor activities, music and entertainment

What are my attributes?

I want to continue to be known for my ability to always be:

1) Completely Honest

I want to continue to be known for being a completely honest person both in word and deed. Selective honesty for me will not be tolerated even on the smallest of matters.

2) Entirely Transparent

I want to work for the American people. I will report to them. Therefore, they need to always know what I am doing and why I am doing it. I will always keep my position on the issues updated and available on my website so there is no confusion around what I think, why I think it and what I am trying to do about it.

3) Dedicated, Diligent, Committed

There has never been any question about my desire and ability to work hard. My focus on the direction that America needs to take is only exceeded by the intensity with which I am willing to work to achieve the goals of Constitutional compliance and the protection of religious freedom.

4) An Effective Listener

In Steven Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” the fifth habit is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This country is in desperate need of people that can lead by example in this regard. I will be an effective listener especially to those that disagree with my opinions or positions.

5) Able to Appropriately Compromise

With such an evenly divided country we will rarely get exactly what we want. Therefore, we have to learn to choose which battles we will fight, appropriately compromise and work to ensure that we are ultimately moving in the right direction with what we believe is right for the country.

I also reserve the right to continue to learn, grow and develop, which could result in an alteration of my opinion(s) in the future. Should that ever happen, my website will be immediately changed to reflect such a changed opinion so there is no question in anyone’s mind where I stand on any given issue. My ultimate goal is to always do the right thing. Having said that, I will NOT compromise that we must keep God in this country and we must follow the US Constitution as the ultimate law of the land.

Why am I running for Congress?

Perhaps the first question that should come into every voter’s mind is why is this person running for office? What are the motives? What are the incentives?

I am running for office because I truly love this country and the Americans that make it great. I always have and I always will. I love the principles and philosophies this country was founded upon and for which it should still stand. I am a true blue, through and through American. I believe most of our political leaders are moving us in the wrong direction and I want to try and do my part to bring us back to the principles and philosophies that made this country great.

I share the sentiments of a great leader, “I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for the honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country.”

I was born and raised in a small town of approximately 3,000 people. When I feel I have done all I can to contribute to the larger society, I want to return home and disappear into the beautiful mountains that surround that small town.

I am running as an outsider who is not shaped by the established, entrenched political connections, nor am I controlled by special interest groups.

I am young, energetic and innovative. We need fresh vision and know-how, not politics as usual.

My diverse background in both domestic and international business equips me to navigate the dynamic corporate environment.

I am running as a practical problem solver. Experience in leadership, accounting and business have ingrained in me hard work and efficiency, qualities which government needs badly.

I am running for office because I enjoy being around people; I enjoy the political and civic process; I have no personal interest at stake; I want to make a difference and contribute. I love to work hard.

23 October 2015

This is Thunder heading to school on "Bring your Bible to school day!"

John, his wife Glenna and their son Thunder
Public Policies I Support

1) Tax Reform:

Ideally, citizens of this great nation would pay taxes directly to the governmental unit that is Constitutionally charged with the responsibility of administering services and programs to their respective constituents.

The White House and the U.S. Supreme Court have gone unchecked in the expansion of their roles. Congress has not been engaged in the check and balance system carefully crafted by our founding fathers. Congress has a responsibility to demand that the Constitution be followed to the letter of the law. Therefore, we have experienced the federal government taxing, policing and interfering in areas never contemplated by our founding fathers or authorized in our governing document, the United States Constitution. Congress has failed in its obligation to the people and has directly been responsible for the imbalance of power that, left unchecked, will cause a constitutional crisis and severely damage our republic.

Our tax system has been equally corrupted as it supports the illegitimacy of the services being administered without authority. Much of what is being done should be administered by state and local governments. As an interim measure, we need to immediately follow the strict confines of the Constitution in the delegation of powers specifically enumerated for the federal government. All other powers are vested with state and local governments to accomplish those tasks without federal interference. In the long term, state and local governments should be enabled, unequivocally, to make determinations on what laws not specifically provided to the federal government will be applicable to their citizens.

2) Constitutional Implementation:

Societies, based on a republic, choose their own moral conscience by establishing rules, laws, and procedures for their citizens to follow. In America, we began with a foundation document called the U.S. Constitution which determines what powers the federal government will have and all other powers and authority remain with state and local governments.

The federal government was established to take care of national issues and the safety of the nation and the state and local governments, closest to the citizens, was intentionally left to decide all other legal matters. In that regard, social issues, that may find vast differences of opinion, can be settled locally thereby giving options to citizens to live in states that more closely correspond to their beliefs on social issues. In cases where the federal government determines it must indeed create a uniform standard beyond the scope of Article I Section 8, the Constitution would have to be amended. This process is defined in Article 5, which requires either 2/3s of both chambers or 2/3 of state legislatures to propose an amendment and 3/4 of all state legislatures to ratify.

3) Immigration:

Illegal immigration is negatively impacting all aspects of our national economy and is making us vulnerable to future terrorist attacks. It has huge economic costs to our education, welfare, and law enforcement agencies. We, therefore, need to immediately secure our borders by whatever means necessary, including using the military and all the available technology which will identify and assist in the apprehension of illegal immigrants. All illegal immigrants with a criminal history or who are using the tax payer-supported system of services should be deported as soon as possible. We should also and simultaneously work on refining and making more efficient the system of applying for citizenship.

America needs to maintain the openness of being available for those seeking a better life or to escape tyranny so long as they will be productive citizens and will not pose a threat to our democracy or our citizens.

Abortion

Moral decisions need to be made in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people. Almost all Americans agree it is immoral to commit murder; however, there are many differing opinions as to when life begins.

Since there are differing opinions on this important question, the decision should be made by the conscience of the majority of the people. This should be decided at the state level, not the federal level, so that people can live in states that share similar values.

These types of decisions certainly shouldn’t be made by judges, especially judges that are appointed rather than elected.

My conscious tells me life begins at conception; therefore, I personally prefer to belong to a society where abortion is illegal unless a pregnancy endangers the life or health of the mother or results from cases of rape or incest.

Discrimination

I believe that all individuals were created equal and therefore everyone should be treated with the same utmost decency and respect regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

Making regulations that focus on having a predetermined percentage of a certain gender and/or a certain race by definition is racist and gender bias.

I am also sympathetic towards those that have experienced historical discrimination and I support the ongoing education where needed to ensure the discrimination does not continue.

We have to be very careful when creating laws regarding discrimination as they can do more harm than good.

Education

Perhaps one of our greatest investments is the education of our children. However, as with all other government spending, tax payers’ precious money needs to be used wisely with a focus on results.

Students need to feel inspired to learn, grow and progress in accordance with their own efforts and desires.

Teachers need to be rewarded on their ability to inspire students based on well-defined criteria.

Government’s only role should be to give both students and teachers the tools needed for success.

All curriculum and assessment criteria, including the study material, the merit pay criteria for teachers, standardized testing for students, etc. should be determined at the most localized level possible but certainly no more broad than the individual State. Parents should be heavily involved in that decision making process.

Standardized testing for the entire nation (i.e. SAT and ACT) should be handled by the major universities throughout the United States as they are the ones using it to determine who enters their institutions.

This type of testing should continue to be optional for the individual but any college has a right to require this type of testing for admittance into their institution.

Allowing a proper and organized voucher program for private education would incentivize public schools to be more successful in achieving results desired by the public.

Environment, Energy Independence and the EPA

I believe God created the Heavens and the Earth and gave us dominion over all things. There is more than an abundance of resources to satisfy all of our needs. We do have an obligation to use those resources with a thankfulness of heart and as wise stewards.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has created so many regulations that we are prevented from using the resources that have been created for our use and does little to actually protect the environment. The EPA is out of control and needs to be completely overhauled with entirely new leadership, structure and purpose.

As a matter of national security and economic freedom, the United States needs to do all it can to become energy independent by producing its own oil, coal, uranium and other natural resources of which we have an abundant supply.

We need to allow our US companies to properly compete in a free market with countries that do not have our excessive regulations, high taxes and minimum wages.

We should also be smart and wise as we develop new, environment friendly sources of energy.

Federal Reserve

I would like to hear sound reasoning and arguments with regards to different ideas about the future of the Federal Reserve. At a minimum, I am convinced that it needs a major overhaul to allow more thorough checks and balances and to allow a more free-flowing market.

Healthcare

One of the measures of a great country is demonstrated in the way its people take care of their sick and afflicted. Yet, it is utterly imperative that we do not take away an individual’s motivation to be self-reliant with regards to their own health by removing consequences of their own decisions.

A person should be rewarded for discipline and hard work in all aspects of life, including health care.

Several areas of concern in our current health care environment include:

States Rights - Since healthcare is not specifically enumerated in the current US Constitution, the Federal government has no right to be involved in our country’s health care system. Tax collecting and spending regarding healthcare and the associated regulations must be left up to the individual states in accordance with the US Constitution.

Socialized medicine – this current model that says all Americans deserve the best health care in the world regardless of the decisions they have made to obtain those services, will continue to negatively impact the health care industry in this country.

Open Door Policy for our Emergency Rooms – right now everyone knows that if they can’t afford health care then they just go to the emergency room where they cannot be turned away when they have absolutely no intention of ever paying those medical bills.

Tort Reform – frivolous lawsuits are making health care more and more expensive. With any health care procedure there is a certain amount of risk people need to accept or avoid doing the procedure. Like any other industry, the patient should be able to choose who they consider to be the best doctor. Poor performing doctors will be naturally avoided and licenses even revoked by the medical industry.

Insurance and Pharmaceutical Drug Companies – these industries have gained too much of a powerful influence over the health care industry of our country. Measures need to be taken to break down their monopolies. Even the FDA needs to be overhauled as it has been overly influenced by these powerful industries in a way that is not in the American people’s best interest.

Immigration

Every American at some point in their ancestral tree immigrated to this great land. Therefore, no one should be against immigration. We should welcome outstanding and wonderful people from any other country to join us as Americans to help make this country great through a legal and organized immigration process.

There is no reason the legal immigration process should take as long nor be as expensive as it is currently. We must change that immediately.

We should all be adamantly against illegal immigration. The first step in dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants in this country is to secure the border. If we are experiencing a flooding problem the first thing we must do, before dealing with the flooded water, is stop the flooding.

The single most important priority of our national defense is the security of our border. Therefore, it is discouraging to me that certain politicians are willing to sacrifice our safety and the greatness of this country for their own political gain and glory.

Once the border is properly secured and the legal immigration process is stabilized, we will need to determine what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants in this country. Illegal immigrants that have a criminal record or are illegally using our welfare system should be sent back to their home country immediately. Illegal immigrants that have been here a long time, have proven to be otherwise law abiding citizens and are not illegally using any welfare programs should be otherwise left uninterrupted. We should also do all we can to keep families together through that process.

Ultimately we want to keep good people in and bad people out.

We also must always make sure the path to US Citizenship is faster, less expensive and easier for those that have come to this country legally compared to those that have come illegally.

Marriage

Moral decisions need to be made in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people. Since there are differing opinions on this important issue, the decision should be made by the conscience of the majority of the people.

This decision should be decided at the state level, not the federal level, so that people can live in states that share their similar values.

These types of decisions certainly shouldn’t be made by judges, especially judges that are appointed rather than elected.

My conscience tells me marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman; therefore, I personally prefer to belong to a society where marriage is defined in accordance with those standards.

My conscience also tells me we should do everything in our power, other than changing the definition of marriage, to accommodate the needs and wants of the minority voice of our societies. Therefore, civil unions, equal benefits and non-discrimination laws should be considered on their behalf in accordance with the voice of the people in each state.

Minimum Wage

Anything that disrupts the free market may bring short term gratification but will certainly bring long-term pain and misery for almost everyone. Establishing a minimum wage above what the market will bear is disrupting the free market and simply doesn’t work long-term.

All of us agree the minimum wage being paid to Americans is too low.

The only way to truly fix that is to make the US economy prosper such that the minimum wage naturally increases to a level we all feel comfortable with especially to our poorest citizens looking for a way to be self-reliant and/or further increase their earning power through patience, hard work and determination.

National Security

I am a libertarian by nature. The only difference between me and a pure libertarian is I believe in Good and Evil – God and the Adversary. There are some people that are so committed to evil and destruction that the only way to handle them is by force.

As a nation we certainly have to be loving, caring, kind and forgiving but we also must be realistic. We have every right to defend ourselves, our families, our citizens, our properties and our interests against evil people whose greatest desire is to destroy us.

A strong national security is based on two fronts:

1) Securing our borders
2) Fighting the enemy on their turf rather than ours

We should work with our allies as much as possible to fight against common evil. Still, the United States is the leader of the free world and we do not need to wait on leadership from any other country, nor the United Nations, before we act.

We should work to be united as much as possible as a country with our approach to national security by working together with the House, the Senate and the President.

Patriot Act

We should be extremely careful when giving our rights and liberties away in the name of protection. What is it that we are actually protecting if it isn’t our rights and our liberties?

Before any law enforcement officer is granted the right to infringe on our rights and/or liberties including the right to privacy, there should be a thorough and trustworthy process of obtaining the appropriate warrants for such activity and they should be provided only on the basis of reasonable cause that illegal activity is occurring.

Right to Bear Arms

I believe strongly in the 2nd Amendment, which is the right to bear arms. Each state should work closely with the voice of its citizens and the voice of its police force in determining proper regulations surrounding the allowance of people with mental disabilities and criminal backgrounds to legally possess weapons.

We need to keep in mind that criminals by definition do not obey the laws. We have enough laws on the books to punish the criminals for inappropriate behaviors regarding firearms. More laws will only punish the law abiding citizens for no reason and further empower the criminals as you disarm the law abiding citizens.

Tax Reform

All taxes should be paid to and collected by the individual states and then the states should contract with the federal government regarding things that the states believe they need from the federal government for a fee (i.e. military, foreign relations, international trade, space explorations, inter-state commerce and travel, etc.).

Most Americans believe in God and are at least familiar with the law of tithing. Tithing by definition means 10% of an individual’s annual income. If a flat tax is good enough for God then it should be good enough for us.

We should at least be able to move closer to a flat tax with a few small exceptions like a deduction for charitable contributions. All other taxes are flat (i.e. sales tax, property tax, etc.) why shouldn’t income tax be flat?

We all agree that every American should pay their fair share of the tax burden. If one person is required to pay over 50% of their income to taxes and another person is required to pay 0% of their income to taxes that doesn’t sound like a fair share for everyone.

Each individual state should have the right to decide how they want to collect their tax revenue. The federal government has no business collecting taxes from the citizens of the individual states.

US Constitution, the related Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence

I believe the US Constitution, the related Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence are inspired of God and therefore should be treated as such.

US Economy

Our economy should be our highest priority. Everything becomes easier to manage when the economy is performing well including our national security, tax reform, our welfare programs, education, health-care, minimum wage, etc.

Doing all we can do to help competent business owners succeed is the key to success for all Americans. At a minimum, we need to at least stay out of their way and not implement taxes and regulations that cripple their progress.

By John Slavens, Candidate for Texas’ Third Congressional District

Focus on Europe and the Middle East

“America, with a strong military, is an America with a bright future” said John Slavens, Candidate for the Texas Third Congressional District. Former President Ronald Reagan spoke often about “peace through strength”. It was a profound statement that resonated across this nation and the nations of the world because it was and is universally true.

Under the Obama Administration, and a weak Congress, we have seen military spending and advocacy decline because of an unpopular war, a passive President and a liberal media that is opposed to having a significant military presence in strategic places around the world to prevent or address terrorism.

Slavens noted that “a dual track of economic recovery and military buildup is vital to regaining the power of global influence and strength of a refortified economic system.” As I have stated I am for a Free Market system. The United States continues to self- deflate its economy when the federal government continues to over regulate the small businesses and corporate markets. The federal bureaucracies continue to impose layers and layers of rules and regulations, not vital to health and safety, that are just choking the pure life out of our economic system and Congress is being silent.

A viable economy is necessary to support the type of military strengthening that is needed for the United States to restore its undisputed first place position of its own as to control of air, land and sea. The current track by the Obama Administration is directing the downgrading and dilution, not of our enemies, but of our military. We are continuing to head towards a Navy with less ships that in 1920 and an Army with less soldiers than in 1940. How vulnerable can we be and still survive?

Our Armed Forces must be bigger, stronger, more updated and technologically advanced. But it is not just our Armed Forces that need attention. The Commander In Chief is going unchecked by Congress in making treaties with Iran, trading five enemy Generals for a single private (Bergdahl), creating new alliances with Cuba, freeing Global Terrorists from Guantanamo and consistently being disrespectful to our military troops and especially our Veterans. The Congress continues to allow the President to trample over the Constitution and disregard the use of common sense.

The weaving of international relations, strategic military alliances and economic policy can easily be seen as mutually beneficial. The United States must strengthen its relationship with the United Kingdom. When Tony Blair was Prime Minister and George Bush the President there was a global sense of cooperation and national friendship demonstrated by these two leaders. There was trust around the world that these two countries representing the best in freedom would be partners and thwart enemies of peace. Such trust and confidence is not true now and what has Congress done to prevent this decline of United States respect around the world?

Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and Central Europe will require a showdown at some point. There needs to be, through military alliances and undergirded by economic relationships, a binding trust and commitment from allies in the region. Those commitments will be enhanced if we also reach out to Finland and Sweden who will feel threated about the presence of Russian troops in nearby countries. We need, now, to assure America’s unimpeded access to airspace in the Baltics so that we have no restrictions in getting to outposts and threatened areas. NATO troops need to be activated in these areas of unrest so that it is not the United States that is solely rescuing people but a consortium of nations dedicated to freedom and democracies.

Again underscoring the irrefutable relationship between economics and military advantage, our allies in Europe must distance their need and reliance on energy from Russia in order to exhibit a full range of military and political options.

In light of all of the new technologies, our allies should seriously consider investing in their own missile defense systems. The coordination of nations to support each other is necessary especially in the larger European Theatre as there are so many countries in a small area and diverse cultural interests that go back hundreds if not thousands of years.

In order to protect ourselves, our assets around the world and to be respected by our enemies of all persuasions, the United States must immediately stop the insanity of armed force reductions. Since the Administration is targeting the military for financial cuts, reductions across the board and demoralization of the troops, it is the role of Congress to lead and be strong. Congress must make sure that our military is of sufficient strength that it can defend against all enemies whenever the United States and its interests are under threat or attack. It is Congress that must ensure through carefully written legislation that funds are allocated and spent to accomplish this end. Just as importantly is the need for leadership in Congress not to rest on the laurels of the past but to provide that our veterans are taken care of with respect and comprehensive care today before we worry about exercise and entertainment programs for detainees at Guantanamo.

For example in the third week of October, 2015 the President or his White House staff suggested to the Secretary of Defense and his Pentagon not to award a medal for a Special Forces soldier who died in combat because the Administration has a policy that says we are not at war; we do not have “boots on the ground”; yet our serviceman was in hostile territory under the direction of commands from the U.S. Military hierarchy. The soldier was shot and killed while under hostile fire from our enemies. The Congress should immediately pass a joint resolution, in each instance like this, that indeed the soldier did die in combat. He is an American hero. He deserves all military honors and his family the benefits covered under his service as a combat veteran. Members of Congress, be they veterans or not, should take this opportunity to demonstrate leadership by uplifting the morale of our troops. The Congress should be on the side of the soldiers not a false political policy statement of a President. Congress needs to take definitive action and be accountable to those who protect us all.

Honor and respect are two phrases we need to re-interject into our vocabulary with regards to the men and women who step into harms’ way in defense of our nation and the freedom of democracies of our allies. The United States must have the best weapons, the best training, the most agile and flexible military forces, the most exceptional leaders and the highest levels of intelligence gathering.

Slavens commented that “The Congress has, as its first obligation of responsibility, to defend and protect this country. How can incumbents, in good conscience, let the President and his appointees dismantle our great fighting force when, under oath, they have sworn to do the opposite?” It cannot happen without the consent of Congress either by their actions or defaulted inactions. Congress must be aggressive in leading and standing strong and not cave to the media or a passive like President. We must be strong to save lives and to ensure our nation continues to enjoy unbridled freedom.

That can only be done if our military is made stronger, our soldier’s morale enhanced and our nation’s courage and commitment to “peace through strength” demonstrated by elected officials at every level at all times.

By John Slavens, Candidate for Texas’ Third Congressional District

Policy Statement on “The Defense and Support of Israel”

Israel is 260 miles long and 60 miles wide at its widest point. It geographically stands at the apex of critical strategic positioning as the Middle East continues to expand with brutal terroristic attacks and violence. Israel has always been known for standing strong against tyranny and the persecution of innocent victims of aggression. This is a reflection of their history of being created after World War II and deplorable Nazi persecution. The United States of America, likewise, was created by explorers and our Founding Fathers due to religious persecution and the seeking of more freedom and religious tolerance.

Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East and certainly is the only country that is protecting the holy shrines of all religions in the immediate area. Its affirmation to Christian beliefs and protection of human rights is a testament to their convictions to high moral values. The strength and professionalism of its military are a model for any nation. Israel is to be admired for its history and tenacity for survival and success.

The United States has had a strong alliance with the Nation of Israel, regardless of which domestic party was in political control of its internal politics. The United States has only waffled from this position of unquestionable allegiance to the State and people of Israel during the Administration of Barack Obama.

Israel’s future, and the future of a possible peace in the Middle East, is dependent on the continued bonds and ties that have kept the partnership of these two nations impenetrable. There exists today individuals and parties who have an agenda that is disruptive to peace or defers to radical Muslim terrorists. We must remain vigilant especially with some of our own government officials who seem to defer to radical Islam positions and wish to dilute our support of Israel. The allies we have around the world will take note if they see signs of weakness and doubt as to our commitment to Israel and will consider our commitment to them in equal jeopardy.

America, each day, must reaffirm its message to the world that this nation, founded on the principles of freedom, will stand by Israel over its neighboring hostile countries or any country that threatens its sovereignty and desire for peace. There should be no question of support from the Congress or the White House or any Cabinet Member as to our Nation’s desire and commitment to support Israel militarily, politically, or domestically in times of need or emergency.

The John Slavens for Congress Campaign Team has held many “Meet and Greet” sessions throughout the District and he has so far met personally with hundreds of individual citizens. Many have had questions about what can the nation do to turn around “politics of the day” by seeking new and steadfast solutions. The following questions represent some of the issues that have been posed to John Slavens either literally or generally. We have noted his response after each question so that you can see where he stands on these vital issues and the principles he holds sacred.

The Campaign Team invites anyone to send in questions or ask John on the Campaign Trail so that his views can comfort you and provide you confidence that there are people of character and conviction that want to serve you in Congress by restricting the overly aggressive federal government who has consistently violated the provisions of the United States Constitution. John Slavens is one of those outstanding individuals!

What should we do with all the refugees from Syria who have been treated so horribly but could easily pose terroristic danger to us if we accept them into our nation?

The United States of America, born of immigrants, has a long history of helping those in need. Throughout the decades we have established programs with regard to resettlement and other humanitarian efforts. We have, however, a paramount obligation to protect our nation by not introducing into our homes and neighborhoods others that would cause harm and make our citizens vulnerable. This is especially true when the origin of the refugees is from a part of the world that is the center of terrorism and unspeakable crimes against humanity. I believe we should take extreme care in the vetting process of allowing these refugees into our country so that we can live up to our Constitutional responsibilities of protecting our nation first while we provide a haven for others.

I am in a state of despair as I witness our tax dollars supporting “murder” under the auspices of Planned Parenthood and Abortion Rights supporters claiming victory when unborn children are crushed in the womb. It is like our country has returned to a Planet of the Apes Society. What is your position on Abortion and how we can change public policy so people will have more of a voice in how to deal with terrible devolution of values?

Moral decisions need to be made in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people. Almost all Americans agree it is immoral to commit murder; however, there are many differing opinions as to when life begins.

Since there are differing opinions on this important question, the decision should be made by the conscience of the majority of the people. This should be decided at the state level, not the federal level, so that people can live in states that share similar values.

These types of decisions certainly shouldn’t be made by judges, especially judges that are appointed rather than elected.

My conscious tells me life begins at conception; therefore, I personally prefer to belong to a society where abortion is illegal unless a pregnancy endangers the life or health of the mother or results from cases of rape or incest.

I have sent my child to and through our public school system. I have been concerned about standardized testing and the “No child left behind” program because it appears that people currently holding office in Washington seem to think knowledge is born on the Potomac. Policies and programs consistently demonstrate that the federal government, and especially the Department of Education, feels the freedom to dictate to local school boards. Without any Constitutional authority they offer little to no flexibility to our local officials. Congress must quit this "get along" attitude of "we control all because we know better".

Perhaps one of our greatest investments is the education of our children. However, as with all other government spending, tax payers’ precious money needs to be used wisely with a focus on results.

Students need to feel inspired to learn, grow and progress in accordance with their own efforts and desires.

Teachers need to be rewarded on their ability to inspire students based on well-defined criteria.

Government’s only role should be to give both students and teachers the tools needed for success.

All curriculum and assessment criteria, including the study material, the merit pay criteria for teachers, standardized testing for students, etc. should be determined at the most localized level possible but certainly no more broad than the individual State. Parents should be heavily involved in that decision making process.

Standardized testing for the entire nation (i.e. SAT and ACT) should be handled by the major universities throughout the United States as they are the ones using it to determine who enters their institutions.

This type of testing should continue to be optional for the individual but any college has a right to require this type of testing for admittance into their institution.

Allowing a proper and organized voucher program for private education would incentivize public schools to be more successful in achieving results desired by the public.

I hear a lot of political talk about Environment, Energy Independence and the EPA. What is your opinion about these issues as they might affect your votes in Congress to impact how we responsibly establish public policy in these areas and make the EPA easier for companies to work with if they come to the table with “clean hands and a pure heart”?

I believe God created the Heavens and the Earth and gave us dominion over all things. There is more than an abundance of resources to satisfy all of our needs. We do have an obligation to use those resources with a thankfulness of heart and as wise stewards.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has created so many regulations that we are prevented from using the resources that have been created for our use and does little to actually protect the environment. The EPA is out of control and needs to be completely overhauled with entirely new leadership, structure and purpose.

As a matter of national security and economic freedom, the United States needs to do all it can to become energy independent by producing its own oil, coal, uranium and other natural resources of which we have an abundant supply.

We need to allow our US companies to properly compete in a free market with countries that do not have our excessive regulations, high taxes and minimum wages.

We should also be smart and wise as we develop new, environment friendly sources of energy.

One of the most complex issues of today is that of healthcare in our nation for the children, the seniors, the disabled, the mentally ill and for all the citizens. The drastic move from an industry based system of providing insurance and care only made some valuable innovations like no pre-existing condition exclusions, portability and the like. Unfortunately it took away a basic priority of choosing your own physician. Most of the “promises” posed by the President evaporated once Obamacare was passed by the Congress, who did not read the bill. What are your views about how we can transition back to the system that only needs a few adjustments, rather than a dictatorial monstrosity that poorly serves the public and which costs far more than was promised.

One of the measures of a great country is demonstrated in the way its people take care of their sick and afflicted. Yet, it is utterly imperative that we do not take away an individual’s motivation to be self-reliant with regards to their own health by removing consequences of their own decisions. Our country has demonstrated unparalleled efforts to gain more and new knowledge about how to protect ourselves from diseases and to confront illnesses that must be addressed for citizens of all ages. A free market system allows and encourages private sector companies to advance technological research to find new approaches, new drugs and treatments.

A person should be rewarded for discipline and hard work in all aspects of life, including health care.

Several areas of concern in our current health care environment include:

1) States Rights - Since healthcare is not specifically enumerated in the current US Constitution, the Federal government has no right to be involved in our country’s health care system. Tax collecting and spending regarding healthcare and the associated regulations must be left up to the individual states in accordance with the US Constitution.

2) Socialized medicine – the current direction of federalized healthcare is built on the notion that all Americans deserve the best health care in the world regardless of the decisions they have made to abuse their bodies and overtly demonstrate unhealthy habits. This is a bankrupt system of health care provisions that does not help the patients nor the taxpayers who must subsidize, at a minimum and more accurately, pay for unhealthy lifestyles.

3) Open Door Policy for our Emergency Rooms – right now everyone knows that if they cannot afford health care then they just go to the emergency room where they cannot be turned away when they have absolutely no intention of ever paying those medical bills.

4) Tort Reform – frivolous lawsuits are making health care more and more expensive. They are driving good doctors away from medicine due to financial vulnerability and incredibly high liability insurance rates. With any health care procedure there is a certain amount of risk that people need to accept or avoid doing the procedure. Poor performing doctors will be naturally avoided and hopefully licenses even revoked by the medical industry.

5) Insurance and Pharmaceutical Drug Companies – although they serve an incredibly important role in the delivery of medicines and providing research, the influence of money has tainted the field of medicine throughout the federal government’s playing field. These mega-companies have gained too much of a powerful influence over the health care industry of our country. Measures need to be taken to break down their monopolies. Even the FDA needs to be overhauled to make the processes simpler to get new products to market without sacrificing the quality of medicines available.

I am mad about illegal immigrants taking the jobs of hardworking, tax paying American citizens and veterans. Each day we read reports about illegal immigrants killing people and committing other crimes and then going to hide in these illegal Sanctuary Cities. Can you share how we are to be optimistic with the Congress just letting this happen? Illegal immigrants are criminals by definition. They should not get free services including healthcare, protection, “get out of jail cards, plus $200”.

Every American at some point in their ancestral tree immigrated to this great land. Therefore, no one should be against immigration. We should welcome outstanding and wonderful people from any other country to join us as Americans to help make this country great through a legal and organized immigration process.

There is no reason the legal immigration process should take as long nor be as expensive as it is currently. We must change that immediately.

We should all be adamantly against illegal immigration. The first step in dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants in this country is to secure the border. If we are experiencing a flooding problem the first thing we must do, before dealing with the flooded water, is plug the dam.

The single most important priority of our national defense is the security of our border. Therefore, it is discouraging to me that certain politicians are willing to sacrifice our safety and the greatness of this country for their own political gain and glory.

Once the border is properly secured and the legal immigration process is stabilized, we will need to determine what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants in this country. Illegal immigrants that have a criminal record or are illegally using our welfare system should be sent back to their home country immediately. Illegal immigrants that have been here a long time, have proven to be otherwise law abiding citizens and are not illegally using any welfare programs should be otherwise left uninterrupted. We should also do all we can to keep families together through that process.

Ultimately we want to keep good people in and bad people out.

We also must always make sure the path to Citizenship is faster, less expensive and easier for those that have come to this country legally compared to those that have come illegally.

I believe that the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman. Why did we let that erode given the fact that this nation was built under the auspices of “In God We Trust”. If we indeed do, why are we not following His teaching? Promoting blasphemy is certainly top of the list of things for a new Supreme Court to consider? Where in the Constitution does it give the authority to the Supreme Court to decide who can get married. How can Congress address this issue realistically to protect the rights of the minority and majority while not undermining God’s Law.

Moral decisions need to be made in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people. Since there are differing opinions on this important issue, the decision should be made by the conscience of the majority of the people.

This decision should be decided at the state level, not the federal level, so that people can live in states that share their similar values. Since the Constitution does not authorize the federal government any authority in this area then it should make no laws, rules or regulations pertaining to marriage. If it did the uniformity of the law, would not only be illegal, but also would cause consternation and social confrontations and discourse from now on.

These types of decisions certainly shouldn’t be made by judges, especially judges that are appointed rather than elected. It should be made individually by states.

My conscience tells me marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman; therefore, I personally prefer to belong to a society where marriage is defined in accordance with those standards.

My conscience also tells me we should do everything in our power, other than changing the definition of marriage, to accommodate the needs and wants of the minority voice of our societies. Therefore, civil unions, equal benefits and non-discrimination laws should be considered on their behalf in accordance with the voice of the people in each state. The Supreme Court was wrong to consider or render a decision on this matter. It had no authority to do so and incidents will constantly occur throughout our states due to the impractical, imprudent, poor judgement of the Supreme Court’s decision and each of the majority of the Justices should be personally blamed for these calamities that will occur and be held accountable for not holding to the boundaries of their jurisdiction easily understood in the Constitution.

I have always worked in a job that paid what was advertised. I was hired and my employer paid me the wage I agreed to at the time I signed up. If I did well I got raises and bonuses. I cannot fathom all of this minimum wage discussion that pushes establish wage rates by the government for private companies and small businesses that have absolutely no regard to the thin margins of profit or loss a company may be experiencing. This is absurd. It is an accelerator to bankrupt businesses. How do you feel about the concept of a minimum wage established by the government?

Anything that disrupts the free market may bring short term gratification but will certainly bring long-term pain and misery for almost everyone. Establishing a minimum wage above what the market will bear is disrupting the free market and simply doesn’t work long-term

The only way to truly fix that is to make the economy prosper such that the minimum wage naturally increases to a level we all feel comfortable with especially to our poorest citizens looking for a way to be self-reliant and/or further increase their earning power through patience, hard work and determination.

How can Congress reverse Obama’s agenda to degrade and dilute the armed forces of the United States and thereby jeopardizing the safety and security of our citizens? Creating vulnerabilities of historic proportions for our nation is the opposite of what our Constitution requires of our federal government. Why did our current Congressmen and Congresswomen allow this travesty to happen?

I believe in a strong military, designed and equipped to protect our nation and other nations that are critical to our national defense. We need to rebuild the armed forces so that we can again have and demonstrate strength and force if necessary. No one in the world should doubt or question our ability to win a military conflict. We need to be on the cutting edge of military intelligence and technology especially as we do more and more space travel and find that our foes have developed technology far beyond what we anticipated.

Peace through strength is a sound concept that we must employ in our decisions on budgets and the leadership that defines and manages our military forces.

As a nation we certainly have to be loving, caring, kind and forgiving but we also must be realistic. Our enemies are cunning, conniving, without fear or shame, in some cases almost barbaric in their manner. War no longer is a conflict of strategic warfare it is the brutality of men who will do inhumane things to others for no reason or to advance their theology. We have every right to defend ourselves, our families, our citizens, our properties and our interests against evil people whose greatest desire is to destroy us.

Congress is granted Constitutional authority to protect this nation. It has faltered embarrassingly and much to the detriment of our safety. There are not protests in the streets to shame Congress about their un-disciplinary and un-responsible acts that have allowed our planes, ships and military to become degraded and inferior. Shame on Congress and shame on the President, most especially as Commander In Chief.

A strong national security is based on two fronts:

1) Securing our borders

2) Fighting the enemy on their turf rather than ours

We should work with our allies as much as possible to fight against common evil. Still, the United States is the leader of the free world and we do not need to wait on leadership from any other country, nor the United Nations, before we act.

I believe that many citizens are now and have been confused about the Patriot Act and what it does and why. I can understand when we were a nation under siege that there was a need for quick response measures we could instantly put in place that would better safeguard us. Listening to the rhetoric of campaigns some interesting perspectives have been cast on what are we losing while we are strengthening our protection. Can you explain this complex legislation in simple terms?

We should be extremely careful when giving our rights and liberties away in the name of protection. What is it that we are actually protecting if it isn’t our rights and our liberties?

Before any law enforcement officer is granted the right to infringe on our rights and/or liberties including the right to privacy, there should be a thorough and trustworthy process of obtaining the appropriate warrants for such activity and they should be provided only on the basis of reasonable cause that illegal activity is occurring.

I know that there have been and probably will be many homicides throughout our nation but I am concerned about efforts by some in Congress and the White House to restrict the rights duly granted by our Constitution for citizens to bear arms for their protection. I am not a hunter but I love my wife, children and many friends and my patience is being tested by these attacks on our rights. How do we protect this critical right because as history will show us time and time again once the government is in control of education, healthcare and arms citizens are go from weak to impotent and controlled?

I believe strongly in the 2nd Amendment, which is the right to bear arms. Each state should work closely with the voice of its citizens and the voice of its police force in determining proper regulations surrounding the allowance of people with mental disabilities and criminal backgrounds to legally possess weapons.

We need to keep in mind that criminals by definition do not obey the laws. We have enough laws on the books to punish the criminals for inappropriate behaviors regarding firearms. More laws will only punish the law abiding citizens for no reason and further empower the criminals as you disarm the law abiding citizens.

Once I realized there were 75,000 pages in our federal tax laws and understood that lobbyists have so influenced who is favored by these laws I have developed a pure anger over the impropriety and lack of integrity imposed on us by our Congress. What are your ideas about reforming the overall tax (revenue) needs so that a true fairness and honesty can be part of this system that continues to grow out of control and be disproportionately burdensome for the average American just trying to get by?

I believe the government closest to the people serves the citizens of our great country best. I believe that the debate and decisions to use tax dollars can be made better in City Halls, County Commissioner's Courts, local Independent School Board meetings, and in the State Legislatures than in the Halls of Congress, the bureaucracies of the federal government and other layers of the encroaching federal government. For that reason, I agree with former President Ronald Reagan. We should let local governments solve local problems, state governments solve state issues and provide for the federal government to protect our great country with a strong military, conduct research for health-technology-space exploration and other scientific issues, but not invade the capital marketplace of health insurance; rather it should provide international economic development programs that benefit Americans and their businesses as well as other purely national issues.

Our nation has, for decades, demonstrated that when the federal government ventures into private sector markets, engages in overreach of rules and regulations negatively impacting the quality of life and the fundamental economics of a capitalistic system, the public dramatically loses confidence in the system and the Congress, White House and Supreme Court lose credibility. We need to restore discipline to who does what and how we are taxed to produce the services that citizens need and deserve from government at each level.  Our government needs to act more responsibly because the citizens deserve to be proud of how the government acts and not ashamed of wasteful spending, vacillating priorities and daily embarrassing scandals that plague our federal government. 

I am running for Congress because I am convinced we need more people in Congress who are committed to giving up control and shifting both the responsibility of servicing citizens and providing adequate funding to local and state elected officials to make decisions where government is closest to the people. I am a candidate for Congress because I care. I am concerned about our national direction and I am committed to making a difference.

I thank each of these generous and patriotic supporters for their confidence in our campaign and commitment to help us restore our nation to its strength of character and integrity. They recognize that our Constitution is the governing foundation for our Country and God as the source of our strength of purpose. My family, Campaign Team, and most of all the citizens of District 3 appreciate your energetic and enthusiastic support that will make the defining difference in this race.

Sincerely, John Slavens

Acklin, Ed

Acklin, Myrna

Alexander, Doris

Ali, Saleem

Alldredge, Laura

Armstrong, Margaret

Arnett, Scott

Arnold, Kent

Atkinson, Mark

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Avila, Leticia

Bagshaw, Kim

Bailey, Doug

Bailey, Karin

Bailey, Shepard

Bailey, Tammi

Baird, Tom

Ballantyne, Logan

Ballweg, Charles

Barrus, Adam

Barrus, Dawn

Barton, Joan

Barton, Mickey

Bates, Timothy

Bayles, Anne

Bayles, Tyler

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Becker, Rob

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Biddle, Sandra

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Butler, Ray

Butschek, Catherine

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Coleman, Tina

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Correu, James

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Fisher, Mike

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Free, Eric

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Geist, Phyllis

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Green, Rhyan

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Griffin, Edwin

Groysman, Dr. Robert

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Jensen, Steve

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Johnson, Karl

Johnson, Linda

Johnson, Sandy L.

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Jones, Nancy

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Merrick, Joe

Metcalf, Mark

Metzger, Gary

Midgley, Denise

Midgley, James

Mikyska, Linda

Mitchell, Suze

Moen, Scott

Morales, Carmen

Morell, Michelle

Muggli, Glorianne

Nahoolewa, Damon

Nahoolewa, Teri

Nate, Kent

Nelms, Morris

Nelms, Delores

Nelson, John

Neser, Doreen

Newman, Cheryl

Nielsen, Jan

Nielsen, Seth

Nielson, France

Nielson, Ian

Nielson, Laura

Nielson, Lindsay

Nixon, Scott

Norris, Dustin

North, John

North, Mary

O'Brien, Dorothy A.

OConnor, Don

OConnor, Jonathan

Orr, Damon

Pace, Bob

Pace, Margaret

Palmer, Amanda

Paulson, John

Paulson, Susan

Petersen, Tagg

Pinnell, Jim

Piziali, Andrew

Podkowa, Bill

Podkowa, Holly

Polan, Neal

Polson, Shauna

Poulter, David

Poulter, Denise

Puente, Marco

Rasmussen, Chelsea

Ray, Thomas

Redd, Brittany

Redd, Jay

Redd, Josh

Reeder, Doug

Reinarz, Gwen

Reinarz, Jim

Resoso, Royce

Richardson, Alan

Richardson, Joy

Richmond, Harold

Richmond, Joyce

Rickett, Rosanne

Rivard, Kathi-Ann

Roberts, Norma

Roberts, Rick

Robertson, Reid

Rogers, Rainey

Roller, Robin

Rowe, Jennalee

Rowe, Rick

Ruge, Jim

Ruge, Joy

Rupe, Richard

Ryan, Terrie

Sampson, Ann

Sampson, David

Santos, Regalado

Shaw, Doug

Shumway, David

Skotak, Jerry

Slade, Steve

Slavens, Billy

Slavens, Brock

Slavens, Dean

Slavens, Gary

Slavens, Glenna

Slavens, James

Slavens, Jane

Slavens, Jim

Slavens, Johnny

Slavens, Judy

Slavens, Karen

Smith, Allen

Smith, Ariana

Smith, Jason

Smith, Sheila

Snow, Brian

Sperandeo, Victor

Stadler, Paul

Staes, Alicia

Staes, Ron

Stodola, Roland

Stodola, Peggy

Stone, Scott

Summerhays, Andrea

Sunderland, Ed

Swindlehurst, Jeremy

Tautfest, Eric

Tautfest, Rebecca

Taylor, Gary

Taylor, Carolyn

Taylor, Chris

Taylor, Elizabeth

Taylor, Jay

Taylor, Kay

Taylor, Kelly

Taylor, Shelly

Terpstra, Chris

Thatcher, Aaron

Todachine, Saige

Todachinnie, Conner

Tolson, Tommy

Tynes, Laura

Tynes, Travis

Upshaw, Tommy

Upshaw, Kathy

Upshaw, Totch

Uribe, Moises

VanFleet, Elizabeth

Walker, Brian

Walker, Sammy

Wassom, Conner

Watkins, Julyn

Watson, Samantha

Welburn, Rebecca

West, Michelle

West, Scott

White, June

Whitsell, Danny

Whitsell, Lynn

Whitt, Margaret

Williams, Mel

Williams, Mitchell

Willis, Michelle

Wilson, Benjamin

Wilson, Brandon

Wolfe, Scarlett

Yates, Diane

Yates, Jarom

Yeung, Nathan

18 February 2016

Fairview/Allen Chamber of Commerce

I talked with the Fairview/Allen Chamber of Commerce this morning. Let me know what you think!

12 February 2016

Barbara Bush Republican Women's Club

Here is my presentation at the Barbara Bush Republican Women's Club. What a fantastic group! Let me know how I did.

3 February 2016

Republican Coalition of Collin County Forum

See how I did at the Republican Coalition of Collin County Forum by watching these seven short video clips. I've made a pledge on my website to not be intimidated and to stand strong and bold for the truth. I feel I did that at this forum.

Opening Statement

Question #1: Balanced Budget

Question #2: IRS and Tax Reformation

Question #3: Term Limits

Question #4: Affordable Care Act

Question #5: Border Security

Closing Statement

26 January 2016

McKinney Tea Party

We had a fantastic time at the Candidate Forum at Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church in Allen, TX. Here is a video of the questions I was able to answer for the great crowd that attended. Let me know what you think!

25 January 2016

Meet and Greet

If you haven't had a chance to host/attend a "Meet and Greet", attached are six short clips of one we did recently. Let me know what you think?

14 November 2015

What a great event we had Saturday! We are officially registered to be included on the Republican Primary Ballot on March 1, 2016 with early voting starting on February 16th. Thank you so much to all the many wonderful people that came and supported us during this important event. I made 5 important announcements:

I pledge that I will not accept money from Political Action Committees (“PACs”) unless they are substantially funded by citizens in our district (or at least our state) and/or are specifically designed to “Keep God in America” and/or “Follow the US Constitution”. Therefore, in order to for sure win, we need at least 1,000 people to donate at least $5 and 100 people to donate the maximum contribution of $2,700. I have pledged $30 for every person that donates at least $5 (up to 1,000 unique donors) and now pledge $500 for every maximum donor (up to 100 donors) for a total personal contribution of $80,000.

Currently a US Congressman receives an annual compensation of approximately $165k. I pledge I will NOT use that for personal consumption. It will only be used to cover expenses, including donating to other campaigns, needed to accomplish our defined objectives in Washington. A full accounting of that money will be made available to the public.

I pledge I will only stay in Washington as long as I can be effective in accomplishing our defined objectives but certainly no longer than 8 years.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that there are powerful people in Washington willing to use the NSA, IRS and whatever it takes to force people to conform to their desires or remove themselves from office. I make an oath to not be persuaded no matter the personal consequences. We are fully willing to put our reputation, personal assets and even my freedom on the line to accomplish our defined objectives in Washington. Hopefully we are being overly conscientious but the commitment has been made in advance should the occasion ever require.

I will offer Congressman Sam Johnson to be hired as a consultant in our congressional office to help navigate the legislative nightmare of Washington. We need to work together. We cannot be prideful. Pride will destroy us. I fully endorse the concept portrayed in John Ciardi’s famous poem titled, “About Crows”:

The old crow is getting slow;

The young crow is not.

Of what the young crow does not know,

the old crow knows a lot.

At knowing things, the old crow is still

the young crow’s master.

What does the old crow not know?

How to go faster.

The young crow flies above, below, and rings

Around the slow old crow.

What does the fast young crow not know?

WHERE TO GO

Congressman Johnson comes from, and perfectly represents, what Tom Brokaw appropriately titled “The Greatest Generation”. I couldn’t agree more. He has faithfully served this country his entire life. We owe so much to him and that entire generation. The greatness we now enjoy in America is a result of their enormous and selfless efforts. We have received as much service as we could possible justify taking from Congressman Johnson and his family. It is time for the new generation to step up and do our share.

Let’s make this happen!

Johnny

10 November 2015

As part of our veterans day celebration, we helped sponsor an incredible event last night, which hosted Mark “Oz” Geist and John “Tig” Tiegen, two of the men portrayed in the film and co-authors of the book, 13 Hours in Benghazi; The Inside Account of What Really Happened. What a great experience! So much gratitude for these two gentlemen and the many others that have served and are serving in our military.

23 October 2015

Thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Allen for allowing me to introduce myself to your group! What a fantastic group that does such great charity work!.

13 October 2015

John Slavens greets Dan Bollner currently serving on the Frisco Economic Development Board at the Conservative Coalition Meeting in Frisco Lakes

John Slavens discusses "God and Country" subjects with Dick Peasley, former Captain of Marine One for two U. S. Presidents, at the Conservative Coalition Meeting in Frisco Lakes

10 October 2015

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the 25th anniversary of the Golden Corridor Republican Women's Club. What an incredible group of people!! They have done so much for our country and the conservative principles that have made it great. Imagine what this world would be like without this group and many others like it throughout the United States. It has been said that this group may very well be the strongest, most powerful, conservative group in the state of Texas. During the luncheon, I had the unique opportunity to meet and talk to some of our great Texas conservative leaders of whom I have so much respect and admiration. Great people (pictured), including Ken Paxton (Texas Attorney General), Mary Adams (Great Conservative Republican Leader), Scott Turner (State Rep and NFL Cornerback - ha), Dan Patrick (Texas Lieutenant Governor) and Sam Johnson (United States Congressman For Congressional District 3 of Texas).

Allen, Texas Meet and Greet

Thank you France and Lindsay Nielson for hosting such a terrific Meet and Greet last night in your home! Nothing better than spending an hour talking about the importance of keeping God in our country and demanding our elected officials follow the US Constitution.

We had a great time with the Frisco Tea Party as you can see in the pictures. This group, and others like it, do so much for our country. We owe them an enormous amount of gratitude. I want to send out a special thanks to Toni Fabry (pictured in the pink talking to our Campaign Director Ed Griffin), Chairperson and her husband Tom Fabry, Treasurer. They have done so much and for such a long time now. If you believe our country is in bad shape I can't even imagine what it would be like if it were not for people like Toni and Tom Fabry. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Supporting the Friends of Fairview Firefighters Association. "It feels troubling to me that we spend so much money on taxes but then groups like our fire departments, which truly are necessary government agencies, can't get enough funding to do what they need to do. Who is taking all of the money!?"

19 September 2015

Collin County Republican Booth, Plano Balloon Festival

John Slavens and family have an opportunity to meet with hundreds of Collin County citizens during the balloon festival events.

4 September 2015

"Colonel Allen West, he's the real deal! We are grateful for the time that John has spent with him!

This is us with Lieutenant Colonel Allen West. If I could pick one political figure of whom I most identify with, it is without question Allen West. It has been a great experience getting to know him up close over the past few months. If everyone in Washington was like Allen West, I would take my son Thunder and just go fishing as there would be no need to run for Congress. Unfortunately, he is almost one of a kind. Therefore, we must run and we must win.

27 March 2015

John Slavens for Congress Campaign Executive Team
The full Campaign Team encompasses over 100 patriotic citizens who have volunteered to support efforts and activities to elect John Slavens to Congress from the Third Congressional District of Texas. The Executive Team represents the individuals with project and program responsibilities. Each are providing leadership and extraordinary time commitments to coordinate the campaign. In so doing the message of governance under the Constitution, as written and not misinterpreted, and a reverence to Biblical teachings which the Founding Fathers respected and acknowledged as our nation was created is indeed offered to the voters through John Slavens’ candidacy for Congress.
Ed Griffin, Political Consultant/Campaign Director

Ed has experienced a long career in public service and in the political arena. He was involved with the Re-election campaign of President Ronald Reagan and has advised and been in leadership positions with candidates for Governor, United States Senate, state legislatures and municipal and county government positons in North Carolina, Kentucky and Texas. He served as President/CEO of public and private sector organizations for 30 years. He also has served as a consultant to Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK, Mexico President Vicente’ Fox and other Global Leaders. He is President of Ed Griffin Consulting Group in Frisco, Texas.

Lisa DeLaGarza, Campaign Manager for Marketing Services

Lisa has been an active resident of Collin County for over 30 years. She and her husband and five children live in Allen, Texas. Lisa co-owns, with her husband a successful real estate firm that has excelled due to her talents in marketing and branding. She is very active in her church volunteering in the adult, youth, music, missionary and scout programs. She has devoted a great deal of her time and talents marketing in her volunteer activities which also include schools. She is devoutly committed to restoring people’s power at the state and local government levels by supporting the campaign and work of John Slavens for Congress.

Tommy Upshaw, Campaign Manager for Precincts

Tommy is a Certified Public Accountant with an extensive business profile in Collin County. He, his wife and five children reside in Allen, Texas. In addition to his current full-time career in financial management and consulting he also operates a local CPA practice providing tax planning and small business consulting. Tommy is an active volunteer in his church as well as a Scoutmaster for the local Boy Scouts of America troop in Allen. Tommy’s passion for returning America to the provisions of the United States Constitution and his devotion to God and Country are attributes that compliment his strategic role with the John Slavens Campaign for Congress.

Barbara Harless, Campaign Manager for Social Media Outreach

Barbara is a fourth generation Dallas-site residing in Collin County, retired security trader. She is a life-long Republican, served on her city’s first City Charter Review Commission, and has been active in the GOP for two decades. She is proud of her involvement with the North Texas Citizen’s Lobby; teaching Texans how to follow municipal, county, and Texas government rules, regulations and laws as they engage in their First Amendment rights. She believes all that ails America has to do with numerous violations of the Constitution for 100+ years and is committed to the Campaign because she wants to see what America would look like when the Constitution is fully enforced.

Wendell Brock, McKinney Campaign Ambassador

Wendell W. Brock, MBA, ChFC, earned his Masters of Business Administration from Utah State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in financial planning from Brigham Young University. He has an extensive business background including experience in real estate appraisal, community bank formation consulting, business and financial consulting. He currently serves as the principal of Outside Investment Advisors, a Texas Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm and provides his clients Personal CFO Services. He is an Eagle Scout and a supporter of Boy Scouts of America and has served in several leadership capacities. He and his wife, Taunie, have six children and are awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild.

David Sampson, Manager of Technology

Having over thirty years of diverse experience in software development and designing and constructing technology products, David serves as the Manager and Administrator of the important Campaign Website delivering both the “campaign promise” and the principles to which John Slavens ascribes in his daily life and will in public service. The website also contains updates as to campaign activities. David’s consulting business began in 1985 and is located in Allen, Texas.

Scott West, Campaign Manager for Collin County Conservative Club

Residing in McKinney with his wife Michelle, Scott is the proud father of seven sons and eleven grandchildren. He has consistently demonstrated his passion for building a healthy, spiritual and successful entrepreneurial life for his family and for his friends. His life has been a reflection of unconditional love. His professional career in executive management positions abounds with success with Nestle', Haagen-Dazs, California Pizza Kitchen and other major corporate industries where he earned many exceptional leadership and achievement awards.

Sean Hawkins, Campaign Attorney

Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary. Mr. Hawkins serves as our Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary. He joined the Company in 2011, after serving as the Company’s outside Texas counsel, advising the Company on matters related to mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Hawkins was an attorney with Thompson & Knight LLP in the firm’s Dallas, Texas office where he practiced in the areas of finance and commercial real estate, focusing on complex loan transactions throughout the United States. Prior to practicing with Thompson & Knight LLP, Mr. Hawkins was an attorney with Vinson & Elkins LLP in the firm’s Dallas, Texas office. Mr. Hawkins received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University. Mr. Hawkins received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a in Study of Business and Public Policy from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Slavens for Congress Press Release 15-1

Collin County, Texas

For Immediate Release

Contact: John Slavens 972-313-5394, Candidate for Congress

Ed Griffin, Political Consultant/Campaign Director

972-821-2620

“Save America” legislation

Striking at the core of the unconstitutional actions of the United States Congress, John Slavens Candidate for the Third Congressional District of Texas has announced his top legislative priority. The first bill he will introduce will require all proposed legislation before Congress contain an opening paragraph citing the specific authority granted by the U.S. Constitution pertaining to the proposed bill.

Slavens recently said, "So many of the problems we face are tied to unauthorized actions by Congress or the lack of action by Congress when the Executive and Judicial Branches create their own pathways to legislative initiatives and go unchecked by Congress. Part of the problem can be eliminated by requiring Congress to cite the authority with which they are working under. All other actions should be resolved and administered at the local or state levels".

The foundation of this bold initiative goes back to the 1970's and 1980’s when there was great concern throughout the nation that Congress was spending far beyond its means to fund their actions. It led to the creation of the current Fiscal Note which accompanies all bills and which has also been adopted by state governments throughout the nation. The fiscal note publically acknowledges the costs as determined by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of implementing that piece of legislation.

The Constitution was carefully crafted by the founding fathers to limit the powers of the federal government out of experience people had suffered under powerful English rule. "The brilliance of the Constitution has been stained by the 'go along to get along' attitude of Congressmen who fail to stop at the lines of authorization. It has been an embarrassment to the founding fathers and represents acts of shamefulness on the integrity of “politics as usual” which Slavens is intent on changing. “Congress has allowed the other branches of government to run roughshod over the rights and liberties outlined in the Constitution," Slavens said.

While offering comments about the destruction and distrust that abound, Slavens noted “We must stop this madness now and return responsible government to our citizens by strictly enforcing the Constitutional limits and holding each branch of our federal government in check. We need new Representatives from all over this nation to create change that is long overdue. New voices, untainted by the quagmire of Washington, are what our future is demanding.”

The name of this one sentence legislation will be "Save America Bill." The text will state, "Congress shall not consider or pass any legislation that does not have a Constitutional Authority Note attached to it which clearly and specifically outlines the direct authority granted to the Congress by the U.S. Constitution in the matter being considered under any proposed legislation." Supporters of the “Save America Bill” have commented that anyone who would vote against this legislation would be intentionally and knowingly violating the Oath of Office that they took to uphold the U.S. Constitution and thereby should be subject to removal from office for violating their Oath.

The Slavens for Congress Campaign continues to gain momentum as this non-politician offers straight talk about the importance of the Republic always following the tenets of the Constitution. His mission of Constitutional accountability and following the teachings in the Bible are resonating throughout Congressional District 3 and beyond.

John Slavens Introduces himself

8 February 2016

On Monday, February 8th from 7:00 – 8:00pm we conducted a special town hall event where people in the district could talk to me live. Here is a recording of that live event.

Teleconference Town Hall Event

25 January 2016

On Monday, January 25th, we called almost 60,000 proven voters in our district and left them the following message.

Message from John Slavens

24 September 2015

Doc Greene

John Slavens for Congress

1000 North Preston Road, Suite 40

Prosper, TX 75078

contact@johnslavensforcongress.com

214-856-0203

Please email me your thoughts

Dear Friends,

I invite and encourage you to contact us and share your views and opinions regarding the issues that you feel are paramount for this important campaign. Please let me know of your concerns. This is as much of a grassroots campaign as there has ever been. I am not a politician. I do not have vast sums of money funding my campaign from third parties. I do not have a political machine.

All I have is the message of bringing America back to the time when the Constitution was more than a document. It defined what our federal government could do and only those clearly defined subjects. I am bringing a message of respect and reverence for the teachings of the Bible as our founding fathers noted. In God We Trust is not a slogan. It is a way of life that can provide peace, security, prosperity in many ways and a respect for religious values. Some people are intent on diluting and destroying our religious freedom and I am their opponent in every hallway of Congress, on every Main Street, on the farmlands of this great country.

I earnestly ask you to take a moment to contact me and our Campaign. Let us know what is important to you with Constitutional compliance and religious freedom. Then please join us by clicking on the Participate opportunity button on our home page and help us bring back America. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Slavens

Candidate for Congress,
Third Congressional District of Texas

Map of the Third Congressional District of Texas

Foreign, Domestic and Fiscal Policy

The Congress should not let the President give money to those people trying to kill Americans.

Congressmen must lead, get results or get out of the way. America cannot accept the status quo any longer. We are hungry for action and starving for results.

The Congress should not engage in treaty making with the devil unless he is unconditionally surrendering.

The Congress should not allow the President to engage in international alliances, executive agreements or other binding provisions without the approval of the Congress.

If laws are wrong or not in the best interest of the people then it is the responsibility of Congress to change them but do not allow the President to unilaterally selectively enforce them. For example “Equal Protection” means prosecute Sanctuary City public officials in the same manner that others who break the law are prosecuted.

If Congressmen today, and in the past, have flagrantly ignored fiscal responsibility resulting in trillions of dollars of national debt, cut back on spending until we are revenue neutral. Don’t game the American taxpayer in a manner that enslaves generations to come into debt that is overwhelming. They are our children.

The rules for citizens are just like the rules for the Congress, Supreme Court and Executive Branch of the federal government; do only those things that you are authorized to do.

Congress should create a climate that respects authority and expects and demands authority figures to obey the rules.

Congress must protect family values or do not expect to have a civil society after the next generation. By Resolution of Exception or other means Congress should call out the Supreme Court when it oversteps its Constitutional boundaries and encourage the citizens and states, who are really the ultimate decision makers, to decent in lawful ways that profoundly educates the public.

The Congress should demand, through laws and oversight of regulations, that adults receiving various payments from the government make responsible decisions with their children, their spending and their actions. Do not reward or subsidize laziness, criminals or others who would do harm to our citizens. Ultimately, Congress should reaffirm the Constitution by dismantling the wasteful bureaucracies in Washington and providing for state implementation of these programs. Nowhere in the Constitution does it authorize the federal government to administer many programs that operate today. When it is not authorized it is not legal.

Demand accountability from anyone you vote for and support who are elected to the Congress.

Federalized healthcare, approved by Congress, has caused our nation to suffer from a hemorrhage of gross health mismanagement and unjustifiable wasteful spending. When we are providing pregnancy coverage for 80 year old women somebody is stupid and needs to be replaced.

In a national poll taken by Quinnipiac University from August 20-25, 2015 Republicans ranked the GOP Congressional Job Approval at 12% and Disapproval at 81%. Is it time for some changes?

Congress should consider cutting off operating expenses to the Justice Department or restricting their use if the President is bent on not obeying laws and covering up for those who overtly break the law by politically affecting the manner in which the Justice Department and FBI are directed and influenced. The White House is also funded by Congress in a line item budget. Congress needs to get their attention for the same reason.

The jail in Cuba specifically designed for terrorists of the highest criminal levels who plan and carry out the butchery of innocent people should remain open and operational. Those prisoners should not be assimilated into the world communities of mass murders and other atrocities.

The John Slavens campaign is currently working on legislation that will keep God in America. Please stay tuned for exact details.

In the meantime, please see our position paper titled “In Breach of God’s Trust.”

By John Slavens, Candidate for Congress, Texas Third District

For those of you who have been following the terroristic events in the Middle East and throughout Europe, don’t go to sleep. The brutality and uncivilized acts around the Mediterranean Sea have captivated headlines, inspired political rhetoric and defined the actions of the federal government of late.

Unfortunately the not so sleeping giant of Asia, and especially China, continues to poke at peace, provoke foreign relations incidents and antagonizes the freedom loving nations within that sphere of the globe. To consider Asia, one cannot focus on today’s moment in time but rather one must go back thousands of years of history. The forms of government throughout Asia have been primarily dictatorial, totalitarian and monarchial. While there are examples of democracies spotted throughout Asia consider China, half of Korea, Japan, the former Mongolian Empire and its successor the Russians. The United States fought hard and sacrificed a great deal for freedom for those in the Philippines, Vietnam, Guam and other countries in the South Pacific.

The point is that Asian threats to America are usually born out of surprise attacks like Pearl Harbor or quiet espionage plots that have breached both public and corporate intellectual properties or valuable data banks that potentially compromise the U.S. economy or our military superiority. Even though much of Asia is an agrarian society they are intellectually very advanced and as a region they are extraordinarily exceptional in technology. Asian countries have been very successful in the production of automobiles, televisions, cell phones, computers and data base technology. This is perhaps one of the primary battlegrounds for upcoming Asian conflicts.

America has proven to have a strong and, for the most part, a resilient broad-based economy. Through espionage or just doing it better the Asian countries pose a constant competition to industries here in the United States. What can Congress do? Congress needs to be more vigilant through investigations, hearings and listening to constituent companies adversely affected by Asian competitors. If cyber protection is required Congress should be receptive to the companies that employ the citizens of the 50 states and are the constituents of Congress. If trade regulations or tariffs are needed then again it is important to protect our economy so that we do not crumble from within. The sophistication of intelligence and counter-intelligence gathering has advanced significantly in the past few years. Congress must ensure that our military intelligence is fully equipped to deflect and defer any measures that are hostile to the interest of the United States are thwarted, rebuffed and a targeted response is employed.

The South China Sea represents the western hemisphere’s equivalent of the Iran and Iraq powder kegs of potential conflict. This region has been overlooked by the media, the White House and many others as attention has been so focused on the Middle East. This territory represents a major transit route for maritime commercial traffic important to American interests. China has been reclaiming islands, rocks and manmade new islands so that they can claim sovereignty and territorial integrity in attempts to influence maritime laws and extraterritorial powers to extend and expand their interests. This presents problems today and will certainly create issues for many countries in the future.

Of late the United States has offered cloudy and uninterpretable statements about whether we will defend, and to what degree, our interests or the interests of our allies like the Philippines should China employ military actions to enforce their new claims. The United States needs to present clear lines of distinction to our allies, to the United Nations and especially to those who would encroach on the sovereignty of others or violate international maritime laws. China, on numerous occasions, has supposedly instituted “hostile” naval actions of surveillance around Guam and Hawaii.

Not only does this area present valuable passage ways for vessels but many countries and corporations have expressed interest in exploring the possible extensive reserves of oil and gas. Among the most indigenous countries are Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and China. Exxon/Mobile has plans to invest in exploratory oil rigs in the region. Multiple incidents of collisions with planes and ships have occurred near drillings facilities for oil and gas. Any one of these incidents could also trigger an armed clash in the South China Sea especially as a result of new and expanding interests in claiming rights to the area. Disputes between China and Vietnam over seismic surveys and drilling for oil and gas could also trigger an armed clash in the near future as well.

Considering the overall importance of the Pacific Rim, South China Sea and that entire region one only needs to consider the hostile nature of the North Korean leadership, the volatile and unpredictable nature of the Chinese government and the expanding interests of Russia in both the Atlantic and the Pacific regions, there are many countries that are committed to undermining the best interest of the United States and its allies. There is a prevalence of these types of regimes and governments throughout the world and especially growing due to the passive nature of the current President of the United States which encourages others to take advantage of the U.S., overrun our allies and extort money, prisoners and leverage economic interests. While the headlines are concentrating on the Middle East we must be aware that we need to have a presence of mind and a military presence ready to respond to an unprovoked act of war against us or allies off the shores of Asia.

The current Administration’s downsizing of all aspects of our military is upsizing the vulnerabilities of the United States in the Middle East, in and around Asia and other parts of the world. Our exposure increases every day and our Congress has done nothing to stop the retreat of democracy and the decline of readiness to preserve peace in the world. Hostile countries in Asia are creeping, tomorrow crawling and before we wake up running to destroy America and the allies that still look to us as the beacon of hope for all the world. We cannot let anyone down. If we go to sleep we may not wake up.

By John Slavens, Candidate for Texas’ Third Congressional District

Introduction

When America was founded by colonists and pioneers it was done so out of will and commitment to establish a country of freedom from religious persecution, freedom to explore entrepreneurial ventures and to vote for whom ever one wanted to support for elected office. Those principles formed the foundation of what we now call a great nation.

At that time and at this time America was begun and is enduring under the Grace of God. It was He who provided “ideas and anvils” for the formation of the government and the farming of the fields. He is credited in most early historical documents as being the Almighty Power that literally gave birth to this new nation. Coinage and monies were printed specifically with “In God We Trust” prevalently displayed as early leaders were devotedly religious. Almost all public events were begun with a prayer as well as government meetings and education in one room schools. It was basic and part of the heritage of America, blessed by its Founding Fathers to respect the Higher Authority who provided for food, safety and the perseverance to continue on building and fortifying colonies that would become states that would grow into regions and then a nation.

The Founding Fathers, after a great deal of thought, carefully and artfully crafted the longest standing governing document of its kind in the history of the world, the United States Constitution. The provision of specific details and as overall governing philosophy is as perfectly balanced as could have possibly been crafted at that time not knowing of the complicated demographic, economic, global intergovernmental alliances and confrontations that would evolve over time. These drafters were much more astute and wiser than most historians have noted. The Constitution is an unbelievably effective document that explicitly defines what the federal government is authorized to do and what is left to state and local governments to resolve at their discretion.

According to Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes in a Cornerstone Address entitled “The republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith”, he amplifies the criticality of the Supreme Court as supposedly the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.

“The unique position of the Supreme Court stems, in large part, from the deep commitment of the American people to the Rule of Law and to the constitutional government. The United States has demonstrated an unprecedented determination to preserve and protect its written Constitution, thereby providing the American ‘experiment in democracy’ with the oldest written Constitution still in force.

The Constitution of the United States is a carefully balanced document. It is designed to provide for a national government sufficiently strong and flexible to meet the needs of the republic, yet sufficiently limited to just protect the guaranteed rights of citizens; it permits a balance between society’s need for order and the individual’s right to freedom. To assure these ends, the Framers of the Constitution created three independent and coequal branches of government. This Constitution has provided continuous democratic government through the periodic stresses of more than two centuries, which illustrates the genius of the American system of government.”

Alexander Hamilton was a strong proponent for the Constitution to be a document that would serve as a rudimentary basis for decisions of the day. His anticipation was that a Supreme Court would follow the rules and dictates of the Constitution thereby preserving the integrity of wise and prudent principles established in the document. He did not anticipate that the Supreme Court would stray far afield from the expressed dictates of the Constitution. Madison did not have faith in the political process but felt that “reasoned judgment of independent judges” would be preferable. Neither of these historic leaders could have contemplated that the composition of the Supreme Court would have been so ideologically polarized that they would venture far from the intent of the Founders in terms of invading public policy reserved for the states for example abortion, education, marriage definition, health and other social issues and matters.

More current observations:

The mockery the past several Supreme Courts have made of the judicial branch is only superseded by the incompetent leadership demonstrated by Congress who has let the Court run unbridled over the rule of law so cherished by the Founding Fathers. Rather than the independent judgement of jurist that was anticipated by the Founding Fathers we have now a political football of ideological philosophies that bounce back with 5 to 4 decisions of far left or far right. Seldom does the Court come together on volatile issues of the day to have well -reasoned, sensible and logical opinions grounded in legal rationale. Rather the Court of Constitutional interpretations has become a volleyball game of how “out of bounds” can we play.

The significance of Presidential campaigns is not just to select the highest executive but to establish the ideology of the next recommendations to the United States Senate for appointment to the Court. Vetting of these nominees has certainly fallen short of appropriate scrutiny by both the Executive Branch and certainly by the Senate Members. This process constitutes the way in which the composition, and thus the opinions, of the Court are constituted. When the Constitution was written the average life span of persons was in the fifties. Now it is seventies and eighties. This within itself is self-destructive for the Court for some members are just too old to function and age and term limits need to be set so that rational, prudent legal minds can work in concert to hopefully construct decisions that are not just ideological but also are within Constitutional boundaries. As the country has grown we have a sufficient number of legal experts to select nine people to serve two five-year terms and replace them after that with equally talented and skillful legal expertise.

The Congress is really the villain in the decline of the quality of decisions that have been made by the Supreme Court. It is Congress, and specifically the Senate, that approves appointees. It is Congress that has declined to rally the states to override Supreme Court decisions that truly should have fallen to the states to decide. It is Congress that should have initiated legislative action to restrict how long justices can serve on this Court of last resort. Leadership is either silent or does not exist in Congress on these matters of priority.

THE ASSAULT ON GOD

With the groundwork having been laid, let us begin by saying the Supreme Court has a proven record of interpreting itself out of Constitutional bounds. Let it be recognized that the President of the United States has likewise been unlawful in his aggressive nature to be legislative rather than executive in implementing laws passed by the legislative branch, Congress. Full credit needs to be given to Congress for allowing the other two branches of government to operate beyond their authorized jurisdictions. All of this illegal and grossly embarrassing actions by our elected officials have been done in religious and secular areas.

Then we have those in our society who have been able to manipulate public officials, both elected and appointed, to secularize our society by removing prayer, worshiping, symbols of religion and other acts that have diminished the presence of religion and many faiths which was one of the major tenets on which this nation was founded. It not only is sacrilegious but is wrong.

We trusted in God when we were a new nation searching for structure and survival. Most of Americans look to God when they are in despair. We have Faith that God will protect, lead and guide us in times of conflict and unsureness. We have a history of printing “In God We Trust” on our currency. Yet in the name of “political correctness” prayer has been scorned by the political left as infringing on the rights of some not to be subject to seeing, hearing or being in the presence of those who wish to worship from classrooms and from football stadiums whether as part of a ceremony or in private moments.

In the matter of prayer in schools, the Board of Regents for the State of New York authorized a short, voluntary prayer for recitation at the start of each school day. This was an attempt to defuse the politically potent issue by taking it out of the hands of local communities. The blandest of invocations read as follows: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our teachers, and our country."

The legal question posed to the Supreme Court was does the reading of a nondenominational prayer at the start of the school day violate the "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment?

The decision was, yes. Neither the prayer's nondenominational character nor its voluntary character saves it from unconstitutionality. By providing the prayer, New York officially approved religion. This was the first in a series of cases in which the Court used the establishment clause to eliminate religious activities of all sorts, which had traditionally been a part of public ceremonies. Despite the passage of time, the decision is still unpopular with a majority of Americans.

Still while the avenues are open for new legislation and judicial appeals to challenge the Supreme Court ruling of many years ago there is little use to do so, other than awakening the public, unless the votes are there on the Supreme Court to acknowledge the rights of the majority and make provisions for the minority to be excluded or otherwise accommodated. The ideological shift of the Supreme Court to the left has made prayer and other vestiges of faith, family values and other cultural morals more difficult in today’s society.

Perhaps the most appalling appointment and decision regarding the Supreme Court was that of Chief Justice John G. Roberts of New York by President George W. Bush who shockingly and callously partnered with the Obama Administration in wiggling a way to refute the law that forbid the establishment of the construction of the architecture that allowed Obamacare to start like a cancer and engulf the nation’s healthcare system. His intentional abandonment of the law reinforced the notion that rather than the highest judicial body to make an informed determination of Constitutionality of important issues the Supreme Court is “a coin toss” based on the fragile character of justices who can and will completely disregard case law, the United States Constitution and their own conservative opinions if other variables penetrate their vulnerabilities.

The prayer in school decision has set a precedent for others more recently after this 1962 decision. While attempting to make this as palatable as possible for people of different faiths and from differing denominations, the Supreme Court still found that if a state to officially recognize religion or its symbolic references it was determined “unconstitutional”. If one studies the Constitution, as noted in earlier parts of this paper, one can readily find that the document was written at a time and by people who recognized the importance of religion and how integral it was to them personally and to their community and nation. While desiring to have no discrimination among nonbelievers or believers in a minority religion, the Constitution certainly was written in a manner to recognize God and to provide for appropriate recognition of appreciation of a Higher Being and the Blessings and Hopes of a society. God and religion had an integral place in the lives and beliefs of our Founding Fathers and the origins of the framework of America, the way of life of its citizens and the manner of respect that was intended for citizens to demonstrate through various forms of public and private worship. This has been diluted by the political left and is shameful and disgraceful for our nation’s history.

Unfortunately the lack of courage by politicians, leaders and even the clergy to take on the objectors of religion has caused a series of decisions by courts, communities and individuals to lessen the priority of prayer and worship and even the retailing of commodities in the market during the holiday season. Now with layers and layers of decisions of banning worship, prayer and other religious ceremonies, like nativity scenes, it will make it more difficult for even strong leaders to advance a cause that should have never been needed if decision makers had followed the intentions of the Founding Fathers in drafting and approving the Constitution.

Without question the road to demonstrating respect for God and the Country that prides itself in religious freedom must be paved by having a President that does not favor or cower to other religious dogmas or is intimidated by power representing other uncivilized religions. With that in place America can move to having Justices of the Supreme Court appointed by a rational nomination process offered by a President who believes and acts in a manner consistent with a belief and respect for God. The nominations will be considered by a Senate that is composed of men and women of a similar persuasion encompassing respect, dignity, high moral character and an appreciation for the commitment and sacrifices made so that free men and women can practice the freedom of religion that our nation was founded upon. If a Constitutional Amendment is put into place which has some limitation of service by members of the Supreme Court then the country will not run the risk of having Justices too old and possibly senile to render judicious decisions.

Legislatively a number of both substantive and high profile actions are needed if America is to embrace true religious freedom and display the reverence to God that a majority of citizens feel is appropriate. Congress, alone, is authorized by the Constitution to legislate matters of public policy that governs America.

That is so fundamental that it is worth repeating and then paraphrasing. Congress is the only branch of government that is structured and authorized to legislate matters of public policy. That means the Executive Branch inclusive of the President and his or her Cabinets and their respective employees are not authorized to legislate matters at all. They have been authorized to issue rules and regulations, consistent with legislation passed by the House and Senate, that provides more detail as to how these laws and their provisions are to be administered. Even there the rules and regulations often take off into far reaching and totally unintended areas that essentially expand the scope, depth and purpose of the original legislation. This is wrong and should be monitored more closely by Congress and criminal and civil penalties should be attached for those government officials who willfully and knowingly go far beyond their scope of authority to expand legislative intent into other areas as the whim of the Administration or individual Cabinets.

Correspondingly, the Supreme Court is not authorized to envelop itself beyond rendering an opinion as to the Constitutionality of a given matter be it legislative or a judicial review. The Supreme Court taking its lead from the far left extremist have often ventured into these waters where they should never allow themselves to venture. Self-governing of the Supreme Court is an oxymoron and as our government evolves mechanisms for a deterrence of this creeping legislative intent by the judiciary must be put in place. The only body that can do that is Congress. Hence there is a need for legislative relief from the Supreme Court’s overreach into unconstitutional opinions.

Congress first needs to implement a law that says no legislation shall be considered by the House or Senate until, as part of the legislation, a Constitutional Authorization Documentation is submitted noting the exact part of the Constitution that says the federal government should address and has the Constitutional authority to legislate on this issue. Secondly, as noted above, some mechanism for keeping the Supreme Court in check and balance needs to be approved by Congress and the States because the Supreme Court is ideologically doing whatever it wants to with respect to religion and other social and moral issues of consequence. When Congress comes up with the character and courage to sue the President and withhold funding for a number of departments then the system that is already in place can perhaps function as a rightful check and balance. This calls for invoking tough measures that may or may not be popular but the Congress must regain the respect that it should have as a legislative body representing the interests of the people and it is not doing so by letting a President do whatever he wants to do.

There are thousands of individual cases that have been adjudicated affecting freedom of religion and the expression of Christian views or views of other faiths. One can study these case laws and attempt to solve them by correcting or clarifying language that could be more directive to the Court as to what freedom and expression of religion is approved and appropriate by the Congress. That is a long journey but a road worth taking if a consortium of Members undertake that burden. America can restore the strength of its societal fabric by ensuring opportunities for the expressions of faith are available and the nuclear family unit is supported by public policy rather than the exclusion of sacred acts in support of secularism. This must be done by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court. Both of these governmental bodies require change in order to ensure compliance with this goal.

Bills requiring “In God We Trust” be profoundly visible on each piece of currency of this government need to be approved which reaffirms this country’s commitment to perhaps the single most important tenant of our democracy. Official legal tender such as U.S. Government Bonds and other such documents should have “In God We Trust” prominently displayed. All Treaties and Agreements with other nations should proudly state on their face that it is “In God We Trust”.

Lastly, a minority of non-believers in God, have influenced a majority of elected and appointed officials to selectively remove the virtues of faith that made this nation possible. While tolerance of the minority is part of this democracy, tolerance does not and should not include the dismantling of traditions, cultural values and recognition of a power greater than “Man” who has provided the opportunity to have this great nation and to be successful. Tolerance is not a ticket to wipe-out the other side. It is merely an opportunity to disagree, without penalty, with the majority.

We have discussed and considered the historical nature of our evolution beginning with intolerance of the freedom to practice different faiths as a reason to establish this great nation. We have analyzed the creation of the grandest of documents, our Constitution, which has been amended on numerous occasions to ensure it remains current with the times while maintaining the essence of a balance is governmental authority, a strong moral character and a system of layers of government who can address subjects of a national, state and local nature. We have done so noting that there still remains structural and political changes and modifications in order to provide for continued success of the Constitution as the governing document and strengthening of public policy which has gone astray, due to individuals and political movements, from the intent of America’s Founding Fathers.

America, in addition to the changes noted above, needs advocacy by followers of any Faith to ensure that non-believers do not allow weak and vulnerable people in our government to sterilize laws that remove God from our domain. Not that humans can actually do that, but our country functions on faith, belief in a higher being and hope that greater wisdom than ours will guide us to the right choices for ourselves, families, communities and nation. “The people’ represented by folks in the neighborhood, civic leaders, public officials, religious stewards and others must both individually and collectively assert that we need to go forward with a conscious recognition that God has been with us. He is with us now as a nation and in every life. We need God’s continued blessings and we will do all humanly possible to recognize His contributions to the life and success that we and our nation enjoy. This needs to be a truly “grassroots” effort, by not only the religious community, but anyone who purports to a leader or desires to be considered a leader.

Institutions in Washington and state capitols can change. They are built by people and it takes people to correct the error of their ways, set them in the right direction and support them as they take on conflict in doing so. God Bless America and May America Always Bless God.

My Personal Pledges

I pledge to Keep God in America and Uphold and Defend the US Constitution as my highest priorities.

I pledge accountability for my voting record, my leadership in inspiring other members of Congress and being known throughout the world as a beacon of hope for those who believe in Keeping God in America and Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.

I pledge to NOT accept money from Political Action Committees and/or other special interest groups unless they are:

Specifically designed to support Keeping God in America and/or Defending the US Constitution.

Entirely funded by people in our own district or at least from the state of Texas.

I may have to make a rare exception if during a General election it is necessary to make absolutely certain a Democrat opponent is defeated.

I pledge to donate $30 of my own money for every individual who donates at least $5 to our campaign (up to 1,000 people). I also pledge to donate $500 of my own money for every individual who donates the maximum contribution to our campaign (up to 100 people), for a total potential personal investment of $80,000. (Note: this pledge relates to the Republican Primary Election of March 1, 2016.)

I pledge to NOT use any money I am paid as a Congressman for personal consumption outside of Congressional related activities. I will use that money, currently $165,000 a year, to fund campaigns and other expenses incurred to get done what needs to get done in Washington. A public record will always be provided on how that money is used. I want there to be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am working in Congress to selflessly serve my country and the American people.

I pledge to NOT stay in office longer than 8 years as the Congressional Representative of the Third District of Texas.

I pledge to NOT be intimidated. Unfortunately, it seems to me that there are powerful people in Washington who are willing to use the NSA, IRS or whatever means necessary to force people to conform to their desires or resign from office. I make an oath to not be persuaded no matter the personal consequences. We are fully willing to put our reputation and personal assets on the line to accomplish our defined objectives in Washington. Hopefully we are being overly cautious, but the commitment has been made in advance should the occasion ever require.

Many people have asked about Congressman Sam Johnson’s voting record. Here is my answer:

As a Republican Congressional Candidate for District #3 of Texas I was required to read the Texas Republican Party Platform and publicly declare to what level I agree or disagree with the particulars of that document.

I was impressed with the platform and was able (as are most Republican candidates) to state that I substantially agree with the platform. The reason I was able to do that is the platform is substantially in line with my top two priorities, which are “Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

Those priorities are supported by most Republican candidates, but the difficulty is in finding candidates who will truly ACT in accordance with those beliefs. It is not enough to believe. We must act! I recognize it is by Grace we are saved but the Lord also said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” And James challenges us by saying, “Shew me thy faith without thy works and I will shew thee my faith by my works. . .because faith, if it hath not works, is dead. . .”. We must hold our elected officials accountable, not just to their beliefs, but more importantly to their actions - even if we love them. In fact, especially if we love them!

I love Congressman Sam Johnson. I am grateful to him. He will have served, at the completion of this term, for 26 years as our Congressman. Before that, he was a state representative here in Texas and before that he served honorably in our military. He is a war hero. Tom Brokaw coined the term, “The Greatest Generation” referring to Congressman Johnson’s generation, including the brave people who sacrificed so much in WWII. It is true. They are the greatest generation. Much of the greatness we have in America today we owe to their generation. There is perhaps no better example of that generation than Sam Johnson, who, though he missed serving in WWII by just a few years, served faithfully in Vietnam and Korea. I am thankful we named a highway after him here in Texas. He deserves it. He will be forever loved and appreciated.

Having said that, it is time. It is time for the next generation to step forward and carry the torch that has been carried for so long. The time is now.

An elected legislator demonstrates his true priorities and sincerity by the way he votes and by the way he leads others to vote, which demonstrates leadership. District 3 (which is for the most part Collin County) is one of the “reddest” districts in the United States. Our Congressman has to be a strong leader who is known throughout the world as a champion of Republican Texas Values as outlined in the platform and more importantly as defined in the US Constitution. An elected official who has been in office for 26 years should be known throughout the world in that regard. That is the kind of leadership we must have from such a powerful district as ours. Unfortunately, once you get outside of our district and certainly outside of Texas, our great Congressman is not known. It is not enough to go to Washington, vote right, and come home. We must also influence other members of Congress to vote right. We must be a leader!

To lead others to vote right, you must have a solid voting record yourself. The savior said, “…first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

For whatever reason (i.e. going along to get along, pressured by the funding needed to stay elected) many of our Congressmen from Texas, including our district (Sam Johnson), the district south of us (Pete Sessions) and the district north of us (Ralph Hall-recently replaced by John Ratcliffe) have not always voted according to the principles we espouse. The Heritage Action and Freedom Index score cards are two great places to monitor the voting records of our elected officials and their support for the Republican Platform of Texas, which substantially matches my beliefs as it is for the most part focused on “Keeping God in this Country” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.” The average of these two score cards for the 113th Congress, which is the most recent cycle completed, scores our representatives as follows: Sam Johnson (68%), Pete Sessions (62%) and Ralph Hall (68%). The lowest ranking Republican from Texas was 56% and the highest was Steve Stockman (94%). One of my favorite people, Louie Gohmert scored 90%. Where I went to school anything below 70% was a “Failing” grade.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the reasons, according to their websites, these two score cards ranked Sam Johnson so low:

He voted for Trade Promotion Authority (“TPA”): This gives the President the unconstitutional authority to negotiate and finalize trade deals, which is a responsibility constitutionally held by Congress. It is my understanding this opened the door for the President to negotiate the IRAN deal that many of us oppose.

He has consistently voted for Trade Agreements that disadvantage American companies and force them to conform to International Regulations.

He has consistently voted to give the President the power to finalize trade agreements. Constitutionally that power should remain with Congress.

Repeal Obamacare: He was a “No Vote” which means he didn’t vote.

Prohibit Taxpayer Funded Abortions: He was a “No Vote”.

Prohibit Abortions on Military bases since it would use taxpayer funding (i.e. facilities and doctors): He was a “No Vote”.

Limiting the improper and damaging regulations instituted by the EPA: He was a “No Vote”.

Border Control: He was a “No Vote” for putting up 700 miles of fence along our southern border

Facilitate Off-shore drilling: He was a “No Vote”.

He voted against defunding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are socialist programs that led to the economic collapse of 2008 as warned in the 2005 bill that he voted against.

He voted for School Readiness and other similar votes, which give the Federal Government the unconstitutional authority over education, which has now led to Common Core.

He voted for National ID Cards, which decreases states’ rights.

He has consistently voted for subsidies, food stamps and other corporate welfare programs, which are socialist programs that destroy the free market.

He has repeatedly voted against the 4th amendment to the US Constitution by allowing government agencies to perform warrantless searches and seizures of citizens’ private information.

He has repeatedly voted to increase government spending.

He has repeatedly voted to increase the federal debt limit.

He has repeatedly voted to unconstitutionally increase the power of the federal government over the states.

He has consistently voted for funding unconstitutional federal programs such as Education, Health Care (which funds Planned Parenthood) and Social Welfare.

He voted to allow the World Trade Organization to remove labeling in the United States, so that we no longer know from which country our food is coming from.

He voted to unconstitutionally strengthen the relationship of the United States with the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. And he voted against defunding our relationship with those entities.

He voted for annual increases to his salary.

He voted for the Import/Export Bank which is acting as a socialist program that re-distributes America’s wealth to other countries, at the cost of the American worker.

He voted to unconstitutionally create a National Science Foundation at the Federal level.

He voted to bail out the Airline Industry, disrupting the free market and making that industry now similar to a government agency (i.e. poor service and a monopoly that creates insurmountable barriers to entry) rather than a private enterprise.

For complete details on voting records please check the websites provided.

I was requested to submit a questionnaire to the Dallas Morning News by December 31, 2015. I look forward to seeing what they actually publish.

I am scheduled to meet with them in person on January 22, 2016. Here are their questions together with my official answers.

Length of Residency in your district:

My family and I have lived in Allen, TX (District 3), for approximately nine years and three months (since October 2006).

Occupation/main source of income:

During college I started an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”), the largest professional services firm in the world, in July 1999. I worked there for approximately 10 years, focusing on real estate, private equity, information systems and international markets. Toward the end of 2009, I left PwC and started my own investment company, which focuses on investments in the healthcare industry (i.e. dental, orthodontic, chiropractic and health and wellness offices - we also started a non-profit organization.) I successfully retired in 2013 and continue to oversee my investments.

While reading my answers to the questions posed by the Dallas Morning News in this survey, you will begin to learn a lot about me. I am absolutely confident you will quickly determine for yourself that I need to be elected to go to Washington as soon as possible. Once you have made that determination I implore you to support me by doing any or all of the following:

1. Watch a 3-minute video about me on our website: www.johnslavensforcongress.com

2. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/johncslavens

3. Join our donor list by donating $5 to the campaign fund to demonstrate your support

4. Click on the “Participate” button on our website at www.johnslavensforcongress.com to host a “Meet and Greet”, request a yard sign or help the committee in other ways.

5. Introduce me to influential people

6. Inspire everyone in your circle of influence to do the same.

Education (include all degrees):

I received a bachelor's and a master's degree in accounting from Brigham Young University ("BYU"), which maintains one of the highest ranked accounting programs in the world. I obtained an undergraduate minor in Portuguese and a graduate minor in Information Systems. Extracurricular activities included learning to play the piano and playing cornerback for BYU's football team, including the year we finished the season ranked #5 in the nation and beat Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl.

Highlights of current civic involvement/accomplishment:

I am NOT a career politician. I've had my career. I've done well with it. I'm proud of it and I am done with it. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of our current federal government is it is almost entirely made up of career politicians. A career politician, to protect his/her career, does whatever it takes to get elected and stay elected, regardless of the long term impact those decisions have on America and its citizens. Almost always the right decision isn't very popular initially; therefore, we need leaders with long-term vision, strength, and courage, who stay true to the principles that made America the greatest country in the history of the world. Adherence to true principles always requires sacrifice, but the witness absolutely comes after the trial of our faith. For example, we do our homework so we can get good grades; we avoid junk food so we can be healthy; we exercise so we can be in better shape; we go to work so we can get a paycheck; we diet so we can lose weight; we work hard so we can achieve our dreams; we keep the commandments so we can be happy. Making the right decision in Congress is no different. We need leaders, not career politicians, who have the strength to withstand enormous pressure, who will do the right thing for America long-term. I have a proven track record of being that person.

Highlights of past civic involvement/accomplishment:

I am NOT a career politician. At the age of 41, my past has involved focus and commitment to family, church, education, business and football. Since my earliest memories I have understood the value of time. Time is our most limited commodity and, therefore, we must use it wisely. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Mathew 6:21. I believe our greatest treasure is our time, so we must "not spend our labor for that which cannot satisfy." I want to serve, not to be served, but the first step to welfare is becoming self-reliant; therefore, I have spent my time focused on becoming self-reliant. My greatest responsibility is that of a good husband and father. Through hard work and discipline, I enjoyed great success in football, education and business, which has tremendously blessed me and my family.

Those priorities helped me to be a better husband and father, but the greatest impact on my life and that of my family has been consistent worship of Jesus Christ. My family and I choose to worship Him by belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our membership in that church has led to a lifetime of service opportunities. I served a two-year mission to Sao Paulo Brazil at the age of 19. I have worked in many capacities with the Boys Scouts of America (I am an Eagle Scout). From my earliest memories up until the current time, I have participated with and served in many auxiliary organizations in our church, working with the youth, the children, adult groups, men's groups, service groups, etc... We have built houses, done yard work, gathered firewood, helped with community programs, unemployment services, food banks and participated in countless other service opportunities. However, the greatest service that has been rendered to me and that I have been able to share with others is getting the gospel of Jesus Christ into the minds and hearts of His children. I have countless hours of teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those hours have changed my life and I believe the lives of many others.

I believe these experiences and others have helped qualify me more than any other candidate for this office. I am self-reliant and ready to serve.

Previous public offices sought or held:

I am NOT a career politician. To further prove I have no intentions of becoming a career politician and my only interest is to serve, I have made the following pledges on my website:

1) I pledge to “Keep God in America” and “Uphold and Defend the US Constitution” as my highest priorities.

2) I pledge accountability for my voting record, my leadership in inspiring other members of Congress and being known throughout the world as a beacon of hope for those who believe in “Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

3) I pledge to NOT accept money from Political Action Committees and/or other special interest groups unless they are:

- Specifically designed to support “Keeping God in America” and/or “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

- Entirely funded by people in our own district or at least from the state of Texas.

*I may have to make a rare exception if during a General election it is necessary to make absolutely certain a Democrat opponent is defeated.

4) I pledge to donate $30 of my own money for every individual who donates at least $5 to our campaign (up to 1,000 people). I also pledge to donate $500 of my own money for every individual who donates the maximum contribution to our campaign (up to 100 people), for a total potential personal investment of $80,000. (Note: this pledge relates to the Republican Primary Election of March 1, 2016.)

5) I pledge to NOT use any money I am paid as a Congressman for personal consumption outside of Congressional related activities. I will use that money, currently $165,000 a year, to fund campaigns and other expenses incurred to get done what needs to get done in Washington. A public record will always be provided on how that money is used. I want there to be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am working in Congress to selflessly serve my country and the American people.

6) I pledge to NOT stay in office longer than 8 years as the Congressional Representative of the Third District of Texas.

7) I pledge to NOT be intimidated. Unfortunately, it seems to me that there are powerful people in Washington who are willing to use the NSA, IRS or whatever means necessary to force people to conform to their desires or resign from office. I make an oath to not be persuaded no matter the personal consequences. We are fully willing to put our reputation and personal assets on the line to accomplish our defined objectives in Washington. Hopefully we are being overly conscientious but the commitment has been made in advance should the occasion ever require.

How much funding have you raised for your campaign?

One of the greatest threats to our Republic form of Democracy is our campaign finance laws. Two foundational principles that set America apart from almost all other countries have been its "Free Market" and the "Voice of the People". The opposite of those principles are Communism and Oligarchy, which means when a country is run by an elite few at the top. Socialism and Crony Capitalism, of which the Democrat and Republican parties are equally guilty of, destroy the “Free Market/Voice of the People” and will ultimately lead to Communism and an Oligarchy.

To garner votes and raise money, politicians often promote some form of socialism, by robbing from a few "haves" and giving that to many "have nots." Politicians also involve themselves in Crony Capitalism by taking money from special interest groups through political donations in exchange for legislatively protecting them against competition. Career politicians in Washington are using Socialism and Crony Capitalism to selfishly promote their careers, which is slowly but surely destroying this country.

Since I am NOT a career politician I have committed to NOT accept any form of socialism and to fight against Crony Capitalism.

For instance, I am running against a 26-year incumbent. According to his latest filing, he has 131 unique donors for a total of $124,000. If this was what we were up against we would easily be able to raise more money than him. However, the difficulty lies in the Political Action Committees (PAC). He will raise and spend between $1-2 million from PACs. There are no rules regarding PACs and typically this money comes from special interest groups and major corporations that are not even located in the district (i.e. insurance and pharmaceutical companies, etc…). Unfortunately, this is making it very difficult for people from each district to elect their own representative. Representatives from districts throughout the United States are chosen by these PACs since they control the money (i.e. more money equals more advertising, which equals more votes). If you ever wonder why Congress does things over and over that the citizens clearly do not want, well now we know why. They don't work for us; they work for the PACs.

As of December 22, 2015, we have raised $40,674 of which $15,699 I have personally contributed. We have 317 unique donors with an average contribution of $78.78.

We have raised and will raise enough money to win. We have hundreds of volunteers who are working tirelessly to win our country back from the elite few who are trying to take it over.

Who are your top three contributors?

We have no major contributors other than myself. As of December 22, 2015, we have raised $40,674 of which $15,699 I have personally contributed. We have 317 unique donors with an average contribution of $78.78.

Something many of us have liked about Donald Trump, is that he is not influenced by money. I am also refusing to be persuaded by money. When people invest big money they not only expect but demand something in return. Therefore, I have made the following pledges with regards to money:

1) I pledge to NOT accept money from Political Action Committees and/or other special interest groups unless they are:

- Specifically designed to support Keeping God in America and/or Defending the US Constitution.

- Entirely funded by people in our own district or at least from the state of Texas.

*I may have to make a rare exception if during a General election it is necessary to make absolutely certain a Democrat opponent is defeated.

2) I pledge to donate $30 of my own money for every individual who donates at least $5 to our campaign (up to 1,000 people). I also pledge to donate $500 of my own money for every individual who donates the maximum contribution to our campaign (up to 100 people), for a total potential personal investment of $80,000. (Note: this pledge relates to the Republican Primary Election of March 1, 2016.)

3) I pledge to NOT use any money I am paid as a Congressman for personal consumption outside of Congressional related activities. I will use that money, currently $165,000 a year, to fund campaigns and other expenses incurred to get done what needs to get done in Washington. A public record will always be provided on how that money is used. I want there to be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am working in Congress to selflessly serve my country and the American people.

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings?

No

Have you ever been involved in any civil lawsuits or declared personal or professional bankruptcy?

No

What is an example of how you led a team or group toward achieving an important goal?

I've had the great opportunity of being on a state football championship team, a state basketball championship team and on a Division I college football team that finished the season ranked #5 in the nation. The great commonality of all of those championship teams was that the players played for each other rather than for themselves.

During my time at PwC, I consistently led teams that enjoyed profitable engagements while receiving highly positive feedback from our clients.

I have started, owned, sold and operated many successful businesses with very little employee turnover.

I have been involved in many different church/community leadership groups where we were able to accomplish many great and wonderful things too personal to share here.

What political leader do you most admire and why?

Jesus Christ. Because he ALWAYS did what was right regardless of the personal consequences and/or outside pressures.

Why are you running for this office?

Perhaps the first question that should come into every voter’s mind is why is this person running for office? What are the motives? What are the incentives?

I am running for office because I truly love this country and the Americans who make it great. I always have and I always will. I love the principles and philosophies this country was founded upon and for which it should still stand. I am an American, true blue, through and through. I believe most of our political leaders are moving us in the wrong direction and I want to try and do my part to bring us back to the principles and philosophies that made this country great.

I share the sentiments of a great leader, “I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for the honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country.”

I was born and raised in a small town of approximately 3,000 people. When I feel I have done all I can to contribute to the larger society, I want to return home and disappear into the beautiful mountains that surround that small town.

I am running as an outsider who is not shaped by the established, entrenched political connections, nor am I controlled by any special interest groups.

I am young, energetic and innovative. We need fresh vision and know-how, not politics as usual.

My diverse background in both domestic and international business equips me to navigate the dynamic corporate environment.

I am running as a practical problem solver. Experience in leadership, accounting and business have ingrained in me hard work and efficiency, qualities which government badly needs.

I am running for office because I enjoy being around people; I enjoy the political and civic process; I have no personal interest at stake; I want to make a difference and contribute. I love to work hard.

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

I am running against Congressman Sam Johnson who has been in office for 26 years. Many people have asked about Congressman Sam Johnson’s voting record. Here is my answer:

As a Republican Congressional Candidate for District #3 of Texas I was required to read the Texas Republican Party Platform and publicly declare to what level I agree or disagree with the particulars of that document.

I was impressed with the platform and was able (as are most Republican candidates) to state that I substantially agree with the platform. The reason I was able to do that is the platform is substantially in line with my top two priorities, which are “Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

Those priorities are supported by most Republican candidates, but the difficulty is in finding candidates who will truly ACT in accordance with those beliefs. It is not enough to believe. We must act! I recognize it is by Grace we are saved but the Lord also said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” And James challenges us by saying, “Shew me thy faith without thy works and I will shew thee my faith by my works. . .because faith, if it hath not works, is dead. . .”. We must hold our elected officials accountable, not just to their beliefs, but more importantly to their actions - even if we love them. In fact, especially if we love them!

I love Congressman Sam Johnson. I am grateful to him. He will have served, at the completion of this term, for 26 years as our Congressman. Before that, he was a state representative here in Texas and before that he served honorably in our military. He is a war hero. Tom Brokaw coined the term, “The Greatest Generation” referring to Congressman Johnson’s generation, including the brave people who sacrificed so much in WWII. It is true. They are the greatest generation. Much of the greatness we have in America today we owe to their generation. There is perhaps no better example of that generation than Sam Johnson, who, though he missed serving in WWII by just a few years, served faithfully in Vietnam and Korea. I am thankful we named a highway after him here in Texas. He deserves it. He will be forever loved and appreciated.

Having said that, it is time. It is time for the next generation to step forward and carry the torch that has been carried for so long. The time is now.

An elected legislator demonstrates his true priorities and sincerity by the way he votes and by the way he leads others to vote, which demonstrates leadership. District 3 (which is for the most part Collin County) is one of the “reddest” districts in the United States. Our Congressman has to be a strong leader who is known throughout the world as a champion of Republican Texas Values as outlined in the platform and more importantly as defined in the US Constitution. An elected official who has been in office for 26 years should be known throughout the world in that regard. That is the kind of leadership we must have from such a powerful district as ours. Unfortunately, once you get outside of our district and certainly outside of Texas, our great Congressman is not known. It is not enough to go to Washington, vote right, and come home. We must also influence other members of Congress to vote right. We must be a leader!

To lead others to vote right, you must have a solid voting record yourself. The savior said, “…first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Mathew 7:5)

For whatever reason (i.e. going along to get along, pressured by the funding needed to stay elected) many of our Congressmen from Texas, including our district (Sam Johnson), the district south of us (Pete Sessions) and the district north of us (Ralph Hall-recently replaced by John Ratcliffe) have NOT always voted according to the principles we espouse. The Heritage Action and Freedom Index score cards are two great places to monitor the voting records of our elected officials and their support for the Republican Platform of Texas, which substantially matches my beliefs as it is for the most part focused on “Keeping God in this Country” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.” The average of these two score cards for the 113th Congress, which is the most recent cycle completed, scores our representatives as follows: Sam Johnson (68%), Pete Sessions (62%) and Ralph Hall (68%). The lowest ranking Republican from Texas was 56% and the highest was Steve Stockman (94%). One of my favorite people, Louie Gohmert scored 90%. Where I went to school anything below 70% was a “Failing” grade.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the reasons, according to their websites, that these two score cards ranked Sam Johnson so low:

- He voted for Trade Promotion Authority (“TPA”): This gives the President the unconstitutional authority to negotiate and finalize trade deals, which is a responsibility constitutionally held by Congress. It is my understanding this opened the door for the President to negotiate the IRAN deal that many of us oppose.

- He has consistently voted for Trade Agreements that disadvantage American companies and force them to conform to International Regulations.

- He has consistently voted to give the President the power to finalize trade agreements. Constitutionally that power should remain with Congress.

- Repeal Obamacare: He was a “No Vote” which means he didn’t vote.

- Prohibit Taxpayer Funded Abortions: He was a “No Vote”.

- Prohibit Abortions on Military bases since it would use taxpayer funding (i.e. facilities and doctors): He was a “No Vote”.

- Limiting the improper and damaging regulations instituted by the EPA: He was a “No Vote”.

- Border Control: He was a “No Vote” for putting up 700 miles of fence along our southern border

- Facilitate Off-shore drilling: He was a “No Vote”.

- He voted against defunding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are socialist programs that led to the economic collapse of 2008 as warned in the 2005 bill that he voted against.

- He voted for School Readiness and other similar votes, which give the Federal Government the unconstitutional authority over education, which has now led to Common Core.

- He voted for National ID Cards, which decreases states’ rights.

- He has consistently voted for subsidies, food stamps and other corporate welfare programs, which are socialist programs that destroy the free market.

- He has repeatedly voted against the 4th amendment to the US Constitution by allowing government agencies to perform warrantless searches and seizures of citizens’ private information.

- He has repeatedly voted to increase government spending.

- He has repeatedly voted to increase the federal debt limit.

- He has repeatedly voted to unconstitutionally increase the power of the federal government over the states.

- He has consistently voted for funding unconstitutional federal programs such as Education, Health Care (which funds Planned Parenthood) and Social Welfare.

- He voted to allow the World Trade Organization to remove labeling in the United States, so that we no longer know from which country our food is coming from.

- He voted to unconstitutionally strengthen the relationship of the United States with the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. And he voted against defunding our relationship with those entities.

- He voted for annual increases to his salary.

- He voted for the Import/Export Bank which is acting as a socialist program that re-distributes America’s wealth to other countries, at the cost of the American worker.

- He voted to unconstitutionally create a National Science Foundation at the Federal level.

- He voted to bail out the Airline Industry, disrupting the free market and making that industry now similar to a government agency (i.e. poor service and a monopoly that creates insurmountable barriers to entry) rather than a private enterprise.

For complete details on voting records please check the websites provided.

Who do you favor in your party’s presidential primary and why?

The United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world for two reasons, both of which we clearly recognize as we pledge allegiance to our flag.

1) Under God. Americans, regardless of their religious beliefs, need to recognize the distinct attempt to remove God from this country. Please listen to this voice of warning: Removing God from this country will result in catastrophic consequences, some of which we are already experiencing, and will be devastating for all Americans, even those who choose not to believe in God.

2) To the Republic. The distinguishing factor of the great government of the United States of America, of which all other respectable countries in this world have modeled their governments, is the fact that America was established as a Republic. The only thing that makes this country a Republic is the US Constitution. If we lose the US Constitution, because we allow our elected officials to no longer follow it, then we automatically lose the Republic. If we lose the Republic, then we lose America. It is that simple.

That is why Constitutional Implementation is one of my three major areas of focus. Two main things that the constitution does for us is:

Maintains the balance of power between the three branches of government (i.e. Legislative, Executive and Judicial)

We must force the President and the US Supreme court to stay within their Constitutionally defined responsibilities or be removed from office.

The limitation of the federal government by those things that are specifically identified in Article I, Section 8.

We need to pass a bill in Congress that requires a "Constitutional Test" before any matter can be discussed on the floor of the house or senate. Article I, Section 8, further emphasized by Amendment #10, of the US Constitution clearly defines what the Federal Government can do. Anything outside of that scope is unconstitutional. Since things like marriage, abortion, healthcare, education, land management, welfare, etc. are not specifically mentioned in the US Constitution, those things should be left to the states to decide. If the Federal Government wants to take on further responsibility from that which is already defined, it has to pass an Amendment to the US Constitution. See "Save the Constitution" under "Priority Issues" on my website for further details. www.johnslavensforcongress.com.

If losing America isn’t tragic enough, imagine this world without America and what it has stood for over the many years.

There is absolutely no Democrat running for President who even remotely respects the two criteria mentioned above. Of the Republican Candidates, there are only seven, although all are closer than any current Democrat, who have demonstrated a strong belief in both of the required criteria. No candidate matches me exactly, but we must find the best of those that are running. They are, in alphabetical order, as follows:

Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal (unfortunately dropped out), Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker (unfortunately dropped out). We should elect one of those individuals to place their hand on the Bible and swear to God to uphold and defend the US Constitution.

There are also many qualities of Carly Fiorina’s and Rand Paul’s that I admire. Many things that Donald Trump is saying and doing I think are actually good for the political process. I like that he is not a career politician. I like that he doesn't back down to the media and the political elite who are trying to take over the country. I like that he is a businessman who understands what it takes to be successful. I like that he stands up for what he believes and says it like it is. However, personally, I will not be able to vote for him in the Republican primary but I will strongly support the Republican Nominee, whoever that may be, in the general election.

How would you shape the U.S. fight against the Islamic State? Please specify under what conditions, if any, you would be willing to re-commit large numbers of American ground troops in the Middle East.

The media and the current administration has consistently misled us and on many occasions flat out lied to us. Therefore, they have proven to be untrustworthy. Also, as a candidate, I am not privy to important classified information. I cannot and will not make a final decision on any matter until I have all of the facts from sources that have proven trustworthy. I can, however, tell you some very important principles, in no particular order:

1) We need to have the strongest military in the world and then add to it every year. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" is the correct approach. To have the strongest military in the world, we have to have the strongest economy in the world. We must focus on the economy by lowering our regulations and lowering our taxes.

2) The best way to fight wars is by controlling the money supply. The best way to do that is to produce our own energy so foreign oil is no longer as valuable. We must also stop providing weapons to anyone in the Middle East. If we feel we absolutely must arm a certain group than we need to make sure we get that weaponry back when the job is done.

3) Border security is national security. Our border must be 100% secure from land, sea and air. We need to use military and private sector technology to perfectly secure our borders in the most cost effective manner possible and we need to do it immediately. This relates to both legal and illegal immigration.

4) The first step to welfare is self-reliance. Right now America is not self-reliant. Our mounting debt and poor economy have left us vulnerable to collapse. We cannot help anyone else until we are more stable. Until then, absolutely no resources should be used unless it directly benefits the interests of the United States of America and its citizens.

5) We must continue our covert monitoring operations in the Middle East and throughout the world. When we identify a real and absolute threat we must act on it. We get in, destroy what needs destroyed and then get immediately out.

6) The worst form of government is no government, which we call Anarchy. To avoid Anarchy, we must have government. We should always keep this in mind before making a decision to help remove a Dictator.

7) If we are attacked in any way, including a cyber-attack, we must hunt down those responsible and make sure they are rewarded 10 fold. Not because we are unforgiving by nature, but to make sure all those watching know that if you do something to the United States you will immediately feel the power of our military 10 times what was caused. This will deter future attacks.

8) The most valuable component of any business, and certainly our military, is the people. We must make sure and take really good care of those people serving and those who have served in our military. They are the backbone of this country.

9) Our only true ally in the Middle East is Israel. We must stand strongly with Israel.

10) According to the US Constitution, war must be declared by Congress. The President does not have the authority to declare war. His only authority is to execute the laws, rules and regulations made by Congress and that includes our rules of engagement.

Please assess the Obama administration’s decision to end the National Security Agency’s program that collected phone-calling records of all Americans. Does the government have the data-collection tools it needs to combat threats from terrorists?

I believe the US Constitution is inspired of God. It is also the law of the land. We must strictly follow it. No one is above the law. Certainly not Congress and certainly not the President.

The fourth amendment clearly states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

If we want to change that amendment than we have to make another amendment to the US Constitution. That is how it works. That is the law of the land. There is no way around that unless you want to break the law.

We should be extremely careful when giving our rights and liberties away in the name of protection. What is it that we are actually protecting if it isn’t our rights and our liberties?

Before any law enforcement officer is granted the right to infringe on our rights and/or liberties, including the right to privacy, there should be a thorough and trustworthy process of obtaining the appropriate warrants for such activity and they should be provided only on the basis of reasonable cause that illegal activity is occurring.

Again, it appears there is some classified information relating to this issue to which I am not privy. I need all the facts before I can make a final conclusion. Having said that, my oath (sworn to God) is to uphold and defend the US Constitution, which includes amendment #4. I will not go against that under any circumstance.

Please assess the nation’s refugee resettlement policies. Has the U.S. been accepting a reasonable number of people from the right places and for the right reasons?

The media and the current administration has consistently misled us and on many occasions flat out lied to us. Therefore, they have proven to be untrustworthy. Also, as a candidate I am not privy to important classified information. I cannot and will not make a final decision on any matter until I have all of the facts from sources that have proven trustworthy. I can, however, tell you some very important principles, in no particular order:

1) I have never met anyone who didn't believe in helping someone they determined to be significantly less fortunate than themselves. I'm guessing those severely selfish Americans are out there but I'm positive they are few and far between and will be both Republicans and Democrats.

2) How we choose to help is the variance and something I have struggled with myself throughout my life. What is the best way to help? Here is what I have determined:

a) It is not fair, safe or the will of God to bring danger into my home and put my wife and son at risk either physically or spiritually. I have to find ways to help that do not present that danger to my family.

b) The first step to welfare is self-reliance. To really help I have to become self-reliant. That help is two-fold. First, it helps the community since now they do not have to help me. Second, it significantly increases my chances of now not only taking care of my own needs but to also help take care of others.

c) Help must come out of free will and choice. Forcing people to help is counterproductive to a happy society.

So what does that all have to do with the Syrian Refugees?

- America is not self-reliant. In order to help anyone, we must first become self-reliant. Because of our declining moral values, high debt, low-performing economy, declining investment in our military we are at risk of losing the dollar, which will result in the crumbling of America as we know it. Unfortunately, America is not in a position to help.

- Individual citizens are in a position to help and should by donating money to both domestic and international issues like helping refugees find safe homes in or near their own countries. That way people are helping because they want to help not because they are being forced to help.

- Bringing in un-vetted immigrants (i.e. refugees) puts the citizens of this country in both physical and spiritual danger. If we are going to bring in immigrants, we must ensure they can easily assimilate to the American way of life. To do that they must be a) Hard-working (i.e. committed to self-reliance) b) Law-abiding (i.e. must denounce Sharia Law since it conflicts with the US Constitution, which is the law of the land of this country) c) God fearing. The religious allocation of the United States should not be altered by the influx of immigrants. For example, if 71% of this country identifies as Christian, then at least 71% of the immigrants we bring in should also be Christians. We should not bring them in until they have a self-sustaining job (or a qualified sponsor that can guarantee their financial support) and that job should cost the employer more money than it would cost to hire a current citizen to absolutely ensure we are not putting current US Citizens out of work.

Americans have a proven record of being the most generous group of individuals in the world. That is something both Republicans and Democrats have in common. The debate is how to best use that charitable desire. When Americans have millions of current US citizens that also need our help and billions others throughout the world we have to be smart in how we use our resources to ensure we are actually making a difference.

For instance, recently I attended an event where the presenters showed us pictures and videos of small children in foreign countries abandoned and starving to death. It was heart wrenching. I was highly motivated to help. However, as a family policy we have committed to vetting an organization before donating. As I researched the organization I was disappointed to find out that a very small percentage of the donated money actually went to the children while the majority of the money went to administrative expenses and salaries of the people that were presenting. Obviously at that point I did not donate.

With billions of people needing our help we need to be smart and strategic with our resources. Having said that if you are willing to personally guarantee the financial support for a Syrian family and personally guarantee the safety of all other Americans, I will work directly with Washington for you to adopt one of these families in need after you have passed a background check and credit check so we know we can trust your personal guarantee. That kind of program would make me much more comfortable as long as it didn't change the religious allocation of America. That type of program will prevent the hypocrisy of that person that wants to help but wants to use other people's money and the safety of other people to provide the help rather than that person's own safety and resources. The Savior himself referred to that type of person when he said, "This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief." (John 12:6).

How should the next Congress address illegal immigration? Please be specific about the millions of people in this country illegally.

One of my three major areas of focus is Border Control. We have to do the following as soon as possible:

1) Secure the border by land, sea and air. Whatever it takes, whatever the cost. Border security is national security. The drugs, sex/human trafficking, terrorist threats and other terrible things happening at our borders must stop immediately. There is also an illegal immigrant cost that is draining our economy. It costs the state of Texas alone approximately $13 billion annually. We must use both the military and private enterprise to secure the border in the best most economical way possible by using advanced technology.

2) We must deport all illegal immigrants that have a criminal record and now that our border is 100% secure they will not come back.

3) We must shut off the benefits for ALL non-US Citizens immediately (i.e. welfare, jobs, etc.)

4) We must fix our legal immigration process to ensure it is:

a. Less expensive

b. Less time consuming

c. Does not change the religious make up of America

d. People that are brought in can easily assimilate to the American dream of being law abiding, hardworking and God fearing citizens.

e. Does not take jobs away from current US Citizens (i.e. it must cost companies more to bring in non-us citizens than it does to hire current US Citizens)

f. If we allow people in temporarily we must track to make sure they leave at the end of their approved stay.

Several presidential candidates have been calling for overhaul of the federal tax code. Which one most mirrors your own thinking? Please describe the elements of tax reform that would gain your support.

One of my three major areas of focus is Tax Reform. If you want to change anything in this world you have to change the money.

1) We have to get the federal government to stop taking money from the citizens of each state of which it has no constitutional authority (i.e. health-care, education, land management, welfare, etc.). Small and local governments will prevent waste while giving ALL Americans the maximum amount of freedom possible. Constitutionally, the states should raise and spend money on these items.

2) We have to simplify the tax code to make it so easy my four-year-old can file my tax return making it a level playing field for all Americans.

3) It should be the same rate for ALL Americans. A progressive tax rate is based on socialist principles, which I oppose.

4) We have to fight to get the federal budget as low as possible and then we have to collect enough taxes to balance the budget. Trickle-down economics does work. Lower taxes and less regulation leads to increased earned income and, therefore, increases the total money collected through taxes.

5) We need 100% congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve to prevent "taxation without representation". Right now, the Federal Reserve prints money whenever it wants without the approval of Congress, which is unconstitutional and creates a hidden tax to the American people since it deflates the value of our hard earned money.

Two major threats to the strength of this country are Socialism and Crony Capitalism. Both lead to an Oligarchy (i.e. ruled by an elite few) and Communism. Tax Reform as defined above provides the best course of action to prevent that decline.

What is your assessment of the growing income disparity among American wage-earners? What action should Congress take, if any?

The two things that cause UNFAIR income disparity are Socialism and Crony Capitalism. Those things eliminate the middle class, create a few elites at the top while everyone else suffers from unavoidable poverty. Therefore, we must avoid and work to eliminate any and all socialist policies. We also have to avoid and eliminate Crony Capitalism. I believe America was founded on seven key principles, founded on Keeping God in America and Upholding and Defending the US Constitution, that if strictly followed will do just that. They are:

1) A Free Market

The economy is always better in the long term when we allow it to work freely. Since government intervention can sometimes provide short-term results, many people are tricked into thinking it works; however, we always learn in the long run the consequences of such interventions.

Perhaps the only thing government should be concerned with in a truly free market, is preventing people from cheating the market through monopolies.

Government historically seems to be the most reckless player in the economic game. Instead of actually breaking down monopolies, it has helped to create them.

2) Small and Local Governments

The worst form of government is no government, which we call anarchy. To avoid anarchy, we must have government.

History has proven to us time and time again that once people obtain power they will slowly start to use it inappropriately. One of the best ways to prevent the inappropriate use of power is to keep the concentration of power in local government.

In a Republic, for which we stand, the government is run by the people for the people. The people; therefore, should give the power of government to the individual states. The people of each state will be most satisfied with their government if they elect government officials that in turn give as much power as possible to the various counties and cities of their state.

Keeping elected officials as close as possible to the people who have elected them will help most citizens maintain a higher level of satisfaction with the government they have elected.

We must do all we can to keep government as small and as local as possible.

3) States Rights and a Limited Federal Government

In great wisdom, the founding fathers of the United States of America carefully created a nation divided up by states. It certainly would have been easier and less expensive to create one nation, one state and one government.

However, even from the very beginning these great individuals realized that with many people come many differing opinions and a nation united by states would give more people flexibility to live in accordance with the dictates of their own conscience.

Our nation was created in a way that allowed the states to have their own opinions, their own regulations, their own laws and, therefore, their own government.

Our forefathers also recognized that as these states became united and worked together as one, it would give them great power, authority, influence and protection throughout the nation and entire world.

Therefore, it became necessary to create a federal government that worked on behalf of the states. The only reason we need a federal government is to do things the states have determined they cannot do effectively by themselves.

These include: border control, inter-state commerce and travel, regulate a common currency, military, space exploration and international trade (Note: see Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution for a complete list).

The people throughout the states vote to determine how they want the federal government to handle these things on behalf of their state. In short, the federal government works on behalf of the states. The states DO NOT work on behalf of the federal government.

4) A Proper System of Checks and Balances

“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” It is for this very reason that our forefathers were inspired to create an outstanding system of checks and balances that prevents any one person, and even any one group, from gaining too much power.

The Legislative Branch (Note: see Article I of the US Constitution), made up of the House and the Senate (i.e. Congress), should do nothing more than create the laws.

The Executive Branch (Note: see Article II of the US Constitution), led by the President of the United States, should do nothing more than enforce the laws that have been created by Congress.

The Judicial Branch (Note: see Article III of the US Constitution), made up of the different levels and categories of judges, should do nothing more than judge the proper execution of the laws that have been created by Congress.

Any crossing of these clear lines is unconstitutional and should be completely avoided for obvious reasons.

5) A Balanced and Approved Budget

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home where living within a budget, avoiding debt and saving for a time of need were critical and key elements in our family’s financial plan. I continue to believe this is outstanding counsel not only for individuals and families but even more for governments and other organizations. I am pleased to disclose, that both my family and all business of which I have any ownership in, are entirely debt free.

Our current federal government operates completely opposite of this sound advice. It has refused to balance a budget, racked up an enormous amount of debt and has saved nothing for a time of need. If we do not remedy the situation as soon as possible there will be catastrophic consequences in the not too distant future.

No one likes to pay taxes; however, most people recognize taxes are necessary if we are going to live in a society held together by our government. Having said that, taxes should be paid to and spent by the most local form of government possible in order to increase accountability, prevent waste and eliminate the inappropriate use of government funds.

It is outrageous that our government consistently spends more than it makes despite the excessive amounts and variety of taxes it demands from its citizens. We are currently taxed through federal income taxes, payroll taxes, state and local income taxes, sales and use taxes, property taxes, gross receipt taxes, regulatory taxes and even tolls.

When hard working Americans are forced to give up more and more of their earned income through the payment of taxes, the incentive to work hard, take risks, be innovative and to succeed decreases, ultimately destroying everything this country was built upon.

6) Religious Freedom - there are four parts to this (a-d)

a. A moral compass we can agree on

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout my life I have always referred to those inalienable rights as “free agency.” I have been raised to believe, like most people, that all people should be afforded the privilege to “worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.” In America, we call that Religious Freedom and our country was established on that principle.

There also comes a point when one person’s religious freedoms may take away from another person’s inalienable rights which also cannot be tolerated. For example, if a religious group started sacrificing their children in accordance with their professed religious beliefs, we as a society should be unwilling to tolerate that behavior regardless of anyone’s religious beliefs.

Therefore, the challenge that a healthy society must face is the fact that a line must be drawn that provides the appropriate balance between religious freedom and the protection of our inalienable rights. So who gets to draw that line and how is the line drawn? The answer to those questions in my opinion is the true meaning of religious freedom.

Public policies should be created by the voice of the people either by direct vote or by electing representatives they trust in accordance with their desires. Therefore, people not only have the right but the obligation to vote in accordance with their conscience as well as do all they can to influence other people to vote in a way consistent with their beliefs.

In that manner the line will be drawn in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people of that society.

States’ Rights allow different groups of Americans to draw different lines in accordance with the conscience of their individual states.

“It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Government of these States to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be preserved; and, on the present occasion, this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.” – Letter of Transmittal to the President of Congress on September 17th, 1787.

b. A strong national defense

Everyone recognizes there is both good and evil in the world we live in. By sad experience we have learned that certain people are entirely persuaded by evil and cannot be reasoned with. Therefore, force is the only means we have to protect ourselves against these individuals. That is the reason domestically we have police officers, prisons and jails. That is also the reason, internationally we must have a strong military.

I agree with Theodore Roosevelt quoting an old African proverb that we should “speak softly and carry a big stick.”

We must do everything in our power to keep the “war on terror” outside of the United States by fighting them in their territory.

Having a safe and secure border is a major part of a strong national defense.

Strong and capable countries have a moral obligation to help defenseless people against the evils of the world. The first step towards helping other people is being self-reliant. Right now the United States is not self-reliant; therefore, we must focus on that as our primary goal. How can we help other people if we cannot even help ourselves?

c. Caring for the poor in the right way

I believe you can measure the character of a country by the way its citizens take care of its poor, disabled and elderly. However, it is imperative that charity work be fulfilled by choice and not by force. Americans since the foundation of our country have been known both domestically and throughout the world for their enormous charitable nature.

In America, we have all kinds of voluntary groups that keep relationships together and build social trust. These groups include: churches, associations, clubs, charities, non-profits, shelters, youth organizations, recreational and developmental efforts. Society is most healthy when such groups are active in helping those in need. These groups and associations should do the heavy lifting in society by individual choice rather than by the force of the government.

Unfortunately, more and more of our political leaders seem to be entirely focused on crushing that good will by requiring Americans to give up their hard earned income by forcing socialist policies.

The forceful taking of more and more income from many individuals tends to eliminate the motivation of the worker to generate such income. Government has proven repeatedly it is ineffective compared to charitable organizations in taking care of those that are unable to take care of themselves and teaching and helping people become self-reliant.

World history has proven time and time again that socialist and communist policies do not work. They ultimately lead to the poverty of all people except the few at the very top.

Ironically, those politicians that seem focused on the forceful taking of other people’s money in the name of caring for the poor, disabled and elderly are consistently the same politicians that refuse to donate their own money to those same causes. Referring to this type of person, the Bible records Jesus Christ saying, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief…” Their true political motivations seem to be for their own personal gain, power and glory regardless of the known consequences it has on the country we love. If we want proof, all we have to do is look at their personal tax returns and calculate the percentage of their own taxable income they donate to charity. They are determined to give other people’s money away and hold themselves up for all the glory, while at the same time refuse to donate their own money.

d. Religious Diversity

Rather than focus on our differences we need to focus on what we have in common. Almost all religions, even those organized as Atheists, should share common basic values. The only thing I would ever ask of any other person is that they live what they believe. If all Americans, regardless of their religious affiliation, spent the time to determine what it is they believe and then fully committed to live in accordance with those beliefs, it would not only give us the power to change the United States but the entire world for the better.

7) The Family as the Fundamental Unit of Society

The fundamental unit of any society is the family. Governments should be created by the people, for the people in order to provide support to the individual families of that society. The government has been created to support the family unit. The family unit has not been created to support the government.

My personal belief is “marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” However, I fully recognize that the legal definition of “the family” should be determined by the voice of the people. Appropriate States’ rights would allow different states to have different legal definitions in that regard.

Should the minimum wage be raised? If so, to what level?

Anything that disrupts the free market may bring short term gratification but will certainly bring long-term pain and misery for almost everyone. Establishing a minimum wage above what the market will naturally bear is disrupting the free market and simply doesn’t work long-term.

All of us agree the minimum wage being paid to Americans is too low.

The only way to truly fix that is to make the US economy prosper such that the minimum wage naturally increases to a level we all feel comfortable with especially to our poorest citizens looking for a way to be self-reliant and/or further increase their earning power through patience, hard work and determination.

The Social Security fund that pays most retiree benefits will be insolvent within a generation. What steps should Congress take to keep it in the black? Please be specific about who would be affected and how soon.

We need to be extremely careful when we make the decision to force people to save through the force of government. However, personally, I think I am reluctantly comfortable with social security as there are social costs of people not saving for retirement. I would rather social security be handled by the states as I'm not convinced the federal government has the constitutional authority to collect taxes with regards to social security. We should all clearly accept the fact now that social security should be privatized as government cannot be trusted. It should work more like a 401k of which the individual has much more control over the investment decisions. That 401k would follow the individual as he/she moves from state to state. Had we done it right to begin with we would NOT have the problems we have today with social security. Now that we have the problem, we need to deal with it quickly and immediately. We cannot take that money away from the older generation (i.e. 55 and older) that has rightfully earned that money and is counting on it.

What is your view on the science of man-made climate change? Do you support congressional action to reduce the output of greenhouse gases? If so, what steps do you favor?

I believe God created the Heavens and the Earth and gave us dominion over all things. There is more than an abundance of resources to satisfy all of our needs. We do have an obligation to use those resources with a thankfulness of heart and as wise stewards.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has created so many regulations that we are prevented from using the resources that have been created for our use and does little to actually protect the environment.

The EPA is out of control and needs to be completely overhauled with entirely new leadership, structure and purpose. All laws and regulations relating to the EPA should be made by Congress and no one else. The president only has the right to execute the laws created by Congress.

As a matter of national security and economic freedom, the United States needs to do all it can to become energy independent by producing its own oil, coal, uranium and other natural resources of which we have an abundant supply.

We need to allow our US companies to properly compete in a free market with countries that do not have our excessive regulations, high taxes and minimum wages.

We should also be smart and wise as we develop new, environment friendly sources of energy.

Right now the United States is one of the most environment friendly countries in the world. By increasing the environment regulations on the United States it actually has a negative impact on the world's environment. Regulations dramatically increase the cost of production. As the cost of production increases in the United States, business owners start producing it in countries with less restrictions thereby moving to the country with the lowest restrictions, which means lowest cost. By increasing the regulations in the United States you are forcing more production in countries that have absolutely no regard for the environment. The United States is NOT the bottle neck with regards to the protection of the world's environment. The best thing we can do for the world's environment is make sure more is produced here than in other countries.

What action should Congress take in response to mass killings involving firearms?

My highest priorities are "Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution". We are witnessing a systematic approach to remove God from our country. I will do everything I can to fight against that movement. If we want to end violence, mass shootings, discrimination, bullying, hatred, racism, etc. we must inspire Americans to believe in something bigger than themselves. You cannot make enough laws to force people to be nice to each other. That is why our founding fathers included “God” in everything they did. That is why God is included on our currency and in our pledge of allegiance.

The concept of “God” has a different meaning for every person and that is absolutely ok. The 1913 version of Webster’s Dictionary defined God as “Good.” You do not have to be Christian to be American and you can even be Atheist. Uniquely American is our respect for all beliefs. However, every American should believe in Good over Evil - Being kind over being mean - Love over hate. Our Founding Fathers knew that. I know that and you know that. We must keep God in America. It is the single most important factor of our greatness.

I believe strongly in the 2nd Amendment, which is the right to bear arms. Whether you like it or not, neither the Federal government nor any state has the constitutional right to restrict people from owning firearms.

Additionally, I can't believe I even have to make this clear, but neither the United Nations, nor any entity outside of the United States, deserves any influence over our laws or regulations. We are a sovereign nation! We are the United States of America!

Each state should work closely with the voice of its citizens and the voice of its police force to develop policies regarding people with mental disabilities and criminal backgrounds and the possession of firearms.

We need to keep in mind that criminals, by definition, do not obey the laws. We have enough laws on the books to punish the criminals for inappropriate behaviors regarding firearms. More laws will only punish the law abiding citizens for no reason and further empower the criminals as you disarm the law abiding citizens.

I support Texas’ open carry laws. If you want to further deter the criminals, arm the law abiding citizens.

Should marijuana be taken off the government’s list of dangerous Schedule I narcotics as one way to re-focus the federal “war on drugs”?

Since the US Constitution is silent on which drugs should be illegal, that decision should be left up to the states. If Americans want marijuana to be legal or illegal in every state, then we would need an amendment to the US Constitution, similar to the former Prohibition of Alcohol. I would vote against a proposed constitutional amendment that would force ALL states to legalize marijuana.

As mentioned previously, the Federal government is constitutionally responsible to secure our border 100% by land, sea and air. Nothing should come into the United States that is not approved, including marijuana.

The Federal government should continue to help protect states with the fight against drugs they determine to be illegal in accordance with the "Interstate Commerce Clause" of the US Constitution.

Assess the impact of the Affordable Care Act. Should Congress keep it, reform it or scrap it? If you advocate scrapping it, what would you replace it with?

Like the majority of Americans, I believe the Affordable Care Act should be repealed.

One of the measures of a great country is demonstrated in the way its people take care of their sick and afflicted. Yet, it is utterly imperative that we do not take away an individual’s motivation to be self-reliant with regards to their own health by removing consequences of their own decisions.

A person should be rewarded for discipline and hard work in all aspects of life, including health care.

Several areas of concern in our current health care environment include:

1) States Rights - Since healthcare is not specifically enumerated in the current US Constitution, the Federal government has no authority to be involved in our country’s health care system. Tax collecting and spending regarding healthcare and the associated regulations must be left up to the individual states in accordance with the US Constitution.

2) Socialized medicine – this current model that says all Americans deserve the best healthcare in the world regardless of the decisions they have made to obtain those services, will continue to negatively impact the healthcare industry in this country.

3) Open Door Policy for our Emergency Rooms – right now everyone knows that if they can’t afford healthcare then they just go to the emergency room where they cannot be turned away when they have absolutely no intention of ever paying those medical bills.

4) Tort Reform – frivolous lawsuits are making health care more and more expensive. With any healthcare procedure there is a certain amount of risk people need to accept or avoid doing the procedure. Like any other industry, the patient should be able to choose who they consider to be the best doctor. Poor performing doctors will be naturally avoided and licenses even revoked by the medical industry.

5) Insurance and Pharmaceutical Drug Companies – these industries have gained too much of a powerful influence over the healthcare industry of our country. Measures need to be taken to break down their monopolies. Even the FDA needs to be overhauled as it has been overly influenced by these powerful industries in a way that is not in the American people’s best interest.

What is your position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration and awaiting congressional approval?

Constitutionally, Congress is the only branch of government that has the right to finalize trade agreements. This right should not be fast-tracked to the Executive branch and technically I don't believe legally can be transferred without making an amendment to the US Constitution. Therefore, my biggest problem is with the Trade Promotion Authority ("TPA"). I am very much against that and believe that it is unconstitutional.

Also, in accordance with the US Constitution, Treaty's must be ratified by the US Senate. The TPA, therefore, opened an unconstitutional door for President Obama to negotiate and finalize the "Iran Deal" as a trade agreement rather than a treaty, which I believe is one of the worst deals in American history. I am thoroughly frustrated with Congressman Sam Johnson for voting "yes" on TPA.

I personally do not believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership ("TPP") free-trade agreement is in the best interests of the American people. I believe in a "Free Market" within the United States but we should not be sharing our wealth with the rest of the world through World Socialism and/or World Crony Capitalism. One thing Donald Trump is getting right is we have to start winning on our Trade Agreements with other countries and right now we are not winning. The TPP is a losing agreement for the vast majority of Americans at a time when our economy needs to win more than ever.

Collin County conservative republicans
Candidate Questionnaire (Federal)
Applicant Information
Name: John Slavens Phone: 972-313-5394
Street Address: 2005 Alyssa Court City St Zip: Allen, TX 75013
Phone: 214-856-0203 E-mail Address: jslavens002@yahoo.com Website: www.johnslavensforcongress.com
US House of Representatives – District 3
Are you a citizen of the United States? Yes
Is your spouse or immediate family member employed by Collin County? No
Education
College Year Degree
Brigham Young University (“BYU”) 1999 Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Minor in Portuguese
Brigham Young University, which maintains one of the highest ranked accounting programs in the world 1999 Master’s Degree in Accounting, Minor in Information Systems
Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”)
Other Relevant Experience – I Am NOT a Career Politician
Position Description
Husband and Father (Current) My highest responsibility, of which I take seriously, is being a good husband to Glenna, my wife of 15 years, and Father to our wonderful four-year old son Thunder.
Child of God (Current) He is my highest priority but I strongly believe he expects me to do all I can to be a good husband and father. From there both my wife and I have served and continue to serve in many different capacities in the church where we worship. Currently I teach a gospel class each Tuesday night to young adults between the ages of 18-30 and I also teach a gospel class to 16-18 year olds each Sunday. Currently, my wife supervises an early morning (before school) gospel program for 9th through 12th graders of which I strongly support. They have roughly 320 students and 30 teachers.
Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) During college I started an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”), the largest professional service firm in the world, in July 1999. I worked there for approximately 10 years, focusing on real estate, private equity, information systems and international markets.
Small Business Owner Toward the end of 2009, I left PwC and started my own investment company, which focuses on investments in the healthcare industry (i.e. dental, orthodontic, chiropractic and health and wellness offices - we also started a non-profit organization called B-Strong Foundation). I successfully retired in 2013 and continue to oversee my investments.
Division I Football - Cornerback While at BYU, extracurricular activities included learning to play the piano and playing cornerback for BYU's football team, including the year we finished the season ranked #5 in the nation and beat Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl.

1. Why are you seeking office?

Perhaps the first question that should come into every voter’s mind is why is this person running for office? What are the motives? What are the incentives?

I am running for office because I truly love this country and the Americans who make it great. I always have and I always will. I love the principles and philosophies this country was founded upon and for which it should still stand. I am an American, true blue, through and through. I believe most of our political leaders are moving us in the wrong direction and I want to try and do my part to bring us back to the principles and philosophies that made this country great.

I share the sentiments of a great leader, “I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for the honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country.”

I was born and raised in a small town of approximately 3,000 people. When I feel I have done all I can to contribute to the larger society, I want to return home and disappear into the beautiful mountains that surround that small town.

I am running as an outsider who is not shaped by the established, entrenched political connections, nor am I controlled by any special interest groups.

I am young, energetic and innovative. We need fresh vision and know-how, not politics as usual.

My diverse background in both domestic and international business equips me to navigate the dynamic corporate environment.

I am running as a practical problem solver. Experience in leadership, accounting and business have ingrained in me hard work and efficiency, qualities which government badly needs.

I am running for office because I enjoy being around people; I enjoy the political and civic process; I have no personal interest at stake; I want to make a difference and contribute. I love to work hard.

2. What is your vision and goal for this office? What do you want to accomplish?

Three fundamental things about me, which you can gather by watching a 3-minute video on our website or youtube page, include:

1) I am not a career politician and I have no intentions of being one.  I want to serve not be served.  As you well know, career politicians only care about getting elected and staying elected. We need people that care more about the country and what is right and best for the American people than their own political careers.  I've had my career, I've done well with it and I'm done with it.  I'm truly looking to serve.

2) My highest priority is keeping God in America.   That is the single largest factor that has made America the greatest country in the history of the world.  We cannot afford to lose that fundamental concept nor allow people to take it away.  If we want to end racism, hatred, violence, discrimination, bullying, the only way to do that is to inspire people to believe in something bigger than themselves.  Our Founding Fathers called that "God".

3) I am fully committed to upholding and defending the US Constitution.  You will notice throughout my website, I believe that can be summarized into two basic concepts:

a) Separation of the three branches of government

b) Limitation of the Federal Government to only those things outlined in Article I, Section 8

My platform highlights those points as follows:

7 Key Principles outlined at the bottom of every page on the website:

1. A Free market

2. Small and Local Governments

3. States' Rights and a Limited Federal Government

4. A Proper System of Checks and Balances

5. A Balanced and Approved Budget

6. Religious Freedom

7. The Family as the Fundamental Unit of Society

3 main focal points outlined at the bottom of every page on the website:

1. Tax Reform that is highly focused on State's Rights

2. Social Laws determined at the state level not in Washington

3. Border Control 

3. Please tell us about your value and belief system, what it is based upon, and how you developed it.

I will not separate God and politics

Many people believe politicians should separate their religious beliefs from their political beliefs. If you are looking for a candidate that is willing and able to do that, you have the wrong guy. I cannot do that, I don’t believe we should do that and I personally will not do that. I believe in God the Eternal Father, in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. I believe in the Bible and I know that it is true. I am a Christian true blue, through and through. I have been asked and will continue to be asked if I am “Mormon”. My answer is a resounding YES. I am a fully committed and faithfully active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If that makes you nervous for any reason, I can appreciate and respect that. What I ask you to do to quickly resolve that concern is think in your mind’s eye of a very active and fully committed member of the LDS church, and if you don’t know one well you better get to know one quickly, and ask yourself, “Can I trust him or her with the well-being of this country?” If the answer is yes, well then you have resolved your own concern.

The US Constitution and America are inspired of God

The United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world. We have God to thank for that and no one else. He has inspired great men and women to come to this country and has enabled them to create what we now know as America. He was there in the creation of America, He has been here through its existence and He can continue to be with us now! The US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are inspired of God. Both Americans and non-Americans alike know that. That is why those documents are treated with such sincere and strict reverence and respect. Almost all of the other countries in the world since 1787, when the US Constitution was finalized, have used the US Constitution as a starting model for their own constitutions.

America is His light to the world

America has historically been the “light of the world” as mentioned in the book of Mathew (5:14). The light that stands on a hill and shines for the world to see. A beacon of hope, freedom and worship. America is a sacred land, a promised land to those that will keep His commandments. The United States was founded on Christianity. It was Christians on the Mayflower and Christians in all of those early settlements. My great, great, great grandfather of whom I am named after, John Slavin, in 1740 left Ireland a Catholic and arrived here in America a Baptist. They left their home countries to escape religious persecution to a land they felt would allow them to “worship how, where and what they may.” They wanted to worship Him, the Savior of the world. As late as 1970, according to the US Census, 91% of Americans identified themselves as Christians. If you add in the Jewish Religion, of which we have common interests, it is another 4% for a total of 95%. Today that percentage is roughly 75%. This has always been and still is a Christian nation. In the world today, there are estimated to be approximately 2 billion Christians. For what started out as one Christ and 12 apostles that is an incredible accomplishment. Especially when you consider how much hatred and persecution there was initially and still is today for Jesus Christ and His gospel. It is my belief that without the United States of America there would be no recognizable Christians on the earth today. Christ first took his gospel to the Jewish Nation. When it was rejected, He promised His gospel would be carried forward by the Gentile nation, “And in His name shall the Gentiles trust.” – Mathew 12:21. We are that Gentile Nation.

We have to fight for America

We have to fight for America. Too much blood, too much sweat and too many tears have been shed for this great country for us not to continue the fight. According to a recent PBS study, over 1.1 million people have died fighting for this country. There are currently about 1.4 million people serving in our military and over 40 million have served in our military. The men and women that serve in our military are the greatest group of people in the world. Their success and safety depends on the people we elect to command them.

Many people have mentioned to me, Johnny you know this is a battle we lose right. The Bible teaches us about the end of times. Wickedness will prevail. America will fall. The US Constitution will crumble. Personally I am not thoroughly convinced of the latter two. But regardless, we don’t fight the fights we can win, we fight the fights worth fighting. Caiaphas (Kay – A – Fis), the high priest over the Jewish council, justified and testified that “Jesus must die to fulfill prophecy” (John 11:50). Even though technically that is true, will we be held blameless for our own actions? Pontius Pilate washed his hands saying he was innocent of the blood of this just person (Mathew 27:24). Will we be held blameless for staying out of it? WE WILL NOT BE HELD BLAMELESS. We cannot afford to stay out of it. We will be held accountable for our own actions and inactions. We have to get involved politically. We have to invest our time, our effort and our resources to fighting for America and what it stands for.

Due to the overwhelming lack of involvement of the vast majority of Americans, we are currently losing that battle. Only about 5% of the population of our district voted in the last Republican primary. As late as 1962, the Bible was part of our school curriculum throughout the United States. In a short 55 years, we have gone from that to now being worried about passing legislation protecting our preachers from legal prosecution for preaching from the Bible over the pulpits of their own church buildings. We can no longer pray in school or public events and the definition of marriage is changing right before our eyes. We abort over 1 million babies every year in the United States which is particularly painful to Glenna and I, and thousands of other couples like us, hoping to adopt more children.

Let’s send someone to Washington

Every one of us needs to get involved politically. The Christian Church where I worship, though rightfully will not endorse any party and/or any candidate, officially encourages our participation. I quote directly from my church’s own handbook which is publicly made available. It is good advice regardless of your church affiliation. I have changed one word from members to Christians:

“As citizens, Christians are encouraged to participate in political and governmental affairs, including involvement in the political party of their choice. Christians are also urged to be actively engaged in worthy causes to improve their communities and make them wholesome places in which to live and rear families. In accordance with the laws of their respective governments, Christians are encouraged to register to vote, to study issues and candidates carefully, and to vote for individuals whom they believe will act with integrity and sound judgment. Christians have a special obligation to seek out, vote for, and uphold leaders who are honest, good, and wise (D&C 98:10)…Christians are encouraged to consider serving in elected or appointed public offices in local and national government. For ‘when the wicked rule the people morn’ (D&C 98:11).”

We need to send someone to Washington to represent our interests with the Federal Government. Our current Congressman is not the answer. If there is someone in our district that can do that better than me than I will gladly step down and get behind that person. Otherwise, if we can agree that I am the best person for that position than I am willing to do it. Use my name to have your voice in Washington. One person cannot do this alone. We have to do it as a group.

4. Who is your campaign manager and campaign treasurer? Are they paid or volunteer?

We have over 100 volunteers working on our campaign committee. Ed Griffin, www.edgriffinconsultinggroup.com, is currently our Campaign Director. We have several campaign managers over different areas of our campaign. As a Certified Public Accountant, I am acting as my own treasurer, which is acceptable for federal campaigns. Profiles regarding some of our team members can be found on our website under the “Campaign Support” tab.

All members of our campaign committee are unpaid volunteers with the following exceptions:

Ed Griffin, as of December 31, 2015, has been paid $7,024.10 which is substantially below market for someone of his caliber. He has communicated to us that he is sincerely committed to our campaign because he believes I am exactly what the countries needs right now.

When we first announced our campaign I paid a young lady $460 to make hundreds of phone calls to get the word out as quickly as possible.

Another member of our campaign committee responsible for our website has also been paid $3,260.50 as of December 31, 2015. He is willing to work on the campaign for free; however, based on the significant amount of time required on his part, I insisted on paying him at least a portion of his time. I have personally committed to donate to the campaign anything I pay to him above and beyond other personal donation commitments I have made to the campaign.

5. What qualities and experiences make you the best candidate for the position?

I am NOT a career politician. I've had my career. I've done well with it. I'm proud of it and I am done with it. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of our current federal government is it is almost entirely made up of career politicians. A career politician, to protect his/her career, does whatever it takes to get elected and stay elected, regardless of the long term impact those decisions have on America and its citizens. Almost always the right decision isn't very popular initially; therefore, we need leaders with long-term vision, strength, and courage, who stay true to the principles that made America the greatest country in the history of the world.

Adherence to true principles always requires sacrifice, but the witness absolutely comes after the trial of our faith. For example, we do our homework so we can get good grades; we avoid junk food so we can be healthy; we exercise so we can be in better shape; we go to work so we can get a paycheck; we diet so we can lose weight; we work hard so we can achieve our dreams; we keep the commandments so we can be happy. Making the right decision in Congress is no different. We need leaders, not career politicians, who have the strength to withstand enormous pressure, who will do the right thing for America long-term. I have a proven track record of being that person.

At the age of 41, my past has involved focus and commitment to family, church, education, business and football. Since my earliest memories I have understood the value of time. Time is our most limited commodity and, therefore, we must use it wisely. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Mathew 6:21. I believe our greatest treasure is our time, so we must "not spend our labor for that which cannot satisfy." I want to serve, not to be served, but the first step to welfare is becoming self-reliant; therefore, I have spent my time focused on becoming self-reliant. My greatest responsibility is that of a good husband and father. Through hard work and discipline, I enjoyed great success in football, education and business, which has tremendously blessed me and my family.

Those priorities helped me to be a better husband and father, but the greatest impact on my life and that of my family has been consistent worship of Jesus Christ. My family and I choose to worship Him by belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our membership in that church has led to a lifetime of service opportunities. I served a two-year mission to Sao Paulo Brazil at the age of 19. I have worked in many capacities with the Boys Scouts of America (I am an Eagle Scout). From my earliest memories up until the current time, I have participated with and served in many auxiliary organizations in our church, working with the youth, the children, adult groups, men's groups, service groups, etc... We have built houses, done yard work, gathered firewood, helped with community programs, unemployment services, food banks and participated in countless other service opportunities. However, the greatest service that has been rendered to me and that I have been able to share with others is getting the gospel of Jesus Christ into the minds and hearts of His children. I have countless hours of teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those hours have changed my life and I believe the lives of many others.

I believe these experiences and others have helped qualify me more than any other candidate for this office. I am self-reliant and ready to serve.

To further prove I have no intentions of becoming a career politician and my only interest is to serve, I have made the following pledges on my website:

1) I pledge to “Keep God in America” and “Uphold and Defend the US Constitution” as my highest priorities.

2) I pledge accountability for my voting record, my leadership in inspiring other members of Congress and being known throughout the world as a beacon of hope for those who believe in “Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

3) I pledge to NOT accept money from Political Action Committees and/or other special interest groups unless they are:

- Specifically designed to support “Keeping God in America” and/or “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

- Entirely funded by people in our own district or at least from the state of Texas.

*I may have to make a rare exception if during a General election it is necessary to make absolutely certain a Democrat opponent is defeated.

4) I pledge to donate $30 of my own money for every individual who donates at least $5 to our campaign (up to 1,000 people). I also pledge to donate $500 of my own money for every individual who donates the maximum contribution to our campaign (up to 100 people), for a total potential personal investment of $80,000. (Note: this pledge relates to the Republican Primary Election of March 1, 2016.)

5) I pledge to NOT use any money I am paid as a Congressman for personal consumption outside of Congressional related activities. I will use that money, currently $165,000 a year, to fund campaigns and other expenses incurred to get done what needs to get done in Washington. A public record will always be provided on how that money is used. I want there to be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am working in Congress to selflessly serve my country and the American people.

6) I pledge to NOT stay in office longer than 8 years as the Congressional Representative of the Third District of Texas.

7) I pledge to NOT be intimidated. Unfortunately, it seems to me that there are powerful people in Washington who are willing to use the NSA, IRS or whatever means necessary to force people to conform to their desires or resign from office. I make an oath to not be persuaded no matter the personal consequences. We are fully willing to put our reputation and personal assets on the line to accomplish our defined objectives in Washington. Hopefully we are being overly conscientious but the commitment has been made in advance should the occasion ever require.

I've had the great opportunity of being on a state football championship team, a state basketball championship team and on a Division I college football team that finished the season ranked #5 in the nation. The great commonality of all of those championship teams was that the players played for each other rather than for themselves.

During my time at PwC, I consistently led teams that enjoyed profitable engagements while receiving highly positive feedback from our clients.

I have started, owned, sold and operated many successful businesses with very little employee turnover.

I have been involved in many different church/community leadership groups where we were able to accomplish many great and wonderful things too personal to share here.

6. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION/POSITION OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS?
1st Amendment & Religious Expression

My highest priorities are "Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution". I have made that abundantly clear on all of our marketing materials and to every single person that has spent at least 10 seconds with me.

“Constitutional Implementation” is one of my three major areas of focus. Two main things that the constitution does for us is:

Maintains the balance of power between the three branches of government (i.e. Legislative, Executive and Judicial)

We must force the President and the US Supreme court to stay within their Constitutionally defined responsibilities or be removed from office.

The limitation of the federal government by those things that are specifically identified in Article I, Section 8.

We need to pass a bill in Congress that requires a "Constitutional Test" before any matter can be discussed on the floor of the house or senate. Article I, Section 8, further emphasized by Amendment #10, of the US Constitution clearly defines what the Federal Government can do. Anything outside of that scope is unconstitutional. Since things like marriage, abortion, healthcare, education, land management, welfare, etc. are not specifically mentioned in the US Constitution, those things should be left to the states to decide. If the Federal Government wants to take on further responsibility from that which is already defined, it has to pass an Amendment to the US Constitution. See "Save the Constitution" under "Priority Issues" on my website (www.johnslavensforcongress.com) for further details.

One of my 7 key principles is “Religious Freedom”. On my website, I break this up into four important areas:

1) A moral compass we can agree on

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout my life I have always referred to those inalienable rights as “free agency.” I have been raised to believe, like most people, that all people should be afforded the privilege to “worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.” In America, we call that Religious Freedom and our country was established on that principle.

There also comes a point when one person’s religious freedoms may take away from another person’s inalienable rights which also cannot be tolerated. For example, if a religious group started sacrificing their children in accordance with their professed religious beliefs, we as a society should be unwilling to tolerate that behavior regardless of anyone’s religious beliefs.

Therefore, the challenge that a healthy society must face is the fact that a line must be drawn that provides the appropriate balance between religious freedom and the protection of our inalienable rights. So who gets to draw that line and how is the line drawn? The answer to those questions in my opinion is the true meaning of religious freedom.

Public policies should be created by the voice of the people either by direct vote or by electing representatives they trust in accordance with their desires. Therefore, people not only have the right but the obligation to vote in accordance with their conscience as well as do all they can to influence other people to vote in a way consistent with their beliefs.

In that manner the line will be drawn in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people of that society.

States’ Rights allow different groups of Americans to draw different lines in accordance with the conscience of their individual states.

“It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Government of these States to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be preserved; and, on the present occasion, this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.” – Letter of Transmittal to the President of Congress on September 17th, 1787.

2) A strong national defense

Everyone recognizes there is both good and evil in the world we live in. By sad experience we have learned that certain people are entirely persuaded by evil and cannot be reasoned with. Therefore, force is the only means we have to protect ourselves against these individuals. That is the reason domestically we have police officers, prisons and jails. That is also the reason, internationally we must have a strong military.

I agree with Theodore Roosevelt quoting an old African proverb that we should “speak softly and carry a big stick.”

We must do everything in our power to keep the “war on terror” outside of the United States by fighting them in their territory.

Having a safe and secure border is a major part of a strong national defense.

Strong and capable countries have a moral obligation to help defenseless people against the evils of the world. The first step towards helping other people is being self-reliant. Right now the United States is not self-reliant; therefore, we must focus on that as our primary goal. How can we help other people if we cannot even help ourselves?

3) Caring for the poor in the right way

I believe you can measure the character of a country by the way its citizens take care of its poor, disabled and elderly. However, it is imperative that charity work be fulfilled by choice and not by force. Americans since the foundation of our country have been known both domestically and throughout the world for their enormous charitable nature.

In America, we have all kinds of voluntary groups that keep relationships together and build social trust. These groups include: churches, associations, clubs, charities, non-profits, shelters, youth organizations, recreational and developmental efforts. Society is most healthy when such groups are active in helping those in need. These groups and associations should do the heavy lifting in society by individual choice rather than by the force of the government.

Unfortunately, more and more of our political leaders seem to be entirely focused on crushing that good will by requiring Americans to give up their hard earned income by forcing socialist policies.

The forceful taking of more and more income from many individuals tends to eliminate the motivation of the worker to generate such income. Government has proven repeatedly it is ineffective compared to charitable organizations in taking care of those that are unable to take care of themselves and teaching and helping people become self-reliant.

World history has proven time and time again that socialist and communist policies do not work. They ultimately lead to the poverty of all people except the few at the very top.

Ironically, those politicians that seem focused on the forceful taking of other people’s money in the name of caring for the poor, disabled and elderly are consistently the same politicians that refuse to donate their own money to those same causes. Referring to this type of person, the Bible records Jesus Christ saying, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief…” Their true political motivations seem to be for their own personal gain, power and glory regardless of the known consequences it has on the country we love. If we want proof, all we have to do is look at their personal tax returns and calculate the percentage of their own taxable income they donate to charity. They are determined to give other people’s money away and hold themselves up for all the glory, while at the same time refuse to donate their own money.

4) Religious diversity

Rather than focus on our differences we need to focus on what we have in common. Almost all religions, even those organized as Atheists, should share common basic values. The only thing I would ever ask of any other person is that they live what they believe. If all Americans, regardless of their religious affiliation, spent the time to determine what it is they believe and then fully committed to live in accordance with those beliefs, it would not only give us the power to change the United States but the entire world for the better.

The concept of “God” has a different meaning for every person and that is absolutely ok. The 1913 version of Webster’s dictionary defined God as “Good.” You do not have to be Christian to be American and you can even be Atheist. Uniquely American is our respect for all beliefs. However, every American should believe in Good over Evil - Being kind over being mean - Love over hate. Our Founding Fathers knew that. I know that and you know that. We must keep God in America. It is the single most important factor of our greatness.

Additionally, I respect the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press and the freedom to assembly which are also outlined in that first amendment.

2nd Amendment Rights

I believe strongly in the 2nd Amendment, which is the right to bear arms. Whether you like it or not, neither the Federal government nor any state has the constitutional right to restrict people from owning firearms.

Additionally, I can't believe I even have to make this clear, but neither the United Nations, nor any entity outside of the United States, deserves any influence over our laws or regulations. We are a sovereign nation! We are the United States of America!

Each state should work closely with the voice of its citizens and the voice of its police force to develop policies regarding people with mental disabilities and criminal backgrounds and the possession of firearms.

We need to keep in mind that criminals, by definition, do not obey the laws. We have enough laws on the books to punish the criminals for inappropriate behaviors regarding firearms. More laws will only punish the law abiding citizens for no reason and further empower the criminals as you disarm the law abiding citizens.

I support Texas’ open carry laws. If you want to further deter the criminals, arm the law abiding citizens.

My highest priorities are "Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution". We are witnessing a systematic approach to remove God from our country. I will do everything I can to fight against that movement. If we want to end violence, mass shootings, discrimination, bullying, hatred, racism, etc. we must inspire Americans to believe in something bigger than themselves. You cannot make enough laws to force people to be nice to each other. That is why our founding fathers included “God” in everything they did. That is why God is included on our currency and in our pledge of allegiance.

10th Amendment

In reality, my entire platform is centered around Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution, which is further clarified by the 10th Amendment.

Federal Budget & Federal Deficit

One of my 7 key principles is “A Balanced and Approved Budget”.

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home where “living within a budget, avoiding debt and saving for a time of need” were critical and key elements in our family’s financial plan. I continue to believe this is outstanding counsel not only for individuals and families but even more for governments and other organizations. I am pleased to disclose, that both my family and all business of which I have any ownership in, are entirely debt free.

Our current federal government operates completely opposite of this sound advice. It has refused to balance a budget, racked up an enormous amount of debt and has saved nothing for a time of need. If we do not remedy the situation as soon as possible there will be catastrophic consequences in the not too distant future.

No one likes to pay taxes; however, most people recognize taxes are necessary if we are going to live in a society held together by our government. Having said that, taxes should be paid to and spent by the most local form of government possible in order to increase accountability, prevent waste and eliminate the inappropriate use of government funds.

It is outrageous that our government consistently spends more than it makes despite the excessive amounts and variety of taxes it demands from its citizens. We are currently taxed through federal income taxes, payroll taxes, state and local income taxes, sales and use taxes, property taxes, gross receipt taxes, regulatory taxes and even tolls.

When hard working Americans are forced to give up more and more of their earned income through the payment of taxes, the incentive to work hard, take risks, be innovative and to succeed decreases, ultimately destroying everything this country was built upon.

Taxation & Current Tax Rates

One of my three major areas of focus is “Tax Reform”. If you want to change anything in this world you have to change the money.

1) We have to get the federal government to stop taking money from the citizens of each state of which it has no constitutional authority (i.e. health-care, education, land management, welfare, etc.). Small and local governments will prevent waste while giving ALL Americans the maximum amount of freedom possible. Constitutionally, the states should raise and spend money on these items.

2) We have to simplify the tax code to make it so easy my four-year-old can file my tax return making it a level playing field for all Americans.

3) It should be the same rate for ALL Americans. A progressive tax rate is based on socialist principles, which I oppose.

4) We have to fight to get the federal budget as low as possible and then we have to collect enough taxes to balance the budget. Trickle-down economics does work. Lower taxes and less regulation leads to increased earned income and, therefore, increases the total money collected through taxes.

5) We need 100% congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve to prevent "taxation without representation". Right now, the Federal Reserve prints money whenever it wants without the approval of Congress, which is unconstitutional and creates a hidden tax to the American people since it deflates the value of our hard earned money.

Two major threats to the strength of this country are Socialism and Crony Capitalism. Both lead to an Oligarchy (i.e. ruled by an elite few) and Communism. Tax Reform as defined above provides the best course of action to prevent that decline.

Land Rights & Eminent Domain

Other than a 10-mile radius of the white house, the Federal Government has no constitutional right to govern over issues regarding land rights, including eminent domain. These matters should be handled by the states and their local governments.

Education & School Choice

The federal government has no constitutional authority regarding education and, therefore, the federal education department should be abolished. Constitutionally, education should be handled by the states.

Perhaps one of our greatest investments is the education of our children. However, as with all other government spending, tax payers’ precious money needs to be used wisely with a focus on results.

Students need to feel inspired to learn, grow and progress in accordance with their own efforts and desires.

Teachers need to be rewarded on their ability to inspire students based on well-defined criteria.

Government’s only role should be to give both students and teachers the tools needed for success.

All curriculum and assessment criteria, including the study material, the merit pay criteria for teachers, standardized testing for students, etc. should be determined at the most localized level possible but certainly no more broad than the individual State. Parents should be heavily involved in that decision making process.

Standardized testing for the entire nation (i.e. SAT and ACT) should be handled by the major universities throughout the United States as they are the ones using it to determine who enters their institutions.

This type of testing should continue to be optional for the individual but any college has a right to require this type of testing for admittance into their institution.

Allowing a proper and organized voucher program for private education would incentivize public schools to be more successful in achieving results desired by the public.

Immigration (Legal and Illegal)

One of my three major areas of focus is “Border Control”. We have to do the following as soon as possible:

1) Secure the border by land, sea and air. Whatever it takes, whatever the cost. Border security is national security. The drugs, sex/human trafficking, terrorist threats and other terrible things happening at our borders must stop immediately. There is also an illegal immigrant cost that is draining our economy. It costs the state of Texas alone approximately $13 billion annually. We must use both the military and private enterprise to secure the border in the best most economical way possible by using advanced technology.

2) We must deport all illegal immigrants that have a criminal record and now that our border is 100% secure they will not come back.

3) We must shut off the benefits for ALL non-US Citizens immediately (i.e. welfare, jobs, etc.)

4) We must fix our legal immigration process to ensure it is:

a. Less expensive

b. Less time consuming

c. Does not change the religious make up of America

d. People that are brought in can easily assimilate to the American dream of being law abiding, hardworking and God fearing citizens.

e. Does not take jobs away from current US Citizens (i.e. it must cost companies more to bring in non-us citizens than it does to hire current US Citizens)

f. If we allow people in temporarily we must track to make sure they leave at the end of their approved stay.

Transportation, Related Taxes & Federal Funding

I don’t believe the federal government should collect nor spend money relating to ground transportation. This is something that should be left up to the states.

Constitutionally, the federal government’s only role with ground transportation should be to ensure interstate commerce/travel is available to all citizens and that post roads for mail delivery are adequate. Since every state is also highly incentivized to ensure those things, the federal governments need here is extremely limited.

I do not like Amendment 16, which in 1913 for the first time allowed the federal government to collect money straight from its citizens rather than the individual states. Nevertheless, it is now part of the US Constitution and so we must accept it or change it through an amendment process.

Having said that, the federal government still does not have a Constitutional right to collect money for things which are not specifically outlined in Article 1, Section 8. If we forced Washington to abide by the US Constitution in that regard through Tax Reform, it would mostly, if not entirely, eliminate the concept of Federal Funding and all the terrible things that come with that.

Abortion

When legislating morality, those decisions need to be made in accordance with the conscience of the majority of the people. Almost all Americans agree it is immoral to commit murder; however, there are many differing opinions as to when life begins.

Since there are differing opinions on this important question, the decision should be made by the conscience of the majority of the people. In accordance with the US Constitution, this should be decided at the state level, not the federal level, so that people can live in states that share similar values.

Having said that, DNA evidence now seems to scientifically prove that life begins at inception, which would mean Constitutionally, abortion should be illegal in every situation for every state, unless an amendment is made to the US Constitution.

These types of decisions certainly shouldn’t be made by judges, especially judges that are appointed rather than elected.

My conscious tells me life begins at conception; therefore, I personally prefer to belong to a society where abortion is illegal unless a pregnancy endangers the life or health of the mother or results from cases of rape or incest.

7. ASSUMING YOU ARE ELECTED, WHAT WILL BE YOUR OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME, AND WHAT OTHER PAID AND VOLUNTEER POSITIONS WILL YOU RETAIN?

I am financially independent. I retired 2-3 years ago and now just manage my investments. I will continue my commitment as a Husband and Father above all other commitments. I will continue to serve in my Church. My Church is a lay ministry, which means we have no paid clergy. ALL members participate by serving in some capacity.

Other than those things, my entire focus will be as your Congressman and implementing the items discussed in my platform.

I have also made the following pledges relating to the question:

1) I pledge to “Keep God in America” and “Uphold and Defend the US Constitution” as my highest priorities.

2) I pledge accountability for my voting record, my leadership in inspiring other members of Congress and being known throughout the world as a beacon of hope for those who believe in “Keeping God in America” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

3) I pledge to NOT accept money from Political Action Committees and/or other special interest groups unless they are:

- Specifically designed to support “Keeping God in America” and/or “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution.”

- Entirely funded by people in our own district or at least from the state of Texas.

*I may have to make a rare exception if during a General election it is necessary to make absolutely certain a Democrat opponent is defeated.

4) I pledge to donate $30 of my own money for every individual who donates at least $5 to our campaign (up to 1,000 people). I also pledge to donate $500 of my own money for every individual who donates the maximum contribution to our campaign (up to 100 people), for a total potential personal investment of $80,000. (Note: this pledge relates to the Republican Primary Election of March 1, 2016.)

5) I pledge to NOT use any money I am paid as a Congressman for personal consumption outside of Congressional related activities. I will use that money, currently $165,000 a year, to fund campaigns and other expenses incurred to get done what needs to get done in Washington. A public record will always be provided on how that money is used. I want there to be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am working in Congress to selflessly serve my country and the American people.

6) I pledge to NOT stay in office longer than 8 years as the Congressional Representative of the Third District of Texas.

7) I pledge to NOT be intimidated. Unfortunately, it seems to me that there are powerful people in Washington who are willing to use the NSA, IRS or whatever means necessary to force people to conform to their desires or resign from office. I make an oath to not be persuaded no matter the personal consequences. We are fully willing to put our reputation and personal assets on the line to accomplish our defined objectives in Washington. Hopefully we are being overly conscientious but the commitment has been made in advance should the occasion ever require.

8. HOW WILL YOU WORK TO ADDRESS OR IMPROVE THE CURRENT FEDERAL BUDGET PROCESS? DO YOU SUPPORT BIENNIAL BUDGETING?

We must force the government to only collect and spend tax money for things of which they have Constitutional authority. All other departments should be eliminated. This includes, but is not limited to, education, welfare, health care and land management.

Budgets should be voted on in Congress by line item not in total.

The federal government must learn to live within its means. The federal government is already collecting way too much in taxes. We have to figure out ways to spend dramatically less in addition to closing down the departments that are unconstitutional. We need to elect successful business professionals with proven track records of controlling expenses to ensure high profitability.

Budgets should continue to be biennial so new members of the House of Representatives have a chance to vote for and be accountable to their own budgets.

Since our federal debt ceiling is already dramatically too high I cannot in good conscience vote to further increase the debt ceiling unless it comes with a significant reduction in future expenses as discussed above. Burdening future generations while also putting the dollar at more and more risk of collapse in order to continue to satisfy our own selfish desires is unconscionable to me.

9. WHAT MEASURES WILL YOU SUPPORT OR INITIATE TO ADDRESS THE ANNUAL FEDERAL DEBT AND OUR GROWING FEDERAL DEFICIT? WOULD YOU VOTE TO INCREASE THE FEDERAL DEBT CEILING?

See answer to question #8 above.

10. WHAT ACTIONS WOULD YOU SUPPORT OR INITIATE TO HELP THE U.S. BECOME MORE ENERGY INDEPENDENT? WHAT ACTIONS WOULD YOU SUPPORT OR INITIATE TO DECREASE THE AUTHORITY AND ABUSE OF THE EPA?

I believe God created the Heavens and the Earth and gave us dominion over all things. There is more than an abundance of resources to satisfy all of our needs. We do have an obligation to use those resources with a thankfulness of heart and as wise stewards.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has created so many regulations that we are prevented from using the resources that have been created for our use and does little to actually protect the environment.

The EPA is out of control and needs to be completely overhauled with entirely new leadership, structure and purpose. All laws and regulations relating to the EPA should be made by Congress and no one else. The president only has the right to execute the laws created by Congress.

As a matter of national security and economic freedom, the United States needs to do all it can to become energy independent by producing its own oil, coal, uranium and other natural resources of which we have an abundant supply.

We need to allow our US companies to properly compete in a free market with countries that do not have our excessive regulations, high taxes and minimum wages.

We should also be smart and wise as we develop new, environment friendly sources of energy.

Right now the United States is one of the most environment friendly countries in the world. By increasing the environment regulations on the United States it actually has a negative impact on the world's environment. Regulations dramatically increase the cost of production. As the cost of production increases in the United States, business owners start producing it in countries with less restrictions thereby moving to the country with the lowest restrictions, which means lowest cost. By increasing the regulations in the United States you are forcing more production in countries that have absolutely no regard for the environment. The United States is NOT the bottle neck with regards to the protection of the world's environment. The best thing we can do for the world's environment is make sure more is produced here than in other countries.

11. WHAT ARE THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES FACING THE NATION OVER THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS, AND HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS THESE ISSUES?

My highest priorities are “Keeping God in this Country” and “Upholding and Defending the US Constitution”.

Our first orders of business will be to pass legislation that protects God as an important part of our country and the requirement of a constitutional test before any matter can be discussed on the house or senate floor.

We will also simultaneously work on my three main initiatives which are, in no particular order:

1.Tax Reform that is highly focused on State’s Rights

2.Social Laws determined at the state level not in Washington

3.Border Control

12. SHOULD U.S. TROOPS BE DEPLOYED TO THE MIDDLE EAST TO ADDRESS THE CURRENT CRISIS? PLEASE EXPLAIN.

The media and the current administration have consistently misled us and on many occasions flat out lied to us. Therefore, they have proven to be untrustworthy. Also, as a candidate, I am not privy to important classified information. I cannot and will not make a final decision on any matter until I have all of the facts from sources that have proven trustworthy. I can, however, tell you some very important principles, in no particular order:

1) We need to have the strongest military in the world and then add to it every year. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" is the correct approach. To have the strongest military in the world, we have to have the strongest economy in the world. We must focus on the economy by lowering our regulations and lowering our taxes.

2) The best way to fight wars is by controlling the money supply. The best way to do that is to produce our own energy so foreign oil is no longer as valuable. We must also stop providing weapons to anyone in the Middle East. If we feel we absolutely must arm a certain group than we need to make sure we get that weaponry back when the job is done.

3) Border security is national security. Our border must be 100% secure by land, sea and air. We need to use military and private sector technology to perfectly secure our borders in the most cost effective manner possible and we need to do it immediately. This relates to both legal and illegal immigration.

4) The first step to welfare is self-reliance. Right now America is not self-reliant. Our mounting debt and poor economy have left us vulnerable to collapse. We cannot help anyone else until we are more stable. Until then, absolutely no resources should be used unless it directly benefits the interests of the United States of America and its citizens.

5) We must continue our covert monitoring operations in the Middle East and throughout the world. When we identify a real and absolute threat we must act on it. We get in, destroy what needs destroyed, and then get immediately out.

6) The worst form of government is no government, which we call Anarchy. To avoid Anarchy, we must have government. We should always keep this in mind before making a decision to help remove a Dictator.

7) If we are attacked in any way, including a cyber-attack, we must hunt down those responsible and make sure they are rewarded 10 fold. Not because we are unforgiving by nature, but to make sure all those watching know that if you do something to the United States, you will immediately feel the power of our military 10 times what was caused. This will deter future attacks.

8) The most valuable component of any business, and certainly our military, is the people. We must make sure and take really good care of those people serving and those who have served in our military. They are the backbone of this country.

9) Our only true ally in the Middle East is Israel. We must stand strongly with Israel.

10) According to the US Constitution, war must be declared by Congress. The President does not have the authority to declare war. His only authority is to execute the laws, rules and regulations made by Congress and that includes our rules of engagement.

13. DO YOU SUPPORT EFFORTS TO DEFUND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT? DO YOU SUPPORT EFFORTS TO LEGALLY HINDER THE IMPLEMENTATION OF OR RESCIND COMPONENTS OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT? WHY OR WHY NOT? IF SO, WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HINDER OR DEFUND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT?

Like the majority of Americans, I believe the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. Constitutional Implementation would eliminate the Affordable Care Act since the federal government has no Constitutional right to be involved in our country’s Health Care.

One of the measures of a great country is demonstrated in the way its people take care of their sick and afflicted. Yet, it is utterly imperative that we do not take away an individual’s motivation to be self-reliant with regards to their own health by removing consequences of their own decisions.

A person should be rewarded for discipline and hard work in all aspects of life, including health care.

Several areas of concern in our current health care environment include:

1) States Rights - Since healthcare is not specifically enumerated in the current US Constitution, the Federal government has no authority to be involved in our country’s health care system. Tax collecting and spending regarding healthcare and the associated regulations must be left up to the individual states in accordance with the US Constitution.

2) Socialized medicine – this current model that says all Americans deserve the best healthcare in the world regardless of the decisions they have made to obtain those services, will continue to negatively impact the healthcare industry in this country.

3) Open Door Policy for our Emergency Rooms – right now everyone knows that if they can’t afford healthcare then they just go to the emergency room where they cannot be turned away when they have absolutely no intention of ever paying those medical bills.

4) Tort Reform – frivolous lawsuits are making health care more and more expensive. With any healthcare procedure there is a certain amount of risk people need to accept or avoid doing the procedure. Like any other industry, the patient should be able to choose who they consider to be the best doctor. Poor performing doctors will be naturally avoided and licenses even revoked by the medical industry.

5) Insurance and Pharmaceutical Drug Companies – these industries have gained too much of a powerful influence over the healthcare industry of our country. Measures need to be taken to break down their monopolies. Even the FDA needs to be overhauled as it has been overly influenced by these powerful industries in a way that is not in the American people’s best interest.

14. PLEASE INDICATE YES/NO/NO OPINION FOR THE FOLLOWING:
I believe a balanced budget is critical for all levels of government Yes
I believe in the face of budget shortages, a short term tax increase can be beneficial in order to achieve a balanced budget. No
I believe that transparency in government spending is important, and I will support all efforts to have all government expenditures online. Yes
I believe the federal and/or state government and courts have the right to restrict the scope of the Second Amendment and limit the purchase and possession of certain firearms for the sake of public safety. No
I believe it is appropriate for courts and elected officials to interpret the Constitution based on current societal norms and beliefs. No
I believe that school vouchers and home schooling are viable alternatives for parents and their children, and these options should be legal and supported legislatively. Yes
I believe that the First Amendment establishes a separation between church and state. No
I support the traditional definition of marriage, defined as the marriage of one man to one woman. Yes
I believe as long as abortion is legal, a teenage girl's right to privacy is more important than her parent's right to be notified prior to an abortion. No

The media and the current administration has consistently misled us and on many occasions flat out lied to us. Therefore, they have proven to be untrustworthy. Also, as a candidate, I am not privy to important classified information. I cannot and will not make a final decision on any matter until I have all of the facts from sources that have proven trustworthy. I can, however, tell you some very important principles, in no particular order:

We need to have the strongest military in the world and then add to it every year. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" is the correct approach. To have the strongest military in the world, we have to have the strongest economy in the world. We must focus on the economy by lowering our regulations and lowering our taxes.

The best way to fight wars is by controlling the money supply. The best way to do that is to produce our own energy so foreign oil is no longer as valuable. We must also stop providing weapons to anyone in the Middle East. If we feel we absolutely must arm a certain group than we need to make sure we get that weaponry back when the job is done.

Border security is national security. Our border must be 100% secure from land, sea and air. We need to use military and private sector technology to perfectly secure our borders in the most cost effective manner possible and we need to do it immediately. This relates to both legal and illegal immigration.

The first step to welfare is self-reliance. Right now America is not self-reliant. Our mounting debt and poor economy have left us vulnerable to collapse. We cannot help anyone else until we are more stable. Until then, absolutely no resources should be used unless it directly benefits the interests of the United States of America and its citizens.

We must continue our covert monitoring operations in the Middle East and throughout the world. When we identify a real and absolute threat we must act on it. We get in, destroy what needs destroyed and then get immediately out.

The worst form of government is no government, which we call Anarchy. To avoid Anarchy, we must have government. We should always keep this in mind before making a decision to help remove a Dictator.

If we are attacked in any way, including a cyber-attack, we must hunt down those responsible and make sure they are rewarded 10 fold. Not because we are unforgiving by nature, but to make sure all those watching know that if you do something to the United States you will immediately feel the power of our military 10 times what was caused. This will deter future attacks.

The most valuable component of any business, and certainly our military, is the people. We must make sure and take really good care of those people serving and those who have served in our military. They are the backbone of this country.

Our only true ally in the Middle East is Israel. We must stand strongly with Israel.

According to the US Constitution, war must be declared by Congress. The President does not have the authority to declare war. His only authority is to execute the laws, rules and regulations made by Congress and that includes our rules of engagement.

Scorecards - 113th Congress
Average: Heritage Action and Freedom Index
Ted Cruz - 92%
Louie Gohmert - 90%
John Cornyn - 77%
Sam Johnson - 68%
Pete Sessions - 62%
Republican Candidate for Congressional District 3 of Texas
7 Key Principles:

1) A Free Market 2) Small and Local Governments 3) States Rights and a Limited Federal Government 4) A Proper System of Checks and Balances 5) A Balanced and Approved Budget 6) Religious Freedom 7) The Family as the Fundamental Unit of Society

Public Policies I Support

1) Tax Reform:

Ideally, citizens of this great nation would pay taxes directly to the governmental unit that is Constitutionally charged with the responsibility of administering services and programs to their respective constituents.

The White House and the U.S. Supreme Court have gone unchecked in the expansion of their roles. Congress has not been engaged in the check and balance system carefully crafted by our founding fathers. Congress has a responsibility to demand that the Constitution be followed to the letter of the law. Therefore, we have experienced the federal government taxing, policing and interfering in areas never contemplated by our founding fathers or authorized in our governing document, the United States Constitution. Congress has failed in its obligation to the people and has directly been responsible for the imbalance of power that, left unchecked, will cause a constitutional crisis and severely damage our republic.

Our tax system has been equally corrupted as it supports the illegitimacy of the services being administered without authority. Much of what is being done should be administered by state and local governments. As an interim measure, we need to immediately follow the strict confines of the Constitution in the delegation of powers specifically enumerated for the federal government. All other powers are vested with state and local governments to accomplish those tasks without federal interference. In the long term, state and local governments should be enabled, unequivocally, to make determinations on what laws not specifically provided to the federal government will be applicable to their citizens.

2) Constitutional Implementation:

Societies, based on a republic, choose their own moral conscience by establishing rules, laws, and procedures for their citizens to follow. In America, we began with a foundation document called the U.S. Constitution which determines what powers the federal government will have and all other powers and authority remain with state and local governments.

The federal government was established to take care of national issues and the safety of the nation and the state and local governments, closest to the citizens, was intentionally left to decide all other legal matters. In that regard, social issues, that may find vast differences of opinion, can be settled locally thereby giving options to citizens to live in states that more closely correspond to their beliefs on social issues. In cases where the federal government determines it must indeed create a uniform standard beyond the scope of Article I Section 8, the Constitution would have to be amended. This process is defined in Article 5, which requires either 2/3s of both chambers or 2/3 of state legislatures to propose an amendment and 3/4 of all state legislatures to ratify.

3) Immigration:

Illegal immigration is negatively impacting all aspects of our national economy and is making us vulnerable to future terrorist attacks. It has huge economic costs to our education, welfare, and law enforcement agencies. We, therefore, need to immediately secure our borders by whatever means necessary, including using the military and all the available technology which will identify and assist in the apprehension of illegal immigrants. All illegal immigrants with a criminal history or who are using the tax payer-supported system of services should be deported as soon as possible. We should also and simultaneously work on refining and making more efficient the system of applying for citizenship.

America needs to maintain the openness of being available for those seeking a better life or to escape tyranny so long as they will be productive citizens and will not pose a threat to our democracy or our citizens.

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Campaign Kick-Off Dinner:

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June 20, 2015 5pm - 6:30pm

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