2018 Pend Oreille County Republican Party Platform
December 11, 2015
Throughout the world people dream of freedom, of opportunity, and of a beautiful country in which to prosper, raise their family and worship God in their own way. The embodiment of that dream is the United States of America. In America, we are free to pursue individual goals and succeed, or fail, on our own. We are served by government rather than encumbered by it. In America we are free to be nourished by faith and family, to thrive in a capitalistic free market system, and to voluntarily help our fellow citizens through charitable giving rather than confiscatory government entitlements. For us, the embodiment of the American dream is living in Pend Oreille County, Washington.
The purpose of this document is to communicate to our elected representatives the consensus principles of the Pend Oreille County Republicans, and to provide a means for presenting the values of our local party to the Pend Oreille County citizenry.
1. We strongly believe in limited federal government, as designed by the founders of the Constitution. Specifically:
• That the federal government not exceed the authority or scope of activity granted to it by the several enumerated powers as written in the
Constitution, and that per the Tenth Amendment all other powers are expressly reserved for the states.
• That the judicial branch of government be required to faithfully apply Constitutional principles per the original intent of the document, as opposed to progressively activist case law precedent.
• That the federal regulatory agencies and presidentially-appointed “Czars” operate only at the specific direction and permission of Congress, without independent authority to dictate binding laws or regulations, and with the responsibility to submit all proposed laws or regulations to Congress to be enacted through the standard, Constitutional legislative process.
• That private property is protected from government “takings” except under the strict Constitutional public use definition.
2. Individual Freedom
We respect and cherish, uphold and protect the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and our Founders’ intent to restrict the power of the federal government over the states and the people.
• We strongly support the unabridged right of each individual citizen to possess firearms as guaranteed by both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington. We strongly oppose any restrictions, regulations, fees, taxes or procedures which make the lawful acquisition and ownership of firearms or ammunition prohibitively difficult, restrictive, expensive, or arbitrarily determined.
• Those rights guaranteed to the Washington citizenry of initiative, referendum, and recalls are necessary protections against an unresponsive government.
• The fundamental right to property must never be abridged, as expressly guaranteed by Article 4 of the United States Constitution; Article I, Sections 3, 11, 16, and 32 of the Washington State Constitution; and Article XI, Section 13 of the Washington State Constitution. Such rights include the property owner’s right to use, develop, transfer and/or dispose of said property in accordance with accepted, historical, and legal methods.
• America is a Christian nation, founded on Judeo-Christian principles. We affirm the constitutional right of all individuals to worship in the religion of their choice, without restriction or interference by government, provided that no physical harm is promoted or intended toward any other living entity. We oppose the absolute prohibition against occasional use of public buildings or facilities for religious events or for the display of symbols of a religious nature.
• We believe citizens have the right to own animals as property and the individual responsibility of their control and management. We oppose any mandatory national animal identification system that requires registration of animals, registration of animal owners or their properties, or intrusive data collection including but not limited to map location and/or GPS coordinates.
• We support the repeal of the Growth Management Act and common sense alteration of the Shoreline Management Act, both of which unfairly restrict the rights of property owners.
3. Sanctity of Life
We believe that human life is sacred, and is created in the image of God. Life on this earth begins at the moment of conception and ends at the point of natural death. Government should never be an influence over end-of-life decisions, excepting those administering justice for capital offenses as provided by law.
We believe that traditional marriage is a legal and moral commitment between a natural man and a natural woman, and this is the only definition of marriage that we recognize and support. We believe that the family is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and that family by definition consists of those related by blood, marriage, or adoption. The individual family unit is responsible for their own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property.
We believe that a well-educated population is fundamental to the continued success of our Republic; and that parents have the right, as well as the duty, to direct their children’s education. This right should include having the option to choose between public, private, charter, home and religious schools. We firmly believe that providing parents choice between alternate means of education improves competition, and that competition improves education.
• State-set minimum graduation requirements, leaving specific curriculum decisions to elected local school boards.
• Acceptance of individual religious expression in school, with no interference by government or school administration.
• Teaching conducted in the English language, with educational materials printed in English.
• Students for whom English is a second language must demonstrate progress toward achieving grade-level English proficiency in order to retain placement in age-appropriate classes.
• A prohibition on public schools from promoting activities or lifestyles that are contrary to the community’s moral and civic standards, as defined by parents working through their locally-elected school boards.
• Use of school time and resources for traditional academic subjects exclusively; leaving lessons on moral, social, justice, and political orientation reserved rightfully to the parents and family of students.
• Current Washington State laws prohibiting teachers strikes.
• A program of accountability for the academic performance of students.
• It is essential that schools teach a comprehensive civics curriculum, including U.S. history, the content and original intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the history, theory and practice of the U.S. free enterprise system.
6. Taxes & Government Spending
We believe that the purpose of taxation is to fund the constitutionally mandated functions of government, not to redistribute wealth or to fund ever-expanding social programs. We should always strive to have less government, fewer government employees, less duplication of effort between government agencies, greater government efficiency, and therefore lower taxes.
• We believe in promoting economic growth and prosperity through reducing and/or eliminating certain taxes, fees, and regulations on businesses and individuals at the local, state and federal levels; primarily including but not limited to the capital gains tax, property taxes, estate/inheritance taxes, and personal and business income taxes. We oppose creation of any state income tax in Washington.
• We believe legislation should only contain expenditure line items directly related to the central purpose of the legislation, eliminating extraneous “earmark” spending.
• Under no circumstances shall government at the federal or state level be allowed to use public funds to purchase equity stakes in private businesses.
• We believe in restricting the independent power of the Federal Reserve and Central Bank through rigorous, independent auditing coupled with Congressional oversight of Federal Reserve activities and policies.
• We support national monetary policy with the primary objective of promoting currency value stability.
• Government budget surpluses should never be used to create or expand governmental spending programs, but used exclusively for debt reduction or be returned to the taxpayer through direct refund or tax rate reduction.
• We support a federal requirement for balanced budgets, and that no amount from the Social Security fund, Medicare/Medicaid funds, or any other existing entitlement fund is ever made available to balance the budget.
7. Business & Economy
We believe that the future of our country depends upon a strong and vibrant private business sector unencumbered by excessive government regulation.
• We urge Washington legislators to minimize governmental regulation of small businesses, and also to reduce taxes and fees in order to promote the creation and growth of small business.
• We support efforts of our County government to provide an environment favorable and friendly to business, through minimization of regulation related to Conditional Use. We further support the enticement of new businesses into our County through use of tax credits, deferrals, and/or other monetary incentives.
• We strongly oppose nationalization of private business, and under no circumstances shall government be allowed to purchase ownership interest in private businesses. We further oppose government influence on the operation of private business, including but not limited to influence upon pay or incentive structures, mergers and acquisitions, or product offerings. Should the government provide funds to private business for any reason they may set reasonable repayment terms, but may not exercise management control beyond that of any traditional creditor.
8. National Defense
We believe in peace through strength. We stand for defense of the citizens of the United States against any foe, foreign or domestic, whose goal is to destroy our American way of life. Freedom is never free, and we honor all those who have served our nation to protect our liberty, especially our men and women in uniform, who unselfishly and courageously defend our country.
• We must honor all past and current obligations both to our current military personnel and veterans.
• We support a policy of peace, commerce, and honest relations with all nations.
• We believe a strong, well-funded military is essential to our safety and preservation as a people and a nation.
• We believe in limiting the executive privilege of committing U.S. military to peacekeeping or combat missions, absent a Congressional declaration of war, to a maximum duration of 180 days.
• There shall be no sale to, or management of any U.S. ports or other vital national infrastructure by foreign-based companies.
9. Immigration and Border Security
We favor only legal immigration, control of the borders, requirement of employers to verify an applicant’s right to work before hiring, and immediate deportation of felons who are here illegally.
• We oppose providing social services and other benefits of citizenship to illegal aliens.
• We believe that foreign worker permits be of set duration, and that these workers be required to periodically return to their native countries for a designated period of time prior to being issued permit renewal.
• We believe that foreign nationals who meet the requirements and follow the regulations of the legal immigration system should be granted citizenship and be assimilated into American society.
• We oppose all proposed or future mass immigration “amnesties”, and support only the strict enforcement of existing immigration laws.
10. Energy and the Environment
We have an obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation for future generations and believe we do not need to sacrifice a healthy economy in order to maintain a healthy environment. We believe that environmental concerns are best addressed through private innovation and new technology delivered by the free market, rather than through government dictate or intervention. We believe that America’s current dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security and our economic prosperity. We reject the theory that carbon dioxide emissions are either a pollutant or are the cause of global climate change, and we reject any international treaty which would cede our national sovereignty by dictating limits on energy consumption, set arbitrary emissions limits, impose international taxes, or influence any aspect of American energy policy. Therefore, we support the following statements and positions:
• Any global climate change and/or warming or cooling trends are natural processes, not induced by human activity.
• We must revoke laws that limit carbon dioxide emissions or mandate carbon sequestration. We reject the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to declare carbon dioxide a pollutant and to control emissions and energy usage on that basis.
• We support repeal of the existing Endangered Species Act, or any other measure that does not fully consider the needs of our citizens and the economic cost of restrictions placed on usage of natural resources.
• America must reduce dependence upon foreign oil by expanding exploration and drilling within our territorial lands and waters, wherever it may be responsibly and profitably conducted.
• We support increasing America’s energy supply through construction of cost-effective electricity generation facilities, using any technology currently available as best fits the market the facility would serve. We therefore support expanded use of nuclear, coal, oil, gas, and hydroelectric energy generation.
• We support only the private, market-driven development of new technologies for clean, efficient, and cost-effective energy generation. We oppose government subsidy of “green and renewable” energy sources that cannot otherwise deliver energy at competitive cost.
• We reject each initiative of the United Nations Agenda 21, which is based upon the unproven theory of human-caused climate change, and which would seek to impose regulation of energy sustainability, “smart growth”, carbon cap and trade, and Y2Y.
• We support increase of systematic, selective timber harvesting and reforestation in both public and private lands as a means of ensuring healthy, productive, and fire-safe forests.
• We believe that maintaining a sustainable water supply in local areas should have priority over granting water transfer rights outside the source area. Water is a natural resource, not a commodity, and should be protected for use by local residents, agriculture, and industry. We strongly oppose the sale of water rights to out-of-state buyers by the State of Washington.
• We believe that animals should not be granted legal rights similar to those of human beings.
• Environmental legislation should be originated by state and local authorities, not by national or international authorities, as only local jurisdictions are expert in the need and effect of such legislation.
• We oppose the government imposition of CAFÉ standards upon the American automobile industry (Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards). The government has no legal right to require private companies to alter, introduce, or evolve their product offerings to meet arbitrarily set environmental objectives.
11. Tort/Civil Justice Reform
We support tort reform that discourages inception of frivolous lawsuits, and which would monetarily punish those subsequently deemed to have brought merit-less lawsuits. We believe reasonable limits must be set upon monetary awards for damages in medical, personal, corporate, or class-action liability cases. We support the principle of judicial restraint, which would require judges to strictly interpret law based on original intent rather than through application of subsequent case precedent, or, even worse, to set new legal precedent through judicial activism.
We believe that each citizen is responsible for periodically performing jury duty, and has the further responsibility to independently judge case facts beyond limits set by Jury Instructions. Only knowledgeable juries are capable of correctly applying the power of jury nullification when appropriate.
12. Campaign Finance Reform
We oppose “campaign finance reform” that restricts free speech, prohibits the right to open, public review of the voting records or positions of public officials, or places limits on the amount of individual or Political Action Committee campaign contributions. We support full disclosure and easy access to records of the amounts and sources of all campaign funds.
13. Social Security Reform and Retirement
We believe the President and Congress must urgently address the imminent insolvency of the Social Security system. The monthly obligations of Social Security now exceed the monthly individual contributions, and the Social Security trust fund has been depleted. Absent immediate real reform, future obligations can only be met by increasing national debt to even more unsupportable levels. Therefore:
• We strongly oppose any further use of Social Security trust funds to meet any other general government obligation or entitlement.
• We oppose payment of Social Security benefits to anyone other than legal citizens who have contributed to the system, or the dependents or survivors of citizens who’ve contributed to the Social Security system.
• We believe participation in the federal Social Security System should be voluntary, not enforced by mandatory FICA payroll deductions. Those who choose to opt out of the federal Social Security System would therefore be ineligible for benefits upon achieving retirement age.
14. Health Care
We believe our national health care system should continue to be a private market system, with reforms to come from business innovation, entrepreneurialism and profit motive. We strongly oppose nationalization of health care, and specifically oppose the creation of the “public option”, taxpayer funded, single payer health care system.
• We support immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
• We support elimination of restrictions preventing purchase of health insurance across state lines. To increase choice and competition, consumers should be free to purchase policies that fit their needs and budget from any company licensed to operate in the United States.
• We believe that third party payments drive increased health care cost. Therefore, we support the individual right to choose direct payment health care options instead of traditional third party insurance plans. Such options might include but not be limited to Medical Savings Accounts (MSA’s), Health Savings Accounts (HAS’s), or installment payment options.
• We do not recognize the right of the federal government to impose an individual mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance. We believe that individuals must be responsible for meeting their own health care costs, but have the right to choose from among traditional insurance, MSA’s or HSA’s, or installment payment options to retire their obligations.
• We support allowing individuals, private groups, and small businesses the freedom to form collective purchasing groups for the purpose of acquiring health insurance.
• We oppose any restriction on the right of patients and their doctors to independently decide upon courses of treatment. Neither insurance companies nor government agencies should have the authority to alter courses of treatment determined by doctors and their patients.
• We support tort reform as it relates to medical malpractice litigation, as a means to significantly reduce physician’s insurance costs as well as the cost of redundant or excessive testing fundamental to the practice of “defensive medicine”.
• We recognize the generous charitable nature of the American people, and we believe that existing charitable organizations can be organized toward providing medical care cost relief for needy individuals.
• There should be no taxpayer-funded payment for medical services provided to illegal aliens.
15. Free and Fair Elections
Free and fair elections are fundamental to our free society and our representative system of government. In order to ensure the highest level of accountability in our election system and to ensure that our elections are open to public scrutiny so that any questions about accuracy and fairness are properly assessed:
• We support only fully verifiable computer voting systems.
• We support re-opening polling locations in as many precincts as is possible.
• We support maintaining local precincts at a level that maintains community identity among those who vote at the polls.