What I believe:
1. I believe that Missouri is beginning to fall into the current national trap of placing partisan politics above the best interests of all of us.
Issues are so complex that simple answers are no longer adequate. We need common sense solutions to difficult problems, and pure partisanship isn’t going to provide them.
2. I believe that a strong and vibrant economy benefits all: businesses, workers, schools, and churches.
I am deeply concerned that much of the legislative agenda in Jefferson City at the present time is being dictated by wealthy special interests from urban Missouri. I will resist that agenda when it does not represent our interests and values in the 160th District.
3. I believe in cultivating entrepreneurship and in supporting those measures that assist in the development of small businesses.
My experience starting and operating a small business positions me well to recognize and support those measures that help small business owners and oppose those that hinder them.
4. I believe that a vibrant economy depends on strong, well-supported schools and colleges and that our school districts and Crowder College are among our greatest economic and public assets.
With current levels of revenue, I will not support expansion of charter schools or school vouchers that draw your tax dollars away from badly needed support for our public schools. I will support stronger funding for K-12 and higher education and expansion of career and technical education.
5. I believe that well-funded and up-to-date infrastructure (roads, bridges, rail, and air services) are vital to maintaining and strengthening the local economy.
As much as I am wary of increases in taxes, some bi-partisan effort must be made to improve and maintain our state road and transportation systems.
6. I believe that we must protect our fiscally sound public employee and teacher retirement systems in Missouri so that we can continue to attract qualified and committed teachers to the state while supporting our retirees.
These retirement systems are currently under attack in Missouri. I will resist every effort to privatize the state public employee and teacher retirement systems.
7. I believe the family farm to be critical to our local economy and will support measures that will sustain and strengthen regional agriculture.
I will resist legislation that favors corporate farms at the expense of the small, family farms that are the backbone of agriculture in our district.
8. I believe in the constitutional right to bear arms, am a gun owner myself, and come from a long line of people who owned and respected firearms.
I do not believe that either the Framers of the Constitution nor the courts who have ruled on the 2nd Amendment believed it to be unrestricted nor to include military-grade weapons for use by the general public.
My reading of our founding fathers’ words about the 2nd Amendment convinces me that they did not intend the amendment to be unrestricted. They saw it as being tempered by the constitutional objective to “insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare.”
9. I believe that we must provide a strong, well-managed safety net for our senior citizens to ensure that they can continue to live fruitful and productive lives.
Current data indicate that 60% of those retiring do not have sufficient savings to support them in retirement. We must maintain a strong Social Security and medical support system so that our senior citizens can live full and productive lives.
10. I believe that we can more effectively manage costs in our social support programs—primarily through eliminating abuse and by reducing costs from vendors who service these programs.
I will support every effort to control abuse of Medicare and Medicaid and reduce costs of services, while still maintaining these critical programs for children, seniors, and those with disabilities.
11. I believe in the sanctity of life and that this must include ensuring that children, once born, are provided with food, shelter, education, and a safe living and school environment.
Though personally opposed to abortion, I believe that the laws as they now stand protect the health and well-being of women and the unborn.
Finally, I believe these values are commonly shared by the good people of the 160th District. To me, they are the essence of Christian values. I see great wisdom in the words of Philippians 4:5 which says, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” We have too often allowed special interests from our big cities and unreasonable partisanship to drive the legislative agenda, ignoring some of our personal core values and crucial rural needs. It is my commitment as your state representative that I will listen to every citizen and provide an engaged, courageous, and common sense voice for you as a constituent.
Please register, and please vote in November for your values and your voice!