My Campaign Ethics

Last week, young Mr. Wamp criticized Rep. Fleischmann for accepting out-of-state PAC money. I thought this was a bit rich coming from someone who is getting most of his money from his father’s contacts, but it does give me the opportunity to spell out what I will and will not do in this campaign.

Donations

I will accept any and all donations from individuals, corporations, PACs, clubs, non-profit organizations, or any other entity, provided that the donation is legal and that I don’t find the individual or organization personally offensive (for example, I would not accept money from the Ku Klux Klan). Mr. Wamp may have the luxury of being able to pick and choose his donors, but I am not so fortunate. Having said that, I wish to make it absolutely clear that my vote is not for sale. I may become more accessible to donors, but I won’t vote for something that is contrary to the best interests of the 3rd District or the United States of America.

Negative Advertising

I promise to attack my opponents on the issues and on their character, in ways that they may see as negative. I will do my best to not mislead the public and to tell the truth to the best of my ability, but yes, I fully intend to use negative advertising against my opponents.

Nepotism

If elected, I will hire some friends and relatives to work in my office. I am concerned that if I fill my office with too many people who did not know me before I became a candidate, these people will be unwilling or unable to tell me when they think I am making a mistake. My friends and family have demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to fill this role.

My Independence

I will not join a political party. Period. If you don’t ask, I won’t have to say no–or worse.

Mistakes

I will make mistakes. I promise to admit it when I do. Please note that what some may view as a mistake may only be a difference of opinion. If I say that the moon is made of green cheese and you show me that NASA collected moon rocks, I’ll admit my error. If I say that large corporations and the federal government are in a symbiotic relationship and you play me a quote from Glenn Beck saying that I’m wrong, I’m sticking to my guns.

Communication

If you send me a form letter complaint, I’ll answer with a form letter response. If you write an original letter or email on an issue, I will address it as best I can, personally whenever possible. If I don’t answer your question–and I have yet to have a question to a politician answered in a clear and concise matter–I expect and demand that you call me out on it.

Order of Importance

I will propose and vote on legislation using the following criteria, in this order:

  1. Is it constitutional?
  2. Is it in the best interests of the people of the 3rd District?
  3. Is it in the best interests of Tennessee?
  4. Is it in the best interests of the United States?
  5. Is it in the best interests of the world?
  6. Is it in the best interests of my donors?
  7. Is it in my personal best interest?

When I am not sure which way I should vote, based on the above, I will ask for input from my constituents. When I picked up my papers from the Hamilton County Election Commission, I met Republican candidate Ron Bhalla. Bhalla says that he is going to try to get his constituents’ opinions on every vote, and I admire him for this. I may even vote for him in the Republican primary. I am not sure that this is practical, but I will do my best to implement a way in which I can quickly take the pulse of the 3rd District on key issues. I am not willing to go as far as he is though, since there may be cases where what I know–not what I think, but what I know–is best for the people of the 3rd District is not what they think is best for themselves. I call it the “Cheers Syndrome.” The television show Cheers was great right up until the point when the producers allowed Sam and Diane to hook up, then it was only OK until they broke up, when it became great again–at least until they allowed Sam and Rebecca to get together. The audience thought they wanted the relationships, until they actually got them.

Documentation

I will give my rationale for every vote, excluding mundane procedural matters, on my House website within a day of the vote. I will not vote for any bill if I or members of my staff have not had the opportunity to read it in its entirety.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about how I plan to run things, please let me know and I’ll address them as quickly as I can. Thanks for reading.

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1 Comment

Filed under Ethics

One response to “My Campaign Ethics

  1. Good job. I like your honesty and stepping up to promise a better level of contact than I’ve ever seen.

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