Campaign Finance Reform
It’s easy to see why so many Americans and Floridians have lost faith in politicians and the integrity of our elections. For years, powerful incumbents have rigged the rules of the game in their own favor, making real change difficult to accomplish.
Under current Florida law, state lawmakers and the power brokers who back them can legally launder millions in special interest contributions through unaccountable political committees. These secretive committees operate outside Florida campaign finance limits, meaning they can raise and spend unlimited sums of money on behalf of candidates. When this money is kept in the shadows, the people of Florida are kept in the dark. We have no idea which special interests are buying favors from our lawmakers!
These provisions have served to make individual and corporate limitations on contributions to political candidate’s campaign accounts meaningless. This has resulted in an unprecedented increase in special interest contributions to committees controlled by legislative leadership and also to the political parties in Florida.
As a result, legislative leadership routinely colludes with political parties and well-heeled lobbyists to protect incumbents and reward donors with special access. It has to stop.
The people of Florida deserve better. If elected, I will fight for campaign finance reform to end the legal laundering that sells our legislature to the highest bidder. I will pursue reforms that bring dark money into the light and return government to the people.
As I fiscal conservative, I will fight to reduce the size and scope of state government. I’m committed to scrutinizing every penny we spend and finding ways to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse from all departments.
Education and Medicaid are the two largest expenditures in Florida’s budget.
Far too many public schools are delivering poor returns on investment for both students and taxpayers. That’s why I am committed to expanding school choice and bolstering vocational education to ensure students get the best education at a competitive price.
After education, Florida’s Medicaid program is the second largest single program in the state, covering approximately 4 million low-income individuals and representing 31 percent of the total budget.
Florida’s Medicaid burden will only be reduced by ensuring that Florida has a vibrant economy to equip citizens with good-paying jobs, which helps them escape the cycle of dependency.
Government can’t create jobs, but it can create an environment that allows businesses of all sizes to start up and thrive. If elected, one of my priorities will be focusing like a laser on the elimination of onerous regulations, such as unnecessary fees and permits, as well as licensing requirements that hamper the growth of small business.
I will pursue criminal justice reform to ensure that the incarceration of non-violent offenders is not putting an avoidable burden onto social welfare programs.
Real Jobs for Florida
Corporate welfare in Florida must end. Despite running for office as Republicans and conservatives, our GOP legislature too often gets duped by the false premise that government spending can create jobs. Often this is done under the guise of luring businesses to Florida.
That’s why, over the last few decades, our governors and lawmakers have funneled billions of dollars in cash incentives and grants to well-connected corporations, all at the expense of our citizens and small businesses. I will work tirelessly to end this unfair practice and let you keep more of your hard-earned money.
Study after study has shown that the recipients of government stimulus funds almost never achieve their projections for growth or employment. Sometimes they even go bankrupt before hiring a single person. In either case, this is our money that we will never get back.
These programs are also very vulnerable to corruption. As the old adage says, “when government robs Peter to pay Paul, it can always depend on the support of Paul.”
Florida is already an appealing place with a skilled and educated 21st century workforce. Rather than offer special deals to privileged few, we should continue to strengthen our business-friendly climate until it becomes the envy of America.
Florida can compete with any state in the nation without having to throw taxpayer dollars away in the process.
Reducing impediments to starting a business will do more to spur economic growth than a special deal ever could. It is the surest way to attract businesses to relocate to Florida while at the same time enabling existing Florida businesses of all sizes to grow and create new jobs for Floridians.
Crony capitalism and corporate welfare are not the engines of Florida’s economy. That role belongs to our talented entrepreneurs in the private sector. I’ll work to get big government out of their way.
Improve Education: Eliminate Common Core
Federal education mandates have kept Florida students from receiving the education they deserve.
We need high standards for students but they should never be dictated by Washington. That means eliminating Common Core standards, which have been marketed to our parents and students under the name “Florida Standards.” Meeting our obligation to educate every student will only happen by working with local teachers, students, and school boards rather than federal bureaucrats.
Common Core has failed because it attempts to mass produce education instead of encouraging local innovation and specialized curriculum. Our teachers are the best in America, but they should never be hindered by one-size-fits-all policies. Teachers need to be empowered to use their knowledge, skill and creativity to ensure that every child reaches their full potential.
Reforming education will also require a shift in thinking about standardized tests. While testing is important, it cannot become such a high-stakes and all-consuming part of education that teachers begin teaching to the test. I will work toward legislation that ensures problem-solving skills do not lose their place in the classroom to test preparation.
There is no one ideal model of instruction for every student. Children have unique interests, talents and abilities that often require tailored curriculum.
Expanding school choice and vocational opportunities will allow every student to pursue their own individual passions.
Protect Our Gun Rights
Constitutional rights are non-negotiable, and that is why we must always protect Floridians’ second amendment right to keep and bear arms.
I am personally disgusted by the efforts of pretentious politicians who — from behind walls of armed guards — try to disarm our law-abiding citizens. Gun owners are considered “guilty until proven innocent” by these meddlesome restrictions, which often prevent citizens from protecting themselves, their families and their property.
As a member of the State House, I will work toward the total elimination of government-imposed “gun free zones.” I also support overturning the state ban on open carry of a firearm, which will deter crime and honor each person’s right to self-defense.
Constitutional rights do not belong to certain privileged groups. They belong to all Americans. That is why I will support the right of those with concealed weapons permits to carry a firearm on public college campuses in Florida. These campuses are currently under mandate as “gun free zones,” which makes them more likely to be targeted by a potential attacker. It’s our responsibility as stewards of our Constitution and our public university system to ensure that basic rights — including the second amendment — are protected on campus.
Red Light Cameras
Red light cameras aren’t just obnoxious and intrusive; they are also unsafe. A survey from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showed that crashes including fatalities were skyrocketing at intersections that featured a red light camera. That is why so many Florida counties and municipalities have been discontinuing the use of these cameras.
Still, certain career politicians in Tallahassee are adamant about keeping this nuisance around. Current District 52 incumbent Thad Altman, while serving in the State Senate, led the legislative effort to give statewide approval to red light cameras. Whenever the Florida House votes to ban the cameras, Altman shows his true colors by opposing the ban.
If elected, I will give my unequivocal support to the movement to ban red light cameras in Florida.
It’s no coincidence that these cameras generate huge amounts of revenue for the state and big chunks of campaign cash for lawmakers like Altman. This corrupt collusion between politicians and special interests is precisely why Brevard County voters deserve better representation in District 52.