Allen and Jackson respond to Bearing Drift endorsement questionnaireFeaturedPolitics

Bearing Drift has received replies to our endorsement questionnaire for the Virginia Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from former Governor George Allen and Bishop E.W. Jackson. Delegate Bob Marshall and Jamie Radtke chose not to participate.

The above links will take you to the .pdf files of their responses.

Bearing Drift will now follow our Endorsement Policy and endorse our pick for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate not later than next Tuesday.

Below, we post their responses in the order they were received. There has been no editing, other than consistency of typeface.

First, George Allen:

1. Why will you make a better U.S. Senator than Tim Kaine?
I can hardly wait to compare our records and visions for the future. Tim Kaine and I have very different records and very different visions.

When I was Governor, even with the Democrats in control of the General Assembly, we successfully advanced our pro-jobs growth agenda and enacted landmark reforms in public safety, education, and welfare that made Virginia a safer and more prosperous place to live, learn, work and raise our families.

We cut taxes by over $600 million; Tim Kaine proposed over $4 billion in tax increases when he was Governor. We froze college tuition; under Tim Kaine, tuition increased over 30 percent. Our policies and efforts helped Virginia create more than 300,000 net new jobs during my four years as Governor; there were over 100,000 fewer jobs for Virginians at the end of Tim Kaine’s four years as Governor. And while I was working up until my last day in office sending the message that Virginia is “Open for Business” and attracting more jobs and investment, Tim Kaine was closing Rest Areas and advocating for tax increases while his last year was spent traveling the country as President Obama’s hand-picked partisan party chairman.

We’ve seen what Tim Kaine’s vision means for the country. He’s been the top cheerleader for the Obama agenda — the failed stimulus, job-killing regulations, counterproductive energy policies, and a government takeover of healthcare. And what has been the result? Massive increases in federal spending, federal debt nearing $16 trillion, an ongoing lack of jobs with unemployment over 8 percent for three years and underemployment at 18 percent.

I envision a better future than what we are during these days. I have put forward a positive Blueprint for America’s Comeback – a pro-growth plan of action based on our foundational principles of freedom, individual responsibility, and equal opportunity for all. It focuses on positive tax, reasonable regulatory, and empowering education policies and unleashing our plentiful energy resources from Virginia’s coalfields to off our coast and throughout America which would send a message to the world that America Is Open for Business!; and reining in the over-spending, over-reaching government in Washington.

Meanwhile Tim Kaine is for the Cap and Trade energy tax scheme which is now being implemented by regulation by EPA, opposes the Keystone Pipeline, and has vascillating positions on production of oil and gas off Virginia’s Coast. I really do look forward to comparing our ideas, vision and reforms for a more prosperous American future.

2. CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) has received bipartisan support – and opposition. Do you support or oppose this measure? Please explain your position.
Cybersecurity is an important national security concern. Whether in response to physical or cyber attacks, the ability to share information quickly is vitally important. As our reliance on technology and the Internet have grown, our vulnerability to attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure and networked systems has also grown exponentially. The cyber threats in our nation are significant, and are unfortunately only becoming more complicated and sophisticated as time goes on. I am generally supportive of the purpose and goals of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. However, I would want to see more iron-clad protections of individual American’s privacy from potential excessive governmental intrusions. I do not like leaving it to unelected government bureaucrats to proscribe their own scope of action and regulation of business. These key issues must be resolved by elected representatives of the people. It is my sense that the reasonable concerns of some opponents can and will be addressed with clear amendments to this legislation.

3. If elected to the United States Senate, which committees would you seek to serve on and why?
Armed Services – First, a top Constitutionally enumerated responsibility of the federal government is national defense and national security, and the threats to our country today are very real and dangerous. It is the Armed Services Committee that is responsible for ensuring that our country is prepared and our troops equipped and trained to fight our nation’s wars and protect our Freedom. I want to be on the front lines to guide defense policy and fight against dangerous and unwise cuts that would risk our troops’ safety as well as our nation’s security. Second, Virginians needs to have our voice heard on this key committee. Our Commonwealth is home both to many strategic bases and defense facilities, as well as to many small to large agile, private companies that provide quality services to our military and whose capabilities converge with today’s pressing national security challenges, including cybersecurity, missile defense, UAVs, modeling and simulation, and keeping our sea lanes open for commerce.

Energy and Natural Resources – One of my top priorities for Virginians and all Americans is to reverse the counterproductive energy policies that are locking up our plentiful American energy resources from Virginia to the barren North Slope of Alaska and keeping us vulnerable to foreign sources of oil. Through this committee, I will be in a position to help Virginians from the coalfields to off our coast are ready, willing and able to provide the energy to power our country, and to put in place common-sense energy policies that will improve the competitiveness of our American economy, create jobs, ensure a reliable, affordable supply of fuel, food and electricity for our families and businesses, enhance our security, generate new revenues for the government without raising taxes, and keep our money here in the U.S.A.

Commerce, Science and Transportation –This committee is responsible for laying the foundation for our nation’s economic competitiveness– from our physical transportation infrastructure to the information superhighway. It is an important committee for Virginia’s strong technology, biotech, and aerospace industries and for helping keep America the World Capital of Innovation, which I worked on as Governor and as U.S. Senator (as chairman of the High Tech Task Force, keeping the Internet free from access taxes, nanotechnology, the Minority Serving Institutions Technology Opportunity Act, the Education Opportunity Tax Credit, and Cybersecurity).

4. A number of candidates have expressed a desire to amend the Constitution in a variety of ways. Do you believe the U.S. Constitution needs amending? If so, in what ways? Do you favor a constitutional convention?
Yes, there are several constitutional amendments I have -sponsored in the past and would support in the future, including the Federal Marriage Amendment.

I will again introduce a Balanced Budget Amendment that would prevent Congress from spending more than it takes in, with provisions for taxpayer protection to limit taxes and spending and line-item veto authority to accord the President the same tool I used as Governor to cut out the wasteful spending that drives up our annual deficits. I have fought for this reform since my days in the House of Representatives where we got my Balanced Budget/Line-Item Veto Amendment to the floor for a vote.

Washington has demonstrated time and again that it is incapable of policing itself when it comes to spending our taxpayer dollars; binding Congress through the Constitution will finally and permanently bring responsible priorities to governance in Washington.

From Thomas Jefferson to Ronald Reagan, Presidents have advocated for a Balanced Budget Amendment. I am hopeful that the people will give the upcoming Congress a clear mandate to change the way Washington conducts business, and that we will finally have enough allies in the House and Senate to send this crucial Amendment to the States for ratification. I am confident that if such an amendment were proposed to the States, it would be quickly ratified. Forty-nine States already operate with balanced budget requirements. Better than a constitutional convention is allowing States to initiate Amendments to the Constitution.

5. Do you believe the current balance between state and federal responsibilities is appropriate? If not, how would you correct the balance?
Our federalist system is badly in need of rebalancing. Too often, especially in the past three years, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to check encroachments by the unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies of the Executive Branch. The REINS Act would begin to correct this irresponsible behavior. At the same time, we need to strengthen the other essential balance in our federalist system – the States. As Governor, I helped lead a national coalition of States on a Federalism Initiative to restore this foundational balance.

Perhaps we were ahead of our time with our proposals to rebalance our federal system and reinvigorate the 10th Amendment with what we called the “States’ Initiative” and “States’ Veto” (currently known as the Madison Amendment and the Repeal Amendment). But today, the necessity is clear. We must act to restore a working set of checks and balances and renew the Framers’ vision – which is exactly what these amendments do by providing the States a direct means of amending the Constitution without a constitutional convention and of repealing objectionable federal legislation or regulations. Most importantly, we need people in Washington who represent the rights and prerogatives of the people in the States to govern themselves. I look at the States as “laboratories of innovation.”

6. Are you committed to balancing the federal budget and paying down the national debt? If so, explain your plan to accomplish this goal and how you would go about gaining the political support to see your plan enacted into law.
Yes, I am committed to balancing the federal budget and paying down the national debt by putting an end to the reckless, irresponsible Washington spending that has made trillion dollar annual deficits the norm. Our current path is dangerous and unsustainable; it will endanger our children’s future and their ability to achieve the American Dream. That is why I have taken the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” pledge, which combines iron-clad spending cuts and caps with long-term solutions including the Balanced Budget Amendment. My Blueprint for America’s Comeback lays out some of strategies that I will pursue to rein in federal spending, and I look forward to working with like-minded Senators such as Tom Coburn to root out duplication and waste and make sure that every dollar in taxpayer funds is spent as efficiently as possible.

At the same time, we must reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit of America with pro-jobs growth economic, regulatory, energy and education policies that make our country more competitive and conducive for investment and jobs. I am the only candidate who has a proven record of bringing jobs to Virginia with 300,000 net new private-sector jobs created during my service as Governor. When we get America’s economy growing and creating jobs again, more people will be earning income and we will have more profitable businesses, all of which helps expand the revenue side of the equation. Moreover, by unleashing the plentiful energy resources we have under our land and water, the federal government could receive over one trillion dollars in revenues from lease sales and royalties, without raising taxes. Accomplishing these reforms won’t be easy, but I know from experience what it takes to bring people together, working with a legislature controlled by Democrats when I was Governor and in the Senate finding allies on the other side for my initiatives – for example, keeping federal, State and local taxes off Internet access.

7. It has been more than three years since the U.S. Senate passed a formal budget through regular order. Do you support reform of the Congressional budget process? If so, how would you go about reforming the process?
Passing a budget is a basic and fundamental responsibility of any business and legislative body, along with the Executive. Americans are rightfully outraged that for three years the U.S. Senate has failed to meet this responsibility. In that time Washington has added $5.1 trillion to the national debt, punted on nearly every effort to restrain spending and the credit rating of the United States has been downgraded for the first time in history. It is time for responsible reform of the budget process to ensure accountability.

I have long advocated for and sponsored what I call the Paycheck Penalty Act to withhold the pay of Members of Congress if they fail to complete annual budget appropriations on time. Virginia businesses know that if they don’t get their job done, they don’t get paid. Congress ought to abide by the same basic rules.

8. Please describe one piece of legislation you will champion during your term in office if elected.
If I am hired on to serve Virginia in the United States Senate, in addition to previously discussed legislation, one of the bills I will introduce on my first day is legislation to allow Virginia to produce natural gas and oil off our coast, and to share 37.5% of the royalties with Virginia, which I would use for roads and transportation. This was the arrangement made available to, Gulf Coast States under legislation adopted in 2006; Virginia should have the same option. This would not only increase Virginia-American energy, it could create around 2,000 jobs and, with revenue sharing similar to the Gulf Coast states, could bring in $250 million annually in royalties and other revenue for Virginia. Virginia was ready to move forward with oil and gas production when the Obama Administration cancelled the lease sales scheduled for 2011, and has pushed them back to 2018 at the earliest.

9. Do you support reform of the Senate rules, specifically to end filibusters and the ability of individual Senators to place holds on nominees?
For 214 years the tradition and practice in the Senate was that when a President nominated a particular person for a judicial vacancy, the Judiciary Committee would examine that individual very closely, as to their scholarship, their temperament, their judicial philosophy, and ultimately if they passed muster, that person would come to the Senate floor.

That changed during my time in the Senate, when those on the other side decided that a minority of only 41 Senators should be able to deny a well-qualified nominee the fairness and the due process of an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. The same injustice was inflicted upon John Bolton, who was an outstanding Ambassador to the U.N.

I believe Senators should vote on nominations and not hide behind partisan political processes to deny a nominee the fairness, the decency, and the due process of an up or down vote on the Senate floor.

10. If elected, you will likely have to vote on confirming a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. What are you looking for in a potential Supreme Court justice?
The confirmation of judicial appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts is one of the very most important decisions made by a U.S. Senator, and one that will have a long-lasting impact on Virginia families, individuals and businesses, as well as our freedom, opportunity and sovereignty.

As a Senator, I would confirm judges who are committed to the rule of law and understand the proper, restrained role of a judge in a representative democracy, which is that judges ought to apply the law and the Constitution, not invent the law, impose their own political biases, or amend the Constitution or Bill of Rights by judicial decree. I would vote against confirmation of nominees who believe in deciding domestic cases based upon international laws or other laws not enacted by Americans’ elected representatives in our States or the U.S. Congress.

Second, E.W. Jackson:

1. Why will you make a better U.S. Senator than Tim Kaine?
I believe in the Founders’ vision for America of freedom and personal responsibility, where individualism is revered and protected. I believe, as they did, that government’s responsibility is to protect our rights. Tim Kaine believes in a false vision for America where primary responsibility is to the group and the government that rules us; where collectivism is revered and forced on the individual, but of course “for the good of all.” Tim Kaine, as a modern liberal, is an intellectual heir of totalitarian thinkers. I claim the legacy of the Founding Fathers and classical liberalism, which today is defined as conservatism.

2. CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) has received bipartisan support – and opposition. Do you support or oppose this measure? Please explain your position.
I oppose CISPA. There are many issues with it. Simply put, it is full of extremely broad definitions which fail to create the safeguards that the representatives insist are present, and which leave room for dangerous unintended consequences.

3. If elected to the United States Senate, which committees would you seek to serve on and why?
There are many committees I feel I could serve on effectively. One in particular that I feel is important, especially on this Memorial day, is the Armed Services Committee. Our servicemen and women are ordinary people, and yet they are heroes. We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never repay. I believe there are many promises and responsibilities to them that have not been kept and I want to see that situation remedied.

4. A number of candidates have expressed a desire to amend the Constitution in a variety of ways. Do you believe the U.S. Constitution needs amending? If so, in what ways? Do you favor a constitutional convention?
I would amend the Constitution to protect the lives of unborn children, define marriage as a union between one man and one woman and require that the federal government balance the budget with a limit on its ability to raise taxes except in cases of national emergency. I would oppose a Constitutional convention however.

5. Do you believe the current balance between state and federal responsibilities is appropriate? If not, how would you correct the balance?
No, today the balance has been tipped heavily toward the federal government. This will only be corrected when all unconstitutional activity by the federal government is stopped.

6. Are you committed to balancing the federal budget and paying down the national debt? If so, explain your plan to accomplish this goal and how you would go about gaining the political support to see your plan enacted into law.
I am fully committed to balancing the federal budget and eliminating the national debt. I have pledged not to vote for any budget that is not balanced and against any attempt to raise the debt ceiling. Until recently, leadership is what has been lacking in this area. Today we have leadership from Rand Paul & Jim Demint. What we need now is more leaders like them who can articulate the message and build overwhelming support both from American people that will move the members of the Senate and the House.

7. It has been more than three years since the U.S. Senate passed a formal budget through regular order. Do you support reform of the Congressional budget process? If so, how would you go about reforming the process?
Congress should never have been allowed to fund the government through continuing resolutions. I would immediately call for that to end. While it is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to pass any budget first, I would work with any group of representatives in Congress to create a balanced budget and advocate for it.

8. Please describe one piece of legislation you will champion during your term in office if elected.
A bill to repeal The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

9. Do you support reform of the Senate rules, specifically to end filibusters and the ability of individual Senators to place holds on nominees?
No.

10. If elected, you will likely have to vote on confirming a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. What are you looking for in a potential Supreme Court justice?
Nominees who respect the Constitution based on the actual wording and intent of the framers; believe in the sanctity of human life; believe in the traditional definition of marriage as a union between one man and woman; have the intellectual ability to do the job at hand; and have the intestinal fortitude to stand up for Constitutional principles and not be swayed by the opinions of the media, the public or their fellow justices.

  • Nathan Miller

    Allen’s responses clearly drafted by a staffer…I would be shocked if he even saw the questionnaire.

    Jackson’s responses probably drafted by his own hand.

    I’m shocked Bearing Drift is even acting like it will endorse anyone other than Allen. With the endorsement of a closest liberal for President, it is only fitting the big spending, budget busting Allen would get Bearing Drift’s endorsement.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    We haven’t made the decision yet. We have actually barely talked about it, since we promised the campaigns we would wait until the debates were over and we would wait until we got responses to the questionnaire in.

  • Nathan Miller

    “Washington has demonstrated time and again that it is incapable of policing itself when it comes to spending our taxpayer dollars” – Allen

    Yet he wants us to return him to a position where he has already shown that he can’t trusted?? It pains me that I will have to with hold my vote in November. I cannot in good conscious vote for George Allen ever again.

  • Jim Wilson

    Nathan what would you have said if George Allen hadn’t filled out the questionnaire ?

  • NotNathan

    Ha, ha, how little does George Allen think of the conservative movement that he won’t respond to the leading Republican blog in the state? Jackson proves again how he gets what it takes to win and build a winning coalition to victory over Tim Kaine!

  • NotNathan

    Or he would have said something to that effect.

  • Nathan Miller

    I would have said exactly the same thing. Nothing in the Endorsement Policy states a candidate must answer the questionnaire to gain an endorsement. I have no doubt the endorsement would go to Allen, regardless of whether or not he turned in a questionnaire.

    The writing is on the wall. “The Board” knows there is nothing to gain by endorsing anyone other than Allen. Access is not won by endorsing Jackson, Radtke, or Marshall when they won’t be the nominee.

  • MIkey

    Um… access to what?

  • Nathan Miller

    @Mikey

    To the candidate.

  • Jim Wilson

    Why would anybody endorse Radtke she is a horrible candidate.

  • Nathan Miller

    They are all horrible candidates.

  • http://www.advrider.com James “turbo” Cohen

    Choose whoever you want. This is shaping up to be a dem victory. If Kaine wins then operation drain the swamp ramps up.

  • http://www.advrider.com James “turbo” Cohen

    Truthfully, this is not about any of the GOP candidate, this is about denying Obama a Kaine victory so as to deny him VA.

  • http://www.bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    We’ve already got access to the candidate. I see him all the time. He hosted a fundraiser for me. He’s very accessible.

    If we endorse Allen – and nothing has been decided yet – it will be because he’s the best candidate for the job, not because of any ancillary reasons, especially not because an endorsement might benefit the site.

  • Brian Kirwin

    Gee, Turbo. Maybe you can bring back your Whig party! That’s was such a rip-roaring success.

  • EM Barner

    The Allen camp has a higher word count.

  • http://www.advrider.com James “turbo” Cohen

    Never been a whig to my knowledge. Was a democrat though. Which is worse?

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Schoeneman

    Democrat. Even Lincoln was a Whig, so we could have given you a pass on that.

  • http://www.advrider.com James “turbo” Cohen

    Never been a lawyer either.. :)
    Too damn many lawyers in the Senate.

  • http://craigkilby.com Craig Kilby

    Re Allen: What is the Federal Marriage Amendment? Is this more gay bashing? I sure hope not.

  • http://www.advrider.com James “turbo” Cohen

    Its our cascading debt, our economy, our unbacked currency and that 3 letter word Biden spoke so eloquently about.. JOBS.

    One thing Allen refuses to say is that he will not commit to less debt. ObamaKaine will attack from the right with Allen and Reagans own words.

  • Tim J

    If you turn the sound down, George looks like and moves his arms like a big shiny puppet in this video. I hope Bob wasn’t working the strings…

  • http://www.advrider.com James “turbo” Cohen

    Congressman Rigell and I had a discussion about this and at least he realizes the GOP sacrificed leverage when the debt limit was increased. Obama will have enough dogh to make it through elections.. Thanks for chiming in George. I knew you said you support debt limit increases.

    Can’t make this stuff up.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Juicy stuff from Virginia Conservative.. http://virginiaconservative.wordpress.com

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