Sunday, April 25, 2010

My input to the Indiana GOP 2010 platform committee

The Indiana Republican Party is soliciting input from Hoosiers on the content of their 2010 platform, at the following web page (up to 10,000 characters).

Online Platform Committee Testimony

Following is the testimony I just submitted.

Following are my recommendations of things that would be worthwhile to consider keeping, dropping, adding, or modifying in the 2010 Indiana Republican Party platform.

It would make the platform more consistent from one election year to the next to focus less on specific Republican candidates and officeholders and more on issues.

Put in a plank calling for the general assembly and governor to petition the U.S. DOT to return Indiana to the central time zone. This would align well with Governor Daniels' efforts to protect children, by reducing the number of fall, winter, and spring days our state's children have to walk to school or wait for school buses in the morning darkness.

Urge the state government to get out of picking winners and losers in the energy business through tax incentives and subsidies. Let the free market lead the way to the best solutions, as directed by consumers, and private entrepreneurs and investors. Let ethanol and other biofuels stand or fall on their own merits in the free market.

It may be time to recognize that stiff laws against private adult use of recreational drugs has been a great waste of taxpayer money and otherwise productive lives. Let's look back to our country's failed history with prohibition of the recreational drug of alcohol and follow the lead of our forefathers who made peace with the peaceful, private, adult use of this drug.

Let's acknowledge that our country can ill afford the costs of global empire, and urge our federal government to follow the foreign policy advice of John Quincy Adams:

"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." --John Quincy Adams (1821)

It seems time to start floating the concept of separation of marriage and state. Government approval and licensure of marriage is a relatively recent development, with a somewhat sordid history of being instituted to try to prohibit interracial marriages by the force of government. If government started getting itself out of the business of dictating who can and cannot marry, and returned the responsibility of authorizing marriage back to God and the church, this could help to defuse the present divisive discourse over whose definition of marriage gets official government approval.

Ensure that all Indiana citizens serving on criminal juries are reminded that Article 1, Section 19 of the Indiana constitution provides that "in all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts."

It would be good to add support for the concept of free markets.

It might be worthwhile to consider expanding the Indiana platform to address some of the following issues addressed by the 2008 Texas GOP platform. This would help provide more detailed guidance to local, state, and national elected officials and candidates on the expectations Hoosier Republicans have for them.

We respect and cherish 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 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 choices among public, private, home and religious schools. Competition improves education. We support choice in public education and believe that quality education is best achieved by encouraging parental involvement, protecting parental rights, and maximizing local control.

We encourage the Governor and the Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options – which fund the student, not schools or districts – to allow maximum freedom of choice in public, private or parochial education for all children.

The Federal Government has no constitutional jurisdiction over education. We call for abolition of the U. S. Department of Education and prohibition of transfer of any of its functions to any other agency.

We urge the Legislature to require cities and counties to exempt private school students from daytime curfew ordinances. We oppose Juvenile Daytime Curfew which puts undue stress on students who have a legitimate reason to be out of school and their parents.

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including Intelligent Design. We believe theories of life origins and environmental theories should be taught as scientific theory, not scientific law. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.

We support state sovereignty reserved under the Tenth Amendment and oppose mandates beyond the scope of federal authority. We further support abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not originally delegated to the federal government under a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

We understand most crime is local, and the states reserve law enforcement authority under the Tenth Amendment.

We oppose any constitutional convention [ aka con-con ] to rewrite the United States Constitution. We demand the Legislature rescind its 1977 call for such a convention. We call upon other states to rescind their votes for such a convention. [ Indiana’s call for a con-con may have been a different year. ]

The Republican Party believes in equal opportunity for all American citizens without regard to race or gender. To that end, we oppose affirmative action.

We support limiting the definition of eminent domain to exclude seizing private property for public or private economic development or for increased tax revenues.

We oppose a mandatory national animal identification system requiring registration of all animals, of animal owners and their properties, including GPS coordinates. We urge repeal of HB 1361.

We urge change of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status. We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send government any personal information about their contributors.

We support judges who strictly interpret the law based on its original intent. We oppose judges who assume for themselves legislative powers.

We support the Electoral College.

We urge immediate repeal of the McCain-Feingold [campaign finance "reform"] Act.

We support reducing the time, bureaucratic interference and cost of adoption.

We support market-based, private sector initiatives to improve the portability, quality and affordability of healthcare. We support consumer choice of providers. Free market principles and competition shall be encouraged in health care, especially allowing each trained health care professional to practice to the extent of their education.

We deplore any efforts to mandate that vitamins and other natural supplements be on a prescription–only basis, and we oppose any efforts to remove vitamins and other nutritional supplements from public sale. We support the rights of all adults to their choice of nutritional products.

All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.

We urge repeal of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Law. Those who assault peaceful protesters acting under the Constitution should be vigorously prosecuted. Picketing and literature distribution do not fall under the RICO Act.

We oppose seizure of private property without due process. Neither law enforcement agencies nor their parent organizations should be allowed to benefit from such seizures.

We support downsizing of the federal government in order to re-establish states’ rights. We further support abolishing agencies whose activities are not delegated to them under original intent of the Constitution.

We oppose taxes levied and regulations imposed based on the alleged threat of global warming.

Every worker should have freedom to work in their preferred job without being forced to join or pay dues to any organization.

We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.

We support having only local control over our police forces.

We favor fair international trade. We oppose taxation and regulation of American industry that makes American products uncompetitive. We oppose free trade expansion at the expense of national security and sovereignty. We call for withdrawal from agreements that compromise our sovereignty and security.

We believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of the United States that we immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to, the United Nations.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Starr
Bartholomew County
Columbus, Indiana
Sun, 25 Apr 2010, 9:58 pm EDT

For reference, following are pages which have links to the 2008 Indiana and Texas GOP platforms.

The Indiana Republican Party - Documents

Republican Party of Texas - Strength. Freedom. Prosperity.


Mark @ Israel said...

This a comprehensive presentation of the platform of government and a listing of what should be done within the sovereign jurisdiction of the U.S. government. But there is a need to focus on external affairs. There is also a need to focus on international relations and foreign policies.

Bill Starr said...

Thanks for your feedback, Mark.

The things of which you speak are mainly within the jurisdiction of the national government. Since this platform is for the state party, I hesitated to put in too much that had to do with national politics, except as the Tenth Amendment might be involved.