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Presidential Preference Portfolio Event


South Florida 912 and the Palm Beach County Tea Party are jointly hosting a Presidential Preference Portfolio event for January 10 at the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach on Flagler Drive. It will be moderated by Brian Mudd, Program Director 1290 WJNO & 1230 WBZT, Financial Analyst & Co-Host for The Palm Beaches Morning Rush.


Brian Mudd

The introduction of our 2012 Grassroots Presidential Preference Primary Voter’s Guide is a key part of preparation, and it will be made available at the event.

Each of the eight major Presidential campaigns are being asked to participate, and have been sent a series of questions designed to “get beyond the sound bites” and help us get to know the contenders on the basis of how they would approach the job, and how well suited to it they are.

When:
January 10, 2012
6:00 PM – Meet and Greet
6:30-8:30 Program
Where:
First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach
1101 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach
Click for Map

The project has three parts – the questions, the event itself, and a member survey that asks each of us to score the candidates in the key areas of Leadership, Character, Worldview, Quality of Solutions, and Governing Style. The results of the survey will be included in the Voter’s Guide (available the night of the event), along with the candidate’s answers and our analysis of their policy positions. Following the event, after you have seen how they answered, we will ask you to take the survey a second time and we will record the changes (if any).

The Voter’s Guide will also have a section for the candidates policy positions, either provided by the campaigns or determined by our researchers from publically available campaign collateral and websites. Through this process, we hope to help you (and others who use our voter’s guide) to make an informed selection in the January 31 Florida Presidential Preference Primary.

Member Survey


We need your views of the candidates for the process. Please CLICK HERE to take the survey now. You must be logged in to register your results.

Background


The 2012 Elections are both a referendum on the stewardship of Barack Obama, as well as a choice of what kind of country we are going to become. The Republican standard bearer will carry enormous responsibility to offer a compelling alternative to the progressive, anti-business, social-democratic future that the last 3 years has foreshadowed.

So much damage has been done to our country through enormous deficits, out of control spending, suffocating regulations, erosion of property rights and the rule of law, and a feckless and incoherent foreign policy, that stopping the damage is not enough. The next President must roll back the excesses of the past few years and restore our Republic to one of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

It is a unique time. The country is gripped by fear and crushed by pessimism, yet we are yearning for leadership and open to new ideas. Not since the Carter Administration has there been such malaise, and polls show many think America’s best days are behind her and their children are destined to a lower standard of living and crushing debt. We fear our liberties are being eroded by a massive and growing federal government, that crony capitalism has corrupted the highest reaches of government, corporations and the banking system, that our traditional values of the family, the community, and the nation have been morphed into something unrecognizable. Yet there is some leadership to be seen away from Washington as the states press their case to overturn Obamacare and take the initiative on immigration policy from a failed federal bureaucracy. We as a people are resilient and capable, and will respond to a leader with bold new ideas and a commitment to fixing America.

The next President must have the right policy prescriptions for today’s known problems, and most of our candidates do, but that is not enough. Whoever assumes the position must also be able to meet and triumph over the challenges that lie ahead in an increasingly dangerous world, for a country left in a weakened state from fiscal irresponsibility, a decade of war, and a business sector left reeling from suffocating regulations and economic hardship that has led to the highest sustained level of unemployment since the Great Depression.

How can we determine who can carry this mantel?

We believe the qualifications of our champion can be found in five key dimensions:

  • Leadership – who can inspire us to greatness? Who has the ability to clearly lay out the problem, communicate the urgency, convince us to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve success?
  • Character – who can we trust? Who is loyal to their principles and their countrymen, respects others’ points of view, yet has the courage and confidence to make politically difficult choices?
  • Worldview – who sees the world as we do? Who sees America as exceptional, its people capable and motivated, its strength in the individual efforts and decisions of the many,not the central wisdom of government?
  • Quality of Solutions – who has proposed solutions that really get to the crux of the problem? Who understands that changes have consequences and can explain the broader ramifications of their tax plan or their entitlement reform proposals?
  • Governing Style – who is likely to see their solutions implemented? How will they work with Congress, particularly the other party to form governing majorities on issues? Who can use their political capital and support from the voters to realize a mandate for change?

Candidate Questions


In order to explore these dimensions for each of the candidates, we have prepared the following set of questions. The campaigns have been asked to answer them both in an absolute sense as well as how their candidate’s values may differ from their competitors for the nomination. Obviously, there are no wrong answers, but their responses will help us understand them better.

1. Leadership
a. What are the characteristics of a great leader?
b. What leader has most influenced you in your life?
c. In what leadership roles that you have held have you been most effective and whatdid you accomplish?

2. Character
a. Some of the dimensions of character include trustworthiness, loyalty, warmth, respect, courage, and reverence. How do these attributes guide your behavior and how much do they influence your view of others?
b. Who was the major character influence in your life? How and why?

3. Worldview
a. What do you see as America’s role in the world for the next 20 years?
b. What level of debt, deficit and taxation is “reasonable” and why?
c. What are the top 3 economic problems that “must be solved” to secure our future?
d. What are the top 3 foreign policy challenges of the next decade?

4. Quality of Solutions
a. Explain the major advantage and the most important side effects of your tax plan.
b. What is your “doctrine” regarding the intervention in foreign conflicts?
c. What should be “done” about the United Nations?
d. Close to 50% pay no income taxes – how do we change that?

5. Governing Style
a. How would your style differ from George Bush? From Barack Obama?
b. It is difficult for a President to “change Washington” – how will you work with the existing DC environment and avoid both frustration and/or corruption by it?

Policy Positions


Policy positions on today’s key issues are also important, and we will attempt to profile each candidate based on their campaign collateral, public statements and debate performances. If a campaign wishes to specifically provide material to us on policy we will feature it in the assessment. The policy areas of interest are found in the following 10 questions:

  1. Tax Reform – what are the key aspects of the tax reform initiatives (if any) that you would attempt to implement if you become President?
  2. Spending and Deficit – Our $15T debt is the largest single threat to our institutions and our way of life. What are your top policy prescriptions to address this issue?
  3. Size of Government – the federal government has become a major factor in everything we do and would be unrecognizable to the founders. How will you “make Washington inconsequential in our lives?” What federal programs would you eliminate or turn over to the states?
  4. 10th Amendment – the states have asserted themselves in the last couple of years over immigration policy and health care. There are additional moves coming over EPA overreach, education and energy. Where would you draw the line between federal jurisdiction and that given to the states by the constitution?
  5. Health Care – Most agree that Obama care must be stopped and 26 states are taking their judicial challenge to the Supreme Court. A legislative solution is needed and there is some fear that the PACA has already made turning back the regulations almost impossible. What steps would you take to deal with this issue and what priority would you give it?
  6. Federal Regulations, EPA, NLRB, FCC – The Obama administration has greatly increased the regulatory assault on business and citizen alike. What can be done to reign in the entrenched bureaucracy and how will you approach this task?
  7. Trade policy, China – What is your position regarding fair trade with China concerning currency manipulation, intellectual property protection and dumping? Should our trade policy favor certain countries or regions or should we treat everyone equally? What do you see as the future of manufacturing in this country?
  8. United Nations, NATO, European Union – In what way would you change the relationship between the US and these organizations from what the current administration has done?
  9. Radical Islam, Arab Spring, Iran – Contrast your approach in these three areas to the Obama administration. What should be our future posture towards the emerging regimes in the middle east and Maghreb and how should we deal with Iran’s weapons program?
  10. Role of the Military – Our force composition has changed in response to the asymmetrical threats we face, yet our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan has illuminated many shortcomings in regards to “nation building” projects. How does the military factor into your vision of America’s role in the world for the next decade and what changes would you make in structure, weapons systems and human resources in the military forces?

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