2012 Clark County Republican Party Platform
We, the Republicans of Clark County, Washington, meeting in Convention March 31st, 2012, share these common ideals and believe they provide the best framework for guiding this State and Nation into the future. We encourage citizens, local, state and federal candidates for public office and current office holders read this platform and use it to inform their decision making on issues of policy and administration before them.
Our nation was founded on faith in God, belief in individual responsibility, and commitment to family as the foundational level of American governance. Efforts to modify or replace these core values erode the foundation of our society for future generations. Our community is strengthened by volunteerism, servant leadership, and elected representation aligned to the common beliefs outlined in this Clark County Republican Party Platform.
United States Constitution and Washington State Constitution
The Declaration of Independence asserts a philosophy of government that says that any government can only rule with the consent of the governed and that the basic purpose of government is to protect people's rights. The United States Constitution established a federal government and delegates to it certain, limited (and enumerated) powers. The Bill of Rights serves to protect the natural rights of liberty and property by guaranteeing a number of personal freedoms, limiting the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserving some powers to the states or to the people. We believe these documents were inspired by Divine Providence and commit to uphold them as the supreme law of the land.
The United States is a Constitutional Republic structured under the rule of law. What is uniquely republican is the process of representation in the law making process. History reveals that people do not prosper or enjoy liberty for extended periods of time under the rule of man. The failure of direct democracy is avoided through the representative process when statesmen of high moral character are elected and properly represent the will of the people. We commit to advancing candidates who share the beliefs and convictions outlined in this platform.
We recognize that voting is the cornerstone of our republic and State. It is a right, privilege, and responsibility that should not be taken for granted, and must be treated with dignity and safeguarded from fraud. We support efforts to ensure a voting process that guarantees every eligible citizen a valid vote.
The Washington State Constitution is modeled after the United States Constitution. Our founders believed that the free and independent states created the federal government and all powers not expressly delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people. We agree with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who stated that the U.S. Supreme Court does not have the sole authority to judge the constitutionality of federal laws. We hold with these men that the States have the right and the duty to nullify unconstitutional laws in order to protect their citizens. We demand federal withdrawal from those areas of responsibility reserved by the U.S. Constitution to the states and to the people. We urge our state elected officials to undertake appropriate action, including legal action, to confine federal power within its constitutional limits. We believe this will properly allow local control and self-governance as intended in the Founders’ charter of freedom.
We believe individuals are endowed by Providence with equal, unalienable, inviolable Rights; and that good government should be dedicated to protecting those Rights and ensuring equal justice and access to opportunity for all. We believe the best way to insure this is to:
- Reaffirm the sovereignty of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights as the supreme law of the land, and to support policies that promote the Rights outlined in these as well as the Declaration of Independence;
- Promote policies that do not favor any group over others, and work to repeal those that do;
- Pass legislation defining the origin of life to be at conception thus giving the unborn full protection under the law;
- Work towards handing over the administration of marriage to the church by repealing laws that give government control and provide incentives in relation to marriage;
- Promote policies that empower people to utilize their property as they see fit, while at the same time encouraging policies that endorse good stewardship of our resources; and
- Support legislation that reaffirms the Right to bear arms as a Right the people of Washington State have reserved for the individual, and this Right should remain free from interference by the government;
We believe the most effective and accountable government is the government closest to the people. The proper role of government is to provide only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations. In the spirit of state sovereignty, we call on the State of Washington to respect the authority of county and city governments. We believe local government control is more responsive to the people and essential for understanding the diverse needs of citizens across the state. We believe the best way to ensure this is to:
- Enact a county charter to allow citizens the right to petition for redress of grievances and establish checks and balances at the local level;
- Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education, reform the Washington State Department of Education, and return maximum control to local school districts and parents;
- Enact legislation specifically stating the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental Right;
- Limit the control that schools can exercise over children without parental consent;
- Reform public schools to feature a strong fundamental curriculum emphasizing reading, writing, arithmetic, civics, science, history, and fine arts;
- Promote competition in education by instituting a “No Dictate” voucher system or a tax-exemption for parents choosing private education or homeschooling;
- Advance legislation that nullifies unconstitutional federal laws and affirms state control over powers not granted to the federal government by the US Constitution; and
- Repeal the Washington Growth Management Act and restore local protection of property rights.
Regarding Taxation and Balanced Budgets
We believe government at all levels should collect and use only those monies necessary to execute their roles, mandates, duties and responsibilities as outlined in the US Constitution, individual State Constitutions, and Charters or other applicable documents of governance. We believe the best way to ensure this is to:
Work towards reducing and eventually eliminating unconstitutional programs and spending as well as those that expand the scope of governments at all levels without proper authority;
- Pass legislation requiring all levels of government to operate within the confines of a balanced budget;
- Work towards reducing taxes to ensure that individuals retain more of their hard-earned income;
- Work towards passing tax reforms that are more egalitarian in both the income and corporate tax codes; and
- Pass legislation at all levels of government requiring government agencies – including private organizations working on behalf of the government – be subject to regularly scheduled, comprehensive and independent audits.
We believe economic liberty is essential to a free society. History has proven a free market system is the best available vehicle to promote prosperity for individuals and society as a whole, and good government should work to protect and promote such a system. We believe the best way to ensure this is to:
- Enact and reform laws to end government intervention and limit regulation in the private sector;
- Prevent the government from giving undue special treatment to one business or group at the expense of another(s);
- Reform government regulations to it’s proper role of guaranteeing free market competition by providing a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected;
- Enforce regulations that are in place, and ensure that justice is swift and transparent;
- Promote audits of the Federal Reserve System; and
- Promote reforms requiring greater Congressional oversight and transparency in the workings of the Federal Reserve System.
The Clark County Republican Party believes all levels of government should be held to the highest moral and ethical standards and be limited to their proper responsibilities as indicated in the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Washington. We believe the best way to ensure this is to:
- Realign all levels of government to adhere to constitutional requirements and meet their appropriate core responsibilities under the principles of federalism;
- Streamline all levels of government bureaucracy to eliminate waste and redundancy through consolidation, privatization or elimination of excessive government agencies;
- Simplify policies at all levels of government to be efficient and effective in providing essential public services to citizens;
- Ensure the completion of performance reviews and auditing of all agencies for local, state and federal governments take place on a regular basis; and
- Create a continuous improvement process to regularly review all government programs and policies. Establish time based limits on all government programs and policies so they can be evaluated and justified through performance measures and zero based budgeting. The United States Congress and Washington State Legislature would be required by law to schedule votes on improvement recommendations during each legislative session.
The Clark County Republican Party advocates a market-based health care system and believes government intervention reduces the freedom, quality and efficiency of our health care industry. The health care needs of seniors, families and individuals are best served in the open markets of the private sector. We believe the citizens of Clark County would receive superior health care through the innovation, competition and quality the market place provides. We believe the best way to ensure this is to:
- Enact Tort reform to prevent frivolous litigation and help control health care costs;
- Promote choice and open competition for hospitals, insurance and the health care industry across state lines like any other industry;
- Expose the nation’s health care industry to open and competitive markets to increase health care options, improve quality, control costs and limit government intrusion in the health care industry;
- Repeal unnecessary and unconstitutional state and federal legislation such as “Obamacare”, reduce wasteful expenses and improve access for seniors though effective market driven cost reductions;
- Eliminate antitrust exemptions in the health care industry; and
- Reform Medicare and Medicaid to allow open bidding on prescription drugs and plans options to provide additional private sector choices for low income seniors.
We believe the strength of our nation lies with individuals, and each person’s dignity and freedom is sacred. That foundation is weakened and threatened by violence and crime in society. We believe the best way to ensure this is to:
- Enforce sentences for those found guilty of violent crimes and reduce opportunities for parole;
- Expand and enforce laws at the State level regarding Identity theft;
- Return prisons to penal institutions by removing societal luxuries and mandating inmates work to pay off the costs of their incarceration, the administration of justice, and any restitution required by law;
- Promote policies that hold corporations, boards and individuals in positions of authority responsible and liable for any white collar crime that takes place on their watch;
- Enact and enforce sentences for those found guilty of white collar crime that result in monetary penalties, restitution to the individuals and organizations harmed by the crime, and stiffer prison sentences in general prisons with no special treatment; and
- Sentences for violations of the law should include three phases: penalty, restitution, and restoration.
National Sovereignty and Defense
We believe strongly in preserving the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that are the foundation of this nation. It is important to promote policies that will protect our national sovereignty, strength and pride. We believe the best way to ensure this is to:
- Secure the borders of the United States against invasion and illegal border crossings using any means at our disposal;
- Promote the implantation of eVerify at all levels of government and businesses;
- Promote policies in the State of Washington that would require the deportation of those here illegally if they are arrested at any point;
- Promote laws making English the official language of documentation for both the United States, the individual States and local governments;
- Better define our best national interests and enact reforms that look more closely at our expenditures for foreign aid;
- Adopt changes to U.S. laws applying to immigration and naturalization so that children born here are not granted automatic citizenship if their parents are here illegally;
- Ensure that our national values and Rights are not compromised in any treaties or other international agreements we enter in to;
- Reform and fully fund the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to provide the best possible care for our veterans; and
- Ensure that our involvement in the United Nations is used to promote freedom and liberty throughout the world, to promote U.S. interests in the global diplomatic arena, to maintain our position as a global leader, and to reassert U.S. independence in matters that would violate US law and run counter to U.S. interests.
The Clark County Republican Party favors a balanced and reasonable approach to stewardship of the environment and our precious national resources. We champion responsible market-driven environmental solutions and advocate for constructive partnership between all levels of government and private entities. We believe the best way to exercise good environmental stewardship is to:
- Adopt balanced environmental policies consistent with our global competitiveness, national security, energy independence, and economy;
- Support technology-drive, market-based solutions to decrease emissions, increase energy efficiency, and maximize and ancillary benefits environmental policy might offer for the economy;
- Balance environmental goals with economic growth and job creation. Our diverse economy has made possible the investment needed to safeguard natural resources, protect endangered species, and create healthier living conditions;
- Coordinate efforts on the Federal, State and local levels with stakeholders and responsible parties to clean up contaminated sites;
- Ensure government at all levels protects private property rights by cooperating with landowners’ efforts, and providing incentives to protect fragile environments, endangered species, and maintain the natural beauty of America; and
- Increase our diverse domestic energy supply and decrease the long-term demand for foreign oil, we will be well positioned to address the challenge of environmental stewardship and continue our long-standing responsibility over the environment.