Beyond the 13 survey questions we asked each candidate on our voter guides, each candidate who answered the survey was given the opportunity, if they so chose, to respond to the following five essay questions in 300 words or less. On this page are the specific candidate’s answers. If a candidate answered some, but not all, of the questions, each unanswered question is marked as “No answer was provided.”
Explain your view of state government’s role in relation to economic growth and/or job creation.
The state is to serve as the investor of last resort and to serve as a regulator to ensure that economic growth and/or job creation is produced at the benefit of the people of Tennessee, not at the expense.
By investor of last resort, I view that the state government’s economic investments should be geared toward developing small businesses inside the state and helping these small businesses and entrepreneurs gain quick access to the global economies of scale that are required to be successfully competitive in today’s marketplace. I strongly disapprove of the usage of tax incentives to lure international companies, because it is the equivalent of “paying companies to shop at our store.”
By regulating to ensure that economic growth and/or job creation is produced at the benefit of the people of Tennessee, not at the expense, I view the state government’s pursuit of economic security and the state government’s role in determining the conditions of the people of Tennessee’s pursuit of job security with Benjamin Franklin’s warning, “A man who gives up a little freedom for great security; deserves neither,” in mind. The reason is that Benjamin Franklin often used the warning to awaken people to the dangers of the “devil’s contract,” a contract where you began signing away your freedoms for greater financial/economic security and typically were signed by individuals in desperation. In too many cases today, people and the state government are being pressured bey employers and businesses to give up more and more freedom in exchange for jobs. Something as simple as going to church is now a privilege, given that without unions enforcing religious rights of employees and a state government looking the other way.
What particular regulations of abortion would you support or oppose and why?
In principle, I will support any regulation of abortion that does not overrule the principle of triage. The reasoning why I draw the line at triage is best described by the death of a woman in Ireland due to the fact that the country’s anti-abortion laws were so vague that, in practice, they overruled the principle of triage, which resulted in two lives lost instead of one.
Now, I divide abortion regulations into two classes: practical and impractical/counterproductive.
I view the following regulations as impractical/counterproductive due to the fact that they don’t address the conditions that drive demand for abortion:
- Ultrasounds – Doesn’t stop forced/coerced abortions and could be considered emotional and psychological torture to the women involved in such cases.
- Clinic regulations – Essentially requires the clinics to either move the sign from the front door back to the back door and/or change the name from abortion to “menstrual issues” and/or other health issues.
- Information requirements – Does nothing to address forced/coerced abortion and patient concerns about healthcare issues and family issues.
- Informed consent of parents – Does noting to address parents forcing/coercing their child into abortion and encourages infanticide by the mother.
I view the following regulations as practical:
- Demanding that women get a certified second opinion from a pregnancy center that has no vested interest in promoting abortion.
- Demanding the enactment and enforcement of pregnant women workplace protections.
- Demanding the enactment and enforcement of antidiscrimination laws to protect pregnant women from discrimination in hiring and in the workplace.
- Raising the minimum wage in order to reduce the economic stress on single/abandoned mothers.
- Taxing content in video games, movies, and advertising that promotes sexual recklessness and using the funds to support programs aimed at helping pregnant women, promoting responsible relationships, and combating rape.
Do you believe parent(s) or government have the primary and ultimate responsibility for the education of children? Please provide at least one example that you believe demonstrates what you mean.
I believe the parents have the primary and ultimate responsibility to educate children; however, I believe that the government has the primary and ultimate responsibility to ensure that children are educated when parents fail.
A good example in today’s world is that of the single mother. Most single mothers have to work two full-time jobs to provide for the family. Now, basic arithmetic will tell you that for three days the single mother will only have eight hours to care for the household, educate the children, attend church, recover mentally/physically from the jobs, and/or sleep; and for four days the single mother will only have sixteen hours to care for the household, educate the children, attend church, recover mentally/physically from the jobs, and/or sleep.
Now, this is assuming no overtime work is demanded, that the income provided by the jobs is enough to provide for the family, and/or the single mother is not classified as a part-time worker; otherwise, the time deficit the single mother has grows. For example, if the single mother is classified as a part-time worker, then the companies can work her eight hours a day for six days a week until her “12 week” average is just below thirty hours a week; at which point the companies “crash” her hours to the minimum allowed by law so that the “12 week” average is reset.
Another example is that of uneducated parents. Uneducated parents are only able to teach their children what skills, if any, they know. This would stunt a child’s education and limit their success.
It is cases like the single mother, uneducated parents, and parents with limited education that are the reasons why the Tennessee state constitution requires that the state of Tennessee provide for “a free public education.”
What is one of the most satisfying things you have ever accomplished and what made it so satisfying to you?
One of the most satisfying things I have accomplished is achieving the rank of Life Scout in Boy Scouts. It was so satisfying because of the fact that I was able to show through my works and my honor that I was committed to living by the Boy Scout oath for life. While I never achieved my ultimate goal of Eagle Scout, achieving the rank of Life Scout shows that I’m committed to forever chasing that elusive rank of Eagle Scout by living every day by the Boy Scout oath. Achieving the rank of Life Scout shows I’m committed for life to serve God and my Country. By only achieving the rank of Life Scout, it shows that even when I fail to achieve my ultimate goal, I will never cease to continue to fight for the cause I’m fighting for. For me, the most satisfying part was not really the accomplishment, but the knowledge of the hard work and perseverance that was required to achieve it; not to mention all the good deed that were performed along the way. Finally, it taught me one of life’s most valuable lessons, that you always need a goal to chase or else you will forget what you believe in.
What personal qualities or experiences do you think will define the nature of your service, if elected, and why do you think they are important?
The personal qualities and experiences that will define the nature of my service include my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics; my analytical skills; my outside-the-box thinking; my drive for innovation; my desire to get to the root of the problem and not just treat symptoms; my love of research; my commitment to defending life; my commitment to God; my experience of being on welfare; my experience of facing the challenges of running a small business through my dad’s former business, Puckett Enterprises; my experience working for a low-wage employer; and finally, my sincere nature that at times makes me be honest when I probably shouldn’t be.
I think the personal qualities I have listed are important because they will give the people a legislator who isn’t going to be a simple rubber stamp, but one who will ensure that the problems are actually going to be fixed and fixed right. The people will get a legislator who will be asking informed questions; and one who will be offering amendments to correct side effects of well-intended legislation. Finally, the people will be getting a legislator who will call out and “bust” political shell games, legislation intended to misrepresent the good name of supporters of a cause, and counterproductive well-intentioned legislation. The people will be getting a legislator who won’t just fight the right causes, but will seek the right way to fight.
I think the personal experiences I have listed are important because they will give the people a legislator who knows poverty well. The people will get a legislator who knows the struggles of small business. The people will get a legislator who knows what is required to survive on the welfare system and how to fix it to work right.