Catholic Diocese questionnaire


This questionnaire was sent to me by the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, which in fact covers the entire state of Utah. I am happy to respond to questions at any time. I am sad to see that neither of my opponents thought that their Catholic constituents were worthy of a reply.

SANCTITY OF LIFE ISSUES:

Death
Penalty:  Do
you support or
oppose repeal
of the death
penalty in
Utah, leaving
life without
parole as the
highest level
of penalty?
Please provide
a yes or no
answer. You
may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

Yes, I support repeal of the death penalty. It is absolutely certain that innocent individuals have been executed in the past. My conscience cannot allow the state to kill on my behalf.

Assisted
Suicide:  Do
you support or
oppose
assisted
suicide
legislation? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

Yes, I would support assisted suicide legislation. Other people’s lives are not my property, and I have no right nor any legitimate authority to prevent them from doing as they wish. I do not suggest that suicide is ever the right decision, but it would be unconscionably presumptuous of me to make that decision for others.

Abortion:  Do
you support or
oppose
abortions in
all cases,
except as
required to
save the life
of the
mother? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

No, I do not support further restrictions on abortion. Utah already has one of the lowest abortion rates in the country, and it is clear to me that the solution is to make abortion undesirable or unnecessary, not unlawful. I support efforts to make birth control pills available OTC, at a highly reduced price, an action which I believe would immediately reduce the number of abortions by 50% or more.

Gun Violence: 
Do you support
or oppose
legislation
that would
enable family
members to
seek removal
of firearms
when an
individual
shows imminent
signs of
causing
extreme harm
to self or
others?  Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

I would consider legislation to make it possible to remove guns from the possession of a family member who is properly diagnosed as presenting a clear and present threat to others. I would, however, be very wary of such a law being used improperly, and would want strong safeguards to prevent its abuse. The right to self defense is one of the most fundamental of all human rights, and must not be abridged casually.

DIGNITY OF
LIFE ISSUES:

Do you support
or oppose
Earned Income
Tax Credit
legislation in
Utah? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

Taxation is the separation of individuals from their rightfully gained property under a coercive threat of violence – surrender your property or be punished. A good legislator has a responsibility to limit taxes to no more than is absolutely necessary. I will consider any legislation that will reduce everyone’s tax liability, but in this case I am not convinced that the EITC is the best or most equitable way to accomplish that. Raising the personal exemption, to at least meet the poverty line, seems like a more even approach.

Do you support
or oppose
legislative
efforts to
expand access
to and
inventory of
affordable
housing across
Utah? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

I support removing barriers that continue to limit the housing available, and also the housing options available. I do not support taxpayer funded solutions, which always end up being just conduits of tax money to favored developers and are always far behind the demand curve, solving little or nothing. The system needs to be repaired, not bandaged.

Do you support
or oppose paid
family leave
for family
members caring
for a new or
adopted child,
or elderly or
disabled
family
member? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

I do not support further regulatory controls on business: these always result in the loss of jobs. I do support expanding our economic opportunities and creating a more inviting business climate in which businesses will be forced to compete for labor, which will result in their offering vacation, family leave, and many other job benefits in order to attract their desired employees. Labor scarcity is always the best driver of wages and benefits.

CARE OF
CREATION
ISSUES:

Do you support
or oppose
legislative
efforts to
encourage
renewable
energy
development? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

I support legislation that would remove taxpayer support for traditional energy sources. No new taxpayer supported refineries and pipelines, no tax that gets given to energy producers to encourage them to expand our reliance on fossil fuels. The way to level the energy playing field is to remove supports for fossil fuels, not by adding more taxpayer burdens for unproven technologies.

Do you support
or oppose
legislative
efforts to
improve Utah’s
air and water
quality
through
reasonable
business
regulation? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

The release of pollutants into our air and water can be identified as an act of aggression, because it contaminates other people’s property, and as such the government has a role to play in its mitigation. The question, of course, is what is ‘reasonable’. Most government regulation, unfortunately, doesn’t prevent pollution, but rather enshrines it: “If you release less than x%, then your actions are legal.” I want to remove these existing protections for corporate polluters.

Do you support
or oppose
preservation
of Utah’s
public lands
for
conservation? Please
provide a yes
or no answer.
You may
also explain
your answer if
you would
like,
including
specific
proposals you
might
consider.

I believe firmly that our open lands are Utah’s great treasure. I would seek to defund the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s tourism efforts, which, while well-intentioned, have resulted in our parks being overrun and overwhelmed, and our state resources taxed to their limit. I would seek new vision and possible expansion for our state park system, which should contribute to the state’s economy, not be a taxpayer burden. And, while I personally value access to our lands, I cannot presume that government ownership of land is necessarily the best form of preservation. I point to the incredible Nine Mile Canyon, where the land, the air, and the incomparable historical resources have suffered far more in the few years of public ownership than they did in over a hundred years of private ownership.