For being open and honest with voters by taking the conservatism test, Joe Siano, candidate for congress, is awarded the "Justified Right Seal of Approval" for answering the below questions.
His opponent, incumbant Congressman Chris Smith (R) has been sent the same questions but to date has not answered.
Below are Joe's answers:
CONSERVATISM TEST FOR 2010
Joe Siano – Libertarian NJ District 4
- Do you believe that a human being’s rights are granted automatically when the human being is created, or do you believe that rights are granted by the establishment of laws?
As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the rights of all human beings are “created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” I quote because I could not say this better.
What the Creator has given, no man may take away without due process of law in event of violations of criminal or civil statutes
It follows that our Constitution exists to protect individual rights by limiting government to some very specific functions.
- Regardless of how it were done (by Constitutional Amendment, Referendum or Statute), would you support or oppose a change in American law regarding abortion, to make abortions illegal except in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is in danger?
I believe that human life begins at conception and that it is the sacred obligation of government to protect the lives and the rights of all persons, born and unborn. To that end, I would support abortion rights only in the event that the mother’s life is threatened. Obviously the state cannot play God in this instance and choose one life over another.
- Do you support or oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?
I oppose federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on several grounds:
a. The creation and destruction of human beings is murder
b. It is unnecessary. Adult stem cells have proved to be more efficacious in treating adult diseases and ailments.
c. I am opposed to all government funding of research unless it is directly related to national defense or security. I do not believe that this research is Constitutionally justified. All non-defense research should be funded through private means.
- Do you support or oppose the use of marijuana as a medicine if prescribed by a physician?
I believe that the government has no place in the doctor-patient relationship other than in the protecting of innocent life. Therefore, I support the use of medical marijuana and other alternative / experimental therapies.
- Do you support or oppose the government having the power to disallow homosexuals marrying?
Outside of protecting minors, government has no role in the bedroom.
With that in mind, I think that it is important to consider just what marriage is and what government’s legitimate interest in it may be. I believe that marriage can be looked upon form at least three perspectives.
a. Anthropological – Marriage is an institution that exists in all cultures. It precedes all states and all religions. It is a social institution that serves the serves the purpose of procreation by making men / fathers responsible for protecting and providing for mothers and children.
b. Religious – Each and every church can decide what unions it chooses to bless. Government has no role in dictating dogma to churches.
c. Contractual – The marriage bond is and implicit or sometimes explicit bond of what party in is entitled to receive and obligated to provide within the context of this relationship. It is governments’ role to enforce contracts.
Therefore my position is that marriage continues to be defined as the union of one man with one woman with all its implicit rights and responsibilities. However, I do support strong civil union or domestic partnership laws that protect the contractual rights of gay couples, particularly as they move from state to state.
- Do you support or oppose the government having the power to disallow heterosexuals marrying?
Repeat of above question.
- State whether you supported or opposed the President’s recent health insurance initiative signed into law, and if you opposed it, state if you had an alternative plan and what it was.
I opposed nationalized healthcare and traveled twice to D.C. to protest it. I support free market reforms that will expand access to healthcare for millions by driving down the costs of health insurance, medications and treatments. I support all litigation and state legislation which seeks to nullify or derail this disastrous policy.
- Do you believe the passage of a law requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is a power Congress has pursuant to the Commerce Clause or the General Welfare clauses in the U. S. Constitution?
Never has a person been required to purchase a product or service as a condition of U.S. citizenship. Buying a product from a private company is not a tax. This is not Constitutional. Nor is this comparable to requiring drivers to purchase automotive liability insurance. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and states can rightly require drivers to take steps to protect other drivers and pedestrians from injury and loss.
- New Jersey Republican Congressmen Smith, LoBiondo and Lance voted for the President’s “Cap and Trade” plan. Would you have voted the same as those Congressmen did, or would you have voted oppositely from them?
The support of Smith and company for this bill was a disgrace and a betrayal of the free market principles that Republicans are supposed to endorse. Furthermore, Cap and Trade is based upon very questionable science. The net effect of this policy is not to protect Americans from global warming, which may not even be real, but to transfer American wealth to developing nations with smaller carbon footprints.
- Do you support Israel’s plan to build housing in East Jerusalem? Do you think East Jerusalem should rightfully be under Israeli or Arab control, or the control of someone else?
Israel has the right and the obligation to do what it needs to do to protect its sovereignty and the lives, liberty and property of its people. Unlike any nation in the world, it is surrounded by hostile neighbors who deny its right to existence and are pledged to its destruction. And, to be fair, the Palestinians are Islamic, Arabic speaking ethnic Arabs. There is no shortage of room for Islamic, Arabic speaking ethnic Arabs in all of the Islamic, Arabic speaking, ethnic Arabian countries in the Middle East. On the other hand, there is only one Jewish homeland on the face of the Earth. There is no need for Islamic Arabs to demand their own living space in Israel.
- Should the concept of "irreducible complexity" be taught in high school biology classes, or should it be banned from discussion?
I went to Catholic schools. As a libertarian, I support the privatization of schools. Through privatization, parents can pick those schools that best suit their world views and the needs of their children. The public schools have become a battleground for one progressive agenda item after another which is just unacceptable.
- What could your Democratic opponent have done differently to stop the closing of Fort Monmouth?
- The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide if the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies to the states. Do you believe that it does?
The right to keep and bear arms accrues to individual citizens and this is not to be abridged. The states are given the right to organize and regulate citizen militias for the common defense.
- Do you support or oppose the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v FEC which changed the law on corporate campaign spending?
Any legislation that limits campaign or any advertising investment is a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. Free people have the right to say not only what they please, they also have the right to speak to as many people as possible and to repeat their message as often as they wish.
Secondly, putting limits on paid speed is disingenuous and deceptive. Marketing and campaign professionals understand that there are two broad classes of marketing media:
- Paid media – paid for TV & radio commercials, print ads, billboards, web banners, etc.
- This is the kind of marketing communication that is generated by advertising agencies
- Paid advertising is limited in its effectiveness because of audience skepticism about ads combined with commercial avoidance via remote controls, etc.
- This type of exposure is typically generated through PR agencies, press agents and publicists
- This type of communication is typically more effective as it holds the aura of “objectivity” and implied endorsement, especially when a story is delivered by a trusted media outlet or a favorite personality.
It is obvious why it is the Left that is continually pressing for restrictions on campaign spending. For years the Left has enjoyed a virtual monopoly of slanted exposure from the mainstream media. By restricting paid media, the Left hopes to hold its edge on the stage of public discourse. This is also why the Left threatens to regulate Talk Radio and the Internet which have become formidable outlets for dissenting voices.
Finally, and most important of all, limiting campaign expenditures addresses a symptom and not the disease. Our problem is not that we have too much money in politics. Our problem is that there is far too much money in government.
With all the trillions of dollars that government doles out, with its ability to lavishly reward favored constituents and hamstring those on the blacklist, is it no wonder that smart and ambitious people will invest millions to buy a piece of influence?
Therefore my solution is not to call for a cap on campaign spending but to call for a return to a limited federal government that operates within its Constitutional boundaries. In addition to that I would support an Amendment that mandates that the federal budget be balanced.
- Did you support or oppose the passage of President Bush’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program and support or oppose President Obama’s $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act??
I oppose any Keynesian meddling in the economy. This activity rewards ineffective and unproductive enterprises and keeps funding away from productive and innovative producers. Likewise, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directed to taxpayer money to political friends of the Obama administration and their allies. A much more effective and equitable solution would have been to give tax cuts to individuals and businesses so that they could spend and invest the money to meet real needs and to capitalize upon real market opportunities.
- Does America have a "wall of separation between Church and State" or a "prohibition against excessive entanglement of Church and State?"
Our founding documents do not deny the existence of God. In fact they acknowledge and embrace that transcendent reality. The Constitution forbids the establishment of a federal church. However this did not forbid the establishment of official state churches, some of which did exist at the time that the Constitution was ratified. However, all Americans are protected by the First Amendment to be believe of not as they choose or to worship or not as they choose. The First Amendment protects individuals from religious compulsion from the state but it does not exclude the acknowledgement of discussion of God in the public sphere.
- Do you support or oppose Eminent Domain where the taken property will ultimately be privately developed and owned?
Eminent Domain was intended to enable the state to acquire property only for items that legitimately served the public interest. This includes items such as roads and strategic defense installations. The taking of private property for the purpose of enriching of private investors and developers is a clear abuse of this power and should be outlawed.
- Do you support or oppose amnesty from deportation for non-citizens who illegally enter America?
I believe that respect for law demands that we enforce the laws that we have on the books and that our borders should be secured. We need to keep out terrorists and criminals and I thoroughly agree with Milton Friedman’s axiom that a nation cannot simultaneously maintain open borders and a welfare state. Therefore, I do not believe that undocumented aliens should have access to free public education, medical care via Medicaid, Food Stamps or other welfare programs.
As we secure borders, I endorse programs that would make more immigrants legal via guest worker programs. These registered guests would have to be self sustaining and pay all normal taxes. They should also be required to make restitution for the illegal time the spent here, either in cash or via in-kind payments such as public service. I would offer them a long term road to citizenship of 5-7 years which includes achieving basic competency in English and familiarity with American history, mode of government and founding principles
The mass deportation of millions of human beings who are leading productive lives in America is impractical as well as inhumane and un-Christian. It also ignores the free market forces which people here is search of better lives.
My approach is consistent with the humanitarian teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention and the American Catholic Bishops.
- Do you support or oppose adjusting the age limits and means testing for Social Security Benefits?
Social Security and other long term entitlements such as Medicare need to be phased out. Retirement financing and long term medical care must be privatized as the public approach has proved to be unsustainable.
It is only fair to “grandfather” in needy recipients of a certain age and then set younger Americans on a different path. I believe that we can cover these obligations and other debts by closing unconstitutional federal agencies such as the Departments of Education, Energy, Health & Human Services and the EPA and selling off their real estate and capital assets and applying the proceeds to debt reduction.
- Do you believe the government has the power to proscribe private discrimination? If your answer is yes, do you believe the 1st Amendment protection of Freedom of Association should be repealed?