Monday, February 6, 2012

Who Should I Endorse?

The title of this blog is not an invitation for candidates to contact me and beg for an endorsement. First of all, I am a "nobody" in the grand scheme of things. My endorsement would amount to just one man's voice among millions.

However, in that grand scheme of things, people pay attention to who endorses whom. It applies influence in making decisions when it comes time to vote. With that much being true, the only endorsement I have paid any attention to among the GOP presidential candidates was Art Laffer's endorsement. I hold Mr. Laffer in very high regard when it comes to economic policies. He is a selling point in favor of Speaker Gingrich. However, he is not the deciding factor. My endorsement of any of  the presidential candidates will come when I cast my ballot in the primary. Right now, I am leaning towards somebody, yes. However, I do not yet have the data to make a final decision.

I will say that if any of the three conservatives gets the RNC nod, I will vote for their electoral delegates come November.

Recently, Kurt Sclichter wrote OP-EDs concerning the necessity to pay attention to Congressional races on both the state and federal levels. While Mr. Schlichter concentrated more on the upcoming US Senate races in one of his OP-EDs, the case holds true for both houses. While we needs strong leadership in the Senate, we need to maintain a conservative hold in the House. We need to have the conservative message heard at the grassroots and local level as well as in Washington. The US House of Representatives presents the best vehicle to bridge both/ This is true no matter who wins not only the GOP Presidential nod, but the general election in November.

However, in the legislature battles, I have chosen sides, for now.

Sheriff Paul Babeu is running for Arizona CD-4. His background as a former US Army Major and Iraq War Vet gives him strong points. However, where he has me sold are his efforts to reform immigration policies and seek tougher policies against illegal immigration. Along with "Sheriff Joe", Paul has stood for a secure and free Arizona. He stand for maintaining Second Amendment Rights as granted by the US Constitution and intended by the Federalist Papers. He is the first candidate I have been excited about since Ronald Reagan ran against Jimmy Carter in 1980. While I won't tell anybody for whom they should vote, I will highly suggest looking at his website and taking time to hear him speak. I also suggest checking out his competition and making up your own mind. Alas, I don't live in CD-4 and cannot vote for him.

This past Saturday, February 4, 2012, I had the pleasure of hearing both Jesse Kelly and Frank Antenori pitch their cases for the vacancy left by Rep. Gabby Giffords. Rep. Giffords is a brave lady. I don't agree with most of her stances on most issues. However, she was pro-Second Amendment, something that is rare among those in her party. Despite those differences, I hope her all the best. I also hope that the criminal who shot her suffers the full weight of the law when he is sentenced.

After looking at Jesse Kelly, I can see his strengths. In his run against Giffords, he lost by a small margin, doing quite well. His views are solidly conservative. He would make a good US Representative for Southeast Arizona. I could easily see him in many offices. He is young and can do well for Arizona and our nation.

However, I will throw my support behind his competition. Frank Antenori won me over. Here is why I support Frank as the GOP candidate and  US Representative for Arizona CD-8:

Frank is a retired US Army Non-Commissioned Officer and Green Beret. While it is obvious that I have a special place in my heart for Soldiers running for office, Frank is more  than that. He and I are both retired senior NCOs. So, I know how Frank thinks. NCOs are the ones who take amorphous ideas and turn them into reality. They make  things happen. They seek out the mission and make it successful. Ideas are all fine and dandy. NCOs take them to fruition. That is what a congressman does, in my book.

Frank has experience having to hit the ground running both in his former Army Career and as a state representative. He knows how to fight for what the people want and stand his ground. He knows how to influence and push for bipartisan support of conservative issues.

He assisted in passing AZ SB 1070.

He sponsored the Purple Heart Scholarship in Arizona.

He promoted a the bill establishing and funding ($4M) the formation of the AZ State Guard to assist with border and ranch security.

He has fought for AZ to nullify "Obamacare". He promises to seek to repeal it if elected to the house.

He is a free-market capitalist and believes  in Supply Side economics.

Frank is for union reform as far as how they influence politics. He is for Right To Work laws. However, he does understand the history of labor unions and sees they do serve a purpose. He wishes  them to return to those roles and for membership to be voluntary for workers.

He fought to balance the AZ state budget and  will fight for a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.

He opposes pork spending. He fought against such spending , working with TEA Party and other conservatives against such spending in Arizona.

He is strong on border issues. CD-8 is a border community. We saw multiple fires this past summer. Some of them were deliberately set by those who facilitate smuggling, sex slavery, and drug trade along the border. During those fires, FEMA and other federal agencies came in and took over. They didn't listen to locals who understand the terrain. While we needed federal assets to fight the fires, we didn't need them to take over the efforts. When the Monument Fire raged not far from where I live, federal bureaucracy impeded the efforts during one part of the battle, allowing the fire to spread unmitigated. People here theorize that had those bureaucrats not taken over leading the efforts, fewer homes would have been destroyed. We cannot know if that would have been the outcome. However, Frank supports limiting federal jurisdiction and pushing for greater cooperation between state and federal agencies/assets.

Among other border issues is that of border security. Frank understands one basic concept of defense:  You cannot emplace an obstacle effectively without overwatch. That means that a fence along the border is all fine and dandy. However, it is worthless without ample "boots on the ground" watching it, patrolling it, and enforcing it. He is for more people on Arizona's southern border, a coalition and partnership between Federal and State agencies. He opposes the divisive efforts against the state having authority to protect its citizens.

If you argue that most illegals come here just for work, etc, and are not criminals otherwise; then I am here to tell you that the damage they do to private property is criminal. The issue is more than just walking across a line in the desert. It is about the trash and filth left along their ratlines. It is about the rape trees where young girls are abused. it is about the fires started and property damage. It is about the theft and vandalism. It is about the damage to ranches and cattle. It is about the damages to vineyards and orchards. It is about the murders of ranchers such as Robert Krentz. The crimes illegals commit extend much deeper than just crossing a line in the desert.

Frank didn't try to pull wool over our eyes. He flat out told people what congress can do about things, and what they cannot. He explained that no one representative (or senator) can get things to happen on his own. So he is ready to band with those who have similar issues and battle with them, not against them. He understands teamwork.

Frank is pro-Second Amendment and Pro-Concealed Carry Permits for law abiding citizens. 

Be it Jesse Kelly or Frank Antenori who eventually gets the nomination, I will support them for the Congressional Seat against the Democrat opponent. However, for that nomination, I endorse Frank Antenori. The Primary is April 17th.