Sonya Ray |

Sonya Ray

Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.

My two opponents belong to different parties (Democrat and Republican) but nationally, their parties seem to have the same agenda — more welfare-state entitlements (Socialism), more deficit spending and more world government. This is evident by looking at the Utah delegation in Washington, D.C. They all voted for NAFTA and CAFTA, and didn t complain when President Bush signed the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America), which would merge Canada, United States, and Mexico into a North American Union similar to the European Union. They also supported the U.S. Patriot Act, which strips citizens of some of their most basic rights.

The Constitution Party, on the other hand, is the only party interested in reining in government and getting back to the proper functions of government and constitutional principles. The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its constitutional boundaries. The proper function of government is to protect the inalienable rights of the citizens, the God-given rights of life, liberty and property. When the government assumes any other function, it is usurpation and oppression. A vote for me is a vote for freedom.

1. The Legislature has considered loosening its development rules, most notably in a bill that stalled in the 2006 session. Please describe the fairness of the state’s rules regulating developers. Please describe one change to the rules you support and, if there are none, discuss why the rules, in your opinion, are adequate.

Property rights are essential to human liberty. Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right to property is secure.

It is fair to ask developers to put in the streets and utilities, but unfair to regulate every little thing they do. They should acquire property fairly and at the asking price. Recently, there have been some incidents of developers successfully acquiring property against the owner s will, through unethical methods — condemning the property, etc. This is wrong. The courts were wrong to rule in favor of the developers because abolition and confiscation of private property are some of the points of the Communist Manifesto.

The important thing to keep in mind is government is supposed to protect personal and property rights, not take them away.

2. Utah’s tourism industry is critical to the economy of Summit County, employing scores of people and generating lots of the area’s taxes. Please outline your opinion of the Statehouse’s role in promoting tourism. Please discuss one new program you would support that would boost tourism in Summit County.

The best government is the government closest to the people — the townships, the county — because every person has a voice and a vote. The principle is this: Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.

How does this apply to tourism?

By transferring the decision-making functions of certain things (including tourism) to the officers in the state government, a county loses its spirit of voluntarism among the people and they lose their will to solve their own problems.

Thomas Jefferson said, What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body. Today we call that Socialism.

I believe the state Legislature could help the counties develop their tourism most by allowing all tax dollars generated in a county to stay in that county.

3. Even after changes to the state’s liquor laws, people in the entertainment industry remain unhappy with what they see as a restrictive and confusing set of rules. Are the liquor laws adequate and do they accomplish their goals? Please discuss one change that you would support.

Our Founding Fathers believed A spirit of public virtue may transcend every private consideration. (Quoted in Wood, The Creation of the American Republic p. 102)

Communities and states have the right to determine their standards. Utah has more restrictive laws than other states and that is OK. We want to control liquor more than other states do. I believe the liquor laws are adequate and do accomplish their goals. I haven t seen a change I would support, but if a rule came up that was good, I would be open-minded. Our liquor laws are not restrictive and confusing; they allow more freedom and safety.

Benjamin Franklin stressed that, Nothing is of more importance for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are the strength of the state — more so than riches or arms.

4. The Statehouse continues to have difficulty shedding an image of shortchanging Utah students. Is that a fair assessment of the amount of money that is budgeted for education? Please discuss one idea to ensure that the state’s schools are funded adequately.

I believe education is vitally important. Thomas Jefferson said, A nation that expects to be ignorant and free expects what never was and never will be. There is no image of shortchanging our students because two-thirds of the state budget goes toward education. The state gave education a 10 percent increase last year and the year before and yet there are still some major problems in our schools. Money doesn t ensure quality education. It has been proven that students in private and parochial schools, even home schools, far excel their government-schooled counterparts on half the money! And Institutes of higher learning eagerly accept students from other-than-government-school educations for various reasons. The real shortchange comes to parents who are not allowed to use their income tax and property tax money to educate their children in the manner they deem best.

5. Lots of Summit County’s traffic problems are either on or near state-owned roads, notably S.R. 224 and S.R. 248, even after both have been upgraded. Do the state roads in the county function to your liking? Please describe two methods the state could promote in Summit County to make the area a better place for drivers.

The roads are not as good as they should be — not anywhere in the state. We do need to spend more money on roads. One senator told me that our road problem is a major problem because some businesses won t come to the state and other businesses will leave the state because of our roads. Besides that, some roads are outright dangerous. I believe some of the surplus money in our state coffers that is not already earmarked for something else should be used to improve the roads.

6. School districts continue to accept students who do not speak English as their native language, mostly those who speak Spanish. Please rate the state’s efforts to integrate the non-English speakers and describe one initiative you support addressing those who do not speak English.

I believe America should have one language. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. Former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm in a speech recently given in Washington D.C. told his audience that the first method of destroying the United States was to turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country.

The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension and tragedy.

I believe that the state of Utah should declare English as the official language and that to function as citizens of this state, immigrants need to learn and understand English.

7. Utah allows some undocumented immigrants to hold what are known as driving-privilege cards, which allow them to drive but are not recognized as official identification. Do you support keeping the driving-privilege cards intact or doing away with them?

Driving-privilege cards are different than driver licenses, according to a state senator I talked to. It is a hard issue. Before these cards were allowed, these undocumented (or illegal) immigrants could not obtain auto insurance, which put the rest of us at risk.

The $20 cards are mailed to a physical address, so the state has more control over these immigrants. The cards let the state know who they are, where they live, and what they look like.

Illegal immigration is really a federal issue. Since they have not done their job, the states are in a bind. After discussing this with one of the state senators, I believe I would support keeping the driving-privilege cards intact.

8. Please discuss your opinion of Utah’s tax structure. Should taxes go up, be cut or stay as they are now? Please address in your answer your opinion of the so-called primary home exemption, which makes property taxes more expensive for people who own houses but do not live in the state all year.

We should pay our fair share of taxes for police protection and other legitimate functions of government; otherwise, we should cut taxes. The truth is we don t need hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the proper constitutional functions of government. With Utah s low wages, there is no reason for us to be one of the highest-taxed states in the nation. Property taxes are especially destructive. It amounts to paying rent because if one doesn t pay property taxes, his property is taken away from him. So, in a sense, property owners aren t owners after all — they are tenants. The Founding Fathers warned against this. A man s property is fundamental to his freedom. Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right to property is secure.

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