Support and Defend the Constitution
The importance of respecting and following the Constitution is paramount, especially at the local level. All too often, County and City ordinances are written only with practicality in mind, with little regard to constitutionality. It is critical that all elected representatives support and defend the Constitution in both their arguments and their legislation.
I pledge to respect and adhere to the Constitution of the United States, as well as the Missouri Constitution, at all times.
Protect Private Property Rights
One of the most fundamental freedoms is the right to own property. While courthouses, government buildings, and other publicly owned areas are appropriate places to regulate, private property should be free from as much government interference as possible. As a general rule, absent a direct, measurable, and unavoidable harm to others, regulations or restrictions should not be placed on the use or enjoyment of private property.
I pledge to protect the private property rights of all individuals and businesses, even those with whom I disagree. I will not let my personal opinion of how others exercise liberty interfere with their right to do so.
Reduce Wasteful Spending
It is tempting to think that local government is in a better position to solve problems than the state or federal system. But the truth is, the vast majority of problems are best solved by citizens, without government intrusion at any level. As such, government should make expenditures only on necessities, and not on projects that are the whim of special interests or select voting blocks.
I pledge to only support future expenditures that are necessary, and will heavily scrutinize existing spending in an aggressive attempt to lower expenses.
Respect the Free Market / No Picking of Winners and Losers
Government should not attempt to manipulate the free market in an attempt to ensure a particular outcome. Special treatment or favoritism toward specific individuals or businesses at the expense of others is unacceptable. Wherever possible, government should be neutral and unbiased towards the people it represents.
I pledge to oppose Tax Increment Financing (TIF), and other unequal taxation or regulatory matters that approach specific entities as being more favored by government than others.
Increase Government Transparency
It is hollow and empty to suggest that citizens have a duty to participate in the political process, while simultaneously keeping that process hidden from them. Wherever possible, government workings should be open and available, without endless red tape or paperwork needed to access them.
I pledge to work toward providing more effective documentation of government activity, as well as providing more comprehensive access to such information available online.
Eliminate Civil Asset Forfeiture
Taking private property without due process is both unconstitutional and immoral. Everyone, including suspected criminals, deserves the right to a fair and impartial trial prior to forfeiting property. Civil Asset Forfeiture subverts due process by forcing those accused to prove their innocence in order to regain their cash or belongings, and is often used where no criminal convictions have been sought or obtained. In addition, government has a perverse incentive to seize property using this process, as law enforcement directly benefits from the proceeds.
I pledge to vehemently and forcefully push for the elimination of Civil Asset Forfeiture by County law enforcement, as well as an end to the participation in the Federal Equitable Sharing Program.
Prioritize Road & Infrastructure Safety
Providing for safe roads and related transportation infrastructure is a valid purpose of government, however too often taxpayer funds are wasted on frills that are hardly mission-critical. Bike paths, greenways, and other amenities are nice, but are rarely worth diverting precious resources when so many safety and usability issues still exist along the roadways. To make matters worse, the abuse of eminent domain to facilitate such unnecessary feature additions is now commonplace, with few local officials willing to stand up against such overreach.
I pledge to support road and infrastructure improvements with the primary goal of improving safety and usability, and will oppose the use of eminent domain for unnecessary amenities.