Setting the record straight
As a delegate, I appreciate the time and effort you are putting into our political process. I want to earn your vote. And, I want to make sure you have all the information you need to make a good decision.
You are likely now experiencing why campaign season is also known as "the silly season" in which some candidates tend to throw mud and misinformation in the hope of gaining some attention and consideration they could not otherwise get. I refuse to play that game, but I'm happy to help keep my record straight. In fact, I am spending a considerable amount of time holding public town hall meetings where I am taking questions from delegates like you as well as members of the public.
I’m proud of my conservative voting record. As your representative, I believe I’ve voted right. I will continue to fight to uphold the Constitution and fight for the principles of fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and a strong national defense.
As you consider these facts, let me shed some light on key issues that have been raised and that I have clarified during my recent town hall meetings. I hope this is helpful to you as you make your decision.
My overall score with FreedomWorks is 88%, one of the highest in Congress. This year it is a bit lower, in large part because I missed three votes. Our only son returned home from his mission to Ghana in the first week of March. I prioritized my family by being here when he came home. I make no apologies. It was the right thing to do. As a result, I missed three of the seven votes scored by FreedomWorks and they counted those votes against me. What does FreedomWorks have to say about this? Click here.
I am in full support of debates that are sponsored by credible third-party hosts. I have not been invited to any such debates to date in this campaign cycle.
You may have noticed I did not speak at the Salt Lake or Utah County Conventions, although I was invited to do so. I refused to speak because my opponents were not given the same opportunity. I refused a similar invitation to address the participants in my own precinct caucus because I did not believe it was fair for me to speak when my opponents could not do so. The only debate invitation I have received to date excluded one of the candidates and did not involve a credible third-party host.
However, I also believe delegates and the public should have the opportunity to challenge my positions and discuss them with me directly. I am holding nine town hall meetings this week and will continue to meet with delegates before, during and even after the convention.
I will tirelessly fight for states’ rights and our ability in Utah to protect ourselves from having internet gambling imposed upon us. For more information about this legislation, please see the opinion piece I wrote in The Hill. You can also read more here.
2014 Appropriations bill
There have been some questions about my vote for the 2014 Appropriations bill. This bill cut discretionary spending. Last December, I explained in detail the reason for my vote here. I am proud of my record of fighting to bring sanity back to the United States budget. In fact, I am the only member of Congress to actually pass a bill ("Cut, Cap and Balance") that would require a balanced budget amendment to be sent to the states.
Reading the bills
I have lived up to my promise and commitment to read bills before voting on them. Yet, an allegation was made that somehow I did not. Click here to read the timeline of one of the bills that was questioned. Remember, this particular bill was a continuing resolution, which meant the bulk of the text was already current law.
My position on education has not changed. I have always fought to repeal No Child Left Behind. There should not even be a federal Department of Education. Furthermore, I believe Common Core is principally wrong and Utah should not be a participant.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration. I understand and share your frustration that our budget is too big, the reach of the Federal government is too large and government on so many levels is out of control. My commitment is to fight for Utah, reign in government and make sure your concerns are heard loud and clear. It's why I ran for Congress, and it is what I spend my time doing as your representative. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.