Utah 1st Congressional District Survey

Rob Bishop, Utah 1st Congressional District
On 14th July I received three pieces of political mail – a flier from Rob Bishop promoting his Americans For American Energy Act; a request for dues to the Republican National Committee; and a Congressional District Survey. To give you some idea of my politics I consider myself an Independent though I vote Republican about 80% of the time. I don’t have any one issue but do favor fiscal responsibility and do not favor abortion or gay marriage. I spent my first 28 years of life in rickety old England so I have some perspective on socialism and government programs. Anyway, I will comment on the survey today and perhaps write about the energy act another day. Each survey question, except for the last, can be answered Yes, No, or Undecided. I will list the question, then respond afterwards by rewording the question and adding commentary.

The Survey

1. Do you feel voters in Utah’s 1st District support making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent?

Rephrase: Do you support making all or some of the Bush tax cuts permanent?
Comment: Although I have only been affected by it once, I believe the Alternative Minimum Tax should be abolished. Eventually action will have to be taken because the AMT is not indexed to inflation. Priority should be given to reducing the deficit even if some taxes have to raised.

2. Do you support the House Democrats’ “slow-bleed” strategy to “choke-off” funding for our troops in Iraq, leading to their withdrawal and a perception of American defeat?

Rephrase: Do you support withdrawing troops from Iraq?
: Obviously very few would answer yes to the survey question, even though they may be in favor of withdrawal.

3. Should Republicans continue fighting for full implementation of a ballistic missile defense system?

Rephrase: Leave as-is.
: I don’t know much about this. It sounds like a program expansion which could be expensive.

4. Do voters in Utah’s 1st District agree with the Nancy Pelosi Democrat Majority’s decision to impose massive tax hikes on the American people?

Rephrase: Are you in favor of tax increases to fund important services?
: My rephrase isn’t much better. I favor tax increases, if necessary, for deficit reduction and enabling existing government programs to be run effectively.

5. Do you think that House Republicans should continue to push pro-growth policies that create jobs and oppose tax increases that would add a burden to working families and set back our economy?

Rephrase: Are you in favor of creating jobs and opposing tax increases on working families?
: This is another survey question that one cannot answer no to. These are annoying questions because they don’t mean anything.

6. Do you support Congressional Republicans’ efforts to decrease domestic government spending in order to reduce the national deficit?

: Leave as-is.
Comment: With me Republicans have zero credibility in the area of reducing spending and the deficit.

7. Do you support the Democrats’ efforts to give federal bureaucrats complete control of your heath care costs and choices?

: Are you in favor of government run health care?
: There is no need to malign federal workers for cheap political gain. A government run health care system is not the end of the world. For sure those with no health insurance now have nothing to lose.

8. Should Republicans in Congress make expansion of Veterans’ benefits a priority?

Rephrase: Should Congress expand Veterans’ benefits?
Comment: Here I take out the word priority. One may be in favor of expanded Veterans’ benefits but not necessarily view it as a priority. The survey question is really a two-part question: expansion of benefits and if it should be a priority.

9. Do you support maintaining anti-terrorism laws that give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the far-reaching powers to track, detain and prosecute terrorists and their accomplices?

Rephrase: Leave as-is.
Comment: A straight-forward question.

10. Should Republicans in the House of Representatives make securing our nation’s borders and enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, including combating the hiring of illegal workers and the ending the “catch and release” policy a top priority?

Rephrase: Should we secure the borders? Should we enforce immigration laws? Should we end “catch and release”? Should any of these be a top priority?
Comment: This survey question is difficult to answer because it really contains at least four questions. One might want more resources to enforce the laws at the expense of reduced border security figuring that drying up employment opportunities would naturally reduce border crossings.

11. Do you think House Republicans should continue fighting for comprehensive education reform to ensure that every child in America receives a first-rate education?

Rephrase: Leave as-is.
Comment: The assumption is that education reform will bring better results. Federal meddling could make things worse.

12. Do you agree that winning back a Republican Majority in the House of Representatives is essential to stopping the Nancy Pelosi Democrats from raising our taxes, destroying our economy and endangering our homeland?

Rephrase: I will leave it to you to rephrase this one. I would have to completely rewrite it.
Comment: Obviously the Republicans don’t need the Democrats to destroy the economy. Republics have put off raising taxes by increasing the deficit. Endangering our homeland – what is that supposed to mean?

13. I will paraphrase this question: Please send money. Your choices are “Yes” or “I will later”.

The Conclusions

It appears the survey is a propaganda machine designed to evoke a positive response to question 13. It would help if the survey questions focused on one item at a time rather than lumping several facets of an issue together. The survey comes over as an attempt to get you to donate. The money would then be spent to help win the election. However, if a well thought out survey was delivered with no mention of money, then this also would aid in winning votes, and at far less cost.

If I was to complete the survey as it stands, this would be my response to the questions:

1. Yes.  2. No.  3. No.  4. No.  5. Yes.  6. Yes.  7. No.  8. No.  9. Yes.  10. Yes.  11. Undecided.  12. No.  13. Unanswered.

How would you answer the questions?

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