Mission Statement

The mission of the Laurens County TEA Party is to restore our Constitutional Republic and to fight to preserve the freedoms granted by God as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Next Laurens County Tea Party Meeting

Our next Laurens County Tea Party meeting  will be Thursday Feb. 11th, 2016 at 7 pm, Laurens County Higher Ed Learning Center, 663 Medical Ridge Rd., Clinton, Room 411.  Topic: Several of our members who attended the SC Tea Party Convention will be giving short reports on some of the topics covered, including EMP, Refugee Resettlement, and more.  We will be holding a Presidential Straw Poll for all paid members. All are welcome to attend!!

Laurens County Tea Party Vetting Report: Overview of the Process

Vetting Committee Report 2016 SC Presidential Primary
The Laurens County Tea Party Vetting Committee was open to any member who wanted to participate. Those who volunteered composed the Committee. The races were divided up between the members, and then we vetted the candidates. The final report reflects the fact that the candidates were not all vetted by the same person.  The process included the following:
1) Doing an internet search of the candidates.
2) Researching the candidate’s website.
3) Researching the candidate’s voting record, where applicable
4) Researching the candidate’s donors, where the information was available.
5) Researching the candidate’s endorsements. Endorsements for all candidates by governors, US Senators and US Representatives: http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-endorsement-primary/#endorsements
All of us have worked to provide fair and accurate information.  LCTP is non-partisan, and we have vetted both Republicans and Democrats.

Ted Cruz, Republican Candidate

Ted Cruz
www.tedcruz.org

Biography:
Rafael “Ted” Edward Cruz is 45 years old. He was born in Canada, but qualifies as a “natural born citizen” since his mother is an American citizen. (See more on this below.) His father, Rafael, fled Cuba after persecution from the Batista regime. Cruz lives in Houston with his wife Heidi and 2 daughters. Heidi works in the southwest region in the investment department of Goldman Sachs (although she is currently on a leave of absence.) Cruz is a Christian (Southern Baptist.) Cruz graduated from Princeton in 1992 and Harvard Law School in 1995. He worked on George Bush’s campaign in 2000 and has clerked for several judges. As Solicitor General for the State of Texas and in private practice, Ted authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court, and has won an unprecedented series of landmark national victories including defending U.S. sovereignty against the UN and the World Court in Medellin v. Texas, defending our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, defending the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments monument at the Texas State Capitol and the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Ted has led the fight to repeal Obamacare, to stop President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty, and to defend life, marriage, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and our entire Bill of Rights.
Voting Record: Almost Perfect at 97%
“In the Senate, Cruz has a near perfect voting record, rivaled only by Senator Mike Lee. Cruz has said that, “talk is cheap,” and Senator Cruz has the record to back up his conservative bonafides. The only blemish on his Liberty Score comes from voting against offsetting the cost of the Miller-Sanders veterans bill, a new entitlement set to cost taxpayers $500 billion over a decade.” https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ted-cruz#sthash.AoTL75Jh.dpuf
Budget, Spending, and Debt
Cruz has consistently voted against more spending with no budgetary offsets. Additionally, he led the effort to oppose the latest increase in the federal debt ceiling, receiving significant criticism from establishment Republicans. He has also not only voted for a balanced federal budget, but also opposed bloated omnibus spending bills and bailouts. Cruz has voted consistently to protect America’s fiscal security and to limit government to its constitutionally defined roles. https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ted-cruz#article-4
As president, Cruz would eliminate five departments of the federal government. The Departments of Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Education. The fifth “department” is the Internal Revenue Service of the Department of the Treasury.  https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/ted-cruz#article-4
Taxes:
Supports a flat tax and abolishing the IRS.
See details of his tax plan here: https://www.tedcruz.org/tax_plan_summary/
Foreign Policy and Defense:
• Be a shining beacon.
• Exert world leadership
• Rebuild our military
• Defeat Isis
• Protect the homeland
• Rip up the Iran deal
For details, see here: https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/defend-our-nation/
• Authored legislation urging the Secretary of State to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.
• Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, introduced the Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015, immediately barring refugees to the United States from any country, such as Iraq or Syria that contains substantial territory controlled by a foreign terrorist organization.
• Has twice introduced the Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act to reinstate, impose, and expand Iran sanctions and stop failed negotiations until Iran meets certain preconditions.
• Has twice introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which seeks to prevent terrorists who join ISIS or other terrorist groups from re-entering the country and to make clear that citizens who collaborate with terrorists have forfeited their right to US citizenship. Introduced legislation to prevent terrorists from entering the US as UN ambassadors, which Iran had attempted by nominating Hamid Aboutalebi. It passed Congress unanimously and President Obama signed it into law.
• Opposed arming Syrian rebels, while supporting securing Syrian chemical weapons.
Immigration:
• Secure the border
• Stop Obama’s amnesty
• Enforce the rule of law
• Reform legal immigration to protect America’s workers
• Led the fight in Congress to defeat the Gang of 8 Amnesty Bill
• Suspend and audit H-1B visas and halt any increase of legal immigration as long as unemployment of Americans remains unacceptably high.
• Introduced two bills to protect Americans from an influx of refugees who could be a national security risk, including legislation barring refugees from terrorist-ridden regions and legislation to recognize governors’ authority to protect the citizens in their states by rejecting to resettle refugees in their state.
• For his detailed plan, see here:
https://www.tedcruz.org/cruz-immigration-plan-summary/
Moral issues:
• Pro-life; voted to defund Planned Parenthood; opposes abortion unless a woman’s life is in danger.
• Marriage: one man/one woman. Introduced legislation to support the rights of states to define marriage laws.
Civil/Religious Liberties:
• Our rights come from God, not government.
• Has spent his career defending religious liberty; he has fought to protect our First Amendment rights in a number of Supreme Court cases, and as U.S. Senator, he has been a tireless fighter for the right to freely live according to our faith.
• As a presidential candidate, Ted Cruz has hosted two national religious liberties rallies and has brought together Christians who have been persecuted for their beliefs so that people across the country can listen to their stories and stand united for our first freedom.
• On day one, a President Cruz will instruct the Department of Justice, the IRS, and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends today.
Just a few of his accomplishments: For more, see https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/religious-liberty/
• Galvanized national support for Houston pastors who had been subpoenaed by the City of Houston and forced to turn in their sermons.
• Stood with Kim Davis in defense of her right to live in accordance with her faith.
• Defended Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.
Obamacare:
• Supports total repeal
• Favors health care reform that keeps government from coming between you and your doctor, and that makes health insurance personal, portable, and affordable.
Common Core/School Choice
• Supports total repeal and “embracing school choice as the civil rights issue of the next generation.”
Second Amendment:
• Supports our right to keep and bear arms.
• Recognized by NRA executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre who observed, “Ted Cruz is one of our nation’s leading defenders of the Second Amendment. For over a decade, Ted has fought tirelessly to defend our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and his leadership was absolutely critical to our major victories before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
• Endorsed by Gun Owners of America Chairman Tim Macy, who said “We need a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment in the White House, and Ted Cruz will help shoulder the burden of fighting against the gun grabbers dedicated to eviscerating the Second Amendment.”
• Led the fight against Congress’ legislation to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
• Authored legislation to strengthen citizens’ Second Amendment rights and allow interstate firearms sales.
Endorsements:
Rick Perry, former governor of Texas and former Presidential candidate
Glenn Beck, prominent radio personality
Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The Family Leader
Former State House Speaker Bill O’Brien, (NH)
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith (NH)
NH Executive Councilor David Wheeler
Steve Deace, Conservative Radio Host
Ginni Thomas, a longtime conservative activist
Kelly Shackleford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute
More than 200 faith leaders from around the nation: https://www.tedcruz.org/news/more-than-200-faith-leaders-endorse-ted-cruz-for-president/
Focus on the Family
National Organization for Marriage
9 State Representatives
11 US Representatives, including Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, and Steve King (Iowa)
Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue
Richard A. Viguerie, a longtime conservative activist
James Dobson, Founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk Radio
Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute in 1979
Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty
Gary Bauer, a longtime leader of the conservative right
Reverend CL Bryant, an African-American Baptist minister, author, radio host, and Crystal Dove award-winning filmmaker.

State Sen. Lee Bright (SC)

State Sen. Kevin Bryant (SC)

Dana Loesch, author, radio and TV host.

Tennessee State Lawmakers:

New Cruz endorsements are Republican Sens. Janice Bowling of Tullahoma; Mark Green of Clarksville; Joey Hensley of Hohenwald; France Nicely of Strawberry Plains; Jim Tracy of Shelbyville, and Reps. Tilman Goins of Morristown; Ron Lollar of Bartlett; Billy Spivey of Lewisburg and Rick Womick of Rockvale.

Previously committed Cruz endorsements from the Tennessee legislature, announced in October, are Republican Reps. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma; Sheila Butt of Columbia; Kelly Keisling of Byrdstown; Mike Sparks of Smyrna; Courtney Rogers of Goodlettsville; Micah Van Huss of Jonesborough; Jerry Sexton of Bean Station; Jay Reedy of Erin and Jason Zachary of Knoxville. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2016/02/02/ted-cruz-doubles-endorsements-tennessee-lawmakers/79680090/

6 New Endorsements from Rand Paul backers: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/07/cruz-picks-up-endorsements-from/

Tony Perkins, head of Family Research Council
For an extremely comprehensive list, see http://www.educationviews.org/overwhelming-list-ted-cruz-supporters/
For ratings on issues and from various groups, see http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/135705/ted-cruz#.VpBUQlnYFrM

Donors:
The 2 largest donors:
Wilks Brothers: $15,011,300
Caprock Partners: $10 million
For a complete list, see http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contrib.php?cycle=2016&id=N00033085&type=f

Controversial Issues:
There has been much controversy as to whether or not Ted Cruz is eligible to run for President, since he was born in Canada. See these links for evidence that this is a non-issue, and Cruz is, in fact, eligible to run for President:
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/yes-ted-cruz-can-be-president
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/mar/26/ted-cruz-born-canada-eligible-run-president-update/
http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/03/on-the-meaning-of-natural-born-citizen/
http://www.westernfreepress.com/2014/03/13/the-top-ten-birther-arguments-against-ted-cruz-and-why-they-are-completely-wrong/

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/02/03/illinois-board-of-elections-declares-cruz-a-natural-born-citizen/?utm_source=hadaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

Subjective measures:
Articulate: Yes: While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s Debate Panel and won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship. In 1992, he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year, and with his debate partner David Panton won Team of the Year. Cruz and Panton would later represent Harvard Law School at the 1995 World Debating Championship, losing in the semi-finals to a team from Australia. Princeton’s debate team named their annual novice championship after Cruz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Cruz
At Harvard Law School, professor Alan Dershowitz described Cruz as “off-the-charts brilliant.”
Can they make complex things simple? yes
Likeable, sense of humor? yes
Can they/will they fight the democrats? Yes, Cruz has a proven track record already.
Ability to handle a hostile media? Yes, Cruz has proven he can.

Donald Trump, Republican Candidate

Donald Trump
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/
Biography:
-Born: June 14, 1946
–Education: Fordham University; Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
–Bankrupt by late 1990’s ($900m personal debt and $3.5 billion business debt); Creditors and partners left holding the losses
–Author of numerous books and TV shows
–Married Ivanna in 1977. Divorced in 1991 after long affair with actress Marla Maples. Trump married fashion model Melania Knauss in 1995. Trump has 5 children in total.
–See extensive Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump#Personal_life

Religion: “I’m a Protestant, I’m a Presbyterian. And you know I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion.”
http://www.christianpost.com/news/49797/#uGLP3b9hzuSQq8yq.99

http://www.religionnews.com/2015/06/16/5-faith-facts-donald-trump-presbyterian-collects-bibles/
Trump on need for asking God for forgiveness: “Moderator Frank Luntz asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions. “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.” Trump said that while he hasn’t asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion. “When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said. “I think in terms of ‘let’s go on and let’s make it right.'” http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/index.html
–Supported Obama in 2008
–No previous political experience. He is a businessman and media mogul.

Issues:
U.S. –China Trade Relationship
Veterans Administration Reforms
Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights
Immigration
For a full presentation of Trump’s position on these issues, visit his website:
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/

US CHINA TRADE RELATIONS:
Goal: Free Trade and Fair Trade–Fighting For American Businesses And Workers
–Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
–Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
–End China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards.
–Strengthen our negotiating position by
-lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home,
-attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and
-bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.
Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:
–Declare China a Currency Manipulator:
–End China’s Intellectual Property Violations.
–Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies and Other Unfair Advantages.
–Strengthen Our Negotiating Position
–Lower the corporate tax rate to 15%.
–Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
–Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas.

Veterans Administration Reforms
–Convenient access to the best quality care.
–Support the whole veteran.
–Fire the corrupt and incompetent VA executives who let our veterans down, by modernizing the VA, and by empowering the doctors and nurses to ensure our veterans receive the best care available in a timely manner.
-Give vets the freedom to choose and forces the VA to compete for their dollars
-All veterans eligible for VA health care can bring their veteran’s ID card to any doctor or care facility that accepts Medicare to get the care they need immediately.
-Increase funding for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury and suicide prevention services.
–Increase funding for job training and placement services (including incentives for companies hiring veterans), educational support and business loans.
–Transform the VA to meet the needs of 21st century service members.
–Better support our women veterans.
–No job security for VA executives that enabled or overlooked corruption and incompetence.
–End waste, fraud and abuse at the VA.
–Modernize the VA.
–Empower the caregivers to ensure our veterans receive quality care quickly.
–Hire more veterans to care for veterans.
–Embed satellite VA clinics in rural and other underserved areas.

Tax Reform:
Four Simple Goals:
1. Tax relief for middle class Americans:
In order to achieve the American dream.
2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.
Details:
–If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax.
–All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%.
–No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes.
–No family will have to pay the death tax.
–The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral. The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:
–Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
–A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
–Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income.
–Phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.
The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:
–Reducing or eliminating deductions and loopholes available to the very rich, starting by steepening the curve of the Personal Exemption Phaseout and the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions.
–Phases out the tax exemption on life insurance interest for high-income earners, ends the current tax treatment of carried interest for speculative partnerships that do not grow businesses or create jobs and are not risking their own capital, and reduces or eliminates other loopholes for the very rich and special interests.
–A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate.
–An end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
–Reducing or eliminating some corporate loopholes

Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights
–Enforce the laws on the books
–Fully prosecute violent criminals.
–Empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves.
–Fix our broken mental health system
-Guns and magazines: Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice.
–Background checks. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.
–Supports a national right-to-carry act.
–Military bases and recruiting centers: Forbidding our military from carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous.

Immigration Reform:
1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.
To make Mexico pay for the wall, the US will:
–impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; —-
–increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them);
–increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays);
–increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and
–increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options].
–Defend The Laws and Constitution of the United States
–Triple the number of ICE officers.
–Eliminate tax credit payments to illegal immigrants.

Other Policy Efforts:
–Nationwide e-verify.
–Mandatory return of all criminal aliens.
–Detention—not catch-and-release for illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border
–Defund sanctuary cities.
–Enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa.
–Cooperate with local gang task forces.
–Put American Workers First
–Stop giving legal immigrant visas to people bent on causing us harm. Here are some additional specific policy proposals for long-term reform:
–Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs.
–Requirement to hire American workers first.
–End welfare abuse by illegals and immigrants.
–Jobs program for inner city youth.
–Refugee program for American children.
Immigration: In a 2015 interview with CNN reporter Dana Bash, Mr. Trump said “I would get people out and then have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal. A lot of these people are helping us and sometimes it’s jobs citizens of the US don’t want to do. I am going to move’em out and move’em back in so they can be legal.”

Banning Muslims:
In the wake of the San Bernandino massacres, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims coming into the country “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/07/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-immigration/index.html

Moral Issues:
“Trump was previously a longtime supporter of abortion rights, but now considers himself pro-life. Trump has said that his conversion is due to an experience a friend had that changed his perception of abortion. He supports abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is threatened. While Trump personally supports traditional marriage and states’ right to decide the definition of marriage, he has also supported the Supreme Court’s right to determine the issue for states.” He did not support Kim Davis when she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/donald-trump#sthash.ZvjttFYz.dpuf

Controversial Issues:
Accusations that “Trump is a democrat.” According to this site, Trump registered as a Republican in 1987 and has voted accordingly. http://prntly.com/blog/?p=4301 However, other sources say otherwise: “Trump has switched his party affiliation numerous times. In 1987, he registered as a Republican. In 1999 he became an independent. In 2001, he registered as a Democrat. By 2009, he was once again a Republican. When questioned about the many switches, Trump explained, “I wanted to decide which party best suited my philosophy.” https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/donald-trump#sthash.ZvjttFYz.dpuf

Bankruptcies:
Concerning his bankruptcies, he said in one of the Republican debates that nearly all successful corporations file bankruptcy. Here are the facts according to CNN Money in August 2015: Over the last 30 years only 20% of major US corporations have filed for bankruptcy. CNN also reported that Trump’s filing 4 times is more than any other in last 30 years.
Though banks & investors lost money so did a lot of “little people”, contractors, suppliers and vendors.

Donations to democrats and others:
Although Trump has courted the Tea Party, in the 2013-2015 period he donated 220,000 to PACs supporting McConnell, Rove, & Boehner, who were seeking to destroy the Tea Party.
According to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of Trump’s federal campaign contribution history, The Donald has been a prolific donor to both Democrats and Republicans during the past two decades.
In all, Trump has contributed to 96 candidates running for federal political office since the 1990 election cycle, the Center finds. Only 48 of the recipients — exactly half — were Republicans at the time they received their contribution, including ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) and ex-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who both of whom received their Trump contributions as Republicans.
Since the 1990 election cycle, the top 10 recipients of Trump’s political contributions number six Democrats and four Republicans. Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was censured last year by his U.S. House colleagues, has received the most Trump money, totaling $24,750. The most recent contribution from Trump to Rangel was a $10,000 gift during the 2006 election cycle.
In the most recent election cycle, Trump doled out $22,500 to political candidates, of which $16,200 benefited Democrats.
The top Republican recipient of Trump’s money is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who has collected $13,600 from the billionaire magnate, the second most of any politician. Trump did not contribute to McCain during the 2010 election cycle, during which the former presidential candidate was facing re-election.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is the recipient of $12,000 in Trump contributions, including $10,000 for his 2006 re-election campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has received the fourth-largest amount of Trump’s contributions, including $4,800 in the successful 2010 campaign against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle. In total Trump has contributed $10,400 to Reid.
In 2010, Trump also contributed $4,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who easily won re-election. Schumer has received $8,900 from Trump since the 1996 election cycle. Trump has also been generous to New York’s other Democratic U.S. senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s received $5,850 in Trump money.
After McCain, the Republican with the largest amount of Trump’s contributions is former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who left office in disgrace in 2006 when his online solicitation of male House pages became known. Trump contributed $9,500 to Foley between the 1996 and 2006 election cycles.
Trump has also supported other notable politicians, including:

• $7,000 to former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the “liberal lion of the Senate”
• $7,500 to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R)
• $5,500 to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) including $2,000 during his 2004 presidential run
• $5,000 to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
• $4,000 to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)
• $2,000 to former President George W. Bush (R)
• $1,000 to then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)
Trump’s donations to various political action committees and 527 groups also demonstrate his bipartisan checkbook.
During the most recent election cycle, Trump contributed $170,000 to the Republican Governor’s Association, $50,000 to the ultra-conservative American Crossroads PAC, $30,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $10,000 to the Democratic Party of New York.
However, of the nearly $420,000 Trump has donated to committees, the largest recipient has been the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with $116,000 — or more than one fourth of his total contributions to all party and political action committees.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2011/02/donald-trumps-donations-to-democrats/
Has donated at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/donald-trump-donations-democrats-hillary-clinton-119071
“Trump defended his donations to New York Democrats in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that April, proclaiming that in the state, “everyone is Democratic” and implying that to donate otherwise would be waste of his money.
“So, what am I going to do, contribute to Republicans? Am I going to contribute to, I mean, one thing I’m not stupid. Am I going to contribute to a Republican for my whole life when they get, they run against some Democrat. And the most they can get is one percent of the vote,” he said, noting his “good relationship” with and donations to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Trump last donated to Schumer directly in 2010, though he had made donations ranging from $250 to $2,000 since 1996.” http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/donald-trump-donations-democrats-hillary-clinton-119071
Eminent Domain:
“Land owners who have to turn over their property sometimes receive “four, five, six, 10 times sometimes what it’s worth,” Trump said on Fox News Tuesday night. “People pay them a fortune.”
While some populist politicians on the left and the right have said land can be taken unjustly, Trump said that “most of the time,” people are just holding out for more money.
“I’ve done a lot of out parcels. Most of the time they just want money,” he said. “It’s very rarely that they say, ‘I love my house. It’s the greatest thing.’ Because these people buy a house now that’s five times bigger in a better location, so eminent domain when it comes to jobs, roads, the public good — I think it’s a wonderful thing.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-eminent-domain-is-a-wonderful-thing/
“Trump is not conservative” rebuttal: http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/01/22/the-professional-political-machine-says-donald-trump-is-not-conservative-part-1/

Donors:
For information about Trump’s donors and fundraising, please see: http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/candidate.php?id=N00023864

Endorsements:
Sarah Palin: Former governor of Alaska and VP Candidate in 2008.

Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County, Arizona

Jerry Falwell, Jr., Liberty University President
Jeff Dewit, State Treasurer of Arizona
Bob Dole
Willie Robertson: Duck Dynasty star
Herschel Walker, former running back
Andrew Anglin, The Daily Stormer http://www.dailystormer.com/the-daily-stormer-endorses-donald-trump-for-president/
Tom Brady, four-time Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New England Patriots
Carl Icahn: billionaire investor
National Black Republicans Association http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/23/politics/donald-trump-black-republicans/index.html
Prominent Floridians: businessman George Scarborough, the brother of former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”; Pastor Carl Gallups from Milton, Second Amendment activist Clover Lawson, retired Navy Cpt. Allen Brady and retired Army Chief Warrant Office Gary O’Neal, now the president of Worldwide Army Rangers Association
Mike Ditka: legendary coach and leader
Aissa Wayne, John Wayne’s daughter
Veteran’s for a Strong America
Brad Zaun: state senator, Iowa

Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov., SC
State-by-state staff and endorsements: http://www.p2016.org/trump/trumporg.html
http://www.mandatory.com/2016/01/07/a-list-of-celebrity-donald-trump-endorsements-thus-far/

Endorsements from four prominent and highly respected businessmen in New Hampshire: Ben Gamache, Bruce Breton, Arthur Sullivan, and Sam Tamposi Jr. “These four individuals are responsible for driving the majority of economic development in the state for the last several years and they recognize Mr. Trump’s unparalleled abilities and leadership as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.”

Subjective measures:
Is he articulate? Yes, although he has a tendency to ramble. On the other hand, he speaks without notes and does not need a teleprompter.
Can he make complex things simple? yes
Is he likeable/sense of humor? Trump is bombastic at times, but he seems to connect well with his audience and he is also amusing.
Can he/will he fight the dems? Trump did go after Obama for his birth certificate issue. He seems capable as a fighter.
Ability to handle hostile media? He has shown that he can and will, which has probably attributed to his success.

Marco Rubio, Republican Candidate

Marco Rubio
https://marcorubio.com/
Biography: Marco’s parents came from Cuba in 1956. Born May 28, 1971 in Miami. Graduated from the University of Florida and the University of Miami Law School. While in law school, Rubio interned for U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), In 1998, he won a West Miami City Council seat.
A member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000-2009, Rubio was appointed House Majority Leader in December 2002. He served as Speaker of the Florida House from 2007–2009. In the 2010 Republican Senate primary, Rubio faced sitting governor Charlie Crist. With Crist facing an impossible deficit in primary polling, the governor resigned from the Republican Party, running in the general election as an independent. Rubio won the three-way race with 49 percent of the vote.
Among numerous assignments, Rubio is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations where he serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere and the Select Committee on Intelligence.
Rubio is Roman Catholic. He and his wife, Jeanette Dousdebes, have four children.
https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf

Quick overview: Conservative Review rates Rubio as “good” on budget, spending debt, education, energy & environment, health care & entitlements, moral issues, 2nd amendment, taxes, economy, & trade. He has a “mixed” rating on civil liberties, foreign policy & defense, and free market. He has a “bad” rating on immigration.

Budget, spending, and debt:
• voted against raising the debt ceiling all four times he had the opportunity to do so, and even introduced legislation which would allow state governments to refund unspent federal dollars to help pay down the national debt.
• voted against massive omnibus spending bills and unsustainable public works projects.
• failed to support an aggressive conservative budget that would have cut the size of government in half and balance the federal budget, but he has supported budgets that balance in 10 years.
• More often than not, Rubio has been a friend to the taxpayer, consistently opposing big spending bills and debt increases. https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf

Taxes:
• supported extending the Bush tax cuts and called capital gains taxes double taxation.
• supports a flat rate federal tax.
• In 2015, Rubio introduced a tax reform proposal with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), focusing on pro-growth reform of the tax code. Provisions for individuals include an expanded child credit to help parents offset the double burden of income and payroll taxes; consolidation of tax brackets into 15 percent and 35 percent rates; eliminating deductions except for the mortgage interest and charitable contribution deductions; eliminating the marriage penalty, taxes on capital gains and dividends, and the death tax; and overhauling the Earned Income Tax Credit and means-tested programs to remove poverty traps in the tax code. (Rubio.Senate.gov)
• In that 2015 proposal, business-focused provisions include reducing the corporate rate to 25 percent, which would also serve as the top rate for sole proprietorships and partnerships; full expensing on capital investments; and a territorial system, where businesses would only be taxed on income earned in the U.S.
• Opposes the FCC’s “net neutrality” proposal.
• Voted against the internet sales tax.
• Rubio voted for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a bill that gives Obama fast-track authority to submit any trade deal to Congress within the next 6 years and force an up-or-down vote – a vote that is not subject to amendments or a filibuster.
• Rubio voted again to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), giving Obama fast-track trade authority, when it came up for a final vote on June 23, 2015.
• “Rubio cast the deciding vote for Obamatrade on Tuesday as it squeaked through the U.S. Senate 60-37, and his Senate office is still outright refusing to answer whether he even knew what he was voting on. Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, was the deciding vote necessary for the U.S. Senate to clear the final 60-vote threshold and eventually, later this week, send to President Barack Obama’s desk the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would fast-track at least three highly secretive trade deals that Obama has been negotiating for years. TPA will, now that it’s going to pass, effectively ensure the congressional approval of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). The text of the TiSA and T-TIP agreements is currently entirely secretive, even to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and their staffs, though WikiLeaks did uncover several TiSA documents that leaked and prove the deal would surrender congressional power over U.S. immigration policy to the executive branch and perhaps to a newly created transnational entity. The TPP text for the Pacific Rim trade deal that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) notes would give the Sultan of Brunei—who has implemented Sharia Law in his nation and banned Christmas, literally—an “equal vote to that of the United States,” on the other hand, is available for members of Congress to read. The only catch is they have to go to a secret room inside the Capitol basement for classified readings to read it in person, they can’t take notes, and only their staffers with enough high enough security clearances can go with them to read it—and their staff can’t go without them.”
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/23/marco-rubio-casts-deciding-vote-for-obamatrade-without-even-reading-it/

• Opposes raising the minimum wage.

Foreign Policy:

• introduced legislation that would further sanction Iran and Russia for their respective military aggressions.
• has called for increased U.S. involvement in the fight against the Islamic State and decisive U.S. action following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
• has given his full support to Israel’s right to defend itself and he has been a strong critic of President Obama’s hostile relationship with Israel.
• one of the strongest conservative voices to vehemently warn of President Obama’s plans to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba.
• One area of concern is Rubio’s consistent support for a bigger defense and foreign aid budget without first addressing the need for acquisitions and accounting reform at the Defense Department. And at times, Rubio’s foreign policy veers in the neo-conservative direction with his support for arming Syrian rebels and military intervention in Syria and Libya.
• Voted in favor of confirming John Kerry as Secretary of State.
• has supported strong U.S. engagement against threats posed by North Korea, China, and Russia.
• Rubio opposes any nuclear deal with Iran and has been a leading voice in the Senate emphasizing the urgent need for increased sanctions against Iran.
• voted in favor of an amendment cutting foreign aid to hostile nations in 2013.
• Rubio has clarified that the Iran deal is not a treaty, and therefore does not carry the weight of law, and that he would tear it up on day one and re-impose sanctions on Iran.
• Rubio does not take responsibility for supporting Corker-Cardin which allowed for the Iran Deal to circumvent the Senate.
• At the fifth Republican debate, Rubio came out strongly for a ground war in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS.
https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf
• On ISIS: the U.S. needs to take the lead on a strategy, in conjunction with our local allies, that will destroy ISIS and deprive it and other terror groups of safe havens. This will require a larger number of American troops on the ground, working with the Kurds, Sunni tribes, and other partners. If America does not make this our fight, the West will not win it. https://marcorubio.com/issues-2/isis-plan-policy-proposal-defeat/
• Halt new admissions of refugees from Iraq and Syria, until they can be vetted effectively enough to filter out terrorist infiltrators. https://marcorubio.com/issues-2/isis-plan-policy-proposal-defeat/

Immigration: Rubio opposed amnesty for illegals when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2010. In 2013, Rubio was one of the members of the Gang of Eight which authored an immigration reform bill that included amnesty. Since 2013, Rubio has changed his tune yet again, walking back his support for comprehensive reform in exchange for a piecemeal approach predicated on increasing border security. He has also called for granting students who are children of illegal immigrants nonimmigrant visas, allowing them to live here legally while they work to obtain their green cards (his compromise DREAM Act). Along the same lines, Rubio has stated he would maintain at least a portion of President Obama’s executive amnesty, DACA, if elected, even while the border is not secured.
• supports E-Verify legislation to require employers to use the system to check the immigration status of job applicants. (Rubio.Senate.gov)
• However, Rubio’s Gang of Eight immigration bill would create a multi-year gap in the statutory requirement for an E-Verify program. (Daily Caller)
• has said that, while he disagreed with President Obama’s 2012 executive order protecting young immigrants brought to America illegally by their parents, he doesn’t think it fair to deport them at this point.
• During the debate on the Gang of Eight bill, Rubio voted against several amendments designed to improve the bill, including:
• An amendment that would require the border is secure before any amnesty is granted. (Senate.gov)
• An amendment that would require the completion of a reinforced double-layered border fence. (Senate.gov)
• An amendment implementing a visa tracking system before any amnesty is granted. (Senate.gov)
• An amendment requiring a congressional vote affirming the border has been secured before granting temporary legal status. (Senate.gov)
• voted in favor of advancing legislation giving President Obama $2.7 billion more to help process the surge of illegal immigrants in 2014, instead of mandating deportations and holding him accountable for amnesty.
• Rubio sponsored legislation to greatly expand the H1B visa program for the hi-tech industry even though it may result in displaced American workers. (Breitbart) When challenged on it, at the CNBC debate, Rubio said he would look to put in standards to stop abuse, without giving concrete proposals.

Marco Rubio that, “I would be open to (more Syrian refugees) if it can done in a way that allows us to ensure that among them are not infiltrated — people who were, you know, part of a terrorist organization that are using this crisis.” The U.S. already admits tens of thousands of refugees from predominately Muslim Countries, a significant percentage of which become radicalized once they arrive in the United States. – See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf

Moral issues:
Supports traditional marriage
Pro-life, although he did not believe in restricting access to abortifacients including the so called “morning-after pill.” https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf
Also, while claiming he supports defunding Planned Parenthood, he recently missed a vote that would have done just that.
Opposed embryonic stem cell research funding when he was a FL legislator.
Opposed repeal of “Don’t ask don’t tell.”
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states, Rubio offered a disappointing response acceding all power to the Court and advocated moving on from defining marriage as one man and one woman. “While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.” (Rubio.Senate.gov)  https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf

Civil/Religious liberties:

• Rubio introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would repeal the Obamacare mandate forcing faith-based institutions to offer employees insurance coverage for contraceptives.
• Rubio said that the religious liberty of Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis should be upheld, while finding a way for the county to carry out the business she is not comfortable doing.
• Opposes legalizing drugs.
• supported state-passed religious freedom and voter ID laws
• Rubio wrote an op-ed calling for a permanent extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, provisions regarding the NSA’s counterterrorism surveillance. The bill Rubio urged passage on failed to address privacy concerns. https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf

Obamacare:
• He was an early participant in the efforts to defund Obamacare in 2013, touring Florida to rally support for the effort. Rubio has also introduced legislation to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate and to eliminate taxpayer-funded bailouts of insurance companies under Obamacare.
• has also proposed pro-growth reforms to major entitlement programs, including Social Security; transitioning Medicare to a premium support system; and converting Medicaid to block grants.
• Rubio said, in August of 2015, that he no longer supports plans that would privatize Social Security accounts. He said the idea’s “time had passed.” Rubio has put forth some basic reforms to Social Security but nothing to ensure its solvency. (Washington Examiner)
• Rubio signed a letter, with Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, chiding the House for not following through on their promise to use reconciliation to repeal the vast majority of Obamacare. (National Review)
• Rubio voted against the so-called Medicaid Doc-Fix which increased spending and the size of government. (Senate.gov)
• During the 2014 CRomnibus spending bill fight Rubio got an amendment into the bill that prevented HHS from bailing out insurers who took losses on exchange clients. This has led to Obamacare exchanges becoming unsustainable. https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates/candidates/marco-rubio#sthash.LvpuQrxP.dpuf

Common core/School Choice:

• opposes Common Core and all federal national academic standards
• supports accreditation for free online college courses and other nontraditional forms of learning.

2nd Amendment:

Rubio has a strong record protecting the Second Amendment. Rubio participated in an effort to filibuster gun control legislation in the Senate, voting against restrictions on the Second Amendment and against the expansion of background checks on private gun sales. Rubio has been pro-active by introducing legislation to stop the Eric Holder attempt to choke off financing to gun stores, Operation Choke Point, and he also introduced a bill strengthening the 2nd Amendment in Washington, D.C.
Rubio holds a CWP.

Issues/Controversy:

Donors:
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00030612
Here’s a list of Rubio’s top 10 donors since he first ran for the Senate in 2010, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics. Keep in mind that these are mostly contributions from individuals affiliated with each group, rather than single-sum donations from the group itself:
Norman Braman, a billionaire who owns two dozen Florida car dealerships and once owned the Philadelphia Eagles football team. Braman has reportedly pledged to donate as much as $10 million to Rubio and a new “super PAC” supporting him, which unlike the candidate himself, can collect unlimited amounts of money.
Larry Ellison. The co-founder and former CEO of Oracle has helped Rubio raise money this year and could turn out to be a big donor himself. Ellison, worth an estimated $54 billion, donated $3 million to a super PAC backing Mitt Romney in 2012 and could easily pony up that much for Rubio.
Club for Growth, the conservative political-action group. Donations to Rubio since 2009: $362,826. That’s more than three times what the group has given to Paul (but only half as much as it has funneled to Cruz).
Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund run by billionaire Paul Singer: $117,620. Singer has given more than $14 million to Republican candidates and causes during the last two years alone, and could become a much bigger Rubio backer.
Senate Conservatives Fund, a private political-action group founded by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint: $105,494.
Goldman Sachs: $90,642. The Wall Street titan spreads its money around, with about 45% going to Democrats and 55% to Republicans like Rubio. (By comparison, Goldman has donated $69,000 to Cruz since 2011.)
Jose “Pepe” Fanjul, one of four brothers who control a sugar empire that includes Domino and Florida Crystals. Fanjul and his family have held at least two fundraisers for Rubio at Florida properties this year, while donors associated with Florida Crystals have given Rubio at least $81,100 since 2009.
MCM Corp., a Miami-based construction company: $58,400.
NextEra Energy, a clean-energy firm based in Juno Beach: $44,290.
Sun Capital Partners, a private-equity firm based in Boca Raton: $41,600.
GEO Group, a private prison operator based in Boca Raton: $41,500.
Koch Industries, the conglomerate run by conservative activist brothers Charles and David Koch: $37,200. (Koch has donated $17,000 to Sen. Paul since 2010.) http://finance.yahoo.com/news/here-s-where-marco-rubio-gets-his-campaign-money-204131516.html;_ylt=A0LEVjLFT6BWUh0ADXwnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByNXQ0NThjBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM1BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–
Endorsements:
U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC)

Bobby Jindal, Gov. of Louisiana and former Presidential Candidate

Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator and former Presidential Candidate

U.S. Senator Tim Scott (SC)
Chris Chocola, former president of the conservative activist group Club for Growth
Jason Chaffetz: U.S. House Oversight Committee Chairman
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa
For a complete list of US Senators and US Reps., see this link: http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-endorsement-primary/#endorsements
Wayne Grudem, a professor of Biblical studies and theology at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona and author of a systematic theology textbook commonly used in conservative evangelical seminaries, who also serves on Rubio’s new religious liberty advisory board. Grudem calls for women to display ‘joyful, intelligent submission’ http://time.com/4181392/marco-rubio-ted-cruz-evangelical/
Some of Iowa’s top agriculture leaders are endorsing Marco Rubio, among 24 in the industry who recently threw their support behind the Florida senator, the campaign announced Friday.
They include: Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds, American Soybean Association Chairman Ray Gaesser, Iowa Biodiesel Board Executive Director Grant Kimberly, and Iowa Corn Growers Association Chair Jerry Mohr. Mohr had previously endorsed Jeb Bush.
Gage Kent, chairman and CEO of the Kent Corp., and Iowa Senator Tom Shipley, former policy director of the Iowa Cattleman’s Association, also endorsed Rubio.
The endorsements come two months after questions emerged over Rubio’s support for the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is the ethanol industry’s top priorities. Rubio’s has since clarified his stance on the program, saying he’d support the RFS through 2022.
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2016/01/08/marco-rubio-announces-ag-leader-endorsements/78508286/

Overall assessment:
Marco Rubio was elected to the U.S. Senate with the help and support of the tea party. Since then, he is widely viewed as having abandoned the tea party and has become part of the “Establishment.” While he has an overall conservative record, his flip-flop and now support for Amnesty and his participation with the Gang of 8 Immigration reform bill has been widely seen as a sell-out of conservative principles. His support for TPP and TPA is another black eye. His ties to sugar subsidies and his endorsements by Iowa’s top agricultural leaders also do not bode well.

Subjective measures:
Is he articulate? yes
Can he make complex things simple? it seems so.
Is he likeable/sense of humor? overall yes
Can he/will he fight the dems? it would appear so.
Ability to handle hostile media? yes

Democrat Candidates, LCTP Vetting Report

Hillary Clinton
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/

Biography:
Age 68
Graduated with a B.A. in political science, Wellesley College in 1969
J.D. from Yale Law School 1973
Worked for Children’s Defense Fund
Served as a lawyer for the congressional committee investigating President Nixon in the Watergate scandal.
Married Bill Clinton in 1975. One daughter, Chelsea
1979: 1st woman to be made full partner in Rose Law Firm
First Lady of Arkansas from 1979-1981, and 1983-1992.
First Lady of the U.S. when husband Bill was elected President from 1993-2001.
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000.
Ran for President in 2008. She lost, and was subsequently offered the position of Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, a position she held from 2009-2013, when she resigned. “Clinton was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring and advocated the U.S. military intervention in Libya. She took responsibility for security lapses related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, which resulted in the deaths of American consulate personnel, but defended her personal actions in regard to the matter.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton
Religious views: Methodist

Positions:
Education:
Considers school vouchers to be unconstitutional.
Community college should be free.
College students should do their part by working 10 hours a week.
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/college/

Environment/Energy:
“Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time—and Hillary Clinton has a plan to tackle it by making America the world’s clean energy superpower, taking bold steps to slash carbon pollution at home and around the world, and ensuring no Americans are left out or left behind as we rapidly build a clean energy economy.”
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/climate/

Jobs:
Stated at a campaign rally: “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” going on to say trickle-down economics “has failed rather spectacularly.” Three days later, she attempted to clarify her remark: “Let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple of decades: Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out — not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.” http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/politics/hillary-clinton-job-creation/index.html

Abortion:
Supports abortion. Considers abortion a Constitutional right.
Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-abortion voting record.
Supports partial birth abortion in the case of life-threatening abnormalities.
Voted NO on banning partial birth abortion unless the life of the mother was in danger.
Government should have no role in abortion decisions.
Supports Planned Parenthood
http://ontheissues.org/Hillary_Clinton.htm

2nd Amendment:

• Strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in the current system.
• Hold irresponsible dealers and manufacturers accountable.
• Keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill.
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/gun-violence-prevention/

Taxes:
Opposes the Bush Tax cuts.
The “rich aren’t paying their fair share.”
http://uspolitics.about.com/od/taxes/a/Hillary-Clintons-Position-On-Taxes-And-The-Middle-Class.htm
Voted against ending the death tax.
Appears to have a voting record consistent with more taxes.
http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/Secretary%20Of%20State/New_York/Hillary_Clinton/Views/Taxes/
Would enact a number of tax policies which would raise taxes on individual and business income. For an excellent analysis, see here: http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-hillary-clinton-s-tax-proposals

Syrian Refugees:
U.S. should accept 65,000 Syrian refugees. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=hillary+clinton+syrian+refugees&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002
“We should do our part, as should the Europeans; but this is a broader, global crisis,” Clinton replied. “We now have more refugees than we’ve had in many years — I think, since the Second World War.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-syria-refugee-crisis_us_55e9d18ce4b03784e275bf72

On ISIS:
“This cannot be an American fight. …we will support those who take the fight to ISIS…this cannot be an American fight.” http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/14/hillary-clinton-isis-iraqis-fault-sanders-slams-iraq-war/
Supports an intensification and acceleration of Obama’s current plan. America should lead the fight. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=hillary+clinton+ISIS&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

“ISIS and the foreign terrorist fighters it recruits pose a serious threat to America and our allies. We will confront and defeat them in a way that builds greater stability across the region, without miring our troops in another misguided ground war. Hillary will empower our partners to defeat terrorism and the ideologies that drive it, including through our ongoing partnership to build Iraqi military and governing capacity, our commitment to Afghanistan’s democracy and security, and by supporting efforts to restore stability to Libya and Yemen.” https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/national-security/

Islam:
Response to Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.:
“This is reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive. @RealDonaldTrump, you don’t get it. This makes us less safe.” (Tweet by Hillary.) https://www.rt.com/usa/325046-trump-muslim-ban-usa/
Hillary’s Deputy Chief of Staff while serving as Secretary of State is Huma Abedin, a Muslim. See more on Huma below.
Refuses to use the term “radical Islam.”
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/14/hillary-clinton-refuses-to-say-radical-islam-at-dem-debate/

Marriage:
“I support gay marriage personally and as law.” http://ontheissues.org/Hillary_Clinton.htm
Will fight for LGBT rights. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/lgbt-equality/

Obamacare:
“Affordable health care is a basic human right.”
Tried to push through single-payer health care as 1st Lady.
Will defend Obamacare and build on it to “slow the growth of out of pocket costs.”
“Crack down on rising prescription drug costs and hold drug companies accountable so they get ahead by investing in research, not jacking up costs.”
“Protect women’s access to reproductive health care.”

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/health-care/

Immigration:
Voted yes on federal funding of sanctuary cities
Voted yes on “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Voted yes on building a fence along the Mexican border.
Voted yes on allowing illegal immigrants to participate in Social Security.
Sponsored bill covering child resident aliens under Medicaid.
Sponsored bill funding social services for non-citizens.
Rated 8% by USBC, indicating an open-border stance.
http://ontheissues.org/Hillary_Clinton.htm

Executive Overreach:
Tightening the gun show and Internet sales loophole if Congress won’t. “If Congress refuses to act, Hillary will take administrative action to require that any person attempting to sell a significant number of guns abide by the same commonsense rules that apply to gun stores—including requiring background checks on gun sales.” (This shows a disrespect for the role of the Executive Branch, which is to ENFORCE the laws, not write them or act through judicial fiat.)

Endorsements:
Extensive list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_presidential_campaign,_2016#Endorsements although I note that some of these are rather vague as far as endorsements go. Ex) Mila Kunis said in an interview she would like to see Hillary as president and it would be great to have a woman president, but I’m not sure if that is a definite endorsement over Sanders.
Vote ratings:
Conservatives
ACU, 2006-7, 0%, 8%†
AFA, 2006-7, 0%
National Right to Life (2006-7), 2006-7, 0%
Liberals
AFSCME, 2006-7, 100%, 98%†
ADA, 2006, 95%
AFL-CIO, 2006-07, 100%, 94%†
Human Rights Campaign (2006-7), 2006-7, 89%
ACLU, 2006-7, 75%
https://ivoterguide.com/DonationDetails.aspx?ElecK=335&RaceK=4397&PriPartyK=D&CanK=25565&HeaderK=3&QuesK=3

Donors:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/candidate.php?id=N00000019
Soros Fund Management: $7,037,800
Walt Disney Co.: $3,077,667
Paloma Partners: $2,505, 400
Plumber’s/Pipefitters Union: $2,505,000
Herb and Marian Sandler, Sandler Foundation: $2,502,700
Bay Area Lyme Foundation: $2,337,700
Saban Capital Group: $2,034,213
See the rest at this link: http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contrib.php?cycle=2016&id=N00000019&type=f

Controversial Issues:
Hillary Clinton has been involved in many scandals and allegations of shady behavior over the years. Here’s a brief recap of the top 17 scandals, some of which are covered in more detail below. http://presidential-candidates.insidegov.com/stories/5955/top-hillary-clinton-scandals?utm_medium=cm&utm_source=outbrain&utm_campaign=ao.cm.ob.dt.5955&utm_term=dt&utm_content=5192495#Intro

Whitewater investigation
“First Lady Clinton was a subject of several investigations by the United States Office of the Independent Counsel, committees of the U.S. Congress, and the press. The Whitewater controversy was the focus of media attention from the publication of a New York Times report during the 1992 presidential campaign[181] and throughout her time as First Lady. The Clintons had lost their late-1970s investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation;[182] at the same time, their partners in that investment, Jim and Susan McDougal, operated Madison Guaranty, a savings and loan institution that retained the legal services of Rose Law Firm[182] and may have been improperly subsidizing Whitewater losses.[181] Madison Guaranty later failed, and Clinton’s work at Rose was scrutinized for a possible conflict of interest in representing the bank before state regulators that her husband had appointed.[181] She said she had done minimal work for the bank.[183] Independent counsels Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr subpoenaed Clinton’s legal billing records; she said she did not know where they were.[184][185] The records were found in the First Lady’s White House book room after a two-year search and delivered to investigators in early 1996.[185] The delayed appearance of the records sparked intense interest and another investigation concerning how they surfaced and where they had been.[185] Clinton’s staff attributed the problem to continual changes in White House storage areas since the move from the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.[186] On January 26, 1996, Clinton became the first First Lady to be subpoenaed to testify before a Federal grand jury.[184] After several Independent Counsels had investigated, a final report was issued in 2000 that stated there was insufficient evidence that either Clinton had engaged in criminal wrongdoing.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton
Travelgate:
“Scrutiny of the May 1993 firings of the White House Travel Office employees, an affair that became known as “Travelgate”, began with charges that the White House had used audited financial irregularities in the Travel Office operation as an excuse to replace the staff with friends from Arkansas.[188] The 1996 discovery of a two-year-old White House memo caused the investigation to focus on whether Hillary Clinton had orchestrated the firings and whether the statements she made to investigators about her role in the firings were true.[189][190] The 2000 final Independent Counsel report concluded she was involved in the firings and that she had made “factually false” statements, but that there was insufficient evidence that she knew the statements were false, or knew that her actions would lead to firings, to prosecute her.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton
Filegate and more:
“An outgrowth of the Travelgate investigation was the June 1996 discovery of improper White House access to hundreds of FBI background reports on former Republican White House employees, an affair that some called “Filegate”.[194] Accusations were made that Hillary Clinton had requested these files and that she had recommended hiring an unqualified individual to head the White House Security Office.[195] The 2000 final Independent Counsel report found no substantial or credible evidence that Hillary Clinton had any role or showed any misconduct in the matter.[194]
In March 1994, newspaper reports revealed her spectacular profits from cattle futures trading in 1978–1979;[196] allegations were made in the press of conflict of interest and disguised bribery,[197] and several individuals analyzed her trading records, but no formal investigation was made and she was never charged with any wrongdoing.[197]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton
Watergate scandal
It has been alleged that Hillary, who served on the Watergate investigation, was fired for lying and unethical behavior. As with many of the scandals surrounding Clinton, it is difficult to determine for certain whether or not this story is true.
http://jacksonville.com/reason/fact-check/2014-03-08/story/fact-check-was-hillary-clinton-fired-watergate-investigation

Bill Clinton’s sexual scandals and Hillary’s support of him, despite her comment of “I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault. Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have a right to be heard and you have a right to believed. We’re with you.” Apparently, that statement did not apply to the women who accused her husband.
“Allegations of womanizing, extramarital affairs and abuse have trickled out over the course of Bill Clinton’s political life, including a wave of what his campaign referred to as “bimbo eruptions” when he first ran for president in 1992 and still more allegations of misbehavior after investigators in 1997 started looking into Clinton’s sexual encounters with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was impeached over the Lewinsky affair. In 1998, he agreed to an $850,000 settlement with state worker Paula Jones, who had accused Clinton of exposing himself and making indecent propositions when Clinton was governor. The settlement included no apology or admission of guilt.
Clinton also acknowledged in a deposition that he’d had a single sexual encounter with former TV reporter Gennifer Flowers, who claimed they had a 12-year affair while he was governor. Among other accusers: Nurse Juanita Broaddrick in 1999 claimed she was raped by then-state Attorney General Clinton at a Little Rock hotel in 1978. Kathleen Willey, a White House volunteer, claimed Clinton fondled her when she met privately with him at the White House in 1993 to seek a job. Clinton denied the allegations by Broaddrick and Willey.
During those tumultuous days in the 1990s, Hillary Clinton’s stood by her husband publicly and cast his accusers as part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
Writings about the Clinton White House years suggest she was more active behind the scenes, helping to drive political and legal strategy to defend her husband during the Lewinsky investigation. Her friend Diane Blair wrote in her diary that Hillary Clinton had called Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony tune.” Former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, in his 1999 memoir, recalled Clinton in 1992 saying of one woman who claimed to have been propositioned by her husband, “We have to destroy her story.” Three people signed affidavits denying those allegations by Connie Hamzy.” http://jacksonville.com/breaking-news/2016-01-27/story/voters-conflicted-relevance-hillary-clinton-marriage-drama?utm_source=story_footer_recommendations&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=cxense
Benghazi
“The 2012 Benghazi attack took place on the evening of September 11, 2012, when Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Several hours later, a second assault targeted a different compound about one mile away, killing CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.[10][11] Ten others were also injured in the attacks. Initially, top U.S. officials and the media reported that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous protest triggered by an anti-Muslim video, Innocence of Muslims.[23]”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton
Subsequent investigations determined that there was no such protest and that the attacks were premeditated. This happened under Clinton’s watch as Secretary of State, and subsequent investigations, including congressional hearings, have focused on what Clinton knew before, during, and after the attacks. It has been alleged that the U.S. was funneling weapons through Libya to go to jihadist forces in Syrian. http://www.examiner.com/article/was-stevens-murdered-to-coverup-u-s-gun-running-from-libya-to-alqaeda-syria
Ambassador Stevens allegedly had requested more security from Clinton prior to the attack, but was denied. After the attacks were in progress, Tyrone Woods requested to go to the assistance of Stevens, but was told twice to “stand down.” Woods eventually disobeyed orders and went anyway. Questions still remain about this whole affair, but it seems apparent that botched leadership and poor judgement are largely responsible for the deaths of these four Americans.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223747/CIA-agents-Benghazi-twice-asked-permission-help-Ambassador-Chris-Stevens-bullets-flying-twice-told-stand-down.html
Failure to beef up security in Benghazi despite warnings and requests:
“Issa and Chaffetz say they’ve “been told repeatedly” that the Obama administration not only “repeatedly reject(ed) requests for increased security despite escalating violence, but it also systematically decreased existing security to dangerous and ineffective levels,” and did so “to effectuate a policy of ‘normalization’ in Libya after the conclusion of its civil war.”
This “normalization,” the GOP congressman write, “appeared to have been aimed at conveying the impression that the situation in Libya was getting better, not worse. The administration’s decision to normalize was the basis for systematically withdrawing security personnel and equipment – including a much-needed DC-3 aircraft – without taking into account the reality on the ground. In an interview with Mr. Nordstrom, he maintained that the State Department routinely made decisions about security in early 2012 without first consulting him.” The congressmen submit ten questions for the president to answer.” http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/documents-back-up-claims-of-requests-for-greater-security-in-benghazi/
Email scandal
Hillary Clinton, while serving as Secretary of State, used her own, unsecured home server to send emails, many with classified information, including emails with President Obama. This is a huge security breach. As the top official in the State Department, Clinton should have known better. Either she is completely incompetent, was trying to hide something, or reckless with our national security by communicating in this manner.

“To summarize, we have a situation in which (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama. From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information. He discussed sensitive matters on a non-government, non-secure e-mail system that could easily be penetrated by foreign governments (among other rogue actors). By doing so, he left an electronic- and paper-trail that was outside the government’s tightly secured repositories for classified information. He also personally indulged, and thus implicitly endorsed, Clinton’s use of private e-mail to do government business.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430706/obama-hillary-clinton-email-problem

“The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton’s unsecured home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails with material requiring one of the highest levels of classification.” http://jacksonville.com/breaking-news/2016-01-29/story/us-reveals-hillary-clintons-private-email-server-held-top-secret?utm_source=Recommendation_Widget&utm_medium=desktop&utm_campaign=qrec&utm_content=image

How Clinton’s illegal behavior has hurt national security: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430597/hillary-clinton-email-server-former-intelligence-officers-havoc?target=topic&tid=4571

Clinton Foundation donations
Clinton appears to have granted favors to countries who made massive donations to the Clinton Foundation:
“During Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton earned a combined $26.4 million in speaking fees. Bill was the major earner, giving three speeches with a speaking price ranging from $500,000 to $1 million for each. Many of their speeches were given to foreign countries, and foreign and United States corporations.
The issue with the speaking fees is what was done with them. All $26.4 million was handed to the Clinton Foundation. The legality of this concerns tax laws. Is there a legal way to hand over earned fees to a foundation without reporting it for either personal or business tax purposes? Essentially, America’s top courts and the Internal Revenue Service have stood behind the ideal that the one who earned the fee is responsible for the taxes on that fee. There is no assigning the tax burden to a foundation or corporation.
The sticky point is that though the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation have pledged to amend their tax filings to correct any possible errors, the IRS can still assign penalties and prosecute tax filers based on the initial filing, regardless of amendments.
According to the International Business Times, this leads to the second front of perceived impropriety, foreign donations, and possible influence peddling. Some of Hillary Clinton’s duties while Secretary of State was to determine whether it was in the best interests of the United States to consider selling arms and war technology to foreign countries. One criteria that was supposed to be used in this consideration was the history of the prospective country in regards to human rights. Those countries with poor human rights histories would be less considered for weapons sales.
The issue now arises that a few countries with poor human rights histories, such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were allowed to purchase weapons. The possible impropriety comes in when you consider that these countries donated thousands upon millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Then, even with poor human rights histories, Clinton authorized weapons sales to these countries after the countries donated to the Clinton Foundation.” Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2119696/clinton-foundation-donation-scandal-looking-more-like-influence-peddling/#DQEkh6JfT3q6yCod.99
Huma Abedin: Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton while she served as Secretary of State who now works as Vice Chairwoman on Hillary’s campaign.
Huma’s family has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a known sponsor of terrorism. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/312211/huma-abedins-muslim-brotherhood-ties-andrew-c-mccarthy

Has Huma Abedin caused a shift in American policy in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood?
“Nevertheless, since Secretary Clinton’s tenure began, with Huma Abedin serving as a top adviser, the United States has aligned itself with the Muslim Brotherhood in myriad ways. To name just a few (the list is by no means exhaustive): Our government reversed the policy against formal contacts with the Brotherhood; funded Hamas; continued funding Egypt even after the Brotherhood won the elections; dropped an investigation of Brotherhood organizations in the U.S. that were previously identified as co-conspirators in the case of the Holy Land Foundation financing Hamas; hosted Brotherhood delegations in the United States; issued a visa to a member of the Islamic Group (a designated terrorist organization) and hosted him in Washington because he is part of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary coalition in Egypt; announced that Israel should go back to its indefensible 1967 borders; excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from a counterterrorism forum in which the State Department sought to “partner” with Islamist governments that do not regard attacks on Israel as terrorism; and pressured Egypt’s pro-American military government to surrender power to the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood parliament and president just elected by Egypt’s predominantly anti-American population. So I was hoping maybe the speaker could explain to us: Hypothetically, if Huma Abedin did have a bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, and if she were actually acting on that bias to try to tilt American policy in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, what exactly would the State Department be doing differently?”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/312211/huma-abedins-muslim-brotherhood-ties-andrew-c-mccarthy

Summary: Hillary Clinton’s career has been dogged by a long string of scandals and questionable behavior and judgement. Her solutions to problems include more big-government programs and more taxes. Her positions and values are contrary to tea party values of smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom, and following our Constitution. She also incites class warfare with her mantra of “the rich aren’t paying their fair share” and she seems oblivious to threat of radical Islam (refusing to even use the term) and the threat of unbridled Muslim immigration—which one only needs to look to Europe to see how well that is working out. Laurens County Tea Party recommends a NO vote for Clinton.

 

Bernie Sanders
https://berniesanders.com/?nosplash=true%2F
Biography:
Current age: 74. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941, he attended James Madison High School, Brooklyn College, and the University of Chicago. After graduating, he moved to Vermont where he worked as a carpenter and documentary filmmaker. In 1981, he was elected as mayor of Burlington, the state’s largest city, by a mere 10 votes. In 2006, he was elected to the U.S. Senate after 16 years as Vermont’s sole congressman in the House of Representatives. Bernie is now serving his second term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote. Sanders is a self-proclaimed socialist.
Bernie lives in Burlington, Vermont with his second wife Jane. He has four children and seven grandchildren. Religion: Jewish. https://berniesanders.com/about/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders
Education:
Free college; substantially lower interest rates on student loans.
Strongly opposes school choice. http://ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm
Appears to support Common Core: “July 2015: Voted in favor of the Every Child Achieves Act, the 2015 attempt at ESEA reauthorization, which contains language aimed at preventing the use of federal government dollars to incentivize states into adopting the Common Core State Standards. March 2015: Voted against Sen. Amendment 515, a measure which would allow states to opt out of Common Core. “
http://blog.hslda.org/2015/08/25/candidates-on-common-core-bernie-sanders/
Defense:
Voted against the war in Iraq.
“We live in a dangerous world full of serious threats, perhaps none more so than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda. Senator Sanders is committed to keeping America safe, and pursuing those who would do Americans harm. But we cannot combat international terrorism alone. We must work with our allies to root out terrorist funding networks, provide logistical support in the region, disrupt online radicalization, provide humanitarian relief, and support and defend religious freedom. Moreover, we must begin to address the root causes of radicalization, instead of focusing solely on military responses to those who have already become radicalized.” http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/bernie_sanders_gets_a_foreign_policy_20150927
Cut defense by $18 billion to pay for 55% of all college tuition. http://ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm
On ISIS:
“Rid our planet of this barbarous organization called ISIS.” http://ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm
“I want to make sure that our young men and women are not fighting a never-ending war in the region, not getting killed. I want to make sure the leaders of the effort are in fact Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan and the UAE. I want the Muslim nations to take the lead. I want their troops to be on the ground. I want them to be aggressive. I want them to be spending the money necessary to defeat ISIS. I want us to be in a supportive role but not leading the effort.” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/11/bernie_sanders_this_war_is_a_battle_for_the_soul_of_islam_and_it_should_be_muslim_countries_sending_troops.html
Islam:
Sanders is very pro-Islam. Has said he would have no problem with a Muslim president, and has pledged to fight anti-Islamic sentiment among Americans. “Sanders is oblivious to the nature and very real threat Islam poses wherever it plants its feet. Islam’s built-in hatred of Jews was a perfect fit with Hitler’s philosophies in World War II, leading the Nazis to fund and ally themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood hasn’t changed, so Sanders is essentially siding with the descendants of the same group of anti-Semites who he says killed his father’s family.” http://godfatherpolitics.com/bernie-sanders-panders-to-muslims
Supports a Palestinian state and has the support of many Muslims: http://muslimsforbernie.org/
Syrian Refugees:
“So, in terms of refugees, I believe that the United States has the moral responsibility with Europe, with Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia to make sure that when people leave countries like Afghanistan and Syria with nothing more than the clothing on their back that, of course, we reach out. Now, what the magic number is, I don’t know, because we don’t know the extent of the problem. But I certainly think that the United States should take its full responsibility in helping those people.”
http://www.factcheck.org/2015/12/sanders-support-for-syrian-refugees/
http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/13/politics/bernie-sanders-syrian-refugees-2016/
Environment/Energy:
Climate change is real and caused by human activity.
“If we are serious about combating global warming, moving to energy independence and creating millions of jobs in the future, we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels” Sanders said. “At the very least, any serious energy bill must include funding for energy efficiency and sustainable energy that is on a par with the amounts provided for nuclear and coal.” http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/release-sanders-sets-out-energy-policy-principles
Jobs/Economy:
“Let’s put a trillion dollars over a 5 year period. Let’s create and maintain 13 million jobs.”
Backs at least $18 trillion in new spending over a decade; To pay for it, Sanders has so far detailed tax increases that could bring in as much as $6.5 trillion over 10 years, according to his staff… “More-centrist Democrats think it is a bad idea. “We are not a country that has limitless resources. You need to tamp on the brakes somewhere, but he doesn’t,” said Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy at the Democratic think tank Third Way. “There’s no such thing as free college; somebody is going to be paying for it.” http://eaglerising.com/28640/how-much-does-bernie-want-to-spend-how-about-18-trillion-in-new-spending/
Taxes:
“We will raise taxes, yes we will. But also let us be clear, Chris: There’s a little bit of disingenunity (sic) out there. We may raise taxes but we are also going to eliminate private health insurance premiums for individuals and for businesses. If you’re not paying any more private health insurance are you going to be complaining about the fact that I’ve saved you $5,000 in your total bill? So it’s demagoguery to complain about raising taxes.” http://eaglerising.com/29258/in-latest-democrat-debate-bernie-sanders-makes-an-amazing-promise/
Abortion:
Abortion is a woman’s unrestricted right.
Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-abortion voting record.
Rated 0% by NRLC (pro-life group)
Voted NO on banning partial birth abortion.
http://ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm
2nd Amendment:
“People have the right to buy guns, with sensible regulations.”
Opposes selling “military style assault weapons.”
Supports instant background checks and no guns for criminals or mentally unstable.
“D-“ voting score from the NRA.

Marriage:
“LGBTQ values are family values.”
Opposes a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Opposes a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Rated 100% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay rights stance.

Obamacare:
Voted for Obamacare, but supports a single-payer system.
“Medicare for all: healthcare is a human right.”
Opposes the establishment of tax-exempt medical savings accounts.
http://ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm

Immigration:

“I’m a strong supporter of immigration reform and of the need to provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. I support President Obama’s action to help working families stay together. I think everyone agrees that the current immigration system is broken. The Senate passed an immigration reform bill more than a year ago but House Republicans refused to even consider it. They have left the president with little choice but to act on his own.” http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/statement-on-immigration-reform-and-network-blackout
Secure border without building a fence.
Offer path to citizenship; no deportation for DREAMers.
Voted YES on continuing Federal Funds for sanctuary cities.

Executive Overreach:
“In a letter to the White House led by Sen. Bernie Sanders asked Obama to issue a “model employer” executive order, which would give contracting preference to firms that pay a living wage, offer health care and sick leave, and guarantee union rights for workers. “Mr. President, the stroke of your pen can have transformative impact for millions of workers,” the letter states. “As low-wage fast food, retail and federal contract workers continue to strike in growing numbers to ‘Fight for $15 and a Union,’ we urge you to harness the power of the presidency to help these workers achieve the American Dream.” http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/modelemployerletter.pdf
Other:
Will work to overturn Citizen’s United. http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/22/bernie-sanders-confused-on-how-the-supreme-court-works/
Estimated net worth in 2015: $700,000 http://www.forbes.com/election-2016/#3aa2f5cb7eb8
http://www.wnd.com/2016/01/is-bernie-sanders-a-communist/
Endorsements:
Tommy Chong
Susan Sarandon, actress
Killer Mike, Rapper
Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota
Keith Ellison, US House of Rep. (MN), and first Muslim to be elected to Congress
Very extensive list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bernie_Sanders_presidential_campaign_endorsements,_2016
Vote Ratings
Conservatives
NRA, 2014, D
Center for Security Policy (2011-12), 2013-14, 13%
Heritage Action, 2015-16, 13%
Eagle Forum, 2015-16, 9%
FreedomWorks, 2015, 0%, 8% (cum.)
Club for Growth, 2014, 7%, 7% (cum.)
ACU, 2014, 4%, 6% (cum.)
AFP, 2015-16, 0%, 3% (cum.)
AFA, 2013, 0%
CWA, 2013-14, 0%
Family Research Council, 2014, 0%
National Right to Life, 2014, 0%
Liberals
ACLU, 2014, 100%
AFGE, 2014, 100%
AFSCME, 2013, 100%, 100% (cum.)
Human Rights Campaign, 2013-14, 100%
Planned Parenthood, 2015, 100%
AFL-CIO, 2014, 100%, 98% (cum.)
NEA, 2014, A
ADA, 2014, 95%
https://ivoterguide.com/DonationDetails.aspx?ElecK=335&RaceK=4397&PriPartyK=D&CanK=2587&HeaderK=3&QuesK=3

Donors:
100 liberal donors: https://ivoterguide.com/DonationDetails.aspx?ElecK=335&RaceK=4397&PriPartyK=D&CanK=2587&HeaderK=5&QuesK=DonToCan

Bernie Sanders’ Controversy:
Misuse of Campaign Funds:
“According to a Vanity Fair report, based on Washington Free Beacon‘s investigation regarding the accusation, a sizeable portion of Sanders’ campaign funds between 2000 and 2004 was used by his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, and his stepdaughter, Carina Driscoll. O’Meara Sanders, who has been married to Bernie Sanders for 27 years, reportedly received over $90,000 for “consulting and ad placement services,” while Driscoll received $65,000 as payment over the course of four years.”
http://www.inquisitr.com/2692279/bernie-sanders-accused-of-mishandling-campaign-funds-allegedly-uses-donations-for-family-and-friends/#qw0TUbG4ZVP6F8Ov.99
Accused Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Commission as being a part of the “establishment” as a justification for why they endorsed Clinton over him. http://samuel-warde.com/2016/01/bernie-sanders-controversy-over-planned-parenthood-remarks/

Sanders has stated that the U.S. should be more like Denmark. However, this seems to show ignorance of exactly how things are in Denmark, including a state-run church. http://www.forbes.com/sites/roslynlayton/2015/10/23/10-things-bernie-sanders-and-paul-krugman-should-know-about-denmark/#4782d9d42594

Summary: Bernie Sanders is an avowed socialist who represents everything the Tea Party stands against.  He incites class warfare, is completely ignorant of the threats our country will face with increased Muslim immigration (as can already be seen in Europe), and views government as the solution to all problems.  Laurens County Tea Party recommends a NO vote for Sanders.

John Kasich, LCTP Vetting Report

John Kasich
https://johnkasich.com/

Biography:
John was born in Pennsylvania lives with his second wife Karen whom he married in 1997. He has 2 children Emma and Reese. John attended Ohio State University. He served from 1983-2000 in the U. S. house representing his Ohio district. Over all he was a conservative representative.
National debt. As congressman he helped to achieve a balanced budget for three years in the late 1990s. wants to shift federal spending on education, welfare, and infrastructure back to the states. His record on spending as governor has been poor, with spending growing by 35% since he became Governor.
Taxes. As congressman, Kasich had a good record on taxes but not so much as governor. Though he has cut taxes he has also raised a number of others and has proposed others that the legislature has rejected. He also favors raising the federal minimum wage mandate which amounts to a tax on business.

Immigration Kasich has said in the same sentence that he does not favor amnesty, but that he would not take it off the table. Describing them just as the left does he says you cannot deport 12 million undocumented immigrants. He supports giving them legal status and says it may come to giving them citizenship. Supports continuing to give citizenship to anchor babies.
Abortion. He says he is pro-life, but that Republicans spend too much time on that kind of issue and that Roe V Wade is the law of the land. He has no plan to try to change that.
Plans to reign in a rogue federal judiciary: On abortion and homosexual marriage, he says the court has ruled, it is the law of the land, let’s just move on. With this reasoning it may be assumed he would have just said that the Dred Scott decision was the law so let’s just move on.
Civil liberties. Kasich has generally supported second amendment with a few possible exceptions. On the first amendment he has shown an increasing indifference if not hostility to protect the rights of Christians to exercise their religious faith. He is generally supportive of the 4th and 10th amendments
Obamacare. He said he opposed it but overrode the legislature and accepted the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.
School choice and common core. Supports school choice charter with government standards. Big fan of common core but has muted this somewhat as candidate for president. Has done some good things ending teacher tenure and more bringing more accountability.
Donors and endorsements. New day for America super pac seems to be largest backer. Has raised several million from individuals and other donors. A number of present and past politicians, mostly from Ohio, have endorsed him.
Candidate skills, can they articulate well and make government complexity simple to understand?
John has to this point demonstrated little of this.
Are they likeable and able to use humor to advance conservative message or disarm opponents?
Again Kasich has little skill here.
Are they able and willing to fight political opponents?
He has shown a willingness to do this against fellow Republicans but it is uncertain if would go after Democrats with all force necessary to prevail.
Will he stand up and fight against the media to prevail? John was, of course, a part of Fox news at one time but it is yet to be revealed how he would handle the hostile press.

You can find much more on these issues about Governor Kasich at the Conservative Review presidential candidate review. Some things said by Kasich were in Republican debates. Campaign funding in part from FEC.

Ben Carson: LCTP Vetting Report

BEN CARSON
https://www.bencarson.com/
Biography:
Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is a retired neurosurgeon. He was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up poor in a single-parent household. Nevertheless, he graduated from Yale University where he met his wife, Candy, and went on to pursue his medical degree at the University of Michigan Medical School. After his residency training at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Carson directed pediatric neurosurgery there for 29 years. Among his achievements as a surgeon were separating conjoined twins and developing a hemispherectomy technique for controlling brain seizures. Both achievements were recognized in 2008 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Carson has also authored numerous books on his medical career and political stances, and was the subject of a television drama, “Gifted Hands” in 2009. (www.bencarson.com) (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson)
ISSUES:
National Debt:
-Favors ratifying a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution in order to restore fiscal responsibility to the federal government’s budget.
-Advocate of a free-market.

Taxes: Wholesale tax reform.
-Favors a flat tax of 10-15 percent that is proportional across all income levels.
-Tax form should be able to be completed in less than 15 minutes. This will enable us to end the IRS as we know it.

Immigration:
Favors securing the borders
Favors guest worker status
Not clear as to his position on citizenship
Sept. 13, 2015
“But let’s say we get them sealed, (the borders) because certainly in a Carson administration that would be done within the first year. You also turn off the spigot that dispenses the goodies, so that people don’t have any incentive to come here. Then those who are here, we have to recognize that we can’t just round them up, but we can give them an opportunity to register. I would give them a six-month period. If they register, and if they have a pristine record, they haven’t been causing problems, I would give them an opportunity to become guest workers — not citizens, not voting people, not people who get goodies. I think that would be a fair way to do it. In terms of them becoming citizens later on down the road if they’ve done things the right way, we the American people will decide what the criteria for that ought to be.” http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/ben-carson-immigration-plan-ian-tuttle

At the 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN, Sep 16, 2015

“After we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don’t have people coming in here, including employment, that people who had a pristine record, we should consider allowing them to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural sphere, because that’s the place where Americans don’t seem to want to work. And they have a six-month period to do that. If they don’t do it within that time period, then they become illegal, and as illegals, they will be treated as such.”

ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Oct 18, 2015
“If they have a pristine record, I support giving them an opportunity to register as guest workers so they’re not living subterranean.”
-Must pay back tax penalty and pay taxes going forward
-Don’t get to vote
-Are not citizens
http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Ben_Carson_Immigration.htm

Concerning the borders–
“You need to have agents. This [a fence] will slow them down, agents will stop them. A wall or a fence is a good thing, but not in isolation.” http://www.breitbart.com/

He again said it could be done easily in a year and suggested prosecuting all first-time offenders, installing a double fence and using technology-driven surveillance to cut down on the percentage of illegal crossings.

He also rejected the idea of accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S. on the grounds that it would threaten national security. Carson instead said he would support offering resources and diplomacy to help them stay settled or resettle in their own country.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/15/ben-carson-cut-illegal-immigration-by-cutting-bene/
Foreign Policy:
-Keep Gitmo open
-Stand with Israel and her people.
-The United States must be resolute in the face of these Russian transgressions. We must lead our allies, both NATO and non-NATO alike, from a position of strength.

Seven pillars of Carson’s plan to defeat ISIS:
1. Declare war on ISIS.
2. Form a military coalition in the Middle East to fight ISIS, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
3. Urge regional partners in the Middle East to recruit and train “Sunni Syrian men based in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and of Sunni Syrian male refugees in Jordan.” (There is no mention of Iraqi Sunnis.)
4. Establish a refugee safe zone in northeastern Syria and put refugees under “international protection.”
5. Put “emergency” visa and immigration policies into place and “limit visitor visas to three months with mandatory check-ins for extensions no longer than three months.”
6. Immediately deploy military and National Guard troops to patrol US borders.
7. Designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and “fully investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of terrorism.” Carson’s original proposal to investigate the group drew scrutiny in October. (www.finance.yahoo.com)

Abortion: Pro life

Plans to rein in rogue judiciary:
In an interview with Chris Wallace, Carson stated, “The way our Constitution is set up, the president or the executive branch is obligated to carry out the laws of the land. The laws of the land, according to our Constitution, are provided by the legislative branch.” “The laws of the land are not provided by the judiciary branch.”

WALLACE: But, sir, since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, we have lived under the principle of judicial review which says, if the Supreme Court says this is the law, this is constitutional, the rest — the executive has to observe that.

CARSON: And I have said, this is an area we need to discuss. We need to get into a discussion of this because it has changed from the original intent. And —

WALLACE: So, you’re saying this is an open question as far as you’re concerned?

CARSON: It is an open question. It needs to be discussed. http://abovethelaw.com/

Obamacare: Favors repealing Obamacare and putting “We the People” in charge

Health Empowerment Accounts to put patients in charge, with more choices at lower cost:
– First-dollar coverage for out-of-pocket expenses and premiums to buy the insurance of your choice.
– Your Account belongs to you, whether you change jobs or cross state lines.
– Transferable between family members, because each of us has different medical needs.

Homosexual marriage:
-Carson has said that he does not believe marriage equality is a civil right.
-Congress should fire judges who rule in favor of it.
http://www.hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts/ben-carson

School Choice and Common Core:
Carson argued that “school choice,” or allowing parents to homeschool their children or send their children to private schools with government aid, was a benefit for all Americans. http://www.christianpost.com/
-Favors homeschooling and school choice
-Opposes Common Core

Endorsements:
Republican activists Jon and Rita King have endorsed Dr. Ben Carson for President.
Jon King is a brother to Iowa Congressman Steve King (R) and a longtime grassroots conservative activist.

The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee is a political action committee formed to draft Dr. Ben Carson into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. It was founded in August 2013 by John Philip Sousa IV and Vernon Robinson, and works to raise awareness of Dr. Carson’s qualifications and to engage grassroots

Matt Bevin, the Tea Party-backed Republican nominee for governor of Kentucky, said at a debate this morning that he personally supported Ben Carson for president over Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky).

Candidate Skills:
Ben Carson is a highly intelligent, soft-spoken man who is generally articulate. He is likeable and is able to use humor in expressing his views. He has the resolve to fight his political opponents.

Donors:
Mark Oldfield, owner and CEO of Source Support Services, a Georgia IT firm. Oldfield shares the No. 1 spot as top donor to the Draft Carson super PAC in 2014, giving $101,520.

Mike Horan, president of Ajax Paving Industries, a concrete and asphalt firm with offices in Michigan and Florida. Horan also donated $101,520.

Harry Bettis, an Idaho rancher who supports Republican candidates and causes. Donation: at least $71,000, which appears to be his largest contribution to any candidate.

Caster Family Trust, a family operation in San Diego linked with Terence Caster, who owns A-1 Self Storage, a chain that has been boycotted because Caster helped fund efforts to ban gay marriage in California. Donation to Carson: at least $50,000.

 

Jeb Bush: LCTP Vetting Report

Jeb Bush
https://jeb2016.com/?lang=en

Biography:
Jeb Bush is married to Columba, whom he met while in Mexico, and they have 3 children. He served 2 terms as governor of Florida ending in 2007. All in all he had a somewhat conservative record. Since leaving office, he has worked in the private sector making speeches, a consulting business, and various other ventures.

POSITION ON THE ISSUES

National Debt: He favors budget restraint primarily through using baseline budgeting, reducing the size of government. He does not say he will push for elimination of government agencies or departments.

Taxes: Generally favors pro-growth policy of lower taxes, both corporate and individual.

Legal and Illegal Immigration: Favors increase in legal immigration. Would legalize the millions who are here illegally, except felons. He has been for giving a path to citizenship, but has been against it sometimes??? He supported the “gang of eight” bill when it was in the senate.

Foreign Policy: He is for some American “boots on the ground” with allies, to defeat ISIS. We should allow military to fight. It seems that his policy would not be terribly different from George Bush’s.

Abortion: He is pro-life.

Plans to reign in a rogue federal judiciary [Obamacare, homosexual marriage, etc]:
Other than saying he favors conservative judges, he apparently would do nothing. When the Supreme Court ruled on homosexual marriage, he said the court has spoken, it is the law of the land even though no such law had ever been passed by congress.

Bill of Rights, especially 1,2,4,10: Strong on 1 and 2. On 4, he supports the original NSA surveillance program. Generally favors the 10th amendment, but doesn’t want to dismantle any Federal Agencies.

Obamacare: He is in favor of repeal and replacement with a more free market based system with more influence at the state level.

School Choice and Common Core: Generally favors school choice and charter schools, but was a big backer of common core. However, he has tried to back away from it during the campaign and still supports national standards. He would not eliminate the Department of Education.

DONORS AND ENDORSEMENTS
Most of the money supporting Jeb comes from Wall Street, chamber of commerce types and wealthy people who want amnesty for illegals and more legal immigration. Those who have endorsed him are mostly people who agree with the above group and establishment politicians. He has also recently been endorsed by US Senator and former Presidential Candidate Lindsey Graham.

CANDIDATE SKILLS
Can they articulate well and make something complex easy to understand?
He has done very poorly at this during the campaign.

Are they likeable and use humor to advance the conservative message or to disarm opponents? Practically no evidence that he has these abilities.

Are they willing and able to fight political opponents? Jeb seems much more inclined to attack fellow republicans than democrats.

Will they stand up and fight the media? Not much—much of the media likes him.
You can find more about these and other things relating to Governor Bush at Heritage Action 2016 Platform Review and Conservative Review 2016 Presidential Candidates. Jeb’s finances can be found in The Washington Post and in his tax returns for 2015.