"Hello candidate -- what's the purpose of government?"
It's time to start asking tough questions the "news"
media avoids, to really find out what sort of leaders we are about to
Although reporters can make you think they play hardball with candidates,
truly fundamental questions are rarely part of the mix. The Liberty Poll
makes this dramatically clear -- it is a fresh approach designed to examine
candidates' knowledge and views of:
1 - Our constitutional form of government and their role in it,
2 - The separate powers of federal and state government, and
3 - Constitutionally guaranteed civil and human rights.
Politicians have tended to express shock, or to simply stammer when asked
about such things. Some suddenly find they're late for a meeting, and
hurriedly duck out. They will take an oath to preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution if they are elected to public office. Do they know what
that means? Find out by making them take The Liberty Poll. Reporters could
win awards if they injected these revealing questions into the national
You should tell your local news media about The Liberty
Poll. Next time you see a "newsmaker" yourself, instead of asking about
corruption, or progress on project X, try asking some of these questions
instead, and see what happens.
In these days of expensive sound bites and slogan campaigning, this
is an eye-popping opportunity for voters to see their future representatives'
views on the offices they seek, and to avoid the wedge issues and
glossy funding promises that politicos like because they find them safe
(and well rehearsed).
The short and sweet questions below are followed by detailed, in-depth
queries from the three co-authors of The Liberty Poll. Ask yourself, "Why
don't news people ever ask questions like this?"
1 - If you are elected to the office you seek:
a) what laws will you repeal;
b) what taxes will you reduce or eliminate;
c) what government agencies will you shrink or close?
2 - Would you support criminal penalties:
a) for politicians who violate their oath of office;
b) for bureaucrats who act outside the powers delegated to them?
3 - When did you last read the state and federal Constitutions?
4 - Should someone who has sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution, but who then votes to allocate tax funds to programs
or departments not authorized by that Constitution, be removed from
5 - Can you name any current areas of government operations that are
outside the authority delegated to government?
6 - Can you name areas where government might serve the public interest,
but where it has no authority to act? If not, is it still accurate to
say we have "government of limited powers"? Does this matter?
7 - As a candidate for a state or federal office, can you think of any
ways to improve enforcement of the 10th Amendment (the states and the
people retain powers not delegated to the federal government)?
8 - With regard to jury trials, should judges be required to inform
jurors that they have the power, in the sanctity of the jury room, to
decide whether a law in question is just, or constitutional? Should
schools teach this?
9 - With regard to due process, should judges be allowed to prevent
defendants from presenting a defense on constitutional grounds if they
10 - With regard to the war on drugs, is the war succeeding? When could
it be declared a success, the expense of waging it cease, and the
tax-based infrastructure surrounding it be decreased or dismantled? If
it can't be declared a success, when might it be declared a failure and
brought to a close?
How do you respond to critics who say the war on some drugs is really just a federal-agent jobs program that provides price supports for the cartels?
11 - With regard to law enforcement, are you in favor of police being
allowed to use deadly force when absolutely necessary to protect
innocent lives from criminal attack? Do you believe that people, even
people with no training of any kind, have less right to defend
themselves than the authorities do?
12 - With regard to the right to keep and bear arms, would you support
gun laws that would specifically disarm religious individuals, either
on the way to or at religious services? Would this be OK as long as all
religions were treated equally?
13 - With regard to establishing a federal ID number for every American,
would you vote to enable or block such legislation if it were proposed?
Which part of the Constitution would authorize such controls over citizens?
14 - With regard to asset-forfeiture laws and policies, describe how
these are permissible under the Constitution. If elected, would you do
anything to change current asset-forfeiture law?
15 - If elected to the office you seek, would you support legislation
to license writers or register printing presses? Would you support legislation
to license publishers to help control "hate speech?" Why would an honest
writer or publisher object to such a program? If you cannot justify licensing
writers, on what basis could you justify licensing gun owners?
A followup module of The Liberty Poll, with detailed questions for
reporters to consider for extended interviews, appears next.
The Liberty Poll was developed by attorney Michael P. Anthony,
author Alan Korwin and syndicated columnist Vin Suprynowicz.
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440 Scottsdale, AZ 85254
602-996-4020 Day phone
602-494-9320 Evening phone
602-494-0679 Fax email@example.com
Do you wonder why you typically don't hear Liberty Poll style questions
on the nightly news? For the same reason the nightly news is so tame compared
to the Internet. Why is that? Because broadcasts in America are state
controlled (and the web isn't, yet). If you heard broadcast executives
agonize over programs that might jeopardize their government licenses,
you'd think anew about how free is free speech.
THE LIBERTY POLL
(Proposed by attorney Michael P. Anthony)
The one-page Liberty Poll is distilled from a range of questions
proposed by three prominent writers on the American scene. Here is the
full range of questions, designed to make reporters and the public
think, and to inject fresh air into current political discourse.
Do not be surprised if you notice relevance in these questions, even
though little if any of this has appeared thus far in standard American
The idea of The Liberty Poll was first proposed by attorney Michael P.
Anthony with the following set of questions.
1. Do you believe government is the right size? Please answer
separately (circle your response) for your state and federal
Your State: (a) too large, (b) about the right size, or (c) too
Federal: (a) too large, (b) about the right size, or (c) too small.
2. If elected, identify up to five laws, if any, that you would seek to
repeal or restrict, or circle: None.
3. If elected, identify up to five agencies, if any, that you would
seek to reduce or eliminate, or circle: None.
4. If elected, identify five laws, if any, that you would seek to enact
or expand, or circle: None.
5. If elected, identify five governmental agencies, if any, that you
would seek to create or expand, or circle: None.
6. Do you believe that if you are elected to the office you seek, you
should be sworn to preserve, protect and defend your state Constitution
(if elected to state or local office) and/or the U. S. Constitution?
(circle your response)
7. When did you last read the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights?
8. When did you last read your state's Constitution?
9. List by number the Articles of the "Bill of Rights" of the United
States Constitution that you believe should be preserved in the 21st
10. List by section numbers the sections of your state Constitution's
Bill of Rights that you believe should be preserved in the 21st century.
11. In your understanding and view, which of the following is correct?
_____ The states derive their power from the federal government.
_____ The federal government derives its power from the states and the
12. If you are elected to the office you seek, will you support and
defend your state and U.S. Constitutions, including those portions with
which you might disagree?
THE LIBERTY POLL
(Proposed by author Alan Korwin)
"So where do you stand, Senator..."
In part 2 of the Liberty Poll, author Alan Korwin pursues issues in
depth, primarily concerning balance of power, designed for use in direct
questioning of politicians during debates and public appearances.
In an introduction, Alan notes:
People complain about media bias when they see constant distortion and
misinformation that routinely passes for "news." But perhaps the
greatest bias results from news that never appears, because important
questions are never asked. Next time you see a "newsmaker" try asking
some of these questions yourself, and see what happens.
Where do you stand, Senator, on deterrence at schools?
You know, is it legal for a person caught in one of these media-hyped
killing sprees to shoot back if they are able? Is there any limit on
the number of bullets they could use? Do you think they should be
charged with something if they manage to stop the attack and the
attacker dies in the process, or if they use a type of gun not on an
Where do you stand, Senator, on tax credits for training?
You know, with all the accidents and costs associated with gun violence,
do you support a tax incentive to encourage Americans to take courses
that teach safe handling and use of firearms? Do you think this
statement is true: "Gun-safety training would cause accidents and cost
Where do you stand, Senator, on poor people's right to self defense?
You know, do people living in substandard housing have the same right to
protect their families as suburban homeowners, or even politicians? Do
you believe politicians or police officers are entitled to armed
protection that poor people are not? Do you support outlawing guns that
are affordable for poor people -- often derided as "junk guns" -- and
how do you respond to charges that this is a racist policy with blatant
Where do you stand, Senator, on the civil right to self defense?
You know, do you believe a person can legally fight off a mortal attack
by using lethal force? If a person is truly innocent and survives such
a confrontation, is the type of firearm or ammunition they use any sort
of legal problem after the fact?
Where do your stand, Senator, on gun laws that would disarm Jews?
You know, like former vice president Al Gore's proposed plan that would
make anyone attending religious services a criminal if they also keep
and bear arms? Do you think a law that disarms Jews would be OK as long
as it disarms other religious individuals as well?
Where do you stand, Senator, on armed intervention by police?
You know, are you in favor of the police being able to use deadly force
to protect innocent lives from criminal attack? Do you believe a
person, even one with no training at all in self protection, has any
less right to defend themselves than the police do? Would you support
ammunition limits for police firearms, or do you believe this might
jeopardize police safety? How high or low would you set those limits?
Where do you stand, Senator, on Sunshine Gun Laws?
You know, gun laws that encourage decent behavior, and support training,
as opposed to laws that seek to restrict the civil rights of gun
owners? Do you support laws that protect people who legitimately defend
themselves against crime?
Where do you stand, Senator, on a Presumption of Innocence Act for
You know, when a woman shoots a man already convicted of abusing her,
within a court-ordered protective zone he's not supposed to enter,
should her actions be illegal? Would you support a legal presumption
that her acts are self defense, if there's no concrete evidence to the
contrary? Would you support awarding such survivors with a civilian
medal of honor?
Where do you stand, Senator, on the 240 felons the FBI and BATF ignore
every day under the Brady law?
You know, the 240 criminals denied guns daily by the national background
check. The FBI has direct personal knowledge of felony after felony,
yet does not enforce the law and apprehend them. Do you support that?
How do you as a politician answer the complaint that, after $250 million
spent on the Brady law, you don't arrest any of the criminals you find?
Do you think the "official" numbers are inflated, or did we really
identify and turn loose 800,000 crooks trying to buy a gun? What
purpose does it serve to leave these criminals on the street? If these
criminal were arrested, would crime drop? If you seek money for new gun
laws, yet admit you do not arrest gun criminals you already find under
expensive existing laws, do you think the public should see this as
unwise public policy? Does failure to make arrests under the Brady
system help perpetuate the system's existence, and how do you respond to
charges that the system is, in large measure, a federal jobs program for
more than 1,000 people?
Where do you stand, Senator, on a federal ID number for every American?
You know, a number required by the federal government, without which you
could not get or give money, make purchases, travel or be employed. Do
you think this is something the government should be working on, or
might this be the overbearing role of central government the founders
warned us about? If not, what would be? Where exactly in the
Constitution do you find language authorizing federal numbering of all
people? Do you support Ron Paul's bill to prohibit federal numbering
and registration of the general public?
Where do you stand on registering writers, Senator, if you stand in
favor of registering gun owners?
You know, would you be able to justify equal procedures for all the
rights under the Bill of Rights? If you don't favor registering
writers, why not? If a writer is honest, why would they care?
Where do you stand, Senator, on how much gun law we should have?
You know, we have over 88,000 words now at the federal level, how much
do you think we need? Is there an outside limit we can look forward
to? When do you believe we'll have enough? Can you name any gun crimes
that have victims and are not already illegal?
Where do you stand, Senator, on a total gun ban for anyone who
voluntarily wants to sign up for such a ban?
You know, would you support a federal pledge that people could make, to
be forever banned from any access to firearms, under penalty of felony
charges? Do you think people who want guns banned would register to ban
themselves? Would you support such a no-gun-rights class of citizenship
in America if a majority in your district wanted it?
Where do you stand, Senator, on encroaching on the Bill of Rights?
You know, is it OK to give up some of our freedoms if it's to help
prevent crime? Can you name any laws on the books take this approach?
Would you support or fight such laws is you are elected? Does the
government have any power to outlaw armed response to an armed attack,
and if so, where is that found in the Constitution?
Where do you stand, Senator, on a marksmanship component for National
Gun Safety Training Week?
THE LIBERTY POLL
(Proposed by syndicated columnist Vin Suprynowicz)
"Hi, what is the purpose of government?"
Nationally syndicated columnist Vin Suprynowicz produced a set of
questions in response to his editors' request for a politician
questionnaire. His work builds upon the directions of the Liberty Poll,
and are useful for a more thorough analysis of a candidate's position on
liberty and freedom.
In an introduction, Vin writes:
"If you get a chance to chat with one of your local politicians at a
picnic in your hometown this summer, don't fall into the old trap of
asking "What are you going to do to get more funding for (insert your
favorite government program here)?"
"Instead, try one or two of the questions below. If you still believe
this is the "land of the free," the answers you hear -- or the look of
horror that flashes briefly across that face before he or she spots
someone across the way he just HAS to go see -- may shock you."
1) Can lawmakers enact legislation for any purpose "in the public
interest," or are they limited to those functions for which they've been
delegated specific powers? Can you name some areas where government
could probably do some good, but where it has no delegated power to act?
If you can't name any such areas, is it still accurate to say Americans
have a "government of limited powers"? Does this matter?
2) Can you name any departments or programs not specifically authorized
in the state's (or the nation's) founding documents? Should someone who
has sworn an oath to protect the Constitution, but who then votes to
allocate tax funds to programs or departments not authorized by that
Constitution, be punished? If not, why not?
3) Can you name a current tax that you would repeal? A fee?
4) Are residents of our state free to engage in any business they
choose? Is operating any local business for profit a privilege, for
which a citizen should apply for a permit, paying a fee or tax? Would
you favor any changes in this regard?
5) Do residents of this state have a right to buy and keep machine
guns? Why or why not?
6) Do residents of this state have a right to carry handguns openly on
their hips without applying for or receiving a "permit"? Why or why not?
Would you change current law enforcement in this area? In what way?
7) Should judges tell jurors they have a right to decide whether the law
in question is constitutional? Is it a fair trial if the judge tells the
jurors they do NOT have a right to decide the constitutionality of the
law? Should judges be allowed to prevent defendants from presenting any
defense they choose? If not, what is the proper recourse in the case of
a judge who refuses to let the defendant do so?
8) Should judges exclude prospective jurors after questioning them and
determining they do not favor the law which the prosecution seeks to
enforce? If so, why do we still call them "random juries"? Does that
mean the John Peter Zenger jury should have been stacked with crown
sympathizers? Should juries have been stacked in the 1850s to guarantee
convictions under the Fugitive Slave Act? Should judges be punished for
thus excluding jurors based on "voir dire" questioning? Alfred the Great
summarily executed judges who replaced jurors who refused to convict.
Would this be a good solution for us to adopt, today? Why not?
9) Should it be legal for police to search automobiles without a
warrant? Is it OK for police to tell drivers they have to consent to
such a search? If a police officer searches a car without a warrant,
should the police officer be arrested and put on trial? If not, why not?
10) If a police officer stops a car in which the driver is carrying a
legal pistol, with a permit, should the officer disarm the driver before
proceeding to write a ticket? Why or why not?
11) If police serve a search warrant which does not list any firearms,
but they find firearms in the house being searched, is it OK for them to
seize the firearms anyway? Why or why not? Would you favor a law to
alter current practice in this regard? If so, specify.
12) Do we need more "gun control" (victim disarmament) laws? If so, name
one new "gun control" law you would favor. If not, can you name a
current "gun control" law you would repeal?
13) Can a tax rate be so high that it's not acceptable? If so, name a
tax rate so high that citizens would be under no moral obligation to pay
it. If you can't name such a rate, are you saying the government has a
right to take 100 percent of what we earn and what we own?
14) Is the war on drugs succeeding? Can it succeed? Should all drugs be
legalized? If not, why not? Should recreational drug users be committed
for psychiatric treatment?
15) Whose powers are limited by the 10th Amendment? Can you think of any
ways to improve enforcement of the 10th Amendment? No, you can't look it
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440 Scottsdale, AZ 85254
602-996-4020 Day phone
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