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— First of all I would like to apologize to any of you who attempted to attend the Candidate Forum that I wrote about last week.

The event was suddenly canceled the night after my story went to press. You deserve at least to know why.

Half of the local Tea Party, and no one more than me, wanted a candidate forum that would really find out where the candidates stood on the tough questions, the rest wanted the priority to be hosting a more scripted event that asked no awkward questions. The internal dispute frittered away too much time, energy and effort. Let me explain it like this.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave those who still believe in the rule of law a real wake up call recently with her response to the simple question, “Where in the Constitution does the federal government get the authority to force individual Americans to purchase health insurance?” “That’s not a serious question.” Pelosi shot back.

Not a serious question?

How more blatant could a federal official be in telling us that they will not recognize the rule of law or any restraints on their power? Her answer is the very essence of lawless government. But in a sense Pelosi was just saying openly what many of them practice behind closed doors. Congressman Ron Paul once wrote that the least effective arguments in Congress for any issue are moral arguments and constitutional arguments.

You may think we can fix the problem by simply voting out Pelosi, or in our case Senator Blanche Lincoln. While no one from any side of the political spectrum can trust a single word she says, simply replacing her with another person whosecretly practices what Pelosi states openly will not solve our problem. Our problem specifically is a huge federal government that has run amuck, and is now the biggest threat to our continued liberty and prosperity rather than their protector.

The Republican candidates for U.S. Senate are Gilbert Baker, Curtis Coleman, Kim Hendren, Buddy Rogers, Fred Ramey, Tom Cox and Conrad Reynolds.

Each of them was sent a survey by the Benton County Tea Party. Thirty percent of the state-wide vote in the Republican primary will come from Benton County. The candidates wanted that vote.

What they did not want to do was answer the survey questions. The reaction of some of them was visceral in their opposition. Only political neophyte Fred Ramey actually returned the survey to the lady who was supposed to get them.

Coleman sent his in too, but only on the condition that his answers wouldnever be revealed. How is that for a profile in courage?

The sad truth is that each of these men is posing as a champion of liberty and the rule of law. They are all telling voters that they will go to D.C. and stand up for your rights. But despite the image they project, the reality is that they are afraid to even fill out a survey to let you know where they stand on fundamental issues. Half of the questions on that 44-question survey related to what it means to uphold one’s oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. Like Pelosi, those are not the kind of questions they appear willing to answer.

You may be wondering what sort of questions would unnerve these guys so much that they would refuse voters the courtesy of answering them. A list of those questions can be found on the Internet at http://arkansaswatch.

blogspot.com/2009/11/ little-pelosi-in-all-of-them.

html.

Opinion, Pages 4 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: Arkansas Watch Elected officials should consider transparency

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