I just received this in an email this morning. My thoughts and analysis will follow.
A Pledge to the Citizens of the 5th District of Virginia
I am campaigning on the motto, “Getting Washington Back on Track.” Those are not mere words, but a goal, a belief and a passion.
In spite of the inevitable pressures from the party establishment and special interest groups, I pledge that I will never be swayed from my core conservative beliefs. My conviction is to work on behalf of the citizens in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. I will never forget that I work for you, the People, and not for self-serving ambition.
I am first and foremost a conservative Virginian. For far too long, politicians have spoken words that they did not mean or intend to live by. I believe that public servants should say what they mean and do what they say. So today I sign my name to this Pledge, binding me to my words both now and upon election to the United States Congress.
Accountability to the People is my hallmark. As a candidate for Congress and then as a Congressman, I pledge:
1) Term Limits
I will serve a maximum of three terms in the House of Representatives. I believe that there are too many “career politicians” in Congress. Over time, their primary focus becomes their own re-election rather than the interests of their constituents. The proper role of an elected official is to be a citizen legislator – serving for a short period of time and then returning to private life. I pledge to be a citizen legislator. I will serve Virginia’s 5th District for no more than six years and then step aside.
2) Eliminating Special Interests
I will not accept political contributions tied to no-bid contracts or political appointments, otherwise known as “pay-for-play.” I also will not accept campaign donations from those who have no clear interest in Virginia’s general wellbeing and especially that of its 5th District. Large contributions and special favors have corrupted our political process – the implied expectations of such contributions have caused politicians to pass legislation that benefits special interests over the interests of their constituents or of the Country. I will not allow this to happen to me or to the constituents of the 5th District.
3) No Earmarks
I will never add an “earmark” to a bill. Too often, via the earmark process, taxpayer dollars are spent on frivolous projects solely intended to benefit special interest groups with a strong lobbying presence in Washington. Eliminating insidious earmarks is an important component of restoring accountability to constituents and re-establishing America’s financial stability.
4) Equality Under the Law
I will relinquish excessive Congressional perks. For example, I will forgo the generous Congressional health care benefit and will continue to pay for my own private health care plan upon election. Laws that apply to the nation at-large should apply to members of Congress, as well. As a citizen legislator I will remain “one of the People,” bound by the same laws that govern my constituents.
5) Strengthen the Economy Through Lower Taxes
I will never vote to raise the tax rates of any American citizen or vote to create or impose new taxes. I will never vote for a bill that has the primary purpose of increasing income taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains taxes or estate taxes. I will champion the repeal of confiscatory estate taxes, which stifle economic growth and unfairly punish success. I support abolition of the current Federal Income Tax Code in favor of a simpler and more just replacement. Lower taxes will help to encourage business creation and development, thus bringing jobs to the Country at this critical time. I strongly believe that Congressional ability to spend taxpayer dollars creates a sacred trust with the taxpayer and that limited taxation is the key to American prosperity. I will strive to uphold this trust and enable greater prosperity by limiting taxation, and by spending tax dollars vigilantly, and only after careful consideration of the financial implications of such spending.
6) Limited Government
I will fight to reduce the size and scope of Federal Government to the level envisioned by our Founding Fathers, in order to restore freedom to the American People and financial strength to the Country. The Federal Government has expanded far beyond its intended Constitutional role and in doing so, it has curtailed individual freedoms while increasing dependency upon government. In addition, I will work to dramatically reduce overall government spending and to pass a balanced budget amendment.
7) The Right to Life
I believe that life begins at conception, and I will vote against any legislation that provides public funds for abortion or that attempts to legalize partial birth abortion. I am 100% pro-life and believe that public funding of abortion is not a proper function of government.
8) Second Amendment Rights
I will fight to protect citizens’ Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms as the framers of our Constitution originally intended. I will never support legislation that limits those rights. Second Amendment rights allow citizens to protect themselves from the tyranny of government and are fundamental to maintaining our free society. I will strive to restore to the People government-breached Second Amendment rights. I will work to limit further government erosion of Second Amendment guarantees.
I will post my Congressional expenses on-line as promptly as is possible; Constituents should have the ability to see exactly how their money is being spent. I will strive to limit expenses to those absolutely essential for running a Congressional office. I will not use taxpayer dollars for boondoggle Congressional travel, and I will limit my official foreign travel to that which is critical to national security. Congressional office expenses are paid for with the hard-earned money of American taxpayers. I will run my office in a businesslike manner so as not to squander taxpayer resources.
10) Tenth Amendment Rights
I will fight to defend the Commonwealth of Virginia from an over-reaching Federal Government.Tenth Amendment limitations on the jurisdiction of Federal Government are essential to maintaining our federalist structure and unfortunately have been disregarded by Washington for many years. I will work diligently to restore the proper Constitutional balance between the rights of the states and those of the Federal Government.
Ultimately, it is the constituents of the 5th District who will hold me accountable to this Pledge. To facilitate that accountability, I will send a signed copy of this Pledge to every county and city Republican Chairman in the 5th District, as well as to every Democratic Chairman. I will also send a copy to every town and city mayor, and every county board Chairman.
In this way, I can be held accountable to my promises, and together we can work to “Get Washington Back on Track.”
In order to demonstrate my commitment to these core beliefs and to be held accountable to the citizens of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, I, Laurence Verga, do hereby sign my name to this Pledge.
By: Laurence Verga
Date: November 19, 2009
Bradley here. I’ll keep my comments brief. In a word: AMEN! This guy gets it! I was a bit worried at first when I got to point #7, but after reading through it, I agree 110%. Well, done, Laurence. I hope he will honor this pledge, but, judging by the strong wording of his statement, and lengthy personal conversations I have had with him, I firmly believe that these are, indeed, Mr. Verga’s core principles.
The other candidates will have to work hard to top this, in my opinion.