Tuesday, September 18, 2018

More Issues.....

As a follow up to my previous post regarding my thoughts about immigration, I am writing a second post to talk about my personal opinions on more issues that Americans are divided over.

First and foremost I am a strong supporter of the constitution.  It is the founding document that protects the citizens of this country from our government.  We should always be mindful of this one fact - the constitution was written for the people, not for the government.  We should also elect supreme court justices who strictly apply the constitution to all federal legal matters.  Judges do not make law, they rule on it's legality.

I am a believer that the less government interferes with my life the more freedoms I can enjoy.  I understand that there are obvious jobs that governments do that make our lives better, for example; infrastructure, protection ( fire, police, military), and regulation of business and industry to protect people from those who would take advantage of us.  But in general, I think our federal government is inefficient, wasteful, and it has lost it's way.  It serves itself now more than it serves the people. That's why I am running for office, to change this behavior in Washington.

I am pro-life. I believe a womans body is her own and the babys body is it's own and to terminate that baby is to kill innocent life.

As I Christian,  I believe that the husband and wife relationship was instituted by God when he made them both"male and female" (Matthew 19:4-5). God only recognizes the marriage between a man and a woman. I do also believe that people have the right to choose how they want to live their lives as long as it does not harm others. God has given us the freedom to live as we wish while we are here on earth.  As a Christian it is my duty to teach others the truth, after that its up to each of us to choose how we are going to live.

I support the right of every law abiding citizen to own fire arms.  I also support the right of  our government to insure that guns are sold to lawful people.  I have no issues with background checks - in fact I have no issues with waiting periods.  I strongly support updating our background checking systems so that there is better communication between all entities manage data on people.  It's a big problem when a man who was dishonorably discharged from the military for abuse is able to buy a gun and attack a church.

I am for reducing wasteful spending and would support a balanced budget amendment. I am also in favor of term limits. The longer someone stays in Washington, the more detached from the realities of  real life politicians become -  4 terms, no more.  Working in Washington was never meant to be a full time career.

I am against endless wars with no exit strategy an no clearly defined goals.  We are not the worlds police, that being said, I am willing to admit that we have the right as a nation to act when our nations interests abroad are at risk or our allies are threatened.  At the same time our interests abroad need to be reduced so we can focus more on our needs in our own country.

Healthcare costs have been a problem for a long time and the Affordable Care Act did nothing to change this.  The cost of medicine and insurance have risen dramatically in the past 5 years. In retrospect I believe it would have been more prudent to allow the uninsured to join an expanded Medicare program. Moving forward I would be very much in favor a complete and total examination and reconstruction of every single aspect of health care and how the insurance companies are involved.  I believe there is a solution out there. We just need to keep the lobbyist and special interests groups from influencing this process.

Tax cuts are good for people. I think we know best how to spend our own money.  Besides when you give the government a dollar they turn it into a nickel.  Our Federal government has collected more tax revenues this year than any year ever in the history of our country and yet we still run a deficit. We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. I have  zero confidence, that if you raised taxes on everyone, that our government would do any better at spending our money.  They have never proven this before. Its laughable that the government would ask us to pay more in taxes when they have done nothing to reduce our budget and cut out the wasteful spending.  Once you've done that we can talk about needing more revenue.  As a congressman I would not vote for any bill that increased our deficit by one dollar without an equal cut elsewhere in our nations budget. Neither party has ever done anything to reduce the size of government even though republicans campaign on this issue every election.

There you go!
I hope this reveals to you a bit more about who I am and what I believe. I know there are many who may disagree with me on some of these issues and that's perfectly fine. I don't hate anyone who disagrees with me. I truly think common ground can be found a just about every issue.  However, being a representative is not about what I want to do or how I feel about the issues.  My job will be to do what the people of Tennessee want me to do.  Voters generally look for a candidate that most resembles their own beliefs and that's who they support. But all to often, what happens is, that candidate goes to Washington and forgets who hired them for the job.  They put party and special interest groups over people  because that is how you preserve a long career in government.  I am running as an independent so I can focus my energy on what the voters want. I will not be influenced by a political machine or a special interest group.  I have taken no money from anyone and therefore I have to political debts to repay.  Sincerity and a willingness to serve the people of Tennessee is what I have to offer.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On The Issues, 1 of ?

I've been asked by many people, "where do you stand on XYZ issue?"  I understand that as a candidate for political office, voters want to know where I stand on the issues.  But I also want the voters of my district to understand that I am not running for office for personal reasons, I am running to give the people of my district, a voice in Washington. That means, my will is to do the will of the people who elect me. That being said, in this first post of several on the issues, I will be addressing my thoughts on the issue of immigration.
       Boiling the issue down to it's key components, here is what we are dealing with. By some estimates we have as many as 11 million people in this country illegally. By that I mean, they came here without going through legal channels - they simply came here and stayed.  Why do they come here illegally?  Some have ill intent- crime, drugs, human trafficking,- some are seeking asylum for fear for their well being, but most simply want a better life.  Currently there are four ways an immigrant can gain access to our country; be sponsored by an employer for a job in the U.S., be sponsored by a family member living here already, having special skills or education needed by our workforce, or sneaking in illegally.
SO, as I see it, we have a three part problem:
1. Those illegal immigrants that are currently here in the U.S.
2. the ones that are coming in every day
3. and the difficult requirements for someone to come here legally.
Here are my thoughts on how we address each of these problems.
       To address the immigrants who are already here but hiding in the shadows, if they have been here for more than a certain period of time and can prove they are self sufficient, you give them the opportunity to make things right. Pay for their illegal behavior by making paying a fine, and back taxes. Then they must become citizens by completing the naturalization process within a specific time period.  If they choose to ignore this path to citizen ship and remain in the shadows, they become susceptible to deportation. Through this process we can gradually weed out the immigrants that are productive and truly want to make a life here from the ones who are a drain on our systems and mean to do others harm or participate in criminal activities.
       To address the ones coming here illegally on a daily basis we need to remove the magnets that attracts them to come here illegally in the first place.  Many would argue to build a big wall.  A wall can be an imposing deterrent and would definitely make it harder for people to physically sneak across our borders, and I am not against building a border wall.  I think a wall is one part of the deterrence, but the other part has to be to remove the magnets that attract illegal immigrants in the first place.  Magnets are things like free education in our public school systems, free health care at our hospitals, government handouts, and jobs that pay cash under the table. If you can find ways to turn off the spigot of free handouts, there would be little incentive for people to come here illegally.  Our country is very generous, almost to a fault, and people around the world know this and they take advantage of us and our generosity. We should always be willing to help those who follow our laws, and hold those who do not, accountable.
        To address the legal pathways to citizenship, I am in strong favor of revisiting every aspect of our immigration processes and modernizing the system to make it more fair, and expeditious. I do not know what a modern system would look like but I would be interested in working with any members of Congress on making significant changes to our immigration system as long as they are sincere and are willing to leave their party badge outside the room.  Things can be accomplished for good but only by good, honest people. I wonder how many there are of those in Washington.
       These are some of my personal thoughts on how we might address some of the major issues in immigration that we are facing.  Over the next couple of months as I visit various towns throughout the district I will be talking to many people and getting their opinions on this issue and many others. My aim is to take what the people tell me and make a new platform that represents what the people in this district want.  A platform of the people.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Who am I speaking to?

     As I begin to actively campaign for my run for congress, I have been thinking about who are the people that would most likely vote for me. Are there people out there that feel the same  about politics and our government as I do, and if so, would they consider supporting me?  To find out I have composed a list of the problems that I have with politics and government. In reading through this list, I hope you will get a better understanding for how I feel about government and what motivates me to run for office - you may even find that you agree with me on a few of these.

1. I believe that  Congress is out of control with regards to how they spend our hard earned dollars and I don't believe our current representatives have the courage to make the hard choices to reign in spending and get us on a path to a balanced budget.

2.  I believe that money and power and greed are influencing every aspect of how our government functions, including campaign finance, the lobbying of our legislators, and wealthy and powerful individuals and entities that have a strong influence over the outcomes of political debate.

3. I have lost faith in the idea that we have a true representative government where our elected officials serve us and speak on our behalf, rather, they choose to serve party and special interest over  the people who elected them.

4. I feel that the money spent on campaigns has corrupted politics in such a way that the candidate who wins usually spends the most money and isn't necessarily the best candidate, and it keeps most people of average means from ever having a chance to serve in public office.

5.  I am tired of watching the democrats and republican work in direct opposition of each other in stead of working together for the good of the country.  It is as if they regard any win by the other party as a loss for them.  I choose NOT to believe that there has to be winners and losers in our policy making process.

6.  I feel like the politicians' (and the political party's) primary objective is to keep their power at all costs, even if it means giving in to the pressures and power of the political machine and sacrificing their own virtues to do so.  I would be in favor of instituting term limits for all federally elected officials.

7. I believe there is no real desire in Washington to solve the big issues facing us, (like health care and immigration reform,) because the powers-that-be thrive and prosper with things  the way they are and solving problems means one less thing to split our nation over and campaign for. A divided nation is one that can be fooled in to voting out of fear.

8.  Finally, I believe our government no longer functions as the peoples voice.  Our elected officials are drunk with power and prestige and have lost their sense of decency and morality that is required to faithfully execute the office for which, we the people, appointed them.  The truth escapes them, having been replaced with a distorted reality caused by the corruption and gamesmanship in Washington.  They divide us for political gain, making us hate one another while they secretly deal in the dark.  With little accountability until election day, they work without repercussion, and when that day comes for them to ask for our vote we fail to do our job as citizens and we return these people back to the swamp.

Every election is an opportunity lost.  We say one thing and we do another and the same people return to DC  year after year. If you are brave enough to step outside of your comfort zone and vote conscience over party, we just might be able to do something special!  I can guarantee one thing. If I am elected, Washington DC will not be happy to see me in town.  It will be like cold water in the face.  They are going to be reminded who it is they truly work for.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

How am I different?

     My campaign for congress is in its infancy. And like my campaign, I am new to the political realm.  I'm not a politician so I don't  know how the game of politics is played and I really don't care to play the game in the traditional sense.  Perhaps I'm wrong in my assessment of campaigning but what I do know is that there is way too much money spent on political campaigns. According to a CNN study, in 2012, the average congressional candidate spent 1.2 million dollars running for office.  When I see a number like that, I cant help but imagine all of the favors that will be have to be paid back and the access that will have to be granted by those candidates. When your political party and its well know members support you financially and with endorsements, it is a foregone conclusion that certain things will be expected of you if you win.  What does this mean for me?  Let me briefly explain my thoughts about what I want to be as a candidate and your representative in Congress.
      It is my sincerest belief that the best way I can do the will of my neighbors in the 7th district is to listen to them and let their voice be my voice.  It's not surprising that many of our leaders go to Washington and forget about the people they are suppose to be representing.  Our voice is replaced by the voice of their colleagues across the hall and by the lobbyist that pay big money for special access in return for gifts.  Once in Washington there are new pressures to do the bidding of the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in stead of the wishes of the people who elected them.  This is why I have chosen to run as and Independent candidate for Congress.  I can not, in good conscience, ask for my friends and neighbors to vote for me and support my efforts in this election and then turn my backs on them once I get to Washington. It is the very opposite of what I believe representation means.  Its where the idea for them name of my blog came from, "Of the People"  
      So I make the pledge to you now. If by some miracle I am elected Congress to represent the 7th District in the state of Tennessee, I will always listen to the voice of the people I represent in ALL matters of governing that affect the people of my district. I want to hear from you when it comes time for me to vote on any legislation that affects our district.  Through phone calls, and emails, and posts to Facebook, and even letters in the mail.  Once the people have spoken, I will likewise speak.  If I where running as a Republican it would be expected of me to tow the line - fall in like a good congressman or be "punished" for my disobedience.  Its no wonder most American believe Congress is doing a very poor job. Congress is dysfunctional and the time to set party aside and put America first is now.  President Trump says he wants to make America Great again, I say America is already pretty great, it is our government that needs improvement.  
      In a future post I will discuss some of my personal views on issues because I know there will be questions about them. 
Thank you for your time,
Brent Legendre

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Why Run? An Experiment of sorts.

      Running for elected office is difficult even at the local level.  Running for Congress is like climbing a mountain.  As a candidate, you need a small army to run a successful campaign. You also need to be well funded and have the support of one or more well known individuals or entities.  The thought of running for Congress is an overwhelming one. A decision I have prayed about for many years. With Congress Woman Marsha Blackburn vacating her position to run for the Senate, the time seemed right, and I have decided to put forth my name as a candidate for Congress representing the 7th District in the great state of Tennessee.
     I have many reasons for taking on this seemingly insurmountable feat. One is that I am very idealistic, almost to a fault,

               but I want to believe that an ordinary person with few resources and even fewer connections in the political realm could have the opportunity to participate in the governing of this great nation.

     For a long time, I have believed that the only way to be afforded the opportunity to run, and perhaps, even be elected to serve in a federal office is if you had the support of important people and were well funded by political parties.  A person with enough money and the backing of a fierce political machine has a huge advantage over anyone else regardless of what their message is about.  Well, I have neither the resources or the support of any well known or well funded entities. I am a normal person with a 9-5 job and a family - living a quiet life in a smallish town.  I am not a wealthy person and I have few resources to draw from to make a competitive run for this office.  I do not know anyone with influence and I do not know anyone currently holding any elected positions.  I do not have an advisor or a manager or a treasurer or anyone else to help me with this campaign.  I'm just one man with an idea.  An experiment if you will.  Is the world of politics in America just for the few, the elite, the wealthy, and well connected people?  Or can a someone like myself make a real difference.  I WANT TO BELIEVE I CAN! And with your help and support, we may just pull off an upset.

     In an upcoming post, I will talk more about why I am running for office and why you should even consider voting for me. I think you will be surprised.

Thank you very much for your time,
Brent Legendre

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Brief introduction.....Who is this guy??

     I will try to keep all of my posts as brief as possible. Who has the time or patience to read a book about any one person's interest to serve the people in elected office? So I will get right to it.
      My name is Brent Legendre. I'm 43 years old. I was born in Beaumont, Texas, a city in the lower southeast corner of the state. My father is an evangelist and my mother works for a credit union. I have one sibling, a younger sister. I went to high school in Bridge City, Texas, where I met my wife, Charlsi.   In 2005, I graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Architecture and 6 months later I moved to Tennessee with my wife and 9 month old daughter, Lauren.  I've been  working for a small architecture firm in Franklin, Tennessee, since we moved here in December 2005, except for a brief time during the height of the Great Recession where I found myself mostly self-employed.  In 2010, we welcomed our second daughter, Lexi, into the world.  I currently live in Spring Hill, Tennessee. A medium size town about 30 minutes south of Nashville.
       I'm a Christian first, a husband and father second, and a proud Tennessean third and  I am running for Congress to represent the 7th District in the state of Tennessee.

     In future, posts I will talk more about who I am and my motivations for seeking office. What do I have to prove and why would I subject myself to something so difficult as running for Congress.

Thanks you for your time,
Brent Legendre

More Issues.....

As a follow up to my previous post regarding my thoughts about immigration, I am writing a second post to talk about my personal opinions on...