2016 Party Platform
2016 WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
[APPROVED AT PASCO, WA – MAY 21, 2016]
Grant Peterson, Platform Committee Chair
Olga Farnam, Platform Committee Vice-Chair
Washington State Republican Party
Susan Hutchison, Chairman
The Washington State Republican Party is dedicated to preserving a constitutional republic through active participation by citizens for the protection and preservation of conservative values including: the sanctity and dignity of human life; religious freedom; personal rights and responsibility; preserving a free society, free markets, and free trade; limited government; low taxes; minimal bureaucracy; national security and sovereignty; and private property rights. We believe that good citizenship begins with protected rights and ends with accompanying responsibilities. We believe that government should be the last resort for individuals and do only those necessary things that they cannot do for themselves.
We reaffirm the words in the Declaration of Independence, “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” And, we maintain that the most effective government is that which is closest to the people.
To each generation falls the responsibility to uphold the values that have made the United States the freest, most prosperous, compassionate and successful civilization in history. As we confront security threats from international unrest and terrorism, economic threats from ever-increasing state intervention, and social and political threats from liberal cultural elites, we must also see these times as an opportunity to return to those principles that have made us great.
It has been over two centuries since our founders established the American creed — government under God and accountable to the people. We believe their vision is best preserved by supporting the principles outlined below.
SECTION 1: We believe CIVIL and RELIGIOUS LIBERTY protect the sovereignty of the individual citizen.
Civil and religious liberties recognized in the U.S. Constitution are God-given and therefore unalienable. These fundamental liberties are proclaimed in The Declaration of Independence, protected in The Bill of Rights and reaffirmed in Article I of the Washington State Constitution, which include the freedom of association and the absolute freedom of conscience. It is the obligation of government at every level to observe, respect and secure these liberties.
Our freedom of religion ensures the individual’s right to practice the religion of their choice, not only privately, but publicly. A citizen shall not be punished, persecuted or prosecuted for exercising this right, and businesses shall not be required to perform services which violate the religious beliefs of their owners.
The role of the judiciary is to uphold the law in a manner faithful to the legislative intent and the original intent of the State and U.S. Constitutions.
SECTION 2: We believe LIMITED GOVERNMENT is essential to a free society.
Our Founders created a Constitution of limited and enumerated powers, underscored by the passage of the Tenth Amendment. We uphold strict compliance with the constitutional limitation of the federal and state governments and believe limiting the role of government is essential toward building economic prosperity and fostering individual freedom.
Recognizing that at least seven states have already passed legislation making such a call, we support the call for a Convention of States, per Article V of the U.S. Constitution, limited to proposing amendments that: impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.
Furthermore, the vitality of the Tenth Amendment is essential to individual liberty. The Fourth Amendment protects: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects….” We assert that the government has no lawful authority to violate this security, unless a warrant has been issued. This warrant must not be general in nature, but one “…particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
All citizens must be free from unnecessary intrusion and violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, through data collection, storage and use, made without their knowledge or consent.
Because long-term entitlement destroys dignity, and creeping socialism enslaves and creates destructive expectancies and a dependency relationship, we affirm both the freedom and the responsibility of the individual in society.
SECTION 3: We believe that upholding our RULE OF LAW and JUSTICE is based upon our Constitution and Judeo-Christian heritage. This recognizes that LIBERTY and INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY best protect and promote a moral and just society.
Laws should reduce and deter crime through the application of strong and appropriate punishment, up to and including the use of the death penalty. They should deter recidivism, require offenders to pay restitution, with the goal of reintegrating offenders back into society as productive citizens.
Effective criminal justice systems respect each citizen’s right to not be held without charges or legal representation.
No one is above the law, and the rule of law shall apply to and be enforced upon all government employees and officials and all people equally. Legislators shall not exempt themselves from laws applicable to the people.
We oppose executive orders and executive branch regulations that override the will of the people by circumventing the legislative process.
We believe in the sanctity of a citizen’s right to vote. A registered voter must meet established eligibility standards and show proof of U.S. citizenship. Voter Fraud must be addressed and eliminated at all levels.
We affirm both the State and U.S. Constitutions’ strict protections for the individual right to keep and bear arms. We oppose mandatory gun registration, licensing of gun owners, and restrictions on law-abiding citizens’ right to purchase, own and carry arms, ammunition, or their components. We call for the repeal of all laws and regulations which aim to impair or infringe the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms.
SECTION 4: We believe that NATIONAL SECURITY is a central function of government and that a STRONG AMERICA is a free America.
A strong national defense is necessary for government to fulfill its primary function which is protecting its citizens and their individual rights. The security of our nation is the responsibility of government, military, law enforcement and a vigilant public. Peace comes through strength and deterrence.
A strong America is a force for good at home and abroad. Republicans support and honor the past and continuing service of all veterans and members of the United States’ armed forces and the Washington State National Guard.
At a time when the United States faces a variety of threats ranging from Jihadist terrorism, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and rogue regional powers, it is important to endorse policies that will ensure peace through strength.
Neither the citizens nor the armed forces of the United States must ever be subject to any foreign or United Nations’ control or direction.
The safety of the United States and the stability of the world is undermined when a President unilaterally weakens our deterrence posture by announcing that he will not use all available military power to deter aggressive actions by other nations.
United States foreign policy should support our national security and economic interests. We support our allies, such as Israel, as well as people seeking freedom from repressive regimes.
SECTION 5: We believe the preservation of LIBERTY is dependent upon the sanctity of our NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY.
The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The President shall not negotiate, and the Senate shall not ratify, any treaties, U.N. resolutions, agendas or foreign law, religious or otherwise, that are contrary to the U.S. Constitution. Agenda 21/2030, the Kyoto Protocol, Sharia Law, and other agreements threaten our sovereignty. Therefore, judges, state and local authorities must be barred from using or applying foreign agendas, laws, and resolutions for the purposes of interpreting the State and U.S. Constitutions and laws passed pursuant thereto and must be bound by their original intent.
Command and control of the United States armed forces must never be relinquished to the United Nations or to any foreign power.
The sovereignty of the people of the United States must be protected and preserved.
SECTION 6: We believe our National BORDERS are best protected by a fair and enforced IMMIGRATION policy.
The United States government must protect all of our borders from illegal crossings.
We support the immediate enforcement of all existing immigration laws to:
• Conduct proper security screening of all temporary workers, refugees, and permanent residents or citizen applicants;
• Monitor visa overstays and deport individuals whose visa has expired;
• Enact an effective temporary guest worker program;
• Sanction employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens;
• Deport aliens who commit felonies in the United States as our first enforcement priority; and
• Withhold federal funding from cities and towns that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws, especially sanctuary cities.
Federal, state and local entitlement programs, driver’s licenses and voting privileges shall not be available to those who are in this country illegally. In addition, we advocate securing our borders.
SECTION 7: We believe in restoring sound MONETARY POLICY.
Inflation, skyrocketing debt, and global economic instability are the consequences of a debt-based monetary system utilizing fiat currency.
To restore long-term monetary stability, we support the creation of a commission to consider the feasibility of returning the U.S. dollar to the gold standard; and mandating periodic audits by the Government Accountability Office of the privately-held Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. Government precious metals holdings.
SECTION 8: We believe in restoring sound FISCAL POLICY.
Our national debt nearly doubled from 2008 to 2016 and reached catastrophic levels. We must not allow irresponsible government spending to burden our children with crushing public debt.
Furthermore, our debt is primarily a consequence of over-spending, not one of insufficient taxation. Increasing the already heavy tax burden will reduce incentives to work and invest, resulting in lower economic growth and higher unemployment.
We call for a restoration of long-term fiscal stability via a balanced budget amendment, a simplified and flattened tax code and a legislative super-majority required to increase taxes. We oppose the imposition of a state income tax.
SECTION 9: We believe ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ensures that each generation is better off than the one before it.
The greatest economic opportunity can best be achieved through imposing as few restraints as possible on private property, industry, recreational opportunities and trade. Private sector job creation, entrepreneurship, and retaining business and industry in our country and state are best achieved by minimizing business and personal taxes, limiting regulatory law, adopting right-to-work legislation and removing prevailing wage laws.
SECTION 10: We believe that the FAMILY unit is the cornerstone of a free and moral society.
We recognize and defend the unalienable right of human life, from conception to natural death. Public funding should not be used for any act, individual, or institution which violates the right to life of the innocent.
We believe it is self-evident that there are only two innate, distinct, and complementary genders, male and female, who may unite in a traditional marriage of one man and one woman, and who in union are genetically designed to conceive new life. It is the primary duty of parents, not the state, to protect, nurture and prepare their children for adulthood.
We believe it is the duty of Government to protect human life and promote healthy families by safeguarding traditional marriage. We strongly oppose the redefinition of marriage and family and the blurring of gender distinctions which threaten the personal safety and privacy of opposite gender children and adults in public toileting or bathing facilities.
SECTION 11: We believe EDUCATION is critical to equip our children to be productive and responsible citizens.
We believe the primary authority and responsibility of educating our children resides with the parents, including important moral, religious, and values-based education; therefore, we oppose mandatory religious instruction, sex education, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual education, or any other sexual education alternatives, death education, and values clarification by public schools or outside organizations. We believe these topics should be taught at home and not included in graduation requirements.
We support School Choice through vouchers including: home schooling, private schools, public schools, charter schools, and vocational and technical training. States may set minimum graduation requirements. Education priorities and curriculum should be determined at the local level but must include the study and understanding of the Constitution of the United States of America and our founding documents.
We support the elimination of the Federal Department of Education and returning its control and funding to the States. Teacher performance should be monitored and rewarded at the local level. We recognize that the educational needs of students vary throughout the country, which cannot be met with a single mandate requiring one size to fit all. We support the elimination of Common Core standards.
We believe a strong higher education and vocational training system is critical for economic vitality, therefore, the Federal Government should be removed from financial entanglements with Higher Education; and state supported post-secondary institutions need to give priority access to Washington state students. Colleges and universities should emphasize courses that promote understanding and a practical application of each discipline and avoid indoctrination and political correctness.
SECTION 12: We believe the greatest HEALTHCARE system in the world is best preserved by minimizing government control.
Therefore, we call for the repeal of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare; we oppose any single-payer system, and support legislation which incorporates the principles listed below.
A competitive, free-market oriented healthcare system will produce affordable healthcare plans for consumers. This is accomplished through:
• Interstate competition among insurers and healthcare providers and organizations;
• Abolishing mandates which restrict or prevent catastrophic health insurance plans;
• Health Savings Accounts; and
• Tort reform.
Physicians, healthcare providers, pharmacy owners, and healthcare organizations must retain the right to exercise freedom of conscience to practice in a manner they believe is ethical.
The homeless, chemically dependent, and mentally ill are best served by local, community-based, non-governmental and charitable organizations.
SECTION 13: We believe PROPERTY RIGHTS are civil rights.
The proper role of government is to protect life, liberty and property. Washington Republicans believe there is a fundamental relationship between free societies and the protection of private property rights. When governments unnecessarily withhold or expand the amount of land they own and abuse the power of eminent domain and regulatory takings, everyone’s freedom is at risk.
We support strong laws that protect individuals’ rights and property by requiring Federal and State agencies to uphold contractual and historical land rights for water, grazing, forestry, agricultural, and land management. Every person has the right to acquire, own, use, possess, enjoy, and dispose of private property as they see fit.
We affirm the Washington State Constitution that states, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” For this reason, no government agency should participate in asset forfeiture without fair and impartial judicial process.
We oppose any governmental acquisition of private property for private development. We further oppose such acquisition for public use without constitutional due process and just compensation. Regulations that devalue real property constitute a taking for which the property owner needs to be justly compensated.
SECTION 14: We believe vibrant AGRICULTURE and NATURAL RESOURCE industries are critical to the health of the Washington economy and environment.
Societies rise and fall based on the strength of the nation’s agriculture. The free market is the best mechanism to secure a strong agricultural base. Abundant, domestically produced fertilizer, food, and access to water, essential technology and equipment are critical to our national security.
We insist on the return of federally managed public lands to the states as promised in their Enabling Act, excluding existing national parks, congressionally designated wilderness areas, tribal lands, and military installations. Federal public lands shall become state public lands to be managed in accordance with state and local plans. State or federal acquisition of land should be curtailed and procedures established for the disposition of lands for which there is no compelling public need. State trust lands need to be managed for the benefit of the entities entitled to their proceeds.
We encourage local government to fully utilize state and federal statutes mandating coordination with agencies in order to protect agricultural and timber industries from overreaching regulations in rule-making and plan revisions.
SECTION 15: We believe America must balance our need for ENERGY with the conservation of our ENVIRONMENT.
We support a comprehensive energy policy for the United States, allowing access to and use of its abundant energy resources, consistent with free- market principles and minimal government regulation. Creativity, technological development and market-driven application of science and technology will determine the most efficient, cost-effective and clean uses of energy, resulting in a prosperous economy.
We recognize that practices such as agriculture, timber harvesting and mining may change environments and landscapes and require practical stewardship to minimize negative impacts, prevent pollution, and promote a clean, healthy environment. Due consideration shall be given to the economic impact of environmental concerns and water rights on farming, forestry, property rights and other commercial activities. We therefore:
• Advocate pursuing independence from petroleum imports;
• Support investment in safe nuclear energy and the permanent disposal of nuclear waste;
• Insist that electricity created from hydroelectric power plants be officially classified as renewable energy; and
• Oppose all energy subsidies.
Changes in climate occur naturally over time and warming from human-generated greenhouse gases has not been proven and should not be a basis for public policy. “Climate change” alarmism is a radical agenda driven not by freely functioning science, but by cronyism between big government and institutionalized science. This results in:
• The suppression of free and open debate;
• The enrichment of certain favored parties at the expense of others; and
• A serious decline of liberty.
We maintain that debate over climate change and other scientific issues must take place without external pressure, and scientists must be free to present various theses without fear of retribution.
SECTION 16: We believe the TRANSPORTATION system is important to our economic survival and quality of life.
Our transportation system, comprised of roads, rail, air, and waterways, as well as our ports and ferries, is critical to moving people and products in Washington. The highest priorities in transportation infrastructure should be congestion relief and the movement of goods and services. These priorities must be achieved through the construction and maintenance of general purpose roads.
Our state’s limited transportation funding should not be squandered on commuter trains, light rail and concepts such as “complete streets”. We support a transportation system that enables people to make free choices for themselves and their businesses, not one that attempts to manipulate and control how they travel.
Furthermore, we reject the policies of Transportation 2040 with its ultimate goal of tolling nearly every highway in the state. We strongly oppose the imposition of a carbon tax. These tolls and taxes will impede the flow of people and freight in the state.
Transportation agencies must be accountable to the taxpayers through ballot measures, performance audits and, as a last resort, the State Senate’s confirmation process.
To prevent hidden transfer of funds from state to local governments, we call for the elimination of sales tax on all taxpayer supported transportation construction projects.
SECTION 17: We believe the INITIATIVE PROCESS is essential to providing a legislative voice for all the citizens of Washington State.
The Washington State Constitution provides, “The first power reserved by the people is the initiative,” and, “The second power reserved by the people is the referendum.” These fundamental rights of initiative and referendum should be free from unnecessary and burdensome regulation imposed by the state. We support prohibiting legislative abuse of emergency clauses to circumvent the people’s power of initiative and referendum. We support providing that the courts can only overturn an Initiative passed by the people if it is found to be clearly in violation of a specific provision of the Washington State Constitution.
Affirmation – The Washington State Republican Party reaffirms the principles of The American’s Creed.
The American’s Creed by William Tyler Page
I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.