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Charley Thomson is one of three Republicans seeking the GOP nomination in Iowa House District 58. Here are his survey answers:

GENERAL QUESTIONS:

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Describe your worldview and how that will influence you as a legislator:

I approach issues as a Constitutional conservative.  I am a strong believer in Federalism; I believe the Tenth Amendment and the Guaranty Clause of the Constitution have been too long ignored by the Federal government.  I try to apply the following principles in my analysis of government policy (not an exhaustive list):

  1. Government force is often an effective instrument for solving problems, but, for a variety of reasons, it often winds up being the worst instrument for solving problems.
  2. The government that governs best, governs least.  Applying market forces usually results in a more efficient and vastly fairer outcome for a problem; before a government solution is used, the policy makers must make sure there is no better alternative in the market or through private action.
  3. When government action is necessary, it is almost always best to have the people making the policy physically and operationally closest to the problem being addressed.
  4.  The worst time to make any legislative or policy decision is usually the period immediately following a disaster or unpleasant event involving the subject of the legislation or policy.
  5. The Constitution, and the American constitutional system in general, is the best system ever devised by humans for governance.  Any policy advanced as a “work around” of a Constitutional principle should be immediately suspect.
  6. The Constitution commands equality of all persons before the law and under the law.
  7. The family is the basic unit of society, of culture, of education and of law.  Most of the rights protected in the Bill of Rights derive from natural law; they cannot be suspended, repealed or abrogated, just as temperature, wind speed and barometric pressure cannot be suspended, repealed or abrogated.

In your opinion, what are the three most pressing issues the legislature should address:

Here are four, in no particular order:

  1. Economics​ of state government (reducing taxes, reducing regulatory burdens, reducing licensing requirements, increasing efficiency in use of tax dollars, putting the state in a condition where it is encouraging, rather than inhibiting, desirable economic development).
  2. Education reform (including, but not limited to, permitting expanded school choice and reducing/eliminating the ability of fringe groups to indoctrinate children in politically and morally toxic cultist belief systems);
  3. Protecting the rights of Iowans against hostile, aggressive and/or unconstitutional attacks from the Federal government; and
  4. Outlawing abortion.

Feel free to explain your ideal tax policy/policies for Iowa (included in this section in order to allow for as much flexibility as possible):

The best tax system is:

  1. imposed at a level and by persons as close to the entity being taxed as possible, with the amount, purpose and use of the tax being made as open and obvious as possible;
  2. where possible, the tax should be in the form of a usage fee paid by the beneficiaries of the tax;
  3. if the tax is intended or recognized to have the effect of being a subsidy of a group, activity, area, etc., this needs to be made public so everyone knows whose “ox is being gored” and who might be getting boodle;
  4.  where possible, the burden of compliance with the tax should be placed on the taxing authority or the government, rather than on the private actors being subjected to taxation;
  5. taxes (or tax breaks) to encourage or discourage behavior are generally a bad idea; and
  6. the prevailing, unspoken view of the public has always been that taxation is theft; all tax policy and collection needs to be viewed through the lens of the need to show the public that this is not true for the free people of Iowa.

Have you or will you sign The Big Family Pledge:

Yes.

FREE MARKET:

Do you believe the government should force consumers to buy a product:

I cannot imagine a situation where this would be appropriate.

Do you believe the government should force retailers to sell a product:

I cannot imagine a situation where this would be appropriate.

Do you support reforming or eliminating Iowa’s Certificate of Need laws:

Yes.  They are generally an invitation to corruption and misallocation of resources.  See: Illinois.

Do you support periodic reviews of all government licenses and boards to ensure they’re necessary:

Yes.

LIFE:

Do you support the Protect Life Amendment to the Iowa Constitution:

Yes, but it depends on the version.  I am to the right of many in the movement.

When do you believe life begins and at what stage does it deserve protections under the law:

Life begins at the moment of conception.  At that moment, a human is present who has all the rights and privileges of the law.

EDUCATION:

Would you support universal Education Savings Accounts for Iowa families:

Generally, yes.

Do you believe obscene materials and pornographic materials belong in public school libraries:

No.

In what grade should schools begin providing instruction to students on sexual orientation and gender identity:

I believe these topics are matters to be taught to children outside the schools, so grade 13.  If absolutely necessary, I suppose 12th grade.  But it’s a really bad idea.

Would you support a bathroom bill in Iowa, which states biological males use the boys’ bathroom and biological females use the girls’ bathroom:

Generally, yes.  However, I think the law needs to be crafted carefully to address local schools and to have compassion for those with mental illness.

LGBTQ:

Should gender identity be stripped out of the Iowa Civil Rights code:

Yes.

Should Iowa make it illegal for minors to undergo sex-change surgery and treatments:

Yes.

Should Iowa schools/teachers ask students for preferred pronouns:

No.

Should Iowa require schools/teachers to share a child’s “preferred pronoun” and/or “gender identity” with the child’s parent(s)/guardian(s):

Yes

Do you support banning conversion therapy (making it illegal for a parent to take a child to a health care professional to talk about confusion as it relates to sexual orientation or gender identity)?

  1. This question involves some issues and concerns that are far more complex than can be satisfactorily discussed in a survey answer.
  2. In general, the state shouldn’t even consider banning “therapies” or treatments sought by parents for their children unless the therapy or treatment involved is so obviously outrageous and dangerous that most reasonable people would recoil in horror at its application.  Seeking assistance from a psychiatrist, pediatrician, minister our counsel for a child with issues concerning these topics is probably just the opposite of “outrageous” or “shocking.”  It is probably the first action most reasonable parents with means would take.  While I think the law needs to err on the side of protecting parents, we also need to address the issue of the fitness of parents who would choose to promote certain ideas to a child.  There are so many different scenarios possible here that I’m not sure that it’s a suitable topic for legislation.

COVID RELATED:

Do you believe any institution – whether private or governmental – should be able to mandate a vaccination?

In general, no.  Certainly not under the current circumstances.  It’s not even close.

How could the Iowa legislature have handled the COVID pandemic differently?

Again, this response requires more than a survey answer.  However, in general, both Iowa and the General Assembly should have called an end to the whole operation after about two or three weeks.  When it became apparent that the illness was going to spread through the whole population, the whole lockdown theory became untenable.  The ensuing actions involved many unacceptable and illegal actions by many persons, including people in government.

Do you believe Iowa should reform the Governor’s emergency powers?

Yes.

CLOSING QUESTIONS:

Are there any issues of disagreement you have with the Republican Party of Iowa platform from 2018?

Not that I can recall.  I’m more familiar with the 2020 and 2022 versions, however.

What improvements, if any, would you make to Iowa’s voting laws to ensure elections are fair and full of integrity?

I think all ballots should be cast on security-watermarked paper on the day of election, with each voter having to prove their right to vote at the polling station, and with absentee balloting permitted, but only after good cause shown.  Any person who feels deterred from voting in this way should have the right to request accommodations, which should be generously granted provided that the ballot’s integrity is safeguarded. Every election should be subject to a robust forensic audit.

IOWA HOUSE DISTRICT 58:

Sean Galleger and Jim Wright are also running for the nomination. Neither has responded to the survey yet.

To follow Thomson’s campaign, click here.

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