Why the Senate?

One of the biggest reasons I chose the office of the Senate is because if a Senator serves according to Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution as I will, it is not an independent position. While the 17th Amendment changed how we choose Senators, it did not change the job description. I can’t just answer to the people the same way a Representative is supposed to and I have to serve the interests of the Tennessee State Government. While my reason for seeking the office is to push the Federal Government back within it’s Constitutional limits, it is the Government of Tennessee that will prioritize what I go after and how I lay the foundations of doing that. So much of our Federal Government is Unconstitutional that if we don’t take time to unravel it, our States will not be able to keep up or take up the slack. While one can’t just call up the State Legislature for every decision, by working with them, I will have a blueprint that fits the needs of Tennessee and they will always be able to call me. Something I’ll be taking with me, as a trucker, I  am accustomed to spending more hours on the job than most people are willing to do and for about a third of the pay, so yes I will be putting in the time and happy to do so.

You Deserve Specifics!

Not knowing precisely where my D.C. office will be nor how much space I will have, my plans are based on as much efficiency as possible. I would prefer a U or L shaped desk, even if it means using more than one to allow small meetings to happen directly in my office saving money, time and space. I will have a few dry erase boards, folding chairs, tables and a smart TV that can be connected with the computers or mobile devices for presentations.  There will of course be a few more comfortable chairs for more common meetings.  I will also have one couch that can double as a place to sleep for those times when getting things done take long working days.

   For the work itself, I will have four computer screens, one of which will be to a separate computer for classified communication and work, unlike a certain previous Secretary of State, I take secured information very seriously.  I want this configuration so I can research in tandem with the various legislative projects I will be working on.  Of course, there will also have to be a printer/fax/copier for obvious reasons.  I expect to have a triple file system for all paperwork, all to keep immediate, short-term and long-term plans separated. To be more mobile, I will also have one laptop and tablet as well as the mobile Congress people use allowing me to serve even when I’m on the go.

   To indulge my sense of humor and to show my plain-spoken nature, Directly behind me at my desk, I am going to hang a pair of hip waders with a sign that says, “if I have to put these on for this conversation, don’t bother!” Yes, for those wondering, an open Bible and stand will be on my desk as well, likely with a note that says “if this book offends you, you don’t have to stay.”  There will of course be other ways I communicate sentiments like that but they will be center pieces.  I know that’s a bit on the crass side but the point is to express that I am not in that office to support junk or to do special favors that don’t serve to support and uphold the Constitution in a lighthearted but firm way.  I will also have printed copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to give to office visitors.

When looking into various industries and segments of the economy, I will rely on real experienced people in the field.  If you are a Tennessean with ten years or more experience in any industry and would want to volunteer to become one of my primary contacts, please email me at pettigrewcampaign@yahoo.com with your name, means of contact and what your experiences entail so I can build my Rolodex.  I would prefer people with multiple positions in that industry and familiarity with existing laws and regulations but I will be happy with any advice you can share.  I will also consider responses from people in other States but my priority is with people in Tennessee.  This will be the primary key to my governing methods.  All too often, the people we send to Washington rely almost solely on agencies there which rarely, if ever, employ people directly in the industry being regulated, which is something else I have mentioned in other parts of this site.  This often creates conflict between what actually works and what rules the Government puts in place, I don’t want to add to that problem while I serve.

I have a basic plan for staff with the idea of efficiency and effectiveness in mind.  Of course, even with the best laid plans, there must be room to adjust so this is simply a basic idea.  As much as possible, I am going to keep my staff in or from Tennessee because Tennessee is the State I will be serving, my helpers should be Tennesseans, not DC swamp critters.  There will have to be some exceptions simply to get things done.
 
 
My Executive Aid will have to be someone experienced in Washington and experienced as a staffer to help me keep my schedule and make it to appointments on time and depending on the demands that person may also have an assistant or at least a cross trained member of the other staff that works closely with them.  My Chief of Staff will be someone from Tennessee, someone who knows their way around the State and can travel back and forth as needed, I do have a person in mind for that position but as circumstances may change I will keep the possibilities open but if you want me to consider you for this position, know that this position comes with long hours and likely travelling back and forth often.  I will have two primary Legislative Assistants, one in Tennessee and one in DC, the one in Tennessee will be the director of the two and in charge of temporary and assistant aids as well. My Research Director will likely be in Washington simply to keep that person close at hand and to help me with navigating the alphabet soup of agencies around the District.  Tennessee has a population of over six million, likely approaching nine, because of that, I will also need constituent Service Aids to answer phones, mail and emails which I will work with as close as I can to keep communications with me as direct as I possibly can.  Everyone in my office though will spend at least some time every week answering communications with Tennesseans directly, including myself, to keep us all in touch with the people we serve.

Policies and Solutions

The Second Amendment to the Constitution and the reason for it is clear to anyone who honestly researches it.  It is not about hunting, that was the 1780’s version of going to the grocery store.  It is not about sport shooting, most Americans at the founding couldn’t afford to waste their ammunition and often would have to save and remold fired lead.  It was for the defense of your freedom.  I will NEVER vote for gun control legislation nor any legislation with gun control amendments in it.  The only gun control legislation I ever vote for or write will be to repeal Federal Infringements that already exist, period.

Yes, I am a proud supporter of the 2nd Amendment and here are my thoughts and my policy to show it as I can for the time being.

   For my 2A friends in Liberty, I am reviewing the multitude of federal firearm laws, using the most recent edition of the book Gun Laws of America and the website gunlaws.com, both very robust sources to read laws and regulations with the force of law on the subject.  While we all know that the entirety of firearm laws and regulations is one bloated mess, the extent is staggering.  They are scattered in about 30 of the 50 titles of USC, not to mention statutes at large. Not all these laws are against the 2nd Amendment, many have to do with law enforcement, government agencies, buildings, banks (another tangled legal mess by the way) and more. Some are genuine safety requirements which support the qualifier of a well-regulated militia, such as clearly marking what a weapon is designed to fire, etc.

   Please note that my current job and safety needs do not afford me much time to do all of this as quickly as many of you would wish to see.  I was attempting to offer a single bill that could clean these laws up and repeal Federal infringements on our right to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. There might be a way to do so after compiling all the repeals and rewrites that need done, however I do not see a way to do it in a single bill just yet.  The primary difficulty is as stated, I can often only dedicate brief moments to the cause while functioning safely and productively. (Even while writing this, I had to do it in parts between functions of my job as a trucker.)

   Instead, I wish to reiterate a policy stated on this site and expand on it. I will never vote in favor of any bill that I find includes more gun control. If any bill for the sake of gun control does come to the floor or any of my committee assignments, I will fight it with EVERY tool the Senate has to offer, including in speeches, arguments, filibusters and more.  The only bills or parts of bills related to firearms I will vote for are those that improve our right to Keep and Bear or those that repeal infringements that are already on the books. To expand on this, I will continue my research and designing proposals to repeal infringements such as repealing the taxes in the FFA c 1934 but maintaining the definitions for the purposes of continuity in proper Government functions related to firearms and totally redesigning the firearms laws in Section 18 which include ending the blanket felony ban though perhaps leaving some room for sentencing violent offenders with a short-term to prove they are no longer a threat after their sentence is served, that will be a rather large bill though.  There are many more that either need repealed or at the least rewritten for clarification, modernization and taking Unconstitutional power out of the hands of Government. Another thing that must be addressed is all the State and local laws about gun owners transporting their own private property, either in relocating or in simple travel, a Constitutional application of the power to regulate interstate commerce and the 14th Amendment can be used for just that.

   The primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment at the time of its ratification was to prevent the need for a standing army, especially within the territories of the United States. It was done in this manner for three basic reasons. For the sake of Liberty, it is to defend against our own Government becoming tyrannical (which by our founders’ standards, it has been for a long time.) For the sake of National Security, that under invasion, the Citizens could defend our States and our Republic (a pop culture example would be either version of the movie “Red Dawn.” And a disputed, unsourced example would be the possible statement of emperor Yamamoto in WWII about not invading America because there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.) and the last reason would be personal self-defense though this purpose was not discussed in the debates because it was taken as common knowledge or common sense at the time.

   One thing that is clear in my opinions on local Governments affecting our rights is that I would want to return us to full Constitutional Carry.  On a local or State level, I did believe that some considerations should be allowed but concerning that last purpose of the 2nd Amendment, I cannot fault someone who has returned to society after paying their sentence that last inalienable right to defend themselves or those they care about. I do believe some provisions should be made for those in mental care but as the science of the mind is still not exact and leaves room for interpretation, such laws cannot be effectively written at this time without including a vagueness that anti-gun activists would seek to abuse.  Laws and regulations in a free society must not be so written in a way

So far, the best thing I have seen come out of Congress to stand for the unborn is Rand Paul’s Life at Conception Act.  I will always proudly co-sponsor this bill and keep it alive when he is no longer in office.

The national debt is now 22 trillion and still rising! –  One thing I’ve learned from actually working for a living is that as long as there are other people to blame, problems rarely ever get fixed.  So, I will be working on a proposal for an Adopt an Agency Act.  The idea behind this is rather simple and simple solutions work the best. At the beginning of each Congressional two-year Class, each Representative and Senator will choose a single agency or bureaucracy within two weeks of taking the Oath of Office, they will be encouraged to choose an agency whose purpose they oppose and any agency left over while one of them has not chosen will be assigned.  They will be responsible for announcing to their District or State the agency they get as well as keeping it publicly posted at the front of their office and campaign websites.  They will have three months to completely familiarize themselves with that entire agency, especially those areas where what they do is also covered by other agencies.  At the end of said three months, they will have one more month to complete and submit a complete report of everything that office does and every cent that office spends and in that report they must Constitutionally justify all of it citing directly from the Constitution the power of the Federal Government to do so, not using vague phrases such as promote the General Welfare.  After that report and the justification are complete, they must propose budget cuts and charter restrictions to said agency and they must submit their proposals to the public as well within 90 days.  This may not be used to expand or increase the budget of any agency in any way.  Each proposal must then be given to each the house and the Senate for a vote to be publically held.  Those proposals that are voted down, must then be reviewed and deliberated publically to be adjusted as needed to make them pass. The cycle will then repeat the following year with no Congressperson getting the same agency again.

At first, because of my own experience, I will likely be put on committees related to transportation.  I will also team up with other Senators, supporting good ideas and fighting bad ones.  Most of all, because of the proper nature of the position of Senator, I will be listening to what our State Legislature and Governor has to say.  As time goes on, I will work closely with our State Government to push for reforms that Tennessee can both handle and support toward Constitutional ends.

I know many politicians talk about fighting for what is right but then once they’re in office sell themselves out to the highest bidder or to the media.  I developed my principles long before I considered doing this. I’ve honed them over the years listening to talk radio and researching the concepts and articles they talk about as well as reading the books and literature they mention in their shows.  And life in general has taught me the truth in them. 

I AM NOT FOR SALE!

No one is perfect.  Should things come to my desk that make the choice less clear, I will always look for the choice that means more personal freedom.  I would rather err on the side of liberty than be complicit in more government tyranny!

That’s just the base debt.  Not including over 150 trillion in unfunded liability!  But just the debt alone.  That figures up to $315 every second since the year 0.  That’s right 315 dollars every second for 2019 years!  And this country is only 241 years old!  That means that it’s about 2,700 dollars in debt for every second since this country was founded!  Another way of looking at it is over 60 thousand dollars of debt for every single person alive in the entire USA.  THIS PATH OF OVER-SPENDING CAN NOT BE SUSTAINED.  IT IS IN FACT THE SINGLE LARGEST THREAT BY FAR TO NATIONAL SECURITY!  This is in fact an example of generational theft! (A quote from Senator McCain even though he didn’t actually want to DO anything about it!)

Most government agencies have a purpose.  But the fact is they are also a major factor in the cost and abuse of government power.  Some of these agencies need to be cut completely to let the Sates handle them as The Constitution prescribes and others need to be put under specific and limited charters.  Many of them have programs that are redundant to other agencies and some of those redundancies are repeated multiple times making bureaucrats and lobbyists rich while skyrocketing the debt.  I will always be on the look out for ways to make these kinds of cuts!

Making government better is not always about cost cutting.  Some things need to be done that take money.  I know politicians talk about crumbling roads and bridges but the fact is, I’ve driven on federal highways and interstates for the last fifteen years.  There really are places in dire need of repair and updating.  The problem I’ve seen is that many places that aren’t in bad shape keep getting repairs while other roads can beat your vehicle up to the point of making you ill and causing minor injuries, I couldn’t even imagine the pain people with existing injuries go through in these places.  The fuel tax you pay at the pump needs to become separated from the general fund and only be allowed to be used for those roads and bridges, then after that, if it needs adjusted or attached to inflation, it can be adjusted as needed.