Platform of the Constitution Party of Oregon

Preamble

We gratefully acknowledge the past blessings of Almighty God, poured out upon us through Jesus Christ our Lord. We appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance, and protection. We call on all Oregonians to join us in our efforts to return American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit government to its constitutional boundaries, as we promote candidates for public office.

Sanctity of Life

God is the Creator of life. Human life is sacred because it is created in the image of God. It begins at conception in a state of innocence regardless of the circumstances of conception. The protection of innocent life is the first duty of civil government. Each person, born or unborn, is innocent until proven guilty to the satisfaction of a jury of his peers. Abortion is a crime against God, humanity, and the unborn child. Medical treatment to preserve the life of the mother must always attempt to preserve the unborn as well.

We call on our public servants in all branches and at all levels of government to repudiate the contrary decision in Roe vs. Wade and to resist any attempts to recognize or enforce the "legalization" of abortion, infanticide, or euthanasia. We commit ourselves to the elevation of individuals to elected and appointed public offices that support this position without exception.

Self Defense

Keeping and bearing arms is essential to providing for both personal and common defense from criminal elements, foreign invasion, and tyrannical government. This is why it is a personal, uninfringeable right.

All citizens not conscientiously opposed to it should be encouraged to be armed for the public safety, thereby facilitating the calling up the militia and the posse comitatus.

State & National Defense

We hold that the existence of the Militia of the State of Oregon is required both by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Oregon, that it is primarily for the defense of our State and secondarily for the assistance of the other States in their defense, and that there is no authorization for its replacement in name or function by the national guard. We repudiate the concept that it is an extension of the army of the United States to be used for the purpose of invading foreign jurisdictions or enforcing United Nations mandates, a concept that is doubly repugnant when no constitutionally declared war exists.

Legal Immigration Only

We demand that the national government make stemming the invasion of illegal aliens across our borders a top priority. We stand against the current practice of rewarding the offspring of such invaders with United States citizenship and the extension of tax payer funded benefits to such invaders and their families.

English Is Our National Language

We declare that nationhood involves a common culture and language, and we decry the subversion of our nation by multicultural and multilingual programs forced upon us at our expense. We call for the recognition of English as our official national language and the requirement that all government documents, including ballots, be printed in English only.

Honest Elections

We call for a return to voting at the polls with the ballots counted at the individual polling places by local election boards, not by electronic means. We seek to prevent the opportunity for widespread corruption and to make the county and municipal elections officers subject to checks and balances.

Honest Representation in Congress

The practice of elected officials determining their own compensation must be stopped. The compensation of our congressmen and senators in Washington, D.C. should be determined by our state legislature. All compensation should be per diem and expense allowances during term of service with no pensions or other perks. We call for a constitutional amendment to achieve this.

Good Behavior of Judges

The service of judges should be periodically reviewed by the congress at the national level and by independent grand juries at the state and local level, to determine if they qualify for 'good behavior' continuance in office. The appellate jurisdiction of the national judiciary must be severely curtailed. We call for judges to return to the principle of 'original intent' when determining the application of constitutional and statutory law.

Constitutional Supremacy

Our nation exists as a compact between 'we the people' and is born out of our Declaration of Independence. Our national government legitimately exercises only those powers enumerated in the Constitution of the United States, as stated in the Tenth Amendment thereof. We condemn, therefore, all legislative, executive, and judicial action that departs from the texts and intent of the Charter and the Constitution. We oppose any attempt to call for a Constitutional convention, for any purpose whatsoever, because it cannot be limited to any single issue, and the likelihood is great that much damage would be done to our Republic.

National Sovereignty -- Get US Out!

God has ordained sovereign nations as spheres of influence on this earth. He has assigned their administrations to civil governments for the defense of their peoples and cultures. Entangling alliances between nations interfere with that assignment and must be avoided.

National sovereignty is a safeguard to the continued sovereignty of the individual States, as the Constitution of the United States guarantees each State a republican form of government, provides for the common defense, and assists in putting down insurrections against constituted authority.

We repudiate all attempts to subordinate our nation to any union or alliance of nations, either regional or global, and call for our nation's withdrawal from the United Nations, NAFTA, and all other supranational entities. We call for the repeal of the War Powers Act, the National Security Act, and the Patriot Act, which are blueprints for national tyranny.

State Sovereignty

As a member of the national union, our state government is restricted in part by provisions of the Constitution of the United States, by the voice of Oregon's citizens as expressed in the Constitution of the State of Oregon, and by the moral authority of the Ten Commandments.

The closer civil government is to the people, the more responsible, responsive, and accountable it is likely to be. We stand opposed to regionalization or grouping of state governments in any manner which results in removal of decision-making powers from the scrutiny of the people or violates the spirit of Article IV, Section 3, of the U.S. Constitution.

As stated in Article X of the Bill of Rights, all governing powers not delegated to the national government belong to the State of Oregon, unless specifically prohibited by the constitution of the United States or by the constitution of the State of Oregon, in which case they are reserved by the People of the State of Oregon. We pledge to be faithful to these constitutional requirements and to work methodically to restore to the States and to the People their rightful control over legislative, judicial, executive, and regulatory functions which are not Constitutionally delegated to the national government.

We call for a return to the States and to the People all lands which are held by the national government without authorization by the Constitution.

Family Autonomy & Parental Rights

The Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family. He established the family as the primary unit of society, giving it the duty of rearing of children. The government of the family is autonomous from any other institution of society. Civil government exists in part to protect the family's autonomy in many areas, including education, medicine, and religion.

We affirm, therefore, that no government may authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted. Parents have the fundamental right and responsibility to nurture, medicate, educate, and discipline their children. Assumption of any of these responsibilities by any governmental agency usurps the role of the parents and is a hallmark of tyranny. Removal of children by any officer of the state, from parents who have not been convicted of a crime, amounts to kidnapping and should be severely prosecuted.

Educational Choice

We support the unimpeded right of parents to provide for the education of their children in the manner they deem best, including home schooling and private or religious institutions of learning. We call for the repeal of compulsory education statutes so that no parents need defy the law by refusing to send their children to government-run schools of which they disapprove.

All teaching is related to basic assumptions about God and man. Education as a whole, therefore, cannot be separated from religious faith. The Creator assigns the authority and responsibility of educating children to their parents. We call for a return to traditional educational methods and systems of evaluation in our government-run schools, with the control and funding of those schools exercised at the local level, while seeking an end to government funding and control of education at any level of government.

All education should be private, funded by parents and charities formed for such purposes. We refuse to accept any and all national government education subsidies for the State of Oregon of any kind whatsoever, with their accompanying controls, and we stand against the intrusion of any national control into the education process of our state.

Public Health & Safety

Quarantining those who are infected with life-threatening contagious diseases is a legitimate tool of civil government for the protection of human life. Under no circumstances should government institutions subsidize or encourage perverted or promiscuous sexual conduct which have the effect of spreading such diseases. Criminal penalties should apply to those whose willful acts of omission or commission place members of the public at risk of contracting AIDS, HIV, or any other life-threatening contagious disease.

Drugs & Alcohol

Criminal behavior resulting from the use of drugs and alcohol must be vigorously prosecuted, rather than criminalizing and prosecuting their use by adults. We affirm that the underage and otherwise immature must be protected from malevolent cultivation by adults. Attempts to saddle those who are children in body or mind with addictive substances are and should remain criminal behavior.

Gambling

Gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country. We are opposed to government sponsorship, involvement in, or promotion of gambling, such as lotteries, or subsidization of native American casinos in the name of economic development. We call for the repeal of national legislation that usurps state and local authority regarding authorization and regulation of tribal casinos in the states.

Pornography

We declare that pornography is not protected speech.

Medical Freedom of Choice

Prevention is better than cure. Government should not discourage natural healing that seeks to remedy the underlying cause rather than treating or masking the symptoms. Government regulation of medical practice commonly prevents advancements in science. We call for freedom of choice in the medical market place.

Subsidizing something always increases it. Socialized medicine tends to produce more and more sickness and less efficient treatment of sickness. We oppose government medical insurance scams of all varieties. It is the role of the private sector to respond to free market demand for goods and services, and of private charity to underwrite those needs that are under-funded.

Religious Expression & Freedom of Association

God is the Author of liberty. The protection of right of conscience and self-determination is the second duty of civil government. Exercising our right to self-determination is limited by that same right possessed by others and by our ultimate accountability to God. We resist any infringement on the right to contract where the agreement does not contemplate unlawful or immoral achievements.

Our state and national constitutions prohibit government from granting or denying the religious expressions of the people in any place, either private or public. We call upon all branches of government to cease their attacks on the religious liberties of the people. We assert that any form of taxation on churches and other religious organizations is a direct and dangerous step toward state control of the church. Such intrusion is constitutionally prohibited and must be halted.

We affirm that all private organizations - from a local church, to the Boy Scouts of America, to a labor union, to a producer or distributor of goods or services - can determine their own membership, volunteers, and employment based on their own adopted policies and creeds, and we deny that civil government has the authority to set wages and prices or enforce affirmative action hiring quotas; as they violate the right to contract and are inconsistent with the principles of liberty and the free market.

Money & Banking

In keeping with the constitutional restriction upon state governments accepting or enforcing anything but gold or silver coin in payment of debt, we call for taxes and fees levied in Oregon to be paid in pre 1965 U.S. coinage, privately minted silver coins, or certificates of deposit denominated in silver, with the fee amounts being collected expressed in ounces of fine silver.

We call upon our congressional representation to introduce and support legislation that would repeal the federal reserve banking system and return us to a currency fully backed by, and redeemable in, precious metals.

We support privacy legislation that prohibits private parties from discriminating against individuals who refuse to disclose or obtain a Social Security number. We also call for legislation prohibiting all governmental entities from requiring the use of the Social Security number except for Social Security transactions. Additionally, we call for the repeal of all laws, regulations, and statutes that require the use of the Social Security number for any purpose other than Social Security transactions.

Taxes

At the national level we endorse ratification of the Liberty Amendment, which would repeal the Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, returning us to apportioned levies on the states and import duties as the primary sources of national revenue.

At the state level we encourage limiting property tax to the funding of capital improvements, such as public buildings and the lands on which they sit, rather than funding administration and maintenance therewith. With that limitation in place we would seek to replace all other sources of state and local revenue, including state personal income tax, with user fees and targeted sales taxes (such as application fees, toll fees, and gasoline tax) for public services, where practical, and business income tax on all retailing of commodities and provision of services to make up the difference, thinking of the business income tax as a sales tax included in the shelf price.

Rights of the Jury

We recognize the power of the jury to judge both the law and the facts, and call for a return to the requirement of unanimous decisions of guilt by juries in criminal cases. We declare the grand jury to be independent of supervision by judges and district attorneys in its inquiries and decisions to bring indictments and to be equally qualified to initiate investigations of public officials or common citizens.

Law & Order

We recognize the county sheriff as the highest law enforcement officer and declare that all other executive branch agencies are subordinate to him within the boundaries of his jurisdiction.

We affirm without reservation that all are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty to the satisfaction of a jury of one's peers. Punishment for crimes should be appropriate to the crime, provide restitution to the victim, and serve as an adequate deterrent to recidivism. Civil judgments should be limited to actual provable damages. We call for jury trials for all cases both civil and criminal, unless waived by the defendant or in cases where the monetary damage is less than twenty dollars in lawful money, as defined by the Mint Act of 1792.

When the defendant is found innocent by a jury of his peers, appellate jurisdiction of the higher courts must be restricted to the discovery of new evidence with subsequent new indictments. The practice of plea bargaining should be minimized when felonies have been alleged. The use of executive branch judicial processes, i.e. determinations of guilt by administrative courts, must be stopped. Any prosecution of crimes and misdemeanors without a specific victim must be clearly based on a threat to public safety.

We demand government's obedience to the Fourth Amendment right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, including general and unwarranted electronic surveillance, national computer databases, and national identification cards. We declare that civil governments must be strictly limited in their powers to intrude upon the persons and private property of individual citizens, in particular, that no place be searched and no thing be seized, except upon proof of probable cause that a crime has been committed and the proper judicial warrant issued. We reaffirm the common-law rule that protects the people from any search or seizure whatsoever, when that search or seizure violates the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

No RICO Laws

Government should not profit from the apprehension of criminals, as the profit motive can lead to corruption in government. The proceeds from criminal prosecution should go to restitution for the victim. We deplore, and oppose vigorously, legislation and executive action expanding asset forfeiture laws enabling the confiscation of the private property of citizens not convicted of crimes.

Environment

God is the Creator of property. He assigns us the stewardship of creation, and we are responsible to Him individually for its use. In that stewardship He assigns us temporary ownership of all that we acquire by honest means. The protection of privately owned property is the third duty of civil government.

We wholeheartedly support realistic efforts to preserve the environment and reduce pollution in the air, water, and land. We reject, however, the argument that this objective ought to be pursued by costly state and national governmental interference, accompanied by multitudes of regulations and the heavy hand of arrogant bureaucrats spurred on by irresponsible pressure groups.

It is our responsibility to be prudent, productive, and efficient stewards of God's natural resources. In that role, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth and develop it (e.g., to turn deserts into farms and wastelands into groves). This requires a proper and continuing dynamic balance between development and conservation, between use and preservation, which an educated conscience is better able to achieve when held accountable to the Creator rather than to its peers.

Public Welfare

Our welfare crisis is a government-induced crisis. Government's social and cultural policies have undermined the work ethic, even as the government's economic and regulatory policies have undermined the ability of our citizens to create jobs or obtain work. In many cases, welfare provisions of government are not only misdirected, but morally destructive. The U.S. Constitution does not authorize government to do acts of charity or to make provision for the material welfare of individuals in need. Under no circumstances should any citizen be forced, through taxation, to assume the cost of providing welfare either for our citizens or for illegal aliens in the United States.

It is the Divinely instituted purpose of civil government to safeguard life, liberty and property -- not to redistribute wealth. Such redistribution is contrary to the Biblical command against theft. The message of Christian charity is fundamentally at odds with the concept of welfare maintenance as a right. God, who endows us with life, liberty, property, and the right to pursue happiness, also exhorts individuals to care for the needy, the sick, the homeless, the aged, and those who are otherwise unable to care for themselves.

We encourage individuals and families to fulfill their personal responsibility to help those in need through tithes, offerings, and other acts of charity, including (but not limited to) provision for gleaning. The nationís religious organizations should manifest their faith by operating effective programs (unregulated by the state) to assist those who are in need.

Rolling Back Intrusive Government

That government is best which governs least, since power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely when placed in the hands of fallen man.

We call for the repeal of all state laws that enable and enforce nationally mandated, constitutionally unauthorized programs, including (but not limited to) speed limits, occupational health & safety, environmentally based regulation, dietary restrictions, and educational standards. We oppose adoption of a national id card.

We also call for the repeal of all state laws that undermine our personal rights, including (but not limited to) statewide goals and guidelines for the development or use of any land not under government ownership, uniform state mandated building codes, seat belts and helmets, and compulsory education statutes.

We call for an end to the practice of state mandates being forced on the cities and counties at the local tax payers' expense.

We call for an end to the practice of government employee union contracts that allow strikes against the public. No contract that so provides should be renewed.

We call for an end to the practice of providing retirement benefits to elected officials or public employees, or any other fringe benefits that extend beyond the period of their services. Wages should be reasonable and adequate, with the person receiving them responsible for future planning and investment of their proceeds.

We call for the abolition of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, with its regulatory function turned over to city councils and county commissions in their ordinance making capacity, by amendment or repeal of Article I, Section 39 of the Oregon Constitution.

We call for the abolition of the Land Conservation and Development Commission, with its regulatory function turned over to county commissions in their ordinance making capacity.

We call for review of the endless commissions established and funded by state government - which then lobby state government for special interest groups - with a view to their termination.

We call for the state to divest itself from enterprises and activities that place it in direct competition with private enterprise, including (but not limited to) mass transit.