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John Faulk is the Republican candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 18th Congressional District (map) of Texas. He will challenge incumbent Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) in the general election in November 2008.
Positions, record and controversies
The United States cannot expect to sustain economic leadership with continued losses in the manufacturing sector. Leading edge technologies demand a great deal of research and development. This development process spins off many new products, supporting US manufacturing and subsequent exports. Both are essential to our national and local economies.
I support the research and development efforts by NASA which help maintain our nation's leading roles in many industries such as energy, aeronautics and communications. NASA is vital to our nation's defense industry, national security and the personal safety of our citizens.
Our continued technological leadership as a nation depends on the research and development of extreme sciences to push development advances into the private sector. Our nation is a technology leader in many industries, including three of which Houston is a central hub; space and aeronautics (NASA), energy (oil and gas industry) and medicine (world class medical community). We must continue to support the value that NASA brings both our Nation and our local economy.
National Security The September 11th attacks on American soil showed us that we must diligently pursue national security issues to protect our country. Democrats in Congress seem to have forgotten the lessons of 9-11.
Good defense requires strong intelligence and surveillance. The best way to prevent another attack on American soil is to use every tactic and technology available to intercept terrorist communications, disrupt their funding and infiltrate their ranks while strengthening interagency communications in this country and between friendly nations.
We also have to continue strengthening our border resistance to illegal immigration. One of the real concerns with the flood of illegal immigrants across our borders is that some of those coming in illegally may pose national security threats.
Houston's seaport, oil terminals, petrochemical facilities, heavy commerce and large population place us at more potential vulnerability. We can not take the safety and security of this region lightly. I believe we need to invest more in port security, border patrol and the Coast Guard. We must support our men and women who carry out these valuable duties. We have to retain the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Field. We should also find the funds to complete the transfer of the Armory and the Navy and Marine Training Center from OST to Ellington Field.
Winning the Global War on Terrorism
This war on terrorism is a war we did not ask for or provoke. While many support a retreat from Iraq, we must not make an early withdrawal or cut off funding for our troops. Our enemies would see such actions as surrender and we would be placing our troops in harm's way. We cannot abandon our country, our troops or the Iraqi people as they push to crawl out from under tyranny.
American history is steeped in the tradition of fighting for freedom, even when we had to fight between ourselves. The brave men and women who serve in our armed forces and their families back home are true American heroes and deserve our support and respect. As your Congressman, I will be committed to making sure they have the resources they need, the manpower necessary to win and adequate medical care and support when they return home.
I promise to do my best to take the fight against terror to the enemy's shore before they can bring it to American Soil again.
Parental Rights Parents play one of the most important roles in the lives of their children. This vital relationship should positively impact a child's physical, mental, and emotional well-being for their entire life. The child-parent relationship influences a person's future happiness, ability to interface in society and to become a productive citizen.
"The hallmark of [the parental] relationship is the readily observable fact that this special adult is not interchangeable with others."
Dr. Jack Shonkoff Board-certified pediatrician Harvard Graduate School of Education
Across the country, there are instances of judges denying the vital role of parents in the lives of their children by placing government into a "parental" role in a child's life. This is a dangerous precedent resulting in child-parent relationships being severed by removals that cause unnecessary pain to both children and their parents.
A thirteen-year-old boy in Washington state was removed from his parents after complaining to school counselors that his parents took him to church too often. His school counselors had encouraged him to call Child Protective Services with his complaint, which led to his subsequent removal and placement in foster care. It was only after the parents agreed to a judge's requirement of less-frequent church attendance that they were able to recover their son.
The right of parents to maintain a strong involvement in their children's lives has been continually upheld by Supreme Court doctrine. It is deeply valued by millions of American families.
I oppose any legislation that will interfere in the child-parent relationship through unreasonable government intrusion.
Property Rights and Eminent Domain The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision greatly broadening local government's use of eminent domain in Kelo vs. New London was a gross violation of personal property rights and a misinterpretation of the Fifth Amendment. I believe it is important that Congress protect the property rights of private landowners and curb the government from excessive regulatory takings.
I will support legislation which abolishes the capital gains tax on private property taken by the government through eminent domain.
I will support legislation prohibiting federal funding from being used to improve or construct infrastructure support on lands acquired through the use of eminent domain of private property for private development.
I will work to stop Metro from violating its contract with the citizens of the Texas 18th Congressional District. Houston Metro has eminent domain powers that have to be curbed.
Second Amendment Rights They say that if a father was a hunter his children will be hunters. My dad carried mail for 37 years and spent his free time fishing not hunting. I inherited my granddad’s 22 rifle. I had it cleaned and polished, and stored it by my front door. One of these days I will get around to buying some bullets for it.
The Second Amendment is not about hunting but it is about you and me defending our homes and making our families safe.
I believe that every citizen has the individual right "...to keep and bear arms..." and this right "...shall not be infringed."
As your congressman, I will vigorously defend against all attempts to whittle away at our Second Amendment right. Until big government figures out a way to keep criminals from having access to guns illegally, then I will make sure you and I can keep ours legally.
Social Security The Federal Government via our elected officials has squandered the Payroll Taxes that were designated to fund retirement benefits for workers. Now to make up short falls, our elected officials have taxed Social Security benefits for certain individuals. Under the premises of class warfare, “wealthy” retirees’ Social Security benefits are subject to taxes. After reaching the full retirement age (66), one may continue to earn income and draw full Social Security retirement. However, retirees that take early retirement are hit with a 50% “tax” ($1.00 for each $2.00) on income earned over $12,960. I will support legislation to remove the working penalty on retirees that take early retirement.
Don't forget that as "Baby Boomers" retire from federal employment, the government is having trouble recruiting younger qualified workers. So while the government taxes our Social Security, they are hiring retired federal workers who may keep their full federal retirement and earn a salary as a "contract" employee. What a deal!
We have to learn to not depend on the Government for our welfare, happiness, or our retirement. There is no valid reason that Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) are limited to $4,200 except the Federal Government under the Tax and Spend Democrats wants more and more of our money. I will support legislation to increase the IRA deduction to $30,000 or 30% of earned income which ever is largest.
Taxes Tax Relief and Tax Cuts The federal government collected over $2.407 trillion taxes and so called user fees in 2006 and $3.307 trillion in 2007. Enough is enough!
I believe that we taxpayers can solve our own problems better than the bureaucrats in DC. We can fix our own bridges, highways, schools and power plants without running our money through DC and coming back with “Pork Barrel” projects.
I am still at a loss why the 107th Congress, which had a Republican majority, did not make the Bush tax cuts permanent. In 2001, Congress passed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA), among other things; it provided marriage tax penalty relief to America’s working married couples. These changes are phased in over several years while, at the same time, all of the changes in EGTRRA will expire after 2010.
Download EGTRRA Marriage Penalty Tax I believe legislative action is needed immediately to eliminate the current tax code that unfairly imposes a penalty on married couples.
All tax bills must be introduced in the House of Representatives.
Sheila Jackson Lee has not acted to make the Marriage Tax relief permanent. The voters of the Texas 18th Congressional District should send me to Congress to represent them to reduce their taxes. Taking into consideration that the current tax code has a sunset on the marriage penalty solution, it is imperative that Congress pass legislation to make this provision permanent. It is not only equitable, but prevents sending a message that married couples should be treated differently than singles. Alternative Minimum Tax If tax reform is not enacted, then the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will ensnare more and more middle class American families. I believe it is the most pressing individual income tax issue facing Americans today. This tax regulation was created in 1969 in an effort to close certain loopholes and ensure that a small number of extremely high-income taxpayers paid a fair share of the federal income tax. However, the lack of indexation of the AMT, coupled with the recent reductions in regular income taxes, has greatly expanded the potential impact of this tax.
Congressional action is needed or the AMT will "take back" most of the tax relief granted through income tax reform. As it is currently applied, the AMT represses economic growth and punishes those who are working hard to provide for their families. Without congressional action, the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT will jump dramatically from 3 million in 2004 to 21 million in 2006 and over 41 million in 2013.
Is your family one of these 38 million families facing higher taxes? Families with large numbers of children will be especially hard hit. I will introduce and support legislation making increases in the AMT exemption amounts permanent. Antiquated Taxes and Tax Reform Do you know how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines income? The IRS defines incomes as everything is income except what they say is not income! "Sec. 61. Gross income defined
(a) General definition Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items:" The current tax code is full of antiquated policies that were installed for a specific reason and for a specific time, but never removed. For example, the Federal Telephone Excise Tax was first enacted in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American War when telephones were considered a "luxury." While this tax was initially applied to long-distance service, it was later extended to general phone service in 1941 and currently applies to all telecommunication services, which include standard and wireless telephone services, as well as computer Internet connections. This tax unfairly targets Americans that rely on telephone service as a primary means of communication. For those on fixed incomes, including our nation's elderly and disabled, it is often difficult to avoid excessive telecommunication charges, especially in today's information age.
These types of taxes are indicative of a much larger problem; the current tax code is unnecessarily confusing and complicated, causing taxpayers to spend more than six billion hours every year on paperwork and other bureaucratic requirements. On average, $200 billion a year goes uncollected in federal taxes and taxpayers pay in excess of $5 billion a year to identify and prosecute tax evaders. Clearly, major tax reform is necessary.
I will support efforts to reform the tax code, making it simpler, fairer, and more growth oriented. By replacing our current convoluted and fraud-ridden system with more simplified tax requirements, I believe we will be able to meet the dual goals of providing core government services and returning much needed income back to our families.
Balanced Budget The federal budget has to be balanced. Any additional revenue that is needed should be generated from economic growth, not increased taxes. I will support limiting growth in non-defense areas. Our federal government cannot continue to grow larger and larger.
A balanced federal budget is a priority for our national economic health and long-term prosperity. I will fight for federal spending to provide for our national and homeland security, as directed by the U.S. Constitution. The funding increases in both of these arenas will be necessary in the future to keep our families safe and secure.
Budgetary savings must be identified through efficiency reforms throughout the federal government. I will work to find ways to eliminate wasteful government programs. I will aggressively attack the creation and funding of duplicative federal programs. Many of these “Pork Barrel” projects are of no real benefit but cost taxpayers millions of their hard-earned dollars. According to the Office of Management and Budget, 28% of federal programs are either ineffective or have results that are not proven. Reforming, combining or eliminating those programs will be among my highest legislative priorities.
The Economy The Democrats with the help of the big spending Republicans are destroying our economy. Your United States of America has a $53,000,000,000,000 ($53 TRILLION) DEFICIT. Sheila Jackson-Lee and the other incumbents have walked up to the Federal Treasury's "ATM machine" and "charged" $175,000 to each American citizen. Our economy will collapse if you and I don't make some changes.
It seems that every day we are faced with more and more gloomy economic news. Many of you reading this have never really experienced a recession. Those of you that have are probably more prepared to ride it out, if necessary.
Economic retractions happen much faster than growth and we are indeed in a time of economic retraction. Many of us may be facing difficulties balancing our budget but with a little belt tightening we will be able to ride out a recession.
With only a 16% approval rate, we have to change Congress. We must break the government spending/government borrowing cycle. Just like our families, the Federal Government has to learn to live within its means.
The sub-prime mortgage issue has gotten out of hand because Congress is too busy investigating drug use in professional sports, funding pork barrel projects and earmarks when they are not fighting for political advantage. The Democrat majority in Congress has let predatory lending practices, including pay day loans and pawn shops, get out of control.
In troubled times, it is easy to point the finger of blame at someone, but in this case, the record shows that career Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has not raised a hand against any predatory lending practice.
I applaud certain aspects of President Bush's Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, especially those that support business. Small Business owners stimulate our economy by creating the majority of employment in the United States, yet they have to struggle to comply with federal mandates and still try to make a profit.
The tax rebate part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 will most likely amount to nothing but a retail gift from the Federal Government.
I promise you that using my education in business (MBA) and my experience in the business world I will work to keep a tight hold on the Federal Budget and run away taxes and spending. I will actually be able to read and understand a budget. I am not certain we can say that about some members of the current Congress.
Education I believe students can be more effectively educated by returning school curriculum prerogatives to the states, local communities, and the local Independent School Districts and, most importantly, to the family
Independent School Districts do not need expensive, unfunded and inefficient mandates from a federal agency dictating to them how to educate the children of the Texas 18th Congressional District. I will support streamlining the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Education.
Since many elements of our institutionalized education system are broken and out of control, I support actions that strengthen our “Independent” public schools. The Houston Independent School District, Aldine Independent School District, North Forest Independent School District, Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, Galena Park Independent School District, Humble Independent School District, Klein Independent School District, Spring Branch Independent School District, Spring Independent School District are all located within the Texas 18th Congressional District. Each of these independent school districts faces unique situations. There is not a single solution which will help all of these districts overcome their challenges. That is why the Federal Government should get out of the way of the INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT boards.
I will support initiatives to strengthen the class room teacher and the class room education experience.
I will support public education and school vouchers. School vouchers grant parents the control to make significant choices in their children’s education.
Energy Texas and especially Houston are primary world oil industry hubs. Much of the Nation's oil and gas is processed through here. The oil industry's contributions to our local, regional and national economies are significant and must be supported while migrating toward less dependence on foreign oil.
The United States has one of the richest coal reserves in the world. We could power our nation for decades with coal-fired power plants if the emissions were clean enough and affordable. Strides are being made to clean up coal-fired power plant emissions. More needs to be done to make this technology more cost effective.
As a nation, our national security and our environment depend on the continued development of alternative, renewable and cleaner fuel sources. As your Representative in Congress, I will support the advancement of these technologies.
First Amendment Rights I believe the current case law on the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment is inconsistent and flawed. An example of this inconsistency may be found in the recent decisions regarding Ten Commandment displays: the Supreme Court ruled that in Texas it is appropriate to have a Ten Commandments monument on the courthouse grounds, but in Kentucky the same display violates the Establishment Clause.
The Founding Fathers developed these clauses to guarantee the right of all citizens to worship and to protect the church from the state, not to strip religion from the everyday lives of Americans.
Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Objectives and Philosophy
I believe in peace through strength. I believe in a policy that supports U.S. interests by spreading freedom within the limits of U.S. capability. I also believe in ending the one-way street on trade.
Israel and the Middle East
I regard Israel as America’s most important ally in the Middle East region. I strongly support Israel’s right to exist and efforts to defend itself. Israel must be able to defend their country. I will support providing federal funding for Israel’s defense systems, including missile defense.
I also strongly support U.S. efforts to establish free societies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Illegal Immigration Amnesty I will fight to curtail illegal immigration and strengthen our border security. I will not allow amnesty to become a bargaining chip. Even the talk of amnesty encourages a whole new wave of illegal immigrants.
America has one of the most generous immigration policies in the world. It is unacceptable that we allow millions of people to sneak in the back door of our country when the front door is available. We have tried amnesty and it does not work.
We must enforce and, as necessary, tighten our immigration laws and secure our border–it is a matter of national security. Border Fence I will enforce the legislation that has authorized and funded a border fence. Birth Right Citizenship Reform "Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." I oppose summarily bestowing citizenship on people who have crossed our borders illegally. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution clearly states that to become a citizen one has to be “…subject to the jurisdiction…” of the United States. Those who are in our country illegally are not subject to “…the jurisdiction thereof,…” and therefore their children are not citizens of the United States.
If illegal aliens bring or keep minor children in the United States when the adults are subject to deportation then these adult illegal aliens should also be charged with child endangerment and the children should be placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
I believe that we should step back to the Alien Registration Act which was signed into law in 1940 by Franklin D Roosevelt and destroyed by Ted Kennedy in 1963. Under this legislation, every alien in the United States has to register his or her current address at least every January and within 30 days of an address change, or upon leaving the United States. Employer Verification One of the strongest draws to the United States for illegal immigrants is our economy and enticing job market. We should remove these as incentives for illegal migrants. I will give the Department of Homeland Security a mandate to implement a nationwide employment verification system. Employers need to have an easy, reliable and efficient system to verify an employee’s status and there must be real consequences imposed on employers who willfully break the law and employ illegal immigrants Border Patrol Agents Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were convicted for what amounted to procedural violations in their attempted apprehension of drug smuggler, Aldrete-Davila, along the Southwest border in Texas. For reasons that remain unclear, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton used his prosecutorial discretion to indict Agents Ramos and Compean on a weapons charge that carries a 10-year mandatory sentence. Given the evidence and circumstances of the case, this indictment against these Border Patrol Agents was completely unjustified.
In addition, information has come forward since the agents’ convictions that the drug smuggler, who was granted immunity, received free medical care and a humanitarian visa for his testimony against the agents, was involved in several other drug smuggling incidents.
Understanding the miscarriage of justice that has been perpetuated against these agents, I will support and/or introduce legislation granting a congressional pardon to Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. While this has never been tried before and some argue that it is unconstitutional, legal advisors have stipulated that it has never been adjudicated and that there are some indications that such an action would be valid. If nothing else, our efforts may force the President to grant them a Presidential Pardon. 103 members of the 110th Congress have agreed to this effort and have cosponsored appropriate legislation.
After elected I will work with Representative Ted Poe to push legislation similar to his amendment to the Commerce Justice and Science Appropriations Act, which while funding the Federal Bureau of Prisons, disallows any funding included in the bill to be used for the incarceration of the two agents. The amendment passed by voice vote.
President Clinton granted multiple presidential pardons on his way out of office. Many of these pardons were more nefarious than pardoning Compean and Ramos. President Bush should allow these two border agents to return to their families, children and freedom immediately.
Make sure and read CNN's Lou Dobbs Commentary; "Time to free Ramos and Compean".
Judicial Appointments Philosophy of Judicial Appointments
I support people with good judgment, proven values, a belief in God, and a heart for the least of us, including the unborn. I believe it is important that those sitting on the bench understand that they have a responsibility to strictly interpret our nation’s laws and not legislate from the bench with their own political or social agenda. I will not support judges who do not believe that the unborn are precious and should be protected.
The United States cannot afford to have our constitution reformed by activist judges. The President who will be elected with me must appoint strong constitutionalist judges.
Right to Life Amendment
As your Representative from the Texas 18th Congressional District, I would support an amendment to the United States Constitution to provide protection to all unborn children from the moment of conception by prohibiting any state or federal law that ignores the personhood of an unborn child. However, since amending the Constitution is an extremely lengthy process, I would introduce and co-sponsor the Federal Right to Life Act. This act would define "personhood" as the moment of conception. Therefore, all unborn children would be protected without the need of amending the U. S. Constitution.
Recently the scientific community have made great strides in stem cell research. New advances with adult stem cells as opposed to embryonic stem cells offer a great deal of hope forwarding scientific and medical research without the need to sacrafice or monitize life. I support the new research on the horizon there. There are preferred alternatives in the approach to those valuable sciences outside of buying and selling life, itself.
Marriage Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage
I firmly believe that marriage is one of the most important social institutions we have and that it is central to promoting family values and raising children in a healthy environment.
Marriage, defined solely as the union between a man and a woman, is one of the most important social institutions we have.
Marriage is central to promoting family values and raising children in a nurturing and healthy environment. I will support all legislation that defends marriage. All of our children need the unique influence offered by both a father and a mother
Faulk is the Republican nominee to challenge Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) in the 2008 congressional elections. John Faulk has his roots in the Texas 18th Congressional District. where he was born, raised and educated. His family has lived and worked in the district since the late 1880’s. His great-uncle Nick had a dairy farm which was located at FM 249 and FM 1960 where the AMC Willowbrook is now located.
John was born at the Height’s Hospital, grew up on 13th and Waverly, and graduated from John H. Reagan High School. John earned a Bachelor of Business Degree from the University of Houston and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston Clear Lake.
Over the last thirty years John has had sound business experience in many industries. While still in school John worked for IBM and Prentice Hall Tax Law Publisher. He served as a Community Organizer and District Executive with the Boy Scouts of America – Sam Houston Area Council. John has experience with the Department of Defense, serving active duty in the US Navy as a Photographer’s Mate with several helicopter squadrons, as well as the Department of Defense health care program through the Sister of Charity Health Care System. Within the health care industry, John served as the Business Manager at Doctor’s Hospital on Airline and the Sisters of Charity Health Care System working with both Saint Mary’s Hospital - Galveston and Saint John Hospital.
John is also experienced with bureaucracy serving as the University Of Houston Director Of Development for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and as the Director of Planned Giving for the Episcopal Dioceses of Texas. After a successful career in health care administration and professional fund raising, John is now a semi-retired accountant who is active with the United Methodist Church, the Boy Scouts of America, and University of Houston Clear Lake Alumni Association.
For the last 14 years the 18th Congressional District has been without representation. Our representative has spent more time traveling to Louisiana, Brazil, and even Pakistan than holding office hours in Houston. It is time for change!
A conservative Republican, John will provide sound representation for the voters of the Texas 18th Congressional District. With your help John will defeat Sheila Jackson-Lee! Get involved - Make some phone calls - Tell your friends - Study the issues - Help send John to Congress as your Representative.
Money in politics
Committees and affiliations
Faulk will be assigned committees if and when he is elected to Congress.
More background data
Campaign Contact Information
Faulk for Congress
1701 Hermann Dr #2206
Houston, TX 77004
Articles and resources
- 2008 U.S. congressional elections
- Portal:Texas and the U.S. Congress
- ↑ 2008 Race Tracker page on Texas’ 18th Congressional District
- ↑ John Faulk's official campaign website