I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Joshua Black, a Republican candidate for Florida House District 68. Below please find the questions I asked Mr. Black followed by his responses, as well as links to where you can connect with Mr. Black on social media.
Please tell me a little bit about yourself
I was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, but have lived in the St Petersburg, Florida area for most of the last six-plus years. I am the second of ten children, all homeschooled. I am recently married, and our first child is expected to take his or her first breath around the time of the August primary! My employment background is mostly small-time jobs, but I excel in customer service-related positions (restaurant server, customer service phone agent, taxi driver, food delivery, etc.). This background serves me well for this position, because I am forced to live on a shoestring, and I therefore have a vested interest in seeing my government do the same.
Please tell me a little bit about your district
The boundaries of the district are Ulmerton Road on the North, Central Ave on the South, Tampa Bay on the East and either the railroad tracks or 34th Street North, whichever is more west. A wide variety of people live within these boundaries. I meet many of them as customers for my taxi service, and I met many more during my other jobs. Some are rich, some are poor. Some have great jobs, some are on welfare. Some are long-time residents, some are recent immigrants. Some have never received a parking ticket and some are still breaking the law when they ask me for a ride. Diverse is the best word. Democrats make up 39% of the registered voters, Republicans 36%, Independents 24%, smaller parties the remaining 1%.
Why do you want to be a Florida State Representative?
I’m running for state rep because I’m tired of waiting for the politicians to give me a candidate worth voting for. By the time I get to the polls every cycle, it seems that what differences there are between the candidates are superficial and immaterial, especially to the values that I hold dear. I understand the concept of having a big tent, but why does that mean adopting positions I find reprehensible? Why doesn’t it mean going outside my “base” to explain my positions one on one? The former basically creates a larger Democrat Party with no other options, the latter gives hope for conservative values to benefit a wider swath of the community.
Why did you decide to run for state representative this year?
I thought there was an opening. The last big name Republican that ran for this seat flubbed badly. I figured that I could do better than that. The Democrat who beat him stands for policies that hurt the poor and middle class, in spite of what he and his party claim. I didn’t think that it would be easy, and I committed last year to seeing it all the way through, no matter what. I didn’t count on a somewhat big name [Bill Young II] (well, it’s his dad’s name) challenging me in the primary, but I think that I can overcome that, because I can’t find any differences between what he pledges to do and what the Democrat incumbent pledges to do.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing your constituents?
Taxes. I know this sounds like the Republican line, but consider this fact: between the federal, state and local governments, the citizens of Pinellas Park and Saint Petersburg face a tax burden average of $16,000 per person, per year. Whom does this policy harm the most? The poor, because they don’t have any extra with which to lift themselves from their condition after the governments have all taken their cuts. Now, some of this burden is hidden (taxes and regulations on businesses, for example), but, if you ever try to own your own business, or you start earning too many wages to receive tax-funded assistance, you quickly realize that big, overspending government is not your friend. Why is it that small businesses have to bear the full cost of the taxes, but big businesses get tax breaks to relocate? Why aren’t we giving all businesses the same tax break? Do we really care about jobs here in Florida?
What is your plan to increase job opportunities for Americans?
Cut taxes. As I explained in my previous answer, the money that the governments combine to siphon away from the economy is killing the opportunities for those who don’t start out with much. I intend to roll back those taxes permanently, so that we can realize growth here in Pinellas permanently. People need to be able to keep what they have earned, so that they can choose how to reinvest in the local economy. Lower taxes in Florida mean jobs and growth for Pinellas.
What, if anything, is your plan to replace the Affordable Care Act? What, if anything, do you find positive about the ACA as it stands now?
I am not a Congressional candidate, but, as a constituent of Florida Congressional District 13, I feel that government has no place in the marketplace. Mandates and taxes only rob the poor of the choices they need to be able to make in order to prosper. The only people who benefit from this system are those who are politically connected and wealthy. There is nothing positive to be found in a system like that. Let’s abolish it and return to the days when a hospital stay cost only about a month’s worth of wages, instead of three full years.
Why should people vote for you over your opponent?
For the primary: When my opponent was first rumored to be thinking about this position, the people most delighted about this prospect were lobbyists in Tallahassee. That’s a bad sign, if you’re not politically connected and/or wealthy.
For the general: The incumbent [Democrat Dwight Dudley] has spent his entire term talking about how the scope of the state government needs to be greater, even though such a case would overburden those who don’t earn much more. It is not compassionate to squeeze family doctors out of the market by expanding Medicaid. It is compassionate to cease confiscating people’s earnings so that they can purchase the necessary nutrition that they need in order to stay healthy.
Do you consider yourself a constitutional conservative or more of a moderate?
I am very much a constitutional conservative. Moderates are lying when they take the oath of office.
What would you like your voters to know about you?
I would like them to know that I feel their pain, because I am one of them. I don’t fit the bill of the ordinary politician, because I actually intend to keep my word. I suffer personally under the current policies in effect, so I have a personal stake in changing them.
What are your thoughts regarding Common Core? How would you improve the educational system in Florida?
Common Core is simply the latest in the government’s efforts to raise our children for us without our approval. This plan has been going on since the creation of government-funded schools in America. Government control or even regulation of education is a terrible idea that has produced ever worsening results, no matter how much money or how many new rules we throw at the system.
It doesn’t work, because it can’t. Children don’t share DNA with a government. They share the DNA of their parents. God has given them to parents, who alone are responsible for their growth to maturity. Even in the government-run schools, only students whose parents (biological or adopted) invest in them excel, especially if both parents are still together (just like the DNA in their child). By siphoning away parents’ and grandparents’ earnings to build a machine that doesn’t work, the government is hindering parents from the work they could do to help their own children succeed.
What’s worse is that people who push these programs know the facts that I just stated.
What are your thoughts on the IRS targeting of conservative groups? How do you think Congress should hold those responsible for this targeting accountable?
First, 99% of Congress should resign. They do not have any intention of upholding the Constitution, so they need to get out of the way of people who do.
Second, when that Congress is inaugurated, they should revoke the contract with the IRS that allows this private organization to act on behalf of the US Treasury and Congress (a direct contradiction of the separation of powers intended by the Constitution).
Third, they should submit a Constitutional Amendment to the States for ratification that specifically repeals the 16th Amendment.
Fourth, they should impeach the current President and all of his appointees, executive and judicial. That would be a good start.
Do you support the Second Amendment? Why or why not?
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution was written in response to the act of oppression by the government of Great Britain whereby the inhabitants of the colonies were prohibited from obtaining the latest weaponry that was available to the British aggressors. This amendment was written to ensure that, should the newly formed federal government become similarly oppressive, the People would have sufficient means of overcoming its evil designs. Knowing how wicked those in government can become, I wholeheartedly support this amendment.
How can people best help your campaign?
People can help by reading my website, www.JoshuaBlack2014.com, and finding out where I actually stand on the issues. Then, speak to your neighbors to see where they stand and point a few in the right direction. I think that one on one interaction will win this campaign because I won’t be receiving big money from outside interests.
Speaking of money, you can donate online at the website, or you can donate by mail to the address on the Contact Page.
This Sunday, May 18, I will be having a Shoestring Banquet ($10/plate) at Freedom Lake Park in Pinellas Park (where US 19 meets 49th Street North), between 1:30 and 4PM. So come on by and join us!
Connect with Joshua Black
YouTube: Search for Joshua Black Campaign
Campaign Website: www.JoshuaBlack2014.com
Floridians, please vote in this primary election on August 26, 2014!