Why Vern is Running for Congress:
Men and women run for office for many different reasons. My reason is simple and sincere:
I feel like I owe America.
When President Reagan talked about the American Dream, about ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things, it really hit home with me.
I grew up in a working class neighborhood on the outskirts of Detroit back in the 1960s. I was the oldest of six children in a blue-collar family. I still can't believe how my parents raised six kids.
We didn't have a thing, materially speaking. But we did have lots of love and the bedrock American values of faith, family, freedom, free enterprise, and hard work. We must preserve those traditional values that make America strong.
I am running for Congress because I want to preserve our values and help make the American Dream a reality for all who are willing to work hard and play by the rules. And I want to take my ideas about protecting that American Dream to Congress. I'll take a stand on the issues and I ask for your input.
The federal government's foremost responsibility is to defend America.
We face a new kind of enemy in the War on Terror, one unlike any we have faced before. We must meet that enemy with the same firm resolve for which America's armed forces have been known throughout history. Our brave troops are doing their part, and I will work to ensure that they, and our first responders at home, have the resources they need to secure America.
Homeland Security is incomplete without border security. We must secure our borders. As many as 4,000 illegal aliens try to cross our border every day, and the Department of Homeland Security must move adequate resources to meet this continuing - and growing - threat to our national security.
President Reagan taught us that "peace through strength" is more than a phrase. We built a military second to none, and we won the Cold War. We will win the war we face now, too. We will face and defeat the enemies of freedom wherever they threaten us.
The American Family is under attack in Washington, where activist judges and organizations like the ACLU are attacking the faith and freedom that make our nation the greatest on Earth. I consider it a high privilege to defend the sanctity of human life, protect traditional marriage, and uphold the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, hunters and sportsmen.
We must preserve Social Security and Medicare, because they represent promises made to previous generations. We must keep those promises. I will never jeopardize Social Security, and I will work to ensure that patients can choose their own doctors and that health care decisions are made in the confidence of the doctor-patient relationship. We owe a great debt to our parents and grandparents. We made those promises to their generation, and we must keep them.
Not every government program can claim such a heritage. In Washington, I will vigilantly defend the American taxpayer and expect our government to do better with our tax dollars, because I know what it means to meet a budget. I'll work to cut wasteful government spending and bring common sense to the budget process. Government needs to spend less and tax less, and sometimes it just needs to get out of the way and let resourceful Americans solve their problems without big government interference.
As a successful businessman, I have created local jobs that helped to grow our economy. I've built my businesses expecting the most of people, by creating opportunities by which they can reach their potential. I also know how predatory lawyers and bureaucratic red tape can strangle fledgling entrepreneurs. These are the business values I will take to Washington:
We need less regulation and red tape - and lower taxes.
We need legal reform to stop jackpot justice and lawsuit abuse.
Making insurance and health care plans affordable and making sure small businesses, their employees and self-employed individuals have access to quality care.
Small business is the backbone of our economy, so we need to make small business growth a priority by making it easier for people to start their own businesses.
Business development cannot take place in a vacuum. It must be balanced with appropriate concern and care for our environment. Our area faces unique environmental needs that require a locally-driven, team effort instead of top-down mandates from Washington. I'll work with local and regional officials to preserve and protect our natural resources. The enhancement and preservation of our coastal areas must be a top priority - not just for tourism, but for those generations yet to come. It is our responsibility to be conscientious stewards of our coast.
Because of the beauty of our coastline, many people are drawn here to stay, and so achieving balanced growth is another major challenge we face. Congested roads, crowded schools and the high cost of home ownership are threatening our quality of life. We must look further into the future when planning our growth and empower local and state officials to challenge the federal government's "one size fits all" approach, so that they can make the best decisions possible for our area. Only in such an atmosphere can our local governments have the responsive flexibility they need to preserve our quality of life.
I know one man cannot go to Washington and change the world. One of the values I learned growing up was humility. But along with humility, I was also taught determination: one man can work hard and make a difference. I was taught that "to whom much is given, much is required." I feel a sense of duty and obligation to serve - to pay the debt I owe America. I pledge to you that I will work hard to make a difference. I will always remember who sent me to Washington - and why.
Please take a few moments and browse through our web site. If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me. I welcome your input and look forward to hearing from you.
I would be honored to have you join with me in this effort to protect all that is good about Florida's 13th Congressional District - and America.