Kevin Price
Tea party movement should ask tough questions to candidates for Congress
By Kevin Price
October 6, 2010

One of the most exciting things I have seen in years is the rise of the "Tea Party Movement." I have been afforded the opportunity to speak at many forums of the organization and I like to remind them of how important the upcoming elections are going to be. I told a crowd of 11,000 in Houston, Texas that in 2010, the US House and Senate will be the center of the political universe. Most in the movement believe that, which means it is time to prepare as if that statement is true.

The Tea Party has been a sleeping giant that has abruptly waken after years of allowing the government to grow to its current ominous state. Sincere members of the movement are as angry at the American people as they are those that govern, because they know our mess is as much due to voter neglect as anything else. Some have not voted in years, if at all, and they in particular are going to need to know the tough questions to ask aspiring candidates. Here are just a few suggestions of what a candidate should be asked:

  • What is your employment history? In my opinion, if a candidate has never owned a business and has never been subject to the payroll, regulations, taxation, and licensure laws that comes with it, they should not be taken seriously as a candidate. Empathy is an important characteristic to leadership and I want a leader that understands what the engines of prosperity go through.

  • What is your view of the Constitution? The tasks of a member of Congress are numerous, but the single most important duty is to carry out the responsibilities in the Constitution they have sworn to defend. They need to explain what the enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution mean. They need to articulate the role of the Tenth amendment in limiting federal power. If a candidate does not answer these questions in a manner in line with the Constitution, they have no business running for such an important office. This is the most important question to ask someone running for federal office, in my opinion.

  • What other elected offices have you been in? The US House and Senate are pretty significant offices. In my experience it takes politicians a significant period of time to "get their legs" in Congress. When I worked for the US Senate I was surprised by how little members knew when it came to conducting their duties. I believe that career politicians are a problem, but I also believe it makes sense for the House or Senate to be the "next step" after serving in a state legislature or similar position and not the first "step." If you have not held any office at all, try city council or the school board, before the US Congress.

  • What other positions have you held? I think that many Americans will be a little reluctant to elect a career "community activist" to any office after the Barack Obama experience. For a long period of time people on every level of government (federal, state, local) were reluctant to elect attorneys to office because they did not want to elect individuals who make a living off the proliferation of laws. That certainly makes sense. To me, the best candidate is the one who is most sympathetic and empathetic to the plight of all Americans and understand the challenges of job creation and economic growth. Furthermore, they believe in the concept of rule of law. The US government today is ran by a lawless crowd with their own agenda and it has little to do with the Constitution they swear to defend.

2010 could mark the beginning of a great era in American politics. It could set the stage for a turn around and a move back to limited, constitutional, government. However, if this is to happen, voters are going to have to be smart and ask the tough questions that politicians must honestly answer. Voters must also have the courage to hold these politicians accountable and to the highest standards.

© Kevin Price


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Kevin Price

Kevin Price is Publisher and Editor in Chief of

His background is eclectic and includes years of experience in both business and public policy, as well as two decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He was an aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) and later went on to work in policy areas with some of the nation's leading think tanks including the National Center for Public Policy Research and was part of the Heritage Foundation's Annual Guide to Public Policy Experts... (more)


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