Last night I attended the Concerned Citizens of America meeting in Rockford. The CCA is a political action committee and last night they held a candidate's forum for those seeking the office of United States Senator.
It was good to see some of the other republican candidates again. We have been attending events together for the last three months and the atmosphere is always congenial, for the most part. The only candidate I have not had a chance to really talk to is representative Mark Kirk. His appearance style is much more traditional to what we expect from campaigning. His handlers show up before the event starts, the lawn outside the event gets plastered with signs, Kirk shows up to speak and as quickly as he arrived, he leaves.
Last night I found myself at a table with Eric Wallace and Don Lawry waiting for our turn to speak. These are two of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. I was up to speak second, after Bob Zadek. He and I met in Dekalb and he was his normal ear-to-ear grinning self last night.
The moderator of the event was Larry Jacobs, VP with World Congress of Families. His job was to make sure each candidate got asked the same questions and to make sure we followed the rules. Each candidate was given two minutes to introduce themselves, followed by 5 quick answer questions, then more in-depth questions in which we had up to three minutes to answer each. The final question was a two minute allowable time frame.
The meaning behind the title of this blog entry is based on my answer to one of the quick fire questions. All of the candidates that presented last night answered every question the same, except for one. The question was whether or not I would support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as occurring between a man and a woman. My answer was that I would oppose such an amendment.
On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer question and any candidate trying to appeal to a conservative voter would support such an amendment. However, I was not out to pander to voters, instead I approached it from a constitutional viewpoint. the constitution makes no provision for the federal government to regulate marriage and therefore the decision belongs with the individual states. I guess since my answer differed so much from all of the conservatives, that means I am a moderate.
The people in attendance were very interactive and seemed receptive to my position that for issues from education, to health care, and even the economy, we need to remove the influence of the federal government and empower the states to meet the needs of their populations.