SEDONA AZ–“I want to get D.C. to pay attention to the people again,” Jim Deakin, Republican Primary candidate for U.S. Senate-Arizona said. Deakin is widely referred to as the underdog candidate running against John McCain and J.D. Hayworth. Initially Deakin was ignored by the press, treated as a vanity candidate, running on ego and a lark. Gradually, even Fox has come to take him seriously. He appeared on the Strategy Room this week and on Channel 9 in Tucson, Friday August 13. The press that once dismissed him now call to arrange interviews about the candidate who is now known, ironically but not dismissively, as ‘the other guy.’
Deakin describes himself as a citizen candidate, pointing out that it was not his lifelong dream to be a politician. He actually views himself as a regular guy, a business owner, and grew up on a farm. But he sees a problem with entrenched power in Washington that is unresponsive to the people.
Running on a shoestring budget, asked what his odds of being selected as the Republican candidate are, Deakin said, “Not only do I think I have a chance, I think I have a very very good chance. The anti-incumbent sentiment, the negative attitude of my opponents is having a very strong effect. Both are career politicians, both have been involved in scandals, both support increasing the size of government. The recent televised debates solidified it, everyone could see they don’t want to work for Arizona, they just want to beat the other guy. “
Deakin could be described as a strict constitutionalist. He believes that most of what the Federal Government does is unconstitutional and undermines freedom and opportunity in America. As a Senator, he would seek to limit and turn back government over reach.
He is a strong proponent of state’s rights, pointing out that each of the individual states is different and unique, the solutions that work in one region are not appropriate to every region. One size fits all is not the way to govern a country as large and diverse as the United States. He fits firmly in the camp of those who believe local government is most responsive to the needs of the people.
Among ideas Deakin would like to propose, is returning much of the federal lands back to the states, not for the purposes of development, but because that is where jurisdiction appropriately resides. As he points out, state citizens and legislators should make the decision to protect, develop, or devote land to recreational use, as they see fit. The federal government should not make decisions on state land use or collect the revenue on that land.
Along these lines, Deakin believes that many things the federal government does are outside their appropriate sphere. Thus, when it comes to an issue like education, he believes local school boards and communities should control their own schools. The federal government has no business there. Federal education funding could be cut entirely, and money and control returned to local communities. While many candidates would claim that this solution would save money by eliminating bureaucracy, Deakin supports the move on principle. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government any jurisdiction in local or state education. So it should not be there.
Likewise, to a large extent, Deakin plan to fix the economy relies on getting the federal government out of the way. If the federal government exercises less control, they need less funding, taxes can be reduced and the people of Arizona will have more money in their pockets.
Deakin supports SB1070 but doesn’t regard it as an ideal solution although it is better than no solution. He points out that the problem has been building for more than a decade while the federal government, both Republican and Democrat controlled, did nothing. Now it is at a boiling point. Deakin favors closing the border by putting more Border Agents on the border, not 120 miles inside Arizona.
As for the wars, Deakin points out that domestic concerns and the terrible economy have overwhelmed concern about Iraq and Afghanistan. But he said, “We are not at war. We did not declare war. This is a police action and we are not obligated to be the world’s policeman. When we go to war, we should be prepared to kill people and break things, if you aren’t prepared to do that then don’t go to war. We should bring the troops home not on a time table but as quickly as possible.”
He is opposed to the federal income tax. Deakin suggests that first reduce the size of government and the tax burden is reduced, then sell natural resources like oil on an open market instead of giving them away for pennies on the dollar. Cutting expenditure and raising revenue may be enough to eliminate the federal income tax.
Instead of free trade as currently practiced, the country could return to a policy of using ‘most favored nation status,’ in which the United States is free to set tariffs and trade policies based upon national interest and the impact on the economy and American citizens.
Deakin is an unusual Senate candidate who calls it as he sees it. He won’t bend his principles even in self-interest. Because he isn’t an establishment candidate, it has taken nearly 20 months of campaigning to get the media to notice. Yet he said, “That’s freedom of the press. They can print what they want. My benefit is I don’t have to read those papers. Even if it made it tough for me at first, I wouldn’t change that and I wouldn’t ever support any bill that takes that freedom away.”
“The best thing about running,” Deakin said, “is finding out about the number of people who care about what is going on. There is so much energy and interest out there. Americans really do care. It’s the most impressive thing I have found. “
For more information, go to http://www.jimdeakin.com
Article by Joni Dahlstrom, sedonaeye.com Staff Writer JoniD@eSedona.net Sedona Times Publishing Election Central c2010