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Kokesh Challenges the GOP, Asks for Salary Pledge

Written by Subject: r3VOLution Continues
Since declaring my candidacy to represent NM's 3rd Congressional district, I have learned a lot about partisan politics. When people ask me, "What party are you?" I immediately answer Republican, but many times, I get dirty looks. I often follow up with, "But I'm not a party line guy, and the GOP has seriously lost its way. What I've learned from folks around here, is that the bases of both parties are so grossly misrepresented by the national leadership, we have more in common with each other than anyone in Washington." Because so many Americans are disgusted by national politics, our campaign's message of honoring the Constitution to restore individual rights and push power locally is resonating across the board.

While Democrats are drunk with power and spending us deeper into debt, the national leadership of the Republican Party fails to offer a principled alternative and pretends to forget the irresponsible spending supported by Republicans. Now only rarely do we hear any Republican member of Congress addressing issues from the perspective of the Constitution. When anyone advocates policy that is contrary to that document, it is a slap in the face to every active duty service member and veteran like myself, who swore the same oath to the Constitution that members of Congress do when they take office.

Meanwhile, the Republican leadership is imposing litmus tests on candidates based on divisive wedge issues. This is a sure-fire way to ensure the GOP becomes a permanent minority party. It would be far more powerful, to ask for simple integrity and demand a commitment to honor the oath of office, vote the Constitution, and be faithful to the principles of freedom behind it. As Pat Buchanan said, "The Republican Party needs to stop trying to be all things to all people, and instead be one thing to all people." That one thing must be freedom.

We should not be running our party from the top down, demanding specific policy positions, but rather from the ground up, as the inclusive party of big tent, smaller government. If we are going to bring people into the big tent, we cannot support leaders who erect walls to keep people out. We need leadership that will stand tall on principle to prop it up.

Apparently, the party has not learned the real lessons from what happened in New York's 23rd District. When the party elite choose the candidate instead of allowing the base to select a candidate through the primary process, they will always be less likely to nominate someone that will bring people together. Voters are leaving the party in droves for the simple fact that the party doesn't represent them anymore! Even here at the local level, I have witnessed shameless whisper campaigns, disregard for the party's own rules, and even primary candidates resorting to the kind of smear tactics that will only serve to undermine our combined efforts. To restore the integrity of the party, for our own sake and our country's, we must live up the values we espouse and conduct ourselves in a way that honors the message of freedom we are bearing.

I have a challenge for all of my fellow Republican candidates and current Republican office holders. I'm going to ask you to do something revolutionary that will prove you truly intend to help make the GOP the party of the people. I have pledged, that when elected, I will not accept the standard congressional salary of approximately $170,000, but only the national average income. In a system of their own creation, it is criminally obscene that the so-called “servants of the people” are making over four times the average of the people they are supposed to be serving. Join me in this pledge, and we will send a clear message that the Republican Party will stand up for the American people with passion, integrity, and commitment to the great American ideals that this country was founded on.

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