Veteran attorney Clint Smith has had enough.

With the dishonesty of Andy Biggs and the dysfunction of the Republican Party in Washington D.C.

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Committed to the Constitution, Mr. Smith is flabbergasted with the attempted theft of the 2020 Presidential election that Mr. Biggs apparently helped organize.

Saying “it’s time to bring integrity, respect, and common sense back to Congress,” Mr. Smith is running as an Independent candidate because:

“this race is not about Republicans, Democrats, or the partisanship that has so deeply divided us.  This is about getting rid of the political games and getting back to civility. I believe we share more common values and daily struggles than we realize. We need a representative who is dealing with our rising cost of living, helping small business owners hire the workers they need to grow, and ensuring our families have good healthcare. I have a history of standing up for our shared values, including when I co-chaired Jerry Lewis’ campaign in the recall election against Russell Pearce.”

If elected, Mr. Smith will focus on the economy, water, and reducing gun violence.

Mr. Smith graciously took the time to discuss his Independent candidacy for the House of Representatives.

The questions and his responses are below. (Note to readers: in his capacity as an attorney, Mr. Smith represented my charter school when we were undergoing a reorganization.)

  • Please tell the readers two reasons you would like to become the next Representative from Arizona House Congressional District Five.

“First of all, you know, we need a change in our district. The current representative does not represent the interest of our constituents. I want someone who’s going to be loyal to the Constitution and not to a person or a party.

I’m an independent, I do not have tie to a person or a party. And I have the experience that qualifies me to be able to step in, work with other parties, listen to them, find solutions and actually address problems. I think that’s a big deal. We need to be separated from parties. I’m the guy that can help do that and help us make some progress on the actual problems that we face.

I like the idea that I’m not going to be beholden to anyone. I get to vote my conscience. I’m pretty excited about the option there.”

You have an organization that includes both Republicans and Democrats?

“Yes. We got libertarians and totally non-affiliated. We have all kinds of people in there.”

  • Please tell the readers, what are at least two qualifications you have to serve in the House of Representatives?

“I have years and years of experience in leadership in various community capacities and also in my, church affiliations that I know how to work with people and have learned how to lead and how to get things done and make things happen.

Secondly, I have studied the Constitution since I was in my early twenties and followed politics. I basically made a conscious choice in 1982, not to choose a career in politics because I didn’t like the campaigning aspect of it.

Who knew?

I’ve always stayed involved though. From supporting the effort to make Martin Luther King Jr. day a state holiday to co-Chairing Jerry Lewis’ campaign to defeat Russell Pearce, I’ve never been too far away.

And always have been following all of the issues that are out especially as my work in the legal field brings me in to contact with policies that affect people in their most vulnerable times.”

  • What are the three most important issues facing Arizona and the American people? Please explain.

“The Economy water, gun violence.

First of all, the economy. It’s really interesting how we’re heating up this economy. And yet we’re short on workers and now people complain about high interest rates but that’s what slows the economy down. It’s a painful process, but if our leaders didn’t pay attention to it early enough to be able to catch it before it got bad. This inflation is awful and needs to be fixed, but it is not an overnight fix. This is at least the result of the paralysis that goes on in DC, where nobody really talks about or tries to fix problems. They just yell at each other and call each other names.

 Had we paid attention and tried to work together through previous administrations and the current one, potentially we could have averted some of this. A lot of it is worldwide, no doubt about it. But part of this is because we just had a food fight in DC and didn’t pay attention to issues. I intend to try to listen to people who know about these things and find ways to reduce the pain of the problems that are in or inherently going to arise.

On water, it is the same thing. Suddenly people wake up and they see these pictures of Lake Powell and Lake Mead basically dried up and saying, geez, what happened? Well, it’s been happening for a long time and people just kind of just go on their life and don’t worry about anything.

There is a really good op ed from Mitt Romney about this on how politicians and other people have basically just ignored some of these problems for all these years. And then we wake up and we’re running around with our heads cut off because we didn’t notice it happening because we’re so worried up in culture wars and the things that go on there that we don’t pay attention to the real problems at hand. And water is crucial of course, when you live in the desert.

My mentor and role model in my political life is John Rhodes, the 30 plus year Congressman who represented this district. I worked for him one summer as an intern in 1981, but in the sixties, he working across the aisle and managed to get us the Central Arizona Project. That was a product of people talking and working things out and had we not done that, we would not have had the phenomenal growth that we have. And 60 years later we’re having the same problem again because people along the way have denied climate change and just not changed the way they use water or the way they receive it and work with others. That’s a huge issue that I intend to pay a ton of attention to because it’s literally life and death for us here in the desert.

Finally, gun violence. That rose to the top, obviously in the last month or so, where parents are literally afraid to send their children to school because of what could happen. That’s an awful state of affairs. This is what happens in third world countries that shouldn’t happen here. What I think are rational solutions are ones that have been proposed out there. Things like raising the age young people can get any firearm, let alone assault grade weapons at age 18.

I mean that, that Uvalde kid literally bought two AR fifteens and 375 rounds just after his birthday. Could that have been averted? I don’t know. Maybe he would’ve found another way, but we made it way too easy for him to buy these guns. We should not have 18-year old’s buying these kind of guns.

I also think there should be regulations along the lines of what types of weapons there are. Some of those regulations in place like nobody can own a bazooka, you know and so the argument goes, well, it’s a slippery slope. And you know, then we’re going to take our guns away. That’s not where any of this is going. But for that to be the answer is basically just kicking the can down the road which we’ve done for way too long.

There’s, the age restriction. The background checks that need to be more thorough. There’s red flag laws that need to be put into place and executed properly. Any number of rational proposals, some of which got into the Senate bill that just got signed which I support. That’s a good start. And by start, I don’t mean I want to come get every gun. I’m a Second Amendment guy. As a boy scout leader, I taught young men how to use guns appropriately. The problem is if you’re in a party, a certain party here and you start talking that way, then you’re labeled an Anti-Second Amendment person and you go nowhere in the primaries. So I get to have this rational voice in the middle that says, no, wait a minute. some of the ideas that, that some of these people are proposing are pretty darn rational and reasonable, and they can be done without having to lose our Second Amendment rights.” 

  • Please explain your views on border security and immigration reform.

“Immigration is a big issue here in Arizona and of course we need to have a secure border. That is the first thing. And I get that but if all we talk about is finish the wall, finish the wall, finish the wall. First of all, the wall, as it is currently proposed is not effective and has literally gaps in it where the people come through and there’s gates.

I mean, so, so there’s a combination of sections where it is effective to have a physical wall, but more importantly, we need to use the technology. The various agencies that work down there need to be able to work together and share information and technology between the sheriffs and the border patrol and, other agencies down there to be able to help secure the border.

The second thing is we’ve got an estimated 11 plus million people here already illegally. I literally talked to a guy recently and he says, well, does rational immigration reform mean bundle him up and send him home? And I said, well, no, that’s not rational. That’s not going to happen and he says, well, it should and he walked away.

That’s not going to happen. Let’s find what should happen.

Some of the smartest kids you have are immigrants. They were bought here when they were little kids. They did not have a choice. They don’t know the country they came from. Their parents literally risked their lives so that they could have a better life for their kids. They often rise to the top of their class and become the valedictorian of their class.

If they want to go to ASU, they pay out state tuition. It is absolutely ridiculous. So that’s a starting place and that’s a referendum that’s on the ballot for this fall. But we should be doing other things to it. Give people a path that allows them to have maybe seasonal work permit. There’s seasonal workers that want to just be here long enough to do work. And then they want to go home. They used to do that in the eighties and nineties and it worked just fine and people would be happy with that. Now, it’s literally risking your life to go back and forth so they can’t do it anymore and they’re under the radar and working for cash. We need to bring all those people into the system. I do think there should be a consequence for coming here illegally, but let’s make it possible for them to then say, okay, I’m going to pay this back. I’ll pay some fine or whatever. Then, I want to be able to contribute, have a social security number and pay into the tax system.

That’s what they want to do. These are mostly good people. To vilify them is just not healthy in our communities and it’s certainly not good for them as a humanitarian issue.  I would address all those issues. They’re really smart people that have good solutions and I want to listen to them and talk about those solutions with others who either are already like-minded or could be persuaded.”

  • Please explain your views on funding the police and law enforcement reform.

“First thing is I have a lot of friends who are police officers and the, vast majority of all law enforcement people are just really good people. That said, the bad actors unfortunately act without a sense of community responsibility.

So how do we fix it?  Sometimes,  it’s a matter of training. Did they receive the training? They need to be able to handle certain situations and for example, if there’s a mental health situation, I don’t know that we should send armed police officers. In every instance, there should be people who are trained to deal with people who are having a mental health crisis. That’s what a lot of those situations have been. And, we also are not doing enough to support the mental health and well-being of our officers.

If we give them the training, the resources and also give some other options for those who have special training in certain circumstances, then we could all really win, but they need to be funded and we need to have security in our communities. No doubt about it.”

  • Is there anything not covered in the first five questions you would like the readers to know about you and your candidacy? Please explain.

“The fact that our Congressman Andy Biggs was mentioned in the January 6th, hearing on multiple occasions should bring some attention to this race.

People should say, wait a minute, why would he ask for a pardon? Did he ask for a pardon? Somebody said he did under oath. Well, he denies it, but why isn’t he under oath telling his side of the story, I would love to hear that. So that’s a big deal and it is, it is no small matter that our whole political system came within a few people of being overrun in a complete coup conspiracy to take the election.

The attempt to steal the election was from the now former President of the United States and the people that were following him inside and outside the White House. And we learned that most of his inside people were saying it’s bull and it’s not even true.

But Andy Biggs buys it. He buys into all that stuff. He thinks the election was stolen. He thinks they should have submitted a false slate of electors, which he proposed to Mark Meadows and also to, Rusty Bowers. I mean, I don’t know if he sought it a pardon, but those two things are enough for me.

This is not how we handle things in United States of America. So that’s a really big deal. And I think he needs to go.

So now to my campaign. This is the way to take out, what I view to be, an extreme politician who represents only the minority in his party who support some of that, some of that stuff, including the hero worship of the former president.

The only way to beat a guy like that is as an independent in this district. There aren’t enough Democrats to make a difference there. They get creamed every time, but if we have some Democrats, a good chunk of Independents, and I think, 20 to 40% of Republicans who can come together as a coalition to say enough of that crazy. We want a rational voice. This is where I am. That’s what I want to try to accomplish here.”

Why should Democrats or Republicans choose you instead of their party candidates, Mr. Biggs or Mr. Ramos?

“As I just said, Biggs was part of this whole conspiracy to steal the election. And, and if that weren’t enough, if you look at his record, he basically just says no to everything and doesn’t really accomplish anything for us.

So, where’s the voice that represents the fifth district. That’s what I want to be.  I’ve been a conservative my whole life. I, declared my independence from the Republican party last July 4th, a year ago. And, uh, so I think I’m the right voice for that for a lot of those people.

And as far as the Democrats go, they’re used in our district to not being heard. They don’t have a voice because in every election they get beat in double digits, 16 to 18 or more points. That’s not a happy place to be and I’ve met with a lot of those Democrats. They don’t necessarily agree with me on everything, but I’ll tell you what they do agree with me on is guns and immigration and water. How about that for a starting place.

The Democrat that’s in the race. It’s not winnable for him in this district. To win he has to peel off a significant number of Republican votes and he is just not well positioned to do that.. Most of the Democrats that I talk to who are active in the community, they ask me to tell them about myself.  I am able to show them that we have a lot of common ground more than they would think, and that’s why they should be voting for an independent instead of their own party.”

Please click on the below social media sites to find out more about Clint Smith and his Independent candidacy for the Arizona Congressional Five District seat in the  House of Representatives.

https://www.clintsmithforcongress.com

https://www.facebook.com/SmithforAZ/

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