Vetting Interview with PHIL LAW
This interview was conducted in person by Eddella Johnson, Hal James, and Raynor James on May 25, 2016.
1) Name, candidate position, address, phone, and email?
U.S. House of Representatives
Post Office Box 12774, Jacksonville, North Carolina, 28546
2) Educational background? Experience? Demonstrations of leadership?
K-12 Forsythe County public schools
Via Marine Corps after high school…
Basic Infantry School
School of Infantry
Water Survival Qualification
Information Systems graduate of Strayer University
Leadership, International, and Candidate Training at the Leadership Institute (Arlington, Virginia)
Jacksonville City Citizen Academy
HP Platform Specialist
Top Secret Clearance
Marine Corps team leader who led team during invasion of Iraq.
As a civilian working for HP in Okinawa, I was a site supervisor for a very large project that covered 13 bases, and an issue with communication (because of the different time zones involved) stopped all 13 projects. I got all stakeholders together and came up with a solution that was implemented and worked well. As a result, I was recognized by the VP of HP.
3) Memberships and associations?
Distinguished NRA Life Member
VFW Life Member
DAV Life Member
1st Baptist Church of Jacksonville
CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Trainer
4) Why are you running for this office?
When my wife and I watch TV at night, we found ourselves fed up with what’s going on in D.C. Yelling at the TV doesn’t help.
I’ve raised my hand and promised to defend our country before. I’m willing to do it again.
5) What is the organizational structure of your campaign, fund raising capability, etc.?
You’ve met Matt Maggio who manages the daily activities of the campaign.
All donations to my campaign are from family, friends, or people in the district.
My family supports me. My wife is dropping off some things for my campaign right now.
6) Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire? Why?
He doesn’t get recognized a lot, but he had a large role in the development of our founding documents. He also spearheaded the American ingenuity that kicked us off in being the technological powerhouse we became in the world, and which, unfortunately, we no longer are.
7) Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
I disagree. I have to look at most things with a skeptical eye and questions need to be asked. Who will this help? Who will this hurt? Who is going to pay for it?
8) Which President do you most admire?
He was a five star general who, as the Supreme Allied Commander, held together a coalition of many countries who didn’t necessarily like each other, but who had a common enemy.
He became President and had the intestinal fortitude to hold the immigration policy together.
9) Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be an evolving document whose meaning changes with time?
They believed it was an evolving document to the extent that they gave us an amendment process. However, some of the politicians in Washington say the Constitution is no longer relative. I would like to reestablish that the Constitutions is a document that limits the federal government.
10) Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced. What happened? How did you resolve it?
With HP, I worked for a government contractor who serviced the DOD. Some people in the organization might want to do favors for government officials. I always believed that would come home to bite you and create a bad situation, so I always said “no” to that. I insisted that we follow the contract provisions as written with respect to each project.
11) Where do individual rights come from?
In our country, the Constitution, too. “Shall not be infringed” is pretty clear.
12) What do you know about Common Core? What is your position on it, and why?
Education is not mentioned in the Constitution, so anything coming down from the federal government should be invalidated.
At most, education should be state controlled. My wife is a teacher. Teachers are forced to “teach to the test.” That means Common Core is turning education into a memorization game vs. really learning anything.
13) What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?
Our Constitution clearly defines our right to bear arms. Beyond that, we have the right to defend ourselves.
Gun registration is the first step to gun confiscation, so it’s wrong.
Gun free zones attract disturbed individuals who want to commit the heinous acts we’ve seen occurring in gun free zones. Law abiding citizens don’t take guns into gun free zones, but others do.
14) What does the phrase “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?
There is no “separation of church and state” in the Constitution. It does say that the state shall not anoint an official religion.
15) If elected, what would be your number one priority item during your term in office?
Getting the Veterans Administration to be accountable. Getting rid of the corruption. Speeding up the bureaucratic process that moves like molasses. Getting rid of long wait times for our vets.
16) Do you believe withholding funding for programs is an ethical way to prevent their implementation?
That is one of the powers of the U.S. House.
For example, Planned Parenthood has committed heinous acts and crimes, and it should not be funded.