Steve Toth

http://tothforcongress.com/

http://tothforcongress.com/

Candidate Answer #10 Executive Order

I would issue. Press Release calling for the Lone Star Executive Airport to be closed and not allow any flights to land. 

Candidate Answer #6 Reinventing Debtors Prison

Incarceration should be saved for violent criminals.  Debtor prisons are not a realistic method for Government to handle issues of debt.  If someone accumulates debt their issue is between them and the person they owe money to. The idea of the government resorting to incarceration for unpaid tickets is foolish and unsustainable.

Question # 5  Refugee Resettlement

Texas is now the top destination among 50 states for resettlement of people claiming refugee status and the Texas Department of State Health Services reports Texas received over 12000 refugees in 2014. Refugee resettlement is a Billion dollar business.
What is your view of how Texas should respond to the call to accept more refugees?

Candidate Answer #5  Refugee Resettlement

Texas should refuse to take Syrian Refugees.
There are 1.2 billion followers of Islam worldwide.  Roughly 20% describe themselves as Islamic Fundamentalists and followers of Sharia Law.  That’s 240 million people who want to force the Western world back to the dark ages.  Texas works hard to fight illegal border crossings by Islamic Terrorists, but it will all be for naught if our President brings them here through the “compassionate” resettling of thousands of Syrian refugees we have no way of properly screening.
Just attempting to vets these individuals will overwhelm our already broken Immigration system.  During last week’s Democratic Presidential debate Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley all said they urged President Obama to increase the number of Muslims coming to America to 65,000.  If 20% of them are Islamic Fundamentalists that’s 13,000 who long for the destruction of our country and will fight to martyrdom to see it happen.  Keep in mind that it only took five of them to throw France into chaos.  

Republicans in Congress did pass the SAFE Act requiring additional certification by the FBI of  Syrian migrants. The only problem is the bill does nothing to make us safer. The FBI admits they have no way of adequately screening any of these Syrian migrants and the terrorists have said they plan to infiltrate by blending in as regular Syrian citizens.  Commenting on the bill, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said; “…it ensures the President’s refugee-resettlement initiative will continue unabated.,” He also called for a measure to cut off funding for the program which he and SenatorCruz have done through a jointly sponsored bill.  Senator Cruz and Governor Abbott are right; the State Department should establish relocation camps in either Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait or Turkey.  These camps can house the refugees in an area that’s close to their homeland enabling them to go back to their homes when and if peace is ever attained. This would be the truly compassionate solution for everyone. Texas needs to say no to Syrian migrants coming to Texas and yes to settlement camps for them in the Middle East.

 

Question #3 Filming the Police

With the advent of smartphones and amateur journalist blogging the filming of public interaction of law enforcement with the public has grown exponentially. The existence of these digital records can have a significant effect, either positive or negative on investigations and conduct of law enforcement as they go about their duties.

One recently proposed bill sought to create a misdemeanor for filming within 25 ft.

Police agencies are responding by drafting new policies that address the legal issues for the public and the members of law enforcement. Recently, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Dept. and Pct 5 Constables Office attended a NPPA Conference in advance of developing a policy for Montgomery County.

As a Lawmaker, Law enforcer or Law Judge,

What elements must a good policy include and what role should the public play in its development and implementation?

Candidate Answer #3 Filming the Police

The 4th Amendment provides for “…the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…”

While I believe this is a State’s issue, it is the responsibility of the Federal government to uphold the Constitution.  The 4th Amendment protects citizens of the United States against unreasonable search and seizure of papers and effects.  While the Founders never dreamed of Smart Phones, those items secured in a Smart Phone should be protected by the 4th Amendment.
Texas Penal Code 38.15 acknowledges the rights and responsibility of a police officer or first responder to secure a scene where an emergency or crime has taken place. To protect that scene it’s reasonable to keep people out of it but not for the sole purpose of excluding  personally documenting of that scene.   Further, a police officer should not be able to take a cell phone from a bystander without a warrant.

Question #2 The Nature of Law

During Texas 84th legislative session State Representative Mark Keough introduced HB 3184 a bill seeking to import the civil law process of mediation into criminal law. The law applied to some first time misdemeanor and felony offenders. The bill passed though the legislative process but failed to become law on veto by Governor Greg Abbott who stated “Making amends with the victim of a crime does not absolve the criminal of his legal debt to the State.”

Do you agree with the Governor? What is the purpose of law from your point of view as a Legislative/Judicial/ Law Enforcement official? Who is it intended to protect?

What should be the role or effect of private judging companies (such as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service) in the judicial or incarceration system?

(answer should be based on elected office sought.)

 

Candidate Answer #2

I started working on this legislation during the 83rd Legislative Session.
As a Federalist, I support State’s right to establish a criminal and civil justice system. That said, Texas has lead the way in over criminalizing non-violent behavior. Who would have believed that in the 83rd Session, liberal Republican and Democrats would come together to make it a Class B Misdemeanor to be paid for interior design work without a license? That’s insane.
Non-violent activity that falls below a certain dollar amount determined by the State of Texas should be adjudicated by a Justice of The Peace with counsel and consent from the victim. Our founders believed in restorative justice as laid out in Old Testament Law. The offender pays back to make the victim whole. In the process, the offender stays out of a wayward corrections system that turns petty thieves in to professional criminals. The victim is made whole in the process as well. Our current system benefits neither the victim or the offender.

Question #1 Civil Asset Forfeiture.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett said “A generation ago in America, asset forfeiture was limited to wresting ill-gotten gains from violent criminals. Today, it has a distinctive ‘Alice in Wonderland’ flavor, victimizing innocent citizens who’ve done nothing wrong.”

Please reply with your view of the proper application of Civil Asset Forfeiture laws in general in Texas
and explain how your view will affect your policy as an elected official.

Candidate Answer #1

Since I’m running for Congress, I won’t have the opportunity to change TX Laws but I would gladly share my views on this unconstitutional and unethical law. Many 10th amendment advocates who hold to a Federalist view would say that this is just one more issue to be left to the States. I disagree. Civil Forfeiture, especially as it pertains to cases involving the “Law of Parties” is unconstitutional and I would support a federal law forcing the States to follow the 7th Amendment demanding jury trials for certain civil cases now including civil forfeiture.
At the State level I do support David Simpson’s bill HB 3171 as well.