Joe Kopsick: Response to the Illinois Center Right Coalition’s U.S. Congressional Candidate Survey


Joe Kopsick is a write-in candidate for Congress in Illinois’ 10th congressional district. He published the following answers to a survey by the Illinois Center Right Coalition on his campaign blog on August 31st, 2016:

Response to the Illinois Center Right Coalition’s U.S. Congressional Candidate Survey

Written on August 25th, 2016

Section I: Basic Stances

Question #1:
No Tax Increase: I believe the current tax burden on Americans is high. Therefore, I will vote against any increase of the national income tax, and various “fees” on American citizens.

Answer #1:
Yes. I will vote against any increase of the national personal income tax, unless the income tax were to be properly authorized, and income taxation were to be reformed. I will vote to significantly decrease spending, and if I support raising any new revenues, they will not derive from increases in income taxation.

Question #2:
Spending Issues

Question #2A:
Spending Restraint: I will work and vote for a freeze of total discretionary spending for the first two fiscal years beginning after the 2016 general election. I will not vote for any budgetary gimmicks (such as claiming non-emergency spending as emergency spending) and will not vote to waive budgetary rules restraining taxes and spending.

Answer #2A:
Yes. I will support these measures, advocate curbing spending in fiscal-cliff as well as ordinary scenarios, and work to move more programs and spending into the discretionary and non-emergency categories.

Question #2B:
Spending Cuts: I agree that the federal government should deal with budget shortfalls through spending cuts and increased efficiency, rather than increasing taxes, bonds, or tariffs.

Answer #2B:
Yes. Waste, fraud, and abuse should be eliminated; and so should redundancy, pork barrel spending, regional subsidies, support for states, and unconstitutional federal programs and departments. I will support increasing efficiency and eliminate bureaucracy in order to cut taxes while initially eliminating as few services as necessary. I will support requiring $7 of cuts for every new dollar of tax revenue raised. I will not support increasing tariffs.

Question #3:
Pro-Growth Tax Relief: I will work for these types of pro-growth tax relief:
– Complete elimination of the marriage tax penalty
– Further across-the-board reduction of income tax rates
– Further capital gains relief
– Repeal personal alternative minimum tax
– Repeal corporate alternative minimum tax
– Repeal of the death tax

Answer #3:

Yes to all six. Additionally, I would vote to eliminate the capital gains tax.

Question #4:
Internet Taxation: I oppose Internet taxation. I will work and vote for a permanent ban on all types of taxes targeted to the Internet or Internet access.

Answer #4:
Yes. I oppose taxation of the internet at the federal level, including the taxation of sales conducted over the internet. I would urge states not to tax internet sales. I would not interfere with internet providers charging websites to be accessed at faster rates.

Question #5:
Education Funding: Some politicians say they want to put education first no matter what. Others say they want to keep their pledge to cut government spending no matter what. If a law stated that all proceeds were guaranteed to be dedicated to education, I would support a tax increase.

Answer #5:
No. I would not support increasing, nor continuing, the funding of education at the federal level. I would vote to abolish the Department of Education.

Question #6:
School Choice: I support school choice for students, and will support and vote for legislation giving a student in a failing school the ability to use taxpayer-supported vouchers to attend private, parochial, or alternative public schools.

Answer #6:
Yes. I would not support federal involvement in education, nor in any education programs; but I support school choice for students, and would urge states to experiment with such voucher programs. I would also urge states to make public school classroom attendance voluntary.

Question #7:
Private Property Rights: I understand that the U. S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London made clear that states have the right and ability to defend the private property rights of their citizens by enacting laws that place restrictions on the exercising of takings power. I will support and vote for legislation that clearly enacts a policy imposing a more strict “public use” requirement than that imposed under the holding in Kelo. I further agree that the government’s interest in acquiring private property in order to make that property available to another private entity is subservient to the property rights held by the current properly owner.

Answer #7:
Yes. Fifth Amendment takings of private property must strictly satisfy public use, compensate the owner fairly, and occur upon consent of the owner.

Question #8:
Tort Reform: I believe that our society has deviated too far into abuse and fraud from the excesses of allowing people to sue on demand for frivolous causes. I would support enacting a national law for tort reform that stipulates that punitive damages can only be awarded if compensatory damages are awarded (and if proven that there was malicious intent to injure the claimant) and allow courts to restrict fees prosecuting.

Answer #8:

No. I would not support a national law for tort reform. I am concerned that tort reform could limit the rights of juries, interfere with the right to sue, and discourage some non-frivolous lawsuits. However, I would not interfere with states’ rights to consider such legislation.

Question #9:

Right to Bear Arms: I believe that the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies to the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms. I will oppose any effort to restrict law-abiding citizens from owning and using firearms for personal use and self-defense.

Answer #9:
Yes. I believe the 2nd Amendment exists to support the right to hunt, and also to defend oneself against criminals, foreign invaders, and tyrannical government. I support strengthening the 2nd Amendment to protect the right of conscientious objection to military service. I will vote to oppose all federal gun control legislation, and I support prohibiting states from interfering in the openness of interstate trade and commerce in weapons. I will oppose any legislation that limits the gun right, as well as the travel rights, of law-abiding citizens.

Question #10:
Rights of the Unborn: I believe that every innocent human life is sacred, from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.

Question #10A:
As such, I would support reasonable, just laws on abortion like parental consent, waiting periods, and a ban on partial birth abortion.

Answer #10A:
No. I would encourage states to adopt legislation banning partial birth abortions, and I support getting the federal government out of the issue of abortion. However, I do not support parental consent requirements (because it interferes with doctor-patient confidentiality), nor waiting periods (because they sometimes delay abortions until past points of development delineated by states as cut-off points for abortion).

Question #10B:
I would also work to recognize the right to life by seeking to confirm pro-life judges who will not legislate from the bench, and supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Answer #10B:

Yes. I support overturning Roe v. Wade on constitutional grounds, not moral grounds; but I will vote to stop funding Planned Parenthood, and support judges who will leave abortion up to the states, pending a constitutional amendment saying otherwise.

Question #11:
Marriage: I believe traditional marriage consists of a time-honored tradition of a union between one man and one woman. I support the Defense of Marriage Act, and oppose any federal laws to change the traditional definition of marriage.

Answer #11:
No. I oppose the Defense of Marriage Act, although I oppose federal laws changing the definition of marriage because I believe the federal government should not be involved in marriage whatsoever. I would urge the states to respect the rights of any adult partners to create a private or interpersonal marriage contract, but I would not interfere with the rights of states to govern marriage as they see fit.

Question #12:
Term Limits: I support reasonable and just term limit laws for all major elected offices in the federal government, including Congressmen and Senators, and would vote to enact such limits.

Answer #12:
Yes. I would support limiting U.S. Representatives to four consecutive terms, U.S. Senators to two consecutive terms, and Supreme Court justices to twenty-year terms.

Section II: Essay Questions

Question #1:
Do you agree with the positions of the I.C.R.C. as found on the Platform? If not, please provide specifics, and affirmatively state where you disagree and why.

Answer #1:
I agree completely with the sections “Pro-Freedom”, “Pro-Constitution”, “Pro-Opportunity”, “Pro- School Choice”, “Pro-Taxpayer”, “Pro- Second Amendment”, “Pro-Culture”, and “Pro-America”.

On the “Pro-Faith” section, I support a secular republic with freedom of worship; so I believe religion has a proper role in the public square, but I would oppose the federal government establishing religion. On the “Pro-Family” section, I agree, and I hope that states respect same-sex couples’ freedoms to marry and adopt as well as heterosexuals. On the “Pro-Life” section, I believe that life is sacred and that it begins at conception; however, I believe that legal rights begin upon live birth.

On the “Pro-Capitalism” section, I support free enterprise, private property, and competition; however, I support the notion “cost the limit of price” more than I support the profit motive.

On the “Pro-Environment” section, I support the notion that the free market is better than the government at taking care of the environment; however, I would urge communities to set up local trusts for land and water, to compete alongside free enterprise to provide better environmental solutions.

On the “Pro-Citizenship” section, I agree, while noting that we should welcome undocumented immigrants whom are non-violent, those who arrived without their own knowledge or consent, and those who do not have contempt for American laws.

Question #2:
What kind of things would you like to see the U.S. Congress enact? Please list your top three policy priorities should you be elected, and why you wish to focus on them.

Answer #2:

I would like to see Congress enact budget controls and term limits, and curtail business privileges.
First, I would like to see Congress enact more Cut, Cap, and Balance -type legislation, enact zero-based budgeting, and pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. I would oppose Cut, Cap, and Balance -type legislation if and when it does not go far enough in cuts. I would support requiring at least $7 in spending cuts to each new dollar in revenues raised. I hope to help reduce the federal budget to between 10% and 12.5% of the G.D.P. as soon as possible.

Second, I would help pass a constitutional amendment limiting U.S. Representatives to four consecutive terms, and limiting U.S Senators to two consecutive terms (each with no limitation on the total number of terms), as well as legislation limiting Supreme Court justices to twenty year terms. Refraining from imposing limitations on total numbers of terms will help prevent experienced legislators from leaving office too often; and shortening terms will help reduce spending on pay for legislators, and decrease the attention and time that elections take up.

Third, I would help pass legislation to curtail the artificial privileges of businesses. I would vote to support abolishing the Departments of Commerce and Energy, thus diminishing the lobbying power of the energy sector and big business. I would vote to limit intellectual property protections and trade promotions. I would vote to repeal subsidies, and oppose bailouts. I would urge states to abolish their Secretary of States’ offices in order to stop the chartering / creation of – and extension of limited liability to – new corporations.

Question #3:
What kind of issues would you like to focus on in the House? If elected, what three legislative committees will you ask to serve? Why?

Answer #3:
I would serve on the Judiciary Committee (due to my desires to return to obedience of the Constitution, and to reform the justice system); the House Committee on Education and the Workforce (due to my interest in reforming federal labor law); and either the House Ways and Means Committee, or the Committee on Foreign Affairs (due to my desires to reform taxation policy, and to help shape foreign policy).


I understand that my answers to this survey will be published. My answers are a firm and unconditional commitment to the people of Illinois, and to the people of the United States.

Candidate Name: Joseph William Kopsick

Candidate Signature: Joseph W. Kopsick

Address: 132 Welwyn St., Lake Bluff, IL 60044-1150

Phone: 608-417-9395 (personal cell phone)


Websites: (blog); (2012 campaign site)

Candidate for U.S. Congress (U.S. House of Representatives)

Party: New Party / Absurdist Party

District: Illinois’s 10th U.S. congressional district

Date: Survey completed August 25th, 2016; election to be held November 8th, 2016

One response to “Joe Kopsick: Response to the Illinois Center Right Coalition’s U.S. Congressional Candidate Survey

  1. While this candidate does not have perfect responses, he is another non-Libertarian who is more libertarian than the Libertarian Party candidates for President and Vice President.


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