He told attendants at a breakfast forum for 3rd Congressional District candidates sponsored by the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce, Franklin Republic Women and AT&T at the Forest Restaurant in Franklin that he will spend no money on his campaign and accept no contributions.
“I want to serve with absolutely no conflicts of interest,” Barrilleaux said. “That’s how we solve the problem of campaign finance and the influence of special interest: Don’t vote for the guy that takes the money.”
Barrilleaux was nominated to the ballot by a petition signed by voters “who were interested in achieving better government… the petition nominated me to run on that platform and differentiates me from these other gentlemen.” The petition process is in lieu of filing fees.
He said the biggest obstacle to good government in Washington is compromise and conflict of interest due to campaign donations.
“It’s your money, you can do what you want with it,” Barrilleaux said. “What I would advise you is to find a good charity instead and vote for the guy that doesn’t take your money. If someone gives money to a politician it’s because they expect something in return. We know they get something in return because they keep doing it.”
He said bigger donations have strings attached, and politicians feel obligated to large donors, and “then incur a favor to generate an even more contribution in the future. That’s the conflict of interest that undermines the legitimacy of our representation.”
Barrilleaux pointed out that he has “no experience in accepting campaign money… and I have no experience in running a campaign that indulges in ethical compromise of taking the money.”
He said he is a conservative Republican, a social conservative, pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-constitutional. He supports limited government through separation of powers and representation of the will of the people.
Barrilleaux said he believes in economic conservatism that will spur growth and jobs.
“The practical role of government is to make favorable conditions for the market economy that will rely then on competition that will give us better quality and lower prices,” he said.
The most critical issue facing the district is the economy, Barrilleaux said. “The House of Representatives is the place to fix these problems,” he said. He said the election of 2010 sent that message to Congress.
“Our team took the field but did nothing with that advantage,” he said. “They eventually just dropped back and punted. Discipline in the budget and debt was lost.”
A candidate should vote on behalf of laws that “are for, not to spite, people. Laws that can be read and understood easily, that are simple and constructive.”
He said the American dream is “ready for a golden age… we’re ready to rely on and return to sound conservative principles to guide us.”
Any representative that has received large donations for health care interests “cannot possibly have objectivity in deciding on those laws to replace Obamacare.”
He said he supports the 10th Amendment, vesting power to the states.
Social Security’s problems can be solved, Barrilleaux said.
He proposes that any beneficiary at or above full retirement age who voluntarily foregoes Social Security benefits for one year will be exempt from any federal income tax or social tax for earned income in that same year.
“The market forces, the market encouragements, the appeal for people to remain productive, stay in the workforce and forego Social Security,” Barrilleaux said. “Do you think people might find that too good to pass up? Maybe not everybody, but that would relieve a considerable burden on the Social Security system.”
He said he has “no experience in writing incomprehensible laws. I have no experience in ignoring constitutional responsibility to manage the budget and the debt. And I have no experience taking campaign contributions and trying to make it look ethical.”