In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Daniel Webster
Office: Congressional District 11
Small Business Owner, Currently Serving the Constituents of CD-11.
Why should voters vote for you?
I have a proven record of serving my constituents, fighting the Washington Establishment to protect our Constitutional fights, getting stuff done and working across the political aisle. Keeping my word to help stop the spigot of spending, I have saved taxpayers more than $3million in taxpayer dollars out of my budget and annually roll back my congressional salary. My office has gotten more than $10 million in compensation, pension or retroactive payments returned to constituent veterans. This district has the largest share of seniors in the country and as a senior myself, I know firsthand the issues and challenges seniors’ face.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
To propose, advocate and support policies that will:
· RESTORE our way of life
· REBUILD the greatest economy in decades
· RENEW the American dream
What are three key messages of your campaign?
1. I know what it takes to make a difference, fix broken government, restore forgotten values and create effective practices and policy. That includes continuing to persuade my colleagues to flatten the pyramid of power in Congress and allow a principle-based, member-driven legislative process. Power tends to view an idea based on the position, loyalty, rank, or seniority of the sponsor. Principle focuses solely on the merits of the idea itself.
2. My goal every day is to fight on behalf of my constituents - Florida’s hardworking taxpayers and families to advance common-sense reforms and principled policy ideas.
3. As a Father and Grandfather, I know what is like to raise a family on Mainstreet America. I have and will continue to take on the Washington Establishment that tries to push top-down government mandates and pick the winners and losers in our society.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
Florida’s economy is dependent on moving people and goods effectively and efficiently. I have and am continuing to work to improve our roads and infrastructure. I recently proposed the Infrastructure Bank of America - a creative solution that supports wholesale lending for infrastructure projects through state and local governments, state infrastructure banks and private entities.
I believe we can maintain responsible oversight of our nation’s wildlife, lands and environment, while ensuring Americans can enjoy our unique resources. I have and will continue to fight to protect our beaches from offshore drilling, to preserve and protect the Everglades and invest in water infrastructure to preserve and protect our natural resources and access to clean water for decades to come.
I believe in the ingenuity of American workers and small business owners. I have fought to remove unnecessary government red-tape that stifles innovation and kills jobs. I have introduced and passed legislation to help the next generation of innovative leaders and small businesses owners have the skills and tools they need to be successful in the 21st century economy.
As it relates to the role you are seeking, how has that governmental body handled the Covid-19 pandemic? What would you do differently/the same in handling both the public health risk and the economic recovery?
The Trump Administration took the crisis seriously and acted swiftly with unprecedented action to close our borders, marshal the ingenuity of our private market to provide equipment and supplies needed, and, working with Congress, created programs to help Americans during the lockdowns.
I was a strong proponent of the Paycheck Protection Loan Program (PPP). When government literally mandates businesses to close and prohibits hardworking Americans from going to work – we have a responsibility to act. My congressional staff and I focused on assisting constituents with coronavirus response and recovery as we all navigated the unchartered waters of this pandemic. From contacting the Small Business Administration or Treasury to assist our business owners seeking loans, to reaching out to state leaders about Florida’s unemployment system, serving constituents is our focus. PPP loans have saved more than 3.2 million jobs and an estimated 96% of small business payrolls in Florida.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
Throughout my lifetime, I have made protecting life, improving justice and restitution, and giving individuals a second chance a priority.
Sadly, violence is a real and recurring problem in our communities. I am grateful for the many law enforcement officials who serve and protect our neighborhoods with humility and brotherly love. We must provide law enforcement with the training and tools needed to properly identify and prevent crime. We must be vigilant to ensure law enforcement actions are carried out in a responsible and lawful manner, while building trust and encouraging collaboration between law enforcement officers and those they are entrusted with the responsibility to serve and protect. When a law enforcement officer violates his duty as an officer and human with violence, brutality, or an abuse of power, we must act and hold these individuals accountable. I have co-sponsored The JUSTICE Act, by Rep. Stauber and Senator Tim Scott, which maintains the federal government’s Constitutionally-limited role in local law enforcement decisions, while providing sensible reform, accountability, and transparency needed to keep both citizens and officers safe.
I treat everyone with dignity and respect and encourage others to do the same. I also encourage each of us to seek to learn from and serve each other, not ourselves. We must teach our children and communities to do the same. Unkindness and hatred cannot coexist with a focus on serving others. I also pray for healing for our country.
What motivates you to run for public office?
I want to make a difference in Washington and serve my community. I believe in the ingenuity of the American people. America isn’t broken, Washington is and I fight every day to restore American values and get government off the backs of hardworking Americans. As a small business owner, I know firsthand the challenges our small businesses face. I know what it is like to make payroll, negotiate a healthcare plan for my employees. I know the rising costs of being in business and how government bureaucracy stifles American prosperity.