Dan graduated from the University of Montevallo with a degree in Political Science and History. Dan received a Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law. He is also a graduate from the US Army Field Artillery School, Naval Justice School, and the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School.

Dan is retired from the United States Marine Corps (hoo-rah!!) after 21 years of service as artillery officer and Judge Advocate. While in the Marine Corps, Dan received a Navy Commendation Medal, and a Meritorious Service Medal.

Upon his retirement from the service, Dan spent 15 years as a Federal Prosecutor in Beaumont, Texas, and Johnson City. During his service in Northeast Tennessee, Dan prosecuted more than 700 major drug dealers and more than 70 cases before the Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. During his tenure, Dan received the US Department of Justice Special Achievement Award twice, Southeast Region Outstanding Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Case of the Year award three times, Executive Office of the US Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance twice.

Dan is married to the former Pamela Campbell; they have one son, Jeff, and two grandchildren, Ian and Emily.

I’ll first say that, if I was a man, I would want Smith’s career…sheesh! What an amazing professional life…not only are Marines the best of the best of the US Military, but a Federal Prosecutor?!? I had to pick my chin up off the floor after reading Smith’s bio.

In his opening statement, Smith spoke of his extensive background. He has, by far, the greatest legal experience of any candidate in the race, which, in my opinion, is a huge asset. And I’m not just saying that because I minored in the Law in college…it really is a huge help when dealing with politics, government, and the law to have an actual, working knowledge of Federal law.

Question 1: With a great deal of publicity lately, do you believe the Fair Tax is superior to the present tax code?

Smith blames lobbyists for the complex, unfair, and extensive tax code. “Of course” the Fair Tax is better than the current system, Smith says (I giggled at his “of course;” it was really something I would say…”well, of course the Fair Tax is better! What kind of stupid question is that?”) Smith doesn’t seem to have a clear understanding of the Fair Tax, but says that he favors it.

Question 2: Should abortion be a Federal or States Rights issue?

Smith explained the law, and the absurdity of it (privacy?!? what a ridiculous ruling.) Smith then explained how we must go about changing the law (through either a Constitutional Amendment or a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe.) I adored Smith’s passion for the law on this issue…he says that we never want to avoid the moral high ground, but we need to attack abortion on a legal front.

I can certainly understand Smith’s comment – abortion was legalized by a law, we need to make it illegal by a law. It’s such an obvious assertion, but one that many seem to forget.

Question 3: Do you believe it is the Federal Government’s responsibility to bail out individual states after every natural disaster?

In a word, NO! The Constitution does not require that the Federal Government bail out states that don’t care for themselves. Smith focused his answer on personal responsibility (FINALLY!!); he said, “Don’t build your house in a stupid place!” Again, Smith said, people should help those in need, but not the Federal Government.

Is this guy my twin from another generation?

Question 4: Do you believe the Federal Government should play a role and mandate the oil companies on a universal scale, to use the EA85 version of ethanol?

Smith agrees with the other candidates that the free market should rule. He says that the problems we currently face can be blamed on government involvement. Alternative fuels should be allowed, but not mandated. Energy independence does not require the Federal Government’s involvement. We do not need tax incentives; we need the Fair Tax.

Smith was the only candidate that pointed out the inconsistencies of supporting the Fair Tax and then speaking out in favor of tax incentives for using alternative fuels. To be fair, David Davis had to leave early (to accept a prestigious Educational Leadership Award in Kingsport), so he, too, may have noticed. I, of course, noticed this inconsistency with the first candidate who mentioned it, but Smith was the only candidate to point it out. Great job!!

Question 5: Why is the health care insurance industry guaranteed a profit by the Federal Government in a free market system?

The reason the health care industry is guaranteed a profit by the Federal Government in a free market system is because it’s not a free market system! (this was another one of those “duh” answers that made me giggle and think that Dan Smith may be my father…) Smith said, quite simply, we need to return to a free market system in order to fix the health care problem.

This, if memory serves (I didn’t note this in my handy little blogger’s notebook), is the question that Mr. Smith pointed out that no one was actually answering. The other candidates focused on health care reform, while Smith actually answered the question. Very astute…

Question 6: Title 6 states that “No Person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, or national origin.” The Supreme Court has held that undocumented aliens are considered “Persons” under the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Therefore the assumption has been applied by the Courts, Congress, and State Governments that undocumented aliens have the same rights to all Federal assistance programs as citizens do. What would you do about amending Title 6 to restrict services to citizens only?

Smith said that this is another example of an unintended consequence of law. “Anchor baby” and Title 6 have have been poorly interpreted, and more accurate and well-thought-out law would have prevented this. Smith pointed out that we cannot merely change the wording of Title 6 to say “No citizen” rather than “No person,” because this would exclude legal as well as illegal aliens.

Smith also says that we must stop apologizing for immigration law enforcement. These are the laws and there is no need to apologize for enforcing our own laws.

In his closing statement, Smith highlighted his 23 years of Federal legal experience and reiterated how important it is for a lawmaker to have a thorough understanding of the law. Smith spoke of his commitment to God, family, and country.

One hyphenated word…”HOO-RAH!!!” I told Mr. Smith after the debate that I went in last Tuesday with my mind made up, but he impressed my socks off. I love that Smith is tough, smart, and appears to be some long, lost relative of mine. Not to mention the fact that I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Marines (my father served during the late 60’s and early 70’s). I’m still supporting David Davis, but, I have to say, Dan Smith is his major competition in my mind.