|On the Issues|
Our state needs fiscally-savvy, business-friendly, socially conservative legislators. My background and skills as a financial counselor and community leader uniquely qualify me to serve you. I understand the needs of the poor and the elderly. I have served as an Officer in the Air Force, have helped start a nation-wide financial ministry, and have run my own business. With your continued support, I will work hard to do for the state what I have been doing on behalf of thousands of families, businesses, and non-profit organizations for the last 20+ years. I will work hard to listen to your concerns and represent the entire district.
Restoring Financial Common $ense - My first priority is to lower taxes and cut government spending. The State of Kansas has had record levels of income and yet has spent it all and more. Spending is out of control. Unfortunately, just like your family, our state really has only two options - increase income (which means more taxes) or cut expenses. As the Director of a financial counseling service, I know families are struggling and the Kansas budget already demands more taxes than the people should bear. As a result, I will fight to decrease state spending, reduce taxes, and attempt to limit the overall size and scope of government. Each state agency must prioritize where the money is spent, find and eliminate waste, and be fiscally responsible.
I understand that government can only spend money that has first come from you and me, the taxpayer. It is the responsibility of leadership to cast vision and direction. Government workers must be accountable to taxpayers for how taxpayer hard-earned dollars are being spent. Limited dollars will always necessitate prioritized spending decisions. The State (like any family or business) must find ways to prioritize its sense of needs and longings to spend. Because not every spending decision carries the same weight or has the same priority, each agency should be held accountable to estimate and prioritize where taxpayer’s dollars are most needed. While actual cuts and spending decisions are best made at the lowest possible level, the Legislature still needs enough information to set the tone, general direction, and if necessary even control specific expenditures of taxpayer dollars.
Over the last 20 years, I have helped thousands of families, businesses, and non-profit organizations balance their budget, reduce debts, create record keeping systems, and eliminate waste. I believe I can help the State of Kansas do the same. I have spent my life in service to others and I am uniquely qualified and prepared to serve the State at this time. Kansas is sorely in need of what I do on a daily basis. >>back to issues list>>
Property taxes - Property taxes are too high. The nation-wide trend of falling home values needs to be reflected in current county valuations. This is largely a county and city issue, but I will support and work to expand the Homestead Act provisions to ensure our seniors are not forced out of their homes because of high property taxes. >>back to issues list>>
Open records and transparency in government - As a financial counselor for over 20 years, I understand that government can only spend money that has first come from you and me, the taxpayer. Government workers must be accountable to taxpayers for how taxpayer hard-earned dollars are being spent. In America we do our best to protect the privacy of individuals; however, trust in the government is built through open, transparent, easily accessible, and easily understood records. Limiting access or public scrutiny breeds distrust and abuse of power. Openness and transparency encourage a freer exchange of ideas and ways to become more effective and efficient. >>back to issues list>>
Strong businesses are the key to increased household income and strong families are key to strong businesses. We must reduce the tax burden on both individuals and businesses. Any tax on business ultimately increases the price of goods and services which simply get passed on to you and me, the consumer. As a previous small business owner who currently serves as the President of a financial counseling service and having counseled hundreds of small business owners, I am all too aware of the excessive and complicated demands of government compliance. As a result, I favor reduced taxes and will work for a simpler and more transparent system of taxation and compliance. I believe free markets and free people, unencumbered by government demands and taxes, provide the greatest opportunity for growth, productivity, and happiness for all concerned. We must ensure that the cost of doing business in Kansas is lower than comparable costs in other states. I am the only candidate in District 81 that has received endorsements from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and the Wichita Independent Business Association (WIBA). We need to keep bragging about our state…Kansas is an awesome place to raise a family and run a business! >>back to issues list>>
Reducing our Dependence on Foreign Oil - the Holcomb coal fired power plant in Western Kansas - Obviously, government is a key player to ensure Kansans have the electricity and other energy or resources needed to meet future demands. Increased oil prices and our mutual failure to properly prepare for the future will likely result in huge cost increases in both the electricity and the gas prices we pay over the next number of years. People on fixed incomes are being squeezed from all directions. We must reduce our dependence on foreign oil and encourage economic growth. We live in a global economy and can fully expect the price of gas to increase; which will lead to increases in the cost of food, utilities, and all other basic costs of living and doing business. Our ability to supply energy will soon need to be expanded. Our major electrical suppliers must plan ahead because permit acquisition and construction of any new power facility requires anywhere from 5-15 years. As Representative to the 81st District, I, like many other legislators, felt the Governor’s sting when plans to build the Holcomb power plant were vetoed. To override this type of action will require more legislators that are fiscally savvy, conservative, and forward thinking. Application of regulations must be uniform or businesses will not perceive Kansas as being business-friendly. Our state is rich in natural resources and human know-how. The legislature, with the Governor’s support, must facilitate and promote a variety of environmentally responsible energy sources that will reduce our dependence on oil or other resources from outside of our state. >>back to issues list>>
Reducing Health Care Costs - As graduate of the College of Financial Planners, the father of four, and having counseled numerous small business owners and families, I understand many of the issues and challenges surrounding our health care crisis. I believe pushing for tort and malpractice reform, reducing mandates, allowing for greater choices, and pricing based on various lifestyles will lower health care costs. We also need to encourage family medical savings accounts. There should be increased penalties for insurance fraud. We need to encourage freer markets while calling for greater consumer understanding of costs. >>back to issues list>>
Abortion - I am for life and the only candidate running for the 81st district that received the Kansans for Life (KFL) endorsement. I believe life should be protected from conception to natural death. That means NO to abortion and NO to euthanasia. As co-founder of HopeNet, Inc., a ministry to pregnant women in crisis, I believe women and their children should be assured that the facility and doctors she chooses are regulated and maintained to the highest levels of government standards. There are times that the life of the mother and child are at risk and we should try to save the lives of both the mother and child. Both lives should receive equal protection under the law. Far too many babies have been killed on the pretense that the mother’s life is at risk, when in fact, due to incredible advances in medical technology, viability outside a mother’s womb may simply be a few days away. I will work hard to ensure that current laws are enforced and new laws are written to protect the unborn. >>back to issues list>>
Getting more Dollars into the Classroom - I became an American Citizen at the age of eight and am very thankful for the public education I’ve received. I am very supportive of public education and am proud that my oldest son is at Emporia State University with plans to become a public school teacher. During the last few years the Legislature has increased our mutual financial investment in education so that it represents 60-70% of the state’s General Budget. During this same period the State has enjoyed revenue surpluses. Unfortunately, recent projections from Legislative Research show a $195M shortfall in the fiscal year 2010 budget. General overspending in the past 4 years combined with economic challenges will necessitate prioritized spending decisions. Because not every spending decision carries the same weight or has the same priority, education will also be asked to estimate and prioritize where taxpayer’s dollars are most needed. In comparison to other states, not enough money is getting to the classrooms. It alarms me that teachers often have no choice but to buy teaching supplies out of their own pockets. We must find ways to increase teacher salaries and retention of quality teachers. This will require some difficult decisions, greater transparency in the way monies are spent, and shifting of priorities. >>back to issues list>>