4Star Politics: Kansas 3rd Congressional District Republican Primary Forum

4Star Politics

The August primary is only two weeks away, and FOX4 and The Kansas City Star hosted a special forum for all five candidates vying to be the Republican challenger to U.S. Representative Sharice Davids in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District.

FOX4’s John Holt and The Star’s Dave Helling moderate the hour-long forum, which you can watch in the video player at the top of the page. Below are candidate profiles courtesy of sister station KSN:

Amanda Adkins

(Photo courtesy Amanda Adkins for Congress Facebook page)

Biographical Information:

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Personal Information:

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

AmandaAdkins2020.com

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. has responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What are the top 3 things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Do you believe our healthcare system needs to be reformed? If so, what will you do to change it?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Give us your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Do you think we need immigration reform and what changes would you support?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What steps would you support to strengthen the nation’s security?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Mike Beehler

(Photo courtesy Mike Beehler)

Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.

Biographical Information:

Professional Engineer in Kansas and 7 other states
BS in Civil Engineering from University of Arizona ‘81
MBA from University of Phoenix ‘84

Personal Information:

Married for nearly 40 years, 4 adult children and some delightful grandchildren

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

ElectMikeBeehler.com

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

We cannot solve problems without dialog. Demanding the defunding and elimination of the police is not a dialog. It is a one-way conversation similar to the one you will have when someone breaks into your home and there is no answer when you call 911. I “back the blue“ but the George Floyd murder has graphically reminded all Americans about the potential for police brutality. Had George Floyd not committed a crime, he would not have encountered the police. But the crime he committed in no way warranted the treatment he received let alone a death sentence. This must change. How was an officer with 17 complaints still on the force in that role? How does the system protect officers like that? Are there PTSD issues with former military heroes now in law enforcement with similar equipment? Are there systemic issues that need to be solved? Yes. Are they all racial? The data does not support that assertion. But without dialog, we can’t effectively address the issues.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

A lack of dialog is at the heart of many of our problems. Dialog begins with a sense of respect for people with opposing views. All people are always worthy of respect regardless of their views. Next comes a desire to understand the view as they see it. More than just listening, a desire to understand through their eyes and life experience. Of course, it needs to be reciprocal. Finally, there needs to be a desire for an honest solution. One that doesn’t merely treat symptoms like a pill for pain, but treats the source of the pain. Of course, all of this presumes that differing and opposing views are presented equally and without bias in the media. In my experience, this has been hard to find and is becoming harder. When people can’t find honest dialog, they look for validation of their own views and the divide grows.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

I defend the police and will not defund them. I “Back the Blue”. There is always room for continuous improvement in our local law enforcement agencies, but there is no need for federal legislation.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. has responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

I am very sensitive to vulnerable Americans. My mother and my in-laws are among them. They have decided to be cautious and currently engage in the recommended healthcare practices related to COVID-19. President Trump made his initial recommendations to the states based on wildly wrong projections provided by “medical experts” of 2.5-4MM deaths due to the coronavirus. Books are being written about the genesis of the virus, the wild swings in projections and varying state by state reactions, and the short and long-term lesions learned. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) supposedly made healthcare available to vulnerable Americans and yet COVID is hitting them the hardest. Among the lessons we’ve affirmed is how unreliable the federal government can be in managing our health and healthcare. Meanwhile, the Republican Party, under the able leadership of President Trump, must rebuild the economy for the 300,000 Kansans and 40MM Americans who lost their jobs due to the massive economic shutdown we endured. Let states provide social safety nets for healthcare. When we rebuild the economy back to the Pre-COVID record-setting results in unemployment across all sectors, employers will compete for workers with better wages and better benefits. Among those benefits will be great healthcare options for Kansas workers, made even better by new competition among providers.

Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?

No more money for stimulus. We have printed trillions of dollars and are destroying our economy for us, our children and our grandchildren. It’s time for a real balanced budget.

What are the top 3 things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?

The economy with jobs and a balanced budget
Investing in infrastructure to rebuild our nation
Bringing our troops home from foreign deployments These are issues that Republicans and Democrats can agree on…..

President Trump and a Republican Congress will “Make America Great Again, Again”. The President and his team will restore the economy, and we will grow our competitive advantage in the world marketplace in part by bringing more high tech manufacturing and jobs home from overseas. As a Congressman, I will support the President on balancing the budget (no more continuing resolutions) with real cuts on big government programs, cutting regulations, and using Public-Private Partnerships. (PPP’s) to build $2 trillion worth of new infrastructure in this country. New bridges, highways, airports and seaports, water and wastewater treatment plants, the electric grid and 5G (fiber optic cable) to all. My goal of Equal Opportunity for the American Dream is made possible when we eliminate the “digital divide” by getting affordable, high-speed data coverage everywhere – from the most remote areas of our district to the least privileged. When through my engineering and business experience, I help bring thousands of new jobs to the district as part of the $2 Trillion Infrastructure program, this connectivity will be accelerated as will the opportunities for all.

Do you believe our healthcare system needs to be reformed? If so, what will you do to change it?

Before any dialogue can be had on “healthcare we need to restore our economy and get people back to work. Then, when employers must compete for labor, they will offer competitive wages and benefits. amongst those Benedict’s still be medical, dental and eye care plans that offers choices of Dodgers, hoospitals and insurance plans…..After that is accomplished, we can further discuss the federal governemnt’s role in perusal last healthcare.

Give us your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.

I am a Life Member of the National Rifle Association and a member for over 35 years. I believe that the Second Amendment defends the First Amendment. We need to enforce the gun laws we currently have on the books, have a serious dialouge about violent, graphic video games that de-sensitize our youth to blood and senseless violence, examine the mood-altering drugs given to some that impact a few in very adverse ways, and, finally, pursue those that write a “manifesto” about using a gun to commit mass killings….

Do you think we need immigration reform and what changes would you support?

When we return to 3% unemployment, I will support the expansion of H1B and H2B programs. We need the intellect, creativity, and strong work ethic of talented people from around the world. At, 13-15% unemployment, I support the President and put American workers FIRST and would stop both programs. I support President Trump on building the wall. We need to respect the rule of law and stop illegal immigrants from crossing our southern border – especially now with 13-15% unemployment. Moreover, a wall stops (some) illegal drugs and human trafficking. Cities and states that support “sanctuary cities” are operating outside federal law and should lose federal funding. People already in our country who want to assimilate and become legal citizens are welcomed. I also support establishing English as the national language and language of public education programs so as to remove this discriminatory glass ceiling from non-native speakers. Millions of mostly Spanish-speaking people have no chance at higher-paying jobs and executive positions in established American companies without English fluency.

What steps would you support to strengthen the nation’s security?

National security starts with a well-trained and equipped military. We need to support our troops with the funding needed to protect us on the land, sea, air, space and cyber space. I support the military and the promises made to our veterans, but I am ready to bring our troops home from far flung assignments around the globe. We are not the world’s police force.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?

I have read the Green New Deal. I understand the Green New Deal. The goals of the GND are unachievable by 2030. In addition, the USA has a 100-200 year supply of fossil fuel in the ground and is “energy independent “ for the first time in our adult lives. Thinking, well-meaning people can have a dialogue about energy policy and can start with net zero energy and water buildings.

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?

No….I will not vote for continuing resolutions to fund the federal government and will only support a balanced federal budget. Our continued practice of printing money is hugely inflationary and destroying the future for our children’s and grandchildren.

Adrienne Vallejo Foster

(Photo courtesy Adrienne for Kansas Facebook page)

Biographical Information:

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Personal Information:

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

AdrienneForKansas.com

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. has responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What are the top 3 things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Do you believe our healthcare system needs to be reformed? If so, what will you do to change it?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Give us your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Do you think we need immigration reform and what changes would you support?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What steps would you support to strengthen the nation’s security?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?

Awaiting candidate’s response.

Tom Love

(Photo courtesy Tom Love)

Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.

Biographical Information:

  • Elementary Education & Business Administration
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Former YMCA basketball coach & board member 
  • Former Kansas State Representative 
  • Currently active in fixing Kansas City Missouri Public Schools (They we’re breaking a number of laws and unaware of funding)

Personal Information:

Married and have 2 amazing grandchildren.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

No response.

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

I found 40% of children in KCPS schools were at 1st grade level or below in ELA which is Reading & English and they were promoted to 4th grade.  Even worse results in Saint Louis Public Schools. They were both misspending millions of Federal Title One dollars.  Saint Louis and Kansas City, Missouri are 2 of the top 10 murder capital cities per capita in the United States.

1 out of 6 people in our country have dyslexia.  How many millions is that?  K-2nd grade children need small group tutoring from a Masters Degree Reading Specialist everyday for 3 years. 500+ hours.  KCPS & SLPS children received 0. Virtually no Federal or State oversight.  Where’s the media?  43% of inmates have dyslexia and 2/3rds are functionally illiterate… our responsibility to children’s lives matter.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

Poor people are being oppressed in a number of ways. Taxes on food?  KCMO water bill “tax” to make tenants pay for sewer improvements mandated by the EPA resulting in $100 plus water bills and families forced to move when their water is shut off. Glass Stegal law allowing credit card companies locating in South Dakota to override 49 states usury laws.  30% interest rates… really Bankrupting millions.

There’s no lobbyists money encouraging legislators to fix this.  Too often the campaign money is paid out to put these things in place.  Which is why I only accept contributions from registered voters within the district.  We’ve got to clean up our current system.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

I believe we have great police departments around the country.  If there is an individual who shouldn’t be part of the thin blue line…then a record explaining why should be made available.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. has responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

The Governors in the Northeast placing individuals with COVID 19, who should have been quarantined, who instead were placed in long term care homes with THE MOST VULNERABLE.  I don’t have a suitable word for that.

The Federal Government as a matter of national security needs to stay prepared for War, Famine and Virus.  I hope we’ve learned our lesson on producing our own medicines and medical equipment.

Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?

I would consider supporting a stimulus that encourages businesses to hire and people to work.  So allowing businesses practicing sanitary standards to reopen makes sense to me.

Also temporarily stoping the payroll tax seems to make more sense than paying less vulnerable younger people not to work.

What are the top 3 things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?

1. Target existing Federal Title One dollars to provide world class K-2nd grade literacy labs with a Masters Degree Reading Specialist and 3rd-5th grade math tutoring labs.  The money is being misspent and children, particularly those with dyslexia, may remain illiterate for the rest of their lives.  Dyslexia affects 1 out of 6 people.  2/3rds of our prison population are functionally illiterate. Given the correct information I believe the President could make changes on #1 and #3.

2. The Glass Stegal Bank Act allows a credit card company located in South Dakota to use their state usury laws charging 20-30% interest rates and overriding the other 49 states usury laws.  Millions of people have been bankrupted by outrageous interest rates.

3. Stop tobacco companies from adding ammonia to cigarettes which causes nicotine to freebase destroying the dopamine center in the brain and severely addicting people.  It’s already illegal in some countries.

Do you believe our healthcare system needs to be reformed? If so, what will you do to change it?

1. The punitive damage awards are costing us many billions of dollars.  Simply make a law that pays a punitive damage award that is related to actual damages.  If I remember correctly the state of Colorado takes 1/2 of punitive damage awards.

2. I like the idea of posting the prices for various operations to allow the free market to better operate.3. We can put the 6 to 7 million people with preexisting conditions in a pool for insurance companies to draw from.  Similar to a “fair plan” used in insuring houses in poor neighborhoods.

Give us your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.

I grew up hunting and shooting guns and feel very comfortable with them.

I believe I support all the NRA’s positions on the 2nd amendment.

Personally my thinking is you use a lethal weapon to save or protect a life.

Do you think we need immigration reform and what changes would you support?

I believe DACA children who have attended our schools, haven’t committed crimes and want to become citizens should be given that opportunity.  It most likely will be part of a comprehensive immigration plan that changes some laws like asylum and provides funding to complete border security.  Funding is the key.  If it’s not funded it doesn’t happen and we don’t need to go down that road again.

What steps would you support to strengthen the nation’s security?

I have concerns about Iran threatening the United States and Israel.  I believe it would be wise for all concerned that under it’s current leadership Iran does away with nuclear period.  I’m also concerned with ICBM development in North Korea and Iran.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?

What caused the ice age?  Or why was there an ocean in Kansas?  Why is there oil under the sand in Saudi’s Arabia?  The climate has obviously changed over time.  Did CO2 emmisions cause those things to happen?  I have my doubts.

I am thankful we are energy independent.  I was more concerned about billions of dollars going overseas rather than turned over in our economy.   That said I look forward to Technology improving.

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?

I believe it’s critical to get our deficit spending under control.

I would consider deficit spending for national security and on an “investment” that produces a return.

Sara Hart Weir

(Photo courtesy Sara Hart Weir)

Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.

Biographical Information:

  • Former President & C.E.O. of the National Down Syndrome Society
  • B.A. Westminster College (MO) in Political Science
  • M.P.P. Carnegie Mellon University

Personal Information:

No response.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

SaraForKansas.com

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

The horrific killings of George Floyd and other Black individuals by police officers has certainly been a wake up call for many Americans. All involved in these heinous crimes should be brought to justice, and there are clearly significant problems in our criminal justice system that need to be addressed. However, while peaceful protests must remain the bedrock of our nation’s fabric, we must also find a way to do so without the senseless violence and destruction of our community partners. I’ve taken a stand on injustice in the disability community in the past, and I’m committed to working on racial injustice in the future.

For many, including myself, this is a difficult conversation because of the extremely high regard in which we hold our police officers. Protecting our communities is one of the most difficult, and frankly thankless, jobs in our society and I do not support efforts to abolish or defund police departments in our community.

On the legislative front, one of the first things Congress needs to do is acquire the appropriate data to understand the depth of this problem; therefore, I support efforts to require states to submit data on police use of force to the federal government. Expanding on this, I believe we need to have better access to data on the use of “no-knock” warrants administered by law enforcement. Congress also should pass anti-lynching legisation, expand funding for police body cameras, increase police training requirements, and outlaw the use of chokeholds.

This is another area where I have a track record of leading for those I serve. In 2013, a young man with Down syndrome was killed in his local movie theatre over a movie ticket. There was an outcry of sadness, fear, and a demand for justice for this young man and his family. During this time, we couldn’t get federal, state or local elected officials to pay attention, only one reporter was willing to cover the story and nobody seemed to want to even acknowledge the wrongdoing by the three off duty sheriffs. Working with this young man’s family, we hand delivered over 260,000 petitions to the steps of the Maryland Governor’s office, and we not only demanded justice, we demanded change by peacefully working to get people’s attention with an intended purpose. We came to the table with specific, actionable steps. For example, we formed a statewide Commission (which now serves as a model for other states), we put in motion policy recommendations, and we passed legislative reforms alongside other key stakeholders from state and local law enforcement agencies, first responders, employers, school districts with individuals with disabilities at the center. We forged collaborations and built relationships in a productive manner. I believe this is what needs to be happening today at all levels of government, and in Congress I am committed to leading differently not only for Kansas but for our country.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

Growing up, my parents taught me the Golden Rule to treat others the way you want to be treated. I believe that’s as true today as ever. If there are disparities in our legal system that hold someone back from pursuing happiness because of their race, religion, sex, or disability, then our leaders should take steps to address that hindrance.

I believe that Kansas’s 3rd district needs someone with a proven track record on this type of issue. As President and C.E.O. of the National Down Syndrome Society, I spearheaded the passage of the Stephen Beck. Jr. ABLE Act which was signed into law in 2014 and passed with the support of 85% of the entire Congress. Prior to the ABLE Act becoming law, individuals with disabilities like Down syndrome were legally barred from having more than $2,000.00 in their name without losing their health care benefits. Our laws in this sector were based on an archaic system that worked to directly and intentionally hold back people with disabilities. The passage of the ABLE Act is one of my proudest accomplishments, and in Congress I will work to change any law that hinders the rights of anyone working towards the American dream.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

While I stand strongly opposed to the Defund the Police movement that has taken hold in some cities, I do believe that there are solutions Congress could take up. I have tremendous respect for our men and women in blue who put their lives on the line for us daily, which is why it is so important to give them the resources and proper training they need to do their job even better and weed out the bad actors who exist in any profession. I was pleased to see the release of the JUSTICE Act by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). To me, it’s clear that this is an issue that deserves bipartisan support, and I urge both parties to work together to come to a quick legislation solution.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. has responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

It shouldn’t be a partisan issue to say that from an economic standpoint, the number one sector that needs to be protected in the COVID-19 recovery needs to be American small businesses. They are the backbone of our economy and are the primary source of income and benefits for the vast majority of American workers. Congress did pass the Paycheck Protection Program which did provide some relief to this sector of our economy; however, this legislation is far from perfect both in principle and practice. In order to move to the next phases of recovery, Congress needs to fully consider and debate a temporary payroll tax freeze in order to provide relief to both workers and employers.

Additionally, Congress needs to make targeted investments in sectors that benefit American communities while providing job opportunities to American workers.

Specifically, this should be done through an infrastructure bill as both President Trump and Democrats have called for. For years, both Republicans and Democrats have been promising a renewed investment in American’s roads, bridges, and waterways. There is no more critical time for these important projects to begin breaking ground to both fix our broken roads, but to also help our economy heal. While I believe this is critical, I also believe strongly that now is NOT the time for increasing gas taxes. Our government has more than enough money, we simply need to reallocate existing funding streams.

Finally, if the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything as a global partner, it’s that we must begin the process of decoupling the American and Chinese economies. This is particularly true in the manufacturing sector. For far too long American companies have benefitted by exporting jobs to China. Additionally, Congress has allowed many of these companies to get even richer by granting government contracts to American businesses that manufacture their products overseas. This is a practice that has to stop both for the health and security of our country’s economy as well as the health and security of America’s supply chain. The Chinese government must be held accountable.

Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?

I do support additional stimulus money in the form of a payroll tax holiday. This would allow both employers and employees to see more money in their paychecks without having to wait for the IRS to issue another round of stimulus checks. Additionally, a payroll tax holiday is a much more equitable form of stimulus as it would impact every working individual at an amount based on their salary. However, I would also push for corresponding cuts elsewhere in government so as to not further increase our national debt.

What are the top 3 things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?

1. Modernizing and rebuilding our economy for the 21st Century
2. Address the rising cost of health care with market driven solutions
3. Holding China accountable for their role in concealing the dangers of the coronavirus from the world

First, to modernize and rebuild our economy for the 21st Century, Congress needs to invest in new technologies and jobs in health care, energy, and telecommunications. This will lead to an economy that is more efficient and more equitable for the American people.

Next, to address the rising cost of health care, Congress needs to do more to create public-private partnerships to get government agencies working with the private sector to find solutions that work for both providers and patients.

Finally, to hold China accountable for the coronavirus, Congress must ban taxpayer dollars going to buy products made in all areas controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Instead, that money needs to be spent on companies manufacturing their goods here at home where the jobs go back to the American people.

Do you believe our healthcare system needs to be reformed? If so, what will you do to change it?

Like many communities across the country, health care is one of the most important issues to Kansas’s Third Congressional district, and the COVID-19 global pandemic has only increased the need for our country to strengthen our health care sector. The United States needs a health care system that puts patients first. A system that not only seeks to quickly and effectively treat patients when they are ill, but also that enables patients to prevent sickness before it impacts their lives. In sum, America’s health care system needs to prioritize increasing access to quality care for patients while also expanding their options in the marketplace.

One of the most effective ways the next Congress can do this is by increasing our investment in new health care technologies. This includes cutting-edge research being done in biomedical imaging that can reduce the amount of tests a patient must undergo before doctors can deliver a diagnosis. Additionally, these investments should look for ways to expand tele-health medicine which has shown to save patients both time and money. Tele-health has proven particularly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has undoubtedly helped save thousands of lives by allowing ill patients to confer with their medical providers from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Additionally, we need strong medical liability reform. Lacking this, our current system incentivises medical professionals to order more tests than they would normally suggest at tremendous cost to the system and to the detriment of overall patient care.

I’ve been an advocate for people born with pre-existing conditions and have fought my entire adult life for our most vulnerable. Protecting those considered the mostvulnerable is a personal issue for me as I serve as a co-guardian to my best friend with Down syndrome, and I see how the current system fails her. I’m running to ensure that the programs intended to help our veterans, individuals born into poverty, people with disabilities, and seniors actually work. I’m a problem solver and the only candidate who has led on passing landmark conservative health care reform which includes the ABLE Act that earned the support of over 85% of the entire Congress.

Give us your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.

I believe the right to keep and bear arms is clearly laid out in our Constitution and it should always be protected. The Founding Fathers were correct in their authoring of the 2nd Amendment. I’m proud to have an AQ rating from the NRA, and I will always stand up for American’s rights to protect themselves, their families, and their property.

Do you think we need immigration reform and what changes would you support?

Every sovereign country has the right and the responsibility to protect its borders. It is unfair to allow people who broke the law by getting here to jump to the front of the line in front of those who diligently followed our immigration laws. I believe that the solution to the issues surrounding immigration reform centers on three major issues: structure, modernization, and strategy.

First, structure is meant to be taken literally. I believe in many areas of our southern border we need to continue efforts to build a structure to aid the U.S. Border Patrol in stopping individuals from coming into the United States illegally.

Next, modernization means utilizing the most up-to-date equipment and technology. This first applies to securing our border, as there are a number of areas where a physical barrier alone won’t work. In these places we need to utilize the use of drones and to build more roads and infrastructure so our border patrol agents have better access. Modernization also applies to addressing the major issues we have in the backlog of our legal immigration system.

Finally, in order to fix our immigration system, we need to implement a new strategy to prevent overcrowding of our detention centers to make them more humane. As someone who helped fight to reunite a young girl at the border who was separated from her family, I believe we can create a safe and secure immigration system without needing to institute policies that lead to young children being separated from their families.

For too long, immigration reform has been used as nothing more than a political football for both parties to punt around without taking real action. This is wrong because, as a nation of immigrants, the process of coming to America is personal for so many families — including my own. I’m the proud granddaughter of Italian immigrants. My grandfather, Yano Falcone, stood up to fascism and joined the Allied Forces and served as an Italian translator in WWII. After the war, he and my grandmother, Sara, had an arranged marriage and became American citizens. Growing up with my American-Italian heritage was an important component of my family values, and not only did my grandparents both work several jobs, my grandfather started his own small business right here in the Midwest. It’s vital that Congress act on immigration reform, and I intend to be a part of that debate as the next Representative for Kansas’s Third Congressional district.

What steps would you support to strengthen the nation’s security?

Our national security should always be the top priority of Congress. The most important commitment anyone running for office can make is that they will always stand behind our military and provide our troops with all that they need to keep us safe. In Congress, I will do just that.

Additionally, over the last few years we have seen China show its true hand as a hostile foreign actor, and that means that we must take steps today to make sure Communist regimes like the CCP aren’t able to continue accumulating power at the expense of the American people. One way we do that is banning companies like Hauwei, TikTok, and others from doing business on our shores. We must also work to rootout the infringement of intellectual property of American companies by Chinese startups controlled by the CCP.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?

Every citizen has a duty to preserve and protect the land we have been blessed to inhabit. That starts with protecting our environment and ensuring the long-term health and well-being of our nation. From the native tribes who first lived here, to the founding of our state by homesteaders seeking a better life, Kansans have a long history of protecting and conserving our land and I am proud to continue to carry that mantle. I also realize that in combating environmental threats, we have to understand the economic impacts of different solutions, which is why I would strongly oppose initiatives like the Green New Deal.

Fossil fuel energy sources have and will continue to be a key component of America’s energy plan. It is primarily oil and natural gas that have allowed America to become energy independent in recent years. However, I also strongly believe in additional private sector investment in renewable energy resources.

Thankfully, technological advances are making some renewables more affordable, allowing growth without crippling our economy through skyrocketing energy costs. The cost of renewable energy sources has come way down. Wind and nuclear are particularly clean sources of power that are increasingly able to provide Americans with affordable renewable energy. We’ve also seen tremendous progress in carbon-capture technology.

What’s important is that any solution Congress takes to address this issue has to be one that improves our environment while considering the importance of our country’s economic health. Thankfully with technology that is available today, as well as the technology that will be available in the near future, we don’t have to make a choice. We can do both.

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?

No, its high time Congress passed a balanced budget and quits strapping more and more debt onto the backs of the next generation. Not only is it economically irresponsible for them to keep spending money we don’t have, but it’s a dereliction of duty for them to keep kicking the can down the road by just passing more and more continuing resolutions. As a C.E.O., I was required to balance our budget – Congress and our government should be held to the same standard by balancing tax cuts and spending cuts. As a fiscal conservative, I believe the federal government should take less of our money not more. I am a strong supporter of a simpler tax code with lower rates and a broader base. I have worked throughout my career to enact tax laws, like the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act that allow Americans to save their own hard-working funds instead of relying on government assistance.

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