Last week’s forum of candidates for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas featured a set of questions tailored individually for each of the four candidates who participated.
The candidates for this nomination (and their campaign websites) are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf. Election filing records maintained by the Kansas Secretary of State indicate that Paij Rutschman of Latham has filed for the Republican Party nomination, but little is known about this candidate at this time, and Rutschman did not appear at this event.
Hartman answered his question first. The question and his response are covered in my article Hartman state tax issue still a little bit murky.
Anderson’s question asked when was the last time he voted in any primary election. Anderson answered “2008, I believe.” He added that “the primary is the most is the most important election” and that he would defeat Raj Goyle in the general election. He asked the audience to examine the candidates, their history, what they’ve done, and how they’ve conducted themselves.
He used the opportunity to recommend voters choose a candidate who will follow the Constitution, “the one in my pocket that they’re not using right now in Washington.”
Schodorf was asked about the recently-passed tough Arizona immigration law. Would you support such a law? Schodorf said that she understood why Arizona enacted the law, saying Arizona was forced to do it due to the federal government’s inaction. She said the federal government should have been enforcing a strong border. She said we need to help Mexico keep the border safe so that guns, drugs, people, and money do not come here. She told the audience she has voted for tough laws against the trafficking of illegal immigrants.
She added that she supports using the National Guard to secure the border.
Pompeo’s question concerned a Wichita Eagle article covering a Washington fundraiser for him that was attended by lobbyists. Would lobbyist contributions affect your voting, and how would we know?
Pompeo noted that he had four times as many Kansas contributors as the other candidates combined, a source of pride for him. While he said he has accepted contributions from political action committees, other candidates also sought such contributions, but were not successful in obtaining them. He cited his endorsement by the Kansans for Life PAC, which was sought by the other pro-life candidates for the nomination. He also mentioned his endorsement by the Club for Growth, which was sought by one of the other candidates, he said.
In rebuttal, Anderson said that yes, PAC money will affect decisions and votes, that PACs want favors from legislators.
In checking the candidates’ responses, I was not able to verify that Anderson voted in the August 2008 primary election in Sedgwick County. In an email response to my question, Anderson wrote that he “truly wasn’t sure if I had voted in the 2008 Primary as I was deeply involved in opening my business, PostNet.” He’s right: listening to the recording of the forum, he was hesitant in his answer.
Regarding contributions from political action committees, I would recommend that voters consider the purpose or goal of each PAC. If the goal of the PAC is to increase taxes and spending — particularly when for the exclusive benefit of its members — voters should take that into account if they are interested in fiscally conservative candidates. Other PACs and organizations like the Club for Growth seek growth, prosperity, and economic freedom for everyone equally.