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Ladies and gentlemen hello good evening and welcome I'm Nick Haines of KCET public television and thank you for joining us here at Johnson County Community College for this debate between the Republican candidates vying to replace Kansas third district congressman Democrat Dennis Moore. The format of this forum the rules all of the questions and the panelists have all been selected by the debates sponsored the debates Committee of the 3rd District Young Republicans. More on the format in just a moment. But first let's meet the candidates. Kris Kobach teaches constitutional law at U-M Casey. He is a former special counsel to Attorney General John Ashcroft in the U.S. Justice Department and a former member of the Overland Park City Council. Patricia lightning there is serving his sixth year as a state lawmaker in the Kansas House of Representatives where she chairs the House insurance committee. She has a private practice attorney in Overland Park. And Adam Taft is a marketing
consultant former naval aviator and the 2002 GOP nominee for the seat for the for the record he lost to incumbent Congressman Dennis Moore by just three percentage points two years ago. Now each of our candidates will get two minutes to explain themselves and the issues that define their campaign. First of all Kris Kobach your two minutes starts now. Thank you. Good evening and thank you for all to all of you for coming tonight. I'd like to briefly tell you why I'm running for Congress. I grew up in Kansas and I was educated in Kansas public schools and those public schools gave me an education that actually allowed me to get into places like Harvard Yale and not only that allowed me to excel there and graduate the top of my class and for that reason I feel obligated to give back to the community that prepared me so well and to that end in my professional life I have had the opportunity to give back and I've done so in public service in numerous ways. First of all in the judicial branch as a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Lawrence. Secondly in the legislative branch as a member of the park city
council and most recently in the executive branch and the Bush administration as counsel to Attorney General John Ashcroft and of course as Nic mentioned I'm also a law professor at UKC where I teach constitutional law and legislation teaching students how to write laws that will stand withstand judicial scrutiny. But enough about my background. I'd like to talk more about my vision for the future. It's a vision that increases our national security by reducing our exposure to terrorist risk. I spent two years fighting terrorism alongside John Ashcroft and the Justice Department personally spearheading a program that led to the apprehension of 11 suspected terrorists. And I want to bring that specific knowledge of the war on terrorism to Congress. I think I can add real value in what Congress does to fight the war on terrorism. And as we've seen from the attorney general's announcement just today that threat is every bit as present today as it was in the days before 9/11. I also have a vision that strengthens our national economy by keeping taxes as low as possible and by fighting for less regulation which is exactly what I did on the Overland Park City Council. And thirdly it's a vision that strengthens the social fabric of our country by fighting to protect human life
to protect the institution of marriage and to ensure that our nation remains what our founding fathers intended it to be one nation under God. We are at a crucial time in this country and I'm the only candidate in this race who has direct experience fighting the war on terrorism with a solid record of fighting for lower taxes and with a solid record also of taking a vocal stand on the social fabric issues of our current Professor Kobach thank you very much. Representative likeness can you sum up your life story and your entire campaign in two minutes or less. Thank you. Good evening everyone and thank you for being interested in being here. I'd like to talk about why I'm running and what makes me different and more qualified than either my opponents to be the next congressman for this district. First experience. I'm the only one in this race who has served in the state legislature. Of those six years I've been there for have been in leadership. My second term I was elected as Majority Whip of the House and in my third current term I am the chairman of the house insurance committee. Second attitude I will be the candidate who reaches out not divides the Republican Party or my six years in the state legislature. I have developed strong
working relationships with moderates and conservatives and I'm the only one who can pull all the Republicans together and the independents in November 3rd focused Adam and Kris will be focused on the military and their immigration and terrorism law experience and that's fine. But I will be focusing on the issues that affect your everyday lives. Your family your business your neighborhoods for instance public education. I'm the only one in this race who has voted to increase funding for public education and I've been criticized for it by my opponents but I stand by my support for our public schools. And I will take that to Congress. Public safety. I'm the only one in this race who opposes concealed carry. And while I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment I draw the line conceal and carry. Health care. I've chaired the insurance House committee and for four years worked on the Health and Human Services committee. I authored the students self-medication Act which next year will allow students to carry their lifesaving medications with them while they're in school and after school activities. I'm looking forward to tonight
and the next several months meeting with you and sharing with you why I think I am uniquely positioned to represent the third district in Congress. Thank you. Adam am Tafel two minutes starts now. Thank you Nick. And I'd like to thank everyone for being here tonight and especially the young Republicans for hosting tonight's event. I'd like to introduce myself and talk to you about my vision for the future. I am a product of the 3rd District of Kansas. I was raised by my mother in Kansas City Kansas and then in Shawnee. I've been educated in all three counties of this district. I continue to live and work here today. My lovely wife Beth and I are looking forward to raising our family here. What I will bring to this office is the breadth of experience in the critical areas that affect our nation the most. Those experiences include 15 years as a tactical naval officer at a time when our country needs that now more than ever. Much of that experience overseas interacting with cultures that we find ourselves in continual conflict today in the Middle East and Balkans. These experiences include a lifetime of exposure to the business. Of our of our community and
the economy. I was raised in a small business household. I have a degree in economics and I work in the finance industry today. These are the kind of experiences that are desperately needed and so much lacking in Washington right now. I would like to talk about our vision for securing our future. We must secure future safety from the terrorist threat at home and abroad by strengthening our military with better equipment better training we must secure our future economic opportunities by creating the jobs of tomorrow by making the tax cuts permanent and reining in federal spending to reduce the deficit. We must secure a future health care system and keep our promise to our seniors with innovative market based solutions that will save lives and save money and we must secure our future economic excellence. I retrained the decisions about our children's education to the pair the teacher at our local school boards. So those are the issues that I believe are very important to the Third District. I think we'll see tonight a clear distinction between our vision for the future and our current representatives not only lack of vision but lack of resources where he not only lacks
a vision for securing our future. He's actually working to endanger it. Thank you. Appreciate your quick candidates. It's time for questions now from our panelists. Now just to refresh your memories and to let our audience in on the format you know we're all going to answer the same questions you're going to have your own targeted question in which you will have a minute to respond but to make sure you don't spend that entire 60 seconds bashing your opponents after your minute is up the other candidates will get a shorter period of time to rebut your response before you get to conclude your remarks. Now the questions by the way were all drafted by the panelists themselves with the district young Republicans debate committee selecting those questions they believe have the most impact on young Republican voters in the third district. The first question comes from Amanda Featherston of the Johnson County Young Republicans. She is a mortgage banker at Community America Credit Union and your question is directed to Kris Kobach.
Douglas. Considering their vast differences in 60 seconds. Kris Kobach I think that our similarities are vastly outside our differences. In all three counties taxation is ultimately the biggest barrier to business development and business growth and the heavy hand of government taxation hits us just as hard in Johnson County in Wyandotte as I think we need people talk about it more in Johnson County where you see the greater amount of business activity. I think first and foremost my my constant and some might even say fanatic stands on taxation will be the thing that best represents people in all of these counties. We were a fast growing community wind community especially Western Wind-Up commune has seen growth it equals in small areas the growth that we see in Johnson County and the same is true in Douglas. So we've got to keep the heavy hand of government regulation and government taxation down. When I was on the Overland Park City Council there was a move to increase property taxes for the first time in seven years. I was the only city council member to fight against that move and I will continue to fight very forcefully to reduce taxes we need to eliminate capital gains
taxation eliminate the marriage penalty completely and stop the tax and prohibit future taxation on the Internet. Among other Texaco's Patricia like now 45 seconds. The basic thing I've learned in the state legislature is that what these three counties. Different taxes affect them differently. Johnson County is very affected by income tax. Property tax will x Johnson County but would affect why I care anymore so and probably Douglas County just as well. So what we need to do is we need to balance the taxes we need to keep lowering them. We need to make our tax system overall fair and flatter for everyone's benefit. We need to keep government regulation out of people's lives so that they can run their lives they can run their businesses. This would help our economy would help our families would give them an edge in moving ahead and being part of a growing society. Adam Taft 45 seconds is the best way to represent those counties is to actually get elected. I think that's the strength of our campaign. We can actually win this race. I was raised in Wind-Up County.
I understand the nuances of that county. I would submit with all respect better than the other candidates. It's a very diverse county raised and live today in Johnson County and educated in in Douglas County. It's about economic development. And you know right now that the 3rd District of Kansas received the fourth fewest dollars in the state from the federal government because we have a congressman who's ineffective in Washington D.C. We have the ability to go there and speak as an advocate. Reduce taxes reduce regulations and bring that to this district. Thank you. Before we wrap up you have a last chance here to give 30 seconds Professor Kobach what we all sort of give the same answer didn't we we talked about reducing taxes being essential to all three. Well taking a stand on taxes is not easy because you have government bureaucrats and staff constantly telling you you need to raise taxes. Trish has seen those forces at work and any and she defends her votes to raise her five major tax increases in her six years. Adam We don't have a record like that. But you know I I assume he'll try. But the bottom line is you want people who have actually been in public office and have withstood that pressure have the back the backbone to reduce to reduce
taxes and withstand the pressure to push taxes higher. OK you have a chance to get a little bit more specific with regard to the tax issue with the next question from Keith Salmon who is a student and a member of the Johnson County Community College young Republicans President Bush's tax cuts to spur growth in our economy. You support additional tax cuts. If so how did you meet them. A minute Patricia lighten up. I'm sorry I did not hear that question he mumbled. Did you read that in. President Bush's tax cuts spur growth in our economy. Do you support additional tax cuts. And if so how would you distribute them. OK. First of all I supported Bush's policy for the tax cuts and we have already seen the effects of those in regards to the economy picking up and job growth. And the economy then you know overall what we need to do is we need to go in and make those tax cuts permanent. We need to make sure that child tax credit stays at $1000 that the marriage penalty is eliminated that the death tax is repealed. And as far as redistributing them I think that when you when you do that with
taxes when you repeal them and lower them that the effects will be made overall and will come back into the economy as people have more money more money to spend that they have in their pockets as opposed to giving it to the federal government. Adam Taft 45 seconds. Thank you Nick. I believe that's the strength of the Republican Party we understand sound economic principles. The president inherited an economy in recession coupled with a brutal terrorist attack eight months later it took decisive action and instituted aggressive economic stimulus program that's produced 1 million jobs in the last six months. Productivity at all time highs and the stock market's up. Economic principles work. I do support additional tax cuts because I believe there are some that are inherently unfair. The marriage penalty estate tax. They need to go away and they will be a spur to further economic development. I believe in a dramatic reduction of the capital gains taxes which we have seen over time spur economic development. So there's certainly still an opportunity to reduce the burden of taxes in our society which will actually increase revenue into the treasury which is what the purpose of our system is so we can afford to pay for these very important programs that we need right now. For
example our military an important federal entitlement program. Professor Kobach 45 seconds. You know our founding fathers broke away from England because they thought taxation without representation was intolerable. Well we've learned in the last 200 years that taxation without representation is so high either we need to have people who are committed now we've all said that we're going to further make the Bush tax cuts permanent but we need to go a lot further. Capital gains have got to be taxation and capital gains have to be eliminated immediately. Over 100 million Americans benefit from retirement accounts and those capital gains cuts will help them all. We also have to make the Internet tax moratorium moratorium permanent and many state governments have been clamoring to tax the Internet and including the Kansas state government. And I would actually offer a Since he's got a chance to answer us tonight. Would she stand with me in making the Internet tax moratorium permanent because that's a zone of tax free commerce that we need to preserve. Thank you. But Bush is breaking off with England really that bad professor go by and say OK. But Patricia Leitner you get the final word
on this question for 30 seconds. Well if I here and I want to go back to Mr. Kovach statement or the fact that I've raised some taxes while I've in this data he doesn't bother to tell you about all the taxes I've voted against to keep from happening to Kansans. But I would like to point out. That. Mr. Kobach as much as you talk about how you would never raise taxes again I have your resolution number three to ten when you sat on the Overland Park City Council where you voted unanimously with the rest of the committee to support state legislation that will maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods by fully funding public education and supporting a state tax increase and as a state lawmaker Mr. Kobach you were saying to me raise property taxes raise income tax OK raise fuel tax and then raise your time is up. I know you'll find another place to put that in some way on the next question which comes lazies the gentleman from Christina viste who was a freshman at Blue Valley West is director of public relations for the Blue Valley West high school teenage Republicans and she will direct your question to Adam tamps.
Do you think more money in the federal budget should be reallocated to different programs. And if so what programs should be cut and what programs should receive more funding. Mr. Taft thanks Christine. It's a great question there are we have many important priorities in this nation and we have too few dollars to fund them all so it is about prioritization. But the Republicans have done an excellent job over the last 10 years of showing good fiscal responsibility from 1994 to 2002. We had a balanced budget never been in the history of our nation. Unfortunate we are spending too much money right now. I think that we share some of that responsibility as Republicans. What should be our priorities. The first and foremost priority is the defense of our nation with a well-maintained and equipped military. So I do believe we need to increase funding and military and specifically with increased troop levels. We're seeing it play out right now. We cannot afford to meet our obligations overseas right now and also protect our borders at this time which I think is desperately needed. Where else should the money go. I think we are committed to our seniors to make sure that we do support Social Security and Medicare but all of us understand that those programs will bankrupt us in the future. So we need to be looking very seriously about reforming those programs that will
last for generations to come. So that has to be some part of the money that goes there. Education always I believe has to be a priority a well-educated country will make our future brighter than it could be. Kris Kobach 45 seconds. Yes specifically I would try to make cuts in areas where our government gets involved in economic intervention by picking winners and losers. For example the sugar industry subsidies that have been around for decades. There is a lot of pork in our government and we can cut it out. We have to be willing to say no sometimes some people's vision of the American government is that it's first and foremost duty is to give away as many goodies as expensively as possible. That is not my vision and that is something that separates me from my opponents both of them said they would have favored the 540 billion dollar Medicare drug entitlement. I took the tough stand and said no we don't have the money. Medicare is already on a course to go in the red within the next decade or two. And we can't afford to add more entitlements. We used to be the party of fighting against entitlements. Well I'm going to keep standing by those traditional Republican values.
Thank you Representative like 45 seconds. I think the federal government should continue to keep spending more money towards education. We know that a well-trained and well educated workforce will keep the jobs here in America and create more jobs and stimulate our economy. Kind of an even bet even more. Secondly health care and I do agree with Mr. Kobach. I do I. I was the I was I would have supported President Bush's Medicare. Tax plan. Tax plan Medicare Act that was recently passed. Why. Because I know including prescription drugs was a good thing. Diseases that were once uncle that couldn't be controlled with some drugs can now be manageable symptoms. And these this means that people will stay in their homes versus putting them in a hospital or nursing care which is much more expensive. If we keep them in the home we can get them community based services. For half the price. Thank you and your time is up there but you're the final word goes to Adam Taffer 30 seconds before we move on to the next issue. Thank you. We talked a little bit about where our priorities should be now how about where do we save money if we can
discretionary non-defense spending. There's a lot of it out there there's a lot of waste fraud and abuse there's a lot of pork that goes into these bills and do need to have the resoluteness to go there and cut that out. I take my years as a military officer being evaluated on my performance year after year being evaluated highly of someone who brings that type of character and the ability to make tough decisions. I did support the Medicare program so did President Bush. So did Senator Brownback. So did Senator Roberts and 250 other Republicans. There's a there's a need in this community that needs to be met. The short term that was the way to do it. Thank you. Amanda Featherston of the Johnson County Young Republicans please direct your next question to Patricia. Thank you. What is the first piece of legislation you plan to sponsor and what effect will have on the citizens of the Third District. Sixty seconds. Thank you. That's a good link I probably want to think of a couple of what would be the informed choice act which has to do with the government providing monies to crisis pregnancy centers to buy sonogram machines so women can make an informed choice
when they decide whether or not to keep their babies. Probably Secondly it would be education more money into the idea. Act. Which was to help get which was to help our special ed children move up in the classrooms and be more educated to be mainstreamed more in society. We need to keep that funding going it's only around 18 percent right now. It should be closer to 40 which is the ceiling on that. Probably another program I would keep funding. Would have to be the job training right now in this new economy we're spawning new different types of jobs that require more specialized training. We need to get that workforce trained and available to employers who will need them. Thank you very much. What is the first piece of legislation you plan to sponsor in forty five seconds or less. Adam tath Thank you. Thanks Amanda. I believe that the first bill I would sponsor would be to make the tax cuts permanent. Why. Because doing that would make the most dramatic impact on the areas of our life
that are most important that will enable our economy to continue to grow that will provide dollars to the treasury to fund a better equipped military that will provide dollars under the Treasury to pay for those important bills that we've spoke of that without money we can't fulfill our commitments. And I believe that more than any other bill allowing the economy to grow and give opportunities for people in the community is the best way to fulfill our promise and and provide a better future for our children in this country. Thank you. Forty five seconds Chris Colback. I would propose a bill that would plug specific gaps in our war on terrorism that I have seen from inside the executive branch. Number of those gaps include number one the membership in a terrorist organization is not a deportable offense in America. Can you believe it. Notwithstanding the fact that we can deny the visa in the first place we find a person is a member of terrorism zation we can't kick them out if we find out once they're in the country. I would change that. Secondly I would tighten up the risks of our visa waiver program the visa waiver program is a form that allows people from certain countries to come in without ever getting a visa. Richard Reid the shoe bomber got on a plane with that program. Thirdly I would change the visa 18 of the 19 hijackers is the visa standard tourist visa at last for six
months. Even if you're excuse to come to America is only to go to Disney World for one week that allowed them to plan their operation here. There are lots of specific things we can do in the war against terrorism. Most members of Congress haven't got a clue. I've seen it from inside the Justice Department. I'll take that expertise to Washington. The last word goes to you Patricia like for half a minute. Health care we need to do more to make sure our Americans are insured. Right now in the United States. Now in the state of Kansas three hundred seventy thousand Kansans are uninsured with health insurance. That shouldn't be. We need to find ways to create plans that they can be part of at a reasonable cost maybe plans that don't contain so many mandates and then what's happening to drive up the cost of health care insurance. We need to keep moving forward on that. A great segue to our next question which comes from Keith salmon of the Johnson County Community College young Republicans will direct his question first to Adam half large percent of Americans do not have health insurance because of this many who become sick and that
seek medical treatment until their illness becomes much worse or life threatening and most cases had they almost been caught earlier much less treatment would have been required costing taxpayers a little. However late diagnosis of disease cost taxpayers millions if not billions of dollars in medical treatment instead. Does this suggest a need for health care reform. And if so what reforms would you advocate. Mr. Staff Thanks. Thanks Keith. It's a great question. It's a passion of mine. I watched my mother struggle for the last year of her life with Medicare with Social Security with prescription drug costs. I feel very passionately about this. You know 16 million of our working Americans not unemployed 16 million working Americans in 2000 had no insurance to speak. We have a health care system in this country that is designed to fail in the future. A number of seniors will double in 30 years the number of workers will almost be cut in half. We cannot continue as we are on the course we have and continue to fund this program. So what do we do we need incredible reform we need to get rid of a third party pay system we need to allow the patient and the doctor to interact more closely for their own
health. We have huge entitlements that are being paid for Social Security Medicare that in the next 15 years we're going to be able to we're not going to be able to fund. So allow the patient to have more access to the doctor allow them to have more choice about what they're going to do and I think that's one of the reasons I supported the prescription drug plan is for the first time in thirty nine years we now have the opportunity to reform this program to give real choice individuals and their health. Kris Kobach. You know the amount of choice in the Medicare drug bill is actually very narrow. Now there is a sliver of it that's the one redeeming feature of it. What we need to do is get rid of the fundamental structural problem in our health care system that is we have a third party payer system. You demand what treatment you want. And someone else pays the bill to the second party the doctor. And so if you're getting a choice between a treatment that's 98 percent effective and cause a thousand dollars in treatment that's 95 percent effective and cost $10. What do we do. Which is a 98 percent effective treatment. And it's a very inefficient way because someone else is paying the bill. You need medical savings accounts for everybody not just narrowly as in the current prescription drug entitlement
bill. Secondly we need tort reform. I don't know if any you've seen the statistic that 25 percent of neurosurgeons in the Kansas City Missouri side of the line have now left the business entirely because they can't afford insurance. We have got to stop these runaway lawsuits. It is a law professor I know how to do it. Representative Leitner Thank you. One of the things that certain companies large companies are able to operate under with their healthcare insure services under the Arisa ARISA is only available to them and not the smaller companies who then are unable to afford the insurance because they fall under the state laws which have all their mandates. I think we need to make Arisa available to smaller companies and more lower income employees companies. And in this way it would be more affordable. Smaller companies should have the same choice of health care plans and reasonable health care plans as the as the big companies do. And again under the Medicare Act that was recently signed we talked about preventive benefits. One of the things that for the first time seniors now have. Is is the wellness physical exams the screenings for
cardiovascular hypertension for diabetes. We can find out those. Thank you very much for respecting our time limits representative like that we appreciate it. We're going to move on to the issue of education just a moment but a final 30 seconds to wrap up from Adam Taft. I would just like to pick up on what Patricia was saying there is there there's some creative ideas for a vision for the future that we can make a dramatic improvement upon senior discount drug court that provide that will provide immediate relief to seniors starting June 1. It is a solution. It is in place that will help associated health plans allow those small businesses to combine with other small businesses across the metro area across this region. So they now have a large enough number so they can reduce their health care costs. Finally allow small business owners to receive a tax credit for the health insurance premium they pay on behalf of their employees. I think this is a real way to increase the health of our nation so we avoid getting into those catastrophic situations. Christina viscount's freshman at Blue Valley West has our next question which she'll direct to Kris Kobach.
What if any modifications should be made to the No Child Left Behind Act. Thanks. Great question. There's a lot of clamoring for for modifications for a rethinking of the No Child Left Behind Act. Several things. One is that the Act sets standards of percentage standards of how many students have to pass these statewide exams. Of course every state has a different exam so it's not really egalitarian across the nation. The standards are clearly not going to be met. Every educator in America will tell you that the standards are going to be met answer. And so they're clamoring for more money. Well then the clamor comes for more fully funding of any federal mandate. That's a tongue twister. Well my point on federal mandates is very different from my opponents. They say let's fully fund every federal mandate. My answer is No. Let's get rid of every federal mandate because you know when you send those federal meant when you file those federal mandates who funds and we do we send our dollars to Washington instead of getting a dollar back. We get 80 cents back. Let's keep the money here in Kansas. Decide how we want to spend it ourselves and let's have education decisions be made at the local level or the lowest level possible. The school board or the state. The people making those decisions should be the people who know the school children's names. That's my first education. Representative likeness.
Thank you. I agree with Mr. Kovach to an extent but not very much. First of all the No Child Left Behind was a program put in place by the Bush administration and I support President Bush under that program. The state of Kansas alone is receiving 3 percent more money and near 2005 than they had been in any prior time. Hundred twenty three million. Now there were seven hundred seventy seven million to help with this program. And let's talk about the state of Kansas the state of Kansas already have these assessment tests in place. They've had them for 10 years. They did have to put in new test they just went in and sort of retooled them and were able to use those because states are allowed to use what tests they want they're allowed to set the standards for their teachers they're allowed to set the standards for their performance levels. Adam tath Thank you. And the question is what would we do to modify if anything no child left behind set realistic standards right now and English is a second language students need to be at 100 percent proficiency in less than 10 years that by its design is going to be impossible. So we have to set
realistic standards. We also have a situation in place where a small subset in a school can be targeted as failing or the rest of schools is excelling could be exceeding the standards of schools throughout this country. Those two things that falsely gives a false impression of our abilities here and also isolates those those kids in our communities which is exactly what I don't think we want to have happen. Finally let's reward exceptional schools. And I think what I've said all along we don't want federal mandates from Washington D.C. Let's get rid of them. If you impose them you must fund them. It's not fair to the state to do it. That's why you don't do federal mandates. If you do it you have to fund this No Child Left Behind. The final word goes to you Professor Kobuk treatments a little while ago that I supported a resolution on the City Council calling for more state taxes for education. I want to answer that charge if she'd bothered to read the whole minutes of the meeting and seen that the resolution originally said that the city council supports a statewide tax increase. Two council members objected to that. Kris Kobach and Tim Owens we said in their councils divided we were opposed of our members were for it we said let's take a neutral stand we'll say the council does not oppose will not actively oppose a tax increase and then we
added what we will support is removing the local option budget cap. That's what the whole resolution says and that's what the minutes say. But Chris didn't read those to you. Thank you. We move on to the next question are we going to change the order in which the candidates respond to mix it up here. But the first question now comes from Amanda Featherston and she will direct this to Adam 10. What would you say could be your biggest weakness as a member of Congress and how do you plan to overcome it. I know my personal weakness is keeping my closet clean. I don't know if that's going to manifest itself in Washington D.C. here now. And my wife is clapping. I think my weakness is probably that I'm going to feel very passionately about coming back to this district. I'm going to run up a pretty big bill about flying back to the third district could keep me from interacting with some leaders in Washington D.C. at times which I think is obviously important and important critical decisions to be made. But I'm going to always default to come back to the third district because
I believe if I stay in touch with the voters of this district or know the heartbeat and the pulse of this area and I'll be able to go there and speak with passion about what our constituents want. Knowing full well I have to probably lose a lot more seats sleep when I get to Washington to interact with our leaders. But that and I know the question is about weakness. I do believe I've had a very fortunate opportunity in my life to be exposed to a lot of different experiences. So I hope that that would make me a very broad experienced legislator to go to Washington D.C. and avoid weaknesses that will keep us from making mistakes in Washington. Thank you. Patricia right now what would be your biggest weakness and how are you going to overcome it. That's easy because I suffer from it now in the state legislature. I get too involved getting personally caught up in my issues and the issues at the state capitol working for the people of Kansas. And sometimes when that happened like I did this year I actually forgot to call and make sure that someone picked up my daughter at school. And she ended up going after daycare. But it was kind of scary to realize 20 minutes or half an hour later at that
time she had been there waiting and no one was there. So that would probably be my biggest weakness is that I love what I do. I love working hard at this. I know the issues at the 3rd District. I know your concerns. I've been working on them for six years and taken as the Congress would be so exciting I probably half the time forget about my family. But probably not because my little girls wouldn't let me. But. It's it's just the most exciting thing. Professor Kobuk. Well I was going to use that one but it's already elaborated on that and my wife already knows they get too involved in things. I'll tell you another weakness that I have and that is that I don't go along to get along very well whether it be on the city council or in Congress you know there's this intense careerism in Congress everybody plays by the games. It's a little club and they increase their own salaries. They do what they need to do to protect one another. Well I'm not very good at that. I like taking principled stands and I like sticking by my guns. I'm going to do that and I'm going to make some enemies in Congress. So will you see me rising to the rank of speaker. I doubt it. But will you see me taking principled stands on behalf of the values that I think the people of Kansas hold dear.
Absolutely. We would like to spend another 30 seconds going through your personal weaknesses just a tad. Well I actually thought of a couple more as everyone was talking. I. Appreciate what Chris just said. We do need principled stands in Washington. I think frankly we do need people that are willing to work very hard with other members of Congress to get things done. And I would submit that that's a weakness of our Congress right now which is right we're too bitter we're too angry. You can have principled stands and you can base those on your experiences and you go there and you can go with passion. But I think we hurt ourselves as a nation when we fight with each other constantly and I think we weaken our nation right now by the constant bickering back and forth. So that's a reverse weakness that I hope to fix when I get to Washington. Keith salmon please direct your next question to Chris Kolpak. Would you support giving federal benefits to gay civil unions. Why or why. No I would not. And I've talked about this constantly on the campaign trail. We are in the middle of a culture war right now and there is an effort to spread gay marriage across the United States and
this is a very well calculated effort that's been going on for more than 10 years in the state of Massachusetts last week for the first time in our nation's history issued official marriage licenses to gay couples. State marriage licenses not phony things like the mayor of San Francisco is issuing now because the full faith and credit for full faith and credit clause of Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution. We are now going to have those couples coming to Kansas and insisting that our courts mandate that they are courts demand that our state give them all legal benefits of marriage. That is simply untenable because it threatens the very institution of marriage. We've seen what's happened in Scandinavia where they embraced gay marriage in the late 80s early 90s. That country now has the vast majority is over 60 percent of all births are born out of wedlock. And so that's why we need a federal marriage amendment. This is one area where Adam and I disagree. He says that we should wait and see how bad it gets. I'm telling you with more than a thousand gay marriage is they cutting in Massachusetts. We have to take a stand now. He says there's a public policy exception in the Constitution. I call my constitution here and if you can read that answer again I'll let him find it for him because we don't have 45 seconds to go through the entire Constitution.
But Mr. Taft does have 45 seconds to respond. Well it's interesting as a Castres law professor. You just regard a public policy exception that's why the state of Massachusetts has said that you cannot come to this state and get married and go back your state because that would be contrary to your public policy in your state. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman and it always will be. And I support the president in his efforts to protect that very likely will become necessary to protect that we have laws in the state of Kansas and on the federal government called the Defense of Marriage Act. Those are doing what they're supposed to be doing. You cannot get married in the state of Kansas right now if those are deemed unenforceable or unconstitutional. How would that happen. Because the United States Supreme Court would make that decision then the only recourse would be to have an amendment to the Constitution protect the institution of marriage. And I'm a strong supporter of that and the president of United States. Thank you. Patricia Lightner 45 seconds. Thank you. The most enduring human institution is that of a union between a man and a woman. And despite the fact that we have the 1996 federal law on the books the defense of marriage act that says that no state is obliged to recognize same sex sex marriages performed by another state. We
should all still be in fear that our Supreme Court will overturn that I would be against marriage licenses or civil unions providing benefits to. Gay couples. Why. Because it opens the door to a multitude of federal and state benefits granted to World Cup wedded couples including inheritance rights and social security. Just right now in the federal laws alone. There are one thousand one hundred and thirty eight different federal statutes conferring benefits on married couples. So but on the other hand I will tell you I am not opposed to corporations that may want to confer corporate benefits under the domestic under domestic partnership policy. Thank you. That's the end of your time but thank you very much. Now Kris Kobach has 30 seconds to quote from the Constitution. Well you know. Adam did it again. He said there's a public policy exception. I'll tell you what Adam. I will take back all of my answers and proclaim you the winner on this issue if you can find the words public policy in this constitution you can you can you can pass it to him if you'd like to.
It's is not in there. I teach the subject what the governor of Massachusetts tried to do. He said he wanted the administrators of the various counties not to give a marriage certificate to anyone who was from out of state. Several of them thumb their nose at him most notably Cambridge Mass and said all we're going to do is have them sign an affidavit that says some day they would maybe like to become a resident of Massachusetts which is how they got around. The governor did. And as a result more than half of the marriages in Massachusetts are to out-of-state citizens. The threats here are OK. Thank you very much Christina Fisk with the next question which will be directed to Patricia Leitman. What plans if any do you have for the conservation of natural resources. What plans if any. Well first of all I think the economy and conservation can work hand-in-hand together. And in fact we need to. Because right now if you look at gas prices going up we're on we're dependent on foreign oil and it needs to stop. So we need to start looking at ways to be self-sufficient more self-sufficient and less dependent and in fact the Bush administration does have an
energy policy plan that I would support if I was there in Congress because it does just that it eliminates that dependence on foreign sources and it looks for new ways to use renewable energy to discover renewable energy sources that we could use. And and that's what I would support. As I have supported in the State House consistently first for tax reductions to utility companies to be able to build new structures for transmission lines to update their equipment and to take tax to eliminate tax or reduce the tax for property so they will buy it and come in and build as opposed to building across the state line in Missouri and then transmitting the power over. Thank you very much Adam Taff. We have a beautiful beautiful country here. It's worth protecting the land we pass onto our children. I believe the president's energy bill was a good plan it should be passed. What does it say basically we need to become much more reliant not only on our domestic fuel sources but domestic cleaner burning fuel sources. We need to divest ourself from overseas involvement strictly because of
oil concerns. We have a reserve in Alaska that we should be involved with with a balanced approach. We should be much more aggressive in promoting the use of cleaner burning fuel sources. And finally I think I believe that this is the vision for the future I believe that one of the next great industries is in the clean burning fuel area hydrogen fuel cells windmills which we have in the foothills of Kansas solar power. The real opportunity there I believe Kansas City gets out front can be a leader in that area. Kris Kobach 45 seconds. All too often people look for government to provide some solution sometimes we have to rely on market forces and we're already seeing market forces at work as gas prices have risen. We now see hybrid automobiles demand at an all time high. Motorcycles are selling off the off the showroom floors and Kansas City if you read the stories in can't see the star recently. Market forces can force us to conserve. Secondly Anwar we have to start drilling in ANWAR. I was part of a White House delegation that visited Anwar in 2002 and let me tell you it is not a pristine wilderness. It is a swampy desolate plain without a single tree on it. And the argument that the porcupine caribou are going to
suffer is absolute baloney in those areas next to Anwar where he where we have drilled the Porcupine herd has increased more than threefold since drilling began. Why. Because the roads help the porcupine move in the caribou move into their breeding areas quickly without getting eaten alive by the predatory insects so actually drilling in ANWAR would be a great thing we do. Thank you very much. Thank you. Patricia Leitner the last 30 seconds. Thank you. Again I'd like to go back to what we need to encourage energy friendly technologies as Chris just pointed out such as hydrogen fuel cells and clean coal plants. We need to keep providing numerous incentives and credits for energy development and transmission and as far as government regulation we need to remove some of that government regulation. So companies will be able to to work the way they need to work and develop better ways to deliver energy. And finally I just want to mention the Endangered Species Act while I have great respect for it. We need to also respect our economy and our people whose lands at that when in fact. Thank you. To allow our panelists also to direct questions to specific people and we need to change the order again slightly. And the first question will be going to Kris Kobach and this
question comes from Amanda Featherston of the Johnson County Young Republicans. Operation Iraqi Freedom has encountered some obstacles what options do you see to overcome some of these issues. Well first of all we absolutely have to stay the course if we allow these obstacles to sway us as the Spanish people did when they had a subway bomb or other a train a commuter train bomb sway them and make them pull out. That's exactly what the terrorists want. We have to have the commitment to stay the course. The president has given a strong leadership in this area. I've known Colin Powell personally in the times I've worked with him. He's given a strong leadership. We have to stay the course. And let me tell you what you're not hearing in the media is you're not hearing the successes of what America has done in Iraq. Let me just give you a few more than 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq sewer and water lines have been reinstalled in every city. More than 400000 people have telephones for the first time ever in Iraq over 400000 kids have up to date immunizations. This is the stuff that's no fun and important news right because it's not bad news. But people need to know that we are achieving our objectives in Iraq and furthermore Iraq is a
pivotal front in the war on terrorism. If a terrorist in Egypt is trying to figure out where he can fight his jihad he has a choice you can either go to Iraq or you can come to America and prey on innocent women and children and civilians here. I'd rather see him face our fully armed forces in Iraq. Patricia. To. I'm going to find myself agreeing with Mr. Kovach again. I support the Iraqi effort. And and we need to stay there. It's going to be a continuing effort to find the al Qaeda terrorist network and continually root it out and destroy it as we find it because if we don't their plan is to come up with care and to destroy us. And like Chris said I would rather keep the fight there than bring it over here on our American soil. Because I don't think our economy could probably survive such another blow. And if you look at the National Defense budget involved which is all part of that it's merely 3 percent of the whole GDP. And to me that would be well worth it so I support the Bush administration in the Iraqi war. Adam TEF what should we be doing differently is the question we need
to consistently stay the course it's very important to show the result. We need additional troops in Iraq and I would with all respect submit that we needed more troops initially. We need more troops over there now to quell the unrest. This speaks to the strength of my campaign 17 percent of the members of Congress have military experience. Ladies and gentlemen that's an all time low at a time when we're asking our young men or women to do more than we ever have. I've flown over Iraq. I've been on the ground in the Middle East and the Arab world and in Israel. I understand the culture and in the long run what do we need to be doing. Well after Chris's self-professed inability to play well with others I think it speaks to our need to actually get along well with people overseas. It doesn't mean that you're weak. I believe that we should increase our spending spending on the military but we have to be better friends with our neighbors overseas and let them understand our charity. Thirty seconds Kris Kobach. Yeah there is one change I would make and that is we need to state very firmly that the oil reserves in Iraq will be used to pay part of the cost of reconstruction for that country. It's only fair that that be the case. Secondly I disagree that on some surprise he
just said that you know Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and all of the generals leading our operations in Iraq say we have the appropriate troop levels. Now I guess Adam's experience flying a plane has told him that he needs more troops Wolf. I disagree. Congress should not be interfering in micromanaging war. That is something that is left to the professional soldiers. And I firmly believe that that is the approach Congress must take in the future. Thank you. The next question comes from Keith salmon of the Johnson County Community College young Republicans who will direct his question to Patricia Lychnis. Do you believe that Social Security should be privatized. If not what do you propose to do to ensure that Social Security will be available upon retirement of individuals. Now in their 20s or 30s. OK. Well first of all for those that are retired or those that are nearing retirement we need to leave Social Security the way it is. I want to touch the benefits. We want to keep things simply the way they are. But for those new workers that are coming into the workforce or maybe even those that have been there just a little while what we could do is start giving them options. And I would provide three
options one and you could opt into the Social Security system as it is now too. You could opt into the one where you have full charge your own account and you invest that account yourself in the market. In theory you could have a mixture. You could have some of your money invested in the accounts you choose and maybe the other part in the regular Social Security system. This way then people have a choice. They have a say in their retirement. And that would make them probably more more aware of taking care of themselves. Mr. Absolutely we need to keep our commitment to our seniors and that means not increasing the retirement age that means not increasing the taxes and that means not reducing your benefits. Can we do that while also reforming the program. Absolutely. Return Social Security to what it was designed to be one of part of a three legged stool to support our retirement. Increased donations to contributions to your IRA increased contributions to your 401K from the personal and the business sector sector. Now from the government sector what should we do. I
do believe that individuals should have the opportunity to choose as an option to take a small portion of their Social Security taxes and invest them in low risk accounts so they can return to them a much higher return than the zero point zero zero give or take a half percent return that the federal government provides. Now I think we're capable of doing that. And that's the way we can make sure that the system is available for our children and grandchildren. Professor Kolpak you know the average worker can expect a 2 percent rate of return on his investment over his lifetime in Social Security. That's pathetic. Even our economy even our tax our stock market with all the recent downturns has a much better rate of return than that. It is absolutely ridiculous that we don't allow some control of individual accounts in Social Security and then to add insult to injury we tax those benefits now. We have to remove the taxation and social security benefits. That's something we would actually give people who are retired some some change in their pocket. You know this is an interesting statistics 18 to 30 year olds are more likely to believe in the existence of UFOs than in the future existence of Social Security. That was an actual survey that is done. We've got to have individual accounts.
If we don't have individual accounts it's going to require a 50 percent increase in Social Security taxes or a 27 percent decrease in benefits. That's the only way we can do it. That's the only way out of this box. The final half minute goes to you Representative Steve Lightner. We need to start educating our people. Now the younger people coming out about how important investing is for your future and for your taking care of yourself later on. And by in and along with that what we need to do is we need to again like Adam set. Up the IRA amounts that are tax breaks so that people will be encouraged to save more perhaps maybe create some other kind of saving vehicle that will allow people to put more money away for their own retirement so they don't have to rely on Social Security. Blue Valley West freshman Christina Fisk has the next question which you will direct to Adam Teff. What would you do in Congress to help develop and support small businesses and the Third District.
Thanks Christina. That's a great question and speaks to what our current representative has been powerless to do in Washington D.C. right now he's not at the table when the final decisions are being made. There are economic development dollars that are available from the federal government. I'm going to go there and be an advocate with Bill Thomas the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee happens to be a supporter and a personal friend of mine. Dennis Moore doesn't have that ability to do that. I think one county is a perfect example where my experience tells me that they are clamoring for the opportunity to go around starting businesses. There's an entrepreneurial spirit there that needs to be harnessed and encouraged. What else can we do to encourage small businesses allow small business owners to have tax credits for the life insurance premiums they pay on behalf of their employees that benefits not only the business owner but the health that that Keith spoke of earlier. What else can we do. I believe you reduce tax cuts specifically capital gains taxes the marriage penalty and the estate tax you know a lot of small business owners file as a sole proprietor as a single taxpayer just like we all do. You reduce the capital gains tax the marriage penalty you're going to give them better opportunities to expand their business and hire more employees. So I look forward to that. That's one of the passions I take for this race. Chris Colback you know our economy is on the rebound and that is being that rebound is being driven by small
businesses. Last month there were three hundred thirty seven thousand jobs created the month before 288 thousand jobs created and more than two thirds of those jobs were created in small businesses in America. Not the big companies driving us out of this slump it's the small businesses so we have to realize that we have to keep feeding fuel to that fire. The way to do that is Adam is correct one way is tax cuts we absolutely must end the estate tax completely because small businesses are crippled especially small farms on the estate tax. Estate tax takes a bite out of that transfer from one generation to another that we have to cut in taxes. Income taxes across the board. And we also have to have tort reform again. Small businesses get hit extremely hard by insurance against tort liability. Tort reform is critical and that's something the president is now starting to take the lead on. And you need people who understand that issue in Congress to make a difference. Patricia lightning. Thank you. I'm going to agree with the both my opponents on this one. We need to provide more business deductions so that businesses can afford to go into business so that they can afford to buy machinery new equipment. We need to loosen the government relations relation. Regulations so that they're
able to operate and be able to to to basically function in their business. We need to increase the tax benefit per their health insurance especially for their workers because of the insurance share. I heard from the business community how how high premiums were for health insurance and there was no there was no way for them as a small business employer to be able to afford that to their employees. Adam Teff final 30 seconds. Thanks Nick. You know over 50 percent of the new businesses in Kansas come from a third district of Kansas. We are experts in developing small businesses and we see the benefit of driving around every day throughout this wonderful area. I'm proud to have received the support of the National Federation of Independent Business who recognize that I'll be a stalwart supporter of small business centers. There's some other ideas there's a vision for the future accelerated depreciation is another concept that can help business owners. It's the beauty of the United States is that we have reduced regulation so our businesses can thrive and can maneuver through the changing business environment better than other cultures.
But it needs a constant steward in Washington and I will be that representative like Amanda Featherston has the next question for you. What are your philosophies on legal and illegal immigration. Legal immigration is legal as long as it's within the law. Well then that's fine. Illegal immigration has become a problem in this country the influx from across the border has become uncontrollable. Part of it is because we don't have the border patrols to take care of that and to either return them or stop them before they enter the country. That is a huge problem. I think we need to remember though that illegal immigrants are kind of part of what's keeping our economy going. Some of them are taking the jobs that our own Americans won't take. So we do need to find some way. To get in here. It is actually the Bush plan the guest worker Bush plan is is that I would support if I were in Congress and
basically what it does it would serve the needs of our economy by matching a willing worker with willing employer when we can't find an American to fill that job. It would idée these workers in the country which is important right now in this time of national security and it would give a legitimate part of the economy and provide them with rights employment rights and wages. Thank you. Adam Taft Thank you. We are proud nation of immigrants and it adds to our history and our heritage. I think we also need to acknowledge that we have an illegal immigration problem in this country right now. What's the solution. First and foremost we must stop the influx of illegal immigration on the border. If we don't do that we can't talk about the rest of the issue. So I've long said that we can be much more proactive on the borders and I believe the only force in places with our national guard and reserves right now. Once we do that now we need to address the humanity of eight to 12 million illegal immigrants in our country. It exists. We do not have the force in place to just simply say Go home. So we must deal with that. The president's come out with a bold plan which frankly probably is untenable in its current form in Congress but it is a bold initiative that does
start a registration process which I think is a step in the right direction. And finally we must have a vision to the future to provide incentives for these individuals to stay in their own country instead of feeling like they need to come here. Thank you very much Kris Kobach and I want to reiterate you only have 45 seconds on this question. I served as John Ashcroft's chief adviser on immigration for two years. We absolutely have to enforce the law on immigration we need the help of the National Guard on the border we need to help state and local police forces in the interior. Last week Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed into a law passed by the Kansas legislature with Trish. Trish voted for which gives in-state tuition to illegal aliens in Kansas. This is unfair unaffordable and illegal federal law in 1996 specifically prohibited any state from doing this. And yet Kansas either ignorantly or flagrantly flump thumb their nose at the federal government we're going to do it anyway. It's unfair because if someone is from Missouri and is played by the rules all through their life they have to pay out-of-state tuition. Twelve thousand five hundred a year. Could you file an illegal alien place forty five hundred. It's unaffordable because we just had an 18 percent tuition hike. This is going to cost 15 million dollars a
year. And the other students are going to be footing the bill. Thank you. Trish I assume is Representative Patricia right now who does have the final 30 seconds on this question. Yes thank you and I'm sorry you think that our legislature is ignorant. Mr. Kobach I do have the dress code with me. And in that the law that you're talking about talks about we can't pass a bill that would make eligibility on the basis of residency and in fact Housefull 21 45 is not based on residency. It's based on their attendance in school. Did they attend the last three years. And do they have a high school degree. And of course they must attend in the state of Kansas. You know we can either leave these children who by no fault of their own are in this country in the shadows and working demeaning jobs all their lives or we can give them a chance to get ahead. Thank you. Representative. The next question comes from Keith salmon of the Johnson County Community College Young Republicans and Adam Taft is waiting for that question. Would you support renewing the assault weapons ban. Why or why not.
Get this band came to the Senate floor a couple of months ago and it was about ready to pass and there were so many tags that were put on it that even strong supporters of the bill ended up voting against it. In fact the NRA said don't support it. So it's almost got to the surface and it's disappeared. This all wasn't bad I believe and I've spoken to proponents and opponents of it has not had an impact frankly one way or the other. Do we need to continue the assault weapons ban. I think you're going to see support in Congress if it came to me. I'd look at the legislation but I would probably be in support of that. I've been a strong proponent of the Second Amendment. I believe that that says that every individual has the right to bear and carry fire or own and carry firearms. And I think that's part of our heritage. But this is a common sense approach that the president is supportive of and I would tend to support the president on this. Thank you. Kris Kobach I'm glad we had Adam to finally take a stand on this issue. I would not support continuation of the assault weapons ban and the ban was basically a cosmetic ban
designed to assuage the emotions of the American public. Only 1 to 2 percent of all crimes were committed with these guns that are supposedly considered assault weapons. It is not entirely at all based on the lethality of the weapon it's based on cosmetic features like collapsible stocks and things like the pistol grips. You know Mike my hunting guns have pistol grips technically and they could be subject the assault weapon ban. They also use the scary word semiautomatic semiautomatic just means that there's one bullet for every pull the trigger. That does not make something a machine gun or an assault gun. But those people who are pushing this on the left are trying to deceive the American public. For once we're finally seeing some getting close to a majority in Congress that's willing to say no we're not going extend this ban is purely cosmetic what do things that work. Patricia Lightman Thank you. While I consider myself a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and I do have several votes in the house showing that. I would say that when it comes to the assault ban I would I would support it. I've also I've also opposed in the house a couple of times votes are opposed
concealed carry because I don't feel it's necessary to have more guns available in public and assault banned weapons. To me you sound like again. Do we need more of these type of guns. And I just don't think that they're necessary or even something that would be in violation actually of the Second Amendment. So I would oppose that. Adam tap you have the last word. I'll just simply restate it. I am strongly supporting the Second Amendment. But you're going to find many strong NRA National Rifle Association members who say that the way this has been convoluted it really has it's ineffective on one side or the other. The president supports this. I support the president. Christina ask our freshmen at Blue Valley West has a question now for Kris Kobach what relationships have you developed in Washington D.C. that will help you once you arrive there. Several most importantly in the executive branch is serving as a senior executive official in the
Bush administration. I developed relationships of course with John Ashcroft who was I was working with on a daily basis but also with Tom Ridge and Colin Powell. Those are the primary people involved in homeland security and border affairs where I was Ashcroft's chief adviser in addition to that I represented Attorney General Ashcroft on Capitol Hill to the immigration subcommittees of both the House and the Senate. In fact both those committees have asked me to testify in the last nine months. In October I testified in the House Immigration Subcommittee. And just last month I testified in front of the Senate immigration subcommittee about terrorism related matters how we can change our immigration laws to better fight the war on terrorism. So I have very close relationships and indeed that's why members of Congress who are on those committees have endorsed me Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama has endorsed me in this race on the House side. Lamar Smith John host Fittler Tom Tancredo many others have endorsed me because of my strong stance and my ability in this specific area. So I do have those connections and those connections will make me effective from day one. Patricia like me the key relationships I have in regards to D.C. Christine.
Our own Kansas delegation congressional delegation to me those are the most important that in the relationships I have here in a third district and the work that I've done in the six years of state representative being in Congress doesn't mean you go to be say to know somebody or represent D.C. take its pain from here. And knowing the interest and the concerns of your district of Kansas and taking that to say not the other way around. And I'd like to remind you that what I mentioned earlier in my opening I was elected to a leadership position in my second term in the house. And so I know that I would have no problem developing key relationships sooner rather than later and being just as effective in Congress for that. Mr. Taaffe. I echo what Patricia said I believe the most important relationships are between the representative and the neighbors here in the district. But I'm very proud to have been endorsed by the speaker of the House Dennis Hastert who encouraged me to run who said Adam. My experience tells me you
can win and all endorse you and I will give you maximum contribution if you do that. He did that. Chairman David Dreier of the House Rules Committee chairman Deb Price of the House Republican Conference Chairman Duncan Hunter of the Senate or the House Armed Services Committee Chairman Pat Roberts our own senator has endorsed me Senator Bob Dole. Congressman Jim Ryan Those are the relationships that will matter in Washington D.C. And I'd like to include him on top of those. And I respect every one of those individuals immensely. I have a vast number of relationships in the military community in Washington D.C. once again reiterating at a time when that experience is at an all time low in Congress. Before we move on to the next issue of final remarks from you Kris Kobach Well Adam throwing around the E-word rather loosely endorsed. I'm not aware that Jim Ryan has endorsed him. Indeed we just talked to Jim Ryan's office a few weeks ago and that was make clear that they were staying neutral so I don't know if saying nice words means you're indoors. I guess if saying nice words of mouth about me means that I've been endorsed I've got a lot more endorsements I'd like to share with you but I've only got 15 seconds. What I would also say is that
you have to hit the ground running. Most members of Congress they get there and they spend their first two terms four years doing nothing just learning the ropes. I've been drafting legislation. I was asked by Senator Sessions to come help the Senate immigration of the draft there a clear act be equivalent. Thank you very much. Amanda Featherstone is now going to give us the next question which will direct to Adam staff. What can the government do to most effectively stimulate private sector job growth. These are great softballs for Republicans aren't they tonight doing exactly what the president has done. We looked at a world where the fundamentals were strong. Unemployment was down inflation was down. Interest rates were low. Yet we lack the confidence as a nation to go out and expand our businesses. I did I think we all did. We were waiting for the other shoe to drop. The president said. Strong leadership. The fundamentals are strong. I'm going to go out and provide an economic stimulus to allow our our natural tendencies to take full and what has happened productivity at all time historic highs one million jobs created in the last six months. That's what leadership provides. We've talked over and over again
about tax cuts. It works folks. You don't just cut taxes to zero. We do need money in the in the treasury. But Republican economic principles are fundamental economic principles which is void of the Democrats adhering to them will this is to serve them for ourselves who will use them. They work and I go to Congress with that is a fundamental principle of who I am as a Republican in this district and I will adhere to those and I will support them. Kris Kobach absolutely cutting taxes the number one thing we have to do. Now let me get specific about one type of tax cut and one Montreaux we often say in Republican Party is fairer and flatter taxes. Well let me say very specifically I am in favor of a national consumption tax or a fair test. We need. We need bold reform. We've got to have that kind of fundamental reform. It's amazing what we could do. First of all the $250 billion a year that we all waste preparing our federal tax returns that would automatically be lifted from our economy that anchor would help set us free. Getting rid of that anchor. In addition businesses will be much more efficient. The competition
between national and international business will be moot because everybody is paying this consumption tax. We have got to have bold leadership to look ahead. That is now within our reach. It's on the horizon. You've got to have members of Congress who understand how to get there. I do. Thank you very much. Those riots shielded police officers still outside the auditorium. Patricia Lychnis already for the interruption thank you again. Taxes we need to keep cutting taxes to spur the economy. Keep the growth going again. We need to loosen the regulations on our businesses. We don't need to strap them we need to encourage them to go out and develop their businesses. Job training very important for this new economy that's spawning a different kind of jobs out there more. More specialized. And the president has a plan to put right now we train we get job training for about 200000 employees a year. He wants to extend that to 400000 with out any new monies. And I would support that with President Bush but I would be against the consumption tax and I'll tell you why it is a very weak regressive tax. It is unfair on those with
lower incomes and in particular to our senior citizens it is a tax the tax that taxes what you purchase instead of what you what you make. Final word Mr. Staff. Thank you there's a couple we could probably spend a long time on this but there's some other ideas we've touched on associated health plans allowing businesses to reduce their health care costs so they can go out do what they do best and that's build a business allowing them for the tax incentives for health insurance premiums they pay on behalf of their employees. This does remind Chris that I'm very proud to have germline as a friend and supporter. And the reason that he was publicly supported was because he was very disappointed that you came out in public and criticized him for his work in Congress. I think that's why he was so public about it. Thank you. The next question comes from our Johnson County Community College young Republican Keith Salmon who will direct his question to Chris Colback. Gas prices appear to be a all time high. Is there anything that can be done to lower costs at the pump. Absolutely you can start cutting back on taxes or gasoline. And this is again where I disagree
strongly with Trish in 1999 2002 she voted for two major hikes on a motor motor fuels tax in Kansas which is now up to 23 cents a gallon higher than any other state. It's 10 cents lower on the Missouri side. Didn't know some of you who would buy the state line see the difference in the pumps look $2 a gallon hurts. It hurts a lot. My gas bill and I fill up my truck is now getting up to 50 bucks each time. That is ridiculous. The chunk of that that is taken by taxation is way too big. And talk about regressive taxes is to a tax that hurts people with lower incomes. Everybody's got to drive in America. That's a regressive tax. Gas taxes so taking out taxation is one thing we can absolutely do. The other thing I would mention is what I mentioned before about market forces. Ultimately this is prices remain high even with tax cuts which I'd like to see that will force people to economize just because the markets will make us do that and then drilling in ANWAR or something else but we've got to be willing to cut federal gas taxes and we've got to be willing to cut state taxes although that's not an issue. But I think Chris has shown where she stands on that. Representative like I'm thinking. First of all the higher gas taxes right now that you're
experiencing as we all now are opaque has nothing to do with the gas taxes of two cents or whatever it was I voted for a couple of years ago. And it also has to do with the fact that we don't have enough. Oil refineries in the United States. We're behind folks because of the environmental agency. We have been unable to build those refineries to be able to process. Senator. And also Chris I'm sorry that you don't like the safer roads that that gas tax of a couple cents has provided for you or your wife and your infant daughter. Kansas. We pride ourselves on having a good highway transportation system one that is safe and efficient for everyone. MR. I think it's important to the economy too that we have good roads. Sorry. Mr. Taaffe how do we affect gas prices. We reduce our dependency on foreign energy sources. We have a reserve which we've spoken on tonight and we'll ask about that I believe we can responsibly.
Drill. I believe there's domestic energy sources that we can also learn from I agree with Patricia we have not built a new oil refinery in this country in decades. And I believe that that's because of an influence of the environmental groups. I think we can responsibly do that. We've increased our technology in that area. I believe that we do need to in the short term utilize our relationships with our neighbors and our friends over there and that's going to be a short term solution in the long term we have to promote domestic energy sources and transition from fossil fuels so we can protect our environment to get to cleaner burning energy sources. Thank you. Final word to you Professor Kolpak. This has been an interesting exchange. You can always find a reason for a tax increase. I guarantee you any government bureaucrat can always give you lots of good reasons why taxes should be increased. But frankly there is a price a price that has to be paid and that price in the case of our state taxes on gas if the average family of four buys a 1032 gallons a year that's $237 a year for the average family of four in Kansas. That's a big price just from taxes not from August just from taxes. We have to be willing sometimes to say no. And the other a lot of bright shiny new roads in Kansas I take them all the time when I go hunting when I visit my in-laws and a lot of them
are completely empty. Thank you very much. We go to our final question now which comes again from Christina ask our freshman at Blue Valley West and the question is directed please. Representative Leitman what what qualities do you possess that it will take to defeat Dennis Moore in the upcoming election. Well as I mentioned in my opening I believe I'm the only Republican in this race that's going to be able to bring both sides of the party together. For too long in this district we've been at war with each other and it needs to stop. And as the middle person basically in this race which I would consider Mr. Taft. On my left and Mr. Kobach on the right I would be more uniquely positioned to bring both sides of the party together in the November election against Dennis Moore. I've proven in the state legislature that I can work with different groups of people that normally wouldn't work together. And bring them together for a common find a compromise place where we can all agree and pass some good legislation. And that's part of what
being a congressman or state representative is all about. It's not about walking all the time and you want to be principle and you want to be able to give and you want to be able to bend and give back. Because that's how things get done. And if we don't get things done that we would have bad roads or maybe we wouldn't be able to have all the health care. Delivered that we need to. Thank you Adam Teff. Thank you. As a as a military officer we're giving very difficult task to accomplish the times. We accomplish those task by taking a very diverse group of people together and in achieving that goal by defining intermediate goals to achieve sometimes in very difficult situations. And then we're evaluated on our performance. Time and time again that is exactly what we need in Washington D.C.. That's what I offer. Cutting right to your question. What are the qualities we possess. We have an incredible grassroots organization in this area. We have more money than any Republican candidate has ever had. We benefit from one million dollars of name identification. We have the support both in Washington D.C. and throughout this district that is going to take to defeat this more. And we know do like you. Kris Kobach.
We learned in 2002 that it's going to take more than a pretty face to be Dennis Moore. It's going to take someone who can take it to Dennis more on the issues who understands every issue just as well as Dennis Moore does. And as Adam just said we need to be evaluated on our performance. I'm not seeing anything different out of an intense campaign. We have got to try something different. We have got to have a candidate who is willing to go toe to toe with Dennis Moore who is willing to take him on on the issues. You know one thing is astounding. Certain surveys have shown that most voters in this district still believe that Dennis Miller is an independent or moderate Democrat. Believe it or not and that's something that shows that in past elections the people Republican Party has put up have failed to land a punch have failed to show voters where Dennis Moore really stands. So we have to do things differently. You've got to have a candidate who can take the fight to Dennis Moore. Thank you. And before we go to closing statements the final word on this question to Representative Leitner Thank you. One of the things we should have learned by now in this district is that the one
thing the one type of person we can put up that will sure to lose against is one who stands on the far right. Why. Because we are not. The 3rd District a far right district. We are a reasonable district. We're maybe just a little bit slightly towards the moderate but still conservative side. We care about our family issues. It's important to us our neighborhoods. We love education. It's important to our economy. We care about each other we want to make sure we're taken care of with health care. And those are the type of issues we need to find in a person who believes in those who voted for those to go up against. I do need to cut you off there but you're in luck because each of you at the conclusion of this forum are being granted free minutes to outline again. Finally your last message to the audience here at Johnson County Community College of course to our television audience at home y'all. Hundred 180 seconds. Professor Kobach starts now.
Well I think I've shown that the issues that I'm going to be fighting I'm very passionately are the immigration and border security issues that are directly tied to terrorism. There are people who are now coming over our southern border who are terrorists and they're coming over the border sneaking across the border where they used to come through the ports of entry. We've successfully clamped down on the ports of entry. Now we have to turn our attention to the border. The National Guard deployment as well as using certain seismic sensors and technologies that I have personally seen and helped to implement on behalf the Justice Department how we're going to do that. There are lots of things we can do in the war on terrorism. And I want to apply that knowledge in Congress. I think also that the Federal Marriage Amendment people have to be speaking clearing and set clearly and sounding the alarm right now. This is not some issue that just affects other people. It's going to be affecting us. We have to take action now. We've had a constitution in place for more than two hundred and fifteen years and we've only had 27 amendments the first and all at once passing because too much too small and it is not easy. We've got to start now we've got to have people committed to it right now. But in conclusion let me say a few words about the thing that we most all that we all agree on and that is we must beat this more in 2004. If we're going to do that we have to do things differently. Now Adelman said that he's got a lot of
name I.D. and that that's going to allow him to win on the second go round. Well that's been tried in many other districts. Statistically Adam Adam has less of a chance of beating Dennis Moore this time than he did before in 2000 and 2002. There have been a total of 82 rematch races rematch so we have the same Republican versus the same Democrat for the same seat. Now I'm not talking about running again for different office or against somebody else and exactly match in 81 out of 82 cases the loser lost again. That's ninety eight point eight percent failure rate. Adam is going up against those statistics. He's not going to beat those odds. The bottom line is if you want to beat Dennis Moore you cannot bet on the same horse twice. It is a brutal reality of American politics. You also need a candidate who will stand up for the principles that will bring Republicans out to vote. Now if you disagree with me there and you don't think you'd be a principled stand do you want a candidate who looks kind of like Dennis Moore holds a lot of Dennis Moore's views but still has a Republican label. Then don't vote for me. Really don't vote for me I'm not your candidate vote for either Adam or Trish with Adam. You get a candidate who agrees with them more on abortion gay marriage
guns and big government with Trish you get a candidate who agrees with them more on guns big government high taxes and immigration. In contrast I'm standing firmly on conservative principle on all of those issues. The voters need a real choice to get them motivated to vote in this election not an echo a choice not an echo. In addition you have got to have someone who has the knowledge and the ability to go head to head with Dennis Moore any day any time on any issue. And with all due respect to my opponents they're not up to the task. The fact is the majority of voters in this district still think Dennis Moore is a moderate. That means that Adam last time around was unable to convey the message that Republicans need to convey. I will take that message and I will take the fight to Dennis more every day. And I'll give this district a contest the likes of which I've never seen. Most importantly I will stand firmly on the principles that define us as Republicans. Please join me in that battle. Thank you for conveying your message. The next message comes from Representative Patricia lightning.
Thank you and thank you Nick for moderating this. I appreciate you taking the time. Thank you panelists for being here with your questions and thank you all of you in Johnson County Young Republicans for putting on this opportunity for us to express our opinions our views on these different issues. I'm looking forward to visiting hopefully with all of you after this is over. But tonight what you found is basically that maybe some of you knew all of us and maybe someday you for the first time are meeting this evening but today or tonight you'll be forming your first opinions of this race. And as you leave I hope you take these three thoughts with you. Experience. Who has the experience for this office. Well you've heard about our various experiences. But I think if you stop and look at these experiments you have to consider what is best for the third district who has the experience that represents the needs and the issues of the 3rd District. I'm the only one who's been the state representative who has worked for you in our state capital for six years. And by the way I failed to mention earlier
that I was also a federal government attorney for six years prior to going to the State House and three of those years was with the Federal Aviation Administration where I worked on aviation security. Auditing. Who has the right attitude for this campaign and not just in this campaign but to carry over in the November campaign. But most importantly in this campaign because if it's not the right attitude. All of us won't go together to the November campaign and we won't defeat Dennis Moore and that's what this is all about of course. Focus. Who is focused on the issues you care the most about. I really appreciate it. I think it's wonderful that you know my opponents have their experience in military and foreign defense and and in immigration. Well what are the issues that affect you the most in your everyday lives. It's health care. It's the economy. It's education which is always number one in the third district. Why. Because education is what brings our economy full force and we know that and we've
realized that and that's why we're sixth in the nation in student achievement. So I hope that if you like what you heard and you want to learn more about me or support my campaign you'll visit with me outside here after this is over. I'd love the opportunity to meet with you or Also I do have a Web site and it's Leitner for Congress dot com and I hope you'll go there and maybe view that too if you don't have time tonight. Thank you so much for your attention this evening. Thank you for being here. I love your dedication. Adam Taft you have the final three minutes for your closing statement. Thank you Nic very much. Thank you everyone for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here and especially to the Young Republicans on the panel for your questions. I was hoping just to reiterate my vision my positive message for the future. But Chris you spoke about motivating some voters I think you have motivated voters for sure tonight. And you mentioned abortion gay marriage and guns from those war. Extremely different on those issues I hate. I'm sorry I have to even to clarify that but I think it needs to be said. You talk about statistics there's a
statistic for it. There are dozens of members of Congress who have run for the second time couldn't David Dreier who supports me who had to run against the opponent he ran against first time 0 percent of people who lost the state representative on the state Senate race in Kansas and go on to try to win a congressional race make that race happen especially when you get 25 percent of the vote. So if you want to talk statistics there's one as well. You hit Patricia for voting for gas tax increases you contributed to her campaign before she voted for those tax increases. So and you voted for tax increases on the city council which you give them the distinct impression that you have. So I'm sorry we had to go there but it had to be clarified. Thank you again. I think you've seen tonight how there is a definite difference between our current representative and for the experiences that we possess in our campaign. You know folks there are 435 targeted races. I'm sorry 435 races in this nation right now and only five or six are up for grabs and we are at the top of that short list. Every individual in this room has the opportunity to get involved and make a dramatic impact in this race. I strongly encourage you to get involved. I extend the invitation for you to become involved in this
race if you do get involved in our campaign. You join a campaign that will win. Why. Because we do benefit from one million dollars of name identification. That's a reality. Our name identification is 84 percent right now. Two years ago in comparison when we did come with them 3 percent it was at 39 percent. We have more money on him than any Republican candidate has ever had at this stage approaching a half million dollars. We all understand how important that is. We've worked extremely hard in those two years to put the grassroots organization in place that we could only envision last time. You know tell us more credited his effort with bringing in 9000 additional votes that he would not have otherwise received. We lost by 68 hundred. We're going to beat him at that game this time. Finally if you join this campaign you do join speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. You do join Senator Bob Dole and Senator Pat Roberts. They encouraged me to run because they said their experience tells them that we can win this race. And I agree with them. You've seen a tremendous amount of hard work for me and my staff over the last two years. That's exactly the same type of effort you'll get from me when I get to Washington D.C.. This community has raised me. I've been educated here this community and this nation has trained me as a naval officer and certainly overseas to
defend our way of life. I ask you now to please send me to Washington D.C. where I will continue to work hard where I will be very honored to represent this great district in this great state in the United States Congress. God bless you. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen that has been our Kansas food district Diageo pre-primary debate on behalf of the debate committee of the 3rd District young Republicans. I would like to thank the candidates the panelists in our time keepers by the way from Blue Valley West debate team who have had a major job with this format tonight. The debates committee also wishes to thank Johnson County Community College and the Johnson County Community College Republicans for their facilities here tonight. Each candidate has been told to tell you who the sponsors of the debate have tables in the lobby with further information. Now if you are watching at home you can rest assured each of these candidates will be flooding you with the same information over the next few weeks. I'm decades of KCET public television. Thank you so much for being with us and good night.
At. You. Do
2004 GOP Primary Debate for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District
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KCPT (Kansas City, Missouri)
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This is the Republican (GOP) Primary debate from the 2004 Congressional Election in the Kansas 3rd District. The debate is between Kris Kobach, Patricia Lightner and Adam Taff all of the Republican Party. Events take place in Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College. Debate sponsors are: Johnson County Community College, The Johnson County Community College Young Republicans, The Johnson County Young Republicans and The Blue Valley West Teenage Republicans.
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Director: Beasley, Barrett
Executive Producer: Haines, Nick
Moderator: Haines, Nick
Panelist: Kobach, Kris
Panelist: Lightner, Patricia
Panelist: Taff, Adam
Producing Organization: KCPT
Reporter: Featherston, Amanda
Reporter: Salmon, Keith
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KCPT (KCPT Public Television 19)
Identifier: KS 3rd Cong GOP Debate 05/04 (KCPT6858)
Format: Betacam
Generation: A-B rolls
Duration: 01:00:00?
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Chicago: “2004 GOP Primary Debate for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District ,” 2004-05-04, KCPT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “2004 GOP Primary Debate for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District .” 2004-05-04. KCPT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: 2004 GOP Primary Debate for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District . Boston, MA: KCPT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from