Perry Schuckman (D) — U.S. House 4th District

Candidate Profile Perry Schuckman
Candidate Profile Perry Schuckman

Biographical Information:

  • Former Executive Director, Kansas Nonprofit Chamber of Service 2005 – 2013
  • Former Executive Director, Samaritan House 1985 – 2002
  • Master’s in Public Administration, Wichita State University
  • BA, Political Science, San Jose State University
  • AA, Hutchinson Community College

Personal Information:

Divorced, two daughters and four grandchildren.

Campaign website link: Kansas For Perry 

How do you propose to fix the current concerns with VA medical centers across the country?

I previously ran a program that worked with homeless veterans in securing employment and housing for which I was recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for program creativity.  From this experience, I recognized the health challenges facing veterans, many who suffered from PTSD or serious physical situations and appreciate the sacrifices they have made on behalf of USA. I have also worked directly with VA centers and found most of the staff committed to providing exceptional health care to their patients.  I would immediately request an audit of the VA centers in a positive way that encourages improved service and yet conducts a balanced examination.  If it is found that the current demand resulting from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has exceeded service capacity then I would on a temporary basis support vouchers to address immediate needs.

What specific issue do you think deserves your immediate attention in Washington, and how to you plan to address it?

Members of Congress have a sworn oath to protect the constitution which limits government’s role in the day-to-day lives of Americans.  Intelligence gathering on American citizens is not something that just occurred within the last ten years, it has been an ongoing tension between government institutions and the American people for decades.  Americans do not have to accept government intrusion in their lives if we choose to change the way the intelligence community acts, but it will take new leadership in Washington who is sensitive to the dangers of government in our lives and willing to take action for accountability and limitations.  Elected officials need to cease immediate focus on re-election and instead perform their constitutional responsibility to protect individual freedoms and liberty. I would extend my hand across the aisle to find practical ways of putting national security at the fore of my attention while also protecting the freedoms we have national security for.

Please provide a one to two paragraph explanation of your stance on each of the following:

Immigration:

It is appalling that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of young people from Central America risked their lives to come to the United States and are now in shelter facilities run by various governmental entities.  There are so many things wrong about this scenario BUT the first thing we must do is reunite the children with their parents.  Twenty years ago I worked with teenage refugees so this has been an ongoing problem for a very long time. It is time we reform our immigration policy – tearing families apart is deplorable under any circumstance –that also includes addressing the employers who benefit from illegal immigration.  I would expect that any immigration reform would include appropriate boundaries for future legal immigration.

Health Care:

One year after the passage of Medicare 58% of American’s opposed the legislation.  Now it is a valued safety net for our senior citizens.  I believe that in the years to come the same thing will occur with the Affordable Care Act and the continued efforts to rescind the entire bill needs to cease.  Among the various proposals of the Republican Party is that people without health insurance can utilized charity health clinics.  I have opened charity health clinics and they do a terrific job but nothing can ever replace access to an individual’s personal physician. I also oppose any legislation that allows an employer to exempt access to birth control within their employee insurance plans.  Anything that prevents the necessity for an abortion would be very high on my agenda when in Congress.

Economic Issues:

Boeing may move from Kansas in spite of the efforts of our current and past congressional delegation but there are native sources of revenue for Kansas that cannot be transferred to other parts of the world and I will do everything within my power to assure that Kansas agriculture is protected from any potential environmental catastrophes.  The same applies to renewable and clean energy development while also assisting, where appropriate, the local oil and gas producers. We can and must balance the federal budget but not on the backs of the middle class. The economic gap between the wealthiest Americans and the middle class is as great as it was in 1928.  Trickle-down economics does not benefit middle-class Kansans.  Voters need to be aware of who is funding multi-millions dollar campaigns and then consider whose interest these huge donors have in mind when making such incredible contributions.

Foreign Policy:

America has a military footprint in 150 counties in the world.  We cannot be the world’s policeman.  We must do all we can to protect our interests in the Middle East and continue our commitment to the safety of Israel while diplomatically working to find peaceful resolutions to decade old issues. Worse than the burden our national deficit will bear upon our children is the failed foreign policy of war.  We are currently in a no win situation in Iraq because we sent our military to ‘build democracy’ under false pretenses and this cannot happen again.  We need to be respected in the world not just because we can win militarily but also because we are able to find peaceful solutions to most difficult issues.

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