Craig Andres spoke with Jennifer Winn, Republican candidate for Governor. You can watch the full video here.
Jennifer Winn: My thoughts are that it’s really a guessing game. Until people show up in the polls, you know we really don’t know. We have a good idea. We’re doing well, I think, for having a $17,000 budget. I think, for a grassroots campaign I’m really proud and I also realize and recognize that a lot of people that have given up are now included. We see those hundreds of emails where people say ‘we haven’t voted for 15 years. We haven’t been active, ever.’ We have a 38-year-old nurse where I got a phone call this morning that said, ‘I got my card in the mail today. This is the first time I’ve registered to vote’.
So, for me, it’s very hard to gauge because I don’t know who answered the phone that day and who didn’t. But it tells me that we are making a difference — and even though they’re lower than the origination that you guys put out about a month ago it doesn’t deter me and it doesn’t discourage me because I just know how many people we’re dealing with on a daily basis that have given up or have never registered because they were just tired of politicians.
Craig Andres: If you get elected, what would you do?
Jennifer Winn: The first thing I think I would do is transparency. I would want to use the technology that we have available today to taxpayers and I would want them to be educated and involved and informed. And that is probably the very first thing I would do is expose and open up everything to the public like it should have always been, including the backdoor deals that have gone on for years and years that we don’t seem to ever understand and be a part of. As a taxpayer, I would expect to know that. So when we have 74% of lobbyists that are donating to our legislatures that is unaccounted for, that’s unacceptable to me. Those are the things I intend to bring to the forefront immediately.
Craig Andres: With the funding issues, would you change anything?
Jennifer Winn: Oh there are a lot of issues. I have a lot of issues. When you look at, it’s kind of like, you can’t fix something unless you know where it’s broken and there are so many different entities and I think a lot of it is with the way we handle our money. I think such things as education should have been our priority all along and it was not. Filteration through construction-related products seems to be a big issue for me and that’s something I really want to dive into because entities have been contracted to utilize our tax dollars but yet they’re exempt from a Kansas open records request. So things like that, for me — as a common, working taxpayer — that’s not acceptable. If you’re funded with 100% of my hard-earned money then I have every right to know where that money is going. And to be exempt from a Kansas Open Records Act when you are 100% funded by taxpayers is not acceptable. Those are the type of issues I would dive into within the first seven to 10 days if I were elected.
Craig Andres: Do you play well with others? How would you do with those around you?
Jennifer Winn: I do. I’m a pretty easy-going individual. I obviously am the mother of four children and they were all a year apart so they are 22, 23, 24, 25. That’s getting ready to roll over by the way. I had to learn to negotiate middle ground because each of those children being so close together. No different than my employees or the contracts that I have to negotiate with commercial customers. It takes an individual to be able to come to a middle ground, so I would say that I am not extreme in one way or another. Some people try to paint me into a box that I just don’t fit in. But you know, you are mandated to pick one or the other. For me, it was, I couldn’t just pick, ‘I’m a citizen’ or ‘I’m a taxpayer’. I had to be put into a box that I don’t necessarily fit in for one or the other in its entirety. So, I think that someone with common sense, someone with real-world experiences — because it’s not easy in the real world — I think that the majority of us know that. Whether you are building a business or whether you’re working for Boeing, we all have budgets, and we can’t spend what we don’t have.
The concept that politicians have basically displayed for years now is that, you know, they’re the decider and they don’t listen to the people. So the reason I’m not corporate funded, the reason I don’t take special interest money is because I want to be funded by the people because I want to represent the people — not their agendas, not the corporate agendas, not the special interest group agendas — but truly the agenda of the people. I think it’s time that we the people start standing up and running for these positions and that’s pretty much why I decided that, no one else is doing it. My grandmother always taught me that ‘if you do the same thing you’ve always done you’ll get the same thing you’ve always got.’
For me, it’s always been about voting for the lesser of two evils to the point that I really didn’t care anymore because no one listened to us. So, for me it’s very important to stand for what we the people want, and be heard, and then be able to listen and actually listen and put my own ideologies aside and my own beliefs aside and do what the majority of the people truly want.