WICHITA, Kansas — The Independent candidate in the race for U.S. Senator from Kansas, Greg Orman, responded to the KSN News Poll released August 26 via Skype.
Orman responded first to the KSN News Poll results that showed the Orman campaign has gained ground since the most recent KSN News Poll.
“We’re very gratified by where we’re at as a campaign and excited about the interaction we’ve had with voters in Kansas and what they’ve been saying to us,” said Orman.
Regarding the Economy:
Orman told KSN that he is the only candidate in the race who has experience creating jobs.
“It’s important for me to bring that experience to Washington. One of the things I will tell you that’s a real issue as it relates to job creation is just the dysfunction in Washington. It makes it hard for businesses to commit to investing in the United States, particularly when there’s such uncertainty as to what our policies are going to be and when there’s uncertainty as to whether or not Washington is actually going to be able to get their act together,” explained Orman.
“I think what I provide is someone who’s had experience creating jobs and so, as a result of that, we have to do a handful of things if we really want to get our economic engine growing again as a country,” Orman said.
Orman relayed a story about his father, a longtime Kansas businessman.
“He owns a furniture store and he refers to what’s going on right now in our regulatory environment as a little bit like falling into a beehive,” said Orman.
“We need to … look at our regulatory regime and look at where there’s overlap and make sure that we’re streamlining our regulatory processes so that we can ensure safe products and safe employees, but at the same time eliminate a big part of that burden on business people who are trying to create jobs,” said Orman.
“It’s one of the things that we’ve seen when we’ve traveled the state that everyday Kansans are aware of… They’re aware that Washington is incredibly dysfunctional,” Orman said.
People are aware, Orman explained, that we are reportedly sending the worst of both political parties there, referring to them as “bitter partisans who care more about pleasing the extremists in their own parties, than they do about solving problems.”
“I think the first thing we need to do to get the economy growing again is make sure we send people to Washington who are actually serious about solving problems instead of just winning elections,” said Orman.
The Independent challenger told KSN that the “health care affordability” issue has to be addressed.
“First and foremost,” Orman said, “We need to stop bickering about health care in this country and start thinking about ‘what do we need to do to make health care affordable again’ so that creating jobs doesn’t come with a relatively large health care tax.”
“Every year when we decide in our businesses the kind of raises we’re able to give our employees and when we decide how many new employees we can hire, the first question we have to ask ourselves is: ‘How high have health care costs gone?’ And as an example, in one of our businesses in Kansas last year, we were able to give people 2.5% raises that would have been 4, 4.5% raises if we didn’t have to deal with the costs and the issues associated with rising health care costs,” explained Orman.
“I’ve talked a lot about the fact that we had a health care affordability issue before the Affordable Care Act, and we have a health care affordability issue today and what we really need to do is look at our reimbursement systems in health care, and ask what kind of behavior we are encouraging,” said Orman, “and right now we pay for quantity and not quality.”
Orman told KSN that he thinks we need to change our reimbursement systems in health care. He says it’s a matter of quality versus quantity.
“Health care, I like to say, is the only industry where you get paid to fix your own mistakes, and we’ve got to change that dynamic,” argued Orman.
Regarding Partisan Politics:
“I think there’s been a lot of discussion lately about the fact that the Senate is likely going to be very evenly divided in November. In fact, if I’m elected, there’s a chance that neither party will have a majority in the United States Senate, and I think that would give me, as a freshman senator, and Kansas by extension, a real opportunity to set the agenda in Washington and really force Washington to focus on a pro-problem solving agenda that can get our country working again and help create jobs and opportunities for people,” said Orman.
Regarding Immigration Reform:
Greg Orman told KSN that what we have now is a “non-plan” concerning immigration.
“What I would do is have a plan that’s tough, practical, and fair,” said Orman. “By ‘tough’ I mean, we need to secure the borders and while we’ve seen a pretty significant increase in the number [of] border security agents that we have, we need to make sure that we maintain that commitment to border security, and in fact, revisit some of the technological experiments that we’ve tried, and ultimately, didn’t succeed with ten years ago.”
Orman argues the immigration plan must also be practical.
“In Western Kansas, there are a number of cities that would be absolutely devastated if we took such an aggressive position. So, how do we make if fair to taxpayers?” asked Orman. “The way we make it fair to taxpayers is by saying, ‘if you’re undocumented and you’re in the country, you should have to register with ICE by a date certain, you should have to pay a fine or perform community service as an acknowledgement that you’ve broken our laws, you should have to hold down a job, pay taxes, obey our laws, and then if you’re willing to do that, I think you should be able to stay here and continue to work.’”