- Life-long resident of Kansas, currently live in Lawrence, work in Overland Park
- Attended Colby Community College, Fort Hays State, and KU
- Operated CPA practice in Hays
- Owner, Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC, tax, bankruptcy and business law
- Army Reserve Attorney, retired as Major with 21 years military service
- President, Ellis Community Veterinary Clinic (3 years); Ellis representative, Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development (2 years)
I am not married. My two children are college graduates. My son, Frank, graduated with a computer science degree from Wichita State University; he works in Saint Louis as a computer programmer in the aircraft industry. My daughter, Stephanie, graduated with a finance degree from Clemson University; she works in marketing and public relations for a large healthcare organization in the Kansas City area.
What one specific issue do you think deserves your immediate attention in Washington, and how do you plan to address it?
The pay-to-play culture in Washington is the biggest threat to the fiscal solvency of the United States. This culture is the reason we have $19.4 trillion in public debt. Lobbyists are hired to keep US Treasury money flowing to special interest groups, contractors, and foreign governments. The lobbyists’ control over the timing, amount, and placement of campaign donations gives them unfettered influence over all US Senators. The threat of a well-funded primary opponent and negative ads deters all debate on federal spending reform. These lobbyists – unaccountable to voters – have taken the power of the purse away from Congress. I take it as my senate duty to defeat this power-grab of lobbyists. Only then will America have a Congress free to enact the people’s will on spending, taxes, and public debt.
Please provide a one to two paragraph explanation of your stance on each of the following: Immigration, Health Care, Economic Issues, Foreign Policy.
Immigration: I have served with Hispanics in the Army and have had dozens as clients. They are hard workers who take care of their families and heroically serve our country. A robust immigration policy will help the Kansas economy grow when these hard workers become employed by our businesses. State revenues would increase as more payroll taxes would be paid into the treasury.
Amnesty is not necessary. Neither is a wall. My solution is to establish special immigration facilities in northern Mexico to process those who want to apply for legal status. Those here illegally can return to that country and then reenter in accordance with US law. The reward will be a path to full citizenship. The charge will be about $4,000 per person. This will cover the costs of processing, security, and facilities. The program would probably take six years to complete. The American people will support this plan.
Health Care: I opposed the Affordable Care Act because I didn’t want the government to take on another new entitlement program. However, we now have national health insurance as the law of the land. The economy has moved in that direction. Repeal is unlikely. My job is to make it work.
I opposed the Affordable Care Act because I didn’t want the government to take on another new entitlement program. However, we now have national health insurance as the law of the land. The economy has moved in that direction. Repeal is unlikely. My job is to make it work.
Existing US health care policy is not cost-effective, does not reward a healthy lifestyle, nor does it provide easy access to doctors and nurses. Small business owners and the self-employed are seeing annual health insurance premiums increases of 30 to 40 percent. This is happening even though annual family out-of-pocket responsibilities have increased from an average of $2,000 to well over $6,000 and in some cases $12,000. I have a client family of five (all non-smokers) whose monthly insurance premiums went from $1,070 in 2015 to $1,450 in 2016. They are ineligible for premium subsidies. They expect again another 30 percent increase for 2017. Next year, these clients will drop coverage because they simply don’t have the income to pay the premiums. Congress needs to fix the insurance models as the current structure has led to unaffordable insurance premiums. Halting and reversing this unchecked inflation in premiums and deductibles will be a primary focus of my senate work.
Economic Issues: The federal government is the only body big enough to provide a modern transportation infrastructure, set energy policy, and oversee environmental protection. These are inherent government duties. We can start work on roads, bridges, and airports with new revenue generated from fuel taxes and user fees. I support the Keystone pipeline and want it built in a way that doesn’t repeat our past environmental mistakes. Energy security, jobs, and environmental stewardship are the immediate benefits.
We need more private sector manufacturing jobs here. For the good of our economy, Americans need to make as much or more than we consume. Our trade deals haven’t led to more US jobs. In our country, companies must pay, in addition to wages, the costs of Social Security, health care, worker’s compensation, litigation risk, taxes, and environmental protection. Foreign companies don’t have these costs burdens. And because the United States military’s world-wide presence keeps the peace, most of our trade competitors don’t pay for their own national defense. Few, if any, respect our copyrights and patents. The countries that export to us are getting by on the cheap. That is how foreign businesses can afford to ship manufactured products from other continents to US markets. Foreign corporations avoid US taxes by pricing their products at levels that show little no profit on US sales. Until this unfairness is eliminated, I’ll oppose the TPP. Free trade means fair trade.
Foreign Policy: The United States’ strategy for dealing with terrorists needs rework. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have cost America many lives and trillions to carry out. One unintended outcome is our enemy has moved to other countries and regions. We still have the threat but now at new locations. I favor prompt destruction of ISIS, whether in Syria, Libya, or Iraq, by killing their leadership, cutting off their funding, and destroying their means to terrorize.
A bedrock value of Americans is that we help our allies. Iraq is an ally and now needs our help. Protection of their oil reserves is a vital interest. The United States cannot let the terrorist ISIS army march into Iraq and seize the oil fields. If ISIS takes control of these fields, they will use that oil wealth to promote violence against us and our allies. Complete defeat of ISIS is necessary or else they will move to other hideouts throughout the world. The governments of Syria, Libya, or Iraq, along with Afghanistan, don’t have economies strong enough to pay for the military and police forces required to control ISIS while, at the same time, providing for the needs of their own people. This means it’s up the United States to stop ISIS; the other nations don’t have this capability. After our troops give us victory, they can come home for good.
This election season has seen a lot of divisiveness. If elected how do you propose working with the other party to address the issues facing Kansas today?
As Senator, I intend to show respect to the President, the people who work in government, and to federal agencies such as the courts, Veterans Administration, and Internal Revenue Service. My style is not to mean-mouth public servants. If I have a disagreement with the President, a member of Congress, or agency head, I will work with him or her to come to an agreement when the outcome is good public policy. I believe this way of doing business will spare the country of having to go through another spectacle like the Robert Bork nomination to the Supreme Court. Those hearings were the Senate at its worst. Even if the Senators considered him a poor choice, Judge Bork was a human being and entitled to respect. I understand the current Republican treatment of Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland is payback. The Democrats deserve it. But our nation needs a full complement of Supreme Court justices. America and Judge Garland are entitled to hearings and a vote. The US Senate should carry out its advice and consent duty and either accept or reject his appointment. The current disgust with Congress started with the Bork nomination.
WEBSITE | Patrick Wiesner for Senate