James Thompson (D – US House 4th Dist)

James Thompson (D) (KSN Photo)

Bio:

  • Occupation: Attorney
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts, Wichita State University; J.D. Washburn Law School.
  • Previous political positions: None
  • U.S. Army, 1990-1994.

Personal:

Married 13 years to Lisa. Daughter, Liberty, is 11 years old.

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

Veterans: If we’re going to send our brave men and women in uniform to war, we must have the money to take care of them when they get home. We must be prepared to fund the treatment of the physical and mental wounds of our heroes and their families. The continuing problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs are unacceptable. I am committed to reforming the VA so our veterans can have an easy, seamless transition to civilian life. Further, when a veteran needs medical attention, their care must take immediate priority. The bureaucracy and red tape must be cut, and bipartisan solutions are necessary. I will be that voice in Washington, using personal experience as his guide.

Veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder need our compassion and vigorous support. This is an issue that has touched me and my family personally: my former brother-in-law, also a veteran, recently passed away after suffering with PTSD. Even since beginning this campaign, I have encountered numerous families who have shared their stories of suffering and loss. I want to champion support for all veterans who suffer from this disorder. We have the tools to improve our veterans’ lives, and we need to bring their well-being to the forefront.

Please provide a one to two paragraph explanation of your stance on each of the following: Immigration, Health Care, Economic Issues, Foreign Policy. 

Immigration: Immigrants want what we all want: to work hard, play by the rules, and achieve the American Dream. We need to build a firm, fair, inclusive system that encourages the best and brightest to live, work, and raise families in Kansas. We need to discourage illegal activity while protecting the Constitutional rights of those who live among us. We must reward those families who have served our nation through military service with special consideration for citizenship. And we must continue to be a a safe harbor for refugees whose lives are threatened by evil in our world.

Since its founding, our nation has been strengthened by immigrants of all races and faiths. Immigrants fought for America at its birth. Immigrants helped build soaring skyscrapers in our cities. Today, many immigrants power our South Central Kansas economy in agriculture, high tech, and manufacturing. We send our kids to school with immigrants during the week. We worship with immigrants on Sunday. They’re our friends and neighbors.

Health care: I believe that the ACA was a step in the right direction, but it is not the perfect solution. I know that we should improve the existing plan and its implementation, but we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater to do so. The recently failed AHCA plan would have done that, resulting in some 41,000 people living in the 4th District to lose their insurance coverage.

To keep moving forward, we must not step backward with a “repeal and replace” type plan. We know that government has a tendency to repeal activities, but then they never get around to replacing anything. To keep our families safe in their health care security, changes to the existing plan must be made. With compromise, I know we can sit down and find a plan that expands coverage, lowers cost, and doesn’t needlessly kick millions off of their health plans.

Economic Issues: I know that I could only escape the difficult circumstances of my childhood through a good education and a job that pays a livable wage. That’s why a core focus of my campaign is to provide opportunity to all citizens of the Fourth District, especially struggling working class Kansans. So often the debate centers around growing the middle class or catering to the upper class, while those at the bottom of the income scale are nearly forgotten. No more: I believe in helping to improve the lives of folks up and down the socioeconomic ladder. That includes increasing the minimum wage and removing barriers to economic mobility for the working and middle class. As my life demonstrates, access to affordable quality education can change a person’s life. Education is a pathway to the middle class.

I want to create better access to higher and technical education, particularly in rural parts of our state. There are employers looking to hire right now, but because of the limits to skilled workers, progress and economic growth stalls. Utilizing high speed internet and expanding Wi-Fi access in outlying counties, we can grow jobs for our district.

Foreign Policy: There are two aspects of foreign policy that should be addressed here: security and trade. As for security, I have sworn an oath twice in my life to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. While our military is second to none, we should only ask them to fight for us when our objectives are clear, our ability to act is strong, the United States has a coalition of partner nations in an action, and we have a plan for those that fight for us after they have served.

As for foreign trade policy, I believe that we need to develop targeted trade plans that allow for our farmers and businesses to get their products on the international market. Setting up relationships with foreign groups that are not in our best interests does nothing to protect Kansans and our way of life. If the business of America is business, then we need trading programs that will work fairly for us.

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?

When I was in the US Army, we were trained to get the job done. I didn’t matter where we came from, what religion we were, what our ethnicity was, or our political beliefs were, we were there to do a job to get it done.

There are times when good ideas come from Democrats, and times when it comes from Republicans. My loyalty is to the people of the Kansas 4th District, and I will work with anyone who is ready to help us.

WEBSITE | VoteJamesThompson.com

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