Jake LaTurner – Republican for U.S. House, Kansas District 2

Candidates

Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.

Biographical Information:

Kansas State Treasurer (2017-present); Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Pittsburg State University; Kansas State Senator (2013-2017), Cherokee County GOP Chair

Personal Information:

Married to Suzanne, four children Ava, Joe, Maggie, Gus

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

JakeLaTurner.com

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

The death of George Floyd was clearly a tragedy and the violent response to his death has also been a tragedy. America has had a long and rocky relationship with race relations. We have made tremendous progress over the generations, but there is still much work to be done. Criminal justice reform is one important aspect of this. By taking small steps we can address some of the reasons that minorities are disproportionately targeted by our criminal justice system. However, movements like “De-fund the Police” are misguided and not productive toward moving our nation forward.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

The freedom for people to peacefully protest has always been a right in our country, and insomuch as people are exercising that right peacefully, I support their right to do so. In recent events for example, those who utilized the tragedy of George Floyd’s death as a catalyst to launch into lawlessness have grossly abused that right and have added to the tragedy. Additionally, criminal justice systems should always be respectful of human dignity, which means even those who commit crimes deserve fair treatment. This also means there should be an equal measure of justice for victims and a system in place that helps people who leave prison have opportunities to have a second chance at success outside.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

There is no question that no system is without its flaws, and the police force is no exception. There can be a bad apple in every profession. But overwhelmingly our law enforcement officers are putting their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. I stand shoulder to shoulder with them as they do so. De-funding the police is not the answer. I support reforms that improve communication between police and citizens. I also support training and supporting our police officers so that we can continue to add good people to the force. By de-funding the profession and not supporting the work they are doing, we discourage good people from wanting to become law enforcement officers.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. has responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

President Trump made a smart decision early on in closing our borders to people coming over from China, despite receiving criticism for the move. No one could have anticipated something like this, so we have to be mindful that when we are working to find solutions to things that we have not experienced before, not every solution will be perfect.

Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?

We need to make sure that people are taken care of as we struggle with this virus, and we also need to be cautious about continuing to throw money at the problem. At this time I feel it would be best to tap the brakes on the government spending and see how the economy is reacting to what has already been done. Employers are saying that they can’t get people to get back to work because they are making more money on unemployment than they would have been at work. We need to let the government subsidies to unemployment expire and see where our economy is from there. In a nation with a several trillion-dollar deficit, out of control spending is not going to help us get back on track.

We need to get the free market working again. Having private businesses open and running is the only way we are going to dig out of this financial situation because taxpayer money is what runs our economy.

What are the top 3 things you think deserve your immediate attention in Washington and what action would you take on them, including how you’d compromise with members of the other party?

On my campaign website you can read my Contract with Kansas, which outlines my seven commitments to the people of Kansas for what they can count on from me in Washington, D.C. At the top of the list is that I will co-sponsor legislation for term limits. When we send elected officials to D.C. with no end date, they get too focused on the next election. With term limits, we can have a congress that gets things done because they know they have a limited time to do it. I also commit to tackling the tough job of balancing the federal budget. We have an out of control spending problem in our nation, and we need to require the federal government to balance their checkbook just like hard-working Americans do every day. Another priority of mine will be to reform our immigration system, which includes building a wall at the Mexico border.

Do you believe our healthcare system needs to be reformed? If so, what will you do to change it?

We need a system that is centered on the patient that gives people choices and transparency. I don’t think we will achieve that with a one size fits all program from the government. We need to empower states to make decisions, allow states to be innovative, protect medicare for our seniors, and cover preexisting conditions.

Give us your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.

The second amendment is a foundational right in our constitution. I believe the right to protect yourself and defend your family was created by God.

Do you think we need immigration reform and what changes would you support?

I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws. Employers should be required to use E-verify to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. I support people coming to our country through our legal immigration process, that includes learning about what makes our country unique and special.

What steps would you support to strengthen the nation’s security?

The safety and security of our nation is important, and our men and women in uniform will have my total support. I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What should Congress do about it, if anything?

It is important for all of us to do our part to conserve our planet. Everything we do needs to balance economic implications. I am totally opposed to the Green New Deal, which has been put forward by liberal democrats. The position that legislation would put us in is one that doesn’t allow us to compete globally. Working class Americans who are doing their best to get by are the ones who will end up paying for it when their energy rates skyrocket. Kansans have been conserving and protecting our land for generations. Our land is what allows us to be competitive and get into new markets. We need to do our best to protect the planet, but the extreme measures in the Green New Deal do more harm than good.

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?

Our nation’s deficit is huge problem. Part of my campaign is about getting that under control. Most of the spending in our country for the next decade has already been decided on and one of the largest growing line items in the budget is interest on the national debt. It is irresponsible for us to saddle future generations with the debt from the spending we are doing now. It will be one of my priorities in Congress to make a difference in this area.

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