WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the August primary election. We have not made any edits to the candidate’s answers.


Biographical Information:

(Courtesy Patrick Wiesner)

I moved to Overland Park in 2021; prior to that, I lived in Lawrence. I grew up on a farm north of Ellis on the Ellis-Trego County line. In the 1870s, my ancestors immigrated to Kansas from Germany and Russia. I grew up with seven brothers and sisters.

In 1974, I graduated from Ellis High School. I have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Fort Hays State; a law degree from the University of Kansas; and a graduate law degree in taxation from the UMKC. I am also a CPA and am licensed to practice law in Kansas and Missouri. I own a tax and bankruptcy law firm.

My two children are out of college, have their own careers, and raising their families. My son, Frank, has a degree in computer science degree and works as a software developer in the aircraft industry. My daughter, Stephanie, has a finance degree; she works in marketing and public relations for an educational management company. There is no joy greater than employed kids.

In 2014, I retired as a U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate with the rank of major. I served 21 years, all as a reservist. My military specialty was government contract and fiscal law. I served three one-year deployments; one in Afghanistan and twice in Iraq. My last assignment was Chief, Contract and Fiscal Law, United States Forces – Afghanistan.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

WiesnerSenate2022.com

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?

(1) Congress gave the Federal Reserve Board the power to set the interest rates for savers. The Board used this power to put interest rates at near zero. The reasons were to bail out the stock market, hedge funds, and mortgage companies. This has been going on for 15 years. It ends when I get to the Senate. Former workers – now retirees – who saved their earnings for a rainy day got the shaft. Amending Federal Reserve Board and other banking laws will fix this injustice. Congress can set interest rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposit at a minimum of six percent.

(2) In Kansas, private long-term care costs $7,000 to $8,000 per month and keeps going up. This bankrupts families. Retirees needs affordable nursing home options. Baby boomer demographics compel decisive action. There will be about 65 million persons born between 1946 and 1964 who will enter the age where long-term care is needed. Likely, one in five will end up in a nursing home. That’s about 13 million residents. Once their money is gone, Medicaid is on the hook for the bill and that will cost taxpayers $104 billion a month or $1.25 trillion per year. America does not have enough facilities, personnel, or money for business as usual. The current Medicaid spenddown requirement is not sustainable. No cost controls are in place. I will lead development of a new business model with a target cost of $2,000 a month.

(3) I’ll give you a throw the bums out moment. Washington dumps two to three thousand pages of legislation on the House and Senate and arranges voting in an hour. None of the members read the bill but they vote anyway. On August 2 when you’re in your precinct looking over the ballot, you will have read more before casting your vote than Congress does before voting on major programs or spending trillions.

Share your thoughts about the current Supreme Court. Do you believe it should be expanded?        

I hope Americans realize that a Republican president with a Republican controlled House and Senate – or likewise if under total Democrat control – could add one, two, ten, or 20 seats to the Supreme Court. The filibuster is gone. The party in full control of Washington can get the Supreme Court it wants without any Justice retirements. There is no Constitutional limit to the number of Supreme Court justices. Expanding the Court would be a free for all. I’ll fight to keep it at nine.

What should be done to fight inflation?      

I’m not an economist but I run a business. Here’s my observation from ground level. The 165 million Americans who work do not produce enough goods and services to meet the requirements of the 334 million people who live here. Imports are necessary to fill the gap. Congress and the Federal Reserve print money and transfer much of it to people no longer in the labor force. This fiat funding is used to pay China, Vietnam, and Taiwan for their imports. So long as our country’s productivity deficit exists, inflation and shortages are in our future.

Making products in America is the start to tackle inflation; we will avoid transportation, inspection, and tariff costs that going along with importing goods from foreign countries. The second item is an energy policy focused on production of energy for America’s own plentiful natural resources; we’ll get lower prices for electricity and gasoline as we have abundant domestic fuel supplies that can last decades. Finally, I will take the lead to lower medical insurance costs by shrinking the health care bureaucracy streamline the payment system so that doctors, nurses, and hospitals get promptly paid for their services.

Share your stance on gun control/2nd Amendment rights.      

The Constitution provides the right of individuals to possess firearms for traditional lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home and for hunting. I agree with that.

But that doesn’t allow ownership of machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, or bazookas. I intend to push for laws that prohibit ownership or possession of weapons capable of mowing down advancing troops. This includes the AR-15 – the firearm involved in the Uvalde, Texas killing of two precious teachers and 19 grade school kids. I will take the lead in the Senate with promoting a federal ban on assault rifles, requiring no loop-hole background checks on gun sales, and giving police authority to seize the weapons of the dangerous mentally ill. In Uvalde, the adults failed the children. No more.

Where do you stand on LGBTQ issues and rights?      

Every person should have the chance at a happy marriage. This includes gays and lesbians. The more Americans who are happily married, the better off our country will be.

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

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 faithfully serve our country. A robust immigration policy will help the Kansas economy grow when these workers become employed by our businesses. State revenues would increase as more payroll taxes would be paid into the treasury. From my experience, Mexican immigrants seem to be natural builders. They look for construction jobs; roofing, drywall, siding, you name it.

Amnesty is not necessary. My solution for those here illegally 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.

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

I have no faith in Washington leadership on energy and climate. The green solutions pushed are set up for failure. I will advocate for a mix of reliable energy sources including nuclear with the recognition that the intermittency of wind and solar means there must always be backup sources. We now import wind turbines from Germany who made them using Russian natural gas. Our solar panels come from China who burns coal to make them. This is nuts.

I frequently drive through the Smoky Hills Wind Farm in central Kansas. On I-70 from mile markers 206 to 232 you can see most, if not all, of the 240 wind turbines. Some are on the south side of the highway but most are north. One third of the time less than ten are turning; on some days all are rotating. This service intermittence is the challenge to getting wind generated electricity to be reliable. As of now, nuclear and fossil fuel backup is required. If these backups aren’t profitable, then they won’t be around. Oil, natural gas, and coal will be America’s primary energy sources for decades to come. Wind and solar can be in the mix, about 10 to 15 percent max, but only if fossil fuels and nuclear are there to carry the load. If the politicians want a carbon free economy, one or more workable energy alternatives must first be found. At present, there are none.

Do you think the U.S. should do more about the situation in Ukraine?

Russia – a nation with nuclear weapons – invaded Ukraine, a sovereign country. I don’t want America in an air, ground, or nuclear war with Russia. Wars take on a life of their own and we never know in advance when or how they will end. I need to know why Russian invaded the Ukraine. Was it for economic or security reasons? I don’t yet have an answer.