Four candidates for the U.S. House 4th District discussed the issues during the Leadership Butler Candidate Forum Tuesday evening.

Donald Betts, Democrat; Susan Ducey, Reform; Steven Rosile, Libertarian; and Todd Tiahrt, Republican, are running for the seat.


Four candidates for the U.S. House 4th District discussed the issues during the Leadership Butler Candidate Forum Tuesday evening.

Donald Betts, Democrat; Susan Ducey, Reform; Steven Rosile, Libertarian; and Todd Tiahrt, Republican, are running for the seat.

Each gave an opening statement during the forum.

“Growing up for me was really tough,” Betts said.

He said his parents married at a young age and his father went into the Army, coming home with a lot of baggage. They soon split up and Betts and his mom spent some time living in hotel after hotel, until they were taken in by a family member.

“I am the youngest member in the history of the senate to serve,” said Betts, who is a Kansas senator. “I’ve learned Kansas values.”

He said he has traveled all over the 4th District visiting with people.

“I want to serve you in Washington, to put people over politics,” he said.
The next to speak was Ducey.

“I am asking for you to vote for a third-party candidate this time,” she said. “I’m a constitutionalist and I believe in the original intent.

“I don’t want to so easily give up our rights and responsibilities.”

She also pointed out that health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.

“If we stay within the purvue of what Congress can do, with that it will lower taxes,” she said.

She said even though she feels American’s have lost a lot of rights, America is still the most free country.

Tiahrt talked about his time serving Kansas.

He said they should be talking about what they will do for the future.

Tiahrt served two years in the Kansas Senate before he was elected to Congress in 1994.

“I have tried to keep jobs and create new ones,” he said. “I am pleased with some of the things I did with Butler Community College, the courthouse and the school district.”
He said it was important to have people who have experience in Congress.

He felt that was especially true when it comes to the economy.

“We need someone who will dig in to the root cause of the economy,” he said. “I also want a foundation of people who work together to build a strong economy.”
The final candidate to speak was Rosile.

He felt every person has a right to live life how they choose.

“The federal government dictates funds in areas where they have no authority,” he said. “Personal income tax could be eliminated if government was no bigger than it was eight years ago.”

He also mentioned that he felt warrantless wire tapping and torture were everyday occurrences.

“Don’t vote for the lesser of two evils,” he said. “Otherwise, the major candidate will take your vote as approval of their misdeeds.”

The first question asked was their view on the economic situation in the country and what could be done for Kansas.

Ducey answered first.
“If we do monetary reform we will see a lot of improvement,” she said.

She felt the government should stop printing bonds and start printing money.

“We need to lower taxes significantly,” she said. “These are the same questions we asked four years ago.”
Tiahrt answered next.

“All of us have a great deal of concern on how it affects us in Kansas,” he said. “It has come to Main Street.

“In Washington, the tendency is to throw money after a problem before we really know what the problem is,” he said.

Tiahrt said the problem was they were not addressing the underlying issues, such as bad accounting practices.

He said they also must continue to make the infrastructure strong.
 Rosile addressed the issue next.

“The main problem with the monetary system is it is based on fraud,” he said.

He said the constitution states there should be no money other than gold and silver coins.
“If we had honest money our economy would take care of itself,” he said.

He said that didn’t mean people couldn’t use electronic checks.
Betts next answered the question.

“We have to speak to people and ask what are you dealing with and what can make life better,” he said.

He proposed a start-up tax for small businesses.

“We have to look at how we support small businesses so they can hire employees and strengthen the economy,” he said.

The next question asked if there should be ethanol subsidies.

Tiahrt said renewable resources should be pursued, although it won’t solve the problem.

“We should set up a program now and move to the cellulosic process,” he said, adding this would still allow them to use the grain from the corn for food.

“I believe we should be energy independent,” Tiahrt said.
Rosile said he did not support subsidies for ethanol. His concern was it takes a lot of energy and water to create it. He also felt private enterprise would come up with the needed solution.

“We don’t need subsidies,” he said. “They distort the market.”

Betts felt there would be other alternatives to pair with ethanol.
“Some farmers really like ethanol,” he said.

He said there also was some opposition in the way ethanol was headed.
He suggested looking at other sources as well.

Ducey felt the legislature just always had subsidies on the mind.

“When the government gets involved things are less efficient,” she said.
She also mentioned it was expensive to produce.

“Government subsidies are not the answer,” she said.

The next question asked what they would do to bring industry and jobs to Kansas.
Rosile felt they just needed a strong economy.

He felt the solution would be to make all prices and contracts in weights of gold and silver.
“Inflation robs from each and everyone of us,” he said.

Betts said he would work on workforce development.

“We have to have a strong workforce if we have a good economy in Kansas,” he said.
He also wanted to look at smaller businesses and to look at more ways to make energy efficient and take away the $700 billion being spent overseas.

Ducey said they needed to see that entrepreneurs have more success than they do now. She also wanted to stop payroll taxes.

“It seems the federal government says, ‘you are successful, you will be taxed,’” she said.
Tiahrt said he felt there had to be a safe economy, so they should thank the young men and women who took the fight to the terrorists.

He said there also has to be a strong infrastructure.

“Overall, we need to modify the barriers the federal government has that prevent bringing jobs back to America,” Tiahrt said.

The next question concerned their views on illegal immigration.

Betts began by saying he believed there needs to be comprehensive immigration reform and the borders need to be sealed.

“We need to figure out how to find them and put them back at the end of the line,” he said. “We also have to look at families broken up and children left here.”

Ducey said she doesn’t believe they need to be allowed to stay.
“We need to deport them immediately when we find them,” she said.

She gave the example of if a man breaks the law he is still sent to prison even though it breaks up that family. This means they don’t consider the issue of breaking up families for American citizens then why use it for illegal immigrants.

Tiahrt answered next.

“We have to agree we are a nation of immigrants,” he said. “The first thing we need to do is define our borders. Then we can identify who is here and those who are illegal, escort them to the border.”

He said they have to know who is here and control the border or America’s worst nightmare will come true because terrorists have come across the border posing as Mexicans.

Rosile felt that they should be sent home and put at the back of the line as well. He also wanted to secure the borders.

“If we allow them to stay it will just encourage more illegals to come,” he said.
The next question concerned their stand on funding education.

Ducey said she felt it was not the responsibility of the federal government. Rather, it is the responsibility of parents and local school boards.

“We have a problem now with the federal government getting involved in too many things,” she said.

Tiahrt said he was for funding education, although he didn’t like No Child Left Behind because he felt it didn’t take into account the already successful programs in Kansas.

“Before we renew No Child, we should keep our promises we made in the past,” he said.
He didn’t want to set new mandates for school systems that they couldn’t achieve.

Rosile pointed out that eight years ago Tiahrt brought up the fact the worst education system in the country was in D.C., which is run by Congress.

“The children can’t speak, write or think right,” he said. “We are better off with the federal government totally out.”

Betts said he totally supports funding.

“I believe education starts at home when you read to your children,” he said.
He felt government hadn’t funded the mandates yet.

“Every child cannot learn at the same pace and you can’t mandate teachers to teach to a test,” Betts said.

Next, the candidates made their closing statements.

Rosile asked one thing of voters.

“My message is to stop voting for the major party candidates,” he said.

He felt the proper oversight was not given to the government, military and everyone with their hands out.

“Give your vote to a minor party candidate or write-in when faced with unacceptable choices,” he said.

Tiahrt spoke next.

“We need someone with experience,” he said. “Now is a different time to live through, but I have faith in our country.”

Ducey felt the Democrats and Republicans had been given enough time to try to fix all the problems that keep coming up. She pointed out how they had voted against what the people wanted at times.

“You don’t just get experience in Congress,” she said. “Fourteen years may be enough to be in Congress.”

Betts was the last with his final comments.

“I served in the legislature the past six years and worked with Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “I appreciate your prayers and your votes. It is time to put people over politics.”