U.S. Senate candidate Lee Jones chats about U.S. Senate Democratic primary
July 23, 2008
This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.
Lee Jones, a railroad engineer and former vice-president of government affairs for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, is running against Jim Slattery for the right to challenge Sen. Pat Roberts in the November general election. He'll take your questions on the upcoming race.
We're having a few computer problems, so we should be starting very shortly. And don't forget -- you can submit questions at any time during the chat.
Today we're chatting the U.S. Senate candidate Lee Jones. I'm reporter Lindsey Slater and I'll be moderating the chat today. Just a friendly reminder that readers can submit questions at any time during the chat. Thanks for joining us, Lee. Let's dive right in.
It is refreshing that a new face is running for the Senate. Sending back familiar faces will not bring about the changes that the USA needs. Both Jim Slattery and Pat Roberts are very well connected to special interest money that corrupts the system.
How do you intend to create new industry thus new jobs thus new wealth for the USA that special interest money has effectively outsourced?
Would you support National Health Insurance/HR 676 which would also attract new industry to the USA and would be a big help to small business people as well?
Goodmorning Merrill, One of the problems we have with jobs or the loss of jobs is our trade policy. I was opposed to NAFTA when it was being voted on by Congress because I knew that we would not have a level playing field. The first thing I would do would to re-work all our trade policies and make them fair to the American worker and their families. If we could not make the changes we needed, we should void those trade agreements. Next, I would close any tax loopholes that allows foreign corporations to take the wealth out of this country with out paying U.S. taxes. I would support next energy technology and establish new jobs in these new industries. On your healthcare issue, I believe that healthcare is a right and not a privilage in this country. I would support a national healthcare policy to cover all Americans. This, along with changing our unfair trade agreements will help all Kansans and our small business community.
How does your background and experience qualify you to be a senator?
I am proud of my background have been raised in a farming and railroad family. After high school, I went to work on the railroad and attended and graduated from Baker University. Once I completed my years at Baker U., I started to get involved in issues affecting workers and their families. In the 1980's I represented working families at the Kansas Legislature work on issues such as taxes, working conditions and state policies that affected the average citizen of Kansas. From 1991 through 2001 I represented workers and their families on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.. There I learned the process on how to get things done in the legislative, regulatory and political process for the average citizen. Having testified on many occassions and help get passed issues dealing with healthcare, trade, retirement systems, and a host of other issues gave me the expierence and the knowledge on how to get things done in Washington. I can hit the ground running. I have been back working as a railroad engineer since returning in 2001 and understand first hand what affect the average worker each day.
In a chat yesterday, your opponent seemed convinced he was the best candidate to challenge Pat Roberts. Why would you be a better candidate to tackle the incumbent?
I do feel that I am a better candidate to challenge Pat Roberts. First of all, I have a farming background and know what the effects of the farm policy that the Bush Administration, and supported by Roberts, has had on the small family farmers and our small Kansas towns. Secondly, I am sure you have seen the ads that Roberts has on about Slattery being a lobbyist and away from Kansas for the last 14 years. The average citizen of Kansas believes that corporate lobbyist are part of what is wrong with Washington. The years that I was around the Kansas Legislature and on Capitol Hill, I represented workers and their families. How would Roberts attack some one who looks after the best interest of working families. Also, I know that once this primary is over, people will have a clear choice between some one who looked after corporate America and big business and some one who has looked after the interest of people, which I have for over 25 years. Isn't it time to put a real working Kansas in the United States Senate?
Here's another policy based question.
What would you do about the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan?
First of all, I would not have voted for the war in the first place and stated that four years ago when I ran against Sam Brownback. Roberts held off the report that would have not justified the war. We have lost so many lives and injured so many of our military people and have spent over $900 billion for what? I support pulling our troops out within 12 months after the election. I do believe that we have not had enough troops in Afghanistan and support adding troops.
Is there anything else you'd like Lawrence voters to know about you?
I would like the Lawrence voters to know how much I care about Kansas, our country and the future for all of us. I worked most of my adult life on behalf of workers and their families. I bring to the table good Kansas thinking about the problems that face America. I have the expierence to make a differece, whether it be to help lower the price of gas, make sure alternative energy projects are funded, how the address the healthcare problem, or how to make and keep jobs in Kansas. I have outlined all my positions on my website:www.leejones.com. I urge you to visit my site to see what I really stand for! Remember this, I will represent the interest of the citizens of Kansas, not big business. They have plunty of lobbyist like Jim Slattery.
That's all the time we have. Thanks for joining us, Lee. Keep logging on to ljworld.com for all of your election needs.