U.S. House of Representatives (District 3) Candidate Craig McPherson chats about upcoming Republican primary

July 19, 2010

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Craig McPherson, a candidate from Overland Park, is running in a field of nine for the right to appear on the ballot as the Republican nominee for the Third District U.S. House seat in the November general election. The third district covers parts of Lawrence mostly east of Iowa Street, Eudora and Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. He'll take your questions on the upcoming election.

Craig McPherson:

It is a pleasure to be here.


Hello and welcome to this LJWorld.com Election 2010 chat. Craig, are you with us?

Craig McPherson:

Yes, I am. Thank you.


What would your three highest priorities be in Washington, D.C.?

Craig McPherson:

Mr. Hamilton:

1) We need to continue the Bush tax cuts. Hopefully that will get accomplished prior to the end of 2010, but if it has not happened, I will make it a priority.

2) We need to repeal ObamaCare if possible. If not, we can work to defund it. Such a program could be very harmful to our Health Care system in this country, and infringes on our basic rights.

3) We need a comprehensive reform of our current budget obligations. I support and would push to implement the Roadmap for America's Future.


Would you extended benefits to those people out of work if you were a congressman in office today? What solution do you have for those people that have a credit rating below 599 which represents 25% of the United States population?

Craig McPherson:

One of the novel proposals of my campaign is America's District, which you can visit at http://americasdistrict.com .

Our plan is to make people less dependent upon the federal government, and instead encourage individuals to work within their local communities, as individuals and with churches and charities, to bring support back to the local level.

In short, I believe we do not need to extend unemployment benefits, but should instead work locally to help those who are out of work to find employment.


I'm reading your online bio... could you explain what the Salvatori Center is?

Craig McPherson:

The Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World (http://www.cmc.edu/salvatori/) is a research institute affiliated with Claremont McKenna College, where I attended undergrad. I worked as a research assistant and junior fellow at Salvatori, where we applied founding principles to modern political questions.

Our goal was to research and explore those ideas originally espoused by the founders, and to again emphasize those in the modern climate: both through education and policy.


You have grown up in Johnson County, but according to your website, you graduated from Claremont McKenna College in California, and the Law School at George Mason University in Virginia. Why didn't you go to KU for your training? Why did you choose schools so far from Kansas?

Craig McPherson:

I was attracted to the institutions that I attended because of the educational opportunity they offered. CMC was a small school, about 1000 students, that has a strong emphasis on business and public affairs. It has one of the best economics programs in the country, and a faculty that still actually has some conservative professors. For me it was a perfect fit.

George Mason similarly was a different type of law school. We started constitutional law with a course on the "Founder's Constitution" and we also studied Law and Economics, where we assessed the costs and benefits of the law. Again, for me, this was the perfect environment.

I believe both schools helped to shape my views and my understanding of political philosophy and economics.


I believe the structure of the health care bill was a mistake. What will you work toward to change it? Can it be repealed? Can it be reformed?

Craig McPherson:

Determined: you are absolutely correct. Congress dramatically overstepped their authority. The American people did not want the Health Care bill. It put at risk theour healthcare system and created very poor incentives for those in the medical profession. There may be no greater recent example of the negative effects of power corrupting than those career politicians that so brazenly pushed through such unwanted and bad legislation.

Regardless, we should work to repeal it, and i believe with large enough electoral gains this November, we can have enough political capital to at least force the president to work with us in changing it. We also may be able to defund the bill.

I do believe that some reform is necessary. The problem is that our president and congress hijacked a process that was leading toward more competition: HSA's and pooled plans. We now see an overwhelming and expensive expansion of bureacracy.

I prefer increased competition, even across state lines. We should reform the tax code so it does not favor those who are insured through an employer, and we must have tort reform.

Craig McPherson:

Well, while we are waiting on questions, I suggest you visit http://mcphersonforcongress.com.

If we want to take back our country and restore liberty, we need not continue to elect the same old style of politicians.

I have a background in economics, grew up in small business, and have studied our nation's founding. We need that type of experience representing us in Washington


How do you propose to fix our immigration problem?


Sorry for the delay on that last question. My computer had to be restarted. But we have quite a list still that we can go through. Craig, can you be with us until 3 p.m.?

Craig McPherson:

We first must secure our borders. People respond to incentives, and any immigration policy that does not secure borders first will encourage continued illegal immigration.

This having been said, I believe that the Republican Party need to take back the message on immigration. Those who would follow our laws, and come to this country seeking a better future. Those who would work hard to improve the condition of themselves and their families are actually ideal Republicans, and we embrace them.

What we want is to make sure our laws are enforced, and that is an important goal.


Great. Well, here comes our next question.

Craig McPherson:

Yes, I can be here until 3.


The new healthcare bill allows me to keep my two college age children on my health insurance. Why would you oppose this provision?

Craig McPherson:


Your word choice is a little odd. An insurance contract can be negotiated between you and your insurance company and presumably an insurance provider could still contract with you to insure your college age children even without the new bill.

What this bill does instead is takes away the freedom of an insurance company not to enter into such a contract with you. I support freedom for you and your insurance provider, and there were plans, even before the bill, which would provide benefits to young adults.


All the Republicans running in the congressional race describe themselves as "conservative." What sets you apart from the field, and particularly from the apparent front runner, Kevin Yoder?

Craig McPherson:

This year, I do not believe voters are looking for the same old type of career politician who alters his views based upon the political winds.

I have a firm conviction that is rooted in an understanding our our Founding and of our Constitution. I learned early that America's greatness has always been in her people not in her programs.

This core philosophy is what has motivated me to run for Congress, and it is what will keep me steadfast representing you in Washington.


National polls show that most republicans do not believe the government should be involved in health care.

Please tell us your position on this and if you believe Medicare should continue or be eliminated.

Craig McPherson:

As mentioned above, I support the Roadmap for America's future (http://www.roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/) which will help to pull us away from dependency on such entitement programs, while securing our existing obligations. I also wish to bring more involvement at the local level through America's District.

I believe the federal government is ill-equipped to handle Health Care, and I believe that those who rely upon the federal government to always be there for them are unfortunately depending on a hope more than a reality.


The country is more polarized right now than I have ever seen it. How do you propose easing tensions without sacrificing principles?

Craig McPherson:

Well, I think more than being polarized between the left and the right, now Americans are fed up with both parties.

The real problem is that we do have too many people that see political service as a personal career and are willing to do whatever it takes to win power. Meanwhile, we in the majority of America are stuck with irresponsible spending, incomprehensible regulation, and a continually more burdened economy.

I believe we bridge this gap by standing on principle. What America really needs is Congressman with the tenacity to stand on their convictions. I have just that tenacity.


We'll make this our last question for today:


What do you believe makes you better qualified for this office than some of the older, more experienced candidates?

Craig McPherson:

It really depends what you look to as "experience". A couple of the candidates have spent year working for the government. To me, this is exactly what we do not want this year.

I don't know about you but I am upset with career politicians who think they no better what is good for us than we know for ourselves. Worse still are those that think they can use us to live out their "dream" regardless of whether they have an actual plan as to how to make things better for the people of Kansas.

There are certainly some young people whom I would not want representing me, and there are those who are much older who would do a poor job as well.

What we must look to is what a person believes in and how prepared they are to represent those beliefs. I grew up in small business: I poured concrete and managed personnel. I have studied economics.

I did work briefly at the White House and the DOJ, but to me I am the most qualified candidate because I understand the philosophy behind this country, and how to return to those important ideals. At this point we don't need experienced politicians, we need bold statesmen.


My apologies to any question we didn't get to. I tried to get a wide cross section of topics and questioners. Craig, do you have any closing thoughts?

Craig McPherson:

Absolutely. Thank you to the questioners and to the Lawrence Journal World. I would obviously ask for all of your support in the upcoming August 3rd Primary.

If you wish to bring back limited government and fiscal responsibility while upholding a strong national defense, there is one candidate who stands above the others. It is easy to see problems, it is much more challenging to come up with the solutions to those problems.

I can do just that. Please vote for Craig McPherson (http://mcphersonforcongress.com)


As a reminder, advance voting is going on now at the Douglas County Courthouse. Election day is Aug. 3rd. Thanks very much to everyone who submitted a question and to Craig who answered them.


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