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Chat with Kansas House candidate Scott Barnhart

July 28, 2010

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

Kansas 10th House District candidate Scott Barnhart will take your questions about the upcoming election. The 10th district includes the Baldwin City area.

Moderator:

Good afternoon, and welcome to the third of today's chats with local candidates about the upcoming primary election. This afternoon's chat is with Scott Barnhart, who's running for a position on the Kansas House District 10 ticket. Thank you for joining us, Scott.

Scott Barnhart:

Good Afternoon and thanks to the LJWorld for sponsoring these chats and to the voters for participating....

Moderator:

We have a couple of specific questions from readers lined up (and are glad to have more, for those of you reading along), but first, Scott, could you describe what sparked your interest in politics and gave you the interest to run?

Scott Barnhart:

As a kid I never was really interested in politics, but when you get older you realize how important it is to participate in the Election process. I have ran for office on a couple of occasions and will probably stay active in politics so that my voice can be heard. I am interested in running because this is where I grew up and where I have settled down and will someday raise a family. Barnhart's have lived in this area since the 1870's and the Hoffman's (mother family) since the 1960's. So, I just want to make sure that I have a say in what the district is all about.

Moderator:

Via Twitter, we have a question from @SantaFeTow, who wants to know your position on public school funding.

Scott Barnhart:

I believe education is very important. I have a BSE in Chemistry/Physical Science and before I moved back to the farm I taught 7th grade at Basehor-Linwood middle school. I also did my student teaching at Free State High School and have several family members who are educators. So, it is important to fund the public schools properly. I am concerned that sometimes in the public education system we focus too much on preparing students for jobs, instead of preparing them to be entreprenuers, which is what we the current economic climate desperately needs.

Moderator:

How could the school system do more to prepare students for entrepreneurship? Would that be a large shift to what they're doing now, or more of a readjustment?

Scott Barnhart:

No, it does not need to be a large shift, the school system is still going to be geared to send kids to college and into the workforce. But there are always going to be kids that are geared more toward being independent and just adding some classes to the schedule on starting on how to start a business and managing those things would work. Most people do not realize how difficult it can be sometime to run and operate your own business and the commitment level that it takes. I know that a lot of the classmates I graduated high school with went into business for themselves right out of high school and had difficulties with it.

Moderator:

Continuing on an educational theme, could you talk about the goals of the nonprofit organization WE-ARE-AMERICANS?

Scott Barnhart:

I founded this company this year because I was concerned about the political rifts that are growing in this country. Everywhere you look people are bickering and fighting back and forth about Republican and Democratic policy and I just kind of wanted to bring people together to formulate pro-American policy that we can all agree on. These extreme partisan policies are hurting all of us in the long run and it needs to stop. It seems that a number of people do not take the time to understand each other nor do some want too and why they vote a certain way and I would just like to educate people on issues from both sides, so that we can understand each other a little bit better. America has always been a melting pot of diversity and that sometimes gets forgotten. I would just like to see people come together and work with each other more and stop teaching our children bad habits.

Moderator:

What would be your top three priorities once in office, if elected?

Scott Barnhart:

1. The budget should be the top priority and the statehouse needs to spend more time on it, instead of waiting until the last minute. We will be facing a large budget deficit and probably will be the next year too. So, we are either going to have to make cuts or raise taxes. I'm not in favor of the latter with the sales tax increase last year and the current Douglas and Franklin County Commissioners increasing or going to increase taxes. We have had large budget increases in the last six years, so that it should be more productive to scale back the size of the government. That's why I have pledged to serve without taking a salary or benefits, just expenses so that I can help out a little.

2. I would like to see in the coming years the sales tax on food eliminated. First, starting with Kansas grown perishable food items. Then, in two years Kansas Grown value-added food items and finally in six years the rest of food. We have raised property taxes quite a bit in the last six years and some people need a break. This would protect CSA's, farmers markets, and road side stands from ever being taxed and would spur investment in value-added production facilities. Agriculture and the independent family farmer (no matter how many generations) is our greatest resource here in Kansas and we need to do more to protect and invest in that.

3. Immigration-This area needs to be discussed and things acted on. As a legislature we need to put pressure on the Federal Government to solve this issue before it reaches crisis level. We all need to have frank and open discussion about the matter. With all of the legislation being passed, all of the rhetoric being thrown out there by politicians and the lobbying from special interests that may be hard to accomplish, but it needs to be done.

hipper_than_hip:

Your Facebook page makes reference to an 862 day jail term and being a political prisoner of the democratic party; what's that all about?

Scott Barnhart:

I would like to comment on that but the Kansas Attorney General's Office has an open investigation into the matter.

I can say this though that I was arrested in April of 2004, during a Republican run for State Senate and held in the Jackson County, Missouri jail. My bond was set at $100,000 cash for writing a series of letters to an old acquaintance of mine. It was Jan of 2006 before I got a bond reduction hearing and I was acquitted of the felony (class d), in less than an hour in Spring of 2006.

Moderator:

We've come to the end of our time here this afternoon. Scott, we'd like to thank you again for joining us, and do you have any closing comments you would like to make?

Scott Barnhart:

Thanks for having me on and I appreciate your questions. I would just like to say that I am the only candidate running for this office that was born and raised in this district. I probably am the underdog as my democratic opponent has amassed over $30,000 and has spent almost or loaned his campaign almost $55,000 of his own money. But I would represent the 10th district well because I have lived here and will continue to live here and have lots of family here and I have worked with a large variety of different people from all walks of life and these people in the 10th are my friends and neighbors. Again thanks and God Bless.....

Moderator:

Thanks to everyone for joining us this afternoon. Remember, advanced voting is going on right now at the Douglas County Courthouse and Election Day is Aug. 3.

Comments

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 4 months ago

He's got a pretty entertaining web site.

America has few filters on who can file for office. GO USA.

http://www.scottjamesbarnhart.com/default.html

RogueThrill 4 years, 4 months ago

He's not who I would vote for, but he seems like a really decent human being. Which is uncharacteristic given the primary he is competing in.

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