Republican congressional candidate Scott Morgan heard all about Kansas politics while growing up.
"I always got the calls from politicians who were angry with my father," said Morgan, a Lawrence attorney whose father, Ray, was a political reporter for the Kansas City Star for about 30 years.
"They couldn't get him, so they got me," the 2nd District candidate said. "It's interesting to look at it from the other side."
Morgan, 33, is running for elected office for the first time. His bid to unseat Rep. Jim Slattery, Topeka Democrat, is a longshot.
"Politics is serendipity," he said. "It's being in the right place at the right time and having the qualifications to capitalize on it."
Morgan said he would be a solid alternative Tuesday for voters upset with the "dismal, inept Congress."
"I'm qualified to be in Congress. I'm the same age Slattery was when he ran the first time . . . and he had no Washington experience."
ALTHOUGH raised in Shawnee and educated at Kansas University, Morgan spent much of the past 10 years in the nation's capital.
He graduated from KU in 1979 and began working for Sen. Nancy Kassebaum. In 1983, he received a KU law degree.
After a stint with the U.S. Customs Service, he worked four years for Sen. Bob Dole and 18 months on Dole's presidential campaign staff.
Gov. Mike Hayden named him federal affairs director in 1988. Last year he became Hayden's chief counsel. He resigned to campaign.
Morgan said that during the past eight years Slattery lost touch with his constituents.
"Somewhere along the line he lost his edge; he goes along to get along," he said.
"Congress is out of control, and after eight years Jim Slattery is very much part of the problem."
A SIX-TERM, 12-year limit should be imposed on the U.S. House to increase turnover, he said.
Morgan said incumbent members of Congress cannot be counted on to do what is necessary to control the federal deficit.
"It makes no sense to trust the same people who spent us $3 trillion in the hole and give them more money," he said.
Slashing the federal deficit without raising taxes would be Morgan's top priority as a congressman.
His five-year plan to save $667 million is anchored by a two-year freeze on all federal spending followed by a three-year limited freeze.
Budget increases in the third, fourth and fifth years would have to be accompanied by equal budget reductions, he said.
Morgan said Congress should pass balanced budgets and the president should have veto power on individual spending items.
Budget cuts must be considered, particularly in military sector, he said. Taxes shouldn't be raised now, he added.
"I'M NOT one of these guys who signs a pledge of no new taxes, but I don't think taxes make sense at this point," he said.
Morgan criticized Slattery for declining to hold campaign spending to $300,000 and to return political action committee contributions.
"People have lost faith in the system, because they don't sense they have an input into it. It's controlled by large PACs," he said.
Slattery received more than $1 million from PACs in eight years, much of it from out-of-state entities, Morgan said.
"I seriously doubt Detroit Edison . . . cares a great deal about Lawrence," Morgan said.
It should be noted that Morgan accepted $7,000 from Campaign America, which was organized by Dole and accepts PAC funding.
The challenger said he has raised about $80,000 for the race, but set out to build a $180,000 campaign fund.
"It's funny what you can do with less when you have to," he said.
MORGAN SAID Slattery participated in a "student loan fiasco" by working on behalf of the Bank of Horton.
Although 36 percent of the bank's loans were in default in 1987 Slattery used his influence to aid the institution, Morgan said.
"Slattery helped the bank get around a federal regulation. It may cost American taxpayers several hundred million dollars," he said.
Morgan questioned Slattery's stand on abortion, noting Slattery calls himself pro-choice but cast eight anti-choice votes in two years.
"I don't see how he could claim to be pro-choice when he's twice voted against assistance to victims of rape and incest," he said.
Morgan said he's the pro-choice candidate.
"I am willing to take the necessary steps at the federal level to protect a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion," he said.
He also supports a federal law that would require buyers of handguns to wait a week before taking possession of the weapon.
"A seven-day waiting period wouldn't be the perfect solution. It is a reasonable solution to a dangerous problem," he said.
CONGRESS' "piece-meal" method of providing health care has been inadequate, Mogan said.
"But, so far, there hasn't been a national health insurance plan developed that I feel comfortable supporting," he said.
Morgan said he was concerned about the reason the U.S. government sent troops to the Middle East.
"Our troops are over there because this country refused to create a policy in the cheap-oil era of the last decade," he said.
Morgan said Congress should encourage domestic oil and gas production and support alternative energy sources.