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Archive for Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lawrence native, a political neophyte, aims to be elected governor

Tresa McAlhaney, a Lawrence native, is running for governor in 2014 as a libertarian. She is pictured holding daughter Emma, 2, at the family's Bonner Springs home on a recent day with, from left, daughter Natalie, 12, husband Michael, 10-month-old daughter Maegan, and son Logan, 8.

Tresa McAlhaney, a Lawrence native, is running for governor in 2014 as a libertarian. She is pictured holding daughter Emma, 2, at the family's Bonner Springs home on a recent day with, from left, daughter Natalie, 12, husband Michael, 10-month-old daughter Maegan, and son Logan, 8.

December 29, 2013

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Tresa McAlhaney, a Lawrence native, is running for governor in 2014 as a libertarian. She is pictured holding daughter Emma, 2, at the family's Bonner Springs home on a recent day with, from left, daughter Natalie, 12, husband Michael, 10-month-old daughter Maegan, and son Logan, 8.

Tresa McAlhaney, a Lawrence native, is running for governor in 2014 as a libertarian. She is pictured holding daughter Emma, 2, at the family's Bonner Springs home on a recent day with, from left, daughter Natalie, 12, husband Michael, 10-month-old daughter Maegan, and son Logan, 8.

— Tresa McAlhaney isn't your typical politician.

In fact, she's not even a politician — all the more reason she says she'd be the perfect person to govern the state of Kansas.

State government has gotten not only inefficient, says the stay-at-home mom from Bonner Springs, but out of touch with the people it's supposed to serve.

McAlhaney, 34, was never politically involved until recently, when she said she was forced to be. Her homeowners association was in a dispute with the state over the future of a nearby dam, when she noticed how long it was taking state officials to respond. She had also gotten into disagreements with the state over the education of her home-schooled children. "The more I got into the government stuff, the more riled up I got," she said.

She got involved with the Libertarian Party after hearing U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican from Texas, speak during last year's presidential campaign. And after she noticed a lack of Libertarians stepping up to run for governor in 2014, she took it upon herself to become a candidate.

"I think this is one of the safest, nicest places in the world," she said, speaking of Kansas. But until it gets better governance, she says, it will fail to live up to its full potential.

McAlhaney said she doesn't expect any big-money donors to back her campaign (her most successful week of fundraising — $1,000 — came right after she announced her candidacy). But she says that if she wins, that could end up being a good thing. "We don't want to have to be beholden to anybody," she said.

Her plans for governing include putting the state on a more fiscally sustainable path, with a balanced budget and careful analysis of everything the state funds. She says she's open to eliminating entire departments if need be.

She also wants to legalize cannabis and hemp in Kansas, giving farmers another cash crop and emptying prisons of pot users. "We need to quit arresting people for using marijuana recreationally and medically," she said. "Is this the land of the free or is it not?"

In addition, McAlhaney says she hopes to get past the "If you're not with us, you must be against us" attitude often pervasive in politics today. She says there's nothing wrong with dissent and disagreement and notes that she agrees with the two major parties on many issues. Like the Republican Party, she supports strengthening the Second Amendment rights of Kansas and more choice in education. And like Democrats, she comes out on the side of social justice and having a strong social safety net because, she says, "You're only as strong as your weakest link."

While McAlhaney intends to win in next year's general election, she at least wants to earn 5 percent of the vote. That would give Libertarians "major party status" in Kansas, meaning they would be able to hold statewide primaries instead of only nominating conventions and would no longer have to petition to be on the ballot. She says she's so passionate about the party she'll work on the gubernatorial campaign even if she's not the nominiee (Alma attorney Keen Umbehr has also announced his intention to run).

McAlhaney graduated in 1998 from Lawrence High School, which is where she first met her husband, Michael, who works in administration at the veterans hospital in Leavenworth. She lived in Lawrence during college, and still returns to town to buy her groceries at the Merc Co-op. "I still feel like a Lawrencian," said McAlhaney.

Michael McAlhaney says he's supportive of his wife's political activism and candidacy. "If you've got a problem with what's going on, you should do something about it. And what's what she's trying to do," he said, before adding, of her decision to run to governor: "I didn't know she'd go that far."

On a recent day at the family's children's book- and toy-filled home in Bonner Springs, one of McAlhaney's daughters roller-skated across the floor while another ate a sucker while dressed as a ballerina. The mother of four seems to let her kids have — something she wants all Kansans to have — freedom.

McAlhaney, who in person looks younger and less tough than she does in her official campaign photo, says she ultimately decided to run because she feels like a "mother bear" protecting her cubs. "I'm doing this to save the world for my babies," she said. "And because I'm doing the right thing for my kids, I feel I'll do the right thing for the people of Kansas."

Comments

Brock Masters 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Tresa, thank you for running. It isn't easy running for office so I appreciate you taking time away from your family to try and make a difference.

I think it is great that you have a goal of a balanced budget and carefully analyzing what the state spends. I get what you meant when you said you're open to cutting entire departments. I took it to mean that after careful analysis everything is subject to being cut - no sacred cows.

There is redundancy in state government and programs or departments should be consolidated or eliminated if they do not provide a core function of government.

As far as our drug laws there are young non-violent drug offenders serving more time in jail than violent offenders. Why? What a waste of resources.

People need to realize that the police create felons where there were none. They find someone selling a small amount of drugs but don't arrest them. Instead they continue to buy and get them to sell larger amounts until bingo they got themselves multiple felony charges.

I wish you well in your campaign and look forward to hearing more about your positions.

2

John Kyle 3 months, 2 weeks ago

"Her plans for governing include putting the state on a more fiscally sustainable path, with a balanced budget and careful analysis of everything the state funds. She says she's open to eliminating entire departments if need be."

So she hasn't even done her homework yet? What does she plan to cut? I've had enough of Brownback's surprises why should I vote for someone else who won't even say what she plans to do? Paul Davis is the one for me.

4

Bob Smith 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Recent national experience suggests that she needs to get a powerful, but corrupt, big-city political machine on her side if she wants to win.

0

Leslie Swearingen 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I found this on the Libertarian home page. Nope, its not me.

http://www.lp.org/

Personal IssuesAgreeMaybeDisagree

Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet.

Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft.

There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults.

Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs.

There should be no National ID card.

Economic IssuesAgreeMaybeDisagree

End "corporate welfare." No government handouts to business.

End government barriers to international free trade.

Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security.

Replace government welfare with private charity.

Cut taxes and government spending by 50% or more.

"Her plans for governing include putting the state on a more fiscally sustainable path, with a balanced budget and careful analysis of everything the state funds. She says she's open to eliminating entire departments if need be.

She also wants to legalize cannabis and hemp in Kansas, giving farmers another cash crop and emptying prisons of pot users. "We need to quit arresting people for using marijuana recreationally and medically," she said. "Is this the land of the free or is it not?"

Is she serious? Eliminate entire departments? Her stance on drugs does sound like a sound bite from SNL.

0

Leslie Swearingen 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Politics and governing should be seen as careers as it is only over time and experience that the person learns how to do it properly. It is extremely complex. I think that when the Constitution was written they put in few requiremments for public office because they assumed that those seeking it would be from the upper class, would be well education, well traveled and able to conduct discourse with each other and well as their counterparts from abroad.

0

Terry Lee 3 months, 3 weeks ago

This looks like a SNL skit....I wasn't sure it was even real....

2

Clark Coan 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The political pols are predicting Brownback will squeak by Davis since the latter has no name recognition or money and he's from that "liberal-radical bastion of Lawrence". Having her run as a Libertarian will siphon off votes from Brownback and make it a tighter race, but we'll be stuck with Sam for another four years.

0

3 months, 3 weeks ago

Nice article, Giles. Thanks.

1

Beator 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll only vote for people that give me free stuff.

3

Julius Nolan 3 months, 3 weeks ago

To waste your vote, just vote libertarian. But i will say, a choice between her and Brownback would be easy and it wouldn't result in a vote for Brownback.

7

Kristen Renfro 3 months, 3 weeks ago

A libertarian from Bonner? Pass. Paul Davis will have my vote.

9

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