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December 05th, 2019

8 12 19 laturner visitU.S. Senate candidate Jake LaTurner talks to a constituent during his visit to Liberal Monday afternoon. After the initial meet-and-greet, LaTurner talked about his stances on some of the issues going on throughout the U.S. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The political landscape throughout the U.S. is changing every day, with new concerns arising about many different issues. In the spirit of getting a better hand on those issues, the Liberal community got a visit from Jake LaTurner, who is running for the U.S. Senate for Pat Roberts’ former seat. 

LaTurner stopped in the community Monday afternoon. 

“The difference between quietly supporting something from the back row and standing up and loudly claiming your support of something can be a huge deal for certain things,” LaTurner said. “When you look at some of the numbers for what’s going on right now, we need someone who’s conservative. There’s $22 trillion of debt, more than 75 percent of our spending for about the next decade has already been decided upon. There’s also been a cultural decline that’s particularly concerning to me. During my time with the state senate, I have stood up and led on issues as well as when I was state treasurer. In the state senate I also introduced property tax reform that gave citizens the right to vote on property tax increases. I also worked a lot with welfare reform that helped people get back in the workforce, and some of that reform included drug testing, work training and things like that, which have really worked. I also introduced a program that puts the parents in charge of their children’s healthcare choices, that was something we worked with Kansans for Life on. We also successfully sued the federal government because it wasn’t treating Kansas fairly when it came to agriculture. We did all of that while decreasing staff and reducing the budget. Those things are what we need to be working on at the federal level and that also includes standing up to the special interest groups and sometimes the leadership within your own party – we don’t see that happening nearly enough.”

LaTurner also talked about education. 

“I think the federal government should play a very small role in the overall scheme of education,” LaTurner said. “I believe that should definitely be more of a state function and aside from the funding it provides, I think the federal government should take more of a back seat in education. I shy away from federal solutions to local problems because no one knows the students here better than the people working with them. Another thing about that is when you have a one-size-fits-all solution, it might not always work because there’s no room for competition or innovation, and you’re not really able to determine what actually works the best.”

LaTurner also talked about transitioning from the state treasurer’s office to running for the Senate. 

“You’re always going to get some ribbing for things like that, but as I’ve gone throughout the state, people are talking about the need for change,” LaTurner said. “I’ve been traveling all throughout the state and you can’t keep voting in the same people who promise to fix certain issues but don’t actually do anything. But if you want a new generation of conservative leadership and want someone who has a good track record on the issues, I can be that person. At the end of the day, the ball has to get across the goal line, so to speak, and it does no one any good to have someone in the Senate who won’t do that. Regarding the ‘contract’ we gave to everyone, at the beginning, if there is something on there I fail to do, you have the right to vote me out in the next election.”

LaTurner was also asked about immigration, which is being hotly debated throughout the rest of the U.S.

“One of the goals I have in the ‘contract’ I’ve put together is securing the border,” LaTurner said. “It’s an incredibly important issue. We’re being overwhelmed. For a long time, judges were allowed to issue summary judgments and thanks to the Obama administration, that’s not happening. A lot of people who are seeking asylum are being told by the immigration court judges ‘Your court date is this date in two years’ and then these people aren’t showing up. It’s a problem and a very flawed system that has to have some major fixes, and everyone needs to come to the table.”

LaTurner also said he would be sure to have Kansas have a big voice with the agricultural committees. He was also asked about his support of President Trump and how he would stand on certain issues. 

“Trump is the most conservative president in modern American history,” LaTurner said. “We all know about the tweet storms those things, but when you cut through all of that and look at the policies ... we have the most conservative Supreme Court ever, there’s also a high conservative judiciary in the lower courts, and there’s also been a lot of deregulation and other things like that. Especially in the Senate, there needs to be a strong group there for those things.”

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