Tell us about your personal/professional background, including what qualifies you for the office you seek.
I’m a Constitutional Conservative, lifelong Republican, 40+ year resident. I graduated from Sheridan High School and was a varsity athlete, class secretary, member of the FFA & 4-H, selected for the Wyoming Boys State and worked on ranches until appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 1988. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and also two Masters Degrees during 22+ years of Active Duty service. I’m a Tanker Pilot who served at locations around the world flying training, combat and humanitarian support missions; I’m a combat veteran and command pilot. I was a flight instructor/evaluator in multiple aircraft, taught at the Air Force Academy, was Chief of the Air Force One Presidential Advance Program at the Pentagon where diplomacy, cooperation, and coordination were key aspects of the job, was a Strategy Officer at U.S. Northern Command after 9-11, an Operations Officer, and I protected America’s military radars from the negative effects of wind farms at NORAD. While on active duty, I served in multiple positions that required keen diplomatic skills as I engaged stakeholders in state, federal and international security and cooperation arenas. My diplomatic skills carried forward into my current business where I facilitate collaborative solutions between communities, industry, and government organizations. After retiring in 2011, I moved back to my hometown of Sheridan, started a small business, an energy and infrastructure consulting firm, and remain happily married to my wonderful wife of 24 years, Susan
In 200 words or less explain why you are seeking this office:
On May 30, 2014, I filed to enter the race as a Republican Candidate, for the United States Senate for the Great State of Wyoming. The reasons are far too many to note here, but suffice it to say, I’ve grown weary of the same old song and dance from our leadership as to why power continues to be consolidated at the federal level combined with the why we can’t get anything done to stop it. So after hearing the same “If, I, and hopefully we can ….,” speeches given at venue after venue for the last four years once again spoken at the 2014 Wyoming State GOP Convention, I decided to personally enter the fight to stop the unchecked consolidation of power at the federal level. I believe that a return to the fundamentals of government as set out in the U.S. Constitution is the best way to ensure individual rights and state’s powers are maintained. Leadership, more than anything, is needed in Washington and I am convinced the skills I’ve developed over my career in the military and as a successful Wyoming businessman have given me the background to provide Bold, Innovative Leadership for Wyoming in Washington.
What would you write in one paragraph on your thoughts or anything you would like to say?
The Federal Government has grown out of control, we all recognize that fact. I want to change that situation by returning to the fundamental ideals set out in the United States Constitution. I want to put State’s Rights & Individual Rights back in their rightful place, ahead of the federal government; after all, it is supposed to be a government for the people, and by the people. As your U.S. Senator, I will fight tirelessly for Wyoming based on these beliefs:
– I believe in God and both the Constitutions of the United States of America and of Wyoming, and
will support and defend them, always!
– I believe that the assault on 1st, 2nd, 4th, & 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution must be
– I believe the National Debt is a great threat to Freedom and Liberty
– I believe in the Right to Life
– I believe, that the education of our youth, is best left to the states
– I believe no one in Washington has the right to tell Wyoming how to manage their air, water, and
other natural resources
– I believe in the people of Wyoming, and I believe that I can provide that Bold, Innovative Leadership Wyoming needs to stop the consolidation of power at the Federal level. Leadership, more than anything, is needed in Washington today, and I am convinced that the leadership and diplomatic skills I’ve developed over my career in the military as well as my demonstrated success as a Wyoming businessman have given me the background to successfully stop that consolidation of power at the Federal level. I will work to dismantle the machine that tears at the heart and soul of Wyoming’s people and businesses. With your support and your vote in the Primary on August 19th, I can make a difference serving you, the people of The Great State of Wyoming. Thank you for your time today. And God Bless America.
What are your views/positions on all the “hot” issues, i.e., the economy; environment; foreign policy?
Hot issues center on federal overreach: Individual and Privacy Rights, Energy Policy, Education, Healthcare, Barriers to Business, National Defense, Border Control/Sovereignty Issues, Illegal Immigration, Taxes, and National Debt. Most can be addressed by returning to the fundamental principles of governance as set forth in the U.S. Constitution by complying the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 10th Amendments. Eliminating redundant regulatory authorities improperly given to organizations like the EPA, USFWS, Department of Education, etc. (we already have the Wyoming DEQ, Game & Fish, etc.) would begin the process of returning the powers guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution back to the States and Individuals as the Founding Fathers intended. Chief of these issues, by constituent decree, are the repeal ofObamaCare, the elimination of Common Core, and stopping the unwarranted attacks on Wyoming’s economic engines: Agriculture, Energy, and Tourism launched by the EPA and USFWS.
What goals would you seek to accomplish if elected?
– Return Constitutional Powers back to States and Individuals
– Revise the rule-making process to eliminate “De Facto” lawmaking that implements policy thru by-passing Congress by making all Final Rules subject to Congressional approval so we can hold someone in Washington, DC accountable
for bad law. – A full repeal of the “Affordable Care Act”
I hold Liberty, Freedom, Personal Responsibility, State’s Rights, Limited Government, and Fiscal Discipline as fundamental principles. Our Federal Government has grown out of control. I want to change that situation by returning to the fundamental principles set out in the U.S. Constitution. I want to put State’s Rights & Individual Rights back in their rightful place, ahead of the Federal Gov’t; after all, it is supposed to be a government for the people, and by the people.
What would you make a priority, or what goal would you set, if elected? Why?
My primary goal will be toactively engage with others in the Senate and work collaboratively with them to stop the unchecked consolidation of power at the federal level and return to the fundamentals of government as set out in the U.S. Constitution in order to ensure individual rights and state’s powers are maintained. I will do this by taking an active role (no leading from behind for me) in representing the people of Wyoming as a leader in the U.S. Senate and persuasively promoting the values that are held by the people of Wyoming.
I’m interested in what you think of the affordable care act and how you will approach it if you’re elected?
The regulatory impacts and costly mandates established by the “Affordable Care Act”, more commonly known as ObamaCare, are hurting Wyoming’s citizens and businesses; and that is of great concern to me. I could spend all day discussing the specifics of why I think Obamacare is bad for the working class and bad for Wyoming, but suffice it to say that I am a Constitutional Conservative who believes that a person’s healthcare is not a federal issue and is best left between individuals and their doctors. I believe the Affordable Care Act exceeds the authority/powers granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution. I believe the 10th Amendment supports my case and I will work tirelessly to repeal ObamaCare in total. My bottom line is that any solutions required to help individuals who fall through the cracks or those who cannot afford healthcare should come from the states, not the federal government.
Comment & Question: I enjoy the outdoors but it seems that the Forest Service and other federal agencies are trying very hard to keep me out of federal lands by closing roads, limiting access, and using outdated regulations and land withdrawals for their own purposes not even close to what the original intent was.
Here is my philosophy that encompasses your question on the USFS. Federal regulatory organizations like the EPA, USFS, USF&WS, NFS, IRS (and others) have been on a constant attack of the three industries that are Wyoming: Agriculture, Energy, and Tourism. These organizations have been using the rule-making process to change statutes (De Facto Law executed by unelected, unnamed bureaucrats) that have been in place for years to get this Administration’s policies, the ones they cannot get Congress to address, incorporated into the federal regulatory structure. They are, as you mentioned, changing the intent of the law. And they are doing this even with great opposition from the people as we comment on the draft Final Rules put out on the Federal Register. I want to eliminate this end-around loophole that allows personal Administration policy to become DeFacto Law by making Congress vote on every Final Rule, whether it be on new laws, or changes to laws from decades ago (e.g. The Clean Water Act, NEPA, etc.). That way Congress can ensure the original intent of the law passed is met before it can be acted upon by regulatory agencies. Oh yes, and all of those federal regulatory authorities that these type of federal agencies have, need to be stripped of that power and the regulatory activity needs to return to the states in accordance with the 10th Amendment. The Federal government only has 17 enumerated powers they should be concerned with, the rest of the power is left to the states and individual rights. I want to restore that balance of power starting on the day I get sworn into the US Senate.
Comment & Question: One more thing, I receive outstanding care from my local VA clinic but a lot of veterans who deserve it far more than I do don’t get quality health care that they deserve what would you do to help correct this?
You might just be going to the Sheridan VA as I do. Wyoming overall seems to have great service. My out-processing physical from the USAF was done at the Colorado Springs VA and I noted then that their system was highly stressed due to the large number of veterans utilizing the Colorado VA. When I retired and moved back to my hometown of Sheridan, I noted a remarkably different atmosphere at both the Sheridan VA (and when I‘ve been referred to the Cheyenne VA) than was present at the Colorado offices. Part of that difference is the fact that the doctors at the Sheridan VA seem to have more authority to get their patients the care they need faster/more efficiently because they use the existing authority they have to send vets outside the VA System to local doctors who can perform services the local VA does not have in-house; and they do it more quickly which saves both the veteran out of pocket expenses when they are sent to Salt Lake or Denver. The attitude that the veteran comes first is evident at the Sheridan VA. How to change this attitude elsewhere might be a tougher nut to crack. However, eliminating the restrictive off-site/out of the VA System policies put in place by local VA Administrators (remember, they have the authority to send veterans downtown now), will go a long way to resolve the disparity in service. I am a great example of what the VA can do when the doctors are freed up from the restrictive off-site/out of the VA System policies. For the five years prior to December 2013, I had to use a cane to walk. This was due to a 2008 on-base auto-pedestrian (I was the pedestrian) accident that left me with leg, hip, back, and shoulder injuries that took years to heal up from. Most of those injuries were resolved in about 4 years with only my left Achilles tendon being left completely untreated (the active duty medical staff said it would heal up by itself, eventually). When I saw Dr. Prior at the Sheridan VA, he spent the time to review my file before I showed up, noted that the Achilles issue still existed, and immediately decided that my injury could have been resolved years ago through surgery. He asked me if I would be okay with going to a local orthopedic surgeon versus going to Salt Lake or Denver because, in his opinion, having the surgery in Sheridan would make it both more palatable for me and my wife as I recovered over the 2 months he expected I’d be in physical therapy, and it would actually cost less in the long run than the VA paying for the hotel stays, the multiple trips for follow-up visits, and the cost of processing the mass of paperwork to stay within the VA System that this consult/surgery would entail. The bottom line is that I would support legislation to strengthen the doctor’s authority to direct off-site care outside the VA System.
Federal deficient — how do you deal with it?
The federal deficit (annual shortfall) and the national debt (the running total of the annual deficit) are both out of control. They are a great threat to our liberty and freedom and must be dealt with immediately. The obvious answer is, of course, to spend less but as we have seen for many years now, those currently serving in Congress are not willing to make the hard choices that must be made to reduce spending. I believe that there is a much better answer to the debt crisis than across the board cuts as some have recommended. Let’s start by ensuring that the federal government only spends money on the items that fall under the enumerated powers given to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution. For example, I would start with eliminating redundant federal regulatory agencies across the board in order to re-align the role of the federal government with the enumerated powers noted earlier as well as specifically bringing regulatory authority back to the states in accordance with the 10th Amendment. Examples would be to turn the EPA and USFWS into advisory or scientific agencies (eliminating their regulatory power) and depending upon the state agencies (Wyoming’s DEQ and Game & Fish) to enforce laws. The EPA, USFWS, Forest Service, Department of Education, etc. are all redundant organizations, are extremely costly and would be more efficiently run at the state level.
We live in an age where technology allows us to be better and, at times, instantly informed.
How do you plan to maintain and/or increase transparency within government so the public and media can be better informed? I’ll post links on my website that allow Wyoming’s people to access information that is not easily found. I will work with other senators to make the government more transparent by enforcing the current guidance on the release of “Unclassified” and “For Official Use Only (FOUO)” document designation. The “FOUO” handling designation is overused and in inappropriate circumstances as are the “Secret” and “Confidential” classifications.
How will you make yourself available to constituents?
I’ll spend as much time in and traveling Wyoming as my schedule will allow; set up town-hall meetings, in person and telecon, and use social media sources. My door will always be open to Wyoming residents and businesses here in the state and in Washington.