Today Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo officially announced his candidacy for United States Congress for the fourth district of Kansas.
In his introduction, Cessna CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton praised Pompeo as a businessman, as someone who has signed paychecks.
In his address, Pompeo said our government has lost its way. Instead of personal responsibility, this government has advocated welfare. Instead of innovation and entrepreneurship, government has advocated bailouts.
Saying that he has not run for public office, he thinks that is an “enormous plus in these times.” As a businessman, he has seen the effects of regulation and taxes on business.
Pompeo stressed three issues:
In health care, the issue is cost. We need to reduce the rate of growth in the cost of health care, and government has never been able to reduce costs or increase efficiency. He said that need to create competitive marketplaces, allow purchase of insurance across state lines, and pass tort reform. Government health care will destroy America’s leadership in innovation.
The energy bill, while off the front pages for now, will come back. Cap-and-trade, he said, is the largest tax increase in history in the guise of environmental protection. The bill will reduce carbon emissions only slightly, but at huge costs. He said that with this bill, the gas and oil industry in America would become almost economically unviable, at the same time we’re trying to reduce the amount of energy we’re importing.
On national security, Pompeo believes that President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid “simply don’t get it.” A strong defense creates a safe environment for Americans, and we don’t need to apologize for a strong American defense system.
In closing, Pompeo said “the appropriate role of government is intensely limited.” He believes in sanctity of every human life.
Today’s announcement was merely a formality, as Pompeo said he’s been campaigning for 17 weeks, and on April 7 of this year, I reported exclusively on the members of his campaign’s launch committee in the story Mike Pompeo congressional launch committee announced.
Pompeo stresses his business experience, and that’s an appealing background to many conservatives. But government is not business, as the incentives are entirely different in the two fields. There are other businessmen in the running for this nomination, and I suspect that we’ll see government employee Jean Schodorf find some way to cast herself as someone who understands business.
The Republican field is crowded already, and several more — both well-known and without name recognition — are considering joining the race. It’s a tempting challenge, as Congressional seats like this become available barely once per generation. If incumbents survive their first re-election, it’s pretty much a free ride from then on. In recent years, from 94% to 98% of U.S. House members were re-elected. Many don’t even draw a strong challenger.
The selection of Cessna top executive Jack Pelton to make the introduction is a little curious. Pelton serves as chair of the Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy Advisory Group (KEEP). This organization, founded by former governor Kathleen Sebelius and run by the radical environmentalist group Center for Climate Strategies, is no friend to the energy industry, especially oil and gas, the market that Pompeo’s business serves.