Bryan Bombardier, 39, a libertarian from Concordia, supports cutting the Kansas budget by at least 20 percent across the board, opposes state tax increases and supports the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana.
Bombardier is running against Rep. Susan Concannon, R-Beloit, to represent District 107 in the Kansas House. District 107 includes Cloud, Mitchell and Ottawa counties and part of Lincoln County. Bombardier has nver held elected office. He served in the U.S. Army for three years and has worked for different businesses as a pharmacist since 2011. Bombardier currently is a pharmacist at Panther Pride Pharmacy in Concordia.
Taxes and spending
Bombardier opposes raising state taxes, and he supports cutting state spending by at least 20 percent in every department.
In 2012, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law income tax cuts approved by the Kansas Legislature, who repealed many of those tax cuts last year. Bombardier said he supports any tax cuts but believes the Legislature needs to be more ambitious about cutting state spending.
“If you are going to cut taxes, you have to cut spending,” he said.
In June, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled state funding for education was constitutionally inadequate. Bombardier said spending decisions shouldn’t be mandated by the courts, and he opposes increasing state spending on education.
“I am opposed to any state spending increases, and that includes education,” he said. “I am not against education, but I think it should be more decentralized. If local districts want to increase taxes to support themselves, I am fine with that.”
Bombardier opposes expanding KanCare, the Kansas Medicaid program that serves low-income individuals and families.
“We have limited resources, so we need to make sure we allocate them appropriately,” he said. “I think throwing more money at the issue isn’t going to solve anything.”
Bombardier supports adding a work requirement for recipients to receive Medicaid funds. Ideally, he would like medical expenses for low-income people to be covered by community charities rather than the state.
“We need to empower our communities to have private charities pick up the slack,” he said. “If people don’t want to donate money to someone who has a need, they shouldn’t have to. People are very giving, and I’d love to see communities taking more care of their own.”
Bombardier said funding medical care through private charities often leads to the use of less expensive medications than those covered by Medicaid.
“If we decentralize and put it in the hands of the community, I think there would be more efficient use of these funds,” he said.
Bombardier supports the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana. He said Libertarians believe victimless crimes, like marijuana use, should be legal.
“We believe you have self ownership, so you should be able to put whatever in your body that you wish and suffer the consequences of those decisions, or reap the benefits of those decisions,” he said. “With regard to marijuana, I think it is idiotic to do it, but I don’t think the state should have a say in whether you do it.”
Bombardier said Kansas should regulate marijuana like it does for alcohol and tobacco, two potentially dangerous drugs that are legal to use. He also supports allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp.
Bombardier does not support expanding state nondiscrimination law to protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodations. He said people who are discriminated against for being LGBT can speak out on social media, which would lead to a public backlash against the company.
“I would not support any bill that expands the scope of government,” he said. “In today’s economy, if there is an employer who discriminates against LGBT individuals, that’s foolish and a bad business decision.”
Bombardier said he understands he is unlikely to be elected, but his candidacy is about raising awareness about important issues.
“I want to get out there and educate the public as much as possible,” he said. “If I can move anyone who represents us to a more fiscally conservative position, I will consider it a success. I am willing to put my ideas out there and let the public debate it. Small government, less spending, that’s the direction I believe we need to go.”
This article provided by NewsEdge.