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42nd District State Representative candidate Connie O'Brien

July 31, 2008

Connie O'Brien

Connie O'Brien is running in the Aug. 5 primary election for 42nd District State Representative, facing Ted Ingerson.

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Moderator

Good evening. This is Estuardo Garcia reporter with The Tonganoxie Mirror, Basehor Sentinel, Lansing Current and Bonner Springs Chieftain. I'll be your moderator for this online chat with Connie O'Brien. We have several questions for today's chat, but we're still taking more. Please remember to refresh the page to update the chat. Thank you for joining us Mrs. O'Brien.

Moderator

Mrs. O'Brien, could you introduce yourself and tell us why you are running for state representative?

Connie O'Brien

thank you for having me here.

Connie O'Brien

I have live in the Tonganoxie area for 30 years and found it a great place to raise a family. I am running for the 42 district House seat because I want to bring those conservative values that have made Kansas a great place to live. I want to represent the people of my district who are concern with some of the issues the legislature will be facing in the next few years such as energy, immigration, taxes, and economic development. I am willing to work hard for the people of this district.

Moderator

Our first question comes from ljworld.com.
kansanjayhawk (Anonymous) asks "Will you support having a loss limit similar to what Missouri has of $500.00 per gambling session implemented in the new casinos to try to ameliorate the affect of expanded gambling in Kansas?"

Connie O'Brien

Yes, I would support having a loss limit similar to Missouri. I think it is essential to protect family and individuals who could find themselves in a financial bind. Missouri's casinos now want to have there laws changed to match Kansas, I think it should be Kansas who changes there laws. Limits protect families and individuals who can't say no.

Moderator

Thank you Mrs. O'Brien. I want to take a moment to let readers know we are still accepting questions. Now, if elected, you would be replacing longtime state representative Kenny Wilk. Are there specific issues that you agree/disagree with Wilk on or are there changes you would make to how he represented the district for the past 16 years?

Connie O'Brien

I supported Kenny Wilk and had planned to support him this election cycle and was surprised when he chose not to seek reelection. Kenny has done a great job representing the people of the 42nd district. There were more things Kenny and I agreed on than disagreed. You can't please everyone all of the time. Kenny did a good job.

Moderator

Energy policy has been a controversial issue on the state level recently. Would you support the location of additional coal-fired power plants in Kansas? How do you feel about utilizing other renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power?

Connie O'Brien

Yes I would have supported the Holcomb power plant. The Holcomb expansion would have been state of the art, the cleanest coal fire power plant in the country, capable of producing bio-diesel fuel from captured CO2. It would have injected 3.5 billion dollars into the economy, created high paying jobs, secured our energy needs for the future, provided the infrastructure needed for wind energy expansion, and created additional revenue without raising taxes. Folks we simply must make sure we have adequate energy to meet our future needs. If we don't act now we will be looking at possible brown outs, black outs, and higher energy cost. Let's move Kansas forward.

Moderator

How do you feel about utilizing other renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power?

Connie O'Brien

We need to use all of the energy sources available. Wind, solar, coal, and nuclear can work together and gives us the energy we need for our future and help us grow our economic development.

Moderator

What would you do, as a state representative, to cut spending while still maintaining services that Kansas citizens have come to expect?

Connie O'Brien

The budget is expected to be short. Legislators will need to look at the budget of each department and see if they are spending the money they receive wisely or are they just asking for a budget increase because they think they are entitled to it. As a person who had to live within a budget and make cuts when necessary,I would expect the government to do the same. When we are facing a financial crisis we must all look for ways to cut our budget. I have taken the tax payers protection pledge not to raise taxes. I will not raise taxes because the government can't control there spending habits. I can't do it with my budget and neither will I do it to the people of the 42nd district.

Moderator

We have time for one more question.

Tyson

What do you see as a solid plan to balance the Kansas State Budget over the next two years?

Connie O'Brien

I believe we can maintain the services Kansans have come to expect. There are areas we need to check to make sure they are needed or not needed, and some can be cut by attrition. We need to grow jobs, this would help us with our budget and not increase taxes. Job creation, not taxation. Jobs will grow our revenue and this is the area we need to concentrate in.

Moderator

Thank you very much for joining us tonight Mrs. O'Brien. Is there anything else you would like to say about yourself or your candidacy for state representative?

Connie O'Brien

Job growth would be the best way to balance our budget, but Kansas right now has an unstable business environment because of what happen with the Holcomb power plant. Business expansion,in the private sector will create employment opportunities. That means jobs. This is the answer to our budget problems. As I said earlier that we will need to look at each department and see where we need make cuts, just because they received an increase last year doesn't mean they will get one this next year, we can't afford it.

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