Republican governor candidate Wink Hartman emphasizes leadership in his bid for the governorship.
Leadership, leadership, leadership. That is the hallmark of Republican Wink Hartman's campaign for governor of Kansas. Hartman paid a recent visit to Pratt and shared some of his philosophies. Strong leadership is needed to right the ship of Kansas.
"We have to create good policies. It's the backbone of a strong state," Hartman said.
With a crowded field for governor, 16 Republicans have announced they will run, Hartman is promoting himself as a non-career politician. This is Hartman's first run for public office.
Hartman, known as the owner of Hartman Arena in Park City, said he listen's to the people and that's how he learns.
Be believes in keeping local control in government because local people know what's needed in the community.
He understands that changing state revenue is not going to happen overnight but it's going to take a leader that can call the balls and strikes.
With state revenues continuing to be down, Hartman said Legislators needed to put the state check book in a drawer and get busy prioritizing spending. The state is still dealing with and continue to deal with Gov. Brownback's tax cut in 2012 that cut taxes for the LLCs. The policy was not bad but the implementation was bad. Their income estimates were way off. When they were six months in, they should have stopped, taken a deep breath and reviewed what was happening.
"Why didn't someone stand up and say this is not what we counted on," Hartman said.
It decreased state revenues but the state kept on spending and anybody in business knows that is not a good financial practice. The state needs new skills and Hartman said his business background is needed now.
Hartman is looking ahead on educational funding. He has checked statistics for upcoming grades and has determined that the K-6 group of students is smaller overall than the 6-12 now in school. Money was spent on more classrooms but when this smaller group comes along, there will be empty classroom space and the state will have to hold the line on spending on education.
On health care, Hartman wants health care insurers to be more equitable. He is unsatisfied with KanCare, the State of Kansas program the administers Medicaid, and the three Managed Care Organizations: Amerigroup of Kansas, Sunflower Heath Plan and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas.
"The people deserving care are not getting it from KanCare," Hartman said.
He favors people being able to buy insurance from the open market and go across state lines.
Some people are abusing KanCare. They are not disabled but are able bodied and should not sit on KanCare but get a job.
"KanCare is for those truly in need," Hartman said.
For the farmer, Hartman wants to be a salesman for the state. He wants his lieutenant governor have to be willing to leave Topeka and sell the products and state to other countries like Canada and Mexico. They have trade there but they can do a better job.
"I want someone on the clock. I want a full time lieutenant governor. I want them fighting for Kansas. I want them to sell the state throughout the region," Hartman said. "Someone will have to knock on the door. That's what you have to do."
The robbing of the Kansas Department of Transportation has to stop. The next major issue for KDOT is bridges. There are dozens and dozens of bridges that need to be inspected and replaced. The matter is serious and has to be addressed.
"The day is here and it needs to be done," Hartman said. "The question is how are we going to do it?"
Hartman gained a lot of his business experience before owning businesses. He painted houses, sold trash cans door to door, sold desk blotters with advertising on them and repossessed cars. He learned an important business lesson when people expected him to swap out trash when he delivered the new trash cans.
"It taught me a lot of things," Hartman said.
Hartman is the owner of Hartman Arena, he owns a bank and his family has been in the oil exploration business for 100 years. He also owns a couple of restaurants.