Pompeo visits campus, talks about ISIL, gay marriage

Congressman Mike Pompeo, of the fourth district of Kansas visited the campus Tuesday afternoon. (Taylor Alderman | The Collegian)

Rep. Mike Pompeo visited K-State Tuesday as part of his campaign for the 4th District U.S. House seat. The Republican incumbent, who soundly defeated former Rep. Todd Tiahrt in the August primary 62 to 37 percent, now faces Democratic challenger Perry Schuckman for the seat.

Schuckman said Pompeo’s vote against this year’s farm bill would have increased milk prices if the bill hadn’t passed, according to a Wichita Eagle article.

“I think it comes down to not understanding the economics of those families who are stuck at $7.35-per-hour jobs,” Schuckman said in the article.

Pompeo said the concerns over milk prices were unfounded since Congress would have continued to work until a bill did pass.

“Perry’s crazy,” Pompeo said. “It’s a complete lie. It’s a lie. Had the bill not passed, the price of milk would not have gone up. Had the bill really failed, we would have gone back at it again.”

Some 500 troops from Fort Riley were sent to Iraq and other countries in the Middle East this month to coordinate with foreign troops in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIL). Pompeo said he supports sending in American ground troops as well.

“I actually just got back from the Middle East,” Pompeo said. “I’m happy with what we’re doing so far. Airstrikes are fine, but they don’t begin to address the reality of the threat to the United States presented by radical Islamic terrorism.”

He said the situation compared to other battles Americans fought.

“My generation was the tail end of the Cold War,” he said. “Before that, you had Nazism. This will ultimately be this generation’s fight, this battle where radical Islam continues to want to take on the West in fundamental ways, in the same way these other ideologies wanted to do before. I think we’re going to be at this for a while. We ought to be vigorous and thoughtful and effective in the way we respond.”

Pompeo said Kansans should care about ISIL because the group’s goal is to kill Americans.

“The organizations that are dominated by this Islamist ideology are intent on killing Americans here in America,” he said. “For me, this is not about democracy in Syria or nation building in Iraq or any of these other places. This is about the fundamental security of the American people.”

At the Kansas Family Strengthening Summit in 2011, Pompeo said families were at the very core of the nation. However, he said he does not believe that statement applies to families of same-sex couples.

“I don’t agree with (same-sex marriage),” he said. “I think marriage ought to continue to be between one man and one woman. So do most Kansans, for what it matters. I think when it was on the ballot (the state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage), 70 percent (voted in favor of the ban). There was overwhelming support for it in the state of Kansas.”

The constitutional ban passed in 2005 with 70 percent approval. However, a recent survey by Public Policy Polling showed 44 percent of Kansans in favor of same-sex marriages and 49 percent opposed.

“I think as you look back at civilization, look back at history, you find the strength of these families having a father and a mother is the ideal condition for childbearing,” Pompeo said. “Doesn’t mean there aren’t great families with single parents, great young men and women raised without either parent. If you’re asking for what is ideal, I think it’s being raised by a man and a woman.”

With 25 wind farms and almost 3,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity, Kansas is one of the top wind energy producing states in the country, according to a Wichita Eagle article.

Federal tax credits were given to those wind farm owners. Pompeo said he wants to end the tax credits for all energy sources, regardless of their source.

“For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have had their favorite energy sources,” Pompeo said. “Iowa, you liked wind, if you’re from Texas, you liked oil. If you were from Washington, you liked hydroelectric. There was an attempt to force consumers to take an energy source because that politician liked it and they did it by these tax credits.”