Alan LaPolice is hoping to be one of the only representatives of Congress not backed by a political party in the new term, but only after losing the 1st District of the Kansas election as a Republican in 2014.
“The whole political system is going to hell,” LaPolice said. “Both parties are to blame and the only way to fix it is an outsider. A true outsider as an independent. I broke free of the party branding.”
LaPolice said his policies will stay very close to the same as when he ran as a Republican, but now his agenda is different.
“Now, my objective is to go to Washington without the branding of the party,” LaPolice said. “No Republican, just like no Democrat, has the credibility to actually go and reach across the aisle because at this point the aisle is so far wide and so completely unnavigable.”
“At some point I can actually do something that’s bipartisan and get people to start trusting their government,” LaPolice said. “And once that starts happening I think it’s opening the floodgates. And I think that what could then happen is we can start passing bipartisan legislation.”
If elected, LaPolice said he is hopeful that in two years, after the passing of bipartisan legislation, he will have started a movement of regular people, not typical career politicians, running the government.
LaPolice said he plans to do so by helping 10 people, just like himself, get elected to Capitol Hill in 2018. From there, those 10 people will ideally each recruit 10 “regular guys and girls,” for a total of 120 representatives not backed by political parties on Capitol Hill.
“That’s 120 people that we can recruit across the districts and we can get people to run that don’t have to have party backing, that do not have to have corporate financing to win elections,” LaPolice said. “And if we can do that, then we can start passing meaningful legislation.”
The meaningful, bipartisan legislation that LaPolice said he hopes can pass with his help includes recovering the healthcare system, helping the middle and working class and stimulating “real growth,” not “Wall Street growth.” LaPolice also said meaningful legislation would include campaign financing, term limits and accountability.
“It’s got to start somewhere and in this circumstance, it can start here,” LaPolice said.
Educating the unaccountable
LaPolice spent many years as an educator of civics and government, English, algebra and literature before being promoted to principal and then superintendent. He said what he learned in those roles is exactly what needs to be integrated into the political world.
“As a school administrator you have to represent everyone,” LaPolice said. “Everyone in your district you have to represent.”
LaPolice said that includes being accountable to all stakeholders, students — regardless of socioeconomic status, race or gender — teachers and staff, as well as the entire school board and community.
“Now that sounds exactly like what Congress is supposed to do,” LaPolice said. “It sounds like it, but now because of gerrymandering and because the party wants it this way, we get representatives that only represent the angriest voices within their party.”
LaPolice said due to these reasons, districts are considered safe and only have to do a primary, and he said that in a primary election, people want the most extreme voices. But in a general election, LaPolice said those candidates have to bounce back and represent everyone.
“We don’t have general elections anymore, not in this district,” LaPolice said. “So there’s no accountability, there’s no bouncing back to cover all stakeholders. That’s the greatest ill of politics but it’s the greatest strength of school administration. I want to bring that to politics. I want to bring that to the House.”
Involving the millennial generation
Over the past three decades, LaPolice said his generation has “screwed up politics,” so much that college students do not want to participate because they don’t feel represented or that it is their government.
“You guys don’t vote and it aggravates me to no end, the apathy of your generation,” LaPolice said. “But I don’t blame you because we screwed it up. And that sucks. And I didn’t do it, but by God I’m going to fix it.”
LaPolice said he can only do that by winning the hearts and minds of the college-student generation. He said he will do that by being trustworthy and engaging millennials.
“I don’t lie; I’ll never do that,” LaPolice said. “I’ll say things that get me in trouble like TPP is bad, like Citizens United is bad, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is bad. Those things get me in trouble with corporate donors, but they should make me beholden to voters, to real people.”
LaPolice said he will never represent Wall Street, cronyism or the political elite.
“I will collaborate and I can work with them, but my goal is to slowly supplant them,” LaPolice said. “I want to replace them with real people, real voters, real citizen legislators.”
No time like the present to bring back history
LaPolice said there has never been a more critical time for change in the government and that is what he has set out to do.
“Look at the presidential (election), there’s never been a more critical need for change,” LaPolice said. “In this race, I have yet to see the better opportunity. There’s never been a better opportunity to actually get someone like me in there who hasn’t been seen on Capitol Hill in 50 years.”
LaPolice said it may be his “rose-colored glasses” about political history, but he believes there was a time when everyone on Capitol Hill was just your average person.
“I believe in men like John Adams, and I believe in James Madison and Thomas Jefferson,” LaPolice said. “I believe those people were real, not just storybook heroes.”
LaPolice said he feels one of the best leaders the world has ever known is Abraham Lincoln.
“I don’t think Abraham Lincoln could possibly win an election,” LaPolice said. “I’m no Abe Lincoln, but there may be a set of circumstances where I can sneak in and I can actually start something that would allow Abe Lincoln back, that would inspire Abe Lincoln back.”
Editor’s note: Candidates for political office representing the Manhattan area may contact the Collegian to set up an interview at firstname.lastname@example.org.