PLATFORM

Cut Taxes for Small Business and the Middle Class

Guarantee a “Right to Repair” – For Farm Equipment, Cars, and Electronics

Support Our Veterans

No More Soldiers On Food Stamps: Raise Serviceman Pay

Legalize & Tax Medical Cannabis

A Level Playing Field for Family Farms and Ranches

End Wasteful Government Handouts to the Pharmaceutical Industry

Lower Taxes on Overtime Wages

Protect Middle-Class Jobs and Wages

Reform Railroad Safety

Keep Government Out of Our Private Lives

Pass Congressional Term Limits

The middle-class and small businesses shoulder our tax burden. That’s not right.

We can cut middle-class and small business tax rates, without increasing the deficit, by cutting wasteful spending and closing loopholes used by multi-nationals to avoid paying taxes. In particular: we can restrict the use of foreign tax havens to hide multinational corporate profits. Multi-national firms use these loopholes to pay little or no taxes, making it difficult for small businesses to compete.

As a mechanic, I believe this is a critically important issue. The right to repair is a basic freedom that has been whittled away.

Without a right to repair their own equipment, farmers and ranchers are effectively locked into costly lifetime contracts with manufacturers. Industry MOUs (like the John Deere agreement) fall far short of true right-to-repair.

The same is true of personal electronics. Multi-nationals have shut independent repair shops and consumers completely out of the repair market. This forces consumers to hugely overpay for repairs or to junk perfectly fixable electronics.

Finally: we can’t allow the independent auto shop to go extinct. “Proprietary” electronics in vehicles make repairs impossible for drivers and independent shops, driving up repair prices. The federal Department of Transportation has shut down state-level Right to Repair. Congress must act.

Right to Repair is a bipartisan issue with the support of 84% of Americans. Sadly, opposition from those cashing industry campaign checks has kept us from moving forward. As an independent, I can bring together a bipartisan coalition for Right to Repair. 

As of October 10, 2023, more than 300,000 VA claims have been backlogged for more than 125 days. Our politicians claim to support veterans; clearly, it’s little more than lip service. I’ll fully fund the VA to clear out this backlog and ensure claims are processed in a timely manner.

I will also support comprehensive job placement and job training for veterans. Those who serve our country should not be left behind when they return home.

Sometimes it seems the military overpays for everything – except soldiers.

As a veteran of the Navy and the Nebraska National Guard, I saw firsthand the bureaucratic waste created by senior management and defense contractors. Contractors spend more than a hundred million dollars annually lobbying Washington; it’s no surprise that hundreds of billions of dollars are siphoned out of our military on overpays.

From forty dollar hammers that cost ten bucks at the hardware store, to $10,000 switches that cost a couple hundred dollars to manufacture, price gouging is draining our military of the resources to defend this country.

Meanwhile, military families struggle to put food on the table. We must pay servicemen and women a competitive wage. Military families are on food stamps, and we wonder why there’s a recruitment crisis.

There is no reason for the federal government to ban medical cannabis. We waste tens of millions of dollars enforcing the prohibition of a plant with medicinal properties. This benefits nobody but the pharmaceutical companies who would prefer one less competitor in the market for pain relief.

Our policy of cannabis prohibition has turned families and seniors seeking pain relief into criminals – and left on the table billions of dollars in potential tax revenue. It’s time to remove cannabis from Schedule I and stop wasting taxpayer dollars on putting people in prison for cannabis crimes.

The family farm underpins our economy, our national security, and our way of life. 

That way of life is under threat. With inflation, with blunders in trade policy, with consolidation at every level of the industry, farmers face a “perfect storm”; and our federal government, instead of ensuring a level playing field, too often subsidizes and underwrites multi-national firms at the expense of family farmers.

We must:

  • Pass “Right to Repair” for farm equipment. Without a right to repair their own equipment, farmers and ranchers are effectively locked into costly lifetime contracts with manufacturers. Industry MOUs (like the John Deere agreement) fall far short of true right-to-repair.
  • Fix federal crop insurance subsidies, which unfairly favor large operators and help them outcompete family farmers for land and resources. We can start by adjusting the insurance agent commission formula, which currently disincentivizes agents from selling to small farms; and by improving coverage for specialty crops.
  • Support local meatpacking alternatives to the Big 4. Market conditions have made it almost impossible for new firms to enter the meatpacking market. Farmers and ranchers have no alternative but to comply with the monopolistic and anti-competitive practices of the Big 4. The federal government can encourage workforce development and loan programs to allow competitors to succeed.

Taxpayers have sent Moderna $10 billion in COVID subsidies. The CEO of Moderna made $398 million in 2022. Moderna just more than quadrupled the price of the COVID vaccine.

This is madness. 

Stop handing huge subsidies to super-profitable pharmaceutical companies. In the heat of the pandemic, Congress handed over tens of billions of dollars to Big Pharma. Some of this turned into the vaccine. Much of it turned into CEO pay. As Senator, I will never support handing huge pharmaceuticals a blank check.

Overtime places serious burdens on workers and families. Adding insult to injury, workers receiving overtime pay find themselves bumped into a higher tax bracket. These workers are making significant sacrifices in their personal lives that are not fairly reflected by their tax treatment.

Overtime wages should not bump a taxpayer into a higher bracket. Additionally, for the purposes of calculating eligibility for any income-related benefits, overtime wages should not be included.

Americans are working longer hours than ever, at higher productivity than ever. But wages are stagnant, and the secure middle-class one-earner household is becoming a thing of the past.

As a Senator, I’ll support:

  • Passing the PRO Act, which would:
    • Institute “card check”
    • Repeal the secondary boycott ban
    • Impose $50,000 fines for labor law violations
    • Tighten the definition of “independent contractor”, to cut down on the practice of misclassifying employees as contractors and freelancers in order to prevent them from unionizing
    • Prohibit “captive audience” meetings
  • Mandatory bereavement leave for all workers. Too many Americans are unable to grieve their family members. Once upon a time, family-oriented firms would give workers a break; today’s multinational mega-corporations will force an employee to work through the death of their own child without blinking an eye. 
  • Addressing the shortcomings of the 2022 agreement imposed on railroaders. In particular, I will work to pass legislation guaranteeing seven days of paid sick leave to all rail workers. 
  • Raising the federal minimum wage to Nebraska’s wage. With Nebraska’s recent minimum wage increase, we risk being uncompetitive with neighboring states. A federal minimum wage increase is an urgent issue for all Nebraska businesses.

Blocked crossings, derailments, toxic chemicals spilling into our air and our waterways: Americans everywhere are seeing the impact of decades of cost-cutting and corner-cutting in the rail industry.

We must:

  • Require two-person crews. Reducing to one-person crews will increase Union Pacific’s share price – but it will also increase derailments. 
  • Increase fines for violating federal rail safety laws. The railroads too often treat safety regulations as mere “suggestions.”
  • Cut down on dangerous and inconvenient blocked rail crossings with the “Oklahoma Rule.” Many of us have become all too familiar with trains idling in important crossings. We see children climbing over railcars to walk to school. This is irresponsible and dangerous. We should follow the lead of Oklahoma, which attempted to place a ten-minute limit on blocked crossings. The courts struck down the statute, ruling that only the federal government, not the states, can act on this issue. As Senator, I can bring together people from both parties to act on this issue.

I oppose efforts to legislate how private citizens should conduct themselves. While I respect the deep moral convictions of my fellow Nebraskans, I oppose attempts to use government to enforce those convictions upon others. 

  • While I support reasonable gun safety measures, including gun safety education in our schools, I am fundamentally in favor of the Second Amendment. Law-abiding citizens have, and must always have, the right to bear arms. We can combat school shootings while protecting the Second Amendment.
  • I do not support extreme measures to ban abortion. While I respect the moral convictions of all Nebraskans, I believe in limited government and I do not believe the government is capable of resolving this issue. Under extreme bans, abortion will still happen. We need to focus on the root cause: on reducing unwanted pregnancies.
  • I oppose discrimination for any reason and think people’s private lives are no business but their own. I also believe that government intervention should only come into play when those fundamental rights are being infringed upon by others.

It’s simple: two terms in the Senate, six terms in the House. The Founders never intended for the government to be dominated by career politicians. 

Passing term limits requires a constitutional amendment. The threshold for passing such an amendment is high, but with 80% public support, there is truly no excuse.

 

Cut Taxes for Small Business and the Middle Class

The middle-class and small businesses shoulder our tax burden. That’s not right.

We can cut middle-class and small business tax rates, without increasing the deficit, by cutting wasteful spending and closing loopholes used by multi-nationals to avoid paying taxes. In particular: we can restrict the use of foreign tax havens to hide multinational corporate profits. Multi-national firms use these loopholes to pay little or no taxes, making it difficult for small businesses to compete.

Guarantee a “Right to Repair” – For Farm Equipment, Cars, and Electronics

As a mechanic, I believe this is a critically important issue. The right to repair is a basic freedom that has been whittled away.

Without a right to repair their own equipment, farmers and ranchers are effectively locked into costly lifetime contracts with manufacturers. Industry MOUs (like the John Deere agreement) fall far short of true right-to-repair.

The same is true of personal electronics. Multi-nationals have shut independent repair shops and consumers completely out of the repair market. This forces consumers to hugely overpay for repairs or to junk perfectly fixable electronics.

Finally: we can’t allow the independent auto shop to go extinct. “Proprietary” electronics in vehicles make repairs impossible for drivers and independent shops, driving up repair prices. The federal Department of Transportation has shut down state-level Right to Repair. Congress must act.

Right to Repair is a bipartisan issue with the support of 84% of Americans. Sadly, opposition from those cashing industry campaign checks has kept us from moving forward. As an independent, I can bring together a bipartisan coalition for Right to Repair. 

Support Our Veterans

As of October 10, 2023, more than 300,000 VA claims have been backlogged for more than 125 days. Our politicians claim to support veterans; clearly, it’s little more than lip service. I’ll fully fund the VA to clear out this backlog and ensure claims are processed in a timely manner.

I will also support comprehensive job placement and job training for veterans. Those who serve our country should not be left behind when they return home.

No More Soldiers On Food Stamps: Raise Serviceman Pay

Sometimes it seems the military overpays for everything – except soldiers.

As a veteran of the Navy and the Nebraska National Guard, I saw firsthand the bureaucratic waste created by senior management and defense contractors. Contractors spend more than a hundred million dollars annually lobbying Washington; it’s no surprise that hundreds of billions of dollars are siphoned out of our military on overpays.

From forty dollar hammers that cost ten bucks at the hardware store, to $10,000 switches that cost a couple hundred dollars to manufacture, price gouging is draining our military of the resources to defend this country.

Meanwhile, military families struggle to put food on the table. We must pay servicemen and women a competitive wage. Military families are on food stamps, and we wonder why there’s a recruitment crisis.

Legalize & Tax Medical Cannabis

There is no reason for the federal government to ban medical cannabis. We waste tens of millions of dollars enforcing the prohibition of a plant with medicinal properties. This benefits nobody but the pharmaceutical companies who would prefer one less competitor in the market for pain relief.

Our policy of cannabis prohibition has turned families and seniors seeking pain relief into criminals – and left on the table billions of dollars in potential tax revenue. It’s time to remove cannabis from Schedule I and stop wasting taxpayer dollars on putting people in prison for cannabis crimes.

A Level Playing Field for Family Farms and Ranches

The family farm underpins our economy, our national security, and our way of life. 

That way of life is under threat. With inflation, with blunders in trade policy, with consolidation at every level of the industry, farmers face a “perfect storm”; and our federal government, instead of ensuring a level playing field, too often subsidizes and underwrites multi-national firms at the expense of family farmers.

We must:

  • Pass “Right to Repair” for farm equipment. Without a right to repair their own equipment, farmers and ranchers are effectively locked into costly lifetime contracts with manufacturers. Industry MOUs (like the John Deere agreement) fall far short of true right-to-repair.
  • Fix federal crop insurance subsidies, which unfairly favor large operators and help them outcompete family farmers for land and resources. We can start by adjusting the insurance agent commission formula, which currently disincentivizes agents from selling to small farms; and by improving coverage for specialty crops.
  • Support local meatpacking alternatives to the Big 4. Market conditions have made it almost impossible for new firms to enter the meatpacking market. Farmers and ranchers have no alternative but to comply with the monopolistic and anti-competitive practices of the Big 4. The federal government can encourage workforce development and loan programs to allow competitors to succeed.
End Wasteful Government Handouts to the Pharmaceutical Industry

Taxpayers have sent Moderna $10 billion in COVID subsidies. The CEO of Moderna made $398 million in 2022. Moderna just more than quadrupled the price of the COVID vaccine.

This is madness. 

Stop handing huge subsidies to super-profitable pharmaceutical companies. In the heat of the pandemic, Congress handed over tens of billions of dollars to Big Pharma. Some of this turned into the vaccine. Much of it turned into CEO pay. As Senator, I will never support handing huge pharmaceuticals a blank check.

Lower Taxes on Overtime Wages

Overtime places serious burdens on workers and families. Adding insult to injury, workers receiving overtime pay find themselves bumped into a higher tax bracket. These workers are making significant sacrifices in their personal lives that are not fairly reflected by their tax treatment.

Overtime wages should not bump a taxpayer into a higher bracket. Additionally, for the purposes of calculating eligibility for any income-related benefits, overtime wages should not be included.

Protect Middle-Class Jobs and Wages

Americans are working longer hours than ever, at higher productivity than ever. But wages are stagnant, and the secure middle-class one-earner household is becoming a thing of the past.

As a Senator, I’ll support:

  • Passing the PRO Act, which would:
    • Institute “card check”
    • Repeal the secondary boycott ban
    • Impose $50,000 fines for labor law violations
    • Tighten the definition of “independent contractor”, to cut down on the practice of misclassifying employees as contractors and freelancers in order to prevent them from unionizing
    • Prohibit “captive audience” meetings
  • Mandatory bereavement leave for all workers. Too many Americans are unable to grieve their family members. Once upon a time, family-oriented firms would give workers a break; today’s multinational mega-corporations will force an employee to work through the death of their own child without blinking an eye. 
  • Addressing the shortcomings of the 2022 agreement imposed on railroaders. In particular, I will work to pass legislation guaranteeing seven days of paid sick leave to all rail workers. 
  • Raising the federal minimum wage to Nebraska’s wage. With Nebraska’s recent minimum wage increase, we risk being uncompetitive with neighboring states. A federal minimum wage increase is an urgent issue for all Nebraska businesses.
Reform Railroad Safety

Blocked crossings, derailments, toxic chemicals spilling into our air and our waterways: Americans everywhere are seeing the impact of decades of cost-cutting and corner-cutting in the rail industry.

We must:

  • Require two-person crews. Reducing to one-person crews will increase Union Pacific’s share price – but it will also increase derailments. 
  • Increase fines for violating federal rail safety laws. The railroads too often treat safety regulations as mere “suggestions.”
  • Cut down on dangerous and inconvenient blocked rail crossings with the “Oklahoma Rule.” Many of us have become all too familiar with trains idling in important crossings. We see children climbing over railcars to walk to school. This is irresponsible and dangerous. We should follow the lead of Oklahoma, which attempted to place a ten-minute limit on blocked crossings. The courts struck down the statute, ruling that only the federal government, not the states, can act on this issue. As Senator, I can bring together people from both parties to act on this issue.
Keep Government Out of Our Private Lives

I oppose efforts to legislate how private citizens should conduct themselves. While I respect the deep moral convictions of my fellow Nebraskans, I oppose attempts to use government to enforce those convictions upon others. 

  • While I support reasonable gun safety measures, including gun safety education in our schools, I am fundamentally in favor of the Second Amendment. Law-abiding citizens have, and must always have, the right to bear arms. We can combat school shootings while protecting the Second Amendment.
  • I do not support extreme measures to ban abortion. While I respect the moral convictions of all Nebraskans, I believe in limited government and I do not believe the government is capable of resolving this issue. Under extreme bans, abortion will still happen. We need to focus on the root cause: on reducing unwanted pregnancies.
  • I oppose discrimination for any reason and think people’s private lives are no business but their own. I also believe that government intervention should only come into play when those fundamental rights are being infringed upon by others.
Pass Congressional Term Limits

It’s simple: two terms in the Senate, six terms in the House. The Founders never intended for the government to be dominated by career politicians. 

Passing term limits requires a constitutional amendment. The threshold for passing such an amendment is high, but with 80% public support, there is truly no excuse.