Krsiean: Government growth has gone beyond Constitution's limits
Mike Krsiean has one reason for running for Congress: The federal government has too much power and it's time the country remembered the limits set by the Constitution.
Krsiean, Houlton, has entered the race for Wisconsin's 3rd District seat in Congress as an independent.
The father of four daughters and an aerospace engineer working at Honeywell, he has not run for public office before but felt it was necessary now. While he and his wife Annie were working, running their small farm in the town of St. Joseph and raising their children, the government went way beyond what the Founding Fathers intended, said Krsiean.
"I don't want to hand down to my daughters a socialized government, and I want to prove to people you don't need a lot of money and don't need a lot of experience to do what I'm doing," he said during an interview in Hudson.
Krsiean went on, "Government is not God and it should not be invested with the power to supply us with everything we need ... I'm a constitutionalist. Let's get down to the basics."
If elected, his plan would be to work to eliminate as many non-constitutional federal departments as possible. The list, said Krsiean, is long and includes the departments of commerce, education, agriculture and labor.
Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution enumerates the powers of Congress and they are relatively few, says Krsiean. They include regulating trade with other nations and among the states, coining money and establishing its value, setting standards for weights and measures, establishing patents and a post office system, raising and supporting armies and maintaining a navy.
"If it's not there, it is the responsibility of the states and the individual citizens," said Krsiean.
He believes the U.S. infantry must get out of Afghanistan. Instead of keeping over 100,000 Americans on the ground looking for one person, America should fund a new international agency capable of gathering the intelligence to direct "surgical lightning strikes," said Krsiean.
"We're looking for one guy, and we're separating our families," he summarized.
All or none
Krsiean also suggests eliminating the black market by decriminalizing the use of marijuana and other drugs.
"Either the Constitution protects all rights or it protects no rights," said Krsiean, adding that with decriminalization, people will be free to seek help for their addictions without fear of prosecution.
"The best government is that which is smaller and more localized," said Krsiean.
Ideally the duties of the federal government fall into two buckets -- either helping the states get along or acting as a liaison with foreign countries, he said.
"The founders just came though a war with a guy named King George who was overbearing" and wanted to avoid being under that type of control again, said Krsiean.
"Our whole federal government was set up with a document that you can read in an hour. The Lord God gave us Ten Commandments to guide all of human activity with central general truths," said Krsiean.
But now laws, regulations and bills stretch to thousands of pages of verbiage that no one can be expected to read, said Krsiean, who went to Washington with his wife to join thousands of others to protest outside the Capitol last March as Congress voted on the health care bill.
The federal government should have no power over health care, he said. "We're going to end up with this rationing. Everything the federal government gets their fingers on, they mangle."
Krsiean, who is originally from central Minnesota, lived in New Richmond for three years before moving to the town of St. Joseph two years ago.
Rejects party control
He has chosen to run as an independent: "I don't want to be controlled by one party."
Krsiean is also concerned about the influence special interest groups have on lawmakers, and he promises transparency in his congressional office workings.
To do that he would set up cameras throughout his office suite to allow constituents to use a webpage to watch what he and his staff are doing and with whom they are talking.
"What we know is just the tip of the iceberg," said Krsiean of what goes into most legislators' decision-making processes.
While conceding most of the voters back home wouldn't spend hours listening in on congressional office workings, having the opportunity would raise their confidence in the process, he said.
Krsiean says he's running a truly grassroots campaign with a staff of two -- himself and his wife. He expects to spend about $3,000, half of it his own money.
In choosing a position to take on any issue, the two things he will consider are the constitutionality and what voters in the 3rd District want, said Krsiean.
"I'm a representative for them, so I do have to listen to them, and I'm accountable to their viewpoints."
When he's in the district, he will spend his time traveling around the district and meeting with constituents.
'I am you'
But, said Krsiean, voters have a responsibility too: "The general public has to lose their apathy toward government."
He believes his candidacy will appeal to ordinary citizens because he is one of them.
"I am you," he tells voters. "My family and I live among you. We grocery shop among you. Our kids might play in the same sports and compete against each other. I vote with you, pay mortgage, property and income taxes just like you. I have to pay that darn late fee when I forget my tabs are due. I am your neighbor and your friend."
And, says Krsiean, he doesn't plan to change his life indefinitely. His intention is to serve in Congress for a few years and then return to private life.