Feb. 16, 2006
By KAREN MIKOLS
Hays Daily News
John Doll Is Stepping Up.
He shared his vision for the 1st Congressional District of Kansas during a lunch stop Wednesday.
"When I was coaching, I would say you could step up or you could stay on the sidelines," he said during Times Talk in the Stouffer Lounge of the Fort Hays State University Memorial Union.
Doll isn't willing to stay on the bench any longer in the political arena.
"Like you said, I'm inexperienced," he said. "I might not be the best person to run against Jerry Moran, but I have the opportunity to run and I believe in dreams big time.
"You need to have goals in life and go after them. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but if you're afraid to lose because you will not participate, you can never win."
Doll, a 48-year-old businessman from Garden City, is traveling Kansas, promoting his cause. He lives in Garden City with his wife, Janet, and son, Ethan, 15, and where he operates Doll Spraying Service.
Doll's daughter, Hayley, 19, is a freshman at the University of Kansas.
Despite his current occupation, Doll spent the first 20 years of his professional life in the classroom. He was a government teacher and coach.
"I'm going into things idealistically, and sometimes I don't think that's a bad thing," he said.
Chapman Rackaway, assistant professor in the department of political science and justice studies, reminded Doll that incumbent Jerry Moran, R-Hays, had several uncontested elections.
"They describe him as a juggernaut," Rackaway said. "Why are you the guy to knock him off?"
A hearty laugh greeted Doll's response.
"Because I'm the only one who filed," Doll said in jest. "I'm tired of him running unopposed."
If no other Democratic candidates file, there will be no primary election Aug. 1, and Doll would go straight to the Nov. 7 general election against Moran.
"I think Moran votes along party lines a lot," Doll said. "I don't think that serves our interests. I think his voting district is not consistent with what is best for the 1st District of Kansas."
Once such instance is the cuts to Medicare.
"We have a bill out there that no one can really understand," Doll said. "Every day I see veterans walking in and out of the VA office and don't have a clue what this bill says. I think if you're going to have something as important as Medicare it ought to be written in a way so for the most part, people off the street can read it. If not, they need to put it in the shredder and start again so they can put it into plain language that we can all understand."
In addition to making Medicare more accessible, Doll suggests expanding clean energy.
"I don't know about in Hays, but in Garden City we have some wind," he said. "Do you guys get some wind up here?"
The government could and should offer tax breaks for those willing to develop wind energy and expand ethanol production.
Such expansion in western Kansas would also increase jobs, which Doll said is important for local economies.
Even though Kansas is typically a red state, Doll said he thinks he has the potential for mass appeal.
"I'm tight," Doll said. "I'm a Democrat, but fiscally I'm very conservative. My views as far as Democrat are more on the social aspect."
He's also counting on readiness for change.
"We got belted with cuts in agriculture, education and Medicare," Doll said. "When I see these things going on, I think it's time to step up and hold people accountable for what they're doing."