Konsmo with logical, solutions-based strategy in campaignWritten by Saige Albert
Powell – For Northwest College Professor Mike Konsmo, running for the U.S. House of Representatives is about bolstering Wyoming’s economy and improving the prospects for the next generation by restoring trust and fixing the state economy.
“I hear a lot of complaints about things like regulations, but most candidates don’t have solutions,” says Konsmo. “I like to start with practical answers because those are critical. I want good, practical plans to accomplish our goals.”
Konsmo sees his role in the U.S. House as one of less controversy and more vocal leadership, with a focus on reaching solutions.
He continues, “I’m practical and looking for long-term solutions. We need to have ideas in play and be at the table for these conversations.”
Goals in office
If elected, Konsmo says his number one priority is to be placed on the right committees.
“The Committees on Agriculture and Armed Services are important to me,” he says, noting that there are opportunities for development within Wyoming on those committees. “I also need to be on Energy and Commerce to work for building terminals to ship coal, natural gas and oil from the Pacific Coast.”
Since energy plays such a vital role for the state of Wyoming, Konsmo says it is important to create positive messaging for the energy industry and increase access to markets, which can be done through work in Congress.
“We have to have a good, conservative voice on these committees,” Konsmo says.
In addition, Konsmo hopes to restore trust and has released a 10-point plan, which is available on his website, to demonstrate who he is personally and how he will operate while in office.
Konsmo sees that the federal government is over-involved in the lives of Wyomingites, but he also sees practical solutions for solving concerns.
He calls regulations a hot-button issue that have a lot of traction in this year’s race, and he notes that solutions are necessary to solving the problem.
“The Federal Code of Regulations was 175,000 pages long in 2013, and I’m sure it’s longer than that now,” he says. “I think a good way to make progress is to start differentiating where regulations apply, and then cut regulations in terms of funding.”
“Regulations cost way too much, and they can be streamlined,” he says.
Within the state, Konsmo says that federal lands best serve the state when they are under federal control with local input on management.
“I don’t think that transferring lands to state control or selling them is in the best interest of our state,” Konsmo says. “I think using them for tourism and outdoor recreation will be a much more stable revenue source.”
Rather, he sees a solution that involves more local input in federal land management and the maintenance of a multiple-use standard as important.
Regarding species, Konsmo notes that wolves and grizzly bears should be delisted, and the Endangered Species Act should be reformed.
“I don’t believe the Endangered Species Act works as intended anymore,” he says. “It is used by the liberal side to push one agenda, and it’s used by the conservative side to push another agenda. Neither agenda has anything to do with endangered species. We all benefit from biodiversity, and we need laws that enable economic mobility and biodiversity. There needs to be a new approach.”
Other wild animals, including bison and wild horses, pose additional challenges, which need to be addressed.
“I offer a fresh perspective for Wyoming,” Konsmo says.
He notes that, as a teacher, he is a good listener and is able to put his ego aside for the benefit of the class community and the community at large.
He is also in touch with students from communities around the state, so he has an understanding of the issues and challenges facing those communities.
“I have a good sense of our state’s values, where they come from and how they think,” Konsmo says. “I’ve dedicated my life to education and learning.”
Konsmo works diligently to be educated on the issues facing Wyoming to provide the best solutions.
“I’m not afraid to have a defined, aggressive and assertive vision,” he comments. “I want to be a political candidate that I would admire, trust and respond to. That means that I have to embody those values. I can’t just say what’s trendy or popular. We need plans, not catchphrases.”