Brownback endorses Pompeo for second term in Congress


Gov. Sam Brownback wants Rep. Mike Pompeo to stay in Washington, D.C., endorsing him Tuesday for a second term in Congress.

“Mike, I’m glad you’re liking the commute,” Brownback joked after the 4th District Congressman confirmed he would run for re-election.

Pompeo, R-Wichita, said he wanted Brownback at his side for the announcement because he has watched how the federal government meddles with state government.

The federal government, he said, makes a lot of decisions that keep state leaders from doing what they need to do.

“The good ideas that I have seen in my first year have all come from governors,” Pompeo said, noting that state leaders have to balance budgets and can’t simply print more money to operate.

“The math has to work,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo made his announcement at Commtech Inc., a Wichita telecommunications software and equipment company that he said embodied how the country should turn itself around: an American business selling American products made by American workers.

Saying he identifies with the Tea Party movement, which pushes for less government, Pompeo said he has fought against government regulation and for smaller government, “working hard to cut spending.

We’ve made progress in that fight, but there’s still work to be done. I’ve seen firsthand the massive amount of government waste and out-of-control spending.”

He said a top-down approach to creating business — pushing down from the government — doesn’t work and leads to unemployment.

Pompeo has been critical of the Environmental Protection Agency. He says many government regulations are “punitive for entrepreneurs.”

Employees and companies in  the oil and gas industry are his largest donors. Koch Industries leads the pack during the 2011-2012 campaign cycle with $21,500 from individuals with ties to Koch and $6,000 from its political action committee.

Pompeo was the third-leading fundraiser among freshmen House members in the second quarter of this year. He raised $492,881 during that quarter, the Center for Responsive Politics website, shows.  He had $587,921 in campaign funds available at the end of June.

In his first term, Pompeo introduced legislation specifying that money returned from a $31.5 million federal grant to put the new health care law in place could only be used to reduce the country’s deficit.

“Simply giving the money back to the Obama administration to be spent elsewhere is not acceptable in light of our current debt situation,” Pompeo said at the time.

Pompeo also pushed for Boeing to get a tanker  contract and supported a Medal of Honor for the Rev. Emil Kapaun, an Army chaplain who died as a prisoner of war during the Korean War.

In 2010, Pompeo won a Republican primary fight to replace longtime congressman Todd Tiahrt, then beat state Rep. Raj Goyle in the general election.

Wichita resident Marty Mork has announced he also plans to run for the 4th District seat in the Republican primary this year.