Siouxland Women’s U.S. House GOP Nominee Forum
If you want to skim this article then here are the two big points to take away.
1. Neil Tapio and Shantel Krebs are incredibly similar in policy and agree on almost everything policy-wise that was asked this evening. Some crucial differences on the War on Terror and how a Congressperson can bring about change. But that is it.
2. Tapio is a very lovely man and an entirely legitimate candidate. He is so very much more reasonable, and main-stream in his politics than the peoples of the internet have labeled him. You don’t have to agree with him, but he isn’t a monster.
Here are the candidate responses to questions asked as I wrote them in my notes:
Krebs: Turned the paperwork mess she inherited four years ago, and now it “runs at the speed of business” (I am aware how cheesy that sounds. It was repeated several times tonight)
Pro-President Trump, 4rth generation farm girl. Owned at least two businesses in Sioux Falls.
Wants to reform and make D.C. run things like a business
De-regulation in general. Wants to work on the Agriculture Committee in the House of Representatives.
South Dakota Values! Get Government out of the way of the people.
Tapio: Small business owner and an entrepreneur. Considers himself entirely politically incorrect.
$700 Billion deficit with a 21 trillion dollar debt. Congress out of control spending.
Wants to end the War on Terror (this is probably the most significant difference between the two)
He was the Trump South Dakota state director early on in the presidential campaign.
Not your typical politician and dramatically desires entitlement reform for things like social security spending for example.
Question: What to do with the overspending by Congress
Tapio: We have runaway spending on Social Programs.
The War on Terror is super expensive and is impossible to solve without addressing the Islamic terrorist problem behind it.
A significant problem with these social programs is that they do nothing to solve the breakdown of the family unit.
” We need to fight for Faith, Family, Freedom, and Free Enterprise.”
Krebs: She agrees with Tapio on much of what he just said, especially on the issue of government reform
As S.D. secretary of state, she uses 0 based budgeting, which is what all businesses have to use.
“Wipe the Budget clean every year.”
She wanted further reductions on the S.D. appropriations budget, and the S.D. legislature wouldn’t give it to her.(actually impressive)
She wants to support President Trump in Congress.
We need to de-regulate for farms and businesses, especially for starting small ones.
The story about how the businesses and farms she talks to can’t get lines of credit due to a bad law like Frank-Dodd.
Congress needs to have oversight over any proposed regulations from the executive bureaucracy.
Question: What about the Omnibus bill recently passed and the funding for Planned Parenthood
Krebs: The Omnibus bill is always the wrong approach
Our National Congress needs to reflect better S.D. state Congress which goes through legislation line by line.
Pay raise for the military in the omnibus bill was very good and well needed. But this is the wrong way to go about getting it.
We must ultimately Defund Planned Parenthood.
Tapio: What can we possibly accomplish going the Krebs way: line upon line
This position is only 1 out of 134 people. Therefore it is impossible to bring about real change following the system.
Commended Trump for his fighting and recognition of Islamic Terrorism.
We have to do the big things right. What are we still doing there? (in the middle east and Syria)
20 years later and we are still fighting in places like Iraq?
There is no bigger supporter of President Trump than Tapio.
The political system as is is incapable of solving these problems (omnibus, the war on terror, etc.)
To bring about real change we need people of courage to take this on.
Question: Support the wall or not? If so, how do we fund it?
Tapio: In favor of wall and Mexico should pay for it.
Send Mexico the bill for all the money we spend on its citizens (social programs, money sent out of the nation, etc.)
Wants to be a member of the Freedom Caucus
Krebs: In favor of the wall, secure borders, extreme vetting, and ending chain migration.
Cap government spending including capping the money spent by government agencies
She disagrees with Tapio on the 1 of 134 comments.
Question: What about the recent school shooting in Parkland Florida? What do you propose to keep schools safe?
Krebs: Lifetime Member of the NRA, story about shooting a rattlesnake four times with a shotgun (overkill, but still a funny story)
A strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, In favor of the school sentinel programs.
Wants to make such programs an option to school-boards if they wish to pursue it.
Having an armed police officer at each school is a good idea (included with the Sentinel comments btw)
Increase education for Mental Health Awareness,
The conversation in Congress for trying out Gun Control must stop:
Tapio: For the Parkland Shooting Evil Idiot (my term for him, won’t aggrandize him by using his real name) there were at least 40 run-ins with law enforcement before the shooting.
30 days prior he said on his Facebook page that he wanted to be a school shooter.
This isn’t a 2nd Amendment problem, but instead a failure by Law Enforcement.
President Obama pushed policy to reduce the number of minorities going to jail irrespective of actual criminal activity.
That policy creates more problems, Basically said you would have shootings with such a plan.
There used to be a STAR academy for people needing help.
Told story about church family friend who had a meth problem as a teenager. In short after begging Law enforcement to do something over and over again, eventually, they consented to take the kid and to get him some rehab and other help.
Fast Forward 6 months later, and the kid was put precisely into that same high school and environment that the kid used to live when he was doing drugs. Thus kids in that situation, of course, are more likely to return to bad behavior.
He wants to fight the Obama system.
Question: What do you think of the Trump Tariffs and the trade war (my term) with China.
Krebbs: I appreciate what President Trump is trying to do.
Trump is trying to deal with China and open new markets.
China continually steals our intellectual properties and provides no recourse to fix it.
The story about seeing a truck with a fake version of the Triple M logo, instead says triple N.
She is the only one with an agricultural background and has spent time in China opening up markets for South Dakota agricultural products.
Tapio: $300 billion trade deficit in the United States. A $500 billion dollar trade imbalance.
Agrees that China steals our I.P.s
China is a currency manipulator plus we have with them a great product to product imbalance.
Trump is treating this issue correctly but taking it head-on.
It’s a terrible situation right now economically, but it has to be done.
Trump is doing Bi-lateral negotiation. And that is also partly why he is pushing renegotiation NAFTA and China.
Question: Agriculture and the Farm Bill.
Tapio: He has lots of family in Agriculture, and continuously works with people in agriculture.
So he has a “strong pulse on the Agriculture Community.”
The commodity to dollar ratio is hurting businesses and agriculture.
He remembers when his businesses were hurt by as much as 65% due to this problem.
Dollar policy directly affects agriculture prices.
And there will always be a continual market for protein.
Krebs: 80% of the Farm Bill is Welfare Assistance, with only 20% addressing agriculture
Reform the Farm Bill
Require work requirements for SNAP and other welfare assistance
Food Security is Bio Security. So we need to have food security.
We need a farm safety net program in case of things like Hale or Drought.
It is impossible for beginning farmers to get loans.
We need a Foot and Mouth vaccination Program, (I”m assuming Cattle)
Question: Why are you running for Congress?
Krebs: Feels like the Federal Government is changing and she wants to be a part of that.
Yes, it is possible to change the federal government.
We need to run government like a business and “run government at the speed of business.”
Tapio: Krebs has done very well as our S.D. Secretary of State
To be a good leader and make the change you need to be able to face the heat
Need to be able to face the issue of Islamist Extremism, which is a civilization level issue.
He is not an Establishment candidate
Question Was attacking Syria a good idea? When and how do you know it is time to engage with military force?
Tapio: The nation-states in the Middle East aren’t naturally created states. They tend to be governed by a Shia.
Why should we help the Syrian rebels whose membership mostly came from terrorist organizations such as ISIS?
Once Bashar is gone who gets to replace him, and will they be any better?
He used to believe that nations and people naturally yearn for Democracy and Freedom.
There are some 1.2 billion Muslims, the issue of Syria should be solved by the Muslim nations.
Krebbs: President Trump used Swift action, and he kept his word regarding a Red Line in Syria.
She supports the Presidents effort in Syria and supports and trusts his choices on this.
Question from the crowd: Welfare Reform?
Krebbs: Welfare should include drug testing and work requirements.
There is a big recidivism issue at the heart of Welfare.
Past Administrations put in an incentive for welfare recipients to later return to welfare after they had gotten off it.
The goal should be to get people into jobs. Plus WorkForce Development
Social Security is a train wreck and needs some changes.
Allow states to manage block programs and encourage them to tie work requirements, etc.
Tapio: Social Security has been abused
Started at about 15 workers to 1 S.S recipient, now we are at less than 3 to 1.
Tells older folks that promises made should be promises kept.
He agrees on Welfare reform. Workforce requirements and encouraging people to work.
Crowd Question: What about ObamaCare?
Tapio: Good Health Care and Alternative ideas are impossible to get through the government.
Take that money and put it in the hands of the people.
Krebbs: Repeal and Replace ObamaCare
Health Care is a huge problem.
When talking to business owners in Sioux Falls, she found that very many of them don’t have health insurance for themselves because of the incredibly expensive cost to do so.
We should let the Free Market work instead of the Government is in charge of it.
We also need to incentivize Health Savings Accounts.
Last Thing you want to tell us?
Krebbs: Story about growing up and being taught to work hard and pray often.
Too few people in Congress have any idea or experience running a business or paying payroll.
In the end, she is what her parents made her: A Mom and Pop businesswoman and a Farm Girl
Tapio: Being a Representative is an overwhelming job. It requires someone to stand and fight.
He will be the same person now as he will be when he comes back to be re-elected.
I waited patiently and tried to get a better answer on the Trump Tariff issue; I just asked what she thought about tariffs in general?
Krebs gave me a real quick sound bite answer about supporting President Trump in his efforts, an obvious repeat talking point.
She came off to me from this sounding over-produced, and a tad slimy. Not willing to engage or answer questions with any honest thought. I know she isn’t trying to sound dishonest, just trying to keep to the safe script. So I recommend taking this how you may.
I should also point out that her speaking and presentation during the forum was excellent.
Tapio was completely different. He talked my ear off for 10 minutes about how what I call protectionist is good for the country, and he calls it supporting Americans. We need to solve this bad consumer trade economy where we are only the consumers and not producers.
He wanted to then talk about Islamic Extremism and Terrorism, asked even asked me about my thoughts on the issue. Though we disagree on several things, he was polite and gave me a great conversation. Best one I had that night.
Also, though Tapio is always depicted screaming, he is a very soft-spoken man. There were Mic problems making sure he could be heard well enough by the audience.
He came off to me less prepared, or at least less ready with the talking point answers.