Mark Powls – Republican for Kansas House, District 5
Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.
Birthplace & Date:
● Garnett, Kansas 1961.
● Bill (deceased) and Wilma Powls of Garnett, Kansas
● Mark is the youngest of five siblings.
● Attended the Garnett USD#365 Public School system until high school graduation in May 1979.
● Bachelor of Music Education (Emphasis in Percussion & French Horn) December 1984
● Master of Music Composition & Theory May 1986
● Electrical Engineering (Pursuant to a Bachelor of Science Degree one year completed) 2001-02
● Ran as an Independent Candidate for Garnett City Commissioner in 2018
● Community position: Founders Keep Member and Co-Chair of Founders Keep Chapter in Anderson
(Founders Keep is Founding History and Constitution Education and Discussion Group).
● Completed Boot Camp and AIT at Fort Sill, OK (Counter Mortar Radar Repair & Operator School)
● KS Army National Guard Headquarters 1st Battalion, 127 Field Artillery based in Ottawa, KS 1980-83.
● Served as NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical Warfare Defense) NCO in last year with 127th Field Artillery before Honorable Discharge followed by 2-Years Inactive Reserve Status 1983-85.
● Recruited for the 35th Infantry Division Band, KS Army National Guard, based in Olathe, KS 1989-2007
The 35th I.D. Band served the KS DOD for Public Relations and MP Augmentation (Perimeter
Mark served many roles which included nine years as a unite Squad Leader, Unit Retention NCO, Physical Fitness NCO, and Firing Range Safety NCO which earned him three Army Achievement Medals before completing 22 years of military service in the grade of Sergeant First Class (SFC) in 2007.
Mark is happily married to Carmen Hofer Powls of 22 years and they are blessed with two daughters, Bethany (20 yrs) and April (17 yrs) and live in Garnett, Kansas
Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:
What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?
Every Life Matters in America, and in my home country, Kansas. Those fanning the flames of division and hate for their own grand agenda, power, or financial gain is an act of war against our federal republic and they must be stopped.
What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?
In the words of one of our great American Actors, Morgan Freeman, “Stop talking about it”. Those financing racism, division, and hatred need to be rejected and marginalized by the general public and media. Our public schools and State funded universities need to stick to teaching the facts and avoid placing excessive emphasis on the ills of racism and oppression. Teach it accurately, and in the context, of real history (not modern interpretations or activism), then spend more time on beneficial history like our founding history or constitutional study. A government that operates by the original intent of their constitutions will promote blind justice for all.
Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?
I am not in favor of police reform. It doesn’t matter what profession you are in, you’ll never find a perfect individual. If you want better police behavior then support them by reforming our Judicial system first. Most police officers are amazing individuals who want to protect the innocent from infringements. The purpose of government is to protect our natural Right to Life, Liberty, and Property, yet government has become a creator and enforcer of thousands of laws which are, in many cases, in violation to our constitutions as written and ratified. We need Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, Attorneys, Judges, and Justices who are well-educated in our constitutions before they swear an oath to defend and protect it.
Did you or do you support business shutdowns to control the spread of the coronavirus?
NO. This is an overreach of government power and is in violation of our Kansas Constitution as written and ratified. Article 2, clause 1 of the Kansas Constitution is clear: The legislative power of this state shall be vested in a house of representatives and senate. There can be no statute or act that will supersede our constitution as written and ratified and there is a good reason why our constitution does not allow this power to be delegated to another branch or individual in this government. This knee-jerk, carpet-bombing style reaction to a potentially harmful virus may have been a pandemic in some heavily populated areas of Kansas but most counties across Kansas were not severely effected or have had very low cases of this virus. Power should never have been delegated away from the Kansas Legislature and the governor should not have insisted that it should over a mere emergency. Each case should have been handled locally by elected city and county governments in concert with local emergency management, school boards, and medical community. I can accept a statute that allows some temporary power to go to our governor in a disaster situation but never for isolated cases of a pandemic or emergency.
Would you support another statewide shutdown if coronavirus cases continued to rise? If so, what are the factors that would lead you to that decision?
NO. The medical community is doing a great job in managing this virus and will continue to do so if there is another spike. If we continue to isolate ourselves from every little virus that comes our way, our natural immune response will not develop and then we’ll have serious problems. We have to accept the risks of this virus without infringing upon the natural rights of the people. The general public must accept some risk and personal accountability in a self-governing system like we have in America.
What do you think should be done to help the Kansas economy recover?
All branches of our State’s government must return to constitutional order and work to reduce governmental cost within the defined limits of proper constitutional government. This will require major reforms and sacrifice within government. When government increases, the economy suffers. When government becomes smaller and less expensive, the private sector thrives. The tax burdens on Kansans is too high because of the expansion of government and now we must endure the residual effects of these shutdowns and I do not believe consumers, business owners, and farmers should carry this burden of the upcoming State shortfalls. Government must remove all non-essential operations and staff in order to offset shortfalls to insure our economy recovers.
Would you cut money for social services if it means lower taxes? Would you favor higher taxes for more social services?
All non-essential programs or unconstitutional agencies within our State’s government will need to be reduced or cut in order to offset future shortfalls. If social programs are not enumerated in our Kansas Constitution then they should but cut and left to churches and civic non-profits organizations.
What should Kansas do to balance its budget? Will you support budget cuts for schools?
I do not believe schools will need to cut their budgets. If elected, I will seek to abolish the “use it, or lose it” rule in all appropriations to schools and other taxpayer funded institutions. Schools should be allowed to roll any unused funds into the following year. Audits are already required and this will insure that funding is being used wisely. School funding for short and long-range planning must be teacher and classroom centered. Extracurricular must take a lower priority and supplemented through additional school fees at enrollment.