We sat down last week with the Republican Congressional Candidate, Chris Lien of Rapid City. We were impressed. Chris has a firm grasp of the issues facing South Dakota and the necessary attitude and approach to effect real change. After graduating from Montana State University with a degree in Economics, Chris attended USD Law School.
He practiced law in Denver for a few years and for the past 15 years has been a business executive with his family business. He served as vice chairman of the Ellsworth Task Force that successfully worked to reverse the closing of Ellsworth AFB. Chris,his wife, Julie, and 7 year old daughter reside in Rapid City.
Chris is the real deal and presents a real opportunity for the GOP and a real challenge to the incumbent.
South Dakota Q & A will be a periodic feature of South Dakota Straight Talk.
Q. What are your greatest strengths?
A. Many people have told me that I listen very intently when communicating. In addition to this, I always strive to take time and analyze every option before making a decision. Most importantly, I am proud of my family’s past and future in South Dakota. My daughter Annie is a 5th generation South Dakotan.
Q. What is your greatest weakness?
A. My wife has told me that my enthusiasm for this race causes me to talk too fast some times. Thus giving people the appearance that I'm nervous.
Q. Why are you running?
A. Because I love South Dakota and this Nation and I believe everyone should serve both in some fashion. Running for this office is the choice I made to do just that. Further, I want to be a part of a body that debates and deliberates for the sake of good legislation rather than gaining individual credit or headlines.
Q. Why and how will Chris Lien be different in making progress on the nation’s problems?
A. Because my approach has been, and will be, to analyze each issue and make my decision based on long term solutions rather than the hope of being reelected in two years; listen, do your homework, know the facts and talk with not only your colleagues, but your opponents as well.
Q, Would you have supported the stimulus package that was recently adopted and what effect do you feel it will have?
A. I found it very interesting that Congress, when faced with a need to improve the economy relied on the judgment of the people by giving back some of their money. With this decision, Congress admitted the right thing to do, when confronted with an economic dilemma, is let individuals keep more of their money rather than send it Washington.
Q. What specifically is your position on the War in Iraq?
A. Finish the job.
The justification for being there and the wisdom of our entry into this conflict are worthy of discussion and debate. However, debating our entry should not drive decisions regarding our future course of action. We are there now and need to make decisions based upon the current state of our actions and the potential implications of our actions going forward.
This is one of the most critical periods in American history. We have a faction of radical Islam that has a single mission of destroying the American free enterprise system and our way of life. Our decision to defend America and Freedom has made the United States a focal point in the world today. Therefore it is critical to show that when we start a job we finish it. More specifically, in terms of the people of Iraq, that job is to give them the ability to put down the guns of war long enough to learn how to pick up and run with the baton of democracy. With respect to the American servicemen and women and their families who have already paid the ultimate price for every one of us; finishing the mission must honor their sacrifice. Our responsibility moving forward is to complete this duty as quickly and honorably as possible.
Q. Name one little known fact about Chris Lien.
A. I have being flying airplanes since I was 14 years old.
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