On February 17, 2016 I launched a campaign for the people's seat, in Pennsylvania's Tenth District, as an independent, for the United States Congress.
Here's the campaign announcement:
Here's the campaign announcement:
Hello there. My name is Jerry Kairnes. I am not a politician, I’m a father and I earn a
living as a building materials salesman.
I stand before you today because our national debt now exceeds 19 trillion dollars. To
help put that into some perspective, that’s more than $58,000 of debt for every citizen of
our country, it is more than $233,000 of debt for every family of four.
The Congress is literally spending today, money that our kids and grandkids haven’t
even earned yet.
It is immoral to saddle future generations with debt that we ran up and it is simply not
the American way to tax those who have no representation, but that is exactly what the
Congress is doing each time it votes to kick the can down the road just one more time.
Our out of control, 19 trillion dollar national debt isn’t just fiscally irresponsible, it is a
threat to our nation's security and to our very way of life.
The time to sound the alarm is now! We must change course!
But our national debt is a symptom of a greater problem, our democracy is broken.
Across our country, both the Democratic and the Republican parties have redrawn the
boundaries of our congressional districts to their own advantage.
These gerrymandered districts now allow the politicians to choose their voters, instead
of allowing the people to choose their Representatives. Of our 435 congressional
districts, nearly 400 are considered safe for the incumbent party.
Need proof? We need look no further than here in our own Commonwealth, to the 2014
election cycle, where in three of our 18 congressional districts the incumbent ran for
reelection unopposed, despite Congressional approval ratings near the single digits.
Most of our Representatives in Congress now only fear a challenge from their own
party, in a Primary election from their own party’s fringes, and the result has been an
increasingly ideologically divided and gridlocked congress.
Gridlocked, until this past December when both the Democrats and the Republicans
worked together to blow past previously agreedto spending limits and to permanently
extend hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks.
To give you an idea of just how expensive those tax breaks are I’m forty six years old,
and before I reach the age of retirement, those tax breaks will add an additional two
trillion dollars to our national debt. That’s two trillion dollars above and beyond what our
current deficits are going to otherwise add to our debt.
The 700 billion dollar banking bailout signed into law by President Bush and the 700
billion dollar stimulus package signed into law by President Obama, were both the focus
of intense scrutiny and national debate. Not so with the passage of the tax extenders
package in which the GOP broke its own promise made in its 2010 Pledge to America
to make bills available for three days before being brought up for a vote.
What we’ve got is a Congress full of politicians who came home to their districts and,
having either voted for the spending increases and not the tax cuts, or having voted for
the tax cuts and not the spending increases, then told their constituents that they had
done the very best job they could to stand up to the other party, so they earn a pat on
the back, all the while directly contributing to our out of control national debt.
Those politicians are the very definition of what is wrong with Washington, They are not
leaders, they are politicians who have put their own self interests and the interests of
their parties before the best interests of our country.
We cannot continue to send the same people to Washington and expect that we are
somehow going to get different results.
We all share an obligation to our families, to our communities and to our country to turn
over to the next generation a country that is not fiscally bankrupt and to entrust to them
a democracy that is not broken.
I refuse to tell my kids and grandkids that our countries problems were just too big, that
we couldn't get the job done and that they’re just going to have to figure it out for
I refuse to say to them that they will have to work longer hours and keep less of their
own pay, than we did, to pay off debt that we ran up!
That is why today, I am excited to tell you that I will seek election to the People’s seat
here in our 10th district, as an independent, to the United States Congress.
I am running for Congress because I want our kids and grandkids to have the same
shot at the American dream you and I had.
First and foremost, I’m furious that the folks that we’ve trusted to represent us in
government have instead used their position to enrich themselves and their special
If elected, I’ll return to the U.S. treasury every penny of the Representatives salary of
$174,000 per year that is greater than the median income of families in our district,
which is $48,233.
If elected, I’ll make what you make and I won’t get a raise unless you do.
I will only accept campaign contributions from real people, from individuals just like you,
not from political action committees, special interests, lobbyist or unions.
Furthermore, I believe that we'll have a stronger democracy if the influence of monies
from faraway places is diminished in our elections. To that end, I will cap at $250
contributions from individuals who reside outside of our District. I will cap at $250
contributions from individuals who will not have a vote in our 10th District Congressional
If you choose me as your next Representative there will be no doubt that I will be
beholden only to “we, the people”. If you choose me as your next Representative, you
will know that your Representative cannot be bought, and that his vote is simply not for
You deserve to have the opportunity to know on what your Representative is voting so I
pledge to be an automatic NO vote on any bill that is not a matter of immediate national
security, that has not been made available for 72 hours of public review.
Other folks have made that pledge and broken it, I mean it, and to prove it we can start
calling it the Kairnes rule beginning today.
An in addition, I pledge to put labels aside and work toward these four very important
● To balance the federal budget by the year 2030.
● To secure Social Security and Medicare for another 75 years.
● To create 25 million net new jobs over the next 10 years.
● To make America energy secure by the year 2024.
These are some of our country’s biggest challenges and they don’t have easy answers.
If elected I will take ownership of these problems on day one and will use my life
experience to find common ground, overcome objections and to build coalitions of
support until these problems are solved.
If you choose me as your next Representative I won’t have to go it alone, there are
more than 70 other members of Congress who have pledged to make these goals their
own, including four from here in Pennsylvania. The Problem Solver caucus is the third
largest caucus in Congress behind only the Democratic and Republican parties. We can
tackle our country's biggest challenges if we send to Washington leaders who will put
our country’s best interests ahead of the interest of their partyies.
My motivation for seeking election is based in a sense of civic duty, and to be a problem
solver and to be a true representative of the people. There are approximately 700,000
people in our Congressional district and on every issue and on every vote, there are
going to be those who are in favor and those who are opposed. As your Representative,
I will always vote for what is in the best, long term interest of our country and our district
that is my promise to you.
I am not the first independent from our district to seek election to the Congress. I am not
the first to step forward and demand that America deserves better than politics as usual.
The trail has been blazed and I do not follow it alone.
Across our Commonwealth there are others who share my conviction that we all share a
responsibility to hold our elected leaders accountable in whatever way we are best able.
Across our Commonwealth, there are others preparing to step up to lead, to be problem
solvers and to take on our country’s biggest challenges.
The great American Comeback has begun!
In closing, I quote the words of then15yearold Ella McCrail, who speaking out at a
rally in New Hampshire said "The People will lose their power only when they allow it to
be taken. The system only breaks if we give up."
Our kids and grandkids are counting on us. We we cannot and we will not give up.
To learn more about my entirely citizen funded campaign, go to JerryKairnes.com
And here was our campaign brochure.