Fitzgerald – Gilstrap

What’s the Difference?

Many people have been wondering just what the difference is between myself and Mark Gilstrap.  It is in fact a very good question; one I hope to shed some light on here.  Both Mark and I are pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment Republicans.  The real difference between us lies in our positions on the government spending, support to small business, and illegal aliens.  Allow me to explain those differences and why we need a different kind of leader in the State Senate.


Pro-Life? – We are both endorsed by KFL

I am a co-founder of the local chapter of the KFL, the pro-life coordinator for my church, and a frequent pro-life writer in local newspapers.


Pro-Gun? – We both have been rated “A” 

NRA and KSRA have given us both an A rating. I am strongly in favor of recognition of our Constitutional rights regarding firearms.


Government Spending, Support for Small Business? – Big difference

In 2008 Mark was rated by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) as being the worst senator in Kansas. Mark scored a 50 – no senator scored lower. But Mark had often scored low on such ratings. Kansas Taxpayer Network scored him at a 20 one year and even 10 another.  I started two small businesses – creating jobs that provided income to Kansas families. In 2008 while Mark was getting low scores, I was endorsed by NFIB.

Illegal Aliens? – We have a different history

Mark voted in 2004 to provide instate tuition to illegal aliens and in 2008 he helped to successfully defend it against an act which would have ended it – while at the same time denying this benefit to ROTC cadets who are American citizens. 1 He now claims he voted in 2008 to end all benefits for illegal aliens – but that vote was on an  amendment that was never going to pass and everyone knew it.

Leadership – Making a difference, getting things done

 Leadership is setting goals and objectives and finding ways to achieve them – getting others to help. Starting businesses demanded leadership. I helped start the local Kansans For Life, co-founded The Leadership Series for Republican men, and am working to unify the Republican Party for victory in 2012.


My experience is as an Army officer and a businessman in the private sector and in grass roots Republican political activity. I have been elected to the school board and as vice president of the school board. I have also been elected as the treasurer of the Kansas State Republican Party.            



When did Mark start claiming to be a conservative Republican? In 2008 Mark was all about being a Democrat, claiming “I’ve been in the senate for 12 years [as a Democrat].  I haven’t changed” and “a more than 92 percent agreement between the votes of [Senator] Hensley [Democrat Minority Leader] and himself. “2   But, after the Democrat voters handed him a 22% defeat he changed parties.

Win or lose, I am and I have been the Conservative Republican candidate for the 5th District Senate seat. My positions have not changed – my affiliations have not changed. The real difference between us is that with me you can be sure of who and what you are voting for.

1 Journal of the Kansas Senate, Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2 Basehor Sentinel, Thursday, July 17, 2008


            Is there such a thing as an illegal alien? The way the federal government is acting the answer appears to be “not really.” They are wrong – Arizona is right.

The Supreme Court of the United States just ruled on an Arizona law that is an exact copy of the federal law. Without getting into all the complexities of the case, Arizona law enforcers, according to the court, may check the status of people they stop and detain them if they are suspected of being in the country illegally. But, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says that they will not cooperate with the Arizona authorities and will not take the detainees into federal custody.

Last week the President stated that he will not enforce deportation laws when “children” up to the age of thirty are discovered to be in the country illegally and now the DHS will not cooperate in the removal of illegals detained by state authorities. These two actions make clear that this administration has no interest in protecting the country from invasion and take over by foreign populations.

We are being – no, actually, we have been invaded by a force greater than any army in history. The total Allied Armies of WWII sweeping through Europe did not match the numbers of invaders we now have here. All without firing a shot (well, there is all that drug war stuff and gang related violence, etc.). But, our borders are a joke – worse they are an insult to Americans. This is not just a Democrat fiasco – there is plenty of glory to go around and much of the problem falls at the feet of Republicans. The Democrats are looking for cheap votes and the Republicans are supporting cheap labor. They are both wrong – legally and morally. Those responsible, regardless of party have betrayed their country. Generations of Americans fought and died too preserve, protect, and perpetuate these United States of America – not to give it away.

WE ARE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS. Ellis Island is held up as an example of how we once truly lived up to the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty concerning the masses yearning to be free and “send these, the tempest-tossed, to me.” However, one third of the immigrants landing at Ellis Island were turned back because of medical or moral reasons. Immigrants landing at the Island were examined and their backgrounds checked for public health and safety reasons. Illegal immigrants get no such screening – hence the increase in tuberculosis and other diseases and the tremendous increase in gangs and the very large prison population of illegal aliens. If we are to return to the days of Ellis Island then we must have close screening and strict standards for LEGAL immigrants.

The really sad part is that we need more immigration – only the legal kind. We need workers and entrepreneurs at all levels. The right mix of immigrants will actually help our economy and create jobs for Americans – just as it has in the past. But our legal immigration policy and bureaucracy is broken. This has lead to a buildup of demand here for workers and a great frustration outside of the country on the part of those who are trying to get in. At the very least we need an efficient screening process to identify the true undesirables that for any reason should not be allowed in and a reasonable process for those who should.

    The stupidity and inefficiency of the current “system” is the root cause of the problems we are facing. This can and must be fixed. Illegals must be encouraged to return to their country of origin to apply for legal immigration. That system that caused them to be illegal in the first place must be corrected so that we can bring in those we need in a rational, reasonable manner. Illegals returning to their country of origin must be allowed to apply for appropriate visas and go through the screening process – without prejudice because of their previous status. Criminal and other such history should be disqualifying. In other words, have them all go back and apply to be screened for legal immigration – and make sure that we have the system in place to do it right and expeditiously.

Without an effective immigration policy and procedures we will continue to endanger our citizens, harm our economy, and continue the exploitation of the illegal immigration populations. Everyone needs to understand that what we have now is not working and it must work for the betterment of all – our survival as a nation depends upon it.

Enforcing the laws is an essential first step – my hat is off to the State of Arizona for facing the problem and taking action. The federal government needs new leadership – January 2013 cannot come soon enough.