COLUMBUS — Pat Flynn is in the midst of his second run for the U.S. Senate.

The investment advisor from Schuyler said he sold off his Flynn and Associates business last May to focus on the race. It was a decision that came because of the current direction of the country.

“I thought, ‘You know what, I’m not even going to have a business in three years with the onslaught of regulations,’ so I sold it,” he said.

Shrinking the federal government is a high priority for Flynn, who stopped in Columbus Friday. He also believes the wrong people are in charge.

“We aren’t electing leaders any more. We are electing career politician-types. They don’t know what it is like to run a business. They are incapable of leading to the degree we need to be lead,” Flynn said.

In the Republican Senate race, Flynn said he is the only businessman, and that is what separates him from the competition. The others in the race include State Treasurer Don Stenberg, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer.

He cited lack of leadership, along with a “culture of dependency” and the economy as issues that need to be addressed.

“Almost every facet of America, whether it is energy, welfare, unemployment, there is so much dependency,” Flynn said.

If elected, he said he would work to minimize unemployment and reduce welfare.

“We have a whole culture that doesn’t want to work. We need to have a 75 percent reduction in welfare,” he said, with the government assisting in paying for a “one-way ticket” if that individual needs to relocate for a job.

He also wants to limit unemployment claims to a lifetime total of six months.

“If a person is unemployed after that, they can go to their families or wherever they want to go, but they need to get hungry for work,” he said.

His immigration policy would include building a fence and military presence to protect the boarders.

“It’s a national security issue, in my opinion. There are terrorists coming through there left and right,” he said.

Flynn said he would support a temporary worker program that is sponsored by the employer and also make English the nation’s official language.

Nationalized health care shows more of the mandated mentality, he said.

“It’s totally usurping the power away from our elected representatives,” Flynn said. “Health insurance should be a state issue, and I would even go beyond that. It should really be between the patient and the doctor.”

Reduction or elimination of government agencies would be on his list of priorities. The EPA and department of labor should be reduced by 70 percent, and agencies such as the department of energy, HUD and education should be eliminated.

Education should be run by parents, schools boards, communities and states, he believes.

“There are some pretty sharp schools out west that don’t get any state or federal aid that are doing just fine,” he said.

On getting rid of the department of energy, Flynn said: “Their number one goal has been to make us energy independent. We have never been more dependent. They have flunked.”

He said he would support removing government barriers to drilling and adding refineries.