ENERGY STAR Buildings Project Director
Engineer seeks role for his profession in Congress
December 10, 2009
By LYNNE STIEFEL firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Hamann is surely the only candidate to boast he's read the National Electrical Code, the nearly 1,000-page manual that sets the U. S. standard for safely installing electrical wiring and equipment.
"It basically took me about an hour a page because I meticulously went through and underlined and highlighted the important things," he said. "To me, the code is very similar to legislation. The code is written in a very general format. You basically write legislation that is in the format of generalizations."
Paul Hamann is one of six candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the 10th Congressional District Feb. 2.
Comparing the code to legislation is a logical correlation for Hamann, a licensed electrical engineer. He's one of six candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the 10th Congressional District Feb. 2.
To Hamann, Congress has too many lawyers and not enough problem solvers.
"The engineer basically looks at the limited resources that they have and comes up with the options," he said. "There is only one licensed engineer in Congress: Joe Barton of Texas, a Republican. I want to be the second one."
Hamann acknowledges it will be an uphill climb. He plans to tap his own fortune for funding up to the $350,000 federal self-financing limit, but intends to do no advertising or campaigning other than forum appearances and door-to-door campaigning.
"It's all about message," he said. "If a person doesn't have a message, they've got to spend the money.
"To me, it's either you want my message or you don't. It's not going to be because I'm going to send you 10 pieces of literature in the last week and you go, 'OK, I remember that name.'"
Hamann's ideas, admittedly not mainstream, are drawn from a 30-year career as an electrical engineering designer.
He retired in February after 17 years as Walgreens' energy efficiency director involved in drug store construction. But it was not always a pleasant experience.
"I saw where a lot of people twisted the numbers to make it so that we would do the project. I basically got fed up with it," he said. "I believe the honesty of the data is important. I fought for 17 years for honest data and I'll fight for the honest data in Washington."
He started trading commodities as a day trader in 1980, specializing in the metal markets.
"That differentiates me from a normal business owner," he said. "You have to look at worldwide forces."
Hamann believes he'll get votes from "people who want somebody to be a serious thinker, to analyze the issues."