Category Archives: Guest Commentary
It seems arrogant to think a letter I write will carry any weight to win your vote on caucus day for Rick Santorum, but maybe it will. Here’s why I am supporting Rick Santorum for President:
1. He’s worked for it. The Iowa Caucus is a big deal. It’s our responsibility to run the candidates through the wringer, ask the tough questions and get them ready to be President. If there are big money candidates who fly in, have a press conference so we know they were here, ignore the events we sponsor and fly out, why should we give them our support? Santorum not only respected the caucus process, he’s visited all 99 counties several times and was the first to do it. Folks, that’s recognizing the importance of rural Iowa. And whether it is a crowd of 1 or 100, his answers are thoughtful, respectful and truthful, not just saying what you want to hear. We need a President who will tell us what we need to hear, so we can work to fix it. Not one who is in campaign mode 24/7!
2. Rick Santorum’s character. Rick doesn’t just spout theory; he has worked for what he believes in and won. He is consistent, conservative, intelligent and articulate. He has had life events that tested his character and he made the right decisions for him and his family. He has had events in Congress that tested his character and he persevered, many times winning the day in a bipartisan way. Winning without compromising his principles, personally or of the office he held. And a quality we see very little of, he’s humble and self-evaluating. He admits when he could have done better, like in his 2006 election loss. He learned from it and became a better person.
3. His ideas to bring America back to strength. Plans for a domestic energy policy that will bring jobs and independence. Plans for a sound fiscal policy that bring manufacturing back to the U.S., increasing jobs and middle class wealth. He has an understanding of and has initiated foreign policy like none of the other candidates, knows our role in the world and the danger of us letting the balance tip to the people who would do us harm.
4. He’s experienced and more interested in solutions, than a gotcha poke in the eye. If you really want to solve problems, you don’t poke the other side in the eye. We’ve had that for the last four years, complete disenfranchisement. He knows how to work with all parties to achieve a solution, without them losing face. Now, that is a leader. This is not to say he doesn’t have courage to call people out if he needs to, he does, but it isn’t sport to him.
There are more reasons, but really, I just like him. He’s likeable and that means he is electable. Sincere, genuine, strong, intelligent, honorable, kind and a ‘he gets us and loves us’ guy. He is the antithesis of Obama and can debate like nobody’s business. You KNOW he has your back.
Rick needs us to blast him out of with a strong finish and has humbly asked and worked for our support. Let’s give it to him! Please join me and vote SANTORUM in the Iowa Caucuses.
Sincerely yours in service,
State Representative, Iowa House
The article that follows was written by JustGrace and originally published online at Wise Republic on June 14, 2011:
How are they doing now–those enthusiastic Huckabee believers posting “Run, Huck, Run” signs on Facebook just before Mike Huckabee’s momentous announcement of whether he would run for President for 2012?
Not surprisingly, his loyal political supporters were saddened, shocked, and let down by his announcement that he will not run “this year.” But they are trying to understand. And they are looking for signs of hope for a future run.
May 14, 2011—the date Governor Huckabee chose for his statement—was the day many thought he would enter the Republican presidential primary race. In Iowa, supporters planned a Stuck on Huck rally for June. Another Huckaboom (you have to know his history in Iowa, 2007-2008) was set to begin. However, the live announcement, tacked on to the end of the Fox News Huckabee show was not what they expected.
“All the factors say GO,” Huckabee told the nation, “but my heart says NO.”
The race that had been ready to explode out of the blocks would wait for another day.
All the political signs looked promising for a victorious outcome, both in the primary election against other Republicans, as well as in the general election against President Obama. Polls consistently placed Huckabee at or near the top; his name recognition was growing; and his favorability ratings were consistently best among Republican “likely” candidates. Ed Rollins, his 2008 national campaign director, wanted him to run. (He has now gone off to help Rep. Michele Bachman, R-MN, whom Huckabee in typical, gracious manner calls a friend.) It seemed that everyone was convinced Huckabee should run except himself.
As runner-up in the 2008 Republican primary and now a popular television show host, the former Governor from Arkansas and 2008 presidential candidate has maintained an enviable cadre of grassroots supporters and has gained many new fans as well. If he decides at some future point to run, or if he is drafted as a candidate or picked as a Vice Presidential running mate, you can be certain he will have an immediate group of supporters still eager to help him.
Hope does not die easily for their candidate from Hope, Arkansas. Fans note that Huckabee has not said “never;” he only said, “I will not seek the Republican nomination for President this year.” Perhaps, they dream, this leaves a door open for “next year” or in 2016. Or, by some miracle, the Republicans might come begging him to run! Huckabee has not ruled out anything completely, because he believes it is foolish to say “never.” But he is definitely not planning a 2012 candidacy.
But then, George Washington said he would never run, either. Maybe the reluctant candidate makes the best President, after all.
The reasons to hope may not be all that far-fetched, as time will perhaps tell. Huckabee has one big advantage that has widened his appeal—his own amazing ability to communicate with people. He is a master at debating calmly and with reason. And when he talks directly to the people he connects. His personal kindness and humor, as well as his common sense and simple government politics, have immediate appeal. The Huckabee show on Fox News and his Huckabee Report on ABC radio affiliates have allowed him to gain the public ear with what he is best at: meeting people, hosting guests on his show with unusual grace, and talking about life and politics in a way that resonates with most Americans.
So what stopped the popular and successful former Governor of Arkansas (amazingly the first Republican to hold that office in his state since Reconstruction) from running? Clearly it was the calling of God that was most important to Mike Huckabee, the man. Not what the pundits said was possible or impossible. And he said that God did not give him the go-ahead to run this time.
His fans wanted a different answer, yet most of them can appreciate Huckabee wanting to follow God’s will. Even though political strategists ranging from Lanny Davis, Democrat strategist, to Dick Morris, Fox News commentator/consultant, agreed that he was the one to beat President Obama, Governor Huckabee gets his marching orders from a higher commander-in-chief. As he said, God gave him the “a peace that exceeds human understanding” about this decision. Of course, that is what his supporters would hope candidates have before they run: peace with God, family, and others, but mostly within the person running for office. The presidency is a demanding and serious job. I would guess most candidates privately pray at least a little before attempting something so life changing.
In the 2008 race, the former Arkansas governor did feel a clear calling from God that he was supposed to do this–to enter a campaign that almost no one expected him to win. He surprised everyone by winning the Iowa caucuses and finishing second to Senator John McCain in the Republican primaries. Had he received a little help from the Republican establishment and a little less opposition from talk show hosts like Limbaugh and Levin and some in the Republican establishment, we might now have a President Mike Huckabee. Americans would all know how to pronounce his last name by now. Yet this year God apparently gave him a different direction. As Huckabee explained it, God just did not make him comfortable with that “Yes” answer. Huckabee is unlikely to change his mind unless God changes it for him.
As one who has studied Governor Huckabee and became a fan of this genuinely likeable and accomplished man over the past several years, I find him to be a man of his word. I cannot recall a time that he promised things he did not intend to deliver. He never purposely led people astray or lacked gratitude for his avid supporters. Because of the groundswell of support for him to run, he saw the need to not let this indecision drag on. Early May he realized there was a need to make a difficult decision and give an announcement. People could not be held in limbo much longer. Fox News was soon to ask for a “yes” or “no” on a new contract for his popular Huckabee show.
The part that Huckabee regrets most deeply is hurting his loyal, hard-working, and expectant supporters. In his announcement he mentioned “especially…those who have faithfully and so sacrificially been part of the process. I know I will deeply disappoint many people I love. So many good and dear people have put forth extraordinary effort without any assurance I would mount a campaign. It pains me to let them down.”
On various websites, posts like this one by a Huckabee loyalist show that most are working through the stages of grief: “I was sad and upset for a couple of weeks. But you will always be the best man for the job. If you decide to run I will still work to help you win.”
Most of the folks who admire Huckabee understand his unashamed beliefs and relationship with Jesus Christ; they cannot help but admire that he puts God above fame or fortune. So their disappointment is eased by their admiration and acceptance. Americans in general still respect a person who wants to be at peace with God regarding such a major decision, even if they do not understand God’s ways in this instance. They like a person who is true to his principles. While the army of Huckabee loyalists floundered a bit, most will take a deep breath and begin to pray that some future day God will give the opportunity, the loud and clear call that would lead Huckabee to the White House or at least to the Vice Presidency. In the meantime (if the former governor has his way) they will throw their efforts behind some of his other projects, such as helping Huck PAC to elect a strong majority of Republicans in the House and Senate, as well as in state governor races in 2012.
For now, God seems to be calling Mike Huckabee to be more of a Jeremiah — a prophet to draw this nation back to its godly heritage and Constitutional roots. Some of the projects that will be keeping him quite busy–like the Learn Our History video series he is helping produce for kids–give indication of that direction in his life. And he will be fighting against big government growth with efforts such as his recent phone appeals and television ads calling for a repeal of Obamacare. We can expect that he will have plenty to say on Fox News as a political commentator this next election cycle. He can understand better than most the inner dynamics of the presidential and gubernatorial races, certainly far better than pundits who have never subjected themselves to the grueling, grinding election process that has become today’s political climate of personal destruction.
But we can’t leave this discussion without remembering our first reluctant President, George Washington.
As the popular commander of the colonial forces, Washington believed that the new Republic that was being formed after the American Revolution needed to eschew the idea of imperialistic Great Britain and other European kingdoms, of making one popular, powerful man too powerful. “No King but Jesus” was our country’s political cry of the late Eighteenth Century. When the newly formed United States of America had its own critical struggle to come to agreement on the wording of the Constitution, they realized what was needed was a man in charge who could bring the various states and their ideas of government together. They needed Washington’s example, courage, faith, experience, and strength of character, as well as his ability to lead people. And he had a quality that Huckabee has, of finding the best in all the leaders and putting it together so that progress could be made and a goal accomplished.
George Washington was the first Commander-in-Chief of the colonial army, but in 1783 he voluntarily resigned so that concentration of power would not lie in one man. However, the people loved and appreciated this humble leader; the consensus at home and abroad was that he should become the first President and retain the role of commander-in-chief for the fledgling nation. When the electors of all the Thirteen Colonies had cast their sealed votes it was unanimous. And when the news came to him that he was elected Washington said, “I cannot give a greater evidence of my sensibility for the honor my fellow citizens have done me, than by accepting the appointment.”
Could the day come for Governor Huckabee to be drafted and for him to say that he will accept the appointment in honor of his fellow citizens? While we live in a vastly different United States from the one in which Washington lived, the government and its future success are hanging in the balance as then. Anything is possible. Many political advisors and people recognize that Governor Huckabee may be exactly what America needs. Like Washington, Huckabee is reluctant to place himself in a political process that has become, unfortunately, a demolition derby instead of a race.
When the need seems so great, hope does not die. Many people believe Governor Mike Huckabee would have made one of the more outstanding Presidents our nation has ever had. In this troubled time it is evident that the wrong choice of President could cause the nation to fail, as is occurring under President Obama. Yet, by God’s grace an exceptional choice could be found to inspire us again to greatness, to be a “shining city on a hill.” If it were clear that Huckabee would get the kind of support needed, I think God might just change His answer to, “Go ahead and win.”
The article is no longer available on Wise Republic and is reprinted here with the permission of the author
To the Iowa State Legislature,
My name is Brian Donegan. I am a 28 year old citizen of Lawrenceville, GA (a suburb of Atlanta). I am writing to ask you to bring to the floor and pass a Personhood bill. Usually I would not stick my head into other state’s legislative affairs but this issue is way too important for me not to act upon.
I was born on September 19th, 1982 at Dekalb Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia. I was born legally blind, with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, without a physical nose on my face, and many other birth defects that I like to call blessings. After my birth I was tested for every disease and disorder known to mankind. All of those tests came out negative.
Despite those results, my doctors and nurses told my parents I would not live six weeks. If I somehow lived past those six weeks they said I would be practically a vegetable. Despite those long odds, my parents decided to love me, care for me, and support me as long as I was alive.
After one month in the hospital, I was discharged and allowed to go home for the very first time. I was baptized on All Saints Sunday at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. I had beaten the “six weeks” odds but the fight was not over.
In November of 1982 I developed pneumonia. With as many challenges as I faced, it necessitated a return to the hospital on November 13th. However once I was admitted things went from bad, to worse. My heart began to fail and my skin started to turn blue due to lack of oxygen.
Just after Thanksgiving I underwent emergency life-saving surgery (the first of over 15 surgeries I have had in my short lifetime). Thanks to the skill of my doctors, nurses, and surgeons, the love of my family, and the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the surgery was successful and I am still alive.
Despite the long odds I faced at birth, I am now 28 and a half years old and have graduated High school and college. I am very blessed by God in many ways and each new day I am alive is like opening a brightly wrapped present on Christmas morning.
If I ever need a reminder of how precious life is and how blessed I am all I have to do is turn my right wrist. Below my hand is a scar. That scar is left from the emergency IV that had to be placed there in November of 1982 when the doctors could not find a vein to stick the needle into. That scar is a living, breathing reminder of how precious life is, and why we should promote a culture of life in this Nation.
I don’t pretend to be a source of knowledge of the complexities of the miracle of child birth. I’m a man, not a woman. I understand that there are emotions and feelings that I cannot comprehend. In addition, I realize that there are women who would like the right to choose. I’m not heartless. Has it ever occurred to anyone out there that when a fetus is aborted, a woman may be exercising her right to choose but there is a life that stands in the balance that has no choice in the matter?
While others may disagree the facts are plain as day to me. Life begins at conception. God has a plan for each life that is conceived. Fulfilled an un-born fetus could grow up to be the next Einstein, the next President, or the next Elvis Presley. The unborn child could go on to find the cure for Cancer, AIDS, maybe even Muscular Dystrophy. Not allowing an unborn fetus to fulfill the plan God has laid, in my eyes, is murder in the worst degree. Why? The life held in the balance has no choice whatsoever.
Why must a Culture of life be promoted in America? The alternative is not pretty. Let’s go in the wayback machine to the 1930’s in Europe. The Nazi culture of death led to the Holocaust. There is a lot made of the many brutal and senseless murders of millions of Jewish people. However, the Nazis didn’t stop there. Also murdered were people of other races, creeds, colors, sexual orientations, and those with disabilities..
I’m not trying to say that a culture of death is going to result in a 2nd Holocaust in the same manner. There is nothing that can compare to the tactics of the brutal Nazi’s led by Adolph Hitler. It is meant as a lesson that we should take to heart. A culture of life will cause people to prevent even a remote similarity from occurring. Due to the technology today, mothers have access to many tests to get a glimpse at what their children may turn out to become right out of the womb and how healthy he/she will be.
Living in a culture of life, the chances are better that parents will continue with the process, even if the tests come out with results that are sobering. A culture of death will result in more abortions and children being killed off without a choice once they are born with severe disabilities and birth defects.
Why Iowa and why now? With every Presidential election cycle starting in Iowa America looks toward the Hawkeye State for leadership. Everything that happens in Iowa is magnified. If Iowa establishes Personhood and protects innocent life from conception to natural death other states will follow suit.
When our Founding Fathers declared us free from British rule in 1776, they wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As Americans we have a right to life. Please protect that right by passing Personhood.
from citizen McCoy
Senator Mike Gronstal,
Article 1. Section 2. of the Iowa Constitution says, ³All political power is inherent in the PEOPLE. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the PEOPLE, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.²
What part of Article 1. Section 2, do you not understand? You obviously do not comprehend that the electorate, your employers, are sick and tired of politics as usual. They made their statement in 2008 and after being duped have risen up once again in 2010 to restate their point.
The politics of the past is what the people are sick of. They are sick of party politics and the arrogance of their employees. You have either forgotten, or did not know, or you are ignoring why we hired you. Regardless it¹s time for a refresher course. You were hired to represent the PEOPLE of this great state, and not to fulfil your own particular agenda, the agenda of a special interest group or to feed your ego. Through your myopic view you have convinced yourself that you are doing what is right. Denial is not a river in Egypt.
It is understandable and reasonable for the Senate and the House to adopt rules to provide for the expediting of the workings of those two bodies. However; something is drastically wrong when those rules, made by the employees, take priority over the employers and the constitution that the
employees swore to uphold. Your excuse that these are the same rules that Republicans adopted indicates you don¹t get it. The people are sick of non constitutional rules hindering the implementation of the constitution, whether the Republicans or the Democrats adopted them. This is the party politics we are sick of. As a party you may express your difference in ideology and you rightly should debate those ideologies, for they represent your constituency. However, when you become so wrapped up in your party¹s ideology or some special interest group¹s ideology, you have missed the point that you are representing the PEOPLE of Iowa. We the PEOPLE, your employers, gave you your job and we will fire you and every other employee who is on their own power trip and have disregarded their employer.
In your defense, I agree that the constitution is for the protection, security and rights of the people and to avoid the tyranny of the majority, as you previously quoted in the Des Moines Register on January ninth. This is why we are a Republic and not a Democracy. The constitution, however, does not provide rights and privileges for behavior because rights are granted by the creator as stated in the moral law of our nation, the Declaration of Independence; ³We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these is Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (right of property). That to SECURE these (Creator given) rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.² Governments have no authority to grant rights. They have the responsibility and only the power the PEOPLE grant them.
There is no homosexual gene in the DNA code of man, so the scientific evidence reveals that homosexuality is a behavior. You are correct when you state peoples rights should not be put to a vote; however, rights are not the issue. Behavior is. So your whole premise of protecting the rights of a special interest group who struggles with their own identity, is erroneous and reflects either your refusal to consider the scientific evidence of the International Human Genome Consortium or it reflects your biases toward homosexuals.
You may remain full of self pride, and may even persuade some of your fellow Democrats to join you in being an obstructionist, or you can decide to start serving the PEOPLE of Iowa. Your choice and your fellow employees¹ choices on this issue and on other issues that will be presented to you during this session will determine how long you will be employed. The PEOPLE, your employer, will no longer put up with the petty, bickering, partisan politics of the past. It is yours and other politicians self-aggrandizement that has lead to the decline of this great nation and state.
In conclusion let me remind you of Article 1. Section 2. of the Iowa Constitution says, ³All political power is inherent in the PEOPLE. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the PEOPLE, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it
I have begun a personal campaign to email every company and organization that has contributed to Midwest Enterprise Group and ask them why they are donating money to a PAC that is responsible for vicious campaign ads that attack my Iowa State Representative, Kent Sorenson and his family. I am asking them to tell me if they approve of their donations being used in such an unethical manner. If I have done any business with a company, I am letting them know that they will not be receiving any more of my business unless they explain their actions to me and pledge not to give this PAC one more dime. I am not attempting to organize a boycott. What I am attempting to do is to stand up for a good, Christian family man whose reputation is being viciously attacked. I cannot, in good conscience, knowingly allow any of the resources that God has blessed me with to be used in a campaign to destroy the reputation of this good, decent man. Everyone else will have to decide for themselves if they should join my campaign. The link for the document listing the companies and organizations that have contributed to this PAC is as follows:
Pledging not to do business with the companies on this list may cause some inconvenience. For instance, the only gas station/convenience store in the small town where I live is a Casey’s General Store. If you decide not to support Iowa Health Services, you may have to find a different doctor and/or clinic. The only companies that offer land phone line service in some areas are QWest and Mediacom. And if you subscribe to cable television, Mediacom may be your only choice.
There are some companies, such as MidAmerican Energy, that have a monopoly on essential services such as electrical and natural gas service and you have no choice but to use their services. In that case, the only inconvenience may be the time it takes to let MidAmerican know how their donations are being used and that you don’t appreciate their sending money to such an organization.
However, any inconvenience that I may suffer pales in comparison to the pain and embarrassment it must have caused Kent and his family to have their past troubles laid out, one by one, in a state-wide paper for the whole world to see. Or the pain Kent’s wife must feel when her husband is portrayed in mailings and TV ads as a supporter of domestic abusers.
And it pained my heart to hear his daughter describe how she broke down and cried when she heard her father being called a “dead beat dad”. So follow your own conscience in this matter. Mine is telling me to stand up and support Kent Sorenson and his family against these evil attacks being launched by Mike Gronstol and his front organization, Midwest Enterprise Group.
Governor Culver, late last week, issued a declaration claiming the actions utilized last winter to re-organize state government through an executive order, legislative action and an early retirement program would save $298.8 million over two years instead of his original estimation of $270 million.
Unfortunately, there was little evidence to substantiate his claims since he did not utilize numbers produced by the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency. Instead, he chose to use figures produced internally by his own office. Given the serious financial mess the state is in – we can only hope his new estimates are accurate and not heightened for political purposes.
Make no mistake, the efforts taken this year to re-organize state government are only just a small first step – you might say we have begun to crawl. Unfortunately there is a long road yet to travel. Because of too much spending during the last four years by Governor Culver and legislative Democrats, Iowa still faces a $1 billion dollar deficit next year.
A recent report by State Auditor Dave Vaudt shows why we are in the alarming predicament that we find ourselves. Prior to Governor Culver and legislative Democrats coming into power, the state was spending approximately $1.01 per $1.00 that was coming into the state. Since Governor Culver and his fellow party members have taken over, the state has been spending approximately $1.13 for every dollar coming in.
Clearly Iowa does not have a revenue problem – we have a spending problem. During the last four years, we have seen the four largest spending budgets in state history. We have seen hundreds of millions of dollars in property tax increases and a quintupling of state debt. Without fundamental and systemic reforms, Iowa could become like California with serious structural deficits.
So where do we go from here?
- First, we must stop spending beyond our means. This has become a serious problem during the last four years and it is simply unsustainable. Much of this year’s spending was one-time dollars used for ongoing expenses and now Iowa’s savings accounts are dangerously low. Unless President Obama and Congressional Democrats opt to pass another bailout for the overspending states, Iowa will not be able to continue spending at the rate we have been.
- Secondly, we must continue to take steps to trim the size and scope of state government and continue to remove the waste and duplication that exists. We should start by adopting the over $300 million in additional savings offered by Senate and House Republicans during the last two years. Legislative Democrats either ignored the ideas or simply voted them down during debate.
- Next, we must stop pushing more of the burden on to the taxpayers. Iowans all over the state will see hefty property tax increases courtesy of Governor Culver this fall. Even if you only rent your property, the person or business that owns it will likely pass that extra expense on to you. Iowa already has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. We cannot afford not to be competitive if we are to grow our economy.
- Perhaps most importantly, we must focus on job creation and growing our economy. Right now, we have far more government than our economy can support. Creating an environment where small businesses and employers can thrive, succeed, grow and therefore hire more people is absolutely essential. Unbalanced budgets leading to higher taxes and the constant onslaught of anti-jobs legislation promoted by Governor Culver and legislative Democrats have not moved Iowa’s economy forward and instead have held it back.
The good news is that the debate in Iowa is slowly beginning to change. For the past few years, the liberals in charge of state government have only focused on spending more money, raising more taxes and fees, adding record levels of debt and promoting job killing legislation.
Finally, the discussion is slowly beginning to change. At last, we are starting to see some dialogue about actually reducing and reorganizing government – even if it is only just a small first step.
It’s time to speed up the process but that will take new leadership.
As soon as we begin to act on the Senate Republican priorities like job creation, reducing property taxes, really limiting the size and growth of state government and eliminating wasteful spending, it will be exciting to see the success our state and our citizens can attain.
We have 99 counties worth of potential and with the right priorities, the right leadership in the governor’s office and in the Legislature, it won’t be long until we can turn our current crawl into a walk and then a run.
As always, I welcome hearing from you and can be reached by phone at 515-281-3560 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Senate Republican Leader
One week ago I packed my bags and hit the skies for a state over 900 miles away from my home state of Georgia. This time of year this is not uncommon. It was just days from the Memorial Day Weekend. However my trip has a specific purpose. I am here to get Bob Vander Plaats elected as Iowa’s next Governor! Why would a citizen from Georgia care so much? There has to be some greater allure than seeing Chuck Norris or trying Dutch letter pastries, right? Why would anyone in their right mind travel so far to support a political candidate they can’t even cast a ballot for? It’s very simple. It’s about Freedom!
One year ago I founded the Can-Do Conservatives of America. We are the nation’s first and only Conservative political organization representing the disabled (I was born legally blind and have other handicaps). I was frustrated by the ignorance for disabled people from the establishment of the Republican Party, which leaves us to be “championed” by liberal Democrats who just want to manipulate us for political gain.
There is a vicious cycle of Government dependence that has swept this Nation since The Great Depression. The cycle was born from FDR’s New Deal policies and bred during LBJ’s Great Society in the 1960’s. At an increasing rate, the Government has decided in their infinite wisdom that the best way to help the most vulnerable in society is to give us handouts. While the intentions may be good, Peter is being robbed to give to Paul and both are being stolen from. These handouts rob us of our independence, dignity, and freedom while hard-working Americans are robbed to provide these handouts to us. It’s criminal!
For far too long most Republicans have played along to get along. In past years they have joined the spending spree that has contributed to the intensification of the Cycle. Meanwhile Republicans have ignored the disabled and the issues most important to us. My frustration hit its peak following the election of Michael Steele as the new RNC Chairman in the winter of 2009. None of the candidates for the position seemed to have any interest in any outreach to the disabled community.
It is one thing to complain about the status quo. It is another to do something about it. I feel that if you complain about a problem and actively do nothing about it then you are contributing to that problem. I wanted to be part of the solution. That is why I decided to stand up and use my experience as a campaign volunteer for Governor Mike Huckabee’s Presidential run in 2008 to take another leap of faith to found my organization.
Early on a good friend of mine introduced Bob to me. As I continued to learn more about him I realized that a true champion for the disabled had stepped forward to lead the way for Iowa, the Republican Party, and for America. Bob Vander Plaats became a natural choice for endorsement. In fact, Bob was so much so and so important to the Can-Do Conservative cause that I traveled to Iowa on the week of my Birthday last year to campaign for him. In time, Bob has become a staunch supporter of the cause and a good friend.
Why is Bob Vander Plaats a champion for the disabled? This is personal to him. Lucas, his third of four children, was born with a very rare brain disorder which has left him severely disabled. Lucas (and Bob’s) story is a very inspiring one which is told in the 2007 book Light From Lucas. As CEO of Opportunities Unlimited in the 1990’s, Bob became well known as an expert on disabled issues. In fact he was appointed to head a committee focused on them under former Governor Terry Branstad. Unfortunately, when it was time to speak in front of the bureaucracy, they completely ignored Bob and his advice on how to empower the disabled through policy instead of handouts. It was this lack of leadership that has fueled Bob’s fire to run for Governor, despite the media’s attempts to pidgeonhole Bob as a bigoted one-issue candidate.
Bob is not your typical politician. He spoke very highly of me and my cause when I was here last September and did so again on Tuesday night in Ottumwa. However he hasn’t been practicing in empty pandering. He has been speaking out for the Disabled everywhere he goes. That’s leadership, ladies and gentlemen!
While that might explain why I support Bob, it does not explain why I am back up here again barnstorming The Hawkeye state right up to the primary. Here’s the reason why: Iowa is not just fly-over territory in the Heartland of America. Iowa is one of the most key political states in the entire country. The Presidential election cycle begins here every four years. Everything that happens in Iowa is magnified to the nth degree. When things in Iowa are not well, it reflects badly on America. Democrat Governor, Culver has run this state deep in the ground. Iowa deserves to have a Governor that will not just lean her in the right direction, but will lead her towards exceptionalism and America too! Bob Vander Plaats is that leader!
Bob will work tirelessly to open Iowa back up for business by promoting her as a right to work /State. Bob will envoke the 10th Amendment to fight Federal over-reach on issues like healthcare. Bob will honor the separation of powers and stand up to the Iowa Supreme Court to protect our values and our freedom. Bob will fight to enact a similar law to the one passed in Arizona that will enforce the immigration laws on the books and protect the citizens of Iowa.
Specifically since Iowa is on center stage, what better state to show the Republican Party and the rest of the nation how to not just enable, but empower the disabled through a hand up rather than handouts? With Bob Vander Plaats as Governor, Iowa will become a shining example of just that and other states will follow suit. When other states follow Iowa’s lead, the Federal Government might get the message and get with the program. If so, I believe we would be on the verge of the next generation of American Exceptionalism and freedom for everyone will be on the march.
So can you see why I am so passionate about Bob? This is why I have traveled so far away from home. This is why I have withstood the pain from low muscle tone to knock on doors in Oskaloosa and help plaster that town with signs. This is why I have talked to complete strangers and made phone calls for Bob. I am fully committed to seeing this through.
For such a fledgling organization, some would believe it foolish to get so heavily involved in a contested primary. If June 8th comes and goes without a victory the result might cause many people to back away from supporting the Can-Do Conservative cause. I don’t care. I have cashed in whatever few chips I have and I am giving my all for Bob come what may. I am proud of Bob and I will be proud of the effort no matter what. A leader like Bob Vander Plaats comes around only about once in a lifetime. Iowans have a golden opportunity to nominate him and the elect him as Governor this year. Conservatives are counting on you, Americans are counting on you and even I am counting on you. Don’t let us down! Get out and vote on June 8th for Bob Vander Plaats and get everyone you know to do the same! Together we can bring common-sense Conservative leadership to Iowa and spread it around this Nation? Who’s with me?
Guest commentary by Current Resident.
My mail box has been crowded lately with campaign materials for and against Terry Branstad, Republican primary candidate for Governor.
“Terry Branstad was a liberal’s liberal.”
“Liberal Terry Branstad would make Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi proud.”
“One of the best liberal governors this state has ever had.” David Yepsen
And then the Former Governor has sent out his own materials to let me know that he “will stand strong for TRADITIONAL IOWA VALUES.” Also, that he is the “REAL conservative change that Iowa needs now.”
The unflattering materials have a “Paid for by Iowans for Responsible Government” return address. Some checking finds information about this group via the Iowa Independent.
The liberal front group is going after Branstad and the Branstad bunch is not happy about it. Payback time for anti Culver ads.
The calls for disclosure echo those by Democrats in regards to the conservative nonprofit Iowa Progress Project. The group, which is registered as a 501(c)4 nonprofit, does not have to disclose its donors, something Democrats have taken exception to, calling the group “a secret political slush fund that lacks the honesty or integrity to reveal their campaign contributors.”
Iowa Progress Project has close ties to a number of current and former Branstad aides.
And after more reading I have decided my mail box is being stuffed due to a battle of Democrats against the moderate, establishment Republicans at work.
Some of the information from Iowa Knows Better:
May 5, 2010
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Michael Kiernan released the statement below following Terry Branstad’s comments regarding open records and transparency in state government to the Des Moines Register editorial board this morning.
“Branstad should be familiar with self-dealing cronies after his own Chief of Staff Doug Gross made millions lobbying the state government. Or maybe Branstad’s memory isn’t serving him well anymore; he ‘forgot’ about ever discussing the Clarinda prison project with Gross.
“Branstad’s administration was one of the most cozy, back-scratching operations in the history of state government. His appointees mirrored his donor list.
State Paid $160 Million Over Five Years To Clients of Law Firm Of Branstad’s Former Chief of Staff “The ethics investigation was accompanied by the release of a report by (State Auditor Richard) Johnson and (state Treasurer Michael) Fitzgerald, the state auditor and treasurer, on state government contracts with businesses represented by the Brown Winick firm as well as direct payments to the firm for legal services. In all, the state paid more than $160 million over five years to clients of the law firm. Most of the money—$96 million—was paid to MFS Technologies for construction of the statewide fiber-optic network. The state spends a lot on private contractors. In 1993 alone, Iowa spent more than $200 million just on service contracts.” (Des Moines Register, September 22, 2002)
The Iowa Knows Better group has done their homework on Terry Branstad.
It is a rather tangled web. Tangled up are names like Doug Gross and Mitt Romney and Terry Branstad. These three names and probably more names are all the more reason for Iowans to do their own research. Yes an important incentive for Iowa primary voters to really understand who comes along for the ride with Terry Branstad.
More of the same names and same faces from the last go around.
No thank you.
The following is a press release released by 3rd Congressional District Candidate Dave Funk
Dave Funk, Candidate for Congress; Iowa-03 Responds to SOTU and Unsuccessful Job Creation of 2009
Job creation is the biggest myth in the economy right now. That is, those jobs “created” by the government. Job creation, when done as direct investment by the government in the government, is no more than a long term unfunded mandate on the local level. Here’s why:
Last night President Obama said, “Because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed. 200,000 work in construction and clean energy. 300,000 are teachers and other education workers. Tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers, and first responders. And we are on track to add another one and a half million jobs to this total by the end of the year.”
That’s right, jobs created in law enforcement, education and construction (roads & infrastructure). These are government related jobs! Gov. Chet Culver as well has been following the same logic as Leonard Boswell in Iowa and President Obama.
How will the schools pay for these new jobs when their budgets are being cut? How does the police force justify their budgets when the number of officers increased and crime did not? What will construction workers do when their projects are done? All they have done is place financial liabilities that cannot be avoided on state and local governments. There is no way around this burden and now either the greater population suffers because the state and local governments have to find the money to cover it or our state’s lose even more power and are dependent on the welfare of the federal government.
When the government makes a direct investment in jobs that add no economic productivity to the underlying economy it is impossible to turn a job created into more jobs created. When you make a financial investment, your intent is for your money to make you more money. This is the same logic. When the government stimulates job growth it should be creating jobs that will help create more jobs indefinitely.
In Iowa, the government has spent $1.5 billion on 5,336 jobs. These jobs were also in education, law enforcement and infrastructure. The state of Iowa already has had to make a 10% budget cut across the board. Now they’ll either have to find ways of supporting this increase they’ve accrued in annual costs or they will have to cut pay or layoff more to make up for it. And here’s the saddest thing of it all. Even if the state of Iowa or any area were to just lay off the people they hired from the stimulus package they are still stuck paying unemployment benefits. There is no way around this cost burden – this unfunded mandate from the Federal government.
We need to get away from creating jobs for the sake of creating jobs and start pushing private investment in the private sector. This could have been funds managed by private equity and venture capital to grow businesses in high growth industries. It could have been done through private investment tax incentives or simply doing away with capital gains taxes. There were so many ways the government could have created more jobs with that money and they have now borrowed from our children’s and grandchildren’s futures for unsustainable jobs.
The government needs to follow one rule of thumb: The government should NEVER invest money in itself for the sole purpose of growth and job creation. It’s like creating 1,000,000 widgets for a market of 500 people. It’s too much! We cannot let them be stupid with our money anymore. Time to stop the Stupid Spending! Vote these people out!
The following is a commentary on last nights State of the Union Address from 2nd Congressional District candidate Christopher Reed.
Cedar Rapids- Christopher Reed, conservative candidate for U. S. House of Representatives for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional district, released the following in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
President Obama continues to dazzle the American public with his speaking skills, even while Americans continue to lose their jobs, their homes and their confidence in our federal government.
I am in total agreement with President Obama’s statement, “There is a deficit of trust [in the Government] by the people”. I believe this mistrust stems from a generation of politicians going to Washington DC and not holding true to the principles upon which they campaigned. The time has come for Americans to hold candidates to their words and demand that they are held accountable for their promises.
President Obama talked about the need for additional nuclear plants, more offshore drilling, and bio-fuel and clean coal expansion, which are all solutions to our nation becoming energy independent. But immediately after making this statement Obama pushed the need to pass the “Clean and Safe Climate and Energy Bill”, commonly known as “Cap and Trade”. In my estimation, this bill will do much to eliminate those energy-producing technologies he previously mentioned.
The President made several other statements I disagree with:
- Our President suggested, “People are upset because Washington is not fixing their problems.” I believe it’s not the government’s job to fix people’s problems. It is the people’s job to be responsible for their own lives.
- Obama mentioned he wants to “forgive” college debt for anyone who goes into “public service jobs”. This will only serve to grow an already over-sized government and create even more bureaucracy.
- President Obama stated that Health Care Reform is a “complex issue” and he threatened there will be lost care, employers will shirk their responsibilities, and health care costs will rise if reform is not passed. He also said he understands there is a lot of opposition to the bill, yet he demanded Congress “get it done”. So, even though the majority of Americans do not support the current health care reform being considered, Obama will make sure it happens.
- Mr. Obama said he came to Washington to open the government to the people and keep lobbyists from decision-making positions. Yet he chose to ban C-SPAN from televising health care debates and his cabinet is filled with no less than twelve lobbyists!
- In one breath Mr. Obama promised new incentives to open pathways for small businesses to access loans, but in the next breath he threatened to tax and fine any lending institution that dares to make a profit. True leaders take ownership in the face of adversity, not blame others for a mess they willingly accepted responsibility for.
- Our President continues to blame the previous administration for this country’s economic problems. I believe it is time for Obama to end the blame game and focus his time and energy on fixing our economy and creating jobs.
Overall, our President seems determined to pass blame to others, ignore the will of the people and force-feed his agenda on the American people.
I believe this philosophy is in exact contrast to what has made this country great. The people are the solution to problems, not the government. I believe its time to take back our country and return the control of our government to “We the People” as our constitution states!
For more information about Christopher Reed, visit www.ReedforIowa.com or call Campaign Headquarters @ 319-241-0565