» November 5th, 2012
On election eve, Iowa Freedom Report offers you our official endorsement for the Presidency in 2012. Iowans concerned about the runaway growth in government at all levels have but one option this year, to elect Governor Gary Johnson as President and Judge Jim Gray as Vice President.
Governor Gary Johnson ably served his constituents for eight years as New Mexico’s Governor and left his comfortable retirement to serve the freedom movement as Presidential candidate. Despite serving as nominally a Republican, Johnson always governed as a libertarian and in so doing, advanced the movement in the public square in a way that no one else has done. While Dr. Ron Paul is better known as a advocate for liberty, it is Johnson who actually has experience implementing our ideas. Johnson’s time in office proved conclusively that the principles of liberty, realistically applied, do indeed result in economic growth and political popularity. Johnson’s term in New Mexico saw greater job growth than the term of any other former executive in the race for President – including (and especially) better known contenders Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Tim Pawlenty.
Some in the movement have criticized Johnson’s moderation and the handful of his policy proposals that defy libertarian orthodoxy, but let’s be honest, who would have done better given the situation. Johnson’s entrance into politics itself was a long shot. Big government Republicans in New Mexico tried to dissuade his gubernatorial campaign. Democrats held a 2-to-1 registration advantage and held the governorship with a popular incumbent. The state’s mainstream press eviscerated him when he proposed medical freedom and school choice. His own officials in the administration worked to undermine him (Johnson once fired his entire Racing and Gaming Board when they went behind his back on a casino deal Johnson promised to veto.)
In response, Johnson didn’t merely hold the line against big government, he built a firewall against it by vetoing 750 bills and used the line-item veto (allowed under New Mexico’s constitution) hundreds of times, saving taxpayers millions. Unable to cut wide swaths out of state government, Johnson applied his managerial experience to operations, using an attrition strategy to reduce the state payroll by 1,000 employees without even having to directly fire any worker. Awarded the name “Governor Veto” or “Governor No,” Johnson moved New Mexico forward. By expanding the role of the private sector in provision of infrastructure New Mexico under Johnson added hundreds of miles of paved roads without any increase in budgets. So much for “but who will build the roads!?” right? The budget was balanced all eight years but never once did taxes go up.
Compared to this record, what alternatives could there possibly be? There are some in the last few years who have attached themselves to our movement and have returned, like a dog to its vomit, to the Republican candidates and expect us to do the same. Mitt Romney is not perfect, they’ll say, but we must beat the black guy, err, ah, the Democrat, because he’s sooo bad! And also black. But there is no pro-freedom case for Romney at all. In four years as Governor, Mitt Romney dramatically expanded the role of government in the private lives of individuals and “Taxachusetts” wasn’t exactly Galt’s Gulch when Romney took over. As Governor, Romney introduced a costly and intrusive health care plan that Obama would later adopt nearly verbatim on a national scale. As a candidate, Romney talks spending cuts but his only specifics have been on what he’ll increase – military spending, drone strikes, and Medicare expenses. The Romney/Ryan budget borrows heavily from South Park’s Underpants Gnomes, essentially boiling down to “cut taxes/increase spending>???>balanced budgets.”
Regarding Mr. Obama, there were some in our movement who talked themselves into a false hope that Obama would be better, at least on civil liberties, than Bush era Republicans. But Obama doubled down on every thing bad about the Bush years. Promising to close the Gitmo prison, Obama instead signed legislation allowing him to send anyone he wants there without trial. Obama also took it upon himself to create a secret “kill list” of those persons he claims authority to execute at will. Even being an American citizen doesn’t excuse you from the list, as Obama’s drones killed a 16 year old American boy in Yemen. Asked to defend this, Obama’s spokesman could only answer, “he should have had better parents.” On domestic issues, Obama seems to think that he himself should act as our parent – Obamacare, bailouts, literally laughing off the idea of individual liberties – he has been an unmitigated disaster for liberty.
Now if you’re reading this site, you probably don’t need convincing that the Obama/Romney status quo is not working for America, so what of your alternatives? Most years, there are at least two national candidates promoting slightly differing versions of the limited government message – the Libertarian Party candidate and the Constitution Party candidate. This year however, while the Libertarians have Johnson, the Constitution Party standard bearer is former Independent, Democrat, and Republican Congressman Virgil Goode. Goode is an unrepentant advocate of foreign wars, not only voting for the initial invasion of Iraq but invoking the worst right-wing talking points in advocating for supplemental financing. Whereas the 2008 nominee Chuck Baldwin was a defender of a separation of powers, Goode has supported federal overreaches such as the ban on online card playing and raiding state-licensed medical clinics. Goode is better than some alternatives and the Constitution Party has advanced some admirable principles, but Goode cannot even live up to the standards of his party and does not deserve your vote.
Some among us have despaired of any of the actual choices and are electing to write in Congressman Paul. Let me try to explain why that is a bad idea. Now, recall that IFR endorsed Congressman Paul before the Iowa Straw Poll and reiterated our support before the caucuses, so this the advice of a friend. Casting a write in ballot achieves nothing. Just 2% of the vote for Johnson will place the Libertarian Party on the ballot in 2014 and give them major party status. It is an investment in a better future, or at least in a stronger outlet for protest votes when freedom candidates lose future Republican and Democrat primaries. For those who believe that Paul’s supporters must be good Republicans but have enough integrity to shun Romney, consider this – if Libertarians have to spend their limited time and money getting on the ballot in 2014, they will have that much less time and money to help Ron Paul Republican candidates in their local races and conventions. We can’t state this strongly enough – not voting for the movement’s best standard bearer will weaken the movement as a whole.
As the Libertarian Party nominee, Governor Gary Johnson is the best choice to carry the cause of peace, responsible government, and individual liberty in 2012. For the last few months, Johnson’s has been the only voice challenging entitlements, challenging the wars, and providing an alternative. The stronger we make our alternative tomorrow, the more our agenda must be reckoned with. Look at Johnson’s record. See what he has done and then listen to what he says. You will be proud to give him your vote for liberty in this election.
» November 4th, 2012
With the 2012 election cycle winding down (and gee, it seems like it just started yesterday, right Iowans?) and changes coming to Iowa Freedom Report (stay tuned for details) and limiting our postings, consider this your catch-all information and endorsements page. We’ve done our best to compile the list of candidates worthy of your vote on Tuesday, but as always, check local listings and vote your conscience.
David Scott Edwards – SD-16 (Des Moines)
This one came to our attention late in the cycle, but David Scott Edwards is a favorite of the freedom activists who nearly won Polk County for the good Doctor in the caucuses. Edwards is an employee of the Des Moines school district and as you might expect stresses education in his campaign. He opposes throwing more ever more money at the system and promotes alternative to the one-size-fits-all approach of the bureaucracy. Take a listen to Edwards talking with our friends at the Voice of Reason and decide for yourselves if he’s earned your support.
Ryan Flood – SD-34 (Linn County)
Ryan Flood is “the only Ron Paul-inspired candidate running in a Republican district” this cycle. His race is tougher than it should have been as Flood only stepped in after Randi Shannon wandered off the reservation this summer. Flood also has the pleasure of facing Democrat incumbent Liz Mathis who erases the Republican’s nominal registration advantage with her 100% name recognition. Still, Flood has done a lot on short time and short resources and is worthy of your support. The Iowa Senate hangs precariously in a 26-24 Democrat advantage and Republicans are eager to flip that house. If they do it thanks only to a Ron Paul supporter, that gives our movement incredible leverage as the holder of the balance of power in the upper chamber. Say good-bye to Branstad’s beloved tax increases if Flood pulls this one out.
Will Johnson – SD-50 (Dubuque)
Will Johnson needs no introduction to IFR readers as he’s a former columnist in addition to one of our first endorsed candidates during his 2010 Congressional race. After that bid, this Navy veteran has lowered his site posts to the Iowa Senate where he’s waging a tough battle in heavily Democratic territory. Johnson has already made his mark on the local level where he coordinated a joint action of the Tea Party and Occupy Dubuque to derail red-light cameras in the city. Even establishment Republicans realized he was the only one who could flip Democrat and independent voters and essentially conceded the primary to him in June. He will be a strong voice for liberty in the Senate if he is not done in by the straight-ticket device.
Jason Schultz – HD-18 (Crawford County)
When we launched the Iowa Freedom Fund PAC in 2011, the first check we cut was to Representative Schultz and its not hard to see why. Schultz has been at the forefront of the fight for limited government in the Iowa House and endorsed Ron Paul for President long before it became cool to do so. This western Iowa farmer is hardly a hipster, but it will be pretty deck to see him back for another term. (“Deck” means good in hipster lingo, see how I did that there? I know, right?) His Democrat opponent had to drop out when she took a new job, not that she had much chance anyway.
Joe Corbin – HD-32 (Des Moines)
Joe Corbin is a family man, electrician, Ron Paul activist, and (as those of you who made it to Hampton for LibertyFest heard) a pretty decent drummer. If you’ve heard Corbin speak on the Voices of Reason or read his campaign literature, you’ll also know that he’s one of the most eloquent young voices for liberty that our movement has. It’s a shame his brilliance is wasted on a hyper-partisan Democratic district. If you live in his area, we strongly endorse Corbin.
Clarke Davidson – HD-41 (Des Moines)
Remember when that Ron Paul supporter got arrested for “occupying” Paul’s campaign office with the rest of the Occupy Des Moines folks? Well guess what? He’s still around and while you won’t see his campaign website (there isn’t one) you will see him on your ballots if you live in HD-41 as the Republican nominee. Take a wild guess how much help the party is giving him – go ahead and look it up, we’ll wait. . . Davidson is far outside the GOP mainstream, which we at IFR consider his best asset. Davidson is will be a voice for the disaffected and voice some inconvenient truths (subsidized corporate agri-business is the burr under his saddle these days) in the Legislature if he overcomes a tough district. We wish him the best.
Dr. Eric Cooper – HD-46 (Ames)
The 2010 Libertarian Party candidate for governor (and IFR reader!) is back again in a local legislative race. Cooper, an ISU professor, is running for the House seat that includes campus and his nearby neighborhood. Cooper doesn’t expect to win in safe Democrat territory but continues to preach his message that 10% of the vote going to Libertarian candidates would force the major parties to cater to small-government voters. Cooper has our full support as the only Libertarian save the Johnson/Gray ticket on Iowa ballots this year.
Ryan Roberson – HD-90 (Quad Cities)
Roberson is a devoted activist for both the liberty movement and community betterment (but we repeat ourselves) in the Davenport area. He got a late start in the race when he realized establishment Republicans wanted to forfeit this one to their Democrat partners in crime. Boy, did the commenters at The Iowa Republican throw a fit when he jumped in! He’s still a long shot, but if your in his area, don’t hesitate to throw him your vote.
Mark Nelson – HD-93 (Quad Cities)
In a friendlier Scott County district we find Mark Nelson, whom Iowa Freedom Fund got behind in August. Nelson is the former chair of the Libertarian Party of Iowa and the Treasurer of the national party. He is experienced in both local business as a realtor and local politics as the leader of a campaign to thwart an expensive new entitlement program at the local level. Nelson has campaigned hard in a toss-up district and we’ll watch him closely on election night. Give him your best measure of support, as we already have, and you won’t be disappointed.
The Oath Keeper’s movement to promote peace officers dedicated to upholding their pledge to obey the Constitution has given Iowans two outstanding candidates for the sheriff’s office. Demory is running against an incumbent who places the demands of federal law enforcement ahead of his constituents’ rights and Charleston has an extensive military and law enforcement career. If you’re in their counties, posse up with these candidates.
Jesse James Anderson – Scott County Supervisor
Two years after heading the Iowans for Accountability ticket, Anderson is back on the ballot as the Republican nominee for one of three Supervisor seats. The party label has changed, but this Quad City entrepreneur hasn’t watered down his passion for limited government. Anderson will resist top-down management from higher government agencies and be a strong voice for Scott County taxpayers. Give him your vote on Tuesday.
We’re certain we’ve missed some, but these are the best and brightest that the freedom movement has to offer the state of Iowa. We urge you to support them and other worthy individuals we may have overlooked. As always, vote your conscience and always vote for the least amount of government you can.
» September 26th, 2012
Wintery weather on the last day of summer may have tamped down the crowds at Iowa Liberty Fest, but it couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of attendees who came from across the street or across the state to take in Hampton’s celebration of the Constitution.
The afternoon opened with a reading of the unamended Constitution under the flag of liberty. Next came a variety of speakers, each with a different take on modern topics inspired by the 225-year old document. Pastor Doug Holmes offered a prayer and spoke of the need to study the founding documents, as his group Liberty Keepers does regularly. The Liberty Keepers also sponsored Wednesday’s hymn sing and historical reenactments. Excluded from Monday’s debate by the corrupt duopoly candidates, Martin Monroe got his place on stage by himself to make his pitch. Monroe’s candidate statements thus far have been pretty vague and lack a true grounding in the liberty message. However with candidates like Steve King who supports the NDAA, all Obama’s wars, farm subsidies, increased entitlement spending, and the war on drugs; and Christie Vilsack who tries not to take any position on any issue, its safe to say Monroe will get most of the freedom vote by default. Your editor spoke next on the application of Constitutional principles to foreign policy. The founder’s vision of peace, free trade, and honest friendship would be just as valuable to improving the prosperity of America today as it was to the early republic. State Senate candidate Will Johnson took the stage next to update the crowd on his race and educate them about the successes and challenges in Dubuque. The story is quite remarkable, about how the Occupy and Tea Party groups in that city turned the tide against red-line cameras. IFR will have to give that a longer hearing in the future, as you certainly won’t hear a story like that in the partisan-driven, horse race-obsessed corporate media.
With other speakers delayed, Jordan Page gave the audience a taste of the main act, taking the stage to play a half hour of his greatest hits. Page was joined on stage by his four year old son Johnny for a special rendition of “Liberty,” perhaps his most popular song.
After the first musical interlude, the speeches resumed with IFR and Hampton Chronicle columnist Fritz Groskruger reading a special edition of his “The Alternative” column prepared for the occasion. If we followed the Constitution, Groskruger claimed, Election Day would be just another day. We’d simply select the best manager to watch over the small staff and few programs that a Constitutional government would require. Instead, the usurpation of power by Washington obscures even the good qualities of those who aspire to power. Filmmaker and Iowa Freedom Fund board member Jimmy Morrison was next and gave the audience an update on the status of “The Bubble” film whose trailer has been viewed over 30,000 times, an impressive number for a documentary not set to debut for months. Morrison warned that all the economists interviewed about the 2008 crash for this movie warned that the larger one is yet to come. With interest on the national debt increasing exponentially, it is soon to consume the federal budget, Morrison cautioned.
Des Moines rockers Cirrus Minor took the stage next and rocked out the bandshell with their hard rock and punk fusion. The band features liberty candidate for State House Joe Corbin on drums. Corbin is making a herculean effort as a Ron Paul Republican in a deep blue inner city district and unfortunately his success will be in winning hearts and minds rather than legislative seats.
One final speaker took the podium before the final act. In a surprise appearance, outgoing State Representative Glen Massie gave a personal testimony to the power of jury nullification. Nullification has come back into the news recently with a New Hampshire jury throwing out a marijuana conviction by nullifying the law. Massie’s experience wasn’t so fortunate as prosecutors were quick to dismiss him from the jury pool, but not before he was able to educate fellow citizens about their power to judge the laws as well as the facts of a case.
Page came back for a second set at the original scheduled time and continued late into the night, taking requests from his hits and various cover songs. As the crowd dwindled with the chill of the fall air, Page was undeterred. “I used to play in bars for ten drunks, hoping one would pay attention,” he told fans, “now, all I play are liberty events. Whether it is twelve or twelve thousand, you people get it.”
It was a great week for liberty in Hampton and if you missed it, you missed out. Plans are already being floated for a return next year and many attendees went away with hopes of planning several festivals for their town. Where ever the banner of liberty is unfurled, we’ll be there to bring you the coverage.
» September 21st, 2012
It has been an exciting and edifying week for liberty in north central Iowa as the town of Hampton devoted six days to the celebration of the Constitution to commemorate the august document’s September anniversary. The week began with a mayoral proclamation from Shawn Dietz recognizing the occasion and calling on citizens and elected officials alike to reaffirm their commitment to protect the liberties protected therein. The proclamation was followed by a Monday night debate between two of the three challengers for the 4th District’s seat in Congress. In a deliberate snub to the Founding Fathers and their disdain for blind partisanship, the corrupt duopoly candidates excluded independent challenger Martin Monroe as a condition of their joint appearance. Mayor Dietz ensured that Monroe’s campaign materials were distributed to the crowd in an admirable display of fairness.
Wednesday night featured a focus on the connection between liberty and faith sponsored by the local Liberty Keepers organization. Activities included a hymn sing at Bandshell Park and a historical reenactor Michael Ernst portraying John Adams. Retired Colonel John Eidsmoe closed the night with a speech.
Tomorrow, Saturday the 22nd will be the big day for the festival. Activities will commence at 3:30 with a public reading of the Constitution. Following the reading of the Constitution will be a series of short speeches from a variety of liberty leaders speaking on their area of expertise. Local (and occasional IFR columnist) Fritz Groskruger will share his thoughts on the day. Filmmaker and activist Jimmy Morrison will talk about his upcoming project “The Bubble,” a documentary about the collapse of 2008 done in conjunction with author Tom Woods. State Senate candidate and Noble World Order author will talk about “What We Can Say ‘Yes’ To,” presenting the freedom movement in a positive light. Dows Pastor Doug Holmes of Liberty Keepers will further elaborate on the connection between faith and freedom. Scott Mickelson of the Iowa Gold Commission will talk about sound money. Finally, your editor will be speaking about foreign policy and the Founder’s desire for the American republic to be the “well-wisher to freedom everywhere, but the defender only of our own.”
After that buffet for the mind will come a feast for the ears as Des Moines rock band Cirrus Minor takes the stage. On drums will be liberty candidate for Iowa House, Mr. Joe Corbin. Cirrus Minor opens for the evening’s headliner, Jordan Page. Page is a well-known singer/songwriter in the freedom movement who has traveled extensively spreading the message. Page’s last appearance in Iowa was the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll where he entertained activists at the Ron Paul camp.
» August 26th, 2012
Iowa Republican Leaders Decry Exclusion in Tampa While Excluding Gary Johnson in Iowa
In 1968, Riceville elementary teacher Jane Elliott used her third grade classroom for an intriguing and controversial experiment. One of the objectives: to see if a group that had been harshly discriminated against in the past would be magnanimous in power or treat their lessors with the brutality they had experienced as an underclass. On one day, Ms. Elliot segregated her classroom and awarded privileges to the blue eyed children based on a fabricated claim of blue-eyed superiority. The azure-irised in the class quickly turned haughty and lauded their position over the darker. The next day, Elliot announced that oops, she’d made a mistake, the brown eyed were actually superior and the blue eyed worthy of revulsion. The tables thus turned, the browns gave back as bad as they’d gotten the previous day.
If you’re a regular reader of IFR, then doubtless you’ve read the reports by now coming out of the pre-convention meetings of the Republican National Committee. Before the whole body of delegates assembles Monday (weather permitting), various committees meet to set internal party policy for the next four years. Representatives of the Romney campaign have rammed through several changes that will have far reaching effects. Chief among those for us Iowans is that national delegates will no longer be elected independently, but rather will be chosen to represent the candidate who won the popular caucus vote. Penalties for moving ahead of the Iowa Caucuses on the nomination calendar, while never before enforced in practice, are now gone completely. What this means is that it will no longer be possible to run a grassroots campaign focused on retail politics and winning over delegates. Not only does this mean no more campaigns like Ron Paul 2012, it’s likely the death knell to social conservative operations that tend to be cash-poor and volunteer-heavy. Then, just to pile on, the Mittiots went ahead and invalidated the results of the Maine delegate selection process, dumping any delegate who supported Paul in February. Not only would liberty-oriented grassroots Republicans be shut out in the future, they were silenced in the present.
Iowa Republican leaders are understandably upset. Party Chairman A.J. Spiker told Radio Iowa that he was “shocked” by the divisive move. National Committeeman Steve Scheffler took to facebook to urge a fight “to see what we can do to reverse some bad stuff that shafts grassroots folks. We are NOT going to be silent!!!”
All of which brings us back to Iowa. At the same time Iowa Republican leaders are pushing for inclusion at their convention, they are working to force Governor Gary Johnson off of the ballot in the general election. Earlier this month, Libertarians filed 2,000 signatures on petitions to secure a place on the ballot. Iowa law requires just 1,500 to make the ballot so 133% of the requirement was a substantial cushion. In fact, no candidate’s petition which exceeded the statutory requirement had been invalidated in Iowa history. But Matt Schultz is no ordinary Secretary of State. We tried to warn Iowans in 2010 when we endorsed Jake Porter that hyper-partisanship in this office would damage the integrity of our electoral process. With the flimsiest of logic, Schultz simply threw out the Libertarian petition. In its place, the Secretary of State’s office offered to let Johnson and the LP on the ballot if they could fulfill two requirements – hold a public “caucus” to nominate Johnson and gather an additional 250 signatures. Apparently this process has been tried before, its how Gloria LaRiva made the 2008 ballot as the Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate. Alerted to the goings on, the Republican Party of Iowa has filed a challenge and retained the largest law firm in the state. Against a highly-paid legal team in a court judged by a corrupt Republican official, the Libertarians have only truth, precedent, and a pro-bono attorney.
So to update Ms. Elliot’s question forty-four years later, what happens when a group that’s experienced being kicked around, bullying, exclusion, and discrimination takes over the Republican Party of Iowa? Well, teacher, if you’re A.J. Spiker and his cronies, you’ve borne the burnt of the battle in a past political life as a liberty advocate, apparently you look for the next smallest guy in the fight and take it out on him. But maybe its not the color of your eyes that matters. It’s the partisan blinders you’re wearing over them.
The Gary Johnson campaign takes a little less poetic license that we here at IFR perhaps, but their press release lays out a good timeline of the case. Their attorney is a friend of the site and was kind enough to lay out the legal arguments favoring the LP, but we’ll save those for the recap. If you’re able to make it to Des Moines, there will be a rally held at the Secretary of State’s office at 1pm, this address: Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319. The official release is as follows:
REPUBLICANS TRY TO KEEP LIBERTARIAN GARY JOHNSON OFF THE IOWA BALLOT
Romney Supporters File Challenge Urging Secretary of State to Exclude Libertarian
Nominees from the Ballot in November
Jay Kramer, a Mitt Romney campaign operative from Washington D.C., filed a
challenge on Friday to keep Libertarian candidate for President, Gary Johnson, from
appearing on the ballot in November. The Romney campaign hired the largest law
firm in Iowa, the Des Moines based, Nyemaster Goode PC, for the challenge, which
will be heard by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Shultz on Monday at 3 pm.
“This is clearly a set up,” said the Johnson campaign’s attorney, Alicia Dearn.
“Romney can’t beat Johnson on the debate stage, so he has resorted to cronyism.
The Libertarian Party had two thousand petition signatures and should have been
on the ballot without challenge, as they have always done in the past. But
Republican Shultz [Iowa Secretary of State] – in violation of longstanding Iowa law –
rejected the petition and required the Johnson campaign to caucus at the state fair.
There, the Romney campaign surveilled the Johnson campaign’s activities for the
sole purpose of bringing this eleventh-hour challenge,” Dearn said.
The Romney campaign’s challenge was filed Friday afternoon and set for a hearing
on Monday afternoon. The 106-page challenge includes pictures of Johnson
supporters asking fair-goers to support having Gov. Johnson and the Libertarian
Party offered as a choice on the ballot.
The challenge claims that the state fair signatures should be thrown out because the
signers are not Libertarians. “The challenge is legally frivolous,” asserts Dearn.
“You don’t have to be a registered Libertarian to want a third choice on the ballot.
Iowans deserve to choose for themselves who to vote for, which is why Gov. Johnson
should be on the ballot and allowed to debate Romney and President Obama.
Democracy suffers when voices are silenced.”
Unlike other states, Iowa has a perfect history of allowing third-party candidates
onto the ballot and is known for its independent-minded voter. “Iowa is one of the
very few states that has never kept any general election presidential candidate off
its ballot,” said ballot access historian Richard Winger. “It is a policy that saves
money and work for elections officials, because Iowa doesn’t need to tally write-in
votes for presidential candidates when all such significant candidates are on the
Republicans fear that Johnson, a former Republican two-term Governor from New
Mexico, will siphon votes from Romney and create a victory for Obama. It is a claim
that Governor Johnson does not shy away from. In a YouTube video titled, A
Freedom is Never Wasted, Johnson says, “They deserve to lose your vote.” Iowa is
expected to be a battleground state this election.
According to Dearn, the Romney campaign is using similar tactics to keep Governor
Johnson off the ballot in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and is pressuring the
Commission on Presidential Debates to exclude Governor Johnson from the
televised national debates. The Romney campaign has also been accused of fraud
and bullying of Ron Paul delegates in several lawsuits throughout the country and
protests by Ron Paul supporters are expected at the Republican Party convention in
Tampa later this week. “Paul supporters were treated really badly in Iowa by the
Romney campaign,” Dearn said.
As the Libertarian candidate for President, Johnson promises to submit a balanced
budget to Congress in 2013 and to reduce wasteful spending, advocates for reducing
government intrusion into the everyday lives and liberties of Americans, supports
the Constitution, and advocates for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states and has been qualified by the FEC for
Federal matching funds. His running mate is retired California Superior Court Judge
and former Naval officer, Jim Gray.
If you would like more information about the legal proceedings in Des Moines,
please contact Alicia Dearn at 858-750-5800, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like more information about Governor Gary Johnson’s 2012
Presidential campaign, or to schedule and interview with Gov. Johnson or Judge
Gray, please contact Joe Hunter, 801-303-7924, email@example.com or
Natalie Dicou, 801-994-0321, firstname.lastname@example.org. Press kits may
be found at www.garyjohnson2012.com/media.
» August 9th, 2012
While much of the media was infatuated with that other Presidential hopeful in the capital city Wednesday, Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee Judge Jim Gray made the rounds on Des Moines radio.
Gray began the morning on Iowa’s flagship political station, WHO in the studio with Jan Mickelson. Mickelson bills himself as a “Christian libertarian” and made no secret of his support for Ron Paul in the Iowa Caucuses, but he sprung an ambush on Gray. After a brief introduction and some chatter about Dr. Paul’s influence, Mickelson turned the subject to same-sex marriage, dinging the Gary/Gray ticket for embracing the concept. To an extent, Mickelson has a point. Traditionally, the Libertarian position on marriage (regardless of the gender of the participants) should be a private contract between the parties involved and perhaps their religious or other community if desired with government’s only role being to adjudicate disputes to the contract. In an effort to appease the mainstream media and appeal to progressive voters, Johnson and Gray have spun this position around to embrace government marriage for all orientations. Gray’s stance on the issue might not have turned on WHO’s traditional listenership, but several did call in to offer support.
After finishing at WHO, Gray had to immediately pivot from right-wing radio to left-wing for an appearance on former State Representative Ed Fallon’s webcast of the Fallon Forum. Gray arrived in studio just in time to catch then end of a discussion with two young members of a group calling itself “Students Beyond War.” That segment provided a perfect segue to Gray’s appearance as Fallon and his guests bemoan the uber-militarism of President Obama and what we at IFR call his “5 Wars at a Time” foreign policy. Nonetheless, the students concluded, Obama presented the “lesser of two evils” and they were resigned to endorse him even though Obama espoused exactly the policies they were protesting.
This gave Gray an opportunity to present the Johnson candidacy as an alternative for all those tired of the now decade-long occupation of Afghanistan and the rush to war with Iran. Fallon gave the Judge plenty of open-mike time to lay out the Libertarian case for debate inclusion and how they offer the only real alternative to the status quo. After the commercial break, Fallon offered progressive counters to Gray’s libertarian message, challenging him on schools, light rail, and environmental regulation. This exchange would give libertarian listeners an opportunity to hear the moderation in the LP campaign’s message that is at the same time their greatest strength and greatest weakness. Governor Johnson and Judge Gray have decades of experience applying the philosophy of liberty to the practical considerations of governance in the executive and judicial branch respectively. Both are eminently qualified to serve in their sought-after positions, but purists in the movement might have reservations about endorsing substantially more government than is ultimately desired.
You can listen to both Judge Gray’s interviews archived here for Mickelson and here for Fallon. Other planned interviews with Liberty’s Best Frenemy Steve Deace and Tony Seliquini’s Voices of Reason webcast were rescheduled to call-in interviews at later times.
» August 7th, 2012
Short notice and an unfortunate scheduling conflict with a local liberty group meeting led to a small turnout for tonight’s meet and greet with Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray, but those who made it to the Woodfire Grill in downtown Davenport had a rare opportunity to hear from a man who’s been at the belly of the big government beast and has the battle scars to prove it. Judge Gray is on day one of his two day tour of the Hawkeye state, part of a longer Midwestern tour. Earlier in the day, the Judge was in Indiana to campaign with Rupert Boneham of Survivor fame, now a freedom candidate for Governor. Immediately prior to the Quad Cities stop, Gray meet with the editorial board of the Champaign, Illinois paper who intend to call for Gray and Governor Gary Johnson’s inclusion in the upcoming Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.
The main focus of Gray’s Iowa tour is to bolster ballot access efforts. The Libertarian Party of Iowa is still a few signatures shy of requirements. Campaign staffers urged attendees to sign petitions at the event and continue gathering them from friends and neighbors over the next few days. Petition forms can be downloaded from www.LPIA.org and should be turned in to the party’s office at P.O. Box 480, Des Moines 50302-0480.
While making his appeal for volunteer efforts, Gray presented his version of the freedom message that he and Johnson are taking around the country.
On Barack Obama and Mitt Romney: “They’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to talk about their records, but to say the other guy’s a jerk. And I agree with them on that!.”
On Obama and Romney raising money from bailed out bankers: “After the election, those big donors will be looking for a payback. We’re going to pay back the American people.”
On corruption in government: “As a judge, I investigated fraud in government. We will hold people accountable, Romney and Obama won’t do that.”
On foreign policy: “Let’s not have the executive deciding who lives or dies. I’m the only veteran in the race [Pending Romney's running mate selection, Gray's naval service makes him the only major candidate who has served.] I’m the only one who understands. Both Obama and Romney are talking seriously about bombing Iran. I would say that 80% of our foreign military bases are unnecessary for our security. I can say for certain that Austria will not invade Germany in my lifetime.”
A major focus of the campaign’s message is the desire for a fair and inclusive debate. For those unaware, debates in the general election are controlled by the Commission on Presidential Debates, an organization established by the Democrat and Republican Parties in the 1990’s with the goal of avoiding debates like those in 1992 which included the alternative candidate, Ross Perot. Admission to the debates is not based on objective or relavent criteria but rather on national polling which does not include candidates outside of the duopoly.
If the Libertarians can generate enough public pressure to allow them to crash the party, Gray likes their chances. “We’re the only party that is in the mainstream of American thought,” Gray says, “we’re fiscally conservative and socially tolerant, Romney can’t say that, Obama can’t say that.”
Iowa Freedom Report will be on the road with Judge Gray to Des Moines tomorrow where he will be focused on media interviews. Be sure to catch him on Mickelson in the Morning at 10am on WHO. Other interviews are scheduled with conservative commentator Steve Deace and former progressive legislator Ed Fallon.
» August 7th, 2012
Iowa Freedom Report will be following the Libertarian nominee for Vice President, Judge Jim Gray as he makes a short media tour to Iowa this week. Judge Gray will be in Davenport tonight, Tuesday August 7, at 6pm for a meet and greet at the Woodfire Grill downtown.
On Wednesday, Gray will on the radio with studio interviews with Jan Mickelson of WHO and former State Representative Ed Fallon on his online program, The Fallon Forum.
Nominated in May as Governor Gary Johnson’s running mate, Judge Gray has a long record in public service and liberty activism. After service as a Naval JAG officer, Gray served as a federal prosecutor and was later elevated to the bench. He retired in 2010 as Superior Court Judge for Orange County, California. So respected was Judge Gray by freedom activists in California that the Constitutional Rights Foundation didn’t just give him their “Judge of the Year” award, they named the award after him. Judge Gray has written several books and spoke regularly about judicial issues before declaring himself a candidate for Vice President.
Follow us on twitter at @IAFreedomReport for regular updates on Gray’s tour.
» July 28th, 2012
Save the date August 25th. On that day Iowa Firearms Coalition, Iowa’s premiere gun rights group, will be hosting its third annual Second Amendment Rally. The event will be from 9am to 5 pm at the Brownell’s Big Springs Range Complex outside Searsboro Iowa. Admission is FREE for everyone. No range fees for IFC or NRA members.
The keynote speaker will be Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. According to IFC’s Rally Homepage, other activities will include:
•Grassroots discussions with legislators
•Boy Scouts of America flag ceremony
•Fully automatic weapons rentals
•Cowboy Action Shooters demonstration- SASS
•.50 caliber rifle shoot
•3-Gun Competition walk-through
•Suppressed weapons demonstration /education
•Great Iowa vendor food fair
•Firearms educational workshops
•Firearms raffle tickets (will be raffled at a later date)
•Show and Tell Range
•IFC Grassroots involvement workshop and information
Last year over 1,000 Iowans attended the event. IFC hopes to double that attendance this year.
Big Springs Range Complex is located at 5015 HWY 146 Searsboro, IA 50242.
» June 17th, 2012
Ever since our Randslide victories at district conventions in April, Iowa Republicans have vowed to send Ron Paul supporters packing. After this weekend, that’s exactly what they’ll be doing – packing their bags for Tampa and the Republican National Convention that is. Twenty one of Iowa’s twenty eight national delegates in August will be either liberty activists or allies of the movement. Add Paul co-chair turned RPI head man AJ Spiker, who is an automatic delegate by virtue of his position, and the total is twenty two.
The victory this weekend is especially sweet as it came after a hard fought battle. Initially, caught off-guard by the energy and organization of the freedom movement, the establishment came to Des Moines prepared. “I was in Vietnam,” said Paul state chair Dr. Drew Ivers, who still has a slight limp from a Viet Cong 7.62 round to the ankle, “I know something about guerrilla warfare, you hide in the weeds then you get ‘em. But this was a real fight.” Like the French at Dien Bien Phu, mainstream Republicans expected to lure the insurgents to open warfare and crush the independent movement. The result of their cocky ploy? See reference above.
The convention kicked off on Friday night (technically a “re-convene” of the Districts) where three national delegates, three alternates, and one elector were choose in each room. In April, Paul staffers played fast and loose with slate cards, spreading them throughout convention halls. This weekend, it was cloak and dagger stuff. Phone calls went out to Paul supporters letting them know to find men wearing white hats to get their instructions. Meanwhile, big-government Republicans donned blue ribbons in a silent show of support for a “unity slate” of their own. In at least one district, “unity slate” proponents showed their hands too soon, nominating two Santorum-supporting candidates from the proposed official Nominating Committee slate (to be voted on Saturday) as delegates on Friday night. This move puzzled unaffiliated voters who didn’t understand why people already on the list would take spots away from Friday night’s other candidates. Paul supporters went on to romp in CD-3 and CD-4. CD-1 took longer to elect their delegates despite the meeting being ably chaired by former IFR columnist Will Johnson. Part of that was due to a disruption by a Mittiot [Mitt + idiot, get it? Cause we're using it from now on.] screaming that he wasn’t going to have anything to do with Paul. Needless to say, not a winning message in a district Paul won in January, and CD-1 eventually came away with all three delegates and alternates loyal to liberty.
For reasons that have never been fully explained, CD-2 and its predecessors always have contentious conventions and Friday night was no exception. The freedom movement thought it had a strong slate but were playing on the home turf of “unity slate” kingpin Bob Anderson of Johnson County. Paul staffer and ex-Iowa YAL chair Ani DeGroote cruised to election but the remaining slots were harder to sort out. According to reports we got, an overly-energetic Paul supporter who wasn’t on the slate ran of his own accord. Realizing the potential for vote splitting to knock out two Paul delegates, Jeremiah Johnson, who drew controversy for endorsing Paul while sitting on the State Central Committee, fell on the grenade and dropped out to clear a path for Fairfielder Ed Kelenyi. When the smoke finally cleared, the only delegate elected from the vaunted “unity slate” was its leader, Mr. Anderson himself. His prize will be four days in Tampa being surrounded by Paul supporters, a humiliated general with no soldiers held prisoner in the enemy camp.
By the next morning, neocons had caught on to the white-hat trick and outfitted one of their own with a similar ball cap. Richard “Tricky Dick” Rogers stood at the door trying not to look foolish as he impersonated a Paulite and passed out the “unity slate” list of names for Saturday. Fortunately, with his gray hair and highly conspicuous ear piece he fooled no one. Ol’ Tricky Dick couldn’t even humble himself enough to wear a Kim Pearson lapel sticker, even though it would have helped his costume. When the convention started, the Great Romney Rules Purge we wrote about in April resumed in full force as Mittiots sought to carve out a loophole in the convention rules to allow them to substitute their slate for the slate chosen by the duly elected and fully transparent Nominating Committee (remember, 12 delegates are elected by districts, 13 by the full convention as part of the Nominating Committee list). Long time state party leader made the audacious claim from the floor that no Santorum supporters were on the Committee list, despite the fact that the committee designed the slate (in particular the alternates) as a frothy mixture of several factions. Their efforts at substitution failed, but so did a countermeasure by the freedom movement to elected delegates one at the time should the Nominating Committee slate be voted down.
In addition to delegate votes, the state’s male and female representatives to the Republican National Committee were also chosen. The Committeeman race was held first, chivalry apparently being dead in the Iowa GOP. This was a race that begged for a NOTA option, the kind Libertarians used at their convention to rebuke a supposedly inferior field of potential party officers. With IFR’s tweeted pleas to Nick Sarwark coming to naught, we were left with incumbent Steve Scheffler, David Chung, Vanderplaatsian Robert Cramer, and Judd Saul. Scheffler was the “official” choice of Ron Paul’s leaders but was largely unpopular among the grassroots. There is a certain revisionist history going on in the neocon blogosphere attempting to transfer all of Scheffler’s questionable past activities to the Paul camp but this is undeserved. A simple poll of the number of people wearing Tamara Scott and Scheffler stickers versus the number of people publicly standing for Scheffler and Kim Pearson would have borne out the lack of enthusiasm within the movement for Scheffler. Saul made a direct appeal for Paul support, but he’s burned that bridge in the past and now many found it hard to cross over for him. To be fair, we must say this about Saul. IFR had previously thought Mr. Saul to be slightly overweight. Now we realize that his extra wide pants were needed merely to cover his ginormous balls. Somebody had to say what he did, we’re kinda glad it was him and not us.
On the women’s side, we had a clear horse in the race with outgoing freedom legislator Kim Pearson earning the strong support of IFR and the freedom movement as a whole. In what was probably the most accurate way of tallying exactly how many freedom fans were in the room, Pearson won a wide plurality in the first round of balloting 755-514-339-81. Pearson fired up her base by may have doomed her candidacy during her speech when she held up an attack flier from one of the Rastetter’s shady fascist organizations listed her supposed flaws including supporting conservatives over moderates in contested primaries. With enough paperwork distributed on the chairs to fill out a phone book in some Iowa counties, many delegates had never seen the flier until Pearson brought it on stage. “I’m not one of them,” she declared, but sadly, much of the convention was. The second round of balloting became a stop-Kim Pearson vote as supporters of the eliminated delegates through their weight behind Tamara Scott and dashed hopes of sending a true small government representative to the committee.
Their is a bit of revisionist history out there regarding Pearson as well. Liberty’s best frenemy Steve Deace posted to his facebook page that “the folks claiming to lead a revolution based on principle and undoing corruption aided and abetted a liar to win re-election, while one of their own who has told and stood for the truth was abandoned.” The numbers simply do not support this conclusion, nor does the testimony of any freedom activists we spoke with. In the first round of balloting Pearson received 755 votes and Tamara Scott 514. In the second round, Pearson only increased her vote total to 782 while Scott surged to 826. To accept Deace’s conclusion, you’d have to believe that Scott’s bump came from Paul supporters switching to Scott while Stoldorf and Davidson voters split evenly. What incentive existed for Paul supporters to switch sides, especially the younger delegates in punk rock regalia who refused any Republican flair save that promoting Pearson? We love Kim Pearson and if we could, we’d make 51 clones of her – one to marry and fifty to elect to the State Senate. We simply had a plurality of delegates and not an outright majority. For whatever reasons, Scott appealed to the middle of the road, non-faction fighting delegates and Pearson did not. It’s a damn shame, and its insulting to suggest we knifed her in the back after all she’s done for us.
With the freedom movement reeling from Pearson’s defeat, the outcome of the Nominating Committee slate looked to be in doubt. A spirited effort was made to throw it out and start over without an officially recognized process for doing so was launched in the final thrust of the Great Romney Rules Purge. After voice votes and a standing division were inconclusive, a move from the floor called for paper ballots which was agreed to by the convention chair. It turned out that the neocons just yelled a little louder, summoning an enthusiasm sorely lacking at rallies for their candidates during the caucus season. The paper ballot tally was 794 in favor of the Committee slate and 698. With eleven of twenty eight already in the books, the ten freedom activists on the list clinched the majority for Ron Paul. Half a year after that cold January night, Ron Paul declared victory in Iowa.
With the platform debates still to come, neoconservatives fled the hall in droves, one can hope returning to the Democrat and Socialist Worker’s Parties from whence they came. Their ideology has brought tears to thousands in the last decade – Iraqi Christians murdered by Shiite militias empowered by the occupation, widows and orphans of our soldiers fallen in Afghanistan, red-blooded patriots back home weeping for their lost liberties, peaceful protestors sprayed with tear gas for daring to question how millionaire bankers with failing companies got rich on the tax dollars of the working class – but on Saturday it was many of them who wept on their way out. For them, “their” party was slipping out of their grasp and their twin weapons of the military-industrial-congressional complex and the Fed’s printing press perhaps to soon follow.
With half of the delegates gone, platform debate was an anticlimax. Much of the heavy lifting was done by freedom-friendly platform committees who have bequeathed the Iowa GOP with a fine document upholding our great nation’s founding principles. Those who stuck around fought off a challenge to the no foreign aid plank and educated their fellow delegates about the finer points of currency and agricultural policy with their own proposals.
It was not a day without some losses, as not having Kim Pearson on the RNC will be tough after we came so close. Her speech and the nominating speech by Glen Massie served as a sobering reminder of how much those two will be missed in the Iowa House. But the direction of the Republican Party in Iowa has been turned for the better, perhaps irrevocably. If we stay united and exert the same effort to defeat Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Terry Branstad, Mike Gronstall, and their ilk as we did to win this weekend, there just might be “Hope for America” after all.