Archive for April, 2012
» posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 at 7:45 pm by Editor
Iowa Freedom Fund is proud to add another freedom candidate to our list of supported candidates. This Saturday, Iowa Freedom Fund made a donation to Kevin Wolfswinkel, a Republican running for State House in HD-1. Wolfswinkel has a reputation as a tax-fighter, having started a taxpayer’s organization in his native Osceola County to hold local officials to account. He was active in both the 2008 and 2012 Ron Paul for President campaigns and was an early leader of the Campaign for Liberty in Iowa. Wolfswinkel is also active in his local Farm Bureau, so he’s on top of the agriculture issues so vital to a rural district like HD-1. The race is a primary against the incumbent, however with the newly-drawn districts most of the voters will be new to both candidates so there is a strong chance for the movement to score the upset and put a good constitutionalist in the state house.
Learn more about Kevin at his website here.
Wolfswinkel is the third candidate to receive support from Iowa Freedom Fund. Previous supported candidates are Jason Schulz for HD-18 and Kim Pearson in HD-30 (returned with a nice note when she dropped out.)
Iowa Freedom Fund was Iowa’s first PAC dedicated solely to the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and peace. Iowa Freedom Fund is the only independent, grassroots, transpartisan PAC advocating for “less government, not more.” Help us help candidates like Kevin and find more like him by donating by check to:
Iowa Freedom Fund; 301 Lincoln St.; Parkersburg, IA 50665
Online soon at www.IowaFreedomFundPAC.com
» posted on Saturday, April 21st, 2012 at 8:01 pm by Editor
Reports are still funneling in from Republican district conventions across the state and we’re sure they’ll be all over the Pauloshpere by morning, but we had to give a quick recap. Your Iowa Freedom Report team was deployed to District 4 today where freedom lovers were cautiously optimistic they could carry the day despite the frothy mix of out-dated neoconservativism and Opus Dei theocracy that swept the northwest corner of the state in January.
The major prize at stake in today’s conventions was control of the Republican state central committee. The Register has a full recap of those election results and credits Paul backers with 6 of 12 seats up for grabs. Craig Robinson at The Iowa Republican tweeted that 10 were either Paul supporters or favorable to Paul. This includes people like Chad Steenhoek of Ames, a staffer on Gingrich’s super PAC who has worked with Paulites in the past. Joel Kurtinitis (CD3), Kris Thiessen (CD4), Dave Cushman (CD1), Iowa Freedom Fund board member Jeff Shipley (CD2), John Kabitzke (CD3) and Marcus Fedler (CD2) are all well-known for their advocacy of smaller government. What this likely means in a practical sense is that Iowa politicians will be forced to take seriously Paul’s ideas, even though the central committee is not itself a policy making body. You’re also likely to see the group taking more stances on policy matters, taking cues from the actions of combative social conservative national committeefolks Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehmen.
Various other committee seats were up for grabs as well. Freedom advocates ran mixed slates of Ron Paul supporters and their allies for every seat on the delegate nomination, credentials, rules, and platform committees. Paul staffers were reluctant to share details with Iowa Freedom Report, but from where we sat, returns looked quite promising. From a national standpoint, a majority on the nominating committee could mean a majority of Paulites in Iowa’s national convention delegation. A majority there and in just four other states means that Paul could be nominated from the floor of the RNC in Tampa. That would be a far cry from 2008, when Paul was barred from even stopping by the convention in St. Paul, despite a run allowing sitting Republican congressman free access to the convention floor. Let’s put it this way, 2008 Libertarian nominee Bob Barr, an active opponent to John McCain was granted greater access to those proceedings than Paul.
One major coup attempt disrupted the convention briefly in Fort Dodge. Someone, and at this time we are unable to determine with any certainty who it was, tried to push through major rule changes to the caucus to convention process. For as long as any Iowa Republicans can remember, national delegates have been selected in a “district caucus” the night prior to state convention. Technically, the district conventions go into “recess” for two months and re-convene the Friday night of convention for delegate elections. This year, some forces, whether outside or local we don’t know, called for district conventions to elect national delegates then “adjourn.” A claim was made that an unknown group (Paul supporters by implication) wished to hold “secret meetings” for delegate selection. Of course, these “secret” meetings are the common practice and in fact quite well-publicized. Ironically, while they were the presumed target, the Paul campaign urged all its supporters to defend the long ago agreed upon rules. Whoever was behind the rules purge pulled out all the stops in CD 4. Robocalls and emails went out the night before. A young-looking Romneyian was even dressed up in Paul garb to disrupt the proceedings, shouting loudly about how undemocratic the process was and at one point acting as though he would square off with the sergeant at arms in a fist fight. It was so well acted that some Paul supporters told IFR that they suspected the young man was actually a brilliant Paul loyalist attempting to use reverse psychology to convince the delegates that Paul was behind the unorthodox rules purge. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the convention voted down the intrusion. It made for an interesting sideshow and perhaps a preview of what the establishment could pull at state convention as their cold dead fingers tighten their grip on the party.
Much progress was also made on the platform. Planks that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago sailed through with minimal objections. Republicans committed themselves to a repeal of the Patriot Act (in Steve King’s district no less!), nullification of various mandates, and a complete abolition of the IRS. Overall, the day provided a strong indication of the shifting winds within the Iowa Republican Party. Now if we just had some candidates to go along with it, but we’ll have more on that in the coming weeks. . .
» posted on Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 12:50 pm by Editor
We here at Iowa Freedom Report have always been committed to bringing you news and commentary from an independent, grassroots driven, freedom perspective and now we are proud to announce a new venture that will help us translate our words into actions. This site was created to fill the gap in Iowa for covering the issues and candidates that concern the fight for “less government, not more” without being dependent on the agenda of any other political party or movement. As we move forward with our fellow freedom fighters, we saw another need not being met. Iowans who share our belief in limited government and peace were active and generous in their support for certain national leaders while local candidates who carried that message struggled to fund their campaigns. It’s certainly not that our people were lazy or stingy, but there was no mechanism, no infrastructure through which we could channel our resources into targeted races. Campaign for Liberty and various tea party groups could rally activists around pending legislation, but they could not endorse candidates. Groups like Iowa Gun Owners could back freedom candidates, but they were limited by their nature to single issues. The Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, Republican Liberty Caucus, and Democratic Freedom Caucus could run candidates, but they were limited by the demands of partisanship. Individuals can run for office and give donations, but there was no way to make sure the entire movement followed them.
The solution is to create a political action committee (PAC) that can aggregate donations from the broader freedom movement in Iowa and channel those resources to the candidates with the right message and the right campaigns. For our own people, having a well-funded apparatus behind them should give them the confidence to step up and run for office. For office holders and seekers outside our movement, they’ll see that we’re a powerful force and modify their views and votes in hopes of winning our support.
Let’s look at one example of how the lack of candidate support infrastructure is holding us back currently. In the 2012 Caucus, Ron Paul got just over 20% of the votes from Iowa Republicans. Five of the 19 State Central Committee members or 26% are Ron Paul supporters. Yet only 4 of the 84 Republicans in the state legislature (4.7%) are Paul supporters. Needless to say, none of the federal or statewide elected officials are. Paul was able to raise more than $200,000 out of Iowa in this presidential cycle, but all these supporters and potential donors are punching far below their weight in Iowa elections. Imagine those resources brought to bear in a state legislative cycle!
That’s where a PAC comes in. With a PAC, everyone doesn’t need to know every potentially good candidate and every good candidate doesn’t have to know who every potential donor is. Having a PAC to act as a clearinghouse for donations enables donors to know their money is being spent promoting the cause of liberty, and liberty candidates know where to turn to for support beyond what they can raise from their family and community.
At Iowa Freedom Report, we’ve been extremely conservative in our endorsement policy. While we strive to report on all those sympathetic to our issues, we only endorse when there appears to be a clear consensus within the movement. Iowa Freedom Fund will the same way. To ensure your donations to Iowa Freedom Fund are spent in the best possible way, we have assembled a board of directors from various streams of the movement including Ron Paul Republicans, Libertarians, independents, Gary Johnson supporters, etc. Your editor, Steve Hoodjer will serve as the PAC treasurer and run its operations. Hoodjer is committed to transpartisan activism on behalf of peace and liberty working through both the Libertarian and Republican parties. In addition to local activism, he has held volunteer positions with both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. The board of directors is comprised of Dr. Eric Cooper of Ames, Todd McGreevey of Davenport, Jimmy Morrison of Muscatine, and Jeff Shipley of Fairfield. Cooper is a Libertarian who was the LP’s 2010 nominee for governor and ran one of the most visible mid-major party races in recent Iowa history. He has also run several times for state legislature and served as a faculty adviser to various libertarian groups at Iowa State University where he is a professor. McGreevey is the publisher of the Quad Cities alternative newspaper the River Cities Reader and active with Iowans for Accountability and the 2010 Jonathan Narcisse for Governor campaign. Morrison is a filmmaker currently producing a documentary explaining the 2008 economic crash from the Austrian perspective. He is the founder of Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana and formerly served as state director for Gary Johnson’s Presidential campaign. Shipley is a law clerk who formerly ran for city council while a University of Iowa student. He is active and well-connected in Iowa politics and is seeking a seat on the Republican State Central Committee.
The website for Iowa Freedom Fund will be up shortly at www.IowaFreedomFundPAC.com. In the meantime, please like our facebook page at www.facebook.com/IowaFreedomFund. Until the website is active, donations can still be made by check. Simply mail them to:
Iowa Freedom Fund, 301 Lincoln Street, Parkersburg, IA 50665
While the PAC will be explicitly transpartisan in nature, we understand that some people in our movement voluntarily restrict themselves to one party or the other as a practical matter. For example, some Libertarians view the duopoly as so corrupt they won’t have anything to do with it, no matter how libertarian a primary candidate is. Alternatively, some in the duopoly have despaired of mid-major parties and refuse to spend any money supporting them. If that’s you, we have a simple and elegant solution. When you send your check to Iowa Freedom Fund, simply write on the memo line the name of the party you wish you donation to help and we’ll direct it accordingly. All other donations will go where there is the most need and best possible return on the investment.
» posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 2:53 pm by Editor
The famed patriot John Adams once declared that it did not take a majority to prevail, only a tireless minority dedicated to setting brush fires in the minds of the public. When, some twenty or so such patriots gathered this weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn in Johnston for the 2012 Libertarian Party of Iowa convention, opening minds was the topic of the day.
Party chairman Ed Wright encouraged delegates that libertarian voices are growing. He mentioned movements like the tea parties and Occupy that, while not wholly dedicated to liberty, were at least standing up and challenging the statist quo. Wright urged Libertarians to educated themselves, reading up on the founding documents, and not relying on a government school system to teach resistance to government. Once educated, he exhorted Libertarians to “urge others to come to terms with the solutions that freedom brings.”
Keynote speaker Beth Cody, a columnist and author from Iowa City, demonstrated how she turned to fiction writing to broaden her outreach to those who would not be interested in her political columns. “Time and free markets can make everything better,” she told the crowd, “even political systems.” With fiction, new ideas can be introduced, to show people that a better way is possible. Her new book, Looking Backward, does just that. The novel is a take-off on the utopian socialist fiction of 19th century writer Edward Bellamy. In Looking Backward, Bellamy’s Professor Julian West wakes up, not in a worker’s state but in a glorious libertarian future circa 2162. For those not literary-minded enough to be familiar with Bellamy, its essentially Futurama but with Earth ruled by the disembodied head of Ron Paul rather than Richard Nixon (and no Zoidberg).
The convention also featured a surprise guest speaker in Gary Roeve, who was one of the founders of the LPIA in the 1970s. Appropriate for a party celebrating its 40th year, Roeve gave an impromptu speech on the early days of Libertarian activism. Inspired by Ayn Rand, Roeve began to work with Ben Olsen to start an Iowa chapter of the newly-minted LP in 1972. Finding others brought on board by the presence of an Iowan on the top of the ticket, a chapter was formed in Ames in 1975. Roeve would go on to work on policy for the 1976 Roger McBride and 1980 Ed Clark Presidential campaigns as well as several local races, before despairing of the task moving the state towards freedom.
Awards were given to party members who competed in local 2011 elections. Nick Taiber won re-election to the Cedar Falls city council and Roger Fritz was elected for a non-consecutive term as Roland mayor after his neighbors wrote him in. 2010 CD2 Congressional candidate Gary Sicard lost his race for Robins city council in a multiple candidate field, but was optimistic that the experience he gathered would propel him to victory in a one-on-one mayoral race this fall. LPIA Executive committee member Casey Head of Des Moines hailed the candidate’s efforts stating that in the LP, “if you have a will to make change, you can do it.”
The Presidential race also featured prominently in the days activities, although no campaigns had a formal presence, unlike in 2011 when then-candidate Roger Gary appeared and Lee Wrights deployed his campaign manager as a surrogate. Governor Gary Johnson dominated the straw poll with 13 votes to 1 for publisher Sam Sloan and one for perennial LP vote-getter NOTA, an 87% randslide victory for the LP frontrunner.
No other candidates for 2012 were announced, other than Sicard’s mayoral race, though there are rumors that Libertarians may field two Congressional challengers. IFR will hold off on publicizing them until they officially enter, but suffice to say, they are two somewhat prominent refugees from the statist parties. With some money in the bank, the Libertarian Party will be in a position to make some incumbents sweat out their positions in the fall.