Posts Tagged ‘Marianette Miller-Meeks’
» posted on Friday, September 24th, 2010 at 4:41 pm by Editor
From the Cedar Rapids Tea Party comes this urgent message about an event planned for tomorrow, Saturday September 25:
The Cedar Rapids Tea Party will host an anti-incumbent rally tomorrow morning beginning at 11pm at the office of Congressman Dave Loebsack. That office is located at 150 1st Avenue, NE, Cedar Rapids (the Iowa Realty Building). The rally is billed as a transpartisan event, and supporters of all three challengers – relatively pro-freedom Republican Marianette Miller-Meeks, Libertarian Gary Sicard, and the Constitution Party’s Jon Tack – are welcome to come out with their signs and campaign paraphernalia.
Immediately following the rally, Tea Party members invite everyone to join them for a lit drop drive for what organizer Tim Pugh calls, “candidates who support our views of smaller less intrusive government, less taxes, and return to the constitution and returning our freedoms, since the incumbents do not seem to get it, and want to continue the spending spree on behalf of our great grandchildren, and taking away our freedoms.”
With 3 pretty good candidates to pick from in CD-2, get out and help your favorite while showing our unity against the status quo of Washington politicians.
» posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 at 9:07 am by Editor
Republican congressional candidate in the 2nd District, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks has been perhaps the most favorable to the freedom movement of all mainstream Republicans. She has actively reached out to our movement on many occasions, but a recent update to her website offers some clue as to why she can’t close the deal with some in our camp.
On the revamped national security section, Miller-Meeks demonstrates her solidarity with the Obama administration:
When that decision has been made, our nation and our leaders must be fully committed to victory. . . That’s why I was encouraged by the President’s decision [emphasis mine] earlier this year to commit to victory in Afghanistan by increasing our presence to stabilize this war-torn country. Our President should be commended for listening to the military experts on the ground, rather than the politicians and the polls in Washington.
There are at least two major problems with this.
1. The “decision” that was made, and she’s speaking about the escalation of the conflict here, was simply that, a unilateral decision made by the President. This was not a legally declared war. Congress has abdicated its Constitutional authority over the power of war, thus denying the American people their voice in the country’s foreign policy. Sadly enough, Miller-Meeks is smart enough to know this as she told the YAL debate last spring that the lack of a formal declaration of war in Iraq was concerning.
2. There is no commitment to “victory” in the bipartisan Afghanistan strategy because the current policy does not put American interests first. At the risk of offending my fellow peaceniks, there is a compelling case for continued military action in Afghanistan and even Pakistan. However, it must be focused on pursuing the specific small groups responsible for attacking America, denying them territory and logistical support, and preventing them from regrouping. President Obama’s open-ended Afghan war is nothing more than an occupation whose “success” is not measured in American security, but in cell phone usage and number of school buildings constructed. Again, Miller-Meeks is smart enough to know this.
In fairness to Miller-Meeks, she is running in a heavily Democratic district where presumably, Obama and his warmongering find plenty of cheerleaders. Still we at Iowa Freedom Report hoped that the 2nd District, centered around lefty Iowa City and libertarian Fairfield might be home to the kind of honest progressives that would oppose the expansion of wars and the domestic police state that accompanies them and could unite in coalition with the freedom movement against the status quo. That may yet be the case, but Miller-Meeks doesn’t appear willing to fill that void. Perhaps her freedom-minded opponents Gary Sicard of the Libertarian Party and Jon Tack of the Constitution Party will.
» posted on Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at 9:55 pm by Editor
The Republican Party of Iowa held its state convention today in Des Moines. Going over my notes and recollections, I think the best way to cover it might be to go back and review our earlier primer about what to look for this weekend. So here is what we got at the convention.
Humility from Terry Branstad - The comparison we made with Bob Barr 2008 is apt, but the circumstances of the conventions couldn’t be more different. Libertarians actually select their nominees at convention rather than by primary, so Congressman Barr had run against his record to win over a skeptical crowd. Branstad already has the nomination, so he had to present an upbeat appearance for the media and aggressively go after his opponents. As much as we wanted him to nail himself to the cross, that really wasn’t going to happen today. Now there is a whole campaign ahead of Branstad and that’s the sale he’s got to make if he wants support from the top half of the Nolan Chart. We’re not holding our breath, but we’re not writing him off either. Freedom has no permanent enemies.
Ron Paul – We already filed our report about Ron Paul’s personal appearance. While the Congressman had to catch a plane back to his district, it was good to see his ideas permeate the convention hall. People who served in the early days of the r3v0lution marveled at how much has changed in a short time. Some old line party hacks like to laugh at us and call us losers because our top candidate and many of our favored legislators lost primaries by wide margins, but just listen to the debate. There weren’t many people at the convention praising the TARP bailouts, Massachusetts health care, or endless nation-building that their side has given us.
Murray Rothbard once said that the freedom movement needed to become the wind that would fill the empty socks that are politicians. Folks, the wind is at our backs. We need to take advantage of this to build our organizations for the long haul, get as many of our candidates as possible in, bump up the vote totals for our others, and press the heck out of those who aren’t ours.
Platform Debates – Platform debate was relatively limited with only 10 planks meeting the time and signature requirements to come before the convention. Most of those 10 came out of the movement, and most just strengthened existing planks. A commendation of the Articles of Freedom was shot down, though its probably just as important that that message got out as it was to get it in. An addition to a gun rights plank adding the Kent Sorenson/Iowa Gun Owners/Campaign for Liberty “Vermont Carry” resolution sailed through with people falling over themselves rushing the mic to speak in favor of it. The plank dealing with Audit the Fed was expanded to specifically mention HR 1207/S604. A fully-informed jury plank was added after some debate. One of the speakers in favor was State Central Committee member David Chung, a pretty significant endorsement of the measure as the SCC members don’t usually mix it up too much in floor business. It’s also significant that an identical measure failed at the 2008 convention, so clearly we’re going in the right direction. CFL leader and former Republican Liberty Caucus point-man Roger Barr (no relation) also proposed a plank to repeal the 17th Amendment that failed to pass. Many of the speakers mentioned that with state legislators choosing Senators, Chuck Grassley would be thrown out of the Senate. I don’t remember if that was an argument for or against it.
The biggest addition to the platform from the statists came with the adoption of a plank reaffirming prohibition of medical marijuana. It’s ironic, though sadly not unexpected, that after a day of railing against government interference in health care the convention would end by declaring the need for government to interfere in health care. Don’t get me wrong, this site if firmly against recreational drug use as we can clearly see the results that come from experimenting with pot, but the Republican Party will lose votes for this. Republican Party, if your “hill to die on” is denying medicine to cancer patients, then congratulations. May you sleep well tonight.
Your freedom candidates - The most notable of our freedom candidates were in attendance. Kent Sorenson was literally everywhere, as someone had printed out his endorsement of Kim Reynolds for Lieutenant Governor and taped it to the back of every chair. Glenn Massie attended both the Friday fundraiser and today’s convention while James Mills headed back to catch a parade. Iowa Freedom Report is about principles and not just beating one team or the other, so we didn’t have a great winning streak with our primary endorsements but we did get to catch up with our lone win, recommended candidate Tom Shaw in HD-8 (he’s a fan of Iowa Freedom Report too). We’ll do our best to let the movement know more about him ahead of his general election where he’ll have a fighting chance to take over a seat from a retiring Democrat.
Some of the candidates not organic to the movement but who’ve sought and will earn at least some freedom support impressed. Dr. Miller-Meeks gave a barn burner of a speech. Now this editor’s speech coach, the Dan Gable of debating Uri Zakai taught never to use props in a speech, but this audience must have lacked professional parliamentary debate judges because they loved Dr. Miller-Meeks’ soapbox (for obvious reasons) and hard hat (to show we’ve got to go to work for the candidates). Imagine that, instead of the lesser of two evils, the 2nd District gets to choose from among the better of two goods and an evil. Maybe Gary Sicard should file his petitions for District 1. The other short lady, Brenna Findley might be the kind of Republican we can give our unapologetic support to. It was great to see perhaps the most Constitutional candidate showcased today get by far the loudest applause. I’m pretty sure the Attorney General can’t start any wars, so she’s got my vote. Another Iowan who loves Ron Paul, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman (R-MN) held a fundraiser for Findley after the convention.
What about Bob? – Bob Vander Plaats was indeed nominated from the floor for Lieutenant Governor. Long-time Representative Dwayne Alons did the honors and former freedom candidate for Congress and Iowa Freedom Report columnist Will Johnson made a seconding speech saying that Vander Plaats would shore up the tea party and independent minded votes. Rod Roberts was also nominated by freedom activist and former John Cox staffer Linda Harrington. Roberts declined the nomination, but Vander Plaats kept his hat in the ring. After some drawn out vote counting, Kim Reynolds did indeed come out ahead 56%-44%. The whole affair did add some much needed drama to the day, but went off pretty politely, with the worst being loud cheers from the supporters of the respective candidates. Terry Branstad was no doubt relieved with the result, but his opponent might have been even happier. None other than Jonathan Narcisse himself was at the door to greet delegates when the convention broke for lunch and expressed satisfaction that his candidacy would be buoyed by the Republican rejection of Vander Plaats. And there’s a good LG candidate sitting around that no one’s using right now.
There’s still no word on whether anything comes of the independent run rumors swirling around Vander Plaats. I’ve been wrong before with my predictions, but I’d bet against this. While Vander Plaats got many well-earned votes from the freedom movement, his base is the made up of the folks who like to whine that the GOP isn’t paying attention to them but come fall always find an excuse to back whatever big-government corporatist the party throws up. Branstad hasn’t even called Christians “agents of intolerance” or expressed support for abortion like John McCain did. My guess is they just wanted to get their say, and now they’ll fall in line. For the Vander Plaatsers in our top-half tent, if Misters Branstad or Culver have a sudden change of heart let’s get behind them, if not then look for the Narcisse-Cooper debate to play out on this site in the same manner as we covered Roberts vs. Vander Plaats.
The Campaign for Liberty booth – A helmet sticker for each of the CFL activists who staffed the booth. They must have camped out early, because they scored the primo location to greet delegates as they came in from the north parking lot. We’re told that Dr. Tom Wood’s new book was flying off the table, with an emergency shipment arriving this morning to replace what was sold out Friday night. Dr. Woods himself stayed all day and held court in the lobby with anyone interested in getting educated in American history and Constitutional law.
Iowa Freedom Report – Finally, thank you to all our readers that we got to see, some old friends and some new acquaintances. Friend and foe alike has taken notice of our humble site, so thank you for spreading the word. Iowa Freedom Report is already the site of choice for many of our freedom leaders and others have “read it once.” This editor was able to make a lot of good contacts that hopefully is going to be of service to educating and furthering our great movement for “less government, not more.” Stay with us as we continue our coverage and continue to expand and improve the site.
Also, Iowa Freedom Report would like to express our congratulations to state party chairman Matt Strawn for a well run and inclusive convention. Don’t get us wrong, we’ll still oppose him and his party when we need too, but as a leader and an organizer Strawn has been nothing short of impressive. He well deserves all the praise he gets from across the spectrum. And for all of you wondering if I’m saying this because he reads and follows Iowa Freedom Report, yes.
post a comment | filed under Uncategorized | tags: Bob VanderPlaats, Brenna Findley, Campaign for Liberty, conventions, Marianette Miller-Meeks, marijuana, platform, Republican Party, Rod Roberts, Ron Paul, tea parties, Will Johnson
» posted on Friday, June 25th, 2010 at 9:39 pm by Editor
The Republican Party of Iowa held their large fundraiser tonight with the theme of “Celebrating the Constitution” and headlined by some of the document’s national champions and the most freedom friendly state candidates. Like a sucker, Iowa Freedom Report forked over $40 to get our editor in the door rather than taking up a spot on blogger’s row next to Papa Bear, Craig Robinson, so what follows is our gonzo journalistic report.
Attorney General candidate Brenna Findley opened the evening re-iterating her pledge to join the 13 state attorneys general who have filed suit against ObamaCare. She told the crowd she had hoped the incumbent simply hadn’t had time to read the bill before challenging it, but that’s probably giving Mr. Miller a little credit to expect him to do something most Congressmen didn’t get a chance to do. Finley told Iowa Freedom Report that she wouldn’t hesitate to make the same challenge to a Republican president because she’d work for the taxpayers rather than a party. If she’s sincere on that pledge, Findley might be someone our movement could really get behind. If not, we’ve got her on the record. She’s also much prettier in person, for what that’s worth.
Of Iowa Republicans with high name recognition statewide, Steve King is probably the strongest advocate for less government, not more so he was an appropriate addition to the line-up. King also aimed his speech at ObamaCare pointing out four separate areas where the bill violated the Constitution and told the story of how he filed a bill for a full repeal that very night it was passed.
Tom Woods got a warm reception as he came to podium and remarked that he must have made a good impression last month which was his only prior visit to our fair state. The GOP must have set all us rabble-rousers in the back of the hall, because that’s where the standing ovations came from. But by the end of a seventeen minute speech all the Republicans in the room were getting educated and excited about the potential for state governments to nullify federal law and win back our liberty.
Dr. Paul capped off a wonderful evening with a very scholarly dissertation on the Constitution and the need to protect individual freedom. Dr. Paul referenced the fall of the Roman republic, saying he wasn’t sure yet whether the country had crossed the Rubicon from republic to empire but that we were headed in the wrong direction. He did close on an optimistic note talking about how the young people have responded to the message and his hope that the rapid spread of information could both overturn Democrat majorities and undo years of Keynesian education in favor of sound Austrian economics.
Many of those young people followed Dr. Paul to reception hosted by a new Republican party outreach group Future Leaders of Iowa. Given all the young faces at FLI’s impromptu gathering sporting “Ron Paul 2012″ lapel stickers, the future of the Republican Party in Iowa could be very bright indeed. Paul fielded a number of questions on his favorite subjects, peace and sound money. The $64,000 question was asked last – when could we expect the formation of the official 2012 campaign? Dr. Paul demurred again, probably one of the few subjects on which he dodges questions. This elicited several follow-ups: would he endorse Governor Johnson? “We’ll see what happens.” Would he run to win or just run to educate the voters? “Just for fun,” was the reply. If Republicans keep paying attention to Dr. Paul, and more importantly, his message, it’s going to be a blast.
On a side note, there was lots of speculation at the reception about what the convention would bring. If Campaign for Liberty is going to be the driving force behind nominating Vander Plaats for Lieutenant Governor as some anonymous emails have implied, someone forgot to tell that to CFL’s leaders and active members. Freedom activists might vote for such a measure, but no one we talked to was enthused about initiating such a controversial action. It looks like the movement is going to focus on our own issues, as several potential platform planks made the rounds, most of them clarifying or strengthening the language of existing planks.
One of our movement’s favorite Republican candidates, Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks came late the party, but stayed after to press the flesh with liberty lovers. She wants a female president, so she declined the offer of a Ron Paul 2012 sticker, but she says is looking forward to working with both Doctors Paul in Washington. Perhaps she’d support a draft of Carol Paul, but she probably lacks the name recognition of her husband and would be better suited to be a first lady. We criticized her on this site for not specifying which agencies she’d actually seek to eliminate and tonight she had the answer. The Departments of Education and Energy are high on her list. Ok, its not the Fed or the Iraq War, but those are some actual Cabinet departments, so now we’re talking! Miller-Meeks versus Sicard competing with each other over how much government to ax, would to God that every district had that choice. Now if only we could get that other guy out of the race.
Iowa Freedom Report crossed an important milestone tonight, the first accusation from a prominent Republican activist that we’re in the tank for a faction not our own. A former state legislator (sorry I missed her name) dressed down our humble site for our shilling for Vander Plaats. First of all, thanks for reading. Second of all, huh? We’ve never editorialized specifically about Vander Plaats, but to clear up any confusion here is our editorial position on the man. Bob Vander Plaats is to be commended for reaching out to the freedom movement and including us in his coalition. He holds many good positions (support for the 10th Amendment, lower taxes, gun rights, etc.) and some very bad ones (stoke of the pen, law of the land, pretty cool). Without a Republican candidate for Governor organic to the movement, both Vander Plaats and Rod Roberts were valid top-half candidates who deserved our honest consideration and we published op-eds from members of our top-half coalition that were supporting each candidate. As a site Iowa Freedom Report will support, endorse, or recommend candidates that the movement should unite around. We did not endorse in the governor’s race and may or may not in the general. I personally voted in that race, and you’re free to ask me privately about it, but I’m not saying for whom on the site (don’t hold me to that, I may let it slip) because of the responsibility I have as an editor to the freedom movement as a whole. But again, thanks for reading and keep those angry and laughably inaccurate accusations coming!
post a comment | filed under Uncategorized | tags: 2012 Caucus, Brenna Findley, Campaign for Liberty, Constitution, conventions, Future Leaders of Iowa, Marianette Miller-Meeks, Republican Party, Ron Paul, Steve King, Tom Woods
» posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 at 2:36 pm by Editor
The freedom movement took a harsh beating in last night’s Republican primaries. In CD1, where we had the biggest dog in the biggest fight, republican Will Johnson lost to imperialist Ben Lange by a margin of almost 8,000 votes 53% to 23%. Proving you can never underestimate the stupidity of a Republican electorate, 25% of voters selected candidates who had dropped out of the race. Though to be fair, Mike LaCoste didn’t so much drop out of the race as much as he just went off the meds, as he continued to pass out fliers and solicit votes long after he told the Waterloo Courier he was closing up shop. (I really mean no offense, I wanted to like LaCoste but this man could have easily been the next Congressman from the district had he wanted to. He has fundraising connections up the wazoo that he simply refused to tap and his problems with speaking and lack of intellectual depth are very solvable with a little effort.)
But when you dig into the numbers of the CD1 race, the picture gets much rosier for the movement. In order to beat Johnson by a margin of 2-1, Lange had to outspend him 6-1 and outraise him 10-1, so the Johnson campaign proved the much more efficient vote getter. Johnson’s 6,051 votes are the most for any freedom candidate in this district in the century. To give some perspective on how far we’ve come, in 2008 Ron Paul collected only 1,799 votes from the district on caucus night. Johnson more than tripled that number. I didn’t crunch the numbers for statists, but its safe to say more of them got out for their presidential pick than for Lange. Johnson also nearly tripled the strongest turnout for freedom ever seen in the district, Clyde Cleveland’s 2,352 for governor in 2002. That’s a bit of a fudge though, depending on whether or not you count Bill Salier’s 13,365 in the 2002 GOP Senate primary, but while I’d reckon Salier to be part of our top half coalition, many of his voters probably weren’t. Let’s just hope Johnson was smart enough to get at least a good chunk of those voters to sign up with their phone numbers and email so they can contribute to the movement in the future.
In the immediate aftermath of the loss, Johnson was not clear about his next step. He declined to endorse Rob Petsche and continued to firmly turn down requests that he continue the race as an independent. He once again offered Ben Lange the chance to win his support by embracing Constitutional principles. It is unclear whether Lange and his Potomoc waters-sipping staff have yet figured out that we care about issues and not merely which jersey color wins the game, but Lange’s statement to the Telegraph-Herald that he couldn’t take any voter for granted and he would try to earn tea party support shows a humbler approach than the typical Republican “sit down and shut up” strategy of winning votes.
In addition to Johnson’s contribution to the growth of the movement and his superior efficiency, he can also point to the moral victory of driving the debate during the race. Lange came into the race pointing to his long service in Washington, his high-ranking political connections, and his enthusiasm for President Obama’s foreign policy as reasons he should be the nominee. By the end of the race, he was calling himself a “constitutional conservative” and promoting a teleconference “Freedom Forum” in which he claims to have addressed 30,000 tea party leaders, even after the actual tea party leaders in the district who were all backing Johnson were kicked off the call. That number was pretty impressive, especially considering that only 26,591 people showed up to vote Tuesday and most of them probably we’re leaders of the tea party.
While there is lots of silver lining in Johnson’s loss, freedom tragically suffered the falling of a friend in State Senate District 41 where ally of the movement Dr. David Hartsuch was upset by a party hack. Iowa Freedom Report endorsed Hartsuch and members of Super Liberty, the strongest pro-freedom group in the Quad Cities supported him in full. While not organic to us, allies in the legislature like Dr. Hartsuch are few and far between and he will be missed. Hopefully, someone will persuade him to run for reelection on the Constitution Party line.
You’ve already seen the story a hundred other places, but the candidates more favorable to freedom in the governor’s race, Bob Vander Plaats and Rob Roberts were soundly beaten by Terry Branstad. Branstad’s allies apparently had enough money left over from attacking Rand Paul to buy off the votes of senior citizens. On the other hand, those in our tent who lean more towards the “socially liberal” side of the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” message can breath a sigh of relief that the next governor isn’t going to get sidetracked with an anti-gambling crusade.
In other races that Iowa Freedom Report was following, our endorsed candidate for Treasurer, Dr. James Heavens went down to a 66-33 defeat at the hands of David Jamison. Endorsed candidate Darin Rulapaugh “won the bronze” in HD-18 while recommended candidate Tom Shaw won a surprisingly easy 55-39-6 contest in HD-8. There are some other freedom candidates for the statehouse, whom we’ll no doubt introduce you to in the coming months, but all sailed through their primaries unopposed.
CD2 and CD3, which many thought would end up being decided in convention, instead produced surprisingly easy wins for Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks and State Sen. Brad Zaun. The movement didn’t really have a horse in either race, but Miller-Meeks has some freedom support and considers Constitutional conservatives to be part of the coalition she seeks to bring into her campaign. Rob Gettemy, who had the potential to become a major ally for us in GOP politics finished a disappointing 4th place. Hopefully we will have seen the last of Chris Reed after he notched just 14%. In CD3, several observers commented that upon digging into Zaun’s voting record they discovered him to be much better than some who are usually touted as pro-freedom.
In the Senate race, 3,430 Iowans wrote in against Charles Grassley. No break down is yet available on how many of those followed this editor in writing in Mr. Salier and how many “wasted their vote” on a “spoiler” candidate, “stealing votes” from Salier. The closest candidate to a freedom Democrat, Bob Krause, polled just shy of 13% against the Conlin juggernaut.
All election results are taken from the Secretary of State’s Iowa Elections page.
3 comments | filed under Uncategorized | tags: 1st District, 2nd District, 3rd District, Ben Lange, Bob VanderPlaats, Clyde Cleveland, Darin Rulapaugh, David Hartsuch, Democrat Party, Jim Budde, Jim Heavens, Marianette Miller-Meeks, Mike LaCoste, Republican Party, Rob Gettemy, Rob Petsche, Rod Roberts, Ron Paul, Terry Branstad, Tom Shaw, Will Johnson
» posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 8:27 pm by Editor
Just a collection of links to catch up with everything for the primaries tomorrow:
Our friend Andy Katherman at the Cedar Rapids Libertarian Examiner interviews Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks. She talks about the problem with debt and deficit spending, but the best cuts she can offer up is to move food stamp programs out of the Department of Agriculture and to Health and Human Services. Glad those deck chairs will be nice and organized when we hit the iceberg. Don’t worry Dr. Miller-Meeks (and I’m told she does sometimes check in on Iowa Freedom Report) we still like you and look forward to seeing you compete with Gary Sicard for freedom votes.
Big endorsement kerfuffle – Sarah Palin comes out for Terry Branstad to the consternation of Vander Plaatsers. Can we please stop pretending that Sarah Palin is something more than a big government party hack now? I’m not sure why an endorsement of Branstad would surprise anyone. Didn’t she endorse John McCain in 2008? It would have been really politically astute of Dr. Ron Paul to call into Mickelson the next morning and say, “well, I don’t really like to tell people what to do, but I’d probably vote for Bob Vander Plaats,” thus handing us a huge carrot to use with the social cons if we have to run against Palin in the 2012 caucuses. Yeah, I know, there’s that executive order thing, but it would be far from Dr. Paul’s worst endorsement.
In other endorsement news, the Des Moines Tea Party got an “F” from the establishment for their candidate report card. They gave a simple “yes” or “no” to each of the governor and 3rd District congressional candidates. Bob Vander Plaats passed along with Scott Batcher, Pat Betroche, Dave Funk, and Brad Zaun. Terry Branstad, Rod Roberts, Mark Rees, and Jim Gibson failed. The Des Moines Tea Party was reportedly pressed to issue some form of endorsement after the Dubuque and Quad Cities groups endorsed. But while the 1st District is an easy case between a freedom candidate and a neocon, the 3rd has lots of iffy candidates. Giving Pat Betroche a thumbs up is worrying given his stance on letting government implant microchips in people. Even more shocking, after his appearance on Olbermann’s show, Bertroche had the nerve so say on Deace that he’d been attacked by the “loony left.” Now, Bertroche is certainly not the worst person in the world, but once you’ve advocated for spy chips, I think you’ve permanently lost the ability to question the sanity of anyone else. If Bertroche is the moderate centerist, I’ll take my chances with the loons.
Note: photo above is of Hunter Haas, a Ron Paul supporter. (Or perhaps just shares the name of an investment banker who supports Ron Paul, not 100% sure.)
» posted on Friday, June 4th, 2010 at 8:35 pm by Editor
From Caffeinated Thoughts, an excellent blog covering both politics and theology, our friend Dustin Kurtsinger takes a look at where the freedom vote is leaning in the 2nd District. The whole article is worth reading (and not just for the link-love he throws back at Iowa Freedom Report), but I’ll do my best to summarize the conclusions in this space. Kurtsinger surveyed a number of freedom activists and weighed that along with his opinion on how the candidates performed at the Young Americans for Liberty debate and how they responded to Campaign for Liberty’s candidate surveys.
Steve Rathje – Rathje earned a plurality of the unscientific polling at 42%. Kurtsinger attributes this to Rathje’s strong stance on the Federal Reserve and notes that Rathje’s pro-war positions didn’t hurt him much as none of the candidates truly took a pro-life position on foreign policy. He noted that the negatives on Rathje stem from the perception of his insincerity.
Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks – Kurtsinger notes that many of the activists surveyed viewed Miller-Meeks as someone they could work with, but that others felt she was too cozy with the party establishment. A third of those surveyed would vote to give her a second crack at Loebsack.
Rob Gettemy – Only 17% of those surveyed preferred Gettemy, but Kurtsinger gave him high marks and his own endorsement for an agreeable personality. He went so far as to tag him with that new synonym for “nice” in Iowa politics, “Rod Roberts.” Many of those surveyed also considered Gettemy to be very clear in his stances.
Chris Reed – Reed scored 8% of the poll. Kurtsinger noted Reed’s vague stances on issues and his tendency to respond with personal insults whenever questioned. Some did like his frequent mentions of the Constitution.
To add my $0.02 to Dustin’s excellent piece, Iowa Freedom Report will not endorse in this race. Personally, I have an inkling of who I’d vote for if I lived in that district, but I’m not going to say her name so as not to offend anyone. There seem to be two candidates that hopefully will be very workwithable for our movement in the future and a third says he wants to end the Fed. I won’t begrudge anyone in the movement who wishes to vote or work for either Dr. Miller-Meeks, Mr. Gettemy, or Mr. Rathje, but what our activists in the 2nd district really need to do is draft Clyde Cleveland into the race in 2012. In a district that includes both libertarian hotbed Fairfield and a large college campus an anti-war, pro-liberty Republican might be able to win. On June 8, Iowa Freedom Report urges freedom voters to consider Dustin’s analysis, look over the candidates, and vote your conscience.
» posted on Saturday, May 15th, 2010 at 12:09 am by Editor
Iowa Freedom Report is spending the weekend engaging in a little old fashioned gonzo journalism at this weekend’s Campaign for Liberty Regional Conference at the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Des Moines. That is to say, in addition to covering the event and taking part in the meetings, Iowa Freedom Report is also a presenting sponsor.
Doors opened to the exhibits in the foyer at 5 and attendees took their time milling around the usual mix of Ron Paul camp followers selling Gadsen flag t-shirts, precious metal investment plans, and handouts about how to avoid the income tax. Unlike previous Ron Paul events, the lobby of this event featured something new – candidates. Two years ago, if Ron Paul visited Iowa, people like Rod Roberts would have taken a vacation to South Dakota lest they be seen in the same state as the good doctor. But tonight, there he was shaking hands with anyone willing to venture away from the booth featuring a Ben Bernanke with devil horns mask long enough to meet him. This editor tried to pin Rep. Roberts down on what he made of all these r3OLutionairies turning into a strong primary voting bloc, but he just shook his head and said, “a lot has changed.” He told Iowa Freedom Report that he recognized that Campaign for Liberty represented a group that “needed to be listened to,” and acknowledged that he’d gotten an earful on this night.
Jonathan Narcisse also worked the crowd and made a couple of bold statements. Narcisse told Iowa Freedom Report that he feels he best represents the ideals of Ron Paul’s movement. That’s a shock, especially since Eric Cooper spent the last cycle registering voters for Dr. Paul while Narcisse was still in the Democrat Party boosting Obama. In summing up his campaign, he not only intends to post a strong finish in the governor’s race but fully expects to be moving in to Terrace Hill next fall. As he explained, Iowa voters forced to chose between Chet Culver, Terry Branstad, or anyone else are going to vote for anyone else. That’s certainly true in theory, but Narcisse hasn’t been around independent and third party politics long enough to fully understand the “wasted vote syndrome” and the gap between what people tell pollsters they want and what they vote for. When confronted with that fact, Narcisse replied that he had name recognition and media coverage no one outside the duopoly could match. That of course is also true and looks to make Narcisse a fascinating candidate to watch this summer and fall.
A third party candidate with more modest goals, Dr. Eric Cooper of the Libertarian Party was also in attendance along with most of his ticket including running mate Nick Weltha and Secretary of State nominee Jake Porter. The Libertarians collected petition signatures and passed out fliers explaining the party’s goal of winning 2% of the statewide vote to secure major party status and forcing the duopoly to poach their issues. In addition to the Iowa Libertarians, a virtual legend of the movement was in the building in the form of 2004 Libertarian presidential nominee Michael Badnarik. Mr. Badnarik drove up from Texas to appear on behalf of a silver merchant.
Other Republican candidates also had a presence. Bob Vander Plaats himself did not show up but his campaign was there with plenty of materials and yard signs to give out. Whether they get scooped up by the end of the weekend remains to be seen. Mr. Vander Plaats has plenty of supporters in the crowd but perhaps just as many skeptics. For Ron Paul supporters, the appeal of Vander Plaats depends on which angle you look at him. From one side, he’s the champion of smaller government, the free market advocate, and the invoker of the 10th amendment against ObamaCare. From the other, he’s the man who wants to replace an out of control judiciary with an out of control executive, the Bush-like abuser of the executive order, and the moralist who wants to roll up the constitution and use it to hit gays and marijuana patients on the head. Dave Funk, the central Iowa tea party hero, was well represented with a nicely-apportioned booth and plenty of lapel stickers. For the many CFLers dissuaded by Funk’s uber-neoconservative foreign policy, Scott Batcher was there to present an alternative. Batcher said he would have been a certain “yea” vote on the Iraq occupation but now supports a prompt withdrawal. Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks made the drive from the 2nd District to shake hands with Dr. Paul and some supporters. She was friendly enough, but chided Iowa Freedom Report for being too favorable to another candidate in our previous coverage of that district. For the record, Iowa Freedom Report is not likely to endorse in the 2nd District, but is encouraged that several of the candidates are work-withable as far as the movement is concerned. Of course, the one federal candidate who has come up from within the freedom movement, Will Johnson, was in attendance. Johnson made the rounds networking and was accompanied by a full contingent of campaign volunteers. With the 1st district race now coming down to a pure establishment vs. conservative/libertarian grassroots narrative al a Rand Paul vs. Trey Grayson, Johnson not only is spreading a message, he could conceivably win.
Stay tuned to Iowa Freedom Report all this weekend for updates on the conference. And don’t forget that Saturday afternoon and nights “Forum on the Future of Conservativism” is open to the public.
» posted on Friday, April 30th, 2010 at 2:05 pm by Editor
As noted yesterday and on twitter, the University of Iowa chapter of Young Americans for Liberty hosted a forum for the 2nd district Congressional candidates last night. The tone of debate was informal and friendly. The few jabs that were traded were pretty subtle. If there is to be a winner declared, it would be YAL and the freedom movement at large for growing strong enough that Republican candidates have to engage with them seriously. A forum like this could not have happened before 2008. Back in those halcyon days, constitutionalists were told to sit down, shut up, and vote for whichever candidate had the R by his or her name. In 2010, Dr. Miller-Meeks and Messrs. Gettemy and Rathje are to be commended for promoting honest discussion and working for the freedom vote and for allowing a Libertarian equal time. If the Republican candidates did squirm a little (always a good thing to see in any politician) they also looked to build bridges and were honest about where they disagreed with YAL’s founding philosophy.
The event did feature a home crowd for YAL which is unfortunate that the 40 or so students assembled we’re joined by more curious onlookers but did allow for an opportunity to press the candidates on freedom issues they weren’t likely to hear elsewhere. Chapter president Ani DeGroot moderated the event and throw the high hard stuff right away. The first two questions were about ending our unconstitutional wars – Iraq and Drugs, respectively. The candidates mostly answered as you’d expect, but Dr. Miller-Meeks showed some openness to the freedom position. She condemned the building of the massive new embassy in Iraq as sending the wrong signal and stated that we need to have a dialogue about drug policy, though she didn’t say which side of the dialogue she’d be on. Libertarian Gary Sicard actually sounded the most moderate tone, “I’m not talking about legalizing,” he said, “let’s just stop criminalizing it.” He went on to note that drug war statistics likely understate the real financial costs when burdens on the criminal justice system are factored in.
When fiscal and monetary issues came up, Steve Rathje and Sicard went the furthest. Both called for a prompt end to the income tax and the Federal Reserve and suggested a flat tax as a transition. Dr. Miller-Meeks also endorsed a flat tax, noting how deductions infringe on liberty by opening a door for social engineering. She told how her parents taught her about the gold standard and came out strongly for an audit of the Fed. Gettemy endorsed lowering taxes and was open to a consumption tax in place of the income tax, but limited his criticism of the Fed to say it “mismanaged” the economy.
While not an issue as such, an important subject came up in a few different ways – that of how voters could trust the candidates to go to Washington and not turn into the type of party hacks who blessed the country with such great conservative policies as deficit spending, doubling the size of the Department of Education, and Medicare Part D. All three Republicans were frank about attacking their party establishment. Mr. Gettemy spoke of the need for citizen legislators who value their principles more than their re-election and about he had told off RNC fundraisers. Dr. Miller-Meeks and Mr. Rathje took the question in a personal direction sharing stories of their background that demonstrated their integrity. Dr. Miller-Meeks also mentioned that she’d been an independent all her life but saw the duopoly as the only path to make real change. Sicard took a cut at that softball to share how he didn’t believe in the major parties and said he’d be the one in the room asking “why?” A similar question was asked from the podium about factions within the Republican party. This would be of particular interest to young freedom lovers looking to find a place in the GOP. Gettemy said explicitly that he identified with libertarian Republicans while Miller-Meeks mentioned constitutionalists as a key faction alongside fiscal and social conservatives. Sicard got in a wry comment that if Republicans wanted to burnish their image, they’d be welcome to adopt Libertarian ideals.
To make a snapshot editorial of the candidates, again its a sign of progress for the movement just to have them in the room. Rob Gettemy shows a lot of potential. As a devout Christian with a libertarian streak, he could be a valuable ally in bridging the gap between social conservatives and the freedom movement within the GOP. It’s easy to imagine him going to Congress and turning into the next Dr. Paul. And by that I mean the Georgian, not the Texan, but still pretty good. Dr. Miller-Meeks certainly seems like one the freedom movement can do business with. On a lot of issues, she seems to lean toward the freedom message but walks a fine line between wanting to appeal to our movement and needing to appeal to mainline Republicans. I don’t know that the freedom movement should embrace her, but it should take the opportunity she’s offered to work with her. Steve Rahtje, um, well, he is what he is. He sounded the best on fiscal policy and the worst on foreign policy last night. He did look the most uncomfortable in this crowd, but he made an effort. And we can’t be too hard on anyone who is an unabashed opponent of the Federal Reserve. As for Gary Sicard, the Libertarian, the best I can say is that he really belonged there. By that, I mean he looked that part and represented his party in a very professional manner. He stayed away from the philosophical carrying on that some Libertarian are want to do and was realistic about both his goals as a candidate and what he could accomplish as a Congressman. From an editorial standpoint, this site is strictly transpartisan. If limited, constitutional government is going to return in America, the freedom movement will likely need both representation within the major parties and strong mid-major parties. If the Libertarian Party is to be viable, it needs candidates like Sicard.
Iowa Freedom Report will post video of the entire forum as soon as we find it, or someone links to it the comments.
post a comment | filed under Uncategorized | tags: 2nd District, Gary Sicard, Libertarian Party, Marianette Miller-Meeks, Republican Party, Rob Gettemy, Steve Rathje, University of Iowa, Young Americans for Liberty
» posted on Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 10:36 am by Editor
As reported on Iowa Freedom Report’s twitter feed. (BTW, Iowa Freedom Report has a twitter feed, its here.) The University of Iowa chapter of Young Americans for Liberty is hosting a forum for the 2nd District Congressional candidates. It takes place tonight, the 29th at 7:30, at the Seamans Center 1505 on the Iowa campus.
The Republican primary looks to be hotly contested even though the district seems safely Democratic. Four candidates will be on the June 8 ballot – physician, Army vet and 2008 nominee Marianette Miller-Meeks; entrepreneur Rob Gettemy, businessman and 2008 Senate candidate Steve Rathje, and 2008 Senate nominee Christopher Reed. Unfortunately, Reed dropped out of the forum, apparently after being questioned on his foreign policy by YAL members at last week’s 2nd District convention. Reed then reiterated his personal disgust for YAL in a facebook conversation with certain members of the group accusing them of “hate filled anti-American venom.” Libertarian Party candidate Gary Sicard will likely take Reed’s place on stage.
The forum ought to be interesting from a freedom perspective. While the race lacks a candidate with deep roots in the freedom movement, several of them have made overtures, which is probably to be expected in a district that includes both Fairfield, a libertarian hotbed and a large college campus. Miller-Meeks is endorsed by Liberty Slate, a national project launched by libertarian Republicans, and is a frequent drop-in at local Campaign for Liberty events. Rob Gettemy is a political newcomer inspired by the tea party movement and drew media attention for his relatively libertarian stances. Reed himself is endorsed by right-leaning Constitutionalists like Bill Salier, so its odd that he would go out of his way to make enemies with those who share the same half of the Nolan Chart.
Iowa Freedom Report will be at the event and have an update tomorrow.
post a comment | filed under Uncategorized | tags: 2nd District, Chris Reed, Gary Sicard, Libertarian Party, Marianette Miller-Meeks, Republican Party, Rob Gettemy, Steve Rathje, University of Iowa, Young Americans for Liberty