Posts Tagged ‘tea parties’
» posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011 at 10:23 pm by Editor
Last week, Iowa Freedom Report told you about the Tea Party Bus Tour currently crossing the state promoting limited government and the gold standard. Tonight, we chased down the bus (it’s an RV, actually) as it rolled into Cedar Rapids with freedom candidate for President Gary Johnson in tow. This was the sixth stop for the Bus and the second to include the famous Governor “Veto Johnson.” Johnson recounted his biography for the crowd, how he promised New Mexicans that he’s run the state the way he’d run his business - looking at the bottom line and getting value for cost. This common-sense approach led to him vetoing hundreds of bills, thousands if you count the line-items he struck from the budget, saving taxpayers billions of dollars and enabling the state to go eight years without a single tax increase.
We’ve covered Johnson from his first visits to the state last summer, and he has clearly grown as a candidate in that time, laying out the specifics of his proposed entitlement reforms: means-testing for social security so that the wealthy don’t get out more than they paid in, indexing increases to inflation rather than wages, raising the retirement age, and block-granting Medicare and Medicaid dollars to the states. Johnson challenged Republicans on health care reform, agreeing with the party line that ObamaCare is unaffordable but that the 2oo3 version of the “Paul Ryan Plan” – the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan passed by Republicans was unaffordable as well. Johnson also touched on foreign policy, framing it in an economic context, noting that the interest alone on debt owed to China is sufficient to pay for their entire defense budget. Johnson noted that he, “didn’t get the memo that we were supposed to be financing China’s defense.” Johnson also didn’t get the memo that he was to wrap up his speech at a given time, but it was so well received by the crowd of 40 or so activists plus media and Bus Tour staff that Tea Party leaders urged him on for several minutes so that he could hit every major issue.
Johnson was followed at the mic by Jeff Bell, a former Reagan staffer who lost the internal battle to get Reagan to move on the gold standard. Bell now continues to fight as a lobbyist for American Principles in Action and their Gold Standard 2012 campaign. Bell urged Iowa tea partiers to take up the fight for sound money, saying that Presidential candidates would not here the message from Washington, but would be forced to listen in Iowa. He contrasted the failures of fighting for sound money in Washington with successes at the state level, where Utah has passed a law allowing gold and silver as legal tender and similar states have attempted to follow suit. In Iowa, freedom legislators Kent Sorenson and Kim Pearson have introduced a bill to that end.
Speaking to Iowa Freedom Report after the presentation, Bell expressed his disappointment that many candidates, such as Federal Reserve bankster Herman Cain will pay lip service to a gold standard but not champion it. Of the two pro-gold candidates, he offered Dr. Ron Paul the advice to focus less on the Federal Reserve and more on promoting the positive institutions that have worked in the past. He needled Johnson to be more outspoken on the issue. Johnson told Iowa Freedom Report in January that he would sign off on a competing currency bill and would back a return to gold given the opportunity, but he felt a narrow focus on the budget would hold more electoral appeal.
The Bus Tour goes on to Dubuque and Quad Cities this weekend. Johnson is on his way to Des Moines for the Strong America Now Deficit Free America Summit. We won’t be there to cover it, but hope to here good things from our friends in the movement. It is not known for sure when Johnson will be back around as he has trips in the works to the other early-voting states of New Hampshire and Nevada. A Johnson staffer informed Iowa Freedom Report that plans for RAGBRAI remain fluid as Johnson is expected at a major Young Republicans conference that week, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we do.
And in case you missed it elsewhere on the series of tubes, Johnson took some time after his Monday stop in Council Bluffs to tape a response to all the questions asked at the CNN debate from which he was excluded. You can hear the answers that the statist media didn’t want you to hear at the Governor’s website.
» posted on Friday, June 10th, 2011 at 7:28 pm by Editor
With the main, err, ah, lame-stream media refusing to let the two-term Governor of New Mexico into their debate, Gary Johnson has instead accepted an invitation to meet with Iowa tea partiers on the Tea Party Bus Tour. As big government Republicans and Ron Paul grace CNN’s stage on Monday night, Johnson will be in Council Bluffs for the first night of the tour. Johnson, one of just two candidates in agreement with the tour’s main issue – a gold standard, had already signed on for the Cedar Rapids stop. In addition, plans have been finalized for Johnson to speak at the conference of the omnipresent Strong America Now Saturday in Des Moines. Iowa Freedom Report was able to obtain this draft press release from sources within the Johnson campaign:
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE GARY JOHNSON TO VISIT IOWA JUNE 13, 17-189:00am-5:00pm: Gov. Johnson will be attending the Deficit Free America Summit – a Strong America Now conference. (Polk County Convention Complex, 833 5th Avenue, Des Moines, IA) Gary will be speaking between 10:00 and 11:00 am.
June 10, 2011, Santa Fe, NM – Presidential candidate Gary Johnson will visit Iowa next week, June 13 and 17-18. The former New Mexico Governor will be attending events in Council Bluffs (June 13), Cedar Rapids (June 17) and Des Moines (June 18).Governor Johnson last visited Iowa in January to meet with citizen and student groups around the state. This will be Johnson’s first visit to Iowa since announcing his candidacy for president April 21 in New Hampshire.
Governor Johnson will be on hand for a variety of media opportunities during his trip. Details and locations of his schedule are provided below:Monday, June 136:00-7:00pm: Gov. Johnson will be speaking at the Tea Party Freedom Bus Tour. (Elks Lodge #531, 380 McKenzie Avenue, Council Bluffs, Iowa)Friday, June 176:00-8:30pm: Gov. Johnson will speak at the Tea Party Freedom Bus Tour (Cedar Rapids Library- Westdale Mall, 2600 Edgewood Road SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)Saturday, June 18
9:00am-5:00pm: Gov. Johnson will be attending the Deficit Free America Summit – a Strong America Now conference. (Polk County Convention Complex, 833 5th Avenue, Des Moines, IA) Gary will be speaking between 10:00 and 11:00 am.
» posted on Friday, June 10th, 2011 at 12:50 pm by Editor
In 2007, the tea party movement began with the gold standard in Presidential candidates. Four years later, the Iowa tea party will seek to hold all candidates accountable for their stances on the monetary gold standard. One tea party group will kick off a statewide bus tour Monday in Council Bluffs and visit 18 cities in 2 weeks. While the tour is intend to educate and rally activists, the major focus will be on the restoration of a sound dollar backed by gold.
While there are obviously only two candidates who fit the tea party mold and support gold, big government Republicans were also invited to run the gauntlet and several took up the offer. Mr. Bailout himself, Herman Cain of the Federal Reserve will spew his paper-loving rhetoric at Iowans as will fellow opponents of honest money Michelle Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich. But it won’t all be neo-cons, there will be at least one freedom rider on board. Governor Gary Johnson will speak at the Council Bluffs kick-off and again Friday night at the Cedar Rapids stop.
While Johnson lacks the focus on returning to gold of tea party godfather Dr. Ron Paul, Johnson has endorsed a full audit of the Fed and has stated that he’d be happy to sign a competing currency bill should one reach his desk. Gingrich and Bachmann have done nothing to advance the gold standard during their time in Congress while Federal Reserve bankster Cain has gone back and forth on the issue. Presumably, he’ll tell us his position after he is elected, like he will with foreign policy. Likewise, Pawlenty has never show an inclination towards monetary policy reform and has backed only pro-paper Republican in past elections.
» posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 at 2:15 pm by Editor
Perennial Republican candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats lent his support to a tea party initiative in an unusual way Monday. Tea party leader William Temple called the press conference called to bring attention to the upcoming vote on raising the federal debt ceiling. For some reason, Vander Plaats, whose anti-gay organization receives taxpayer financing, was invited to to podium. Once there, Vander Plaats refuted Temple’s suggestion to end corn ethanol subsidies as one example of unnecessary federal spending. Vander Plaats called for a continuation of the program as part of what the Des Moines Register described as “federal policy [that] should support all forms of domestic energy.” All, that is, except biofuels made from hemp, of course.
More problematic was Vander Plaats attempt to link the debt ceiling debate to his key issue – expressing his personal disgust for people who choose a different lifestyle than he does. Vander Plaats claimed that one must embrace his view on this issue if the debt was going to be tackled. Quoth Mr. Vander Plaats: “I think it’s a ripple effect. When you start going away from core value issues the ripple effect leads right to economic issues as well.” This of course is not a new sentiment. As the country, and especially the Republican Party has seen waves of tea party activism in what some are calling “the Ron Paul moment,” bigots have had to re-invent themselves to link their cause to the calls for shrinking the government. Obviously there is no reason a person must be straight to be a fiscal conservative, in fact it wouldn’t be hard to find gays who are much more conservative on economics than Vander Plaats or his former candidate Mike Huckabee. Huckabee got called a lot of things in 2008 – “Tax Hike Mike”, “John Edwards with a Bible,” etc. – but fiscal conservative was not among them. The Huck even devoted a section of his book to calling those who would reform Medicare a greater threat to America than even the dreaded liberals.
By declaring his support for Monsanto’s corporate welfare checks, Vander Plaats proves his own point. If one is willing to compromise the principle of limited government in order to intervene in a person’s social life, it stands to reason that this person would also be more open to government intervening in a person’s economic life. (This is not to defend gay-government marriage as currently constructed, the proper position on that is, as Ron Paul eloquently stated, “government should just be out of it.”) But just maybe, now that Vander Plaats has come out of the closet as a fiscal liberal, perhaps he’s setting the stage for a more shocking disclosure to come. I mean think about it, is any politician really that anti-gay?
» posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2011 at 10:22 am by Editor
Dr. Drew Ivers of Iowa’s Campaign for Liberty has asked Iowa Freedom Report to pass on a reminder that CFL, Young Americans for Liberty, and the Iowa GOP will be hosting Senator Rand Paul tomorrow and Saturday.
Here is Senator Paul’s full schedule:
» posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2011 at 2:57 pm by Editor
Two years after freedom activists lead by Alex Jones compelled the Iowa National Guard to curtail a planned “invasion” of a small Iowa town, the federal government is up to similar shenanigans in another small town. This time it is the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security (DHS) planning a mock school shooting and dubbing it a “terrorist incident” in order to take command.
Now, given the rare but severe crisis brought on by school shootings, it is not unreasonable for local law enforcement to prepare for such a worst case scenario. The problem is that such shootings are by definition localized events and fall solely under the jurisdiction of local, county, and perhaps state authorities. The federal government is given no authority in the Constitution to deal in local law enforcement, save for limited capabilities when law breaking crosses state lines.
Fortunately, local tea party leaders are on the scene pushing back against the overreach of Homeland Security into our backyards. Even if such an agency did have Constitutional authority for domestic counter-terrorism, these incidents typically involved disgruntled teens, not Al-Qaida. Also of concern to local activists is the background information accompanying the training exercise. Authorities have set up the fake shooting by describing a white youth shooting a Hispanic immigrant. Pottawattamie County official Doug Reed told local activists that the racial element needed to be added to secure DHS funding, since that would somehow qualify a shooting as a terrorist incident.
As tea party leader Micheal Patomson said in a email to statewide activists, “this racially charged, anti second amendment scenario is what is used to “qualify” this exercise as a terrorist event. This is enforcing and condoning the Homeland Security position that those elements are classified as terrorists. Does anyone need to be reminded of things like the Missouri MIAC strategic report of 2009 or others that are now classifying people that defend the Constitution or display Gadsden flags as terrorists? This exercise scenario is enforcing those very dangerous mis-characterizations and classifications.” (For those who do need a reminder, the MIAC report he refers to was a joint state/federal document warning Missouri law enforcement that supporters of freedom candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin should be treated as dangerous racist terrorists if they displayed a bumper sticker for one of those gentlemen.)
See the exercise plans for yourself here, and register your objections with the officials listed therein.
UPDATE: According to the Des Moines Register, the exercise has been canceled dues to threats received. While we are relieved to see the Department of Homeland Security ejected from small town Iowa, Iowa Freedom Report and the movement as a whole firmly rejects the use of violence or threats thereof. Our movement is peaceful and conducts it business according the non-aggression principle. Those who do so are by definition not part of our movement, just to be clear in case statists in the media or local government use threats like this to turn on us.
In a bit of cognitive dissonance of the first order, Pottawattamie County emergency management coordinator Jeff Thuelen said it was “astounding how people calling themselves patriots would be opposed” to a drill involving the DHS. Well, Mr. Thuelen, real patriots support their local law enforcement and reject the militarist federal reach into areas that are not their business. We encourage the local police and sheriffs department to reject unconstitutional federal law enforcement agencies and find an alternate outlet for necessary worst-case scenario training.
» posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 7:49 pm by Editor
The Iowa chapters AFL-CIO and SEIU union are rallying tomorrow (February 22) at the Capitol in solidarity with Wisconsin public sector union members who have been asked to accept a contract under which they would (gasp!) have to contribute to their health insurance. Not taking it lying down, central Iowa Tea Party groups are planning their own counter rally. The “We Surround Them” rally will take place at the west side of the Capitol building at high noon.
With many Republican governors elected with a mandate to cut spending and handed the results of the Fed-created financial crisis, public sector salaries and benefits have been a flashpoint of controversy around the country. Unfortunately, most of these new governors lack the courage, conviction, and business acumen of former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who ended his term with 1,000 fewer government employees. As a compromise, they are targeting overly generous benefit packages which were often surrendered by taxpayers to public sector unions.
Unions have largely become irrelevant in many fields such as car manufacturing in which jobs have moved away from shoddily made GMs from Detroit to high quality Toyotas and Hondas made in right-to-work states. Thus, union organizers have staked their success on the expanding public sector. Some reports show unionized state employees making 47% more than their private sector counterparts. The Left does dispute this figure, but can’t answer for the gap in benefits, pensions, and job security between state workers and their counterparts who face the competition of the marketplace. Its made for interesting watching as the Left squares off in a sort of reverse-Marxism, rallying to protect a privileged class as the mostly working class tea parties argue for parity.
That battle will play itself out in Iowa tomorrow, so if you’re in the Des Moines area and have the day off (or like all too many in Bernanke’s economy, laid off) join the cry for fiscal sanity.
» posted on Friday, January 7th, 2011 at 1:49 pm by Editor
One of the sharks circling around the outside of the freedom movement seeking to devour its energy, votes, and money is loyal Republican Party hack Herman Cain. Cain is rumored to be on the verge of launching a campaign for President and will be in Iowa this weekend testing the waters and hoping to spread fiscal disinformation among well-meaning but uneducated tea partiers. Cain will visit Sioux City and Council Bluffs this Saturday and Sunday.
Cain stirred up controversy recently while guest hosting the Neil Boortz radio show. Boortz of course is well known for joining the freedom movement then leaving in a huff when it did not embrace his vicious anti-life policies. Cain claims that the Federal Reserve “already has enough audits,” and that advocates of a formal Fed audit (which included all GOP members of the last Congress and most of the Democrats) are “ridiculous” buffoons who need only to “call them up and ask one of their [the Fed's] PR people,” to explain. Cain prefers instead the approach of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, who have both staunchly defended the Fed’s secrecy.
Bizarrely, while Cain claims that the Fed has nothing to hide, he also told the neoconservative audience of the Sean Hannity radio show that he supports a gold standard. So which is it, Mr. Cain, is the Fed this wonderful pillar of American exceptionalism to be revered alongside mom and apple pie, or should it be disbanded in favor of the gold standard? Or are you just pandering to two distinct groups at once and hoping that everyone who hears you is as stupid as you assume and won’t call you on it? Cain is of course, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board, so that should give our readers a clue as to the answer.
Also, Pizza Hut pizza tastes better than Godfather’s.
» posted on Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 12:51 pm by Editor
One of Iowa’s leading conservative blogs, Caffeinated Thoughts, bestows an annual “Conservative of the Year” award to the person who has “made an impact on the conservative movement in the past year.” In both 2008 and 2009 the winner has been incompetent half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin who was given the award for reviving neoconservativism after the excess of the Bush/McCain Republican Party had nearly killed it off. As a sign of the growing influence of the freedom message within the GOP, constitutionalist Doctors Ron and Rand Paul are both nominated.
Site editor Shane VanderHart cites the incoming Kentucky Senator as:
. . .quite the surprise in the Kentucky Republican Senate Primary and demonstrated the clout of the tea party movement by upsetting the establishment candidate also overcoming smear tactics from within the Republican party and without. Having a staunch advocate for limited government and personal liberty in the U.S. Senate will be a welcome addition.
Site contributor and 2010 Libertarian candidate for State House Dustin Krutsinger wrote the nomination for the elder Paul, ticking off a long list of Paul’s proposed legislation and accomplishments including the victory at the 2010 CPAC Presidential Straw Poll.
Ron Paul certainly deserves the award, and not just because we at Iowa Freedom Report wholeheartedly agree with his ideas. Paul has lead an ideological shift with the Republican Party and the broader conservative movement away from the big-government “compassionate conservative” ideas that dominated for the last decade. Simply listen to the debate at the state GOP convention. If the delegates had their way, most of the Republican agenda from 2000-2008 would be undone – no child left behind, expansion of government run health care, McCain-Feingold, massive budget deficits, etc, etc, etc. You would not hear many Republican politicians talking about the Constitution or the national debt had Paul not been crying in the wilderness in 2008.
To the extent that the Tea Party movement had an impact in the 2010 midterm elections, this also is traced back to Paul’s ideas and his followers. Yes, the Tea Parties to a large degree have been infiltrated and subverted by advocates of big government and yes, some have twisted the message of freedom to include their anger over people who make different lifestyle choices, but the movement we started on that cold December of 2007 has staying power nonetheless.
Riding this Tea Party wave, many of the other nominees are lagging, rather than leading, indicators. Rand Paul would not have been a serious candidate had not Ron Paul united a movement. Michelle Bachman was not well known until she started following Ron Paul around Capitol Hill and repeating his message. Even Sarah Palin at her best is only popularizing Paul’s ideas. Does anyone really think she has read up on Austrian economics before she turned her minions against the Fed? For that matter, is anyone really sure she knows how to read? Her opinions on domestic issues have come Paul’s direction while Paul’s commitment to principle remains firm. For evidence of this, go back and watch her appearance on Freedom Watch where Judge Napolitano opens with a discussion of her hacked email account and works around to a embarrassed admission from Palin that maybe government spying on private emails without a warrant is going too far.
Please join Iowa Freedom Report in casting your vote for Ron Paul as Caffeinated Conservative of the Year.
» posted on Friday, December 17th, 2010 at 1:54 pm by Editor
In the slow post-election political news cycle, the Des Moines Register has touched off a debate by naming their list of the top 50 Republican players in the upcoming 2012 Iowa Caucuses. Many in the Republican blogosphere took to their keyboards to point out the flaws, oversights, and omissions by the Register including: Krusty Konservative at the The Iowa Republican, Shane Vander Hart at Caffeinated Thoughts, and GOP Central Committee member Wes Enos (who himself could have made the list) on Deace.
While all the lists were heavy on the type of heavy hitters in the GOP establishment, for pro-freedom Republicans, inclusion or exclusion from the lists would make for a good measuring stick on how far the movement has advanced since Dr. Paul’s 10% of the 2008 Caucus vote. Whether they are called “constitutional conservatives,” “Ron Paul Republicans,” or “libertarian Republicans those advocating for less government instead of more have steadily advanced within the Grand Old Party. Four Campaign for Liberty leaders now sit on the State Central Committee, three Ron Paul endorsed candidates are in the Statehouse along with a number of allies, and at it is a safe bet that either Dr. Paul or Governor Gary Johnson or both will be serious contenders at the Caucuses in 2012.
The Register seems to be continuing their 2008 editorial policy of ignoring Ron Paul in hopes that he and his supporters will go away as they did not name a single person from within his 10% and growing of the party to their list. They did however honor several friends and fellow travelers of liberty such as tea party leader Ryan Rhodes, former AG candidate and current Branstad legal counsel Brenna Findley, pro-freedom legislators Kim Pearson and Kent Sorenson, and freedom friendly talk show hosts Jan Mikelson and Steve Deace. Pearson and Sorenson benefited heavily from Ron Paul’s endorsement and his activists on the ground and he’ll no doubt look to have the favor returned if he runs again. But both are also closely tied to social conservatives, so gay-bashing candidates will also knock on their doors.
Krusty Konservative corrected the Register’s glaring omission of Dr. Drew Ivers, who leads the 2,000 member strong Iowa Campaign for Liberty and sits on the GOP Central Committee, albeit with a backhanded compliment:
Ivers was Paul’s campaign manager for the caucuses in 2008. To be honest had Ivers not had to work on the fly with an unorganized lot of fanatics, I believe Paul could have contended for 3rd place in the caucuses.
In actuality, Paul’s campaign dropped out of the third place it realistically expected not because of fanatics (government is too big, what a radical concept) but because of a turnout model that underestimated caucus participation. Paul also practically refused to campaign in Iowa and he simply lacked the outside influences that narrowly propelled John McCain (constant fawning from national media) and Fred Thompson (Steve King’s late endorsement) ahead. If Paul runs again, he will start out with good funding, real organization, and a better understanding of the Iowa electorate.
Wes Enos was more flattering to Ivers, saying that he should be “on the top of every candidates to-call list.” Enos also tabbed Paul campaign veterans Aaron Dorr of Iowa Gun Owners and Dennis Fusaro of Right to Work for his 50. Craig Robinson of The Iowa Republican took a different tack, focusing on political “tribes” instead of individuals and naming Ivers as the head of a key “tribe” of freedom activists backing Paul.
As Iowa Freedom Report is openly and purposefully transpartisan, we wouldn’t deign to have the same knowledge of the GOP’s inner workings as Enos, Vander Hart, Konservative, or Robinson. However, we would like to add the names of several officials, operatives, and activists that may be playing for our side come 2012. Call them the “others receiving votes” if you will as none would likely crack anyone’s top 50, but you should see a lot of them if you come to our rallies.
Glen Massie – Massie cut his teeth on the Ron Paul campaign in 2008 before answering the call to run for State House in 2010. Now he’ll be taking the seat, literally and figuratively, of Iowa’s Champion of the Constitution, Senator-elect Kent Sorenson. Massie is a tireless campaigner and thanks to his location in the Des Moines suburbs has more access to the media than a typical State Rep. Look for him to be one of Dr. Paul’s first and most vocal endorsers in 2012.
AJ Spiker and David Fischer – If Dr. Drew Ivers is to be included in the top 50 as he should, these two should follow close behind. Spiker is a rising star in the GOP, coming out of the Paul campaign and rising to Story County GOP treasurer, County chairman, and Central Committee member in a short time. Fischer is also on the SCC, a Polk County man and Iver’s heir apparent at Campaign for Liberty. These two have been instrument in building the CFL organization into a respected force and will take the lead in turning its membership out for whichever candidate carries the banner of liberty the highest.
Will Johnson – Johnson is well known to our readers as our first endorsee and former columnist. While Ryan Rhodes gets the press for his ability to turn out tea partiers for the GOP, Johnson turns them into freedom fighters. His underfunded effort came up short behind the DC backed Ben Lange in the CD-1 primary, Johnson proved he could grow the movement by leaps and bounds with his expertise in both economics and organizing. Since the campaign, Johnson’s profile and experience has grown as he was recruited to give the nominating speech for Bob Vander Plaat’s aborted run for Lieutenant Governor and he managed a Congressional campaign in Wisconsin. Look for Johnson to head up Paul’s efforts in Eastern Iowa in 2012.
Rob Gettemy – While Gettemy also lost his congressional primary, the entrepreneur and tea party activist shook up the system with his surprising fundraising and organizing abilities, making the ballot and become a legit threat after a late start in a crowded primary. Gettemy now has a voice among the state’s grassroots activists as a regular columnist for The Iowa Republican. Strong on domestic issues, but weak on pro-life issues, Gettemy should still be a must-call for Paul or Johnson.
Marcia Hora – A regular reader and sometimes guest writer for Iowa Freedom Report, Hora is a key cog in uniting disparate groups within the Central Iowa tea party milieu. Knowing her opens doors to a lot of pro-freedom activists that Paul and Johnson need to make sure come out and vote their consciences on Caucus night.
James Mills – While Mills unfortunately came up short in a quixotic State Senate race in a deep blue district, his freedom message and tireless groundwork pulled over 3,000 votes from the D to the R column against a member of Democrat’s Senate leadership. Ron Paul made the long drive up I-35 to personally stump for Mills, but Mills snubbed Gary Johnson who offered to do the same. He could be a very valuable activist in the Mason City/Clear Lake/Charles City area if only the right candidate is in the race.
Jimmy Morrison – Morrison is a filmmaker and activist from Burlington whose work in organizing Gary Johnson’s August visit to Iowa was so impressive that the governor hired him for his national organization, Our America and sent him around the country. Morrison knows lots of legislators and activists from his position as founder and leader of Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana. While Johnson will need someone more experienced in the Iowa GOP to run his caucus campaign if he hopes to pull an upset, expect Morrison to be Johnson’s right hand man throughout the process if the Governor doesn’t have a national position in mind for him.
Todd McGreevy, Micheal Elliot, Mike Angelos, Thomas Rutherford, et al. – These gentleman and the others in their tight-knit group form the backbone of any pro-freedom campaign in the Quad City area from Paul in 2008 and Will Johnson in 2010 to Iowans for Accountability and Jonathan Narcisse’s gubernatorial bid. McGreevy is especially valuable as the publisher of the River Cities Reader, a hip alternative newspaper. They are fans of both Paul and Johnson, both of whom have courted them personally, and will be savvy enough to back the one with the greatest chance of success.
Ani DeGroote – Much of Ron Paul’s showing in 2008 was attributable to his passionate college-age supporters and he and/or Gary Johnson will have to go back to the well in a big way in order to win in 2012. As the chair of the Iowa chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, DeGroote could be the point person for both local efforts and coordinating the activities of young workers who will flood the state over Christmas break to man the phones for Paul and/or Johnson.
Clyde Cleveland – Winning the libertarian hotbed of Fairfield will be a must in 2012 after Paul claimed surrounding Jefferson County in 2008. Cleveland is only the best known of the cities freedom activists from his 2002 run for Governor, his 2008 stint on the GOP platform committee, and his authorship of the popular Common Sense Revisited pamphlet which is widely-distributed within the movement. Cleveland is also a successful business man who could write a big check to whichever freedom candidate woos him first.
Dr. Eric Cooper – While Dr. Eric Cooper is a committed “big-L” Libertarian, the ISU professor and former candidate for Governor has shown willingness to work across party lines to advance the cause of liberty. Dr. Cooper advised ISU’s “Team Ron Paul” in 2008 and Governor Johson would be wise to have a sit-down with him concerning the 2012 prospects in Ames. Dr. Cooper may not be popular in the GOP, but the 25,000 votes he tallied in November was more than twice Paul’s vote and would have been more than enough for 3rd place in 2008 if all those voters could hold their noses long enough to associate with Republicans on Caucus night.
Paul Dorr – Paul Dorr was the first Iowan hired by Dr. Paul in 2008 and should be one of the first to be called in 2012. Dorr is a ferocious campaigner, and he’d have to be given that his day job is fighting the most popular boondoogles this side of Social Security, government school ballot initiatives. Dorr is hated by his critics while his allies admire his skill and muse that he could have been the next Karl Rove were it not for his unflappable belief in the Constitution. A master of black ops, Dorr takes credit for knocking socialist candidate Mike Huckabee out of the race in South Carolina in 2008. If IFR were advising Dr. Paul next year, we’d say give Dorr 50 grand and tell him to get rid of Sarah Palin.
Fritz Groskruger – The pig farming philosopher from Hampton won his precinct for Dr. Paul in 2008. His tireless efforts and ability to explain the principles of liberty in practical terms will make him great catch in 2012. Groskruger’s influence in Franklin County will only grow in the coming years as he is now a regular columnist with the Hampton Chronicle.
We hope you’ve enjoyed Iowa Freedom Report’s response to the GOP list-making thread. Its been fun compiling our additions and let’s hope these and other freedom activists raise their own profiles along with the movement in the coming caucus season. Feel free to use the comments to weigh in with who we’ve missed and who you think will make a difference in the next years.