Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iowa Libertarian Candidates 2010

Ed Wright, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Iowa, recently announced the 2010 nominees selected at the Libertarian State Convention in Ames. Here are the candidates for each race:

Iowa Governor- Eric Cooper, 44, Ames, e-mail: eric@coopersmallergovernment.com, website: http://www.coopersmallergovernment.com/

Iowa Lt. Governor- Nick Weltha, 30, Des Moines, e-mail: nick.weltha@gmail.com, website: http://www.coopersmallergovernment.com/

U.S. Senate- John Heiderscheit, 46, Bettendorf, e-mail: jheiderscheit@nhquadcities.com

U.S. House District 1- Rob Petsche, 35, Manchester, e-mail: farleyrob2002@yahoo.com, website: http://www.petscheforsmallergovernment.com/

U.S. House District 2- Gary Sicard, 37, Robins, e-mail: gary@sicardforcongress.com, website: http://www.garysicard.org/

Iowa Senate District 23- Campbell DeSousa, 25, Ames, e-mail: desousacampbell@yahoo.com

Iowa House District 46- Tyler Pauly, 20, Ames, e-mail: tapastro@gmail.com

Polk County Attorney- Karen Tegtmeyer, 50, Johnston, e-mail: karen.tegtmeyer@gmail.com, website: http://www.iowasmallergovernment.com/

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog Update

My posts dealing with the Tax Day Tea Party and the Second Amendment March in Des Moines have been updated with magnificent full-color photographs from my piece of crap disposable camera. I just got them back from Walmart.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Liberty Minded" Candidates Getting Noticed

Kathie Obradovich had a front page write-up about Libertarian candidate for Iowa Governor, Dr. Eric Cooper, in Thursday's Des Moines Register. According to Obradovich:

"Libertarian candidate for governor Eric Cooper pulled off a rare feat at a recent forum: He upstaged the major-party contenders. And not just because he announced he's lost 144 pounds in eight months.

"Cooper, of Ames, owned the audience at the Iowans for Tax Relief gubernatorial forum last Saturday. He left me wanting to know more about him. That's another uncommon accomplishment for a third-party candidate."

The article goes on to quote Dr. Cooper and talks about his stance on several issues. You can read the entire article here.

IowaPolitics.com linked to the article on Thursday and Steve Hoodjer's new website Iowa Freedom Report scooped me and reported it the same day.

Speaking of Iowa Freedom Report, that site also has a good article about Will Johnson who is vying for the Republican nomination to go against Democrat Bruce Braley in Iowa's First District. Johnson, who the article describes as "a liberty minded Republican from Dubuque," is a Navy veteran and was active in campaigning for Ron Paul in the run up to the 2008 election. He has also been active in the Tea Party movement.

Other Republicans seeking the First District slot are Jim Budde, Mike La Coste, and Independence attorney Ben Lange. Lange appears to be leading the pack, having raised more funds than the other three GOP contenders combined. I'll be writing about Lange sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bruce Braley Buffoonery

Here U.S. Representative Bruce Braley gets schooled when he appears on Fox Business. The best line is when the host tells Braley that his voting record looks like "a porn site for liberalism." Thankfully, whoever put this montage together edited out all the double-talk and b.s. (i.e. Braley's responses).

Eric Cooper's Speech at ITR Event

Here is audio of Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Eric Cooper's speech at the Iowans for Tax Relief 2010 Iowa Taxpayer Day: http://www.radioiowa.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ITRCooper.mp3 It deals, of course, with taxes and runs about seven minutes and thirty seconds.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Second Amendment Rally In Des Moines

It was a beautiful day in Iowa, which made it all the more frustrating that so few people showed up for the Iowa Second Amendment March. I counted about 40 people at the event, not counting the speakers and event organizers.

According to the event's coordinator Robert Fowler, the goal of the march was "to bring attention to the people about the way the government is slowly taking our rights away. There are over 20,000 gun laws on the books that try to restrict our rights." The event was held on April 19th to commemorate the battles of Lexington and Concord, the opening battles of the American Revolution. These fights arose when British authorities attempted to confiscate American weapons and gunpowder. These historical events were mentioned by several of the event's speakers.

These speakers included: Brenna Findley, GOP candidate for Iowa Attorney General; Dave Funk, GOP candidate for Leonard Boswell's 3rd District seat; Kim Pearson candidate for Iowa House District 42; Rod Roberts, GOP candidate for governor and Sean McClanahan, President of IowaCarry. I saw at least two TV cameras at the event and Radio Iowa was there.

All in all attendance could have been better, but it was a good event nonetheless. Thank you to Robert Fowler for all his hard work. A special thank you to Dave, Sharon, and Jenn who let me ride down with their family.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Report From The Tea Party

Thursday I attended my very first tax day tea party in my small town. A local business had hung a Gadsden flag and banner saying to gather there at noon on the 15th. By my count, there were about 20 of us down on Main Street carrying signs. That may not sound like many people, but the population of my town is only 3,600 and most folks were at work. (If I hadn't taken the day off work, I wouldn't have been there either.)

There were no major incidents, although one guy driving by did give us a "thumbs-down." A few cars and trucks honked in support. Mostly people just drove by trying to avoid eye contact though.

There were no "infiltrators" as several news organizations had warned. One guy showed up in a purple SEIU tee shirt and I wondered if he was there to start trouble. To my surprise, he just stood there with his child, holding a sign that read, "I love my country, but fear the gov't."

One gal, I'd say in her sixties, tried to give everyone a copy of the U.S. Constitution. She said she had distributed about 600 copies so far (not just on that day). Good for her!

I saw no hatred, malice or racism toward anyone, just concern about excessive taxation and government spending. These are my people.

Next stop: The Second Amendment March in Des Moines on Monday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ron Paul As Popular As Obama?

According to Rasmussen Reports, a hypothetical 2012 race between President Obama and Dr. Ron Paul would be a dead heat.

The report says: "A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote. Eleven percent (11%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided."

"Thirty-nine percent (39%) of all voters have a favorable opinion of Paul, while 30% view him unfavorably. This includes 10% with a very favorable opinion and 12% with a very unfavorable one. But nearly one-out-of-three voters (32%) are not sure what they think of Paul."

I don't think we can get that lucky, but if the GOP puts Dr. Paul at the top of the ticket in 2012, this blogger will gladly vote Republican.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An Open Letter To Rep. Bruce Braley

Dear Representative Braley:

The “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, wrote in Federalist Paper No. 45: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined… [and they] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” Given your support for every federal intrusion into the private market and into the personal decisions of average Americans, from “Cash for Clunkers” to Obamacare, apparently you disagree with Madison on the role of the federal government.

Perhaps, like a generation of “progressives” in both parties, you believe that the Constitution’s “general welfare clause” gives Congress authority to meddle in every aspect of human existence. As Roger Pilon, founder and director of Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, put it during testimony before Congress, “The general welfare clause [was intended] to ensure that Congress, in the exercise of any of its enumerated powers, would act for the general rather than for any particular welfare.” It was to ensure that any law would uniformly apply to all Americans rather than benefiting only politically-favored groups, as is now common practice.

Perhaps you believe that the Constitution’s “commerce clause” gives Congress such authority. But the commerce clause was to allow Congress to smooth out the hodgepodge of competing protectionist policies of the several states, making the United States into a free trade zone. Again, Pilon: “Not remotely did the Framers intend that the clause be converted from a shield against state abuse--its use in the first great commerce clause case, Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)--into a sword enabling Congress, through regulation, to try to bring about all manner of social and economic ends.”

Perhaps you can quote Supreme Court rulings that bolster your big-government contentions. But, decisions from an appendage of the federal government, ruling to expand the power of that same government are not surprising and not compelling.

More likely perhaps, like Congressman Phil Hare from Illinois admitted (and no doubt many of your other colleagues who won't admit it), you simply don’t “worry” or care about the Constitution that you swore an oath to support, defend, and “bear true faith and allegiance to.” Like you, I once took an oath to support and defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Unlike you, I take it seriously.

By your actions and the usurpation that you advance, you, Sir, have proven yourself to be a domestic enemy of the U.S. Constitution. The yoke of oppressive debt levels that you are placing on my children and unborn grandchildren proves that you are also an enemy of basic human decency. Therefore, be advised: I intend to use all peaceful and legal means at my disposal to see that you are unseated.


Benjamin R. Cashner
[Address removed]

[Hat tip to Between Two Rivers blog for the Phil Hare link.]

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mom's "Never Alone"

As I was knocking about the internet the other day I found an online version of a magazine article, titled “Never Alone,” that my mother got published back in 2003. The article is about how Mom’s faith in God and a big black dog comforted her when she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the young age of 60.

According to the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, “Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.” That’s the clinical definition. It takes on a much more personal tone when it strikes someone in your family. It slowly takes away who that person is before it takes their life.

Rereading her article now, seven years after it was published, is like a window into the past for me. I can once again see the woman I once knew, expressing the thoughts and fears that she can no longer fully articulate.

Mom wrote: “Tank sprang out the door and galloped down the road. Eighty solid pounds of black Labrador retriever, he certainly lived up to his name. He loved barreling through our 160 acres. I used to enjoy it too, but not lately. Not since I heard the word Alzheimer’s. ‘You seem to be showing some early signs,’ the neurologist had told me, after a checkup with my family doctor and a battery of tests, including a brain scan. […]

“I remembered the flyer I’d picked up from an Alzheimer’s support group. It said that I should get an ID bracelet with my name, address and phone number. More than likely I’d end up forgetting who I was and where I lived. The thought horrified me. I was going to lose myself, remembering nothing and nobody. Would I eventually forget who God was? Lord, I can’t bear the idea of being so utterly alone. Please stay with me.
“’Tank!’ I called. No sign of our big black Lab. Would I forget him too? ‘Here, boy!’ I called. Tank careened out of the woods. The dog was so big that when he stood on his hind legs his paws rested on my shoulders. Still, he was one of the most gentle creatures I’d ever known. Tank circled me then dashed back into the trees, chasing something I couldn’t see. I’m being chased too, I thought. To a place where no one will be able to reach me.”

Medicine has slowed it somewhat, but the predator that stalks my mother is closing in swiftly now. She has difficulty now with common tasks that my four-year-old takes for granted. My words, my guns, even my love for my mother are all powerless against this killer.

Mom is a good, hard-working, church-going woman, totally undeserving of being slowly stripped of a lifetime of memories, then of life itself. I often use this blog to impotently speak out against injustice. If you’re listening God, I’m speaking out now.

If anyone else has some time, please read the short article by my mom, Judy Cashner, here.

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