Saturday, January 7, 2012

Iowa Caucus Wrap Up

Well, the 2012 Iowa Caucus is over and the national media have now vacated the state faster than a class of graduates.  Officially Mitt Romney won with 30,015 votes(24.6%), narrowly edging out Rick Santorum who had 30,007 votes (24.5%).  There's some questions about some of the vote counts so I think you could call it a tie.  Ron Paul came in third with 26,219 votes (or 21.4% of the total). 

Those were the three coveted "tickets out of Iowa" with the remaining candidates divvying up the electoral crumbs.  Michele Bachmann, who beat Dr. Paul in a squeaker at the Ames Straw Poll this summer, dropped out after her poor showing in the caucus.

While I was definitely a little disappointed that Paul didn't come in first, Reason magazine editor Matt Welch gives seven reasons why Paulistas like myself should take heart.  Among them:
Paul more than doubled his vote over 2008, while Mitt Romney's stayed exactly the same. Seriously, Romney got 30,000 votes (25 percent of the total) in 2008, then 30,000 votes (25 percent of the total) in 2012. Paul vaulted from 10 percent to 21, from 12,000 votes to 26,000. His message of freedom, limited government, attacking the Federal Reserve, and ending wars foreign and domestic is undeniably on the grow.
Paul's delegate- and caucus-focused strategy means that he will likely punch above his electoral weight. The campaign focused not just on doing well at the caucus, but making sure Paul-friendly humans get nominated as county delegates, so that when the 25-delegate pie is eventually divvied up Dr. No will get more than projected.
Barring an unexpected and popular new Republican entrant, Paul is virtually guaranteed of making the Final Four once more. Last time around, Paul finished fifth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, on the way to an overall fourth-place showing in the delegate count. This time Paul finished third in Iowa, and is polling at second in New Hampshire.
Ron Paul, and more importantly his ideas, are in it for the long haul. Other candidates will run out of money; Ron Paul won't. Most politicians see their business in primarily transactional terms of winning, losing, and influencing legislation; Paul sees his as proselytizing for freedom. "Where we are very successful," he said his speech last night, "is re-introducing some ideas the Republicans needed for a long time, and that is the conviction that freedom is popular."
Okay, I feel a little better.

When I was watching some evaluation of Ron Paul's performance a pundit on TV said that Paul did well in college towns because college campuses were rife with "isolationists" against the wars.  While it may have happened, I personally couldn't recall a single instance of any talking head in the media leveling the dreaded term "isolationist" against Cindy Sheehan or the myriad of anti-war protesters when Bush was in office.  But now that Obama is commander-in-chief and Ron Paul is the "peace candidate," suddenly anti-war college students are now "isolationist."  My compliments to the media; you never cease to amaze.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Iowa Gun Owners on Iowa Caucus

I received the following from Iowa Gun Owners:

Iowa Gun Owners wants to inform you about where the candidates stand on your gun rights.

First some good news:

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Congressman Ron Paul (in alphabetical order), were the two candidates to complete the survey 100% in favor of your gun rights. This means that, amongst other things, they’ve pledged to:

Repeal any legislation that would re-institute the so called “Assault Weapons Ban.”

Repeal the 1993 Brady Bill which allows the government to track what guns you purchase, setting the stage for a national gun registry.

Repeal legislation that bans guns on school zones, which leaves tens of millions of school children virtually defenseless as their teachers can’t carry a gun.

Stop any attempts to pass a UN Small Arms Treaty.

Congressman Ron Paul has recently introduced legislation to deal with some of the issues mentioned here – thus putting his money where his mouth is.

These are the candidates that are not afraid of the anti-gun special interest groups, their pals in the media, and their friends in Congress. No one else has the record and the survey results that Congresswoman Bachmann and Congressman Paul.

But that’s where the good news ends.

We should mention that Senator Santorum has completed the survey as well. On his second attempt he answered the questions correct. However Senator Santorum has a history of anti-gun votes during his time in the US Senate - and it took a lot of activism on your part to get a signed survey.

Santorum voted for the NICS compliance act, mandating that you alert the federal government in nearly every case where you buy a firearm. That’s the last thing gun owners want – their government knowing that they are a gun owner.

Santorum also voted to mandate trigger locks on all new guns being sold. As Iowa Gun Owners documented recently, this has led to horrific murders in cases where victims couldn’t unlock their guns in time.

Yet Santorum refuses to apologize for these votes. His poor initial survey response, combined with his history of anti-gun votes leave us very concerned about his willingness to fight for gun owners should he be the GOP nominee or the President someday.

Newt Gingrich refuses to answer our survey, after his staff assured us that we would receive it. Gingrich used the power of his office and Speaker of the House to voice tremendous support for the Brady Bill. He even said that he wants to take away more of your freedoms by mandating that you surrender your thumb print to the government to be able to buy a firearm. Imagine being treated like a common criminal for wanting to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right!

It’s no surprise then that Newt’s State Chairwoman is none other that House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer. Upmeyer broke her written promise by working to KILL Constitutional Carry last session in the House.

Mitt Romney also refuses to answer our survey. But this should be no surprise. Romney has loudly proclaimed his support for mandatory waiting periods and mandatory background checks. But far worse, as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a PERMAMENT ban on so-called assault weapons.

Romney’s State Chairwoman is Assistant Majority Leader Renee Schulte. Schulte also lied to gun owners in Iowa by voting to kill Constitutional Carry last year in the House after taking gun owners' votes, time and campaign contributions.

Governor Perry and Former Governor Jon Huntsman have also refused our survey.

This has been an exciting process for us at Iowa Gun Owners. One campaign, that has since imploded, threatened IGO with a libel lawsuit for exposing the position of their candidate during the Iowa Straw Poll.

Another campaign’s staff almost attacked IGO staff and volunteers at a Fox News debate back in August because we were informing so many Iowans about the refusal of their candidate to put his views on the 2nd Amendment on paper.

Multiple campaigns have sought out our endorsement, although we can not and do not endorse candidates.

Our ONLY goal at Iowa Gun Owners is to doggedly find out which candidates really support your gun rights. Don’t forget, “everyone” is pro-gun at election time, or so they say.

We’ve learned that during last year’s mid-term elections. Even the worst candidate on the 2nd Amendment claims to support your rights.

That’s why we issue surveys. A survey doesn’t ensure that a politician will stay faithful to his pledge. But a candidate who refuses to go on the record on gun rights is certainly not a candidate who will support your right to keep and bear arms.

Please consider a small contribution to Iowa Gun Owners to help us cover the costs of our survey program. Our mail, email and robocall program was effective at exposing a slew of anti-gun candidates.

But as we approach the 2012 legislative session we need to replenish our coffers to be able to alert gun owners to the threats that will no doubt come out of the General Assembly this session.

Any amount is helpful. If you can donate $50 to help us pay for this program we would be very grateful. If that is too much, consider chipping in just $5 or $10 instead.

We will put it to immediate use.

Also, you should know that Capitol insiders are reporting that some in the GOP establishment are working hard to remove the Constitutional Carry provision to the Iowa GOP Platform.

They are doing this because they know that their party looks bad when their platform professes support for Constitutional Carry - and then their party promptly caves into the anti-gun lobby in Des Moines and votes to KILL Constitutional Carry.

So they want to remove that portion from the platform.

Iowa gun owners who attend the GOP caucus should resist this and instead, offer this plank to strengthen the platform:

"We demand full restoration of 2nd Amendment rights and call for a state law authorizing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms, open or concealed, without a permit, an idea known as Constitutional Carry.

"We call upon the General Assembly to take immediate action on Constitutional Carry so that law abiding gun owners will no longer have to pay outrageous fees for permitting, submit to government mandated training, and have their fingerprints taken in the same manner that a criminal does."

For Freedom,

Aaron Dorr
Exectutive Director

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