Friday, April 20, 2012

Hoodjer Unveils Iowa Freedom Fund PAC

Steve Hoodjer, creator and editor of Iowa Freedom Report (of which I've been a sporadic contributor), today unveiled a new transpartisan political action committee (PAC) devoted to the fight for "less government, not more." According to Hoodjer, the new Iowa Freedom Fund PAC will "aggregate donations from the broader freedom movement in Iowa and channel those resources to the candidates with the right message and the right campaigns" rather than relying solely on the uncoordinated efforts of various partisan and single-issue freedom groups.

The IFR report states: "To ensure your donations to Iowa Freedom Fund are spent in the best possible way, we have assembled a board of directors from various streams of the movement including Ron Paul Republicans, Libertarians, independents, Gary Johnson supporters, etc. Your editor, Steve Hoodjer will serve as the PAC treasurer and run its operations. Hoodjer is committed to transpartisan activism on behalf of peace and liberty working through both the Libertarian and Republican parties. In addition to local activism, he has held volunteer positions with both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. The board of directors is comprised of Dr. Eric Cooper of Ames, Todd McGreevey of Davenport, Jimmy Morrison of Muscatine, and Jeff Shipley of Fairfield. Cooper is a Libertarian who was the LP’s 2010 nominee for governor and ran one of the most visible mid-major party races in recent Iowa history. He has also run several times for state legislature and served as a faculty adviser to various libertarian groups at Iowa State University where he is a professor. McGreevey is the publisher of the Quad Cities alternative newspaper the River Cities Reader and active with Iowans for Accountability and the 2010 Jonathan Narcisse for Governor campaign. Morrison is a filmmaker currently producing a documentary explaining the 2008 economic crash from the Austrian perspective. He is the founder of Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana and formerly served as state director for Gary Johnson’s Presidential campaign. Shipley is a law clerk who formerly ran for city council while a University of Iowa student. He is active and well-connected in Iowa politics and is seeking a seat on the Republican State Central Committee.

"The website for Iowa Freedom Fund will be up shortly at In the meantime, please like our facebook page at Until the website is active, donations can still be made by check. Simply mail them to: Iowa Freedom Fund, 301 Lincoln Street, Parkersburg, IA 50665 "

It certainly sounds as if they've assembled a good team and a nice cross-section of the freedom movement.  I'm particularly pleased to see Doctor Cooper on the board of directors.  I certainly wish the PAC success.  Check's in the mail Steve.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ben Lange: "Restoring the Generational Compact"

Ben Lange, candidate for U.S. Congress (IA-01), recently had an op-ed piece at the Iowa Republican titled "Why I'm Running: Restoring the Generational Compact."  In it Lange, who seeks to unseat liberal Democrat Bruce "Clunkers" Braley, was definitely speaking my language.  He quoted extensively from the founding fathers and kept hammering away at fiscal issues.

Far from just quoting dry econ-class statistics, Lange makes them personal in a way that hits home with those of us who are parents.

"[T]he current generation of political leadership has permitted and tolerated our national debt to skyrocket to more than $15.5 trillion, one-third of which is held by foreign governments whose national interests are not our own.

"Politicians now borrow 40% of every dollar spent by the federal government on the backs of my three little girls – ages 1, 3, and 5 – indebting them to the tune of $150,000 before they can even ride a bike.

"We are witnessing one of the most profound moral failures and social injustices in American history – perpetrated not by one race against another race, nor by one class against another class, but by one generation against the next.

"The current generation of political leadership, guided by vision that extends no further than their snouts and marked by a grade of cowardice foreign to the American experience, has all but declared war on the next generation.

"In this war, however, the invaders face no resistance from a population who cannot yet know and cannot yet speak of the atrocities being committed.

"Who will be their voice for justice? Who will speak truth to power?"

Of course it is politics, so Lange pointed out some of the "highlights" of Bruce Braley's record in congress:
  • Voted for trillion dollar deficits that have nearly doubled our national debt.
  • Voted to increase the national debt limit seven times without cuts.
  • Voted against a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Voted to bailout big corporations on the backs of the working class.
  • Voted for a de facto government takeover of health care.
  • Voted against free trade agreements to increase domestic exports.
  • Voted against energy exploration to increase supply and lower gas prices.
  • Voted for cap-and-trade to impose unnecessary costs on small businesses.
Finally, Lange touched on some "common sense solutions" that he believed were required:
  1. "A balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution that requires Congress to limit projected expenses to projected revenue, with reasonable exceptions.
  2. "Restructuring federal entitlement programs that are fiscally unsustainable for the benefit of future generations.
  3. "Replacing Obamacare with a patient-centered model that addresses rising health care costs by reducing market distortions and providing greater transparency, competition, and choice for patients."
I liked his op-ed enough that I perused his campaign website.  According to it, "Ben Lange’s political philosophy is derived from the founding documents of the United States, among them the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Federalist Papers."  I like the sound of that.

It also says that his top priorities are: 1."Restoring the Generational Compact: Solving our nation’s debt crisis" 2."Rebuilding the American Enterprise: Growing and streamlining the U.S. economy" 3."Reviving Humility in Governance: Refocusing government and repealing Obamacare" and 4. "Reclaiming Public Education: Empowering parents and expanding school choice."  No mention of Bush-era Republican staples like expanding the war on terror or a federal marriage amendment.

In 2010 Bruce Braley beat Lange by only two measly percentage points (which was about the amount that the Libertarian Party candidate got).  If Lange can stick to a message of cutting government (and really sound like he means it) and steers clear of derisive social issues he may be able to pick up enough libertarian-leaning voters and Tea Party-type independents to topple Braley in the general election.  But he has to get his party's nomination first and competition may be fierce.

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