Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Braley Bytes: "Uh-Oh! I Just Stepped In Iowa" Edition

U.S. Rep turned Senate hopeful Bruce Braley is feeling embarrassed right now for being himself in a video, speaking candidly to some of his out-of-state lawyer buddies. While mooching around for money, Braley condescendingly calls Chuck Grassley “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” He contrasts that description (which could also fit many of his constituents) with himself who shares the out-of-state ambulance chasers' "background," "experience," and "voice." Watch the video here:

While that crap might not play in Pella, it seems to do the trick on the out-of-state lawyer crowd. Attorneys and law firms have been Braley's biggest donors, pumping $1,122,748 into his Senate campaign so far and 82% of his contributions have come from outside the state. I guess we know who his "voice" will be representing if elected.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Iowa Libertarian Candidates 2014

After the Libertarian Party of Iowa had their state convention this weekend, the slate of candidates is now set. Those listed below will be on the November ballot. Names are hotlinked to the candiate's website where available.

Federal Office:

US Senate-  Dr. 
Doug Butzier
US House District 1- Gary Sicard
US House District 4-  Forest R Johnson III

State Office:

Governor of Iowa-  Dr. Lee Hieb
Lt. Governor of Iowa- Ryan Ketelsen
Iowa Secretary of State- Jake Porter   
Iowa State Treasurer-
Keith Laube

Iowa House District 10-  Lynne Gentry
Iowa House District 33-  Josh Herbert
Iowa House District 45-  Dr. Eric Cooper
Iowa House District 57-  David Overby

And let's not forget our elected Libertarians in Iowa:
Cedar Falls City Council At-Large- Nick Taiber
Mayor of Roland- Roger Fritz-

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Defense Cuts Show Need For Iowa State Guard

Back in December of 2012 I had a guest column in The Gazette, titled "State Guard Adds Protection Efficiently." In it I highlighted four unique advantages that an organized volunteer "state guard" or state defense force (SDF) would have that would allow it to complement our National Guard force:
  1. "[B]ecause they are solely state assets, there is no risk that they might be deployed overseas when a disaster springs up here at home. State autonomy also allows the organization of state guard units to be custom-tailored to the state’s needs."
  2. "SDFs can draw from two sources of volunteers that the National Guard cannot. One is prior military service members who can no longer fulfill the commitments or requirements of active duty or National Guard service but still want to serve in some capacity. Another is people who may be willing to defend their own soil but are unwilling to potentially be sent to the other side of the world to defend someone else’s."
  3. "[S]tate guard units can be operated at comparatively little expense. Unlike National Guardsmen, who are professional soldiers, state guard members are generally unpaid volunteers (although many with prior service). They can often use state-owned National Guard armories and training facilities rather than requiring their own."
  4. "[I]t could be made to conform to the requirements for the state militia as laid out in the Iowa Constitution. Article VI, Sec 3 states: 'All commissioned officers of the militia (staff officers excepted) shall be elected by the persons liable to perform military duty, and shall be commissioned by the governor.' The National Guard cannot meet these obligations as their officers are rightfully commissioned by the president.."
The Obama Administration's recently floated plan to cut National Guard troops shows another advantage of a State Guard force. Since SDFs are funded and administered entirely by the state, they would be immune from federal cuts. Although the current cuts are in no way draconian, as the Federal Government cruises closer to economic oblivion, unavoidable cuts in federal spending could prove more hard hitting in the future.

States rely on federal largesse for 25% to 50% of their state revenue. The feds have racked up over $17 trillion in debt and $128 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Eventually the feds will have to cut off the money spigot to the states as well as massively cutting their own budget or the Federal Government will collapse, in which case the money spigot will also shut down. One state, Utah, is already planning for this eventuality and in 2013 it passed seven fiscal bills that make ready for it.

In a similar fashion, Iowa should plan on being able to provide a security and response force to aid and protect its citizens without relying largely on federal funding, troops and equipment. Governor Branstad pointed out, "The [Nat'l] Guard has helped communities across Iowa effectively respond to disasters, like floods and tornadoes[.]" Let us not potentially leave Iowans without such a force because of the decisions (or incompetence) of bureaucrats and politicos in Washington D.C.

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