Why is Governor Christie so great to listen to? 4

By Tom Quiner

He’s a straight-talker. His kind of honesty resonates in this political climate.

The Democrats in New Jersey left the state in shambles. Governor Christie is fixing it. He makes no apologies for the tough decisions that were forced upon him by his predecessor.

Republicans may have the opportunity after Tuesday’s election to fix the spending orgy of the past four years (two under President Obama).

Let us hope they can emulate Governor Christie with straight talk and honest leadership. America deserves it. America is ready for it.

What is the most important vote on Tuesday’s ballot? 1

By Tom Quiner

Brenna Findley at the Pro-Life Townhall meeting

Iowans are faced with huge choices on Tuesday.

Do we replace our big-spending Governor?

Do we oust three activist Supreme Court judges who imposed gay marriage on Iowa?

Do we replace a Congressman with a 100% voting record on the Pelosi index with a fiscally-prudent conservative?

These are all big choices.

But the biggest may be to replace Iowa’s long-standing Attorney General, Tom Miller. And we have a stellar conservative candidate in Brenna Findley to do that and help right Iowa’s course.

I heard Ms. Findley speak at the Pro-Life Townhall meeting a week ago. I was impressed. I was struck by her intelligence and articulation. I appreciated her work ethic. She worked her way through Drake University and went on to earn a law degree at the University of Chicago.

She is the same age with the same amount of experience as Tom Miller had when he was first elected Attorney General of Iowa.

Mr. Miller has staked out clear-cut positions in support of Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Regarding Planned Parenthood, AG Miller refused to prosecute Planned Parenthood for performing telabortions despite a law that requires a doctor to be present when an abortion is performed. He passed the buck saying it was up to the county attorney to make the call. However, Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue, who filed a complaint against the practice, said this doesn’t make sense:

“Because Planned Parenthood’s telemed abortion scheme involves remotely dispensing dangerous abortion drugs at the push of a button in as many as twelve Iowa counties, it was only logical to file our complaint with the Attorney General’s office since he would be the only one to have jurisdiction in all of the locations involved. There is a jurisdictional question since the licensed physician never leaves Polk County, yet distributes abortion drugs to remote counties over 100 miles away. In which county is the crime committed, the county where the button is pushed or the county where the drugs are actually dispensed? Filing with the AG solves the obvious jurisdictional problems.”

Even before, reading the complaint, Mr. Miller’s office said the Iowa Board of Medicine needed to weigh in on the telabortion scheme before any legal action would even be considered. Here’s Ms. Sullenger’s reaction:

“As for waiting until the Iowa Medical Board acts, it is irresponsible for the state’s ‘top cop’ to continue to allow women to be placed at risk while they delay law enforcement on the outcome of an investigation of a Board that very likely operates under different burdens of proof.”

Ms. Sullenger and Ms. Findley both spoke at the Pro Life Townhall Meeting where Findley said she would not have waited for the Iowa Board of Medicine to decide. She would not have referred this issue to County Attorneys.

She would not have passed the buck on this critical health question for women and their unborn babies.

On another key issue, Obamacare, Ms. Findley said she will join 14 other Attorney Generals around the country in filing a lawsuit to block enforcement of the law’s provisions,  a lawsuit Mr. Miller refused to join. Here is Ms. Findley’s reasoning for filing suit:

“The Constitution does not give Congress unlimited power. The federal government is claiming that it has the authority to force Iowans to buy health insurance under its power to regulate interstate commerce. However if a person decides not to buy health insurance they are, by definition not engaging in commerce and therefore are not subject to the federal mandate. As Iowa’s Attorney General I would take a stand for Iowans against this abuse of power by joining 14 other Attorneys General from other states to challenge this unconstitutional law in court.”

Mr. Miller, on the other hand, equates the issue with a state’s mandate to purchase car insurance. Ms. Findley says the comparison doesn’t hold up:

“Our current Attorney General claims that Congress forcing you to buy a certain kind of health insurance is no different than our state law which requires licensed drivers to carry proof of car insurance. There are several fatal flaws with his argument.

First of all, there is a fundamental constitutional difference between the inherent police powers of a state and the enumerated powers of the federal government. Our country was founded on the principle that the federal government is limited to the enumerated powers granted to it by the Constitution and that Congress does not have unlimited power.

Second, car insurance coverage required by state law covers damage to other people’s cars and property (liability coverage). It doesn’t mandate that we insure against damage to ourselves. State law gives us the freedom to decide whether we want to buy full coverage insurance for our cars. Congress mandated “full coverage” health insurance for everyone.

Third, car insurance requirements are for a voluntary activity, driving a car on public roads. The health insurance mandate imposes a mandate on a condition of life itself—our very existence as human being.

Finally, driving on public roads is a public behavior. Your health is a private matter and the federal government shouldn’t be able to force you to buy their mandated coverage.”

I like Brenna Findley. She has my vote. This may be the most important vote Iowan’s make this year.

My coffee with Brad Zaun Reply

By Tom Quiner

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brad Zaun at my neighborhood coffee shop earlier this year. We discussed, what else, politics. (For out-of-state readers, Mr. Zaun is running for Congress here in Iowa against incumbent, Leonard Boswell, Democrat.)

A few things struck me immediately. Brad is a regular guy. He’s an easy guy to talk to. Let me tell you something else, he is passionate. He looks at government from the perspective of the little guy and the small business owner. He should know, because he used to own a hardware store.

He goes crazy over excessive government spending. And he has seen a ton of it at the state and federal level.

As a state legislator, he has been a thorn in the side of Democrats who have increased Iowa’s spending to record levels.

Brad characterizes himself as a blue collar Republican who believes in right-to-work laws. He talked about how the proliferation of government regulations strangles business and deters job creation. The Iowa code has grown by three inches since Governor Culver came in.

Brad Zaun struck me as a straight shooter, a good conservative who will do what he says he’s going to do.

As a side note, I’ve always thought of Leonard Boswell as a good guy, misguided in his liberal politics, but a good guy. I’ve been disappointed with Congressman Boswell’s personal attacks on Mr. Zaun. I’d prefer he’d be a straight-up sort of guy and try to defend his liberal voting record. He has been one of Nancy Pelosi’s staunches allies, voting yes on 14 pieces of liberal legislation promoted by the Speaker, including:

1. Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

2. New jobs bill

3. Stimulus


5. Lilly Ledbetter

6. Omnibus appropriation

7. Cap & Trade

8. Stupak Amendment

9. Government run healthcare

10. Doctor fix/budget gimmick

11. Estate tax

12. Debt ceiling

13. Jobs bill

14. Senate healthcare bill

Mr. Boswell lost his way this last session, veering so far to the left that he is totally out of sync with the way most of Iowa thinks.

Brad Zaun has not been tainted by the beltway. He is an energetic legislator who will help to stanch the fiscal bleeding caused by Mr. Boswell, Ms. Pelosi, and the rest of their party. We need a transfusion of new, sensible thinking to get America back on track.

Congressman Boswell can’t run on his record, because too many Iowan’s are just plain scared at the damage being done to our county by the big spenders in Congress.

To put things in perspective, in 1980 the Federal government spent an average of $2498 per citizen.

This year, the estimated numbers are $11,640 per citizen (or $4470 in 1980 inflation-adjusted numbers).

My liberal friends contend that the root cause of the deficits are “Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.”  But that doesn’t square with my analysis of the data.  For the decade of the 80’s, the government collected an average of $22,688 in taxes per citizen.  In the 2000’s, they collected an average of $29,427 per citizen.  (2009 receipts are estimated.  Numbers are inflation-adjusted in 1980 dollars.)

In other words, receipts have skyrocketed.  They are not the root cause of our deficit hemorrhaging.

Spending is the problem. And spending has exploded since 2006, the year Democrats retook Congress.

We need a whole bunch of Brad Zauns to help right the course.

87,500,000 reasons to vote Republican 3

By Tom Quiner

Who pays the union dues for public employees? You do, Mr. Taxpayer.

Who on average makes more money and has better benefits, public or private employees? Public employees.

Who pays for these lavish salaries and benefits? Private employees.

To whom did President Obama give $160 billion in stimulus money to protect them from the impact of the recession? Public employees.

Who paid for this largesse? Private employees.

Who has suffered the most during the recession? Private employees.

In this election cycle, who is the single biggest campaign contributor? The NRA?  No. Big Pharma? No. How about the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). They have given $87,500,000 to help elect Democratic candidates.

Who funded this $87,500,000?  The taxpayers.

AFSCME workers on strike

Is there anything wrong with this? Plenty. To quote a liberal President:

“The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. A public employee strike, looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.”

Thus spoke President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s. President Obama certainly disagrees.

We now enjoy a situation with large public unions with tremendous political clout gained at taxpayer expense. Some state budgets are nearing the buckling point under the weight of public pension liabilities. Public employee unions want bigger government and less accountability in direct conflict with taxpayer interests.

Do you want bigger unions, bigger government, and more taxpayer liability? Vote Democrat.

If you don’t, you have 87,500,000 reasons to vote Republican.


It’s all about me 7

By Tom Quiner

Rick Warren

“It’s not about you.”

That is the first sentence in Rick Warren’s best-selling book, “The Purpose-Drive Life.”  Mr. Warren’s premise, that our lives belong to God, that true happiness only comes when we do what God placed us on earth to do, is counter-cultural.

American culture disagrees with Mr. Warren.

Our culture suggest that we need a lot of money to be happy.

Our culture suggests that we need pretty hair, big breasts, and stick figures to be happy. That we need bulging biceps and flat tummies.

And our culture suggests that children are expendable if they get in the way of our happiness.

This last aspect of American culture has a partisan twist to it. One party supports the idea that an inconvenient baby in the womb is expendable. However, both parties have embraced the notion that marriages should be easily terminated through “no-fault” divorce laws. No-fault divorce has wreaked havoc on the growing army of children being raised in broken homes.

The premise of no-fault divorce laws suggests that the emotional needs of the couple supercedes the emotional needs of the children.

The logical extension of abortion and no-fault divorce is gay marriage, which is again a partisan issue. The underlying principal of gay marriage is that one’s personal desires and behavior supercede the greater good of society and children. And yet it is children who need the benefits of traditional marriage more than anyone.

Tom Chapman is the Executive Director of the Iowa Catholic Conference. He stated it well in his piece in this morning’s Des Moines Register:

“The Des Moines Register’s Oct. 18 editorial opposing a marriage amendment and a constitutional convention – “Wrong Reason for Constitutional Convention” – called “same-sex marriage” a civil right. While it sounds fair, if one follows that reasoning to its logical conclusion, any association of any number of adults could be classified as marriage. And when everything becomes “marriage” those who need its benefits most – children – will continue to be marginalized by a debate that focuses primarily on the emotional desires of adults.”

It’s time to get serious and ask ourselves a tough question: who is it really about?