Platforms, Rules, Bylaws

Commentary ongoing.  Revisit for updates regarding platforms and convention rules. Scroll through for commentary related to various Republican platforms, county, district and state.  Included herein to date, are 2012, 2014  and 2016 texts, general commentaries and links.


Text (annotated) of proposed 2016 Republican Party of Iowa State Platform

The proposed 2016 Republican Party of Iowa platform preamble and platform principles one through five appear identical to 2014.

Sections in the 2016 proposed are not numbered, but they have the same nomenclature as in 2014.

Note the 2016 text at this writing is based on a read-in voice recognition transcript of the mailed tabloid.  For some reason the online posting was not available until three days before the convention. It can befound at   https://www.iowagop.org/stateconvention/.   As a result there may be anomalies ,but probably not substantive.

Life. (2016)

1. We move the Iowa Republican Party aggressively support a life begins at conception bill without exceptions. We believe that all human beings, and from conception to natural death, have a God-given and constitutionally protected right to life, which cannot be arranged. We believe all such issues belong under the constitutional authority of the state, not federal, government. We oppose using public revenues for abortion or funding organizations which advocate it. We commend those who provide alternatives to abortion by meeting the needs of mothers and offering adoption services. We affirm our support for appointment of judges who respect traditional family values in the sanctity of life. We oppose the nonconsensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.

2. We support an amendment to both the US and the Iowa constitutions defining and supporting the honored institution of marriage as the legal union between one natural man and one natural woman.

3. We encourage the repeal of any laws allowing any marriage that is not between one natural man and one natural woman.

4. We support non-embryonic stem cell research, such as promoting the use of adult stem cells, while opposing human cloning and research using fetal tissue from abortions.

5. We believe the selling, brokering or marketing of aborted fetal tissue should be illegal.

Liberty (2016)

1. We support the First Amendment, to allow prayer in public schools and public places.(Public schools and public places are capitalized in the original).

2. We believe that parents are responsible for their children, and we support the rights of parents to be the ultimate authority for the discipline, protection, and education of their children.

3. We believe money should follow the child in education — whether that child attends public, private, parochial or homeschool — to assist parents financially on educating their children using the option best suited to their families. Educational needs. We call on the general assembly provide for tuition vouchers, tax deductions, or tax credits to permit parents choice in educating their children — without government intervention in the school curriculum.

4. We strongly believe in the const additionally protected natural right of individuals to keep and bear arms, as recognized and protected by the second amendment, and we support the repeal of existing laws that infringe upon those rights. We support the addition of quotes stand your ground” and pulled castle doctrine” provisions to Iowa law.

5. We support conscience clause legislation so that no person, business, or organization can be penalized for its exercise of religious freedom. By not providing services that violates their religious beliefs.

6. We support legislation that would prohibit any organization,(in example, Planned Parenthood), from entering public school properties for the purpose of promoting promiscuous behavior and abortion products, videos, or printed material.

7. The actions of national intelligence agencies must not infringe upon American citizens constitutional rights. In the original constitutional is capitalized.

8. We call for the repeal of sexual orientation in the Iowa civil rights code and reject any additional similar legislation to local, state or national code.

Property  (2016)

1. We support legislation requiring all regulations by all government agencies(e.g. EPA, Department of agriculture, Department of Interior, etc.) relating to private property and the public good receive congressional authorization prior to their implementation.

2. We support the right of property owners to vote on bond issues in any district where they pay property tax, whether as residents of the district or not.

3. We support laws that prohibit ownership of United States foreign land, property, and other assets by foreign governments or entities controlled by such government.

4. We believe anyone moving into or already living in areas zoned previously for a particular use. The prohibited from filing won’t nuisance lawsuits” which are in agonistic to such zoning if defendants are in compliance with all government laws.

5. We support eliminating all death taxes.

6. all government fees assessed must be passed by the duly elected governmental body.

7. We oppose federal or state government taking private property away from the owner for the use of another private party. Eminent domain should be used only for public use.

8. We support retaining the step up in basis on assets transferred from a decedent.

National sovereignty and defense (2016)

1. We believe the United States should never sacrifice its sovereignty or relinquish control of its oil to the United Nations or any other international body.

2. We support: legal immigration, commonsense improvements to our immigration process, strict enforcement of our current immigration laws, securing of our borders and punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

3. We affirm our commitment to the state of Israel.

4. agreements with foreign nations should only be done by comedian subject to the approval of Congress.

5. We assert that bequeathing citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants in the United States is a misinterpretation of the 14th amendment.

6. We believe our servicemen should serve only the United States, our Constitution, and the American flag.

7. We call for the government to support boat veterans issues”. We believe military veterans should be treated with dignity and respect, and that ” veterans and services.” Should be consistent and delivered with equality and expedients.

8. We oppose the United Nations agenda 21 plan, which restricts or destroys the property rights of Americans under the guise of environmentalist initiatives.

Commerce (2016)

1.0. We oppose government distortion of the free market through subsidies and bailouts.

2.0. We believe, energy independence must be the goal of our public policy at both the national and state level. Note that in the original national and state are capitalized.

3.0. We call for legislation that would eliminate all public sector unions.

4.0. We oppose all mandates associated with alleged global warming, or climate control.

5.0. We support legalizing cannabis oil for medical use and industrial hemp for commercial use.

6.0. We support a full and exhaustive annual audit of the federal reserve. Note that federal reserve is capitalized.

Government (2016)

1. We support term limits for elected officials, appointed officials, and judges.

2. We support the requirement that legislation should pertain to one topic, and that unrelated amendments to bills should be prohibited. Additionally, omnibus bills should be broken up topically in order to increase oversight and accountability in the legislative and accounting processes.

3. We support the principles of free enterprise, accountability and competition in health care, we therefore call for the repeal of the affordable care act parentheses will bomb a care) and auditing all federal health-related programs in order to eliminate waste and seek improved ways of delivering needed services.

4. We support lowering taxes and reducing the size, scope and scale of government — towards this end, we advocate a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We also support a systematic reduction of the national debt.

5. We support the repeal of the 16th parentheses federal income tax), amendment and replacing the current complex progressive income tax system with either a consumption — based tax, or a flat tax.

6. We believe legislation should never exempt legislators.

7. We support the adoption of English as the official language of the United States of America to strengthen and unite us as a nation of immigrants.

8. We support a responsible audit of Social Security and evaluating all options that would promote the future viability of benefits to potential recipients. Note all is IN original

9. We support legislation designed to enact toward reform. Note toward reform is capitalized.

10 we believe that only US citizens bearing proper photo ID should be allowed to vote.

11 we support the convening of a convention of the states according to article 5 of the United States Constitution for the purpose of limiting the federal government. Note 5 is expressed as Roman numeral.

12 we call for the repeal of the 17th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

13 We support retaining the Electoral College. We oppose the National Popular Vote Compact.


State Platform Gutted – Delegates Should Reinstate 2012 Platform Instead

The Republican State Convention is this Saturday.  Not until Wednesday night at approximately 9:22 PM did Scott County delegates and alternates with e-mail addresses receive the text of the proposed 2014 rules and platform.  It was in a corrupted format PDF that some may not have been able to open anyway.  Regardless, at that hour many or most delegates and alternates would not have observed or opened the e-mail until the next day.

The dissemination of the convention documents we believe are later this year than any previous convention in memory. This sequential alternate delegate, #101 of 104, did not receive an official paper copy of the proposed rules and platform until the afternoon mail delivery today, Friday.  Did we mention that the state convention is tomorrow?  Many or most would not have a chance to review the documents  or any opportunity to discuss the proposals prior to the convention.

Those circumstances are reason enough that delegates should reject the proposed platform out of a responsibility to exercise due diligence and not succumb to a rush to judgement when there is no need to do so. Instead it should be simple enough to agree to reinstate the 2012 platform as it has received a more timely presentation and traditional vetting.

But there are more reasons to reject the proposed platform. It is a total rewrite without appropriate warrant or warning.  It guts the previous platform, it violates the traditions and process of incorporation of still current planks with new planks edited and tweaked as appropriate. It shows no deference to  the priorities of caucus attendees, and the work of delegates to county and district conventions.

What we are presented with is a high handed eleventh hour effort that relies on the dynamics of meetings and the burdensomness of parliamentary procedures to thwart  objectors. We believe the Platform Committee has dishonored the grassroots nature, the grassroots responsiveness and the uniqueness of Iowa’s caucus system.  Perhaps it was in order to pretend to develop a platform that will obviate future platform discussions on the theory the existing one is so encompassing with its generalities and platitudes that everything is covered.

Their platform ideology seems to be that there will be no need to bring anything specific up  in the future. . . “our principles cover everything important.”   Responsiveness to grass roots flesh and blood concerns,  specifications and prioritizations and timeliness will be pushed aside in favor of  generalities and blandishments in the state platform.

Of course principles are important but providing an authentic outlet for flesh and blood applications, consistent with those principles should be our obligation as well.

The proposed platform approach damages the justifications for the deference given to Iowa’s caucus system and the special treatment it receives in the presidential electoral process. The platform development aspect is what lends credence to the caucus system. If the platform is marginalized, as the proposed concept surely does, the straw poll that obtains to the precinct caucus deliberations could be easily replaced by a primary ballot, in which case we would be in the mix with all the other states.

We believe much of the motivation for gutting the platform also comes from those who want certain issues marginalized, or obscured. Removing specification dims the light on the apostasies they are content with or actually support.

Who provided the mandate to throw out all the issues identified in previous platforms, to gut the process, to reduce it so drastically?  Similar constructs to the proposed platform were rejected by the great majority of counties and by district conventions leading up to the state convention. The great majority honored the traditional system.

The proposed platform is all too compatible with allowing  candidates to avoid being put on the spot regarding the platform.  It allows politicians to obfuscate about how they support this or that principle but avoid specific accountability.  This type of platform gets support from cranky jaded types who ought to retire from involvement and from those who are not interested in applying issues of the day to our principles and thus  help politicians prioritize. And it gets support from people who think conventions are about listening to speeches from politicians instead of being the time when Republican delegates tell them a thing or two through the platform process.

The proponents will insist that everything is covered conceptually as if that is an adequate understanding of what platform planks are about.  Nevertheless the defense is easily refuted by just comparing 2012 to the proposed 2014 platform.  What they say supposedly covers this or that issue in reality lacks thoroughness and relevance by lack of specification, currency,  and prioritization. And many things are substantively missing.

The proponents will insist (except for certain things near and dear to them) that adhering to this or that principle or this or that constitutional amendment will solve all the problems . . . but in the mean time????  They have provided no sufficient answers set forth in the platform.

Having platform planks that respond to the many issues of the day is not writing legislation. It reflects an understanding of the political class  and the need for a mechanism of grass roots involvement and a way to convey concerns to politicians  collectively, from the workers of the party.  Our traditions allow us to call ourselves a party of the people because specific concerns are considered.

Great umbrage will be taken by the platform committee when challenged. Too bad,  given their unbridled lack of collegiality in foisting this rewrite on assembled delegates.

We will hear how they are principled people involved with this and that.  We can concede that,  but then wonder how the heck did certain specifications make it into the platform and not others?  Why are so many matters missing on the theory that some generalization covers it but not others?

Consider this delightful specification, apparently thought really important as opposed to so many that are missing from the 2012 platform: Proposed item 5.12 —   We support the definition of manure as a natural fertilizer.   We have no objection to it whatsoever. We do object to the presumption it is more important by inclusion than so many that were eliminated.

Another mind boggling inclusion in the proposed platform when compared to others that are missing is item 3.8. It reads  “We support retaining the step-up in basis on assets transferred from a decedent.”  Got that? It must be a  profound statement of principle not possibly contemplated in the other generalities.

Throw a dart at a copy of the 2012 state platform and what ever you hit explain why it is expurgatable but item 3.8 is necessary?

There are a number of items where calls are made for Constitutional amendatory measures or opposition to Constitution amendatory matters: See items 1.3:   2.8;   3.4;   6.1;   6.2;   and 6.3 in the proposed platform. But curiously the call for a Human Life Amendment to protect the right to life is not present.  Note that other matters are not left to high sounding language about how things ought to be in lieu of Constitutional amendment remedies.

Here is an illustration of the concept of the difference between a statement vs a call to action.  Proposed item 5.3 now reads:  As an immigrant nation and to strengthen and unite us, we support the adoption of English as the official language of the United States of America.   It has an introduction and an action item. We certainly support it as written. But eliminate the specific call to action and you have something to the effect “As an immigrant nation and to strengthen and unite us, we support speaking English.”

Such a plank, good people, would be profoundly useless.  Add all the folderol you want about the importance of speaking English and you still haven’t said much to the public or legislators. But we are presented effectively little better as regards the right to life.

More examples conspicuous by their absence include matters addressing  ethanol mandates, wind energy subsidies,  gas taxes, Common Core and many, many other grassroots concerns.  Instead the proposed platform allows legislators to hide behind vagaries and blandishments or provides few actual prioritizations or useful specifications, in spite of its preamble and introductory statements.

You can compare the proposed platform to the the 2012 platform and see all that is missing by visiting this link.

Summary and conclusions:

Platforms should not be dismissed as superfluous little diversions for the rubes. Platforms are about accountability. Conventions are not about sitting and listening to speeches from politicians telling us  what we need to know, but the other way around.

The proposed platform subverts the grassroots nature of the caucus to convention process.  The approach was rejected in the great majority of counties.  The Platform Committee operated grandiosely in violation of traditions.  It is taking advantage of eleventh hour tactics.  The opportunity to thwart their proposal is cumbersome.

The platform process can be streamlined with reliance on new cheap communication avenues. Conceivably the platform could largely be settled by voting before the day of the convention.  The process would benefit from better education  justification and celebration of the process.

The  proposed platform  is not supportable alone because it is an insult to the grassroots caucus system.  Conceivably elements could serve as  introductions to sections and specifications of the 2012 platform.

More reading about the general topic can be obtained through items posted at http://www.veritaspac.com/?s=platitudes              R Mall

PLATFORM TEXT 2012 COMPARED TO 2014

2012 SCOTT COUNTY REPUBLICAN PLATFORM

2012  PREAMBLE AND STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

Preface: It has taken many years to move away from Constitutional Government.  Where two planks might seem to be contradictory, the platform should be interpreted as favoring the goal of the plank providing the least government while protecting basic rights and responsibilities of individuals.  Other planks are supported as possible steps towards the goal of limited, responsible, Constitutional, Republican Government. Some planks may appear redundant or in conflict but upon evaluation it was decided that sufficient nuance exists or that any redundancy was appropriate to the section. All planks should be read and understood in the context of related issues, events and circumstances.

· We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness.

· We believe these precepts from the Declaration of Independence embody the essential truths which make this nation great, and we affirm our conviction that good Government and sound public policy is realized only by adherence to these fundamental principles. We believe devotion to these truths and the following Republican Principles provides the best framework for guiding this state and nation in the future.

· We believe the primary purpose of government is to protect individual liberty and human rights, including the right to life itself.

· We believe all people have God-given equal rights, should have equal justice and equal opportunity, and should respect the rights of others.

· We believe in our American heritage of Constitutional government of, by, and for the people. Government must be the people’s servant, not their master. Its powers must be limited to protect freedom.

· We believe good government depends on good individuals and strong families.

· We believe personal initiative, free enterprise, and voluntary cooperation are the keys to a better life for all. Governments should provide incentives for people to work, save, invest, create jobs, and help persons in need.

· We believe that a government must have rules, regulations, and taxes in order to exist. We believe that the imposition of excessive rules, regulations, taxes, and fees severely impinge upon the individual’s ability to adequately provide for themselves and their family.

· We believe governments should nourish the ideals of independence, self-sufficiency, and self-esteem, thereby promoting accomplishment and satisfaction.

· We believe governments should do for the people only those necessary things that cannot be done, or cannot be done as well, by individuals and private organizations.

· We believe governments have no right to redistribute income or property. No one can move up by pulling others down. Governments should promote education, opportunity, and economic growth for everyone.

· We believe each government must use the peoples’ money wisely and balance its budget.  Taxes and spending must be strictly limited.

· We believe governments must defend the people against crime and the enemies of freedom.

· We believe in good stewardship to preserve natural resources and the environment for future generations.

· We support protection of the flag of our country because of what it stands for.

· We support compliance with the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing power to the states be rigorously enforced.

· We believe the United States should maintain its sovereignty, when involved in world affairs.

· We call upon the Republican Party to declare itself to be pro-family and pro-life, thus reaffirming the fundamental rights of all citizens to receive protection from their government, while denying to the government the authority, power to infringe on those rights from God protected by the Constitution.

·  We believe our Constitution, its l4th Amendment, and federal and state laws explicitly guarantee equal protection under the law to both women and men.

·  We call upon all elected officials to demonstrate high moral accountability exemplary of statesmen and role models for the younger generation.

· We believe public displays of the 10 Commandments, nativity scenes and other displays that honor the civilization that provided the philosophical basis for our cherished liberties, religious tolerance, and efforts to help the poor and oppressed around the world, are not an establishment of religion, do not compel or coerce others and should be protected by the 1st Amendment.

· We pledge to conduct ourselves with the moral values sanctified by our Creator, idealized by our children, and admired by the world.


(Adopted 3/08 14) 
2014 THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM OF SCOTT COUNTY, IOWA

 2014  PREAMBLE AND STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

We invite all citizens to join us in this periodic dialogue structured to strengthen our process of self-government that is vital to maintaining a strong and vibrant Nation.

Established in 1854, the Republican Party has long stood on the commitment to the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With inspiration from our Party’s rich history, the Republican Party of Scott County, Iowa presents the following platform founded upon these basic principles:
 
A Belief in Limited Government: To preserve the sanctity of liberty of the individual, it is our belief that government must necessarily be limited.
 
• Fiscal Conservatism: In keeping with our desires for the greatest individual liberty, we support policies of limited taxation and government spending.
 
• Strong National Defense: We believe the best way to preserve the peace and protect our national interests abroad comes through a strong national defense.
 
• Individual Liberties and Responsibilities: Along with individual liberties come individual responsibilities and duties. Government must act to preserve freedom, while individuals must exercise their responsibilities to preserve order.
 
• Tolerance, Inclusiveness, and Optimism: We believe in the right of fellow Republicans to disagree on certain matters of principle and policy. We believe in being an open and inclusive party respectful of different points of view. We are indeed a “big-tent” party that offers no “litmus tests” or barriers to entry.
 
We have endeavored to construct a platform erected on foundational principles that will unite Americans to recognize and meet the challenges that inevitably arise when defending individual liberty, free enterprise, industrious innovation and opportunity, while maintaining a strong national being.

 

 2012 AGRICULTURE

1.1 Resolved, we support the concept of reduced government involvement in agriculture.

1.2 Resolved, we support nuisance lawsuit protection for family farms and the responsible growth of our agriculture industry.

1.3 Resolved, we urge the legislature to formulate and develop long-range agricultural policies to foster new and expanded domestic and international markets through the use of the private market system other than the World Trade organization.

1.4 Resolved, we support efforts and incentives to continue to expand development and use of value added agricultural products.

1.5 Resolved, we support the concept of free and fair trade and endorse efforts to remove unfair barriers to American exports.

1.6 Resolved, all imported food must be labeled as to the country where that food commodity was raised and produced.  All imported food must be held to the same food safety standards as food produced in these United States.

1.7 Resolved, we oppose efforts to impose a “sin” tax on all forms of red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

1.8 Resolved, we oppose conversion of farmland and other private property to “more advantageous use” by a process of a public agency condemning privately owned land and reselling it to private individuals or corporate entities. This system is inherently unfair and should be discontinued.

1.9 Resolved, the government shall encourage strong soil, water, and wildlife conservation practice.

1.10 Resolved, we oppose additional regulation of livestock farms unless allows these farms to continue to provide a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply.

1.11 Resolved, we support effective enforcement of antitrust laws, and the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to prevent commodity market price manipulation and also protect the integrity of the commodity market price discovery process.

1.12 Resolved, we support the proper care and treatment of animals.  We oppose laws or regulations elevating the well-being of animals to a similar status as the rights of people.

 

 2014 AGRICULTURE (adopted)

1.1 We believe in long-range agricultural policies to foster new and expanding domestic and international markets through the use of private market systems other than the World Trade Organization. This includes free and fair trade, and removes unfair barriers to American exports.
1.2 We support private development and voluntary use of value added agricultural products.

1.3 We encourage honest voluntary labeling of food, including such labels as country of origin, GMO, and cultural practices used in food production.  We expect imported food to be held to our high safety and quality standards.

1.4 We support effective enforcement of antitrust laws, and the Packers and Stockyard Act of 1921 to prevent commodity market price manipulation and also protect the integrity of the commodity market price discovery process.

 

2012  ECONOMY, SPENDING AND TAXES

2.1 Resolved, the single highest economic priority for Republicans be to bequeath to our grandchildren a healthy republic, with a strength of will and purpose, to provide the opportunities for long term economic growth, prosperity, and challenging jobs, by allowing for, and promoting an attractive economic climate. We believe that less government is better government.  The purpose of taxation is to fund the constitutionally mandated functions of government, not to redistribute wealth.  We believe every citizen benefits from good government and should pay some amount of tax to each level of government.

2.2 Resolved, we urge prompt adoption of a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to require a balanced budget and a limitation on federal spending and revenue, using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, unless an exception is approved by recorded vote of two-thirds of both houses of Congress and the President’s approval. We oppose “balancing budgets” by raising taxes.

2.3 Resolved, we support amending the Iowa Constitution to require a 60% vote of both houses of the Iowa General Assembly to pass any bill that has the effect of raising state individual or corporate income taxes or state sales and use taxes or fees. All political subdivisions of the state must get the approval of a new fee from their voters in a general election.  All funds collected by fees must go directly to the purpose of that fee and not into some other “general fund”.

2.4 Resolved, we support the elimination of the Federal and Iowa capital gains tax, death tax, inheritance tax, the marriage tax penalty, and taxes on social security and pension income.

2.5 Resolved, the tax code should be reformed to make it simpler and fairer, incorporating a flat tax, reduction of capital gains tax, retaining the home mortgage deductions, tax credits for private school tuition, charitable contributions deduction, and higher personal exemption rates. We therefore advocate repeal of the 16th Amendment.

2.6 Resolved, the US income tax system should be abolished and replaced with a consumption based tax that would be “revenue neutral” which would replace Social Security and Medicare taxes and that would eliminate all forms of income taxes.  Such a tax system would help reduce the influence of groups lobbying for special tax treatments.

2.7 Resolved, we support the prompt adoption of the Taxpayer Rights Amendment, which limits any increase in state and local spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth.

2.8 Resolved, we support amending the Iowa Constitution to limit state general fund spending to no more than 99% of estimated revenue and to require a 60% vote of both houses to spend any of the state’s reserve fund.

2.9 Resolved, we balance the budgets at all levels of government.

2.10 Resolved, any surplus of the federal budget shall be used to reduce the debt, not increase spending.

2.11 Resolved, we reduce the federal debt, and also the deficit, through reduced spending.

2.12 Resolved, we support zero base budgeting.

2.13 Resolved, we oppose the inflationary practice of printing of money or manipulating credit as a means to balance the budget.

2.14 Resolved, we support the abolition of all intervention in the free market by any level of government to help any group of businesses at the expense of others.  New businesses should not get better treatment that those who have served Iowa residents for years.

2.15 Resolved, taxes should be collected at the level of government closest to the people who benefit or are affected by the tax.

2.16 Resolved, elected representatives should diligently endeavor to reduce the size of government to the minimum level to secure basic rights and returning all other social and economic planning to the private sector.

2.17 Resolved, we call for the reduction of all tax rates, especially property and income tax to encourage business development and growth in Iowa.  Tax rates should not favor one business model against another, natural persons and sole proprietorships should get all the same breaks and liability protections as any other business.

2.18 Resolved, we believe that all entities spending public monies must be required to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

2.19 Resolved, we call for the Federal and State Governments to stop mandating new costs on local governments without furnishing the funding necessary to pay for them.

2.20 Resolved, we do not support taxation on Internet commerce.

2.21 Resolved, we support a permanent enactment of the “rollback” on property taxes in place.

2.22 Resolved, we support lowering the top income tax rates in the State of Iowa to be
competitive with neighboring states.

2.23 Resolved, we strongly defend the right of all taxpayers to deduct their entire federal income taxes, including social security taxes, on Iowa income tax returns.  State and local taxes should be deductible on federal returns.

2.24 Resolved, we urge the Iowa Legislature to resist any attempts to use the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System Fund for any purpose other than providing retirement benefits for public employees.

2.25 Resolved, we support the full deductibility for Individual Retirement Accounts and for Health Savings Accounts.

2.26 Resolved, we support changes that would allow citizens to opt out of the social security retirement system in favor of personal retirement accounts and reform or elimination of the calculation of cost of living adjustments for those who remain in Social Security.

2.27 Resolved, we oppose government subsidies of Planned Parenthood, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, and any subsidies for organizations whose primary mission is the offering of non-essential or elective services or where the public could be adequately served by private enterprise or non-subsidized charities.

2.28 Resolved, we oppose tax subsidies and specialized deductions for corporate, non-profit, and special interest groups.

2.29 Resolved, we believe the arts should be privately funded.

2.30 Resolved, “earmarks” to spending bills are wasteful and promote governmental corruption and must be eliminated.

2.31 Resolved, we support an audit of the Federal Reserve.

2.32 We support the implementation of waste and fraud elimination measures including Lean Six Sigma across all agencies of the Federal government to save taxpayers $500 billion a year and to eliminate the deficit by 2017.

 

 2014  ECONOMY, SPENDING AND TAXES

2.1 We believe in limited government to support free enterprise that ensures a healthy republic with opportunities for long term economic growth, and prosperity.

2.2 We believe that revenue and spending limitations within a balanced budget represent the sound fiscal management required to execute our local, state and federal objectives. We further believe that any surplus of the budgets should be used to reduce the debt; not increase the spending.
 
2.3 We believe the purpose of taxation is to fund the constitutionally mandated functions of government, not to redistribute wealth. We believe every citizen benefits from good government and should pay some amount of tax to each level of government.
 
2.4 We believe the tax code should be reformed to make it simple and fair, eliminating double taxation by any entity—local, state or federal.
 
2.5 We believe that the work that government performs should be transparent and accountable to the citizens. Any entity using public funding should be held to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and be subject to audit.
 
2.6 We believe that our nation is founded on equal opportunity guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Our economic outcomes are, and should be, dependent upon our good works, our intellectual property, and our inspiration.

 

2012 EDUCATION

3.1  Resolved, we support strong discipline and local control of school systems with regard to curriculum, schedule, and financing. Parental involvement in education and results oriented efficiency should be primary goals. Competition is needed to improve the quality of education.

3.2  Resolved, we believe the education and upbringing of children is primarily the responsibility of parents. Therefore, we compulsory early education especially mandatory preschool or government-run nurseries.

3.3  Resolved, we believe that parents have the right to determine the best education for their children, including choice of including the option of home schooling. We oppose efforts that require parents to become certified to school their children at home.

3.4  Resolved, we favor the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education and are opposed to a National Board of Education. We encourage elimination of outcome-based education, and federal involvement in local education.

3.5  Resolved, we support a voucher based education funding system that follows the student whether it be public, charter, private or home schooling.

3.6  Resolved, we support providing students in public schools with a traditional academic, objective, cognitive-based education which emphasizes reading, writing, mathematics, science, history, geography, economics, the arts, and physical education.

3.7  Resolved, we support teaching traditional American values in our schools, hard work, and respect for elders and private property. We believe schools should institute moral standards and rules of conduct in our schools and permit the posting of the Ten Commandments.

3.8  Resolved, English shall be the only official language of the United States. We uphold the American tradition that all immigrants and resident foreign workers learn our common language.  We support education programs for adults and children, which help to achieve that goal.

3.9  Resolved, we believe voluntary religious clubs or groups should be allowed to meet in schools.

3.10  Resolved, we support voluntary prayer, either public or private, in our schools.

3.11  Resolved, sex education should be primarily the responsibility of parents. Government should not usurp their role. Where parents choose to allow participation in school-based instruction, we advocate an abstinence-based approach for young persons as part of healthy childhood development, as the surest way to prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

3.12  Resolved, we oppose promotion of homosexuality as a normal or alternative lifestyle.

3.13  Resolved, we believe the state should prohibit school based health clinics and the provision or recommendation of abortion, birth control services, or referrals within the school.

3.14  Resolved, we believe that the Bible and other religious texts may be on school library shelves.

3.15  Resolved, we support the inclusion of intelligent design science and books which support Judeo-Christian values in public school libraries.

3.16  Resolved, that “Intelligent Design” should be taught in the public schools along with other theories of the origin of life and the universe.

3.17  Resolved, we firmly support local community (not teacher) control of school curriculum, and encourage the teaching about different religions and cultures in our public schools, as in sociology or a comparative religions class.  We oppose a teacher or school district mandated activity which would immerse students in religious practices or rituals as public school activities.

3.18  Resolved, we believe that patriotism, citizenship, responsibility, respect for our country and its symbols, and an accurate portrayal of America’s history should be taught in our schools. We support the use of the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety.

3.19  Resolved, we support the display of the American flag and State of Iowa flag in Iowa schools and classrooms.

3.20  Resolved, that all school districts in Iowa conduct Iowa basic skills test each year and publish results by grade and school.

3.21  Resolved, we believe all educational tests should be over mastery of academics, not psychological and experimental techniques such as “values clarification.”

3.22  Resolved, we support the option of gender-specific education.

3.23  Resolved, we support open enrollment policies.

3.24  Resolved, that school textbooks, curriculum, and guest speaker agendas must be made available to anyone and parents shall have the right to have their children opt out of any event or class without effect to their child’s class or academic standing.

3.25  Resolved, we support the community college system.

3.26  Resolved, we support making college tuition tax deductible.

3.27  Resolved, we urge legislature to exercise greater levels of oversight over the Iowa Board of Regents in their control of the costs of higher education.

3.28  Resolved, we believe 75% of all school taxes collected should go to the classroom directly.

3.29  Resolved, we call for repeal of the ban on reasonable corporal punishment in Iowa state schools, and for legal protection for teachers and principals who reasonably punish students for misbehavior. We believe that student civil liberty is not infringed by punishing wrong behavior.

3.30  Resolved, we support programs that reward superior teachers with merit pay and provide firm procedures to remove ineffective educators.

3.31  Resolved, we believe the legislature should commission an objective study of teacher compensation levels which takes into account not only salary but benefits and in which the data is adjusted for cost of living factors.

3.32  Resolved, we recognize that enhancements or adjustments are needed to No Child Left Behind legislation in order to meet its worthy goals on a cost efficient basis.

3.33  Resolved, that special education mandates and funding levels be evaluated at the school district level for their impact on general education progress.

 

2014  EDUCATION

3.1 We believe that a strong government relies on a well-educated citizenry.
 
3.2 We support strong discipline and local control of school systems with regard to curriculum, schedule, and financing. Parental involvement in education and results oriented efficiency should be primary goals. We recognize both public and private options as viable options to improve the quality of education.
 
3.3 We believe the best educational evaluations are those administered to the student by the teacher with student feedback as a part of the learning process.
 
3.4 We believe that program assessment can be extrapolated from periodic standardized testing. Data Collection should be limited.
 
3.6 Based on freedom of religion, public environments must be free to respond to religious requests.

 

2012  GOVERNMENT

4.1  Resolved, we oppose one world government.

4.2  Resolved, we call for a reduction in the size and scope of the federal government.  We believe in the principle of limited government.  Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the States, or to the people.

4.3  Resolved, we believe that government should provide only those services which the private sector cannot.

4.4  Resolved, we support the appointment of judges who respect the traditional concept of marriage, family values, and the sanctity of human life.

4.5  Resolved, we oppose judicial activism, which subverts original legislative intent. We condemn the egregious overreach of judicial authority and hubris demonstrated by the justices of the Iowa Supreme Court in April of 2009 regarding Iowa Marriage Laws.

4.6  Resolved, we call on citizens concerned with the legislative and cultural heritage of our state and nation to vote no on retention of each of the Supreme Court Justices who voted against Iowa’s Marriage Laws.

4.7  Resolved, we call on our courts to interpret and apply the First Amendment as the framers intended.  Neither the courts nor government agencies should misuse or misunderstand the First Amendment and use it as a barrier to the free voluntary expression of religious belief.

4.8  Resolved, we encourage the State of Iowa and the U.S. Congress to attach sunset riders to all new programs.

4.9  Resolved, we urge Congress and the Iowa Legislature to pass rules or enforce rules to require riders be germane to the topic of their associated legislation.

4.10  Resolved, we believe the Government and its officials should not exempt themselves from any laws that apply to others.

4.11  Resolved, the Congress shall make its members’ pensions and entitlement the same as those of other government employees.

4.12  Resolved, we support maximum term limits of twelve years for all state and federal legislators and the state Governor.

4.13  Resolved, campaign finance regulation should be limited to requiring prompt full disclosure on the Internet.

4.14  Resolved, we are opposed to taxpayer funding of political campaigns.

4.15  Resolved, we support voting laws that emphasize Election Day balloting and oppose Oregon style mail in voting.

4.16  Resolved, the Congress and State Legislature shall enact campaign reform legislation that prevents employers from making automatic deductions from an employee’s pay for political contributions, prohibits unions from using any portion of a member’s dues for political campaigns, prohibit the formation of organizations whose contributions structure appears to bypass individual campaign contributions limits by receiving significant contributions from relatively few large donors or corporations to influence the outcome of elections and legislation.

4.17  Resolved, we urge that Government policies insure that provisions of free trade agreements be enforced by all parties.

4.18  Resolved, the Government shall maintain the integrity of National Trust funds.

4.19  Resolved, condemnation of privately held land to expand private industry or for economic development purposes should be abolished.  Condemnation proceedings should be rare, involve just compensation, and be limited to purposes of “public use”

4.20  Resolved, any government action, whether compelled by law, dictated by bureaucratic regulation or required by public need, that diminishes an owner’s right to utilize real property, constitutes a “taking” of that property as defined in our Bill of Rights; therefore, the government must provide just compensation for the amount the owner’s property rights have been reduced.

4.21 Resolved, areas proposed to be annexed by cities must be approved by a simple majority in the area to be annexed.  However, minority parties should not be annexed except to keep boundary lines consistent.

4.22  Resolved, the Congress shall enact legislation to institute English as the official language of the United States.

4.23  Resolved, we urge that Congress pass a new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

4.24  Resolved, Statehood should be considered for territories and provinces who apply to the United States Government, not via a draft method from the House and Senate.

4.25 Resolved, we oppose statehood for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

4.26  Resolved, we support the 60% majority vote approval required for bond issues.

4.27  Resolved, we believe a 60% majority must be required to pass new taxes, but a simple majority to rescind them.

4.28  Resolved, we oppose government ownership of any gambling facility or activity.

4.29  Resolved, we support the right to display the Ten Commandments in public places as it forms the foundation of our nation’s laws.  We further urge the display the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, and other such documents vital to understanding the history and formation of our country.

4.30  Resolved, corporate and privately owned restaurants and facilities should have the right to ban or allow tobacco smoking in their facilities.  We encourage all to cooperate in protecting personal and private property rights while providing accommodation for those who for acute health reasons need to avoid tobacco smoke or otherwise do not wish to be near it.

4.31  Resolved, we support the aggressive implementation and enforcement of identity standards to secure the integrity of all our elections.  Photo ID and proof of residency should be required during all elections and at all polling places including absentee balloting.

4.32  Resolved, we believe that rule making by government administrative bodies should be limited to implementing rules to enforce law within the intent of passed legislation.

4.33  Resolved, since the Constitution entrusts law making to Congress, Executive Branch Agencies shall cease rule making that can be applied like law to citizens.  Enforcement of the law shall be limited to the language passed by the legislators.

4.34  Resolved, Immigration Law should be enforced.  Where the Federal Government is unwilling or unable to enforce immigration laws, the state of Iowa should detain violators of immigration law until they are properly handled in compliance with immigration law.

4.35  Resolved, we oppose ratification of the UN convention on the Rights of the Child.  While disguised with a noble title, the convention would undermine the family to the detriment of all children.

4.36  Resolved, we call for reduction of Local, State, and Federal expenditures and repayment of all government debts.  We can no longer burden our children and grandchildren with the costs of our choices.  Selling their futures to pay for our dreams is morally bankrupt.

4.37  Resolved, we support the reaffirmation of rights guaranteed in the First Amendment regarding political speech and the removal of burdens to the exercise of those rights as set forth by the majority opinion in Citizens United vs FEC.

 

2014 GOVERNMENT
4.1 We believe in the principle of limited government.
 
4.2 We call on our courts to interpret and apply all Amendments as the framers intended.
 
4.3 We believe in the concept of “One citizen, one legal vote”.
 
4.4 We believe that private property rights are an extension of the unalienable rights of the individual citizen.
 
4.5 The Congress shall enact legislation to institute English as the official language of government.
 
4.6 We oppose nuisance lawsuits.

2012  HEALTH CARE

5.1  Resolved, the private sector is best suited to meet the health care needs of the American people. Government’s role in health care reform should be to prosecute fraud and eliminate regulation of the health care industry that stifles competition.

5.2  Resolved, we support patient’s rights to select their licensed health provider.

5.3  Resolved, we support expanded access to Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

5.4  Resolved, decisions on the number of days patients may stay in hospitals should be made by the patients and their doctor.

5.5  Resolved, we reaffirm that right to life for the elderly and handicapped. We oppose human euthanasia and assisted suicide. We call for the adoption of the Protective Medical Decisions Document which prohibits euthanasia and directs that “even in the face of death, ordinary nursing and medical care and pain relief appropriate to the condition be provided.”

5.6  Resolved, we support life saving stem cell research that does not require the killing of new human life. We are therefore opposed to procedures in which human embryos are created for experimentation and destroyed. We support adult stem cell research which has produced dozens of therapies and cures with more on the horizon.

5.7  Resolved we urge the State of Iowa to enact legislation to require all procedures performed on a minor where blood or bodily fluid is present to require parental written consent prior to performance any procedures.  The procedures will be performed only in licensed and state inspected facilities and businesses.

5.8  Resolved, we support the elimination of the designation of AIDS/HIV as a disability.

5.9  Resolved, we believe that AIDS/HIV should be classified as a communicable disease and treated as such under current law. We favor requiring the reporting of AIDS/HIV carriers and felony prosecution of any carrier who willfully exposes other person. We support the right of all healthcare and mortician professionals to have knowledge of the AIDS/HIV status of patients prior to providing services.

5.10  Resolved, Medicare payments be made eligible as co-payments at any veterans hospital for veterans 65 and older who subscribe to Medicare.

5.11  Resolved, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to health care providers shall occur within 30 days.  When payments are made beyond 30 days, the amount billed is the amount due, plus interest at the rate consistent with federal contract law.

5.12  Resolved, we support the freedom of healthcare workers to practice in a manner that is consistent with their own conscience and other ethical boundaries.

5.13  Resolved, we support serious debate on health care tort reform.

5.14 Resolved, we support repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

2014  HEALTH CARE

5.1 We believe that health care solutions are best selected by the individual and that free enterprise is best suited to meet the health care needs of the American people.
 
5.2 We support patient’s rights to select their licensed health provider.
 
5.3 We believe in the sanctity of human life at conception through natural death.

2012  HUMAN RIGHTS AND SERVICES

6.1  Resolved, we believe every human being should have the civil right to life regardless of age or degree of dependency including human beings not yet born. As a genetically unique individual from the moment of conception the unborn child has a fundamental right to life that should not be infringed. We therefore reaffirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Iowa, protecting the right to life of the unborn and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections also apply to unborn children. We further support measures to prohibit any government funding of abortion related services. We oppose using public revenues for abortion or funding organizations which advocate it. We commend those who provide alternatives to abortion by meeting the needs of mothers and offering adoption services. We reaffirm our support for the appointment of judges who respect the sanctity of human life.

6.2  Resolved, we disagree with Roe v Wade and Doe V Bolton as settled law.

6.3  Resolved, we promote education on alternatives to abortion, aid to unwed mothers during pregnancy, and efforts to encourage adoption of unwanted children up for adoption. Also we urge simplification to expedite adoption procedures and special-needs adoption programs.

6.4 Resolved, we oppose adoption by same-sex couples.

6.5  Resolved, we support new and innovative approaches to encourage and prepare people to get off welfare. We support drug testing for welfare recipients.   If tested positive, the individual would be referred for diagnostic assessment and treatment.  We affirm that welfare should be a short-term safety net designed to elevate the recipient to a self-sufficient status.

6.6  Resolved, we believe vigorous pursuit of support payments from parents for children should be undertaken.

6.7  Resolved, we urge passage of legislation providing state control and funding over all areas of the welfare system. This is intended to eliminate federal entitlement in these areas, making each state responsible for all aspects of these programs including qualification criteria and funding levels.

6.8  Resolved, we oppose any action, which may subvert or supplant the traditional concept of marriage and family as the bedrock of society, and we oppose the legal recognition of homosexual marriages.

6.9  Resolved, we urge passing legislation eliminating all racial discrimination and racial set asides and demand an end to affirmative action and reverse discrimination.

6.10  Resolved, we support the collection and compilation of records on abortion just as is done with any other surgical procedure. This includes statistics on maternal deaths and injuries.

6.11  Resolved, that abortion clinics should be regulated and licensed to the same extent as any other outpatient surgical facility.

6.12  Resolved, the sale or use of fetal tissue from elective abortions for research or commercial purposes should be banned.

6.13  Resolved, we support legislation requiring parental consent before an abortion or any reproductive services are performed on a minor child.

6.14  Resolved, we support a total ban on partial birth abortions.

6.15  Resolved, prior to any abortion procedure the attending physician must provide accurate up to date information to the woman contemplating an abortion, including information on fetal development, the risks inherent in the procedure and of alternatives available to her sufficient for her to give fully informed consent.

6.16  Resolved, we urge that zoning regulations be written to include facilities performing elective abortions as subject to at least the same notification and location protections available to residents concerned with nuisances and property devaluation.

6.17  Resolved, we oppose the State of Iowa creating or recognizing a legal status identical to marriage for unmarried individuals.

6.18  Resolved, we believe that traditional two-parent, one male and one female, marriage based families are the foundation to a stable, enduring and healthy civilization.  Therefore, public policy must always be pro-family in nature, encouraging marital and family commitment, and supportive of parental rights and responsibilities.

6.19  Resolved, we support a marriage amendment to both the State of Iowa Constitution and the U.S. Constitution which would define Marriage in Iowa and the United States as the union of one man and one woman.  No law shall require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred on unmarried couples or groups.

6.20  Resolved, we oppose special rights for some citizens over the equal rights of all citizens of the United States of America.

6.21  Resolved, we believe that the State of Iowa, its counties and municipalities, should not enact any ordinance, rule or policy which provides homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual persons preferential treatment.  This provision of State law shall preempt any ordinance regulation, rule or policy enacted before this amendment is adopted that violates this prohibition.

6.22  Resolved, we enactment of “hate crimes” which often serve to criminalize the reasonable actions of person who oppose the granting of special status or privileges to defined groups.  All criminal statutes should apply equally to all citizens without regard to race, religion or sexual orientation.

6.23  Resolved, we strongly urge that the 2002 Iowa Human Cloning Ban that was repealed by Democrat legislators over unified Republican opposition be reinstated.

2014  HUMAN RIGHTS

6.1 We believe the unborn child, as a genetically unique individual, has the fundamental right to life that should not be infringed upon. We promote education on alternatives to abortion, assistance to mothers during pregnancy, and efforts to encourage the adoption of unwanted children.

6.2 We support new and innovative approaches to encourage and prepare people for independence.

6.3 We oppose any action, which may subvert or supplant the traditional concept of marriage. We recognize the right of an individual to enter into legal contracts.

2012   LABOR AND BUSINESS  

7.1  Resolved, we believe the economic prosperity of business is the ultimate means by which we fund all other ends.  The key to prosperity is an adequate return on an individual’s labor, talent, capital and risk.  We are keenly aware that regulations, fees and taxes diminish that return and should be kept to a minimum.

7.2  Resolved, we fully endorse “right to work” laws; we oppose any attempt to weaken these laws.

7.3  Resolved, we support the repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, which increases costs and reduces competition for federally financed construction. We oppose any attempt to adopt a similar Iowa law.

7.4  Resolved, we believe the United States should review its membership and participation in NAFTA.

7.5  Resolved, we oppose control of the Internet by governmental agencies domestic or foreign. We support continued private US leadership and preeminence.

7.6  Resolved, strategic government contracts should be held within the United States.

7.7  Resolved, we believe Congress should permanently allow business to expense equipment predominately manufactured in the United States in the year it is purchased.

7.8  Resolved, we believe the focus of OSHA should be to work with, and not against business.

7.9  Resolved, we believe the market place and not the government should set the minimum wage.

7.10  Resolved, the proposed “Law of the Sea Treaty” will hinder undersea exploration and economic development by private entities by diverting through taxation profits from the activity to other countries and other problematic provisions.  The US must negotiate to modify it and eliminate its counterproductive provisions, or not sign it.

7.11  Resolved, Congress consider negotiating trade with Cuba, taking into account the need to settle legal claims resulting from confiscation of the property of US individuals and corporations, with the requirement that Cuba will improve it’s human rights record.

7.12  Resolved, we support legislation that will protect Iowa citizens from predatory lending practices. Legislation should also provide protection to lenders from unjust liability resulting from trying to protect themselves from charges related to so-called “red-lining” practices.

2014   LABOR AND BUSINESS

7.1 We believe the economic prosperity of business is the ultimate means by which we fund all other ends. The key to prosperity is an adequate return on an individual’s labor, talent, capital and risk.

7.2 We endorse “right to work” laws.

7.3 We oppose the “Davis-Bacon Act.”  We oppose any attempt to adopt a similar Iowa law. Strategic government contracts should be held within the United States.

7.4 We believe the United States should strive to have free and fair trade throughout the world.

7.5 We oppose control of the Internet by governmental agencies domestic or foreign.

7.7 We believe all government agencies should work with business, and any new powers should have legislative approval. New regulations should be simple, clear and limited.

7.8 We believe wages should be negotiated between the employer and employee. The government should not set wages.

 

2012   LAW ENFORCEMENT AND JUSTICE

8.1  Resolved, that crimes against children (sexual, physical abuse) should not be tolerated and should be punished to the full extent of the law.

8.2  Resolved, we support efforts to improve the juvenile justice system; in sum, we urge greater parental involvement, more severe consequences for convicted juvenile offenders and adults who condone (facilitate) juvenile criminal acts.

8.3  Resolved, we believe in the simple notions: punishment must fit the crime; financial restitution must be a part of criminal sentences where appropriate; swift, sure and certain punishment is a necessary part of deterrence.

8.4  Resolved, that we support prison reform including the limitation of prisoner rights and amenities paid for by state or federal governments. We call for legislation requiring convicts to work for their room and board and requiring education and training in vocational, technical and social skills for incarcerated persons.

8.5  Resolved, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental natural right.  As with all other rights, the right to keep and bear arms should not be licensed or controlled.

8.6  Resolved, that reciprocity between states regarding gun permits be allowed.

8.7 Resolved, no citizen should be required to retreat prior to use of force from any aggressor in their home, business, place of worship, or any other place they have a legal right to be.  The Constitution and Laws of Iowa should recognize this fundamental right.

8.8  Resolved, the law denying a citizen’s right to bear arms based on a conviction for simple misdemeanor domestic assault be repealed.

8.9  Resolved, we urge the death penalty be reinstated in the State of Iowa.

8.10  Resolved, we urge strict and uniform enforcement of laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and higher mandatory minimum fines.

8.11  Resolved, we support the elimination of no-fault divorce in Iowa.

8.12  Resolved, we support limitations on the number of appeals per case.

8.13  Resolved, we support the full protection of habeas corpus rights.

8.14  Resolved, we urge the Congress of the United States of America to exercise their authority under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States of America to remove the authority of the judicial branch over legislation relating to abortion.

8.15  Resolved, we oppose the legalization of controlled substances, including marijuana for recreational purpose.

8.16  Resolved that the Iowa Legislature require a true and full economic study be made to show the real impact and costs that the operations of casinos, lotteries and other legal gambling has had upon families, businesses, state government, and every other aspect of the Iowa economy.

8.17  Resolved, we call for legislation requiring that automatic teller machines be removed from gambling facilities.

8.18  Resolved, we support a call for a moratorium on the further expansion of casino gambling in Iowa.

8.19  Resolved, we support an immediate and total ban on all “professional” (large scale) gambling in the State of Iowa. Professional (large scale) being defined as casino’s, riverboats, racetracks, etc. This is meant to allow only those yearly or seasonal, limited stakes events designed to raise money for charity, schools, governmental agencies, fraternal organizations, churches, etc.

8.20  Resolved, we call for strong enforcement of laws against obscenity and pornography. Iowa should make these laws consistent with the most effective laws of other states, including the broadest possible constitutionally permitted definition of illegal obscenity.

8.21  Resolved, that prisoners serve all sentences in full.

8.22  Resolved, we support policies and practices that encourage development and redevelopment inside our cities and towns.

8.23  Resolved, we believe identity crime should be federalized to prohibit the sale of financial data (excluding that which is necessary for credit reporting) and personal data.

8.24  Resolved, we support a call for immediate tort reform, including the adoption of a loser-pays system and limits on liability judgments and elimination of frivolous lawsuits.

8.25  Resolved, we support realistic truth-in-sentencing and call for mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes.

8.26  Resolved, we support the repeal of state and federal “hate crimes” legislation.

8.27  Resolved, all persons who have successfully completed rehabilitative services and programs available to them while incarcerated, and having served the term of imprisonment imposed at the time of sentencing, receive assistance from any available sources, (public or private without prejudice) before or after their release that would assist them in becoming productive citizens and reduce recidivism.

8.28  Resolved, Congress should end the “catch and release” system of deportation.

8.29  Resolved, Congress should reject amnesty for illegal immigrants.

8.30  Resolved, we support legal immigration for all those persons who qualify as established by law. We support a legal temporary worker system requiring background checks, tamperproof identification and the determination of the number of workers needed for the jobs they would fulfill.

8.31  Resolved, due to the success of the Oklahoma statutes sanctioning employers who employ undocumented workers, we support similar legislation in Iowa.

8.32 We believe that any attempt to provide for indefinite detention without due process of law is unwise and unconstitutional.  All U.S. citizens have inalienable rights derived from our Creator: torture, coercion, or deprivation of rights or liberty is morally and legally untenable in our Constitutional Republic.  Any laws, regulations or executive orders that deprive anyone of these rights must be repealed.

8.33 Resolved, we strongly oppose human trafficking for any purpose.  We urge law enforcement at all levels, other government agencies, non-profit organizations, and citizens to be more vigilant in the prevention, identification and prosecution of human trafficking activity.

2014   LAW ENFORCEMENT

8.1 We support the Iowa Constitution and the U.S. Constitution with all of its amendments being our law. We are opposed to any treaties that usurp our laws.

8.2 We support the enforcement of laws as they have been enacted by all levels of government, from local to federal.

8.3 We support all laws that protect individual rights.

2012  NATIONAL DEFENSE AND FOREIGN POLICY

9.1  Resolved, the United States must maintain an industrial base and military force in the United States which is capable of supporting our national defense, sovereignty, and global interests.

9.2  Resolved, we support the continued rebuilding and strengthening of our nation’s defense and security operations, and increasing the pay for men and women in our armed services to a living wage.

9.3  Resolved, we believe that one of the government’s primary roles is to maintain an adequate military force to secure the borders of the United States and to carry out our nation’s foreign policies and protect national interests.

9.4  Resolved, the work of the Military and Civilian intelligence communities are critical to our national defense and must be protected.

9.5  Resolved, the military force structure and manning levels must be set based on the current threat assessment and not political favor, and include a combination of active, reserve, and National Guard components.

9.6  Resolved, we believe that the United States government should not put any United States forces under the command of any foreign or international leader or allow them to wear the insignia or uniform of any foreign or international groups, which would circumvent their allegiance to the United States.

9.7  Resolved, the military force structure should be maintained by a combination of active and reserve units when active forces are downsized the reserve units shall be increased by the same number to insure the safety of the United States of America.

9.8  Resolved, we call for ending the placement of American women in military combat positions.

9.9  Resolved, we urge the United States to take strong stands against those countries that deny basic human rights including removing Most Favored Nation Trading Status and opposing its entry into the World Trade Organization.  We strongly support the continuation of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on sexual orientation.

9.10  Resolved, we believe that the U.S. military has the responsibility to exclude from service those individuals whose sexual or moral behaviors are not compatible with military standards and practices.

9.11  Resolved, we recommend that budgets provide sufficient funding to our military forces to ensure our national defense. All budgets should emphasize the elimination of waste and cost overruns by any branch of the military.

9.12  Resolved, we believe that a strict policy on the sale of technology to foreign states be implemented and enforced so that American secrets, that give us a strategic advantage, remain United States secrets and not be sold to foreign states.

9.13  Resolved, we support development of controls so that foreign governments are never in a position to influence the outcome of an American election.

9.14  Resolved, we support the review of medical policy for vaccinations in the military. The government should not force arbitrary vaccinations.

9.15  Resolved, we support stopping the erosion of veteran health care benefits. All veterans disabled by 30% or more should be provided with “Tri-Care” for themselves and their families. All injured military, whether Regular, Reserve, or National Guard, must be treated equally by the disability review boards.   Recognition of the delayed effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) must be made by having a longer time period in which veterans are entitled to a disability hearing.

9.16

9.17  Resolved, we support the acceptance of Medicare and Medicaid at the V/A hospitals.

9.18  Resolved, we support calls for the increase and maintenance of an active military and reserve force at the size that existed at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War as a minimum.

9.19  Resolved, we believe that the active and reserve forces be armed with the latest weapons through a technology updated strategic defense program.

9.20  Resolved, we support the stockpiling of adequate ammunition of all types to sustain our armed forces from the day a war begins until the day that production and consumption reach equilibrium.

9.21  Resolved, that the nation should support and finance an updated strategic defense program.

9.22  Resolved we control illegal immigration into the United States, using troops, if necessary.

9.23  Resolved, we support the use of our military resources if necessary to protect our borders from illegal immigration and drugs.

9.24  Resolved, persons who serve in the military – active-duty, Guard and Reserves – should have equitable benefits according to their commitments.

9.25  Resolved, the United States should withdraw financial support and membership from the United Nations.

9.26  Resolved, the Iowa Legislature to enact legislation that provides disabled veterans with a $5,000 disabled veterans homestead property tax exemption on their primary domicile.

9.27  Resolved, we urge continued economic and military support for Israel, our strong ally.

9.28  Resolved, Congress should secure our borders.

9.29  Resolved, any engagement of our military forces must be accompanied by a firm resolve to achieve victory, and to rally the country and to provide funding and support to achieve that victory. Congress has a responsibility to the troops and the mission.

9.30  Resolved, we strongly encourage a vote by the U.S. Congress on the ratification of free trade agreements within one year of the completion of their negotiations.

2014  NATIONAL DEFENSE AND FOREIGN POLICY

9.1 We believe that government’s primary role is to maintain an adequate military force to secure the borders of the United States and to carry out our nation’s foreign policies and protect national interests.

9.2 We believe a national strategy should exist to defend against terrorism—domestically, through cyber-attacks, and those abroad—against the United States, our Allies, or our own global interests through coordination at federal and state levels that outlines all operations while preserving the rights and liberties of citizens.

9.3 The United States must maintain an industrial base and military force within the United States which is capable of supporting our national defense, sovereignty, and global interests. Military force structure should be determined by current threat assessment and not political favor. It should include a combination of active, reserve and National Guard components.

9.4 We believe that those who serve in the Armed Forces should be fairly compensated for their service and any commitments made by the United States government should be kept regarding compensation and benefits during service and upon retirement and/or disability or death.

9.5 We believe that the United States should provide strong economic and military support to our Allies who defend democracy and promote peace.

 

2012   NATURAL RESOURCES/ENVIRONMENT

10.1  Resolved, we support realistic federal and Iowa laws to ensure clean air, clean water, and safe management of wastes. These laws must be fairly and uniformly enforced and simplified when possible.  Law and rules should be based on unbiased scientific research, risk analysis, economic impact and common sense.

10.2  Resolved, we support an environmental policy that protects the rights of humans before animals and insects.  We believe polities that allow the continued death of thousands of humans through malaria and other disease to protect animals and insects are deplorable.

10.3  Resolved, we will not support any policy, which is detrimental to the United States’ economic well-being, such as “Cap & Trade legislation or the “Kyoto Protocols.”

10.4  Resolved, we urge aggressive research focused on the development of new technologies aimed at relieving our dependency on foreign oil. These technologies include bio-fuels produced from waste products or recycled materials, nuclear power generation, and domestic and off-shore oil production.

10.5  Resolved, we urge that regulations which unnecessarily reduce the nation’s refinery capacity, nuclear power generation capacity, off shore oil production and development of oil and gas fields be eliminated. Energy independence is achievable and crucial to national defense.

10.6  Resolved, we reject the “World Heritage Treaty,” which sets up 18 heritage sites within the United States to be governed by a United Nations mandate.

10.7  Resolved, the Congress shall adequately fund the National Park Service and insure the protection of our National Park resources.  The National Parks should remain under the control of the United States National Park Service.

10.8  Resolved, we oppose attempts to eliminate hunting and trapping of wild game.

10.9  Resolved, the authority of the Iowa DNR should be limited so that searches and seizures without a warrant do not occur.

10.10  Resolved, citizens should not be penalized in the future regarding an on-road or off-road motorized vehicle which does not comply with environmental standards not set at the time of manufacture.

10.11  Resolved, the market should be the prime determinant of what devices households use in pursuit of energy savings.

10.12  Resolved, we support the development of a comprehensive state and national energy policy.  This policy should include the following principles:  research and development, the discovery and advancement of new technology, renewable energy sources, conservation, expanded exploration, infrastructure and capital investment.

 

2014   NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENT

10.1 We believe in stewardship to enhance natural resources and the environment for the future.

10.2 We support environmental policy that protects the rights and lives of humans.

10.3 We support hunting and trapping of wild game.

10.4 We will not support a policy, which is detrimental to the economic well-being of the United States, such as “Cap and Trade” or the “Kyoto Protocols” or any other United Nations mandate.

10.5 We believe in energy freedom. This includes but not limited to heritage energies, renewable energy, and conservation. The private development of new technologies will help reduce our dependency on expensive foreign energy.

10.6 The authority of the Iowa DNR should be limited so that searches and seizures without warrants do not occur.

10.7 Environmental emissions laws should not be retroactive to previously manufactured engines.

10.8 Personal choices should determine what devices citizens use in the pursuit of energy savings.

2012  TRANSPORTATION

11.1  Resolved, we are opposed to increasing the legal operating weights for commercial trucking.

11.2  Resolved, we urge that all motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle registration fees be used to maintain both the rural and urban infrastructure of roads, streets and bridges.  We oppose any transfer of State Road Use Funds for uses other than building and maintaining roads and bridges.

11.3  Resolved, we support the maintenance and improvement of our transportation infrastructure, including highways, secondary roads, railroad systems, pipelines, ports, waterways, locks and dam systems.

11.4  Resolved, we believe trucks and drivers from Canada and Mexico operating in the United States should comply with all standards and regulations required of U.S.trucks and drivers.

 

2014   TRANSPORTATION

11.1 We are opposed to increasing the legal operating weights for commercial trucking.

11.2. We support our transportation infrastructure.  We urge that all motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle registration fees be used to build and maintain roads and bridges.  We oppose any transfer of State road use funds for uses other than building and maintaining roads and maintaining roads and bridges.

2012   THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

12.1  Resolved, that Republican Party candidates conduct issue oriented campaigns.

12.2 We expect political campaigns to be conducted in a positive and truthful manner.

12.3  Resolved, Republicans should strongly encourage and financially support Republican candidates in the general election and be committed to electing Republicans who consistently support our platform and values.

12.4  Resolved, we support the Iowa Federation of Republican Women, the College Republicans, and the Iowa Young Republican Federation.

12.5  Resolved, the Republican Party will actively seek to promote its ideals.

12.6  Resolved, we believe that government should start at the “grass roots” level.  The party should continue with the current Iowa Caucus process.

12.7  Resolved that the State Central Committee has the authority to remove an Iowa Republican National Committee Person for just cause.

2014   REPUBLICAN PARTY

12.1 We urge the Republican Party to recruit and support candidates who stand for lower taxes, smaller government, the elimination of waste and fraud, and who value personal responsibility.
 
12.2 We encourage party leadership and candidates to conduct themselves and any political campaigns in a positive and truthful manner.
 
12.3 We recognize and value the work of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women, the College Republicans, and Iowa Young Republican Federation.
 
12.4 We support efforts to reach out to and educate traditionally non-Republican demographics about the principles of the Republican Party.
 
12.5 We encourage the use of new technologies to better inform the electorate and assist voter turnout.

2012  COMMENDATIONS

13.1  We commend all good Republicans who defend Republican principles of government.

13.2  We commend all workers in the Republican Party, including state committee members, county officers, precinct leaders, poll watchers, campaign workers and others.

13.3  We commend the Republican legislators and office holders who have stood by the principles of the Republican platform. We endorse our new and incumbent candidates who are taking a stand in their campaigns to enact change in accordance with our Republican principles. We are grateful for their sacrifice and desire to serve the people. We pledge them our strong support.

13.4  We commend our Scott County Republican elected officials for providing good and honest government and for their sincere concern for the people of Scott County.

13.5  We commend Senator Charles Grassley for his hard work and effective representation since our last County Convention.

13.6  We commend the men and women of the armed forces and their families who are sacrificing so much for freedom and democracy.

13.7  We commend all members of Congress who adhere to Republican principles and defend our freedoms from the onslaught of increasing regulation, control, taxes, and intrusions into our privacy.

13.8  We commend Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds for their efforts to restore fiscal responsibility to the state and enhance the educational opportunities for Iowa’s children.

13.9  Whereas, former Republican Congressman James Leach, who has enjoyed loyal political and financial support and the volunteer labors of Scott County Republicans, endorsed a candidate radically opposed to the principles of Limited Republican Government, his actions served to weaken the cause of Liberty and sound Constitutional Government.

Therefore, Scott County Republican Delegates here assembled recognize James Leach’s actions as a betrayal and by his actions worthy of being denied all future Republican Party support.

 

2014  COMMENDATIONS

none proposed

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 Defending the Idea of Platforms Being More Than Platitudes  –  Article 2

Reader Agrees and Disagrees With QC Times

We received the following from a reader regarding our rebuttal  yesterday to the QC Times denigration of the party platform process.  We appreciate the response. The reader’s comments are set forth below in their entirety.  We have upgraded it to the daily post section in order to address its contentions more thoroughly.

I agree with the Times in principle that the Platform is way too long, having helped write it for a few years. Yes it is a dumping ground of wishes, many of them violations of limited government principles that we so eloquently state in our preamble. Both parties are guilty of using the color of noble purpose to push their own profiteering agenda.

For Republicans examples are their devotion to tax and spend farm subsidies that overwhelmingly benefit those who are working the system to make a fortune rather than working their fields (I come from a farm family that has never used farm subsidies). As a veteran, I also agree with General Smedley Butler, President General Eisenhower, and General Clark and a long list of other senior ranking officers and enlisted who have found that our Military industrial complex doesn’t make us safer and costs way more than it should. The Republicans also have their own social engineering schemes, tax deductions for mortgage debt (enriching bankers), deductions for various causes they believe in. The purpose of government is Defense and Justice, not adventurism, not wealth creation, or even protecting the wealth of “producers” at the expense of “labor” (special capital gains income tax rates). Republicans are every bit a part of our Byzantine Labyrinth of tax law, currently at about 70,000 pages. The Government should should tax equally and fairly possibly with no deductions at all so that rates can be that much lower, and to allow everyone a paying stake in these important functions.

Republicans are for balanced budgets unless they’re in charge, look where that got us last time. When they are out of power Republicans are only looking to get back in power. I believe Democrats are more dangerous, but they are at least honest, they are there to advance an agenda, even if they loose a few elections.

That said, I believe the QC Times should stick to writing about the news instead of trying to create it.

Our response

Rather than indicating that the length of platforms suggests a “dumping ground for wish lists,” length and even the number of planks, we believe are more stylistic issues and matters of judgement over the amount of explanatory context.  More importantly,  length  is a reflection of the desire to specify the variety of issues that have risen to a level of concern.

Platforms are an important outlet for party activists who are patient and informed enough to participate in formal and informal review and discussion, in order to give politicians ,and the community, their collective two cents on issues of the day. This properly includes the implication of what they expect from politicians in order to earn their support.  That they do not hold politicians accountable is a separate matter.

We could have a platform longer still with indisputable provisions by the reader’s (and our) standards. Such length could result from pointing out specific constitutional lapses in current government, of which there are many, nay, an overwhelming number. Specification of complaints has merit lest certain sectors think they are exempt from opprobrium and as a matter of emphasis and prioritization.

But just as certainly there are legitimate constitutional policy choices regarding appropriate government action at the local state and national level that could individually constitute an informed, timely, vibrant, and yes even lengthy ( length being a judgement call) platform of priorities.

Let’s say that the Calico County Supervisors will be voting to build a new road, maintenance center, jail, whatever. At that level why shouldn’t political activists that create the party structure, provide the ballot access, help get those officials elected,  with a  reasonably informed opinion speak collectively as to what they think should be done on each of those matters?  It should not be so easy to dismiss or ignore your own party activists.

All of the matters specified are legitimate governmental concerns. Maybe the elected officials from the party would appreciate the input, the support, and the opportunity to parlay that interest into a successful legislative program. Perhaps they need such momentum because he or she has experienced or anticipates resistance from other party members?  Why would any party activist worth their salt be inclined to reduce the influence of the party on important matters?

We suppose the delegates could collectively grunt “follow the constitution”  . . . deliver just those three words as comprising the platform to our illustrious elected officials  . . . and retire to the bar each convention.  Offering ten or fifteen platitudes isn’t much better. We can wipe our hands with the profound assurance that our work as delegates is done. Indeed done evermore as presumably the platitudes do not change.  Yet the refrain from some delegates (why they want to be delegates confounds me) is “Let the politicians use their judgement . . . after all isn’t that what we elect politicians to do  . . . pay attention for us?

Now most party activists, at least issue oriented folks who tend toward being delegates, have a mature understanding of how some of those politicians, including those of their own party, come to get nominated and elected, and how squishy they can be once elected.  They would amend the last statement in the paragraph above to say, with some  trepidation, . . .   “pay attention to the details for us . . . in the spirit of fulfilling these things that we feel need attention as best you can”

To be sure, matters of importance do not make it into platforms, but we give leeway to politicians to deal with those as they arise. That any conceptual matter does not make it into the platform is more human failing in thoroughness or anticipation rather then a flaw in the concept.

We too have participated in many platform committees and there is always an element of that cranky sentiment confronting us at the convention  . . . “let’s go home . . . the elected officials including our own do not pay any attention to this platform stuff.” That may be true but it is also more an argument for putting some performance tests into the platform.

We believe such an attitude is an indictment of those politicians who have solicited Party support and placement. Such politicians should run as independents and forgo the current system of ballot placement and advantages party identification provides – the advantages of straight ticket voting, campaign support, etc.

Letting such politicians get away with such an attitude with no sanctions is an indictment of leadership and the rank and file who are aware of it. For them, one wonders if party participation isn’t more about some sort of club membership and access for unprincipled log rolling for special interests as the reader suggested.  While we do believe the latter aspect is endemic with the Democrat Party, we do not think it is so much with Republicans.

As an example of violation of principle by Republicans,   the reader raised the issue of tax and spend farm subsidies.  Here is the entire Agriculture section from the 2012 Iowa Republican Platform

Agriculture

2.1 We call for the abolition of the Federal Department of Agriculture, returning control to the state and local governments.
2.2 We support limiting the EPA’s control of agriculture and oppose the EPA regulating dust.
2.3 We oppose any laws prohibiting and/or restricting Iowans from selling farm products directly from the farm to the consumer.
2.4 We oppose efforts to control consumer food choices through selective taxation of any agricultural commodity, to include meat, dairy, or any other agricultural products or prepared packaged food items.
2.5 We believe animal husbandry decisions and production practices should be decided by individual farmers, not the state or federal government.
2.6 We affirm the property rights of farmers to sow seeds of their own choosing. Farmers planting seed shall not be held liable for the presence of invading seed by natural, uncontrollable causes, such as drift, wind, storms, animal movement, or water flow.
2.7 We oppose proposed Department of Labor regulations on the work of children on their own family’s farms. The Federal Government should not regulate young people working in agriculture through new labor laws, or revisions or new interpretations of existing ones.
2.8 We oppose regulations that would require a state-certified electrician to perform all electrical work on a farm.
2.9 We support labeling GMO (genetically modified) crops and food products made from GMO crops as such.
2.10 We call for the end of all federal subsidies in agriculture, including ethanol, and support the repeal of all federal regulations that inhibit the ability of the American farmer to compete fairly and effectively in the free market. It is not the government’s role to choose economic winners and losers.
2.11 We support the proper care and treatment of animals. We oppose laws or regulations elevating the well-being of animals to a similar status as the rights of people.
2.12 We believe that strict criminal and civil penalties should be imposed upon individuals or organizations that, under the guise of protection of animals, willfully destroy, vandalize or terrorize legitimate businesses.
2.13 We demand that the term “sustainable development” be defined, vetted, and controlled by county and state agricultural agencies whose private property it impacts rather than the UN, other international or Agenda 21 agencies, or any federal organization.
2.14 We support laws that prohibit foreign corporate and foreign country ownership of Iowa farm land.
2.15 We encourage the continuance of good stewardship of our farmland.
2.16 We demand that all laws restricting the growing of industrial hemp be immediately eliminated.
2.17 We support the definition of manure as a natural fertilizer.
2.18 We acknowledge that the protection of private property is essential to the sustainability of our agriculture and encourage the protection of private property to the maximum extent of the law. We support legislation to restrict the use of eminent domain only for public works and infrastructure; eminent domain should not be exercised to benefit an individual or corporation.
2.19 We support the effective enforcement of anti-trust laws, and the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, to prevent commodity market price manipulation and also protect the integrity of the commodity market price discovery process.
2.20 We oppose packer/processor ownership and feeding of livestock.
2.21 Anyone moving into areas zoned as agricultural should be prohibited from filing “nuisance” lawsuits. However, any previously established residents should retain the right to file against any expansion or development that infringes on their property rights.
2.22 We support maintaining the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture as an elected office and not as an appointed one.
2.23 All imported food must be labeled as to the country where that food commodity was raised and/or produced. All imported food must be held to the same food-safety standards as food produced in these United States.
2.24 We oppose a mandatory National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
2.25 We believe that all regulations affecting production agriculture, including water and air quality standards, should be transferred from the DNR to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
2.26 We support statewide site standards for livestock facilities and oppose excessive local control laws, which would create 99 different sets of rules for Iowa farmers.
2.27 We support the continued production of lean, fine-textured beef.
2.28 We oppose a moratorium on new livestock farms.
2.29 We believe that previously drained, frequently cropped land labeled as “farmed wetland” and all agricultural lands assessed for benefits by drainage districts should be exempted from wetland conservation (swamp buster) provisions of the farm program.
2.30 We support bio-technical agriculture and bio-technical products.

Agree or disagree with specific resolutions but we see no solicitation of government largess in that entire section.  More so we see the consistent call for government to be more hands off, along with some regulatory concerns.   The agriculture planks are defensible items consistent with the greater principle of reducing government.  They are matters that have risen to a level of concern within the party. Our complaint should be about politicians who ignore them, or are ignorant of them,  not the advocacy and educational value of specifications in the platform.

Where the occasional tax break or some special regulatory policies are called for, they are properly understood in lieu of more fundamental reforms which the platform also calls for. That direction is part of the preamble to the district and state platforms. But we see relatively  little special interest regulations across the board.  There are calls for less regulation. That is just the opposite of the Democrat platforms. So there are differences in the parties. More the problem is who we elect and what they do once in office more than the nature of what they are called to do under the platform.

No one suggests that every matter in the platform can be addressed  in each session of the legislature. But apart from exigencies the Republican members have no control over, specific planks , which are often limited in scope and therefore often more politically possible, should be pursued when possible in lieu of more encompassing reforms which we also support.

When government was less, identifiable aspects in need  of reform were less. Platforms properly provide grand reforms and smaller reforms.   It is not inconsistent to do so and it is a good and practical reason for  platforms being more than a set of ten or fifteen platitudes as the QC Times favorite precinct chairman proposed.

Nevertheless there are ways to streamline and discipline the formation of platforms.  More on that and other matters related to the importance of platforms in coming days.    R Mall

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These pages include a section by section comparison of recent Scott County Republican Platform proposals and other related commentary.   First shown will be the proposed 2012 section, then the corresponding 2014 proposed section below it in italics.  Later we will  incorporate commentary either section by section or as part of an analysis posted to the home page.

Note that the 2012 platform is the proposed version presented to the 2012 County Convention. No official final version has ever been posted on the Scott County Republican Party Web site.   We are not aware of any admissions to Scott County Republicans on the Web site as to why the final amended draft is not available.  The 2012 Proposed Platform as is appropriate was built on the approved 2010 Platform.  They are similar in length and with a relative few amendments and timely adjustments are similar in most particulars.

Regular posts related to the subject:

Second District Platform Repudiates Scott County Platform

Letter to Republican Second District Convention Delegates

The Silly Scott County Platform

The Don’t “Scare,” Don’t Inform, Don’t Challenge, Don’t Focus, Don’t Be Relevent, Don’t Do Anything Platform

Incomprehensible

More On Scott County Platform — Key Matters Missing or Downplayed –                    Pathetic attempts to lure “demographic” unicorns into the tent won’t work . . . saddle horses could bolt

Platform Rescue Effort

Platform Vandalized, Delegates Made Into Props

The Delegate Irrelevancy Platform

Related

Somebody Tell Scott County Republican Leadership That Bill Clinton Supports Photo Voter ID

 More Questions About the SCRCC Constitution . . . Giving to Democrats Gore Any Oxen?

 Nuances Do Not Turn Out The Base . . .  Has David Axelrod been reading Veritas??

Legislators Still Trying to Increase Iowa Fuel Taxes -Scott County Republican Party Muted

Republican Candidate Recruitment in Scott County Races Lacking
Democrats  –  two unforced errors –  Republicans – five

Chronicling Scott County Republican Leadership’s Assaults on Caucus Integrity

Scott County Republican Matters


 

Defending the Idea of Platforms Being More Than Platitudes  –  Article 1

qc times caucus 1-26-14

 

The QC Times masthead editorial of January 26th admonishes participants in Iowa’s distinctive caucus-to-convention system to Cut party platforms down to size. Apparently the luminaries on the QC Times Editorial Board believe that caucus participants who are concerned about specific issues are rubes and out of their league.  Indeed according to them “Platforms are dumping grounds for wish lists.” By implication, convention delegates who go through the entire process are really pathetic. Legislators and smart people stay home caucus night and get their political opinions from the studied offerings in the QC Times on matters it decides are important.

Referring to the size of both the Democrat and Iowa Republican state platforms as around 400 planks each, the QC Times infers that no one could possibly have an instinct, much less a considered opinion, on so many planks . . . except the editorial Board of the QC Times of course. Now keep in mind that those same luminaries pretend to enlighten their readers with at least an editorial a day.

So a regular dump a day from the QCT, nuances intended, results in around 400 or so “planks” each year on any number of issues . . . enjoining, cajoling, indeed specifying. But political party delegates are just too stupid to form an opinion and lend support to a variety of matters that have risen to a level of prominence, and set them out with a modicum of specificity.

What the QCT also fails to acknowledge in their very superficial understanding of the process is that normally, relatively few new planks are added each year. Still current items of widespread concern are generally left alone and only items of new or ongoing controversy and significant changes are typically raised at conventions.

Platform committees and conventions do not generally rewrite or reinvent the hub of the party every two years. There is great stability. Items are eliminated as they become irrelvant.  Certainly the process can be streamlined, but it will never be for the impatient, the unconcerned, or editorialists who prefer that politicians only listen to their erudition.

If issue discussion and resolution, a.k.a. platform development, were to be eliminated as a motivating force from the caucus structure and agenda, candidates would be less inclined to talk substantively on issues and they would be less prepared in their political outreach.  The public would be subjected to even more emphasis on blandishments rather than cogent positions honed from dealing at the retail level with issue oriented people, the kind who are most inclined to show up at the caucuses. The caucus system helps breed capable effective activists and candidates.

While the QCT editorial board, out of hubris, might prefer to be the definer of issues for all parties, they are apparently too dumb to realize that losing a key formative component of Iowa’s caucuses would largely obviate the need for the system and Iowa’s special place in the current national mix. Iowa would quickly lose its political cache.

With that gone, somehow we think the QC Times and other newspapers in the state would be thought of as less influential, not more so,  as Iowa becomes just another part of flyover country. We would rather keep Iowa’s special caucus system intact, and resultant influence, even if it means putting up with the extra, otherwise unearned,  credence given to Iowa’s liberal newspaper establishment.

Platform development is an important grassroots component of the caucus evening. It is part of the most authentic grassroots empowering political process in practice in the country. The precinct caucus system and its components should be expanded to other states, not denigrated in our own.

The QC Times editorial wrote of platforms serving as guides but was bent on taking away any substance to that guidance. Vague guidance is no guidance on issues of immediate concern. Vagueness provides no prioritization. Instead such platforms take grassroots activists out of the prioritization process. But once parties allow for grassroots input and prioritization, what you have is, perish the thought, something that resembles an issue oriented platform. And that is a good thing.

The QC Times editorial listed and sought to ridicule some planks including identifying  them as inconsistent in some way (as if their opinions are not subject to criticism). Of course they set them out, without context, but worse yet, they sought also to vilify and mischaracterize. The editorialists at the Davenport newspaper think current caucus platform participation is for cranks, rubes or evil doers . . . albeit with a few sensible people who they deign to highlight in the article.

According to such philosophical bed fellows, political parties are not for people to get together for the promulgation of matters of concern, they are for promoting vague politicians with an R or a D by their name.  It would be like the Republican Party forming itself as the “Party of Freedom” and not mention slavery and providing indifferent support to any “R” no matter what a politicians views were or how they might undermine key priorities. Of course what would make the QC Times happy would be to turn the caucuses into a quaint little get together to discuss how to apply the QC Times views and priorities as set forth in their editorials.  No thanks.

The QC Times article favorably featured a proposal sent forth from a Scott County Republican precinct caucus calling on the Party  to limit the platform to “10 -15 overarching principles.”  We are wondering if the proponents of such a plank have had the patience to read the preamble of  the current District and State platforms where their concerns are addressed. Of course they are entitled to disagree, but if they have not done so, we would hope that they would consider reading those preambles, where they will see that basic principles are covered, and “guidance” on how to interpret the platform.

Or maybe the gambit to reduce the platform to a few platitudes is an effort to strike substance in general, (and reduce clear accountability from elected Republicans), preferring that to the inclusion of  items they personally vehemently disagree with.  As in throw the baby out with the bathwater. We will deal more with the ill considered implications of such a proposal (something similar has been proposed periodically for years) in our next related installment.

For the record, there was not one of the Republican planks that the QC Times selected for their snide treatment that we would not be happy to defend in context.   Also please be aware that we will post this and future commentaries dealing with platform justifications and structure in a page set up for that purpose. Click on Platform in the page line above. Matters related to specific planks and platforms can be found in the category at right, 2014 Caucus & Conventions.       R Mall

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The Unapproved Rules Used to Gut the Platform

As we have stated previously in order to accomplish what they did  the 2014 Scott County  leadership dishonored the grassroots nature of the precinct caucus system. Caucus attendees were told indeed encouraged to bring platform planks forward for discussion and consideration as a feature of the caucuses. At no time prior to the precinct caucus or in the weeks after the caucuses up to the posting of the Platform Committees work were attendees or delegates told that the platform was to be drastically cut removing substantive issues in favor of platitudes.

Once posted, due to the cumbersomeness and time frame of the amendment process,  the Platform Committee’s proposal is largely fait accompli. However, after initial confusion that what was proposed was THE platform and not a section by section collection of clumsy introductory comments to the existing platform, and it became clear and word circulated* that a gutting and rewrite had gone on sub rosa, a valiant last minute effort spearheaded by Gary Fincher to restore the previous platform took place.

Regrettably that effort was rebuffed by delegates at the county convention. Charitably we think it was at least in part due to parliamentary confusion by delegates as to what was going on.  But regardless, in Scott County unlike perhaps any other county in Iowa, it takes 2/3 of the members present to change a ruling of the Chairman Chairperson Chairwoman Chair or, as is common, to change the standing rules.

Given that obstacle and the most pathetic rulings by the Rules Committee, chaired by John Ortega, we believe prompted by Chair Davidson’s desires, a return to a substantive platform was not going to happen.  We have never witnessed as blatant an exercise of dis-unifying arbitrary power mongering since, well, two years ago when pretty much the same “leadership”  dishonored the integrity of the presidential precinct caucuses.

Had either of those individuals voiced support for allowing the introduction of the amendments, restoration of the grassroots nature of the process might have been accomplished or had a fair chance.

It has been a past practice for decades to allow for the delivery of proposed amendments to physical addresses of the Platform Chairman or headquarters of the Scott County Republican Central Committee.  Mere comity would provide for such substantive performance.  Instead the Rules Committee ruled that the hand delivery of the proposed amendments prior to 4:00 PM on the final day for amendments as proposed by the Rules Committee was not sufficiently in compliance with those as yet unapproved rules.

The unapproved rules for 2014 called for delivery of amendments by mail to the SCRCC  P.O. Box in Bettendorf or via e-mail to the Platform Chairman. That was a change from the only approved rules in existence, the 2012 rules which allowed for physical delivery to the SCRCC office headquarters.  Indeed it was a change from anytime previously in our records search that a delivery to a physical address, either SCRCC office or Platform Chairman was not allowed or provided for.

It is also true that the time frame for proposed amendments had been shortened by two days to the Monday before the convention from the previously approved  time frame of the Wednesday before the convention (and in other years as late as the Friday before the Saturday convention).*  Nevertheless the amendments were delivered before 4:00 on Monday.  The physical delivery as to time and location was witnessed by four longstanding Republican activists including one “uninvolved” inadvertent but admitted witness waiting outside the SCRCC HQ to attend a meeting.

In a petty ruling by a petty Rules Chairman John Ortega, nodded to by a petty oriented leadership contingent,  the amendments to restore the previously approved platform, while keeping the proposed folderal, which were  substantively delivered on time, were ruled out of order.  The Platform Chairman was also heard to say that the Rules Chairman told him that “the amendments did not have enough signatures. ”  That led delegates to believe that all the amendments were short when only two or three of the fourteen or so were short, and they were not part of the corpus of the restoration. The Rules Chairman and the Platform Chairman mislead the delegates. If the Platform Chairman did not know the truth and that the Rules Committee Chairman was so blatantly wrong was an incredible display.  But it helped carry the day for them.

Amendments designed to restore the old platform and keep the “new” platitudes never saw tNewhe light of day . . . were never given a hearing.

We suspect one sentiment motivated some of the perpetrators, however unconvincing as a matter of political usefulness, a proper understanding of political parties or appreciation of the grass roots was to presume to write a platform for the ages.  That platforms are properly collection of generalities such that essentially all future  precinct caucuses discussions of issues would be dispatched with the wave “its covered.”   But substituting often incomprehensible platitudes for political relevancy and clear statements on acute issues should not be what constitutes a platform.  But that is what Scott County Chairman  Chairwoman Chairperson  Chair Judy Davidson and the Scott County Republican leadership saw to in the county platform they pushed.

 

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