Policies

1. Equal Rights

Quite simply, I believe that equal rights under the law apply to ALL people, regardless of age, race, color, nation of origin, sex, sexual identity, religious or spiritual beliefs, physical or mental abilities, and I do not believe this list is exclusive or exhaustive. but believe me: there is NO HIDDEN MEANING to the word “equal.”

2. Public Education

No person’s right to a free and high-quality education shall be limited nor infringed upon because of limited funding or shifting priorities as a result of private education. an educated citizenry is a fundamental building block of a strong and lasting democracy, and as public education erodes and decays, so does the future of our state. the parallels between crumbling public school buildings and shrinking public school districts is a shocking and completely unacceptable trend that must end and be reversed, and as a former educator from a family of teachers, I intend to spearhead that reversal. along with dedicated professionals, it takes a renewed belief in the values of quality public education.

3. Voting Rights

The ten words of our state motto sum up my position. “our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.” the most valued and sacred of our rights is the right to vote, and ANY effort to reduce, restrict, or restrain ANYONE’S access to this most meaningful voice of democracy MUST be quashed immediately. I stand at the forefront of any effort to expand voter registration and access to the polls, including voting by mail and increasing – not DECREASING – the period for early voting. any attempt to restrict a person’s right to vote is motivated by fear of turnout, not by fear of fraud. our voting systems are safe and secure, and in fact, a longer voting period makes it even easier to check for and root out potential fraudulent efforts to undermine election outcomes. the more people who participate in our democracy, the more informed the electorate becomes, and the stronger our democracy can be.

4. Public Health & Health care

This past year has seen iowans needlessly suffer more as a result of the covid-19 pandemic than necessary, had there been in place leadership that believed in science and education, and had followed even basic guidelines of common sense, by mandating basic behaviors, such as the issuance and enforcement of mask mandates, enforcing and adhering to strict and consistent closure policies of non-essential businesses, and by incorporating actual medical experts into the policy-making process, rather than waiting for two to three weeks for guidance and mis-direction from washington, d.c. the state of iowa led the nation for all the wrong reasons in several categories for many weeks during the peak of the pandemic [at times, our covid-19 testing positivity rate exceeded 50%], and our leadership was mocked and ridiculed for its abundant and repeated failures, and calls for “reliance on iowa common sense and judgment.”

that didn’t work. i intend to be a governor who will work with the abundant expert medical professional that populate this state to devise actual plans to address current health care issues and work with them to prepare for the future to avoid situations such as we are going through now so we never have to endure them again.

– health care and health insurance continues to be an absolute mess in iowa. costs continue to increase, and little is done to stabilize or actually reduce the costs of medical care, treatment, or medicines. iowa needs a governor who can work with the federal government to help get the best possible programs available to iowans rather than always be at war with the white house.

 

5. Infrastructure

A popular word these days, we all now know that this means more than just bridges and highways. but it DOES include bridges and highways, and as a former employee of the old highway commission, I have first-hand experience with the importance of both of those, and of the critical need for regular improvements. I also want to make it abundantly clear that, along with roads and highways, we have railways, bike trails, sidewalks, hiking trails, waterways, and more that fall into this category, and that not just cars, truck, and tractors are “traffic.” trains, buses, bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, horse & buggies, boats, canoes & kayaks are ALL traffic, and deserve recognition and respect under the law as such. but the infrastructure is so much more than what is seen on the land. we have critical and often ignore components underground that need help: utility connections lie beneath the surface that, when broken, create major chaos and costly damage. a dollar of prevention is well worth $10 of cure, but there are many more zeroes behind both of those figures. the state needs a plan, a five and ten-year set of plans, along with funding plans to pay for these necessary upgrades, or sure as the day is long, we will face a day when the piper must be paid. I want to be ready with a plan BEFORE that happens.

6- Reproductive Rights

The current governor attempted to avoid controversy regarding the issue of same-sex marriage by saying “this matter has been settled by the courts.” the very same logic and legal reasoning applies equally as well to the issue of women’s reproductive rights: the matter has been settled by the u.s. supreme court DECADES ago, in roe v. wade. ANY effort by the legislature to restrict or overturn the broad and well-settled constitutional protections set out therein during my administration will be met head-on with strong and vocal resistance, and a guarantee of veto; not a threat, but a guarantee. i have been a vocal and ardent supporter of a woman’s right to choose my entire adult life, and nothing is going to change that. i also am an equally strong supporter and advocate of a well-funded planned parenthood program of education and treatment, and of measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to educate and raise awareness of the risks of and how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, as well.

in short, i’m one of those old-fashioned guys who believes that well-funded sex education and available birth control programs will help keep the unwanted pregnancies on the decline, and keep everyone will informed and healthy. it saves lives, money, and improves mental health in the long run

7. Guns

The deadly elephant in the room: seriously, EVERY morning when I awake, or each night, before I wander off to bed, there is yet another story about mass murder, or a police officer killing an unarmed black man. EVERY day this happens.

the only things that have changed over the past several years are that we no longer Wayne la Pierre talking about “a good guy with a gun” nor do we have politicians telling us they send “thoughts and prayers.” instead, Wayne is staying safe on 100′ yachts and the politicians are telling coca-cola and delta to shut up.

and still innocent people – kids, too many of them, but all of them innocent – die. in Iowa, thank goodness, we haven’t been hit by the kind of slaughter that we saw in a fed-ex in Indianapolis, a grocery store in boulder, spas in Atlanta, a gas station in Springfield, Missouri, an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, a Walmart in El Paso, a garlic festival in Gilroy, California, an office in Virginia Beach, a bar in thousand oaks, a synagogue in Pittsburgh, a newsroom in Annapolis, a high school in Santa Fe, a high school in Parkland, a church in Sutherland springs, texas, a concert in las vegas…

these slaughter, these mass murders, these acts of terrorism, were all carried out on American soil and not by international terrorists but by Americans, most of whom lawfully possessed the weapons they used to kill these hundreds of people, ALL of whom were just going about their daily lives, enjoying THEIR lives, their liberties, pursuing their personal happiness, only to be gunned down in cold blood.

and it continues, probably right as I type these words, someone is being killed by a lawfully owned gun.

it’s gotta end.

this didn’t start all at once, and it won’t end all at once.

but make no mistake about it,

it’s gotta end.

I can’t come for your guns. nobody can, unless you are owning or possessing them illegally, and that’s another matter. I’m addressing lawful possession here.

in Iowa, you must register automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, scooters, travel trailers, and many more things that you own. even dogs and cats must be licensed and registered. many of these items must be registered or renewed annually. it isn’t a big deal; you can do it online. it’s a source of revenue for the city or state, and I don’t hear folks warning about “the government coming to get my cat.”

the Iowa legislature passed, and the governor signed into law, a bill allowing ANYONE to purchase and carry without a permit a gun. this bill was vehemently opposed by law enforcement groups from around the state as dangerous.

and it is.

guns – ALL guns – should be registered at the time of purchase, and a license to own said gun should be issued by the state to that owner. the license should be renewed every year. magazine or clip capacity should be limited to no more than 8 rounds.

silencers or noise reducers or whatever they are called should also be registered and licensed. the sale of assault style weapons should be banned. if you want to fire such a weapon, enlist. it’s that simple.

this isn’t popular with everyone, i’m sure.

but if the current trend of no gun control in the state of iowa continues, the state of iowa will be added to that shameful list of states visited by mass murder madness.

8. Marijuana

In short, i believe the use of marijuana for medical purposes should be expanded far beyond the limited applications now in place in iowa. actual use and experience in other states shows the effectiveness and safety far outweighs any concerns opponents might raise, and in fact, prove much safer and less addictive than most of the opioid drugs currently undergoing much legal and medical scrutiny now. the restrictions currently set on the levels of THC in medical marijuana should be set by medical experts and not by legislative fiat, and i would act to remove any such limitations currently in place.

i also support adopting a plan similar to one implemented by the state of new york which legalizes the possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes, allowing for growing for personal use, and for review and consideration of removal of conviction records for drug possession charges. the revenue potential for the state of iowa is far to great to ignore; income generated from sales of marijuana-based products would fund many many proposals i have made.

i also intend to meet with farm groups to suggest the formation of cooperatives to learn about how to invest in and how to begin marijuana and cannabis production operations of their own, to maximize profits and keep control of the operations localized.