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April 17th, 2013

My two cents on RPI’s Freedom on Tour event

I traveled to Dubuque on Saturday to take in the Republican Party of Iowa’s “Freedom on Tour” event featuring Tom Woods, a New York Times-bestselling author.  Woods, who has previously spoken at an RPI event, also headed up a Super PAC for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.

The venue for the event, Blades Chapel at the University of Dubuque, worked well.  The audience of 150 or so was impressive for a sunny Saturday afternoon in April.  Following the event, the Republican Party of Iowa held a fundraiser at a local winery in town.  I didn’t attend the fundraiser, but RPI should be pleased with the turnout of their event with Woods.

In addition to Woods, Roger Kistler from Jones County spoke about the use of multiple currencies in the nation’s past.  Patrick Barron, an economics professor at the University of Iowa, spoke about the Euro Debt crisis.  Both were fascinating subjects, and both topics worked nicely with Woods’ material.

Woods spoke about the Federal Reserve, monetary policy, and states’ rights.  Woods spoke with authority on these issues, and his delivery was also entertaining.  He also spoke about foreign policy, but while his views were interesting and worthy of consideration, this was the one part of the event where I didn’t find myself nodding my head in agreement.

The notion that America has no reason to worry about Iran because they their nuclear facilities are under “constant inspection” was troubling to say the least.  Woods also suggested that the United States was attacked on 9-11 because we were propping up Middle East governments.  Woods didn’t elaborate, but I assume this also refers negatively to America’s support of Israel, which again is troubling.

What Woods’ discussion on foreign policy lacked was a realization that there are a handful of crazy men in the world who are on a quest to obtain and use nuclear weapons.  The world is a dangerous place, a fact of which we were sadly reminded again on Monday in Boston.

Letting individuals like Kim Jong Un or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad use the threat of nuclear weapons to terrorize the rest of the world is not in our best interest.  It’s also not in the best interest of other counties either.  I’d also argue that nukes in the hands of a deranged individual may be the biggest threat to freedom and liberty lovers around the world.

Overall, I thought the event was good, but I don’t quite understand the purpose.  If the goal of the Republican Party of Iowa is to spread a specific type ideology, the event was a success.  If the mission of the party is to win elections, I didn’t see how the subject matter tied into helping our local and statewide candidates win in November.

Don’t Underestimate Rod Blum

Both Republican candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the First Congressional District were invited to speak at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Freedom on Tour event with Tom Woods in Dubuque.  Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje had a conflict, which meant that Rod Blum had the room to himself on Saturday.

Blum, a Dubuque businessman who also sought the Republican nomination in 2012, delivered a good speech.  Blum came up short against Ben Lange in the 2012 primary, but he put up a good fight on a limited budget.  The margin between Blum and Lange was only 1,666 votes, but more impressive was the fact that Blum won both Linn and Dubuque counties.

Blum does an excellent job on the stump and has a big advantage over Rathje because Blum has run in the new district before.  There is a lot of noise about other candidates joining the race, but they better not wait too long to get in.  I think Blum is a lot tougher candidate than people may think.




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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson serves as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prior to founding Iowa's largest conservative news site, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. In that capacity, Robinson planned and organized the largest political event in 2007, the Iowa Straw Poll, in Ames, Iowa. Robinson also organized the 2008 Republican caucuses in Iowa, and was later dispatched to Nevada to help with the caucuses there. Robinson cut his teeth in Iowa politics during the 2000 caucus campaign of businessman Steve Forbes and has been involved with most major campaigns in the state since then. His extensive political background and rolodex give him a unique perspective from which to monitor the political pulse of Iowa.

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