Politics & Elections
Newt Gingrich Finds Refuge at Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sally Bahner   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:27

(DES MOINES, IA) — When Newt Gingrich gets tired of fielding “gotcha questions” from the journalistic wolf packs prowling Iowa, he might want to return to Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo where he can caucus with its hissing cockroaches.

He has already been there twice this year, according to a zoo spokesperson, once for the opening of the Australian Adventure exhibit and again in August after the Republican debate that preceded Iowa’s straw poll.

Gingrich, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native, has a soft spot for zoos, which played a crucial role in his awakening to politics as a profession, a story he relates in his foreword to America’s Best Zoos, by Allen W. Nyhus and Jon Wassner (Intrepid Traveler, $15.95).

“When I was ten, I asked how Harrisburg could get a zoo,” Gingrich wrote in America’s Best Zoos. “The kind older, park official … told me they had closed the zoo during World War II because of rationing and that my job was to come to the next city council and explain why Harrisburg needed a zoo. The next Tuesday, I was right there. I have been hooked on animals, zoos, and citizenship from that point on.”

Authors Nyhuis and Wassner describe Blank Park Zoo as “a standout mid-sized zoo” and praise the zoo’s African Boardwalk, where visitors can hand feed giraffes, and the Australian Trail, showcasing wallabies and emus.

Gingrich might be disappointed that the zoo has no elephant. On the bright side, it has no donkey either.

America’s Best Zoos is published by The Intrepid Traveler. It is available at bookstores, many zoo gift shops, and online at www.intrepidtraveler.com/store.

More news from the Ron Paul Campaign PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Gary Howard   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:14
Ron Paul to Visit Eastern Iowa for Eight Town Hall Meetings; Will hold eight town hall meetings over two days in large population centers and rural areas
ANKENY, Iowa – 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul will visit eastern Iowa for a series of town hall meetings as the campaign draws nearer to the pivotal 2012 Iowa Caucus.

The visit will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, December 21st and 22nd.  All eight of Dr. Paul’s events this time around are town hall meetings featuring a speech, followed by a question and answer session.

“The Iowa team is pleased to welcome Ron Paul for another set of town hall meetings where he will give voters straightforward answers to questions concerning America’s pressing challenges.  If past is prologue, voters will leave these gatherings knowing that Dr. Paul makes every effort to be engaging, informative, and uncommonly candid,” said Iowa Campaign Chairman Drew Ivers.

Details of the events are as follows.  All times Central.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10:00 a.m.
Lee County Town Hall Meeting
Comfort Inn & Suites
6169 Reve Court (Hwy. 61 & Hwy. 2) 
Fort Madison, IA 52627

12:00 p.m.
Henry County Town Hall Meeting
Civic Center Meeting Room (old High School)
307 E. Monroe Street
Mount Pleasant, IA  52641

3:00 p.m.
Washington County Town Hall Meeting
Washington Public Library
115 W. Washington Street 
Washington, IA  52353

7:00 p.m.
Quad Cities Town Hall Meeting
Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center - Iowa Room
2021 State Street 
Bettendorf, IA 52722

Thursday, December 22, 2011

10:00 a.m.
Jackson County Town Hall Meeting
Historic Clinton Engines Building
605 E. Maple Street  
Maquoketa, IA 52060

12:00 p.m.
Dubuque Town Hall Meeting
Grand River Center – Meeting Room #4
Port of Dubuque 
500 Bell Street 
Dubuque, IA 52001

3:00 p.m.
Delaware County Town Hall Meeting
Delaware County Fairgrounds
200 E. Acers Street 
Manchester, IA 52057

7:00 p.m.
Cedar Rapids Town Hall Meeting
The Hotel at Kirkwood Center - Suites D & E
7725 Kirkwood Center   
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

In Case You Missed It:  Ron Paul Discusses Authentic Support for Israel, U.S. should be a friend and ally to Israel – not a “master” as current foreign policy promotes
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul recently discussed his position vis a vis the State of Israel and foreign policy in general.

In an interview published online, the 12-term Congressman from Texas describes how the United States as a true ally and friend would not limit Israel’s right to defend herself.  Nor would the U.S., under a fairer aid and diplomatic framework, fund Israel’s enemies and create greater Middle East instability.

Ron Paul Tells Newsmax: I Support Israel
By Doug Wead*

In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul confirmed his support for Israel, but cautioned that while the United States should be a “friend” of the Jewish state, America should not be the “master” of Israel.

Paul also says the United States should not dictate Israel’s borders or try to “buy her allegiance” with massive amounts of foreign aid. He argued that foreign aid has actually hurt – not helped – the Jewish state.

The interview was conducted by Newsmax contributor Doug Wead, a presidential historian and New York Times best-selling author.

Paul has recently come under fire from some Jewish groups in America. The Republican Jewish Coalition banned Paul from a debate on Jewish issues in Washington this week because of his “misguided and extreme views,” according to the group’s executive director, Matt Brooks.

Newsmax chatted with Paul to get his side of the issue as the Texas Republican is surging in some presidential polls.

A new Washington Post-ABC News survey in Iowa shows him threatening Mitt Romney as the second-leading candidate behind Newt Gingrich. Paul is now tied with Romney in the early caucus state with 18 percent of the vote, behind Gingrich’s 33 percent.

Rep. Paul’s interview with Newsmax follows:

Newsmax: What should our relationship be with Israel?

Ron Paul: We should be their friend and their trading partner. They are a democracy and we share many values with them. But we should not be their master. We should not dictate where their borders will be nor should we have veto power over their foreign policy.

This is not just about Israel, by the way, this is about how we should conduct ourselves with other countries around the world…

For the full article, click here.
[*Newsmax contributor Doug Wead is a presidential historian and bestselling author.  He also serves as a senior advisor for the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign.]

Ron Paul Iowa Team Touts New ‘Small Businesses for Ron Paul’ Coalition Members, Latest additions to key group operate in Bremer, Davis, Linn, and Polk counties
ANKENY, Iowa – Following recent news of growth in the candidate’s homeschoolers coalition in the Hawkeye State, the Ron Paul Iowa team announced today additions to the “Small Businesses for Ron Paul” coalition.

Small businesses are critical to the economy as the top employers in the nation, so any credible candidate for the nation’s highest office must have visible support among this segment.

It’s reasonable to conclude that those with a finger on the pulse of the real economy and who have the potential to create real jobs will coalesce behind the presidential candidate with real solutions.  An oft-cited example of authentic solutions is Ron Paul’s Plan to Restore America: an economic policy blueprint that cuts $1 trillion in year one of a Paul presidency, eliminates five federal departments, and proposes a balanced budget in year three.

The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign in Iowa is grateful for the support of the following Iowa small business owners who stand with Dr. Paul and offer the following statements.

Matthew Schneider employs 35 people at his video game and movie retailer, Digital Dog Pound, serving Waverly city residents for over 11 years.  He has thrown his support behind Dr. Paul because he believes, “We need an honest, principled leader in the White House.  We need the Republican Party to return to its conservative constitutional roots.  Dr. Paul is one of the few politicians who understand economics, and how to address our economic crisis.  Ron Paul is a true statesman and is America’s last hope to restore America.”

Business partners Cassandra Hansen and David Birchmier operate MPA Computers, a firm that employs seven people and serves hundreds of clients in the Bloomfield-Ottumwa area.  The couple has been in business three years, and together they explain, “Ron Paul is my president because he stands for liberty, follows the Constitution, and seeks to limit the government’s power over my money and business decisions.  As a small business owner, I see the importance of fixing our debt crisis and reducing government spending.  I support him also because he is for limited government and for fixing the source of the problem, not doing more of the same thing that created the issues in the first place.  He predicted every major economic crisis and bubble before they happened.  Ron Paul is a man of principle, and unquestioned integrity.”

Businesswoman Jennifer Elliott owns “A New You” in Coralville and “Inches-A-Weigh” in Cedar Rapids.  She’s been operating for over six years now and has employed between six and 20 employees over the course of her business.  Ms. Elliott is confident a President Paul will eliminate the national debt and reign in the Federal Reserve, and shares her optimism.

“Our country needs to pay less in taxes and create more jobs so small business owners like me can succeed.  Ron Paul’s voting record is consistent and constitutional.  These principles made our country great and they will make it great once again.  I support Dr. Paul most of all as a mother of two young children because I believe in his values and that he is the only candidate who will institute real change in our nation,” said Ms. Elliott.

These statements conclude with comments from 18-year small business owner and employer of five, Jeremy Goemaat, President of LogicBox Inc. in West Des Moines. 

“Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who precisely predicted our world’s financial predicament.  Examine his wise solutions that are backed by historical context and a solid moral foundation, and you will see why more and more people are waking up to the message of this true founding father of our time,” said Mr. Goemaat.

The above business owners are universally enthusiastic in their desire to spread the word about the Ron Paul campaign, who they call the only candidate who will restore America now.  As a function of this announcement, they now serve on the “Small Businesses for Ron Paul” national advisory board.

As a first basic step, those wanting to join the “Small Businesses for Ron Paul” nationwide coalition should visit www.RonPaul2012.com/SmallBusiness.  In addition, those ready to join are asked to email Meghann Walker, Director of Iowa Voter Outreach, at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Ron Paul Campaign Announces Grand Opening Events at Five New State Headquarters: Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota
and Washington open doors for debate watch parties
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign announced today the public grand openings of five new state operations headquarters, each of which will be open to supporters the evening of Thursday, December 15th for variety of activities including a debate watching party.

Official Ron Paul state operations headquarters in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington will open their doors to Ron Paul supporters for activities ranging from volunteer recruitment and training, campaign materials distribution, special guest appearances, and refreshments.  All will take place amid a family-friendly atmosphere and all will feature a debate watching party.

The Republican debate airs at 9:00 p.m. EST on the Fox News Channel.  The event is sponsored by Fox News and the Republican Party of Iowa, and will occur at the Sioux City Convention Center in Sioux City, Iowa.  As such, Dr. Paul will be unable to attend these grand opening celebrations.


The Colorado operation will hold its event at 6:00 p.m. MST at the Ron Paul Colorado headquarters, located at 2955 Ulster Street #101, Denver, CO 80238.  Colorado staff will begin the evening at 6:00 p.m. with a social hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., followed by a debate viewing on a large projection screen from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  Staff will raffle off official Ron Paul 2012 merchandise during the commercial breaks, with the grand prize a Ron Paul autographed copy of his book Liberty Defined.  All are eligible to enter for prize drawings just by attending.  Food from Denver’s own Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs, which is often voted best hot dogs in Denver, will also be provided.

“Ron Paul’s rising poll numbers and solid fundraising have allowed us to extend our operations to Colorado.  Our team has concluded that we’re well positioned to make a tremendous impact here because of our uniquely motivated Colorado supporters who have shown that they are willing to climb the highest mountains to deliver the state to Dr. Paul,” said Colorado State Director Matt Holdridge.


The Maine operation will hold its event at 7:00 p.m. EST at the Ron Paul Maine headquarters, located at 190 US Route 1, Falmouth, ME 04105.  Maine staff will speak briefly, direct volunteer sign-up and orientation, and hand out campaign materials such as buttons, signs, literature and the like.  Music, refreshments and finger-foods also will be provided.  Supporters who recruit the most volunteers, and the region that is best represented, will receive a prize.

“We’re pleased to work with supporters who succeeded in causing part of Ron Paul’s vision for a more prosperous America – namely, his call to audit the Federal Reserve – to be featured in the state Republican platform.  We’re already discovering that many Maine voters appreciate Dr. Paul’s message of liberty.  We feel that as Maine goes, so will the nation, hopefully in the direction of peace, prosperity and freedom as our candidate alone champions,” said Maine Deputy State Director Ryan Flowers.

To RSVP for the Maine grand open, click here or call 207-274-0099.


The Minnesota operation will hold its event at 6:30 p.m. CST at the Ron Paul Minnesota headquarters, located at 11000 Cedar Lake Road, Minnetonka MN 55305.  Campaign staff will get to know their fellow supporters better and discuss local precinct strategy, and they will distribute campaign materials such as literature and lawn signs.  During debate time, staff will serve pizza and soft drinks.

“Minnesota’s Ron Paul 2012 campaign welcomes new and old faces to visit our local headquarters, get to know the staff, pick up campaign materials, and enjoy some camaraderie as we share pizza from American Pie and watch the GOP presidential debate televised from Iowa,” said Marianne Stebbins, Minnesota Campaign Chair.

Recently, Ron Paul attracted more than 3,000 Minnesota supporters at a campaign rally held in St. Cloud.

North Dakota

The North Dakota operation will hold its event at 6:00 p.m. CST at the Ron Paul North Dakota headquarters, located at 500 N. 3rd Street, Bismarck, ND 58501.  From 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. North Dakota staff will host a grand opening celebration and open house during which guests will be invited to sign up as volunteers.  At 7:00 p.m., campaign staff will make a brief presentation and distribute campaign materials such as signs, literature, buttons and the like.  Guests may then watch the televised Republican presidential debate while enjoying soft drinks, hors d'oeuvres, pizza, and cake. 

“Ron Paul’s recent rise in the polls firmly establishes him as a top GOP candidate and his campaign is now bringing a strong presence to the state of North Dakota.  I am tremendously excited to open our office to the public and share with them Dr. Paul’s lifelong fight for liberty and his positive vision for restoring America.  Ron Paul is the only candidate who has expertise on the intricacies of our economic crisis and, over a 35-year track record, he has illustrated the moral character and wisdom sorely needed in the White House.  As President, Dr. Paul will cut $1 trillion in his first year, balance the budget by his third year, and courageously exhibit the leadership necessary to bring about commonsense, limited government,” said North Dakota State Director Jared Hendrix.

To RSVP, please call Mr. Hendrix directly at 701-516-7593.

Ron Paul recently visited Fargo, North Dakota to address a free-market policy forum.

Washington State

The Washington operation will hold its event at 4:00 p.m. PST at the Ron Paul Washington headquarters located at 13600 NE 20th Street, Bellevue, WA 98005.  Washington State Rep. Cary Condotta (R-12) is slated to speak at 4:30 p.m. to endorse Ron Paul for the presidency.

Also that evening, Washington campaign staff will sign up supporters for volunteer and caucus training, distribute promotional materials, watch the GOP debate live, and involve volunteers in contacting voters.  Soft drinks and appetizers will be served initially, and pizza will be ordered during the debate time.

“Washington is a state Ron Paul can most assuredly win.  Dr. Paul’s message strikes a chord with residents because they have watched not only the federal government, but also their local government, overspend for years as they now teeter on the edge of bankruptcy.  Furthermore, residents value their civil liberties and support peace alongside a strong national defense.  Many enthusiastic supporters have already stepped forward, but we’re looking for many more to help us assure a victory 12 short weeks from now at the precinct caucuses on Saturday, March 3rd,” said Washington State Executive Director Pedro Serra.   

National, state, and local media wanting to cover these events should send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Reaction to the Blagojevich Sentencing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by various   
Monday, 12 December 2011 16:23
Moline, IL...State Representative Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) responded to today's sentencing of convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich on 18 federal counts, including that Blagojevich sought to auction off the Senate seat Barack Obama was vacating to become president:


"I have full faith in our legal system's ability to deliver justice to the people of Illinois. Rod Blagojevich's corrupt reign as Governor of the State of Illinois has tarnished our State. The former governor betrayed the trust of the hard working citizens of Illinois.


"While we are ready to put this chapter of Illinois history behind us, we must let this violation of public trust serve as a constant reminder to elected officials to remain steadfast in their duty to the citizenry as honest and faithful servants."

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison today.


For questions or more information, please contact the constituent services office at (309) 762-3008 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




Lt. Governor Simon statement on Blagojevich sentencing


CHICAGO – December 7, 2011. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today said the sentencing of former Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges will not kill the state’s pay-to-play culture unless it prompts serious ethics reform.

"We cannot rely on a prison sentence to deter corruption,” Simon said. “Illinois needs stronger ethics laws to kill pay-to-play politics. It's time we expose conflicts of interest before they cost taxpayers, and clear the way for true public servants to rebuild trust with the public. Increased transparency, coupled with the threat of serious prison time, can end these shameful courtroom battles. Together we can put this chapter behind us, restore integrity to government and live up to our legacy as the Land of Lincoln.”

Simon is a former Jackson County prosecutor and served on the Illinois Reform Commission, which was created in 2009 in the wake of Blagojevich's arrest and helped pass the state's first campaign finance limits law. She will work with the General Assembly to pass legislation in 2012 to strengthen the state’s financial disclosure law.



Ron Paul to Hold Two College Campus Youth Rallies in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Gary Howard   
Monday, 12 December 2011 16:14
‘Countdown to the Caucus’ events hosted by ‘Youth for Ron Paul’ aim to solidify youth support
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul will address college students and Iowans at two “Youth for Ron Paul” campus rallies to energize young supporters and reach out to new and undecided voters in the run-up to the January 3, 2012, Iowa Caucuses.

The first event, which is free and open to supporters of all ages, will be held on Thursday, December 8th in the Iowa State University (ISU) Memorial Union Great Hall, located at 2229 Lincoln Way in Ames.  Doors will open to the public at 6:30 p.m.  To enter 30 minutes early and secure a spot near the front of the room, RSVP for the ISU event featuring Dr. Paul at http://ronpaulatisu.eventbrite.com/.

The second event, which also is free and open to supporters of all ages, will be held on Friday, December 9th at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) in the Commons – Slife Ballroom, located at 1224 West 23rd Street in Cedar Falls.  Doors will open to the public at 6:30 p.m.  To enter 30 minutes early and secure a spot near the front of the room, RSVP for the UNI event featuring Dr. Paul at http://ronpaulatuni.eventbrite.com/.

Youth for Ron Paul (YFP), an initiative of the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign, launched on Wednesday, September 7th and since its inception more than 15,300 people signed up to get involved, forming 307 chapters in 46 states.

“The enthusiastic support for Ron Paul continues to grow, especially among college students.  Young people understand he is the only presidential candidate who will fix our economy, so they’re eager not only to vote for him, but also to volunteer for his campaign,” said Edward King, National Youth Director for the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign.

“Young people from across the country are inspired by Dr. Paul's message of a strong national defense, prosperity, and individual liberty.  No other campaign can claim or match the dedication of our youth support,” said Ani DeGroot, Midwest Regional Director for Youth for Ron Paul.

To learn more and sign up for Youth for Ron Paul, please visit: www.YouthForPaul.com and “like” the Facebook page found at: www.Facebook.com/YouthForPaul.


Evangelical Leader Advises Iowan Christians on Caucus Vote PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Rev. Rob Schenck   
Monday, 12 December 2011 16:09
    To Evangelicals in Iowa:

    These days, because I'm an Evangelical minister, a missionary to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and chairman of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance, the question I'm asked most is, "How do evangelicals pick the right candidate this time around?" The implication is whether Evangelicals are bound to pick only an evangelical candidate, even if that person can't win in the general election. My answer is simple: We should pick our candidates for president in the same way we pick our doctors -- on their skills, experience, reputation, and approach to our problems. When it comes to the lineup in Iowa, Evangelicals should ask particular questions about the person seeking their vote:

    Does this person have the skills to address the problems our country is currently facing and will face when my children and grandchildren are my age?

    Does this person have a proven track record in solving these problems--and in what ways will this person solve them? Because our most urgent problems are economic, we must ask if this person has the extensive private sector experience necessary, as well as the meaningful executive level public sector experience, to get the job done.

    What is this person's professional reputation? More importantly, what is this person's personal reputation? Is this person known as a good, morally upright individual who has demonstrated--over a credible time--a commitment to the highest values of conduct and fidelity? As we've already seen, under the bright lights of day-in, day-out, 24-hour media scrutiny, personal issues can become an insurmountable obstacle to victory.

    What kind of leader is this person? Is this person open to change for the better? Can this person effectively lead others toward better solutions? A willingness to change is good when it's change for the best. All of us hope and pray our elected officials will seek wisdom for a better direction in which to lead our country, for, "In the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14)

    When it comes to picking a president, evangelical doctrine is not a litmus test of whether that person will serve well. George Bush (who was highly favored by Evangelicals) was a United Methodist, and, when in office, attended an Episcopal church; Bill Clinton (much disfavored by Evangelicals) was a Baptist. Ronald Reagan attended Hollywood Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the liberal Presbyterian Church USA), while Jimmy Carter, the first self-professed "born again" president, taught Sunday school in a Southern Baptist church.

    History has not judged these presidents on their church affiliations, but on their record as leaders. This will be true for the next president.

    It's not helpful to make a decision on a candidate's religious label, whether it's Newt Gingrich as a Roman Catholic (he left his Baptist roots in 2008), or Mitt Romney as a lifelong Mormon, the two leading contenders. The same applies to the other candidates.

    Jesus said, "Ye shall know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:16 ) This says nothing about the person's religious identity. Jesus made this clear in the parable of the Good Samaritan by holding up a Samaritan (considered an infidel by his fellow Jews) as the paragon of virtue over a priest and a Levite--two certified Jewish doctrinal authorities.

    My prayer is that Christians in Iowa will make their choice for president based on the best overall leader--and one that is electable. This may be the most important presidential race in our nation's history. The next president will leave a legacy far beyond four or eight years, because this president will likely choose Supreme Court justices who serve lifetime terms, deciding cases on the the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family. In other words, the choices of this next president will affect the future of American civilization. The consequences are too grave to risk wasting a vote.

    As Iowan Christians prayerfully vote in the caucuses, we should all pray that our choices will, in the end, be the best for our families, our communities, and our nation.

    Rev. Rob Schenck
Rev. Rob Schenck, who speaks here as an individual citizen and not for any organization, has been an ordained evangelical minister for 29 years. He his a graduate of Faith Evangelical College and Seminary and is president of Faith and Action, a Christian outreach to government officials in Washington, DC. He is also a board member of the Evangelical Church Alliance.

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