The Campaign for Iowa, The Sustainable State
A Position Paper presented by The Citizen Action Party, a Grassroots Initiative
Statement of Need; When an organization gets too large, it loses effectiveness. The Federal Government is so ineffective that we need practical solutions in our home state of Iowa. Political
Special Interests control both Democratic and Republican parties, -not the citizen body. There is
thus an urgent need for a 3rd party, -a party based on citizen engagement. We‟ve named this
practical/results oriented new political initiative “The Citizen Action Party” -the party of
grassroots citizen action. Other alternate parties are set up to espouse a certain political ideology. Such partisan divisions stop us from being effective. The purpose of The Citizen Action Party is
to make government work for the people of Iowa by providing a participatory political structure
for citizens to organize for unified action -that‟s beyond narrow divisions of left/right. The
power elite always foster division of the populace. The tactic of divide and control is as old as human history. The Citizen Action Party is a citizen unity party. We need to unify Iowa citizens
of all races, all ages and in urban and rural communities. We‟ll work together for the common
interests of common people, beyond partisan divisions. We can find real strength in non-
partisan unity. Present political structures are controlled by economic power, so any division of “left/right” is not an accurate description of politics in the USA in 2010. Political reality is not left or right, it is in fact top to bottom, based on each citizen‟s personal position on the economic scale. If you have no economic power, you have no political power in the present system. The
best way to overcome this inequity is to establish a new political party where common people
join together to overcome the entrenched political power of the few that control economic power. Our goal is to add the grassroots citizen voice to the partisan controlled political conversation.
The Citizen Action Party will unify voters across all generations. Older voters are voting for our
Sustainable State Campaign because they are committed to a sustainable future for their
children and grandchildren. Iowa wonders why next generation Iowans leave this state in droves; partisan, stuck-in-the-past candidates such as Branstad and Culver do not connect with Iowa‟s
younger voters. Huge numbers of young voters do not participate in the political process, as they see the two mainstream parties as irrelevant relics that do not talk their language, share their
culture and world view or inspire us to action. Commerce, culture and communications are accelerating at an unprecedented speed, yet Iowa‟s present political system is stuck in reverse
gear. The Citizen Action Party provides proactive politics to move into Iowa’s future.
It would seem reasonable and logical that any group of Iowa citizens could form a new political party just like any other corporation, association or not-for-profit entity. That group could then meet over time to develop a party platform and select a slate of candidates from their membership. However, under Iowa electoral rules that is not the case. Iowa law only allows for a new party to
be formed through an individual candidacy for either President or Governor. If that candidate
then receives 2% of the vote in the General Election, the new party is officially sanctioned by the Iowa Secretary of State. This candidacy is thus the first step. In business, the arts or scientific
achievement, most new developments are spearheaded with individual initiative. An old proverb states; “Behold the tortoise, until it sticks its neck out, it does not move forward.” Michael
Richards of Cedar Rapids is stepping forward to challenge the well-funded hares, Culver and
Branstad. Iowa‟s voters will then determine if the Tortoise beats the Hare in this real life story of Iowa life, so Iowa can move forward. Richards‟ candidacy for Governor will serve as a catalyst
to launch The Citizen Action Party. The Citizens of Iowa are much more interested in moving
forward, -not just moving left or right. There are 3 ways to measure the success of this campaign; 1. The Campaign will be a success in and of itself as a statewide educational process to focus on the core issues of a sustainable economy and restoration of citizen control of the political system in Iowa. We succeed just by taking action. 2. This Campaign will chalk up another success by meeting our 2% minimum vote requirement so The Citizen Action Party is established as a fully recognized political party by the Iowa Secretary of State. 3. Iowa voters can claim full success with this citizen initiative by winning the General Election on November 2. We can win this election with grassroots citizen action. Let‟s replace money powered politics with people powered politics.
Taxation as Economic Exploitation; The Big Guys Win as Taxpayers Lose
Disasters strip away the façade of illusion and false comfort to reveal facts that are usually ignored in the business as usual of our day to day life. The BP Oil Spill reveals the game of tax sheltering, tax credits and tax subsidies. When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up
in the face of this corporate façade, it was flying the flag of The Marshall Islands. This maritime registration provides a ploy for the oil rig‟s owner to avoid paying most federal and state taxes. The owner, Transocean moved its headquarters from Houston, Texas first to the Cayman Islands in 1999 and then to Switzerland in 2008 in the international chess game of corporate tax avoidance. At the same time, British Petroleum (BP) was reaping huge tax benefits by leasing their oil rig. Equipment leasing is a well structured corporate strategy for writing off taxes. Your Democratic and Republican politicians have voted in the structures for BP and their giant friends to write off 70% of all costs for such lease agreements. This one BP lease takes tax dollars from you the voters, and delivers cash into the deep pockets of
BP at the astounding rate of a quarter million dollars each day. This is one part of the trillion
dollar annual take of tax subsidies, tax credits and write-offs that scam the common taxpayers.
Oil production is a tax subsidized industry. Tax credits for Commodity Ag-Business, Real Estate Development and Highway Construction also take billions of dollars out of the pockets of you, the everyday common taxpayers and transfer those billions directly to the
bottom line of a few corporate giants. It is no wonder that the corporate giants have so much campaign funding to give to the Democratic and Republican politicians that do their bidding.
When you are told by our mind-shaping media that you have the lowest gasoline prices of any consumers in the world, and that our processed/commodity based factory food system delivers “the cheapest food in the world” to your family table, this is only half of the story.
What you pay at the pump and at the grocery checkout is only half of the real cost to your
family. Remember, the Average Joe and Jill in America work more than half of each year
to dutifully pay their taxes. Huge portions of those taxes are transferred to the corporate coffers. You pay, and they gain. How long will you vote to prop up this unfair system?
Complicated tax subsidy and tax credit systems are carefully crafted by your Democratic and Republican elected officials. Both parties have been fully engaged in this shell game of
wealth transfer for decades. It is no accident that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. The top dogs and fat cats at the top of the heap are not smarter than you, or working harder than you… -they just have the political connections. They keep the playing field tilted in
their direction in this fixed game of tax subsidies, tax write offs and tax credits. They win.
You lose. Remember that fact when you vote for your own Democratic and Republican Candidates. How long will you vote against your own interests as a compliant tax paying
common voter? It is time for The Citizen Action Party; the party of the common citizens
that carry the heavy load in our current unfair economic structure. In our present system economic success is not achieved by merit or productivity, -rather by political manipulation.
There‟s no way that tax subsidies, tax credits and tax write offs can ever be fair. The favored
few that buy political influence gain huge economic advantage. These structures can only be
described as politically sanctioned theft; taking money from the majority and giving it to a
few. We must simplify and reform our tax structures at the local, state and federal level, so that all citizens are treated fairly and equitably. The Citizen Action Party is growing as a
strong voice for the common man and woman. We work hard to bring about change. Will you join in with this citizen force for change -or keep voting in Democratic and Republican politicians who stack the cards against you, the taxpaying voters? It would be good to print
out this one single page of this position paper and read it as you vote on November 2, 2010.
Greed Packaged as “Green”
We can cite national examples where economic special interests use political connections and political systems to maximize private economic gain. The same kind of greed and graft are evident in Iowa. Local manipulators of economic and political systems take their cue, model and modus operandi from the big dogs that play in the national and international arena. A case in point, the Brown Apartments in Cedar Rapids is a clear example of how political and economic systems are manipulated to transfer federal and state taxes onto the backs of the common man, sheltering the big guys from paying a fair share as taxpaying citizens. NYC Real Estate Mogul Leona Helmsley famously stated; “only the little people pay taxes.” That same unethical business
practice is at play and alive and well in Iowa as well as New York. Nowhere in Iowa have these well-tested financial maneuvers been put to work more blatantly than the Brown Apartments in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. When the Brown Apartments operated by Iowa‟s statewide “non-profit”
power consolidator Four Oaks needed a basic rehab, these tax transfer systems were put to work.
The cost of rehabilitation of existing apartments in an already strong and stable brick building
had the amazing sticker shock of about $175,000 per unit. Community activist Michael Richards
surveyed a sampling of general contractors in Iowa to determine fair market cost of quality rehab of existing apartments. Private professional contractors estimated that fair market cost of such work would be $30,000 to $40,000… -$50,000 max if you added in amenities like granite
countertops and such. So how do you get Iowa taxpayers to accept an inflated cost of $175,000
per unit? That‟s simple; you package your greed as LEED “green”… and for slick PR effect,
set up the tax sheltered project as “affordable housing” for the poor folks in the community.
The poor get poorer and the rich get richer by making sure the big guys pay as little taxes as
possible, -and setting up insider cronies to make the big bucks bidding on the job. In the case of
Corporate Consolidator Four Oaks, many contracts are paid out to companies with direct or indirect connections to the Four Oaks Board. To insure thath politicians keep such lucrative tax structures locked in, they hire cohorts like “liberal” Democratic State Senator Jack Hatch as the
Four Oaks‟ consultant to package state and federal tax shelters for the Brown Apartment
Project. Many local, state and federal politicians find very crafty ways to use their political connections to achieve personal financial gain. The politicians that influence policy should not
profit from the policy. Low-income tenants are simply useful pawns on the political-economic
chessboard; -as demonstrated a few blocks away in another Four Oaks project; Osada subsidized apartments. Osada was milked for millions in tax sheltering schemes by the likes of Utility Giant Alliant Energy for over a decade. Once the tax shelter plum was squeezed of all juice, Four Oaks sacked the City treasury to be paid extra funds to drive the “low income” tenants out like cattle. Osada was then quickly repackaged as upscale condominiums a block away from the site
where nearly a quarter billion of your tax dollars are being spent to build a glass palace Federal Courthouse. Ah yes, the Real Estate gaming mantra; location, location, location. If it‟s not the
right location, then by gum, make it the right location; That‟s how the Brown Apartments are set
up with a brilliant real estate location strategy; Right now, the Brown Apartments are at the
edge of Wellington Heights; a blighted ghetto where “only those poor folks” that qualify for
affordable housing would choose to venture in and call home. A year or so after the Brown Apartments were rehabbed with your tax dollars for 300% of what local contractors said was fair
market cost, the surrounding neighborhood is being transformed as “The Medical District”; a
perfect site for the future shift from low-income to high-priced condos as demonstrated with
Osada. These guys have a great “legal” racket. All they need is to keep friendly Democratic and
Republican political mercenaries in office so the lucrative tax shelter game is always rigged.
Richards and his family experienced over $250,000 in loss during the devastating flood of 2008. Richards was eligible for real estate tax credits, but elected not to accept them. He has the
honorable principle to not accept benefits from the corrupt tax shelter system that he criticizes.
Democrats and Republicans are influenced by out of state corporate cash. Our citizen party
can change this. In 2010, Iowa voters can show how people powered politics can replace
money powered politics. Emory University research has revealed a major source of our problems in government at all levels. This study researched the brain activity of partisan
politicians and party regulars from both Democratic and Republican rank and file. When asked about key issues, the test subjects from both parties exhibited important areas of the
brain in a shut-down mode. Richards is a citizen leader that keeps his entire brain
functioning -by not following the partisan parade. Richards models the critical thinking
skills that have atrophied in much of our US populace. Richards is a very practical leader.
The Most Practical Political Question; Does It Work?
The structure of our economy is changing. What worked in the past will not work in the future.
Our emerging new economy is based on the free trade of information and intellectual capital in global markets and local production of hard goods, tools, food, energy and appropriate scale technology. An economy works by applying energy and labor to materials and resources to achieve desired results. The organizing premise of The Citizen Action Party is to build an
economy that works as a long term investment; an economy that has just as much value for our
next generation as it does for us. To accomplish such a sustainable economy, we need to use
honest accounting methods that measure the complete value chain costs and measure sustainability from one generation to the next. At present we have a political system that delivers very short term economic benefits to powerful special interest groups that buy political
influence to gain and control economic advantage. This present system only works for a few, it
does not work to better our society as a whole and our next generation. The fact is, our present
system does not work. The Citizen Action Party is organizing citizens to build a sustainable economic system that works for all of us -and our children as well. Partisan politics gets in the
way of practical results. The Citizen Action Party is a post-partisan effort to build an economic system that works. Political ideology has little to do with effective citizen action. What we need are scientific measures that guide our economic decisions. One such measure is Energy Return
on Energy Invested (EROEI). This is also referred to as Net Energy; the energy actually gained
from an economic activity. Energy Return on Investment (EROEI) is the ratio of the energy delivered by a process to the energy used directly and indirectly in that process. (Graph Below)
Quantity of energy produced
Quantity of energy used in the production process
The meaning of energy as we use it here is defined as; the physical ability to do useful work,
where useful work is done when matter is moved by energy. The physical ability to do work is
represented by the enthalpy of the input fuel, so the numerator and denominator above is typically measured in heat units such as the BTU (British Thermal Unit). 98% of economic activity is
based on fossil fuels. We‟ve used ? of known reserves. We should use the last ? of fossil fuel energy to reconfigure economic systems that will still work when we can no longer rely on the carbon burning model. This is more urgent than we might realize; all of our present economic
systems are based on cheap fossil fuel energy. Once we deplete ? of this supply, from that point on, all fossil fueled economic activity has a diminishing EROEI. Even at present price of petro-
chemical inputs, agriculture is set up as an unworkable economic system if we measure all of
the real costs. Agriculture is totally dependent on the petrochemical complex. Monsanto, the global chemical company that gave the world Agent Orange, PCBs, dioxin and bovine growth hormones now controls 90% of all seeds planted in Iowa. We spend 10 units of petrochemical
energy to achieve every 1 unit of food energy measured in calories. That is not workable, as the EROEI demonstrates economic loss. This system is propped up with massive inputs of taxpayer
cash and ever increasing national debt. Our current economic structure is totally unsustainable. 4
How much can we increase the 13 trillion dollar US deficit before this house of cards comes
tumbling down? This structure cannot survive much longer. Do you want an economic system that might work for you as an individual for just a few more years, or are you ready to work for a strong economic system that will sustain you and your children on the long-term?
Agriculture can achieve a positive EROEI by building regional farmer-owned enterprises that integrate value chains from field to factory for local production of food, fiber and fuel in the Iowa bio-economy. What worked in the past no longer works. We now need new systems.
70% of our energy is presently consumed by fossil fuel transportation. We must now convert from our present land-use design that requires very costly intensive transportation use to land-use that requires much less transportation. The most efficient economic structures are
self-sufficient small towns surrounded by local agricultural production. In Iowa, we need
to reclaim and update the local and regional economic systems we have been dismantling for the past few decades as we moved into corporate global systems powered with cheap petrochemical energy. Petrochemical energy is no longer cheap. Production of goods and
services is powered with energy. So economies with access to higher EROEI fuel sources have greater potential for economic expansion and diversification. The history of the expansion of human civilization and our material standard of living is directly linked to our progressive access to and development of fuel sources with increasingly greater EROEI. The
transitions from animate energy sources such as plant biomass and draft animals, to wind and water power, to fossil fuels and electricity enabled an incremental increase in per capita output. Increases in quantity of fuel increases production of non-energy goods and services. The transition to higher EROEI fuels also enabled social and economic diversification as increasingly less input energy was used in the energy production process, meaning more fuel was available to support non-extractive activities for production. Most conflict in this historic march of civilization can be traced to struggles for control over energy sources. From primitive tribal raids to modern global warfare, war has almost always been traced to battles for resources in one form or another. In our present time, we can spend our available energy
fighting for what others have or work to create new sources ourselves. Petroleum, coal, and
natural gas allowed us to progress to our present stage of industrial and social development. Now that our main energy sources are entering a phase of rapidly decreasing EROEI, it is
now practical and necessary to plan out our next stage of economic development in Iowa.
Our current politicians are locked into maintaining the economic status quo. The present
power structure is tightly linked in with the special interests of the old petro-powered paradigm. Most of our present politicians are not providing any effective proactive leadership. The Citizen
Action Party is a way for citizens to make this very necessary change from the bottom up. If
you see no leadership moving the State of Iowa forward, then it‟s time for you to step up and lead.
To build Iowa as The Sustainable State we need to accomplish two primary objectives;
1. Reclaim and update our great Iowa towns as our basic unit of economic activity. We gain the
very best Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROEI) within local and regional economies.
Small towns surrounded by fertile farmland are the basis of energy efficient economic systems.
2. Honest cost accounting to measure economic value of renewable energy products and systems. This will include a mix of wind, solar, biomass and biofuels. We need to engage Iowa in entrepreneurial action to create next generation biofuels that have a positive Energy Return on
Energy Invested (EROEI). Our present biofuel systems are inefficient. We need to incentivize
innovation, not just subsidize the status quo. Entrepreneurs within free markets can get this done.
What worked in the past will no longer work. Let‟s get practical and build an economy that
works. Since our professional politicians are stuck in the past, Citizens must lead this charge.
The Citizen Action Party is being established specifically to meet this timely economic objective. Richards is a practical, pragmatic and effective centrist leader, not a partisan
party hack. He is presenting this position paper to provide Iowa voters with a detailed
description of his stand on core issues and a practical strategy to achieve a sustainable
economy in Iowa. Our nation needs involved voters that care enough to read a 67 page
position paper. As you read these 67 pages, you will gain a very clear understanding of Richards‟ practical 8 point action plan for Iowa, The Sustainable State. Please reprint
this document and share it with others. One conventional politician that was provided an
advance copy of this position paper insulted the intelligence of Iowa citizens by saying that this position paper “is too intellectual and deep for Iowans to understand”. Iowa voters can
prove such politicians wrong by reading all 67 pages provided here; and then getting
involved with The Citizen Action Party. Our party places trust in the intelligence of Iowa
citizens. By necessity and by Iowa law, this new party is starting with one candidate, and his supporting team. As the Citizen Action Party grows and matures, we will work as a growing grassroots political organization that will have annual conventions and put forth a full slate of
candidates for a wide range of local and state offices. In 2010, we are taking the first stepwith Richards‟ candidacy. We hope that journalists have the professionalism to read all 67
pages of this postion paper before they comment on this citizen campaign. Iowa voters now
demand more than the empty 60 second commercials and PR images provided by the other
candidates. Richards is committed to providing more substance to Iowa voters. He is open
and clear in his communication with voters. This position paper describes his core issues.
It is often the human condition that we do not fully appreciate what we have. We take for granted the most valuable things in life, -if we think they are always going to be there and we do not have to work to keep them. It is helpful to listen to those in other nations that do not take a free society and democratic government for granted. The Democratic and Republican
Parties embody a totally obsolete PAC-funded partisan political paradigm that will no
longer work to keep democracy vital in our state and in our nation. A “paradigm” is simply
our way of thinking, our world view, our frame of reference. The Citizen Action Party is
built on a new paradigm a new way of thinking about the political process. In 1995, Vaclav
Havel, President of the Czech Republic joined President Bill Clinton to commemorate the opening of the Czech-Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids. As we rebuild this Museum, The City of Cedar Rapids and the State of Iowa after the disasters of 2008, the excerpt below from Havel‟s address to the US Senate in 1990 provides relevant words to describe a new
way of thinking to create a new political paradigm to guide The Citizen Action Party;
The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the
human power to reflect, in our humility and human responsibility to take action.
Without a deep change of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in our
sphere of being as humans. The catastrophe toward which this world is headed –be it
ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown of civilization –will be
unavoidable. We are, in fact, far from the final victory. We are still a long way from our
"family of man." In fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than growing closer
to it. Special interests of all kinds–personal, state, nation, group, and corporate interests–
still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the
sway of the destructive and vain belief that man controls creation and is not just a part of
it and that therefore -everything is permitted. We are still destroying the natural
environment of the planet that was entrusted to us. The interpreter or mediator between
us and a higher moral authority is traditionally referred to as human conscience. If I
subordinate my political behavior to this moral imperative, I can't go far wrong.
I think that Americans should understand this way of thinking. Wasn't it the best minds of
your country, people you could call intellectuals or idealists who wrote your Declaration of
Independence, your Bill of Human Rights and your Constitution and who, above all, took
upon themselves the practical responsibility for putting these ideas into practice?
These landmark works of America’s Founders inspire us all; they inspire us despite the
fact that they are over 200 years old. They inspire us to be citizens. History has
accelerated. I believe once again it will be the intelligent human mind that will notice this
acceleration, give it a name and transform those words into deeds. -Vaclav Havel 1990
The human community has problematic perception; we often do not see clearly that which is
closest to us. We think that the most knowledgeable people must be from somewhere else; no one is a real expert unless they have to fly in as a pricey consultant from a faraway city in another state. We do not honor local voices of wisdom and intelligence. This is an age old
problem, as the 2,000 year old Gospels state; “a prophet is not without honor, except in his
own land among his own people.” Pioneering Iowa ecologist Aldo Leopold is famed
throughout the world, -yet little known to many Iowans. This is sad, because the land ethic
voiced by Aldo Leopold is exactly what our state and nation really needs at this time to build a sustainable economy. More than 60 years ago, Leopold wrote that human beings “were
still treating the natural environment as simply a storehouse of raw materials to extract and use. We claim the privileges but accept no obligations.” We burn energy. We plow. We mine.
We drill. We blast. We take what we want with no view to the future. Leopold knew an
ecological ethic is a necessity for survival. Let‟s heed this great Iowan‟s words in 2010.
Pulling Back the Curtain on the Present Stage of US Politics
A scrim is a commonly used stage illusion. Due to the scrim curtain‟s unique fabric, when lit
correctly from the front, a scrim appears opaque. When the front light is turned off, and
objects behind the scrim are lit, the fabric appears transparent. The American public are
masterfully manipulated with a skin thin scrim of democracy and a representative republic. Politicians hire PR pros to sell this illusion. Pull back the curtain to see reality; a powerful
oligarchy controls the political and economic action on the Real Stage of American Life in 2010. The word oligarchy is traced to the writings of Aristotle. It is very simple in actual practice. An oligarchy is any government where political and economic power are both
controlled by the same elite special interest groups. A textbook case of government by
oligarchy is the USA in 2010. In the US Oligarchy six mega banks control 60% of the
entire US economy. The pharma-medical cartel controls 20%. The military-industrial
complex and the petrochemical industry consume the remaining lion's share. All other diverse industrial and economic interests share a tiny shrinking sliver. We, the people are
thrown a few tiny grains to keep us working to turn the economic engines of this oligarchy. This is a very far cry from the open free market economy and politics by and
for the people envisioned by our nation's founders. The American Dream has shriveled
to an illusion of distant memory. We can face the fact that it will be a very long time before "We the People" can wrest back a fair share of the economic power controlled by
the few corporate behemoths that pull the strings of the American Economy. Why let
them also have all political power? The economic elite of the US do not deserve to control both… so let‟s reclaim our political power. As citizens, we have the right to vote, so we can
take back political power from the oligarchy right now -if we choose to exercise the
inherent but forgotten power of the common people who vote. The big problem is that
the Democratic and Republican parties are both obedient lap dog servants of the present
oligarchy. Real change is not possible within these 2 parties, -so we are starting a new party.
The Citizen Action Party is being formed with the specific purpose of challenging the power that the present oligarchy holds over both political and economic power. When "we
the people" exercise political power, we can at least balance the power of the consolidated
economic and political control held by the corporate consolidators of the US oligarchy. Voting citizens can end oligarchy -which is the consolidation of both political
and economic control into a centralized power structure. This can only be accomplished by
a well organized grassroots citizens’ party that operates independent from the control and
media influence of the oligarchy. Such effective citizen action will not take place in either
the Democratic or Republican Parties at this time in history. The Supreme Court just
awarded the American Corporate Oligarchy a blank check to buy massive political influence… -however they can‟t buy and control the citizens' votes -unless we let
them. Who owns your vote in 2010? The Citizen Action Party invites citizens of the
USA to finally stand up and fight back. There‟s nothing so powerful as an idea whose time
has come. It’s time for the Citizen Action Party. It is time to take back your political
power. If our Constitution is trashed any further, that option may not always be there.
Citizens have waited for far too long, -as Lincoln‟s words below show;
"This cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of this war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”
The prescient passage above is in a letter from Abraham Lincoln to William Elkins, dated Nov. 21, 1864. Abraham Lincoln‟s fear has come to pass with total expression in 2010.
In a recent speech, former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach observed that public discourse has
devolved into a partisan shouting match. “There has never been an era in which there was
such partisanship and intolerance of opposing viewpoints. Instead of the public good, no one
wants anything to work as that would reflect well on the other party”. He notes the media are
also at fault for reducing substantive issues into misinformation, media hype and innuendo.
Those most at fault are the voters themselves. In Presidential election years only about 50%
of eligible US citizens vote. In other years, the percentage drops to 37%. About 20% voted
in the most recent Iowa primary elections. This is worse than most Third World Nations. US
Citizens squander their potential power. The Citizen Action Party is a way for citizens
to reclaim their political power. “Only one in four voters participate in primary elections, and they‟re more partisan,” Leach said. Leach challenges Iowa citizens to resist this divisive
partisan tide by staying informed, civil and respectful. Richards will never use negative
campaign tactics. Richards sets a very high standard for positive political discourse. He
will engage in thoughtful critique of the other candidates‟ positions on core issues, but he will
not engage in personal attacks. Richards calls on Culver and Branstad to adhere to this same
high standard. Iowans expect civility and respect. Richards will present probing facts and
information that you will never hear from Branstad or Culver, -as they are both minions of
the established power structure. The Citizen Action Party is being formed to challenge the
current power structure, -this is not politics as usual. Richards‟ campaign is first and
foremost a statewide political education initiative. This is nothing like the shallow sound
byte, TV/PR image campaigns you get from Culver and Branstad. While Culver and Branstad spend millions on costly TV time, -Richards spends his time with the people.
Consolidation of Economic Power in Iowa; a Disenfranchised State
Iowa was built by savvy homegrown entrepreneurship and local civic action. Out of state
conglomerates now control the Iowa economy. As a result, Iowa citizens now have the
economic status of tenant farmers. For decades US agricultural innovation was led by Iowans such as the Wallaces and Holdens. The Holden Legacy is now owned by Multinational Monsanto. The Dupont Empire of Delaware has purchased Wallace‟s Pioneer Hybrid. Trust
fund heirs of such Iowa families enjoy lives of leisure and largesse in out of state splendor, while their Iowa friends, business associates and neighbors are left behind to languish in a
disenfranchised Iowa Economy. A large share of Iowa wealth is drained daily to Wall Street Banks. 90% of all seeds grown in Iowa are supplied by the Monsanto Monopoly. Out
of state giants ADM and Cargill control the farm commodity sector. Iowa-based Brenton banks were gobbled up by global giant Wells Fargo. For decades, Iowa homes and wheels of industry were powered by local firms such as Iowa Electric. Former IE plants are now
controlled from out of state by Alliant. Surviving local utilities and Rural Electric operations have a tiny market share, as Alliant and Warren Buffet‟s MidAmerican Energy control
Iowa‟s power grid from out of state corporate towers. Alliant and MidAmerica have big
bucks to buy political power. Governor Culver kowtowed, -as his compliant hand
obediently signed recent legislation, taking cash from struggling Iowa families to pay for nuclear research MidAmerican sees as too risky to spend their own corporate wealth on.
Why use a single cent of Buffet‟s billions when MidAmerican can tap compliant Iowa
taxpayers for more of their hard earned cash to fund risky nuclear ventures? Not a single
venture fund in the US will capitalize nuclear research. No problem for Buffet; bag more
cash from Iowa voters. The most intelligent new energy initiative for Iowa is to discover how to conserve more energy, not produce and consume more. Alliant & MidAmerican
display only a token interest in conservation; consumption=more profit. These 2 out of state
giants siphon off billions of Iowa capital each year. Iowans are thus feudal serfs. The
Citizen Action Party of Iowa will create a clean energy public utility to end servitude to out
of state carbon burning conglomerates. Our citizen utility can start in a few “transition
towns”, and grow into a statewide grid over 20 years. This is a practical plan for change.
Iconic Iowa brand Maytag was gutted and jobs were shipped to Mexico. Life Investors grew for decades as a major Iowa financial firm, and is now owned by Aegon of the Netherlands. Consolidation of economic power and political power marches on to the predictable point
of failure. Carbon energy consolidator BP/British Petroleum‟s “fail safe” systems just failed
–causing extreme economic and ecological catastrophe. We are in a time of unprecedented
systemic failure in banking, in the oil industry and most major segments of the economy, Big Ag will soon follow this trend. All systems “too big to fail, must eventually fail”. In nature,
the more decentralized a system is, the more resilient and strong it is. Consolidated corporate
structures have no resilience. Human systems must operate within nature‟s laws, or those
systems are destined for failure. The Citizen Action Party will create sustainable systems.
Corporate consolidators such as BP are destroying both our economy and our ecology. It is very practical to build an economy that works within the planet‟s natural ecology. Well
orchestrated media mind-shaping and soul numbing TV entertainment keep Iowans passive
and compliant. The Citizen Action Party is for those who refuse to be passive pawns. At
one time, Iowa had quality, probing journalism with Pulitzer prize winning writers at one of the very best newspapers in America, The Des Moines Register… -until the Register was
swallowed up by global media giant Gannett and profit trumped principled journalism.
Even charity has been “corporatized”; symbolic community charity gestures are now part of corporate PR strategy. They “give at the office” or host an impersonal charity affair. Most
large companies prefer to give to other huge corporate consolidators such as United Way
and Four Oaks. They prefer working corporate to corporate rather than people to people
where we actually look into the eyes of those in need. The real goal is PR or a tax write-off.
Corporate control is more important than real care and community. Real charity and giving is engaged face to face, person to person. Richards is working to restore real community care
in Iowa through urban neighborhood associations and rural township committees.
To manipulate our sincere public desire for sustainable communities, big corporations engage clever PR firms to design slick greenwashing campaigns. We need sustainability and giving
in substance to replace such shallow symbolic show. A Sustainable State will be built by
bringing Iowa business back home to Iowa… -by bringing Iowa Agriculture back home to
our vital small towns and real family farms. A new green economy will grow best from the
grassroots up with The Citizen Action Party. Your family can‟t afford the political status
quo, -as political “leaders” keep us on the totally unsustainable current path enforced by
entrenched special interest groups. Richards will redirect Iowa economic development
funds to home grown ventures to rebuild the Iowa economy from the ground up -so
we‟ll have a strong, sustainable economy for our Next Generation. Slick Hollywood
hucksters and Out of State Corporate Lobbyists can go packing and find another sucker state to prey on. The Citizen Action Party will build a citizen controlled Iowa economy.
Politics as usual is over in Iowa as the Citizen Action Party is stepping up to lead a very
crucial paradigm shift in Iowa‟s civic history. This timely campaign activates
intelligent public discourse and the effective citizen action that are now required for our emerging economic reality. This campaign transcends the obsolete old political definitions that divide us. Richards is a non-partisan bridge builder. He is very
practical. When Iowans hear Richards speak, Republicans embrace his real conservative
values. Independents hear the intelligent plan they‟ve long been waiting for. A huge
contingent of Democrats will enthusiastically vote for Michael Richards -to endorse his timely call to brand and build Iowa as The Sustainable State. Our citizen campaign
builds up the strength of Iowa as a whole; it‟s not about advantage for a political party
machine. This new Iowa party is a citizens’ initiative for the common good.
Richards has negotiated in the board rooms of some of the largest corporations in the US and abroad. He also works every day on the streets of low income neighborhoods. Whether he‟s in a blue suit or blue jeans and work boots, he engages his fellow Iowans with ease across every economic and social sector. The Citizen Action Party Initiative
replaces useless partisan posturing with practical citizen action. A major component
of this Iowa citizens‟ political initiative will be a statewide voter registration campaign.
Unless you register to vote -and then actually vote you are a powerless citizen. The
success of The Citizen Action Party will come when enough Iowans claim and use their power as involved voters. We‟ll bring political control back to the people that actually
pay the taxes. Only 50% of adult US citizens pay taxes; the working poor and the
shrinking middles class. This unfair tax structure has been put in place by your current Iowa
politicians. They vote for special interests, not your needs. Republicans lobby for tax credits
to keep the very richest few from paying their share. Democrats lobby for entitlements for the poor who do not pay taxes. The 50% that do pay taxes are a servant class, -taxation without
representation. The Citizen Action Party represents this 50%; -the taxpayers of Iowa.