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.