(Photo: Dana and Brent Roske in Des Moines)
Transcript of ‘Love brings people to Iowa’ below.
Brent Roske is running to be the first Independent Governor of Iowa. He recently hosted the weekly TV program ‘Roske on Politics’ on Iowa’s ABC affiliate where he interviewed every 2016 POTUS candidate, as well as created the political dramas Chasing The Hill, Courting Des Moines and is a former candidate for the US House of Representatives. Roske was a creative director at NBC Universal, receiving a Commemorative Emmy Award and 3 additional Emmy nominations. To read Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss’ thoughts on Roske’s run to be the next Governor of Iowa, please click here. “The people of Iowa might look for years for a candidate as bright, committed, and independent in truth and behavior as Brent Roske. I have no doubt in the decency of Brent, in the fierceness of his desire to serve, and for his ability to be truly bi-partisan in his approach.” – Richard Dreyfuss
Transcript of Brent’s speech ‘Love brings people to Iowa’:
Hi Everyone – thank you very much for having me here today. First off, I want to acknowledge that I wasn’t born in Iowa. I was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and I was one of 2 people to give the speech at my graduation from Anoka High School. Just like former Governor Tom Vilsack who was born in Pennsylvania, or former Gubernatorial candidate and Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch who was born in Connecticut, I was born elsewhere and came to Iowa later in life. I was born in Minnesota and my brother and his family are in Kansas City, but here’s the phrase that I come back to over and over again: love brings people to Iowa. I bet you know what I’m talking about. Someone met someone at college, or on a trip, and when they started thinking about starting a family, one of them said ‘you’ve got to visit my family in Iowa’ and poof they’re looking at houses. And they realize you’re in the middle of the country and the Des Moines airport takes about 9 minutes from the curb to the gate and once you get used to that you never want to go aback, am I right? Love brings people to Iowa. Also here today is my brilliant and beautiful wife, Dana. We were married just 3 months ago. I met Dana in California, of all places. We were both looking for our special person and were running out of hope and I happened to meet her and she said she was raised in Decorah, Iowa. She had no idea that I owned a house in Des Moines and that I was looking for someone to make it a ‘home’ with. 6 months after I met her we got married on that porch of our historic 1870 house which is in the shadow of the Capitol here in Des Moines and once again I’ll say that love brings people to Iowa. Iowa has made all my dreams come true and I don’t care if that sounds like a pander because its the truth. Iowa made all my dreams come true. I moved here to make a movie about the Iowa caucuses called ‘Courting Des Moines’ and I fell in love with the state. Then I wrote and staged the first ever play performed in the House of Reps chambers in the Iowa Capitol and people asked ‘how did you get permission to do that?’ and the honest answer is they’d just never been asked before! I then got to host my TV program ‘Roske on Politics’ where I got to interview every single candidate for President of the United States – and most several times. Some candidates even came to my house. Iowa truly has made my dreams come true and once again I’ll say ‘People come to Iowa for love’. Love of family. Love of place. Pride in where you live. ‘Is this heaven? No – it’s Brent Roske’s campaign for Governor’ – lighten up folks. I’m just borrowing that line. I’m running for Governor. A Governor should inspire. A Governor – or a President – should bring people together. On my TV program I sat down with folks from all over the political spectrum and a Governor needs to be able to talk and listen to everybody. You might not think of it this way but being the Governor is the ultimate customer service job and if I’m elected I’m going to split the wage with the people, host quarterly receptions at the Capitol and lead a volunteer army that helps everyday Iowans every Saturday morning for every week I’m in office. A Governor can lead the way and should lead by example and we know that if everybody pitches in the load is that much lighter. All right – let’s talk some politics. I’m running as an Independent and I want your vote. I was just one of only 2 candidates nationwide invited to attend the Centrist Project Independent Summit in Philadelphia and they sat me next to the only Independent Governor in America – Governor Bill Walker of Alaska. His administration is made up of the best minds regardless of party because as he says it ‘one party doesn’t have a monopoly on good ideas’. There were 40 of us in the room – major voices from the media, donors and even Greg Orman who almost won a US Senate seat in Kansas in 2014 and we talked about ‘Process over Policy’ – and that means fixing the broken legislative system so we can solve the problems that face our state. Right now we have warring factions in the legislature – red versus blue – that’s the game their playing with our lives and money and no job or organization I’ve ever been involved with was run this way. They would be out of business in a heartbeat. If you walked into a bank and half the tellers were on one team and half the tellers were on another and this teams first job was to make the other team fail and their second job was to make their team win and their third job was to manage your money, well, you’d probably take your business elsewhere – but this is the Government we have – they don’t give us a choice so we have to make a choice to fix the system that they have rigged in their favor and in the favor of big business and the quickest and surest way to improve the process of American democracy is by re-examining the role of the Executive Branch. The Executive Branch should be an arbiter between the 2 political parties. If you went to a football game – because legislating in America is a full contact sport more in common with a football game than a successful endeavor – if you went to a football game and the referee was a player from one of the 2 teams you would cry’ foul!’. It wouldn’t be a level playing field. That’s what we have in government so let’s change the role of the Executive Branch – both at the state and Federal levels and have the Executive Branch level the playing field between the two teams that sadly play it more like a game to raise money than a serious endeavor to improve people’s lives. I’ll take a couple questions and then wrap up. Questions?
Finally let me say one thing: Up until the 1930s Iowa had 11 seats in the United State House of Representatives. Did you know that? Now we only have 4: King, Loebsack, Young and Blum. That’s it. 4. They give out House seats based solely on population – if the human beings want to come to your state you get more Representatives, its that simple. The fact that we’ve lost 7 seats in the US House means we’re not keeping up, folks. This beautiful state – my adopted home state – we’re not keeping up. Less representation means less funding for infrastructure and business and social programs but in a larger sense, falling behind the rest of the nation in terms of Representation means that Iowa is losing its place in the nation. Our identity. The magnet to bring people here isn’t as strong as it could be. Iowa State and University of Iowa took a poll and only half the graduates are sticking around after school. They don’t think they can get a full life here. After earning an Emmy Award from 10 years at NBC Universal in California I know they’re wrong and that Iowa can make all your dreams come true but without representation new people aren’t going to hear about it. We need a Governor who inspires business to come here – and not just foreign fertilizer plants drenched in tax subsidies, but tech companies, and artists and yes, people looking for the American dream of a house, a family and a well potty trained dog in the yard. The last part is still a dream of mine I keep stepping in my dogs American dream about once a week in the house but we’re working on it. People ask me if there’s ever been an Independent Governor of Iowa and I say no but there has been a Whig Party Governor and I’m not running on the Whig Party. We’ve had an Independent President – George Washington – and both he and John Adams spoke out against political parties but spoke up for American Patriotism. They spoke of a love of our awesome country. Love brings people to Iowa and my love for this state has inspired me to run to Governor. I’m Brent Roske and I’m asking for your support. Thank you.