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Click here to watch Brent Roske speak at the Iowa AFL-CIO convention
These are the freedoms the Founders were protecting
Watching the NFL on Sunday some said that the players protests weren’t respecting our country, but I disagree. The fact that the players can protest at all is a victory for supporters of our Constitution and its explicit protection of free speech. We must also acknowledge how strong these feelings for protest are, with players willing jeopardize their hard-fought careers to make a point and to ask yourself would you have the guts to do the same, knowing how divisive the protests are? This is the first time in our history that real free speech has existed in this country and part of achieving racial equality is acknowledging the unequal truths in our past and present. Research shows that ‘resumes with white-sounding names spurred 50 percent more callbacks than the ones with black-sounding names’. In Charlottesville in 2015, 67% of people who were stopped and frisked were African American but they only represent only 19% of that community. Our country was also built on the backs of bought and sold African-Americans and we wouldn’t be the country we are today without their exploited labor and collective sacrifice. George Washington had slaves as did Thomas Jefferson – and Sally Hemmings wasn’t Jefferson’s ‘mistress’ as is told in white washed history but rather a woman held captive and shamefully treated as property, an act easily spotted as evil and morally unjust were it to happen today. The ideals of the Founders, regardless of how inferior they were in practice when written, are only now being presented for application and we saw them executed Sunday in arenas across the country. The first amendment to the US Constitution states: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’ They may not have imagined it at the time, but the NFL protests are exactly what the Founders of our country were protecting all those years ago. Being an American Patriot doesn’t mean changing the past to fit our ideals, but rather requires us all to have the strength to face the hard unjust truths and to come out stronger together, arms locked with our team mates, supporting our American right to protest and of all Americans’ rights to the fruits of humanity.
Once the party primaries are done in June, I want people to know in simple terms what I stand for so they can choose Roske on their general election ballot. If elected as the first Independent Governor of Iowa, here are the 3 issues I would work to achieve:
- Single Payer Healthcare
- Clean Iowa Water
- Improve the process of government at the state and national level
There are countless other important issues that face this state, but the 3 I’ve listed above effect every Iowan. The last legislative session felt it more important to fight for bottle rockets and giving handguns to kids. To spend hard-fought political capital on such trivial things is a waste of tax-payer dollars and questions the very purpose of a standing state legislative body. We need solutions to big problems – not quick wins for fringe groups.
- Single Payer Healthcare: I fully support Single Payer Healthcare in this country and would do everything in my power to advocate for it from the Governor’s office, including voicing support for a ‘Medicare For All’ bill, should I be elected. With a much-needed decrease in pricing, the cost savings to people’s monthly premiums would make up for the increase in tax cost and no one would be denied coverage or go bankrupt paying for healthcare. The US pays more per patient than any other country but even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate, which as a patriotic American I find unacceptable. There’s never been a country that has gone back to private healthcare once switching to a government run system and the US is the only first world country that doesn’t offer healthcare. It’s time for Single Payer Healthcare in the United States.
- Clean Iowa water: If elected Governor I won’t sign any bill until a clean water bill makes it to my desk and I’m the only candidate taking this stance. Did you know that the tap water in Los Angeles is cleaner than the tap water in Des Moines? The water at my house by the Iowa Capitol has 8 ppm of nitrates, just shy of the 10ppm the EPA sets as the limit. The World Health Organization states: ‘The increasing use of artificial fertilizers, the disposal of wastes (particularly from animal farming) and changes in land use are the main factors responsible for the progressive increase in nitrate levels in groundwater supplies over the last 20 years’. We must support the Iowa farmer but can no longer ignore that Iowa Ag is polluting our water, including contributing to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico which, according to NOAA, is now the size of New Jersey (the largest ever recorded).
- Improving government at the state and national levels: Right now we have warring factions in the state and national legislatures. It’s more akin to a football game than any successful business or non-profit I’ve ever been a part of. If you walked into a bank and half the tellers were fighting against the other, and their first job was to make the other team fail, their second job was to make their team win and their third job was to manage your money, you’d take your money elsewhere. Sadly we’ve been made to believe that party politics is the only system available. You won’t find the words Republican or Democrat in the US Constitution, and when people ask me if there’s ever been an Independent Governor of Iowa I answer ‘no’, but there’s been a Whig Party Governor – and I’m not running as a Whig. We’ve already had one Independent President – George Washington – and both he and John Adams spoke out against political parties, fearing that people would be more concerned with gaining power in the party than serving the people through government. I believe the quickest way to improve American government is to re-examine the role of the Executive Branch at both the state and national levels, to arbitrate between the warring factions in the legislatures. If you went to a football game and the referee was a player for one of the teams you wouldn’t be getting a fair game. Electing Independents to the Executive Branch across the country is the quickest way to improve American politics.
~ Brent Roske, Iowa Gubernatorial Candidate
I was grateful to speak at the 3rd Annual Iowa Corn Feed, presented by Progress Iowa, at the Simon Estes amphitheater in Des Moines. I spoke along with other candidates for Governor, met with voters and had a great time. Big thanks to Matt Sinovic and Progress Iowa for welcoming me at the event. This was the third Corn Feed I’d attended, taping for ‘Roske on Politics’ at the last two with Sen. Harkin, Rep. Loebsack, Gov. Chafee and others.
Youth Coding Center at new Apple Iowa Complex?
With education and social programs being underfunded (Iowa is dead last in the country when it comes to beds for mental health patients, for example) it’s hard to justify corporate giveaways, but I believe the recently approved tax incentive program to bring Apple’s new data center to Waukee is a smart step that will help make Iowa a magnet for entrepreneurs and tech professionals. Every state competes for business, using the tools they have to bring people in. Iowa needs new business – and not just in the agriculture sector – to continue to grow the tax base and bring in newcomers (all the new condos in Des Moines aren’t going to lease themselves). Less than half of the graduates from Iowa State and the University of Iowa stay in the state after they get their degree. We’ve lost 7 seats in the US House of Representatives in the last 80 years and the state just came up $300 million short against estimated revenues. The deal could have been better, but bringing a world-class brand like Apple to Iowa can bring good things for the future and, eventually, help fund education, social programs, tech entrepreneur think-tanks and more. Speaking of which, here’s a question for Tim Cook and Governor Reynolds: could a non-profit that teaches kids how to code be based at the new complex? It is, after all, going to be ‘400,000 square feet once complete’. Let’s carve out 10k and get young people coding.
Quad City Times: Brent Roske, an independent candidate for governor who was born in Minnesota, touted his family’s labor credentials and noted other Democrats like Tom Vilsack and Jack Hatch were not native Iowans. “I believe right now government doesn’t work as well as it should,” he said, telling the group the quickest way to get back on track would be to put policy over process and put an independent in the governor’s office.
Roske, 42, said he would work to reinstate Iowa’s collective bargaining law and encourage workers who were not in a labor union to join one. “Those not yet in a union should be,” he said.
He advocated increased funding for education — “it has to be done” — and he spoke in favor of the state’s effort to bring Apple Inc.’s data center to Iowa as “a step in the right direction.”
“We have to start looking at new sectors,” he said.
(Photo: Dana and Brent Roske in Des Moines) Transcript of speech to be given to 61st Iowa AFL–CIO Convention, August 24, 2017:
“Governor Tom Vilsack was born in Pennsylvania and former Gubernatorial candidate and Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch was born in Connecticut. Like them, 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.” Read the full transcript here