November 4, 2014 General Election - Republican Candidates

Iowa Governor

Terry E. Branstad

US Senate

1st Congressional District

Rod Blum

Iowa Secretary of State

Paul D. Pate

Iowa Auditor of State

Mary Mosiman

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

Bill Northey

Iowa Attorney General

Adam Gregg

Iowa Treasurer

Sam Clovis

State Representative District 71

Jane A. Jech

State Representative District 72

Dean Fisher

Marshall County Supervisor

Bill Patten

Dave Thompson

Marshall County Attorney
Jennifer Miller

Marshall County Treasurer

Jarret Heil

Join our EMAIL list. Contact us. Volunteer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Powers Limited - Liberty Preserved

The Constitution is a contract between the People, the States, and the general (Federal) government. Abiding by the Constitution, like abiding with any contract, requires knowing the intent of the original parties.
The provisions of the Constitution clearly show the intent was to restrict the jurisdiction and obstruct the exercise of powers delegated to the general government. Through careful design, the Constitution provided for separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, and ingenious restraints on taxation.
But the principle parties to this social contract still wanted more protections against the general government. Thus, they granted to it only specific and limited powers.
Under Article I, Section 8, Congress was granted only power to make all laws reasonable and necessary to:
levy uniform taxes; borrow money; regulate trade with foreign nations and Indian Tribes; regulate interstate commerce, immigration, bankruptcies; coin money and regulate its value; fix standard weights and measures; punish counterfeiters; establish Post Offices and post roads; protect inventors; create courts inferior to the supreme Court; punish piracy; declare war, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; raise, support and make the rules for military forces; call forth and employing the Militia; legislating over D.C.
Regardless of these powers, Article I, Section 9, states the government could not:
stop importation of slaves until 1808; enact laws aimed at individuals; apply laws retroactively; tax the people directly; tax exports from States; pass commerce laws preferring one State over another; draw money from the Treasury without authority of law; grant title of nobility.
Under Article II, the President is the Commander in Chief, and signs Treaties; nominates judges, ambassadors and other public officers; fills vacancies; informs Congress of the State of the Union; and faithfully executes the law.
Under Article III, the Supreme Court had power to adjudicate cases involving Ambassadors, the Constitution, federal statutes, Treaties, disputes where the general government is a party, disputes between States, disputes between citizens of different States, disputes between a State and a citizen of another State.
The intent to limit the power of the general government was also made clear during passage of the Constitution. To win approval of the People and the States, promoters of the Constitution explained its meaning through a series of published papers known as the Federalist Papers.
According to Federalist Paper No. 45 -
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, such as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce . . . The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
According to Federalist Paper No. 78 –
“The Judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power . . . the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter.”
These promises of limited government were later crystalized by the 10th Amendment –

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Preserving Your Right to Complain

Each election provides this Federal Representative Republic a chance to start over, to get it right, to make things better.  What seems more common is that time after time, election after election, people complain after the fact about the election process, the election results and the government sworn in the following January that is charged with representing us (or not) and dealing with the problems facing our Cities, Counties, States and Country.

All to often those that complain the most and the loudest are those that were least engaged with the process in selecting the very government about which they complain.  When asked what they did most reply with a blank stare or a "what does that have to do with anything?!"

My answer?  EVERYTHING.  Because the future of our country, our way of life, our children and grandchildren's tomorrow is at stake to the extent that it is in today's world there is no room for a middle ground.  CONCLUSION?  If you aren't part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

To preserve your right to complain you must fully engage in the process with your vote, your contribution of time and treasure, your commitment to persuasively engage your fellow citizens.  Anything less then, respectfully, please keep quite.

Peter G. Rogers
Chairman / Marshall County Republicans

Federalism Creates a United States

Perhaps the most potent check and balance in the Constitution was its “federalism”. Federalism refers to the checks and balances between the power of the people and State on one hand and that of the general government on the other hand.

As Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist Paper No. 15 - “There is, in the nature of sovereign power, an impatience of control that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it to look with an evil eye upon all attempts to restrain it . . . This tendency . . . has its origin in the love of power . . . The balance between the national and state governments . . . forms a double security to the people . . . by the rivalry which will ever subsist between them.”

Remember, the Preamble of the Constitution begins “We the People of the United States". Since it was the People and the States that created the general government by adopting the Constitution, the general government could only derive those powers that were delegated to it by the People and the States.

As Thomas Jefferson put it – “The several states composing the United States of America . . . constituted a general government for special purposes [and] delegated to that government certain definite powers and whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. To this compact each state acceded as a state, and is an integral party, its co-states forming, as to itself, the other party. The government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution the measure of its powers."

In other words, under “federalism” the People and the States were intended as strong checks and balances against the growth of the general government. These “vertical” restraints are enshrined in the Constitution as originally adopted.

The People are the ultimate check on the general government. As explained by James Madison in Federalist Paper No. 49 - “As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter under which the power of the several branches of government is derived, it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory to recur to the same original authority [the will of the people] . . . whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others.”

To this end the Constitution gives the People of each state the power to directly elect members of Congress. Congress was divided into two chambers - the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each State was apportioned seats in the House proportionate to its share of the nation’s population. For this reason, the Constitution provided for a census every ten years. To best allow the People to check the government, Congressional elections occur every two years. (Article I, Section 2).

The People also had an indirect check on the general government through the checks expressly extended to the States under the Constitution. The Constitution provides that the President is chosen by Electors chosen by each State (the Electoral College). Thus, the people, through their sovereign States, have an indirect role in electing the President every four years. (Article II, Section 1)

As originally adopted, each State legislature (elected by the People) appointed that State’s representatives in the U.S. Senate. Those Senators served for six years, but could be recalled by the legislature before the term expired. (Article I, Section 3)

Since Congress could not pass laws without passing both the House and the Senate, federal laws needed the blessing of the other sovereigns (the People and the States). Through granting of power to select and retain U.S. Senators, the States were intended to play a direct and significant role in obstructing the growth and abuse of the general government. As originally adopted, the States, through the selection and retention of Senators, also checked the President. Treaties signed by the President, which are superior to State laws, and appointments of judges and officials, have no effect unless approved by the Senate (i.e., States).

In 1913 the 17th Amendment was adopted. That amendment provided that U.S. Senators shall be elected by the people directly. Thus, State sovereignty as a check and balance was virtually eliminated.

In his farewell address President George Washington warned that “love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart” must be confined by strict adherence to Constitutional checks and balances, otherwise our free Country would not survive.

The final original check and balance (also eliminated in 1913) was the genius of the tax provisions contained in Article I, Section 2(3), and Article I, Section 9(4). Next.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Early voting has been a thorn in the side of the GOP for a long time when comparing results of democrat, no party and republican use of the opportunity.  Historically, the democrat machine has waged a heavy and successful effort to get votes cast early and put those votes "in the bank".  This heightened emphasis to cast votes early is, in part, motivated to get the vote cast before the voter has become acquainted with the candidates and learned the issues and candidate positions on those issues.  Early voting results in considerable "buyers remorse" (see Obama victory 2012) amongst democrat and no party voters.

On the flip side, Republicans have historically held on to there votes and cast them in the voting booth on election day.  With such an emphasis on early voting the democrats have come to expect a lead of close to 3-1 over republicans after the first 7-10 days.

Well folks, times are changing.  Even republicans can grow, change and adapt.  By the most recent numbers from the County Auditors office the early vote numbers are anything but good for democrats.  Though they still maintain a lead in the early voting it is under 300 rather than over 1000.  Republicans are engaged and active.  Our candidates, our message and our energy are leading the way.  Democrats are noticeably quiet.

Keep up the good work.  If you haven't voted yet make a plan to join some friends for breakfast (or lunch) then head to the Auditor's Office and vote.

Remember, an early vote quiets the phone, empties the mail box, saves money for the candidate and assures your vote.

Peter Rogers
Chair / Marshall County Republicans
In order to form a “more perfect union”, the Constitution vested Congress with exclusive legislative powers. (Article I, Section 1) It also granted Congress authority to impose direct taxes, not just indirect taxes such as tariffs. (Article I, Section 8, paragraph 1) And Article VI made the Constitution and Congressional law the “supreme Law of the land”. To a nation conceived in Liberty, such power was dangerous even in the hands of elected representatives.

As Thomas Jefferson put it - “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” This principle captures the essence of “checks and balances”.

Thus, the Constitution was designed with many “horizontal” checks and balances. First, the general government was divided into three distinct branches: Congress, President and a supreme Court. Each of the three branches was vested with substantial power to reign in the others.

Congress controls the spending of the Executive and Judicial branches. (Article I, Section 7, paragraph 1). It can investigate and impeach the President and judges. (Article I, Section 3, paragraph 6, and Article III, Section 1). It can override a Presidential veto. (Article I, Section 7, paragraph 2). Congress has power to create/dissolve all federal courts except the supreme Court. (Article I, Section 8, para. 9, and Article III, Section 1). Except for cases involving Ambassadors, Minister, Consuls and disputes between States, Congress has the power to determine the appellate jurisdiction of the judicial branch. (Article III, Section 2, para. 2).
Finally, the President’s authority to enter treaties, and appoint judges, executive department heads and other officials is subject to the approval of the Senate. (Article II, Section 2, para. 2).

To check Congressional power, the President has the power to veto bills passed by Congress. (Article 1, Section 7, paragraph 2). To check both Congress and the President, the judicial power of the supreme Court extends to all cases involving the Constitution and laws passed by Congress. (Article III, Section 2, para. 1).

But these “horizontal” checks and balances were not enough to protect the sovereignty of the people and the States. Additional checks and balances that defined the “vertical” relationship between the people, the States and the general government were included. This vertical separation of powers, referred to as “federalism”, will be the subject of the next installment.