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Interview with Cory Adams, Chairman of the Story County, Iowa GOP

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There was an important political news story yesterday that did not get much attention because of the media’s focus on the debt ceiling crisis: Texas Congressman Ron Paul won a big endorsement in Iowa. The Republican Party Chairman in Story County, Cory Adams, gave Paul his endorsement at a campaign event in Ames, Iowa, the county’s largest city.

So why was this big news? Because it should give Paul a significant boost in the Ames Straw Poll, scheduled for August 13th. The Ames Straw Poll is by far the most prominent of the several straw polls that will take place in Iowa between now and the first-in-the-nation caucuses on February 6th of next year. In fact, it is so consequential that it is often referred to simply as the Iowa Straw Poll.

While a strong showing in the Ames Straw Poll does not guarantee a candidate will win the Iowa caucuses, it is an important early test of a candidate’s popularity in the state. Candidates from the Midwest, like Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former governor Tim Pawlenty, are expected to do well. If a candidate from outside the region, like Ron Paul, were to perform unexpectedly well, real momentum could be gained for their candidacy both within the state and nationally as well.

So much for the background. I contacted Story County Republican Party Chairman Cory Adams yesterday and he was kind enough to agree to a brief email interview. What follows is an unedited transcript of our exchange:

RJ: Why specifically did you endorse Congressman Ron Paul?

CA: I’ve always had a great interest in the American Revolution and the principles and philosophies of our Founding Fathers.  I guess you can say that sharing the same surname as two of the Revolution’s brightest stars helped spur my interest as a kid.  This has led me in my adult life to seek out candidates who most closely resemble those of our Founders and likewise myself.  After reading a few of Congressman Paul’s books, listening to his speeches, and studying his stances, especially his constitutional conservatism, I came to the conclusion that he most resembles and embodies what I was looking for in a presidential candidate.  There are others in the Republican field, but Congressman Paul has the lengthy, consistent voting record to back that up.

RJ: Who was your second choice? That is, if Congressman Paul was not running, who would have received your endorsement?  

CA: That’s a tough one…I’ve been really impressed by so many of them.  I’d have to call it a tie between Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.

RJ: Do you believe Congressman Paul is the Republican candidate who has the best chance of defeating President Obama in the general election?

CA: I believe several of the current Republican candidates could win the general election against President Obama, but with every new country that the President decides to start bombing (Libya and Yemen come to mind) the President himself makes the best case for Congressman Paul’s non-interventionalist policies.  And that I believe gives him an advantage over the rest of the Republican field. 

RJ: Many believe that Congressman Paul’s foreign policy views are not representative of the Republican Party as a whole. What are your thoughts?

CA: I’m not so sure, I recall President George W. Bush running on the same type of platform (non-nation building, bringing our troops home from Germany and abroad) in 2000.  While it’s true that the events of Sept. 11, 2001 have changed that view for some Republicans I really think there are more who are now more open to bringing our soldiers home.  Perhaps not from Iraq and Afghanistan first, but from Germany, Japan, and other U.S. bases around the world.   

RJ: Just how important of an issue is ethanol subsidies in Iowa? The way the national media reports on it, ethanol is seemingly the only issue that Iowans care about…  

CA: To a large portion of Iowa, mostly the farmers and those in the agricultural industries it is a very important issue as it affects their way of life and their ability to maintain and operate their farms.  However, I believe it’s time that Iowa farmers took a rather hard look at the ethanol subsidies, at least corn ethanol and start looking into Cellulosic ethanol technology.

RJ: Are there any unannounced candidates (Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, etc.) whose entrance into the race would cause you to potentially rethink your endorsement of Congressman Paul?  

CA: No, however of the three you listed Perry, Christie, and Palin, I’d have to say that Christie would be the biggest temptation of doing so. 

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  • Tim

    This was a good interview.

    Ron Paul also matches up closest to my personal values and what I’m looking for in a leader.

    BTW I’m a Republican Committee chair in Missouri.

  • Thank you for reading, Tim.

  • John Brindfe

    great interview.. Ron Paul’s platform is very similar to Bush’s platform in 2000, when he defeated Al Gore. I voted for Bush in 2000, but could not vote for him in 2004. I am glad the republican party is shifting back to its original roots of our founding fathers:
    non-interventionist foreign policy – trade with nations, but don’t start unnecessary wars, and if you want to start a war, take it by congress first! that’s Ron Paul’s stance. Limit the size of the bloated federal government – only Ron Paul has a proven record of doing so – the rest of the republican field only campaign for small government, but they spend more than the democrats.. what a shame.

  • Glad you enjoyed it, John.

  • chris

    Yes, this was a good interview.

    I’m a Floridian and a longtime Republican and I have to say that during the 2008 presidential election, I thought the good doctor was a nut.

    Well, not anymore. I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on Dr. Paul and the more I read, the more I like him. The man is truly honest, an economic oracle, and I believe his foreign policy of “non-interventionism” is exactly correct.

    Yes, that’s right. This Republican/Conservative has had quite enough of the “nation building” that is bankrupting our country and has taken the lives of thousands of our bravest and finest troops.

    Why do we have some 800+ military bases still in places like Germany? Why do we continue to spend 10 BILLION a month in Afghanistan alone?? While we are crumbling here at home???

    I want what Ron Paul wants and that is a strong military defending “our” borders and our shores, as the Founders’ intended.

    I also want what Ron Paul wants and that is for Congress to actually “declare” a war “before” we start bombing another country.

    Finally, I want what Ron Paul has been warning about for decades. A reverance and adherence to the glue that holds this great nation together, the finest example of individual freedom and protection from the tyranny of the federal government. The Constitution of the United States of America.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Back in the late 60’s the insurance industry started making noise about refusing to issue flood insurance for properties in flood-prone zones…which, incidentally, comprises much of America’s heartland (any place that’s flat – Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc), most of Florida, the Napa Valley, not to mention most of America’s coastline.

    So the government began the National Flood Insurance Program to essentially protect the insurance industry, so that they would continue to insure those millions of properties that comprise probably at least half of America, and three quarters of her population, and certainly most of her farmlands.

    Well, along comes Ron Paul who says that he wants to do away with the National Flood Insurance Program. He said on Good Morning America – I was watching George Stephanopolous interview him – that if a place is prone to floods, then it’s too dangerous to live there.

    What Mr. Paul wasn’t realizing is that the banking industry will NOT approve mortgages in a flood zone unless flood insurance is included…and so if Mr. Paul gets rid of the NFIP and the insurance industry starts charging exorbitant rates or decides to stop issuing flood insurance altogether, what happens?

    The real estate market comes to a screeching halt for most of America…and anyone who was paying attention to the Great Recession saw just how important our real estate market is to our national economy.

    So…NO, I will NOT vote for Mr. Paul, because he is so hidebound by libertarian dogma that he cannot see that there are times that YES, government involvement in business is ESSENTIAL in order to keep that business, well, in business!

    I suggest that all y’all take a close look at what would happen to America’s day-to-day lives if Mr. Paul were in charge and decided to implement his libertarian policies. You can start with what would happen to our economy when – not if, but when – our nation’s real estate market suffers a mortal blow because Mr. Paul is such an ideologue and is unconcerned with what how his policies would actually affect our nation.

  • Glenn I’m sorry you feel that way but there is no such thing as a casual Ron Paul supporter. We have all spent time thinking about how our country would look under the leadership of Dr Paul.

    Did you ever consider that maybe the states or even counties could create a fund similar to NFIP. Tax payers who have built their homes in a secure location should not be on the hook for those who don’t.

    This kind of federal legislation is exactly what created the climate that lead to the housing bubble. If you live in a flood plain you should be ok with paying more state tax to create a fund to protect your investment. But don’t ask me to bail you out when the waters start rising.

    What Ron Paul is all about is decentralized power. Moving authority out of the fed and back into the hands of the states. This is what our constitution is all about. “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.” NFIP is one of these powers not granted to the federal government making it a power reserved to the states.

  • Dan Fitzgerald

    Glenn, Insurance (and mortgages), are, and have been, among the most heavily regulated industries in our country. If insurance were open to competition, there’d be no issue. If, say, State Farm wanted to charge 25% of value, Liberty Mutual would crunch the numbers and determine that they’d mske a ton of money at 21%, then Prudential’s actuaries would see that the break-even point is closer to 7% on 75% of the properties, etc. Dr. Paul is consistent in pointing out that government policies distort markets, and the solution isn’t more, but less, government & distortions. And if I’m subsidizing a beachfront homeowner, sorry, but I have better things to do with that money. I really do.

  • Charlie Shore

    ^^^”Back in the late 60’s the insurance industry started making noise about refusing to issue flood insurance for properties in flood-prone zones…which, incidentally, comprises much of America’s heartland (any place that’s flat – Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc), most of Florida, the Napa Valley, not to mention most of America’s coastline.

    So the government began the National Flood Insurance Program to essentially protect the insurance industry, so that they would continue to insure those millions of properties that comprise probably at least half of America, and three quarters of her population, and certainly most of her farmlands.”

    So why should the other portion of states population or those not in flood zones be subject to paying insurance costs for those that need it. If the problem is such a major issue, then surely specific states could come up with their own plans.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Nick –

    The problem with ‘decentralizing’ power even further is that it makes it more susceptible to the influence of corporate money – it’s always been easier for major corporations to influence states than to influence the federal government.

    And Citizens United made the problem that much worse.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Charlie –

    Sounds good in theory, but in practice the government cannot separate the nation into what is and what is not a flood zone. That, and should we then require that the federal government spend in a state no more and no less than what the citizens of that state pay out in federal taxes? If so, there’s a lot of RED states that will be hurting since the states that receive more federal tax dollars than they pay out tend to be red states.

    That, and bear in mind that for the past two years we’ve had LESS of an overall tax burden than we’ve had since the Truman administration. That’s right – we’re paying less in taxes under Obama than under Bush, Bush, Reagan, Nixon, or Eisenhower.

    Betcha didn’t hear any of this on Fox News….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan F. –

    Care to show me examples of states – or nations – where they have Paul’s idea of small government? Can you show me even ONE first-world nation that adheres to the idea of “small government”?

    No, you can’t. “Small government” sounds really good in theory. The rhetoric sounds so reasonable and logical, and that’s why the idea is so attractive to those who get frustrated with the complexities of the modern world. Problem is, it’s all too easy to believe the rhetoric and the theory…and it’s harder to accept the realities of modern human society.

    Here’s a unchangeable fact, Dan – the greater the population, the more complex and diverse the society WILL be…and the greater the size of the government that will be required to govern that society. Paul wants to have a government like we did way back when…but “way back when” was a time when our population was smaller and significantly less diverse…and technology was much simpler.

    Times have changed – and the idea of having small government for the sake of small government simply will not work.

    What it boils down to, Dan, is this: the increase in the size of government is NOT a function of government functionaries lining their pockets – it’s a function of a society that is ADAPTING to its increase in size and diversity and complexity. It’s not unlike the evolution of a living being – the more complex and capable that living being, the greater the size that the brain must generally be in relation to the rest of the body in order to handle those complexities and capabilities…and like it or not, the government is the “brain” of the living organism that is the society of a modern nation.

    If you want to live in a country with a small government, then you’d better start looking at third-world nations – they’re the ONLY ones that will ever have the Ron Paul style of small government.

  • Mike Hignite

    No, I can’t show you one country that adheres to Dr. Paul’s idea of small government — more’s the pity.

    Your unchangable fact isn’t.

    Small government allows flexibility to respond to the realities of complex economies, and extreme specialization of work.

    A society that is complex and diverse needs a small government with its minimal restrictions and innate flexibility, to function.
    The large totalitarian central government with its one-size fits all approach, that forces citizens into generic, old-world serf-like boxes it can understand and control, cannot innovate, cannot react quickly enough to new circumstances.

    Having to deal with the IRS, I can tell you in no uncertain terms, that the government is not the brain of modern society. Or if it is, then it has been lobotomized.

  • D

    Maybe people who think we need big government and lots of it need told what to do and how to do it. Why would one not want to take more personal responsibility for themselves? Do you need told how to live or whats good and whats evil?
    It seems that people are so used to being taken care of like a little kid that they just dont want to “grow up”.
    Everyone says “Ron Paul wants there to be chaos and no laws” That is ridiculous! He wants people to have their lives back, and their prosperity.

    Oh and Glenn, that country you we’re looking for that adheres to Dr. Pauls small gov’t notions, it was America 200 years ago. And why did we flourish to become the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world?
    Because we WERE the most free.

    Times do not change principal!
    (unless you’re a sellout)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Looks like D and Mark Hignite bring everything to the table…except the fact that the idea of “limited government” or “small government” doesn’t work.

    Mark thinks that having a small government makes it more flexible…but that is only true in dictatorships.

    ‘D’ thinks that we had a limited government back when America was first founded…but doesn’t realize that we DID try “limited government” which the Founding Fathers several years later changed to a strong federal government after they found that the original confederation of states could not work together closely enough to defend us against foreign powers.

    And BOTH of you are ignoring the simple fact that the greater the population, the greater the diversity and the complexity of the society therein…and the greater the size of the government needed.

    For instance, can you govern New York City with the same limited set of laws that govern, say, Key West, Florida? No, you can’t. It does. not. work…and wishing won’t make it so.

  • would have been nice if it had been properly formatted

  • Aren’t you an editor here, Gordon? If the formatting of the interview bothers you so much, why not “fix” it instead of just drive-by bitching about it?