Iowa House Introduces ESA Legislation

February 4th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

The Iowa House of Representatives has introduced ESA Legislation!

From Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education:

House File 2090, sponsored by Representatives Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights), Jake Highfill (R-Johnston) and Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines), calls for this revolutionary school choice initiative that gives every Iowa parent a grant of state funds to use toward nonpublic education expenses.  You can read the entire bill here:  HF 2090.

Reactions are starting to come in including this one from Jay P. Greene’s blog: “Education Savings Account Effort in Iowa

My Information Workflow

April 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

My information workflow gets me up-to-speed every morning.  I’ve had a number of people ask me what apps I use, what websites I check, and how I stay on top of things at work.  The answer: I don’t stay on top of things like I would like…there is simply too much information out there.  But with a few good apps and websites, you can get a good big picture for whether the world is still spinning each morning.

Here is a short list of apps and sites I check each day to make sure I’m on top of things and as in-the-know as possible: » Read the rest of this entry «

Action Alert From The Iowa Association Of Christian Schools

March 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Action Alert From the Iowa Association of Christian Schools:

IA Assoc. Of Christian Schools

March 21, 2013 – House Study Bill 225 would increase the amount of tax credits for school tuition organizations to $12 million (currently at $8.75 million). The credits are made available for those who donate to scholarship funds for nonpublic school students through School Tuition Organizations (STOs).

Last fall more than 10,400 low-income students received a grant through the program to attend the school of their choice. More than $11.3 million in scholarships were awarded.

We support the bill because it helps parents get assistance in choosing the school that best fits their child’s learning needs.

Please send a message to your member of the Iowa House asking him or her to support HSB 225 by clicking here.  We are partnering with the Iowa Catholic Conference to send out emails and encourage you to do so today!

Very happy to see school choice get such bipartisan support in Iowa.  Click the link above and help keep it that way!  I highly encourage you to sign up for their email list at www.iowachristianschools.org.  They don’t spam, only send out action alerts when big things are happening at the Capitol, and they are a great resource for information on education, education reform, and private school choice.  They are there every day during the legislative session and have a great Board of Directors.

Senator Rozenboom’s Senate Speech This Week

February 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Senator Rozenboom delivered a great speech on the floor of the Senate this week about their adopted son, life, adoption, policy priorities, and hope!  You can click here to see the whole thing!  This is how the pro-life message is to be spread.  Compassionately and lovingly.  Well done, Senator!

The Salvation Army On Abortion *Updated*

November 20th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

The Salvation Army’s position on abortion is horribly weak.  They begin by stating that life begins at “fertilization,” it is a “gift from God,” and that “All people – without exception – are of value to him…”

They finish their statement with a great statement about treating women who’ve had abortions with dignity and love.  The problem is the moral relativism and spiritual schizophrenia sprinkled throughout the whole thing!  They make room for abortion in the case of rape and fetal abnormality!

Read it for yourself and ask yourself if a group with such a weak position the issue of life deserves a penny this holiday season when plenty of other organizations are doing the same work.  It’s one thing to panhandle by ringing bells that drive you mad as you shop.  It’s a totally different thing to contradict the Word, your mission, and common sense on an issue as important as life and expect support from pro-life individuals, especially Christians.

Change your position, “General.”  It’s the Biblical thing to do.

***Update***
11/24/2012
I’ll be avoiding donations as anyone who affiliates with an international office that takes a lame stance like this isn’t going to get my money.  However, this article may make you feel better about the position of the U.S. Salvation Army.

How Then Should We Advocate?

November 12th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

The 2012 Election is behind us.  Now the question remains:  whether as an active citizen or a professional activist, how then should we advocate for the things we care about after any election result?  I’ve written about much of this before but wanted to get some additional thoughts off my chest for my own benefit if nothing else.

First, what is advocacy and activism?  Issue advocacy and activism can include writing a letter to your legislator, showing up for an event at the Capitol, running for office, posting political opinions on Facebook or Twitter, lobbying, writing letters to the editor, walking in parades for candidates, or discussing politics at a friend’s house over dinner.

If you are a Christ-follower and looking to contribute to a political organization or considering getting involved in any way, here are the top five things you must keep in mind in order to be a good advocate:
» Read the rest of this entry «

Some Post-Election Thoughts

November 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Since I work in politics and public policy, I’ve had some people ask me for some post-election thoughts.

Regarding the Federal election results: I feel the same way I did a month ago.  We’re screwed, at least in the short term.  Neither party will be able to accomplish much in Congress and the President will bypass them any chance he gets with Executive Orders.

My feelings on the State election results: I feel the same way I did a month ago.  Not much changed.  Some good legislators are gone or lost their races, some new legislators were elected, and the school choice coalition I work with made some good inroads relationally with candidates and legislators from both parties.  That’s my optimistic and smiley spin on it.

Were you looking for something more specific?  Sorry.

Coming up on this blog:  “How Then Should We Advocate?”

The Big Election Day Decision

November 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Vote PedroThe big election day decision everyone has to make is whether to vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or write-in or vote for a candidate with zero chance of winning.  Although I sympathaze with Evangelicals who do not want to support Mitt Romney, I believe I’m called to make wise decisions and be the best steward of the influence and resources God has given me.  I don’t believe a general election vote equates to an endorsement.  I don’t believe general elections are the appropriate vehicles for protesting our failure to get an adequate candidate on the ballot.

That being said, I am prayerful that whoever wins the election has a real meeting with God.  God made good men Kings in the days of Israel.  He anointed David, Asa, Hezekiah, and others who honored their King to rule over Israel.  He put up godly Judges like Debra and others to rule over Israel.  Good leaders can make a HUGE difference.

God also, however, placed in leadership evil men.  Saul was half-hearted.  Manasseh was an evil King.  Ahab was “more evil than all kings before him.”  Read through first and second Kings, Chronicles, etc. for the sometimes nasty details.

I respect men and women who, in their own consciences and within their own understanding of the Scriptures, can’t vote for Romney or Obama.  Don’t let anyone tell you, however, who to vote for.  Pray.  Show Up.  Vote.  Trust God with a clear conscience.  He was sovereign when he anointed good and evil men.  He’s sovereign this week as we vote.  He’ll be sovereign for eternity.  The Curse we live under makes men governing themselves futile.  It’s supposed to be that way.  It’s supposed to point us to our Creator King!

The biggest threat to the Church as it relates to public policy and politics is that some believers get so emotionally caught up in the political game that it becomes an idol.  They begin to think that politics holds answers.  They begin to believe that we are responsible for the outcome of elections and the direction the culture goes.  We are called to do two things: love God and love our neighbor.  I believe it is very difficult to love our neighbor if we lead them to believe that their party affiliation, voting record, or candidate preference is more important than the pursuit of their Creator.

I am not a fatalist in that I believe God will honor our participation as we vote with Him on our hearts.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t be active and using our gifts in the public square doing public service in any number of capacities.  I’m saying we need to keep this whole election in perspective.

Vote.  Love God.  Love your neighbor.  He takes care of the rest and will show us how government is supposed to work soon enough.

An Open Blog Post To Republicans From An Average Guy

August 27th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Everyone knows the Republican Party is in the midst of a Civil War.

On one side you have those who would go the same direction the rest of the world is going, but in a much more “pragmatic” and “realistic” way.  They figured out most of the world’s problems between the 13th and 18th hole on Friday.  Libertarians and Social Conservatives call them RINOs (Republicans In Name Only).

The other side of the GOP is a coalition are the “Evangelicrats” aligned, strangely enough, with the Ron Paul crowd (aka: Paul-bots).  Evangelicrats would have you believe that every Founding Father was a born-again evangelical and that, regardless of the polling, “We The People” always and overwhelmingly agree with them.  The Ron Paul segment of this strange coalition is itself a diverse group consisting of constituencies ranging from Ayn Rand atheists to true Libertarians to chronic discontents and crazies who love the cult-like atmosphere surrounding Ron Paul.

I paint with a broad brush and the variables for individuals within these two major armies within the GOP are too numerous to stereotype down to the individual RINO or Right-Winger.  We basically, however, have “Democrat-light” on the left side of the Party and the always principled and angry hyper-right on the other side  with very few in the middle where wisdom and principled leadership usually reside.  (For what it’s worth, I believe base human nature is always liberal so the burden is on those with Judeo-Christian or Libertarian values to be accessible and relevant instead of chronically angry and weird if they want to be taken seriously.)

So what do people like me who doesn’t identify at all with either camp need to hear from the 2012 Republican National Convention?  What does does the average blue-dog Democrat (do they exist anymore?) or the moderate to conservative Independent voters need to hear this week from the Republicans to consider kicking Obama out of office?  How can a Party at war with itself present a message of unity that inspires a nation to support it? » Read the rest of this entry «

SBA List Bus Tour Stops in Iowa

August 21st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I attended the Susan B. Anthony List’s bus tour yesterday on the West Terrace of the Iowa State Capitol.  The name of the bus tour is “Women Speak Out: Abortion is Not Healthcare” and the Iowa stops were sponsored by SBA List, Iowa Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, the Iowa Eagle Forum, Family Leader, and others.

I believe it may have been one of the most powerful line-ups of pro-life women ever put together.  The women had a combination of legislative experience, personal stories of survival, experience inside the abortion industry, and enough street cred. to make the most hardened pro-choicer question where he/she is at on the issue.

You can see great coverage of the Des Moines stop on Shane and Craig’s websites below:

Abortion survivor: Scalding a child in the womb is not healthcare

Pro-life Women Praise Steve King, Shred Vilsack, Obama

If you want to make an impact in the battle to change our culture to one that respects life, I highly suggest you visit Iowa Right to Life and SBA List‘s websites and open your wallet.