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RICK STEWART - 21st Century County Sheriff

[This is the executive summary. Titilating details can be found by reading the whole shendangle.]

Rick was born in Postville, Iowa, on August 3, 1951 (he's 65 and will still be 65 when he wins the election), the second son of Bill and Helen Stewart.

His family moved to Maquoketa, Iowa, when he was 8 years old.

He attended Iowa public schools through eighth grade, then won a scholarship to attend Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1969, in spite of a fair share of authority problems encountered along the way.

He attended Menlo College in Menlo Park, California, for one year, then came back to Iowa for a summer session at Clinton Community College, where he failed to excel. His mother enrolled him at Iowa State University without his knowledge, but it turned fortuitous when the summer ended and Rick had no other plans.

He lasted for one mind altering semester before dropping out and taking an extended mind expanding trip to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. We're being somewhat frivolous - the foreign trip involved only hashish, getting progressively better as he moved from Morocco to Lebanon to Afghanistan, where the freshly hand pressed Afghani black cost two cents a gram (later the War on Drugs gave the Afghans the opportunity to get into the heroin business, with which they financed the Taliban, and you know the rest of the story).

Returning to Maquoketa after two years on the road, Rick sought profitable employment and found it as a member of the Maquoketa Police Department. His Chief of Police Buddy Olson became a lifelong friend, but Buddy was forced to execute the onerous demands of the Mayor to fire Rick when he refused to shave off his beard (extremely short, well trimmed, quite unlike any of his various other beards).

Rick took a job as a carpenter's helper for a few months before moving to Cedar Rapids. He owned a van, he owned a motorcycle, he had $5,000 in cash and he planned to make a five year South America run, but he wanted to learn how to fix the innards of the vehicles before he took them out of the country and subjected himself to shady mechanics.

He never made it out of Cedar Rapids. Two years later he had a degree in Agricultural Mechanics from Kirkwood Community College, a van, a motorcycle, a wife and baby, and $5,000 of very non-liquid inventory - herbs and spices (the legal kind). Frontier Cooperative Herbs had been born (a few days before the baby). 

Frontier consumed the next 24 years of his life, but it was a joyous ride. From just a hobby in a cabin to a $40 million business with 300 employees Frontier never rose to the number one spot in Rick's life, however, which was occupied by raising his four children. And at times Frontier was only a poor third behind getting a BA from Coe College and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

In 1999 Rick called it quits and started travelling the world again. A year and a half in Paris, a summer in Spain, a permanent apartment in Guatemala, four months studying Chinese in Beijing, four children married (and two divorced), visits to Burma, Cuba, North Korea, and quite a few other countries filled his time to the brim. Somewhere in there he hiked the Appalachian Trail, and he was planning to ride his mountain bike the length of the Mississippi River this summer until this election thing came along.

You see a funny thing happened in 2012. Rick's favorite presidential candidate was neither a Republican nor a Democrat, but a Libertarian - Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico. It didn't take a crystal ball to see Gary's chances wavered between slim and nil unless he were included in the presidential debates, so Rick decided to take on that project. He moved to Washington DC, opened an office in a local coffee shop, and within a week had been banned from the entire building where the Commission on Presidential Debates had its tiny little office. Too much sand in the works, you might say.

After six weeks discovering Washington DC really is a viper pit Rick came back to Iowa with a different set of tactics. Shortly thereafter three of the 'National Sponsors' (who never actually put a nickel into the pot) withdrew their 'sponsorship' (note the three blank spaces in the sponsor list), and news was made. It was the first time any sponsor had ever pulled out of the presidential debates. The wall had a crack in it. In the end Rick was unable to persuade any of the remaining seven 'National Sponsors' to withdraw, but the thrill of the hunt, coupled with his disgust with the prey, persuaded Rick there was a lot more to be accomplished if he just put his mind to it. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were particulcarly clever, they were just entrenched. Deeply entrenched, but not unbeatable, if voters are given an alternative.

So, after an Iowa senate seat became open to the best wo/man standing, he knew there was no way he could ride his bicycle for 3,000 miles on the Mississippi River Trail without driving himself crazy worrying about what the Republicans and the Democrats were going to do next to ramp up America's hate affair with their politicians. He knew he had to stop them. He decided to ride his bicycle 3,000 miles around Iowa instead, giving Iowa voters a unique opportunity to change our state and the world, for the better, by voting for an Independent.


Dale K's picture

I have looked thru much of your site.I like most of what I see.But I don't see,or I missed your position on the 2nd amendment.Where do you stand on the 2nd amendment,on obamacare & other VERY important issues?And my question that I am most eager to hear your view on;Do you think it is a great idea to make it MANDATORY,that ALL people who seek public office,should get a PASSING grade in an EXTENSIVE course on the constitution,the bill of rights & the declaration of independance,in order to gain eligibility to run for that office?I believe we have WAY too many politician,today,that know more about how much corps are paying for votes,than they do about the constitution.What are your thoughts & positions on these issues?

Hi Dale, and thanks for the comment. My apologies for not realizing you had made it until today - June 21. This campaign machine is still a work in progress ... The reason you did not find information on the 2nd amendment and Obamacare is that it has not yet been posted. Much of it written, very little of it posted as of yet. Why? Shortage of time, no better excuse. Today I plan to remedy at least part of that problem, so you should find much more to read. Unfortunately I don't think the thing today's crop of politicians is lacking is knowledge, I think it is the will to tell the truth. They are very concerned with getting (re) elected, less concerned with dealing forthrightly with issues. I hope to prove a politician can speak openly and at length about the issues, and still be elected. I expect you, and every other voter, to disagree with 20% of everything I say. How could it be otherwise? At the same time I expect to engage in a dialogue - not a monologue - on that 20%. A discussion, not a rant. The kind of passionate discussion one might find in a university class, where evidence is more important than the pitch of one's voice. Toward that end I invite you to read more of what I post today, and in the future, and engage with me. Challenge my assumptions. Challenge my logic. See if it holds up to scrutiny. And the same with your own assumptions and logic, of course. If we (American voters) stop treating each other as enemies, and start treating each other as parts of a common solution, I think we can go a long way toward once again becoming a united country. Thanks for being my very first commentator, and please come back to do it some more! Oh yea - something specific. 2nd amendment - If people don't like it they should amend it. The process to do so is clearly spelled out in the Constitution. Trying to subvert it through back door means is, in my opinion, not being forthright, and also doomed to fail. As for Obamacare 965 pages is about 960 too many. Politicians - not the market - have been interfering in America's health care system since WWII. In the process they have created numerous distortions that, while admittedly creating the best health care delivery system in the world, have also driven the price tag for it much higher than it would otherwise be. What we need to do is wind down the government's involvement in health care, not wind it up. Toward that end there may have been some good ideas in Obamacare, but who can find them? A 5 page bill would have allowed us to debate the merits of the ideas contained in those 5 pages. Unfortunately, because of the length of the bill, it became impossible to do so, because no one could actually read it. Implementation has been a nightmare, but surely no one expected otherwise? We are the world's largest economy, and healthcare is one of our largest industries. Bureaucrats will never be able to run anything that large efficiently. Rick
Peter Hawkins's picture

Mr. Stewart, I've long considered politicians as two snakes shaking hands. I'd appreciate your views on this?

Of course no one would willingly live in Washington DC unless they were being paid enormous sums of money to do so, which explains why DC is the wealthiest city in the US. For the rest of us we start to feel the slime oozing onto our skin after about the second day of sightseeing, and quickly hightail it back to our little corner of the real world, in my case Iowa. As someone who has been fortunate enough to enjoy a very successful business career, as well as travel to many corners of the world quite similar to DC - North Korea, Cuba, and the piranha filled upper Peruvian Amazon spring to mind - I feel qualified to walk into the snake pit and start a serious beheading project. While the risk to me is great, it is safer for voters to assign the job to an experienced person such as myself, rather than hoping an energetic but untested young person like one of my opponents can resist the temptation to just jump into the slither and start feeling comfortable. [Peter - if you are seeing snakes holding hands, you might want to have your vision checked, or ask your geriatrician to adjust your prescriptions.]
John Nennig's picture

1 How do you feel about infrastructure maintenance, repair or expansion projects funded by the federal govt? 2 How do you feel about a limit of 4 consecutive terms for congress people? 3 How do you feel about a congressional system that would limit the number of characters in a bill's documentation. (Obamacare would never have gotten to the floor) 4 How do you feel about both chambers considering bills first, which have bipartician support? 5 How do you feel about an amendment requiring a balanced budget and elimination of America's disgraceful debt? 6 How do you feel about a constitutional amendment that would give unborn children the same right to life as the rest of us? 7 How do you feel about manditory recording of the name and social security number of fertilizing male on a child's birth certificate? Tracking SS numbers would level the playing field between the fathering males and society who supports their children. 8 How do you feel about the humanitarian crises with the minor children coming into the country? What do you see as solutions? Texas orphan trains taking minors to US families unable to have children with provisions to reunite orphan with willing birth parents at age 21? 9 How do you feel about ending all aid to countries sending illegal immigrants here until their gov'ts eliminate corruption, have regular UN monitored elections, increase their population literacy rate and take a hard line against drug and slave trafficers? 10 How do you feel about congress sponsored probes to identify members of the Superme Court who have been bought by supporters of corporate PACs? I have read Smith's book "Who Stole the American Dream" and I am looking for others who see what I see. Republicans make laws that make the rich richer, Democrats make laws which promise everything (including free birth control) to everyone with no expectation of accountability. Any nation which gets foreign aid dollars, foreign aid consultants, foreign aid protection must show continuous improvement of their countries' movement toward free elections, healthcare, education (literacy & english fluency not Sheria Law), free speech based upon the rule of law. We no longer need to be the policeman of the world, our bases around the world should be closed. Free trade policies have failed to empower our people, because they were predicated on a seriously flawed trickle down THEORY and styfling government rules/regulations. We need to get city, county, state and Federal government out of our lives.

You asked a lot of questions at once ... ;-) In the interests of time I am going to hit a few that aren't covered elsewhere in my website. There is a good and a bad re: term limits. I would prefer voluntary limits, which is of course just a dream. Voters can always refuse to elect anyone who is not 63 or above ... . I am in favor of any Constitutional amendment that passes, because it will reflect the will of a super majority of Americans. A little less tyranny of the majority is not a bad idea. Government's idea of 'charity' has undoubtedly separated more children from their fathers than any lack of caring on the fathers' parts (of which there is, certainly, far too much). Absent fathers are an economic gain for the women and children they leave behind, according to today's rules. I would get rid of them (the rules). If we sold green cards for $50,000 each illegal workers would be reduced to zero, overnight (if employers are required to buy green cards for any of their workers who do not have a legal one). Finally 'bipartisan' is what has created our current situation. We need non-partisan laws. Big difference.
sandi zimmermann's picture

I wish that I cold vote in Iowa. I would vote for Rick. I had the privilege of working with Rick in the 80's and early 90's. I found him to be honest, hardworking, educated, challenging and thought provoking. Rick would be a great addition and breathe of fresh air to the Senate. Good Luck Riick!!
Steve Fye's picture

I don't want either of the two oligarch party candidates and have been looking for an alternative. I was wondering what your views are on marijuana decriminalization and second amendment rights.
Steve Fye's picture

I have been looking for a candidate from other than one of the two oligarch parties. I was wondering what your views were on the decriminalization of marijuana (along with industrial hemp) and the second amendment.
LeaAnn Cords's picture

I am concerned about your concept of passing more Amendments. We shouldn't need more unless we are deleting many, many old laws that sit on the books and mean nothing. The Constitution was written for all to understand and abide by. I have said over and over that Medicaid and Food Stamps are rigged and only cater to blacks and Mexicans and illegal immigrants. NEVER should these programs ask race or ethnicity. It does not come into play at all or you are now facing discrimination. I like what I have read on your website so far and hope you can win and make some changes. I strongly support limiting terms and going back to the original status of being in government is an honor and a privilege and not a career. You have my vote on Tuesday.
Mary Holmes's picture

I'm just curious, now that you have lost, if you will keep working to push some of your agenda. You have some great ideas. Also I'm wondering why no'one addresses how it is that the insurance companies are the ones that set the prices for prescriptions and services. Not the medical facilities and not the pharmacies. Every article on being wiser with your healthcare dollars tells you to ask the dr's the price of tests they want to do. But what the articles don't say is it is nearly impossible to get an answer on price. The dr's office tells you to call your insurance company and ask what they allow, and the insurance company tells you they need to know what the dr's charge. The dr's and pharmacy though, all say it is the insurance companies setting the rate. I found out shockingly how this works, when our company got a different policy thru the same insurance company last January. A prescription that cost me $60 in December cost $120 in January.

As of today, one week after the election, I have not committed to any specific forward plan of action. In general I am pretty certain I will keep working to make the world a better place, as there is no end of opportunity in that regard ... ;-). You are absolutely right - when you bother to ask what something is going to cost, the doctors, the clinics, and the hospitals have absolutely no idea, nor any interest in finding out.

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