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About Rick

I'm a native Iowan born in Postville, raised in Maquoketa, and living in Cedar Rapids. My first career was a law enforcement officer in Maquoketa for two years, at the end of which I was fired for refusing to shave my beard. I have always stood up against nonsense authoritarian rules.

After a few years learning carpentry, diesel mechanics, welding, and air conditioning I started an herb and spice company, Frontier Cooperative Herbs, which 24 years later allowed me to retire on my savings. Today it is a $200 million company with 300 employees.

I have spent my time since 2000 pursuing my passions, such as hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, learning French in Paris and Spanish in Spain, then finding a comfortable but not extravagant two bedroom apartment in Guatemala, which has become my second home and where I devote my time to supporting an orphanage for street kids. I have also travelled extensively in Europe, South America, and SE Asia.

In 2012 I was given my first introduction to the inside of America's corrupt political establishment when I attempted to get Gary Johnson into the so-called 'Presidential Debates.' Although I was unsuccessful, I did discover none of the ten so-called 'Sponsors' had actually given the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) any money. Based on this information I succeeded in getting three of them to drop their 'sponsorship' before the first debate, generating a bit of press in the process. Unfortunately I was never able to get rid of any of the remaining seven 'sponsors' and the fickle press quit paying any attention to the CPD's corruption.

What I discovered during that process was the Republicans and Democrats are successful, but they are not shall we say very intelligent opponents. They just have years of history organizing victories, with the help of an even less intelligent mass media. I was already a libertarian, but that year I became a Libertarian, and the next year attended my first convention of the Libertarian Party of Iowa (LPIA).

In 2014 I was inspired to run for the US Senate, but was not nominated to be the LPIA's candidate so I ran as an Independent. I rode my bicycle 3,000 miles, to every Iowa county, and had interviews with around 200 Iowa newspapers. Then I re-visited all 99 counties with my colorful campaign trailer and did mini town halls in each of them. My Twitter team managed to get me up to level with my Republican and Democratic opponents in the #IASen hashtag. I placed third in the field of six, with 26,815 votes (2.3%), more than the other three minor opponents plus write-ins combined (only 19,940).

In 2016 I ran as a Libertarian in the Linn County Sheriff race, coming in second, but as there was no Republican in the race any conclusions as to my effectiveness are purely speculative. I spent a large amount of my own money on TV commercials, radio spots, and Facebook ads, receiving 26,013 votes (26.2%). I ran the TV commercials in Washington DC and received a lengthy interview with another of the Washington political papers.

In 2018 I was the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of Agriculture. I took advantage of free interviews with almost all of Iowa's TV stations, 50 radio stations, and a fair number of newspapers, all at only the cost to me of time and gasoline. I received 38,965 votes (3.0%).