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Iowa

Three Reasons Every Libertarian Should Celebrate a Ted Cruz Iowa Win

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Much of the libertarian interest in next week’s Iowa Caucuses is focused on Rand Paul – and rightfully so.  Since his apparent decision to drop the middle-of-the-road rhetoric and go full libertarian early this year in the face of declining money and support, many of his father’s sidelined activists have taken renewed interest in his campaign. Rand’s numbers in Iowa have seen a slight uptick, and his campaign has released some impressive organizational numbers. Still, Rand is a longshot to pull off a win in a state where the competing candidacies of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have reshaped the entire political landscape. What began as a wide-open race for the nomination between members of a fractured conservative base and members of an even more fractured establishment base, has now become a story of evangelicals, libertarians, and conservative hardliners uniting to stop a fascist egomaniac from recreating the GOP in his own orange-haired image. So while I expect many liberty folks to stand with Rand next Monday, many of…

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Rand Paul Taps Liberty Movement Leader As Iowa Political Director

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Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign, which in recent months has gone from being a strong possibility to a near certainty, has hired a new political director to conduct operations in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. Jonathan Van Norman, who served as former Rep. Ron Paul’s regional director in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District during his 2012 presidential run, will join an Iowa campaign team which is already staffed with several big names such as former Iowa Republican Party chairmen Steve Grubbs and AJ Spiker. In addition to his work for Ron Paul 2012, Van Norman’s impressive resume includes Liberty For All (a political action committee which proved crucial for Thomas Massie’s 2012 victory), the National Right To Work Committee, and most recently as a Regional Field Director for the Republican Party of Kentucky. “Jonathan Van Norman comes highly recommended, especially for the good work he did with Ron Paul in 2012. AJ Spiker said he has a great work ethic and people like to work with him. Assuming…

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Cruz Courts Liberty Movement In Iowa

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Tea Party champion and conservative firebrand Ted Cruz may be ready to embrace his libertarian side – and he may need to, if he hopes to find a path from Iowa to the White House. As it turns out, the death of the Liberty Movement in Iowa may have been greatly exaggerated. While an establishment resurgence in 2014 spearheaded by Governor Terry Branstad succeeded in purging the Ron Paul element from the leadership of the Republican Party of Iowa, members of the state’s robust and often-boisterous Liberty Movement are turning their attention to greater things – namely, the 2016 presidential cycle. Still reveling in the unexpected victory of libertarian-leaning Congressman Rod Blum in what had been a heavily Democratic eastern Iowa district, the Liberty contingent is starting to have conversations about how much effort and energy should be poured into a presidential race that – for the first time in a decade – will not feature Rep. Ron Paul. Paul, who retired from Congress in 2013 but continues to…

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The Enemy Of My Enemy

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Since the Branstad-led moderate takeover of the Iowa GOP in April of this year, social conservatives have found themselves pushed into the same corner of the room as the Liberty Movement – unwanted by the very party whose base they form.  Several social conservative and tea party groups worked together with my organization, Liberty Iowa, to try to stem the tide of the establishment pushback, but to no avail. It was too little, too late, to hold our ground in 2014. But there’s no faster way to build alliances than being thrown into the same foxhole together when the bullets are flying.  As conservatives around the state began to realize that the animosity supposedly directed only towards the libertarian-leaning state party leadership would soon be turned toward them, discussion and coordination began to take place between different conservative groups and leaders who saw that they, too, would be swept aside by a calculated and well-organized group of power brokers looking to silence dissent.  The realization brought with it a…

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