I don't fit the stereotype of your upper-class, wealthy Republican. My parents (and extended family) were all very devout Republicans. Many in my family have served in the armed forces including three cousins (Navy), uncle (Vietnam, Navy Seal UDT), and grandpa (WWII Army vet). I grew up in a small town in a large, devout Catholic middle-class family. My mom was a hard working stay-at-home mother of six children with a college degree in nursing. My dad attended trade school and worked several manufacturing jobs after high school. He took over the family oil business (almost 100 years now) and worked hard to start several other small local businesses.
I'm very proud of my parents. My mom taught me the importance of faith and morals. My dad instilled the importance of hard work and pride in accomplishment. The importance of reputation and how easily it could be damaged. My parents are the type of people that never complained about not having as much as someone else. They didn't ask for handouts, instead choosing hard work, dedication, and saving to get ahead in life. My parents have always been very involved in serving others and charity work. They role modeled the importance of "serving others" but made clear that it was WRONG to live off of someone else's hard work or charity if you were capable of doing without or taking care of yourself.
I don't have ties to corporate America but my dad is a small business owner, employing a number of people in the small town I grew up in. He feels the burn of insurance costs on small businesses and the burden is intensified by the cost of his own personal health insurance (family) as type one diabetes was a reality that my family lived with...also known as a "pre-existing condition" to the insurance companies (four family members).
My family was involved with charity work and fundraisers as long as I can remember, but MORALS ALWAYS CAME FIRST. When my parents found out that the money they raised for the Juvenile Diabetic Foundation by putting on an annual charity horse-show each year was being used to fund embryonic stem cell research in an effort to find a cure for diabetes, (which creates a demand or incentive for abortions), they immediately began doing the charity horse show for the Nebraska Chapter of Right to Life. They wanted a cure for my brother and sister, but not at the risk of giving up their morals.
As for myself, I was a member of the Nebraska Chapter of Teens for Life and worked with many charities. My political views tended to be more conservative but naive. My political theories or even moral beliefs had not truly been tested yet. When I went off to college I read The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, and Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn and even subscribed to Ad Busters Magazine. I learned it is difficult to avoid the indoctrination that comes at you from all directions at college.
As time went on and I learned more and more about government corruption. I didn't trust government and with the help and guidance of a good friend, I began my crusade against the establishment starting with my local government. First an initiative and referendum petition aimed at removing an overnight parking ban that the city government enacted to profit off of local college students. After city hall violated city codes and state statutes by changing the wording of my petition on the ballot to confuse voters, I demanded the issue be placed on the ballot for the next election "the correct way" as required by law. I called many meetings with the mayor and city council but they refused to budge stating, "You're just a punk college kid, who are you to come in and change OUR laws?"
After the councilman from my ward of the city refused to take my requests seriously, I took out a recall petition to remove him from office. The petition was successful and forced a special election. The councilman took the matter to court to try and stop the election from going forward but the judge decided in my favor.
I became a Notary Public for the state of Nebraska and I also became certified to register voters and went around the campus registering students to vote. My next item on the agenda that I was excited about...a petition to remove the four wards that divide the city. The city adopted the four wards to separate the college from the rest of the city, in an attempt to limit the influence of the college and its students on the city and its government.
I also battled city police and came to the aid of several students on various occasions who had been arrested or ticketed when police entered their residence without warrant. I encouraged students to fight the city police in court. I used my position as an editor on the college paper to keep check of the city police by publishing illegal activities the police were involved in. On more than one occasion, judges in county court sided against the police for overstepping their bounds.
By my senior year of college, I had become jaded with government and authority. I read the teachings of Emma Goldman "The Queen of Anarchy". I read Henry David Thoreau's essays on Civil Disobedience and I engrossed myself with John Stuart Mill's "Essays On Liberty".
I also began to study the United States Constitution more closely, and read The Federalist Papers of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay along with other historical documents on our revolution and Bill of Rights. I delved deeper into US history and read Thomas Paine's "Common Sense". I began to see where we came from and why we are where we are today.
I believed and still do today, in what our forefathers intended for us in our Constitution. I began to see just why each Inalienable Right was so important to our freedom and must be protected. I began to see the failures of socialism which I had once embraced. How it eventually falls to the ever-present corruption within the government. How it destroys the incentive to work harder than you have to and how it promotes mediocrity because human nature doesn't drive us to do more than we have to do if we don't have anything to show for it. I adopted the philosophy of "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever."
I began to see that although corporations need to be monitored, it was actually government involvement (crony capitalism) that caused most of the problems. I learned that bigger government is NOT the answer! Forfeiting rights and freedoms to our government is NOT the answer. They are inalienable meaning they weren't given to us by our government so our government can not take them away from us.
I learned that "we the people" do a far better job of taking care of our poor and needy through charity and volunteering than our government does or ever could. That "forced charity" by our government is not the answer!
I moved to California and worked for the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce. I participated on the Government Affairs Committee and the Education Committee. I helped small businesses by joining an Ad-Hoc Committee and PAC set up to battle a slow growth initiative brought forth by a local group of citizens. I helped put together a book on how the city government and school district works in an effort to help educate voters. I learned a lot from my boss at the Chamber who took part in the recall of Governor Gray Davis and the election of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I decided to battle the credit card giants on a little known but illegal practice involving the creation of credit not backed by anything more than a "promise to pay". Credit accounts created by you and I. Making it impossible for the banks to provide requested debit information when credit accounts are created as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
For most that know me, they know how passionate I am about politics and my country. Some might believe that my passion for politics started AFTER my time in college; quite the contrary.
My passion for politics started when I was just seven years old. My earliest memories involve sitting around the living room with family at my grandparents house the Christmas after Kay Orr had just defeated Helen Boosalis to become the first female Governor of Nebraska (first female Republican Governor ever)! I was hooked! During high school I was selected to attend several leadership camps including Christian Leadership Institute and Hugh O'brian Youth Leadership Institute (HOBY). Around my junior year of high school I was selected by my local chapter of The American Legion to be my school's representative to Cornhusker Boys State, where I spent a week learning first hand about our government and how it works. Even working on legislation that could be introduced to our State Legislature and possibly become law. In college I found myself taking political science classes as electives and challenging City Hall with initiative and referendum petitions and recall elections.
After having children and moving back to Nebraska, I continued my career as a marketing director at a large biomedical company in Omaha. Eventually my wife and I decided to serve others by becoming Family Teachers (aka: house parents) at Father Flanagan's Boys Town. We lived with, took care of, and helped over 50 at risk teenagers over the course of 6 years. During my residence at Boys Town I ran for and was elected as a Trustee to the Village of Boys Town. I also started my own company "2-B Associates" in which I acted as the middle man procuring government contracts for civilian businesses. Eventually I took a position in administration with Boys Town and because my evenings and weekends were no longer occupied with work, I once again became involved with local politics. I began work on my Master's degree in Leadership from Bellevue University and I joined the Omaha chapter of the Nebraska Federation of Young Republicans where I was elected to and served on the Executive Committee. I also joined the Douglas Country Republican Party (Omaha) and was elected to the Central Committee to represent my Legislative District. I also serve on the Executive Committee and the Media/Communications and Social Media Teams for the DCRP, and am a member of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. I served as a delegate to the Douglas County Republican Convention (2012) and led my caucus (LD10) as caucus chair. I was elected to the State Republican Party's Central Committee (NEGOP), reelected to the County Party's Central Committee, and as a delegate to the Nebraska Republican State Convention (2012).
As for my future plans...stay tuned...tbd... =)