Friday, August 29, 2008


Imagine that you are a candidate running for the school board in Des Moines. After three years, you are up for re-election, and your record consists of the following: Closures of several schools; a high drop-out rate; a controversial decision to purchase a building for $4.5 million, despite the fact that it was appraised at $2 million; a sale of land to the third-highest bidder, who turned out to be the brother-in-law of another Board Member (not up for re-election); and an alleged closed-door meeting in which the Superintendent was awarded a 4% salary increase, despite the fact that all but one of Des Moines’ high schools and 60% of the city’s middle schools made the federal watch list for academic failure. For more commentary on this disturbing series of events, visit the blog of another local conservative, The Real Sporer.

YIKES! If it wasn’t enough that people are tired of paying more and more for public education only to get stagnant to declining student achievement as a result, incidents like those listed above will make life even more difficult for the incumbents this election year. I suppose that they might find it comforting to know that the Board Chairman (who is up for re-election) believes that the Board has done a good job. And I suppose they could also take comfort in knowing that they have the backing of the local teachers’ union.

In two weeks Des Moines residents have a chance to make a change to their school board. Three great candidates are running for seats on the board, and this past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to hear them speak at a forum sponsored by the Northeast Neighbors.

Steve Flood, a challenger, is by far the most energetic candidate, and made it clear that he wasn’t going to tolerate closed-door meetings. He also said he would do what it takes to restore the faith of the taxpayers. A Senior Vice President at Holmes Murphy, he demonstrated that he understands what it means to have a high drop-out rate ($2 Billion cost to the State) and the effect of school closure on neighborhoods (a 20-30 percent drop in home values). Finally, he implied that he is not going to buy into the myth that small class-sizes are good for their own sake. Rather, he stated that what matters is the quality of teachers and their ability to control students.

Another great candidate was Kristine Crisman, a Connecticut native now living in Beaverdale. This woman was not shy about calling the Board and current system out for its lack of accountability to parents and its lack of parental involvement. She also pointed out how, nearly ten years after implementing the local option sales tax, not all of the school buildings have air-conditioning, but all of the administration buildings do.

Finally, businessman Mike Pike had some great moments. My favorite moment came when, after being asked what his background in education was, he replied “I’m don’t have a background in education. I leave the educating for the educators.” Amen. The idea that one must have a background in education to serve on a school board is ludicrous. The school board should definitely have some diversity in background, but it is very important that the board contain members whose jobs don’t entail feeding from the public trough. The third candidate with whom I enjoyed visiting was Mike Pike.

After the past three years, it is clear that change is needed on the Des Moines School Board. On September 9, we have a chance to reverse the wayward course of the Des Moines Schools, and vote in three new board members. Considering the abysmal record of the current board and the undisputed reality that our schools shape the future of our communities we must not fail to take advantage of this vital opportunity.

By W. Sherman

Monday, August 25, 2008

On The Trail With The New Breed…

Men of substance; this was the theme this past weekend at a gathering for Republican State Senate District 22 Candidate Jarret Heil (Marshall and Hardin Counties).

On Saturday evening both Sherman and I were fortunate enough to be one of the 60 or so people able to meet with Heil and his guest of honor for the event, Republican Senior Senator Charles Grassley. Also of note in attendance was the Republican Challenger for State House District 43 Jane Jech.

Grassley, present solely in support of Heil’s hard fought candidacy, provided the attentive crowd with nearly 15 minutes of remarks in support of Heil’s candidacy for the 22nd district.

The main thrust of the commentary was that it is simply not enough to be behind the republican ticket or just John McCain. Grassley, taking a more holistic approach to this election year, clarified exactly what was really at stake. He explained that while it is critical that Iowans support key federal candidates and John McCain, any benefits we hope to obtain through a win in those elections would be incomplete unless we can secure those same types of candidates more locally at the state level. The question artfully posed by Grassley was do Iowans want a man of substance or a man of mere charisma and nothing more?

Heil clearly fits the bill for this challenge set out by one of the nations leading statesmen. Heil’s commitment to development of affordable healthcare solutions, advancement of Iowa’s education system through responsible means, and commitment to developing jobs in Iowa pairs perfectly with the greater Republican agenda of mutual prosperity and individual freedom. Paraphrasing Senator Grassley, we are reminded that freedom also means economic freedom and candidates like Jarret Heil, Jane Jech, and John McCain is the only way to ensure this.

In closing, we urge all our readers to give Jarret and Jane and others like them this election year a closer look. By doing so you will clearly understand the holistic view that Senator Grassley so accurately articulated this past weekend. We must ensure that the nation is strong both at the top and bottom in leadership. Jarret Heil and his other Republican running mates are how we make certain this happens.

For a closer look:
Jarret Heil
Jane Jech

By U.S. Grant

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Obama Tax Plan: Change or More of the Same, Liberal Redistribution Scheme?
By W. Sherman

Much has been written about Senator Barak Obama’s ideas on tax policy, lately. Earlier this week, William McGurn wrote a great editorial on the single factor that drives Senator Obama’s tax policy: fairness.

For starters, we know that Obama wants to raise marginal income tax rates on the country’s top-income earners, while cutting taxes for the middle class. We also know that he wants to slap a wind-fall profits tax on “Big Oil.” We know that senior citizens will have to pay zero income taxes, and we also know that Obama wants to increase the payroll tax on persons making more than $250,000 by four percent. The motivation behind this policy? Fairness.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. McGurn gave a laundry list of instances in which Obama stated that persons making a certain amount of money have to pay more taxes in the name of fairness. According to McGurn, Obama told ABC’s Charlie Gibson “I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.” McGurn concluded that for Obama, “Robbing from the rich will do, especially if it's done in the name of fairness.”

Obama’s tax policy looks a lot like those of liberals that have run before him, which is too bad, given that he fancies himself the candidate of “change.” In fact, Obama’s tax policy is nothing more than a manifestation of the famous quote by the late Senator Russell Long, “Don’t tax me; don’t tax thee; tax that fellow behind the tree.” Under the Obama plan, the “rich” and “Big Oil” will pay all the taxes, the middle class will pay a lot less, and senior citizens, a group with which Obama may have trouble electorally, will pay no taxes.

Why have this policy? Because it is fair. Fairness is not just a goal of Mr. Obama’s tax policy; rather, it is the goal. Mr. McGurn notes that Obama is certainly willing to sacrifice increases in government revenues in the name of fairness: Charlie Gibson pointed out to Obama that the reduction in capital gains taxes actually resulted in more government revenue, and an increase in these taxes may result in lower government revenue. Nevertheless, Obama stated that, in the name of fairness, these tax rates should go up.

McGurn notes that the top 1% of income-earners in this country pay 40% of the nation’s income taxes—the highest in 40 years. The top 10%, McGurn stated, pay 71% of the nation’s income taxes. According to Mr. Obama, fairness demands these folks pay more, all other consequences be damned.

As kids, most of us learn that life isn’t fair. Hopefully, tax policy is the same way.

Monday, August 18, 2008


A congratulations is due to Rick Davis. For those of you who don’t know, Rick Davis is the campaign manager for John McCain. Mr. Davis has finally articulated what all of us in the right-thinking free world have known for a long time: The main stream press has shown a gross bias towards Democratic Presumptive Nominee Barack Obama.

The facts support this. Just a few weeks ago, two major networks sent their evening news anchors to the Middle East to follow Obama on his trip there. More damning is the following statistic: McCain receives one third of the news coverage that Obama receives (according to the ultra-right wing Washington Post). With stunts like this, it is not hard to figure out who the media likes.

Not that anyone should be surprised by this reality. The fact that the mainstream media has disfavored conservative candidates is not new, and is certainly not a state secret. At the same time it does clearly seem that with the coverage of the Obama campaign, people like Katie Couric (CBS) and Andrea Mitchell (NBC) have sunk to new lows in their reporting.

This brings us to the act undertaken by Mr. Davis that is so worthy of our praise. In a letter dated August 17, 2008, Mr. Davis directly questions the quality of NBC’s reporting after Andrea Mitchell’s grossly biased comments on this past Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press. While the letter falls short of the real lambasting NBC and others deserve for their failures as journalists, it is a legitimate shot back at an institution that has locked out and stymied conservative candidates for years.

It is highly unlikely that Mr. Davis’s efforts will yield any actual tangible results. So long as media favorite nut jobs like Nancy Pelosi are hailing Barack Obama as a “blessing from God sent to us all,” the media will continue to regurgitate such garbage. Regardless, at last someone in a position to make a difference is actually trying to turn the volume down on the “Obama-is-the-Messiah” hysteria that is sweeping every naive mind in the nation.

By U.S. Grant

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Let's get it started!

Greetings all!

Welcome to the new D.M.RightSide blog! We thank you for taking the time to visit this site! As the creators of this blog we would like to provide you with a little information regarding the formation of this site and when you can expect postings to occur etc...

This blog was created as a solution to the need for more online forums offering a conservative perspective on the events occurring in Central Iowa and beyond. With the 2008 Presidential Election on the horizon it is now more critical than ever that forums such as this one exist.

Postings will be made twice weekly by Sherman and Grant regarding relevant current issues from a conservative perspective. From time to time there will also be guest publications as well. Tuesdays and Fridays are the days to remember.

The creators (Sherman and Grant) are two conservative activists in Des Moines, Iowa. Their backgrounds cover the areas of business, law, economics, and public policy. Obviously both are also politically involved.

We urge all readers to respond to what they read on this site regardless of their point of view. Discussion is our goal and provided responses are not obscene, vulgar, or otherwise unacceptable will be posted regardless of the opinions contained within.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you all!

Sherman and Grant