I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was fun. My family is a little unique. So since we only get my nephews every other Christmas Eve due to a divorce in the family, we take the off years and after church we drive down and spend the night at Spirit Mountain Casino. This was one of those off years. So Christmas day morning my Mom, Dad, brother, his wife, and I are eating breakfast at the Cedar Plank Buffet there in Grand Ronde and my dad starts telling us one of his stories. I have learned so much from Dad over the years. The man is truly my hero. He has great stories and wonderful rules to live by. This Christmas morning was no exception. He tells my brother and I the story of my Great Grandfather Roy and a gentleman named Carl Dick. When my dad was a kid, he worked for the family business that my great grandfather had started. One day Carl Dick came in to buy some parts and Roy said to my Dad, “Don’t trust that Carl Dick! The man is a Stovepiper!” My brother and I look at my dad as he tells this story and we say, “What the heck is a stovepiper?” Well my dad explained it. Mr Dick grew potatoes. And what you do when you are stovepiping potato farmer is you stick a stovepipe in a potato sack when you begin to fill it. Then you put all the good potatoes on the outside of the stovepipe and all the rotten ones on the inside. Once you have the bag full, you pull the stovepipe out. What happens next is the guy buying the sack thinks he is getting whole bunch of good potatoes, but instead he is paying for bag half full of rotten spuds. Then it hit me. Our Congress is filled with “stovepipers.” Our Senators and Congressmen write these bills up and present them for approval. But they go through committees and get modified, concessions are made, and things get added. Many of these additions are not even related to the original bill. Suddenly what started out as a great sack of potatoes gets rebagged and stovepiped. In other words, it becomes very bad piece of legislation. Then when it is presented for final approval, One party votes it down. They see the stovepiping going on. The other party votes for it because it’s often their rotten potatoes in the sack. They each blame the other for not compromising and nothing gets done. My belief is simple. If you can’t sell your ideas without stovepiping them, then you shouldn’t be selling them at all. We the people deserve only the best potatoes. The rotten ones need to be left with the pigs. My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress in the 1st Congressional District of Oregon.
A Disturbance in the Force
So Star Wars Episode 7 came out this last week. I am a huge Star Wars fan and my two year wait finally came to an end on Thursday. Thank goodness I have the patience of a Jedi. I tell friends all the time that the first three Star Wars Episodes have a much bigger political overtone than people care to realize. You see, in Episode One you have this Senator from Naboo. Palpatine is his name. He is not really well known and he does not have a lot of pull in the Senate. So he creates a conflict on his own planet by working secretly with the Trade Federation to stage an attack. Ultimately the Jedi thwart the invasion he instigated, but the event gives the Senator the influence with the Galactic Senate he needs to be elected its President. Then Palpatine uses his rising political stature and the ignorance of his fellow Senators (mainly Jar Jar Binks) during yet another war he covertly created to become Supreme Chancellor. As the war progresses, the Senate continues to relinquish more power to the Chancellor for “political expediency.” He then “ends” the war and places the blame on his opposition; the Jedi. He exterminates them except for Yoda and Obi Wan who go into hiding. Then as Palpatine tells an enthusiastic Senate he is reforming the government into a “Galactic Empire,” Padme, the Senator from Naboo and future mother to Luke Skywalker, delivers the best line of the movie. “So this is how Liberty dies, with thunderous applause.” By Episode Four, we are told the Senate has been dissolved and the Galaxy is under Emperor Palpatine’s total rule.
George Lucas may have written the Star Wars story back in the 1970s, but this struggle for power has existed as long as man has been on the Earth. Our Founding Fathers knew this, so they created a Constitution protecting our rights and freedoms from government attacks while dividing up governmental power to prevent anyone person or group from taking control of the government. For example, Germany had a much weaker document establishing its government prior to to the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Shortly after Adolf Hitler was democratically elected to the government, a suspicious fire broke out in the Reichstag Building which housed the German Legislature. While the fire was blamed on the Communists at the time, many historians now believe the Nazis set the fire themselves to create a panic among the populous. That panic allowed the Nazis to reform the government. They quickly acted to end democratic elections to maintain power. They removed all opposition by imprisoning them or putting them to death. And they suspended the civil liberties of the citizens so no one could questions their motives. All while the German people cheered and rallied around their new leaders. Sounds a little like Star Wars doesn’t it? But Star Wars happened “A long time ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away.” Nazi Germany happened a little over 80 years ago across the Atlantic. Ronald Reagan once said, ” Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Hitler proved it. We must make sure we elect responsible men and women who will continue to protect our rights and liberties by defending the Constitution. And we must remove those from power who put their own selfish wants and desires before the rights of their constituents. My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress in Oregon’s 1st District.
Back in the Fall of 1994, I was lucky enough to represent Oregon State University by being accepted to the Walt Disney World College Program. The WDW College program offers non accredited business classes to college students while working at the Walt Disney World Resort. I served my time at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground in food service. I worked in the cast cafeteria, the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue dinner show, Crockett’s Tavern, and Trails End Buffet. It was fun and a great experience. Plus, where else does anyone get a chance to wear overalls and a red check shirt to work everyday?
While working one night in particular at the Trails End Buffet, we had a bit of an emergency. A family including kids, parents, and grand parents were sitting and eating at one of the larger tables in the middle of the dining room. Suddenly, a little boy in the group got some food stuck in his throat. I rushed over to provide assistance. The child was coughing heavily. The grandma looks at me and screams, “Do Something!!!!” I was 19 years old at the time and only had brief Disney training on first aid. Her scream scared the hell out of me. Then I recalled the first aid instructors comments on choking. “Do not do anything if they are coughing. If they are coughing, they are breathing and getting air. Their body is working to remove it the obstruction. If you interrupt it, you can create more problems by causing the obstruction to fall deeper down their throat.” So I stayed nearby and waited for the child’s body to do its thing. And behold, a few seconds later, he coughed up the piece of food and was quickly embraced by his family. A little scared, like everyone else around, but he was ok.
With tragic events in our society, whether they be political, economic, social, or environmental, we often act like that scared grandparent at dinner. Being frightened is a natural reaction to any terrible tragedy or episode. We want to feel safe and secure. in our homes, at work, and within our borders. And when we don’t feel that way, we want someone to fix it immediately. But it is important for calmer heads to prevail when it comes to taking action. If we act on impulse, very often more negative effects will result. Just like with a choking child, we can do more harm than good. We also must be watchful of those who are making the decisions. They often do not have the needs of all citizens in mind. Rahm Emanual, President Obama’s former chief of staff and the current embattled mayor of Chicago once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” His statement in my option is wrong and very dangerous. You never take advantage of peoples emotions during a crisis to promote your own agenda or desires. And you never take away the rights of citizens to usurp more power for government. Many of our elected officials forget that their position is to serve the people, not to have power over them. My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress.
So political lesson number two as you read above is a tough one for a guy like me who is a product of the 80’s. Why you ask? Well, lets just say we 80’s kids were raised in fear of everything. I mean, we had NBC doing public service announcements warning us about the dangers of the world followed by that little jingle, “The more you know…” And then GI Joe indoctrinated us that “knowing was half the battle.” The horror movie genre was in it’s prime letting us know that you don’t go to summer camp and you sure as heck don’t help anyone on the side of the road….especially a very attractive woman. It’s like we constantly had Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars telling us, “It’s a Trap!” Moving into the 90’s, the movie Something about Mary just confirmed our parents warning, “Don’t pick up Hitch Hikers,” when Ben Stiller’s character picks ups a homicidal maniac with a duffle bag of dead body parts and keeps talking about making an exercise video for 7 minute abs! (Not eight…..SEVEN!!!!) It is amazing we even dare to go outside. So I repeat….Lesson number two is a tough one. But I will tell you the time I learned it. I was in line at Chipotle in Portland a few years ago. A guy walks up to me in line and asks me for money for a burrito. He says, “Do you have some change you can spare? I just got out of jail and the only thing I have been craving is a Chipotle burrito!” I too have had those cravings…..and I have never been to jail. Who would have thought a guy who just got out of jail and I could bond over the idea of Chipotle? And he did not want the money for drugs or alcohol. He just wanted to eat. So I bought him a burrito. We need to stop focusing on our differences. A failure our schools keep perpetuating in my opinon. And we need to focus on our similarities. We need to help others not because of our differences, but because of our similarities. The person with a broken down car who needs help. The tourist who needs directions. The person who needs help loading his truck at the home improvement store. The guy who had a rough month and needs a burrito. That could be anyone one of us. We just need to offer help to those in need. Big or small. And I don’t mean the government offering help. WE need to. That is lesson number two
I think it was in the movie Hitch where Will Smith discusses the basic principles of being successful in dating. Well, I have failed miserably at the dating thing, but I do have some basic principles of which I base my political beliefs on. They are as follows:
- A Balanced Budget. A balanced budget does quite a few things. It reduces the size of government. That means more people producing goods and services and less people telling other people what to do. It means less inflation. Inflation is a hidden tax that hurts the poorest among us by robbing them of their savings and increasing the cost of the things they buy. And once their incomes finally catch up with inflation, they are put in a higher tax bracket reducing their purchasing power even more. A balanced budget strengthens our currency. It means we will be a haven for foreign investment because people will know we are not destroying the value of our money through poor fiscal policy. And finally, it will reduce corruption as it will limit the ability of questionable politicians from wielding “government investment.” With less money to throw around, politicians will have to win elections the old fashioned way, by doing what they are supposed to do…..represent their constituents.
- Free Market Principles. We need to get back to the idea what “A” sells “B” has nothing to do with “C” or “D” or anyone else out there. We vote everyday with our pocket books. By who we choose to do business with and by who we choose not to do business with. But just because I choose not to do business with certain companies due to my own beliefs, it does not mean I have the right to prevent you from doing business with them. Nor should government have a right to impose excessive taxes, fees and regulations om a businesses or industry because someone in Washington D.C. has “an axe to grind.” We talk about freedom, and freedom of choice is one of this country’s basic principles. But we have an over reaching federal government that involves itself far too much into our day to day lives. The government gives aid, low interest loans and tax breaks to private companies under the guise of “Government Investment.” We do not pay taxes for politicians to play investment banker. Investment should come from the private sector, and not from tax dollars. Plus government involvement in the economy rarely helps the consumer. Most often it penalizes them through higher taxes, higher prices, and reduced choices. This creeping socialism and/or crony capitalism is what causes most of the grief in our economy and our lives. If government was to stay out, the free market would flourish and expand though continued innovation creating better lives for all Americans.
- School Choice. We use the free market system everyday to give us choices. And competition in the market is constantly pushing businesses to provide better service, better products, and better prices. Yet our schools use a system of geography where choice is based upon where you live, not what you want. This lack of competition often creates mediocrity, reducing the value to the student and tax payer and prevents true choice when it comes to education. In cases of funding, it often defies logic. For example, the schools that report the poorest test scores often get increased financial assistance through grants and additional tax dollars. While those schools that meet or exceed standards find themselves with a shrinking budget. In other words, we give incentive for failure and penalize success. How is this fair? But imagine if we had school choice. Where students are not bound by imaginary boundaries drawn up by a school board, but where the could choose the school that best fits their beliefs and goals. Where the schools would have to to compete for your voucher (tax dollars). They would do this by providing better instruction, more engaging classrooms, all while attempting to keep costs down to create a better value for the student and tax paying public. This idea would greatly improve the options among poor communities as they would have the opportunity to go to schools that consistently do better than their own. It would also force underachieving schools to improve, or force them to put up a banner that reads “under new management.” We must raise the bar in regards to education and it begins with School Choice.
- Strong Military. Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak Softly, and Carry a Big Stick.” Ronald Reagan believed in “Peace through Strength.” Both believed in the basic idea that a strong military is the best way to deter conflict. I am a firm believer in that policy as well. We need to accept the responsibility that the United States is the world leader and it needs to start acting like one again.
- States Rights. The 10th Amendment (Part of the Bill of Rights) states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Such a simple and well written law to restrict the size and reach of the Federal Government. Yet many people feel the law fails to be strong enough. I disagree. I feel our lawmakers fail to acknowledge the rule because it gets in the way of the Federal Bureaucracy. Many of our Senators and Representatives have come to the conclusion that this is no longer a government for the people, but a government for the government. This needs to change. The states and the people need to assert their rights and restrict those in government who attempt to further the erosion of the 10th Amendment.
These are some of the reasons why I am running for Oregon’s First Congressional District. This is also the reason why I am “Heinrich for Oregon” and not Heinrich for Congress. My loyalty is to the people of this great state and not to those with offices in Washington DC. I thank you for your time. Because I am running this campaign with no financial support, I appreciate it if you would share my thoughts and ideas through your own social media accounts (facebook and twitter) as well as tell your friends and neighbors about my campaign. My success is in your hands. Thank you.