Stacking the Deck

Many hate the idea of career politicians and demand term limits.  Yet our politicians will not subscribe to them (although I do!).  But when we demand Campaign Finance reforms and more ethics put into politics, our politicians are quick to jump on the bandwagon and pass legislation.  Why would this be?  Simply put, they get to write the rules.

They limit the amount of money that can be donated by individuals to candidates, what they don’t acknowledge is they already have the connections to get the stream of money flowing.   They also can use their office for free advertising.   Suzanne Bonamici, the incumbent I am challenging, had three “town hall meetings” paid with tax dollars as part of her office budget just weeks prior to the primary election.   While this is a good way to communicate with constituents, this also allows her a large amount of public and media attention without being forced to use her campaign funds.  She also did a fluff piece for the Oregonian in April knocking on the doors of local businesses.    Campaign Finance and Ethics reforms do not stop corruption and career politicians, it only hurts challengers who don’t have name recognition or influence to put up a fair financial battle.  These same politicians also include rules to put added expenses on challengers that incumbents are exempt from. And being that I am self funding my own campaign, every fee and expense results in less money to promote myself to the public.  For example, I received this email today:

Brian

Since the early 1990’s Agpac Educational Services Association (AESA) has sponsored a tour for candidates, legislators and other public officials.  The tour has highlighted issues and locations of importance to agriculture and forestry.   We have contacted the Oregon Government Ethics Commission and they have approved the tour.  The Secretary of the Senate has fully sanctioned our event, and we are awaiting word from the Chief Clerk of the House.

 

Ethics rules were reformed during the 2007 legislative session and since then have been further revised.  Because of the ethics rules now in effect, we can only cover tour expenses for current legislators and public officials.  Unfortunately, the rules protect incumbent legislators and current public officials, but candidates do not fall under the same rules.

 

Expenses for candidates are not covered under the current rules. As much as we would like for all candidates to attend, we must ask that you pay for the expenses we incur on your behalf.  We anticipate those costs to be $70.00 per person.  We have included an invoice for your records.

 

That said, we invite you to join us on the 2016 tour.  Our theme is“Oregon Agriculture – Locally Grown, Globally Know”.  We have included a tour agenda, registration form and directions to where you will catch the bus.

 

As you can see, we have a full day planned for you.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to visit with farmers, ranchers, and foresters concerning the issues facing the Oregon natural resource community.

 

Please check your calendar to see if you’re available to join us onTuesday June 7, 2016.  Then fill out the registration form, along with your check for $70 and mail it to:

 

Agpac Educational Services Association

 

ATTN: Diann Washburn

1320 Capitol ST NE, STE B-50

Salem, OR 97301

To assist us in planning this event, we ask that you complete and return your RSVP by the June 1st, and prepay your participation fee of $70.  We hope the cost will not deter you from attending, we have a fun day planned for you and we want to share many issues important to Oregon’s natural resource base.

 

Please dress appropriately – you will be walking around on farms.  We recommend you wear closed-toed footwear and bring a jacket.  Depending on the weather, you might consider bringing a hat, sunscreen, or umbrella, etc.

 

Congratulations on winning your Primary race.  We appreciate your willingness to run for office and applaud you for the time it takes and sacrifices that are made to serve your community, constituents, and the State of Oregon.  We look forward to seeing you at the tour June 7th.

(end)

Now it is only $70 dollars, but keep in mind, these are the rules for all events for candidates.  And if I choose not to go to some of these events due to finances, it appears as if I am not serious about my candidacy.  And since my budget is limited to $5000 dollars of my own money, this is death by 1000 cuts.  Good thing the IRS lets me write off $50 dollars of my $5000 investment on my taxes!  Because that is seriously going to save me a couple bucks next April 15th.  Seriously…just a couple of bucks.   Now I will register for this event and others and I will learn about the needs and struggles of various Oregon industries, but please be wary of any career politician who says they support Campaign finance reform.  They support it all right.  They want to financially break any challenger that gets in their way.

My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress in Oregon’s 1st District.  I am self funding my own campaign.  I do not want your money, I just want your vote.

 

Thank you!

Election night was exciting last night. My good friend Kelly flew up from California to watch the returns and ultimately celebrate with me and my family. I want to thank everyone who took the time and effort to vote. I would also like to thank my competitors Delinda and Johnathan. They are both truly wonderful people and I wish them the best.
Now the real work begins. Oregon’s First District is what is considered in political terms: A Democrat Safe District. This does not mean that if a democrat is hearing what they deem hateful speech they can escape to District 1 and safety. No, this means the boundaries were drawn up in a way to ensure a majority of democrats make up the voting base. Hence why District 1 has not been represented by a Republican in 40 years. But this is not a barrier that prevents success. Our job now is to persuade the large majority of democrats and independents that the current direction Suzanne Bonamici and the democrats have taken us is a bad one. That spending money and passing divisive regulations do not unite a nation, but puts an economic burden on all of us while promoting class and group discontent.
A family, a small business, a large corporation, as well as a nation will not survive under such policies. Pretty soon the credit cards are maxed, people can’t afford to put food on the table, and nobody will work together to accomplish anything. We have seen this divisiveness grow over the last several years as we have seen the greatness that is the United States lessen. Our job as passionate conservatives and Americans is to educate people on the dangers of bad fiscal policy, and the divisiveness that comes from restricting people’s freedoms, So we need to engage those who are not politically minded that now is the time to change the course. Now is the time to think from a different perspective. To allow people live, work and worship how they see fit. To work for their own economic self interest.
Most of us work 40 plus hours a week. Myself included. We find it hard to find time outside of work and family to be active in the direction our nation is heading. Over the next 5 months I would like to encourage everyone to make an effort to support all the candidates who have the country’s best interest at heart. This is on a local, state, and federal level. Thank you in advance for your time and effort. And as I started this campaign, I still do not want your money, I just want your vote.

Primary Election Day

I want to say “thank you” to all the people who have supported me so far in this election process. Tonight is sure to be an exciting one. If you have not voted yet, please do so. If you or anyone you know would like to know more about me or my candidacy, I invite you to send me an email ( heinrichfororegon@gmail.com ) or give me a call/text (503) 307-0139. The best way to get answers is to ask questions. Thank you again.

Broccoli and Cheese Sauce

Do you know what I can’t stand? Broccoli. I find it disgusting. I will eat almost any other vegetable, but I refuse to eat broccoli. I don’t even like to eat things that have touched broccoli. That is how passionate I am about this. But do you know what I love? Cheese Sauce. I wish cheese sauce was available at every restaurant. Cheese sauce goes well with just about everything….except broccoli. There is not enough cheese sauce in the world that you could put on top of broccoli that would make me want to eat it.
Now you may disagree with me on this. You may think broccoli is amazing, and you may think artificial cheese sauce is a lab experiment gone bad. But what neither of us can do is force our will upon the other. And this is not just about cheese sauce and broccoli. This is about everything we do day to day.
Some people dislike large retailers, but does that give them the right to pass laws to prevent a retailer from opening up a store or stopping people from shopping there. No! Do passionate vegetarians have the right to stop people from eating meat? No! Do people who dislike firearms have the right to prevent others from owning them? No! And do people of strong faith have the right to prevent people of the same sex from committing themselves to one another? Or do those who commit have the right to force people of faith to condone their choice? No! Neither have that right.
We don’t have to agree with each other to be neighbors, friends, or coworkers. But the current political environment we live in has created a “If you are not with us, you are against us” mentality. This is a frightful line of thought as it often results in divisiveness and the seeking of majority rule to pass restrictive laws. Our Founding Fathers had a name for this. They called it Majority Tyranny. They desperately wanted to create a nation that would not succumb to such an ideology, so they wrote a Constitution. A brilliant document that restricts the powers of the government and protects the rights of the individual from the majority. But our Constitution is under attack. The political elites have promoted an environment that pits us against one another. Rich vs. Poor. Gay vs. Straight. Religious vs. Atheist. Man vs. Woman. White vs. Black. They use these self created conflicts to pass legislation that takes rights away from all of us… all while using that classic campaign slogan, “I will fight for you!” The only person they are truly fighting for is themselves.
Do you want to improve this country? Start by supporting candidates that promote unity over divisiveness. Elect leaders that protect individual rights, not the one’s that try to restrict them. We live in a free country where we can live, work, and worship in anyway we see fit. And that means we won’t always agree on things, but that does not give us the right to tell others what they can and can’t do or what they must support.
You cannot force me to eat broccoli, and I cannot force you to eat cheese sauce. But that’s ok, because we live in an amazing country where there are lots of things on the menu that we can choose from. My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress.

Why I am Running….

I received an email the other day. It went like this:

Hello Mr.Heinrich,

I want to make an informed decision about my vote for US Representative, 1st District and I am so far, unable to learn about you and your reason for running for US Representative. Please send me information.

Thank you,

My reply was:

Thank you for the email. You can read a little about me on my website at http://www.heinrichfororegon.org under the “about” tab. Some very basic info is I was born and raised in Hillsboro. I recently moved out to Dundee to be a little closer to my parents who live in Yamhill and my brother who lives in Dallas. I sell trucks for a company called DSU Peterbilt & GMC, Inc. I have worked there since the age of 15. I have never been married and have no kids although I would like both. I attend Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsboro. I work a lot and stay very busy and I have been a passionate conservative my whole life. As for my reason for running, I, like many Conservatives, am tired of seeing the continue decline of our nation. Our national debt is atrocious. Our government is aggressively eroding our freedoms and ignoring our Constitutional safeguards. I just don’t feel this is the country I grew up in nor is it the one our forefathers intended. I decided about a year ago that I could either continue to complain at the situation by yelling at my television set and the car radio, or I could make a difference by becoming the candidate I would like to vote for. I decided the latter was a more constructive option. So I paid the fee, registered with the Secretary of State’s office and here I am running the first political campaign of my life. It is has been an education to say the least. At this point I have decided to self fund my campaign. So far it has been going well. I have solicited the support of my brother, his wife, and a good friend and I am proud of what we have accomplished so far. I am anxious to see what we can do once the primary is over. I hope this answers your questions. If not, you are more than welcome to call me at 503-307-0139. If I am unable to pick up, I will call you back. Thank you again for your consideration.
Yours Truly,
Brian Heinrich

I really appreciate getting these emails and phone calls regarding my candidacy. I am glad people are choosing to become informed voters. Thank you again for your support and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions I have yet to address.

01100101

So my friend Kelly in California called me up the other day. She said, “Speaking of candidates statements, you should hear what this guy in my district down here did.” She knew the difficulty I had trying to get my candidate’s statement put into the voter’s guide as well as the fact I am not accepting donations and trying to stay under the $5000 Federal Elections Guideline spending limit for forming a committee. She went on to say how this one candidate in particular only has a binary code of “01100101” on his statement. She was curious what it meant, so she googled it. It took her to a page on his website where he explains the trouble he has in California with the voter’s guide. And if you think Oregon is outrageous with its fees, check out what he says about California’s election system. This is from his website:
Jason Hanania
Why “01100101”?
Learn more about my Candidacy
What taxpayers don’t know about Voter Guides…
The “Official” Voter Information Guide, issued by the State of California, is paid for by you, the taxpayers, and mailed to every registered voter. Every candidate, and their “Candidate Statement”, should be included for purposes of educating voters. But this is not the case. The State charges candidates $25 per word – and a minimum of one word is required.
U.S. Senate candidates must pay over $6,000 for a full paragraph Candidate Statement. This is in addition to a $3,500 Filing Fee. By purchasing an entire paragraph for $6,000, candidates who do not accept campaign donations cannot stay under the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) cap of $5,000 in campaign expenditures.
Exceeding $5,000 requires formation of a Campaign Committee, appointment of a Treasurer, and substantial financial paperwork. This politician-created process creates an advantage for candidates who accept campaign donations. Their full-paragraph Candidate Statements actually make a statement. If a Candidate Statement only contains a few words, the candidate appears lazy and unprepared, at best.
Speaking as an attorney, campaign donations have become a legalized form of bribery. I do not accept campaign donations. My total campaign expenditures will be well under the FEC cap of $5,000.
Speaking as an engineer, my 2016 Candidate Statement was “01100101”. In computer programming, the binary code “01100101” translates to the letter “e”, as in “evoting candidate”. This optimally met the State’s “one word minimum” requirement and was cost effective. The novelty of “01100101” may also have motivated you to visit my website.
The Voter Information Guide is critical to democratic process because it educates voters about their voting options. It should be neutral. As long as the Voter Information Guide is taxpayer funded, the State should not discriminate based on wealth (campaign funding). Every candidate should be listed, including a full paragraph Candidate Statement. There are 21 candidates in your “Official” Voter Information Guide – but there will be 34 candidates on your ballot.
I wish Jason Hanania the best of luck. He is smart, frugal, and he is fed up with the system. I think those are great qualities for any candidate, no matter what the position My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress,

I Want Your Vote, But Keep Your Husband.

I have received a few nice emails and messages over the last few weeks. Yesterday I received one that was slightly less than nice. But again, I feel these may be questions others have, so I am happy to repost them on here with my response. Hopefully this will help answer some of your own questions. Oh, and I am pretty sure while all three of us would like her vote, I think we all agree she should keep her husband. Haha!
Email:
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE SEEN SOME INFORMATION ON YOU IN THE VOTER PAMPHLET. HOW DO ANY OF THE 3 OF YOU EXPECT TO GET ELECTED? NONE OF YOU WILL GET MY VOTE OR MY HUSBAND. IF YOU ‘REALLY’ WANTED THE JOB, YOU WOULD HAVE POSTED INFORMATION ON YOURSELF.

Response:
Thank you for your email. I would like to give you a little background on me as well as the voter’s pamphlet. First, I have chosen to self fund my campaign. I don’t believe money has a place in politics and I don’t like people having influence. In order to stay under the Federal Election Guidelines and Rules, I can only spend $5000 the entire election. So far my investment is around $800. That being said, in order to put a candidate’s statement in the voter’s pamphlet, a candidate must either collect 300 signatures of pay $2500. I attempted to get the 300 signatures in the limited time the state allows and was successful, but the state denied my petition stating they did not have enough time to validate them. They were quick to offer the cash payment option however, which makes me think they are either anti-Republican or motivated by money. Either way, I declined their request. While I am sorry you were unable to get the information you needed to make an educated decision about this race, know it was not due to laziness or a lack of effort. I do have a website at http://www.heinrichfororegon.org which has been up and running for the last seven months. You can find me on facebook at Brian Heinrich for US Congress. I am also on twitter. Again, I apologize for the lack of information, but you are more than welcome to check out my online information, email me with specific questions, or call me at (503) 307-0139 if you are so inclined. Maybe through some dialogue I can convince you that I am the best candidate to represent you and your husband in Washington DC.
Yours Truly,
Brian Heinrich

The Dreaded Question….

So I got an email the other day from a voter. The email with the question every candidate hates to get. Here it is, followed by my reply followed by his response. I removed the names for privacy reasons, but I think this is a subject many people want to know my opinion on….so here you go.
Email:
Brian, like what I see on website. Please forward views on abortion and military spending.
My Reply:
Thank you for the email. Nothing like the abortion issue to be someone’s champion or someone’s failure. Let me first say that I think abortion is disgusting and morally wrong. But it is a complex issue when it comes to the government and the people passionate about the issue. I would like to break down my views into three parts: Legal, Moral, and Financial.
Legal: I am a strong advocate of the Constitution. The Constitution makes no mention of abortion, and there fore it is an issue that should be decided by the states according to the 10th Amendment. The Supreme Court, in my opinion, legislated from the bench when deciding Roe vs. Wade and overstepped its authority. The Supreme Court will not correct this issue anytime soon, especially if we get a liberal leaning justice appointed in the coming months. I would like to point out the House of Representatives is not involved with a Supreme Court nomination. Since the Court’s decision is final, it would take an Amendment to the Constitution which would need to be ratified by a majority of the states. Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973. That means we have people all the way up to their mid 40’s that have never known a time when they did not have this “right” to an abortion whether or not they have chosen to exercise it. It is difficult to take a “right” away from people no matter how morally wrong the act is. So to get a majority of states to approve an amendment is slim at best.
Moral: The real question should not be whether abortion is legal or illegal. The question should be how can we change the hearts and minds of people so that abortion is not even a consideration. And how can we promote people to make choices that do not result in unplanned pregnancies. This goes back to building strong families and requiring people to take responsibility for their actions. This is truly a moral dilemma that I wish I had a solution for.
Financial: An incredible amount of money is spent every year on this battle. Money is taken from tax payers to promote one groups agenda over another. Then some of that money finds its way back to the campaigns of the people that allocated the resources in the first place. Very convenient for those politicians if you ask me. But there is money flowing to the campaigns of Pro-Life candidates through private funds as well. That is a tremendous amount of money on both sides that is not going to save lives, but to keep feeding the political battle that will never be solved by the politicians. Imagine if all that money went to help educate young people. Letting them know that actions have consequences. I mean in the grand scheme of things, should not both sides be fighting for the same thing? Shouldn’t pro-life and pro-choice advocates ultimately want no abortions? Having the “right” or not, wouldn’t it be best if there were no need? To add to this point, I would like to say I support legislation that ends government funding of non-profits such as Planned Parenthood. It is the citizens job to support charities, not the government and politicians.
I am sorry I can’t give you the definitive, “I will stop abortion!” comment that so many other Republican politicians say while campaigning. I am honest and try to be realistic. I don’t make false promises.
As for the military, spending is on two levels. One is defense. The other is Veterans affairs. Protecting America and its citizens is the primary responsibility of the federal government. While I advocate a balanced budget, we need a military that has the tools necessary to handle conflict in an ever increasing hostile world. Ronald Reagan coined the term, “Peace though Strength.” I am a big proponent of that idea. I do not have a specific budget amount, but know I will make it a priority. As for the Veterans, I am a firm believer that free markets and open competition provide the best services at the lowest prices. Thus I am in favor of using private hospitals and medical facilities to help with the needs of our veterans. Current officials seem to believe the only the VA is capable of caring for our military personnel, There is absolutely no reason why those services could not be contracted though private institutions that are more accountable for their efforts and costs than the government.
Thank you again for your consideration. Like I have stated before, picking a Representative is a very important decision.
Yours truly,
Brian
The Response:
Brian,
Thank you for your quick and clear response to our questions. Several years ago I pledged to write one letter each day to one of our state or national reps. I’ve done pretty well considering age and computer breakdowns. it gets very frustrating reading boilerplate stuff which staff writes and then just picks one paragraph from col A and one from col B. It was wonderful for us to read a clear and concise letter for once. Here’s hoping that you make it to D.C. where it looks like you could make a difference.
We both know that abortion will never be eliminated fully, however I would sure like to not have to pay any of the bill. Our Christian faith tells us that we are created by God in His image and therefore we should not destroy that creation.
Again thank you,

Dinner and a Phone Call

I met my folks for dinner last night. We went to Gustav’s next to Washington Square. Maybe it is the German in me, but I do love me a good sausage with mustard. So we are sitting just finishing our meals there when my phone rings. I don’t recognize the number, but it says it is from Newberg. I pick up and a gentleman introduces himself. Well spoken, he says he is completing his ballot and would like to know a little more about me before he votes. I begin to tell him a little about my history. I am a salesman by trade, so the “politicking” thing is relatively new to me and did not realize how people become informed. Usually my folks and I have a sit down with our ballots and go through the candidates together. So as I am talking to this gentleman he interrupts me and asks if I go to church. I told him “yes” and that I currently attend Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsboro. He then asks me if I have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior and if I know I am saved. I said, “Yes, and I am saved by grace through faith.” The gentleman said thank you and ended the call. My mom was a little shocked by the conversation and asked me “Who was that?” I said it was a voter wanting more background on me. She was still a little in awe. We all have different things that are important when making decisions. People judge character in different ways.
Your representation in government is a very important thing. And while we may not agree on all issues, and I truly believe there is no perfect candidate, I will do my best to represent you and make decisions that I believe are in the long term best interests of Oregonians. And if you have questions about me, my background, my ethics, my resolve, or anything that will allow you to better judge my person and character, I welcome it. Phone calls at dinner time are not always best, but your vote is important. So please, send me an email, message me on facebook, hit me up on twitter, or give me the occasional phone call. Like I said, we may not agree on all issues, but I will listen to your concerns and make sure your voice is heard. Thank you again for your support. I am self financing my campaign, so I appreciate you sharing my thoughts and opinions with others. This can be on facebook, through casual conversation, or if you so choose, shouting it from the rooftops. While the latter would be great, please try be respectful of others. Thanks again. My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress in Oregon’s 1st District.