Fong beats Culver!!!

I read with interest all of the articles and blogs about Governor Culver’s triathlon. As a big guy myself. I was impressed! Chet did an Olympic distance tri.

  • 1500m swim
  • 32km bike
  • 10km run

He got second in his age group (of 2), but his time of 3:03:27 was 50 minutes slower than even the athletes over age 60. On the other hand his 19:19 in the 1500m swim was pretty impressive. I am a swimmer and it takes me closer to 45 minutes to swim 1500m (yes I am slow). His 14.53 mph bike average is pretty slow — I could take him on the bike. At a 12+ minute mile pace in the run he and I would probably be pretty close. But overall he would beat me pretty handily based on the swim.

On the other hand my candidate, Christian Fong is also a triathlete. Christian ran cross country in college. I looked up Christian’s times from this year’s Pigman Triathlon. The Pigman Long Course tri is a half-ironman distance:

  • 1.2mi swim
  • 56mi bike
  • 13.1mi run

Christian is not the fastest swimmer an he did the swim in a modest time of 41:43. On the bike, he averaged 17.5 mph, almost 3 mph faster than Culver. He completed the run at a 9:27 pace, about minutes per mile faster than Culver for twice the difference. So when it comes to triathlons …

… Christian Fong clearly beats Chet Culver.

A Chinaman’s Chance

This morning I was listening to the WMT (AM 600) morning show with Andy Peterson. It was the regular Friday before a Hawkeye game segment with Iowa Equipment Manager — Greg Morris, aka the Shoe Guy.

Greg was talking about the Ohio State game. He said something like:

If we don't go in there expecting to win — we wont have a Chinaman's chance.

Being of Chinese descent myself, if I were politically correct, I might take offense. But since I am not PC all I have to say is:

GO HAWKS!!!!!!

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. Last week, I was able to fulfill a dream and visit Pearl Harbor. I took this picture as our boat approached the Arizona Memorial along Battleship Row. Looking down on the remains of the Arizona and the more than 1000 sailors entombed below her decks is a poignant reminder that our freedoms have been purchased at a cost.

So, no politics today. I am the father of two active duty US Servicemen, one of whom is currently serving in Afghanistan. I have been overwhelmed at the encouragement and warm wishes given by friends and strangers alike when they see my lapel pin with the two white stars. What I most often hear is:

… be sure to thank them for their service.

Let us all thank all our vets for their service.

NY 23 — the Party and the Platform

When I ran for the State Central Committee I promised to support our Republican candidates. As a party leader, I felt it my duty to support every Republican who had passed the essential litmus test — a Republican primary. Further I promised my district that I would stay out of contested primaries. When my friend Christian Fong threw his hat in the ring for the governor's race, I resigned from the SCC in order to endorse him, contribute to his campaign and volunteer for him during the primary.

Now that I am just a grassroots guy again, my position has changed. I think that it is the right and duty of every Republican to work to see that we are not just a group of people with R by our names but that the R means something.

We have seen several examples both nationally and locally where the Republican establishment has stepped in to override the party's grassroots. It happened in Pennsylvania (Specter v Toomey) in 2004. After the national party stepped in, Specter won re-election. He went on to be a thorn in GW Bush's side and ultijmately switched parties. Even the normally conservative Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania's other Senator came out and endorsed the liberal Specter. No matter how strong he is on the issues — I will always find it difficult to support the man who singlehandedly returned the traitor Specter to the Senate.

Likewise in Iowa, I was a supporter of Bill Salier in his 2002 Senate campaign. He certainly took on the party establishment and shook things up.

In New York's HD 23, it was the 11 county chairs that chose liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava to be their nominee. This caused an uproar among the grassroots and caused conservative Republican, Doug Hoffman to run on a third-party ticket. Hoffman has been gaining in the polls at the expense of Scozzafava. Yesterday Scozzafava announced she was dropping out of the race, very likely giving the seat to Hoffman. Scozzafavawas supported by the RNC and the Republican Senatorial Committee. Sarah Palin was one of the Republican voices that came out for Hoffman in the race.

I have to say that I was thrilled when I heard the news. As a conservative first, I believe that we must seek and nominate candidates who support our party's core principles. In my years of involvement in GOP politics I have chaired county, district and state platform committees multiple times. In 2008 I had the honor of representing Iowa on the national platform committee. The clearest, most representative statement of our core principles is our platform.

And while I may not be pure enough for Steave Deace (I decided reluctantly the day before the caucus to support Romney and I led the move to censure Kim Lehman) over the last decade and a half, few people have had more direct influence in shaping our state platform than I. In my new found role as a grassroots activist and not an SCC member I will be working hard to see that we nominate candidates who support core Republican principles, who support our platform.