“Tears of the Arizona”, we remember …

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” —Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

I took this photo at the USS Arizona Memorial inPearl Harbr. Some 70 years later, she is still leaking oil. They call it the “Tears of the Arizona.”

To all who served and serve still … we remember.

HawkeyeGOP for National Committeeman

It is time to put an end to the rumors and speculation, I (David Chung) am officially announcing my candidacy for National Committeeman. For those of you who are interested, you can discover a great deal about me by reading the pages of this blog. I have tried over the years to give my commentary on political issues, especially those affecting our state party.

I have served two terms on the State Central Committee, and at the First District Convention in Grinnell, I was elected to a third term by my new district. I was motivated to run for SCC in 2008 because I could not believe that the SCC had re-elected a party chairman after the electoral train wreck of 2006 when we lost both the Iowa House and Senate.

When I was elected, I vowed to bring transparency to the process of electing a state chairman. Prior to my first term, the election of the state chairman was done in secret. No one really knew who was running. When the vote was taken, even the members of the SCC did not know what the actual numbers were, the State Auditor counted the votes, declared the winner and then the SCC voted to make it unanimous.

The first chair election after I was on the SCC was completely different. Campaigns were public and candidates reached out to rank and file Republicans asking for support. The vote was carried out by secret ballot but the results were blogged and tweeted to the world in real time. I was a supporter of Matt Strawn in both of his campaigns and under his leadership we saw tremendous fundraising and electoral success. We were able to win back Terrace Hill and the Iowa House as well as make significant gains in the Iowa Senate.

As mentioned on these pages I have fought, not always successfully, to bring openness to the process of selecting National Delegates. I will continue to fight to do away with the Friday night District Nominating Conventions which violate the RPI Constitution. I believe that the business of the district should be done at the District Convention when the entire district is present not in Des Moines when only those who have chosen to take the day off, make the drive and stay in a hotel can be there.

Each time that I have been elected to the SCC, I have promised that I would: not endorse any candidate in a Republican primary, not take money from any candidate or candidate’s committee and that I would vigorously support every Republican candidate that had won their primary. I have kept my promise, when my good friend Christian Fong ran for Governor in 2010; I resigned from the SCC in order to support his campaign. Though the proposal comes officially form the State Executive Council, I am the author of the ethics amendment we will be voting on at the State Convention.

If I am elected to the RNC, the only special interest group that I will be beholden to is you, the Republican Party of Iowa. My goal on the RNC would be to represent you in such a way that Iowa maintains its first-in-the-nation status and to see that decisions made at the national level would help to build the framework we need to elect Republicans from the White House to the courthouse.

If you are a delegate, I urge you to come to the District Nominating Conventions on Friday June 15th and the State Convention the next day. There may be several candidates running for National Committeeman and the choice you make may well impact whether the Iowa Caucuses remain First in the Nation.

Vote David Chung for National Committeeman, on June 16th.

On Christian Leaders in the Iowa GOP

I have noticed that too many of my recent posts have started with disclaimers. This post will be no exception. As I considered this post I had to first ask whether I am a Christian Leader in the Iowa GOP. The answer I gave myself is this, I am a Christian and I have been re-elected to the Republican State Central Committee so I guess that makes me a Christian Leader.

Over the years I have observed a number of Christan Leaders within our party and I guess people have also observed me. What I have observed is a focus on social issues like abortion and homosexual marriage. Many who share my faith have exhibited a righteous zeal when it comes to issues. (A zeal that I often share.) What I have not seen enough of is faith. So I want to do something in this post that I have not seen from other Christian Leaders in our party do — I want to share my faith.

My politics are shaped by my faith. In fact I believe that everyone’s politics are shaped by their faith. Perhaps not a traditional religious faith but by those core beliefs that they hold dear. But more important than my politics, my life should be shaped by my faith. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that I have a responsibility to share my faith with others. I would be remiss in my duty if I fought only for social issues and did not take opportunity to share my testimony of how Jesus Christ changed my life. So if any of you are still reading …

I was raised knowing the stories and characters from the Bible like Noah, Jonah, David, Joshua, Daniel, etc. I knew that I was a sinner as the Bible says:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; — Romans 3:23

I knew that sin caused separation and death, and I knew that the ultimate result of sin was Hell.

For the wages of sin is death — Romans 6:23a

But I thought that the way to be reconciled to God was by my works. That if I did more good things than bad, God would weigh the good against the bad and if the balance came out in my favor, I would be allowed into heaven. I figured that while I was not as good as say, Mother Teresa, I was also not as bad as say, Hitler. In the end since I did more good than bad I figured that I would be OK.

But one day, everything changed. A dear friend of mine started arguing with me, she said that there was nothing I could do that could measure up to what Jesus Christ did for me. He came to Earth and offered himself up a perfect sinless sacrifice. He suffered and died for me. She showed me from the Bible that God was offering salvation to all as a free gift, that to try and earn it was an insult to God. And one day, it clicked, the Holy Spirit reached out to me heart and convinced me that I could not earn salvation, that it was a free gift.

… but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. — Romans 6:23b

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. — Romans 10:9

It was 1975 and I repented of my sin, and did confess with my mouth and believe in my heart, I accepted the free gift of salvation that God purchased for me through His Son, and anyone reading this post can do the same. I will continue to post on this site about topics that are politically interesting or important to me, but as a Christian Leader, I felt that I had to post on the topic that is most important to me. I would challenge other Christian Leaders in our party to share not just their political convictions, but to join me in sharing their faith.

Ron Paul is the winner of the Iowa Caucuses

I need to start this post off with a disclaimer. I am a member of the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Iowa. I managed to get re-elected even with the tidal wave of support in all four districts for Ron Paul. On the SCC I have served on the Organization Committee with overall responsibility for the caucus to convention process. This spring, RPI chairman, A.J. Spiker, appointed me to serve on the caucus review committe, where I chair the operations and tabulation sub-committee. I guess that makes me an insider 🙂 I must stress, that the opinions presented here are my own and do not reflect the opinion of the Republican Party of Iowa.

The results will not be official until sometime on the afternoon of June 16th (at the state convention), but this observer is officially calling it for Ron Paul. As Jennifer Jacobs wrote in the Des Moines Register:

the Iowa caucuses essentially had three winners: Romney on caucus night, Santorum after the certified vote, and Paul in the delegate count.

According to the Iowa Republican, of thirteen at-large delegates nominated by the Ron Paul dominated nominating committee for the state convention, ten have ties to the Ron Paul campaign. The other three are, Governor Branstad, Senator Grassley and a longtime republican activist and Santorum supporter. Of the thirteen, Ron Paul will likely get ten votes at convention. Among our automatic delegates (RPI Chairman, National Committeeman and National Committeewoman) Ron Paul will likely get at least one vote. The Friday night district nominating conventions will select twelve district delegates and I predect that at least ten will be Ron Paul supporters. Of Iowa’s twenty-eight delegates I predict Ron Paul will get at least twenty-one votes on the first ballot at the national convention.

At the end of the day, the results represent a deliberate strategy on the part of the Ron Paul campaign to fight for every delegate. In states like Iowa where our delegates are not bound after the caucus, the Paul campaign has remained organized and worked their ground game to get their supporters out to the county, district and eventually the state convention.

As much as my friends in the Romney and Santorum camps may complain, the Paul people have done nothing wrong. We have been spoiled in Iowa. It has been a long time since we have had a presidental race where more than one major candidate remained by the time our state convention rolled around. In that environment, national delegate spots have been seen primarily as a reward for faithful party service. It really didn’t matter who went to the convention because there was only one candidate left standing. This year, even though most observers have called the race for Romney, Ron Paul intends to stay in the race through the national convention. At this point, we do not have a nominee. Until Ron Paul drops out of the race or the national convention selects a candidate the race is still on.

With the race still technically undecided, the delegate slots for the national convention actually mean something. At the district nominating conventions and the state convention to follow, all delegates must demand to know how every national convention delegate and alternate intends to vote on the first ballot.