A Marine on a Mission

I’ve been trying to find the words to say about the last two days, and I hope what I say today will suffice. I had a rare opportunity to meet with one of my Marines. That in and of itself wasn’t unusual, as I try to catch up with my old buddies when I can. No, the reason he was in Utah indeed was something unique. Something special.

Jay Knight was a fellow member of 2/7 in Weapons Company. We did a tour to Iraq together, and we became friends. Yesterday he made it to Utah. It wasn’t to visit me. He wasn’t on vacation to enjoy our outdoor sporting. And he certainly didn’t fly in.

He has been riding his bike cross country to raise money for Child’s Play, an organization that helps supply games and toys for kids in children hospitals. He’s been doing this in honor of one of our fallen brothers, Johnny Strong.

He started his ride in Boston over 100 days ago. I was lucky and honored to give him a place to stay for the night.

As I talked to Jay about his experience, I couldn’t help but tear up a little as he recalled the stories of amazing people across the country who stepped up to help the cause. My heart strings were pulled as he told me about the kids he met, and the courage they displayed facing their odds of battling cancer or other terminal illnesses. Each story he told reminded me of why America is such a wonderful place.

We were all connected in helping this young man accomplish something greater than any one of us alone. Through I only played a small part in this Pax2Pax ride, I am left with the feeling that I could be doing more, and have resolved to do so.

Jay has showed the true characterization of service. He and his team are extraordinary people, and I know Johnny is smiling up in Heaven as Jay has passed each mile.

I am blessed to know such an exemplary Marine, and I am proud to call him brother. I encourage you to donate if you are able. This is a great cause to bring joy into children’s lives as they face dark times. I say we help shine a light for them.

You can read about the journey and donate at http://www.Pax2Pax.org. Even $10 helps a child with a little happiness. This is one of the best causes and I cannot thank Jay enough for helping shed some light on Child’s Play, and taking on this task.

I wish you the best brother. Godspeed. You are doing a truly great thing for others.

Open Letter to Conservative and Tea Party Organizations

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter addresses the many Tea Party groups (at the national level), Liberty groups, Conservative Leadership PACs, news organizations, radio personalities and pundits. I’m calling you out today for what you are: shills for the Republican Party. Sure, you back a few candidates who are more liberty minded, but you are more concerned with the letter attached to the name than the candidate best suited for the job.

How do I know? I’ve been in contact with all of you for the last few years, that is, until you found out I was a Libertarian candidate.

Nearly every group I’ve contacted, or known for years has given me the “you’re not Republican” excuse. Because of this, I am declaring your mission statements fraudulent, your voices now insignificant. You are part of the problem, not the solution.

You are fine with continuing the divide in America, and you seem perfectly OK with caving on the principles you profess so long as a Republican majority has power. There are a few of you I will call out by name, because your supporters deserve to know where you really stand.

Mr. Glenn Beck, you profess your libertarian values and love of freedom. You have become a useless mouth piece to me. I was sucked in because you say the right buzzwords. But, you have yet to put a Libertarian candidate on your show. I’ve heard Republican after Republican getting interviewed in your so called fight for liberty.

Where is a Libertarian, Constitution Party, or Independent with values? Ones you know won’t support the Republican Establishment because they have zero ties to it? We’ve all seen politicians fail after a few terms as their love of power consumes them. You know the chances increase by continuing to send back people that tow a line. Eventually, even Rand Paul supported establishment leadership, as evident with his support of Mitch McConnell.

Perhaps you may want to rethink your use of libertarian, because the Republican Party isn’t going to be the ones enacting true libertarian principles.

Mr. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and all the rest of “conservative” media, stop blaming only Democrats for the problems we face. Your Republicans helped right along. Your John McCains, John Boehners, Lindsey Grahams, your Mitch McConnells, your George Bush, your Mitt Romney, etc. that have helped destroy our country.

I’ll start believing you when you stop supporting only Republican candidates and pit your money where your mouth is. There are candidates far better than what most Republicans field, and some Republicans you don’t throw support behind are better than the incumbent. If you truly have the values you exclaim daily, you’d put your reputation on the line and support what’s best for America instead of supporting the two party status quo.

Keep blaming Obama and Democrats. Keep showing your true colors as talking heads for the GOP establishment. Keep perpetuating the destruction of our country with support of big government Republicans. Small government my ass.

Allen West: thanks for talking about values all the time, then rejecting a person based on the lack of an R. You claim love of country due to the uniform you wore. You talk about oaths, defending America, and how there’s no honor in DC.

Where is your honor sir? I wore the uniform. I live honor daily as a United States Marine. Honor is a way of life for us, and you kick a fellow veteran to the curb for not being the right party. I’m calling you out sir. Simply put, you don’t really care about the country. You’re mad you lost your seat and will stop at nothing to just sit and blame the president and Democrats. Accept responsibility for continuing the divide, because you’re just as culpable as the left.

FreedomWorks….you gave the guy I’m running against a 79% rating. I have been around since your site went up. I’ve attended almost all your functions, signed your petitions, garnered support from thousands for your causes, and have yet to hear back from you.

Let me guess. Not a Republican, because those are the only candidates you support. You had people talking with me right up til I won the Libertarian nomination, then went silent. Guess my values only mattered when you thought I was Republican. So I call you out as well.

The Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party.net….guess you forgot about me standing with you from the beginning. Well, at least you acknowledge I donated to you, because I still get letters and emails, not to mention phone calls asking for more. But speaking at your rallies and standing shoulder to shoulder with your leadership seems to count for nothing.

Guess being a Republican is more important than the values you claim. You’d rather capitalize on the Benghazi attack selling t-shirts. Never mind that I was there from the beginning talking in front of the nation’s capital to call for accountability.

You see, it is much more than the ability to sell bumper stickers for me. I care about Americans. Four died, and I wanted answers. I did not look at this as a way to win elections or sell merchandize. By doing so, I believe you dishonor the lives of the Benghazi Four. Holding rallies for answers are fine, but making money off their deaths disgusts me.

After seeing that, I don’t want your support or blood money. So don’t bother trying to endorse me any more. I will have nothing to do with you.

There are many more I haven’t named, including candidates and those currently elected who fall into these categories. Too many to name individually, but you know who you are. You know whether you are continuing the status quo or really fighting to save our nation. You should withdraw or resign, though most of you have already proven through actions that you lack the fortitude to do so.

I would like to end this on a high note. There are those out there who don’t follow partisan lines and look to integrity and character. You see merit in ideals. I want to highlight you and thank you for standing up for what is right, not a party.

Doc Thompson. Allowing me to be interviewed on your radio show was an honor and privilege. One I will not soon forget. Thank you for believing enough in me to give me the chance.

Mitchell Mason and Patriots4America, thank you for believing in me and what I’m trying to do. And never stop fighting. I won’t. Your endorsement means a lot, because you rejected the status quo.

Candace Salima. You have been one of the most helpful people in my campaign. You have guided me well through all this, and though we differ on our political parties, you took a chance on me. You saw me for my character and ideals, not a letter attached to my name. You are a great American and I can see through action you love this country.

David Welch. Thanks for granting me my first interview on air. You are doing a great service highlighting the underdogs and trying to shake the political party monopoly in America.

To Mark Hilgenberg. You have been a great mentor, and though we don’t always see eye to eye, you have stood with me and accepted me as a candidate for the Libertarian Party. Should I win, I hope I can do justice for the values of libertarianism we both support.

To the volunteers, supporters, and my family. You have shown me that there is hope for our country and it’s why I am fighting. Thanks for being in my corner. Each of you has been more important than you’ll ever know. Love you all.

America, be warned of who you associate with. In the words of George Washington (paraphrased): it is better to be alone than be with one of ill repute.

Craig Bowden
Utah’s Next Congressman for 1st District.

Open Letter on Iraq

526851_10153202915035381_861229594_nTo Members of Congress, political pundits, and all those who comment on the situation in Iraq:

I am a United States Marine. I served with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines from 2003-2007, deploying twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I fought in Hit, Fallujah, Haditha, and many other places in that country.

I have been plagued with doubt, wondering what I did there, and found myself asking frequently as to why we were sent to war.

I lost 23 friends in the deserts, towns, and cities of Iraq. We were told it was to stabilize the region (mind you after we didn’t turn up any chemical or bio weapons manufactured after 1996). What was the point in them losing their lives, among 4700+ other soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines?

You pundits and politicians asking us to go back….for what? There was no mission at that time as you all enjoyed commenting, from thousands of miles away. While you were trying to boost ratings or get reelected, my brothers and I were sweating , bleeding, and dying….for what!?

The WMD angle turned out to be one hell of a lie.
We obviously didn’t finish the mission of security and stability, since ISIS has taken cities my brothers died trying to route insurgents.
Is Iraq more free? Are the people better off?

What was the point of it all? How many more lives will you have wasted before you decide what the mission is?

Many of you are saying we’re losing what we gained in Iraq…please define that for me. What did we gain? As those who actually fought, we lost a lot. We lost credibility by invading another country on a false pretense. We lost support of long held allies. We lost the support of the American people. We lost countless and priceless lives. We lost our sanity as we struggle with haunting nightmares. We lost limbs. We lost struggles with addiction and alcohol as we tried to make sense of it all. We lost husbands and wives who decided we were gone too much, and they found comfort in the beds of others. We lost time with our children. And we are still losing men and women to suicide because the cost for some is too much to bear.

When is it enough? What is the mission? What is the price you’re going to have the military pay, because God as my witness, I won’t see you lacing up boots, picking up a rifle, and doing anything. No, you’ll sit and try to do some electoral spin, boost ratings, and blame everyone who opposes any action. You’ll drink your latte, enjoy air conditioning and your lofty salaries. And when more of us are maimed and killed, you’ll find excuses to not give us the care we earned with our blood.

You chicken hawks need to resign your posts. I cannot stand your eagerness for war. Your appetite for death. Our young men and women deserve better. You want war? Suit up yourself. I am not willing to fight your bullshit wars any more, and would not ask another to fight in my stead.

Try your spin on the Marine who held his best friend as he bled out, while crying for his mom. Tell it to the soldier who lost both his legs. Tell it to the corpsman who drinks every night in an attempt to momentarily forget his hands being unable to save some of his men or the innocent women and kids who were hit in the crossfire. Tell it to the gold star mother who lost her child. Tell it to the veteran who cannot find work because he “doesn’t fit in.”

We’re not buying it any more. We’re done with the chest beating and rhetoric. Either strap it on and do it yourself, or shut up.

Craig Bowden
Marine Corps Veteran,
Congressional Candidate,
Father, and Concerned Citizen

When You’re Attacked By Both Sides, You’re Probably On To Something

LeftRightLately, I have been getting attacked by both sides of the political spectrum from the more militant and defensive individuals within the two major parties.  Those in the GOP believe I am a “leftist” and the ones in the DNC believe me to be a “Right Wing Nut Job.”  I will take the fact that both parties opposing me is a good things.

Ultimately, I am seeking for a power shift from Washington, D.C. to your living room.  Giving the people more power than they have had in a long time.  Ideas like that are a threat to the power monopoly the two major parties have enjoyed for over 100 years.  Every proposal I make, whether in a civil or economic liberty issue, takes power away from them and their friends.

Most people are unaware of what libertarianism is, and that is why it can be confusing for some when I can speak out against things from both political parties.  Fundamentally, however, the majority of Americans do hold libertarian ideals, they just don’t know it.  I believe that a lot of the problem has been with communicating the ideas in a manner that people understand.

Many libertarians come off as brash.  They immediately yell “statist” and attack ideas that many people hold dear.  Challenging the status quo never goes over easy, but when you come in on the offensive, the people who hold the beliefs you challenge will clam up and become defensive.

I have been working on communicating and reaching out to a very broad group of people.  Everyone from the more socialistic, millennial generation to the older, ultra conservative.  I have made allies in both these camps, and everything in between.  The reason why is because of how I approach.

First of all, you must acknowledge the concern of the person you are talking to.  Validate their point of view.  It is paramount that the person you are talking to understands you also want the same thing.  It is just the approach you are taking differently.  Case in point, one of the libertarian ideals is to take a non-intervention approach to the military.  Many who sit in the Republican camp see this as you questioning national security.

Well, as libertarians, we also believe in strong national security.  Let them know that.  The way I have approached something like this would be to state it as such:

I know you are concerned for national security, and I support that 100%.  We need to have the ability to respond to threats to our nation.  I am just concerned about being involved in conflicts that don’t really involve interests of the United States.  We need to take a more defensive approach with our military, and not intervene with every conflict that arises around the globe.  This ensures that our troops are getting the training they need for the possibility our nation is attacked.  With how are foreign policy has been, the military is stretched thin and the men and women who serve our nation are weary with constantly being deployed abroad.  They also lose out on that vital training to defend our country when they are involved in so many events globally.

The same concepts can be given to any end of the political spectrum, and it’s important that as a candidate, volunteer, or official representative of libertarian ideas, that you approach in such a manner.  It has worked for me to the point that only the most militant and active of the two parties will oppose what I have to say.

Libertarianism is the best solution we have.  It sticks to the Constitution, limits spending, and ensures economic and civil liberty reach their maximum for all people.  It is the best chance for America’s future.  Help spread the word, and make sure you communicate efficiently!

Reduce the Pay of Congress

A new ad from Craig Bowden, running out of Utah’s 1st Congressional District addressing the need to reduce the salary, perks, and entitlements members of Congress receive.


Libertarian Party of Utah Convention

1463922_631034293628398_713283183_nFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

APRIL 26, 2014

(Salt Lake City) — The Libertarian Party of Utah met today in Draper to approve and nominate its slate of candidates for the November, 2014 General Election. The nominated candidates are:

Federal Candidates:
Craig Bowden – US House 1
Jim L Vein – US House 4

Utah Constitutional Office Candidates:
W. Andrew McCullough – Attorney General

Utah Senate:
Dwight Steffner – State Senate 18
Brent Zimmerman – State Senate 22

Utah House:
Roger S. Condie – State House 7
Megan Clegg – State House 23
Chelsea Travis – State House 35
Rainer Huck – State House 40
Bret Black – State House 44
Lee Anne Walker – State House 46
Barry Evan Short – State House 72

Utah State Libertarian Party Chairman Courtney White was pleased by the results, stating, “I’m excited about the slate of candidates we nominated today. Each of them brings something special to the table, and all are dedicated to protecting the liberty of their constituents.”

The Libertarian Party of Utah supports a government limited in scope to protecting and preserving the innate rights of all individuals against all concentrations of power, be it governmental or corporate power over the individual, and which respects the earnings of every Utahn by controlling government spending. In that light, the party is pleased to note that it has selected its candidates without resorting to an expensive primary election conducted at public expense, unlike some other parties.

For information contact:
Courtney White (mail@utahlp.org) (801-245-0827)

The Militia Argument

2nd-Amendment-800x594I would like to go ahead and quell a little bit of argument about what a militia is to those who seek to disarm American citizens by stating the right only applies to militias.

Full Definition of MILITIA

a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
b : a body of citizens organized for military service
: the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

(Source: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)

Please note that “the whole body of able-bodies male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service.” If you have ever had a draft card, this makes you eligible to have a gun under their militia excuse. But lets take things a step further.

Let’s look at an excerpt of Federalist Papers #29

“if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

So the founding fathers recognized that any who stand ready to defend their own rights and their fellow citizens. It also recognizes that it is a counter to a standing army should there ever be one (as we have now) if that army was to be used against the people.

Perspective on Bundy Ranch

article-2603026-1D0F67D100000578-703_634x411Many of us have formulated opinions on the case of the Bureau of Land Management and their handling of the Bundy case in Clark County, Nevada.  I’d like to share my perspective.  I will not be going into the past between the two, only the current situation that has rocked a nation.

My first observation was the fact that his cattle were being seized.  I’m sorry, but you cannot take another man’s property without due process of the law.  Had there been a legitimate warrant, the local sheriff would have been the one serving the papers, not a federal agency.

My second observation is that if this was really about turtles (as this is why the cattle are supposedly prohibited from grazing), then why was there heavy equipment assisting in the capture of the “trespassing” cows.  I’m sorry, but a backhoe is going to do far more damage to a habitat than a cow eating some brush.

Third, the video seen around the world shows a clearly oppressive group of “law enforcement” agents.  Who throws down a 56 year old woman, then tazers the person trying to assist her three times?  If this isn’t brutality, I’m not sure what is.  Not to mention the show of force with snipers, K9s, and as President Obama calls them, weapons of war.  Why does the BLM have access and need for such?  Clearly not to manage land.

The fourth observation would be the fact that over 3 million dollars were spent on this operation, which failed due to patriots responding to help the Bundy family, over a 1.3 million dollar debt.  That was your money wasted on this.  It shows the brilliance of our federal government: let’s spend almost 3 times what we need to collect, only, we won’t end up succeeding because people showed up to defend liberty.  I’m sorry, but this is how the federal government is. Maybe we need to let the illegals on the Southern Border start grazing down there and call them cows…maybe something will finally be done to seal the border.

The last observation I will make is this: there is only one 1st amendment zone.  It begins right after the Mexican border and ends at the Canadian one.  There is no way any federal agent is in the right by attempting to corral citizens.  We get to speak anywhere in this nation, as enshrined in our Constitution.

Those are some of the things I noticed, and frankly I only have one thing left to say:


Force is Not the Answer

ft_main1For a long time, the United States Government has been using force in order to ensure it can fund its various departments.  They literally use threats of jail, fines, and use law enforcement (in other words a gun) to ensure you are compliant on taxes.  I find this to be extremely wrong and morally unjustified.

The excuse I seem to hear the most often is that there is a “social contract” to take care of the less fortunate.  That it is good because some people wouldn’t help anyone out if it weren’t mandatory.  My question to present to them is this: how did the United States fund anything, even when it tried staying within the enumerated powers granted in the Constitution, until the early 1900s when the Income Tax was first established and made permanent?

I believe that you should be able to keep 100% of what you make.  You are the one who puts in the hard work, yet, even at the lowest, you still need to pay 10% of your wage as soon as you go over $435.00 on a two week paycheck.  So if you only make $770.00 a month, you have to give up a tenth of your earnings.

I have a solution, and that solution is the Fair Tax system.  Through the Fair Tax, you keep every dime you make.  No one takes anything from you.  There is no threat of jail or fines if you don’t file a paper on time. There are no armed agents ready to put a lien on your property.  You have your money free and clear.

The tax applies to the final point of purchase of an item.  So you only pay taxes on the money you spend.  If you choose to be frugal, you will save more of your hard earnings for things like retirement, emergencies, etc.  You have the control of how much you’ll pay at any given time.

This also would allow for the rich to still pay more, because naturally, as you make more money, you buy more things.  You spend more.  You get the more expensive items.  You can afford it.

I find the Fair Tax to be the best approach, and removes the threats of the IRS from your life.  This is something everyone could get behind, regardless of your ideology or political party.  Give the power back to the people.

Pondering Late at Night

American-flagI have been unable to sleep tonight, so I figured I would write.  I feel that writing sometimes can clear a lot of the clutter going on in my brain, and release the thoughts keeping me awake.  Consider it an open letter to the American people.

I have been campaigning for nearly a year now.  Reaching out to thousands of voters, not only in Utah, but across a nation.  I have talked to liberals, conservatives, and every party affiliation or lack thereof.  Everyone seems jaded by a politician or their preferred party.  Heaven knows I am in that boat as well.

I used to be a Republican myself.  That was until I saw a lot of what was wrong with the party.  The compromise, the back door deals, the fight for power or political positioning instead of doing what is right for the American people.  Call me old school, or just a dumb jarhead, but I believe in being direct.  I believe in meaning what you say, and saying what you mean.  I am tired of the political games the Democrats and Republicans have been playing, while the people suffer.

I want so badly to be able to serve, it’s something I have wanted since I was a child.  My job choices on growing up were always service oriented, and every job I have held was in a service capacity of one sort or another.  I don’t get why the people currently elected don’t work to serve the people.  It boggles my mind.

I’ve heard all the stories: greed, power, wealth, etc. for why they seem to be in office.  I just don’t get why it is so important for them to have those things.  I consider an office of public trust to be sacred, but I see the people who swore a similar oath to my own, spit upon the principles of that oath.  I guess that’s why I chose to run.  I’m tired of the oath breaking.  I’m tired of watching small business being crippled by stifling regulations.  I’m tired of cronyism.  I’m tired of not knowing if my kids will enjoy the freedoms I had as a child.

Our rights are being trampled on before our eyes, and both parties are stepping on them.  Both want to expand the government’s role, they just think they can do a better job of it.  They love their corporate donors and reward them with tax breaks, subsidies, and positions.  It’s sickening.

Where did honor go? Where is courage to do the right thing? Where is the commitment to the American people?

Is the disease of the nation’s capitol really that bad?  That even some of the best turn bad?  How is it possible that so many, with all the best intentions fail in their duties after a few years?

Call me a dreamer, but I want to see America thrive.  I want to see the dreams of our forefathers truly come to fruition.  We have the ability to do this, but only if we are willing to fight for it. Only if we truly want it.  Only if we get up and go for our dreams.

I may be reaching for the stars with my hopes of making it to the halls of Congress, but when you set a high standard, even if you don’t quite make it, you still land in a better place than you were before.

My experience campaigning has given me greater insight, depth, and understanding I would never have known.  Every person I meet trying to find a way to make a difference has given me hope. Each one carries a little spark of liberty’s dream, and together…they shine a light more magnificent than anything I have ever known.

I love this country so much, and it’s killing me watching the politicians destroy her.  Seeing many of you fighting helps me see hope.  Something I thought was lost long ago.

If we banded together, we would be an unstoppable force.  We must not forget the lessons history has taught us.  We cannot forget the principles of individual liberty.  We must hold self evident truths and spread them to others.  When we plant those seeds or sparks of liberty, and feed them, they will grow.  They will become the most magnificent thing the world has known.

We become free.


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