Republican Challenging Mathis for Iowa Senate Talks Constitution, Founding Fathers and Welfare
In an interview edited for conciseness and clarity, Iowa State Senate District 34 hopeful Randi Shannon talks about the Constitution, the Founding Fathers and welfare.
Randi Shannon, 44, is a Cedar Rapids business owner who is running for Iowa Senate District 34. The Republican is challenging incumbant Liz Mathis, a Democrat, who won a special election to claim a seat in the Senate in November.
District 34 is comprised mostly of Marion in addition to Bertram, Ely, Hiawatha, Robins and parts of northeastern Cedar Rapids.
Why did you start running for the Iowa Senate?
The reason that I am running is that America has a unique form of government, unique to the rest of the world. America is a constitutional republic, although you hear many politicians talk about us being a democracy. I think our state and country has gotten so far away from that, that many believe the clock needs to be reset back to a point where we are great again.
Join the conversation on who should get elected, Randi Shannon or Liz Mathis.
How do you see this decline taking place in our district?
Money at the local level and the state level is given out to all kinds of programs, nothing the government does is free. It is shocking to watch the unending spending as our state’s economy continues to slow.
I think one issue that should be dealt with is the welfare system. This should be completely rewritten — currently we spend money and ask nothing in return. People can get on it and stay on it all through childbearing years. What should happen is there should be requirements: a job in a certain amount of time and or skilled training and time limits.
After talking to many of the voters, many agree, there are a lot of road problems. I've heard farmers say their gravel roads are only graded once a year if lucky.
What would be the solution to these issues?
When someone goes to vote in the United States I believe they need to show an ID that shows they do reside in the area and the district. That will change the way a lot of the elections turn out.
The recent 20-year tax proposal that was voted down was recently shortened to 10 years and brought up for a vote again. his is a waste of people's time and money and was still ambiguous as to where that money would go. Once a proposal is voted no there should be a time limit that prevents it from continually being brought up. The reason the Founding Fathers left for their country was the 2.5 percent tax rate and look at our tax system for today. We need to find the waste programs and eliminate them. That would free up funds for the necessary programs, such as better roads.
What are some of the issues you want too focus on for Marion and the rest of our district?
Marion has some of the worst roads around. I need to find out exactly what are their top issues, but the ones I hear most about are high taxes and bad roads.
I think what the government does need to do is to get rid of the pork projects. I don’t know what they are but I want to get in there and find out what they are. We can re-alocate funds without having to raise taxes.
I've taken a pledge with the Americans for Tax Reform, a watchdog group out of DC. I did this voluntarily.
Why will people vote for you?
My business experience, raised four kids because i am principled and do believe that the Constitution is one of our best documents that we have written.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge if you are elected?
I think that there is going to be a huge learning curve because I have never, ever run for anything in my life. Not even student council. But for this district someone need to carry the torch. I have a lot to learn, but I think I will be very principled. I will vote by the Constitution.
In the case that some issue isn’t explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, what will be your decision making process be?
Common sense. Common sense. Government needs to remain small. It needs to be in the best interest of the people and it needs to be common sense and closely align to our Founding Fathers and what they wanted.
How would those who know you describe you?
I’m an entrepreneur for 20 years. I’m very dedicated to my family. I’m hardworking, relentless, and I am always very positive, always very happy about life even though life throws you storms.