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Clovis: Compassionate conservatism

Pardon the pun, but Clovis does seem to have some good points.

April 25, 2014
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

Just taking a glance at Republican Sam Clovis' bio is enough to convince you that he's probably overqualified for the job he's seeking - US senator representing Iowa.

His vitae would likely qualify him for the position of US secretary of state.

A tenured professor at Morningside in Sioux City, Clovis grew up in rural Kansas then went through the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant, serving in the Air Force for 25 years.

From there, he served in the Pentagon and in the Middle East as chief of the office of military cooperation in Bahrain. He retired with the rank of full colonel, decorated with the Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for service in Middle East combat zones

Clovis received his MBA from Golden Gate University and his doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama. And his websi%te,, is about as comprehensive as any you'll find for any candidate for any office.

From Hinton, Clovis closely identifies with Rep. Steve King, with whom he sees "little daylight" from himself.

And if you want to get a good laugh out of Clovis, ask him to tell the differences between himself and Tom Harkin, the senator he hopes to replace.

While serving as a fellow at the Homeland Security Institute, Clovis worked on an immigration policy paper that pretty much outlined his views. He believes the US should start registering people here illegally and anyone found to be a habitual criminal or felon needs to be deported. And anyone using identify fraud to secure benefits should also be deported.

It should come as no surprise that Clovis sees a lot of similarities between the current crisis in Ukraine with the Cold War.

"It's ironic that all us old dinosaurs are being dusted off," said Clovis, making a colorful metaphor of a growing reality - that Vladimir Putin wants to piece together the former Soviet Union.

"It's a Russian issue," said Clovis. "It's an autocratic Russian ruler who's seeking to reestablish the borders of the old Russian empire."

Observing that Ukraine has only been an independent nation for 23 years, Clovis noted both a leaning toward Russia as well as democracy among its people. "I think Ukraine will ultimately end up going to

Russia because it would be safer for them," he said.

Ukraine could be a lesson for how the West should conduct itself from now on in Eastern Europe, said Clovis.

And yet, he seems to have his doubts.

"The President or the administration doesn't have a clue on how to deal with this," said Clovis, adding that he would support President Obama if he put ABMs in Poland.

While he believes that the Affordable Care Act must eventually be repealed, Clovis said that's not likely to happen in the next congress. He said what the next congress has to do is offer President Obama the opportunity to fix the pieces currently broken.

"Piece by piece, we can fix a lot of these issues," said Clovis, who favors tort reform, block granting Medicare and allowing states to opt out of exchanges.

"We need to take a look at this legislation today and is it like the original legislation," said Clovis.

Clovis also has a frank answer for the growing effort to raise the minimum wage.

"What's the minimum wage of someone who loses his job," said Clovis, noting that most earning the minimum wage are males 16-25 still living with parents.

Addressing a question about the conflict between the federal government, which still classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, and Colorado and Washington which have legalized pot for recreational use, Clovis said as written currently those state laws are in violation of existing federal laws. He favors changing marijuana from its current Schedule 1 status.

"I'm open to this," said Clovis. "I think this is a discussion we need to have."

To solve the high youth unemployment rate, Clovis favors some sort of universal service program for youth in which they could work, earn money and have their college paid for.

Unlike other candidates who may be just stepping into the political pool, Clovis' experience has given him a realistic perspective.

"I don't think that any single person can go to Washington, D.C. and change the country," said Clovis. "But I can change the chemistry within the Republican Party. I think that is absolutely critical."



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