FairTax bus on the road in Iowa!

Day 5
8/2/2007

Hey there, fellow FairTaxers!

Today was the start of our second week of the Dare to be Fair Iowa bus tour. I know that you’ve been anticipating my blogs (haha) but I think I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll do so again, Monday through Wednesday are our “office days” where we finalize details for the upcoming week and that’s why you haven’t heard from me.

Day 5 bus tour_6So, this morning started off with a nice drive from Des Moines to Grundy Center for a picnic lunch. Once we got to Grundy Center, we picked up Presidential Candidate, Governor Mike Huckabee, with daughter Sarah and a couple of his aides. When he got on the bus, we showed him our South Carolina rally video (by the way, he’s in it!)…he really enjoyed it. He then proceeded to talk about how he became a supporter of the FairTax--by simply reading the book, twice. As all of you know, he’s one of our biggest supporters! When we got there, we had many people already enjoying their lunch while Governor Huckabee was introduced by FairTax’ Iowa State Director, Mark Lucas. Governor Huckabee explained the FairTax and why he supports it, and why they should support it. This guy was very perplexed by the fact that with the FairTax in place, corporations wouldn’t have to pay taxes—he couldn’t understand why companies “like GM aren’t on board.” It was great to see a supporter come about right in front of our eyes! Just like usual, we asked the attendees to produce their commercial on why they don’t like the IRS in our video booth; we had a great turn out—even the Governor made one!

Day 5 bus tourOk, we just left our second and last stop for the day: Eldora, Iowa. This was a nice event, with our best turn-out yet. We had Eldora Mayor Bob Jeske with his wife, City councilwoman, Rebecca Jeske, State Representative Poly Granznow and Hardin County GOP Chairman Andy Cable. Mark Lucas spoke to the crowd about the FairTax, where they all seemed to be very excited about the issue. There was this one guy, had a daughter and several of her friends with her, who couldn’t “relax” about the issue. He kept telling them, “No girls, you just don’t understand how great this is!!” As he walked away, one of the girls said to her friend, “Okay, okay, I’ll support the FairTax!” It was great. Eldora thanked us numerous amounts of times for our hospitality and appreciated us stopping by.

I don’t want to leave out Sean Matula, Josh Sanders, and volunteers for advancing to these sites and getting things ready for the bus and its members! We couldn’t do it without y’all!

Oh, I told you last week that I had a story to share with you! Our bus’ home is in Nashville, TN and in order for the bus to get here on time, John Eperson had to start driving later in the day, meaning he didn’t get to see the bus in daylight. Well, as he was driving up here, people kept honking at him and he wasn’t sure why…he starts to think that he may have a problem with the bus- you know, a flat or a broken taillight. Well, when he got to Iowa, he did a quick look at the bus from all angles and noticed that on the back of the bus it reads, “HONK if you want to keep your whole paycheck!” That just goes to show you that we’re not the only ones wanting this to pass! We all thought that was a great story!

With FairTax love,
Angie Choueifati

PS-We’ve gone almost 1,800 miles on this tour! Go FairTax!


Day 4
7/29/2007

Good afternoon y’all!

This bus tour just keeps getting better and better everyday! I hope that my diary is giving you a sense of what we’re doing, who we’re meeting and how successful this has been so far…I hope you feel like you’re actually on for the ride!

Rep. Steve King speaking about the FairTaxSo, right now I’m sitting on the bus with a few of my closest bus tour buddies: David Polyansky, Mike Rose, Ken Hoagland, Steve Leroy and our bus driver, John Eperson. I must admit, these guys are great to travel with! It’s late Sunday afternoon, we just finished providing lunch for Spencer citizens at the Spencer Community Theatre, Congressman Steve King was with us again, along with District Representative, Brian English. This was a cute little theatre!

 

 

Rep. Steve King greeting dinersAs I was eating my lunch with some Spencer locals, they were telling me that they think the FairTax was a great idea and really appreciated us stopping by their (small) town, providing more information with lunch and frankly, just recognizing them. It’s amazing how these Presidential candidates claim to care about these small towns but hardly ever stop by, even to say hi… actions definitely speak louder than words and that’s exactly why we’re doing this bus tour. We want these small town folks to know that they are just as important as anybody else. Ok, I’ll get off my soap box!

 

Ken Hoagland greeting IowansAlright, last night’s event at the Plymouth County Fair was fabulous! We pulled the bus up right on to the fairgrounds where people got to come sign up with us—as a supporter or to attend the Straw Poll with us. They also, of course, received information, shirts and hats…once again, we were a complete hit! After talking to attendees for a while, David, Mike and I decided to adventure into the fair. Mike was basically our fabulous tour guide since he’s from Idaho, another farm state! This was David’s first fair so he was pretty much as excited as I was a couple of days ago at my first fair! I even snapped a picture of him about to kiss a goat…please don’t tell his pet dog, Toro, he’ll be really upset! Haha. After venturing out with the farm animals, we decided to try our luck at Bingo! This I couldn’t believe but, it was your very own Chief Operating Officer, David’s first time to play Bingo! We played one round of regular Bingo, where none of us won, so we decided to stick around for the blackout Bingo game. I look over at David’s 4 cards and he’s got one space open, I-28. The next spot called was, you guessed it, I-28…as you can imagine an amateur, he’s hesitant to yell, “Bingo!” So, after I nudge him a couple of times on his leg and encourage him to yell “Bingo!” before anybody else does, he looks at me like I’m crazy and decides to finally shout it out! Sure enough, he wins and had to split the $75 jackpot with another winner, with a total prize of $37.50.

Well, we have about a 3 hour drive ahead of us back into Des Moines and I need to get back to working on some stuff, do a little goofing off with the boys on the bus and maybe even take a nap.

I don’t think you’ll be hearing from me until Thursday, August 2nd since Monday through Wednesday are our “office days” to finalize details on this week’s tour. Sorry for the lengthy entries…I don’t even think I should tell y’all that they’ll be shorter from now on because I doubt that! :o)

With FairTax love,
Angie Choueifati

PS-John Eperson, our bus driver, shared a very cute story with me about his trip bringing the bus up to Iowa from Tennessee but, since this is long enough, I’ll share that with y’all next time….it’ll give you something (else) to look forward to!


Day 3
7/28/2007

Hello again from the great state of Iowa!

Today’s been a great third day for the FairTax Bus Tour! The weather’s perfect around here, unlike Houston, it’s not what feels like 500 degrees with a 99% humidity! It’s only about high 80’s and less than 50% humidity; it’s great running-around weather!

Let’s start with last night’s event. We held our own mini-rally last night with some very enthusiastic supporters; it was in the nice town of Atlantic at their train station. If you ever get a chance to come to Iowa, make sure you stop by Atlantic, it’s the Coca Cola Capital of Iowa. FairTax Spokesman, Brian Kennedy always does a great job on stimulating the crowd when he speaks, he did just that at the train station. Just like the other events, we had a good handful of people submit a video on why they don’t like the IRS, along with signing up to attend the Straw Poll with FairTax! That concluded yesterday’s events…well, we did sneak on over to a casino after a debriefing meeting for some gambling action---in case you’re wondering, I lost…and no, I’m not telling you how much! :o)

FairTax bus and Iowa corn fieldThis morning started bright and early at 6:00 a.m with a beautiful scenic drive to Logan from Council Bluffs. For all of you who enjoy nature, you can only imagine the sunrise over corn fields and hills…absolutely beautiful. On our way to Logan, FairTax picked up Congressman Steve King with District Representative Brian English to greet the crowd at our breakfast picnic at Logan City Park. Chief Operating Officer, David Polyansky and Communications Director, Ken Hoagland were also on the FairTax bus to greet supporters at arrival. We were a hit…I don’t want to jinx anything but we’re pretty much on a roll here in Iowa. After our picnic, we headed over to Onowa to have a friendly “lunch with friends.” But before we got there, a few guys were waving us down in a small in-between town so we decided to stop and hand out some shirts and caps.

It was great to see such enthusiasm, two guys were following us around with smiles on their faces; they were our groupies! A guy at the farmer’s market told us, “I’m glad you guys are doing this, we need this!” After a stop into the pharmacy and a small café, we headed on over to lunch. We ate with Onowanian supporters, who provided a great brisket lunch, along with of course, Congressman King. It was a great, laid-back event…something I think we all enjoyed.

FairTax bus at ice cream capital of world, IowaAfter our lunch, we stopped at a Blue Bunny ice cream shop in Le Mars. This was by far my favorite event—and no, not because I got some yummy cotton candy ice cream (which, I may add—David Polyansky and Mike Rose both had a taste—they half-grinned and said “Mmmm” very sarcastically) but because we all sat together and ate ice cream, as if we had known Congressman King for years; he shared many great stories with us. It was definitely an experience to remember!

 

 

FairTax bus and Blue Bunny ice cream truckAlright alright, I know I said I’d have shorter diary entries but if you know me at all, it’s difficult to get me to quit talking! We’re on our way to the fair… I’ll do my best on writing less in tomorrow’s “thoughts from the road!”

With FairTax love,
Angie Choueifati

 

 

 


Day 1 & 2
7/26 & 27/2007

Hey FairTaxers!

I just want to give a fair forewarning that this blog’s going to be my longest one—it consists of  two days of events!

FairTax bus in front of Iowa state capitolLike I said, today’s the second day of the Dare to be Fair FairTax Bus Tour across Iowa and it’s already been so great! This morning Steve Leroy, Mike Rose and I took off from Des Moines and headed over to Greenfield for the Adair County Fair. We showed them the (awesome) FairTax video from the South Carolina rally—they seemed to have really enjoyed it! If you haven’t seen this video, you’re in for a real treat! Our videographer, Mark Spear has done an amazing job; I look forward to the bus tour’s video already!

 

FairTax bus at courthouse plaza, Winterset, IAAs you may or may not know, we have fantastic advance groups including Sean Matula and Josh Sanders who have been here in Iowa setting up all of these events! This morning Josh and volunteers beat us up there a couple of hours before to make sure everything’s in place, set up our table of goodies, post up some FairTax yard signs, etc—you know, making it look great; well, FairTax looks great wherever we go! A special thanks to them!

 

FairTax bus tour - handing out promo itemsSo, at the fair this morning, we had many people sign up to attend the Straw Poll with us in Ames, Iowa! We also have the video-booth set up at each stop where attendees have a chance to win $500 just by submitting their video on why they don’t like the IRS! So, as you can imagine, people are all over that! Just like a fair, there were chickens, rabbits, cows, goats and all sorts of animals! I was raised in metropolitan Houston where there aren’t too many animals, other than pets, running around so it was all very new to me. Very cool I must say!

 

FairTax bus in front of county courthouse, Winterset, IAOk, now let me tell you about last night’s event! We went to Madison County’s Lawn Chair Night where we picked up State Representative Jodi Tymeson on the way—what a sweet lady! When we got there, our advance team had already had our table set up of goodies, which of course, as always, was a hit! We, again, had many people submit their video as well as sign up for the Straw Poll! My personal favorite was this kiddo, about 10 or 12 years old—he walked into the videbooth and started to explain why he doesn’t like the IRS—he mentioned that his parents had lots of papers and worked on their tax return for 4 to 5 days; it was super cute! We are well on our way!

Well, I’m going to go ahead and end this diary since typing on a bus isn’t the best way to prevent motion sickness, haha! We are headed over to our third stop—the FairTax: Dare to be Fair rally in downtown Atlantic, Iowa!

I look forward to writing in my diary tomorrow; I hope you enjoyed my “thoughts from the road” today!

With FairTax love,
Angie Choueifati