Beyond The Media Hype – Quast Talks Why He Is Running
Oskaloosa, Iowa – How do you go from obscurity to national headlines? Most first time candidates, that have little or no backing from a political machine, ever find that moment, but one nearly unknown US Senate candidate found his moment in one viral $868 video.
Bob Quast (D) is running for the US Senate seat in Iowa that is being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin. His most immediate opponent is Congressman Bruce Braley (D) who is also running for the seat.
Quast, who made the leap from near obscurity to being on the 10 o’clock nationwide news with his video, says, “I made it for Iowa.” Quast also mentioned, “I’ve yet to meet the first Iowan who does not like the ad.”
Quast said that his video has been Tweeted to over 10 million people in the United States. “It has gone global, literally,” Quast said of the publicity his video and, in turn, his campaign has garnered.
His ad drew attention and criticism from some national press when Vanity Fair called his ad “Terrifying.” Quast says in the video, “If you are the sexual predator and sociopath who murdered my sister Lynnette and you come to my front door to do harm to my girls, I’m going to use my Glock to blow your balls off.”
Quast is a strong believer in the Second Amendment. “I believe in the Constitution and all pieces of it,” says Quast.
The video was also was a spoof on the Joni Ernst campaign video where she says she grew up on a farm castrating hogs. He wanted to give her props on the creative ad, “which people get a little uneasy about hog castration if you’re outside of Iowa. But it’s part of Iowa… I thought it was a good creative ad about cutting pork.” Quast added that “Mr. Braley gave me some material for the other side.”
Quast used material from the Ernst ad, as well as Braley’s gaffe at a Texas fundraiser in his ad. “Any good comedian uses current material. When I saw those two issues come out on the same Tuesday, going into that weekend, I knew I was going to do a video.”
“I figured I would get some attention,” Quast said. “Because nobody knew who I was and I didn’t have Mark Jacobs’ millions of his own money to do anything other than a spoof video. I couldn’t have asked for the multi-million-dollar free campaign that the left and the right gave me. I just say thank you to them.”
Quast didn’t make it on the primary ballot against Braley because of a lack of, according to Quast, 97 signatures. “If I had one more day, I would have been there,” says Quast. Without making it on the ballot, the only way he will beat Braley now is running a write-in campaign for the Democrat nomination.
In order to understand why Quast is running, a history lesson of sorts is needed.
“Quite frankly the only reason Bruce Braley has a competitor today as a write-in candidate in the Democratic Primary is that he has refused for three years, and refuses to this moment, to even return a phone call,” said Quast.
That phone call Quast is looking for is in regard to moving forward a piece of legislation that is named, in honor of his sister Lynnette Quast Craft, Lynnette’s Law. When Braley announced he was running for that Senate seat, Quast, who has felt unrepresented by his Congressman, said, “that made me realize Bruce Braley is absolutely the worst choice of a future US Senator… because he refuses to recognize the will of the people.”
Quast’s sister Lynnette was killed and dismembered by her husband. Quast will tell you he had a lot of guilt “for not saving my sister’s life.” Quast described how his sister had called on a Friday evening and that by Monday his sister was deceased. She had told Quast that she was aware of plans to have her murdered. “He [Lynnette's husband] told her he was going to kill her, and she gave me all the clues I could have needed.”
“I lived for 12 years with a great guilt that my sister was dead and I didn’t save her,” says Quast.
“I’m a fierce advocate for domestic violence awareness, prevention and funding,” Quast said. “I don’t understand how somebody could be against that, unless you’re a crazy person who does something as horrendous as what happened to my sister, or, you’re a defense attorney who makes millions of dollars defending crazy people.”
“I know that Bruce Braley has some attorney friends,” Quast said, eluding to his concerns that Braley has not returned his calls in regards to Lynnette’s Law. “I keep reaching out to him,” says Quast.
According to Quast, he wrote not only to Braley but also 24 other elected officials saying, “I need help stopping this guy who is still not right in the head. He is being released early from prison. He should have had federal charges, but for the fact, I later learned, there is no federal law against premeditated murder across state lines on the internet or crossing state lines (to conceal the crime).”
The law that Quast is proposing that sprang from his sisters murder reads as follows:
- Crossing state lines to conceal a murder shall be an explicit Federal crime punishable by the Federal Government, even when a state may have primary responsibility for prosecuting said crime(s).
- Using the internet to plan and commit premeditated murder shall be an explicit Federal crime punishable by the Federal Government, even when a state may have primary responsibility for prosecuting said crime(s).
Quast said of Lynnette’s Law, “I’ve never found a person, who face to face, would tell me anything but it’s a great idea.”
“I’m 0 of 535,” said Quast. “I’ve reached out to every single member of Congress. I visited all 535 offices in 2011.”
“That’s when I realized that virtually the whole lot of them are unwilling to do something so basic,” Quast said.
Quast will tell you that he agrees with those who say he needs to have a bigger picture if he intends to be a Senator. Quast says that, if elected, he would bring Lynnette’s Law to the floor of the Senate if the bill hasn’t been brought up for debate by another member of Congress.
Quast says that he sees his desire to have Lynnette’s Law even brought to the floor of Congress as a “personal, some may even call a selfish mission, because it does heal me.”
Quast sees himself more as an independent than, associated with any party. “I’m a guy in the middle. I’m an independent in the middle who blames both sides senior management. Voters are good people, the senior managements are both a bit off of what the voters want.”
The other thing Quast says he wants to do if elected is an energy policy. Quast who spent over two decades with MidAmerican Energy where he says he was their expert on fuel procurement. He used the new Google server farm located near Council Bluffs, Iowa as an example of the importance of cheap, reliable energy. The MidAmerican power plant there is a coal fired facility. “There’s a reason Google built build server farms for using the internet next to base load low cost energy which comes from a fossil fuel.”
“It’s because it’s reliable, cheap and it’s going to be there for the next 300 years,” Quast said. “We have more coal in the United States than Saudi Arabia has oil or we have natural gas.”
“What ever your view is on carbon, and just a little science lesson to Al Gore, who got a D, as in dumbo, for his earth science class, carbon first of all is what you burn, carbon dioxide is what is emitted. We we humans being breathe out, carbon dioxide. To have a green planet, they (all things green) breath in carbon dioxide. It’s a really simple concept that escapes the extreme, environmentalist. I’m an environmentalist,” says Quast who indicates he drove his Chevy Spark to the days interview. “I choose not to make a mess, instead of having to have somebody clean-up my mess with a carbon tax or something else. Carbon taxes are a horrible idea.”
Quast said that carbon taxes are harmful to the poor and middle-class. “It will make the middle-class very poor.” Quast added that the tax would give more power to the federal government, something he disagrees with. “That [carbon tax] gives lots of money to the government, then to do disastrous things with because they already have too much power at the federal government. We need to reign in some of that power in a reasonable manner and the way you do that is by giving power back to the people.”
“I believe in climate change,” says Quast. “It’s called the weather. When I was a little kid, they use to say it was going to be the ice age, but the weather changes. I believe the weather is made by Mother Nature, that’s also known as God. If we (man kind) believe we man kind are more powerful than God, I think some of people who call themselves Christian should go to church on Sunday and truly check themselves because the way you do better for Mother Nature is, you don’t make a mess.”
Quast has picked up enough attention now that he’s been given a title of sorts, DINO, or Democrat In Name Only. The Republicans out there with the name RINO may be relieved they have counterparts on the other side of the aisle.
“I like that. That is excellent,” says Quast of his new nickname. “I have a new campaign.” Quast is now looking towards a dinosaur theme for his campaign with t-shirts, “and I look at everyone else as a fossil.”
“These guys are brain dead in DC, they’ve been there forever,” says Quast. “Just look at them. Physically look at them and you’ll see Mitch McConnell on the right. You’ll see Harry Reid on the left and I wonder, do I pray for them and feel bad because they have dementia? Are they really as crazy as the things they say?”
“I would love to be in the Democrat Party and stand up to him [Harry Reid] in the same way I stood up to Warren Buffet when I found a few problems with my chairman at MidAmerican a few years back,” said Quast.
If elected, Quast says, “My bosses are 3.1 million Iowans. If I get elected, I will report only to the 3.1 million Iowans, first and foremost my wife.”
“Bruce Braley, if he’s elected, he will do whatever he’s told by Harry Reid. He will vote 100% the same way, just like he does for Nancy Pelosi. “That is a recipe for disaster. When they have a bad idea, he’s going to say yes ma’am or yes sir, and you’re never going to have somebody stand up to bad ideas in the Senate. That has to be done.”
If Quast doesn’t succeed in defeating Braley in the June primary, he is preparing his campaign to be an Independent candidate in the November election.