Introduction to Platform “web” of Interconnected Issues

Spider web of issues (jpeg)

In addition to the platform issues on this page, please take the time to visit my Gary Siegwarth for IA Governor Facebook Page to be part of my transparent, open discussion, of a diversity of issues and voter perspectives. You will not only discover some fun knew ideas, perspectives, thoughts, pictures, videos, discussions, and music, but you will also see the toughest issues that only I am taking on. There are so many underlying issues that never get discussed because the greed driven “political machine” wants to keep us divided by focusing our attention on a few divisive issues…that mysteriously never seem to get solved. I’m taking a more holistic, educational, and interactive approach in order to give Iowa voters a better voice in sharing their ideas and solving issues.

If you check out and follow the Facebook page, it will give you a direct voice to me. You can ask anything and it’s ME who is personally posting and responding to every comment and every message. Can you get that kind of one on one with any of the other candidates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? I doubt it!

Many of the comments people post on my Facebook page sometimes have nothing to do with the actual post, but that’s ok I’ll do my best to answer or respond as best I can. All I ask on the Facebook page is that you be respectful….and you know what that means. My goal is to create an open forum for people of Iowa to have constructive and informative conversations. That’s the best way we all learn from each other. It’s how we take good ideas and turn them into great ideas. I think Facebook is the perfect transparent place for that conversation to take place because all conversations are there for everyone to see! I won’t be spending money sending out expensive colored mailings or buying expensive TV and YouTube commercials. What you see is what you’re getting with me…a truly genuine candidate that cares about giving the land and people of Iowa a voice. I am a candidate who is always open to new ideas, information, and perspectives.

“Please share this information with others as much as possible because it’s word of mouth that can overcome greed, big money, and divisive party politics!”

I’m providing a visual representation of my holistic platform in the form of a spider web, where all issues are either directly or indirectly connected. We have to lay out all the pieces of any issue before we can truly get closer to solving it. I’m taking on the most challenging issues first, because it is that broken system that keeps us from truly solving those issues. I’m not going to dwell on chronic divisive issues that are purposely put out there in traditional politics as a way to keep people divided. One of my main goals as an Independent Candidate is to bring people together for constructive conversations about Iowa!

You can also visit to see a broader vision I came up with as to how our elected officials should be representing the best interests of the land and people rather than a specific political agenda or special interest.

If you could take some time to read some of the posts on my Facebook page, that would give you a pretty good feel on my perspective for a number of issues that none of the other candidates are talking about. I personally do all the writing and posting on the Facebook page, so if you ask a question it’s me who responds. No other candidate gives you that level of constant interaction with Iowa voters. It’s called transparency. I have more ideas than space will allow, but the Big 4 include:

Top Issues

The following issues are not those you often see simply because no candidate ever tackles them. The following 4 issues are most important because they are the root cause or solution to nearly every other issue imaginable and prevent us from finding a holistic, sustainable, or long-term path forward.

1). Overcoming Divisiveness between political parties:

I want to break through the growing divisiveness between political parties in order to have a constructive conversation about Iowa. I’m the only non-political party candidate. This allows me to bridge the distractive and annoying divisiveness among parties that keeps us from seeking out cooperative and constructive solutions. In reality, the vast majority of people in Iowa are somewhere in the middle when it comes to politics. It’s time for the “silent majority” of Iowa voters to have a voice for a change! (check out for more on this)

2). Breaking the big money and special interest influence of our political system:

I want to give the voice back to the common people and also be a long needed voice for the well-being of our land and water. I’m the only candidate who can do that because I’m not spending millions to put on expensive or negative advertising campaigns that have little substance other than name recognition. My campaign has NO contributions from corporate interests, special interests, political action committees, or political parties. This allows my focus to be totally on what’s best for the land and people of Iowa, as well as the hundreds of native species that also call Iowa home.  Instead of millions in funding, I’ve been sharing creative and unique ideas that none of the other candidates are talking about. If elected I would be the first Independent Governor in the history of Iowa and the first ever to break control away from political parties and big money interests!

Please consider being a part of history by spreading the word, making your own yard signs, talking to your neighbors, sending out a postcard, sharing a Facebook post, or anything you can do to give an unbiased voice back to the land and people of our great state! One of the most important things you can do to make a difference is by VOTING and to get others to vote!

Big money interests directly take away your basic right to vote and be fairly represented. Any attempts by those in power to limit the effectiveness of your vote, whether it be the Koch Brothers pouring billions into the political system with propaganda to influence those voters who don’t take the time to become informed….or payed lobbyists from billion dollar entities who prevent us from solving simple issues like water quality by tricking our legislators into believing their corporate biased rhetoric….or legislators making it more difficult for the common person to vote. All of these kinds of things are a back door approach of taking away your basic right to vote and be fairly represented. It also prevents us from solving simple problems or focusing on exciting long-term ideas.

3). Overhauling the legislative process:

I want to improve the process of how we make laws and decisions. Look at the way our legislative process has been working of late: one side constantly against the other, secret decisions and lobbying behind closed doors, voters and professionals not having as much input as paid lobbyists. It’s ridiculous when you really think about it, but big money interests seem to keep it that way. We would never make decisions that way at the trout hatchery where I work, nor would anyone run a successful business that way.

The truth is, most problems don’t have to be solved in crisis type mode. We should be taking our time, gathering the best information, be transparent, and give voters more information during the process. This is how long term, sustainable decisions and ideas come to be. If we are looking out for what’s best for the people 7 Generations from now, chances are we’re doing what’s best for the land and the people today. Solving most issues and developing the best ideas takes a holistic and cooperative approach.

These first three platform issues have been the biggest obstacle to doing what is best for our state and country! Most could be overcome almost immediately if a non traditional candidate such as myself were to get elected because all voters would be put on an even playing field and given an equal voice! If a Democrat or Republican gets elected, it will just continue the frustrating process of one side automatically against the other and the focus will remain on divisive issues instead of what’s best for Iowa. It doesn’t have to be that way! Most people in and Iowa across the country are so tired of it they’ve distanced themselves from politics altogether!

4). Putting our Natural Resources onto an even playing field with the other issues:

As a Natural Resource Biologist in Fisheries with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for the past 26 years, I know the importance of our natural resources and how they connect to nearly every other thing in our lives and to nearly every other issue. I know how our landscape and water function. I also know about the importance of our natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities to the people of Iowa. I’m tired of the best interests of our air, land, and water always getting pushed to the bottom of the political agenda. In one way or another, our natural resources are one of the most important concerns to the people in Iowa. Our air, land, water, soil, forests, prairies, rivers, parks, diversity of species we share the land with. We need these resources to be here 7 Generations from now for our great-great-great grandchildren to be part of.

Our Natural Resources also connect directly or indirectly to nearly every other issue…from education, to healthcare and mental healthcare, to our own well-being, to the food we eat, to rural and urban economics, to creating opportunities for younger generations to come back to the rural landscape and to our rural & urban communities, to our rural schools. Because of my background in both farming and natural resources, I can provide a number of natural solutions to some of the most seemingly complicated issues.

The vast majority of Iowa voters overwhelmingly support natural resources… Because of my background in both farming and 26 years in Natural Resources with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, I am the only candidate who fully understands the holistic function of those resources and gives a clear voice to the “silent majority” of Iowa voters who also enjoy and support our Natural Resources of Iowa! It’s in our Nature!

Additional Issues and Platform Ideas

For my perspective on a number of new or related issues, I’m including a post from my Gary for Governor Facebook Page. There is more yet to come as there are always additional topics that arise which Iowa voters are concerned with.

As an Independent Candidate with a full-time job to boot, and basically self-funded on a tiny budget compared to the others, I represent:

1.) Less big money control of our political system!

2.) Less divisiveness among people and political parties purposely causing that divisiveness. People I talk to are so tired of this…..we need more cooperation and work together!

3.) Fixing the process of how we go about solving problems & promoting ideas! Is that the way you solve problems at home or in your small business: secret decisions behind closed doors and one side always pitted against the other side? We don’t even make decisions on where to stock trout with that kind of thinking!

4.) The ultimate in fiscal responsibility using and sharing creative ideas rather than wasting your tax dollars. I’m in the “Final Four” just like the other candidates and didn’t have to spend millions to get there. Are they going to continue spending all your tax payer dollars to figure out how to get things done and promote ideas rather than finding creative ways to get those same things accomplished? Come to the trout hatchery and see what we accomplish being short-handed and on a tiny budget.

5.) Giving all people a voice rather than a just the highest bidders!

6.) A strong and knowledgeable voice for Natural Resources! I want to put the best interest of our land, air, water, and all the other species that also call Iowa home, on an equal playing field with all the other issues. I also want to show how our natural resources connect to nearly every other issue.

7.) A strong and knowledgeable voice for Diverse Agriculture! Diversifying agriculture in Iowa is the only way we’re ever going to lure young people back to the land and our rural communities, along with their enthusiasm and creative ideas. I’ve always been told not to put all your eggs in one basket, but that’s exactly what we’re doing with agriculture because it has lead to chronic overproduction, chronic low prices, and has been displacing families from our farms and communities for decades. Because of rock bottom commodity prices again this year, I can see another trickle down fiinancial tax revenue shortfall coming from a mile away. The only way we’re going to break out of this cycle is to start promoting all of the exciting potential ideas that could come back to the Iowa Landscape, giving Farmers more profitable and sustainable options to choose from. This diversity is also the long-term solution to improving water quality as well as diversity of both people and wildlife habitat on the Iowa Landscape.

8.) A long-term and holistic vision for our land, water, and future generations!

9.) A vision for giving young people a voice and inviting them back to rural Iowa as part of diverse & creative agriculture!

10.) Giving public employees and all workers back their voice!

11.) Giving incentives to young entrepreneurs and small businesses rather than millions in tax breaks to giant corporations and pretend-to-be nonprofits!

12.) Listening to the people who know what they are talking about when trying to solve problems and improve ideas rather than just chasing the money that keeps getting the same people elected over and over again!

13.) Figuring out how to provide basic affordable health care in Iowa that doesn’t cost everyone “an arm and a leg” …you accomplish this by listening to those professionals and others who know what they’re talking about, how to solve it, and aren’t driven by greed!

14.) Providing adequate funding to our public school system while fixing some obvious problems at the same time (like people not knowing anything about the Iowa landscape or how it functions)….rather than just blindly throwing more tax payer money at our schools!

15.) Improving our mental health care system to provide help to the people that need some help. At the same time we can solve a lot of stepping-stone ailments like depression, or post combat stress of our Vets, by giving folks a simple dose of nature or a fun experience or a broader perspective of life by doing something as simple and expense free as taking them on an inspiring trip down river!

16.) Creating a youth CCC program that allows kids to give something back first in exchange for some financial assistance with college or starting their own small business. We could even fund this with something like a .10 deposit on cans and plastic bottles that get strewn all over the place. And no, the grocery stores don’t have to take them back because we can find a better way to do that. Also, why should the Distributors be getting the $0.05 deposit money on all those cans and bottles that never get returned…. that makes no sense to me?

17.) Legalizing Hemp and cannabis production to give farmers more profitable crop options, cure simple ailments, bring billions in revenue to our state, and take control of our lives away from the pharmaceutical companies. If it can grow in Iowa, Iowa farmers can figure out a way to do it better than anywhere on the planet. I love the Pharmaceutical sarcasm in this song… which we used to call “the drug store” as kids: This is also a fun song by BR5-49 for any of you Hee-Haw & Andy Griffith Show fans! or yet another for those “New Riders of the Purple Sage” fans out there:

18.) Improve efficiency of state-run programs that waste your tax dollars by giving all of our state and federal programs a simple annual engine Dyno check up and tune-up just like we would tune up the engine in our car to make it run more efficiently or at a high performance.

19.) Giving women their basic right to choose what is best for them or their wellbeing rather than having some legislator telling me how to live my personal life. You know there are some circumstances that arise beyond your short-sited cookie cutter laws. Maybe we could focus more efforts on making our neighborhoods and communities more supportive so someone doesn’t feel so isolated. Yes, it really does take a village to raise a child.

20.) ….and no, I have no interest in diminishing your 2nd Amendment right…. I’d prefer to keep the Browning 12-gauge shotgun my dad gave me, along with an excuse for walking around with my chocolate lab, Woody in all the prairies I’ve helped restore over the years (17 to be exact) as the Clayton County Pheasants Forever Habitat Chair. I’m guessing there’s a few other law-abiding citizens out there who feel the same way.

Just as important, I represent a knowledge of the diversity of both native people and amazing species that once called Iowa home not too long ago. I know why it’s important to let a river meander and why a salamander also needs a place to live. I think there’s a lot of potential to teach current generations about all that diversity that’s been lost and how we can work together to bring just a little bit of it back for the benefit of Iowans 7 generations from now. Chances are if we are thinking ahead and doing what’s best for people and species 7 generations from now, we are likely doing what’s best for us today!

Anyway….that’s just a few of the things I think about as I look beyond tomorrow…and look behind the door!

Topics of interest yet to expand on:

  • Agriculture & Rural Communities (redefining agriculture beyond corn, soybeans, and traditional livestock,bringing young people back to the land and “agrihoods”)
  • Investment in outdoor recreational opportunities
  • Natural resource education (college degree example)
  • Student funding and the Iowa CCC.
  • Reducing health care costs
  • Reducing flooding and improving water quality
  • Retirement savings security
  • Climate change and hypoxia in the gulf
  • Native American Appreciation and education month
  • Reinstating basic bargaining rights for state and public employees
  • Legalization of hemp and cannabis production for Iowa farmers
  • Ambassador of Iowa program (annual appointment of an “Ambassador of Iowa” to help attend and inspire at functions and to expand the Governor’s office presence at statewide functions and events.
  • Ramping up Iowa’s can and plastic bottle deposit program (grocery stores don’t have to take them back, distributer shouldn’t get the deposit money…it should go towards innovative work programs for youth and disadvantaged Iowans
  • Renewable energy
  • Statewide fishing licenses for everyone
  • Bring back important conservation and natural resource programs that are important to both the landscape and its residents.
    • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

    • Springbrook conservation center

    • Forestry Bureau

    • State Geologist

    • Farm pond stocking program

  • Abandoned school building revitalization program
  • Campaign reform and Term Limits (our current system keeps many young people out of decision making)
  • School funding and curriculum reform
  • Compensation for counties that support Iowa’s Forest Reserve Program
  • Aquaculture development program
  • Adding EMS services as an “essential service”
  • Rescinding huge corporate tax breaks and redirect to small business startups
  • Redefining “non profit” status for multimillion dollar corporations like Farm Bureau
  • Internet sales tax…current system is unfair to small town and other merchants
  • Revisit Farm Bill to make suggestions needed for sustainable agriculture
  • Complete audit of tax payer generated expenses statewide in order to make all state funded programs more efficient and reduce tax needs.
  • Fuel tax or user fees on farm machinery, UTV’s and others that use public funded roadways. This fund could actually improve many of the services for these user groups.
  • Eliminating corporate tax loop holes.
  • State program and agency “tune up” for every state run program. You need to keep your vehicle tuned up and change the oil now and then, so why not State Government! I’m sure we could all benefit from it from both a funding and efficient service perspective
  • Iowa Department of Transportation…I shouldn’t have to wait on hold for 45 minutes to ask a simple question before finally giving up and hanging up the phone.