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Matthew Waldren says he is different from the two other Republicans seeking the party’s nomination to run for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd District.

“I would say it would be my passion and desire to see the government adhere to the Constitution,” he says.

Waldren, in fact, thinks two-thirds of the federal government’s spending violates the Constitution. That includes Social Security, Medicare and much of the rest of federal outlays. Military spending is fine, he says, and so is spending on on things such as highways and railroads.

But the rest, such as the government’s regulatory reach, violates the country’s founding documents, he says.

“It operates on a command-and-control philosophy,” he says.

Waldren, 39, tests and evaluates products for a window and door company. He acknowledges he faces an uphill battle in the nomination fight.

He hasn’t held elective office, hasn’t raised or spent enough money to even file a financial disclosure and, until recently, has been working at his job full time while talking with voters often at Little League baseball games.

Still, Waldren says his is the fight of the common person, the Iowan who watches government from afar and is frustrated by it.

“I’m climbing a steep hill,” he says, but adds he gets encouragement from people like him.

“I am part of the generation that will inherit the mess that’s being created right now,” he says.

Waldren notes that he has paid into Social Security for years, as have others, and they ought to get something back. But he thinks states are better positioned to provide programs such as Social Security, because they’re closer to people.

At the same time, he suggests that these programs should be smaller.

“We need to teach people how to take care of themselves,” Waldren says.

He also proposes repealing the 16th Amendment to the Constitution that created the federal income tax.

“It’s wrong to punish people for being successful,” he says.

Waldren says he has been able to get to all 24 counties in the district while gathering signatures for his nomination petition and while campaigning. And now that he has taken some vacation time, he says, he will hit every county again before the June 3 primary.

Recently, he took part in a forum at a school in Muscatine, where he got a chance to visit with students.

At a debate last month in Davenport, Waldren mixed with activists, explaining his opposition to the federal Common Core education standards. And he expounded on his view that the federal government has no role in education.

A Loras College poll last month had Waldren at 1 percent, trailing Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Rep. Mark Lofgren.

Despite that, Waldren isn’t discouraged. He is eager to talk about his view of the Constitution and how he thinks the U.S. is moving away from it.

“It’s all I talk about,” he says, “because to me, the Constitution is the rule book by which we have agreed to govern ourselves.”

From the Quad-City Times

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