It irks Paul Lunde that he’s often left out of news stories about Iowa’s 2014 U.S. Senate race.
However, the Ames author, attorney and substitute teacher, who in early May announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the seat now held by Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin, isn’t letting that lack of attention deter him from his mission to reform the U.S. Constitution.
If elected, Lunde plans to introduce what he calls the “second Bill of Rights” – 12 constitutional amendments that include making Social Security and Medicare permanent, changing the Electoral College, instituting a limited national sales tax and setting term limits for members of Congress.
“It would be historic,” he says, pointing out that not since James Madison has anyone attempted to win approval of so many amendments at one time.
Lunde, 77, doesn’t expect overnight approval of his amendments by a two-thirds majority of both chambers of Congress and voters in 38 states. However, evidence of his perseverance is the fact that he’s married to Suzanne Clarke, his eighth-grade sweetheart. She would go out with him back then and turned him down when he asked her to the senior prom. Eventually, Lunde, who has two children from a previous marriage, changed her mind.
Politically, Lunde describes himself as an “Eisenhower Republican.”
“I’m very much in the middle,” he says.
Lunde believes his platform of constitutional amendments to modernize and reform the Constitution sets him apart from other Republicans seeking the party’s nomination.
“They’re just Republicans,” Lunde says. “I’m a Republican, but I’m also aiming to get these amendments introduced. It’s going to take someone like me to get in there and get those guys interested one by one … that’s what I’m aiming to do.
“That’s why my campaign is totally different than these other guys,” Lunde says.
"Those other guys," so far, are David Young of Van Meter, Sen. Chuck Grassley's former chief of staff, and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker of Des Moines.
- NAME: Paul Lunde
- AGE: 77
- BORN: Bismarck, North Dakota
- EDUCATION: Bachelor’s and master’s in broadcast journalism, Northwestern University; juris doctor, Harvard Law; bachelor’s in history, Iowa State University
- EXPERIENCE: Army Judge Advocate General; practiced communications law before the FCC; practiced law in Ames; author of Meltdown!: A Book of Real Solutions for Real Problems and Roosevelt’s War: What Really Happened During World War II; substitute teacher
- FAMILY: Wife, Suzanne Clark; two grown children from previous marriage