November 17, 2016

REVIEW | Mifold Booster Car Seat

Some things to know before you buy the hottest new car seats for your kiddoes. Candid review of the Mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat by a father of three young kids who has used a fair number of car seats and booster seats in the past.

November 09, 2016

America's future is bright

Like many, the last 24 hours for me have been intense. I have been among the most stubborn ranks of the #nevertrump crowd. I put my all into doing everything I thought I could to keep Donald Trump from being elected. And yet, Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States of America.

I have said it before, but I'll say it again: I believe so strongly in the American people that I believe we can stand united, even in the face of sometimes disappointing and even divisive leadership. America is, and can always be, as great as We the People make it. And today, from my vantage point, we are making America a light on a hill.

My Facebook feed has become flooded with inspired messages of hope, peace, and love from people from all walks of life and political leanings.

I am beyond grateful to live in a country where I am surrounded by such amazing people. America is already great. And, We the People are making it better every day. God bless America!

November 07, 2016

Official Evan McMullin Endorsement | Third Party Debates Founder

Dear Supporters:

Since I launched my petition a couple months ago, nearly twenty thousand people have signed. Thank you for your support. Your active and civil engagement this election has been inspiring.

I fully recognize that we came together from diverse backgrounds. Some of us came as strong supporters of a particular third party candidate, others came undecided. None of us were willing to settle with the binary choice thrust upon us by the two major political parties.

My personal experience this election has involved a growing dissatisfaction with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. For reasons not worth rehashing here, I simply cannot trust either candidate. That said, I am praying for a peaceful transition after tomorrow. I will try to see the best in whomever we elect president. Even if turns out to be Donald Trump. Even if it turns out to be Hillary Clinton. I will condemn none for voting differently from how I voted. We can agree to disagree. The freedoms of speech and conscience are sacred; they make America great.

I find myself in an interesting position. Through some twist of fate, you all have shown me a significant degree of trust by signing my petition and giving me the opportunity to reach you. I am humbled by this. I have debated long and hard about whether it would be appropriate for me to use this unique opportunity to attempt to unite us behind the individual that I believe to be the best third party presidential candidate for our country at this particular time. I have decided that while we may not agree on all things politically and we may ultimately vote differently from one another this election regardless of endorsements, I know that my personal freedom of speech is safe with you. So, I am going to use it. I encourage you to do the same in the comments on my blog post or on our Third Party Debates Facebook page and, of course, anywhere and everywhere else you deem appropriate. I also specifically invite Jedi Knight (yes, that is his actual name), who has helped me as co-admin of the Third Party Debates Facebook page, to share his own official endorsement of the candidate that he has decided upon because he has chosen to support a different candidate than I have. Do I look down upon him? Do I consider myself his moral or intellectual superior? Of course not! I love him to death and I fully respect his freedom to make his own voice heard.

It is with that lengthy introduction that I announce my official endorsement of Evan McMullin and his running mate, Mindy Finn. Before August, I was leaning towards Gary Johnson. His track record of reigning in budgets and his pledge to shrink big government appeal to me. However, I don't see eye to eye with him on other issues. Still, he appeared to be a better option than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

But then, Evan McMullin suddenly burst into the picture. I have followed Evan McMullin with deep interest since his announcement early August. This video attempts to recap some of what I have witnessed over the past few months. To me, Evan McMullin's momentum has been nothing short of miraculous, especially in light of the fact that his campaign has only had a fraction of the funding and time of all other campaigns. To me, this kind of momentum in spite of the odds, is the mark of a true leader. A leader who inspires.

In addition to following Evan McMullin in the media, I have had the chance to meet him in person. I trust him. I like him. I have also met Mindy Finn. I feel the same way about her.

I have researched their stances on the issues, both on their website and elsewhere online. I don't agree with them on everything, of course. Also, both are human, just like the rest of us. I also recognize that he did not enter the race at the ideal time. But I don't fault him for crossing his fingers for someone with more name recognition and political experience to enter the race and carry the banner of his cause. I admire him beyond words for taking a stand when no one else would, no matter how late in the game.

Like any candidate gaining traction, McMullin has been the victim of misinformation. I have tried to address some of the common myths about him here

It is with great confidence and enthusiasm that I issue my endorsement of Evan McMullin. I pray for unprecedented voter turnout tomorrow. I pray that each voter will at least research the McMullin-Finn ticket and consider casting a vote in that direction. And I pray that each and every voter will vote her or his conscience (even if that means she or he votes for someone else).

One final thought: I believe so strongly in the American people that I believe we can stand united, even in the face of sometimes disappointing and even divisive leadership. Whatever happens tomorrow, whomever is elected, America is, and can always be, as great as We the People make it.

God Bless,


November 05, 2016

Open letter to Evan McMullin | Guest Post

by Becky Turley Rasmussen
Here we are in the last stretch. A little more than 72 hours remain until Election Day polls close. This morning, at 9:00 a.m., my phone chimed and I dismissed a notification from my timer declaring, “Pray for Our Nation!” I stopped folding laundry, closed the door to my room, then knelt in prayer.

Nearly five months ago, my heart sank when the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees were announced for the 2016 Election Cycle. I felt a deep sense of sadness and hopelessness for both my children and this land that I love dearly. In that moment, I remember sending a silent heavenward plea, “Dear God, Please help us!”

A couple of weeks later, on June 30, 2016, I read an article about the possibility of Mitt Romney entering the race. "My wife and kids wanted me to run again this time, interestingly enough," Romney said. "I got an email from one of my sons yesterday, saying 'You gotta get in, Dad! You gotta get in!'"

Hope soared nationwide! Yet Mitt never announced a Hail Mary bid for the White House.

On the eve of Independence Day, I felt so sad. I struggled to muster enthusiasm for our upcoming 4th of July festivities. At church, we sang patriotic songs and I literally cried knowing that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump could provide America the future she deserves. I came home and posted this message on my Facebook timeline:

 "On July 4th 1776 it was necessary to absolve from the British Crown. In our day, July 4th 2016 it is time to absolve both the democratic and republican parties. You don't have to choose between a corrupt criminal and a fraudulent buffoon for your Commander & Chief. America, raise a worthy candidate for President and elect an Independent president for 2016! If you haven't read the declaration of independence recently, read it now. You'll be astounded at how we sought independence from Britain for the same tyranny that our two party system is delivering now."

I spent that day fasting that in some way our God would raise a worthy candidate to save this nation. Little did I know that a man named John Claybrook and a man named Joel Searby had quit their jobs and put their lives on hold in an effort to recruit such a man. I had no idea that two courageous men were fighting my battle as warriors on behalf of me, my children, and millions of other Americans. Their task proved more difficult than they expected. As John and Joel pleaded with former presidential candidates, well known congressman, and celebrity status household names they continually received rejection. Alas, by the end of July, John went home to Austin, Texas, in the face of defeat.

Early in the morning of August 4, John received a text message from Joel Searby announcing, “We have a candidate!” He immediately, booked a flight to meet and interview the candidate, Evan McMullin. In the process of clearing him as a man worthy to represent Americans, they learned that the only questionable detail in McMullin’s background was a speeding ticket from a couple years prior.

It’s important to note that I don’t have access to television in my home. We don’t subscribe to any local or national networks. But on August 8th, 2016 I walked next door to borrow an egg. While I was in my neighbors living room their television announced that, “Evan McMullin, a 40 year old CIA agent and Brigham Young graduate was announcing his bid for the White House.

I couldn’t believe my ears. I immediately ran home and searched for Evan McMullin’s website. I registered as a volunteer and donated money to your campaign. It wasn’t much, maybe $15 or $25. 

On Wednesday, August 10, I received a phone call from John Claybrook, your Deputy Campaign Manager asking me if I would be willing to contact all of the supporters that had registered in Utah and invite them to a campaign launch at the Hub in Salt Lake City. That day I rallied around the table with my children Giana (17), Alia (15), and Isaac (14). We called, text messaged, and left voice mail for everyone on that list.

A surge of hope filled my heart. John expressed so much gratitude and kindness toward our family. He demonstrated the kind of gentleman-like behavior that is missing in our society. As our family engaged in contacting your supporters we learned that so many of them had been praying for someone to save us from a Clinton or Trump presidency.

That night we assembled at the Impact Hub and began our meeting by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I felt chills as our pledge thundered through the room with meaning. I listened to you address hundreds in a crowd at the Impact Hub. I stood nearby and listened to you take questions from skeptical and condescending reporters. I observed your brilliance and candor first hand with a new sense of optimism.

I brought home petition packets and engaged family, friends, neighbors, and perfect strangers in the effort to get you on the ballot in Utah. I felt so honored to act as a courier for the petition signatures. When I delivered Utah County’s petition signatures into the hands of Brian Henderson at the Utah State Capitol I felt like I was truly engaged in a great cause.

Over the next few weeks, I continually promoted you, but began to feel discouraged. It seemed like I was drowning in a pool of apathy and negativity. So many Americans were resigned to our terrible and awful state. At that point, I realized that only God could soften our hearts. I began to pray regularly asking God sincerely, how I could help this campaign. One morning after I offered a sincere prayer, I wrote a Facebook post, that elicited a response from an old friend. I sent her a very long-winded reply that was personal and genuine about why I felt like voting for you was not a wasted vote. That post went viral with more than 5000 shares in one week I had newspapers calling me and people all over the country asking me how they could get involved.

I shared this experience in a closed Facebook group, “Americans for Evan McMullin.” A fellow supporter from the south, meekly asked, “Would it be weird if we all started praying at the same time each day?” Hundreds immediately felt enthusiastic. One supporter from Hawaii said she would wake up at 6:00 a.m. each morning to pray as a nation with us. For the first time in so long we weren’t Mormons vs. Jews or Evangelicals vs. Catholics. We were Americans who loved God and loved one another. You brought us together in an election that has been so divisive.

Within just a few days the campaign started picking up momentum. Pretty soon we were leading Utah and getting national media coverage. Now, here we are just 3 days away from the outcome. I want you to know that no matter the outcome, I am so eternally grateful for the hope you gave us. This election has taught me that God hears and answers our prayers. Even if this election doesn’t end the way I want it to, I know with certainty that God fearing citizens are fighting for goodness in a society that is abandoning principles. I know that a loving father in Heaven blessed this effort and the hands of those who labored on your behalf. My children learned what it means to be latter-day warriors.

I’ll cherish memories of sitting in a conference room planning grass roots efforts with you. I’ll cherish the friendships that formed through this campaign. I’ll work to raise sons that demonstrate the courage that you Joel, and John demonstrated during this election. You are my friend. You are my hero! Thank you for doing what nobody else would.

I want you to know that I have contacted every man and woman in my contact list on your behalf. As I prayed on your behalf this morning I literally wept with tears of gratitude for how close we are to realizing our goal. As I typed this letter to you, I received a text message from my friend Cheryl that reads: Have you voted yet? Are you planning to vote Tues? I’m encouraging my family and friends to vote and make your voice heard!..... (I know you have, but I was inspired by your post and I am working my way down my contact list!) #GoEvan

My vote is my voice! My vote counts and I voted for you! We love you, Evan! I don’t know if I’ll see you on Monday because I have to set up electronic ballot boxes at Freedom Elementary School as the TST Election Worker on Tuesday, but I’ll be celebrating all that we have achieved with you on Tuesday!

When I walk into our Election Party, I will be #ComingHome #McMullin4President.

November 03, 2016

2016 Election Miracle: Evan McMullin


Myth #1
To be gaining this type of momentum, Evan McMullin must have some big money donors.

Evan McMullin's campaign has had only $1.0 million to work with this election. None of it has been outside money. That means none has come from super PACs, party committees, or 501(c) "dark money" interest groups, like the Clinton Foundation.

In contrast, Donald Trump has received $59,389,531 in outside money.  An alarming $189,453,103 of outside money has poured into Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Just how much money have the other campaigns had to convince you that you should vote for their preferred candidate?

Hillary Clinton? $687.1 million.
Donald Trump? $250.0 million.
Gary Johnson? $11.4 million.

Don't believe me? Proof.

What Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn have done with only $1 million in a little more than three months is nothing short of a #2016miracle. If money is not responsible for their success, what is? Simple. Message.

Myth #2
Evan McMullin received $12,000 from the Clinton Foundation.

The Clinton Foundation has paid Evan McMullin nothing. Zero dollars. As mentioned, McMullin has received nothing from any 501(c) and that includes the Clinton Foundation.

This obvious and weak fabrication reflects poorly on those who perpetuate it and the candidates they support. But it does prove one thing. Evan McMullin is much more than a #nobody. To the opposition, he is worth libeling.

Myth #3
Evan McMullin is not married because he is a homosexual with "two mommies."

McMullin's mother is married to another woman. But Evan McMullin advocates for traditional marriage and has promised that he would not leave office without finding a First Lady.

McMullin has been uniquely prepared to foster a desperately needed environment of inclusiveness and tolerance toward the LGBTQ community in this country, while simultaneously standing firm for his personal beliefs regarding traditional marriage.

Myth #4
Only 11 states can vote for Evan McMullin.

This map.
How electrifying would it be to be in one of those states that gets to write in Evan McMullin! I am honestly a little jealous that I live in a state where he is on the ballot. It would be so satisfying to every democratic and patriotic fiber in my soul to go through the ballot check, check, check, and then stop, slow down, and correct the ballot's deficiency by carefully writing in bold, undeniable letters, "E-v-a-n M-c-M-u-l-l-i-n" and chuckle a little as I hop the final hoop of writing in vice presidential ballot placeholder, "N-a-t-h-a-n J-o-h-n-s-o-n," knowing I am really backing Mindy Finn.

Myth #5
Standing up with Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn is a waste of time.

This unfortunate rhetoric exalts a perception of practicality over principle and conscience. This video makes it clear that when you stand up with Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn, you stand on bedrock American principles. And you do not stand alone. Far from it. McMullin's message is sweeping the dry political fibers of this country like a wildfire.

When you #standupwithevan and #standupwithUtah, you join the ranks of millions who have abandoned their fears and dared to hope for a #2016miracle.