Added - 11/06/2012 Concession
Well...the tallies are in and it's not looking good for us. It's hard to believe that only six months have passed since we got together and decided to try out luck at the political game. None of us thought that it would have gone this far. It was a heck of a learning experience, and even if I decide to never attempt a career in politics again (a very likely scenario) I can say that I am satisfied with my experiences in this race and thoroughly enjoyed meeting everybody on the campaign trail.
First off, my sincerest congratulations to Congressman Amodei and his staff. While he has his share of detractors, the Congressman has been nothing but forthright and friendly in our meetings throughout the campaign season. I'm proud to say that neither of our campaigns played dirty. I am sure that Congressman Amodei will continue to serve Nevada's 2nd District in the professional and intelligent manner to which we've become accustomed.
I am fortunate enough to have a number of friends that are as close to me as family. Since I tend to err on the side of caution in naming people on teh interwebs, I'll refrain from doing so here. Nonetheless, a hearty 'thank you' to each and every one of you who put up with my griping, soap-box lecturing, and bouts of frustration over the last several months. This goes double for my brilliantly beautiful, and beautifully brilliant girlfriend, Hannah Childress who should be under consideration for sainthood for her patience and understanding.
The most important person in the campaign was Dennis Bagley. He was our chief organizer, the bouncer of ideas, and the base of sardonic sanity that kept the rest of us motivated. Without him we would not have won the primary, let alone a sizable chunk of the general election. This is also true of my chief adviser Dave Zapeda. Dave was the man who helped me prepare for the debate, and was perhaps my biggest cheerleader. Without him (and Anita and Tom) I would have likely lost any coherence that I had during the debate.
Despite the drastic differences in our political ideologies, my parents Frank and Susan Koepnick have been extremely understanding and supportive throughout the campaign. Also, another set of 'thank yous' to all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles who visited the site and chimed in with their support.
My final thoughts: A plea to Congressman Amodei. Please remember that the legislation voted upon in the House can have serious ramifications to entire industries. It was SOPA that gave us the impetus to start this journey. I beg you, not as a former opponent but as a current constituent, to get the advice of men and women in the industry and not simply follow the party line.
Added - 11/06/2012 Election Day Is Here!
Today is the day, a day where we, the people, have to make a choice. Do we vote for more of the same or do we vote for a change? Can an average man make a difference in the political world and do what's right for our state and nation? The answer is yes! Yes the average man can do it. Sam Koepnick needs your help in this final hour to become that beacon of hope for all of us who have been crying out for a candidate that truly represents us. Please, tell everyone you can that there is a chance of winning this! Vote for Sam, a man of and for the people. Let's win one for the people!
Added - 11/03/2012 In Case You Miseed It
In case you missed the interview last night, here it is for your viewing pleasure. We are one the final stretch folks, let's send our man to Washington!
Added - 11/02/2012 Interview On Channel 8
Watch Channel 8 news tonight at 5 to watch an interview filmed today of Sam Koepnick. Listen to the thoughts and views of the candidate who is of and for the people!
Added - 10/29/2012 Short Response to Marijuana Concerns
I'd like to preface this by saying that I do not partake in any sort of use of marijuana (or any other type of recreational drug). I believe that Americans can be trusted to make responsible decisions, and I have decided that the risk of dependence is simply too high for what I consider to be a nominal effect.
I have received a startling backlash of comments from people dead set against the legalization of marijuana. I'd like to refute (politely, of course) the arguments that have been sent.
Marijuana is a Schedule I drug - First off, we cannot use the tables used by the Controlled Substances Act to determine which drugs are more devastating. It is true that drugs such as Cocaine, Methylphenidate, and various opiates are Schedule II drugs. All this means is that the United States government does not recognize any medical benefits arising from the use of marijuana. Contrast this with the findings of Oregon, California, Wisconsin, and Iowa, all of whom have passed, or are in the process of passing bills recognizing the medical benefits of marijuana.
Were it not for a booming, billion dollar alcohol industry there is zero doubt in my mind that liquor would be a Schedule I drug as well. What would you rather find in your child's room...a joint or a heroin needle?
What will I tell my children? - You can explain this to your children in the same way that you explain alcohol use. There is a responsible way to use these drugs. Marijuana, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate all affect brain chemistry in one way or another. Our choice to outlaw one over the others is arbitrary at best, and an anachronistic nod to the moral paranoia of Prohibition.
Added - 10/24/2012 Sam's Rants and Ramblings
There are a number of things that I don't understand about the modern world. I don't understand how the U.S. Patent Office issues patents on ridiculously obvious “innovations”. I don't understand how another tissue is always ready when you pull one out of the box. This post is about two other contentious issues, which to my mind should be quite simple.
I have yet to hear a coherent argument as to why it should be made illegal. I would like to take a moment to refute a few of the more common arguments:
- It intrudes on religious freedom – In the United States, marriage is an institution backed solely by the state. While it can be argued (tenuously so) that marriage has its roots in religion, our intellectual forefathers made a decision to found a secular state and to separate religion from the government. Where, exactly is the outrage when an atheist couple gets married?
- It will warp the minds of the children – I almost always cringe when an argument is made that passing an oppressive piece of legislation will be good “for the children”. Nowadays, an interracial couple doesn't even merit the batting of an eye. Decades ago it was illegal, and one of the many arguments made against it was the effect it would have on the children of such marriages. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.
- It weakens traditional marriage – This one is simple. If the idea of a committed couple getting married is enough to make you question your own vows, you may want to look inside before blaming people that you've never met for your own hangups.
So what's the answer? There is no easy answer. In time society will grow more liberal in its beliefs (it always does) and in a few generations we'll have something else to argue about. Until then I would like to err on the side of state's rights and let them decide whether or not they will allow these marriages to be performed. At the same time, we need a federal law recognizing unions performed in other states.
In 1920, the 18th amendment was passed and prohibition began. In 1933 the 21st amendment was passed and Prohibition ended. Around this same time, opiates and marijuana were also outlawed. I believe that it's time to end the failed experiment that is the war on drugs. Our prisons are overcrowded, we're putting away non-violent offenders for years at a time for carrying a few ounces of a plant. Why not kill several birds with one stone?
- We can reduce the prison population and keep non-violent offenders from becoming hardened criminals.
- We can tax the living daylights out of marijuana and use some of the proceeds to fund rehab programs and stick the rest in the general fund.
- We can put a crimp on the river of drug money flowing to Central and South American countries.
In the minds of most Americans, the list of prohibited drugs is quite arbitrary. Why do we allow alcohol, which can be addictive and life-destroying, and disallow marijuana? The human body can become physically dependent on almost any chemically altering substance. It's time our government started treating its citizens as responsible adults and end the prohibition on marijuana.
Added - 10/22/2012 The unasked questions.
The debate from Thursday went off quite well and I am pleased to say that there wasn't any mudslinging or cat fighting so prevalant in some of the more highly televised debates. Despite that, Sam only had one hour to debate Mr. Amodei and while the questions asked were very much on the minds of Nevadans, not all the issues were brought up. Over the next few days, I plan to post the thoughts and plans of our candidate here for all to see in regards to what issues you care about. Education, gay marriage, legalization of cannabis, these will be asked and answered so that you, the voter, knows what is in Sam's heart. Don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions you want Sam to answer. It's crunch time folks, let us keep up the good work!
Added - 10/18/2012 Debate tonight!
Tonight in Reno, there will be a debate between Sam and Mark Amodei. Check it out at 8pm on KNPB channel 5 or listen to 88.7 FM if you can't watch. Please tune in to hear more of Sam's plans to help our state and our nation!
Added - 9/27/2012 - We have a commercial now!
I want to thank Jeff Bonano of Bonano Productions for his hard work on making a commercial for the campaign. You can check it out on youtube at
Please tell everyone to check it out! We can't stop now, we have to charge forward head on!
Added - 9/14/2012 - A word from campaign manager, Dennis Bagley - Momentum
Friends, with the conventions behind us we are seeing political races on all levels heat up. Usually, this is when a campaign really pulls out all the stops to get their message out there. Could they get by on simple billboards and commercials or is a more direct approach needed? Knocking on doors is an option that leads to a better "bond" with the people. You would be hard pressed to miss any of this. Obviously, we need to take it all with a grain of salt. Ultimately, the choice lies within your own heart and beliefs.
Time has shown me that we need our own extra push. Ordinary measures such as billboards or mailers are not in the cards at the moment because of the point we are trying to make. Money is not abundant for us and yet, despite that, Sam won the primary on $17. Building upon that, we continue to fight to make our voice heard. Rarely am I in conversation anymore where I don't at least ask for people to give Sam a look. A candidate for the people who doesn't have the backing of millions of dollars, a candidate of the people who understands the struggles we all face, that is who Sam is.
Despite the calls from those who think it's hopeless to fight and try to win, we continue to move forward and build momentum. You have the power to help us make a stand, spread the word and let us be heard.
Added - 9/6/2012 - A word from campaign manager, Dennis Bagley - Obligation v. Desire
I've often been asked throughout this campaign a simple yet perplexing question: why don't you do fund raising? In an election, money is a very important resource as you need it for ads, signs, literature, etc. Since the beginning, we have held to the ideal that the average man can win without having a fortune to back him up. With that said, there are other reasons as well.
When it comes to this campaign, the "staff" consists of three core members and lot of supporters who are spreading word-of-mouth our message. The simple fact of the matter is that all of us have full time jobs that we need in order to pay bills and put food on the table. As such, we are limited to how much time could be put into fund raising. I'd prefer to focus on getting word out there that the average man is fighting to win your vote and help our state and country over attempting to charm a few bucks from folks.
That's not say that people can't donate in some way to our cause. Make a sign, tell your friends, get the facts on the candidates, discuss what you want from your representative, etc. I feel that if it's done in this way, you can see exactly what you paid for.
The other aspect of the funding comes from those who would donate. Sam is an unknown, is it worth the risk if he isn't elected? Weighing in risk/reward, it's easy to see why people aren't willing to donate large sums of money. In many ways, elections are like an investment and everyone wants to cash in big after the dust settles.
I've given this subject much thought and it seems to me that when it comes to donations, you see the difference between obligation and genuine desire. If you have a group that, for example, wants it in law or wants something done on a governmental level that all school children receive an apple each day in class, they will search out the candidate they think will spearhead that ideal. When that candidate takes the funds and puts the ideal on their list of things-to-do, are they really helping the cause? They took the funds under the premise that the ideal would be fought for even if said candidate didn't believe in the ideal. Obligation to that ideal isn't something that will receive the full 100% of effort because the candidate simply doesn't believe in it.
Genuine desire, now that's where you see true passion and heart. If you or your representative believes wholeheartedly that this ideal is worth fighting for, they will fight that much harder. It goes beyond politics into everyday life; playing on sports team, painting a landscape, helping children, all of these are met with a visible difference if they are dealt with genuine desire.
I'm not obligated to help Sam, I desire to help him win. I urge all of you to look into your hearts and find if you feel obligated to vote for someone, or you genuinely desire to vote for who you think is the best.
Added - 7/31/2012 - A word from campaign manager, Dennis Bagley
With the recent revving up of the election machine, we find ourselves assaulted with a massive barrage of ads. It's understandable that given this crucial time, you want your name and ideals out there so the citizens know who you are. In the last few cycles however, the tone of these ads has gotten progressively dirtier.
No longer is it about putting themselves in a positive light. No longer is it about presenting ideas and solutions. No, now it's about making your opponent look like a complete fool who is incapable of doing the job. The muckraking is only beginning, it will get worse the closer we get to November.
Recently it was stated that roughly 90% of the ads produced were negative. It's truly sad that you have to dig to find the remaining 10% to see what the candidate's plans are. This isn't even prevalent to one side or the other, both sides of the aisle engage in this behavior. Have we fallen so far that we only want to see a fight rather than hear what can be done to save our nation?
There is a small glimmer of hope within the rational minds of this great nation. Many will simply ignore or change the channel as soon as an ad airs. Why listen to such toxic speech when you can avoid it? To some, it seems to preserve one's sanity from the negativity. Others are angered by the content of the ads and what is perceived as more shock value than wholesome content. This is an important time for our nation as a whole, not some glorified reality show or boxing match.
It is time we send a message loud and clear; we want ideas, not attacks! We want solutions, not dirty laundry! We are the people, we have the voice, we have to take a stand. I implore you, read into what the candidates are really about, not what the other guy is telling you. Let us prove that the negativity, the attacks, the muck, will no longer be the main weapon in their arsenal. If they desire our vote, let them be true leaders and not hooligans.
Update - 6/17/2012
Now that we've passed the first hurdle, it's time to take this thing to the next level. As you can tell from the front page, I haven't been very good at continually posting items on this site. Starting now, once per week I'm going to set aside some time to write about a topic of local or national importance. I've also decided to start (sigh) tweeting once per day. Follow me @samuelkoepnick to learn what random fact or thought I'll be spilling out today. I'm still adamantly against fund raising, but acknowledge the need to get our message out there. We'll be looking into ways of selling clothing and other random things, it looks like a Zazzle shop will be in order. If you have any ideas for funny slogans and/or drawings please feel free to forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll get full credit on the site. Stay tuned for more updates.
Update - 6/16/2012
Wow, is all I can say. I'll compose a more comprehensive post tomorrow, but for now I want to thank my opponents Xio Rodriguez and Sam Dehne. There was no slander and nothing but positivity in my dealings with both of you.
I just gave a couple of blurbs over the telephone and both times I was told that no Democrat has ever won the 2nd District. I look forward to the challenge. I don't care about party affiliation, I only care about doing what's best for our state and our country. I'm often called a 'centrist' and I embrace that label with more eagerness than I do with 'Democrat' because I am willing to look at every side of an issue to determine the best course of action. We're taking back our government one seat at a time.
Update - 4/26/2012
I made a vow to myself when I first started this process that I was going to be different, that I was not going to attack my opponents. I find myself having to backtrack from that for a moment.
I was aghast when Representative Amodei voted 'aye' on the SOPA bill. Thankfully it died a violent death and for a few months, our country was better for it. Today, the House passed the mother of all terrifying bills. Once again, the government feels that we as a people are cowed enough by the threat of terrorism to accept any kind of surveillance or intrusion of privacy. Representative Amodei voted in the affirmative on the CISPA bill which passed 248-168 giving the federal government and internet service providers unprecedented power over our data.
In a tragically funny take on a meme, part of the bill that was changed was done so that all one has to do is be accused of a cybercrime, of potentially hurting an individual, or potentially harming a child. If President Obama does not veto this bill, internet service providers and third party websites will be required to turn over any information about us that the government deems fit to fight cybercrime or protect people. I've been told that they would never abuse these powers and that we should simply accept it, after all if we haven't done anything wrong we have nothing to hide. Logic like that disgusts me as it should any real American. Issues like these are bi-partisan and anybody foolish or criminally stupid enough to sign their name onto one of these bills should be run out of office.
Sometimes I wonder if these guys read 1984 by George Orwell and didn't see a cautionary tale so much as they saw a blueprint.
Update - 4/02/2012
- My family and I are all okay after being hit by a drunk driver over the weekend. I sustained a nasty concussion and some neck problems, but am otherwise fine. A huge thank you to the Reno Police Department and the staff at Renown for making the experience pleasant.
- The technological platform is up! I feel this is my strongest point as a candidate and would value any input or insight
Update - 3/21/2012
- So far I'm up to 23 likes on Facebook. It seems like a small number, but I expect it to grow as election season gets under way.
- I'm still not sure what to do with Twitter. As soon as I get enough followers I'd like to use it to gather input.
- I've been talking with people around town and around the state to figure out what's important. The answer is...everything. Nonetheless, I've added some more goodness to the platform.
- As always, hit me up on the ol' Facebook with any thoughts, questions, or rants.
Update - 3/14/2012
Please pardon our dust. This website has gone from a twinkle in the eye of the developer, to what you see before you in just a matter of days. In the weeks ahead we'll be adding more media, information, and other important items to this site.
What to expect:
- A calendar with important dates and options to download to iOS, Android, and other clients
- A statement of purpose and an expanded platform from the candidate
- Downloadable signage and other media
- Many more pictures of our candidate, and our crew
- Updated profiles of the core members of our crew
With that out of the way, please continue. We are ecstatic to have you here and want to let you know what we're all about.
Who are you?
In short, I (and my associates) are a group of like-minded Nevadans who have become concerned with the direction that our state and country have been headed over the last several years. We are ordinary people who believe that we can make a difference in the way we are governed. Feel free to head over to the About Us page for more detailed information.
The biggest aspect of my political ideology is this: Partisan politics is destroying our political arena. Both major parties have begun catering to their own extreme elements in an attempt to distance themselves from the "other" guys. Instead of focusing on good governance, they have turned it into a game of Red vs. Blue. Each side is so intent that they win, that nothing of importance can be accomplished. The only way to get our country out of this quagmire is to elect regular people into office. It is my personal dream, that in 50 years the term "professional politician" is seen as the oxymoron that it deserves to be.
What makes me different?
The short answer to this is that we're neither politicians nor lawyers. We believe that we are far more qualified to represent our state than a person who has never had to work a blue-collar job, lived paycheck to paycheck, and struggled to live while working through college. As the candidate, I will abide by the following promises:
- I will seek no more than two terms as a representative
- I will not accept donations from people or corporations over $5.00
- I will be completely transparent in all spending
- I will not make any kind of investment or play the stock market while in office
What are your core beliefs?
- Nevada has a tremendous amount of potential to be a leader in a number of new industries. Combined with our plentiful natural resources, we believe that with the right leadership, Nevada will be spoken of in the same light as Silicon Valley as the next center of development
- The current Congress of the United States is severely unqualified to legislate new technologies. Bills such as SOPA, and PIPA will only serve to stifle innovation, doing nothing to stem the tide of online piracy that they purport to stop, all while invading the privacy of the common person. Bills such as these must be stopped by any means necessary and their creators and backers swiftly voted out of office
- The revolving door between government and industry needs to be closed. The number of representatives and staff going to work in industries that they once regulated is simply unacceptable.
- Money is not speech, and corporations are not people. We must respectfully disagree with the United States Supreme Court and say that the decision recognizing both of the aforementioned ideas has done more to damage American democracy than anything in our nation's history.