Colonel Mike McCalister refuses to engage in negative campaign ads. Consider the ramifications. Regardless of anything said negatively about McCalister, he will not cave on this personal and deeply held stance. Although a simple concept, it says plenty about the conviction of this man who is currently running in Florida for United States Senate.
Gather.com has become aware of the Colonel this past week, while attending a Tea Party Manatee meeting in Bradenton, Florida (the group that endorsed Mike McCalister). This politically aware group has a direct link to many candidates who come to speak at their weekly meetings. After the event, one of the members made a call to the Colonel, who agreed to meet with the author on the following day.
The meeting was at Mixon Fruit Farms, Inc., a wonderful small business that hosts the Tea Party. The Colonel and the author chatted about what is important to him: faith, the economy, national security, and securing the borders. The interview ran into closing time and so the conversation was moved to a local MacDonald's. His stance on many issues is in alignment with Tea Party values, and therefore would no doubt be considered "radical" to the mainstream media.
For example, McCalister believes in a balanced budget amendment and the "fair tax" (which would rid America of the Internal Revenue Service). He has a deep faith in God (and has a good friend in prominent pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne, with whom the Colonel has several discussions highlighted on his website, as well as one with Prophet Guillermo Maldonado), and an unshakable and heartening determination to restore the United States Constitution to align with the intent of the founders.
Credentials? He's got plenty! McCalister is a retired and decorated Veteran with a B.S. in Agriculture and a Ph.D in Management. He is a graduate of The Command and General Staff College and has taught graduate level business courses. He is a licensed and degreed Agri-Business professional and owner-operator of a small tree farm and as if that were not enough, he also completed the prestigious Harvard University Program on Senior Executive Leadership.
The day after the initial interview, McCalister invited Gather.com to come along with him as he spoke at a not-so-local 9/12 event. The long drive gave the author the opportunity to get a feel for the man. He lives in his car lately, traveling from event to event. The Colonel stopped at yet another McDonald's so he could change into a suit. It illustrated that Mike is just a regular guy, despite his very impressive resume. "Out of Touch" is not an apt description for this potential Senator.
The 9/12 group had an impressive gathering of candidates running for a number of offices in Florida. The crowd did not suffer fools and the author will admit to cringing at some of the very tough questions aimed at the speakers. After a grueling hour or so of intense discussion, it was the Colonel's turn to speak. How he would handle the interrogation? Fortunately for him, however, something remarkable happened - he was the only candidate to achieve a standing ovation. This very difficult-to-please crowd was thrilled with McCalister's message.
Gather.com accompanied Colonel McCalister to several other events, including the "One Nation Back to God" Conference held at the River at Tampa Bay. He always stayed until he was sure he spoke with every person who had questions and answered them all with the confidence of one sure in his convictions. On the way home, he personally called people who sent email messages asking about various policy positions through his campaign website. Who does that?
Listen to a brand new radio interview, where Colonel Mike McCalister articulately discusses his platform. It is refreshing (and rare) that a candidate states his beliefs without indulging in attack ads. Aren't Americans hungry for civility?
Watch a Colonel McCalister Campaign advertisement, which explains the Fair Tax.