Fellow Illinoisans, lend me your ears.

{Video: Don't Vote for Brad}

Brad Ahrens

Printable: Window Sign (B&W) [OR] Window Sign (Color)

Candidate for Congress (IL 17)
Based in Kewanee, Illinois
The Hog Capital of the World.
Welcome, friends. Relax, put your feet up. Let's chat.

About Me:

Who is Brad Ahrens?

The Flash
Why do I wear a bright striped bow tie in my videos? It's a persona I created specifically for the videos. You noticed it. You are thinking about it. You won't forget it at the polls. I'm running a $500 campaign against $500,000 campaigns, so it's brains over brawn. People smile when they see it. I've made their day without saying a word, and that matters.

I'm Not Rich, but I'm Kind
'The Ghetto' has love, and that's more than the richest neighborhoods have. Come hang out in "Elmo's Neighborhood" anytime. (Elmo has been my friend for 30 years. She's awesome.) I'll bring you out a chair. We can discuss anything. Here's a topic: I understand clothes do not make the man, men make clothes. I don't own a $500 suit and tie, and that seems OK by me. Hearts should be judged, not clothes. Styles fade, but kindness, honesty, and integrity lasts forever, and you can not buy those. You'll have to accept me as I am.

I'm a straight shooter. I'll tell it like it is, and I don't hold much back. Though, it's been suggested that I should tone it down by my campaign manager Nikki, and fellow Green Party members, which I have. YOU ALL ARE AWESOME!

Special mention: Anna Schiefelbein. She's very smart, and is always on top of what's going on. She's the best! You won't go wrong checking out her campaign here:
Anna for Illinois State House District 85

A Good Neighbor
I'm the guy who sees a neighborhood kid of about 6 years, dragging her bicycle around pretending to ride it, possibly to not upset her mom. So, I scrap my plans for the day and go for a long walk. I scrounge through an assortment of parts to see what I had. I make a deal with a buddy of mine for a part he was recently interested in, and walk several miles to his home to make a fair trade. With my cargo pants clanging with tools, I finally arrive, and ask her if I can replace her back rim and tire, while explaining the bent rim was dragging against the frame. It was an odd yellow and tad bit rusty, but, by golly a perfect fit. And off she went happy as a jay bird. It's what I do.

The pen is mightier than the sword.
...And keyboards are mightier than guns. There are many evils in the world, but we can fight back. Save the family farm? Not just a movie cliché, we really did that. Help bring domestic abuse victims to safe homes? No problem. Then there are projects I was asked to not talk about in this campaign. I'll leave it at that for now.

Next Section

My Vision

Welcome to My World...

What makes a good leader? I'd say bringing new ideas to the table is a good start. We have two ears and one mouth, so how about listening twice as much as I talk? I'll put my money where my mouth is as well.

  • Can NOT SPAM Act

    Skip Section

    We all know the calls. Talking about the car warranty we don't have, and in my case, the car I don't own. Now they are hijacking numbers, such as the call I received from a police station in Canada the officers never made.

    The FTC website says quote "If you’re getting a lot of robocalls trying to sell you something, odds are the calls are illegal." The issue? Acording to Kewanee Police Department, they don't have the manpower nor the technology to do anything about it.

    We need to update the outdated Can SPAM Act and create a task force of white hat hackers to shut them down. I think we should open up this conversation, and fully support efforts by Consumer Reports. It's not partisan politics, it affects us all. Let's fix this!

  • Mom N' Pops / Craftsmen

    Skip Section

    I've talked to Progressives, Liberals, Libertarians, and Conservatives, and the same idea keeps coming up: Bring back Mom N' Pop Shops.
    When I was a kid, we'd ride our bicycles to the park. On the corner was Tom and Vicki Lapan's Grocery. They knew everyone. "Lemonheads, sir?" Vicki would say as I made my way to the back to play Excitebike. "Thank you!" I'd reply.
    Let's bring back full service, smiles, and family owned. I'll get the ball rolling...

  • Launching in 3, 2, 1

    Skip Section

    I'm a programmer. I built this website. If elected, I'll set up a grant, and launch a website where people can suggest businesses they would like to see, or businesses they'd like to open. Business plans posted can be reviewed and voted on. Grants will be given to cover all of the start up costs for the most popular plans. The owners will have to pay back $0.00, and no strings will be attached.

    I'll personally donate as much as possible, every spare penny. Studio apartment that accepts cats? Food? Bus to Capitol Hill? That's all I need. The rest of the $174,000 I'd earn as a Congressman will go to help others.

    I can't solve poverty on my own, of course. I'll do everything I can, and inspire the generous folks of District 17 such as yourself. We can pull people out from below the poverty line to productive members of our communities, and pay it forward to the next one in a snowball effect!

  • Fix Minimum Wage Laws

    Skip Section

    We've been arguing for $15 / hour for quite some time now. During the Great Resignation, companies raised wages to entice workers to return / stay. If they can do it now, they could always have done it.

    Furthermore, we are the only nation on the planet that has both (A) Minimum Wage Laws and (B) has politicians adjust the minimum wage. We have not changed the Minimum Wage since 2009, in fact! Why don't we have economists adjust the minimum wage every 6 months or a year?

    If it works in all other nations with Minimum Wage laws, it'll work here.

  • Our Economy is Tilted

    Skip Section

    Businesses should be run for humans, not profits! I have a 5 foot tall chart to drive home the point. (No, really.) I might have a solution to put a dent into the problem, and it's much simpler than you are led to believe.

    Side Bar: Bathroom breaks are mandatory!
    {Looks at Tyson Foods, Inc.}

Where I'm Coming From

I've Got Some Policies.

This will give you a quick overview of where I stand on these common issues. However, I give a brief overview in the next section. Click underlined titles to jump to any specific policy.

For YouTube videos on all policies, see this Play List. (Videos will be added as the campaign goes on.)

Policies and Where I'm coming from:
Life Experiences and the Future

What sets me apart from the Status Quo.

I did everything I was told I was supposed to. I found out those don't work out. I got downsized out of a job. Companies are not loyal, it's not the workers. Need a better job? I went to college and graduated, with full expectation that everything would improve. It didn't. I now had a $32,000 piece of grill starting paper, minimum wage job, and a mortgage I couldn't afford. I later realized I wasn't the only one, it was all too common. It's time to own up to the problems Americans face, and fix them.

First, I believe in the Green Party's 10 Key Values!

The Places We'll Go - My Policies

Illegal Humans? Skip Section

Immigration Policy

A Real Solution to a Fake Problem

I disallow fear and ignorance in arguments. Before we even begin to debate this important topic, I present a reminder from the Statue of Liberty... Lest we've forgotten who we are:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

To those who would oppose this idea: We are ALL immigrants, and we turned out OK!

We need to get something straight. Migrant workers have been a part of American history since basically the beginning, as early as the 1820's, decades before many cities in our District even existed. (Example, Kewanee was established in 1854.) In the 1924 Immigration Act, when Border Patrol was created, they were not considered illegal immigrants. In 1965, the A-Team was a failure. (Google it.) American farmers still need the help, and all we have accomplished was criminalizing their workers.

So, why not set up websites that guide them through the process, even before they get here, and waive the fees as much as possible? For those who have said "they should come here legally," you can't back out of that now. If they are here legally, they are here legally, and you can't change your tune. So, we'll do just that. The farmers win, the economy wins, the migrant workers win, and we don't have to truck as much produce here from Mexico. Everyone wins.
Back to Policies Menu

Let's be Sensible! Skip Section

Gun Policy

What Actually Works

Fact: Guns can not be "un-invented." No such thing. They exist, and they will continue to exist. There's no way around this fact.

I fully support the 2nd Amendment. I understand that the 1st Amendment keeps the 2nd Amendment enabled, and the 2nd Amendment keeps the 1st Amendment enabled. Have you noticed that? So, what do you suppose would happen if we retracted one of them? NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I disallow it!

That being established, let's talk about guns. It's been said many times "Guns don't kill people, people kill people with guns." I'm glad we understand that, because we don't make laws for guns, we make laws for people.

Background checks for guns don't work. Universal background checks are an improvement in the sense that it covers ALL sales, regardless of where it takes place, but, still not a solution. In fact, it wouldn't change anything over all. Why? The database used by the FBI is missing millions of records. Another problem is that background checks look at people who are already considered high risk, and people who have no criminal history. What it doesn't do is look at people in the 3rd category, that of people who can be dangerous but do not yet have a record.

We should have to have a mandatory firearm safety course before all sales. Then, we should have to fill out a form at the police station, complete with fingerprints and a background check. Following that, all local agencies of places you have lived are directly contacted, as well as the department of mental health. Currently, in Massachusetts, this process takes about 3 weeks to do. This would defuse anyone who wants to buy a gun in the heat of being angry, allowing them to cool off, before they commit a crime with the gun they purchased in only 5 minutes.

There, that wasn't so bad, now was it? A licensing system makes sense. In Connecticut, this lowered homicide and suicide by guns, but in Missouri, where they repealed this system, both of those went up. You do the math.
Back to Policies Menu

Let's be Ready Skip Section

Renewable Energy Policy

Future or Dark Ages?

Renewable is a misnomer. It should be called Continuous Energy. The sun never stops putting out tons of energy, the wind is always blowing somewhere on the planet, and the ocean waves never cease, thanks to the moon. Fossil fuels can't even come close.

I'm assuming we know why fossil fuels are not refereed to as "renewable," right? That's correct. It's because they are not renewable. We are going to be ready, or we are not. I choose to be ready for when they run out. Some estimates put this at around 2050!
Back to Policies Menu

Put Your Feet Up Skip Section

Marijuana Policy

Light 'em if You Got 'em

Watching my roommate suffer and die was not a pleasant experience. The only thing that comforted him in his last days? You guessed it, weed. As long as we are sensible about it, I have no issues with it. Sure, we can restrict driving while high and such, but there are so many things we can do with it that it boggles the mind. Legalize it across the board!
Back to Policies Menu

The Earth Weeps Skip Section

Climate Change Policy

Science Over Fear

Let's clear up some obvious confusion. Climate, not weather. Global, not local.
There was never a "debate" over climate change. This was propagated by Exxon Mobile, the very same company who hired the scientists who discovered it in the first place. Instead of diversifying, they double downed on fossil fuels and placed ads that looked like "news" stories to present an opposing view they made up.
Don't believe it? Perhaps we can do experiments together so you can see for yourself that climate change is real. I will try to even make a video you can follow along to. The science is in, and it does exist.
Back to Policies Menu

POWs, Graves, Death... Skip Section

Military Spending Policy

Bring Them Home!

Question: What military action can you perform that will bring world peace? The only one that I can think of is nuke the world, which is obviously not the way we want peace.

Question: If your neighbor was tending her children, would you feel unsafe? What if he was stocking up grenades?
What we do can be seen by others. If we do aggressive things, we make others worry. If we do passive things, we make others feel safe. This is not complicated.

Our troops are supposed to protect our nation as a last resort, not go off and get killed fighting for the petrodollar. Bring them home.

If we cut military spending in half, we could do much more positive things than we can currently imagine, but first, we need to get rid of the paranoid "Everyone wants to take our freedom away" rhetoric. It's simply not true.
Back to Policies Menu

Roads, Bridges, Water... Skip Section

Infrastructure Policy

Don't Fail Me Now!

Hugely important for obvious reasons. I don't want to be on a bridge with a "deficient" rating on it's report card. If it needs repaired, it takes priority over a great many other things. Wouldn't you agree?

Here I ranked it as "70%" in importance on the graph above. What I mean is that it could easily jump to the top of the list at any point if deemed necessary, but I'm more inclined to work on health care and well being as priorities.
Back to Policies Menu

Humans Over Profit! Skip Section

Corporate Greed

Corporations are Not People

Corporations are basically their own small governments, and exploit workers. The worst offenders use welfare programs to pass the wages they should be paying onto the public.
Back to Policies Menu

School of Hard Knocks

Summer 1988 Skip Section

Dark Angel

A Superhero is Born

Whether you came by phone booth or DeLorean, welcome back to 1988.

When I was about 13 years old I was at my grandma's house. No, it was nowhere near Halloween. Just something I came up with. I put some orange felt, a pair of sunglasses, and a green vest on her chair and asked if I could use her sewing machine. Obviously she knew what I was really asking. She was a whiz at that.
Grandma: What are you making?
Me: A superhero costume.
Grandma: A superhero costume, oh great! Do you have a name picked out?
Me: Yes, Dark Angel.
Grandma: I'm not sure I understand. What does it mean?
Me: Angel. Because they can convince people to do what's right and don't have to use force. Dark. Because he asks for nothing in return and no one knows his name.
Grandma: What a great idea, sounds exciting! Come over here so I can measure your neck.
Me: For the cape?
Grandma: For the cape, and for the vest. Do you know why?
Me: Why, grandma?
Grandma: Because no matter what the bad guys throw at you, you got to be able to hold your head up high. And you know what?
Me: What?
Grandma: I like how slippery the vest material is. Great choice.
Me: You do?
Grandma: Yea, it'll make it easy to wipe off the dirt when you get knocked down, but you'll always dust yourself off and stand tall.
Me: Like a real superhero.
Grandma: And don't you forget it.

October 2018 Skip Section

At the Bottom on Top of a Hill

A Revolution was Seeded

Let me throw a factoid out at you: Suicide rates increased 33% between 1999 and 2019. I would say that is a good indicator of the increasingly oppressive state of our society. I'm no exception. I too struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. One night, this previous story crossed my mind along with many other thoughts. There's only one way out, and it's not a positive route. It involves weighing out the quickest, easiest, least messy death you can do on your own versus the aftermath of the event. No one should have such a mind set, but I did. I finally ended up in a corn field and sitting in the rain. I had given up completely. The rain stopped, and the moon shone down on me. It looked angry. I started to feel angry, too. No one should ever feel useless or worthless, and I intend to make sure of that. My inner weakness became my inner strength. I was ready.

September 2021 Skip Section

An Idea Evolved

Rocket Boosters Applied

I decided to present my ideas to the folks who were listening. The response blew me away. Apparently, people liked the idea of free homeless shelters, a free community garden utilizing land the county already owned, and revamping old buildings and offering start-up Mom N' Pops free rent to get started. So, my Mayoral campaign was off the ground.

So why did I not win? I'm convinced I had it won. As one reporter said, "You're the most talked about candidate in Kewanee that I can remember," he said privately. I'm not here to be dishonest with you, so you'll always get the full disclosure on who I am. I was forced out of the race. The District Attorney approached me and informed me of something I was not yet aware of. In Illinois, one couldn't take office on the local level if he/she has ANY felony, no matter how much time has lapsed, or the actual charge or circumstances. [Full Disclosure: {Video: Don't Vote for Brad}] As of June 2021, "local office" was expanded to cover ALL offices created by the state constitution.

Yes, that means that you couldn't even vote for Jesus himself were he to run for office in Illinois. Yet, I'd argue he was a death row inmate, and turned out OK. No matter. It does NOT bar me from taking FEDERAL office. I've expanded some of my ideas, and am ready to, as it says on a big sign in my window, "Dream Big." {Dusts himself off.} As I always say, "It either works, or you get a bigger hammer." In other words, you get up, dig in, and push harder.

Though I have sent my petition for governor's pardon as of October 2021, a pardon is not required. I was going to go federal at some point anyway, so I'll just start changing the world directly from the top! ;)

Present Day Skip Section

I Can't Do this Alone

We Are ALL Heroes!

The question is, do you have YOUR cape? You see what I see. A corrupt government where everyone pretends it's the other guy who's accepting what equates to a legal bribe.
Look around, and see that as much as 80% of Americans are working paycheck-to-paycheck, inches from falling off the cliff into homelessness, while some rich, greedy billionaire rides a... uh ... um... *ahem* rocket into the sky, on money he stole from his own workers, no less!

It's time to lift each other up, instead of knocking each other down. It's time to focus on the ones pulling the strings, rather than be their puppets. It's time to UNITE. Are you part of the real life Justice League? What are we waiting for? NOTHING.

Now seating! The Ahrens Airliner 747,000, room for all. Non-Stop flight to DC. It's not "toot toot," it's more like "RAWRRRRRrrrr WHOOSH!"

Schedule and Events!

Where I'll be, and what I'll be up to. I plan to have a lot of fun with you all, don't be shy!

January 13th, 2022
Launch Campaign and Website Officially

January 13th & a 1/2, 2022
Website Crashes and Burns (Reboot!)

April 13th, 2022
Start Collecting 5,000+ Signatures

June 17th, 2022
RICO Talent Show – Adult Karaoke
East Moline, IL 5PM - 10PM

June 18th, 2022
Juneteenth Fest 2
John Gwynn Park: Carver Center
Peoria, IL 11AM - 6PM

June 26th, 2022
Expo Gardens Giant Flea Market
Peoria, IL 8:30AM

July 8th, 2022
Submit Nomination Petition (600+ Pages!)

November 8th, 2022
Win a Fair Election

Virtual Hugs and Contact Information

I'll get back with you as soon as possible! Thank you!

There's only one me, and 700,000+ citizens in the district. I will respond to as many suggestions and inquiries as possible, though!

Write a Snail Mail

307 Liberty Lane
Apartment 106
Kewanee, IL

Text Me At

Phone: (309) 540 - 8328

Social Media

Zero Dollar Campaign

Also Known As "I Don't Give a Buck to Zuck!"
--> Make Contribution Here <--
I'm counting on old fashioned handshakes and word of mouth! ZERO DOLLARS will be used for negative ad videos. Not one penny will be spent on future landfill postcards stuffed into your mail box.

This is REAL grass roots the old fashioned way. Last time I checked, grass doesn't have money, but there's thousands of them and they change the landscape. I advocate for what I refer to as "Action Donations." That is, click Like, Share, Tag your friends, and click 'to Feed' to promote the campaign. [Facebook Page Here] That's $20 in advertising, but more effective, and Zuckerberg doesn't make a penny.

Where does the money go, then? Donations will go directly to pay homeless, struggling veterans, low income folks, and retirees to talk to folks about the campaign! It's the only reason I'm taking donations.
NOTE: Donations over $200 won't be accepted. No PAC or Corporate donations will be accepted.