The “Back Road” Touring Rolls On…

Where’s Joe? – Check back regularly to find out “Where’s Joe?” today.

The following is a recap of his most recent campaign tour.


Joe has recently completed a 10-state, 3,600 mile campaign swing – bringing his Campaign 2004 mileage total to 32,000 miles, and counting. (And he is currently back in his hometown of Bluffton, Ohio readying for a 7,000 mile tour this summer.)

“pro-life across the board”

During his most recent tour, the candidate, 49, talked at a Moral Theology class at St. Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Indiana. He said to the class that he is “pro-life across the board.” That is, he said he is against abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, embryonic stem cell research… Joe (front) with Mark Schumacher, former monk at the Genessee Monestary in New York, at St. Meinrad Seminary

The Jasper (IN) Herald noted the candidate’s pro-life stance also sets him against poverty, pollution and anything else that can bring about premature death.

“concerned parent”

In Boon, Indiana, on Joe’s next stop, the candidate told Fox News he was running as a “concerned parent.” He said he was concerned about mounting levels of violence, drugs and sex in America.

With the camera rolling, Schriner also told a group at Yesterdaze Restaurant in Boon, that no matter how much he wanted their vote, “brain sandwiches” (an actual favorite menu item in southern Indiana) would not be served at his Inauguration dinner.

“I have my limits!” Schriner laughed.


However, Schriner wasn’t laughing when he caught up with another group in Mt. Vernon, Illinois on his next stop. Here the candidate walked in solidarity with a group of people from area churches during a Friday night protest-picket of a local “Gentleman’s Club” that features exotic dancers.

Rev. Ron Lash of Corinthian’s Baptist Church here told Schriner that the Club sends the wrong message to area youth and it was time the adults took a public stand.


And it is a stand of another sort that Bob Eddleman and other Knights of Columbus in Poplar Bluff, Missouri are taking. Eddleman told Schriner the Knights here spearheaded a drive recently to get a “SAVE THE UNBORN” gravestone designed and placed in front of Sacred Heart Church here.

Schriner told the Daily American Republic newspaper in Poplar Bluff that with abortion we are living in a “modern day Holocaust.”

$4.50 a plate

The campaign then headed to Wichita where the night Schriner arrived, vice-president Dick Cheney gave a $1,000 a plate fundraiser at a posh downtown hotel here.

The next morning, Schriner talked at Emilia’s Restaurant in Wichita for $4.50 a plate (and it was only that much if you got the bacon) event.

Schriner talked to a Men’s group from Hope Mennonite Church at Emilia’s, not about the campaign, but about a book he’d recently written about his hometown: America’s Best Town (Bluffton, Ohio 45817). He explained his hometown is “best,” or at least one of the best, when it comes to civic participation, social justice outreach, diversity, environmental stewardship…

“Often in America when we think ‘best’ quality of life, we think affluence, climate, and so on,” said Schriner. “But shouldn’t we be looking deeper than that?”

Go Zones

After the talk, Schriner met with the director of a non-profit agency that is looking deeper at quality of life issues in the inner city of Wichita. Interfaith Ministries here has set up “Go Zones,” which are 15 block areas in the heart of the city.

In each zone, churches from outlying areas twin with these inner city churches and with AmeriCorps volunteers to create a safety net network that the candidate said is one of “the most creative models he’s seen in the country.”

Rt. 82

Schriner then headed into Texas for a tour along Rt. 82.

He told a reporter for the Gainsville Daily Register thtat “…if we heal the family in America, we heal the country – at it’s roots.”

In Sherman, Texas the candidate met with Joan Smith, whose sons have been serving in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Later, when Mrs. Smith was interviewed by the Sherman newspaper about the likelihood of Schriner someday making it to D.C., she replied: “They all thought Noah was crazy.”

And with that endorsement, Schriner continued east.

back to basics

In Paris, Texas Schriner talked with city council candidate J.L. Nick Hammond who is running on a no-nonsense, basic platform. His campaign literature simply says he want to: “Improve Basic City Services.”

And it’s getting “back to basics,” Schriner told Hammond, that his campaign was all about as well. Schriner explained for the past 12 years he has traveld America looking for basic, common sense people going the “extra-mile” to make a difference.

And he wants to take these people to D.C. with him.

postcards from ‘Paris’

While in Paris, Schriner also picked up a postcard of a local museum to send to his friend Dale Way back in Bluffton, Ohio. (To put food on the table in between tours, Schriner will sometimes work with Dale, who is the town handyman.)

Just the month prior, Dale had gone to Paris, France to visit the museums there.

The candidate said he was torn between sending Dale the Paris, Texas museum postcard, or the Paris, Texas postcard picture of the Eiffel Tower – with a cowboy hat on top.

“I hope the decisions in D.C. aren’t as tough,” Schriner smiled.


Schriner then made a decision to drop down from Rt. 82 into Bastrop, Louisiana. Schriner told KTRY radio host Henry cotton there that modern farmers are using harmful chemical cocktails, in the form of herbicides and pesticides, that are tremendously depleting the soil and adding considerably to cancer rates across the country.

The candidate’s agricultural platform calls for a sweeping shift to going back to growing organically and he has researched a number of models to help lead farming this way, en mass.

Friends & Neighbors

We headed into Mississippi, stopping first in Eupora (pop. 2,326). There we met with GlenMary Sister Alies Therese. (The GlenMary Sisters work throughout the rural south.)

Sr. Therese told me she has helped start a Friends & Neighbors project where town people, all town people (Hispanics, Blacks, Whites…) are invited to weekly potluck, story telling, quilting… to increase community building here.

I also talked to Sister’s GED class for the underprivileged, which is operated through her church, St. John Neuman here.

Space Program?

We then headed farther east, where I talked to a Catholic Student Association connected to Mississippi State University.

I told the students, as president, I would work to end the U.S. Space Program. I told the students that we are spending literally trillions of dollars to explore Mars to see if there was ever any water on it, while children all over the world every day on this planet: are dying from drinking contaminated water in the Third World.

“Where do you think Jesus would put the money?” I asked.

The next day on the personal website of the Catholic Student Association’s Vocation Director, he wrote that I got him to thinking, social justice wise, about things in a light he otherwise wouldn’t have.

Note: The night I talked to the MSU students, their basketball team (ranked 4th in the nation) was playing the last home game of the season. I, light-heartedly during a prayer before the talk, asked God to consider letting MSU beat Vanderbilt by 10 that night.

A couple days later, a story appeared in MSU’s campus paper The Reflector about my visit. One student at the talk told the reporter he was “unimpressed,” saying I’d prayed for MSU to beat Vanderbilt.

“And we were playing Auburn,” he said.

Ok, maybe we do need some more consultants.

Common sense

From Mississippi State University, we headed north to Greensboro College in North Carolina where I gave a talk to a Political Science class there.

Learning my lesson, I didn’t pray about any of Greensboro’s sports teams, but rather talked about the current debate regarding: “separation of church and state.”

I said I didn’t believe there should be a separation.

I asked the class what a common sight is on every third, or fourth street corner in America.

They said: churches.

I said if there’s that many, that must mean spirituality is important to a lot of people in America. And if it’s important to a lot of people, wouldn’t it make sense, “average Joe” common sense, that this spirituality influences government policy?

Brown Bag

In Staunton, Virginia we had lunch and ‘pressed some flesh’ in their downtown Brown Bag Express. Each week the menu changes, I was told. One of the employees, Tommy Tigert, who has strong political leanings he said, regularly proffers editorial comments on current affairs in between the list of food items.

What’s more, each week there is a different theme (of all kinds) which the food items themselves reflect.

For instance, this week was ‘Shakespearean Week’ and one of the sandwiches was listed as: “Et Tu Bratwurst.”

While Tommy said he couldn’t guarantee he’d vote for me, he did say he’d consider naming a sandwich, or two, after me.

[And he made good the following week with: “The average Brat for the average guy.”]


Further into the mountains, we stopped in Beckley, West Virginia where we met with Fr. Samuel Malacaman who shares the same stance as us (and the Catholic Church) on one of the most debated issues of the day. Gay marriage.

He said in God’s Natural Order, “man and woman” were joined together for two things: the fostering of love and procreation. Fr. Malacaman said a gay union can’t do the latter.

Or, in more “average Joe” common sense terms: the parts don’t fit.

What’s more, when we start tampering with God’s design for the nuclear family, or with His genetic codes for cloning, and so on, not only are we off spiritually – we’re nuts!

Also while in Beckley, I gave a short talk to the “Ladies of St. Francis de Sales.” I commended them on their work with Birthright to help end abortion, their prison ministry and the wonderful church library that they run.

Having said all that, I paused, then I said something else. Something that, I’m sure, will cost me a few votes in Beckley.

I said just the day before I’d met with a woman in Staunton, Virginia, who has been to Haiti twice as part of a sister church project. I told the women that this woman said here eyes had really been opened to “the plight of the poor,” and that she had been struck by how “skinny” most people in Haiti were because of lack of food.

I then said to the group that, given this, I wondered if the $3,400 they were about to spend on a dishwasher for the church here was, oh, the best expenditure. I also said the $3,400 could go a long way in feeding some of those people in Haiti (Uganda, Biafra…). And whatever happened to a little elbow grease and friendly community-building chatter while hand washing the church dishes anyway?

*I was just kidding earlier when I said earlier that we: “pander to everyone.”

Then it was back to Ohio to prepare for the next tour.

About Joe Schriner

Common man, Common sense, Uncommon solutions. "In an era when presidential campaigns run on multi-million dollar war chests, lavish fundraising dinners and high gloss television ads, Joe Schriner is a different breed of candidate." - The Herald, Monterey, California. Joe at a glance... Age: 56. Family: Husband of 17 years, and father. Faith: Catholic. Home state: Ohio. Graduate of Bowling Green State University. Journalist and author. Also a former addictions counselor, with an emphasis on family systems. Independent presidential candidate in four successive election cycles. On the road campaigning extensively. In between campaign tours, now does part-time house painting and light handyman work to make ends meet (aka: Joe the painter). Volunteer work with: Brown County (OH) Board of Mental Health; Catholic Worker outreach to the poor in the inner city of Cleveland; We Are the Uninsured Healthcare Movement in Ohio. Inner city youth league baseball and soccer coach (won some, lost some). Hobbies: Trying to beat his wife at "Scrabble," weight lifting, swimming, photography, sandlot baseball, soccer, football and basketball with his children. In Joe's words... I'm, for the most part, your average Midwesterner, I told the Duluth (MN) News. I jog in a pair of gray sweats. My favorite spots to eat are your basic diners. Whats more, I cut my own lawn. Oh, and Im running for president. I told the Lancaster (OH) Eagle Gazette that the reason I am running for president is that I am a concerned parent. That is, I don't want to leave a world of climate change, war, abortion, rural and inner city poverty, violent streets, nuclear proliferation, astronomical national debt, little social security, dwindling access to healthcare to our children. What sane parent would? Now, I didn't go to Harvard, Yale, or even Rutgers for that matter. I went to Bowling Green State University where I majored in journalism. I then worked for a couple intermediate-sized Ohio newspapers. I later became an addictions counselor. And in 1990, as a lead up to the presidential run, I took my journalism skills on the road to look for common sense solutions to the societal problems I outlined above. And in some tremendously extensive, cross-country research (that has continued during my years of campaigning), I've found those solutions.        Getting policies enacted... Amidst abject poverty on the Southside of Chicago, I learned how to end homelessness. In Atwood, Kansas (pop. 1,500), I learned how to balance the National Budget. In Grand Junction, Colorado, I learned how to get quality healthcare for all. In High Springs, Florida, I learned how to end global warming, for good. In Eunice, New Mexico, I learned how to unequivocally solve the immigration issue. And it was with this information, and much more, that I am running for president. No big money. No special interest backing. Just with tried solutions to make the country a much better place for our kids. While campaigning for president the past 12 years (and over 100,000 road miles), I've been telling people about these answers in hundreds of talks, more than 1,000 newspapers, a lot of radio, television and in a very up-close-and-personal way on the street corners of America. I told Channel 10 News in Albany, Georgia, that I can get a policy enacted long before I ever get to D.C., if somebody picks up on an idea and tries it in their town. And who knows how far out it will ripple out from there. So in a small way, I said during a talk at Toledo University, I am already president now! The students all smiled, politely. Be the change... I am also a firm believer that this won't be a better world for our children until more of us follow the saying: Be the change you want to see in the world. In this pursuit, my family and I try to live the messages we are conveying, at least the best we can. On a radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana, I said our platform asks some people to consider moving into the inner cities of America to live side-by-side with the poor. So our family moved to the heart of Cleveland, Ohio, where we volunteered at an outreach to the poor. I told the Tifton (GA) Gazette that our family has also set aside a Christ Room for the homeless at our place. And in D.C. we'd do the same thing in the West Wing. Just like I may well be looking for a youth baseball team to coach when I get there. I recently coached an inner city Rec. Center League team in Cleveland. On draft day I picked the kids who looked liked they'd be picked last, first. And apparently I did pretty well with this, because we lost almost all the games. Many of the kids on the team, sadly, didn't have a father at home. And many of these families don't have healthcare insurance either, just like two million other Ohioans. To help try to reverse this, my children and I have done volunteer work for the We Are The Uninsured Movement in Ohio. The reason our children are involved is because Liz and I want them learning as much about helping others -- as they do learning about math, science and English, I told The Mississippi Press. In fact, our education platform calls for a lot more local community involvement with students. I we also propose many more classes be focused on environmental awareness. To do our family's part for the environment, we created a "Kyoto Protocol Home Zone." (I even put a "Kyoto Protocol Home Zone" sign up in the front yard, to Liz's embarrassment.) We live in small places, use little air conditioning, cut the thermostat back in the winter, bicycle or walk almost everywhere within a five-mile radius and we recycle practically everything. And in D.C., we'd do all this as well. I mean, those big black limos alone can be such gas guzzlers anyway, right? Heal the family... "My concern for the environment, for the disadvantaged, for the unborn flows out of my spirituality. I'm Catholic, and trying to live the essence of the Gospel message is what I try to be about," I told columnist Mike Haynes of the Amarillo (TX) Globe News. And part of living the Gospel message is being centered in faith, having time for family, being concerned about others. I'm not the poster guy for all that, but I try. What's more, its Liz and my role to make sure our children have a wholesome and emotionally healthy upbringing. And I have some additional expertise in the latter area. Besides having been a journalist, I was also a counselor who worked with family system dynamics. And it is my contention that the current breakdown of the family in America (parents being physically or emotionally abusive, or absent, or addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, media entertainment, work) is creating a constellation of societal problems, I told ABC News in Monterey, California. Because of these dysfunctional family dynamics (and they seem to be everywhere these days), kids grow up depressed, angry and emotionally empty. As a result, incidence of domestic violence, street violence, addiction, mental and emotional problems spike in kind for the next generation, and the next... "So to heal the country, you have to heal the family. Theres just no way around it," I told the Bangor (ME) News. And we have a solid plan to do this, based on research weve done in Arthur, Illinois, Holbrook, Arizona, Carmel Valley, California, etc. Snow shoveling... Now when I'm not grappling with these pressing societal issues, my wife Liz is beating me at "Scrabble" (an issue in itself), or I'm playing racquetball with some buddies, or I'm trading baseball cards with our kids. That is, I'm doing all this in between doing chores for Liz. During a campaign talk in Wichita, Kansas, I was asked what the first thing I'd do as president was. I responded that "wed get to D.C. in January, so it would probably be snowing. If that, indeed, were the case -- the first thing Liz would have me do is: shovel the walk. " That will probably be a new one for the Secret Service. And so it goes... Joe

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