Dwyer hopes to cut down government waste

Part-time farmer and business man brings Libertarian perspective
Monday, October 20, 2008 | 5:50 p.m. CDT; updated 10:53 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Christopher Dwyer

COLUMBIA — Dressed in a clean blue shirt and khaki pants, Chris Dwyer looked a bit out of place in a pasture feeding sheep from a feed trough. But, running for state Senate while a full-time stay-at-home dad and a part-time farmer and business man has turned him into a multi-tasker.

Dwyer maintains his usual routine: getting his children ready for school every morning, feeding the animals then working two days a week at McDonald's. But he's also in a three-way contest for the 19th District seat in the Missouri Senate. What are his chances?

Christopher Dwyer

RESIDENCE: Hallsville

PERSONAL: 41. He is married to Maxine Dwyer. They have two children.


OCCUPATION: Stay-at-home father, landlord, animal farmer and co-owner of Lazy Acres Farm, LLC, a company that buys tax liens.

EDUCATION: Data processing classes at North County Tech School.

BACKGROUND: Dwyer used to own a pest-control business and served in the Air Force for four years, working in entomology and water purification.

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"Well, since there are three of us," he said, " 33 1/3 percent."

Dwyer is running as the Libertarian Party candidate for the Senate district that represents Boone and Randolph counties. He said he brings a business owner's perspective on the economy that gives him an edge over his opponents.

Born outside St. Louis, Dwyer is one of five children. His father held a series of truck driving jobs that paid for their house but left the family with little room for luxuries. He started working at a young age, cutting grass for a company then working at McDonald's in high school and as a store manager of a full-service Sinclair station. He went to North County Technical School to learn data processing after high school. But in 1991, he decided things weren't progressing the way he would like, so he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

"I didn't see a future in what I was doing so I wanted to learn a technical skill for when I was a citizen," Dwyer said.

Dwyer worked in entomology and pest control and as a water purification specialist while in the Air Force. But he was also involved in a severe accident during his service at a North Dakota base. On December 7, 1993, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he and another airman were making their way down an icy road in a pickup when their vehicle slid over black ice and swung into the path of an oncoming train. The passenger was killed instantly; Dwyer suffered injuries to his back and foot.

"Every time you come across railroad tracks that thought came into my mind," Dwyer said. "When I think about it, it was just a matter of seconds was all it was, and we would have been over the tracks. But I'm a believer in fate and if it was meant to be, I guess it was meant to be."

Dwyer met his wife, Maxine, in 1992 while working part-time at a McDonald's where she worked. After his military service, Dwyer started a successful pest-control business, which he later sold so he could take care of their two children, Taylor and Brian, while Maxine managed three McDonald's restaurants. Dwyer's sister, Joanne Farrah, said Dwyer is dedicated to his children.

"He is a really fantastic father," Farrah said. "He's great with his kids. He has fun with them."

Farrah said that in high school, she remembers Dwyer was always busy holding down a couple jobs while keeping up with his studies.

Last year, Dwyer and his siblings went into business purchasing properties with tax liens in Missouri. Farrah said Dwyer's knowledge of Boone County and confident business strategies are an asset to the company.

"He believes in himself, and believes in the decisions he makes with our company," Farrah said.

Dwyer's said his belief that government is wasteful prompted him to seek public office. If elected, he said, he he would work to get rid of the state income tax and replace it with a sales tax. With no income tax, businesses would be encouraged to come to Missouri, he said.

"Once you move to that tax system, you basically take out the hidden tax so the consumer can see it," Dwyer said. He said business owners pass income tax onto consumers through their pricing.

"You're paying the tax now whether you see it or not," he said.

Dwyer acknowledged that election to the Senate also would require him to adjust his role as the primary caretaker in his family. "I don't know what all that job entails," he said of the time commitment senators have to make.

Dwyer's political stances reflect most Libertarian views. He does not, however, believe in legalizing all drugs, and he thinks children should be covered under insurance plans.

"I'm concerned about welfare and well-being and development of children because they are at the mercy of their parents," Dwyer said. "We shouldn't punish a kid because of what his parents are."

Dwyer is a believer in personal responsibility, so he believes people who suffer from health conditions that are the result of lifestyle choices should not be insured.

"I'm saying pre-existing conditions as far as your older generations saying, I'm overweight and now I have diabetes, or I smoked and now I have lung cancer, those are choices that you've made," Dwyer said.

You won't see any large signs with Dwyer's name on them by the side of the highway, and you won't see his face on any television commercials. But he hopes his ideas penetrate the campaign discussion. He said he doesn't feel overlooked, but he was disappointed that organizations such as the Missouri Farm Bureau did not at least consider endorsing him.

"I was surprised that they didn't look at the only farmer who is running," he said.

Dwyer also was not invited to a candidate forum hosted by the Associated Students of the University of Missouri.

Maxine Dwyer is very supportive of her husband, but she hasn't been a big contributor to the campaign.

"She doesn't like to be involved in my political career," Dwyer said, adding that she had little to say when he told her of his plans to run for the office.

"I can tell you what my boss said," Dwyer said. "He said: 'You're running as a Libertarian! You're not going to get any votes.' I said that with my wife I expect to get at least two.

"If I wind up with only one, I know something happened."


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Charles Dudley Jr October 20, 2008 | 7:19 p.m.

>>>Dwyer is a believer in personal responsibility, so he believes people who suffer from health conditions that are the result of lifestyle choices should not be insured. "I'm saying pre-existing conditions as far as your older generations saying, I'm overweight and now I have diabetes, or I smoked and now I have lung cancer, those are choices that you've made," Dwyer said. <<<

I wonder if he actually realizes that mental difficulties that have gone undiagnosed in people have been found to aggravate these very same problems. Just ask any qualified doctor or psychologist about this.

I think it is great he is all for childrens health care.

I am sure Dwyer is very sincere in what he believes and as such I wish him the best but it is often the case that alot of politicians do not study up on the needs of the disabled as a whole,their needs and their care.

There are over 1 million disabled citizens in this state and as such that is a very powerful voting base.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 20, 2008 | 11:30 p.m.

Wikipedia has Missouri's population at 5,878,415, so one 1 in 6 people (not even voters) are considered disabled?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 21, 2008 | 4:27 a.m.

Hey those are the numbers that I was given by officials who have done and looked at the statistics. Believe it or not it is your choice. Go ask the top people in the disability advocacy agencies if you do not believe.

Why is it so hard to believe that number. There are over 50 million disabled citizens across the entire United States.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 21, 2008 | 7:01 a.m.

I can believe that it's one in six, considering how many people use a bad back, ADHD, Tourette's, etc. to qualify for the public dole. Why work when you can sponge off others?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 21, 2008 | 2:12 p.m.

Ayn Rand wow nice way of showing your total lack of intelligence when it comes to these issues by lumping the whole with the few.

How do you know the disabled person's level of disability?

How do you know they have not suffered these disabilities since birth?

How do you know there are or might be other debilitating factors or traumas involved?

How do you know if those who have the issues above do not also suffer physical disabilities?

How do you know that through a combination of one or all of the above that under the Federal Disabilities act that they are not legally disabled?

Did you know many have gone through,doctors,judges,advocacy agencies,lawyers and extensive testing to prove they are actually disabled when somebody said they were not.

It is obvious you do not know or you would not make such a statement to begin with.

People like you are why Disability Advocacy Programs like Services for Independent Living,People First,Boone County Family Services,NAMI and a host of others are out campaigning to educate citizens like you who make statement as you just did.

Why don't you show up at a "People First Meeting" the second Thursday of the month at the Boone County Family Services Office on Walnut to tell that group of disabled citizens just how you feel.

I am more than sure they will be glad to educate you where it is obvious you lack an education.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 21, 2008 | 2:25 p.m.

Charles, I've seen a lot of these scams to know that the system does a lousy job determining between the truly disabled and those too lazy to work. Oh, and those of us who do have true disabilities and work don't appreciate people who refuse to work because they have ADHD, Tourette's, etc.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 21, 2008 | 2:49 p.m.

The following blog is suggested reading for all Columbia care-givers, challenged individuals, politicians and employers.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 21, 2008 | 3:19 p.m.

Oh and Ayn Rand what is it you call a true disability because I certainly do not hope you discriminate against any of your other fellow disabled brothers and sisters in disability as a whole because that would be a total hypocrisy of thought. That would be as bad as somebody pulling out the "race card". Also there are extensive case studies that have been made where they estimate nearly 3/4 of this country has citizens with undiagnosed disabilities of one kind or the other.

According to the A.D.A. there are many levels of disabilities so you are saying the A.D.A. has no clue about what exactly is a disability according to your chain of thought or lack of.

So according to you what is a true disability because as I said the A.D.A. recognizes alot of disabilities and their levels under their strict guidelines.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 21, 2008 | 3:40 p.m.

3/4 of this country with undiagnosed disabilities of some sort?

That doesn't stop the vast majority of them from working, though. I could be said to have a disability too. Some out there know what it is. It doesn't keep me from being a good employee.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 21, 2008 | 4:11 p.m.

You forget Mark Foecking there are many levels of disabilities and as such no case is the same so you cannot lump all of them into the same clump and expect the same results. It is just not going to work.

If you think you can or that is the way that it is you are totally uneducated on the real issues of the disabled population across this country.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 21, 2008 | 6:49 p.m.

Of course I'm not lumping all disabilities together, Chuck. I'm just saying that perhaps we look too hard for them.

Is obesity a disease, or a result of personal behavior? What about alcoholism and drug abuse? These have all been proposed (or compensated) as disabilities.

My concern is the current system, while making it difficult at the beginning (and assuring many lawyers a good living), rewards persistance that might be better spent overcoming a disability.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 22, 2008 | 4:46 a.m.

I just love it Mark Foecking when you miss some points due to your obvious lack of an education on this issue but let me try and help further your education my friend being I have lived in the world of the disabled all of my life.

Yes Obesity can be a disability if there is a onset of Clinical Depression,Diabetes,Thyroid and other things from a very young age and in the opposite direction Natural Occurring Obesity can bring on the other symptoms as well.

Yes alcoholism,drug abuse and smoking as well for the same reasons as described above and visa versa but in these cases here usually it is the undiagnosed problems of Depression, Anxiety,ADHD and others problems.

Alot of people do not want to admit to themselves they have one of these forms of a disability and so they "self medicate" with alcohol,drugs,cigarettes or even food.

As I told you and you seemingly doubt what I present here is that 3/4 of this country has undiagnosed forms of disabilities such as Anxiety Disorders, Clinical,Depression,ADHD,Bipolar,OCD,Tourettes and a host of others in the Chinese alphabet soup of psychiatry. I do not have to go looking for any disability Mark Foecking by far but if you open your eyes you will see it just as plain as day.

Some are severe,some not so severe and some you would never know how they effect the person you are standing next to in the line at the grocery store but all of these are and can be debilitating if they are not treated or recognized. Whether you choose to believe that is your choice. The fact is yes they all can be disabling in nature.

Yes the system is flawed in some ways but the real flaws are when employers will not and refuse to hire disabled citizens for jobs they maybe be or are qualified for in choice of a person they themselves might deem less of a liability.

Yes the age old stigmata exists that the disabled population is a liability at large. It is just as bad as anybody pulling the racism card. So pathetic in this modern society we live in isn't it.

There is where your system is completely broken and as such until the Federal Government and State Governments step in and demand employers to reform their ways this will not change.

I have heard that possibly soon the Missouri Department of Vocational Rehabilitation is developing a new program geared mainly toward getting as many disabled back to work in jobs they can do. Voc Rehab is to be working with more local employers on this issue state wide. Voc Rehab in the past has had a very bad reputation and they know they need to change it for the better so look in the future for this new program to be released and spoken about in the media.

I hope this helps you to understand more of this issue Mark Foecking.

Disabled citizens are not looking for a hand out Mark Foecking as you and others might think but they sure would appreciate a hand up whenever one is available.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 22, 2008 | 6:11 a.m.

Gee, maybe I should constantly eat a bunch of sugar so I can't concentrate, or holler dirty words whenever I feel like it. Then I can qualify for disability.

A lot of "disabilities" are just excuses to hop on the wagon that too few people are pulling nowadays. One of the Missouri Supreme Court Justices is blind, which is far worse than a twitch, and yet it hasn't held him back not only from working, but accomplishing more than most people do.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 22, 2008 | 7:10 a.m.

Ayn Rand you say you are disabled as in your posting above but yet you failed to answer my question about your comment of "What is a true disability" because apparently you know more than all of the Disability Advocates and Disabled Citizens around our nation do.

So what is a true disability? Do tell us so we all can know of your views on this.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 22, 2008 | 7:49 a.m.

If you can lift a finger, you can and should work.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 22, 2008 | 7:58 a.m.

You are dodging my question Ayn Rand on "what is a true disability?" Please post your presentation here for all to know. That is only right being you made the statement.

Also being you say you are a disabled citizen are you going to the two disabled citizens related events today and tomorrow at the Columbia Library from 10 am to noon each day?

I know alot of employers do let their employees off of work for these events as they realize how important these types of events are and being you say you are disabled I would think they are important to you as well.

I'm just asking as a concerned citizen who is also disabled.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 22, 2008 | 8:27 a.m.

Chuk, think carefully about who you know and who you consider to be a backstabber

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 22, 2008 | 8:30 a.m.

Chuck, can you point us to a link of a study saying that 3/4 of the US population is disabled to some degree? I personally find that hard to believe, but would like to read more on it.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 22, 2008 | 8:48 a.m.

Ayn Rand I asked you a question and please show us your presentation of just what is a true disability.

John Schultz here are some numbers to chew on until I get back home later today.

But my bet is you will discredit those numbers too.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 22, 2008 | 9:18 a.m.

Chuck, I am not trying to discredit the numbers, but will point out first that those numbers are from 1990 and are also a lower percentage than you mentioned. If you have something more current, I would be interested in seeing those numbers.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 22, 2008 | 3:40 p.m.

Those numbers John have increased greatly over time. John I get the number I am using by using the following formulas after doing alot of reading not only in hard copy magazines,newspapers but alot of various research articles I have read across the internet as whole and real life experience. After doing so it was not hard to see it the numbers added up to a real problem.

John Schultz it is a fact that over time alot of people do not want to admit that they have a psychological problem. It makes them feel less of self worth. It makes them depressed. It makes them angry and can lead to their already underlying psychological disabilities to come to the front is why alot of people will not admit to having psychological problems on the whole for the above reasons which helps us to get to the number I am presenting.

When I posted that number it is not some Federal Case Study kind of number but just a obvious conclusion and let me explain so we can come to a conclusion.

Let me ask you John do you think there are underlying psychological issues in anybody who drinks alcohol,does illegal drugs or smokes cigarettes to extreme excess or just to excess in general?

After all would a realistic person in their right frame of mind ingest such poisons into their systems?

John do you think there are underlying psychological issues with those people who are morbidly obese in nature who use food as a kind of a drug to self medicate?

Can you see John where I am going with all of this?

John Schultz lots of times people will self medicate in one form or the other to alleviate some form of psychological trauma they might have in their lives. That is just a fact and depending on the person their choice of the poison can be different but they will self medicate to try to cure themselves or alleviate the pain they feel.

If these psychological traumas no matter how small in nature that can or do lead to all of the above mentioned go undiagnosed then you can see how I came to the number I have.

It is nothing to it but putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

You and others may not like this number I present nor how I present it but I ask you or others to go do some serious searching as I have looking at this with the formula I have and come up with a counter number you think is more realistic and present it here and we can talk about it more.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand December 5, 2008 | 8:04 a.m.

Yet another example of how those with Tourette's can lead productive lives:

"Disabilities" are disabling only if you let them be -- or want them to be.

(Report Comment)

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