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The Sound

The man who would be king


Slipknot and Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor announced he’s challenging Gov. Terry Branstad for state office in the next local election.

Slipknot and Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor announced he’s challenging Gov. Terry Branstad for state office in the next local election.

“Sit back and do nothing if that’s what you want to do. That’s never been my style.”

Corey Taylor has done a lot in his life. As the front man for both Slipknot and Stone Sour, he’s travelled the world, built a fortune and cemented a legacy. He could become a hermit right now, and he’d still have accomplished more with his life than 90 percent of us. But he’s not stopping there. Increasingly dissatisfied with the direction his home state is headed, Taylor has decided to stop reigning over the music world and make a run at a different throne: the Governorship of Iowa.

“Branstad promised to create 200,000 jobs in his first four years of office,” Taylor said during an interview. “How’s that working out for us?”

Taylor knows he’s facing an uphill battle. He’s got no political experience, and he’s taking on an incumbent governor who’s deeply entrenched, well connected and extremely well-funded. But Taylor sees his newcomer status as an advantage.

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“What has the good ol’ boy network gotten Iowa so far? You always hear politicians say, ‘It’s time for change, it’s time for new blood,’ but there is no new blood,” he said. “It’s just a different politician who ends up being the same as the last. Maybe some genuine change will get the ball rolling. Iowa’s a smart, progressive state. We need smart, progressive leadership.”

At first blush, it would appear that Taylor’s lack of government insider experience will be a deficiency. But the Slipknot lead singer is out to make sure people know that he’s got the chops to back up the desire.

“Branstad has based his fiscal policy around corporate tax breaks,” he explained. “At first it seems like a classic trickle down, but it’s actually more deeply rooted than just mundane Reaganomics.

“Conservatives have corrupted (Friedrich) Hayek. They’ve taken economic ideas that were originally put forth as simple addendums and turned them into dogma. It’s like Republicans have never seen a Phillips curve.”

When reached for comment, the only reply from Branstad’s office was, “Your mom’s a Phillips curve.”

Despite Taylor’s hidden passion for neo-classical macroeconomics, he’s well aware that he’s going to need help learning the ropes. But that’s something he feels his time in Slipknot has prepared him for as well.

“Look at every governor this state has had,” he said. “They’ve all had one thing in common: just one Lieutenant governor. I’m going to have eight.”

Taylor’s detractors write that idea off as a classic case of left-wing, “big government.”

“Eight Lieutenant governors?” asked Branstad political advisor Red Herring. “That’s ludicrous. What’s next? Health care for everyone? Fully funded schools?”

But for his part, Taylor remains resolute. It’s a long road ahead for the metal superstar, but he’s confident. Part of his strategy revolves around appealing to a demographic that he sees as under serviced.

“It’s all about the 18- to 20-year-olds, man,” Taylor said. “If you can mobilize them, you can do anything. They’re the ones with all the passion. They’re the ones who are going to be coming into power over the next three decades. They’re the future of the state. And right now, nobody speaks to them.

“And they just allow it to happen. It’s so easy for Iowa’s youth to just kind of wait their turn, and say, ‘We’ll figure it out when we get older.’ But why? Do it now, and help build the world you want to inherit.”

 He paused for a long moment, quietly pondering that point, before shrugging.

“Besides, what else are you going to do? Go to a concert after 9 p.m.?” APRIL FOOLS

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