An Iowa Republican has caused a stir after ending her run for state legislature, and then becoming a "senator" for a de facto shadow government known as the Republic for the United States of America.
The former candidate, Randi Shannon, defended the bizarre decision in an interview with FoxNews.com on Monday, and did her best to explain her reasons for doing so.
"I am one of many people so disgusted with the options out there," she said. "But the government we have has to go."
Organizers say the Republic for the United States of America was the original government in this country, before it was replaced 225 years ago by the "de facto corporation known as the United States."
Shannon told FoxNews.com the Republic is a bona-fide group, which appointed her to the temporary position of senator. She explained that the Republic was replaced in 1871 by a government given "carte blanche to fleece 'We the people.'"
Though few may have ever heard of the Republic for the United States of America, the alternative government was revived by activists starting in 2010. Shannon said it now has representatives in all 50 states. However, it's unclear what changes Republic leaders can make since they have no seats of power in a formally recognized government.
Shannon, a small-business owner, said she didn't want to disrespect voters with her decision. Though she announced the career change Friday in a letter to supporters, she said she decided to quit the race well before becoming a state and U.S. senator for the "Republic" -- the result of endless meetings inside the Iowa Capitol and on the campaign trail she says left her "frustrated" about the real possibility of fixing a broken government.
She cited the growing size of government -- particularly "ObamaCare" -- as one of the biggest and most recent intrusions by "big government" into the lives of her family members and other Americans.
"If they could just stop doing this, we'd all be fine," Shannon said. "All I want is a private life, but they won't let us do that."
Shannon, though, said she was surprised by the media attention -- particularly on liberal blogs -- to her decision.
"I didn't expect this firestorm," she told FoxNews.com. "I'm just a normal person who wants to raise her kids. I'm not a limelight person."
In her letter Friday, the Libertarian-minded Shannon thanked Ron Paul enthusiasts and other supporters for her state Senate run and vowed as a Republic senator to help eliminate the Education Department and put an end to undeclared wars.