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Friday, March 31, 2006 Nussle In Trouble

Excerpted from this post at

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted to investigate Jim Nussle for campaign finance violations today. Good deal. Press release is in the extended entry.

Iowa Campaign Ethics Board to Investigate Nussle CampaignBoard to Investigate Potential Violations of State Campaign Finance Laws


Contact: Erin SeidlerMarch 30, 2006 515-244-7292

DES MOINES - The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted today to investigate gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle's campaign for potentially violating state campaign finance compliance laws.

Political Forecast: IA-Gov: Iowa Campaign Ethics Board to Investigate Jim Nussle

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

You can find the full text of the original letter of complaint below the fold (my original post on the filing of the complaint is here). I'm glad to see the IECDB is taking this seriously and has now moved to investigate Nussle. This definitely isn't the type of the publicity the Nussle campaign's been looking for - since, as Bacon notes, they've been relatively invisible the last month or so.

And I hope to hear Kyle's thoughts on the IECDB's decision to investigate - he wasn't too optimistic when the IDP filed their original complaint, but maybe this means that the IECDB is serious about enforcing campaign finance laws and will be willing to push for or adopt changes (if, of course, they can get the legislature to issue the changes).

John Deeth Blog: Iowa Focus Group: Vilsack an Also-Ran?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research presented its findings on the '08 Dem field this a.m. to reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. Their focus groups tested Dem primary voters in NH and IA.

Whole thing's worth a read, but this is telling: "Gov. Tom Vilsack 'is too focused on religion and spirituality for New Hampshire Democrats, and his home state doesn't take him seriously. The Iowa reaction was particularly telling. He should have a hometown advantage, but he doesn't.

In fact, after viewing and discussing a Vilsack National Press Club speech, almost all the participants expressed surprise about his humor, intensity and passion. Apparently they don't see it at home.'"

Thursday, March 30, 2006 Other Fed Endorsements

Excerpted from this post at

There hasn't been much coverage of the Iowa Federation of Labor outside of Blouin's endorsement, so I just thought I'd point out their takes on the congressional races:

1st District: Bruce Braley. This ought to cement his status as the frontrunner (if his fundraising and cash-on-hand advantage hadn't already.)

2nd District: No endorsement. Apparently there may be another person running for the nomination at district? That's the word on the street, anyway.3rd District: The Boz. Surprised?

4th District: Selden Spencer. This is probably more because of Latham's positions than Selden, but it gives a nice boost to his credibility right out of the gate.

Iowa Voice: Immigration, We've Been Stuck on Stupid

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

I was not fully serious when I wrote "One Solution", but call it 3/4ths serious. I don't think the standard in the box thinking is going to work anymore.

Steve King, Representing Iowa's Fifth Congressional district, has this to say in Human Events Magazine. Steve King recognizes the problem and tries to address it.

I heard Hugh Hewitt address illegal immigration in his new book and on Sean Hannity's radio and TV shows. Hewitt said about 85% of the public wants action on the illegal alien problem.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

John Deeth Blog: June Primary: The Local Angle

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Tomorrow's the deadline to file for county offices in the June primary.I've said it several times before but this is a big factor in the top of the ticket races. A lot of counties, like my own, are dominated by one party. In Johnson County the Democratic primary is the de facto general election for courthouse jobs. The last GOP county supervisor lost in 1962 and since then only two Republicans have won courthouse jobs:

- In `72 the Democrats split in the sheriff's race; an unusually strong
Republican won and kept the job till 1988.

- In 1980 an employee of the Democratic Clerk of Court filed to run against her boss as a Republican - and was immediately fired. As a result of the ensuing hubbub she knocked off her boss. But that was a fluke and she lost in 1984
(the last year that job was an elected post).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mainstream Iowan: Walmart Guest Becomes Famous

Excerpted from this post at Mainstream Iowan

When I posted about this story yesterday and later saw it made the headlines on the Drudge Report, I knew this story had made the big time.

Prankster Skyler Bartels will now appear on Good Morning America. Other future possible media spots include David Letterman, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and National Public Radio.

John Deeth Blog: Vice-tax hikes may be going flat

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The DI points out a factoid I didn't know: Only eight states have lower taxes on cigarettes than Iowa's 36 cents.

Things Going Round & Round: Political Mileage Awards

Excerpted from this post at Things Going Round & Round

It's a day for political opportunity. In separate events, Governor Vilsack and Candidate Blouin went off with cloying talk on issues that need apolitical compassion.

Vilsack, when asked to comment on the death of his former chief of staff, used his trademark style of weaving this unrelated tragedy into a political message directed at giving the cigarette tax a media boost.

Vilsack tied his friend's suicide brought on by the abuse of prescription drugs to increasing the tobacco tax. The string of logic on this one: tobacco products are a "gateway" drug. Vilsack quotes from Radio Iowa.

Monday, March 27, 2006 Rod Aycox and Iowa House Republicans

Excerpted from this post at

Rod Aycox of LoanMax (you know, the predatory lending business) gave 40k to a 527 affiliated with Chris Rants to influence Iowa politics. $40,000 will apparently keep legislation bottled up for you. Just goes to show you should never trust a man who has slang words for penis in his name TWICE.

Things Going Round & Round: A Tax Increase; or how to encourage more Iowans to leave the workforce

Excerpted from this post at Things Going Round & Round

"Poison pill" politics aside, this is bad public policy. The Senate Democrats are offering up the pension and social security tax cut to seniors in exchange for the removal of federal deductibility on state income taxes for families with incomes over one hundred grand.

They might get a little class warfare mileage out of it, but it's obvious that nobody in that caucus seriously considered the interaction of tax rates and labor economics.

Political Forecast: IA-Gov: Blouin gets IFL nod 'unanimously'

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

This weekend, the Iowa Federation of Labor endorsed Mike Blouin for governor. You can find the Register story here, where it claims the vote was unanimous. However, that isn't what I'm hearing.

I have heard that there some very contentious debate and some backroom wheeling and dealing that ultimately led to the vote to endorse Blouin. Moreover, procedurally, there might have been a move that was taken to stifle opposition in order to make the vote appear unanimous, when in fact, it wasn't.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Passing Parade: On to November

Excerpted from this post at The Passing Parade...

After a 20-hour Election Day that ended at 3 a.m. Wednesday, I slept in, then played catch-up with routine work and home things, including dealing with a sick kid. Anyway ... the only election surprise for me was the outcome of the GOP's 17th Congressional District contest. Brian Gilliland was clearly odd-man out, and I figured that since Andrea Zinga had gotten a shot at incumbent D Lane Evans in 2004 and fell far short, the R's would give Jim Mowen a shot. But Zinga pulled it out by less than 300 votes and gets a second
chance to unseat Evans. I'd rate her chances at zero if it weren't for Evans health problems, which are now out in the open. Even with that, she's an underdog against a popular incumbent in a district that's D-friendly.

John Deeth Blog: The past goes up in smoke

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

An obscure junk store find last night, and a sign of the times: I uncovered an ashtray dated 1973-74 showing the Democratic members of the Iowa congressional delegation. First off, in the era when the smoke-filled room has been replaced by the smoke-free room, an ashtray as political chum would be way politically incorrect anywhere outside the North Carolina GOP. The faces on the ashtray include some of the giants who brought the Iowa Democrats from historic also-ran status to the modern, caucus-driven era. We held both Senate seats: Harold Hughes was at the end of his one term and Dick Clark was at the start of his. Another future Senator, John Culver, was in his last House term. Gubernatorial Polling

Excerpted from this post at

Research 2000 has another poll out; if you remember, I was skeptical of their last one. The general election results match up pretty well with Rasmussen's - Culver leads Nussle 44-43, Blouin trails 37-43, and Fallon is a bit further behind at 34-44. Unlike Rasmussen though they polled the primary as well. Here are the results, of 400 likely primary voters surveyed (5% margin of error):

Undecided - 38

Culver - 33

Blouin - 16

Fallon - 13

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Corn O'Copia: Touch A Touch A Touch Me

Excerpted from this post at Corn O'Copia

Here's the thing. I would never have played a touchplay machine if the nervous nellies of the Iowa legislature hadn't decided that the damn things were the source of all evil on the Earth and needed to be removed from all locations post haste.

But because the bulk of the early part of the legislation session was spent on this one issue, I decided to play. And it was nothing special, just a variation on a slot machine, the lowest and boringest form of gambling.

Did they need to be banned? Nope. Maybe tougher restrictions on placement, but no need for banning.

Iowa for Feingold: Feingold for President Meetup in Ames on Sat, March 25th

Excerpted from this post at Iowa for Feingold

There has been some interest in a Feingold for President meetup in central Iowa. The meetup will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 10:00 am at Cafe Diem in Downtown Ames. Please post a comment to this message if you can attend or send me an email.
Russ is standing up for US!

"It's time to stand up - not to cheer, but to fight back." - Russ Feingold

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 House Analysis Part II

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These are the races where there might have been competitive races but for one party or the other's failure to field a candidate. I could be wrong in some of these, where an incumbent managed to hang on for a year in a new, unfriendly district, but then got bumped off.

-- District 06 - Mike May (R) won by 6.4% last time around against Greg Stevens (D), who managed to barely hold on in 2002 in a less than hospitable post-redistricting home base.

-- District 31 - Ray Zirkelbach (D) also beat the wounded incumbent - by 8.4% in 2004 - and is now running unopposed. This one is probably not as competitive as it looks - the overall Democratic performance is a lot higher. Blouin Nabs USWA Endorsement

Excerpted from this post at

As I said yesterday, the Steelworkers endorsement gives him a good shot at picking up the whole IFL (which by the way has the worst website of all time). According to the Register the union has about 7k active members in Iowa. The article also spots the UAW at 13k active and 11k retired members, which is about 20% fewer people than the Culver press release from yesterday claimed. No Democrats voted for TouchPlay in 2002

Excerpted from this post at

From Sen. Dennis Black's newsletter 3/16:

"All legalese aside, the video lottery language gave the lottery commissioner, Mr. Ed Stanek, broad and legal powers under the purview of the lottery board, to determine if video lottery (TouchPlay) would increase state lottery revenue. Then, if determined to be financially advantageous, the lottery board was authorized to distribute "pull-tab vending machines" with video monitors across Iowa.

Make NO mistake about it, the language of the bill was very specific, and YES, the legislature knew exactly what they were doing."

... This was in 2002, when the Senate was 21-29 Republican. So HF2627 was a party line vote in the House, and three Republicans joined Senate Democrats in opposition (two Senators either did not vote or were not yet elected to fill a seat, not sure which at the time.) Iowa has a reputation?

Excerpted from this post at

... "During a campaign stop at the Mason City Library, Nussle, Republican candidate for governor, said, "We have a reputation of being a safe, clean, healthy place to raise kids."

Thank you, I knew I lived here for some reason. Gubernatorial campaigns always shape the language voters use to evaluate the campaigns, the candidates and our future; and Iowans being the enthusiastic church types easily convinced to care about a "reputation" makes the use of reputation a good choice to frame differences between Nussle and the eventual Democratic nominee.

Nussle will take every opportunity to tie that lodestone of our supposed Vilsack induced reputation slide to the Democrats. Why not? This TouchPlay mess has really focused, like a laser beam (not really I just wanted to say that) attention on Vilsack’s all consuming need for jacking the revenue to promote his nonstop need for government spending. TouchPlay was just a creative and innovative method for pulling down money from suckers to maximize the revenue the state spends.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hawkeye Republican: MOVE TO IOWA, GET A JOB

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye Republican

We always knew that Iowa was the center of the universe. Now, there's further proof that Iowa is also the center of the economic universe. Recently released data shows that Iowa may face a worker shortage as early as 2012.

Okay, so there is the negative flip-side that this is a result of our slow population growth and aging population. But seriously? Nahhhh ... So, if you want a job and lots of open space free of pesky kids, move to Iowa! Iowa Senate Races

Excerpted from this post at

Here's a rundown of the races for Iowa Senate, based on my fairly limited knowledge. I'v bolded the interesting ones. All the district links are to jpeg maps.

- 1st District - Steve Warnstadt (D) won by 28 points in 2002. He should coast to reelection.

- 3rd District - David Johnson (R) doesn't have an opponent.

- 5th District - Rich Olive (D) is challenging Stu Iverson (R). Iverson has been a pretty crappy leader for the Republicans. I had the pleasure of meeting Rich Olive last night, and I think he could surprise some people. Iverson won this race in 2002 against Kevin Miskell, who was a pretty credible challenger too. He won that one by 15 points.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Passing Parade: On gambling and respecting our fellows...

Excerpted from this post at The Passing Parade

The Iowa Legislature, in banning the TouchPlay machines, did the right thing -- the respectful thing. Respectful, that is, of the views of the substantial minority of Iowans who don't want gambling at all. Putting slots in grocery stores, gas stations and such is pretty much rubbing their nose in it. Not good for the body politic. I happen to think the strict no-gambling people are wrong. None of anybody's business if I want to gamble now and then. Should be able to so without worrying about getting arrested for something that's nobody's business except mine. That's the way it is -- there're three casinos within 15 minutes of my house; nobody in the state is more than 90 minutes or so from one. (Fill up with gas before you go in.)

Mainstream Iowan: Des Moines Register Wants Veto On TouchPlay Ban

Excerpted from this post at Mainstream Iowan

Legislators made a mistake with TouchPlay machines. They also had the strength of character to admit it, then correct their mistake for legalizing TouchPlay machines. Both the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate have passed this ban, with the bill sent to the Governor to be possibly signed into law. Now the Des Moines Register Editorial Board publishes it's objection to the ban and whines about business that will lose money that invested in the deal. GeeWhiz, there seems to be no concern about all the TouchPlay machine users who have lost money. It appears those who play are called gamblers and those who offer it our called businessmen that should be guaranteed profit. Such is a belief that busineses shoud not have to take risks at the expense of those who do. We are supposed to ignore gambling is a system where the odds are fixed for the gamblers.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

PATRIOT SKULL FACE: Harkin Signs on to Censure Measure

Excerpted from this post at PATRIOT SKULL FACE

The first co-sponsor.

I know that the conservative bloggers out there think this is such a victory for their side - but we shall see. Obviously this will not pass, but that's not the point. This was supposed to bring the fact that Bush breaks the law when he wants back into the public discourse.

This shows that (some) Democrats do and will stand up to the imperial President. And it's probably not a big loser for Feingold or Democrats as Bush's approval is in the toilet, just like his Presidency.

The Mind of IrishWalsh: The Times Just Loves Iowa's Sexual Predators!

Excerpted from this post at The Mind of IrishWalsh

A friend of mine from Long Island recently informed me that the New York Times has started a series of articles on Iowa's groundbreaking sex offender legislation.

Iowa has been driving a bandwagon of states who are drafting laws to keep sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of various locations such as schools, day cares, and churches.

Using these restrictions some cities including my own have pushed sex offenders clean out of their limits and into living in country trailer courts, farm houses, highway motels, tents or their own vehicles. The tighter Iowa towns' laws become the more laws that are being passed in Illinois and Nebraska to avoid a flood of sexual predators entering their states.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

PATRIOT SKULL FACE: So will the touchplay ban destroy our budget?

Excerpted from this post at PATRIOT SKULL FACE

I am no lawyer, I work in social services. Assuming that the Governor does sign this - just imagine if the state does lose this impending lawsuit.

The hole in the state's finances will be enormous, and either we'll have to raise taxes dramatically - which Rants won't do - or cut services dramatically - which the leadership and the Governor won't (hopefully) do in an election year - or install some other lottery machine to collect the revenue that way.

Iowa Voice: Rep. Virginia Foxx Takes On Feingold

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

This is awesome:

Mr. Speaker, in their rush to be against everything that President Bush is for, Democrats have once again given us reason to question their timing and judgment. …

Ian has the video. Worth a look.

This is the debate that Feingold has inadvertantly put his party smack-dab in the middle of. It's not one that the Democratic leadership is willing to engage in with November approaching, believe me, but now that it's out there, they're going to have to deal with it for a while.All the political capital they "earned" over the Dubai ports nonsense has just been pissed away, and what's even more sad is, they probably don't even realize it yet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Iowa Voice: Feingold Censure Motion A Bust

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

Just like I said yesterday morning, there was only one way this could have went: But the Dems in the Senate decided they didn't want to have that debate, apparently, and they blocked the vote on it (gee, another instance of obstruction....and on their own legislation, too!).

Blogs For Bush has been pushing a "Censure Feingold" message the last two days. I don't think that's going to go anywhere, either. In the end, I don't think it's necessary. If Feingold plays his cards as I expect him to play them, he will effectively shoot himself in the foot with this, and he can kiss any hopes of 2008 good-bye.With any luck, he can drag down a few other Democrats with him. Convention Roundup

Excerpted from this post at

Adair: Fallon did well.
Allamakee: No division
Buena Vista: ?
Carroll: ?
Cedar: Fallon did well.
Cerro Gordo: Not good for Fallon.
Clayton: ?
Crawford: ?
Dallas: 23 Fallon, 20 Undeclared, 10 Culver - this is people, not state

GOP Bloggers: 2008 GOP Primary Straw Poll

Excerpted from this post at GOP Bloggers

Welcome to GOP Bloggers' first 2008 Straw Poll. This is a unique 2008 primary straw poll, you get to pick all the candidates you like and don't like, and it'll tally who has the largest net positive or net negative support. Feel free to vote for as
many or as few candidates as you'd like. If you have no strong feelings towards a candidate, you don't need to vote either way.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Iowa Voice: I Actually Was Quoted Correctly

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

Howard Kurtz has an article up this morning about the so-called "Blog Wars", a sort of follow-up on his piece the other day (I wrote about it here). For the first time since the whole episode began, I've been correctly quoted...not once, but twice:

Brian Pickrell, an Iowa restaurant manager whose self-described "Republican/conservative" blog is called Iowa Voice, wrote that he was "not going to grant a single interview to any more of you left-wing hacks," but agreed to an e-mail exchange. Pickrell blames a coding mistake for one instance in which Wal-Mart's views appeared to be his own.

Half the Politics: Illegal Immigrants, Arrested and Face Deportation?

Excerpted from this post at Half the Politics

Please more of this...

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Federal immigration authorities said Friday that four
gang members were arrested in Des Moines and Marshalltown in a two-week
nationwide operation that led to 375 arrests...

Federal authorities said all three men are illegal immigrants from Mexico with previous criminal convictions. The men face deportation. Our government needs to release more information to the press about these arrest and future arrests of
illegals. Hopefully it sends a message.

blogresponder: Tennessee Republican Frist In The Lead

Excerpted from this post at blogresponder

In a straw poll taken yesterday, the Republicans have Bill Frist from
Tennessee as the leader as a potential presidential candidate for 2008.
Personally, I would choose Fred Thompson from Tennessee. Yep, the guy on
"Law And Order". He used to be a congressman from Tennessee, and would be may choice in lieu of Frist. I'll be back

Friday, March 10, 2006

John Deeth Blog: Abortion issue heats up Democratic primary

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Charlotte Eby of the Waterloo Courier plays the Iowa angle of the South Dakota story. The bluster from Culver is predictable but on target. But the killer quotes come from Carmine Boal, the wingnut state rep who carried the ball on the anti-choice bills Vilsack vetoed: Republicans Find a Real Candidate for Secretary Of State

Excerpted from this post at

Bob Dopf may have the stupidest name of anyone running for statewide office, but his experience as an attorney is slightly more relevant to the position of Secretary Of State than Chuck Allison's as a foot doctor. Still, Mike Mauro currently holds the ideal position for making the transition to SOS - auditor (and election commissioner) for largest county in the state. And he's awesome.

Blog for Iowa: Blog for Iowa is Shutting Down

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

Dear Friends and Loyal Readers, Tomorrow, March 11, 2006, just three weeks short of our second anniversary, I will be putting Blog for Iowa into cold storage. BFIA will be offline while we take a long break. We may be offline permanently. When you try to access BFIA, you will get an error message. Running the blog is a full-time job and I simply do not have the time or energy to keep it up on a volunteer basis.

Thursday, March 09, 2006 Warner Coming to Iowa

Excerpted from this post at

I suppose if Bacon's going to note McCain's visits for Lamberti, I ought to note Mark Warner's visit on behalf of the Boz. Warner, as you may remember, is the person I think most likely to become the Democratic Party's next nominee for President.

Incidentally, Warner left his position as governor more popular in his home state than McCain is in his. What's Up with Nussle and Dubai?

Excerpted from this post at

So, even Grassley is skeptical of the port deal. Nussle, on the other hand, voted against even allowing Congressional oversight on the issue.

What up wit dat? Even if you ultimately come down in favor of the deal, it seems absurd to vote against taking the time to look into it. Especially when Bush didn't even know about the deal in the first place.

I'm not feeling the whole "Nussle is a Bush clone" argument, but in this situation as well as plenty of others he certainly comes off as a Bush sycophant. I'd say that's worse. I'm guessing "sycophant" is not a word that polls very well, though, so let the cloning continue.

UPDATE: In today's Register Nussle expresses "concern".

Iowa Voice: Open Letter To The Media

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

Been getting emails like crazy for more interviews. To sum up my response: not just no, but HELL no. I'm not going to grant a single interview to anymore of you left-wing hacks, just so you can print whatever the heck you want in my name. Not gonna happen.

So here's the deal: I've written on the New York Times piece here in the blog. All you need to know from me is here. If you quote, however, link it so that your viewers/readers can actually see what I wrote, rather than it being taken out of context.

**Update**: After thinking it over a bit, I've decided to do one interview that should put all this to rest. I'll let you know the who, what, when, and where when it's the right time.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New York Times: Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign

Excerpted from this post at New York Times

Wal-Mart is looking beyond the mainstream media and working directly with bloggers. But the strategy raises concerns about what bloggers should disclose to readers.

iowa underground blog: Iowa Voice = Wal-Mart Shill

Excerpted from this post at iowa underground blog

The guy with the Sinatra karaoke side 'career' also likes parroting the
propaganda of Wal-Mart and passing it off as his own...

Let's hope this guy doesn't truly represent the voice of Iowa...If he does, it will be many years before the world stops laughing at us.

Iowa Voice: Posting Will Be Light Today

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

I'm dealing with a bunch of comment trolls and hate mail from liberal/socialist/moonbats, so I'm going to be busy for most of the day. That means I, myself, won't be posting much today, if at all.

For the record, I could care less if anyone believes what I wrote here or in other posts. What I wrote is my opinion, and nobody else's...Readers coming here to this site know right away that I'm a conservative.

That usually means a person is pro-business and anti-Union. I'm no different. I make no secret of that fact, either, and I don't try to hide behind "journalistic integrity", either. I'm not a journalist. I never claimed to be.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

PATRIOT SKULL FACE: Russ Feingold - live text chat

Excerpted from this post at PATRIOT SKULL FACE

Check it out Feingold fans:

"Senator Russ Feingold brings a "text chat" version of his trademark listening sessions to the World Wide Web on March 10, at 10:30 AM Eastern.

The live, online session will be open to anyone with access to the Internet and a desire to ask questions of Senator Feingold live, in an online computer text chat session.

The Online Listening Session, where participants are able to type their text questions to Senator Feingold, will be a first for the Progressive Patriots Fund website. "

PATRIOT SKULL FACE: Why Blouin's Views on Choice Matter

Excerpted from this post at PATRIOT SKULL FACE

So the Governor of our backward neighbor to the northwest signed a bill into law that would outlaw all forms of abortion, even those in the case of rape or incest...I know that some in the Iowa blogosphere have been debating what Blouin would do if the decision became a state one, and a law were passed in Iowa.

I do know that he sponsored a amendment to the US Constitution that would have taken away a woman's right to medical privacy. I do know that he "personal beliefs" are 'pro-life.' That's fine, I respect that, but mine aren't. I guess if he is pro-life, I wish he'd stand by his personal beliefs. Debates

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The Blouin campaign has released a couple of press releases now, calling for more debates during the primary season.Right now two are scheduled - one by the Des Moines Register and one by the Cedar Rapids Gazette. They'd like to see three more, and two for the lieutenant governors.

Personally, I think three and one are good numbers. There aren't infinity candidates like there were for the 2003 caucus, and who cares about what lieutenant governors think.

Monday, March 06, 2006

John Deeth Blog: Setting the Bar on Blouin and Choice

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

So I get asked, what will it take to convince me that Blouin is truly moderating his position on choice? Something like this, maybe:J uly 7, 2004: In a private
memorandum, top Vatican prelate Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told American
bishops that Communion must be denied to Catholic politicians who support
legal abortion.


Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

In results from three Democratic county conventions that broke into preference groups for governor on Saturday, State Representative Ed Fallon finished above all his opponents, including Secretary of State Chet Culver and Mike Blouin. Here are the results:

Friday, March 03, 2006

Political Forecast: Vilsack at the National Press Club

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

I didn’t write about this yesterday because I was taking a break, but here it is now. Take a look. On Tuesday, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack spoke at the National Press Club, speaking specifically on community as he continues to outline what his stump speech will look like come 2008 and his run for president. Blouin In Ames (Again)

Excerpted from this post at

Mike Blouin came to Ames for the first time in over twenty-four hours to officially announce his running mate and do a meet and greet. He's still the best speaker of all the candidates, by far. The first two times I saw him (Story Dems Swing Fling and Jefferson Jackson Dinner) he was unimpressive on the stump, but since then he's been so consistently good both on and off that it almost doesn't even seem worth pointing out anymore. Vilsack "Close 6th" in National Journal Rankings

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Of course they only rank the top 5, but he does get honorable mention:
While we claimed above that everyone in "the rest" pack of candidates finished "sixth," the real answer on the Democratic side is that Vilsack really is a close sixth in our book. The only reason we kept him out of our top 5 is because we just don't know how he raises the $25-40 million he's going to need in '08. And while that's also a question mark for Richardson, the issue needs of the party fit Richardson like a glove, probably better than any candidate in the field.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

John Deeth Blog: One More Thing I Don't Care For About Mike Blouin

Excerpted from this post at BLOGNAME

One More Thing I Don't Care For About Mike Blouin. This is a completely gratuitous Blouin bash, but I'm below my daily quota. You notice how much this logo looks like the logo of another candidate I didn't care for? 4th District Candidate?

Excerpted from this post at

I've heard Selden Spencer's name from more than one person as someone thinking about running against Latham. He's a neurologist at McFarland Clinic in Ames, and lives in Huxley. He may be coming to Drinking Liberally on Friday, so if you're around Ames you should come.

At this stage in the game expectations are pretty low, so there isn't any reason not to run.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

blogresponder: Iowa Senator Grills The Government

Excerpted from this post at blogresponder

Charles Grassley is a US senator from Iowa. Click the link and read his
letter (expose') to USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez. USCIS is U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services.

If his claims are true, then everyone should be contacting their representative in congress to address these issues. This kind of stuff is unimaginably stupid and shows our government is only giving lip service to the Illegal Immigration issue. How many more terrorist attacks are required?

Half The Politics: Touchplay or Not to Touchplay

Excerpted from this post at Half The Politics

One of the headline stories coming out of Iowa is the controversy about the Touchplay machines that the Iowa Lottery has installed into gas stations, grocery stores, and bars.

These machines look, feel, and sound exactly like their slot machine counterparts except for the fact that every play is predetermined. This is a loophole that the Iowa Lottery used in order to get the machines installed...

I'm not even sure why the Touchplay machines are a controversy. They are nothing more than an interactive scratch ticket or a pull tab.

Hotline Blog: IA GOP Says Vilsack's PAC Violated IA Law

Excerpted from this post at Hotline Blog

Iowa Republicans say a campaign account connected to IA Gov. Tom Vilsack's '04 re-election bid ran afoul of state campaign finance laws by giving $50,000 to Vilsack's political action committee last year.

In a complaint filed today with the state's ethics and campaign disclosure board, Iowa Republican Party director Cullen Sheehan contends that state law forbids campaigns from transferring money to any account that benefits an office-holder personally.

Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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