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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Iowa Voters: Case Against Same-Day Registration

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voters
The bill to permit voter registration on election day passed the House state government committee yesterday 12-8, but not before opponents argued the case against it. I heard two arguments against the bill on radio news coverage. Neither one said there would be chaos in the polling place or that auditors couldn't handle the change due to administrative constraints. So why oppose the bill? Opponents pointed at undesirable voters. ... The case for a law much like Minnesota and Wisconsin already have is too strong for the silliness I heard coming from opponents yesterday.

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The Real Sporer: ICA Spring Kick Off Report

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer
Congrats to Steve Scheffler and the crew over at the Iowa Christian Alliance for a great kick off event. ... It was also great to see Bill Salier and Matt Whitaker back at a political venue. Matt was there in a purely personal capacity, I hasten to add. Bill is State Chair for Tom Tancredo, a good pairing, and was on duty, so to speak. Both Matt and Bill have very bright futures on our side of the aisle, if they want them. RVP was looking in fine form as both he and Danny Carroll were there for Mike Huckabee. ... Most importantly, the Republican mood seemed much, much more optimistic than at anytime since before Memorial Day last year. That was the best sign of all.

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Bleeding Heartland: Yepsen Back To Being Wrong All The Time

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
After a pretty reasonable blog post on Vilsack's exit from the race, Yepsen's column today on the same subject is back to his classic form. ... "Why didn't he take off? ... It's the first election since 9/11 in which the country must select a new president, and Americans seem to be be looking for a president with experience in national security or on a broader world stage - not a state capitol." ... So Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani has a lot of national security experience? Other than standing on some rubble on 9/11, the guy has no more (and probably much less) experience than any Governor. And Yepsen can dismiss Mitt Romney, but most Republicans consider him to be a serious contender. While Bill Richardson is not in the top tier of Presidential candidates (yet), it's not like the combined fourteen years total of the three frontrunners shows some dominant foreign policy experience.

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State 29: Chet Culver: If You're Out Of Power, Visit Our Web Site

Excerpted from this post at State 29
From the Des Moines Register: ... Culver said residents needing shelter or facing other emergencies should call 911, despite assertions from at one least one local official that the influx of calls was jamming phone lines. Anyone who cannot through that line, state officials said, should call 211 or their city or county's emergency services agency. They said information is also available at www.iowahomelandsecurity.org. ... Why is staying in a house without electricity "unacceptable" in this day and age? 70 years ago, only about 11% of farmers had electricity, yet they didn't die. If somebody has a fireplace, drinking water, food, and supplies then they can manage just fine in 30-degree weather for the next week or two.

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Iowa Progress: The Inequalities Of The Iowa Caucus

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
In 2004, 122,193 people attended the Democratic Precinct Caucuses to elect 3000 delegates to the State Convention. This averages out to just under 41 caucusgoers per delegate elected. However, this average wildly differed in every county. ... When one looks at the number of caucusgoers that it takes to elect a delegate in each county, there is a clear pattern. Caucusgoers in small, rural, Republican counties wield disproportionate power compared to those in more urban Democratic counties. In fact, the people who are most disadvantaged by this are students. ... It is a system that favors the old over the young, the rural over the urban, Western Iowa over Eastern Iowa. It is a method that of selecting a candidate that has a clear bias and to be successful, presidential candidates have to spend a disproportionate amount of energy on less populous rural areas.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

From Right 2 Left: Trespass is a crime

Excerpted from this post at From Right 2 Left
Some anti-war protesters do not know trespass is a crime. Unlike the days of Jim Crow, trespass is neither required nor an essential part of speaking out against bad policies. The people who were arrested in Grassley's office and the Cedar Rapids Federal Courthouse got what they deserved. They were not arrested for "speaking truth to power," or any other mythological reason. They were arrested for the incredibly common and mundane crime of trespass. ... Today's criminals were arrested for disobeying sensible laws that were unrelated to the policies they protested. That is why they are common criminals whereas the brave black men and women who were arrested in their protests were heroes.

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John Deeth Blog: Grassley Office Arrests And The Efficacy Of Protest

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
... The success of protest depends on how you define the target. If the goal is publicity and attention to Grassley's pro-war policies, they were a success. Front pages, and here I am writing about it. But if the idea was to actually persuade Grassley, then it was a waste of time. Attempts to persuade seated politicians only work on small to medium size issues. On the hot buttons issues, on questions of basic philosophy, politicians are either firm or, if not, they are hurt more by the obvious pandering (see The Entire Career of Mitt Romney for details). ... The only way to deal with politicians who can't be persuaded is to work around them, persuade the larger public, and defeat them. That's why I've chosen to focus my activism on electoral politics.

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Iowa Progress: Top Pickup Opportunities For Democrats In The Iowa House

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
The Republicans will be gearing up for 2008 determined to take back the majority under their leader, Chris Rants. But the Democrats have quite a few opportunities to pick up seats too. Here are our five best chances to gain seats: 1. Tami Wiencek (Waterloo) This is the only seat the Republicans picked up in 2006 and one they never should have picked up in the first place. ... 2. Chuck Gipp (Allamakee and part of Winneshiek County) Over half the registered voters in Oklahoma are Democrats, however the state hasn't voted for a Democratic candidate for President since 1964. ... 3. Dan Rasmussen (Buchanan and parts of Black Hawk and Fayette) Rasmussen is a three term incumbent from a strongly Democratic district. Despite receiving only 30% of the vote when he first ran for the State House as a sacrificial lamb, Rasmussen has quickly entrenched himself as a popular incumbent in Buchanan County. ... 4. David Deyoe (Story County outside of Ames and part of Hamilton County) ... 5. Doug Struyk (Council Bluffs)

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Century of the Common Iowan: Summit on Immigration Today in Marshalltown

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
... This session included a question and answer session with a panel that includes 2 members from the school district, a person from the Chamber of Commerce, the director of the Community College, and a Marshalltown resident who immigrated from Mexico over ten years ago. Most of the questions pertained to education because most of the panel is from the education field. Here is one of question that was asked that had a great answer from one of panelists (which recieved loud applause)... Q: Should it be a requirement to speak English when someone passes the border? A: It wasn't a requirement when my Grandfather came to this nation.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

The Online Beat: Hillary's Stalking Horse Leaves the Field

Excerpted from this post at The Online Beat
Having served his none-too-subtle role in the grand scheme of the 2OO8 presidential competition -- keeping as many Iowa Democrats as possible "locked up" until New York Senator Hillary Clinton got her campaign up and running in the first caucus state -- former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack today announced his exit from the race for the Democratic nomination. ... From the start, Vilsack's job was to present himself as a respectable alternative to the other Democratic candidates who, while he would go nowhere in states other than Iowa, could remain in the running with his fellow Hawkeyes until it was time to get out of Clinton's way. Even that modest task proved difficult. Iowa Democrats never took Vilsack's candidacy all that seriously.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Senator Vilsack?

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
I guess there are some rumors that Harkin might not be running for re-election in 2008. Vilsack's departure from the Presidential race today would put him in prime position to run for Senate. ... I would much rather have Tom Vilsack as a Senator than as President. I would much rather have Tom Harkin as my Senator than Tom Vilsack though. If Harkin does retire, Vilsack would be hard to beat and it is important Democrats keep the seat. If Harkin does run, Grassley is up for re-eclection in 2010. I have heard rumors that Grassley might not run again. If Vilsack ran, Democrats would have a great chance at holding both Iowa Senate seats.

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The Caucus Cooler: Rumor Has It ...

Excerpted from this post at The Caucus Cooler
The Cooler staff would like to pass along a rumor that has come to our attention. Supposedly former RNC Early Vote/Absentee Ballot director Tony Delgado will manage Rudy Giuliani's campaign in Iowa. In addition KC Jones will be the regional political director that oversees the state. ... A number of Iowa activists with ties to Jones have said they've received calls from her in the past week regarding Mayor Giuliani's campaign.

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Iowa Progress: Possible Endorsement For Richardson?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
Bill Richardson is coming to Iowa in early March and one of the events on his schedule is a house party at the Indianola residence of State Representative Mark Davitt. Needless to say, when a state legislator has a house party for a Presidential candidate, it seems quite likely that the state legislator is supporting that candidate. And if Davitt is endorsing Richardson, it offers Richardson a major boost in Warren County. ... Iowa Caucuses are not won by the endorsements of major national politicians, they are won by the support of well-respected community leaders like Mark Davitt. If Davitt is backing Richardson, his endorsement is worth more than that of 10 Tom Daschles.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Reaction to Vilsack's Decision to Leave Prez Race

Read what Iowa bloggers have to say about former Gov. Tom Vilsack's decision to drop out of the presidential race:

Iowa Progress:
*So You Worked For Tom Vilsack, What Do You Do Now?
*Tom Vilsack and Money
*Vilsack To Drop Out Today!

State 29: Vilsack To Cut And Run From Presidential Race

Bleeding Heartland (Drew Miller): Vilsack Out

Radio Iowa blog: Vilsack says he couldn't compete in money game

John Deeth Blog: Vilsack Dropping Out

InMuscatine: Vilsack Out - Obama/Hillary In

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Bleeding Heartland: Culver and NH Governor John Lynch to Discuss Caucus

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The New Hampshire Union-Leader has word that Culver and Lynch will meet to discuss the very real threat that NH SOS Bill Gardner will move their primary up in front of Nevada (and almost certainly in front of Iowa in the process, since their law says they have to be a week ahead and Nevada is only three days from us). I'll save my post on why I hope they do for another day, but it looks like Culver is trying to defuse the situation. Bill Gardner is an institution in New Hampshire - he pretty much has to be given that he is elected by the state legislature, which up til recently has been fairly Republican. His legacy will be the protection of the New Hampshire primary, and he has his hand on the trigger here.

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Krusty Konservative: Krusty's Iowa Caucus Power Rankings

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
With the caucus kampaigns now upon us, I thought now would be a good time to breakout the Power Rankings. I'm only going to rank the top five because after that there isn't much difference between the candidates. I think you will all be surprised to see that my breakout candidate of 2007, Mike Huckabee is not on the list. I took a lot of heat when I named Huckabee my breakout kandidate, and while it's very early and there is plenty of time to campaign in the state, I'm starting to wonder if Iowa is a priority for the Huckabee campaign.

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Political Fallout: Planet Hillarywood: The Cold Apology Wars

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout

With the Oscars looming over the horizon, the political war in Hollywood picked up some steam this week as Hollywood political Diva, Hillary (Just Hillary) and political newcomer, Barack Obama, competed for Hollywood's thirty pieces of gold. The Much-Adieu-About-Nothing drama was spurned by David Geffen's latest betrayal of the Clinton campaign. Not only did Geffen switch allegiances to the Obama campaign, but he had some choice words for Hillary and Bill, calling Hillary "polarizing" and Bill "reckless." It's words like these that will help garner an NC-17 rating, should Hollywood make a motion picture about this trivial dispute.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Political Fallout: OBAMA is Bigger Than Jesus

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout
... OBAMA is bigger than Jesus on My Space, not Our Space. Although, given Obama's phenomenal rise of late, one could argue that he is giving the Savior a run for his money -- at least in the world of politics. ... So how would Jesus stack up against Obama in the '08 Presidential Race? Political Heavyweight Tale of the Tape ... 4. Reach: Obama: Although Barack has been blessed with long, lanky arms, his message has just begun to reach out and extend to Americans and the global community. Although, keep an eye out for his political right jab. Jesus: Has already built a solid political base, his message reaching out and resonating with key activists for over 2000 years. Not to mention, Jesus is well organized on the ground and has thousands of branch offices across the United States. Advantage: Jesus (A 2000+ year head start is too big an obstacle to overcome in a single year.) ... 7. Gospels/Message: Obama: "Audacity of Hope" is currently #1 on the N.Y. Times Bestseller List (non-fiction) and #10 for all books purchased on Amazon.com. Jesus: "The New Testament" -- the highest ranked edition falls in at 92,925 on the Amazon rankings list for all books. Advantage: OBAMA (Granted, more copies of "The New Testament" have been sold worldwide and it's one of the highest ranking all-time bestsellers in America, but this doesn't cut if for the next year of the political cycle.

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John Deeth Blog: Dodd: Afterthoughts

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
This is what a caucus event is supposed to be like. The Edwards and Obama events I covered recently felt like general election rallies. But this is the kind of gathering on which the caucuses built their reputation, and which remains Iowa's raison d'etre. A small group of dedicated activists sitting down with someone who, by any reasonable standard, deserves serious consideration as a potential president. The people waiting to talk to Dodd were not waiting to touch the hem of his garment, as I said of Obama. They were all armed with detailed questions. ... If we can't do these one on one events, that undercuts our case that the caucuses are special and should continue as the first event. Are we soon to be victims of our own success?

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A Year in Iowa: Dodd: "Do You Know Who I Am?"

Excerpted from this post at A Year in Iowa
After Obama had filled a high school gym here and McCain packed a ballroom in a downtown hotel within the last two weeks, a presidential campaign stop in Cedar Rapids resembled most of the hundreds that had come to this city over the last few decades. It was small-scale, personal, and not accompanied by a glut of national media. Which means one thing: Dodd, 62, is a dark horse in the Democratic field, out of the bright light cast by Clinton, Obama and Edwards. He insists he isn't a bit disheartened by it. Maybe that's because he could be more able to easily move about Iowa and meet more of its potential voters than the aforementioned trio.

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State 29: Ron Dardis Is A Democratic Party Tool Who Supports Abuse Of The Flag For Political Purposes

Excerpted from this post at State 29
... Even though Ron Dardis doesn't apparently have a party affiliation, he's been appointed to all sorts of positions by the Vilsack administration ... "Honoring" fallen troops by lowering the flag to half staff in their home state or adopted home state or childhood home state or some relative's home state is bulls--t. It's a political statement. It's a continuation of the "bring the troops home today before the job is done" surrender/loser/French/I-Hate-America mentality.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hotline On Call: Romney's Up In Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Hotline On Call
The Hotline has learned that Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney will air his first campaign advertisement in Iowa. Beginning tomorrow, the 30-second spot will air on network television affiliates in Des Moines, and possibly on stations in other markets. The buy will last through 2/25.

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Iowa Progress: Iowa State Senate's Most Vulnerable Seats

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
... we're going to take a look at the three most vulnerable seats that the Democrats have to defend. ... 1. Frank Wood (parts of Clinton and Scott Counties) In 2004, Wood defeated incumbent Republican State Senator Bryan Sievers in a race that was decided by less than 500 votes. ... Even with a strong top of the ticket with Bruce Braley and Tom Harkin, Wood will face a very tough fight in this Republican-leaning district. ... Tom Hancock (Jones and parts of Delaware and Dubuque Counties) In 2004, Tom Hancock defeated incumbent State Senator Julie Hosch by 122 votes. ... The district is very competitive, although Democrats have a registration advantage of 1,500 over the Republicans, over 40% of the voters are independents. ... 3. Tom Rielly (Keokuk and Poweshiek Counties, parts of Iowa, Mahaska and Tama Counties) Tom Rielly's district is more Republican than that of any other Democratic State Senator up for election in 2008. However, Rielly has a solid base of support in otherwise heavily Republican Mahaska County (a county that is so Republican that Bill Clinton only received 40% of the vote there in 1996).

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The Real Sporer: Congratulations................

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer
................ to both Bill Dix and Thompson '08 for what will undoubtedly be a wonderful merger. Bill will become Tommy Thompson's State Chair this week. Having recently seen Tommy, I must say he makes one whale of a good point. We have to win Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and maybe Michigan next time 'cause Ohio's going to be really tough. Is Tommy the guy who can do it, time alone will tell. Tommy and Bill will make a very likeable team, and one on whom we should all keep a close eye.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Iowa Progress: Frontloading and Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

A number of states, including California, Texas and New York are in the process of moving their Presidential Primaries to February 5. Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah already have primaries scheduled then. In addition, Florida might move up to January 26 and Alabama to February 2. It has the potential to create total chaos in the Presidential nominating process and to set up a chain reaction that pushes up the Iowa Caucuses to the first week in January, if not into 2007. However, regardless of what happens with the actual timing of the Caucuses, what impact will a front-loaded primary schedule have on Iowa? The 2004 primary schedule was pretty frontloaded but by effectively ending the primary season before Lincoln's birthday, the 2008 schedule will further elevate the importance of Iowa. Candidates will, at best, get four chances to prove themselves in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

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Krusty Konservative: McCain Visit Rekap

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Sen. John McCain spent most of his Saturday in Iowa, opting not to return to D.C. for a rare Saturday vote. McCain's visit to Iowa was his first as a presidential kandidate, and by all accounts his trip was a success. The McCain campaign organized events in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport. I have seen attendance numbers for the Des Moines event from anywhere from 150 to 400. My sources tell be that there were probable about 350 people in attendance. In Cedar Rapids he drew about 500 and had about 400 in Davenport. I had a trusted korrespondent in Des Moines who gave me the following report. The event started out with a welcome speech from Iowa Chairman Dave Roederer. Dave lit up the crowd with a speech about the importance of the 2008 elections, the important issues facing us, and imploring the krowd to listen to the Senator and make their decisions as to who to support.

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Radio Iowa: Grassley chides McCain?

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Senator Grassley's office just issued a statement: Senator Chuck Grassley today issued the following statement after the United States Senate failed to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to a resolution that expresses a sense of the Congress on the current strategy in Iraq. Grassley voted against proceeding to the bill. Here is Grassley's comment. "This is a rare Saturday vote. We've had only a handful of votes on Saturdays in the last 20 years. Even though I had to cancel a couple of speeches in Iowa, this is the place to be because the War on Terrorism is the most important issue facing Americans. The American people deserve a full debate complete with votes on resolutions put forward by both Republicans and Democrats."

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Radio Iowa: Vilsack Previews Tonight Show Appearance

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

At 8:35 p.m. Iowa time -- just after The Tonight Show taping concluded -- former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack held a telephone news conference to discuss his appearance on the show that airs this evening. "I had an interesting opportunity to be on The Tonight Show tonight. The show actually starts with a skit that Jay and I did, so the actual beginning of The Tonight Show involves Jay Leno and a fellow who was dressed up as a security guard doing a little skit which I think people will find pretty funny and after that, Jay interviewed Jim Carrey for a while and then I was asked to come on after Jim Carrey," Vilsack said at the beginning of the call.

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Krusty Konservative: Here's Johnny!

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Sen. John McCain set to barnstorm the state this weekend with events in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport. McCain's trip through Iowa should kreate great media koverage in the state three largest media markets. The only problem is many people don't really pay attention to news coverage on the weekends, but the story will be in Sunday's papers across the state. This is the first political trip McCain is making in the exploratory phase of his kampaign, which also tells us that he is taking Iowa very seriously, but we already knew that because of the staff he has on the ground here. It also begs the question, where has he been?

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Iowa Progress: Key Richardson Staff Pickup in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Word on the street is that Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson has started staffing his field operation in Iowa. Sources have revealed to us that Brad Frevert has been hired as Richardson's Iowa Field Director. Frevert has worked for the Iowa Democratic Party since 2004, when he served as Regional Field Director out of Waterloo. After the 2004 elections, he was hired as the state party's off-year Field Director, and he served as Deputy Field Director under Jesse Harris during the 2006 election. Before working for the IDP, he worked for Bob Graham's aborted 2004 Presidential Campaign and then for AFSCME, organizing caucus supporters for Dean.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Politically Speaking: A 24/6 congressional candidate

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking
Rob Hubler of Council Bluffs will likely pursue a run for the 2008 Iowa 5th District congressional position. Hubler is touring western Iowa and was in Sioux City this morning to gauge Democratic Party support for taking on three-term U.S. Rep. Steve King, a Republican. ... He said his campaign will center on four things, "Fund-raising, organization, organization and organization -- although the first of these" is money. While Hubler said he'll campaign hard, he'll likely be a "24/6" candidate, since he plans to leave Sundays for substituting for other ministers in the pulpit.

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Iowa Progress: The First Open Seat Of 2008

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
... Sandy Greiner, the eight term Republican incumbent from House District 89 (Washington County along with parts of Johnson and Jefferson Counties) will not seek re-election. Greiner faced a very competitive challenge from Mark Nolte in 2006 who, despite running in a heavily Republican district (2,000 more Republicans than Democrats) and not being a targeted candidate, lost by only 1,100 votes. Nolte was a long shot against Greiner in 2006 but he should be a very competitive candidate in 2008 since he will not be facing an incumbent. Greiner's retirement is the first of an expected wave of retirements among Republican lawmakers who have no desire to serve in the minority. It is typical for a minority party that has just lost power after a long reign as the majority to endure a wave of retirements.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

John Deeth Blog: SILO Wins Johnson, Linn; Democrat Miller Wins Linn Auditor

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
Quick exhausted look at the numbers:
# Turnout picks up a bit late in the day as the snow slows, still a bit short of 1999
# Hot Spot: Iowa City 4 (Manville Heights and Peninsula)with 86%; Lone Tree with 81%
# West side pretty warm, upper to mid 70s, also IC24 (City High) and North Coralville)
# The cool spot in town, as always for school measures, was southeast Iowa City. Not so much regressivity as read my lips working class tories here.
# A few scattered rural precincts, mostly in the south, were weak or actual no votes.
# Top percentage turnout was Solon
# Student turnout near non-existent.
Now that the penny SILO tax is consistent statewide, the Johnson-Linn legislators can better make a case for some restructuring of education funding.

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Political Forecast: IA-02: Do Loebsack's contributions raise concerns?

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast
Congressman Loebsack's got a lot of attention since he came to DC not only on the issues and his leadership, but also on the amount of contributions he received. Jane Norman wrote in the Register last week that Loebsack was coming under fire for the large PAC contributions to his campaign -- which would likely go to re-election efforts. To me, and I'm sure there is a large amount of cynicism in my thoughts, it seems that Congress and its members are forced into a continual re-election effort.

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The Caucus Cooler: Romney Recap

Excerpted from this post at The Caucus Cooler
... he takes his first subtle jab at McCain saying "I don't believe Washington can be transformed by someone from the inside, someone that has spent their whole life there." After that the speech picked up some steam. About halfway through he got to the official announcement part. "With them behind me, with you around me, with all of America watching I declare that I am running for President." After a big cheer the crowd got a "Mitt Mitt Mitt Mitt" chant going. The loudest and longest cheer of the speech came a few minutes later after Mitt expressed his support for the President when it comes to Iraq. He ends talking a lot about freedom. After the speech Tom Petty's "Running Down the Dream" comes on and there's quite a buzz in the room.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: New Staffer Updates for Hillary and Obama

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
We have a new round of Iowa staffer updates. As Chris Woods reported yesterday, Chris Hayler of John Kerry and Evan Bayh fame has been picked up by the Hillary campaign as its Iowa Political Director. This morning's Hotline reports that Mark Daley has been picked up by Hillary as her Iowa Communications Director. Daley is the executive director of One Iowa, and previously held posts as Communications Director for the Iowa Democratic Party and Leonard Boswell for Congress. I am also hearing rumblings that Steve Chasse has been picked up by the Obama campaign.

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The Caucus Cooler: All Mitt All the Time

Excerpted from this post at The Caucus Cooler
It's announcement day! If you don't want to go out into the cold and snow, we've got a morning full of Romney links for your perusal ... Sam Brownback fired the first formal salvo of the nomination fight last night. In a press release on the eve of Romney's announcement, Brownback's camp lists in painstaking detail Romney multiple flips from pro-life to pro-choice and back and forth again. ... David Yepsen, one of Romney's most ardent supporters in the Gang of 50 writes this morning about the challenges Romney faces in overcoming his evolution on key social issues. But he also notes Romney's strongsuits- business background, proven ability to work with Democrats and get results i.e. health care plan, and his ability to move up quickly in the current field.

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iPol: Obama's Kickoff

Excerpted from this post at iPol
... Bedlam as Barack hits the stage. The phrase "rock star reception" is overused, and anyway, hardly does justice to the welcome he receives from the crowd. Seriously, what it's like to get that kind of lift from a crowd of strangers probably only Bono, the Pope and a handful of other mortals know. Add Obama to their number. ... In contrast with the Hillary kickoff, this was a speech, not a town hall meeting. Obama talked about his family, his background, his political career, his newly-launched campaign for the White House. And the war. Eloquence throughout and to spare. But it isn't all oratory and no substance

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Monday, February 12, 2007

The Caucus Cooler: Caucus Cooler Update

Excerpted from this post at The Caucus Cooler
When people participating in this site berate not just their fellow Republican candidates, but fellow Republicans in the rank and file, it reflects poorly on our party and our state. ... If you think we are overreacting, let us note that the behaviour of Iowa Republicans in the comments section has been so outrageously disgusting that it has been mentioned on national political blogs. What is even more sad is that while we are behaving like animals, Iowa Democrats are acting like adults with respect and compassion. While we are eating our own Drew Miller, Chris Woods and other Iowa Democrat blogs maintain a civil and considerate discourse. ... We will continue to post about the candidates and their visits to Iowa as well as timely issues, handicapping, witty observations about the field, and linking you to important 2008 news . But we will severely limit discussion about non-public staff members (i.e. those who's names don't appear in the newspaper).

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John Deeth Blog: Tom Miller, Mike Fitzgerald... Barack Obama

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
... No wonder they weren't on that Vilsack list yesterday... that's a big zing to the former guv: the two longest serving statewide elected officials, so popular they ran unopposed last year. ... Tangent: As an Iowan I hate to say it, but some of the second-tier folks would be best advised to adopt a Screw Iowa strategy rather than try to break through the Three Rock Stars and the Home Town Boy. ... At this point it should be noted that the Screw Iowa Strategy (Gore 88, McCain 00) has never worked.

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Iowa Progress: Tom Vilsack Is Winning Mt. Pleasant

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
Tom Vilsack yesterday annouced the names of 1,159 caucusgoers who will definitely support him in the 2008 caucuses. However, his support is not very broad. Over 13% of those supporters were from Mt. Pleasant, Vilsack's hometown (whereas the ratio of Mt. Pleasant residents to all Iowans is 0.3%). The list also includes the wives of Vilsack's Iowa Field Director, Jesse Harris and his Iowa State Director, Dusky Terry. ... If you serve as Governor of your state for eight years, there should be at least 1,100 people in your state who will automatically support you for President. ... Releasing this list is a nice way to hide ugly poll numbers but the ugly poll numbers will keep on coming out and the lists of new supporters by the hundreds won't.

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The Corn Beltway Boys: Will Someone Please Tell The Democrats That Life Isn't Fair?

Excerpted from this post at The Corn Beltway Boys
No amount of government involvement is going to make life fair. However, the brain trust of Gov. Chet and the Dumbocratic Iowa legislature are proposing a "fair share fee." Union members pay union fees and while non-union members do not because they are NOT members. As the decision to join the union is a choice, it makes sense that the fees associated with it should also be a choice. But if the Democrats have taught us anything in the last few years, it's that only one issue [abortion] is about choice and all other decisions should be government mandated.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Blog for Iowa: Abandon Touchscreens

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa
The good folks at Iowans for Voting Integrity http://www.iowansforvotingintegrity.org/News.htm have been working hard behind the scenes to assure election integrity in Iowa. They are working with state legislators to introduce a bill that will bring paper ballots and verified voting to all Iowa elections. As you know, even the Republican Governor of Florida has decided to abandon touchscreen voting machines. ... Iowa should abandon touchscreens too. Your help is now needed. County Auditors may well be resistant to more changes in equipment; last year the Iowa's Auditors' association opposed even the modest bill SF 351, which would only have required that paper printers be added to the touchscreens. Action: Please consider calling or writing your County Auditor and ask her or him to support legislation that would replace touchscreens in Iowa. Be sure to note that you support legislation that would have the state fund the transition to paper ballots.

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Political Fallout: Edwards Wins 'Fallout's First "Duh" Award

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout
In the perpetual "War on Bloggers" it looks like the Edwards' Campaign had its first political casualties: Amanda Marcotte (formerly of Pandagon) and Melissa McEwan (Shakespeare's Sister). A virtual vigil for the fallen bloggers has been scheduled for 5 'o'clock, blogsphere time. In honor of their brave blogspheric sacrifices, Political Fallout has established the "Duh" Award, which will honor people, politicians, groups, political factions, or any other entity whose actions merit a "Duh, what were you thinking?"* response from any member of the blogsphere community. Another factor that will be considered during the "Duh" Award vetting process is how the candidate responded to the controversy, especially if the nominee acts genuinely surprised.

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Krusty Konservative: Endorsements

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
Yesterday I ran through another brilliant installment of a Krusty Six Pack. It defined where I think the top six '08 kandidates are currently positioned in the race based on their activity here in Iowa. I wanted to take a look forward into what kandidates need to do to either stay on top of the Six Pack or move up in the Six Pack. Today lets talk about Endorsements; who could benefit the most from a specific endorsement and why. Kongressman Steve King: I think Kongressman King has to be konsidered the number one get for a kandidate to build their kredibility amongst social konservatives. Obviously, the 5th Kongressional District holds the most Republicans and Kongressman King holds a huge amount of sway with konservatives in his district and all across Iowa. There's a kouple of big questions about King. Will he endorse his doppelganger from Colorado – 06? Will he stay out of the 08 waters to keep his former Chief of Staff from unfounded yet unavoidable accusations of a konflict of interest during his tenure as ED at the party?

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Krusty Konservative: Mitt to the Sticks

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
... I was a little surprised that the Romney campaign would visit such small kommunities so early in the year. Boone has a population of just over 12,000 people, and Montour has a population of 285. Boone makes sense because it is so close to Ames and it will be important to maximize the turnout from the kounty for the August Straw Poll. The Montour visit is a different story. As a young business konsultant, Mitt Romney did some work for Fisher Controls in Marshalltown and became a fan of a little steakhouse in Montour called Rube's, which is where the event will be held at on Thursday.

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The Caucus Cooler: The Iowa Test Part 2

Excerpted from this post at The Caucus Cooler
Here's our reaction to our good friend Jonathan Martin's article The Iowa Test that we tried to post this morning. Huckabee acknowledges in the article that Iowa is going to be his largest test, going so far as to say that he needs one of the mythical 3 tickets out. ... This quote sparked a discussion around Cooler HQ this morning. Which candidate in the race is most capable of sustaining a severe blow here in the Hawkeye state. Obviously the answer is not Huckabee or Brownback. Both are supremely aware that all their eggs lie in the Iowa basket. ... Our first instinct was Rudy. Everyone agreed. Then as we delved deeper it became apparent that Iowa will probably be more important to Rudy than anyone else. ... McCain and Romney on the other hand both have organizations in NH, SC, and are building them nationwide. This will help them recover if they have an unsuccessful caucus night.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Iowa Progress: IA Senate Pickup Opportunities In 2008

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
... Although the Democrats picked up seats in 2004 to reach a 25-25 tie in the Senate, the Republicans will still be defending 15 seats in 2008, 5 more than the Democrats. ... Here are a list of the three most vulnerable seats that the divided Republican caucus will have to defend in 2008: 1. Larry McKibben (Marshall and Hardin Counties). McKibben represents a district that Chet Culver won by nearly 1500 votes in 2006. It consists of Marshall County, a traditionally strong Democratic county and Hardin, a mildly Republican leaning county. In 2004, McKibben edged out the Democratic candidate, Wayne Sawtelle, a labor activist, by less than 800 votes. McKibben owed his victory to piling up a huge lead in Hardin County, despite running significantly behind George Bush in Marshall County. ... 2. James Hahn (Cedar, most of Muscatine and a little of Johnson counties). ... The 2004 Democratic candidate for U.S. House, long-shot Dave Franker will be replaced on the ticket by incumbent Representative Dave Loebsack. This means there will be a whole lot more resources available in Muscatine County, a county which isn't that important in a statewide race but is a crucial swing county in the 2nd Congressional District. ... 3. Mary Lundby (Linn) ... Her socially moderate views make her a good fit for a State Senate district that has about 12,000 Democrats, 12,000 Republicans and 17,000 Independents in the suburbs of Cedar Rapids that she won with nearly 60% of the vote in 2004. However, it does not make her a good fit in the Republican Party of Iowa which is dominated by social conservatives.

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Blog for Iowa: Iowa's Local Food Systems: A Place to Grow Report Shows Iowa Can Benefit if Iowans Buy Locally

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa
Iowans can boost their economy by producing more food to sell locally, a new report shows. "Iowa's leaders need to implement policies that encourage profitable local food systems," said Teresa Galluzzo, co-author of the report and a research associate for the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project. "Research shows the state's economy would benefit." Galluzzo and Laura Krouse, a Cornell College biology instructor, examined the potential for local food systems in Iowa and their impacts, and how policy makers could encourage this developing industry.

Political Forecast: Cigarette tax increase moves to full Senate for debate

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast
... The Iowa House will be the real test, as it has been the location of contention over whether or not the increase would be $1 or less — rumors being that the increase would be around $0.40 - $0.60. Recently, Speaker Murphy has said he was more convinced that a $1 increase was justified and I truly hope he fights for it. Culver has been pretty reluctant to engage in discussion or debates with the Democratic legislature about his budget proposals, simply saying he's made his requests and its up the legislature. I'm not sure if he's playing timid or is actually being timid, but we'll soon see. If it looks like he can't get his buck increase in the House, he'll likely step up and put the pressure on lawmakers for the full increase.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Iowa Progress: Loebsack Leading Congress...In Money From PACs

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
Dave Loebsack, Iowa's newly elected Congressman from the 2nd District has been raising money from Political Action Committees at an incredible rate since Election Day. Between Election Day and the end of the year, Loebsack raised $71,000, most of which came from PACs. In contrast, over the last five weeks of the election, Loebsack raised less than $40,000 from PACs. All the money that Loebsack recieved from PACs made him the leading fundraiser among all House freshmen. ... It certainly looks like things are going to be a lot more expensive in 2008.

Century of the Common Iowan: Some more Crazy Comments from Congressman in Western Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
... Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) was in Council Bluffs campaigning for President on Saturday. Tancredo's focus is on illegal immigration. Unfortanately, Tancredo fails to discuss the cause of the immigration problem, instead Tancredo, like King, focuses on hate-filled remarks.Here are three examples from his stop in Iowa over the weekend... "Illegal immigration has diluted the country's patriotism." and referred to immigrants as a cult... "We have a cult of multiculturalism. This is what permeates our society," he said. Immigrants who come to the United States but refuse to assimilate by learning the language and following the laws water down what it means to be an American. and to top it off Tancredo had this to say... "It's a cultural, political, linguistic tower of Babel." Doesn't Tancredo realize that the vast majority of Americans are immigrants to this nation? Maybe he needs to read the story of the first Thanksgiving again.

State 29: I'm Shocked SHOCKED To Find That Estimates Were Too Low For The New Polk County Jail

Excerpted from this post at State 29
... Right. Dennis Anderson did not intentionally mislead or misunderestimate the true cost of the new jail. Yeah, we believe you. No way would that happen in Polk County! The news story then went on to talk about how a property tax increase for the jail might affect Project Density, the multi-county metro area tax increase that will go down to major defeat later in 2007. You should have heard them talk. Polk County residents will probably see their property taxes go up another $25 a year on a $100,000 a year house just for the jail budget screwup, but wave the magic Project Density wand and lo and behold your property taxes will go down once they jack the sales tax up to 13% of whatever the hell it will be when all the inbred Democrats get done.

Monday, February 05, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Register Polls Issues, Misses Intensity

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
... the Register poll measures near-even splits on Iowa's English Only and stem cell bans and on discrimination against gays. What these kinds of polls don't measure is intensity on these issues.It's not raw numbers that move voting behavior, it's strength of feeling. And on all these issues, the intensity is with the theocrats. Democrats may feel mildly that English Only is kinda sorta mean-spirited, but the Steve King-Tom Tancredo wing of the GOP is enraged every time someone speaks Spanish in public and clings fiercely to their oversimplified, "illegal means illegal" rhetoric. This, sadly, moves more votes than a reasoned approach, even when the reasoned approach is supported by a soft majority.

Century of the Common Iowan: Vilsack's Speech at the DNC Winter Meetings

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
On Saturday, Tom Vilsack spoke at the DNC Winter Meetings. I caught most of the speech on CSPAN and thought Vilsack did very well. Radio Iowa has a very good writeup on the speech. Vilsack's theme was pushing for real change. Vilsack spoke against No Child Left Behind and the need to teach creative thinking. "Let me be clear: I'm not talking about small change. I'm not talking about incremental change. I'm talking about bold and courageous change. Let me give you a few examples: adding a few dollars and tweaking a reauthorized No Child Behind is not real change. Ending No Child Left Behind as we know it is real change and replacing it with a real, true commitment to the children of this country. In this competitive world we live in we cannot be afford to be a nation of great, standardized test-takers. We must be a nation of creative and innovative thinkers and that's what our education policy should be."

Iowans for Romney: ROMNEY COMING TO IOWA AGAIN! In Boone and Montour this Thursday

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney
Romney will be here in Iowa again and is truly building a presence and following here in our state. Keep on coming Mitt! Got this information from his Iowa Campaign team: Thursday, February 8th - 8:00 a.m., Boone Country Club ... Thursday, February 8th - 12 Noon, Rube's Steakhouse, 118 Elm Street Montour, Iowa.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Krusty Konservative: Who has Kontrol of the Iowa House? Culver or Gronstal?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

One thing that will always get me riled up is a tax increase, ANY tax increase, including the proposed cigarette tax increase the legislature is considering. We are told the rational behind the tax increase that it will save lives. That's just a bunch of BS. The reason Democrats are pushing for the cigarette tax increase is because they need the funding to balance the books, and expand government. It has nothing to do with saving lives. I find it interesting that with each new day Speaker of the House Patrick Murphy has a different opinion on the cigarette tax increase. I know that Former Speaker Rants got beat up because he opposed the increase but at least the dude was konsistent.

Iowa True Blue: CIETC is Not a Partisan Scandal

Excerpted from this post at Iowa True Blue

Ramona Cunningham is scheduled to appear in court today on the CIETC indictments. That reminds me how back in November, many Republican candidates tried to make CIETC, which is undoubtedly a scandal, a scandal about Democrats. You can ask Governor Nussle, Speaker Rants, and Senate Majority Leader Lundby how well that worked, but it still bugs me when I hear people say the CIETC bad guys are Dems -- and not just Dems, but "Democratic insiders." I consider myself a good Democrat. Before I was chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, I served on the State Central Committee, and on the Polk County Central Committee and Third District Committee before that. I've spent many hours volunteering at county and state Democratic Party headquarters, and I've run campaigns that involved lots of Democratic volunteers.

Iowa Progress: Where Does Tom Vilsack's Money Come From?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Tom Vilsack raised 1.1 million dollars in the last quarter of 2006 (and spent nearly $750,000 of it). Where did the money come from? Iowa Progress examined his campaign finance report and has the answers. Vilsack received donations from five members of the state legislature. House Speaker Pro Tem Polly Bukta contributed $500 as did State Senators Mike Connolly,Tom Rielly and Roger Stewart. State Senate President Jack Kibbie donated $1050. Vilsack also recieved a $2100 contribution from his Lieutenant Governor and former IDP Chair, Sally Pedersen. Retired Iowa politicians also gave to Vilsack.

Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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