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Monday, April 30, 2007

The Real Sporer: What the Democrats call progress...........

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer
............ reality defines as a special interest extravaganza. The Democrat Majority Leader in the Iowa House recently gave his description of the new Democrat majority's accomplishments in their first shot at legislative power. ... Let's take a look at who the Democrats REALLY benefited with this orgy of taxing and spending. ... PRESCHOOLS ... who does it really benefit? A small number of children who don't already have access to preschools, in and of itself of questionable value, can now access government run preschools. Who works in government run preschools? AFSCME members, of course. Even more government jobs in a state that already has six percent of the nation's public employees for one percent of the population. ... STEM CELLS. It's hard to tell who this Frankensteinien legislation benefits other than the pro-abortion lobby. Virtually no scientific data supports the proposition that embryonic stem cells offer more promising human benefit than other form of stem cell research. Certainly no private laboratories are willing to invest their own money in it but what the hell, why not hit and hope from the rough with someone else's money, eh?

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Popular Progressive: Legislative Session Ends - How Did It Go?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive
... here is my report card on these fine women and men who earn between $50,180 and $65,180 a year to serve us.
+++ Anti-gouging legislation around payday and car title loans. ... Grade: A + ...
+++ The anti-discrimination bill and anti-bullying bill are great legislation and the legislature should be commended for putting aside partisanship to address inequities in our state. ... Grade: A ...
+ Increasing the state minimum wage is half a victory because future increases are not tied to cost of living factors--translated this could mean another 10 years before the minimum wage increases. ... Grade: B
= - Some in the progressive community may disagree with me on this point, but the $100 million fund to "grow our bio-economy, create new jobs and help make Iowa the renewable energy capital of the world" may be a boondoogle, particularly if it ends up mainly supporting the likes of ADM, Mid-American and Alliant Energy. ... Grade: C

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Century of the Common Iowan: Watching the Iowa Legislature Work Overtime

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
... I went back to the State Capitol to hear the House debate on a Standings Appropriations bill (SF 601). Rep. Oldson (D-Polk) began by asking Representives to withdraw ammendments to this bill that are policy based and don't have anything to do with appopriations. This led one Republican Representives to comment that there is so much pork on this bill that he could hear it squeel when it came in. ... The hottest debate was on an ammendment by Rep. Griener (R-Washington) about wild boars and feral swine. I never realized this was such a big issue, but then again I don't live on a farm. The bill would outlaw two breeds of boars and outlaw feral swine. The reasoning is that they spread disease, harm the environment, and damage ecosystems. ... The ammendment ended up passing 50-42. The overall appropriations bill passed in the House 52-39 and later in the Senate 30-19.

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Blog for Iowa: The Real Story Behind Our Recent Civil Rights Bill

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa
Being an ex-intern for the Iowa Senate Democrats and their team cheerleader/critic :-) , it sort of annoys me the inference that the Senate was the last to get this bill and finally approve when it was the first and consistent legislative house that has introduced this bill and got the votes to pass it but it died repeatedly in the House. It has been the House that was the stick in the mud, even with the new Democratic majority and needed the final prodding and concession to the extremely conservative Republican Leaders to include the amendment not undermine the DOMA(Defense of Marriage Act) laws on Iowa's books.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Deeth Debate Reax

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Just back from watching the debate with JCDems chair Brian Flaherty who says, in chairmanly neutrality, that everyone did great and he wants to hear more health care. The rest of the thoughts are mine in blogger-ly snarkiness. Joe Biden had a great night and Brian Williams knew it; by the end of the debate he was going to Biden more and more and Dodd and Richardson less. And in the post-debate interviews, Biden was in What I'll Do As President mode (well, Secretary of State maybe) while Dodd was begging for consideration and Richardson (who looked disappointed) was giving the answer he should have given to one of the debate questions. My favorite sequence was the "elephant in the room" round early in the debate when Williams asked about perceived weaknesses and character flaws. (Someone missed an opportunity to chuckle at the question with an air of "this is so ridiculous it's beneath me, but as you insist on asking, I have nothing to hide.") Edwards did well with his response to a $400 haircut question, which served as the launch pad for some Everyone Should Have The Opportunity I've Had and Son Of A Millworker stories including one I hadn't heard before of having to leave a restaurant without ordering because his dad couldn't afford anything on the menu.

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Krusty Konservative: Friday Morning Kwik Hits

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Marlene Elwell Leaves McCain Kampaign: Marlene Elwell, the leading social konservative on the McCain presidential team has parted ways with the kampaign. The loss is a blow to the McCain kampaign that needs to reach out to social konservatives in Iowa and South Carolina. If her leaving wasn't bad enough, the timing is absolutely terrible. McCain is on day two of his official presidential announcement tour and the last thing the kampaign needed is a story like this. Elwell made he name in politics in 1988 with the Pat Robertson kampaign, and has strong ties with the leading social konservative organizers in Iowa. Leaving one kampaign for another isn't new for her either. In 1996 Elwell left the Buchanan kampaign for Bob Dole's kampaign early on. It will be interesting to see where she lands. There is no doubt in my mind that she will end up on another kampaign soon. I’m sure the Romney folks have already called, but maybe she is holding off for someone like Fred Thompson. Whoever wants her services better have deep pockets, FEC reports show that she brought in 25K in Feb 07 on the McCain kampaign.

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Bleeding Heartland: Kevin McCarthy reinforces a right-wing frame

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The passage of the Civil Rights bill by the Iowa legislature is undoubtedly a victory for progressives. I was very disappointed, though, when I opened up the Des Moines Register today and read the article on page 1 of the Metro section. Here's the third paragraph: "It is a historic vote," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Des Moines Democrat. "I also think it was a mainstream vote. This was not some sort of liberal social agenda. This is just saying that under housing and employment, people should not be discriminated based upon their real or perceived sexual orientation." What have Des Moines Register readers just learned? 1. the "liberal social agenda" is outside the mainstream. 2. mainstream = good, "liberal social agenda" = not so good. 3. even that Democratic guy is kind of embarrassed about the liberal social agenda. I understand what McCarthy was trying to say: this is not gay marriage, this is not even civil unions, this is no-brainer anti-discrimination protection. This should not be controversial.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: House passes Civil Rights bill by large margin

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

In the end, it wasn't even close! Here's the e-mail I just got from The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa: Dear Friends and Activists, I am so thrilled that the Iowa House of Representatives passed the Civil Rights bill tonight, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Iowa Civil Rights Code. The bi-partisan vote was 59 - 37! What a tremendous accomplishment for this Legislature and what an amazing step forward in making Iowa a truly welcoming state! Your calls, emails and contacts with Legislators made a difference! Thank you so much for ALL of your work on this important and historic legislation. It was so important that Legislators heard our collective progressive voice standing for Civil Rights for all people. The Civil Rights bill adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the Iowa Civil Rights Code to prohibit discriminatory employ ment, public accommodation, housing, education and credit practices. An amendment was added to the bill so it will need to go back to the Senate but it is expected to pass and the Governor is expected to sign the bill into law.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Teacher pay becomes teacher's choice

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

It doesn't matter who is in charge in the Iowa General Assembly or Terrace Hill, public school teachers are going to get a raise. Nobody wants to see sub par education in this state and nobody wants to see good teachers leave the state because they can find better opportunities in another state. With that being said, its good to see teachers are getting a raise. However, the manner in which they receive the raise is not, in my opinion, kosher at all. The General Assembly has passed legislation that will make Iowa the absolute middle of the pack in terms of teacher's salaries (until other states up theirs again and the new rankings are established). That's all fine and dandy until you consider that the bill strips away a lot of authority and power away from the local school boards. I ran for school board in 2004 and while I narrowly lost, I still follow the ebbs and flows of what goes on in the Sheldon Communi ty School District. I don't always agree with the members or decisions, but I completely agree that those on the board should be the ones making the decisions and not legislators in Des Moines, bureaucrats in Des Moines, or worse yet elected officials and bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

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Krusty Konservative: Huckabee needs to focus on Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

As you all know, I like Mike Huckabee. Maybe it's because I always seem to root for an underdog, but as a long time social konservative, I think Huckabee is the best evangelical running for President. Huckabee is a former Baptist preacher, solidly pro-life, and a supporter of traditional marriage. Most importantly he is a candidate who practices what he preaches, there is no question where he will come down on social issues or judges if he is elected President. The reason why I named Huckabee my "Breakout Kandidate for 2007" is because is he is hands down the best kommunicator out of the solid konservative kandidates in the race. Proof of this was at last week's Lincoln Dinner, Huckabee delivered a great speech while Brownback didn't excite anyone, and Tancredo remains a single-issue candidate. With everything that I mentioned above, I think Huckabee should be able to do well at the Ames Straw Poll this August. The only problem is Mike Huckabee is squandering a golden opportunity by not focusing on Iowa. Mike Huckabee needs to live in Iowa for the next three and a half months, if he doesn't he's done. He made some good buzz at the Lincoln Dinner but he has to follow it up.

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Popular Progressive: House shows spine

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

By a vote of 218 to 208, Rep. Dave Loebsack, his fellow Democrats, and two Republicans passed the supplemental bill which returns to the senate for a vote before going to the White House where it is expected that President Bush will veto it. From AP: The House last night brushed aside weeks of angry White House rhetoric and veto threats to narrowly approve a $124 billion war spending bill that requires troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin by Oct. 1, with a goal of ending U.S. combat operations there by next March. "How many more suicide bombs must kill American soldiers before this president offers a timeline for our troops to come home?" asked Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), a freshman Iraq war veteran who lost nine fellow paratroopers this week in one of the deadliest attacks of the war. "How many more military leaders must declare the war will not be won militarily before this president demands that the Iraqis stand up and fight f or their country? How many more terrorists will President Bush's foreign policy breed before he focuses a new strategy, a real strategy? This bill says enough is enough."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Civil Rights Bill: Floor Vote Wednesday?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Janelle Rettig with an update on the civil rights bill: Things are looking good for a vote tomorrow (Weds 4/25). All of the contacts we've been making have really been helpful. I'm reminded of all the people that have worked for this day for over 20 years. Many of the people who have worked for this issue are no longer with us, but I bet they will be with us in spirit tomorrow. I hope you might find a moment to remember the civil rights activists that came before us and to those that have dedicated decades to this issue. The victory is not guaranteed and there are some amendments that are problematic, so if you have a story of discrimination to tell or some positive comments to make, please continue to keep making those calls and sending emails. You never know what story might make someone change their mind and vote for civil rights protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, AND transgendered people. Dig through your address book and contacts looking for anyone from these counties asking them to help: Polk, Winneshiek, Scott, Kossuth, Benton, Chickasaw, Union, Cerro Gordo, Pottawattamie, Black Hawk. Write these Democrats telling stories of discrimination, fears, hopes and dreams of a better state.

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Iowans for Sensible Priorities: Digest: what the candidates have been saying about Federal Budget Priorities in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Sensible Priorities

Here is a run down of our conversations with candidates in the month of April so far: Senator Dodd at a Forum on International Relations hosted by U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy: Question: Our country needs solid leadership and a candidate that is willing to commitment to changing our direction of foreign policy. Eisenhower warned in 1953 to be aware of the military industrial complex and the weakness it would create in our country and around the world. Over 50 years later, our country spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined yet social needs remain unmet. If elected, would you support making our country stronger by eliminating $60 billion in Pentagon waste and investing that money in domestic priorities? Response: He agreed that the current budget is not preparing to our country to fight what we need here at home. The Senator di d mention Cold War era weapons and the need to use of diplomacy. He mentioned that it is not about line item rather it's about a sense of balance. It's not about the $60 billion figure but about what makes sense. He further stated that our country needs leadership that is positive and to lead by example in order to strengthen our foreign relations.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Power Fund appears to be Democrats' power trip

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

As the Iowa General Assembly brings this year's session to a close (presumably in the next week or two), we are likely to see the creation of an Iowa Power Fund that disturbs me greatly. Don't misunderstand me, I'm as big a proponent for renewable and alternative fuels as the next guy. However, Chet Culver's little pet project that he campaigned for is possibly going to pass the Iowa Senate and Iowa House without any mechanisms for proper oversight or any real direction for how the money will be doled out or for what purposes. This could end up being a gigantic tax payer funded government slush fund. Remember the last time an Iowa Democratic Governor got a gigantic fund to play around with? Yep, the General Assembly gave Tom Vilsack the Iowa Values Fund and almost since its inception, critics on both sides of the aisle have sent up red flags about how the money is spent, if the results have been suf ficient, and whether there is enough documentation to back up the transactions and results of the projects that were funded by the Values Fund. The biggest critic, ironically, was Ed Fallon who was right on in his criticism of Vilsack and former Economic Development Director Mike Blouin. The truth is, the Values Fund has not lived up to its billing. It has only created a fraction of the output it was expected to unleash and there has been alot of shadows surrounding the oversight of the board.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Krusty Konservative: In or Out

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Here's some unsolicited advice for Rudy Giuliani: Either get into Iowa and go balls to the wall until the caucuses or skip it all together. If you want to come in and tip toe around the state, talking like a candidate but not really acting like one then if I were you I would save myself the trouble and just skip the state altogether. There is no upside to being a part time kandidate in Iowa and here's why: It's a caucus state, not a primary state. I've talked about this several times. Turning out for a caucus is not the same as turning out for a primary. Kandidates need motivated supporters in addition to putting forth a massive staff effort leading up to the caucuses to identify and train caucus attendees. This task will be especially important for Rudy because he should attract more non-traditional caucus attendees who are unfamiliar or intimidated with the process. Why do so many pundits, media and analysts put so much stock in the straw poll? Because it is the best indicator of organizational success. The straw poll is the world's best caucus dress rehearsal. I don't think Rudy will be able to successfully turn out to the caucuses if his campaign won't participate in the straw poll.

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Politically Speaking: No NASCAR Dads, Security Moms?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

First there were the Soccer Moms sought by candidates for political office. Then, in 2004, there were the Security Moms and NASCAR Dads blocs to be turned into voters. Or were there? The Social Science Quarterly has published a study by two political science professors that claims the Soccer Moms and NASCAR Dads blocs don't actually exist. According to the study done by Steven Greene of North Carolina University and Laurel Elder of Hartwick College in New York, mothers are more concerned about social welfare than national security, and fathers as a group don't vote any differently than men without children. The professors said "the hype" about the two groups was wrong: "The NASCAR Dad stories implied that fathers were a conservative bunch, and that Democrats needed to move to the right side of political issues to have a shot at winning their votes. Security Mom stories implied that post-9/11, mothers had become more supportive of President Bush because of his stance on national security." Information on the SSQ study can be found at www.blackwellpublishing.com.

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iPol: Joe Biden's Speech at the Polk County Democrats Spring Dinner

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Joe Biden was the last candidate to address the crowd, and took the stage to robust applause. Every election cycle, he said, America puts up a job description for president. The job description changes from cycle to cycle, but this time, according to Biden, the job description is: restore America's place in the world, restore the middle class, and put an end to the politics of polarization. In today's America, Biden said, there is not a single problem that lends itself to a solution supported by 51% of the people and opposed by the other 49%. In order to prevail in the general election, Biden said, the Democratic nominee will need to not just win the same tier of 20 or so "blue" states won by Al Gore and John Kerry in the last two cycles, but also be competitive in at least 9 or 10 traditionally "red" states as well. Establishing his thesis for the night, Biden said, "I'm not running for the exercise." Biden characterized the current political climate as the politics of false choices. Iraq, he said, cannot be passed on to the next president, or abandoned by the United States, without any idea about what comes next.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Tancredo Isn't As Wacky As I Thought

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
... This was my first Republican event I attended, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. ... Tancredo began discussing immigration by framing it as a security issue. He wants to first tighten security on the southern border and then the northern border. He said that we need to know who is coming in, for what reasons, and how long they are staying. Then he said we are basically importing a servant class into our nation. ... Tancredo disagrees with people who say they can't find people to do work. He said what they really mean is they can't hire people to work for the price they are willing to pay. ... At the end of the speech, Tancredo did say that jobs are the magnet bringing immigrants here. If you crack down on employers and the immigrants wouldn't be able to find a job, they would go back home on their own. This is an example of how he should answer the question. This type of statement should be first point he makes, instead of talking about having the will to round up 12-20 million people.

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Iowa Progress: Culver's Energy Plan Was So Good, A Candidate for KY Governor Stole It

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress
Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear just got caught lifting part of Chet Culver's energy policy text. ... Obviously, neither candidate had any idea that the text was going to be used in multiple places, but it's a pretty inexcusable mistake on the consultants' parts. In a world with the Internet, someone in Kentucky might be able to find out what a candidate in Iowa is saying, and vice versa. Quoting, again, "Beshear's campaign manager, Jim Cauley, said the campaign saw Culver's plan for energy online 'and we liked it.'" Go Chet!

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Political Fallout: Iowa Lawmakers' Got Game?

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout
While key legislation hangs in the balance of the DMZ (Democrat Majority Zone), where bills such as VOICE, CAFO, and Civil Rights have been sentenced to solitary confinement, our legislators find refuge in mindless games, such as computer solitaire, on the House and Senate floors. Why engage in meaningful debate, when you can play by yourself? ... In the meantime, since our freshmen lawmakers aren't allowed to pariticpate in the political games, maybe we should put them to work, or give them something to do while killing time. List of Seven Things Freshmen Lawmakers Can Do While Their Leaders Are Off Killing Bills in Committee: 7. Gather holy oils for ceremonial anointment of congressional leaders' feet when they descend upon the den of slackdom and impart their representative wisdom 6. Download music, ring tones, and games before the tax hammer falls ...

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Popular Progressive: Gronstal Uses His VOICE -- To Flip Out

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

As reported on Blog for Iowa and Tom over at Political Fallout, Senator Mike Gronstal flipped out during an informal meeting with supporters of VOICE (See video story). Clearly aggravated by these activists, Gronstal launched obscenities at the group. One wonders why? Could it be that his his new position with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is making him a less than fair arbitrator. This being the group that recruits legislative candidates to run for Congress. Gronstal was previously the DLCC Finance Chair. "With Senator Fitz-Gerald as Chair and Senator Gronstal as Finance Chair, the DLCC also grew to over a ten million dollar committee this cycle, over a 50% increase from the 2004 cycle." Could it be on the state level Gronstal has raised over $500,000 for his own committee? "More than 75 percent of the money raised for his committee during that period, $426,250, was contributed to the Iowa Democratic Party." Could it be that Gronstal is starting a 527 to avoid those FEC regs?

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Krusty Konservative: Yellow = Loser?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

In last years gubernatorial race, the Nussle kampaign changed or altered their logo numerous times. It was green, then white, then back to green. Looking back it seems like they were a little too obsessed with the logo and not motivating voters. So far in the 2008 Caucus kampaign we have seen a kouple kampaigns that like to play with their logos. The first is John McCain. When he launched website it was a retro black and white theme, then when he showed up in Iowa his signs were blue not black, but now they are using dark blue, red and yellow. The other is Mike Huckabee. Huckabee hasn't changed is logo much, but it started out as Red, Blue, and yellow. More recently he has just stuck to red and blue. I think it's important for a kampaign to have a logo and stick with it. However, I think Huckabee is smart to ditch the yellow in his logo. What do the following presidential kandidates have in kommon?

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Babblemur & Akaoni Power Hour: Clean Elections coming soon to Iowa and Wisconsin

Excerpted from this post at Babblemur & Akaoni Power Hour

In Iowa, bills creating Public Financing of Elections are working their way through the state legislature. SF 553 has made it out of the Senate State Government Committee and is now in Appropriations. The bill, nicknamed VOICE (Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections), is based on the Arizona and Maine Clean Elections laws. Candidates collect a specified amount of five dollar contributions in order to receive full public financing of their campaigns. Candidates who opt this route will not have to whore for money or be beholden to special interests who would otherwise fund them in exchange for favors. In Wisconsin, a similar bill has been proposed by Pocan and Risser, that does the same thing. It establishes a number of five dollar contributions per office in order to receive full public financing. Interesting thing about the Iowa bill though: If you are a candidate from a "qualified political party" that received less than 20% of the vote in the last primary or general election, you are ineligible for public financing.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Carter at Carver

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
... the most compelling thing was the crowd's reaction to the protestors who passed out literature outside the venues. While I watched -- and I did make a point of observing outside of Carver before the main public show -- there were no incidents between those going inside to hear the lecture and those outside passing literature. ... At the end of the night, however, the book summary provided by Carter -- and that's really all his rehearsed remarks amounted to -- was not what people discussed on the way out of Carver Hawkeye Arena. The substance of the night for many, it seems, came as a part of the question and answer session. "The United States government should raise high the banner of human rights instead of being branded as the perpetrator of Abu Ghraib prison," said Carter in one of his more direct blows to the Bush administration. From faith-based initiatives to energy independence to Katrina to current racial tensions to the lack of military service within the ranks of the current administration, Carter left few sore spots untouched.

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From Right 2 Left: Carter Roundup

Excerpted from this post at From Right 2 Left
Jimmy Carter's performance was generally pretty weak this evening. Here are a few comments: Ignores Terrorism: Carter blatantly ignored the serious and ongoing problem of terrorism and threat from foreign forces. ... Misrepresents History: Carter misrepresents even the Camp David Accords he signed. He pretends that Israel never lived up to its obligations in the accords to the Palestinians. In fact, these "obligations" existed solely in the initial framework document, not in the final treaty. ... Is Not Interested In Dialogue: Carter spoke about improving dialogue and debate on the Israeli Palestine conflict, yet did nothing to create such dialogue. ... One last observation about the crowd. Many white American left-liberals apparently have little regard for debate. I was handing out pamphlets before the speech and at the book signing. The pamphlets were absolutely critical of Carter's book though in no way defamatory. Nonetheless, some people would tear it up and give it back to me, refuse and shout at me that Carter was not anti-Jewish (something that I have not asserted and was not asserted in the pamphlet), and give other rude responses.

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At the Statehouse: Ducking Debate

Excerpted from this post at At the Statehouse
The Iowa House is preparing to duck a debate on legislation extending civil rights protections to gays and lesbians. I could be wrong, but with just a week or so left in the scheduled 2007 session, the issue is showing very few signs of life. House Democrats say they don't have enough majority votes to pass the bill. A few Republicans support it, but they're not ready or willing to contribute yes votes to help Democrats, who reportedly have been mean to the GOP all session long. Evidently the desire for civil rights expansion is weaker than the desire to make Democrats look inept. ... Republicans have mastered the art of ginning up conservatives' during even-numbered years without actually delivering much of their agenda. Democrats are learning fast. ... some liberals are wondering why it was they worked so hard for a Democratic trifecta. They may not work so hard next time. Just ask the GOP pros about 2006.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Iowa Voice: Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice
... I'd have to say that Romney was the clear winner at this event. He had a strong message, a great speech, and he delivered it like a pro. John McCain showed himself to be a one-issue candidate, in my opinion. Yes, Iraq is important, but by the time we hold elections in 2008, Iraq very well may be off the table. What will he campaign on then? Rudy…well, as I said, this wasn't a great speech, and it wasn't delivered all that well. Just seemed like he was taking a "yeah, I'll serve if you elect me, but I could really care less" approach. We don't need a person running whose sole ambition in life is to be President, of course, but we do want someone running who clearly wants the job…and Rudy just seemed (at this event, anyway) like a man just going through the motions because people expect him to.

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John Deeth Blog: Carter Clampdown

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
There's still tickets for Jimmy Carter tonight, but things will be tight: "On Tuesday, the UI announced security measures for the lecture, which will include admitting only members of the media with proper credentials, requiring audience members to have tickets, and prohibiting backpacks, cameras, or audio/video recording devices into the arena. In addition, if admitted audience members leave, they will not be re-admitted." ... In any case I'll be in the cheap seats and not the press gallery; it wasn't till I saw this in print - the day before the event! - that I thought about getting credentialed. Was told the media gallery was full up so I can't tell whether the "proper credentials" is an anti-blogger thing or not. Call me Johnny come lately - but I'm used to the standards of the 2008 campaign trail: I show up, I say "I'm a blogger," the staffers show me much love, and I get lanyarded with credentials like so many Mardi Gras beads.

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Blog for Iowa: Rally for VOICE on Wednesday in Des Moines

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa
The Iowa General Assembly is debating a bill to adopt Clean Elections—public financing for candidates in legislative and statewide races. Clean Elections is a proven policy working in states like Connecticut, Maine, and Arizona where campaigns are now contests of ideas, not fundraising ability. There's less than two weeks left to pass Clean Elections before this year's session ends. Today is your chance to put this over the top. ... Can you imagine if Iowa's lawmakers owed nothing to corporate lobbyists and owed everything to voters? Iowa could join the cutting-edge of truly democratic elections. And if Iowa adopts public financing this year, the presidential candidates will have to go on record about this bold reform—putting the national spotlight on Clean Elections.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Iowa Geek: Lincoln Dinner- Meet The Candidates

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Geek
... First to speak was Rudy Giuliani. He is fiscally conservative and has a great record as mayor for decreasing crime in New York. The man may put an R after his name but his personal life has too many skeletons for all but the most moderate conservative voter. .. John Cox was next. ... I've had the opportunity to meet John a few times and I really think a common sense business-like approach is what we need in Washington. And I really hope that whoever does win the nomination puts this guy somewhere in their cabinet. ... The final speaker before dinner was Governor Mike Huckabee from Arkansas. ... I'm all about lower taxes and liked the speech but I don't think Huckabee is the man for the job. ... Congressman Tom Tancredo from Colorado was next. ... And while I agree with him I think he is too harsh for a lot of people. ... I've met Governor Gilmore on a few occasions and have found him to be a very firm candidate. Unfortunately he seemed very mean-spirited. ... With a strong focus on family values, good manners and courtesy I really think (Brownback) can be trusted. ... And next, Tommy Thompson from Wisconsin. ... After hearing him I really think he is a strong candidate. ... He really believes in giving people a chance, be it through school choice or job training. ... And, finally, Senator John McCain. ... He was the only speaker to roam the stage and talked to the audience as "friends". He's incredibly likeable. And intelligent. And funny. And not the guy. I like him, but he's not the guy.

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At the Statehouse: Rudy and the Right

Excerpted from this post at At the Statehouse
Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani is asking for a truce with conservatives over abortion. Good luck. "On abortion, I think we should respect each other," the former New York mayor told about 50 Iowans Saturday afternoon at a Des Moines restaurant. "Our party has to get beyond issues like that." Giuliani is a pro-choice candidate seeking the nomination of an overwhelmingly pro-life party. ... nearly all of the other eight Republican White House hopefuls who spoke did mention it, over and over again. They know Giuliani leads in early polls. They think the life issue — and broader questions about his conservative street cred — could be his Achilles' heel around these parts. ... he believes that even Republicans who strongly disagree with him will give him credit for his unwavering honesty. That's in contrast to Romney, who is catching brimstone for being a former pro-choicer and current flip-flopper.

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Iowa Voice: The Edwards Tax Plan

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice
He wants the IRS to compile all of the information on you and just send you a refund check or a bill come tax time ... he complains that people don't know how to do their taxes, yet he's going to send them their tax bill/refund and count on them to know whether it's accurate or not? They're going to just assume (there's that word again) that the IRS wouldn't possibly screw them over and sign it and send it back. Which is what the left wants people to do, really. Just shut up and pay what they tell you to pay. ... The current system, as even a lefty at Ezra Klein points out, is designed to make paying taxes an afterthought. You don't see or feel the income being literally picked from your pocket, because you never had it in your hands in the first place. Oh, you see the deductions on your paystub, but that's about it. You never feel the impact of having a chunk of your money being taken from you. Which is a major reason why tax cuts do so much to pump up an economy. All of a sudden, people think they're making more, so they spend it. They're not making any more than they were, they're just keeping more of it in their pocket, rather than send it off to the tax man.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Krusty Konservative: Iowa's First Kattle Kall

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
... RPI's Lincoln Dinner Winners: Huckabee, Tancredo, Thompson, McCain
... For what I saw on CSPAN and the reports people have emailed me, I think all the kandidates did a good job Saturday night, but I think some did a better job than others. I know that many of you think I'm a Huckabee homer, but I thought Huckabee used Saturday's event to make a very favorable impression on Iowa caucus goers ... Kongressman Tom Tancredo might have served up some cheesecake in his post event reception, but he dished out a ton of red meat right after dinner. ... For months I've given kudos to Tommy Thompson's Iowa kampaign team, but I was impressed by Thompson's speech. He offered the most detailed plans of any candidate that spoke at the dinner. ... Senator McCain's speech was more about style than substance. Usually I give people bad marks for this, but one of the biggest obstacles McCain must overcome in Iowa is his image.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner: Gigantic Success

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
This year's event was off the charts and I want to extend a gigantic kudos for the successful event to the planners and organizers of this year's event. ... I thought the event had a real fighting attitude about it. Republicans are angry about the Democratic agenda in Des Moines and Washington. They are ready to make the Republican Revolution real again.

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Bleeding Heartland: Who Is Holding Up Civil Rights?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
Obviously Christopher Rants is the biggest impediment to extending the civil rights code to cover the GLBT community, but there isn't much we can do about him (other than send even fewer Republicans back to the state house next year). There are some legislators that need to hear from concerned Iowans about their opposition or indecision on the bill currently bottled up in the house. ... This is urgent - if anything is going to happen on this bill, it is going to happen in the next couple of days. GLBTers have been a model team players for Iowa Democrats, supporting our candidates without hesitation and with very little demanded in return. While Democrats have been successful in the minority at stopping a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, now that we are in the majority we ought to be working to make Iowa a more equal state.

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The Rural Populist: Biofuels: Boon or Bust?

Excerpted from this post at The Rural Populist
Biofuels are clearly getting a lot of attention lately, and some speculate that ethanol and biodiesel will bring much needed income and spur revitalization in rural communities. Ethanol might be good for the price of corn at the moment, but it looks like it's not going to be helping residents of rural America as much as one might think. ... the people who live near ethanol plants are the ones who may suffer more problems with asthma and other diseases caused by increased air pollution. ... Biofuels could be a valuable asset for rural areas, but only if jobs and profits aren't exported to urban centers. In addition to existing incentives for biofuel production, there should be incentives for local ownership in order to capture the full benefit for struggling communities.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Radio Iowa: Kucinich rakes Edwards

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

For the full context of the line of questioning for Ohio Congressman/2004 Democratic presidential candidate/2008 Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, refer to this previous post. The condensed version if 2004 Kucinich backer Ed Fallon (the 2006 Democratic candidate for governor) is "doing what Dennis said to do" and backing a more "viable" candidate in 2008. So, when I had a chance to interview Kucinich this morning in the statehouse press room, I opened with Fallon's assertion. Henderson: "I've run into a lot of former Kucinich supporters at Edwards event and in fact, one person who you may know, Ed Fallon, said he was just doing what Dennis said to do, and that's go to a more viable candidate -- referring to deal with Edwards on Caucus..."

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Politically Speaking: Vietnam hero Bud Day endorses McCain

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Col. Bud Day, the Sioux City native for whom the local air field and a downtown street are named, has announced he will support Republican candidate John McCain for the presidency. Day, 83, keeps up with his long-time friend, Paul Jackson of Sioux City, and the two discussed endorsing a presidential candidate when they met to pheasant hunt in Siouxland on March 31. Jackson said after two hours, they decided to endorse McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona. Like Day, McCain was held captive by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, and famously withstood extreme torture directed to extract information from them.

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Ben and Bawb's Blog: Ron Paul has my vote

Excerpted from this post at Ben and Bawb's Blog

I'm not sure how they crept in there, but there are a couple of actual Conservatives vying for the Republikrat Presidential Nomination. Silly me, I backed true Conservatives before, Pat Robertson and Alan Keyes. Both the media and the GOP blueblood filthy rich hierarchy will do all they can to squelch real Conservatives in the running, as they always have in the past, but this time around I think that more and more people are getting fed up with the traditional neo-con globalist RINOs. Ron Paul won my vote and support simply by making one of his platform planks the simple yet brilliant idea of "re-instating the Constitution". That's so crazy, it just might work!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

On the Road with Linda: An Open Letter to Iowa's Senators and Representatives

Excerpted from this post at On the Road with Linda
Dear Members of the Iowa General Assembly, The 32,000 members of the Iowa State Education Association would like to thank you for the landmark piece of legislation, Senate File 277. This bill at long last fulfills the promises made in the Teacher Quality law of 2001, creates a new collaborative professional development system, and improves the accountability system so all educators are focused on increasing student achievement. ... Thank you for including area education agency professionals and school nurses in the teacher salary increases. ... Thank you for creating pilot projects that will study pay-for-performance and career ladders instead of implementing them immediately. ... Thank you for developing an administrator improvement and accountability system similar to the system for teachers. And finally, thanks to all of you for truly making a difference for children and public education in Iowa.

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Caucus Cooler: Radio

Excerpted from this post at Caucus Cooler
Tom Tancredo is running ads on the Randy Renshaw show that is all about…IMMIGRATION (surprise). The most interesting part, "John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney all support amnesty." Slam. Also Fred Thompson is clearly thinking about running. Why else would you make an announcement about your lymphoma?

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At the Statehouse: Under Pressure

Excerpted from this post at At the Statehouse
Senate Republicans who voted to scuttle Gene Meyer's appointment to lead the Iowa Department of Public Safety are certain to face some pretty intense lobbying over the next 24 hours to change their minds. Meyer fell two votes short Tuesday night of the 34 needed for confirmation, thanks to 18 Republicans who voted no. ... GOP senators have been receiving calls from prominent West Des Moines business leaders urging them to reconsider. Gov. Chet Culver held a news conference Tuesday morning decorated with more state troopers and law officers than you would find at a crime scene. Some House Republicans also showed up to chide their Senate colleagues. Senate Minority Leader Mary Lundby says lobbying won't work. Senators are sticking to their guns, arguing that a longtime insider like Meyer would make a poor director. But more than a few Statehouse types are wondering whether Senate Republicans picked the wrong fight.

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Price of Politics: 'W' Proves Obama Not Man for the Job?

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics
Prez candidate Christopher Dodd took a subtle jab at one of his opponents (who also happens to have way more support in the polls right now). He hinted (o.k., more than "hinted") the past proves a newbie isn't the right guy for the country's future. Dodd was talking before about 100 or so folks at the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy in downtown Des Moines. He said restoring the country's international standing will take a lot more than promises of hope (Obama's catch phrase word during his campaign stops here). ... Dodd may have introduced a phrase we may hear him use again..."We don't need a surge of troops in Iraq - we need a surge of diplomacy."

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Political Fallout: Iowa's Minority GOP Demands Affirmative Political Action

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout
Senate Republicans are demanding affirmative political action and have accused Governor Culver of regionalism in his Board of Regents appointments. Not one of the appointees is from western Iowa, home of the University of…? ... Nobody said living the life of a minority is easy, even in the world of politics. No? Just ask gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered persons in Iowa, who can't even get basic protections against discrimination added to the state's civil rights code. And now, having only suffered three harrowing months as the minority party, the Iowa GOP has had enough and intends to stand up for their rights. ... The GOP may want to consider other solutions before drawing a line in the political sand. For instance, they should inspire a succession. Just as West Des Moines succeeded from Des Moines and created its own governing municipality, western Iowa should do the same. Western Iowa can formulate its own government leadership and build its own University.

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InMuscatine: Conservatives, Ignore McCain's Flaws

Excerpted from this post at InMuscatine
Conservatives, don't ignore McCain - Los Angeles Times: "...By any measure, Rudy Giuliani is the more liberal candidate — indeed, the most liberal serious candidate Republicans have fielded in decades. But because Giuliani made the right enemies — chief among them those vexatious New York Times editors — conservatives respect him, even though they disagree with him on almost everything. And they give the cold shoulder to McCain, who agrees with them on most of the important things." Like what ?! Yes, McCain has been pro-life from way back when, but that's it. The man never met a tax cut he liked, so he's out on economic issues unlike Giuliani. McCain mocked and showed his obvious hatred for "evangelicals" (read : Christians) unlike Giuliani. Unlike Giuliani, McCain does possess the sixth most Liberal voting record in the Senate. Guiliani didn't give us McCain-Feingold

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John Deeth Blog: Nolte: No 2008 Run In House 89

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
In an email to supporters last night, 2006 Iowa House candidate Mark Nolte announces he's not running again in `08, citing family time needs - and taking a little shot at the IDP: "It was very disheartening to me to learn that the party leadership is only supportive of candidates who are willing to accept special interest money and who serve to feed the larger machine. I didn't get into this to be a fund raiser, I got into this to serve my state and spread the message that special interest groups are stealing our democracy. ... "

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Because They Can: Republicans and Regent Bonnie Campbell

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
Why are Mary Lundby and the Senate Republicans drawing a line in the sand on the regents appointments? There's an old joke with the punchline "because they can." ... Now, I've never been a huge Bonnie Campbell fan; her stab in the back in `94 to the gay-lesbian community is a wound that never healed for a lot of folks, and I still hear about it. It injured not just her campaign but the entire relationship between the LBG community and the Democratic Party. ... But she's been an important player before and since in non-candidate roles and the Regents are a good fit. ... The Iowa wingers hate Bonnie Campbell about the same way the national noise machine hates Hillary Clinton, and for many of the same reasons. Plus she's the appointee closest to the Culver inner political circle, so that sends the strongest message. "Doctor from Western Iowa" can be freely translated as "not Bonnie Campbell."

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Price of Politics: King Can't Stand (with) the Prez

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics
Tom Tancredo look-alike, Iowa Congressman Steve King, (King admits even he can't always tell the two apart on tv) isn't so high on the Prez' new idea to let illegal immigrants pay to stay in the U.S. The Prez says his idea isn't amnesty since he'd make undocumented workers pay for a temporary visa to stay and work here. King told me the Prez' definition of "amnesty" is apparently different from the rest of Americans. King thinks the idea just rewards people for breaking the law. King wants illegals deported.

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Popular Progressive: Unrealistic Expectations

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive
From the Daily Iowan: "... we cannot support the way in which some antiwar protesters continually place unrealistic expectations upon lawmakers or believe immediate removal of troops will solve everything." ... What is a "realistic expectation" to ending an unjust war? How many more soldiers, innocent civilians, and others have to be sacrificed for our moderation? The DI editorial staff has got it wrong. We need to be demanding of our lawmakers because they are the ones we elect to solve problems not exacerbate them. ... With regard to extracting ourselves from Iraq, I do agree with the DI on one issue, there is no good way to do it--by ourselves. And that has been the problem from the start. We failed to use diplomacy in an effective manner then and we have lost the all important political capital to do it now. The way forward in Iraq is to let regional diplomacy work, to offer aid to repair Iraq's infrastructure, and most importantly, to redeploy our troops as quickly as we can to where they best can be effective.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Krusty Konservative: Katching Up

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
... I know that some bloggers and especially the media like to glance over kandidates like Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson, but these are the guys who will make a big impact on the Iowa Straw Poll and the Iowa Caucus if you ask me. ... Tancredo's announcement on Jan Mickelsen's radio show kaught me off guard, but I think it was a great idea and a very different way to announce that you are running for President. Mickelsen's audience is exactly the type of people who would respond favorably to Tancredo's stance on illegal immigration and his strong konservative positions on social issues. ... I've read and was told that Thompson turned out 350 to 400 people to their mid day announcement in Des Moines. I think that's a big number. Sure its not what Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney have had but it's close, and it's a lot more than other second tier kandidates could draw in Iowa. I don't think Tancredo, Brownback, Huckabee, or Duncan Hunter could put together an event that large.

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The South of Iowa: Is it possible to be a progressive conservative?

Excerpted from this post at The South of Iowa
Today I traveled to Ames to a quarterly Iowa Farmers Union board meeting. There, we had a presentation by a representative of Iowa Citizens Action Network, or ICAN, about an initiative they are working on called "Our Common Values", a "multi-sector, statewide initiative to change the political conversation". ... The big difference between my beliefs and ICAN, however, is what is government's role in the day-to-day life of people? To me, the government should exist to provide basic structure of rules, justice, and services. Services are defined as police, fire protection, roads, etc. Justice means that no one is getting hurt by another party unfairly, and enforcing penalties if necessary. Stability is the goal of the government so that commerce can operate smoothly. ... However, I don't think it is government's role to do everything for everyone with the idea that it is a "neutral" party, separate from the private interests of individuals and corporations. ... So, can one be a progressive conservative? At the risk of sounding oxymoronic, yes, I believe so. It just depends on who is defining the terms, and what their bias is.

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Popular Progressive: Standing on a Corner and Waiting for Peace

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive
Every Friday in Iowa City, since the war in Iraq began, a small group of people have met at the corner of Washington and Clinton Streets between 5:15 and 5:45 pm to protest it. The number ebbs and flows. On really cold days, there may be one or two people out there. ... I do not know where you live or what you can do, but I know that visible public protest is important. It says that we care what happens, we are participants in moving our government toward peace, and we believe we can affect change--even if it is showing up on a street corner in the heart of the Midwest and saying enough is enough.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Iowans for Sensible Priorities: Brownback in Burlington

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Sensible Priorities

Questions: I got to ask three: I asked the Senator, after he stumped on fiscal responsibility, if he would consider cutting weapons programs in the defense budget, like the Osprey, that have shown to be a waste or are not needed and fund Health Care and Cancer Research ( he talked about research in his speech). Also as a follow up question I asked the Senator if he would consider cutting nuclear weapons back considering we had 11,000 of them and are current opponents are only trying to get them. Finally after his speech we chatted for a little bit about cutting back weapons programs. Responses: The response that I got was this. Even though he seemed open and actually positive towards the idea. He felt that we should look at fiscal waste as a whole and that yes even though some weapons programs may be wasteful or not useful to our goal of national defense, there were still other programs out there that were wasting more money.

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What Happened to My Country?: Follow the Money

Excerpted from this post at What Happened to My Country?

I'm feeling sucker-punched, and disappointed in presidential hopeful John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth. After their heart-touching press conference where they announced the return of Elizabeth's cancer, they had my admiration for their grit and devotion to a cause greater than themselves. But since, they have solicited sympathy emails on John's campaign site, and then used the email addresses of the tens of thousands who responded for their hit-up-for-money list. Some say it's just a good fund-raising strategy. I say it doesn't pass the smell test. Just makes them another of the shameless money-grubbing pack.... knocks them off of their new-found high ground. And, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) finally released the numbers for his campaign's haul in the first quarter of the year..... $25 million. Obama is treading on the heels of Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) supposedly unmatchable money-raising machine that spewed-out a lower-than-expectations $26 million.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Real Sporer: The Mitt review completes...

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

...this week's trifecta of presidential reviews for the Real Sporer. As expected Mitt's Grand Opening of the Iowa office in Urbandale (reported in Celtic green) was very well organized, timely and efficient. Exactly what you'd expect Gentry Collins to produce. Mitt also drew a very good crowd. The nature of the room was not designed to produce the numbers of the gymnasium sized events Rudy and Tommy held this week but there were still at least two hundred, exclusive of staff, and that made the place look absolutely packed, always a good television image. The crowd was largely composed of Republican regulars who I am pretty sure will attend their caucuses and will have important voices at their caucuses. Sen. Brad Zaun did the intros. Governor Branstad was again in attendance. I heard Governor Ray was there but left early, but I didn't see him so no confirmation.

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Krusty Konservative: McCain's Mayors

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I got the release from McCain on Monday about nailing down 23 Iowa mayors to endorse his kampaign. I feel obligated to link to myself regarding his problem securing and holding endorsements. I'm also wondering though if this is too much about Giuliani and not enough about McCain. Furthermore, this list is a little shaky on legitimate towns. The biggest town is probably Marion or course that might be the largest town with a Republican Mayor. This is obviously a shot at Rudy and his honorary title of "America's Mayor". But obviously they have had this list for a while. I think they used this release as a way to distract from the huge negative national story about how he got it handed to him financially in the first quarter. When I was cruising around the Iowa newspapers last night looking for something to write about I noticed McCain's release picked up by most of the news outlets I typically go to.

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The Woodbury Democrat: Coal, EPA and Keith Richards

Excerpted from this post at The Woodbury Democrat

I heard on the radio a day or two ago that the United States Supreme Court told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that by law they must actually do something. I guess the EPA has been dragging its heels since George Walker Bush was declared president in 2000, reluctant to take a stand on limiting greenhouse gases for some reason. This morning I read in Century of the Common Iowan that Alliant Energy is planning to build a coal plant in Marshalltown, Iowa. The EPA hasn't been regulating us for six years? We're still building coal plants? Whaa...? In this day and age of shrinking ice caps, drowning polar bears, impending drought, increased storm activity and threat of rising sea levels we're STILL building coal plants? Aren't they, like, bad for our health? Position statement: I do believe the 99% of scientists who say global warming is real and is caused by human activity are right.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Iowans for Romney: New York Times "Explaining Away" Romney's Fundraising Success

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney

Seen this article from the NY Times yet? Their lead-off Paragraph: 'Mitt Romney's presidential campaign said Monday that it had raised $20 million in the first quarter, tapping two distant but rich networks - Wall Street and the Mormon Church - to easily outpace his better-known Republican primary rivals.' There are a full six paragraphs devoted to Romney's poltical ties with Mormons and they drag up the "pseudo-scandal" of Romney officials and church officials meeting to supposedly coordinate efforts. However, they have NO evidence (yet because this information has not been made public) that "the Mormon Church" helped him raise this money. I'm sure plenty of Mormons contributed . . . but that's not what the piece says . . . it says that "the Mormon Church" was "tapped". A slip of the keyboard? . . . or a targeted attack?

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Price of Politics: Iowa's Mayors Sign Up Against America's Mayor

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

John McCain's not winning the money race so far (number three among the Repubs by my count). But it appears he's leading the pack when it comes to signing up Iowa's mayors (for whatever that's worth). Here's the release... Arlington, VA - U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today unveiled their Iowa Mayors for McCain leadership team, which includes twenty-three mayors from throughout the Hawkeye State. "John McCain is a strong leader who is best prepared to win the War on Terror and protect America's interests in the world," Dyersville Mayor Jim Heavens said. "I am honored to join with my fellow mayors in endorsing a proven, pragmatic, pro-life conservative like John McCain." The Mayors for McCain leadership team is comprised of mayors from both rural and urban communities and draws upon each of Iowa's five congressional districts. The mayors will use their experience to help spread John McCain's reform message in their communities and provide strategic guidance to the campaign on local issues.

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Bleeding Heartland: Misreading 2004

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Many people have taken the 2004 Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary results as proof positive that the candidate winning here will develop enough momentum to carry him or her through the entire nominating process. While that obviously happened with John Kerry's dramatic turnaround in New Hampshire following his win here, it is by no means a rule. Historically, Iowa and New Hampshire have almost always differed in their choices. Not counting sitting Presidents or Vice Presidents, Jimmy Carter was the last time that Iowa and New Hampshire agreed on anyone for either Democrats or Republicans (and technically Iowa voted for Undeclared over Carter). If anyone other than Kerry had won the Iowa caucus in 2004, that streak would almost certainly have remained intact. No, what 2004 taught us was that soft support in New Hampshire never really goes away.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Krusty Konservative: Krusty Six Pack

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
It's been a little while since I've ranked how the Presidential kandidates are doing here in Iowa, so today's Six Pack look at the six most active kampaigns in Iowa. This Six Pack is very different than the last one; things are changing here in Iowa. Sen. John McCain: I think this is the first time Sen. McCain has klaimed the top spot in my Six Pack. We all know the baggage that McCain brings with him to the campaign, but it seems like he has been able to overcome it here in Iowa. McCain finishes well in the polls, and has assembled a solid Iowa kampaign staff that is komplemented by a very seasoned group of Iowa konsultants. While McCain claims the top spot, he is not a klear frontrunner here in Iowa, but I'm not sure if we will ever have a clear frontrunner like George W. Bush was in 1999. McCain has a lot of work to do in konvincing social conservatives that they would be komfortable with him in the White House.

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Bleeding Heartland: VOICE - Not Gonna Happen

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I know that VOICE has nearly universal support in the blogging world and among activists, but the truth is that it is definitely not happening this cycle and unlikely to happen in the future without a serious accounting of how Iowa campaigns are run, both by Democrats and Republicans. Exhibit 1: Mike Gronstal's 2006 third quarter campaign finance report (pdf). Exhibit 2: Mary Lundby's 2006 third quarter campaign finance report (pdf). Both of these show six-figure donations and expenditures for Senators not even up for election in 2006. They don't represent even close to all the centralized money in Iowa politics, either. The reason you see so much party-line activity in Iowa politics is because all the money is controlled by leadership.

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Iowans for Romney: Not an April Fool's Joke... Positive Press for Romney

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney

I thought it was an April Fool's joke when I saw the following cover… not because I'm not in total agreement with Romney being the most Reaganesque candidate in the field (he's that by a long shot), but because it's seemed nearly all media sources have been overwhelmingly and unfairly harsh to Romney for several months (trying to stifle a Romney candidacy before it gets off the ground.) This article is definitely "a keeper." It's a very informative read and pretty spot on (even though it got wrong the issue that Romney "used to be against a Federal Marriage Amendment and now he's for it". I've already e-mailed the author (pointing him to my previous blog entry on the issue here) and he thanked me for the input. I have a copy of the PDF should anyone deeply desire that. Some of the highlights: 1) Crisis leadership is where Romney really shines.

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