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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Business as Usual? Not His Administration, Obama Says

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

A desire for change is what Democratic presidential hopeful Sen.
Barack Obama says he's heard loud and clear while on the campaign
trail in Iowa -- and exactly what he's prepared to provide to the
American people. "I've had a terrific chance to travel -- not just in
the main urban areas like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids -- but also the
smaller, rural areas around the state," he said today following public
remarks at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids. "What's
interesting is just how uniformly people are hungry for change." Obama
said he's been impressed with the level of the discourse with
residents throughout the state as well as with citizens across the
nation. "What's also been really interesting is that even the most
remote areas, people are very concerned about foreign policy," he
said. "I think people recognize that we are at one of those crossroads
where the decisions we make over the next five years are going to have
such a profound effect on our long term security and our relationship
with the world. I'm really pleased to see just how engaged people are."

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Radio Iowa: Obama accuses Clinton of "bad judgment"

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Speaking this afternoon on a farm near Adel -- with a flat field of
corn behind him -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
escalated his war of words with rival Hillary Clinton. "We can't keep
on doing the same stuff all the time. You know, some of you noticed
that this week I got into a debate with one of my colleagues who's
also running for the presidency and the debate was about whether or
not we talk to world leaders even when we don't like 'em and my theory
was you do and you do it without preconditions," Obama said, to
applause from the crowd. "And, you know, some of the pundits in
Washington, they said, 'Oh, that shows inexperience, that he'd be
willing to talk to folks' and my attitude was what do we have to fear
as Americans? Why is it that we should be afraid when we've got, if
we know who we are, if we know what we stand for, then we shouldn't be
afraid to meet anybody because we'll tell 'em what we believe and what
makes this country great. They may not like what we have to say,"
Obama said, as the crowd interrupted him with applause. "But we're
going to go ahead and speak to 'em about those issues."

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Politically Speaking: Plymouth County GOP straw poll

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

A lede that might be repeated in two weekends: Romney wins straw poll.
The Plymouth County Republican Party held an unofficial straw poll at
the county fair in Le Mars, Iowa, through yesterday, and 757 people
took time to name their preferred candidates, as well as answering
"which issue is the most important factor in determining who is your
favorite candidate?" Plymouth County GOP chairman Don Kass explained
the straw poll wasn't confined to Plymouth County residents, so a few
out-of-county and non-Iowans took part. Romney got 226 votes, Rudy
Giuliani 118, Fred Thompson 80, John McCain 72 and Mike Huckabee 43,
although it's worth noting that 94 people, 12.5 percent, were
undecided. (Fred Thompson isn't even a declared candidate). Kass said
Romney's win reflects the focus he has placed on succeeding in Iowa
and due to the quality of his campaign organization. So, will the former
Massachusetts governor win the Aug. 11 Iowa Republican Party straw poll?

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Iowa Voice: GOP Candidates To Skip CNN/You Tube Debate?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa VoiceE
Looks like that might be the case, actually: ... I understand the concerns, though. CNN is a lefty news network, and You Tube leans to the left tremendously, so you know that the questions they'll be asked will be either very partisan to the left or downright moronic…or both. But I agree with Patrick Ruffini, that it would be a huge mistake for the candidates to skip it. It's about time that they embrace the internet, rather than run away from it. ... Plus, if they did skip it, it makes the lefties dismissal of conservative media legitimate. They're afraid to go on Fox News because it leans to the right, whereas conservatives haven't let the liberal slant of MSNBC, CNN, CBS, etc., stop them from going on those networks. ... It all boils down to whether or not Republicans are going to join the 21st Century or not. Are they going to engage the blogosphere? Are they going to start reaching out over the internet to talk to voters?

Politically Speaking: Should Wieck or Johnson lead Iowa Senate?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking
Now that Mary Lundby, a Marion moderate Republican who sometimes clashed with conservatives, is stepping down as Senate Minority Leader, who will lead the GOP in the chamber? If early accounts are correct, it could boil down to a choice between Northwest Iowans. Both State Sens. Ron Wieck of Sioux City and David Johnson of Ocheyedan could be in line for the leader position. Wieck wants it for sure; Johnson sounds like a strong probably.

Century of the Common Iowan: When Democrats Attack in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
Howard Dean was at the top of the polls in Iowa leading up to the 2004 Iowa Caucuses. Richard Gephardt was polling well, but trending down. Gephardt had placed all his bets on Iowa and had to find a way to win. So Gephardt started running ads going after Dean. Dean countered back with ads attacking Gephardt. While Gephardt's and Dean's ads turned Iowans off from their campaigns, John Kerry and John Edwards kept focusing on the issues and organizing. ... After this week's spat between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, I can see this scenario happening again. ... There is a good chance Clinton and Obama will do exactly what Dean and Gephardt did and we will see yet another murder-suicide scenario.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Krusty Konservative: Don't call it a comeback...

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I never really left. And before you jump for joy about my triumphant
return, it's only a one day gig because I'm enjoying my retirement way
too much. I'm posting today in honor of the much anticipated release
of the Simpsons movie. To kick things off I thought I'd match up the
Presidential hopefuls to a Simpsons character. So grab a donut and a
cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy. John McCain - Maude Flanders -
she's died on the show and no one really misses her. John Cox - Dr.
Nick Riviera - he's a charlatan who only fools a small minority of
people into believing he's a legitimate practitioner of his trade.
Mike Huckabee - Ned Flanders - he's a good guy. He's nice, friendly
and everyone likes him… but he's completely non-threatening. Mitt
Romney - Dredrick Tatum - the reigning heavyweight champion of the
world with a MAJOR problem. Tommy Thompson - C. Montgomery Burns -
he's dying and everyone knows it, but he's just not quite dead yet.
And yes, that means Steve Grubbs is Waylon Smithers.

iPol: Dodd Rolls Out Health Care Plan, Looks to Private Sector for Universal Coverage

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd rolled out his health
care proposal today at a "kitchen table" campaign stop in Marion,
Iowa. Details of the plan, as released by the Dodd campaign, are:
'Universal HealthMart. The Dodd plan will create a health insurance
marketplace called the Universal HealthMart that is based on, and
parallel to, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP).
Individuals and businesses will pay for coverage within Universal
HealthMart based on their ability to pay. If a person or business is
unable to pay for insurance, the government will subsidize their
premium share on a sliding scale based on income. Universal HealthMart
will offer a variety of comprehensive plans and entitle every American
to the same benefits and types of plans as Members of Congress.
Universal Affordable Coverage. Under the Dodd plan, coverage will flow
automatically to all Americans regardless of their employment status,
health status or economic means.'

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Cyclone Conservatives: Republican Leadership in the Iowa Senate

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

After yesterday's news that the Republican Leader of the Iowa Senate,
Mary Lundby of Marion, is planning to step down from leadership and
not seek re-election, this has most certainly stirred the Republican
pot of politics a little bit here in Iowa. That's good once in awhile
though. Several people asked me today what I thought about this and so
I thought maybe I would write a little post and then offer up an
endorsement of who I think would be a sufficient replacement for
Lundby. It is prudent to start by thanking Senator Lundby. While she
tends to be much more moderate than I, I think she did the best she
could as leader given the unfortunate electoral realities that the
Grand Ol' Party in the Iowa Senate has to contend with. I fondly
remember her standing up to Governor Vilsack at the end of the 2006
session when the budget was getting hammered out. Lundby leadership
kept it from getting too much further out of control. You can say what
you want about candidate recruitment and fundraising (both things that
leadership plays an important role in) but 2006 just was not the
Republican's year.

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Back Roads to the White House: Target: Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

So, of all these United States of America that terrorists could
target, do you think Iowa is in the "top ten?" One presidential
candidate does. And, as he told us in the Hawkeye State today: "It's
not just because of the primary, if that's what you're hinting at." So
who is it? New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was in the suburb of
Pleasant Hill on Thursday for a low-key meeting with local police and
firefighter union members. He listened as some of Iowa's
first-responders complained about the way federal homeland security
dollars are dished out, especially considering the busy I-35/I-80
corridors and the state's crucial role in the nation's food supply.
Richardson said federal homeland security funds -- for equipment, new
computers and communications systems that make law enforcement
agencies "interoperable" -- should be decided based on risks, not
politics. Then he told the officers and firefighters they had made a
"compelling" case that Iowa deserves to be considered a higher
priority risk. In terms of risk, we asked Richardson how high Iowa
would rank among the 50 states.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Huckabee Wants Leaders to Work to Get Things Done

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

I have been intrigued by Huckabee for sometime after hearing him on
CSPAN last fall. His remarks on education aren't your typical
Republican talking points and he was the only Republican to speak at
the NEA convention earlier this month. Unlike many other Republicans
Huckabee actually sees the human side of the immigration debate. Last
week, I attended an event with Mike Huckabee in Marshalltown. When I
arrived, there was one staffer who had set up the small room at the
Pizza Ranch and made sure the pizza's were ordered. (There seems to be
food at a lot of Republican events.) I introduced myself to his
staffer as a Liberal blogger in Iowa that liked some of the things I
have heard from Governor Huckabee and then noted the things I talked
about above. We talked some and I told him I was a teacher. When Gov.
Huckabee arrived he went around the room shaking hands. The staffer
introduced me to Gov. Huckabee, saying I was a teacher and we talked
about his warm welcome at the NEA convention and some of the things he
did for education as Governor of Arkansas.

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Essential Estrogen: Lundby Chooses Possible County Seat Over State Post

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

In a move that won't surprise many in eastern Iowa politics, Iowa
Senate Minority Leader Mary Lundby announced today that she would not
seek re-election to the Legislature and instead will run for a seat on
the Linn County Board of Supervisors. The move follows two elections
-- one last fall to increase the number of supervisors from three to
five and a second held Tuesday, which determined how the new
supervisors would be elected. Just more than 56 percent of those
voting in Linn County chose to have the county divided into five
districts of roughly 38,000 people. Candidates for the supervisor post
would be required to live within the district, and only residents of
that district could determine who would serve them at the county
level. In a telephone interview, Lundby, 59, said she made the
decision to leave the senate more than a week ago. "I told family,
friends and colleagues about my decision," she said. "Yesterday, the
election determined that Marion would make up about 60 to 70 percent
of a new county supervisor district. Since I still want to be involved
and serving my community, I thought that would be an opportunity."

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HawkeyeGOP: Shake Up in Linn County

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Last year over at the now defunct Krusty Konservative blog, the blog
comments displayed a rather ugly and personal squabble in the Linn
County Republican Central Committee. This week, there is a new shake
up going on in Linn County and the ramifications will be interesting
at all levels... Linn County currently has three Supervisors elected at
large. Last year a successful petition drive forced an election to
expand the Board of Supervisors to five members. This week, another
election was held to determine how the new five member board would be
elected. There were three plans on the ballot. Option 1: All
supervisors elected at large. Option 2: All supervisors elected from
a district but voted by the entire county. Option 3: All supervisors
elected from a district voted only by their own district.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Real Sporer: Tom Tancredo's Great New Iowa Ad

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Wow, a politician is finally listening to the Real Sporer. We have
been saying for years that the most effective TV ad would feature the
candidate talking to the public, now Tom Tancredo is doing it. We just
saw the new ad-Tom Tancredo speaking against a plain black background.
Imagine that, a Presidential candidate actually just addressing the
audience, foregoing the use of camera magic to create direct or
subliminal marketing messages. We've always felt that Tom Tancredo is
among the most obviously sincere of politicians and man does this ad
evidence that proposition. The basic format of the ad is nothing more
than the pre-television radio and MovieTone sound bite. Before TV's
ability to manipulate imagery, the actual words employed by
politicians were more important than the far less tangible concept of
imagery. Tancredo clearly feels his message is the most important
feature of his campaign.

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John Deeth Blog: Ron Paul: Fallback Plan?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

As Ron Paul makes hit counters spin and online polls surge, his
campaign faces a crossroads. Clearly something is in the water. The
influx of small and big L libertarians into the GOP to support Paul
resembles the Greens who backed Dennis Kucinich in 2004. Only this
group is less digestible, and highly unlikely to support any of the
other Republicans. And just as clearly, Paul's libertarian outlook
won't gather a majority in the context of the current GOP. Thus we see
the odd phenomenon of a candidate who is simultaneously a sitting
Republican member of Congress and a former third-party nominee. Ron
Paul was one of the Libertarian's more successful national ticket
leaders, winning half a percent of the vote against Bush Sr. and
Dukakis in 1988. The Libertarian Party has, to date, eschewed the type
of celebrity candidacies that won the Reform Party victory with Jesse
Ventura and the Greens' notoriety with Ralph Nader. They've preferred
to nominate unknown party activists like their current crop of
candidates. But with Paul becoming a famous-for-the-Internet persona,
will the third party give him a second chance? And what would that do
to his seat in Congress?

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Cyclone Conservatives: Congressman Hunter's Tele-Conference Call

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Tonight, I listened in to Congressman Duncan Hunter's tele-conference
call for a few minutes. This is another fascinating use of technology.
Governor Mitt Romney's campaign has utilized this a few times in the
past in order to reach out to a lot of supporters and potential
supporters without expending a lot of resources or asking people to
take time to drive to an event. Because I was not expecting the call
and it came at an inopportune time, I was unable to listen to all of
it. However, what I did listen to was fantastic. Congressman Hunter is
a talented speaker and is a strong communicator who has a real clear
vocal quality. He's not as stylish as Huckabee or as suave as Romney,
but he is easily one of the top speakers in the Republican crop. Not
surprisingly he spoke of immigration, a strong military, and trade
during the few minutes I listened to him. He continues to drive home
his credible position on immigration and talks in depth about how he
has been able to successfully build a wall on the San Diego/Tijuana
border.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: Brownback and Tancredo sniping intensifies

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

The spat between Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Tom Tancredo kicked up a
notch on Monday morning, with both sides firing new "distortion"
charges at one another. It's a fight taking place on the second tier
of the Republican presidential contest, where Brownback and Tancredo
are among a group of candidates hoping to gain traction before the
Aug. 11 Ames Straw Poll in Iowa -- a symbolic test of candidate
support that's expected to winnow what's now a crowded GOP field. The
recap in a nutshell: Tancredo has long questioned Brownback's
commitment to fighting illegal immigration because of his past
co-sponsorship of comprehensive immigration reform that Tancredo
equates to "amnesty." Brownback fired back earlier this month,
demanding that Tancredo return campaign contributions he has received
from John Tanton, "the founder of a major Planned Parenthood network
in Michigan."

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FromDC2Iowa: It's Huckabee

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

My Republican Pick: Governor Mike Huckabee. "What's a Unitarian and
Democrat like you doing at an evangelical Christian rally for a
Republican presidential candidate like Huckabee?" a friend asked
yesterday. I explained, "Some partisans want to do all they can to see
to it that the opposing party picks the absolutely worst candidate
possible -- so they'll be easier to beat. That's never been my
approach. One of these parties' candidates is going to end up being
president. Given the Democrats' finely honed skill at snatching defeat
from the jaws of victory, even though 2008 should be the Democrats'
year we could just end up with another Republican president. If that
happens I'd like it to be someone the country can live with." Don't
get me wrong. I'll be voting for the Democrat. There may be some
scenario in which I would end up voting for a Republican president in
November 2008 -- it's just never happened before and I'm incapable of
imagining what it might be. But that doesn't mean I don't care who
their nominee turns out to be.

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Essential Estrogen: Iowa Caucus Addictive, Elizabeth Edwards Says

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

On Saturday Elizabeth Edwards dropped by the Democratic State Central
Committee meeting in Des Moines to thank Iowa Democrats for their hard
work and attention to the issues. "We want to applaud you for all the
work you do because it is important for us," Edwards said. "The work
you do is particularly important to the Edwards campaign because you
help people find ways to be informed." In addition to patting local
activists on the back, she provided an update on the status of the
campaign in Iowa. "It helps to have been here before and it helps to
know the process," Edwards said. "You don't spend time dancing around
in Iowa. This is an organization state. I'm really pleased that John
has 99 county chairs in addition to 99 rural county chairs. I'm not
sure of the exact numbers on caucus chairs, but I know that we are
doing well there as well." The Edwards Campaign, she says, is working
to bring currently uninvolved citizens to the process.

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John Deeth Blog: CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate Liveblog

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The CNN/YouTube debate had an interesting format with some good
questions from the public (and a few clunkers) and more sparks between
the candidates that earlier debates, particularly on the war. Hop over
to Iowa Independent's comments section for more live insights from
Dien Judge, T.M. Lindsey, Lynda Waddington and Ben Weyl. 8:19 My
biggest surprise of the night: Obama's nuclear power remarks. Edwards
had the best candidate video: getting a laugh with the haircut
reference, then turning it around to mock the mockery and ask what's
really important. Worst: Kucinich for repeating TEXT PEACE TEXT PEACE
TEXT PEACE way too many times. 8:11 CNN says their focus group calls
the leaders Obama, Biden, Edwards in that order. The pundits liked
Clinton's tough answer on the "would you talk to the dictators"
question.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Popular Progressive: Robo-callers Beware

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

A note to future candidates for public office who love to use automated phone calling/messaging systems, DO NOT ROBO-CALL me. So far we have received no less than 100 such calls from the campaigns and I gotta tell you, in the words of Shania Twain, "it don't impress me much." ... Now I realize that there are practical implications, but I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that robo-calls turn me so far off, I may never hear a candidate's message--and no, it doesn't impress me if Rob Reiner, Martin Sheen, or Sheryl Crow calls on your behalf either.

Essential Estrogen: Bloggers, Iowans Have 'Tremendous Responsibility,' Says Helen Thomas

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Venerable political journalist Helen Thomas hopes both Iowans and bloggers understand the depth of responsibility placed on their shoulders. "I think [blogging] can be very good," Thomas said in a one-on-one interview Thursday afternoon. "It is important, however, for them to get some help and training from legitimate journalists who can tell them about standards and ethics. The problem is that when everyone who has a laptop thinks that he's a journalist, the potential of ruining lives and ruining reputations is there."

Friday, July 20, 2007

iPol: Richardson and "New Realism in American Foreign Policy"

Excerpted from this post at iPol

New Mexico Governor and presidential candidate Bill Richardson today gave an address to the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy in Des Moines on "A New Realism in American Foreign Policy." Richardson's campaign had billed this as a "major speech," so my expectations were quite high. And so I trotted up to the Des Moines club at lunchtime, found myself a rare ringsisde seat near the rostrum, and had a nice chicken piccata while chatting with a really nice group of tablemates, including a state senator, two board members of the Center for Citizen Diplomacy, and an American expat to the UK in the process of returning to this country. And then came the introductions, followed by Bill Richardson taking center stage; I fired up the camera, took out my notebook, and got ready to scribe. But that is where the usual blogging script ended today.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Tommy Brings "Common Sense Solutions" Tour to Le Mars

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This morning I attended a mid-morning coffee and donuts campaign stop at the brand new and very beautiful 4 Brothers Bar & Grill. This is a fantastic restaurant and I would highly recommend eating there. A very good choice for the Tommy campaign to pick. I've seen Tommy well over 6 or 8 times, I'd guess. I've never been disappointed with him. How can you be? How can anyone not like this guy? I can understand someone liking another candidate more but Tommy definitely is one of the smartest and easily one of the funnest guys in the race. He's just not the sexiest. I'd wager to say that if we didn't have the Hollywood focused physical template, Tommy would probably be the Republican nominee. However, people really like to vote for someone who has "that look". That is something that is definitely an asset for Mitt Romney.

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Iowa Insider: McCain's gravy train

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission give a detailed account of why free-spending John McCain’s campaign is in financial trouble. The campaign paid Chuck Larson, a former Iowa legislator and ex-state party chairman, a cool $31,486 over the last three months for his work as a consultant. That’s in addition to the $21,309 he made during the first quarter of the year. Karen Slifka severed ties with the campaign last week, but not before pocketing $30,818 in consulting fees in the second quarter and $10,000 in the first. Larson said he’s been doing grassroots work for the campaign at both the state and national level. Despite a widespread defection by other McCain backers and staffers, Larson is standing by his man. "I made a decision to support him because I believe that he is without a doubt the best person to lead our nation and continue to support him and work with him on a daily basis," Larson said.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: Rudy Visits Ice Cream Capitol, Fills Family Table

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

America's Mayor, "Hizzoner", made his first trip to Western Iowa today
and I was able to make it to his mid-afternoon stop in Le Mars, the
Ice Cream Capitol of the World. When candidates come to Le Mars, they
either stop at the splendiliquently delightful visitor's center or
they stop at the Family Table. Rudy had well over 200 packed into the
Family Table restaurant and tons of national media yipping at his
heels the entire time too. I've seen Rudy a couple of times now. I saw
him back in early April when he held his first event in Des Moines and
then I saw him again about 10 days later when he was speaking at the
Lincoln Day dinner. I must say that I was more impressed with Rudy
then. Rudy is the type of candidate who does really well with lecterns
and prepared remarks whereas someone like Mitt Romney needs to avoid
the lectern. While Rudy is still impressive in a stump setting, he's
not as smooth as otherwise.

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Radio Iowa: Giuliani in the Bluffs

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

It's t-minus 11 minutes for the Rudy Giuliani speech here in the gym
at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Council Bluffs. A fellow just
asked the crowd of about 200 to turn their cell phones and pagers off.
That is perhaps a signal RG is in the building, perhaps not. As we
drove into the west entrance, two Ron Paul supporters stood on the
curb, waving and holding their Ron Paul signs. The Rudy sign nearby
was planted in the ground, festooned with balloons. Inside, a blue
curtain is comprising the north wall of the gym, decorated with a lone
"Rudy" sign. And the sign says nothing other than that -- Rudy. No
mention of his party or his presidential campaign. Just the white
letters against a navy background with a red border. The Council
Bluffs Thomas Jefferson band played a few patriotic numbers and after
the colors were posted by some local Boy Scouts, the band played
"You're a Grand Old Flag." State Senator Jeff Angelo of Creston
stopped by press row earlier to lament the early start time and
revealed he was advised to stop wearing his novelty ties, advice which
he is heeding.

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FromDC2Iowa: Self-Defeating Hostility Toward Third Parties

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Opposition to Third Parties and Electoral Reforms: The Third Party
"Threat." While the bickering regarding Wellmark's effort to buy a
University of Iowa college continues (see links below), the biggest
news this morning involves a baby step away from Iowa's reputation as
one of the most third-party-hostile states in the nation. Jason
Clayworth, "Iowa Voter Registration Forms to Include Third Party
Groups," Des Moines Register, July 19, 2007 editorial, "Letting Us
Register for Small Parties Good for Democracy," Iowa City
Press-Citizen, July 19, 2007, p. A9. The State had to be sued to
finally agree to do the decent thing, but at least the case is now
behind us. Professions of support for "democracy" to the contrary
notwithstanding, the two major parties have historically opposed
voting - even for their own candidates - especially by the poor. True
democracy has almost always been resisted by those in power. Most of
those said to be the fathers of our democratic system, those who
drafted the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, agreed with
John Jay that, "Those who own the country, should run it."

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Popular Progressive: What is Wrong With Congress?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

With the 52-47 vote the other day in the Senate to stop the filibuster
by Republicans on the war, we have got to ask ourselves what can be
done to let those members of Congress know that we will hold them
accountable on election day. It is clear that they are unable to see
that many voters were serious last year about ending this war. Anyone
who has been paying attention realizes that there is no good way for
us to extricate ourselves. The truth is, there will likely be more
bloodshed when we leave, because Iraq, largely due to our actions, is
and will be in a civil war. Our exit strategy needs to include
international or regional humanitarian aid for Iraq. Many Iraqis are
likely to seek asylum and we should do everything in our power to
address that need. Beyond that, some of our troops need to be
redeployed in Afghanistan with the international coalition that is
still there to finish the mission (Remember Osama Bin Laden?) there
and the rest, to come home. We are past the idea of "cutting and
running"--we need to cut our losses and make it possible for Iraq to
stabilize itself.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Up all night

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

(Sen. Harkin gives us the low-down from the Capitol. Leave your
comments and his campaign will try to get to them as soon as
possible--if you haven't noticed, they're a bit busy up there. -
promoted by Chris Woods) Earlier tonight, I stood on the floor of the
Senate to show my support for our men and women in uniform by trying
to bring them home. As you know, the Senate held a rare all-night
session because Republicans are filibustering our efforts to get an up
or down vote on re-deploying our troops out of Iraq. It's that simple.
In an extraordinary display of fealty to President Bush and his failed
Iraq policy, Republicans are literally refusing to allow a vote on an
amendment to bring home our soldiers and reduce the U.S. involvement
in Iraq. The American people deserve to know where every Senator
stands on the most important issue facing Congress. We must not allow
Republicans to block an up or down vote with procedural semantics. I
wanted to make sure my colleagues knew where Iowans stand on the
issue. So earlier tonight, while on the floor, I read some letters
that I have received from Iowans, including Iowa soldiers and their
families.

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The Real Sporer: Filibuster!

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

It's on. Unfortunately, life on the road this week will get me to bed
long before its over, but the debate thus far has been actually most
enlightening. It also profiles the vast differences between the
President and Senators and the differences among the quality of
Senators. Thus far I've seen: Diane Feinstein. Her objection was
primarily that combat in Iraq was killing Californians, and presumably
the sons and daughters of other states as well, and was monetarily
expensive. Feinstein made no mention of the cost of defeat in Iraq.
Feinstein says Iraq has angered the Islamic world against the United
States. Had we invaded Iraq or based the military in Saudi Arabia in
1979 when the Islamofascists first attacked the US directly by seizing
the American Embassy in Iran? At least Feinstein cited real statistics
and told no lies. Lamar Alexander. Lamar spent his time talking about
bi-partisanship and urging adoption of the Baker Hamilton Report.
While supporting the Constitutional authority of the President Lamar
wants the country to come together around a bi-partisan Iraq plan.

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John Deeth Blog: None Of The Above Leading GOP, Kinda Sorta

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

We've been hearing that no one is ahead in the GOP presidential race,
and now there's proof: No One actually is ahead. No one as in "None of
the above," according to this week's AP/Ipsos poll. Specifically, that
breaks out as other 2, none 8, and don't know 15. Does this mean
Republicans prefer a blank line on the ballot next to the Democratic
nominee next November? Probably not, but Nevada actually offers "none
of the above" as a cop-out, I mean option, on every ballot. Well, sort
of -- it's non-binding. Conservative blogger Lew Rockwell dismisses
the AP poll: "What would it have been if Ron Paul hadn't been
excluded?" Depends, Lew. If it had been a scientific random sample,
Paul would have likely been at one or two percent, as he's been in
most such polls. If it had been on line, he'd probably be around 55%
like Cyclone Conservative's latest monthly poll. Scientific polls
measure raw numbers of support, rather than intensity. Paul's
supporters appear to be few but intense, and disproportionately
represented in Internet culture. Or, as Reason puts it, Ron Paul is
this year's Snakes On A Plane.

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Back Roads to the White House: The invisible front-runner

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

The national Republican front-runner, former New York City Mayor Rudy
Giuliani, is going to try a new strategy to gain traction in the
first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. He's going to show his face.
At the moment, he trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the
Iowa polls, thanks in part to Romney's television advertising
bombardment and frequent visits to the Hawkeye State. By contrast,
Giuliani has made only one quick, in-and-out visit to Des Moines
recently, and he's fighting a perception that he has conceded the
traditional kick-off state -- ever since he, and later Sen. John
McCain of Arizona, announced they would not compete in the non-binding
Ames Straw Poll on August 11. But while Romney is away on Wednesday
(stumping in the conservative stronghold of El Paso County, Colorado)
Giuliani is launching his first full-fledged, full-state barnstorming
across Iowa on Wednesday and Thursday. He's hitting some critical,
conservative bastions -- Council Bluffs, Sloan, Le Mars and Sioux City
-- and then heading east toward Fairbank, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and
Davenport.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Corn Beltway Boys: White House Announces New Initiative To Lower Bush's Approval Rating

Excerpted from this post at The Corn Beltway Boys

With President Bush's approval rating continuing to remain higher than
that of Congress, the White House announced a three pronged initiative
directed at pushing Bush's popularity lower. Not since Harry Truman
and the 1947 "Do Nothing Congress" has the voter disapproval race been
so tight and a new White House initiative plans to draw them closer.
White House spokesman, Tony Snow, explained that President Bush would
spend the next six months focusing on alienating voters by attacking
the elderly, mocking the handicap, and teasing orphaned children.
"It's our hope that by making fun of the defenseless in our society
that we will achieve the 5-8 point disapproval poll swing we are
looking for," Snow said while addressing a shocked White House press
corp., "right now our only concern is whether or not there will be
voter apathy towards orphans because clearly they were unwanted in the
first place."

Bleeding Heartland: Is Clinton Genuinely Reaching Out To Bloggers On Iraq?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Earlier today Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign actively solicited
bloggers to join in on a conference call hosted by their blogger,
Peter Daou, in announcing a "special endorsement." The campaign
didn't release any more information about the endorsement and it was a
pretty cryptic move, yet I still decided to join in on the call along
with several other major bloggers from across the progressive
blogosphere. So, at 12:30 PM Central time I got on the call to find
out that the special endorsement was coming from former Ambassador Joe
Wilson, the husband of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. And by
12:53 PM I broke the news on Iowa Independent that Amb. Wilson had
chosen to endorse Clinton. Multiple blogs picked up the news and
reported the news, as they should have because it was a substantial
endorsement. But the traditional or mainstream media didn't pick up
the story at all.

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Ben and Bawb's Blog: Paul in the Polls

Excerpted from this post at Ben and Bawb's Blog

Recently I received an email from some GOP group or another, the
National Republican Senatorial Committee. I guess I didn't contact
each and every Republikrat group and tell them to get stuffed when I
got sick and tired of their big government, big spending, reduced
freedom tickets. I was glad that this one slipped through the cracks,
however. It was a straw poll just for, supposedly, the GOP faithful
regarding their choice for a Republican Presidential candidate.
Really, I figured it was a lost cause among such a group, but out of
my usual cantankerousness I tilted at the windmill and cast my ballot
for Ron Paul. I was very pleasantly surprised when the results of the
poll popped up. Fred Thompson, who still hasn't really "officially"
declared, was running in first place, but good old Ron "Dr. No" Paul
was in second place with a very nice showing. The "Big Three", the
Rudy McRomney Show, the "Ted Kennedy Wing of the Republican party"
that the GOP had hand-picked to serve to us were all half or less of
Ron Paul's numbers!

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The Real Sporer: More (carefully hidden) progress in Iraq

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

This morning's Des Moines Register Iraq headline provides evidence of
two very important Republican arguments in such a limpid manner that
it would be commentary malpractice to ignore it. The headline screams,
"Officials report massacre in Diyala". Remembering my limited
education in journalism I have always thought that the headline was
supposed to capture the most significant information in the story. If
a news source is committed to reporting objective news, would the
repetition of a daily occurrence be worthy of a headline? Terrorists
commit massacres every day in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever else they
operate. The commission of yet another "massacre" is, sadly, a routine
event in the Age of Terror. News worthy? Of course. Headline material?
Only if the purpose of the headline is to hammer the public with the
senseless brutality of war and not to provide useful information to
the public.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Candidates' Cash on Hand

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

If you would have asked me 2 months ago which candidate would be right behind Richardson in money raised, I would have said Joe Biden. However, Chris Dodd has more than twice as much money as Biden does. I wouldn't be surprised if Biden drops out early this fall. He seems to running a campaign focusing on Iraq and with Petreus' report coming out in September, Biden could drop out then. The surprising number to me is Chris Dodd having $6.4 million on hand. He has already aired TV ads in the state. Last month he opened up campaign offices in the state and has staff on the ground finally. With the money he should be able to have a strong organization in Iowa.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

State 29: EFF You

Excerpted from this post at State 29

From an email by the Des Moines Register: 'It has recently come to the
attention of the Des Moines Register that you have improperly posted
portions of an article the rights to which are held by The Register. A
copy of your unauthorized use can be found at
http://state29.blogspot.com. You may link to our site, but you cannot
post more than 3-4 sentences of the story on your site. As the
copyright owner of that article, The Register has the exclusive right
to its reproduction and distribution. We therefore ask that you
immediately remove the posted article from your website and cease any
and all further use of the material. Any continued posting or use will
be considered willful copyright infringement. Within 24 hours of your
receipt of this email, you should reply to this message by confirming
that: 1) each and every posting of Des Moines Register material has
been taken down and 2) you will not engage in any further unauthorized
copying of Des Moines Register materials. If you do not take the steps
outlined above, this matter will be turned over to our attorneys for
further action. Sincerely, Kathy Hickman Executive Assistant to the
VP/Editor'… Dear Kathy, Perhaps you first might want to send a letter
over to Nicholas Johnson. He's been reprinting complete Des Moines
Register stories and opinion pieces for years citing "fair use."

FromDC2Iowa: Copyright, Fair Use, Blogging & Other Items

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

We are about to lose a very creative and productive blogger from the
blogosphere. It appears that his decision to close down the blog may have been prompted by what he may have viewed as an intimidating threat of legal action from an Iowa newspaper. ... I've already said virtually nothing is a "slam dunk" when it comes to Fair Use. But I really think he has the better of the argument here. He is clearly involved in commentary, which is expressly mentioned by the law. He is not in the business of selling newspapers -- or even individual stories from newspapers. In fact, he's not in any business -- and certainly not a "commercial" one that profits from the sale of the newspaper's copyrighted stories. So far as I know, no
one -- at least not I -- go to his site to find out what was in the paper that
morning. ... I can only hope that the paper was not prompted to play its copyright card because of its being upset, not with the use of its stories, but with the legally appropriate (if "insightfully vulgar") commentary about those stories.

Back Roads to the White House: Edwards comes back to defend his Iowa turf

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Former Sen. John Edwards might be leading most Democratic polls in
Iowa, but you wouldn't know it from all the biggest headlines over the
past couple of weeks. Since the 4th of July holiday week, the Iowa
limelight has been dominated by the two national front-runners: Sens.
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. Clinton and Obama practically
chased each other around the state that week, wandered off for a few
days, then returned this week to give dueling speeches at almost the
same time, just a few blocks apart in Des Moines. The Clinton-Obama
rivalry is all anybody has been talking about. But what about Edwards?
Remember him? He still leads the polls here. Right? Edwards slipped
into northwest Iowa on Thursday night for a forum inside a jam-packed
public library in Fort Dodge… It was less than 100 yards from where
singer Paul Simon performed a concert last week for his pal, Sen.
Chris Dodd.

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Bleeding Heartland: The Time is Now: Stand Up to Republicans on Iraq

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

(Please welcome Senator Tom Harkin to Bleeding Heartland. Leave him
some comments and let him know that you'll help him out. - promoted by
Chris Woods). As many in the progressive blogosphere are already
aware, the Senate has been debating the National Defense Authorization
Act, which will set military policy for the coming fiscal year. My
Democratic colleagues and I -- as well as a few but growing number of
Republicans -- are determined to take this opportunity to demand
fairer treatment of our troops and force President Bush to listen to
the will of the American people and change course in the war in Iraq.
Yesterday, the first amendment to the defense bill was authored by
Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. Senator Webb's troop-protection
amendment would have required that active-duty troops receive as much
time at home - recuperating and retraining - as they spend in combat,
while giving the president the authority to waive these requirements
if additional troops are needed in an emergency. I was proud to
co-sponsor Senator Webb's legislation because I felt that it was time
to bring the systematic abuse of our re-deploying troops to an end.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: The Rivalry to Watch

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Sen. Sam Brownback vs. Rep. Tom Tancredo. As of today, there is
exactly one month until the Iowa Republican Party's non-binding but
all-important Ames Straw Poll. From now until then, pay no attention
to the so-called top tier candidates. The ones to watch are the folks
on the bubble -- the second-tier contenders who are still trying to
break through in the polls and survive as THE conservative alternative
to the "Rudy McRomneys" and the political actors to be named later.
Already, there's a heated, increasingly nasty rivalry developing
between Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rep. Tom Tancredo of
Colorado. It started last month and flared again on Wednesday. Here's
how it started... The Brownback-Tancredo rivalry goes back longer than
anybody has noticed. Both men are considered fairly solid social
conservatives.

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John Deeth Blog: Fred Thompson: Who Needs A Platform?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

As an undeclared candidate, Fred Thompson hasn't been in debates and
doesn't have the immediate pressure that his rivals face of having to
take actual stands on issues. But one page in his back story suggests
issues are, well, not such a big deal to him. Conservative news outlet
CBN did the digging and found that in 1996, Thompson wanted the
Republican convention to do away with the party platform. "It's the
most useless device I've ever heard of," he told a Memphis paper in
April. In August, a week before the convention, the AP described
Thompson as "a pro-choice defender in a party with an anti-abortion
tilt," and quoted the senator: "(Thompson) said the party must avoid
distracting issues and focus on electing Bob Dole as president. 'We
need to concentrate on what brings us together and not what divides
us.'"

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Radio Iowa: McCain: skip Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Back in 1999, the Straight Talk Express bypassed Iowa and went
straight to New Hampshire, where Arizona Senator John McCain secured a
victory over George W. Bush. South Carolina was a different matter,
for a variety of much-reported reasons. Now, eight years later, McCain
has been to Iowa a few times and has repeatedly said he's competing
for votes in the Iowa Caucuses (to be held this December or January,
but that's a different story). McCain's slogged through town hall
meetings in Iowa and had assembled a staff in Iowa to organize
precinct by precinct. Then, last week McCain laid off about half of
that Iowa campaign staff. Now, the rumors are circling that McCain
will skip Iowa again in order to conserve his scarce resources.
Dave Roederer, McCain's Iowa campaign chairman, offers his views on
the "skip Iowa" scenario in this Radio Iowa story.

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The Real Sporer: Matt Whitaker - Border Security Hero

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Never let it be said that immigration enforcement is anything but
alive and well in the Southern District of Iowa. Our US Attorney, Matt
Whitaker followed last December's successful raids at six Swift
Packing facilities in Iowa with indictments of several additional
persons involved in the demand end of the illegal immigrant market.
Large scale use of illegal immigrant labor is not possible without
collusion between management and organized labor. Today's actions,
which involve the indictment of both a Swift human resources manager
and a local Marshalltown labor leader, demonstrate Matt Whitaker's
willingness to expose and disrupt that collusion. Moreover, the
additional indictments show Matt's commitment to fighting the demand
for illegal labor and not just the supply.

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iPol: The iPol Interview: Bill Richardson

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Earlier today, I conducted an exclusive one-on-one telephone interview
with New Mexico Governor and presidential candidate Bill Richardson as
he traveled on his latest Iowa campaign swing. iPol: Governor, welcome
back to Iowa. Where are you calling from - travelling from where to
where this afternoon? Governor Richardson: "I'm going right now to
Cedar Rapids from Waterloo. I've got my final event in Cedar Rapids.
Then I go to Cincinnati, and then to the debate in Detroit tomorrow."
iPol: So, you're back in Iowa again after visiting just 2 or 3 weeks
ago. What's the purpose of this trip, and what do you hope to
accomplish? Governor Richardson: "The purpose of the trip is to
connect with Iowa. I'm a grassroots candidate. I don't have the glitz
and the money the other candidates have, so I'm going to outwork
them."

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Joe Says So: 200-1 gets you 15-85

Excerpted from this post at Joe Says So

You have to hand it to our local chamber of commerce. The Greater Des
Moines Partnership, with the backing of the biggest companies in town
and a $770,000 war chest - 200 times that of the opposition - managed
to convince about one voter in seven to vote for a sales tax increase
in an off-season election specifically timed to maximize their chances
for approval. It's hard to think of a way to make their performance
any more disastrous, short of having mobs chanting "no!" sack their
headquarters building. What a debacle. Only Kim Jong-Il and Fidel
Castro win by greater margins than "No." In some cultures, a loss like
that would lead to abject apologies by the Partnership board, perhaps
followed by ritual suicides. After such a resounding vote of no
confidence, a parliamentary government would resign and appoint a
caretaker government pending new elections. That would also be
appropriate for the leadership of the Partnership after such a waste
of member and taxpayer dollars.

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Iowa Voice: The McCain Implosion

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

About a week ago (maybe two), after news that McCain was cutting his staff
because of money problems, I was sent an email by one of his PR guys (not
naming names). In that email, it was one of those "Gee, we're doing fine, all
is well, nothing wrong here" yadda-yadda... Doing something I rarely do, I
responded to the mass email. I said something along the lines that it was my
opinion that we were watching the McCain campaign in its death throes (I think
I used the word "death watch", but I don't remember what my precise words were)... He responded with an "ouch". Well, sorry... the truth hurts sometimes... McCain's campaign is suffering because, despite all his talk and attempts to convince us otherwise, we know he's not a conservative Republican. He's suffering because when you look at his record in the last six or seven years, all we see is him giving fellow Republicans the shaft and pandering to illegal immigrants. McCain is one candidate of two on the Republican side that I say "not just no, but HELL no!" to (the other is Ron Paul, for obvious reasons... the man is a joke). To be fair, I have misgivings about the rest of the field, too, especially Rudy.

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Hawkeye GOP: If McCain Loses - Who Wins

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye GOP

Like rats leaving a sinking ship. In September, Senator Grassley called
John McCain the frontrunner, but things have changed. These departures
may not sink the campaign by themselves but they certainly can't help. As it
relates to the Iowa Caucuses, Nelson is a native Iowan so his loss especially
hurts McCain here. It will be interesting to see what happens to McCain's
local team. This grassroots guy will be watching, Ed Failor Jr.,Chuck Larsen,
Karen Slifka and Marlys Popma. When they start jumping ship it will truly be
over. Maybe it doesn't matter that McCain is skipping the Iowa Caucuses.
The real question is when will McCain drop out. Will he drop out before
the Iowa Caucuses or after.

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iPol: Live Blogging Obama in Des Moines

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Here at DMACC's auto shop building for an Obama event on the topic of
the economic impact of the Iraq war. I've managed to weasel press
credentials for the event, so instead of being with the Great Unwashed
Masses today, I'll be hanging with the Mega Unwashed Masses instead.
Speaking of which, I see AP, Radio Iowa, and, of course, the
ubiquitous Majors so far. 9:51 - no air condition in this building!
Yeech! Event is scheduled to kick off at 10:30. 9:57 - Campaign staff
is doing an Obama trivia quiz from the podium. 9:58 - looks like about
250 people in the building. 10:07 - correction: Obama's campaign
estimates 500 people in the building. 10:14 - Barack is in the
building. 10:17 - Obama takes the podium.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Iowans for Romney: Straw Poll one month away!

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney

For those who have said repeatedly ......"I will worry about the Straw
Poll when it gets closer to August"…I say to you "It is almost
August!!!". The Straw Poll is one month away, and there is a huge buzz
in the air. The outcome of this straw poll in Ames will undoubtedly
affect the outcome of the Iowa Caucus, as well as the national
front-runners. There is still a twist: McCain and Giuliani aren't
going. McCain is legitimately too broke to fund a run at the Straw
poll, however Giuliani has a ton of money and yet he still doesn't
want to participate. Three observations: 1. McCain is struggling
financially, and thus is not going to attend the straw poll.
Rightfully so. He should not bother attending any other caucuses
either because the money isn't there. And as much as we try to ignore
the money factor, it is still one of the biggest indicators of
popularity. If people like you, they donate to your election campaign.
Simply put. And I think after August 11th, we may see McCain consider
to pay off the rest of his campaign debts and walk away.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Romney's Big Lead in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Politico takes an in depth look at the Republican field in Iowa and
concludes Mitt Romney has a commanding lead in the state. They discuss
McCain cutting back staff, ask if Rudy is taking Iowa seriously, and
they take a look at the dark horse campaigns of Brownback, Huckabee,
and Tommy Thompson. Politico does point out a possible winning
strategy for Giuliani... 'For Giuliani, his best caucus hopes may lie
in the politics of pluralities. Should Thompson play in Iowa,
conservatives may split their vote between the actor/politician and
Romney, with some second-tier candidates also picking up support.'
Romney has put together a good organization in Iowa, has raised the
money, and was the first one airing TV ads in the state. That has
obviously helped him gain support. However, one reason Romney looks so
strong in Iowa is because the other candidates look so weak. Romney's
lead is as much from his work as it is because of the other candidates
lack of support. The second tier candidates haven't been able to spark
much enthusiasm. I don't see the excitement on the Republican side in
Iowa that I do on the Democratic side.

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Essential Estrogen: Iowa Broadcasters Likely First to Feel Impact of SCOTUS Ruling

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Don't like political advertising? Better find and hide under a very
big rock. With its first-in-the-nation status, Iowa stands on the
front lines in a national debate over campaign finance reform. The
U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in a 5-4 decision that, by passing
the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (also known as
"McCain-Feingold" for its sponsors), Congress overstepped its
authority to regulate political speech. The case, Federal Elections
Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, focused on the portion of the
law that prohibits organizations such as WRTL from using corporate
funds to broadcast advertisements targeted at a specific candidate
within 60 days of a general election and within 30 days of a primary
or caucus. Readers should not be distracted by WRTL being a party in
the suit. The issue of free speech was being pressed from both sides
of the political spectrum. Organizations and agencies supporting WRTL
in this effort included the American Civil Liberties Union, the
National Rifle Association, the American Federation of Labor and the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others.

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Back Roads to the White House: Having a 1972 flashback? Call a Plumber

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Did you hear about the break-in at Sen. Barack Obama's headquarters in
Davenport, Iowa, on Friday night? Two laptop computers and campaign
literature were taken in the burglary there, along one of America's
most famous bodies of water, in a city that's the eastern gateway to
the Hawkeye State. As if the 2008 presidential contest needed another
Watergate flashback... Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton got her start as a lawyer for the U.S. House of
Representatives committee that was drawing up impeachment papers for
then-President Richard M. Nixon over the Watergate affair. And a
Republican-in-waiting, former Sen. Fred Thompson, has gotten
uncomfortable scrutiny lately over his role as the Senate Watergate
Committee's chief minority counsel. And now, there's a break-in at
Obama's headquarters in Davenport. You might not care, but our trip
down the "Back roads to the White House," actually began in a
fifth-floor room at the Watergate Hotel.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Perjury and making false statements to the FBI: IOKIYAR

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Remember how the Republicans always told us Clinton's impeachment wasn't about the sex, it was about the lying? That is, the false affadavit Clinton signed in connection with a civil case. Scooter Libby committed perjury (lied to a grand jury) and made false statements in connection with a criminal case. Not just any criminal case, an investigation into the leaking of a covert CIA agent's name. Despite his all-star legal team, Libby was convicted on four out of five counts of perjury and making false statements. Well, Bush made a big show of saying he would fire anyone involved in leaking covert CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the media. But when push came to shove, he didn't do it, and he made sure that convicted felon Scooter Libby didn't see a day in prison for lying to the FBI and to a grand jury. Today, after a court ruled against Libby's efforts to delay his prison sentence until after he had exhausted his appeals, Bush commuted Libby's sentence to probation and a $250,000 fine. That fine is meaningless--Bush pioneers have been raising millions of dollars for Libby.

Joe Republican: McCain Ends Iowa Campaign

Excerpted from this post at Joe Republican

Less than one month after his decision to skip the Iowa Straw Poll, John McCain ended his Iowa campaign today. McCain cut most of his Iowa staff and it's only a matter of time before the few remaining members are redeployed or let go as well. McCain came into the state last fall stating that he learned a great lesson in 2000; you can't skip Iowa and win the nomination. Yet, after his campaign got off to a descent start earlier in the year, the Maverick turned to his old ways and made two monumental mistakes that ended his bid in Iowa. First, he teamed up with Ted Kennedy to co-sponsor an Immigration Bill that gave what most would call amnesty to every illegal alien residing in the U.S. Second, he decided to blow off the Republican Party of Iowa's great Iowa Straw Poll. Following this second fatal mistake I wrote that it was only a matter of time before he revealed that he'd be skipping the Iowa Caucuses as well. Even with a staff that consisted of many of the best political operatives in the state, his numbers went from double digits in May, to recently as low as 6% in a late June Mason Dixon poll.

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Essential Estrogen: Ruth Harkin endorses Hillary Clinton; Tom Harkin remains neutral

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

In an email to supporters, Sen. Tom Harkin announced his wife Ruth plans to formally endorse Democratic candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton. In the email, Harkin explains that he and Ruth are no strangers to passionate political involvement and that his wife did not take this decision lightly. "Ruth took many things into account before deciding on this endorsement," Harkin wrote. "When Ruth was elected to the position of Story County Attorney in 1972, she was honored to be the first woman to hold the position of county attorney in our state's history -- and one of the first female county-wide prosecutors in the country. It was an exciting and challenging time for her, but it taught her that groundbreaking accomplishments just don't happen. They are not just made -- they happen over time and with hard work, determination and focus." Ruth Harkin served as county attorney in Story County until 1979. She was the county's lead criminal prosecutor and also served as its corporate attorney.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Exclusive: Q/A with Governor Roy Romer, National Chairman of ED in '08

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Governor Roy Romer is the National Chairman of Strong American Schools' ED in '08 campaign, the former Governor of Colorado, the former Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the former General Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. For more information about their initiatives in Iowa, please check out their Iowa web page. For more information on their politically diverse Iowa leadership team, click here. Don: What is the Strong American Schools' ED in '08 Campaign and who was ultimately responsible for laying the foundation and groundwork for this cause to grow? Governor Roy Romer: Strong American Schools is a national public awareness and action campaign aimed at making education reform a top domestic policy priority through a vigorous discussion of the issue during the 2008 presidential election. The campaign is completely non-partisan - we don't support or oppose any candidate. We believe all candidates from every party should tell Americans how they plan to strengthen our country's schools.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Daschle Campaigns for Obama in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) was in Iowa this weekend campaigning for Barack Obama. Daschle spoke at the openings of Obama campaign offices in Spencer and Algona and also stopped in Spirit Lake. Daschle first endorsed Obama back in February. From KTIV in Sioux City... Daschle says "I'm backin' Obama because I believe strongly we need someone with real integrity and he's got it because I agree with him on the issues on Iraq, on health-care, on education, on climate change, and because I think he can inspire the next generation. He's already shown me he can do that and we need that more than anything right now." I am not sure how well thought of Daschle is in Northwest Iowa, but if he is then he could be a real asset for Obama. Obama can have Daschle working NW Iowa and Dick Durbin working Eastern Iowa. Those are some big name surrogates to have working the state come caucus time.

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Back Roads to the White House: Back Roads Interview with Rep. Tom Tancredo

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

I can't remember when I first met Rep. Tom Tancredo. He didn't used to be as memorable as he has become. But I've known him since 1999, when I worked in my first remote outpost for the Rocky Mountain News -- the dearly departed Douglas County bureau on the southern end of his congressional district. Since being shifted to "the other D.C. bureau" at the end of 2000, I have interviewed Tancredo in person or on the telephone at least a few times per month -- sometimes, up to five times in a single week depending on the "rhetoric alert level." I've talked to him or heard him talk so many times that on Friday, when he was late for an appointment with the Professional Educators of Iowa in Des Moines, I jokingly offered to recite his stump speech for the handful of people waiting around a table. I offered up one obscure line he often uses with small crowds: "I've traveled farther to meet with fewer people." Used almost the same words I had predicted -- causing giggles in the room.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Hy-Vee Hall: ICA/ITR Forum & Ron Paul

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Iowa Christian Alliance/Iowans for Tax Relief Presidential Forum: Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege to attend the Iowa Christian Alliance/Iowans for Tax Relief Presidential Forum in Hy-Vee Hall. There were six very fine Presidential candidates there and so I will talk a little about the event and then delve into the candidates' performances and remarks a little. This event was extraordinarily well organized and very smooth. There were literally hundreds, it seemed, of volunteers in yellow shirts everywhere. They all seemed to know exactly what needed to be done. While this was a big event, the Straw Poll, to be held next month, will be bigger and so that just is another reminder of the tremendous numbers of volunteers that will be needed there. Contact the state party if you can help. In order to attend the event, a person needed to have RSVP'd or be sent an invitation. Also, to be able to enter the room where the forum was held, you had to go through metal detectors and have a yellow bracelet. I think it was very nice idea to have metal detectors for the sake of the candidates' safety.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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