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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Iowa City Council Candidates Consider Impact of 21 Bar Referendum

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Young people are statistically the least likely voters, especially in
local elections in high-turnover college towns. But last week, Iowa
City saw a burst of presidential-level voting activity on the
University of Iowa campus. This burst of civic activism was prompted
by an issue with direct impact on most students: their nightlife. Iowa
City voters are considering an ordinance that would prevent anyone
under age 21 from entering bars after 10 p.m. The question was placed
on the ballot by a citizen petition allowed under Iowa City's home
rule charter. Proponents argue the ordinance would reduce underage
and binge drinking, while supporters contend it would merely push
partying to the less controlled house-party environment.

Cyclone Conservatives: New ARG Iowa Poll Results Announced

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Tonight, we see that the American Research Group, a very credible
polling agency, has unleashed a new set of numbers for our fine state
and the presidential race that is fluctuating ever so much. Unlike the
ridiculous and bogus poll announced yesterday by the University of
Iowa, this poll actually has a solid methodology and a reasonable
sample size. I saw several campaigns and media organizations play up
or comment on those results yesterday and I found myself laughing out
loud and rather embarrassed for them. I think it says a lot that we
have a lot of people who fundamentally do not understand statistics or
how to recognize legitimacy in polling. Here in Iowa, that is
disappointing considering the shear quantity of political data we
become immersed in on a regular basis.

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Being Green in Iowa: Obama's Conversation at Coe

Excerpted from this post at Being Green in Iowa

Well, I watched Senator Obama's appearance at Coe College last night,
long after the event happened. I was impressed with some of it, and
terribly disappointed at other parts of it. Overall, he did well, but
I wish he had done better. First, the good. Regarding the issue of
faith, I liked his answer concerning how his faith informs his values.
It is good to hear candidates speak of their faith, whether that faith
be in a god or in humankind. Such statements add depth and help us
towards a better understanding of the candidate's rationale behind
his/her programs. Towards that end, Obama did well. Likewise I
welcomed his comments about LGBT civil unions.

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Radio Iowa: Huckabee's skills

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spoke with a group of reporters
in Des Moines Saturday night before the Iowa GOP's fall banquet got
underway. Someone asked him about fundraising, Huckabee reported that
his fundraising last week had equaled the amount he raised in the
first three months of the year. I asked a follow up: "People are sort
of puzzled that a minister who gives, you know, an annual stewardship
drive sermon to his flock hadn't heretofore raised the money?"
Huckabee responded: "It's really a matter of we had a much later
start. Unlike other candidates who could prime the pump with their
own money or could transfer some from the federal accounts, we had to
start from zero...."

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Iowa Insider: Fresh poll numbers for the junkies

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

A poll released Monday by the University of Iowa shows Republican Mitt
Romney growing his sizable lead among the Republican presidential
field and a close competition between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
on the Democratic side. The poll shows Romney with support of 36.2
percent of likely GOP caucus-goers, followed by Rudy Giuliani at a
distant second place with 13.1 percent. Mike Huckabee is in third
place at 12.8 percent, a jump from August when he registered under 2
percent. Fred Thompson takes fourth place with 11.4 percent, followed
by John McCain at 6 percent. Romney spokesman Tim Albrecht attributed
the high poll numbers to Romney's visits to the state, saying his
message is resonating. But the campaign expects the race to tighten
before the caucuses.

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Cyclone Conservatives: University of Iowa Releases Poll, Credibility Doubted

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The University of Iowa has released a poll this morning that tracks
Iowans' preferences for the Republican and Democratic races. However,
I'm not sure we should even take these results seriously. Here at Iowa
State, there's not a whole lot of love for the Hawkeyes but that's not
the reason why I'm calling this poll into question. I've taken enough
statistics classes and political science classes to know that any poll
that has such a low sample size should be, at best, looked at very
skeptically. I'm really surprised that an academic institute would
even publish these polling results considering the small sample size
and thereby the very high margin of error. I think it just reduces the
credibility of anything else they produce.

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Politically Speaking: Tancredo drops

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

The long subject line of the email showed "NRCC Chairman Tom Cole's
Statement on Congressman Ton Tancredo's R....." Forgive me if I confess
I thought Republican Tancredo might be dropping out of the 2008
presidential race. But that's not what it was. A day after he
campaigned in Odebolt, Iowa, and then today in Storm Lake, Tancredo
announced he would retire from his congressional position at the end
of the current term, which ends January 2009. Tancredo has held
Colorado's 6th District congressional seat for more than 30 years. As
he pursues the presidency, Tancredo, whose candidacy is staked to
get-tough immigration policy reform, is polling in the low single
digits in Iowa. Two Republicans have given up their quest for the
presidency -- Tommy Thompson in August and Sam Brownback on Oct. 19.

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iPol: New Richardson Ad: "When I Began"

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Bill Richardson is running a new ad in Iowa starting today. Titled,
"When I Began," the ad features Richardson speaking directly into the
camera and discussing his character, experience and his goals. Here's
the script for the ad: "I'm Bill Richardson... and when I began this
campaign for president, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew I
wouldn't have every answer... but I'll always tell you what I really
believe. And I'll never mislead you. I knew there'd be differences
between the candidates. Especially on Iraq. I'll get every soldier
out. You can't say you'll end the war if you plan to leave thousands
of troops behind. The Iraqis sure won't think the war is over.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Iowa Independent: Iowa Democratic Party to Recommend Jan. 3 Caucus Date

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The Democratic Iowa Caucuses are likely to be held on Thursday, Jan.
3, 2008, based on the recommendations of the Iowa Democratic Party
leadership to the State Central Committee, according to media reports.
The State Central Committee will finalize the date on a conference
call Sunday. Jan. 3 is the same date as the Republican Caucuses, and
it is the earliest caucus date in history. The implications of this
date have been thoroughly analyzed during the past two months of
speculation, but a brief summary of some of the possible effects is
located below the fold. No colleges or universities will have ended
their winter breaks by this date. Conventional wisdom is that this
will make Sen. Barack Obama's campaign to organize students difficult,
but the payoffs of a good student organization will be larger if
students are spread out across multiple cities rather than
concentrated in a few big precincts.

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Price of Politics: D's and R's to Share the Night

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

Cut those holiday plans a little short. Iowa Democrats and Republicans
will caucus the same night after all. At 2 pm Thursday afternoon, the
Iowa Democratic Party will notify its 50 or so members of the state
central committee to be close to their phones Sunday night. That's
when State Party Chair Scott Brennan will hold a statewide conference
call at 8 pm to say he wants the caucuses to move up to January third,
instead of the previously scheduled (very loosely scheduled) January
14th. I'm not sure I can tell you a single Democrat who thought Dems
would stick to their original date. The move lets the Dems caucus with
the Repubs, something that oughta make all of our out-of-state
friends' bosses happy.

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iPol: 29 Days Later

Excerpted from this post at iPol

The Bush administration today announced a broad package of sanctions
against Iran. This development, coming as it does just 29 days after
Senate passage of the Kyl-Lieberman resolution designating Iran's
Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, strikes me as a
significant, and worrying, acceleration in the on-going confrontation
with Iran over its nuclear program. As of this writing, Democratic
presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards and
Barack Obama have issued statements responding to the imposition of
sanctions. Of all of them, Chris Dodd's is of particular merit... Chris
Dodd is absolutely right about this. Sanctions, and their effects, do
not operate in a vacuum.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa's First Female Member of Congress?

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Somehow I missed Jane Norman's story in the Des Moines Register last
week about Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an Ottumwa physician, who is
considering challenging Iowa's ultra liberal congressman, Dave
Loebsack. Iowa is one of two states (I think, if I'm not mistaken,
Mississippi is the other) that has never elected a female Governor or
a female member of Congress. Democrats and media types have tried to
use this as a reason to vote for female candidates in Iowa in the past
as they've thrown such unelectable candidates like Joyce Schulte at us
in the past. I know the Des Moines Register likes to cite this often.
So, Miller-Meeks is certainly not a household name - yet.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Real Sporer: Gov. Lug and the slow downward spiral

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

A couple of days ago we posted a story on Iowa's decline to a bottom
feeding 45th rank (out of 50) for business climate. Business climate
is a somewhat amorphous concept that considers a broad array of
factors that affect an area's desirability for business creation or
expansion. Now, after nine years of Democrat governance, which has
mostly consisted of ever higher taxes coupled with corporate welfare,
carefully targeted at very large businesses who don't need the money
but whose executives have been most generous contributors to Democrat
political efforts, to fund ever larger increases in state and local
government, Gov. Lug has discovered that businesses have fled Iowa. As
a result of business flight, Iowa is facing a major labor force
shortage for the jobs, which are mostly government or government
related, that have remained in Iowa.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Senator Hillary Clinton's Lecture at Iowa State University

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Tonight, I attended Senator Hillary Clinton's lecture here on the
campus of Iowa State University in Ames, IA. The event, held in the
very beautiful Stephen's Auditorium, was not necessarily a typical
Hillary campaign event, but it was instead more of an annual event
celebrating women's achievement and leadership especially in politics.
My good friend Stephanie Lichter, the very impressive Chair of the ISU
College Republicans, accompanied me to the event tonight. When you go
to Hillary events, it's always good to bring a buddy... haha. The
Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics awards an annual
Mary Louise Smith Chairmanship for the year and Senator Clinton was
named this year's honorary chair. The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for
Women and Politics has hosted every woman that has ever run for
President going back to Senator Elizabeth Dole.

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Iowa Progress: Slate Misses The Point On Iowa City Referendum

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Iowa City is holding a referendum on November 6 over whether to
continue to allow people aged 19 and 20 to visit bars. Opponents of
underage drinking are fighting to pass the referendum, underaged
drinkers, specifically University of Iowa students, are getting
mobilized to oppose it (as is every bar owner within a mile of the Ped
Mall.) Since this is in Iowa, there has already been an obligatory
piece wondering about the effect this might have in the caucuses. In
an article on Slate, Christopher Beam seems to think that this is good
for Barack Obama because students will be registered in time for the
caucuses. Beam neglects the two important facts. First and most
importantly, Beam doesn't realize that you can register at the
caucuses.

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Essential Estrogen: Dandekar Kickoff Is Bipartisan Affair

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

If the crowd at the announcement reception for Rep. Swati Dandekar is
any indication, her upcoming pursuit of a seat in the Iowa Senate will
continue to be as bipartisan as her past successes in House District
36. Dandekar's special guest at the reception in a Cedar Rapids home
was Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. He told those in attendance
that Dandekar's run had both his blessing and his support. "I can't
tell you how excited I am to have Swati running for a seat in the Iowa
Senate," Gronstal said at the Oct. 18 reception. "I'm serious. There
was something said before about how many more Democratic members do we
want in the Iowa Senate. Thirty-one -- and this is the 31st seat. We
want to win this seat. It is the next one on our list."

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Biden releases health care plan in Des Moines

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I'll be honest, I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet.
But you can see the highlights hereā€¦ Skimming the plan, it appears
that Biden would not make health insurance mandatory, so this is not
quite a universal health care plan (as Edwards and Clinton have
proposed). Under Biden's plan, all children would be covered, and
steps would be taken to improve adults' access to health insurance,
including a Federal Employee Health Benefit Buy-In and a Medicare
Buy-In for adults age 55 to 64. This seems most similar to Obama's
health care proposal, which also would put us on the road toward
covering all children and more adults.

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Essential Estrogen: Brownback's Departure, Norris' Support Has Mike Huckabee Anticipating Iowa Growth

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

While he's not willing to name names, former Arkansas Gov. Mike
Huckabee says his presidential campaign is picking up momentum in Iowa
and that he anticipates significant endorsement announcements will be
made late this week. "We've had a big weekend -- in fact, quite a big
week -- beginning with the new poll numbers that came out in Iowa last
week, showing that we had virtually tied in second place," Huckabee
said during a conference call Monday evening, Oct. 22. "I think that
was somewhat surprising to many people, but, frankly, not so
surprising to us. We have sensed a growing momentum and that was even
before Sen. [Sam] Brownback dropped out of the race."

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Century of the Common Iowan: Maybe Huckabee's Campaign Manager Can Donate Some Money

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Mike Huckabee isn't raising much money, only raising $1 million in the
3rd quarter. However, Huckabee has the highest paid campaign manger on
the Republican side. Marc Ambinder takes a look at who the best paid
campaign manager on the Republican side is... 'Not Beth Myers, Mitt
Romney's campaign manager, who takes home about $7,000 a month after
taxes, or Michael DuHaime of the Giuliani campaign, who makes $14,386
per month after taxes... it's Chip Saltzman, Mike Huckabee's campaign
manager, who makes about $15,000 per month. Saltzman's estimated
$250,000 per year is about seven percent of what Huckabee has raised
to date -- $2,345,798.'

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Cyclone Conservatives: Fred's Immigration Plan Announced Today

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

While I realize I have inundated the readers of this blog with an
influx of immigration posts lately, I find the issue to not only be
important for our country but also a vital cog in the victorious
Republican message for 2008. That being said, I received a press
release today outlining Fred's recently released ideas on immigration.
I'll give him credit for laying out a fairly expansive set of goals,
ideas and policies, but I am quite disappointed to see that none of
the bullets included any talk of a physical barrier along the southern
border. I was a believer in the border fence ever since Congressman
Steve King showed me his wall when I interned in his office about a
year and a half ago.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Caucus Leapfrog: Republicans Impose Delegate Penalties

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

In a long-expected move, the Executive Committee of the Republican
Committee voted Monday to strip half the delegates from five states
that moved their primaries up beyond a start date of Feb. 5. But even
though the Iowa GOP jumped from Jan. 14 to Jan. 3, they won't be
penalized, because the presidential vote at the Iowa Republican caucus
is non-binding, the AP reports. Iowa Republican caucus goers vote at a
"straw poll" and then later in the evening select the county
convention delegates who ultimately choose state and national
delegates. The results of the delegate vote are not connected to the
votes in the presidential straw poll.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Immigration Showdown Looming Over Farm Bill?

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Tuesday Morning Update: Check out this article from today's Washington
Post. As Republicans, let's welcome this immigration debate with open
arms. As we learn more about the upcoming farm bill that is currently
being put together in Congress, we are learning that there is one very
controversial aspect that could re-inject the immigration issue back
into a prominent position in the political sphere of public discourse.
According to a Des Moines Register article: 'Legislation that would
grant legal immigration status to thousands of migrant farmworkers
will likely be added to the Senate's farm bill, said Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid...' Will an issue like this be enough to hold up this
bill?

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Radio Iowa: By land and by air, candidates target Iowa voters

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Iowans who've been listening to the radio and watching television have
been receiving the advertising messages of the presidential candidates
for months. It appears the candidates are starting to increase their
direct mail to likely Iowa Caucus-goers. Last weekend, New York
Senator Hillary Clinton sent out a letter explaining her vote on the
resolution which declared Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist
organization. Now, Illinois Senator Barack Obama is sending many of
the same people a little something in the mail. It's a piece
(featuring two photos of Obama) that directly confronts Clinton over
than Iran resolution. Here is what it says: "While others went along,
Obama opposed Bush's war plans..."

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Back Roads to the White House: Can Democrats reclaim some rural turf?

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Former Sen. John Edwards was midway through his speech inside a
crowded firehouse here last week when audience member Eunice McCarty
nudged the man sitting next to her. He was a Republican, and McCarty
wanted him to know he had just been caught at a Democratic
presidential candidate's event. The man didn't applaud much, but at
least he paid attention, she said. "After all the things, they may be
willing to listen at least," she figured. In this far-flung,
northwestern corner of Iowa, it's "almost kind of scary" to be
anything but a Republican, she said. Lyon County, which touches South
Dakota and Minnesota, gave President Bush 78 percent of the vote in
2004. It's part of the big, red, rural block that Bush used to eke out
the narrowest of victories in the Hawkeye State that year.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

chase martyn (on display): Majority of Iowa Republican caucus-goers favor Iraq withdrawal within 6 months

Excerpted from this post at chase martyn (on display)
I reported this back in August: a slim majority of Republican caucus goers favor withdrawing US troops from Iraq within six months, according to data from Strategic Vision, a Republican polling firm. Strategic Vision has done a poll of Iowans once a month since then, and both September's and October's numbers confirm that the August data was not a fluke. Even after Gen. David Petraeus testified before both houses of Congress, Republican support for withdrawal from Iraq has steadied and perhaps even grown here in Iowa, to a whopping 54% in October. ... I argued a few weeks ago that I thought this gave Rep. Ron Paul an opening in Iowa, since he is the only candidate who publicly opposes the war.

Essential Estrogen: So Much for 'Normalcy' - Sara Taylor Registers as Lobbyist

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
Just five short months ago, Iowa native Sara M. Taylor bowed out of her appointment as White House political director, a position in which she answered directly to Karl Rove. Back then she said she was searching for normalcy. Yet, according to a document filed with the federal government at the end of August, Taylor intends to begin lobbying for Ames-based Renewable Energy Group, Inc. Specifically, she will seek to influence in the areas of energy and agriculture with the registration documents highlighting the Energy Savings Act of 2007, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007, Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007, Energy and Advancement Act of 2007 (no link found), and Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. Given that Taylor was in Washington, D.C. during the month of July, testifying before a Senate panel that was investigating the firings of several U.S. attorneys, her search for a life outside of the beltway was extremely short-lived.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: Brownback out of ammo

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

The Associated Press is reporting that Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas is
expected to drop out of the 2008 Republican presidential contest on
Friday, in part due to troubles raising campaign cash. Brownback
didn't go down without a fight. He was a frequent visitor to Iowa, the
first caucus state. He had a well-honed message mixing family values
with his call for major tax reform and a bipartisan, federalist
solution to the instability in Iraq. He had an aggressive campaign
operation that picked fights with rivals up and down the candidate
"tiers." But he never caught on -- as his 2 percent showing in the
latest USA Today/Gallup poll suggested. We had a good time chasing
Brownback down the "Back Roads to the White House."

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Iowa Progress: Brownback Out?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

The Politico is reporting that Sam Brownback is expected to end his
bid for the Republican nomination for President tomorrow. Brownback
never recovered from finishing third, behind fellow social
conservative Mike Huckabee, in the Iowa Straw Poll in August.
Brownback's withdrawal from the field helps consolidate Huckabee's
position as the leading social conservative amongst the Republican
field. Brownback's withdrawal leaves several key Iowa Republican
activists up for grabs. Chuck Hurley, one of Iowa's leading social
conservatives, was a Brownback backer and will be courted by
Presidential candidates seeking support amongst caucusgoers from the
religious right. Another major Brownback supporter was convenience
store millionaire Don Lamberti.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Bill Richardson's Town hall in Nevada, Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This afternoon and into the evening, my roommate Tim (he or my
roommate Mike are usually willing to give up a few hours to accompany
me to these things... good guys) drove the 10 miles down Highway 30
east to Nevada, IA to hear New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson at his
town hall meeting. This was the second time I had heard Richardson as
I saw him in early August when he made a campaign stop in Le Mars. I
have noted before that Richardson would be perhaps the Democrats'
strongest candidate in the general election setting. While I certainly
do not buy into the idea that he is at all "moderate", I certainly
think that Republicans and independents would find him much less
caustic on some issues as compared to people like Obama, Clinton or
Edwards.

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iPol: Candidate Reactions to CHIP Override Vote

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Joe Biden: "I am deeply disappointed first that the President chose to
veto this crucial legislation and second, that the House failed to
override his veto. Every single child in this country should have
health insurance. Instead of making progress toward this goal, the
President and Republicans in the House are turning their backs on 9
million children. Despite this blow, I am committed to continue
working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle until our kids
have the health coverage they need and deserve." Hillary Clinton: "It
is deeply disappointing that a small minority of Republicans in
Congress have put loyalty to this president ahead of healthcare for
millions of children. But we will not give up until a bill becomes
law. I will keep fighting to enact a bipartisan bill that provides
affordable coverage to America's children."

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Real Sporer: Rudy Does Drake

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Our front running Rudy Giuliani appeared today at Drake U's Olmstead
Center. The room was packed, with every chair filled. The room was set
for about 225 and there several on the stage and standing so the best
guess would be about 250 (exclusive of handlers and media) were there
to hear Giuliani. The crowd was youthful, not a surprising demographic
given the venue. However, many were young adults of the post
college-pre male pattern baldness age group. I'm guessing some of them
are now earning their first paychecks where student loans and health
insurance really are competing with the party budget for priority.
Microeconomic fiscal conservatism certainly comes with fiscal burden,
a terrible shock for twenty-somethings during every period of history
I would guess.

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Cyclone Conservatives: New Rasmussen, Strategic Vision Polls Paints Changing, Fluid Picture In Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Rasmussen Reports, one of the most well respected polling firms,
unleashed a new set of numbers today that suggests that the last 90
days of campaigning in Iowa could be very exciting. There's little
doubt in my mind that this race is only going to continue to fluctuate
and move. Frankly, there's still a lot of voters, even here in Iowa,
that haven't been awakened to the race yet. So, lets get to the
numbers. ... It is noted that Mitt Romney appears to be hovering in the
mid 20's, but that is certainly a much softer position than where he
was at the end of the summer. This should not be surprising to any of
us. There's definitely some numbers differences in what Huckabee and
Thompson have.

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Politically Speaking: Iowa caucus date move

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

By mid-2007, I'd finally committed the date to memory, so I wouldn't
have to look it up when typing stories about the Iowa caucuses. Forget
Jan. 14, 2008, brain, and remember instead Jan. 3, after the Iowa
Republican Party moved the caucus date up by a week and a half, and
the Iowa Democratic Party may do the same. This jockeying of dates is
geared to keeping heft with the outcome of Iowa's political beauty
contest, so that Michigan's move won't undermine the longstanding
allure of Iowa for presidential candidates. That, and to keep
political reporters from enjoying the holidays. So now it is 78 days
until the caucuses, which means a more compressed time for the
candidates to make their mark.

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John Deeth Blog: Caucus Date: Nevada Back on Jan. 19

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Nevada blog My Silver State reports: 'The Nevada Democratic Party says
it will keep its spot in the national presidential nominating calendar
and maintain its caucus on Jan. 19.' ... Earlier reports had said Nevada
was looking at Jan. 12. In other developments the day after the Iowa
GOP set Jan. 3 as its date: New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill
Gardner repeated his oft-made statement to the Manchester Union-Leader
that December is a possibility: 'He would prefer to schedule the
primary for early January, "but something might happen that may change
the circumstances."'

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Caucus Date: Iowa Democrats May Not Get Free Reign

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Officially, the Iowa Democratic caucus date is set by the Iowa
Democratic Party. But this year, outside forces -- escalating
leapfrog attacks from jealous states, stricter national party rules, a
governor who committed early to a January date and the determination
of Iowa Republicans to move forward -- may limit the moves of Iowa
Democrats. The most obvious outside force is the vote Tuesday by Iowa
Republicans to act alone and set a Thursday, Jan. 3 date, before New
Hampshire has settled on its primary date. Republicans are saying
they're still working with Democrats, but the nature of that
cooperation is reminiscent of George Bush vetoing a troop deadline
bill. As state party co-chair Leon Mosley told Iowa Independent at a
John McCain appearance last week, "If (the Democrats) work with us,
it'll be the 3rd."

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Cyclone Conservatives: Dave Loebsack is PAC-MAN

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

It's hard to forget the popular PAC-MAN arcade game that became
popular in the 1980's and 1990's as players moved a little yellow
creature around that gobbled up as much other moving critters as it
could. Well, if you thought the PAC-MAN game was going out of style,
Dave Loebsack is bringing it back... big time. After winning his seat
last November only because he was in the right place at the right
time, Loebsack is trying to position himself to be in the right place
at the right time when all the major liberal organizations start
shelling out their cash to their Democratic friends. Loebsack appears
to be good at being at the right place at the right time.

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iPol: How Many More Victories Can John Edwards Survive?

Excerpted from this post at iPol

I sat in on a conference call hosted by the John Edwards campaign
yesterday. The purpose of the call was to trumpet Edwards' winning the
endorsement of the Iowa chapter of the SEIU, comprised of about 2,000
members statewide. Among the participants were national campaign
manager and former congressman David Bonior, communications director
Chris Kofinis, Iowa state director Jennifer O'Malley-Dillon, and other
senior staff. After detailed expository remarks about the importance
of gaining the endorsement of the SEIU's Iowa chapter, and hinting at
additional endorsements to follow later in the day (indeed, nine more
SEIU state chapters followed the Iowa chapter's lead in endorsing
Edwards before the day was out), the Edwards staff threw the call open to Q&A.

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The Real Sporer: Chuck, Billary and Rock 'n' Roll for Sale

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

This morning's USA Today broke new ground for a Gannet publication; a
front page story about Democrat corruption. It appears that New York
Senator's Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton earmarked some one million
dollars of your income tax money for a museum on the site of Woodstock
concert. The museum is owned by a private corporation. The
corporation, in turn, is owned by a Republican named Alan Gerry. While
I dig rock 'n' roll music, particularly the Woodstock album (own it in
vinyl, CD and video), I'm not sure that giving tax money to help a
billionaire build a museum to the show is the best use of tax dollars.
Think of the help a million dollar grant could do for some small start
up business somewhere or the amount of AIDS vaccines for sub Saharan
Africa that could have been purchased with that money?

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

John Deeth Blog: John Edwards SEIU Endorsement - Liveblog

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

John Edwards picked up the endorsement of the Iowa branch of the
local Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at a Monday event
at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. That much
was expected, but Edwards also rolled out the endorsement of SEIU
locals in several other states. The national union did not endorse
because Edwards did not reach a 60% threshold required by union rules.
I liveblogged this over at Iowa Independent, here it is again: 4:53
and with a little assist I'm live at the UIowa's Eckstein Medical
Research Lab for the Iowa SEIU endorsement of John Edwards.

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Popular Progressive: Edwards Snags Environmental Group's Endorsement

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

John Edwards won the backing of Friends of the Earth Action, the San
Francisco-based political arm of Friends of the Earth. In endorsing
Edwards, the president of Friends of the Earth Action, Brent
Blackwelder, said he was particularly impressed by how early in the
campaign Edwards laid out proposals to reduce carbon emissions by 80
percent by 2050, push for a global climate change treaty and create 1
million new jobs by investing in clean, renewable energy. Edwards has
pushed other candidates to either match or improve upon his ideas,
said Blackwelder, who announced the endorsement with Edwards at a
house party in Dover.

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Radio Iowa: It's (not quite) a date

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

The Republican Party of Iowa's State Central Committee will meet
tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. via telephone to vote on whether the
party's precinct Caucuses (those Iowa Caucuses) should be held on
Thursday, January 3, 2008. It appears likely the GOPers will vote in
favor of that move. The question is what will Iowa Democrats do and
they're not giving many public signals. It is "tradition" for
Republicans and Democrats in Iowa to hold their precinct Caucus
meetings on the same date, but not a requirement. The reason many
Republicans argue for the Thursday date is because the results of the
Caucuses would have more of an impact than if they were held on the
Saturday before the Tuesday New Hampshire Primary.

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Iowa Progress: Iowans For Tax Relief Helping Democrats

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Iowans for Tax Relief recently announced that it was backing a primary
candidate against incumbent Republican Clarence Hoffman in the
Republican primary in State House District 55 (Ida County and parts of
Crawford, Monona and Woodbury County). Hoffman is a fifth term
Representative who crossed party lines to support the bill banning
discrimination based on sexual orientation. This is the second time
Iowans for Tax Relief has backed a primary candidate against an
incumbent Republican so far for the 2008 cycle. The first State
Representative that they tried to primary, Walt Tomenga in House
District 69 (Johnston and Grimes) has since announced his retirement.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Radio Iowa: On a rainy Sunday, Obama focuses on God's creation

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

It's been raining for hours here in Des Moines, with thunder
periodically rattling the windowpanes. A couple of hundred people
have filed into the meeting room here in the downtown Des Moines
Public Library, seating themselves in chairs arranged in a half-moon
shape, focused on a lectern with a placard that reads: "THE JUDGMENT
TO LEAD" pasted on the front. The event has been billed by the Obama
campaign as a forum to "highlight the role of faith in fighting global
climate change." A woman who had the microphone for a few minutes
mentioned Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and his movie. Now, Des Moines
Mayor Frank Cownie is talking about several "green" city initiatives.
"Get out and do the right thing," Cownie urges the crowd.

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John Deeth Blog: Dodd: Father's Nuremberg Service Forged My Values

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

At Chris Dodd's Iowa City appearance Friday, he spoke more about his
father than himself, using his father's service as the number two
prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials to focus on the importance of the
Constitution and the rule of law. Larry Baker, an author and former
Iowa City council member, asked the last question and said he had
agreed with every word Dodd had said. But in that case, asked Baker,
why aren't George Bush and Dick Cheney being impeached? "I won't argue
the substance," said Dodd "But Having been through it, it takes all of
the oxygen out of the room. To be very practical, the most important
thing is to elect a new administration." Dodd predicted that a focus
on impeachment would lead to Democratic defeat.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Tommy Thompson Shows Rudy Some Love

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Rudy Giuliani picked up the endorsement and support of former
Wisconsin Governor, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, and
former Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States
Tommy Thompson today. This is a fairly interesting development and
while it may not mean a whole lot (endorsements, in my opinion, rarely
do), it is at least another pretty good feather for Rudy to add to his
cap. Tommy ran his campaign all spring and summer here in Iowa as
someone who presented a fairly conservative platform, both fiscally
and socially. While Rudy appears to put forward a conservative set of
ideas on fiscal issues, he definitely languishes on the social issues.
Thus, Tommy's endorsement of Rudy is not something a lot of people
could have predicted by just comparing ideology to ideology.

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iPol: Biden and Brownback Make Political History

Excerpted from this post at iPol

History comes at us in two forms: history in the moment when it is
made, and history in the aftermath when it is written. The first is
action, and the second is judgment. If we're wise, we always pay
attention to the judgments of history; if we're lucky, we may get to
be present on an occasion when history is made. I had the luck to be a
witness to history being made today, as two U.S. Senators and
presidential candidates, from opposite parties, appeared at the same
podium to campaign, not for votes for their respective candidacies,
but for support of their joint plan to end the civil war in Iraq,
bring stability to the Persian Gulf region and pave the way for an end
to U.S. combat operations without leaving chaos behind.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Michigan, Iowa and the Games the Politicos Play

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowans are by and large straight-forward people. Given that, it should
come as no surprise that to the average Iowan, the Michigan ballot
situation seems pretty cut and dry: Democratic presidential hopefuls
who honor their four-state pledge and support the nomination calendar
won't be on Wolverine State's ballot. As with most things in life, and
especially politics, the situation is more complicated. Five
individuals connected to five different campaigns have confirmed --
but only under condition of anonymity -- that the situation that
developed in connection with the Michigan ballot is not at all as it
appears on the surface. The campaign for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama,
arguably fearing a poor showing in Michigan, reached out to the others
with a desire of leaving New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as the
only candidate on the ballot.

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Iowa Progress: Caucuses Pit Father Vs. Son In Major Iowa Political Family

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Iowa State Representative McKinley Bailey announced his endorsement of
Joe Biden today. Bailey is a first term State Representative and was
widely courted by Presidential campaigns because of his service in
Iraq in the 82nd Airborne Division. Biden has picked up endorsements
from a number of Iowa legislators as part of his campaign's increased
focus on the caucuses. Bailey is also a member of a prominent
political family in Hamilton County. However, his father, Hamilton
County Supervisor Doug Bailey has not just endorsed Obama, but is a
member of Obama's statewide leadership team. It's also interesting to
note that Hillary Clinton announced her retirement savings plan in the
Bailey family's hometown of Webster City.

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Back Roads the White House: McCain's Blake Street bomb

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads the White House

UPDATE: Rockies 1, McCain 0. Sen. John McCain is a man of firm convictions. And that could cost him some votes in Colorado. Tonight, his home town baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, squares off against the upstart Colorado Rockies in the first game of the National League Championship Series. But since Colorado is one of the sleeper battlefields in the Republican presidential contest -- a place where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned just yesterday -- we thought we'd give McCain a chance to win some Colorado votes by switching his baseball allegiance. "I think we know who I'm supporting," McCain said... "I've been known to pander, but that's a depth to which I won't sink."

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Century of the Common Iowan: Selden Spencer Will Not Be Running in Iowa's 4th District

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

I received a letter from the Selden Spencer campaign saying that Dr.
Spencer will not be running for Congress in Iowa's 4th District.
Spencer cited personal and professional reasons for his decision. Dr.
Spencer had this to say in the letter... "This remains a crucial time in
our history, a time in which we struggle to regain the soul of our
nation..." In 2006, the deck was stacked against Dr. Spencer's attempt
to defeat Rep. Latham. Spencer entered the race late, he didn't get
much support from the state party (because they were already investing
in the 1st and 2nd districts and protecting Boswell's seat in the 3rd
district), and he didn't have any name recognition at all. When put
together, Spencer had a hard raising the money needed and a hard time
getting his name out there to voters.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Sun Setting On The Straight Talk Express: McCain In Coralville

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Mosley says "Caucus will be the 3rd."... John McCain has arrived
at a Johnson County GOP fundraiser. A sizable percentage of the crowd
is in the Reagan Club reception, where McCain is working the room. (A
man at the door spotted my camera and deftly swung the door shut. Lost
opportunity.) Pre-arrival, locals were posing for pics in front of the
famous Straight Talk Express bus. Jared Klein of rural Keota,
Republican candidate in open House District 89, was getting to know
folks on the north end of his district. "Republicans gonna take back
the House?" "That'd be great, wouldn't it?" Klein is younger than the
typical candidate at 26, but certainly wouldn't be the youngest
legislator. He's sporting a McCain sticker, but that's just for the
event and not an endorsement.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Democrats Succeed in Sending Iowa Into Debt

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson has a fascinating piece this morning
that highlights exactly what any common sense Iowan could have said at
the end of the 2007 Iowa legislative session: the Democrats are
sending the state swirling down the drain of debt. According to
Henderson's story: "Governor Chet Culver is delivering a budget
warning to his administrators. The move comes as Culver and his staff
acknowledge that the level of state spending promised by the
Democratic-led legislature doesn't match the amount of state tax
revenue that'll be collected..." I'm pleased to see that Rep. Rants is
already on the case as that is exactly what we are going to need in
order to ensure that this sort of behavior is sufficiently made known
to literally every Iowan. This is just a fantastic issue for
Republicans here in Iowa to campaign on. Rants is noted in the article
as suggesting that he believes the liberals will move to raise more
revenue through tax hikes instead of trim the budget.

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iPol: Dodd Campaign's Statement on the Michigan Primary

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Chris Dodd, profile in courage, has had his communications director Hari Sevugan issue the following statement regarding the Michigan primary: "We are committed to the importance of Iowa and New Hampshire going first, and we signed the four-state pledge to hopefully prevail upon the DNC and the state parties to add clarity to that situation. However, it does not benefit any of us if we are the nominee to pull our name off the ballot and slight Michigan voters." Compare this with the statement Dodd himself made on August 31, 2007: "I believe that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada offer a cross-section of America and allow for voters to probe the experience and vision of candidates in a meaningful way," said Dodd. "In this year, where the national media focus seems to be on celebrity and bank accounts, the role of these states is more important than ever. I am committed to the DNC nominating calendar and preserving the first-in-the-nation status of Iowa and New Hampshire."

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The Woodbury Democrat: King of Kontradiction

Excerpted from this post at The Woodbury Democrat

I just realized something. My representative to congress, Steve King
(R-IA), wants it both ways. He wants his cake, and he wants to eat it
too. Go figger. After United States President George Walker Bush,
Republican, vetoed giving poor sick children medical help,
Representative King stepped forward to defend the President. This in
itself is not unusual -- looking at Mr. King's voting record reveals
that he votes with the President nearly every single time he casts a
vote. What was unusual in this matter is that people in Sioux City
gathered outside Mr. King's office in peaceful protest, waving signs
with the number of children in Mr. King's district that will be denied
health care due to his refusal to stand up for his constituents. I
don't remember the exact quote, but I saw Mr. King on TV saying
something like, "just because a bunch of people stand on the sidewalk
with signs doesn't make them right."

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

iPol: Pledge, Schmedge

Excerpted from this post at iPol

All aflutter is the Iowa blogosphere at today's developments regarding
the Michigan primary on January 15. I'm not too exorcised about it
either way, except... you guys signed a pledge, didn't you? Like, in
front of God - or at least the New York Times - and everybody. And I
know the Dodd and Clinton campaigns are already spinning like mad on
this, but it doesn't address the question: you guys signed a pledge,
didn't you? And it really doesn't cut any ice with me to have either
of these candidates assure us all that although they may have decided
to remain on the ballot, they won't be actively campaigning in
Michigan. For Hillary Clinton, at least, this is bound to invite
unflattering recollections of non-denial denials from the White House
years. And for Chris Dodd: what are you thinking? Being the
anti-Hillary in Michigan isn't going to help you much in Iowa.

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HawkeyeGOP: The Coalition is Crumbling

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

In today's Republican debate, Chris Matthews asked Rep. Ron Paul this
question: Congressman Paul, do you promise to support the nominee of
the Republican Party next year? Paul Responded: Not right now I don't...
Matthews then asked the same basic question to Tom Tancredo, Sam
Brownback and Mitt Romney. Tancredo said: You know, I've said, I don't
know how many times, that I am absolutely tired and sick and tired of
being forced to go to the polls and say I'm going to make this choice
between the lesser of two evils. I really don't intend to do that
again... Romney and Brownback both said that they will support the
nominee. As I spend time with other socons in Iowa I have found that
more and more of them agree with Paul and Tancredo. More and more of
them agree with Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson. And I agree,
if Rudy Giuliani is the nominee -- we will stay home or perhaps even
support a third party candidate.

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Essential Estrogen: Chris Dodd Shows 'Heart' in Fairfield

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowan Jack Engstrom spent more than an hour listening to Connecticut
Sen. Chris Dodd speak and answer questions during a campaign stop in
Fairfield. The undecided caucus-goer didn't have much to say during
the event, but nodded in agreement as Dodd made points on Iraq, recent
votes in the U.S. Senate and domestic policy. "I haven't decided who
I'm going to support," Engstrom said as he was leaving. "But I'm very
impressed with Chris Dodd." Engstrom, like most Iowans, has had an
opportunity to meet most of the candidates, but he said he does not
plan to make a caucus night decision until he's heard them all. The
candidate he hasn't had opportunity to see in person is Delaware Sen.
Joe Biden.

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Ben and Bawb's Blog: Dear George

Excerpted from this post at Ben and Bawb's Blog

Dear George, I trust that I can call you George, since we've been
through so much together, right from the start. I was there at Jim
Nussle's barbeque in Amana where you first declared your candidacy for
president. (You probably remember me. We shook hands.) I gave you the
benefit of the doubt when you went to war to topple Saddam Hussein.
(At which you did succeed, lest we forget.) I voted for you
enthusiastically in 2000, then reluctantly, holding my nose, in 2004.
But still, I voted for you twice George. Since we've been buds for so
long, I feel I need to tell you something that might be awkward coming
from someone else: the fact that your recent veto of the bill
expanding the SCHIP "children's" healthcare program makes you look
like a complete hypocrite.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Clinton Casts and Reels in CR Labor Audience

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

One of the first rules of public speaking is to know your audience. On
the campaign trail in Iowa no one does this more consistently or
effectively than New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton and her
"Middle Class Express" rolled into Cedar Rapids this morning and
pitched to a predominately pro-union crowd at Veterans Memorial
Coliseum exactly what it wanted to hear. "I believe the middle class
is the backbone of our economy, the key to real growth, and the
guarantor of the American dream," she said. "America is only as strong
as our middle class. I judge the health of our economy by asking
whether or not our middle class is expanding and getting ahead. This
administration has failed the test. Mine will not."

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Iowa Insider: Phony e-mail claims supporter left Huckabee for Romney

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

The campaign for Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is
complaining about a bogus e-mail apparently sent out to Iowa activists
claiming that one of his most prominent supporters is now backing
rival Mitt Romney. The e-mail, which purports to be from Sioux City
Republican Bob Vander Plaats, urges others to join him at a news
conference at the State Capitol Wednesday. The phony e-mail says
Vander Plaats no longer is supporting Huckabee after the candidate
failed to meet fund-raising goals. "It's obviously a dirty trick
designed to create doubt among our supporters," said Eric Woolson, a
spokesman for Huckabee's campaign. Vander Plaats said people have
asked him about the e-mail, which appears to come from an e-mail
account with his name, but it did not come from him.

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John Deeth Blog: Jan. 3? Maybe.

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

National folks seem to be zooming in on a Jan. 3 caucus date, bases on
Saturday's state GOP conference call. But it ain't a done deal yet.
Here's Marc Arbinder's take: 'The committee authorized the party's
executive director, Chuck Laudner, to lobby Democrats and urge them to
accept the same date. If Laudner succeeds is getting the Democrats to
agree, the two parties will announce the date together. If, by Monday,
October 15, Laudner fails, then he's authorized to announce the Jan. 3
date himself.' The Dems told Iowa Independenters me and Jay Wagner:
"We are working with our Republican counterparts for a mutual caucus
date." From the right, Sporer says: "Any ultimate decision by RPI will
be made only after consultation with IDP leadership. Our party desires
to act as closely as politics permits with the IDP leadership in the
interest of the state of Iowa."

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Cyclone Conservatives: New DM Register Poll Readies Iowa for Final Stretch

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Yesterday, the Des Moines Register and the Ann Selzer Co. unleashed
its new "Iowa Poll" of Republicans and Democrats. Some have been
skeptical of the "Iowa Poll" in the past, but as it pertained to the
2006 Gubernatorial race in Iowa, it was unfortunately very accurate.
So, it is fair to assume that there might be one more Iowa Poll before
the 2007 caucus date so with that being said, it is fair to assume
that we're still going to see a fluid race. I think the numbers
suggest that we're in for an excited fall here in Iowa because there
is still plenty of fluidity and movement yet to be seen, in my
opinion. Republicans: Obviously, from the pure numbers of all this, we
can see that Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and Mike Huckabee are the big
winners.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

The Real Sporer: Iowa Caucus Date Has Not Changed!

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer
Recent rumors that the Iowa Republican Caucus '08 has been moved to January 3 are not accurate. No official action has been taken. No action will be taken for at least ten days. Moreover, I think it is fair to say that any ultimate decision by RPI will be made only after consultation with IDP leadership. Our party desires to act as closely as politics permits with the IDP leadership in the interest of the state of Iowa. ... If the Caucuses do move it is also fair to say that January 3 and January 5 are the leading candidates for the new schedule.

Bleeding Heartland: We've got our work cut out for us

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
"We" being everyone who wants to derail the Hillary inevitability train. Clinton supporters are crowing about the latest Des Moines Register poll showing her leading likely Democratic voters in Iowa with 29 percent to 23 percent for Edwards, 22 percent for Obama, 8 percent for Richardson and 5 percent for Biden. ... It's not good news for the other candidates, but it would be a mistake to say Hillary is going to cruise in Iowa. I think she is going to lose delegates when people go to their second choices on caucus night.

Johnson County Dem BBQ coverage

- Back Roads to the White House: McGovern: "Ladies first"
http://blogs.rockymountainnews.com/denver/sprengelmeyer/archives/2007/10/mcgovern_ladies_first.html

- Popular Progressive: Supporting a Candidate is No Picnic
http://popprog.blogspot.com/2007/10/supporting-candidate-is-no-picnic.html

- John Deeth Blog
Johnson County BBQ: Hillary Clinton
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-hillary-clinton.html

Johnson County BBQ: George McGovern
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-george-mcgovern.html

Johnson County BBQ: The Bidens
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-bidens.html

Johnson County BBQ: Forest Whitaker
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-forest-whitaker.html

Johnson County BBQ: Chris Dodd
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-chris-dodd.html

Johnson County BBQ: Bill Richardson
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-bill-richardson.html

Johnson County BBQ: John Edwards
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-john-edwards.html

Johnson County BBQ: Dennis Kucinich
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-dennis-kucinich.html

Johnson County BBQ: The Locals
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-county-bbq-locals.html

Friday, October 05, 2007

Iowa Insider: McAuliffe: I don't think we're winning in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Polls might show Hillary Clinton leading the Democratic field in
national polls, but one of Clinton's top advisers believes she is
trailing John Edwards in Iowa. Terry McAuliffe, the national chairman
for Clinton's campaign, doesn't believe the polls that show her ahead
in Iowa. "I don't think we're winning it," McAuliffe said during a
phone interview on the campaign trail in Iowa. "I know that 3, 4, 5
polls have us leading. I don't believe it. I think we're bunched up
there. I think we're in second. I think Edwards is still out front,
but I think we're moving. And every day, things get better for us." On
the conventional wisdom that Clinton is too polarizing to win,
McAuliffe says once people get to know her, they like her.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa Republicans, Democrats Must Caucus On Same Day

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

After reading David Yepsen's column today in the Des Moines Register,
I was rather disappointed again. Yepsen has written columns in the
past that have suggested that he does not view Iowa's position as
"First in the Nation" as legitimate and worth fighting for. I'm not
surprised by this at all, considering Yepsen keeps pushing a system
that would allow the state that had the closest percentage margin
between the candidates in the previous election to go first. The Iowa
Caucuses first came to prominence in 1972 and there was a mutual
decision in 1976 between the parties to hold the event on the same day
because they understood the need to make it a heightened media bonanza
of sorts. If the Iowa Caucuses are to survive, a united front by both
parties in Iowa must exist.

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Back Roads to the White House: Show Joe the money

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

A couple months after he apologized to supporters for his sluggish
fundraising machine, Sen. Joe Biden conceded Thursday that he raised
even less money for the third quarter of the year. Biden told
reporters outside East High School in Des Moines that he's still
confident he can find a late breakthrough in the Democratic
presidential contest. But with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton beginning
to widen her lead both in polls and in the campaign money chase,
lower-tier candidates like Biden increasingly must fight to remain
viable and relevant. "I'm satisfied," Biden said of the nearly $2
million he raised in the third quarter of the year.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Will Bill Richardson Run for Senate?

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Yesterday, Republican Pete Domenici announced he was retiring and
would not seek reelection to the US Senate. There is speculation that
Gov. Bill Richardson will drop out of the presidential race and run
for Senate. I could see why Richardson would not want to run for
Senate. First, he is the sitting Governor of New Mexico until 2010.
Second, he has been moving up in the presidential race. Third, he has
a strong chance to be a Vice President candidate or be named to a top
cabinet position such as Secretary of State. However, if Richardson
ran for Senate, he would be a strong favorite to win the seat and give
Democrats a pick up opportunity in the Senate.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Richardson Expands Iowa Organization

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Senior staff additions, more field organizers and new Iowa field
offices have been announced by the Richardson for President campaign.
"The Richardson for President campaign in Iowa is growing stronger
from top to bottom," said Jim Farrell, new deputy state director. "If
Americans want to end the war in Iraq, we must get all of the troops
out of Iraq -- in months, not in years. Bill Richardson is the only
candidate who will do it." Farrell previously served as Bill Bradley's
Iowa communications director in 2000. He was the late U.S. Sen. Paul
Wellstone's communications director, worked on the Clinton 1992 and
1996 campaigns and served in the press office of former Veterans
Administration Secretary Jesse Brown. Most recently he served as
executive director of the Montana Democratic Party during the
successful campaign of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.

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John Deeth Blog: Huckabee Gets First Legislative Endorsements But Romney Leads

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee picked up his first three Iowa
legislative endorsements yesterday. But Mitt Romney, who leads in
most polls of Iowa Republicans, also has a commanding lead in
legislative endorsements. Sixteen of the state's 63 Republican
legislators, including House Minority Leader Christopher Rants, are
backing Romney. That's double the number of his nearest rival, Sen.
John McCain of Arizona. And as McCain's support has slipped, he's
also suffered some defections from former supporters. A year ago this
month, McCain's Straight Talk America PAC announced a 13 member "Iowa
Legislative Advisory Team." The day after that announcement, one
member, Rep. Dave Heaton of Mt. Pleasant, announced that he had not
made an endorsement and did not plan to.

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Iowa Progress: Mike Huckabee And The Maya

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

An article in The New Republic this week chronicles how Mike Huckabee
sold out his belief in balanced budgets and fiscal conservatism to
gain the support of anti-tax fanatics like Grover Norquist. This meant
embracing the "fair tax" which is a highly regressive economic program
that puts a disproportionate burden on working Americans and puts more
money in the pockets of the wealthy by replacing our tax system with a
sales of at least 30%. This marriage of convenience has already
benefited Huckabee at the Ames Straw Poll. However, on most issues,
Mike Huckabee doesn't need to sell out to embracing fringe ideas. Most
of the time, he already is embracing strange and extremist views on
his own. Although Huckabee's opposition to evolution is well known,
his embrace of the intellectual and scientific fringes is far more
wide ranging.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Price of Politics: Applauding Fred

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

It's great to say, "I saw a first today." Today, I did. Fred Thompson
had just finished his stump speech at "Tremont on Main", a restaurant
in downtown Marshalltown. Yes, it's on Main Street. No one in the
crowd of about 60 was clapping (well, what was left of the crowd.
About 10 or so of them had taken off already.) So Thompson took
matters in his own hands. I've never heard a presidential candidate do
this. But after hearing the silence, Thompson said to the crowd,
"First of all, could I have a round of applause?" Polite applause then
followed. He thanked them and added he "had to drag it" out of them.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Newt's "Solutions Day" on Saturday

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

On Saturday afternoon, I drove across Ames to the Scheman Building on
the campus of Iowa State University to participate in Newt's American
Solutions' "Solutions Day" as he had 'workshops' all over the state
and frankly, all over the country. I have no idea how turnout was in
other parts of the state, but there were about 6 or 7 people there at
the Ames one. Unfortunately, there were some pretty severe technical
problems at the one in Ames and so I and everyone else in attendance,
did not get a real good feel for the workshops. Because I wasn't
feeling the best and the fact that I had about 6 hours of bus driving
to do that evening, I opted to leave early and I went home and watched
a little more of it on my TV (they were broadcasted on DirecTV).

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Bleeding Heartland: Edwards' Situation

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Adam B. at Daily Kos has a very good post on what accepting public
financing means for John Edwards. I am going to try to summarize and
correct where I think he is wrong. He is a lawyer and I am not, but I
still think I'm correct. 1. The overall expenditure cap for Edwards
will theoretically be a little over $42 million. He can also spend up
to 20% on top of that ($8.5 million or thereabouts) for fundraising
expenses. The definition of fundraising expenses is pretty broad, so
he would certainly max that number out, giving him an effective cap of
maybe $51 million. Any money he spends on legal stuff (compliance,
etc.) doesn't count at all. 2. His Iowa maximum expenditure is
theoretically going to be around $1.5 million.

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John Deeth Blog: Leaping Las Vegas: Nevada Caucus to Jan. 12

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Nevada, one of the Democratic Party's official early nomination
contest states is preparing to move its caucuses forward a week to
Jan. 12. The Nevada Democratic Party hasn't said anything official
yet, but the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports on a "caucus update"
e-mail sent to party supporters which says: "Today, it appears that
Nevada's interests and significance in the nominating process may be
best served by holding our precinct caucuses on January 12th, 2008."
Jan. 12 is in keeping with the "consensus calendar" the Atlantic's
Marc Arbinder reported last week. This calendar places the Iowa
caucuses on Saturday, Jan. 5, and the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

The Real Sporer: Fred and the ICA

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer
... ICA had a very large turnout, about 75% of the Seven Flags total capacity, and the left over space was mostly consumed by display tables and the large banquet lines, so the turnout for the facility couldn't have been much larger. ... The crowd in attendance tonight was the antithesis of radical; they're normal and tired of being kicked around by the left. ... Duncan Hunter had to miss the event because of a serious health problem in his family. Fred Thompson was in the crowd, very cleverly sitting in the back, creating the greatest of exposure. ... Fred's local organization is gaining size and their appeared to be the largest openly Thompson turnout that Des Moines, and I'm guessing anywhere else in Iowa, has yet seen. Team Mitt was out in major force so this event gave both sides an opportunity to judge the competition. Mitt still appears to have the strongest Iowa operation but Fred also appears to be gaining rapidly. Fred was late to the dance but already has tremendous name ID and is displaying the ability to gain traction fairly fast. Almost all of the Huckabee Iowa forces were on display tonight, as well. The Huckabee campaign remains smaller than the other "top tier" candidates but compensates with extremely high likeability, both the candidate and the campaign.

chase martyn (on display): Fred Thompson Draws Ire of Iowa Press Corps

Excerpted from this post at chase martyn (on display)
Iowa Independent's Jay Wagner described how Thompson's staff dealt with the media gaggle that showed up to cover Thompson, who has been a bit of a stranger around these parts: "Although all the presidential candidates were invited to attend, the ICA had told them in advance that they wouldn't have an opportunity to speak. The Thompson campaign told reporters during the event that their candidate would avail himself to reporters prior to his departure so as not to disrupt the meeting. But after he finished eating - and before the program got underway - Thompson and his family and staff slipped into an SUV and departed, leaving the media gaggle behind without a chance to answer a single question." A Thompson staffer promised a media availability outside the event so questions wouldn't interrupt the dinner itself, and then there wasn't one. Jay wasn't the only reporter to blog about the experience afterwards. While his story merely mentioned Thompson's media dodge toward the end, Radio Iowa's Kay Henderson and WHO TV's Dave Price both highlighted the treatment they had received in blog entries. Said Henderson: "No questions. No answers. If you want to know what he said tonight, you'll have to ask Jeri." Dave Price of WHO TV characterized the evening in his post title, " Fred, Fried Chicken and a Lie Pie for dessert."

Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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