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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Price of Politics: You're Out!!!

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

John Edwards is out of the race. Surprised? He stuck it out long
enough to make it through Florida. Why? Would the bills have been too
high with too little return for him to stay in the race to compete in
Tsunami Tuesday on Feb. 5th. Surely his endorsement will now be the
most talked about/sought after voice of support around Democratic
circles. It's difficult, dare I say, almost impossible, to see him
endorsing Clinton. But will he go out in public to say he's an Obama
guy now? If he doesn't, will that effectively help Clinton? Edwards
would never tell me he HAD to win the Iowa Caucuses. But I never
bought it.

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Iowa Progress: Ed Fallon and Al Gore

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Ed Fallon was a Ralph Nader supporter in 2000. He described Al Gore as
"to the right of Bill Clinton" and said that "I can't, I won't and you
shouldn't [vote for Al Gore] either." So what was the platform of the
far-right wing, DLC Democrat that Ed Fallon refused to support? In
Gore's acceptance speech, he stated that "campaign finance reform will
be the very first bill that I send to the United States Congress,"
that "free trade... must be fair trade" and reaffirmed his commitment to
a federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. In
fact, in that very same speech, Gore reiterated the basic theme of his
campaign-representing the people versus the powerful...

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John Deeth Blog: Anti-Robocall Bill Unlikely to Advance

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"Everyone's got caucus hangover right now," State Rep. Ray Zirkelbach
said of the pre-recorded calls still echoing in the ears of Iowans.
The Monticello Democrat is trying to put a stop to auto-dialed
"robocalls" by making the tactic illegal in Iowa. But critics of the
bill have free speech concerns, and Zirkelbach's own frank assessment
is that the bill, though popular with his constituents, won't advance
this year. Party leaders "haven't even talked to me about it," said
Zirkelbach. "I'm sure a ton of people are against it." Still, he
stands by House File 2008. "Everybody complains about (the calls) but
no one does anything about it."

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Bleeding Heartland: Iowa Republicans downbeat about election prospects

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

... are heeding their calls. As Simon Stevenson noted here last week,
the Iowa Republican Party's fundraising lags well behind what Iowa
Democrats have raised for the upcoming elections. Now the Des Moines
Register reports that Tom Harkin has $3.4 million in the bank going
into his re-election campaign. Prominent Republicans are taking a pass
on this race, and Harkin's only declared opponent 'is Steve Rathje, a
Cedar Rapids businessman. Rathje as of Sept. 30 had raised about
$49,000 for his campaign and had $259 cash on hand.' Finally, Harkin
gets to take it easy. He had to fight hard against Greg Ganske in
2002, although he ended up winning by a comfortable margin.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Iowa DNC Rules Member: Clinton Florida Comments "Not Helpful"

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

... an Iowa City member of the Democratic rules committee that unseated (Florida's) delegates told Iowa Independent that Hillary Clinton's recent comments on Florida are "not helpful" to the process. Sarah Swisher, first vice chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, serves on the Democratic National Committee's rules committee. ... "It's not helpful when you have candidates express themselves in direct conflict to rulings by the DNC," said Swisher. "It's helpful for those participating in the nomination process to adhere to the rules of the party." "We didn't see any letters of support for Florida months ago," said Swisher.

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Essential Estrogen: Annual Choice Dinner Draws Diverse Crowd

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

... "We're here because we've been coming to this event for probably 20 years -- maybe more," said Nancy Lynch of Solon, who is a past volunteer and longtime monetary supporter of the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City. "We think the cause is one that is very important and one that should be supported." Looking around the room, Lynch said that "a long time ago" the dinners were primarily attended by young people, of which she was one. "Tonight is interesting because most of the older people I know who have been here aren't here [this year]," she said. "It's mostly young people and I think that's fabulous."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cyclone Conservatives: The State of the State of the Union

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

I just finished watching President George W. Bush deliver his 7th and
final State of the Union Address and I must say that I thought,
overall, it will be viewed relatively favorably. Here's a few quick
thoughts... At times, I wondered where this President has been for the
last 7 years. When the President spoke of spending and taxes, I
wondered where that action and rhetoric has been hiding? We all know
that the President has been a stalwart on the cutting of taxes, but
he's been anything but conservative when it comes to cutting the
earmarks and cutting the non-defense discretionary spending.

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iPol: The Other Clinton

Excerpted from this post at iPol

When he came into office 15 years ago, Bill Clinton was on a mission
to make his mark in history by reforming American government and
reinvigorate a languishing economy. Notable missteps on health care
and gays in the military contributed to a repudiation at the polls in
the 1994 congressional mid-terms, which seemed to refocus Clinton's
remarkable political skills. Bill Clinton presided over the longest
peacetime economic expansion in our nation's history, turned record
budget deficits into record surpluses, lifted millions of families out
of poverty, and stepped in to prevent genocide in the heart of Europe.
And then the mischief set in.

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Politically Speaking: Hoffmann exits GOP chairmanship

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Leave for a three-day weekend and what happens? Ray Hoffmann of Sioux
City quits his position as Iowa Republican Party of Iowa chairman, and
a successor (Stewart Iverson) is named the following day. The
possibility of Hoffmann stepping down from the chairmanship had been
aired, therefore it was going to happen. Something like this doesn't
reach the public level without an almost certain likelihood that
Hoffmann was departing. But prior to that, the ankle biting on
Hoffmann had been taking place, as some were saying it was time for
him to go, that he hadn't been effectively leading the party. When the
simmering chasm in the Woodbury County GOP blew open big and bad in
late 2006, some were critical of Ray for not stepping in to help solve
the problem in his own home county.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

FromDC2Iowa: How To (And Not To) Grow Iowa's Economy

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

The Press-Citizen has a regular Sunday editorial page column called
"Our Quick Take on Last Week's News Stories." Editorial, "Our View --
Our quick take on last week's news stories," Iowa City Press-Citizen,
January 27, 2008, p. A9. But its Saturday issue contained so many
stories that relate to topics followed by this blog that I've decided
we can have an "Our Quick Take on This Weekend's Stories." The folly
of corporate subsidies vs. the sure path to economic development. We
often comment about the folly of injecting taxpayers' money (in the
form of tax breaks, TIFs, infrastructure development, and outright
bribery) onto the bottom line of for-profit businesses...

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Al Gore to endorse Obama?

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

"The death of a thousand cuts" continues... Al Giordano, who shares a
first name and last initial with the former VP, often seems to have
the most "inside" of inside information. And he's predicting an Al
Gore endorsement (not by name, yet, but read the post and you can't
miss it) of Obama... soon. Will it be soon enough for him to hit the
campaign trail for Barack? That would be yet another indication that
the relationship between the Clintons and Al Gore is beyond saving.
And certainly it would be another high-profile endorsement by yet
another big-name Democrat who could have stayed quiet.

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Iowa Insider: Don't spend all of your tax rebate yet

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

If you are already making plans for the federal tax rebate, you might
want to consider that the state of Iowa could have its hand out to
take a chunk. The federal rebates would still be subject to Iowa's
income tax unless state lawmakers and Gov. Chet Culver decide to
exempt them. That's what lawmakers did the last time federal tax
rebates were issued in 2001. Renee Mulvey, spokeswoman for the Iowa
Department of Revenue, said the tax rate would vary depending on
several factors, with a top rate of 8.98 percent. Iowa House Minority
Leader Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City, said Republicans are drafting
legislation to ensure Iowans won't end up paying a state tax on their
rebates.

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HawkeyeGOP: Hoffman's out -- Iverson's in

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Well, the waiting is over. Today the Republican State Central
Committee elected former state senator Stewart Iverson. This blog has
been critical of Hoffman since his re-election so I cannot say that I
am sad to see him go. But Iverson? Iverson's ouster from the Senate
leadership gave us Mary Lundby. Neither one was very effective in
standing up to Governor Culver. Iverson failed as Senate leader and
now he expects to lead the whole party? Perhaps it is time for a
change on the State Central Committee.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Cyclone Conservatives: The Battle for the Iowa GOP Chairmanship

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

As I wrote in a post last week, it appears that current Republican
Party of Iowa Chairman Ray Hoffmann of Sioux City will be ending his
tenure in that position in the near future. Clearly, that means that a
replacement must be elected. That election will take place Saturday in
Des Moines as the State Central Committee meets to discuss the
business of the party. The decision boils down to a group of 15 to 20
Iowa Republicans that are elected from each of Iowa's five
congressional districts. However, that's for another post. As is noted
by a number of sources but written nicely by Grant Young, it is
predicted that it is a three person race.

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Politically Speaking: GOP looking for conservative candidate

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Tuned in conservative talk radio yesterday, and heard a caller
bemoaning how there's no candidate a true Republican konservative kan
kommit (sorry, Krusty) to in the presidential race. It's a topic
that's been raised a lot in the last year, and the more I think about
it, it's misguided. Thus far Republicans have failed to embrace three
guys with pretty good conservative cred. Recall Sam Brownback? When
the U.S. senator from Kansas -- red state "What's The Matter With
Kansas?" Kansas -- announced his presidential bid, I figured he'd be a
formidable candidate. The first time I covered Brownback in the city,
it was a closed affair in which an evangelical Christian leader held
forth on the role of religion in American history.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Hillary In A Box

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

Hillary Clinton is in a quandary when it comes to beating back a
fierce challenge from Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential
nomination. The talk of political activists has been the nasty,
personal tone of the recent campaign exchange between Clinton and
Obama -- as they bitterly battle over truth and consistency. The
exchange ultimately damages Clinton more than Obama in the upcoming
general election. First, Hillary's style is beginning to evoke
memories of the "burn the villages and salt the fields" campaigning
style of the Clinton machine of the 90s. With the voters demanding
change, and frustrated over what they feel is a unresponsive
government, I am doubtful voters will want to go "back to the future"
with another dose of a Clinton-Clinton White House.

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Iowa Progress: Air Conditioning Will Keep The Polar Icecaps From Melting

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Dwayne Alons, Iowa's resident climate change expert, pronounced today
that global warming isn't a problem because we have air conditioning.
Alons opined that "we shouldn't be as concerned, actually, about
warming, especially now that we have modern refrigeration and air
conditioning." Unfortunately, unless we air condition the entire
planet, we're in trouble. Global warming means that the polar icecaps
will melt and flood many coastal cities and islands. In fact,
according to the National Resources Defense Council, 22,400 square
miles of the United States, an area half the size of Iowa, will be
underwater by the year 2100 as a result of global warming.

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Bleeding Heartland: Adopt Mike Mauro's plan for paper ballots

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Secretary of State Mike Mauro wants every precinct in Iowa to have an
optical scanner that reads paper ballots. Legislators should listen to
him, even though the plan would cost $9.7 million, according to the
Des Moines Register. A new state law says there has to be a paper
trail, leading some to call for retrofitting touchscreen machines with
windows that would let voters view a "receipt" to confirm their votes.
This "verified paper audit trail" would cost about $2 million to put
in place, but I'm with Representative Pam Jochum of Dubuque, who says
it would be a "total waste of money" to retrofit touchscreen voting
machines.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

FromDC2Iowa: Money in Iowa Politics

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

The Register has done Iowans a favor this morning with its perusal of, and then reporting about, the "newly released state campaign finance disclosure reports for 2007." Jennifer Jacobs, "Democrat McCarthy Raises Most Money at $251,000," Des Moines Regislter, January 24, 2008. But it has only scratched the surface. ... The disclosure reports, and the Register's reporting, provide the "data" -- or at least some of it. What we now need is the additional data, and discovery of relationships, that can turn that data into "information" and "knowledge."

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The Real Sporer: Hunter, Huck and Mitt draws Florida even closer

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Duncan Hunter endorsed Mike Huckabee today. Some pundits treat the endorsement as de minimis because Duncan doesn't bring a ton of his own voters to the table. However, there is a hidden value-Hunter's incredible value as a surrogate. Most Republicans felt that Hunter's foreign policy and geostrategic vision are spot on but never seriously considered his candidacy because of name ID or political electability. Hunter helps Huck complete a blank in the resume.

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Politically Speaking: No global warming, state GOP guys say

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Five Republican state lawmakers contend man-made global warming is bunk, and it was no surprise to see Dwayne Alons of Hull is among them. State representative Alons has been a frequent critic of the calamitous cringing on climate change by some, saying the science behind it is not settled. He's written several letters to the Journal on the topic. Also among the five is Rep. Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars and Sen. Jerry Behn of Boone, who I used to cover at a previous newspaper. Behn's position is in line with what I recall of his world view, while Soderberg I wouldn't have guessed as a global warming dissenter.

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Essential Estrogen: Iowa Unemployment Rate Continues Slow Climb

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up again -- now at 4 percent for December 2007 -- and has officials pointing to ripples from the housing crisis. "The statewide unemployment rate followed the national trend in December, and increased to the highest level for the year," said Elisabeth Buck, director of Workforce Development. "The current month's data suggest that the housing slowdown is starting to have a wider impact on the Iowa economy." ... Iowa's numbers still fall well below the posted 5 percent national unemployment rate for December. A year earlier the national rate was 4.6 percent.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Real Sporer: Fred's out. Whither Florida?

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Fred Thompson made it official today; he's out of the Presidential race. TRS must confess some disappointment with the Thompson campaign. TRS, like most other Republicans, was looking for the "perfect" candidate last summer. FDT seemed to fit the bill. My confidence was first shaken when Fred failed to jump in right before the Straw Poll, when all of the money and national attention gave him tremendous momentum. Attending the Straw Poll, where the national wind and latest flavor of the month at Baskin & Robbins circumstance of the race last summer gave him a great chance of winning, or placing second at least, was a huge missed opportunity.

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HawkeyeGOP: Fred Thompson is out

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Sorry Loras but Fred is done. Some weeks before the Iowa Caucuses, there was a full court press on to get Iowa conservatives to support Fred Thompson. Congressman King endorsed him, Loras Schulte of the Republican State Central Committee endorsed him, and my inbox had a number of e-mails from social conservatives urging me to get on board. My response then was that unless Fred shows some inkling of viability, I was not going to waste my caucus vote on him. Yes, Fred Thompson is a conservative but he ran a lackluster campaign. His campaign reminded me of Bob Dole's. He didn't seem to want the job but worse he did not seem to connect to people. I heard him in person on a couple of occasions and just could not get excited about the prospect of a Thompson presidency.

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Iowa Independent: GOP leader: Democratic immigration bill targets non-unionized employers

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Iowa business owners who repeatedly employ illegal aliens would face civil penalties of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail under legislation being proposed by a coalition of Democrats in the Iowa House of Representatives. House File 2026 would lead to the creation of the law that prohibits employers from employing any persons in the United States illegally. The employer would be exempt from penalties if they seek verification of a worker's citizenship status through the Department of Homeland Security's verification system.

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Bleeding Heartland: No more casinos in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Well, well, well. The Newton Speedway didn't miraculously solve that town's problems, so now there is a drive to build a casino next to the racetrack in the name of economic development. Iowa has too many casinos already--20 according to the Des Moines Register article linked above. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission should say no to this and all other applications for casino licenses in the future. How will a casino in Newton help the community? More likely it will just drain the wallets of locals whose family incomes already took a hit after Maytag shut down. People love talking about the jobs created by casinos, but they don't like talking about the social problems that come along with increased gambling.

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Essential Estrogen: Brownback Uses Roe Anniversary as Money Pitch

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

In his first direct email to supporters since leaving the race for the White House, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, has used the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade as a fund-raising catalyst for his political action committee (PAC). The email, prepared and paid for by the Restore America PAC, a group identified as Brownback's "leadership fund," describes the ruling "that haunts us to this day" as being perpetrated by "activist judges." ... According to Federal Election Commission filings, the Restore America PAC began 2007 with just over $10,000. It ended the third quarter with just over $1,000 in cash. In the past, however, Brownback has used PAC funds to support Iowa candidates. Contributions of $1,000 were made to congressmen Steve King and Tom Latham and former state Sen. Jeff Lamberti during his unsuccessful bid for Congress.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cyclone Conservatives: Raise the Dropout Age to 18

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

It appears that the Iowa Legislature may be considering a raise in the
dropout age for high schoolers. Good! I have long thought that the 16
year old threshold was far too young and far too inconsistent with
other arbitrarily created government age thresholds. We cannot buy
alcohol, buy lottery tickets or enter a casino until we've reached the
age of 21. We cannot buy tobacco products until the age of 18. We
enter into the Selective Service at 18, but we can drop out of high
school once we hit 16? If young people do not possess, according to
the state, the common sense decision making skills when it comes to
buying liquor or smokes until 21 or 18, why does the government
believe that a 16 year old has the maturity to know that the decision
they are going to make is in their best interest?

The Demo Memo: Is The U.S. Serious About Higher Education?

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

In today's Des Moines Register, there's a story about how Iowa's
Republican senator, Chuck Grassley, chided higher education
institutions into using more of their endowment funds to pay for
tuition for struggling students. It seems that they were listening, as
Yale has agreed to help "struggling" families making "as little" as
$180,000 per year. Excuse me, but since when are families making
$180,000 dollars per year "struggling?" And, if a family can't afford
to send their student to Yale, there are a lot of other fine
institutions that charge quite a bit less. The real crisis in
education in this country is the lack of federally backed student
loans for every student.

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John Deeth Blog: Nevada Woes Help Iowa's Case For First Place

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Anyone heard Hillary Clinton complaining about the caucus process
since she, maybe, won Nevada? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Maybe
process matters less than result -- or location. The relative
bumpiness of the first-ever Nevada caucuses, where the candidates
can't even agree on who won, makes a counter-intuitive good case for
Iowa's process and first place. The neighborhood meeting process is
part of what's important about Iowa, sure. But what's more important
is the nature of Iowa: established, rooted, and civically engaged. The
political upside of our slow growth is an electorate which knows its
way around the block.

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Popular Progressive: Where's the Economic Justice?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

As John Edwards' campaign is seemingly being pushed to the sidelines,
I have got to ask, who will stick up for the majority of Americans who
are suffering from economic injustice? Is it the American way to stick
our heads in the sand and ignore the millions of Americans who are
without insurance, without jobs or with jobs with diminished futures,
with houses that are likely to be repossessed and public assistance
that is rapidly eroding? It can be said that John Edwards may be the
wrong messenger to tell this story, after all, he is not in that boat.
But at least he is telling the truth about what really matters in our
great nation.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

FromDC2Iowa: Community Colleges Are Iowa's Answer

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

No Time to be Cutting Community Colleges Budgets or Raising Tuition…
There are a number of components of Iowa's educational system --
pre-kindergarten, K-12, community colleges, and the Regents
universities -- plus the for-profit and private institutions. The
former are paid for with a combination of income, property and sales
taxes (plus grants and fees). The latter, it turns out, also benefit
from public funding. As a University of Iowa employee I have some
sense of what it takes financially to run an institution of this size
-- as well as a sense of what a small proportion of this "state
university's" budget comes from the state (rather than grants and
tuition) -- and the numerous contributions it makes to this state.

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Bleeding Heartland: Ed Fallon for Congress

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

As Chase Martyn reported for Iowa Independent, Ed Fallon officially
announced on Wednesday that he will challenge Leonard Boswell for the
Democratic nomination in Iowa's third Congressional district.
Populista put up a diary here urging people to vote for Ed as
Democracy for America's "All-Star" candidate. I have already done so,
and I hope you will too. I'll be writing more about this race in the
coming months. For now, I want to briefly lay out the case for
supporting Fallon's challenge. Leonard Boswell is a good person. I
have voted for him every time and have contributed to his
Congressional campaigns.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: The Nomination Process Prepares The GOP For Battle

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

Mitt Romney headed toward the Iowa caucuses with some of the most
respected Iowa political advisers on his team, the best turn-out
operation of all the candidates, and unlimited money. He lost to Mike
Huckabee. Earlier this week, Mitt Romney scored an impressive victory
in Michigan. The long, unpredictable fight for the GOP nomination is a
positive process for the eventual GOP nominee. In Iowa, Romney simply
wasn't the right fit for the electorate that turned out for the GOP
caucuses. 60% of the attendees identified themselves as evangelical;
they voted for a fellow evangelical. In Michigan, where economic
issues rule, Romney was credible and persuasive.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Stop the Bicycle Bill Before It Pedals Itself Into Our State Code

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

I was alerted this morning to a bill that was introduced in the Iowa
General Assembly that would add a license "fee" (a.k.a. a TAX) to
bicycles here in Iowa and the money would presumably go to the help
pay for roads. How absolutely and unequivocally absurd this bill is. I
searched around trying to figure which Democrat would introduce such a
bogus bicycle tax. Sadly, I see it was a Republican. Yes, my friends,
a Republican. Senator John Putney, who is not seeking re-election. I
just love how we talk about the need to reform our mindset in this
country by going toward preventative health care instead of reactive
health care. But this bill essentially amounts to a tax on exercising.

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Essential Estrogen: Dummermuth to Finally Face Senate Confirmation

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

After nearly a year, it is now likely that Matt Michael Dummermuth,
interim U.S. attorney for the northern district of Iowa and a native
of Elgin, will face U.S. Senate confirmation hearings. The White House
news service has reported that Dummermuth's official nomination for
the position was sent to the Senate in December. Dummermuth's
appointment by President George W. Bush to replace retiring Charles W.
Larson, Sr., came after a 2006 recommendation by Republican Sen. Chuck
Grassley, a lawmaker for whom Dummermuth previously interned. The
appointment also followed the retirement of then-First Assistant U.S.
Attorney Judi Whetstine, who was initially appointed as acting U.S.
attorney for the district. Dummermuth was sworn in Jan. 30, 2007.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Essential Estrogen: Chief Justice Address Provides Priority Insights for Legislators

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus had a hard act to follow when she made her second appearance before the state legislature on Wednesday morning -- herself. Following a 2007 State of the Judiciary address in which Ternus called for efforts to improve the lives of foster children, lawmakers passed at least five related bills that were later signed by Gov. Chet Culver and, more importantly, provided needed appropriations for the changes and additions Ternus proposed. ... This year Ternus asked legislators to provide additional juvenile court officers and support staff for juvenile courts, two more judges (one of whom would be assigned exclusively to juvenile court) and funding for children who are awaiting mental health treatment.

From Right 2 Left: In defense of marriage

Excerpted from this post at From Right 2 Left

Marriage must be defended. It is under attack from extremists. At a time when cohabitation without commitment and divorce are at all time highs, this is not the time to weaken traditional values related to marriage. ... we should strengthen marriage by offering things like covenant marriage, which provides the additional security of making no-fault divorce unavailable to those who chose it. It is also why marriage should be permitted, or encouraged, for gay couples. Gay partners have children. They rely upon each other in times of need. But, today, they are denied access to the crucial stabilizing instrument of marriage.

Cyclone Conservatives: "Bush Dog" Boswell Gets Some "Barkin' From Harkin"

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Leonard Boswell officially got his primary opponent today when former State Representative Ed Fallon announced his intentions to take on Boswell. ... Remember back to the 1992 Presidential contest when Iowa's ultra-liberal U.S. Senator Tom Harkin actually ran for the nation's top job? One of his campaign gimmicks was to put little collar type signs around dogs that read "Barkin' for Harkin". It was so people who walked their dog could also advertise on behalf of their buddy Tom. ... I cannot wait for this Boswell v. Fallon race to unfold more. I'm definitely pulling for Fallon to take out Boswell or at least make it really close. Expect Boswell to swerve to the left rather abruptly when it comes to his votes in Congress.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Iowa Independent: Culver sets modest goals in Condition of the State Address

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver outlined his agenda for 2008 during his
Condition of the State address Tuesday morning, proposing on a laundry
list of nuts-and-bolts initiatives focusing on health care, the
environment and education. Proclaiming that "the condition of our
state is strong," Culver told a joint session of the legislature that
it is time to build on initiatives passed last year. "I believe our
goals this session are simple: protect our priorities, balance the
budget, and address some unmet needs." Culver also promised that he'd
sign a bill allowing local smoking bans if given the opportunity and
called on the legislature to raise teacher pay, restructure and expand
the state bottle bill and expand early childhood education
opportunities.

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Politically Speaking: Culver's state of state

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Right after Iowa Gov. Chet Culver's just-concluded state of the state
speech, House Minority Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City said he
didn't appreciate the "lecture" that ended Democrat Culver's remarks.
Culver pitched several new pieces in health care, the environment and
education, but his most extended lead-up to a point came before he
referenced changing the Iowa Right to Work law by enacting a "fair
share" aspect. That proposal -- to allow public-service employee
unions to negotiate for the right to charge a service fee to nonunion
workers -- passed last year in the Senate, but not House, and Culver
said today it would be part of creating the best work environment for
employees in the nation.

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The Real Sporer: Chet Culver and the costs of "free" state health care

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Gov. Culver appeared before the General Assembly for the annual State
of the State and promptly abandoned any pretense of reality in pursuit
Orwellian socialism. Iowa is facing a horrible budget crisis. The
Democrat leadership (Vilsack, the Big Lug and the Lug Nuts) will have
increased spending between 7/1/06 and 7/1/08 by more than a billion
dollars, while revenues are hardly keeping pace. Even the Democrats
admit that the state will experience a shortfall of over $105 million.
The non partisan Legislative Service Agency predicts a shortfall of
over $344 million.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Michigan is Mitt Country

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Governor Romney won quite handily today in the state of Michigan with
McCain finishing second and Huckabee a respectable third. Mitt finally
got his first "real" gold medal. Nothing against Wyoming, it's a good
red state and my uncle and aunt live there, but that wasn't even a
real contest. Mitt finally found his voice and he ran the campaign he
should have run in Iowa. Mitt's the economics/business guy and the
downtrodden economic situations in Michigan coupled with Mitt's home
state and name I.D. advantage ended up being the perfect storm for
him. Mitt's focus appeared to be much more about changing the culture
and business of Washington and helping the economy which plays into
his playbook of being a reformer and a business "legend" as he likes
to call himself.

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John Deeth Blog: Who's keeping word on early state pledge?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Michigan Pseudo-Primary is now history, and everyone is trying to
have it both ways. As Iowans recall, way back on August 31, when
Michigan and Florida broke the Democratic National Committee's rules
and scheduled their primaries in the middle of the time set aside for
the official early states, the top six candidates all signed a pledge
not to campaign in the rule-breaking "leapfrog" states... For the most
part, the candidates stayed away from Michigan. There were no rallies,
no pre-planned spontaneous stops in diners with the TV scrum in tow,
and thankfully no January field canvassing in the Upper Peninsula.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Iowa Independent: Rants Expects Marriage Amendment To Be Overshadowed in House

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Republican leaders in the legislature say they are worried that the Democrat-controlled state government will continue on its spending spree without any regard for the taxpayers of Iowa. Although lawmakers have a full-agenda of issues facing them this year, House Minority Leader Christopher Rants said he doesn't expect gay marriage to get much attention. Republicans have shone a spotlight on the issue since last August, when a district court judge ruled that a previously approved marriage law was unconstitutional.

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Politically Speaking: GOP campaign flyer

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

The first day of the reconvened Iowa Legislature is in the books, and
it being an election year, the party in power (Democratic) is left to
deflect questions that it will be a do-nothing year since a general
election looms in November. Within the first few hours, one could
assess how the fall campaign flyers of Republicans might look.
Possible inclusions: (1) Wedge issue of gay marriage. House Minority
Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City called on Democrats to allow
debate on adopting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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John Deeth Blog: Judge Orders Kucinich Into Debate

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

A judge in Nevada has just ordered MSNBC to include Rep. Dennis
Kucinich in Tuesday's Democratic Party presidential debate in Las
Vegas or he will cancel the forum. I'm going to risk the wrath here.
First of all, MSNBC should have invited him and shouldn't have then
canceled on him. But even though it's buried in the language of
"breach of contract" law, does anyone else see a First Amendment
problem here? A judge has just ordered a news organization to report
the news a certain way. That's really scary, and is a greater harm
than excluding a marginal candidate from a debate.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Obama is Keeping Some Iowa Offices Open

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Barack Obama is trying to keep his momentum in Iowa going by keeping 3 campaign offices open. "Barack Obama is keeping his offices open in Des Moines, Cedar Falls and Iowa City. Volunteers are calling people in other states that have upcoming primaries and caucuses. Obama took Iowa by storm a week ago, and the campaign wants to keep that energy." This is an interesting strategy. Obama had plenty of time to build a strong, dedicate organization and this allows him to use that in states where he lacks the time to build that organization.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Fix the problems with the Iowa caucuses

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

It's one of those rare days when I largely agree with David Yepsen's
latest column: Parties must probe caucus complaints, make fixes. He
points out that any problems with the way the caucuses were run will
be fodder for those who will try to deprive Iowa of
first-in-the-nation status for the next campaign. Already the
Republican Party will be looking to ditch Iowa, because the GOP
establishment can't stand Mike Huckabee. If Hillary Clinton becomes
the Democratic nominee and wins, or if Barack Obama becomes the
Democratic nominee and loses, the Democratic Party establishment will
also have the knives out for Iowa.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Can Peter Teahen Put Loebsack's Political Career in the Morgue?

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The Republican race to challenge ultra liberal Congressman Dave
"PACman" Loebsack appears to be taking shape nicely with our GOP
friends in the 2nd District having, so far, three nice candidates to
pick from. I've written a couple of posts about Ottumwa physician Dr.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks and have taken a look at what Lee Harder has
to offer and after I learned that Peter Teahen might be running as
well, I thought it would be wise to take a closer gander at what his
potential candidacy would do to the political world in Southeast Iowa.
So far, I'm finding a mixed bag on Teahen.

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Essential Estrogen: Braley Touts Business Accomplishments, Urges Senate Action

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

When Congressman Bruce Braley was selected to serve as chairman of a
subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, it marked
the first time since at least 1959 that a freshman congressman from
Iowa had held such a distinction. This week, the Democrat is touring
the First District to ensure his constituents know perceived lack of
progress in Washington, D.C. isn't a reflection on his leadership.
"This gives you some idea about how busy our Small Business Committee
was," Braley said Wednesday as he stood in front of a screen and
highlighted the 18 bills that were sent out of the House Small
Business Committee and passed on the House floor during 2007.

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Politically Speaking: Electability, schnectability

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

A day after former and current South Dakota U.S. Sens. Tim Johnson and
Tom Daschle endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama, and after
today's endorsement of Obama by John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Party
presidential candidate, and the dropout from the race by Bill
Richardson, for the second consecutive day I'm more interested in a
political conversation with a Northwest Iowan. A Democrat was still
trying - as I am - to piece together how Hillary Clinton was able to
catch lightning in a bottle and win the New Hampshire primary two days
ago. Her all-but-certain second place finish was detailed in polls,
but there Clinton was at the end of the day, with a 39-37 percent
victory over Obama.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Richardson Job Application Gets Pink Slipped

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Mr. Bill Richardson, Governor's Mansion, Santa Fe, NM. Dear Mr.
Richardson: Thank you for your recent application for the job of
President of the United States. We attracted a wide pool of applicants
for the position. However, we regret to inform you that your
application was unsuccessful… We thank you for your interest and
effort, and we wish you all the best in your future career endeavors.
Please don't hesitate to contact us should you require further
information. We will keep your resume on file, as we may be hiring
additional staff in January of next year. Sincerely, Democratic
Voters, Des Moines, IA and Manchester, NH

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The Demo Memo: Hillary Clinton and Sexism in the 2008 Presidential Race

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

Hillary Clinton has been fighting a silent battle throughout this
entire presidential primary. So far, the fact that she is female has
been behind most of the attacks on her character and appearance. Even
Clinton's handlers disagreed among themselves as to how she should
portray herself to her supporters and the media. I can think of
several times at which her femaleness was thrust front and center. The
question about whether she prefers diamonds or pearls at a debate. The
story about Clinton's cleavage showing on the Senate floor. The story
of her choking up in New Hampshire.

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Bleeding Heartland: Nevada unions line up behind Obama

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Barack Obama is sitting pretty ten days before the Nevada caucuses,
having snagged the endorsements of the Nevada chapter of the Service
Employees International Union as well as the Culinary workers and
their parent union, UNITE HERE. UNITE HERE is the first national union
to endorse Obama. In September, the national SEIU was very close to
endorsing Edwards, but backed off and left the decision to state
chapters. Since then, 11 state chapters of the SEIU have backed
Edwards, and four or five have backed Obama.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Boswell v. Fallon & the Other Races in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

It's official, Iowans are going to be treated to primary challenge of
an incumbent Member of Congress. We're about to get six months of
enjoyment out of this. Aging Democrat Leonard Boswell versus ever so
loved liberal activist and former State Representative Ed Fallon.
Cyclone Conservatives was the first blog in Iowa to note this
potential challenge over 13 months ago and within the last several
weeks, several blogs, especially the ones in the left-o-sphere, have
been crowing about this potentially blockbuster race ever since.

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Iowa Progress: Where Does Leonard Boswell's Money Come From?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Ed Fallon made his primary challenge official against Leonard Boswell
today. As part of our continuing analysis of the race, it's worth
previewing one of Fallon's likely attacks against Boswell. Fallon is a
campaign finance reform fanatic and Boswell has taken a lot of money
from political action committees. In fact, in the first three quarters
of 2007, Boswell has taken in $433,000 in contributions from PACs,
making up 75% of total contributions recieved. Much of the money is
the result of a simple matter of timing.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

John Deeth Blog: All Over But The... Huh?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Hillary Clinton ran the campaign she should have run in Iowa. Less scripted, more questions, shorter, less wonky speeches. Taking more chances -- beceuse she HAD to. If she had run that campaign here, she might not have won (there's still substantive stuff like the refusal to apologize for the war vote) but she could have been a strong second. The "tears" thing was probably as calculated as the stage-managed Iowa campaign; notice that even in the middle of it she managed to get the "experience" message out. But whether it was real or not, it had some truthiness to it. She proved that she could do the retail thing -- at least for a long weekend.

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Popular Progressive: Clinton, McCain Rally the Troops

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

Despite death rattles on the blogosphere, Hillary Clinton's campaign rolls on after a stunning comeback in New Hampshire over Barack Obama. Despite trailing in the polls by 9%, team Clinton showed why they are still the campaign to beat. With 99% of the precincts counted, it was Clinton 39%, Obama 37%, Edwards 17%, Richardson 5%, and Kucinich 1%. As predicted, the storyline is now Clinton is comeback kid II. Said Clinton, "I want, especially, to thank New Hampshire. Over the last week, I listened to you and in the process I found my own voice. I felt like we all spoke from our hearts and I am so gratified that you responded. Now together, let's give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me."

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Price of Politics: Ed vs. Leonard

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

Republicans can't seem to find a candidate to take on Iowa's Third District Congressman Leonard Boswell. But Boswell's own party has. Ed Fallon has filed papers to run against him in the June primary. Fallon gave up his Iowa Statehouse seat in 2006 to run for Governor. I'm told he carried the Third District in that race, for what that's worth. Fallon had been helping out John Edwards' Iowa campaign. The dollars are stacked up against him so far. The Federal Election Commission shows through the third reporting quarter (the four quarter hasn't come out yet), Boswell raised about $600,000.

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Cyclone Conservatives: What's Ahead in 2008

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

By Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senator... On a crisp winter night in early January, Iowans once again successfully kicked off another presidential nominating contest. In 1,781 precincts across the state, a record number of caucus-goers underscored how seriously Iowans uphold their civic duty and passion for electoral politics. In the first open race for the White House since 2000, the contenders who campaigned for months and months in the Hawkeye state readily discovered what I've long known about the Iowa electorate. Iowans attend town hall meetings, they show up with tough questions and have high expectations to get answers.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Essential Estrogen: Loebsack shuns 'hyper partisanship' of Washington

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Congressman Dave Loebsack kicked off his second round of meetings with residents in Iowa's 2nd District by shunning what he termed the "hyper partisanship" of Washington, D.C. "I might just say, generally, [my first year in Congress] was even more than I expected it would be in many ways," Loebsack, a first-year Democrat, told the 40-some citizens gathered at Kirkwood Community College for the Monday morning meeting. "I knew it wouldn't be easy and there have been times when it hasn't been easy." Frustration, he said, in trying pass legislation at the federal level is something he and local residents both feel.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: So When Will The Media "Do A Huckabee" On Obama?

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

Republican friends of mine often shook their heads in disbelief when I told them that I thought Obama would be the tougher candidate to face than Hillary. Democrats, at this point, seem to think Obama is the better choice, too. But I have one cautionary note to sound in the current positive environment for Obama. We were told that after Iowa, Barack, as the new front-runner, would now endure the intense scrutiny due a front-runner, ala Huckabee. But that has yet to materialize. Ironically, Obama is a man who rose to prominence due to a stirring keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. Now in 2008, the media is still focusing on his speaking ability, message, and rise to prominence. One British blog is even calling him the US version of "Princess Diana."

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John Deeth Blog: Obama takes Iowa Electronic Markets lead

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Barack Obama has taken a commanding lead in trading on the Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) following his caucus win. The Republican picture is more volatile, but John McCain is commanidng top dollar. In the University of Iowa business school project, traders buy and sell contracts on political candidates using their own, real money. The IEM has been known for its accuracy in predicting general election outcomes. Obama was trading at 70.1 cents at midnight, just as the returns from Dixville Notch and Hart's Location showed him winning the two tiny New Hampshire hamlets that traditionally vote at midnight on election day. That price is up from only 24 cents a week ago.

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Politically Speaking: Behind the GOP numbers

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Cleaning out the desk area on caucus materials, this should have been put up sooner, since the focus has moved to New Hampshire tomorrow, so my apologies. Of the 14 Northwest Iowa counties we cover, 10 went for Mike Huckabee and four for Mitt Romney. Romney's four are adjacent to each other: Monona, Woodbury, Ida and Plymouth counties. But two of the counties only narrowly went for Romney - Ida by two votes and Monona by 22 (117 Romney, 95 Huckabee). Factor in that three counties went very heavily for Huckabee, and it's clear Romney never really caught hold outside Sioux City. Romney supporter Christopher Rants said he felt good about the backing in his "little corner of the world," but it was a pretty small corner.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

The South of Iowa: Huckabee's win

Excerpted from this post at The South of Iowa

So, the mainstream media, including Rush, is trying to pin Huckabee's win, in part, on a large turnout of so-called "evangelical Christians". Ha. Albeit anecdotal evidence, our precinct had a majority of Methodists, with just a couple of us "holier-than-thou" Baptists in attendance. Methodists tend not to be evangelical, but would consider themselves pretty "middle of the road," at least compared to us fire-and-brimestone Baptists. (Man, I hope I didn't start a cross-town war between the churches with that statement.)

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The Real Sporer: The myth explodes - Hillary's defeat

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Hillary's continual attacks on Iowa and the Caucus process in the wake of her crushing defeat show how really shallow and supercilious is her campaign. For the better part of 16 years we watched the Clinton's preposterous lies and distortions fly, usually without much critique from the poodles of truth in the national media ("I didn't inhale"; "I never had sex with that woman, not one single time"; "Serbia threatened the United States", etc...). On Thursday night Evita blamed the absence of people in Iraq for her loss as if the public thinks she was popular with guys and gals in uniform). Yesterday, it was the disenfranchisement of night shift workers that deprived Hill of her inevitable victory in the Iowa Caucus, which concedes our theory about her lineal descent from Vlad Tepes and the Draculesti but hardly explains a nine point Caucus loss.

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The Demo Memo: Huckabee Had Professional Help in Iowa: Eric Woolson

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

Back in 2005, when Mike Huckabee was hardly a household name, there was one true believer who focused on his task. I talked to Eric Woolson on the phone one day soon after he had decided to work with Huckabee's fledgling campaign. "Mike WHO?" I remember asking, thinking that my phone had cut out a bit while Woolson uttered the unfamiliar name. "Mike Huckabee," he said again. Knowing that Eric and I couldn't be further apart in our views on politics, and knowing his past preference for religious, conservative candidates, I smiled to myself and half-heartedly wished him well. That'll never work... is what I was really thinking.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Blog reaction to the Iowa caucuses

Bleeding Heartland: Congratulations to Barack Obama
http://www.bleedingheartland.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=DF4A6C8CA6DB00DCD664F968640CC3E6?diaryId=874

Back Roads to the White House: Is 'evitable' a word? Maybe it is now
http://blogs.rockymountainnews.com/denver/sprengelmeyer/archives/2008/01/is_evitable_a_word_it_is_now.html

Cyclone Conservatives: Huckabee & Obama!http://cycloneconservatives.blogspot.com/2008/01/huckabee-obama.html

Essential Estrogen: Liveblog: Marion Ward 1, Precinct 1 caucus
http://www.essentialestrogen.com/2008/01/liveblog_marion_ward_1_precinc.html

God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll: And that, my friends, is why Iowa is first!
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/GodPoliticsAndRocknRoll/~3/211105690/and-that-my-friends-is-why-iowa-is.html


HawkeyeGOP: Huckabee wins!
http://www.hawkeyegop.com/2008/01/huckabee-wins.html


Iowa Independent: Obama wins caucuses by unexpected margin
http://iowaindependent.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=B14783AD93D6E563B21FC6CCB2C6291F?diaryId=1797

Iowa Progress: Obama's independent support shows
http://iowaprogress.com/2008/01/03/obamas-independent-support-shows/

Iowans for Romney: What happened in the rest of Iowa?
http://iowansforromney.blogspot.com/2008/01/what-happened-in-rest-of-iowa.html


John Deeth Blog: The night's biggest number: Democratic turnout
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2008/01/nights-biggest-number-democratic.html

Mainstream Iowan: Iowa's caucus message to the nation: Iowa is not for sale!
http://mainstreamiowan.blogspot.com/2008/01/iowas-caucus-message-to-nation-iowa-is.html

Politically Speaking: Predictions revisited
http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/blogs/politically_speaking/?p=425

State 29: Iowa aftermath
http://state29.blogspot.com/2008/01/iowa-aftermath.html

The Demo Memo: Obama wins the Democratic Iowa caucus, Hillary and Edwards tied
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TheDemoMemo/~3/210910842/obama_wins_the_democratic_iowa.html

The Real Sporer: Caucus 08 - quick takes on the Huckaboom
http://therealsporer.blogspot.com/2008/01/caucus-08-quick-takes-on-huckaboom.html

The South of Iowa: This is Huckabee Country!
http://thesouthofiowa.blogspot.com/2008/01/this-is-huckabee-country.html

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Independent: Blacks ready to influence Iowa caucuses

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Many African-Americans across Iowa said determination and excitement is driving them to participate for the first time in tonight's Iowa caucuses. "Black people -- this is our opportunity to step up to the plate," said Melvin Hawkins, a 45-year-old disc jockey from Davenport and a first-time caucus-goer. Blacks in Des Moines, Waterloo and Davenport said they felt compelled to learn about a political process that is still somewhat mysterious to them -- and participate tonight -- because they feel strongly about presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

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Iowans for Romney: Romney at Principle Financial Group -- Live Blogging

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney

Here at the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines. I'm sitting next to Townhall's Amanda Carpenter and embedded with the media group following Romney around today... IT'S CAUCUS DAY! Many of the media was put into an overflow room due to an oversized crowd of Principal Financial Group's employees. He's got three sitting US Senators in tow: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT), and Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO). Romney states this is his 236th public event here in Iowa.

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Essential Estrogen: Biden, Dodd & Richardson to Iowans: Make Your Own Decision

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Contrary to news reports from state and national media, three of Iowa's Democratic campaigns want their supporters to know that no blanket campaign directive has been issued, instructing supporters to throw support behind a different candidate during tonight's caucus. "If Iowans are independent enough to have chosen me from the field of candidates, I'm quite sure they have the ability to make an independent second choice as well," said Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd. The campaign for Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, offered similar sentiments.

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John Deeth Blog: What A Ride

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Unless there's an unprecedented upset and Duncan Hunter and Mike Gravel win the Iowa caucuses tonight, I've seen the next president speak. And unless it's Rudy Giuliani, I've spoken to her or him in person, however briefly. I've been interviewed live on C-SPAN, Googled by campaigns, shown up on the front page of one of the home town papers, had my headwear praised by Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd, and had hundreds of people a day pay attention to my opinion on the whole thing. And even more incredibly, I've gotten paid to do it.

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Bleeding Heartland: Ron Paul supporters trying to turn out Democrats

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I was knocking on doors in my precinct on Sunday, and I noticed a few Ron Paul brochures stuck in the doors of Democratic households. At first I thought they might be homes where one spouse is a Democrat and the other is a Republican, but checking my list, they seemed to be homes where both residents are registered Ds.
I did not examine the flier closely, so I don't know whether it came from Paul's campaign or from an outside group supporting him. On Sunday night or Monday night, I got a robocall supporting Paul. The script emphasized that Democrats in Congress have failed to end the war, and none of the Democratic candidates would be able to end the war.

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Iowa Independent: Richardson Set to Send Obama Second-Choice Support

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Gov. Bill Richardson's campaign is expected to direct their supporters to caucus for Sen. Barack Obama in the second round of voting at Thursday's caucuses in precincts where he is not viable. Two sources familiar with the plan told Iowa Independent that the New Mexico Governor's organizers have been instructed to direct supporters to Obama in the places where they fail to reach the 15% threshold for viability. Richardson, whose poll numbers in Iowa have hovered near 10% since June, may need a solid fourth-place finish in the caucuses to continue his campaign. And he is best served by directing support away from former Sen. John Edwards, who consistently polls between him and the two national front-runners, Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, in national and early state polls.

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See Iowa blogs' caucus predictions

- Antioch Road: Iowa Caucus Predictions

- Bleeding Heartland: Iowa caucus predictions open thread

- State 29: Predictions Jack Germond

- Tusk and Talon: Iowa Caucus Predictions

- The Caucus Cooler: Predictions!!

- Politically Speaking: Caucus predictions

- The Demo Memo: Who Will Win the Iowa Caucuses? Democrat's Predictions

- Babblemur & Akaoni Power Hour: Iowa Primary Predictions

- Cyclone Conservatives: Who wins tonight?

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Demo Memo: Who Will Win the Iowa Caucus?

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

Latest Iowa Poll Shows Obama Lead, But Don't Get Fooled... The latest
Des Moines Register poll shows a widening lead for Barack Obama, and
will be the last poll released by the Register before the Iowa Caucus.
It is undoubtedly good news for the Obama campaign, but it is also a
cautionary tale. AT THIS TIME IN 2004, Howard Dean was polling number
one. By caucus night, he came in a dismal third place and was out of
the race little more than a month later. Obama's situation is much the
same. Obama's support is what's known in campaign circles as "soft
support." His supporters are mostly under 35, the group that is most
likely not to caucus.

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John Deeth Blog: Hillary Clinton, Live in Downtown Iowa City

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Hillary Clinton wrapped up a New Year's Day of Iowa campaigning with a
rally for about 500 in downtown Iowa City. It's 9:20 and if I'm gonna
pay 10 bucks for a connection I'm gonna liveblog. The staffer is
stretching for time with a Hillary trivia contest. The downstairs
Sheraton ballroom is full with about 500. I'm attempting to start a
rumor that the rally is being moved outside to the Ped Mall, but no
one's biting. The TURN UP THE HEAT signs are welcome on this cold
night. Are Iowans spoiled by all this attention?

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Bleeding Heartland: If Hillary wins Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

...and anyone asks me how she did it, I will point them to this recent
article in the New York Times. Yes, Hillary's got a lot of advantages:
she raised a ton of money, she's hired a huge Iowa staff
(approximately 400 people), she's got a former two-term governor and
former two-term president campaigning for her. But there are smart
ways and dumb ways to spend money. Reading this article, I was
impressed with some of her campaign's tactics. We Iowans joke about
how there's always a presidential candidate willing to pour us coffee,
take out the trash and shovel our snow. But Hillary's precinct
captains really are going to shovel snow for her supporters.

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HawkeyeGOP: Endorses Romney

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

It has been a difficult process but with the Iowa Caucuses two days
away, I have decided that I will support Mitt Romney for president. I
have met every candidate in person all including John Cox, Duncan
Hunter and even Alan Keyes. As I have stated on these pages, my
choices have narrowed down to Huckabee and Romney and possibly
Thompson. I ruled Thompson out because I do not believe that he can
win. Yes he is conservative enough on the issues but I do not see him
as a leader. He served an undistinguished term as a US Senator.

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Iowa Progress: A Media Engineered Election

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

For those who have followed the polls over the course of this
election, it may be a relief to know the final numbers on January 3rd.
Many dozens of polls have been taken, often showing results ten
percentage points or more away from the poll taken next. Pollsters
call voters in Iowa and NH three or four times a day. Campaigns add to
the telephone traffic. The Obama campaign has made 1.6 million phone
calls in New Hampshire, which has a total population of 1.3 million
people. But as the election has gotten closer and the media coverage
become more intense, the polls have swung even more wildly.

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