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Friday, May 30, 2008

Eastern Iowa Conservative: The Senate race

Excerpted from this post at Eastern Iowa Conservative

I wonder if Steve Rathje is starting to regret not participating in
the IPTV GOP Senate Candidate debate tomorrow evening? Rathje has been
put thru the proverbial ringer (and rightfully so, IMHO) by several
Iowa GOP bloggers, including Krusty, Battleground Iowa and Questions,
Comments and Insults. The fact that he has been a candidate for the
last 3 years (though very few knew about it until about the last 12
months), and has brought in so little money in that amount of time
tells me that Iowa Republicans are not behind him. For crying out
loud, he ran unopposed until the last couple of months! The latest
financial report filed at the end of March shows that Rathje reports
having $7,732 cash on hand for his campaign.

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John Deeth Blog: Delegate math and popular vote myth

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Nomination Committee is
preparing to meet in Washington Saturday to decide the fate of
calendar cheaters Florida and Michigan. Most observers are instead
expecting delegates from the two states to be seated with a half vote
each, though there's several variations on that theme. One thing the
committee won't settle is the debate on how to define the popular
vote. How much of the Michigan and Florida fight about the delegates,
at half or full strength, and how much is about popular vote claims?
If the two states are seated in any way based on the too-early
primaries, the votes "counted." "Count all the votes" is Hillary
Clinton's mantra, as she claims a popular vote lead in an effort to
persuade superdelegates. But the formulas that show Clinton in the
lead don't count all the votes -- and Iowa is among the states
excluded.

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Iowa Political Alert: Fearful Hispanics falsely suspect Postville-type raid in Denison

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

Several frightened Hispanic families, some crying with kids clearly in
the background, made frantic telephone calls to a western Iowa
Spanish-language paper over the last two days seeking information on
what they falsely believed to be the start of a Postville-style raid
in Denison, a community with a burgeoning Hispanic population and
heavy packing-house presence. La Prensa received the first call early
Wednesday from a Spanish-speaking employee of a packing house in
Denison who said he saw other workers being carted off in handcuffs.
That event apparently sparked a rumor and something of a phone tree in
the Hispanic community there.

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State 29: Tom "Electric Bus" Harkin

Excerpted from this post at State 29

I'm surprised that absolutely nobody has picked up the story of Tom
Harkin's $10 million-plus electric bus program for Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
which was recently scrapped and sold at auction for a grand total of
$30,000. Here's the original story from the Cedar Rapids Gazette. And
here's the GovDeals.com web page showing that all nine buses sold for
$30,000. The nine buses had, combined, less than 200,000 miles on
them. Yep, that's right. All had less than 25,000 miles. Three had
less than 10,000 miles of service. ... But who was able to come up with
the money for the buses and the program?

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Iowa Independent: Primaries by the percentages

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

If you're watching the primary returns next Tuesday night, you may
want to keep a calculator handy. Iowa law requires a candidate to win
35 percent of the vote to earn a nomination, but the percentages that
get reported aren't always the ones that matter. If no candidate gets
35 percent, the party has to hold a convention to choose a nominee,
and that's a realistic possibility in one Iowa congressional race. The
prospect of a convention was a hot topic in Democratic circles in
early 2006, and Ed Fallon's gubernatorial campaign made a big effort
to elect delegates at precinct caucuses and county conventions.

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God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll: "Unelected judges" as straw men

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

Opponents of gay marriage (including one of our friends and frequent
commenters here at GPRR) often criticize "unelected judges" like Polk
County's Robert Hanson and the justices of the California Supreme
Court for overriding the will of the people. While public opinion
seems to be changing in California (and presumably elsewhere), calls
to "let the voters decide" don't make sense, for several reasons.
First, many judges are, in fact, elected, or at least retained in
office by the public. That's the case in California and here in Iowa.
Judge Hanson will be up for retention in 2010, and some activists are
hoping to unseat him. Second, and more importantly, the maligned and
feared "activist judge" legislating from the bench is a straw man.

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Krusty Konservative: Teahen faces tough questions

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I tuned in last night to WHO to hear Steve Deace interview Peter
Teahen, GOP primary Kandidate for Iowa's Second Kongressional
District. I have to say, I was pleased to see that Deace used many of
my recommended questions. Unfortunately, I found Teahen's answers less
than satisfactory. Deace didn't hold back (too much). There were some
things I wish he would have explored further, but given the time
allotted, he kovered a lot of ground. Deace jumped right in to the
whole David Tredrea thing. But, then Deace pretty much left it alone
when Teahen klaimed that the FBI and Scotland Yard are involved and
that his life had been threatened by Mr. Tredea while the two were in
Darfur.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Rathje's refusal to debate is a huge blunder

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

I thought I'd chime in a give my two cents on Steve Rathje skipping
the Polk County Republican/IPTV debate this coming Friday night. Not
that I was ever going to vote for this guy, but his decision to skip
the debate is hands down the stupidest thing I have ever witnessed in
Iowa Politics. Let's see none of the three candidates running for the
GOP nomination have a dime to their names. Eichhorn and Reed didn't
file April fundraising reports because they didn't meet the threshold,
and Rathje had a mind boggling $7,732.12 cash on hand. To put that in
perspective Bill Salier had over 60k cash on hand back in 2002. So
what does that have to do with the IPTV debate on Friday?

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Krusty Konservative: More drama for Teahen, Helland throws down on Lorenzen

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

My good friends over at Battleground Iowa have posted a letter from
David Tredrea that was sent to a number people koncerning Peter
Teahen. Since they have posted the email message which was sent to
Teahen and the letter that was attached, I don't see any need to post
it again here. Tredrea's letter and the recent FEC komplaint filed
against Teahen come at the worst konceivable time for his campaign.
With just days before the June 3rd Primary everything from Teahen's
resume to his Funeral Home's marketing practice are being questioned
and it is beginning to have an impact on the race. Just look at the
Iowa Press Citizen which endorsed Miller-Meeks this weekend.

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John Deeth Blog: Register Fallon endorsement may be Boswell's price for not debating

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

It seems like a surprise on the surface, but the Des Moines Register
endorsed Ed Fallon Tuesday in the 3rd Congressional District, over
incumbent Leonard Boswell. Why alienate an incumbent who, according to
all public polls, is likely to win re-nomination by a two to one
margin? Let me help you think like journalists. We've got this weird
mix of cynicism and idealism, always looking for the motivations
behind seemingly straightforward moves, yet still wishing for the Mr.
Smith Goes To Washington vision of how government and politics are
really supposed to work. Think John Stewart meets Jimmy Stewart, and
you'll get the idea.

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Iowa Progress: Fallon against clean energy research

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

In an interview the other day, Ed Fallon stated "if coal interests
want to research clean coal technology and carbon sequestration they,
not the tax-payers, should fund the research." This is a noble
statement based on a belief in renewable energy and a green future.
Unfortunately it's not based on reality. The most ambitious goal for
renewable energy involves Americans getting 20% from our energy from
renewable sources in the next 20 years. So where do we get the
remaining 80% of our energy? While natural gas is relatively clean, it
is a commodity that cannot be transported across oceans. The U.S.
currently gets about 25% of its energy from natural gas. This leaves
55% of our energy to be accounted for and three possibilities, coal,
oil and nuclear energy.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Iowa Progress: Republican Mutton In The First District

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

In Iowa's First District, Republicans have nominated State Senator
David Hartsuch to run against Bruce Braley. Although Hartsuch is an
right wing extremist, he is relatively young and waged an energetic
campaign to oust incumbent Republican State Senator Maggie Tinsman in
2006. This might initially lead one to think that Hartsuch is trying
to wage a competitive campaign in a district that was represented by
Republican Jim Nussle until 2006. However, based on the Hartsuch's
anemic fundraising, he isn't even trying. According to Hartsuch's FEC
report, he has raised a whopping $5,000. However, Hartsuch's campaign
has been very frugal (as opposed to other long shot campaigns like
that of Ed Fallon) and still has over $4000 on hand.

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Iowa Political Alert: Immigration attorney: Expect more raids

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

An Ames-based immigration attorney told a crowd of nearly 100
Hispanics at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison that she
expects more immigration raids to follow the historic one earlier this
month in Postville -- and perhaps soon. "It's difficult to predict the
future but it's going to be a long summer," said JoAnn Barten.
Speaking at a forum sponsored by La Prensa, a western Iowa
Spanish-language newspaper, Barten noted that both Democratic
presidential candidates, Sens. Barack Obama, Ill., and Hillary
Clinton, N.Y., are likely to place moratoriums on the sort of raids
that traumatized the Latin community in Postville, where Barten
visited to assist those affected in days after the sweep. "For this
reason, expect more raids," Barten said.

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Essential Estrogen: Agriprocessors Ignored Government Warnings for Years

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Social Security Administration Compliance Letters Ceased After 2006...
The politically-connected meatpacking company where almost 400
undocumented workers were arrested earlier this month ignored repeated
government warnings about the use of false identification papers
amongst its employees, according to a federal immigration
investigator. Immigration agent David Hoagland reported in a sworn
affidavit filed before the May 12 raid in Postville that
Agriprocessors, Inc., the kosher food supplier owned by FNTK
Ryboshkim, received a dozen letters from the Social Security
Administration in 2005 and 2006. The letters stated that up to 78
percent of the businesses' workforce provided Social Security
information that did not match with government records.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Politically Speaking: Two of three GOP guys will debate

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Three Republicans, George Eichhorn, Christopher Reed and Steve Rathje,
are seeking to win the party nomination on June 3 to compete with
Democrat Tom Harkin in November to win a six-year U.S. Senate seat.
There will be a debate with two of the three, Reed and Eichhorn, in
Des Moines a week from tonight. It will air at 9 p.m. May 30 in Des
Moines, but it's not yet been set to be carried statewide on Iowa
Public Television. In accepting the invitation to debate, Reed said it
is a good venue to get beyond prepared stump speeches. I'm not sure
what Rathje gains by not participating. I'm reminded of my first
contact with him way back in 2007, when he was the initial GOP
candidate to come forward. I called him, and Rathje declined to say
what issues he'd like to focus upon in the senatorial race -- a
curious position to take when you can get free publicity in an
article.

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Bleeding Heartland: Boswell internal poll and third district primary roundup

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Congressman Leonard Boswell's campaign finally released some results
from its internal polling today. An e-mail from campaign manager Scott
Ourth said that according to a survey by Anzalone Liszt Research, 65
percent of likely primary voters would vote for Boswell. If Boswell
did win 65 percent of the vote on June 3, he would do slightly better
than 8-year incumbent Jane Harman did in the 2006 primary to represent
California's 36th district. Harman, who like Boswell was backed by
pretty much the whole state Democratic Party establishment, defeated
peace activist Marcy Winograd by 62.4 percent to 37.5 percent. The
e-mail from the Boswell campaign did not contain details such as:
which days the poll was in the field; the number of respondents
surveyed; what criteria were used to code a respondent as a likely
voter...

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Krusty Konservative: Primary Kolors: HD 69

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

In the past I have tended to focus mostly on Federal and Statewide
races. When deciding to kome out of retirement and made a kommitment
to be more involved in the local legislative races. I'm pretty excited
about some things I'm working on. Today's focus is the primary in
House District 69. HD 69 is in the northern part of Polk Kounty
includes Johnston, Grimes, but doesn't include the city of Ankeny. The
seat is kurrently help by Walt Tomenga who is retiring. Thank God! I
think Walt voted for the same day voter registration and was wrong on
Eminent Domain. I'm too darn lazy to do research today. I have serious
issues when a Republican doesn't understand the importance of the
property rights of the individual... The two primary kandidates are Erik
Helland and Al Lorenzen.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

24 Hour Dorman: Revisionist Herstory

Excerpted from this post at 24 Hour Dorman

Democratic front-runner Barack Obama stood on an Iowa stage Tuesday
night, delivering a rousing speech to a big crowd at a big moment.
Nice visual, but Iowans have seen it before. His rival, Hillary
Clinton, was also still standing a few states away, passionately
fanning her flickering hopes to win the nomination with a forceful
speech in Kentucky, where she vowed to fight and scrap for every last
vote. That was something Iowans didn't see before January's crucial
caucuses, which Obama won in a stunning upset. You have to wonder, if
the twofisted Hillary of May had replaced the cautious Hillary of
January, whether things might have been different.

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Price of Politics: Does size matter?

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

Go ahead. Insert your Viagra/Cialis joke here. Does size matter? I
mean, when it comes to crowds. Barack Obama drew about 7,500 last
night in downtown Des Moines for his first post-caucus visit. John
McCain's return run brought in about 250. By my math, that means Obama
brought 30 times as many peeps. What does it mean? Obama's people say
it proves Obama has all the mojo. Senator Chuck Grassley, on behalf of
McCain, told us polls matter more than rally size (I'll be curious
what he says about polls later on in the campaign).

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John Deeth Blog: Harkin page, House caucus favoring incumbents with primary challenges?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

With relatively few worries about re-election for the first time,
Senator Tom Harkin is turning his efforts to helping state legislative
candidates. A campaign email Monday steered Harkin supporters to a
"Building Blue" page, where readers can enter their email address
(thus building Harkin's list) and vote on which legislative candidates
should receive up to $7,000 from Harkin. But a look in the drop-down
boxes shows that incumbents with primaries are listed, but their
challengers aren't. A Harkin spokesperson said the list was provided
by the House Democratic Caucus and did not constitute endorsement, but
the House Democratic campaign director says otherwise.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Essential Estrogen: Postville aftermath: Braley continues questioning, Latham remains silent

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Much has been written, both before after after the May 12 immigration
raids in Postville, on the diversity of the community. One unique and
divisive aspect of Postville that has largely escaped most members of
the media, however, is the fact that the community is split between
Allamakee and Clayton counties. This also means that the community is
divided between Iowa's 1st and 4th Congressional Districts. The
Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant resides in Allamakee County
and Iowa's 4th District. While it goes without saying that residents
of both districts have felt and will continue to feel an impact of the
nation's largest immigration raids that netted 389 people, most of
them from either Guatemala or Mexico, only Congressman Bruce Braley, a
Democrat representing the 1st District, has voiced questions and
concerns about the activities on that day and the subsequent
aftermath.

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The Demo Memo: Obama's victory lap

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

Last week the Twittersphere in Iowa was lit up with jabber from people
I know who live near the former Obama campaign office in Des Moines.
"There's a black Hummer there. I wonder what's going on." Then it
became all too apparent. In another brilliant move, Obama is coming
back to Iowa for a victory lap. Obama's camp is hoping that the
delegate count will go over the top tonight, and while Senator Clinton
will be giving her "victory" speech in Kentucky, Senator Obama will be
in Iowa, where it all started, accepting the mantel of the democratic
party's nomination. It won't be official, but it will be symbolic.

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The Real Sporer: Courageous change for the 21st century: McCain on farm policy

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

John McCain said something today in the Chicago Tribune that has
needed to be said for years, particularly the last ten years. We as a
nation are entering a period of economic boom in our agriculture
sectors. Farmers look to make a ton of money for the foreseeable
future. The money to be made from the conversion of grain to energy
will largely fuel this boom, but other factors indicatee a very bright
long term future for America's farmers. Great, the Republican goal is
for farmers, like everyone else, to become as wealthy as each
individual's skills and effort allow. Every time you hear a Democrat
complain about rising food costs you also know that same Democrat is
admitting the reality of the farming boom in progress.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Obama-McCain nominations and the future of Iowa

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"Love you back," Barack Obama invariably says near the beginning of
each speech, when someone from the crowd shouts "We love you." Barack
Obama loves Iowa back. The Jan. 3 caucus winner is in Des Moines
tonight to mark what he's not quite calling a clinch of the Democratic
presidential nomination. The Obama near-win bodes well for Iowa
keeping its first in the nation status. But on the Republican side,
John McCain's nomination makes the situation a little cloudier. John
McCain's relationship with Iowa has been testy. He skipped the state
in his 2000 run, with a few jabs at the caucuses and ethanol on the
side. In 2008, he made a partial effort but concentrated on New
Hampshire and other early states.

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Krusty Konservative: The only CPA in the race for governor?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I have recieved a number of e-mails and even listened to some
kolleague pontifications as to why certain names like Iowa State
Auditor David Vaudt were not listed in the Krusty 12-Pack. Certainly a
strong argument kould be made as to why he would be a formidable
kandidate konsidering his work to bring the CIETC scandal to light and
a few "Go directly to jail and do not kollect $200 as they pass Go"
tickets to the La Machina members. More recently he exposed the
charade of state government konsulting kontracts that promised to save
taxpayer money but ended up saving far less than the konsulting
kontract fee as was the kase for A.T. Kearney.

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Blog for Iowa: State legislative session roundup

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

In a solid session of achievement, the Iowa legislature made
significant progress on expanding health care coverage, expanding
public school and pre-K funding, advancing clean energy proposals,
protecting veterans and students, taking on foreclosure abuses,
expanding workers' rights, and improving the integrity of state
ballots. However, the session was marked by a few significant
setbacks, including the governor's veto of a major labor rights bill.
Health Care: The signature achievements in Iowa came in advances for
health care and public health. Capping the legislative session was HF
2539, a bill to move the state towards full health coverage for
children of families earning up to three hundred percent of the
poverty line.

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Iowa Insider: Huckabee and Gingrich at GOP state convention June 14

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Iowa GOP Chairman Stew Iverson revealed Monday two of the big draws
for the Republican state convention in Des Moines on June 14. Former
presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who is now rumored to be a
leading VP contender, will make an appearance. Also in attendance will
be former House speaker Newt Gingrich. It looks like the jockeying in
Iowa for 2012 might already be beginning...

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Fallon calls on Boswell to back Obama

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

A little more than two weeks before the Democratic primary in Iowa's
third Congressional district, Ed Fallon has challenged Congressman
Leonard Boswell to shift his support as a superdelegate from Hillary
Clinton to Barack Obama. It's a shrewd move for several reasons.
First, Iowa's third district went for Obama in January, as yesterday's
press release from Fallon underscores: "Fallon says, 'Even though
Hillary Clinton finished behind Barack Obama and John Edwards in the
Third Congressional District, Congressman Boswell continues to ignore
the will of the majority by saying he will cast his superdelegate vote
for Clinton.' ... As I've written before, Fallon yard signs are often
seen in the same yards as the Obama "HOPE" signs, while Boswell's yard
signs are frequently paired with Hillary signs.

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Iowa Progress: Vaudt considering run for governor?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

On Iowa Press the other day, State Auditor Dave Vaudt ducked the
question of whether he would consider running for Governor in 2010.
While Vaudt doesn't have much of a public profile, he's still one of
two statewide Republican elected officials and has few negatives
attached to his name. However, it's worth noting that Vaudt would not
have been in the position to even contemplate a 2010 run for Governor
if the Democrats had bothered to nominate a candidate to oppose him in
2006. While leaving legislative seats uncontested hurt Democrats in
2006, failing to run a candidate for Auditor hurt Democrats even more.
With the sole exception of Denise O'Brien, who narrowly lost her
underfunded campaign for Secretary of Agriculture after it was
revealed that she didn't feed her cows, every statewide Democrat won
by a healthy margin and Democrats made gains statewide.

Eastern Iowa Conservative: TIFs: Taxation without representation

Excerpted from this post at Eastern Iowa Conservative

Radio Iowa did a great piece yesterday on University of Iowa Professor
Peter Fisher, who did a great job summarizing the pitfalls of Tax
Increment Financing (TIF). In the article, Fisher brings up an
excellent point - If you want to build a school, you must put it to a
vote and get 60% of voters to support funding the project. Fisher
notes that "As soon as [something] becomes a TIF project, that voting
requirement disappears. It's automatically exempt from a voter
referendum." He's right. To create a TIF district, all it generally
takes is a majority vote of a City Council to pass. Fisher also makes
a good point about giving tax breaks to struggling shopping malls
trying to keep up with newer competitors. ... Why subsidize something
that is failing? If the general public won't support it, why should a
city try to prop it up?

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Krusty 12 pack: Who to keep your eye on for the 2010 gubernatorial race

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

While recruiting this year has proved to be nearly impossible this
cycle for the Republican Party in Iowa, 2010 will be the komplete
opposite. Republicans kould be looking at a huge gubernatorial
primary, and if Steve King tosses his hat into that ring, all of a
sudden Republicans will be having a big primary out west. Below are 12
people to keep an eye on as the 2010 cycle nears. 12. Don DeWaay:
DeWaay is the owner of DeWaay Capital Management in West Des Moines.
While he has given to Republican candidates is the past, he's not
known in many Republican circles statewide. DeWaay does have some name
ID as he used to do The Profit Zone on WHO Radio. So why does he come
in at number 12?

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Iowa Independent: King's opponent seeks to make hay out of oil reserve vote

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, was the only Iowa congressman and one
of 25 House members to vote against legislation that would direct the
Bush administration to halt the filling of the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve in an effort to help with consumer prices at the pump. "I will
not be distracted by gimmicks that are made to sound like solutions,"
King told the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil through his office. "To
lower gas prices, I support more production of oil, natural gas and
renewable fuels." According to the Nonpareil, King criticized the "San
Francisco-style liberals" in Congress for opposing efforts to increase
energy production.

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24 Hour Dorman: Postville

Excerpted from this post at 24 Hour Dorman

The sprawling Agriprocessors packing plant on the outskirts of town is
imposing and intimidating even if you don't know about the
jaw-dropping lawlessness our government says went on inside these
fences. Knowing sends a chill up your back. So it's probably lucky you
can't stay long. Tuesday, a stern, but polite, woman told Gazette
video journalist Mike Barnes and myself to leave, pronto. Fair enough.
Nothing to see. No one's talking. But there was plenty to see
elsewhere. There was St. Bridget's Catholic parish near downtown,
where dozens of plant workers and their families milled around inside
the church and outside in the courtyard. Many here have family members
among the 390 plant workers detained by federal immigration officials
at Monday's historic raid.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Iowa Independent: Edwards endorsement should help Obama with working white vote

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

"I would anticipate that this will help Obama's case with what has
been his weakest area lately -- working-class white voters," Dave
Redlawsk told Iowa Independent when he learned of John Edwards'
anticipated endorsement of Barack Obama. Redlawsk is both a University
of Iowa political science professor and a national delegate for
Edwards. Several sources reported Wednesday afternoon that Edwards is
expected to endorse Obama tonight at a Grand Rapids, Mich., joint
appearance. "At the same time, it probably makes no real difference at
this point in the primary campaign," Redlawsk added. "I would expect
Edwards to campaign actively for whoever was the nominee in any case."

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Essential Estrogen: Culver quotes Truman, vetoes collective bargaining bill & pay raises

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Gov. Chet Culver said he knows he'll be criticized for deciding to
veto pay increases for statewide elected officials and House File
2645, which dealt with public employee collective bargaining, but
chalks it up to just doing his job. "There will be those who criticize
my actions. That is to be expected," Culver said at a 4 p.m. press
conference today. "That is a part of my job. As Harry Truman said,
'the buck stops here.'" Culver cited input from "thousands of Iowans
who have written, emailed and called me during this constitutionally
mandated review period." "While I have always been a strong supporter
of workers rights and collective bargaining, a close examination of
House File 2645 shows that it is not in the best interests of the
taxpayers of Iowa to let this legislation become law."

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The Real Sporer: Postville: A demand for action from Iowa Republicans

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

As the story of Postville continues to unfold several obvious truths
are now becoming undeniable. Most importantly, illegal immigration is
a social occurrence that directly and immediately affects the state of
Iowa. Last year Marshalltown, this year Postville and who knows what
else. Illegal immigration is bad for the communities where it is
prevalent. At least one third of little Postville's population (less
than 2300) appears to be there illegally. Think of the burdens imposed
on that school district and the taxpayers who fund it. While such
immigration certainly creates new economic opportunities it depresses
far more. The Marshalltown experience proves that reliance on illegals
depresses wages.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Where's Waldo... err Peter Teahan?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

The June 3rd primary is just 21 days or 504 hours away. A couple a
weeks ago Teahen launched a TV ad that has been running district wide
on the cable networks, and before that he was touting his internal
polling numbers that showed him with a big lead over his main primary
opponent Mariannette Miller-Meeks. I thought there would be frenzy
before the primary, but Teahen hasn't made much noise, especially when
you compare his activity to what Miller-Meeks is out there doing. Late
last week the Teahen Funeral Home was given an award from the U.S.
Army Reserves for supporting an employee whose husband was deployed in
Iraq. It's a nice story, but it took his campaign four days to get it
on his campaigns website.

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John Deeth Blog: Grassley: I'm too old for VP

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"I'm too old to be vice president," Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley told
Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill. Grassley is 74; Republican
presidential candidate John McCain is 71. "But I am young enough to be
reelected to the Senate," said Grassley, hinting at a run for a sixth
Senate term in 2010. The Hill asked all 97 senators who aren't running
for president for their thoughts on the vice presidency and published
the verbatim responses. Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin demurred on the vice
presidency himself, saying his choice is Daily Show host John Stewart.
Other responses from senators Iowans may know well...

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The Corn Beltway Boys: Biggest. Raid. Ever.

Excerpted from this post at The Corn Beltway Boys

The news up here in N.E. Iowa, and actually around all of Iowa the
last several days has been the I.C.E. raid at the Agriprocessors plant
in Postville, Ia. State 29 has been keeping an eye on the whole thing.
He's got excerpts from the Cedar Rapids Gazette from the warrent, and
from what I've read, it looks like that company took FULL advantage of
the illegal workers. See, it's not simply that they are doing jobs
that Americans won't do. It's that they are being treated in a way
that you couldn't treat a legal citizen, because, you know, it's
criminal. They can pay you a low wage under the table, jack up your
rent anytime they want, and force you to buy used cars from them.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Reckoning in Postville

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

There is an immigration raid occurring at the Agriprocessors Inc.
complex in Postville, Iowa (i.e. the kosher meat packing plant). There
has been speculation for weeks that an immigration raid was in the
works somewhere in Eastern Iowa due to the fact that the feds had
leased the entire Waterloo Cattle Congress grounds for several weeks
and were not answering any question as to the reason for the lease.
Reports state that at least 700 arrests are likely. Government
officials are also saying that they are trying to take care of any
health and child care issues the arrestees might have (likely to avoid
the publicity nightmare they faced after the Marshalltown raid). But
I'm wondering how many illegals will cop to having kids when they're
being asked about it by federal agents.

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Iowahawk: It's time to call it quits

Excerpted from this post at Iowahawk

From the earliest days of the campaign, the race for the 2008
Democratic presidential nomination has been a hard fought,
neck-and-neck struggle. But now, as the race enters its final stretch,
it has become increasingly obvious that the eventual outcome is no
longer in doubt. With a difficult general election looming, Democrats
need to put our family squabbles aside and unite behind the eventual
nominee. And so, in the interest of Party unity, and his own health, I
am calling on Senator Obama to gracefully accept defeat. First, let me
congratulate Senator Obama and his staff for running a tough campaign.

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iPol: The footnote primaries begin

Excerpted from this post at iPol

West Virginia votes today in the first of what may reasonably be
called the Footnote Primaries of the Democratic nomination process.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that the voters of West Virginia,
Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico don't matter,
or that the outcomes in these primaries will not be important; far
from it. But the importance of these primaries now lies not in their
potential to determine the party's nominee - that question was
(finally) settled in Barack Obama's favor last week by North Carolina
and Indiana - but rather in shaping the end of the campaign and taking
a big role in determining the conditions under which the Democratic
Party begins its general election campaign.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Endorsements

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

Well it seems like yesterday was endorsement day for Republicans who
have primaries on June 3rd. The first one to grace my inbox was from
the Miller-Meeks campaign, who received the endorsement from State
Representative Jeff Kaufmann. "Mariannette represents the best that
the Republican Party has to offer for service to this state. Her
unique background places her in a perfect position to take the lead on
health care issues, national defense, and economic development,"
Kaufmann said. ... I'm not one that puts a lot of weight into political
endorsements, however in a primary I think they are quite valuable in
helping make some inroads in certain communities and groups of people.

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Iowa Independent: Stephanopoulos: 'The race is over' and Iowa will remain first

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The audience in King's Chapel on the campus of Cornell College in
Mount Vernon seemed to hold its collective breath Thursday night as
George Stephanopoulos gave voice to words about the Democratic
presidential nomination process that most in the nation have been
impatiently waiting to hear: "The race is over." The same quiet
audience emitted whoops of joy a few minutes later when Stephanopoulos
said that Iowa's position as the first-in-the-nation caucus state
would continue. "I want to tell you that I do think this race -- the
Democratic race -- is over," Stephanopoulos said. "Tuesday night was a
decisive tipping point. Mathematically it is simply not possible for
Sen. [Hillary Rodham] Clinton to catch Sen. [Barack] Obama in the
elected delegates."

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Politically Speaking: Dykstra disputes gas tax holiday

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Some issues don't break down on party lines. A release by Joel
Dykstra, a Canton Republican who wants to join the U.S. Senate in
January 2009, serves as a good reminder. Dykstra lays out his
opposition to the idea of a federal gas tax holiday from Memorial Day
to Labor Day, an idea floated by Republican presumptive presidential
nominee John McCain and others. It's geared to the major vacation
driving season, and taking away the 18.4 cent federal gas tax would
offer relief at the pump, goes the theory. Unleaded gas just rose by a
dime to $3.52 at most Sioux City stations two days ago. But Dykstra
says the tax holiday would do more harm than good. He contends there's
"no guarantee that a reduction in the tax would benefit consumers."

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Battleground Iowa: 2nd CD primary heats up

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

With the June 3rd primary less than a month away, it has been
relatively quiet. The there candidates running for the Republican
nomination for the U.S. Senate don't have the funds or ability to run
TV ads, and I doubt they will be running radio spots. But for all you
campaign junkies who like to watch a heated primary battle you just
need to tune into Iowa's 2nd Congressional District. There is a three
way primary between Mariannette Miller-Meeks from Ottumwa, Peter
Teahen from Cedar Rapids, and Lee Harder, and if I looked harder I'd
know where he's from too, but he's a non factor so I'm not going to
waste my time.

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Krusty Konservative: Konservatives will have to "get local" to find victories in 2008

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Being inkognito has it advantages. During my extended time away from
the blog I was able to travel the state and get a better grasp of what
is on the hearts and mind of Iowa's konservative activists. I wish I
kould kome back here and tell you how fired up they were about the '08
elections but I kan't. Now that doesn't mean that we are hopeless when
it komes to 2008 in Iowa. Konsider the following: The words "great
depression" adequately described the konservative activist following
the 2006 general elections. Yet more Iowans voted in the Republican
kaucuses than ever before. And while we are having a little kaucus
talk, I must say I absolutely nailed my 2007 Breakout Kandidate of the
year. I was Huckabee when Huckabee wasn't kool!

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Radio Iowa: Grassley likely to "run again"

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

As noted last week, I have a friend in DC who ran in the Capital
Challenge and saw Senator Charles Grassley cross the finish line.
Yesterday, at the conclusion of Grassley's weekly conference call with
Iowa radio reporters, I asked him about the race and Grassley
expressed some discomfort with not improving his time. "You know,
after nine years of doing (that race) I should do better than the
first year and I'm not doing better because my first year was 27
minutes (and) 20 seconds," Grassley said, "and now this one was 29
minutes and 29 seconds." Grassley ran the three-mile course this year
with a faster time than in 2007. "By about half a minute, so I'm not
as bad as I was last year," Grassley said.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

State 29: Not optional anymore

Excerpted from this post at State 29

From the Des Moines Register: "Iowa will hike its sales tax by 1 cent
per dollar, replacing local-option sales taxes that each of Iowa's 99
counties collect for school infrastructure, under a bill signed into
law today by Gov. Chet Culver. For most Iowans, there will be no
out-of-pocket difference because one tax is simply replacing another
that they pay already. But the important difference between the tax is
one of financial fairness, advocates of the proposal have said." The
Iowa Legislature and Governor Chet Culver basically said "Screw The
Taxpayers" and took away the option of eliminating the tax in their
area if they felt the local school district was spending the money the
wrong way.

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Popular Progressive: Is it over or full speed ahead?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

Barack Obama won a decisive victory in North Carolina by slightly less
than 230,000 votes last night and Hillary Clinton has won in Indiana
by slightly more than 22,000 votes, so where does it leave things? If
the statements of the candidates count for anything, it looks like
more of the same all the way to the convention. The sad thing is that
there is no legitimate way for either candidate to win the nomination
outright without the influence of the superdelegates who may be more
likely to use "electability" as determined by polling to affect their
decision-making. As a John Edwards supporter, we learned first hand
that electability as measured by polls is hardly reliable.

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Essential Estrogen: Organization with conservative ties gives Iowa universities lower ranking

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

High school students still debating which college or university to
attend in the fall have some new information at their fingertips.
Unfortunately, the information, provided by an organization with
conservative ties, doesn't shine a favorable light on most Iowa
institutions of higher education. Richard Vedder, director of the
Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for College Affordability and
Productivity (CCAP) writing for Forbes, took a direct swipe at the
popular college and university rankings produced by U.S. News & World
Report, saying the "rankings ought to get a D."

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24-Hour Dorman: Awkward moment

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and House Speaker Pat Murphy
stopped at The Gazette today to tout their legislative
accomplishments. But before we dug into the meaty details of health
care, the leaders shared dead pigeon anecdotes. Apparently, the
Statehouse's resident nesting Peregrine Falcon catches and eats
resident pigeons. As Murphy described it, the falcon snares a pigeon,
pins it down by its wings and, well, lunch is served. Trouble is, the
pigeon-stuffed falcon then leaves its less-than-appetizing meal
remnants on an outdoor balcony just off the House chamber. The
presence of these spent pigeons apparently have spoiled the speaker's
plans for a balcony lunch of his own. Understandable.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Iowa Conservative: Dave Vaudt once again looking out for Iowa

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Conservative

State Auditor Dave Vaudt released a report today revealing yet another
way that Iowa Taxpayers have gotten the shaft from our state
government. Our esteemed leaders have paid A.T. Kearney, a consulting
firm roughly $4.5 million dollars over the past two years. Their task
was to find cost savings in the state budget. The justification for
this $4.5 Million expense: Find $10.6 Million in savings. But that's
just where the lunacy started. Not only did they fail to give us value
for our $4.5 Million, they found only $3 Million in savings. We lost
$2 Million on the deal. Nice.

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Iowa True Blue: Let us now praise finite math

Excerpted from this post at Iowa True Blue

With a whopping 46 contests behind us, Senator Obama is now a mere 276
delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination. Tonight, as
the polls close, we will hear candidates, campaign staff, surrogates,
newspeople, pundits, and so on, ask (and answer) all sorts of
questions. There is, however, only one serious question today: Can
HRC make serious inroads in the delegate race? Possibly, she can. HRC
clearly has the support of the political establishment in both IN and
NC. In the Hoosier State, Senator Bayh -- scion of IN's most powerful
political family -- has been by her side at every stop. Same in North
Carolina, where Governor Easley has campaigned extremely hard for her.

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John Deeth Blog: Harkin backs federal Election Day registration

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Senator Tom Harkin has joined other senators from states with election
day voter registration is backing a bill that would extend same-day
registration to all states. But the delegation from Iowa, the newest
same-day registration state, is not united, with Rep. Steve King
voicing his opposition. Harkin is cosponsoring Senate bill 2959, first
offered by Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Russ Feingold of
Wisconsin. Senator Jon Tester of Montana has also co-sponsored the
bill. All four co-sponsors are Democrats from states with election day
voter registration. The issue has a long partisan history.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Iowa Dem chair Brennan remains committed to being uncommitted

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"I honestly haven't decided when I'll say something," Iowa Democratic
Party chair Scott Brennan told party activists in Iowa City Sunday. As
party chair, Brennan is also a national convention superdelegate, and
he and Senator Tom Harkin are the only two Iowa superdelegates who are
still uncommitted. "I'm a Pollyanna but I still have some hope that
after we finish on June 3rd, in the next couple weeks after that we'll
have some clarity, and I'll never have to make that decision," said
Brennan. Part of Brennan's reticence is his wish to protect Iowa's
first in the nation role. "Part of the reason I think Iowa remains
first and why we attract candidates is that we been an honest broker,"
he said.

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Iowa Progress: What will Ed Fallon run for next?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

It is increasingly unlikely that Ed Fallon will win the Third District
Primary as his campaign is both broke and languishing far behind
Leonard Boswell in the polls. The question now arises what will
professional candidate Ed Fallon run for next? Fallon is a
professional candidate at this point (and, thanks to the still open
Fallon Loophole, can still make a good living running for office).
There are several possibilities for Fallon. The first is running for
Mayor of Des Moines against Frank Cownie in 2011. Cownie is a leading
environmentalist, which makes him a prime target for Fallon who
actively worked to defeat Al Gore in 2000. However, that election is
three years away and the Mayor of Des Moines only makes $31,500 a
year.

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The Demo Memo: Attention Obamicans: Stop acting like children

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

I'm sitting here blogging from my favorite Des Moines, Iowa
breakfast/free wi fi place, The Gateway Market. I ran into a couple of
good friends of mine, Ross and Amy Daniels, who are Obama supporters.
I reminded them that Obama people need to quit being so negative
against Sen. Hillary Clinton and start showing some respect. When I
"confronted" him, Ross was speechless. He had that smug "but, but,
we're right and she's wrong" look that many Obamicans have. Amy looked
at me sheepishly and said, "I plan to be a party girl." Good for her.
Here's the deal, Democrats. We're all on the same train together.

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Krusty Konservative: McVeepstakes: The Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Seldom these days is there an exchange of political banter at
Wellman's or under the golden dome where the veepstakes doesn't come
up. There are seemingly endless possibilities for Sen. McKain to
choose from, but before we get into that let's take a look at the
good, the bad and the downright ugly schools of thought when deciding
on a running mate. The Good: In 1980, then Governor Ronald Reagan won
a hotly kontested primary fight over his closest and bitter rival
George Herbert Walker Bush. In an effort to unify and mobilize the
party to defeat an incumbant president, Gov. Reagan chose Bush whose
foreign policy experience as the former head of the Central
Intelligence Agency komplimented his own executive leadership on the
ticket.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Radio Iowa: McCain's May Day in Des Moines

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

It's Thursday, May 1, 2008, and Republican presidential candidate John
McCain is due to speak here at the Polk County Convention Complex at 2
o'clock this afternoon. A sign on the ground floor advises "Eddie's
Shoe Shine" is set up on he second floor. I didn't see a McCain
campaign sign anywhere. It's 1:25 p.m. McCain Iowa chairman Dave
Roederer is quizzing the crowd of about 250, asking questions which
require yes or no answers. After The Pledge and The National Anthem,
longtime Iowa GOP insider Marvin Pomerantz of Des Moines made an
appeal to the crowd for money. "We don't have the conflict that some
other parties have. Thanks goodness," Pomerantz said.

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Iowa True Blue: McCain & Des Moines

Excerpted from this post at Iowa True Blue

Earmarks Helped Des Moines Law Enforcement... Senator McCain has railed
against earmarks, dismissing them as pork for the special interests.
But during his trip to Des Moines today, McCain will enjoy the
protection of local law enforcement agencies that protect the people
of Des Moines and Polk County every day, partially with the assistance
of Congressional earmarks. Polk County Department Of Public Safety
Received Earmark To Combat Meth. The Polk County Department of Public
Safety received a $291,000 earmark in Fiscal Year 2008 to intercept
imported meth. The earmark was included in the FY 2008 Consolidated
Appropriations Bill, which McCain skipped the vote on.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Battleground Iowa: A Lesson for the Legislature from the Voters of Polk Co.

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

No New Courthouse for Polk Co. ... A ballot measure that would have
raised property taxes in Polk County to get the $132 million needed
for a new Polk County Courthouse (and renovations to the old one)
failed by a wide margin yesterday. In order to be approved, the
measure needed to pass with 60% of the vote. Instead, it failed, with
the "no" votes taking 57%. I had mixed feelings about this. Tax
increases suck, but I can see the need for more space, and the idea of
keeping the criminal stuff separate also appeals to me. There's
nothing like going to pay a traffic ticket and having a guy in a
striped jumpsuit and cuffs sit next to you while you wait to be
helped.

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Bleeding Heartland: Gore and Clark raising money for Boswell

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

An envelope from the Boswell campaign arrived in the mail today.
Inside was a letter from Al Gore asking me to donate $20.00 to
Boswell's campaign, symbolizing the 2000 election "when Leonard stood
by my side". The text was identical to a recent e-mail Gore sent out
on Boswell's behalf, which I reproduced at the end of this post.
Unlike Matt Stoller, who is mad that Gore is helping Boswell's
campaign, I can't fault him for getting involved. It won't change the
minds of many Gore voters like myself, who favor Fallon, but it might
activate other Gore supporters who are unreliable primary voters.
Frankly, I'm more annoyed at Gore for sitting out this presidential
election.

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John Deeth Blog: Kucinich To The Rescue For Florida, Michigan

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Still wringing your hands over the dispute between the Democratic
National Committee, the early states who played by the rules, and
calendar leapfroggers Florida and Michigan? Have no fear. Dennis
Kucinich is going to solve all our problems. The Cleveland
congressman, whose own 2008 presidential campaign fizzled, has
proposed allocating the Michigan and Florida delegates by the
composite results of three public opinion polls. "Simple, accurate and
cost effective, this solution is nevertheless no substitute for actual
voting," Kucinich wrote in a letter to House colleagues. "But it is
better than any other solution proposed thus far."

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