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Friday, October 31, 2008

MyDD: More strange scheduling from the McCain-Palin campaign

Excerpted from this post at MyDD

The latest Iowa poll (from SUSA) shows Barack Obama leading John McCain 55 percent to 40 percent. Obama leads 48-46 among men and 61-34 among women. Most significantly, Obama is beating McCain by 40 points among the 32 percent of respondents who told Survey USA they've already voted. Yet Sarah Palin is coming back to Iowa on Monday to headline a rally in Dubuque. What's really weird is that Dubuque, along the Mississippi River across from Wisconsin and Illinois, is in the uncompetitive first Congressional district (Bruce Braley, D). It's far from the central and north-central population centers in the fourth district, where Becky Greenwald is challenging Tom Latham, and farther from the fifth district, where Rob Hubler is taking on Steve "10 worst" King. Your guess is as good as mine.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Former Gov Tom Vilsack Engages In Irony

Excerpted from this post at BLOGNAME

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is writing columns these days about revitalizing the rural economy. There are two ironies to be found. In my first year as a legislator, I was placed on the agriculture committee. Sitting next to me -- then-Senator Tom Vilsack, a lawyer and former small-town mayor. At the opening meeting, committee members were asked to introduce themselves. Almost everyone on the committee talked about their farming background. I introduced myself as a community activist. Senator Vilsack turned to me and in a low voice said, "I am so glad to not be the only non-farmer on this committee."

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Krusty Konservative: More on the Register's liberal bias

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

... The media buy that the Greenwald campaign unveiled and the Register crowed about was for one ad that ran just one time. The Greenwald campaign reached into the bottom of the cookie jar and gathered their change and bought one ad. There isn't much of a story here besides that her campaign is desperate and her campaign is relying on the Des Moines Register to do the work their campaign should be doing. What really should be discusses is how the 12K Greenwald blew on airing a single ad just once could have been better spent or more effective on radio in marketing terms. ... Yet the Register felt the need to do a story. It's important to note they have never done a story on Latham's ads. Heck they have been on the air with ads for the last three months so these was ample time for them to do so. On the other hand, Greenwald did three weeks of TV that ended over 25 days ago. The thought that last night's one time ad buy has somehow rescued their campaign is a complete joke.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Mr. Subliminal: Fallon's backhanded backing of Boswell

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Ed Fallon fired up the I'M for Iowa email list Tuesday, saying he
plans to keep a campaign pledge and vote for his former primary
opponent, Congressman Leonard Boswell. So far, so good. Fallon has
been attacked in the past for a lack of party loyalty. A long-since
renounced Ralph Nader endorsement from 2000 became a major, perhaps
decisive, issue in his primary loss to Boswell. But then Fallon
continues. "The Des Moines Register's editorial board also recommends
supporting Boswell." He then includes a link to the "endorsement".
"Iowans deserve more from 12-year incumbent," blares the headline.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Obama rides bandwagon, McCain counts on turn-out

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

John McCain's campaign has found a nice groove: he's got a populist
economic message to contrast with his opponent, and he's got people
questioning Obama's worldview (and how Obama sees America's role in
the world) by linking him to his past associations. John McCain now
needs to drive turn-out--and he is trying to use tightening poll
numbers to do it. However, McCain's campaign groove has returned after
multiple weeks of Obama enjoying good poll numbers, favorable press,
and some prominent endorsements by Republicans. While Obama's campaign
was urging voters to ride his bandwagon to what seemed to be an
inevitable victory -- early voting began across the nation.

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Bleeding Heartland: The race to replace Obama II

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Well, with the election of President Barack Obama (I will never get
tired of typing that) looking more and more like a certainty, it's
time once again to get elbow deep in the muck that is Illinois
politics. In this diary, I'll be taking an updated look at possible
appointees to Obama's Senate seat. A quick reminder of the rules at
play here. The Constitution states that a congress person must be at
least 30, a citizen for at least 9 years prior to entering the Senate,
and must live in the state they represent. Beyond that, there are no
rules. Governor Rod Blagojevich can appoint whoever he likes to the
position, without having to have that pick voted on or vetted by
anyone. So here are my odds on who the pick will be: 2-1: Jesse
Jackson Jr. (D-IL)

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Iowa Independent: Linn County candidates on ballot despite open ethics investigations

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Two candidates for elected office in Linn County are under
investigation by the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.
Neither investigation, however, is anticipated to be resolved before
the votes are tallied on Election Day. Eric Rosenthal, a former
chairman of the Linn County Republican Central Committee, has been the
subject of an open investigation since November 2007. The charges,
filed by former Linn County Republican Chairwoman Kathy Potts in the
summer of 2007, stem from checks written by the county party to
Rosenthal. He filed in March as a candidate for Linn County
Supervisor.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Essential Estrogen: EMILY's List officials 'cautiously optimistic' on Greenwald, other endorsees

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

There are some who believe that progressive women lost their chance to
make history in 2008 when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ended her
presidential bid, but EMILY's List organizers disagree. "If we add
nine Democratic, pro-choice women to the [U.S.] House this cycle --
and when I say 'this cycle,' I mean the entire cycle including special
elections -- that would be the second-most in the history of the
United States," said Jonathan Parker, EMILY's List political director,
during a conference call with women activists on Monday. "It seems
kinda hard to believe, but that's how tough the work is that EMILY's
List is doing. The [gains] in 1992 would be the most, of course, but
this would be the second-most."

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Battleground Iowa: The Lehman debacle continues

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

Well, I suppose since I started this whole mess, it's time for me to
chime in again. It seems this whole Kim Lehman thing just keeps
escalating. Since I first wrote about this situation almost two weeks
ago, the proverbial doo-doo has hit the fan. People, including the 2nd
congressional district's state central committee members, have called
for Lehman to apologize or step down from her position as national
committee woman, and now it seems they are calling for both. There
have also now been others in the blogosphere, our friends at the Iowa
Defense Alliance, who are calling those who no longer support Lehman
as national committee woman hypocrites because, they say, there was no
similar action for the removal of Gwen Eilers, the Clayton County GOP
chairperson who recently encouraged people to write in Steve Rathje in
the race against Tom Harkin, rather than support our party nominee,
Christopher Reed.

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John Deeth Blog: Iowa Dems hold edge in voter registration and absentees

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Democrats continue to hold nearly a two-to-one edge in absentee voting
in Iowa with a week to go until Election Day. Statistics from the Iowa
Secretary of State through Monday afternoon show Democrats with
218,000 ballots requested and 168,000 cast -- either by mail or in
person at a satellite voting location. Republican requests are at
130,000, with 96,000 cast. No party voters have requested 112,000
ballots and returned 76,000. The Democrats' apparent 88,000-vote edge
is more that George Bush's 10,000-vote margin of victory in Iowa four
years ago -- but then, John Kerry won the early vote, too, only to
lose on Election Day. Voter registration in Iowa has topped 2 million
for the first time, and, while voters with no party affiliation are
still the single largest group, Democrats hold a 5.5 percent edge over
Republicans.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: The sweet pain of the supermajority

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

A left-wing blogger wonders what the left-wing blogosphere will do
should Democrats win it all. I had similiar thoughts about Democrats
and the media after watching Neil Cavuto interview Senator Amy
Klobuchar on his financial program Friday afternoon on Fox News. By
all accounts, Senator Klobuchar is bright, well-respected, and a
rising star in the Democratic party. On Friday, Cavuto repeatedly
professed his respect for her during his interview. But ALSO during
the interview, Klobuchar tried to continually return to her talking
points blaming Republicans for the current financial crisis. ... When I
was first elected to the Iowa Legislature, I experienced the "sweet
pain" of the supermajority -- my party controlled the Governor's
office, and both chambers of the legislature.

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Krusty Konservative: Are you smarter than pollster Becky Greenwald?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Ok, wait a minute ... Fourth District Congressional Candidate Becky
Greenwald doesn't know the difference between a bill and a law, but
she is now an experienced pollster? Apparently the Latham campaign
released their enternal poll showing them with a 56 to 34 percent lead
after Greenwald released the results of a poll that shows her down
only 5 points to Latham. Both polls use a small sample size, but
Greenwald is quick to dismiss the poll showing Latham with a
comfortable lead. I was told that Becky poo-pooed the Tarrance poll by
using her grown up running for congress person voice to utter the
following gem: "I just know from my market research background that
you really need a 400 sample size," Greenwald said Monday. Say
what?!?!

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Iowa Independent: Corporations aim to influence state legislative races

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Two Iowa 527s rake in nearly $1 million in corporate money ...
Corporations, which are banned from making contributions to
candidates, parties or political action committees (PACs), are
nevertheless spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence
Iowa's elections. They are doing it with the help of so-called 527
groups. Iowa's 527 groups have been active this year, and could help
determine which party controls the Iowa legislature. Two of Iowa's
largest and most influential 527s have been hard at work lately, using
loopholes in the law to help spread their messages and advance their
political agendas, though most voters may not even know the groups
exist.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Krusty Konservative: The stretch run

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

State House: Rants v. McCarthy on Iowa Press ... Wow, these two guys
don't like each other. Rants did a good job, as a veteran who has
doing Iowa Press countless times his experience really shows. McCarthy
on the other hand talked extremely fast, and when Rants would point
out the short coming of the House Democrats he McCarthy got pissed.
McCarty said Democrats are working to gain seats but wouldn't give a
goal. Rants said his goal was 51 seats. Before the election I'll give
you my picks on every house seat. Until then, I do think House
Republicans are facing a strong head wind. Iowa U.S. House Races:
Latham and King are safe, as are Boswell and Braley. The only game in
town is the 2nd District race between Dr. Miller-Meeks and Dave
Loebsack.

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Bleeding Heartland: How many Iowa counties will Obama win?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Swing State Project has become one of my favorite blogs this year.
They publish so much detailed information and analysis about the
Congressional races. People also cross-post some fascinating work
related to the presidential election. Swing State Project user Mark
wrote this piece about "Detailed County Predictions for the
Presidential Race." Click over to read his predictions for all 50
states. Here's his take on Iowa: "Iowa -- Even when narrowly losing
Iowa, Kerry still won 32 of Iowa's 99 counties." ... I take it as a
given that Obama will not lose any county where John Kerry beat George
W. Bush. Obama's ground game is light-years ahead of Kerry's, and the
GOP ground troops are not nearly as motivated to GOTV for McCain as
they were for Bush. Obama is likely to win a lot more swing counties
in central Iowa than Kerry did.

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FromDC2Iowa: Mission and metrics

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Of Mission and Metrics: Iowa Universities Presidents' "Performance
Goals" ... The presidents of Iowa's Board of Regents and its three
universities have announced the "performance goals" for the
universities' presidents -- goals that will guide the Regents in
evaluating the presidents' annual bonuses for superior performance.
Since I've been advocating this for some years, it's rewarding to see
the process started. But, alas, if I were teaching management instead
of law, and these proffered "performance goals" were presented to me
by my students as part of a class writing exercise, I fear they would
be graded somewhere between a "D" and an "F." That's OK in one sense;
I guess, as the Frenchman explained when asked why he kissed women on
the hand, "You have to start somewhere." The effort has begun and I'm
grateful for that.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Battleground Iowa: DMR smackdown: Reed v. Harkin

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

In case you missed it, fireworks could be seen over the city of Johnston yesterday afternoon. They were coming from the IPTV studios where GOP challenger Christopher Reed was taking on loooooongtime incumbent U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin. To say that Reed was feisty would be an understatement. It's all over the news today some of the things Reed said about Harkin. The thing people need to remember is that everything Reed said is true. ... I was proud of Reed for having the courage to tell the truth, even if some don't want to hear it. While Reed still probably wouldn't qualify as a super-polished candidate, his overall performance was a vast improvement from the primary debate.

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Bleeding Heartland: Reed blows it in debate with Harkin

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

When you step up to challenge a safe and popular incumbent, you have two options. You can make a straightforward case for your party and against your opponent's record. Doing so will earn you the goodwill of your political allies who are grateful to have someone on the ballot they can feel proud voting for (like David Osterberg, who ran against Chuck Grassley in 1998). If you are young, running a hopeless race with dignity will increase your name recognition and bring useful campaign experience for a future bid for public office. Alternatively, a candidate with no chance of winning can lash out at his popular opponent in an over-the-top way, while bitterly complaining about his own party not helping him enough. This path will energize partisans who hate the incumbent but will probably limit future political options. Christopher Reed chose door number 2 in a joint forum with Senator Tom Harkin yesterday. Iowa Public Television will broadcast the debate tonight at 7 pm. Judging from initial reports, I don't think we need to worry about Reed becoming a rising star for Iowa Republicans.

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Fides: Paying the man to serve

Excerpted from this post at Fides

For the first time ever, the presidents of Iowa's three public universities will receive bonuses for achieving specific objectives. As the Des Moines Register notes, the practice is common at corporations and increasingly accepted at universities. However, it will bring both new possibilities, and new dilemmas. to the administration of Iowa's premier schools. ... How do you measure the performance of a university? Is it measured by the quality of its research? Is it measured by the how well it teaches future leaders of the state, nation, or world? Is it some balance of the two? And how should these products of university life themselves be properly measured?

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Flyover Country: County committee calls for Lehman's head

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

We In Flyover Country have learned that a county central committee is
demanding the immediate removal of Kim Lehman as National Committee
Woman. The committee, in an email statewide, cites her role in sending
a district-wide mailer that inaccurately portrayed congressional
candidate Marrianette Miller-Mikes as a "Great Pretender" on the life
issue - despite countless news articles, interviews and speeches to
the contrary! Ethical questions swirl, and vendettas abound as this
story unfolds. ... DEVELOPING ... Check back to In Flyover Country for
further developments later today.

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Popular Progressive: UI poll shows support for Obama by registered young voters, if they vote

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

In the national poll of 796 voters conducted Oct. 5-18, registered
voters 35 or younger favored Obama over John McCain by a 26-point
margin -- much more substantial than his five-point lead with voters
age 36-54 and nine-point lead among those 55-70. McCain led by five
points with voters 70 and over. Eighty-four percent of the younger
voters said they are absolutely certain they will vote. While that
percentage is high, it's still lower than the older age groups, in
which 86 to 90 percent said they would definitely vote. "Clearly,
younger voters overwhelmingly support Obama. If they show up in record
numbers, they will decidedly tip the scale toward an Obama victory,"
said Hawkeye Poll Director David Redlawsk, associate professor of
political science in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: The hypocrisy of Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

As I wrote on Monday, I attended a debate hosted by the Ames Chamber
of Commerce and the League of Women Voters for the Iowa House
candidates in the Ames area. One topic that got brought up was the
issue of special interests and their role in the election process. All
three Democratic candidates decried the influence of special interests
and voiced that they would be in favor of laws that would restrict
this influence. Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell of House District 45 was
in attendance and was the most outspoken opponent of the influence
that special interests have in elections. See this article here from
the Ames Tribune quoting Wessel-Kroeschell from Monday's debate. So,
to keep her honest I decided to see if her rhetoric matched reality.

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Krusty Konservative: I guess the Hsu fits...

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Norman Hsu that is. I guess one might be able to say that Dr.
Miller-Meeks is giving Congressman Loebsack a bi-annual check-up and
the doctor has some more troubling news. Congressman Dave Loebsack's
campaign has accepted $2,000 from alleged con man Norman Hsu, who was
indicted in late 2007 for alleged bilking investors out of at least
$20 million. Hsu also bundled more than $100,000 in contributions for
Clinton's campaign and co-hosted a $1 million Beverly Hills fundraiser
for the New York senator before a 1992 fraud conviction, his flight to
Hong Kong to avoid prosecution and a second round of questionable
financial dealings were revealed.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Miller-Meeks: The real deal

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

There has been a lot of debate on the right side of the blogosphere
here in Iowa about the state party, our Republican philosophy, and our
candidates. Over the course of her primary campaign and now in the
general election campaign, Dr. Marriannette Miller-Meeks has proven
herself to be the real deal and showed it in last night's KCRG-Cedar
Rapids Gazette debate vs. Congressman Dave Loebsack. As someone who
has followed this race for some time, I had high expectations for
Miller-Meeks. We all knew going into the debate that she is
intelligent, relentless, and a tireless campaigner, but sometimes
something happens in the bright lights of a television studio in a
debate setting and a candidate that you think is superior struggles
and fails to deliver the performance their campaign needs.

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Bleeding Heartland: Time to get serious about expanding the field

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Americans appear ready to sweep a lot of Democrats into office on
November 4. Not only does Barack Obama maintain a solid lead in the
popular vote and electoral vote estimates, several Senate races that
appeared safe Republican holds a few months ago are now considered
tossups. Polling is harder to come by in House races, but here too
there is scattered evidence of a coming Democratic tsunami. Having
already lost three special Congressional elections in red districts
this year, House Republicans are now scrambling to defend many
entrenched incumbents. In this diary, I hope to convince you of three
things: 1. Some Republicans who never saw it coming are going to be
out of a job in two weeks.

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In Flyover Country: Why the stimulus payments won't work (and didn't work the last two times)

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

Forgive me for deviating from Striker's format, but I think we all
need to take a serious look at what the Democrats are proposing for
their lame-duck session next month. Essentially, the Democrats have a
plan that mirrors President Bush's idea of handing out so-called
"stimulus" checks to bump up the economy. For the same people who
can't stand any of George Bush's ideas, they certainly are embracing
this one fully. And it's too bad, because the first two stimulus
payments didn't work, and these will not either. And before you tell
us the Dow rose over 400 points yesterday on news of the stimulus
payments - trust us, that's just a false inflation - it's a propping
up of a failed system and the markets will eventually settle back down
- perhaps as early as today.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Bailey's vote for sale?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

For two years the residents of Iowa House District 9 have been
represented by a man whose very office was bought and paid for by
special interests and industrialists. After reading that many people
are going to assume that District 09 has been represented by a
Republican. This couldn't be further from the truth. Iowa House
District 09 is the district represented by McKinley Bailey. You want
some proof of that, just check out the non-partisan website operated
by the National Institute on Money in State Politics,
followthemoney.org. I will even provide you with a direct link to
Bailey's page on this website, here. As you can see, Mr. Bailey is one
of the top fundraisers in the state of Iowa with $53,444 raised so far
in this election cycle.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blog for Iowa: McCain's Iowa strategy is finally clear

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

Just yesterday on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Republican
strategist Alex Castellanos "let slip" that McCain's internal polling
showed that the race in Iowa was tightening up. "He's coming back,"
said Castellanos. Well, maybe not after all. According to Daily Kos,
John King over at CNN has just reported that McCain is writing off
Iowa completely. Yee-haw! But I digress. Interestingly, Kos notes that
the McCain camp is also ditching giving up hope in Colorado and New
Mexico, and, get this, concentrating all their efforts on the
"must-win" state of Pennsylvania. Yeah, maybe McCain can pull out all
the stops in PA. But I imagine it would be easier to pull off if Obama
didn't have a double-digit lead there.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Divided we fail

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

When I look at liberal blogs I see something that most conservative
blogs lack. What is that you may ask? It is simple really. For the
most part, conservative blogs fail to support our local candidates
like Jamie Johnson, Jane Jech, and David Kerr just to name a few. We
tend to be more focused on the national scene. We tend to more
federally focused. Unfortunately that does not work in our favor. This
was one of the reasons that we launched the Iowa Defense Alliance. We
got tired of our local races getting the shaft. On a daily basis you
will see the liberal blogs promote their candidates. They disseminate
the liberal talking points for a day. I am serious, just watch them.
Their defense will be disorganized in the morning, but by that evening
they will be a coordinated machine spouting the same talking points
like a machine. It is kind of creepy when they do that.

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Iowa Independent: Newcomer Van Bruggen takes on GOP's Alons in 'Bible Belt of Iowa'

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

It would be hard to find a political candidate in Iowa with a more
difficult race than James Van Bruggen. To say he's got an uphill
struggle to unseat incumbent Rep. Dwayne Alons in Iowa House District
4 would be an understatement. What's Van Bruggen's problem? He's a
25-year-old legislative assistant from George, facing a farmer and
former Air Force pilot who has been running unopposed for a decade in
the northwestern part of the state that has been called the "Bible
Belt of Iowa." At first glance, many would think Alons might be just
the kind of a candidate the state Democratic Party might put resources
into unseating. During his 10 years in office, he has been very
successful at grabbing headlines that are not always flattering.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Obama crushing McCain in newspaper endorsements

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Two websites are keeping comprehensive lists of newspaper endorsements
for Barack Obama and John McCain: Editor and Publisher: "The
Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily
newspaper endorsements, by 105 to 33, a better than 3-1 margin," ... In
a real shocker, two solid Bush papers in 2004, the Houston Chronicle
and Austin American-Statesman, also came out for Obama today. So did
the more traditionally Democratic the News & Obsever in Raleigh and
the Orlando Sentinel, both in key battleground states. Obama's
lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided
so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W.
Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Christopher Reed snubbed again

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

I know that you have all heard by now about the Iowa GOP's lack of
support for US Senate Candidate Christopher Reed. If you don't know
who Chris is, then the Republican Party of Iowa has done an adequate
job of snuffing out a 100% conservative candidate. And by the way, he
is challenging the ultra liberal, sell-out, kind of lives in Iowa man
by the name of Tom Harkin. Caleb Hunter of the RPI even went as far as
telling supporters not to support Reed, but to instead support the
more winnable races. The Iowa GOP fought back by saying money is tight
and that they don't have much wealth to spread around so they are
focusing on key Iowa House candidates. Okay, I can understand that.
We need to take our government back from the grips of Mike Gronstal
someday, so lets start building.

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John Deeth Blog: Durbin doesn't mind being 'the other Illinois Senator'

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Dick Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois, doesn't mind at all
that he's being overshadowed by his junior colleague, Democratic
presidential nominee Barack Obama. "It reminds me of a baseball player
who's been on the team for a while, and he's got a good batting
average, people like him, and along comes this MVP rookie, and the
next thing you know, you're in the World Series," Durbin, the
Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate, told Iowa Independent.
"That's the way I feel. Along came Barack, and I could see our party
changing, and I could see our country changing. I couldn't be
happier." Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., speaks on the University of
Iowa campus Friday. Durbin himself is on the ballot, running for a
third term. "I've got some TV ads on so people remember my name," he
said. But his seat is safe enough that he has campaigned in 20 states
for Obama and Senate candidates, including several Friday stops in
Iowa.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blog for Iowa: McCain's Iowa strategy: Three theories

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

Theory One: If you ask McCain why he thinks Iowa is still in play, he gets a glint in his eye and says that his campaign has been called dead before and they've always been wrong. There is almost a Palin-esque wink, like just wait until you see what I've got up my sleeve. Well, Bryan Lefwitz over at DailyKos believes that we have now discovered what McCain thinks he's got up his sleeve. Lefwitz reports that the McCain campaign has been robo-harassing Iowa flood victims with calls that claim lack of federal help is Obama's fault. They are also targeting these folks with nasty mailers. ... Theory Two: ... Iowa appears to be one of the few places left, in spite of Obama's 12-point lead in the Iowa polls, where McCain thinks negative advertising will work. And once he's lost NM and CO, he must have Iowa to win. Theory Three: In an elaborate poker analogy, andysbg at DailyKos hypothesizes that McCain's inexplicable refusal to pull out of Iowa is actually a tell. "The tell occurs when the player, to their detriment, unintentionally reveals their otherwise hidden intent," Andy writes. Continuing to stick sorely-lacking funds into the Iowa campaign, McCain and his incompetent handlers are actually trying to win Iowa for other purposes, such as bragging rights?

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John Deeth Blog: LaRiva battles ballot access and media access

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"I hear people say, 'There's socialists? There's actually socialist parties? I didn't think they existed.' We get no media access," presidential candidate Gloria LaRiva said over coffee in Iowa City. "We can hardly get through." Presidential candidate who? Look at your ballot. She's there, along with Obama and McCain and six others in Iowa -- Gloria LaRiva, nominee of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. She had the time to give this member of the media a 45 minute world exclusive interview -- something I failed to obtain from her Republican opponent the next day.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Overview of 3Q FEC filings for U.S. House candidates in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Congressional candidates' third-quarter campaign finance reports were
due today (October 15), so I went over to the Federal Election
Commission site to see how things stand. For some reason, I was unable
to find reports for Senator Tom Harkin or his opponent, Christopher
Reed. I will cover their FEC filings in a separate post when data
become available. All of the incumbents have large cash-on-hand
advantages over their opponents going into the final stretch of the
campaign. Bruce Braley (D, IA-01) has given generously to the
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: $25,000 in July and
another $50,000 at the end of August.

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Krusty Konservative: Random fundraising observations

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I'm breaking down my coverage of the Congressional October Quarterly
Reports into three segments. This first one looks at Districts 1, 3,
and 5 where I think the incumbent will be reelected easily. Now that
doesn't mean there are not nuggets of info to be found in these
reports. I will follow with the 4th and 2nd Districts shortly. Each
deserve their own post. Iowa's 5th District Race. ... First, Hubler
doesn't have a chance. King does a good job of working his base and
traveling the district, King's money advantage and name ID plus the
size of the district make it nearly impossible for Hubler to dethrone
King. If you are a fan of King, you should be encouraged by the fact
that King is having his best fundraising year by a huge margin.

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Bleeding Heartland: Kim Lehman's multiple personalities

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

For those of you that read this blog regularly, you know that the
pro-life issue is one that I am very passionate about.I had a really
interesting email forwarded to me the other day. It was from the Iowa
Right to Life Committee contained a link to their pre-election
newsletter. Keep in mind that IRLC is led by Kim Lehman, the recently
elected GOP national committeewoman. For the first page of the
newsletter, it was pretty much what I expected... John McCain is super
great on the life issue (which we all know isn't a totally honest
portrayal), and Barack Obama is Satan incarnate (which may be true,
but I digress). Then I got to the second page, and I was sickened. You
see, after extolling the virtues of John McCain, the second page of
the news letter contained an article, reading: "The Great Pretender
Award: Mariannette Miller-Meeks."

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: The more I think about it, the more bizarre it seems

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

While liveblogging John McCain's rally in Davenport on Saturday, John Deeth reported on the unusual invocation offered by Pastor Arnold Conrad. I admit that I didn't pay much attention at the time, because I have read so many reports about right-wing preachers telling people that God wants them to vote for McCain, or even that true Christians are required to vote for McCain. But Conrad wasn't saying that. He was saying something much stranger. ... I have no idea how the crowd received this invocation. It was all over the national media, prompting McCain's campaign to distance itself with this statement...

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Essential Estrogen: Greenwald named to DCCC's Red to Blue

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowans in the 4th District will probably be seeing a lot more of Becky
Greenwald in few remaining days between now and the November election.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has placed the
Greenwald campaign in its Red to Blue program. The distinction heralds
the flow of financial, communications and strategic support from the
national committee to the local campaign. According to the DCCC web
site, candidates "earned a spot in the program by surpassing demanding
fundraising goals and skillfully demonstrating to voters that they
stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to
Congress."

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John Deeth Blog: National GOP pulls plug on House challengers

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Republican National Committee is pulling its money out of
challenger races to shore up suddenly endangered incumbents, reports
the Politico. In 2006, veteran Republicans Gil Gutknecht in Minnesota,
Jim Leach in Iowa and Jim Ryun in Kansas suddenly found themselves in
tough reelection fights. By the time the party saw what was happening,
it was already too late. And this it is this year, as the GOP moves
resources.In Iowa, that's going to mean, if anything, Rep. Tom Latham,
who has a race on his hands in the 4th District against Becky
Greenwald. National Republicans don't have much invested in the other
races, and the Latham-Greenwald race is the only one in the state
that's on the national handicapper's lists (though still near the
bottom.)

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: "Will the world really come to an end?"

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

As Tara said this weekend, "It's all out there now!" Every
controversy, every issue. And then my wife asked me, "Will the world
really come to an end if Barack Obama becomes President?" (Tara adds:
I asked if Jeff actually thought the world would come to an end...
because Obama WILL become President.) Well, no. Tara and I are
long-time political activists. If you are going to be involved
long-term, you have to accept wins and losses -- lots of them. I am
also getting ready to close out a legislative career which saw a fair
share of wins -- of which I am proud -- and a fair share of bills,
amendments, and proposals that went down to defeat -- in a very public
way.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Implosion -- The Iowa GOP will not win elections until the internal strife within the party ends

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

It was the ticking time bomb that many people, including myself, had
hoped would detonate after the November 4th elections, not with three
weeks yet to go. Last week we saw our US Senate Candidate claim that
the Republican Party of Iowa is actively working against him, then on
Saturday David Hartsuch sent out a press release stating he was told
by the McCain campaign that he could not speak at Saturday's rally
because of some comments he made two years ago in support of
traditional marriage. I'll be honest with you, this is not a subject
that I enjoy writing about, but with the growing attention this story
is getting I guess I might as well jump in and give my take. Before we
delve into the latest saga concerning the Iowa GOP, I first want to
get a few things out of the way.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: The snubbing of Iowa GOP candidates

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

To snub… to treat with scorn or disdain. Sounds like here in Iowa,
there is more than enough snubbing to go around! First Christopher
Reed and David Hartsuch and now other candidates. Listening to David
Hartsuch (Rep. Candidate for US House of Representatives, District 1)
on Jan Mickelson this A.M. really got me going on the 'snubbing' part
of politics. A Google search of "McCain snubs" revealed 250,000, so I
tried "Obama snubs" - 313,000, and finally "Iowa GOP snubs" ... 15, 700. I
was starting to get the picture. Then I happened upon the article that
I am sharing about Kathy Potts and her snubbing experience. My
inclination to believe that there is snubbing going on in the Iowa GOP
has been confirmed.

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Price of Politics, Etc.: Lovable losers

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics, Etc.

This Wednesday, central Iowa will be the place for "almosts", "could
have beens", "runners up" and "bridesmaids". John Kerry comes here to
campaign for Barack Obama. Kerry, of course, lost to George W Bush in
2004. Bob Dole comes to Des Moines at night for the World Food Prize.
Bill Clinton beat him in 1996. George McGovern will be here for that
event, too. Richard Nixon beat him in 1972. For good measure, let's
remember Al Gore headlined the Iowa Democratic Party's annual
Jefferson-Jackson Dinner a few weeks ago. Bush 43 beat him, too. All
we need now is to invite Ernie Banks from the Chicago Cubs and Jim
Kelly from the Buffalo Bills. We can have the first annual second
place convention.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Iowa Indepdent: King: National sales tax answer to nation's money woes

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Indepdent

Speaking Friday in Carroll, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said he
might propose implementing a national sales tax in place of the
current income-based system should America's economic woes stretch
into next year, according to the Carroll Daily Times Herald's Butch
Heman. King also said that Congress might need to hold a special
session if the economy's downward spiral continues at its current pace
through the next few months. "If you're seeing red numbers on the Dow
and it's spiraling downward, something's got to happen to arrest it,"
King said.

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Bleeding Heartland: Supporting the nominee

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I used to be a psychologist, and one of the things that I would often
tell my clients is that the relationship between feelings and actions
isn't one way. People who are depressed tend to isolate themselves
even to the point of staying in bed all day. However, if they force
themselves to get out of the house, even though they don't "feel like
it," they often start to feel a little less depressed. Sometimes the
feelings come first, "I felt depressed, so I stayed in bed." Other
times the feelings come second, "I went for a walk, and I now I
better." I started to work for the Obama campaign even though I didn't
like him much. I did this for several reasons.

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Eastern Iowa Conservative: Hartsuch denied

Excerpted from this post at Eastern Iowa Conservative

Iowa State Senator and 1st Congressional District Candidate Dr. David
Hartsuch is telling news reporters that he was denied the chance to
speak at the McCain rally held in Davenport yesterday morning. The
reason? Apparently the McCain campaign staff was uneasy with some
comments Hartsuch made awhile back regarding traditional marriage. I
can understand why Hartsuch would be irritated with the snub. Speaking
at the event yesterday would have likely given Hartsuch his largest
forum of the campaign season to reach voters. McCain is running a
national campaign, and obviously at this point in the game every move
that his campaign makes is done with potential damage control in mind.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Essential Estrogen: Wow... Someone actually did it

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Not too long ago I wrote a post about Nebraska's Safe Haven law and how the vague language it contained is causing problems. The Nebraska law is written so that any person under the age of 18 can basically be dropped off at a medical facility without any questions being asked. Since writing about the Nebraska law I've more than once turned to my 16-year-old daughter and said in jest, "Don't make me drive to Nebraska." ... But, here's the thing... I was doing it as a joke. The only circumstance where I could ever imagine leaving my children would be one in which I was completely incapable of caring for them myself. In short, I'd love them enough to let them go if I had no other choice, but my soul would be broken beyond repair. ... Then I read this: "Nebraska officials say an Iowa teenager dropped off at an Omaha, Neb., hospital under Nebraska's safe-haven law is back home, in part because the grandparents who dropped her off changed their minds." Suddenly my threat made in jest is no longer funny.

In Flyover Country: The Friday Freakshow!

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

... GOP U.S. Senate candidate Christopher Reed went on Steve Deace's show yesterday and unloaded on the Republican Party of Iowa for "not supporting" his campaign. The fireworks were hard to hear over the sound of the black helicopters. Let's look at some things. 1) The party has tens of thousands of absentee ballots in, as well as satellite voters that they recruited - all Republicans. 2) They have more field offices and staff in the state than they've ever had - all getting votes for Reed. 3) Reed says 35,000 voted for him in the primary, yet he can't even raise ONE DOLLAR for every vote he got - newsflash, YOU have to do that, the party never has. 4) If you use all your money to purchase suits for yourself, you're not going to have a very sympathetic audience. Sorry fella.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: The back-stabbing Iowa GOP vs Christopher Reed

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

... Just now on WHO with Steve Deace, Reed had a firm, strong, articulate voice. He is out hitting the road, going it on his own and you STAB HIM IN THE BACK! Reed sees the road America is on to Socialism. He gets it! My already high opinion of Christopher Reed has just been elevated even more because he brought out into the open what the Iowa Brigade has already been posting about. The GOP leadership is not working FOR him! Now Iowa voters - where is your outrage, where is your financial support? Not only is Christopher at war with Tom Harkin, now he must battle with the GOP! On WHO/Deace Christopher Reed said he was being treated like he was running for dog catcher, that the GOP is out putting holes in his bucket. Disgusting.

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Iowa Guy 2.0: Steve King honored again

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0

But Steve's reputation has spread far and wide. Last week, Keith Olbermann featured King as one of his Worst Persons in the World, the second time King has made that list. And now, the November issue of Esquire Magazine has named King one of the 10 Worst Lawmakers in Washington, DC. Here's what Esquire has to say: "King believes himself to be clever, and his list of idiot declarations is probably the longest in Washington. Now he toes the fine line between idiocy and bigotry when he argues that Barack Hussein Obama's presence in the White House will aid Islamic terrorists. Iowa, please, we're begging you." Of course, the right-wing trolls with too much time on their hands have had plenty to say on the website of the Sioux City Journal, which broke this story. I mean, who knew that Esquire was a left-wing rag? Certainly not I.

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John Deeth Blog: Little time for talk in 2nd District debate

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

... The questions leaned toward the senior-oriented, but the answers revolved around the relative effectiveness of the Congress Loebsack joined two years ago. "I got tired of seeing Congress doing nothing but seeing who was the victor in a partisan fight," said Miller-Meeks, citing Social Security, health and energy policy. Loebsack defended his record while agreeing with the premise. "I ran in 2006 because I was fed up with a system that was broken. I wanted to once again make government a positive force in people's lives," said the congressman. "I have worked tirelessly to provide for our troops and provide oversight to the Bush Administration's Iraq policies."

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Running up the score, part 2

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

In baseball and politics, wins mean more than runs ... Barack Obama's
got so many electoral votes that he's got some left over for John
Kerry and Al Gore. At least that's what FiveThirtyEight says,
predicting a final electoral vote of 346.8 to 191.2. That .8 must mean
that Lincoln, Nebraska is splitting out its electoral votes by ward or
something. (An exaggeration, but only slightly. Nebraska splits its
votes by congressional district, which is why Omaha has seen both a
Sarah Palin visit and a Barack Obama office grand opening in the past
week.) It looks like the Democrats will win the total electoral votes
of the 2000s decade while "losing" two of the three elections. It's
like the paradox of the electoral college itself; winning the blowouts
doesn't make up for losing the close ones.

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Iowa Veterans Blog: McCain scores 'D' on veteran report card; Obama, Iowa delegation above average

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Veterans Blog

With four weeks remaining before the election, the Iraq and
Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) released its report cards on
members of the 110th Congress. Grading was based on legislation that
affected veterans and their families. In the Senate, Republican
presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona earned a 'D' on the
report card, while his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama of
Illinois, finished the term with a 'B.' Grades were based on nine
votes covering a range of issue including veterans' health care, the
new GI Bill, mental health and support for homeless veterans. Both of
the nominees' grades were hindered by their attendance. While hitting
the campaign trail for potential votes, McCain missed six of the nine
votes, while his counterpart, Obama, missed four of the votes.

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Iowa Independent: Loebsack backs bailout with reluctance

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack said his vote for the financial bailout bill
was "a lot reluctant," and that the people responsible for the
financial crashed should by identified and punished, perhaps even with
prison, at a stop at the Hamburg Inn #2 in Iowa City Tuesday. "I
couldn't agree more and we have to find out how we got into this mess
and then we need to resolve the problem," Loebsack said, when asked by
Maria Conzemius of Iowa City if there was bipartisan blame for the
financial crisis. "We need to hold folks accountable who made these
mistakes, and if we find malfeasance we ought to punish them with
prison terms," he added. But Loebsack said the bill was, ultimately,
necessary. "When it didn't pass, you saw what happened in the stock
market," he said of the Dow Jones drop of more than 700 points the day
the first version of the bill failed in the House.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

In Flyover Country: "That one..."

Excerpted from this post at BLOGNAME

Bad, bad, bad... In a debate completely void of any news whatsoever,
John McCain managed to make a single quote that could go down as a
colossal mistake..."that one." John McCain, largely despondent
throughout the debate, answered one question with a response regarding
a bill that Obama voted for. McCain, while trying to make a point,
simply stated, "You know who voted for that bill? ... That one," and
pointed to Obama, without even looking at him. Not a good move. Not
senatorial. Not presidential. Not a response worthy to a foreign
dictator, let alone a sitting U.S. Senator and your rival for the next
27 days. Lots will be written and said about this debate. Let's hope
pundits fail to see what we did Not McCain's most shining moment,
and we fear could go down as his absolute worst.

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Bleeding Heartland: What to do when you don't care for your party's nominee

Excerpted from this post at BLOGNAME

In yesterday's thread on the race between Dave Loebsack and
Mariannette Miller-Meeks, secondtonone referred to the fact that a
right-wing Republican group put Miller-Meeks on their "Wall of Shame."
I assumed that this was related to bad blood from the hard-fought
Republican primary in Iowa's second Congressional district, but a
commenter claiming to be a member of that group posted the following:
"We would have included anyone from that race on the Wall of Shame.
There was no candidate that we could have supported in that race." ...
It's a good question, and not just a theoretical one for many of us
who follow politics closely. On several occasions I have not been
thrilled with any of the candidates in a Democratic primary. Many more
times I have volunteered for a primary campaign, only to have a
different candidate win the nomination.

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Iowa Independent: McCain's 'Hail Mary' pass in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

As he slips in polls, state may become 'ground zero' for negative ads
... Is Iowa next? With last week's announcement that Sen. John McCain is
essentially conceding Michigan and its 17 electoral votes to Barack
Obama by pulling his presidential campaign out of the state, many are
wondering if the Republican nominee will abandon the Hawkeye State
soon. Despite the fact that the previous two presidential elections
were decided by razor-thin margins in Iowa, recent polls have shown
Obama with anywhere from a nine to 16 point lead here. He also has a
sizable advantage on the ground, with more than 40 offices around the
state, compared with just eight for McCain. Add to that the growing
voter registration gap, which favors the Democrats, and Iowa begins to
look less and less like a swing state.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: The McCain end game is no surprise

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

During primary/caucus season, the potential nominees slug away at each
other, testing themes that might cause partisans to decide that a
particular candidate is too weak to win the general election for the
party. Hillary Clinton tried the "William Ayers/Tony Rezco/Jeremiah
Wright" connections theme -- but Democratic voters decided that those
issues didn't deter them from thinking Obama was the stronger general
election candidate. Please spare me the shocked indignation now that
the McCain/Palin ticket has advanced into the end game that Obama knew
was coming: the questioning of his judgment and philosophy through his
past associations. The Obama campaign was prepared and is in full
response mode. Keating Five, anyone?

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John Deeth Blog: Time to run up the score

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

I don't want to jinx anything with a debate tonight. And I'll grant
that my location in the dark heart of the People's Republic of Johnson
County skews my perceptions. But I think we'll look back on this
election and see the middle of September as the turning point. The
economic crisis put the ball on Obama's end of the field to stay, as
McCain double-fumbled; first with the "fundamentals of the economy are
sound" (no one really believed he meant "American workers" by that)
and then with the "suspended campaign" play that failed. Not to give
too much credit to one comedian, but Tina Fey's dead-on take on Sarah
Palin has locked in her image indelibly to everyone except the core
Republican vote.

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Bleeding Heartland: Quick hit on the Latham-Greenwald debate

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Becky Greenwald and Tom Latham just debated on WHO radio. Chase Martyn
liveblogged the event at Iowa Independent. I will have more to say on
this tomorrow after I listen to the tape again, but here are my
initial thoughts. There were no major gaffes, and both candidates
presented their cases well. Greenwald did a great job of staying on
topic and bringing up the relevant facts on a range of subjects. She
repeatedly mentioned his loyal Republican voting record, including his
many votes to continue the war in Iraq, and promised that she would
get to work for constituents right away. So, when Latham brought up
the bill he co-sponsored to deal with the nursing shortage in Iowa
(more on that here), Greenwald said it's a good bill and she hopes it
will get out of committee.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Krusty Konservative: House Dems opt for negative campaign

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

You know in the past when I have written about Union Thug/House
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy people have posted comments and sent me
emails telling me that it's a low blow calling this guy a thug. Well
sorry, that's exactly what this guy is. The most disturbing part is
the fact that he doesn't try to hide it. It's kind of like those Scab
shits the union guys were wearing in 2006. Anyway, Union Thug/House
Majority Leader McCarthy recently dropped of his little book of dirty
secrets to the folks at the Des Moines Register. Now I've never done
any opposition research, but from what I know it usually contains
votes that someone may have made or public statements on issues. Union
Thug/House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's research goes a little
further, delving into candidates' personal lives.

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Politically Speaking: Le Mars draws congressional candidates

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Le Mars is drawing the Iowa 5th District congressional candidates.
Today, Republican incumbent Steve King will be in town as the Plymouth
County Republican Party has a grand opening for an office
headquarters. King is expected to speak about the nation's financial
crisis. He voted against the $700 billion bailout bill (as did the
other tri-state members of Congress, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and
Jeff Fortenberry) on Oct. 3, but it still passed. Then tomorrow
Democratic challenger Rob Hubler will be in Le Mars as well, to make
an appearance at the county Dems office. King will also be in Sioux
City today, signing an endorsement with the Divided We Fail group
pushing financial security and health care security issues in the 2008
election.

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Iowa Independent: My Obama-inspired Iowa homecoming

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

My husband thought it was more than a little strange when I bought an
airplane ticket to visit Carroll, Iowa -- half way across the country
from our home in Washington, D.C. -- just to volunteer for the Barack
Obama campaign for President. But Carroll made sense to me. It is the
closest thing I have to a family hometown. My ancestors came directly
from Germany to Iowa just before the Civil War and found their way to
Carroll County to farm the soil and build the German Catholic church.
My grandparents are buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. My parents were
born and baptized here and so was I. And since this is one of the most
critical elections in a generation, I wanted to volunteer in a town
that was equally important to me. There were other reasons. This is
the first time in 40 years that I have been able to campaign.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: This weekend, tell safe Democratic incumbents to Use It or Lose It

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

No doubt many of you plan to attend the Jefferson-Jackson dinner this Saturday. Most elected Democrats from Iowa will be there, and if you happen to speak with any who are in uncompetitive races, I hope you will ask them to donate a portion of their campaign funds to be used in competitive districts. Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack and Leonard Boswell are all running in Democratic-leaning districts in a year when Democratic voter registration has surged in Iowa, and Obama leads John McCain. Tom Harkin will certainly defeat Christopher Reed by double digits and could conceivably win by 20 points. If you meet any member of our Congressional delegation, please ask him to donate 10 percent of his campaign fund to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee or the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. If Iowa's representatives in Congress give more to the DCCC, there is a better chance of the DCCC getting involved on behalf of Becky Greenwald and Rob Hubler.

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Swampland: Des Moines Register ...

Excerpted from this post at Swampland

As a former general in the GOP, I get a lot of emails from various operative types around the country. Many are old comrades from the forgotten wars of old Republican statewide campaigns. ... One very smart consultant who knows McCain well sent me a link this morning to the video of McCain at Des Moines Register Editorial board interview. Set aside whatever you think of McCain's interview; this operative's point was purely technical and dead on correct: What the Hell was McCain even doing there in the first place? 1.) Obama is going to win Iowa. 2.) Editorial board meetings are usually pure trouble to begin with and result only in newspaper endorsements that persuade very few voters beyond the immediate family members of the editorial board. ... So, 35 days left and McCain is in Iowa? Why put McCain in the wrong state, at the wrong place? No surprise the result is the wrong message and the wrong tone.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Leach leads Republicans for Obama in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Former Congressman Jim Leach is holding Republican's for Obama events
across the state this week. I have a couple of thoughts on this.
1.Outside of Davenport and Iowa City Leach doesn't have much influence
over the Republican electorate. It's just a gimmick to garner news
coverage. In fact many Republicans in Iowa City and the Quad Cities
are pissed off at him, so his crowds might be rather small. 2.Anyone
else find it odd that Leach is about to do more campaigning than he
ever did for himself. Leach refused to do anything in his reelection
campaigns, and never really helped other candidates on the ticket. Now
he is actually working against our candidates running for the state
house, state senate, and Dr. Miller-Meeks who is seeking to knock off
Dave Loebsack.

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Iowa Independent: Iowa's First Lady: Palin just not up to the job

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Mari Culver, wife of Democratic Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, held a campaign
event for presidential candidate Barack Obama in Carroll Tuesday.
(Photo: Jeff Storjohann of the Carroll Daily Times Herald). Iowa's
first lady Mari Culver says flatly that GOP vice presidential
candidate Sarah Palin is woefully unprepared to lead the nation.
What's more, Culver said, the selection of the first-term Alaska
governor, who has been largely cocooned from serious questioning,
reveals Republican presidential candidate John McCain to be a
risk-taker at a time when the nation needs reason. "To me, it's
further evidence of the gambling nature of McCain's decision-making
and his judgment. You've got to exercise the type of leadership and
good decision-making and sound judgment in the selection of your vice
presidential running mate which gives American voters an idea of the
decision-making and the judgment you would exercise as president,"
Mari Culver said.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: McCain not giving up on Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

You would think that John McCain would realize Iowa is a lost cause
for him. George Bush won the state by about 10,000 votes (out of 1.5
million cast) in 2004, when registered Republicans slightly
outnumbered Democrats. Now Iowa has 100,000 more registered Democrats
than Republicans. Moreover, five separate polls in the past month have
shown Barack Obama above the 50 percent mark in Iowa and leading
McCain by at least 10 points. Only the Big Ten Battleground poll
showed this state tied. I figured that the recent McCain/Palin rally
in Cedar Rapids was the last Iowans would see of the Republican ticket
this year. However, McCain is still running television ads in Iowa,
and to my surprise, McCain visited Des Moines yesterday. Several
Republicans quoted in this story by the Associated Press insist that
the race is still close enough for McCain to win Iowa. I have my
doubts, but if he wants to waste time and money here, that's fine by
me.

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Iowa Political Alert: Latham talks pork, the real stuff

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

Iowa Congressman Tom Latham met with the National Pork Producers
Council recently. In the meeting, Iowa representatives from the
council stressed the importance of international trade to the domestic
pork industry, and specifically the pork producers of Iowa. Curtis
Hollis from Waterloo, Scott Tapper from Webster City, Bill Tentinger
from Le Mars, John Weber from Dysart, Mark Meirick from Protivin and
Jeff Schness from Clive were on hand for the meeting. "Amazingly, the
Speaker of the House is blocking a vote in Congress that would open
vast new markets for Iowa products," said Congressman Latham. "The
Speaker should immediately move Congress on the Columbia Free Trade
Agreement, the Korean Free Trade Agreement and the Panama Trade
Agreement."

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John Deeth Blog: Who's Chris Reed? He's not Tom Harkin

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Something's missing on Iowa's political landscape this year: Tom
Harkin's perennial red-hot race. Yet despite the low to invisible
profile of Harkin's Republican opponent, Chris "Who?" Reed, a recent
Research 2000 poll showed the Marion businessman and first-time
candidate with 40 percent of the vote, to the four term incumbent's
54. The two week old Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows Harkin with a
bit bigger lead, 53 percent to 34 percent. That might not sound like
much, but remember, John McCain only got 40 percent in that same
Register poll. So how the heck does Reed, who's raised almost no
money, has a campaign website that looks like a homemade nightmare
straight out of 1996, and has Republicans openly talking about writing
in one of the primary losers, even get to the mid-30s to low 40s in a
poll? Who IS this guy?

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