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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Four out of four county leaders choose Danny Carroll

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

Last night, Deace had several guests who represent GOP county leadership from Polk's surrounding counties. They had a roundtable discussion about several issues facing the Republican Party and what direction the party should go. The part of the conversation I found most interesting was when Deace asked each of the four panel members if they had any ideas for who should be the next state party chair. While one or two of them listed more than one name, all of them mentioned Danny Carroll as being a good choice. As you may know, Danny Carroll is a former state legislator from Grinnell who was targeted by out-of-state gay activist Tim Gill, likely because of Danny's role in supporting and pushing the marriage amendment through the Iowa House a few years back.

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Essential Estrogen: Our national committeewoman

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Kim Lehman has been under fire by several central committees. Once again, the Republicans are eating our own. I've heard many complaining, Senator Hahn and Representative Kauffman. Why not Marianette Miller-Meeks? Did it matter to her? If it did why hasn't she spoken up? Kim, please do not resign. You were fairly elected and the disgruntled members of the party should not be allowed to harrass you into resigning. I wonder what they will do when we have a gay man or lesbian that is a candidate for our party here in Iowa. It's rather certain the same members yelping about Kim not agreeing with a candidate will be the first ones opposing a homosexual candidate. Stupidity like this is one reason we have never broken the glass ceiling in Iowa.

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Politically Speaking: The Obama/Grassley connection

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has gotten the attention of President-elect Barack Obama. Of course, the two know each other from serving in the Senate together, but this morning Obama cited Grassley in a press conference on the economy for pointing out a government spending problem. Grassley is renowned as a watchdog for taxpayer money and this time he pointed out that $49 million of potentially improper payments have gone to farmers who exceed U.S. Department of Agriculture in income eligibility limits. Last year, Grassley released a Government Accountability Office report on farm payments going to dead people. Shortly after introducing two members of the economic team Obama said "will advise me as we seek to climb out of this crisis," he cited a press account of Grassley again lamenting problematic government spending.

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John Deeth Blog: Braley to Energy and Commerce Committee?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

This week's palace coup in the halls of Congress may put Iowa's Bruce Braley on one of the House's most powerful committees. Braley was a key backer of California Rep. Henry Waxman, who overthrew Michigan's John Dingell as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The vote was a big win for alternative energy, climate change control, and for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a loss for the auto industry, the seniority system, and Iowa caucus enemy Dingell. Braley's reward may be a seat on Energy and Commerce, a real plum for a second-term member. The Hill reports that the expanded Democratic majority will mean up to five additional Democratic seats on Energy and Commerce, and Braley is the only name specifically mentioned. If the appointment happens, Braley will likely be a key ally to new chairman Waxman.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: The Democratic edge in the Iowa Senate will be 32-18

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

A recount resolved the last Iowa Senate race to be called. In Senate
district 10, Democratic incumbent Jeff Danielson defeated Walt Rogers
by 22 votes. This was one of the surprisingly close races on election
night, as Danielson was not considered a top-tier target of
Republicans. Iowa Democrats will have the largest advantage they have ever enjoyed
in the Iowa Senate: 32-18. One Iowa House race is still unresolved.
Democratic incumbent Art Staed asked for a recount in House district
37, where the certified vote count showed him trailing Carolyn Renee
Shulte by 14 votes. Staed was targeted not only by the Republican
Party of Iowa but also by conservative interest groups such as the
corporate-backed Iowa Leadership Council and the American Future Fund.

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Constitution Daily: Vander Plaats for governor

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

I'd like to get a little competition going here on when Bob Vander
Plaats officially announces his run for governor again. Maybe he
doesn't even need to announce it since everybody knows it is coming.
And what would the world be like without Bob running for governor? I
will make you a deal. Whoever gets closest to the date of his
announcement gets my blog for a day. To make this work just email me
at constitutiondaily@gmail.com with your guess. I will keep the email
address 100 percent private. If you don't want my blog for a day and
just want to guess, feel free to do so in the comments. I'm betting on
January 15, 2009.

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Mainstream Iowan: Iowa churches request government bailout for illegal aliens

Excerpted from this post at Mainstream Iowan

Postville Churches Ask For Government Bailout To Support Illegal
Aliens -- Churches Struggling To Sustain From Their Own Funds The
Humanitarian Crisis They Created In Postville For Supporting Illegal
Aliens… Representatives of 20 churches in Postville and Decorah are
asking Gov. Chet Culver, U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley,
Congressmen Tom Latham and Bruce Braley, State Senator-Elect Mary Jo
Wilhelm and state Representative-Elect John Beard to immediately come
to the Postville area in a coordinated visit. In a letter, the
churches say the six-month humanitarian response to needs created by
the May 12th raid on the Agriprocessors Inc. kosher meatpacking plant
has been stretched beyond its sustainable capacity.

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Coralville Courier: IEM within less than half percentage point in presidential race prediction

Excerpted from this post at Coralville Courier

With all the votes counted, the Iowa Electronic Markets predicted the
final vote count in this year's presidential election to within a half
percentage point. Prices on the IEM's Vote Share Market predicted that
Barack Obama would receive 53.55 percent of the two-party presidential
popular vote, and John McCain would receive 46.45. After the ballots
were counted, Obama received 53.2 percent of the vote, and McCain
received 46.8 percent, leaving an average error per contract of only
.3 percent. The average absolute error by public opinion polls,
meanwhile, was 1.2 percent. But Tom Rietz, a finance professor at the
University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business and a founder of the
IEM, said the IEM traders saw Obama's win even before anyone knew who
the two parties' nominees would be.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Jindal praises faith-based help in Cedar Rapids

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"The heroes in these storms are not the federal government, they're the people," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal told a Cedar Rapids crowd at a flood recovery event that looked a lot like a Republican Party breakfast. ... Ostensibly the speech was a non-partisan "Rapid Recovery" event, followed by a tour of areas damaged in the summer flood, but you wouldn't know it from the crowd. A partial list of GOP dignitaries in the crowd of 150: Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, state party co-chair Leon Mosley, ex-congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks, ex-legislative candidate Emma Nemecek, Johnson County GOP chair Bill Keettel, new county supervisor Brent Oleson, state central committee member and blogger David Chung... the only way I knew this wasn't officially a Republican campaign event was the lack of patriotic ritual and rally music. The only Democrat I recognized was mayor Kay Halloran. ... Bob Vander Plaats, 2006 lieutenant governor candidate, got to intro Jindal; are we SURE this wasn't a campaign event? And is it Campaign 2012 or Campaign 2010? Both, I suspect; Vander Plaats has been high-profile since Nov. 4 with a "stick to your values, social conservatives" piece in the Register as the GOP regroups.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Iowa's budget woes

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

... I don't know about you, but the priority that I want is a government that is fiscally responsible. You know, a government that spends the taxpayers' money wisely. Unfortunately as long as we have this bunch of big spenders in Des Moines that is unlikely to happen. Fortunately a few of our leaders in the Iowa Legislature understand that the amount of spending that Culver and his groupies have been spending is outrageous. According to Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley the State of Iowa is spending at an unsustainable level and is calling for more fiscal common sense. Unfortunately I think that his plea is going to fall on deaf ears as the majority of our current government does not even understand the need for basic common sense let alone fiscal common sense.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Advice for Republicans

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

... Social conservatives are at once the GOP's greatest strength and greatest weakness. I'm not telling Republicans to abandon the social issues; that's not my place. And frankly I have a bias in wanting to win those issues and get them off the table. As a member of the left end base of the Democratic Party, frankly, I expect to get screwed one in a while. Defunding the war, impeachment, gay marriage, Lieberman--that's an incomplete list from just this year. In the process of endless disappointment, we've learned to choose our battles. And that's all I'm recommending: choose your battles. On some of the social issues, conservatives are popular. Stop freaking out, Barack's not taking your gun away. You won that fight. Faith-based programs have some appeal. The school voucher fight is still a live one. (Just analyzing here, not agreeing.) But other social issues which were winners in the 1968-2008 divide and conquer alignment of Nixon and Wallace and Atwater and Rove are losers in the long run.

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Krusty Konservative: I thought every Republican was a conservative?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I get a little peeved when I read articles like Mike Glover's AP piece that wonders if Iowa's social conservatives err evangelicals have rendered the Republican Caucuses in Iowa obsolete. Equally frustrating is the Fly Over Boyz recent post on the same topic. The Mike Glovers and Fly Over Boyz of the world still have a hard time comprehending how someone like Huckabee won last January, and instead of learning from that election, they instead seek to discredit it. ... The amazing thing about Mike Huckabee's Iowa victory was the fact that he was left for dead time after time. The Republican politicos in Iowa laughed at his staff and they laughed at him. Yet only the Huckabee campaign went outside of the box to build its support system. Huckabee went out and did what every Democrat candidate does when they campaign in Iowa; identify supporters from all walks of life. The only other candidate who was able to draw new people into the Republican caucuses was Ron Paul. So while the Romney campaign worked the State Party's Caucus Attendees list over and over again, Huckabee who probably couldn't afford the list, went ton to town and said if you like me, vote for me. I believe that a moderate Republican could win the Iowa Caucuses, but to do that they can't limit their campaigns to only those people who have attended caucuses before, or who vote regularly in primaries.

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Constitution Daily: Minority group in a minority party?

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

Since there is an article in about every local and national paper incorrectly blaming conservatives and the religious right for our losses, I thought it best to jump in now. Obviously most of you probably know that I'm on the other side of the argument to moderate our positions on the core issues of life, marriage, guns, etc. ... I keep going back to Gross's statement, "Conservatives are a minority group in a minority party." I don't know how he can keep saying that. Almost everybody I talk to believes in traditional marriage, life begins at conception, the right to keep and bear arms, less government, and lower taxes. Those are all conservative ideals. They are also all in our platform. I don't know what Republican Party he has been a part of. He apparently hasn't been to state or county central committee meetings, house parties for candidates, RPI dinners, campaigns' headquarters, or any other political function. These rooms are all filled with conservatives, not moderates.

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In Flyover Country: Did 2008 mark the beginning of the end of the Iowa caucuses?

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

The Associated Press has a story out today with a number of Iowa Republican opnion leaders quoted as wondering if 2008 might have killed the Iowa caucuses. They point to the large influx of evangelicals that infiltrated the caucuses - some estimates have it over 60 percent - and whether "moderates" will even bother competing here again. The Iowa caucuses need moderates in order to survive. If it is just a bunch of candidates vying for the votes of evangelical voters in a rural, white state, then the merit of the caucuses is significantly diminished. You cannot simply beat out other so-called "social conservatives" and expect to claim victory.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Iowa now the best bellwether state

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Josh Goodman alerted me to this piece he wrote for Governing.com:
"Move Over Missouri, Iowa Is the New Bellwether State." John McCain
appears likely to take Missouri's 11 electoral votes, which would be
the first time since 1956 that the state did not vote for the winner
of the presidential election. However, Goodman argues that Missouri
has not been the best bellwether for the last few cycles. Even though
it voted for the winner each time through 2004, Missouri has steadily
trended more Republican in relation to the national popular vote.
Goodman then lists "the five states that have come closest to matching
the national popular vote in each election since 1988." ... Guess what
he found? "Iowa is the only state that has been one of the top five
bellwethers in four of the last five elections. The only year that it
doesn't make the list is 1996, when it was sixth -- and only off by
1.82 points."

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FromDC2Iowa: Auto bailout: An open letter to Congress

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

... Dear Senators Grassley, Harkin and Congressman Loebsack: Thank you
for your willingness to address one of the toughest sets of economic
challenges any Congress has ever confronted, and to search for
governmental responses that will produce more good than harm. I do not
believe the proposed auto bailout is such a response. Press reports
indicate you intend to support it anyway. ... So I have some questions
for you that I hope you will be good enough to answer -- as well as
providing me with sources on the Internet where I can find the reports
and data you have relied on in coming to your position. 1. Overview.
All data I know of suggests that major indicators -- manufacturing
output, consumer confidence and purchasing, unemployment, mortgage
foreclosures -- are all going to continue to get worse, and probably
at an accelerating rate, for the foreseeable future.

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Iowa Political Alert: Could wind energy do for Iowa what oil does for Alaska?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

Sarah Palin's hockey mom bona fides appears to be in order. But the
checks in the mailboxes for every Alaskan during a time of high oil
prices no doubt have something to do with her much-trumpeted
popularity there. As a profile of Alaska in The New Yorker points out,
full-time residents of that state get a cut of the oil profits.
"Alaska is sometimes described as America's socialist state, because
of its collective ownership of resources -- an arrangement that allows
permanent residents to collect a dividend on the state's oil
royalties." ... This recalls a fascinating idea about development of a
massive state-owned wind farm from a former Democratic gubernatorial
candidate in Iowa, Gregg Connell, who was in the race for a while in
2006 before his candidacy tragically ended after he was involved in a
fatal car accident that killed another driver in western Iowa.

Krusty Konservative: Almost there

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Yesterday Senate Republicans elected Sen. Paul McKinley to lead them
in the State Senate. The move came as no surprise as many of the
Senators who supported Sen. Ron Wieck are no longer serving in the
Senate. McKinley a conservative Republican, now resides over a more
unified caucus than his predecessors when it comes to ideology. I
think there will be a noticeable difference coming from the minority
in the Senate this session. While the State House has been the focus
for Iowa Republicans in the past 2 elections, it's the Senates turn to
get some much needed love and attention. While Republicans are firmly
in the minority with only 18 Republicans compared to 32 Democrats,
it's the senate who has some very good opportunities to pick up seats
in the next election. Sure it might take time to regain the majority,
but it's an effort we must be committed to.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Iowa Political Alert: Is Sarah Palin front-runner in Iowa in 2012?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

While being careful to tell us up front that he thinks the premise of
the question is more than a bit shaky, Republican David Oman, a key
figure in the last two GOP gubernatorial administrations in Iowa, says
Sarah Palin has the makings of a presidential front-runner in the Iowa
caucuses in 2012. "The retail nature of caucus politics would play to
one of Governor Palin's strength - an energetic personality," he says.
There is speculation that the Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice
presidential candidate - who distanced herself from McCain in some
areas - is well-positioned for Iowa in 2012. Whether she would make a
competent president is a different thing altogether - and a seriously
debatable point in 2008.

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Constitution Daily: Senate Minority Leader: Paul McKinley

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

Sen. Paul McKinley just took over the reigns as minority leader in the
Iowa Senate. McKinley is a very good conservative who should be able
to start making up ground in the Senate. This is the second real sign
that Republicans are finally willing to make some changes for this
election cycle. It is also the second sign that Republicans view
conservatism as the path to future victories (the first being the
election of Paulsen as minority leader of the House). Both Paulsen and
McKinley have the opportunity to take Iowa back from our liberal
friends. Unfortunately a conservative message won't do it by itself.
We will have to run each campaign by copying some of the Iowa
Democrats playbook and also ramping up our efforts that we typically
do best.

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Radio Iowa: King to vote for Lungren to lead GOP in US House

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

The Republicans in the U.S. House plan to meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to
elect their leaders. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron
in western Iowa. plans to vote for Dan Lungren, a California
congressman who is challenging Ohio Congressman John Boehner. Boehner
has been the House GOP floor leader since 2006. In early February of
that year then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay resigned and Boehner
was selected to lead the Republicans as Majority Leader. The GOP lost
control of the House in the 2006 elections, but shortly afterwards
Boehner was re-elected to lead his fellow Republicans, as House
Minority Leader. "We've lost two elections in a row and we've lost 55
seats in the last 24 months and it's time to put a new face on our
leadership."

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John Deeth Blog: Joe Lieberman, Tom Harkin and unclear journalism

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Joementum gets to keep his chair, from which he will no doubt continue
his Obama-bashing. Outrage is exploding over at Kos, as well it
should. After this, I don't want to hear anyone complaining about Ed
Fallon, or anyone, voting for Ralph Nader ever again. If Joe Lieberman
is forgiven, then the statute of limitations on party disloyalty has
been determined to be less than 14 days, and that's long expired for
anything from 2000. But for the moment let's look at some unclear
journalism: "Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Pat Leahy, D-Vt., spoke
against allowing Lieberman keep the Homeland Security and Government
Affairs post. ... Some, like Iowan Tom Harkin, still harbor hard
feelings for statements Lieberman made during the campaign."

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Huck vs. Romney = McCain part deux?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Stop. Don't throw anything; I'm not talking about another McCain
campaign for president. I'm talking about the internal struggle for
control of the Republican Party here in Iowa. Let's take a quick look
at the political landscape. First we have Doug Gross (former Romney
Chair) who has been adamant that the Republican Party should moderate
its message to win elections. On the other hand we have the Christian
Right (Huckabee) who want to make sure the Republican Party remains
committed to the pro-life and pro-family cause. Both agree that we
should use pocketbook issues to build a big tent. Just like in the
caucuses, all the attention is focused on these two factions of the
party, and while they bloody each other up, someone (McCain) lurks in
the shadows (New Hampshire). Get it?

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Republican rebound

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

Now that I have had the time to ponder Grant Young's post from Friday
over at QCI I felt I should offer up some of my own advice for the
Republican Party of Iowa. The rebuilding effort is underway and all
hands are needed to make it a success. Whether you are just someone
that sits back and reads the blogs or are someone that is intimately
involved in the operations at RPI, your opinions and advice should
matter. Voice your opinion and ideas, there is always the chance that
someone from leadership will read your words. First and foremost, the
message of the Republican Party of Iowa is just fine. You hear this
Mr. Gross. There is not a thing wrong with the message of the
Republican Party. The problem is the messenger. What the party needs
is a leader that can effectively and enthusiastically promote the
message.

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Bleeding Heartland: Will any Democrat challenge Culver in 2010?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I keep hearing chatter about a possible primary challenge to Governor
Chet Culver in 2010. This scenario strikes me as extremely unlikely,
but I want to encourage others to weigh in on this comment thread.
Running a statewide primary campaign is expensive. Who has the money
for that? I can't think of any self-funding candidate who would step
up to challenge Culver. Anyone else have names in mind? Organized
labor has money and is unhappy with the governor, largely because he
vetoed a collective-bargaining bill during the 2008 legislative
session. But most labor unions supported Mike Blouin in the 2006
primary, and their backing wasn't enough to defeat Culver before he
was an incumbent. Culver will go into the next campaign with huge
institutional advantages he didn't have as the secretary of state.

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John Deeth Blog: The Caucuses' greatest hits: Revisited with new material

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Album releases, like elections, happen on Tuesdays. And greatest hits
sets always come out in the holiday season. Today, for example, we get
the 43rd different version of a Rod Stewart compilation, for people
who can't figure out free downloading. With that in mind I dug into
the vaults. Two years ago, I wrote a history of the Iowa caucuses
where I ranked the contests in order of significance. I've updated
this classic collection, just like they always added a new song to the
greatest hits album to make you buy the same songs over again. My two
new tracks: an all-time classic and a cover version of a 1996
mid-chart hit. Original text begins here with no changes except a
couple strikethroughs and re-numbering. The 2008 sections are added
where they belong. For now.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: What did you get wrong? What did you get right?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

We've had ten days to decompress from the election. It's time for a little self-promotion and self-criticism. What did you predict accurately during the past presidential campaign, and what did you get completely wrong? The ground rules for this thread are as follows: 1. This is about your own forecasting skills. Do not post a comment solely to mock someone else's idiocy. 2. You are not allowed to boast about something you got right without owning up to at least one thing you got wrong. I'll get the ball rolling. Here are some of the more significant things I got wrong during the presidential campaign that just ended. I thought that since John Edwards had been in the spotlight for years, the Republicans would probably not be able to spring an "October surprise" on us if he were the Democratic nominee. Oops. ... Here are a few things I got right: I consistently predicted that Hillary would finish no better than third in the Iowa caucuses. For that I was sometimes ridiculed in MyDD comment threads during the summer and fall of 2007. I knew right away that choosing Sarah Palin was McCain's gift to Democrats on his own birthday, because it undercut his best argument against Obama: lack of experience.

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Hawkeye GOP: The race for RPI chairman

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye GOP

Two years ago, before I was on the SCC, this blog was anonymous. At that time I expressed my frustration at the SCC when they re-elected Ray Hoffman as party chairman. To make matters worse, rather than report the vote, they kept the vote secret and declared that the election was unanimous. I was so angry, I could not talk to anyone on the SCC for weeks. This time, I am on the SCC and in January we will vote on a new chairman for the party. ... when it comes time to choose a party chair, I am more interested in their plan to rebuild the party than their ideology. I want to hear about candidate recruitment, fund-raising, absentee and early voting programs, and communications with county and grassroots organizations. We have dug a deep hole and we all need to work together to get out of it. As I have promised before, this time, the results of the vote will not be a secret. I will report the results on this blog.

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Constitution Daily: The next executive director

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

After taking some advice from emails and comments on this blog, I'm jumping headfirst into the RPI positions. I believe the chair's job is to raise money, communicate with the county chairs, and advance the platform of the Iowa Republican Party (no matter what it says). They should also have an eye on strategy but for the most part the chair's job is to raise money. The executive director should take care of strategy. ... Instead of discussing who I think should be chair, I'm skipping right to the Executive Director position. Per capita we have more political experts in Iowa than any other state. Almost all of us have a close friend or family member that has worked on a campaign in Iowa and many have worked the statewide races. We are lucky to have so many bright minds to choose from. The biggest hurdle is actually getting them to accept the position.

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Questions, Comments and Insults: The Iowa comeback

Excerpted from this post at Questions, Comments and Insults

You know... our brand as Republicans, has took a beating. We all know why we are Republicans in the first place right? From personal freedoms, less government, liberty... you all get it. It's a great message. The problem is, we've been out messaged... what seems like a lot lately. Some of it is easy to fix... communication shops and good messengers help. But in many cases, it was bad issues and bad votes from the folks we put in office... makes it a little tough to defend bad votes. Kind of like the "prevent defense" ... which we all know football fans, prevents you from winning. BOLD MESSAGING - This will have to come from our communicators, candidates and incumbents. We are the party of big ideas. Let's go with it. ... AND BEFORE YOU START FOAMING AT THE MOUTH - Stick to the principles… stick to the conservative principles that win... yet be inclusive at the same time.

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Eastern Iowa Conservative: The future

Excerpted from this post at Eastern Iowa Conservative

... We do need to become a more inclusive party, but not to the point where we compromise our beliefs by trying to pitch too big of a tent.That means that fiscal conservatives / social moderates need to learn how to co-habitate with the people who are social conservatives first, and vice-versa. I realize it can be a tough balancing act but a party divided will yield results similar to those that we just experienced. All in our party need to form a symbiotic relationship that is mutually beneficial to all. ... I've found that nothing pisses off most diehard Democrats more than being cordial to them and forcing them to try to respond in a civilized way. Personal attacks can very easily turn off casual voters, but I am of the belief that presenting facts about an opposing candidate does not equal "negative" campaigning.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

In Flyover Country: Silver lining: Christopher Reed's loss

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

Last night, listening to Bill Salier sub for Steve Deace, I was astonished at the point he made about electoral success in comparing "moderates" to "conservatives." First, I've watched Salier's fascinating career for quite a while now. He's a talented speaker with an interesting story, and his race against Greg Ganske had a certain Bob Roberts quality to it that was mesmerizing. However, last night he showed that he's swimming in a gene pool that's about two inches deep. He ranted about the candidates we've put up in the past against Harkin: "Tom Tauke - how'd that work out for ya? Jim Ross Lightfoot - how'd that work out for ya? Greg Ganske - how'd that work out for ya?" Well, I was no math major, but here's how it worked out according to the voters...

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Constitution Daily: Flyover Country - Sorry guys, you're way off

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

For those of you who caught Flyover Country's blog post today about Christopher Reed's losing margin you probably had about the same reaction as I did. You may click on their link to the right. They try to say that Reed lost because he had an outdated right-wing message. They don't mention the fact that he had no money. Most people have more money in their couch cushions than he ran a campaign on. He came from nowhere and in the primary beat a two time loser and a guy that was running for two years named Rathjcke or something - Last I heard he was going to primary Grassley next. Anyway - Flyover - you guys have lost a ton of credibility in my book. You try to compare Lightfoot, Ganske, and Reed without mentioning money at all? How dumb do you think we are?

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John Deeth Blog: Four Iowa counties flip to McCain

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Four Iowa counties which went Democratic in one of the biggest Republican landslides ever voted for John McCain last week -- and one of these things is not like the others. Swing State Project took a long-range look at voting trends and found 97 counties nationwide that backed Walter Mondale over Ronald Reagan in the 1984 landslide, yet supported John McCain while Barack Obama was scoring a -- what should we call it? Let's say "comfortable victory." Those counter-trend counties are concentrated in Appalachia, but four spots appear in Iowa. Three of these double-maverick anti-bellwethers are small rural counties: Davis, Monroe, and Ringgold. But the fourth is high-growth, suburban Dallas County. Iowa was one of Mondale's stronger states at 46 percent, and the 1984 election was near the height of the farm crisis of the 1980s. That would help explain Davis, Monroe, and Ringgold.

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Krusty Konservative: A party without a message

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

The last couple of days we have been discussing the reconstruction of the Republican Party here in Iowa. Before we delve into the topic again today, I want to thank all of you who have taken this topic seriously. I really hope that the powers that be read some of your thoughts and ideas and use them to rebuild our Party. Today I want to focus on the message. First I want to discuss how on earth we became a party without one, and secondly what should our message be moving forward. Wikipedia defines a political party as a political organization that seeks to attain and maintain power within government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platform with specific goals.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Iowa Independent: Zieman is first political casualty of Postville

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

State Senator previously received funds from Agriprocessors CEO ... If
immigration issues were a political football in this year's state
legislative races, then Senate District 8, an area that encompasses
Howard, Chickasaw, Allamakee and Winneshiek counties in northeastern
Iowa and includes the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant, was the
50-yard line. It was in that race that Iowa Senate Minority Whip Mark
Zieman lost his re-election bid to Mary Jo Wilhelm, a relatively
unknown Democratic upstart. The defeat came amid whispers and campaign
mailers about the immigration concerns surrounding Agriprocessors in
Postville, Zieman's hometown.

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John Deeth Blog: Dems hold 3 of 4 close races as Whitead, Wendt win in Woodbury

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

While recounts remain possible, incumbent Democrats appear to have won
three of the state's four closest races while losing one seat. In
Woodbury County, Democrats held on to win two tight House races. In
Iowa House District 1 incumbent Democrat Wes Whitead had 6,152 votes
and Republican Jeremy Taylor won 6,092. At the end of Election Night,
Whitead had a six-vote lead. In Iowa House District 2, incumbent
Democrat Roger Wendt had 4,709, ahead of Republican Rick Bertrand with
4,429. Whitead and Wendt were both showing up as losers for several
hours on Election Night due to delays in counting absentee ballots,
which leaned heavily Democratic across the state.

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Battleground Iowa: Palin fights back

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

Nobody should doubt this woman's political ability. I'm fascinated by
the fact that while running on the Republican tickets she wasn't made
available to the national media, but now just days after the campaign
she's doing in-depth interviews with multiple networks. It seems that
indeed the powers that be on the McCain campaign held her back for one
reason or another. I'm a believer in letting candidates be true to
themselves. For example, it is my belief that Mitt Romney would have
been better off coming to Iowa and being the fiscal conservative that
we all knew he was. Instead he tried to be something he's not, a
social conservative. I bring this up because the McCain campaign
should have let Palin be Palin.

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Bleeding Heartland: How are Democratic voters like Jesus?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

A leading voice of Republican social conservatives in Iowa makes a
surprising analogy in an op-ed piece from Tuesday's Des Moines
Register: "Jesus Christ, whom many Republicans claim to follow,
summoned his followers to be either hot or cold toward Him, because a
"lukewarm" commitment makes Him want to vomit. ... We have followed the
misguided advice of "experts" to abandon our principles and move to
the middle so we can supposedly win." ... That is no fringe politician
talking. It's Bob Vander Plaats, a businessman from northwest Iowa who
ran for the 2002 gubernatorial nomination, was the Republican nominee
for lieutenant governor in 2006, and chaired Mike Huckabee's
presidential campaign in Iowa.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Century of the Common Iowan: Nussle running for RNC chair

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

So it looks like Jim Nussle is really going to run to be the next
chair of the RNC. From the Politico (via Marc Ambinder)... "This White
House's formal link to the GOP's post-Bush era? Jim Nussle, director
of the Office of Management and Budget, plans to run for chairman of
the Republican National Committee." … This tells me that Nussle isn't
done in Iowa politics. He could be RNC chair for a few years and then
possibly use that stature to run for Harkin's Senate seat in 2014 (or
maybe even Grassley's in 2010 if Grassley retires and Iowa Republicans
can't find an adequate replacement). No longer would Nussle be the
former Congressman who lost a bid for Governor, but he would be a
former RNC chair that had spent time working in the White House.

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Constitution Daily: Restructuring the party - Passion into politics

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

With yesterday's election of Paulsen to be our new minority leader in
the Iowa House, we now have our first real sign of change in our
Party. I posted yesterday morning on restructuring the Party and wrote
first on fundraising. Although I do consider that about half of what a
Party should do, the other half is equally important. We must have a
state Party mechanism for increasing our voters, not just the margins.
... The most noticeable difference between 2000 where Bush lost by just
over 4,000 votes and 2008 is the registration advantage Democrats
have. How do we expect to quickly overcome a 106,442 registration
disadvantage?

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Price of Politics, Etc.: Palin to Iowa, Obama aide to the high seas

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics, Etc.

When can we expect to see Sarah Palin in Iowa? I mean, she's talking
to everyone else, it seems. What network hasn't she been on this week
to say... she loves John McCain, those expensive clothes weren't her
idea, she can make Moose stew, etc. So when is our turn? If she wants
to become President of the United States one day, she had better start
paying attention to Iowa. Just ask Barack Obama. Better yet, ask
Hillary Clinton. Maybe we'll ask Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal when
they're here next week. Speaking of Obama, his former Iowa
Communications Director looks to be sailing off to a new adventure.
Brad Anderson has told former co-workers he's going to work as a
spokesman for Carnival Cruise Lines.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Iowa Defense Alliance: A new era of Iowa House leadership

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

Today Republicans in the Iowa House of Representatives have begun the
long process of rebuilding. Today House Republicans have decided to
replace House Minority Leader Christopher Rants with Kraig Paulsen.
This is the first step of what is shaping up to be a long and painful
process of rebuilding the Republican Party of Iowa. Outgoing House
Minority Leader Christopher Rants has presided over three straight
election cycles of Republican losses. Rants has been in the House of
Representatives since he first won election to the office in 1992. At
one time Rants may have been an effective leader, but lately his
leadership has brought some hard times to the Iowa GOP. His
replacement, Representative Kraig Paulsen, first entered into the
House in 2002. When one looks at Paulsen's voting record it quickly
becomes evident that he is a strong no nonsense conservative.

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Bleeding Heartland: Will new leadership help Iowa Republicans?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I am disappointed that the Democrats did not gain as many seats in the
Iowa legislature as I'd hoped. With Barack Obama winning this state by
9 percent and Democrats enjoying a big voter registration advantage,
we should have done better in the statehouse races. We need to analyze
what sank some of our down-ticket candidates so we can do better in
2010. None of that should obscure the much bigger problems currently
facing the Republican Party of Iowa. Six days after the fourth
straight election in which Republicans have lost seats in both the
Iowa House and Senate, the Republicans House caucus voted to replace
Christopher Rants of Sioux City as their leader. Kraig Paulsen of
Hiawatha (a suburb of Cedar Rapids) will take on the job. ... With two
House races yet to be decided, Republicans are likely to end up with
only 44 of the 100 seats in the lower chamber.

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Krusty Konservative: Republicans of every stripe must unite if we ever want to win

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

At the end of last week we discussed some of the names that have been
floated to lead the RNC and Republican Party of Iowa. In both
instances there are probably other interested parties who haven't
stepped forward yet, especially in regards to the Republican Party
here in Iowa. This weekend we learned that Doug Gross is assembling a
group of people this week to discuss how Republicans can narrow the
Democrats' edge in voter registration, which would also help
Republicans win statewide elections. Additionally a small group of
conservatives gathered to discuss potential options for chairperson of
the Republican Party of Iowa. However, it seems that the State Central
Committee will not elect a chair until January, a move that I think is
a mistake as Republicans need all the time they can get since the
clock its already counting down to election day 2010.

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Coralville Courier: Law school conference examines legal issues of Postville raid

Excerpted from this post at Coralville Courier

When federal agents raided the Agriprocessors plant in Postville last
spring, they tied up a knot of legal issues that still hasn't been
undone. The most obvious issue is immigration law, since all of the
300-plus workers arrested at the plant were from other countries, many
of them in the United States without proper documentation. But the
issues at work go well beyond immigration law and include elements of
labor law, workplace safety, child labor law and criminal trial
procedure. The University of Iowa College of Law will examine those
and other Postville-related legal issues when it hosts a professional
development program on Friday, Nov. 14. The program, "Postville
Unpacked," runs from 1 to 5:15 p.m. in Boyd Law Building.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Iowa Defense Alliance: Rebuild Iowa Panel advocates for reduced legislative oversight

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

In this morning's Des Moines Register there is an article about
Culver's supposedly non-partisan panel on Iowa's flood recovery. The
basic premise of the article is that they believe that Governor Culver
should have direct access to the rainy day fund with no legislative
oversight. I can understand that the panel wants to shorten the
response time between the time that a disaster happens and when relief
funds get to the affected. The Rebuild Iowa panel needs to take a
lesson in our nation's history. Their advocacy of the removal of a
series of checks and balances is ludicrous. These checks and balances
were put in place when our state was founded as a way to prevent an
abuse of power by an individual branch of government.

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John Deeth Blog: Recounts rarely change much

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

With a handful of Iowa legislative races within double digits or even
single digits, and three U.S. Senate races yet to be decided, the word
"recount" is buzzing in the air. While a recount may give a losing
candidate emotional satisfaction and a sense of closure, the vote
shifts tend to be very, very small. I don't mention my day job here
much, but I've worked in the Johnson County Auditor's Office for the
past 11 years (which explains why you didn't see as many of my stories
the last couple weeks before the election). In that time, I've had
hands-on experience with three recounts. In 1999, we re-fed all the
ballots from an Iowa City council race, nearly 8,000, and only one
vote shifted, narrowing a three vote lead down to two. In a
three-county recount in a 2002 state senate race, about three votes
moved.

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Bleeding Heartland: Hubler criticizes GOTV effort

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

... What Hubler says here about the GOTV effort is similar to what I am
hearing from people all over this state. We lost statehouse races we
should not have lost, races the House Democrats felt confident about
going into the election. I have not crunched the numbers myself to
confirm, but some are saying that the "drop-off" (that is, the number
of people who cast a vote for president but not for state House or
Senate candidates) was much greater this year than in 2004. ... The
"Kurt" referred to in this message is Rob Hubler's son Kurt Hubler,
Democratic candidate in House district 99 (Pottawattamie County). He
lost narrowly to Doug Struyk, a former Democrat who switched parties
and was one of the candidates supported by the American Future Fund
during the final days of the campaign.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Not who, but how

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

... House Republicans will meet on Monday to select their leader. The outcome of this race for the leadership positions at the State House will determine what if anything is going to change in how House Republicans conduct their campaigns. Now I’ve seen how these things work in the echo chamber, the discussion tends to be based on personalities not the mechanics of these races which is of great importance. While some will quickly vilify Rants, you have to give him some credit. Rants is an articulate spokesperson, there is no doubt that he works hard in the areas of candidate recruitment, and fundraising. Despite his talents, under his leadership Republicans have went from a 56 member majority to a 44 seat minority. The tide is now against him as are some in his caucus and it is time for new leadership. Yesterday, Kraig Paulsen made it known that he is going to challenge Rants for his leadership position. Paulsen, who is from Cedar Rapids, was the number two guy behind Rant in the House and was an integral part of the House Campaign effort. All of this begs the question, what will change if anything if Paulsen is appointed as House Minority Leader?

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Who will be the next RPI chairman?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

... I know that Polk County Chair Ted Sporer wants the job. I cannot deny that under normal circumstances I think that he would excel as Chair of RPI. Ted is solid on all the issues that represent the Republican Party here in Iowa. He most definitely is outspoken and has great ideas. At this point in time, Ted may not be the right person for the job. Far too many people across the state Ted is a symbol of the Polk County political machine and they resent that. ... Unfortunately good leadership is a tad bit hard to find right now. I think that perhaps 2nd District State Central Committee member David Chung could quite possibly be person that we need running the party. He is a man of integrity that Republicans of all type respect and admire. Or perhaps it is SCC member Wes Enos. Enos is another young man that believes in the party platform wholeheartedly. He has proven that he can be a leader in that he helped lead the Huckabee campaign to a win in the Iowa Caucus with a shoestring budget. Whether you love Huck or hate him, you have to admit that the caucus upset was an impressive feat and Wes Enos was the architect of that event.

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Iowa Guy 2.0: Why did Rob Hubler lose?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0

Since Tuesday night, when it became apparent that my man, Rob Hubler, would not be going to Congress to replace the wretched Steve King, I've pondered what might have gone wrong. ... The problem, I think, lies in voter ignorance. Stupidity implies a willful lack of knowledge, whereas ignorance is a lack of knowledge that one is not able to control or counteract. The biggest reason for voter ignorance is the media. The Omaha World-Herald, Council Bluffs Nonpareil and Sioux City Journal newspapers were remiss in their responsibilities to voters during this campaign. The right-wing shills that own these journalistic rags control the flow of information and do not report fairly. When King refused to debate his opponent (as he has done in every single election he has ever been involved), these papers refused to call him out on it. The Journal mentioned King's refusal, but backed away from being critical of King nor did it demand he stand before the voters and defend his record.

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John Deeth Blog: Late early vote shifts House race perceptions

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The chronology of the election returns had it backwards. Early election results showed incumbent state representatives Wes Whitead, Roger Wendt and Elesha Gayman losing their seats as the returns rolled in. A buzz of panic rippled through an Iowa City victory party: "Did we lose the House? Did we lose the House?" But the three incumbents had won re-election (assuming Whitead hold his six vote lead) before the polls even opened. When the absentee results were added in, their early vote totals overcame the Election Day leads of Republican challengers. It was like watching the second half of a ball game before seeing the score of the first half, making an early lead look like a come-from-behind win. "We won on election night, and we lost when they opened the mailbox," House Republican Leader Christopher Rants told the Des Moines Register. "Election Day is no longer 24 hours, it's 24 days." 40 days, to be exact, as state law allowed any Iowa to vote early beginning Sept. 25.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Real Sporer: Republican rebirth

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

The election is over and the analysis has begun. The GOP situation is
Iowa is dire. With the noteworthy exceptions of 2004 where our top of
the ticket was incumbent President George W. Bush and iconic Senator
Charles Grassley, we have been pounded at the top and up and down the
ballot. We are now entering year eleven of Democrat control of Terrace
Hill and Tom Miller has been driving business out of Iowa for a
generation. Following the Lightfoot beat down in 1998 our share of
legislative control has rapidly diminished. The 78th General Assembly
contained a 30/20 GOP margin in the Senate and 56/44 in the house.
Four years later, following the 2002 beat down of Doug Gross those
margins fell to 29/21 in the Senate and 54/46 in House. The results of
the 2006 were a new, young Democrat governor and minorities in both
houses. Two years later we are sitting at 19/31 deficits in the Senate
and, at best, 45/55 in the House. These are the facts.

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Radio Iowa: Tom Vilsack as US Ag Secretary?

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

A few media outlets are publishing lists of folks who may wind up in
an Obama Administration. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is
mentioned by The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine as in
consideration for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Now, you Iowans, quit
laughing. Vilsack's a smart guy and while he never farmed, he can
tell the difference between a soybean plant and a corn stalk. I'm not
sure ag policy is his preferred cup of tea, though. He was heavily
involved in energy-related issues during his tenure as governor, so
Secretary of Energy seems a more likely scenario to Iowa political
observers. While he was governor Vilsack signed into law a bill which
made Iowa a much more attractive place to build power plants, for
example, and -- today -- Vilsack probably knows more about the
intricacies of the nation's power grid than about the WTO's Doha
negotiations and their impact on American agriculture.

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Politically Speaking: Who might take King challenge?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

It finally hit me driving back early this morning from covering the
Steve King congressional victory party in Odebolt — exactly why would
a Democrat want to take on King in the Iowa 5th District? The district
is so heavily Republican, what would it take to get a Dem candidate
victory? What combination of factors could ever carry a Democrat to a
win? Barack Obama won Iowa in the presidential race and brought a host
of new registered Democrats into play. The registration advantage for
Republicans over Democrats fell from about 55,000 to 44,000 over the
last six years, but it's still a considerable plus. King still got
about 60 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Rob Hubler with
nearly the same percentage as King's 2002, 2004 and 2006 wins. Hubler
traveled 225,000 miles over 20 months and ran television ads over the
last four days -- about two weeks after King first took to the
airwaves.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Iowa Guy 2.0: Now the work begins

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0

Last night was one of those iconic moments in time; it came shortly
after 10:00 p.m. Central Time, when California was called for Barack
Obama, putting the Democrat over the 270 electoral vote mark he needed
to win the presidency. I was at the gathering for Rob Hubler's
supporters at the Amerisports Bar in the Ameristar Casino in Council
Bluffs. A roar went up from the crowd as we all cheered. Men and women
both had tears of joy on their faces as we realized the import of the
results. And we celebrated. But, like the mid-term elections of 2006,
the results were mixed. Democrats gained five seats in the Senate,
furthering their majority. In the early morning light of 7:00 a.m. as
I write this, there are still four seats undecided, including that of
convicted felon Ted Stevens (R - No!).

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Where the GOP goes from here, part one

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

President-elect Barack Obama stayed on message throughout the
campaign: he knew that Americans wanted change and he repeatedly
connected John McCain to the Bush years. McCain/Palin knew Americans
also wanted change -- that's why they branded themselves "mavericks"
and McCain distanced himself from President Bush. As I have said on
this blog, I believe McCain ran the absolute best campaign under the
circumstances that he could have run. He was the best GOP candidate
for this race and I don't respect what some pundits have referred to
as "the circular firing squad" that faults his approach. But in the
end, Americans believed a young candidate from the opposition party
was more credible in bringing about change.

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Bleeding Heartland: What happened in Iowa's fourth Congressional district?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Becky Greenwald is losing by 20 points in D+0 IA-04 and appears to
have lost all 28 counties in the district. I wasn't optimistic about
winning that race, given the lack of tv and radio advertising on her
behalf, but I thought she'd come closer than she did, with a strong
turnout for Barack Obama and Tom Harkin in the district. I absolutely
expected her to win Story County at least. Ultimately, Greenwald
lacked the resources to define her opponent or even respond to his ads
that defined her. Tom Latham's last radio ad pulled quotes from the
Des Moines Register's endorsement of Greenwald, making it seem as if
they had rejected her for toeing the Democratic line. If you heard the
ad but hadn't read the paper, you would think the Register endorsed
Latham because of his bipartisan leadership.

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John Deeth Blog: A brief dispatch

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Quiet enough that I can take a quick break. Election Day turnout is
down a bit from 2004, mostly because so many people have already
voted. Down some in Iowa City precincts, where many precincts had over
half of registered voters already voting early. Holding at the '04
level in the rurals, where more people still like to vote on Election
Day, and up in a few high growth areas like North Liberty. Election
Day registration is a big hit. 1,228 in Johnson County as of 3 PM,
with student precincts and North Liberty the hot spots. It's really
nice not to have to look people in the eye and say "I'm sorry, you
can't vote." My first vote was an Election Day registration. I took a
letter addressed to my dorm room down to the student union and voted
for William Proxmire (which tells you how old I am).

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Iowa Independent: Insiders: What went right and wrong for Obama, McCain?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Like many local elected officials in the Hawkeye State, Linda
Langston, chairwoman of the Linn County Board of Supervisors, had a
front row seat for the fledgling days of a spectacularly intense
presidential campaign that ends Tuesday. Langston, a Democrat, scouted
the full field, arguably the deepest ever for her party in terms of
resumes and star quality, before picking U.S. Sen. Barack Obama,
D-Ill., as her candidate -- a choice she made during a ride to the
Cedar Rapids airport with Obama amid discussions of the state's
understated beauty. She saw something within Obama that helped her to
make what was a personal decision to support the first-term senator.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Krusty Konservative: State legislative predictions

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I apologize for not posting my State House predictions yesterday
afternoon as I said I would. I was pulled away from the office and
couldn't get them posted. Just like the presidential race here in
Iowa, predicting the outcome of the races for the Iowa House of
Representatives is a tossup. The media and most Democrats tell us
there is another blue wave coming, and Republican insiders really
believe they have a chance at taking the majority in the House. I've
studied at these House races and I see some very promising things, and
then find some races that are equally disturbing. I'll be up front
from the start, I can get Republicans to 49 seats in the House but I
don't know how realistic I'm being in that scenario. I think the more
likely outcome is that the Republican's return in January with 46 or
47 seats.

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John Deeth Blog: The beret's big-picture predictions

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

As a self-important, self-appointed pundit, I'd be amiss if I didn't
commit and make some predictions. So I've put my thinking beret on and
handicapped Iowa's big races. Iowa Presidential: Obama by at least 12
percent, with negligible third party voting (no candidate above 1
percent). The big mystery is why John McCain threw so much personal
time into Iowa so late in the game. There was no way he could make up
for the months of personal attention Obama showered on the state at
caucus time, and for Iowan's special pride in putting Obama on the
road to the nomination. And a handful of September and October visits
can't make up for two caucus cycles of Screw Iowa contempt for the
caucuses and hostility to ethanol.

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Iowa Independent: Students face ballot challenges in battleground district

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Republican attorneys challenged the absentee ballots of 50 Grinnell
College students today, an act that could have an impact on the battle
for control of the Iowa House of Representatives. The students in
question reside in Iowa House District 75, where a heated campaign is
being waged between incumbent Democrat Eric Palmer and Republican
Danny Carroll. In 2004, the same matchup was decided by a little more
than 300 votes -- in Carroll's favor. Palmer won by a slightly larger
margin in their 2006 rematch. Grinnell students have a long history of
supporting Democratic candidates. The elimination of 50 votes could
tip the balance of the election to Carroll. Poweshiek County Auditor
Diana Dawley said the ballots were challenged on the grounds that the
students do not reside at the address they listed when they registered
to vote.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Vote no on Iowa's constitutional amendment

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

The people of Iowa have an opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment
to the Constitution of the State of Iowa. The proposed change in the
constitution would change the wording of Section 5 of Article II of
the constitution. The current wording of the constitution reads that
"No idiot, or insane person, or person convicted of any infamous
crime, shall be entitled to the privilege of an elector." ... We do need
an amendment to change the wording of this section of the Iowa
Constitution. It can be offensive to individuals that suffer from
mental handicaps and the family that love them. However I do not think
that this amendment is the one to do so. While the originators of this
constitutional amendment have nothing but good intentions with the
promotion of it, they seem to have failed at thinking it through
completely.

24-Hour Dorman: Election Day. Look on the bright side

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

Good things will happen on Election Day, no matter who wins. I swear
it. If McCain Wins: 1. Polling will become the curious sideshow that
it should be, rather than the ceaseless 500-trillion-watt epicenter of
political journalism and the font of all conventional wisdom. And I'm
going to get rich selling "I'm In the Margin of Error" T-Shirts. 2.
Tina Fey will be a heartbeat away for at least four years. ... If Obama
Wins: 1. Wave a fond bye-bye to the 40th Annual Groovy 60s Culture War
and Vietnam Re-enactment Festival. Take down the bummer tents, load up
the micro bus. It's so over. 2. Republicans might actually be forced
to find an election strategy beyond trying to scare the hell out of us
every four years. 3. Joe Biden and lots of open, working microphones.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

FromDC2Iowa: Tuesday night caution and clues

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

How late will you have to stay up Tuesday night? Polls can be, and
sometimes have been, misleading. Until either Senator Obama or McCain
goes over 270 electoral votes Tuesday night we won't know for sure who
our next president will be. And no one can predict for sure how late
we'll need to stay up to find out. I share the nervousness of those
pollsters who are a little apprehensive this morning about their
numbers. Partly that's because I've always felt that no election's
over until the votes are counted, litigated if necessary, and the
Electoral College members have cast their votes. Partly that's because
of past experience with youthful and first-time voters who are
enthusiastic at rallies but then fail to vote.

John Deeth Blog: Election could be decided Monday

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

If John McCain is going to win Iowa, it will likely happen Monday. And
if Barack Obama is going to win Iowa, it's already happened. Depending
on how you look at it, it happened in the past six weeks, or it
happened starting two years ago. Record early voting, election day
voter registration, and ballot challenges may have a bigger impact on
Iowa's seven electoral votes than Tuesday's election day voting. Iowa
has seen unprecedented levels of early voting since ballots became
available Sept. 25. Through Saturday, 553,669 voters had voted early
or requested mailed ballots, and 481,179 ballots had been returned.
Democrats hold a 100,000 vote edge in requests. Early voting continues
through Monday. Absentee ballot boards start the work of processing
these ballots Monday, opening envelopes and dealing with challenges to
absentee ballots.

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Krusty Konservative: Predictions

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I was going to post these tomorrow but I thought about it and wanted
to give you guys more time to chew on them and post your own. I think
in rural Iowa Republicans will do well but the urban areas of the
state could see huge democrat turnout. Remember this is just my take,
I've been wrong before…President of the United States -- Iowa Results:
Obama 53%, McCain 46%; Electoral College: Obama 286, McCain 252. I
know I'm not the only one feeling this way, I went to a local gun shop
this weekend and the place was packed. I wonder why? United States
Senate -- Harkin 56%, Reed 44%. Now I've mentioned this before and
many of you have disagreed. I just don't see Harkin doing much more
than he's ever done in his past elections. The simple fact is that
there are a lot of people who really dislike him and are not going to
hold their nose because they don't know his opponent. In their minds
anyone is better than Harkin.

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Politically Speaking: Statehouse races get interesting

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Covering the League of Women Voters candidate forum for Iowa
Legislature and Woodbury County offices, I left with many impressions.
One of the most distinct is how the Republican Party is fielding the
strongest slate of candidates in the four election cycles I've covered
back to 2002. I've interviewed all the candidates in person or by
phone, some multiple times, but seeing all the office-seekers at the
same time helped drive the 'boy-they're-pretty-savvy' impression home.
That Christopher Rants, who's seeking re-election in House District
54, does well in hitting his points goes without saying. It's the two
young guns, both in their thirties, seeking to oust Democrats in House
Districts 1 and 2 who are making their mark as well-spoken fiscal
conservatives.

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Mike Schramm
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