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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Iowa Republican: A hotly contested primary could benefit Iowa Republicans

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Republican

There is still a lot of political chatter out there following
TheIowaRepublican.com gubernatorial poll. This is especially true in
regard to how former Governor Terry Branstad did in a head-to-head
match-up against current Iowa Governor Chet Culver. Branstad crushed
Culver by 16 points. Since the polling results were announced, Iowa
Republicans have been contemplating two questions. The first question
- is will Branstad actually run? Only Branstad can answer that
question. Thus far, the former governor has side-stepped the question
by saying that he is focused on Des Moines University, but then he
says he would never rule anything out. Until Branstad gives a solid
yes or no answer, the chatter about a potential reemergence into
politics will remain.

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Bleeding Heartland: Pharmacy group didn't disclose reception for governor, lawmakers

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Groups that throw receptions for Iowa legislators are supposed to file
a disclosure report within five business days of the event, but the
Iowa Pharmacy Association filed paperwork for its February 10
reception only this week. Why now? Journalists have been asking about
the event that preceded State Representative Kerry Burt's drunk
driving arrest around 2 am on February 11. Burt told an Ankeny police
officer that he'd been drinking with the governor that evening.
I agree with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement; the Iowa
Pharmacy Association's disclosure violation once again demonstrates
the need for campaign finance reform.

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On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts: Grassley draws notice (but it's not what you think)

Excerpted from this post at BLOGNAME

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's been in the news a lot lately because of
his role in the health care talks. But he's also drawing some
attention for his vote against the nomination of Appeals Court Judge
Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was Grassley's first
vote against a Supreme Court nominee in his 29 years in the Senate.
He's said that he wasn't convinced Sotomayor wouldn't let her personal
beliefs affect the outcome of cases. The Wall Street Journal's
coverage this week quoted him extensively. And here's a piece from CBS
News legal analyst Andrew Cohen expressing shock at Grassley's vote.

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John Deeth Blog: Leonard loses logo

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Just had reason to visit Leonard Boswell's congressional web site, and
it's been redesigned. In the process, the Blue Dog Conservative
Democrat logo that marred his page for many years is all of a sudden
missing. Not that he's QUIT the Dawgs... but he's not bragging about
it as bad. Both the Register and Iowa Republican had articles this AM
in praise of primaries, and this little web site omission may be
proof.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: A job for Black Hawk County Democrats

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Please find us a new candidate in Iowa House district 21. State
Representative Kerry Burt should not run for re-election and probably
should not even serve out his term. It would be hard enough to salvage
a political career in light of a state auditor's report and criminal
investigation over Burt giving a false address to evade tuition fees
for his children. ... The Iowa House Ethics Committee won't take up this
matter until other investigations conclude. It would be better for
Burt to resign or at least announce that he doesn't plan to run for
re-election next year. We have a lot of good Democrats in the Waterloo
area. Please post a comment if you have any suggestions about good
candidates for this House district in 2010, or sooner if a special
election is needed.

The Iowa Republican: Des Moines Register lacks proof on Rants allegation

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Republican

In the Sunday edition of the Des Moines Register, Jason Clayworth
wrote an article alleging that GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Rants
left his peers with $200,000.00 in debt following the 2008 general
elections. In the last election cycle, Rants was the Republican leader
in the Iowa House and was in charge of implementing the campaign
strategy to return Republicans to a majority party. However, there are
some major problems with the Des Moines Register's story. First, Rants
told TheIowaRepublican.com, "It's not true, I did not leave a
$200,000.00 debt." Second, the campaign disclosures filed with the
Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board (IECDB) do not show any debt
following the 2008 election.

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John Deeth Blog: Caucus date continued

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Iowa's two party decision to have a first-ever Saturday caucus is
still rippling today. The angle I didn't think of at first is that
this is part of the national deal to keep Iowa first for 2012. ...
Saturday puts a price on our place: OK, you're first, but you're at a
time that minimizes the value of first. Multiple sources notes Jewish
Sabbath concerns. I'm not recommending changing what we have, but one
fix would be a later start time. Luckily January is near solstice with
early sunsets, and since Sabbath is measured sunset to sunset a 5 p.m.
start would be, well, kosher. But that would make the "I don't want to
go out after dark" seniors unhappy. Like Ricky Nelson said, you can't
please everyone.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hawkeye GOP: The 2010 caucus on a Saturday

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye GOP

The Republican Party of Iowa announced today that the 2010 Cacucuses
will be held on Saturday, January 23rd at 1pm. The Iowa Democratic
Party has agreed to hold their caucuses at the same time. I was on the
State Central Committee when we chose the date and the intent was to
try and get more voters involved in what are generally, lightly
attended non-presidential year caucuses. The Des Moines Register's
Katie Obradovich says: That's a really good idea and it will serve as
a great test before the next presidential-year caucuses in 2012. Don't
expect to see Saturday caucuses in a presidential year. In order to
get the maximum effect from Iowa's First in the Nation Caucuses, they
need to occur during a normal weekday news cycle.

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Bleeding Heartland: Caucus system still needs serious reform

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The Iowa Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Iowa have agreed
to hold their off-year caucuses on the same Saturday in January 2010,
according to the Des Moines Register's Kathie Obradovich. ... For those
who wonder why anyone would attend a caucus in a non-presidential
year, caucuses help build community and give ordinary people both
access to the party machinery and influence over a party's platform.
Obradovich notes that next year's caucuses will be particularly
important for Republicans, because the GOP nominee for governor may be
decided at a state convention if no candidate wins at least 35 percent
of the vote in the primary. Precinct caucuses select delegates for
county conventions, which select delegates for district conventions,
which select delegates for the state convention.

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Blog for Iowa: Iowa GOP gubernatorial debate

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

The drive to Des Moines was as typical as any summer afternoon in Iowa
I can remember, with warm temperatures, cumulus clouds against an
azure sky, vast stands of field corn in tassel and patches of Queen
Anne's Lace, purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, daisies, horsemint
and cattails everywhere in the spaces between row crops and Interstate
80 leading to the IowaPolitics.com GOP Gubernatorial Debate on July 22
at Drake University. As a progressive Democrat, I have been following
the re-organization of the Iowa Republican Party and was curious to
see their direction as evidenced by the gubernatorial candidate
debate. When Kim Lehman, President of the Iowa Right to Life
Organization, was elected to represent Iowa on the Republican National
Committee last summer, she said, "I think that this is an opportunity
for the Republican Party to rebuild."

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Krusty Konservative: Why call the woman you live with, when you can call a hot staffer!

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Has any legislator ever had a freshman year like Kerry Burt? If so,
did they serve out the rest of their term? I doubt it. This guy isn't
just an embarrassment to the Iowa Democratic Party, Pat Murphy, Kevin
McCarthy, and Chet Culver, but to all Iowans. Kerry Burt needs to
resign today. Who the hell does he think he is anyway? I never knew
being a state representative was such a big deal that a person could
think that they are somehow special. Think about it. Can you imagine a
representative like Dwayne Alons acting like Kerry Burt did? I sure
can't. This leads me to believe that Burt's behavior is nothing new.
I'm sure throughout his entire life he has expected special treatment
because he played college football, was a firefighter, or served as a
state legislator.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: Grassley will vote no on Sotomayor

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Senator Chuck Grassley's office announced today that he will vote
against confirming Judge Sonia Sotomayor as an associate justice of
the U.S. Supreme Court. ... The gist is, he acknowledges Sotomayor's
"credentials on paper" but has unanswered questions about her judicial
philosophy. He doesn't trust her to apply the law without regard for
her "personal biases and prejudices." He also disliked "her lack of
clear and direct answers to simple questions regarding the
Constitution" during her confirmation hearings. For the last 20 years,
Supreme Court nominees have tried to avoid answering specific
questions about issues that are likely to come before the court.

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The Iowa Republican: Rep. Burt was drinking with Governor Culver before February arrest

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Republican

"I think he (Kerry Burt) has a very good record, and I stand behind
him at this point, and I'm 100 percent with him." That was the quote
from Speaker of the House Pat Murphy just one week ago. Murphy's
statement followed the news that Rep. Burt had knowingly used a false
address to save tens of thousands of dollars on tuition for his
children. Last night on the 10 o'clock news, Dave Price of WHO TV 13
showed exclusive footage of Rep. Burt's drunk driving arrest during
the early morning hours of February 11th. The footage shows Burt
saying, "I better show you this, I'm a representative."

Iowa Independent: Teachers union PAC is top fundraiser so far this year

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The Iowa State Education Association PAC raised more money than any
other Iowa-focused political action committee during the first 6
months of 2009, bringing in $204,072, according to paperwork filed
with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. The Associated
General Contractors of Iowa PAC came in second, raising $187,851, and
the Credit Union PAC came in third with $100,933. As for cash on hand,
the Service Employees International Union Political Education and
Action Iowa Fund was out front with $252,511. However, the union
hasn't raised or spent any money in 2009.

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FromDC2Iowa: More for insurance ain't Rx for health

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Forget the "Details," the Devil is in the Basic Concept ... Have you,
like I, been more focused on the politics of health care, and the
"universal, single-payer" systems of civilized countries that is off
the table than what's in the plans that are on the table? This thing
is doomed to disaster from the starting gate. "The Devil is in the
details?" Not this time. The Devil is in these approaches from "Be it
enacted" through the bottom of the last page. As Congressman Dennis
Kucinich has long and famously said, "I don't want everybody in
America to have health insurance. I want everybody to have health
care."

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Monday, July 27, 2009

John Deeth blog: CQ rates Latham, Boswell races as competitive

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog

Congressional Quarterly rates Iowa's 3rd and 4th districts as among the top 100 of 435 potentially competitive U.S. House races. The individual district writeups are contained in the fun interactive map. Of Boswell, CQ sums up his relatively easy 2008 win over the unnamed Kim Schmett and notes: "Yet the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has designated Boswell as a member of its 'Frontline Democrats' program, which provides additional campaign support to incumbents deemed potentially vulnerable in the 2010 campaign. The Republicans may get a comeback try by former state GOP chairman Michael Mahaffey, who narrowly lost to Boswell in an open-seat race in 1996 and has said he'll make up his mind by Labor Day about whether he'll run again." Potential opponents Mike Mahaffey and Robert Brownell, and '06 rival Jeff Lamberti, get name-dropped. But no mention at all of Ed Fallon's '08 primary challenge.

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Popular Progressive: Tale of two stories

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

In a disturbing local story, a homeless man was shot by an off-duty sheriff's deputy after allegedly stabbing a University of Iowa worker during a disagreement. According to police reports, "the deputy confronted the knife-wielding transient. The transient ignored the deputy's repeated commands to drop the knife. Instead, the armed transient advanced threateningly toward the already injured Iowa City resident and was shot by the deputy." However, according to a story by Gazette reporters Adam Belz and Aaron Hepker, two eyewitnesses saw something quite different. According to their story "the 26-year-old homeless man was not wielding a knife and did not lunge at anyone, said Brock Brones and Mike Tibbetts, both of Iowa City."

24-Hour Dorman: ChetChase 2010 - The week

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

Party of Five - Five Republican gubernatorial candidates/near-hopefuls/explorers met in a forum sponsored by Iowa Politics.com. ... There were gobs of agreement between Bob Vander Plaats, Chris Rants, Rod Roberts, Jerry Behn and Christian Fong. Another possible possibility, Paul McKinley, had a conflict and couldn't make it. They're not crazy about the smoking ban, but nobody showed much interest in relighting that coffin nail. ... Speaking of nostalgia, the candidates were asked whether they'd welcome former Gov. Terry Branstad in the race. Polls show the old guy is still fly with folks who still use the term "fly." Here is the candidates' composite answer, "I'd welcome such a fine statesman's ideas. But, please, don't dilly dally. Oh, and I'd just like to say future, future, future, future, future and, in conclusion, future."

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: Comparing Branstad and Culver: budgets and floods

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
... The key to examining Branstad's record as governor is his 1994 Republican primary battle against then Congressman Fred Grandy. As I wrote last week, it's unheard of for a three-term incumbent governor to face a strong challenge from his own party in the absence of a personal scandal. I'm not aware of anything like it happening elsewhere. Why did Grandy run against Branstad in 1994 instead of waiting for him to retire, and why did Branstad barely win the primary by a 52-48 margin? Branstad's fiscal mismanagement had become too much for many Republicans to stomach.

Krusty Konservative: Congressman Matt Strawn?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
Chairman Matt Strawn has been very active in the past several months, especially since becoming the RPI's new Chairman. He's hired numerous fundraisers, a couple of full timers, a couple of part timers, and handful of vendors. He's brought on an experienced Executive Director, and added substantial beef to the communications division of the Party with the addition of Danielle Plogmann. He's tweeting, Facebooking, texting, posting videos on YouTube, and traveling extensively. But I've heard from some sources who tell me that Strawn has his eyes on a congressional seat…and intends to challenge Boswell and make a bid for Iowa's 3rd congressional seat, which is fine. We need aggressive candidates challenging the status quo, and Boswell typifies the status quo more than anyone. The question though is when? We need a candidate to step forward now, but he's the party chair. How would that work? If he waits until 2012 who knows what redistricting will do since Iowa is likely to lose a seat in congress.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

24-Hour Dorman: Stupid System

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman
Christian Fong's campaign for governor sent out a news release today trumpeting that the Cedar Rapids Republican raked in $100,000 in campaign donations in the three weeks since he jumped into the race. Swell. Then I sent a reply to Victory Enterprise's Brian Dumas, who sent the release, asking if he has a list of donors and donations. He replied: "We do, but we will file when required by law and at that time you'll be able to review the disclosure and see the numbers are accurate." Unfortunately, the time required by law is Jan. 19, 2010. So trumpet in July, check back in January.

Constitution Daily: Rethinking the Gubernatorial Primary

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily
With Vander Plaats, Rants, Fong, McKinley, Roberts, and Behn either in the gubernatorial race or seriously thinking about running, I think it is time we look at other potential candidates who haven't ruled the office out just yet. In doing this, I'm not diminishing the values of the current candidates; I just think the field isn't set yet. We have a couple more candidates possibly emerging. Remember, Doug Gross didn't jump in the race until January of 2002. But most importantly, out of all of Iowa, who's the best man or woman for the job? That is really where our thought process should start but often times we leap to the end and ask who has the best chance at winning. In doing so our platform is almost always compromised.

Paint Iowa Red: Moral Issues Win Every Time

Excerpted from this post at Paint Iowa Red

I've been reading the blogs and comments over at The Iowa Republican and over 50% of the comments are about how the "religious right" or "right wing nutjobs" aka (Christians) are destroying the Republican party. Some claim that they are trying to create a theocracy and others claim that the GOP will lose if we nominate a "religious right" candidate whose moral values might be offensive to the rest of the general electorate. In this blog, I will debunk the myth that the "religious right" is to blame for the downfall of the Republican party. In fact, I will argue that they were the ones that brought victory since Reagan.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: Fong advocates discrimination very respectfully

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
Christian Fong is in "reassure the base" mode as he introduces himself to Iowa Republicans. He chose not to confront Steve Deace during his first appearance on the right-winger's WHO radio show. Then he hired Marlys Popma to run his gubernatorial campaign. A former head of Iowa Right to Life, Popma is well-known to social conservatives. I've seen some bloggers describe Fong as the "moderate" among Republicans running for governor, but it would be more accurate to say he is campaigning as a non-threatening conservative. He promises to expand the Republican Party's appeal without changing what the party stands for. He'll do it by talking about the issues in a way that won't alienate voters outside the GOP base. So, he embraces diversity and a "welcoming environment." He uses inclusive, empowering language with echoes of Barack Obama. He wants a "pro-family agenda" to go beyond social issues.

Essential Estrogen: WH Director of Domestic Policy coming to Des Moines this week

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
Here's a great opportunity for those who live in or near Des Moines to hear directly from the current director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The Iowa Initiative, in partnership with Des Moines University Global Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health, will welcome Director Melody Barnes to Des Moines this Wednesday, July 22. She will be discussing the national health care reform debate, as well as the Obama administration's efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies.

Krusty Konservative: T.E.B?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative
I'll be really honest, I don't really know what to make out of all this talk about Terry Branstad running for governor. I understand the attraction. Iowa Republicans are desperate for a victory, and like so many times before, many of them would be more than willing to just back someone who they can believe will win. ... The one thing that scares me about Branstad running again is the Fred Thompson factor. Remember in the summer of 2007 when the thought of Thompson captivated the political talking-heads. Then Fred came on to the political scene and stunk up the place? Yeah, that's what I'm worried about.

Monday, July 20, 2009

John Deeth Blog: Seeking the Chief Justice's Opinion

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
As the parent of a 19 year old myself I can sympathize with the plight of Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and her husband Dennis Drake. Dennis, their son, and the son's friends got in hot water this weekend for an "underage" (sic) drinking party on the couple's property. I qualify "underage" because this isn't 15 year old high school kids we're talking about: it's 19 year old ADULTS. ... This event is an opportunity Ternus should take to offer her opinion on the law. Not on the constitutionality of the law, but on the efficacy, the justice, the effectiveness of the law. Now, I'm just a dumb blogger, not a smart lawyer or nuthin' , so I don't know what the guidelines are. But from my perspective I'd love to hear Ternus say, "My son and husband broke the law, but it's a really bad law."

Bleeding Heartland: This is no time to debate the drinking age

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
A bunch of 19-year-olds drinking beer at a party wouldn't normally be newsworthy, but that changes when the police get involved and the party happened at a public figure's house: "The general counsel for Iowa's largest hospital system was charged with interference with official acts after Polk County sheriff's deputies broke up an alcohol party involving seven 19-year-olds at the executive's Grimes home early Sunday. Dennis Drake, 57, is the husband of Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus." ... John Deeth thinks the drinking age should be 18 and Drake is getting a bum rap: ... It's good that Drake was preventing intoxicated 19-year-olds from driving, but I couldn't disagree more with Deeth's advice for Ternus. ... the last thing we need is for the Chief Justice to start questioning the drinking age because her husband and son got in trouble.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Iowa Republican: Marlys Popma to head up Fong's gubernatorial campaign

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Republican

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Christian Fong announced today that
Marlys Popma, a twenty-one year veteran of Iowa politics has signed on
as his campaign manager. "I'm honored to have Marlys Popma join our
campaign. Her leadership, political savvy, and experience in Iowa
politics are invaluable as we move this campaign forward. As a
businessman, I know my job is to identify and then recruit the most
talented people to serve. Whether it's my campaign, or as the CEO of
state government, that's the philosophy guiding my decision making,"
said Fong. Popma's experience dates back to 1988 when she headed up
Iowa Right to Life.

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Bleeding Heartland: I-JOBS bonds sold well, will cost less to repay

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Most of the bonds that will fund the I-JOBS program were sold this
week, and Iowa's solid credit rating fueled strong investor interest.
... Over $600 million of the I-JOBS bonds have now been sold. Another
$115 million of bonds will be issued in 2010. Speaking to me by phone
today, Fitzgerald explained that the I-JOBS bonds are rated AA (a
notch lower than the state of Iowa) because they will be repaid out of
gaming revenues. We would have had to issue A-grade bonds if Iowa were
like other states, which have exhausted their reserve funds and are
borrowing simply to meet budget obligations. Investors liked the fact
that the I-JOBS bonds will fund capital improvements and not ongoing
government spending, Fitzgerald said.

Politically Speaking: Who might take on King and his 200K?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

There's news galore on the Iowa GOP gubernatorial race this summer,
most of it horserace who's-in, who's-out on a daily basis. The latest
is a poll commissioned by The Iowa Republican Web site, which shows
Sioux Cityan Bob Vander Plaats in the lead with 46 percent, which puts
him in front of "don’t know" (27 percent), Christopher Rants (14
percent) and Christian Fong and McKinley, with 3 percent each. A good
chunk of that lead for Vander Plaats could be chalked up to the fact
that he's been out working his candidacy the longest. But I'm instead
thinking a bit about the Iowa 5th District congressional race, which
is a yawner at this point. Incumbent Republican Steve King typically
holds his cards on whether he'll run for re-election until March of
the election year, even though it's been obvious he would run again
the last few times.

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Hawkeye Review: The perfect storm?

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye Review

Are we at the forefront of a perfect storm? Yes, it was a movie not
too long ago, if you're thirsty it could also be a drink and if you're
a parent, it's one you should know about... especially if your teenager
seems especially "happy" and is walking around with a bottle of
Frutopia. You see, the recipe involves pouring half the bottle of
Frutopia out and then filling the bottle with Vodka and off to school
you go! Vodka is known in many circles as the preferred "sneak" sip
since it has much less odor than other alcohols. But I digress... Here
in Cedar Rapids, we have a city leadership team that is under fire for
their reaction, (or lack of) in the aftermath of the floods. Certainly
not every member of this group deserves such criticism, but the
general consensus is to "throw the baby out with the flood waters" and
start over with new leadership.

Iowa Political Alert: Chuck Grassley for president?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

In talking on the phone with Iowa State University professor and WOI
Radio "Dr. Politics" host Steffen Schmidt I couldn't see if he was
maintaining a straight face when he put forward this idea: U.S. Sen.
Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, as a presidential candidate. Schmidt, who
has been in Ames for four decades as a political science professor,
assured me he was serious, that his face was in fact straight, that he
was basing his comments on conversations with people inside the
Republican Party. "It's not a throwaway, B.S., or a joke or anything,"
Schmidt said. The GOP, Schmidt said, is in need of an "adult" who can
speak for the party without embarrassing it -- as former potential
presidential candidates Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and U.S.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., have done in recent weeks.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Iowa Republican: Vander Plaats and Rants within 10 points of Culver

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Republican

Yesterday, TheIowaRepublican.com poll showed Bob Vander Plaats with a
commanding lead over his opponents for the Republican gubernatorial
nomination. With plenty of time before the Republican primary on June
8th and an unsettled field of candidates that is just taking shape,
Vander Plaats' lead in the poll can be attributed mainly to one thing,
name recognition. Let’s not kid ourselves though - Vander Plaats is in
a position all of his competitors would love to be in. Today, we look
to see if Vander Plaats' early strength against his primary opponents
correlates to him being the best candidate Republicans can nominate to
take on Governor Chet Culver.

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John Deeth Blog: Vander Plaats leads GOP; Culver re-elected

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

All those worries yesterday about the Big Lug's re-election prospects
are tempered somewhat by this Iowa Republican poll: Republican Primary
Voters Bob Vander Plaats: 46%, Don't Know: 27%, Chris Rants: 14% ... We
won't even need my convention scenario; they're ready to nominate
Vander Plaats outright. He's near 50% and the Not Vander Plaats vote
is splintered. All Gay Marriage All The Time will turn off moderates
and Culver wins comfortably. If the GOP unites, quickly, behind one
non-BVP candidate, that candidate might pull it off, but do they even
want to? A GOP They say they're polling general election races
tomorrow, but my guess is they're push-polling those instead. Given
IR's question wording I'm skeptical of anything beyond a Republican
primary poll.

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Iowa Guy 2.0: Iowa, this is your Senator

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0

Senator Chuck Grassley (R - Deaf and Dumb) is the ranking Republican
on the Senate Finance Committee. As such, he has a great deal of
influence while the Senate considers health care reform. The number of
uninsured Americans is currently close to 50 million. In Iowa, some
nine per cent of the adult population is uninsured. Those who are
lucky enough to have health insurance face soaring premiums, denial of
services and uncaring providers who are more concerned with making a
profit and paying exorbitant salaries to their executives than
actually providing health care. The system has gotten so bad that 72
per cent of Americans supported public health care in a recent poll by
CBS News.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

24-Hour Dorman: Don't poll, don't tell

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

Maybe you caught some coverage of a poll commissioned by
TheIowaRepublican.com (News for Republicans, by Republicans) showing
that 67 percent of Iowans surveyed want a statewide vote on what the
survey calls a "traditional marriage amendment." The poll of 500
people, which also included a long list of questions about Gov.
Culver, the 2010 campaign etc., was taken earlier this month. But why
only ask this: 'Question: The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled gay
marriages can legally be conducted in the state. Whether you agree or
disagree with the decision, do you think Iowa voters should have the
chance to vote on a traditional marriage amendment to the constitution
or is the issue best decided by the Supreme Court?' ...when you could
have also asked something like this: "Do you support or oppose adding
an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would end the legal
recognition of same-sex marriages in Iowa?"

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Krusty Konservative: You get what you pay for -- Part II

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Yesterday, I exposed how Master Builders of Iowa wrote some really
expensive thank you notes to the six "pro-business" Democrats that
stood up and stopped the bid labor union agenda from sailing through
the legislative process. I also commented on how stupid it was to
continue to fund Democrats when those "pro-business" six will just
continue to vote for Pat Murphy to lead them. If people like Master
Builders of Iowa want to stop the union agenda, they need to stop
funding the Democrats. Master Builders isn't the only group guilty of
this. Associated General Contractors and the Iowa Association of
Builders and Contractors also felt the need to help Pat Murphy retain
his position as Speaker of the House, by helping maintain a Democrat
majority. The Iowa Association of Builders and Contractors gave Larry
Marek, Brian Quirk, and Doris Kelley $500 contributions.

Bleeding Heartland: Northey passes on governor's race

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has been saying for months
that he was leaning toward running for re-election rather than for
governor in 2010. On Saturday he made it official. ... I've long felt
that Northey would be a long-shot for the Republican gubernatorial
nomination, having gone on record supporting a gas tax increase. Even
if Northey won the GOP nomination, I think that with no base of
support in eastern Iowa population centers, he would have been quite
an underdog against Governor Chet Culver. I'm curious to see whether
Northey continues to employ the high-profile campaign staffers he
hired in May, or whether they will jump to a different Republican
gubernatorial contender. Northey will be heavily favored against
Francis Thicke, the most likely Democratic candidate for secretary of
agriculture.

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Essential Estrogen: I can think of so many more people who deserve government-funded health care

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Shawn Kruse, a 32-year-old Cedar Rapids man believed to be a domestic
abuse perpetrator, is currently residing in the Iowa Medical and
Classification Center, run by the Iowa Department of Corrections, and
he is costing Linn County residents $3,000 each day. Kruse allegedly
hit his wife with a weapon, intimated her with a crowbar and saw, and
then ran from police. It was during that high-speed chase that Kruse
was involved in a single-car accident on Highway 30, which led to
lower body paralysis. Journalist Adam Belz reports on his blog that
once Kruse left University Hospitals in Iowa City, his injuries
remained too great for placement in the Linn County Jail. ... Belt
explains that the sheriff's office has budgeted $247,000 to pay for
all doctor visits and medications needed by inmates for the entire
year.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: Grassley lectures Sotomayor on judge's role

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The Senate Judiciary Committee began Judge Sonia Sotomayor's
confirmation hearings today, and Radio Iowa has Senator Chuck
Grassley's opening statement. He gave quite the lecture about
"judicial restraint" as opposed to "President Obama's 'empathy'
standard." ... Notice how Grassley quotes from Judge Sotomayor's
speeches rather than from the more than 3,000 rulings she has written
or joined. That's typical of Sotomayor's critics. They refuse to
acknowledge, for example, that in nearly 100 race-related cases she
has not shown unusual sympathy for litigants claiming discrimination.
I don't remember Grassley raising similar concern about Justice Sam
Alito's empathy, even though Alito acknowledged during his
confirmation hearings that he thinks about his own family's
experiences when considering immigration or discrimination cases.

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The Iowa Republican: Voter remorse: Rematch of Culver vs. Nussle would be too close to call

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Republican

Last week, TheIowaRepublican.com poll showed that 53% of Iowans are
ready to give someone else the opportunity to lead the state as Iowa's
Governor, while only 36% of those surveyed feel that Governor Chet
Culver deserves to be re-elected. Today we delve a little deeper into
the voters. dissatisfaction with Iowa's current governor, Chet Culver.
... In November of 2006, Chet Culver defeated Nussle with 54% of the
vote. Now, just two and a half years into his first term, Culver's
winning margin has evaporated over the opponent that he beat by 10
points. It is also important to note that Nussle served as President
Bush's Budget Director from the summer of 2007 to the end of Bush's
term earlier this year. Nussle has been out of the public eye in Iowa
since losing to Culver, yet he's statistically tied with the Governor.

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Herd on the Hill: Democrats $56 million tax hike is politics as usual

Excerpted from this post at Herd on the Hill

The Democrats eliminated major tax deductions and exemptions for Iowa
flood and tornado victims in the 2009 legislative session. They also
did away with the teachers tax deduction, college tuition assistance
tax deduction, and the business depreciation tax deduction. These
deductions put over $56 million back into the State General Fund. The
elimination of these deductions were never communicated to Iowa
citizens or their accountants. The Democrats eliminated these
deductions that have been available for years. The Democrats made the
tax increases retroactive to the 2008 tax filings that were due April
15th. Iowans had no idea this tax increase was going to occur when
they filed their 2008 return. Now the Department of Revenue has
thousands of wrong tax returns and they are demanding payback for this
tax money.

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FromDC2Iowa: Gambling our way to economic prosperity

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Iowa: A Place to Grow (Your Debt) and Lose Your Green ... The
Press-Citizen has a good editorial this morning regarding the wisdom
of increasing the number of Iowa's gambling casinos. ... The problem, of
course, was the initial decision to get into the gambling business. It
was, after all, a business that was originally prohibited by the Iowa
Legislature in the same chapter of the Iowa Code that prohibited
prostitution. Once we have established 20 in-state casinos, as we have
-- like the 50 bars within walking distance of the campus in Iowa City
-- the net effect of prohibiting any more (while certainly better than
adding to the number) is to increase the "medallion value," the
oligopolistic profits, of an industry effectively protected from
competition.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Essential Estrogen: Chung's resignation raises specter of last year's unresolved conflict of interest

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

David Chung, author of Hawkeye GOP, has announced that he is resigning
his elected position on the Iowa Republican State Central Committee so
that he can freely volunteer for the gubernatorial campaign of
Christian Fong. This move was done, he said, both because of promises
he made to be neutral in primaries and perceived conflicts of
interest. In reading his letter, however, I was reminded of another
case of conflict of interest that has yet to be addressed by Iowa
Republicans. In the fall of 2008, Iowa Right to Life published their
pre-election newsletter. In that newsletter, the organization attacked
a Republican candidate for U.S. House, labeling her "a great
pretender" on anti-abortion issues.

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Hawkeye GOP: Fong on gay marriage

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye GOP

"... Iowans deserve the right to vote on a constitutional amendment
that defines marriage as one man and one woman ..." In my previous
post I wanted to be certain that readers of this blog understand that
I am a supporter of Christian Fong. I am not an official spokesman for
Fong campaign but I am a committed supporter. Therefore, when you read
this blog you should keep that in mind. I read the post on the Iowa
Republican about Christian's interview with KCRG's Beth Malicki. ... Of
course the implication is that Christain supports gay marriage, the
post also noted that I resigned from the SCC to support Christian. Let
me be clear on this, Christian Fong is not a supporter of Gay marriage
(nor am I). If you listen to the discussion you will find that he
supports a constitutional amendment defiing marriage as between one
man and one woman and believes that Iowans deserve the right to vote
on the issue. These beliefs are precisely in line with my own.

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The Iowa Republican: Almost 70 percent of Iowans want to vote on marriage

Excerpted from this post at The Iowa Republican

It has been just three months since the Iowa Supreme Court issued its
ruling allowing gay marriage in Iowa. While there were a number of
polls taken on the issue before the Court issued its decision,
TheIowaRepublican.com poll is the first statewide poll to ask the
opinion of Iowans following the decision. With the legislative session
over and the media focus gone, TheIowaRepublican.com poll provides the
first real glimpse of how the Court's ruling will impact the 2010
campaigns in Iowa. TheIowaRepublican.com poll found that 67% of Iowans
believe that voters should have the right to decide the issue. Only
27% of Iowans think that the decision was best left to the Iowa
Supreme Court to decide.

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The Real Sporer: Continuing good numbers for the GOP: an opportunity not a guarantee

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

As summer's heat brings dehydration to so many riparian landscapes the
catastrophic reality of the "change" for which they voted in 2006 and
2008. The Obama Labor/Socialist/Democrat agenda is therapeutically
baking America's delusion producing symptoms of BDS (Bush Derangement
Syndrome) out of the body politic. With its improved lucidity the body
politic is, in turn, returning to the party of reality and reason, the
GOP. Rasmussen reported yesterday that Republicans are leading
Democrats in eight of the ten regularly polled issues. A thorough
review of Rasmussen's various internal questions provides even better
news for pachyderms everywhere.

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John Deeth Blog: Obama: top percentage ever in Johnson County

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Barack Obama fell just short of my personal goal of 70 percent in
Johnson County -- 69.91 to be exact. It rounds up, so I'll take it.
Obama broke the LBJ 1964 mark of 68.08 percent--but was it the best
presidential result ever in the People's Republic? The answer, I've
found, is a qualified yes. You can really only compare results back to
1920. For one thing, before that, only men were allowed to vote. For
another, those men weren't voting for president. Iowa listed the
individual electors on the ballot, and you had to cast a separate vote
on each elector. (Alabama did it that way as late as 1960.) Tickets
got split, intentionally or accidentally. Woodrow Wilson's 13
candidates for elector in 1916 won between 3,623 and 3,650 votes in
Johnson County.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: Senate 2010: Get to know Bob Krause

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Bob Krause, who is running for U.S. Senate next year against five-term
incumbent Chuck Grassley, was in the news last week with some sensible
comments about health care reform. He encouraged Grassley to demand
higher reimbursement rates for Iowa health care providers in exchange
for dropping his opposition to a public option in the Senate bill ...
Krause is obviously right on both counts, but don't expect Grassley to
listen. He is the leading Republican voice against the public option
and has an ally in Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a
Democrat whose health care reform plan may be worse than the insurance
industry's. Iowa Democrats have given Grassley a pass for too many
years. I appreciate Krause's commitment to running a real race against
him.

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Iowa Political Alert: Vander Plaats: Republicans should be held to higher standard on family values

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats of Sioux City
tells the Carroll Daily Times Herald that his party should be held to
a higher standard when it comes to values questions of the sort now
swirling around South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, an admitted
adulterer. While extra-marital affairs occur in both parties, it is
fair to judge Republicans more harshly on such matters, Vander Plaats
said. "I think its an added dimension for our party," Vander Plaats
said. "The reason I say that is we highlight one man-one woman
marriage. We highlight family values. And if we do that that's where
the trust comes in. Are you going to walk the walk or just talk the
talk."

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John Deeth Blog: All politics is local - or is it statewide?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

I've ranted recently about crossover voting crossover voting in
primaries. As anyone who reads a site like mine should know, Iowa is a
"closed" (sic) primary state, meaning you have to be registered in a
party to vote in a primary, and you vote only in one party's primary
at a time. You can't for example participate in a Republican primary
for governor and a Democratic courthouse primary. It's a soft version
of "closed," because you can change party on the spot, and a lot of
people do. Leaving aside my opinion on that law, let's look at how it
can impact a statewide race. In a sense, Vander Plaats and Rants and
Fong aren't just running against each other--they're running against
the interesting local Democratic contests.

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Radio Iowa: Someone is doing 2012 research in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

A friend of mine in Des Moines, Iowa, got a phone call last night,
testing out the names of potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates.
It was an automated survey and did not indicate who the sponsor of the
call might be, "but it was quite apparent it was a GOP call," my
friend reports. "...The survey started off by asking what I thought
the most important issue facing America today might be, then rolled
right into, 'Who would you vote for in the 2012 Presidential primary?'
-- offering choices of Huckabee, Palin, Gingrich, Jindal, and JEB
BUSH." ... Next, the survey asked a question about Obama.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hawkeye Review: The "Armchair Economist" archives

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye Review

What an honor it is to have my good friend and contributor Christian
Fong writing regularly at Hawkeyereview.com. Now that Christian has
announced his candidacy to run for Governor of the great state of
Iowa, I wanted to make all of Christian's work available for you to
read. Instead of requiring you to troll through the last several
months of archives, I've categorized the articles by subject and
grouped them here for your review and study. Christian Fong is a name
every Iowan should become familiar with very soon. For those who
might attempt to diminish him for his relatively young age (32), don't
let the prognosticators divert you from the most important facts about
our newest GOP candidate.

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Krusty Konservative: A closer look at Fong raises questions

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

The chatter surrounding Christian Fong running for governor continues.
What disturbs me regarding this matter isn't Fong as a potential
candidate for some office, but the complete lack of a foundation for
him to mount a gubernatorial campaign. I know a lot of people seem
impressed that Fong is the chair of the Generation Iowa Commission, a
program of the Iowa Department of Economic Development that tries to
keep young Iowans from leaving the state after college to look for
career opportunities. I'm glad that people like Fong and Waukee's
Isaiah McGee serve on this commission. But does service on this
committee really prepare a 32 year old man to serve as this state's
governor?

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John Deeth Blog: Republican ad targets Braley on energy vote

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching a round
of ads bashing Democrats who voted for last week's energy bill -- and
CNN reports, surprisingly, Bruce Braley is on the list. Braley's spot
on the list is probably due more to his position as a key ally to
House Energy and Commerce chair Henry Waxman than to any perceived
vulnerability in the 1st CD, where he easily bead Dave Hartsuch last
year and where no names have surfaced as possible 2010 opponents. …
Mostly freshmen and red-staters, and the perpetually endanngered Baron
Hill. I'm actually surprised that in Iowa they went after Braley,
rather than Boswell, who wavered before voting yes on the bill.

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