Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Resolutions

Blago Rocks

Governor Blagojevich (Pay-Rod) is better than a reality show. His move yesterday to fill Obama’s Senate Seat was awesome. No I don’t think there is a chance in hell that Roland Burris will be the next Senator from Illinois, but you have to admire Pay-Rod’s audacity.

What I find amusing is the fact that Harry Reid is the one who really messed this up. It was Reid who doesn’t want a special election which would let Republican’s run a candidate. His stance cause gridlock in Illinois legislature which could have been working on getting a special election rather than a lengthy impeachment proceeding. Now they are all screwed. But I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Go Hawks!

Alright Hawkeyes, make us proud. Is it just me or is it true that every year the Hawks play on New Years day Kirk Ferentz is rumored to be headed to the NFL?

New Year Resolutions

I will refuse to bow to outside pressure to give Gopal Krishna a pass on his previous stint with the Republican Party of Iowa. I believe that people can change, but I want to see proof.

I will be supportive of whoever the SCC elects to lead the Republican Party of Iowa. Except if it’s Gopal Krishna. Sorry, I have standards.

I will give all Republican candidates for governor a fair shake, but if they have run in the past they must communicate what is different this time around.

I will attempt to blog for the entire year. This blog was created in Feb 2006, I have to blog for a complete calendar year. Kinda sad.

I will announce Krusty’s Breakout Candidate in January 2010, not in 2009.

But I will have a kick ass prediction on the first Monday of the New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GOP Chair Race

I see that SCC member David Chung thinks I’m off my rocker when it comes to the SCC chair election. He refutes the possibility of a dark horse candidate, and thinks that I’ve been unfair to Gopal Krishna which has lead to all the negative comments on my blog.

Maybe it’s because I don’t really respond well to being called out, or it could be the massive headache I’m dealing with today, but I’m in a pissy mood.

Lets see, where should I start.

Gopal Krishna

Many folks have called me out for the comments I made about Krishna’s ability to communicate. I regret making those comments not because I don’t stand by what I said, but because it has distracted from the reason why he should not elected to lead our Party.

This is what I don’t like about Krishna. He has been involved with the Party before, yet created division and distrust within its ranks. Heck Krishna was the co-chair of the Party during the 1999 Iowa Straw Poll, yet he didn’t even attend. There isn’t a bigger event for the Republican Party than its Straw Poll, yet he was absent. Why does it seem that some people only participate when they are calling the shots? That’s not leadership folks; that’s an opportunist.

We are also to believe that Krishna is well connected and will be able to boost RPI’s fundraising ability. If that’s the case why didn’t he help raise funds for the Party in 2008? Why does he or any candidate have to be in charge before they begin to help?

While I’m still waiting for Krishna or members of the SCC to explain what has happened between the time that Krishna was removed as co-chair in 2000 that he is not the ideal person to lead our Party in the 2010 cycle, a do-or-die election cycle for Iowa Republicans? What’s more troubling, I have yet to see any plan from Krishna, it seems as if we are to trust him, but his previous history with RPI doesn’t instill any such trust.

Handicapping the Race

David Chung seems to be looking at the activity of the candidates. In that sense, I agree with his assessment. However he states that he hasn’t polled his fellow SCC members, and its only those 17 votes that count. This is as inside baseball as you can get. David might be out of the loop because the powers that be don’t want to see their conversations on his blog. Currently I think the race will boil down to Krishna vs. Strawn. However, while David thinks that no Dark Horse exists or will even emerge, I think there is an outside chance.

I wish the SCC would be more active in going out and recruiting someone rather than waiting for someone to run. This election should be about winning statewide in 2010 and hanging the way RPI does business.

Candidate Forum is Back On

It will be this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Chair and Co-Chair Candidate Forum Canceled

I know many in the Iowa Blogosphere were disappointed that the RPI Chair and Co-Chair forum was cancelled. I think we all thought it was going to be a turning point in the race; its cancelation only benefited one candidate, the Dark Horse.

I think the candidate forum was a good idea, but the SCC came up with the idea a little late in the game. A better idea might be to invite those interested in leading the party to the SCC meeting before the election. I also think they would be wise to give these candidates more than 2 minutes to state their case to the SCC and visiting activist. That said, it might be a good thing that the forum was canceled so that the dark horse candidate still is able to emerge.

As many of you have probably figured out by now, I’m not overly supportive of any of the current candidates. They are all fine people, and I’m glad that they are involved with the Party, but with the current financial crisis nationally and in here Iowa, and with 2010 being a do or die election cycle for Iowa Republicans, its imperative that we get the right person for the job.

I know many of the people who post comments on this blog in support or in opposition to a particular candidate for personal reasons and I understand why people do that, but we need to put personal friendships and loyalties beside and focus on one thing, who gives us the best chance at winning.

As you can tell in the comment section, none of the current candidates seem to universally respected, it seems they all have their fair share if detractors. There is no way we can win in November 2010 if we are a divided party. We need a chair who the SCC and our county leaders respect.

We also need a chair who has the ability to raise massive amounts of money for our 2010 election efforts. Currently there are only a few candidates who have raised anything significant money from Iowa donors and none of the current candidate have raised anywhere near the amount of money the party will need to raise if we are hoping for a major turnaround which should include an early voting program. I hate to say that fundraising ability is one of the most important attributes for a chair, but without it, we can’t make the changes needed.

I think a Dark Horse exists, the question is can we entice them to do it? This is where Grassley, Latham, King, Vaudt, and Northey could be helpful in convincing a Dark Horse to run. While I respect the SCC’s right to elect the next Chair, it’s the five people mentioned above who will be impacted by the next chair.

Get ready for City and County Income Tax

The tax proposal from the League of Cities should scare the daylights out of you. We are already taxed to the max. Our home assessments are already out of whack so that local government can generated their needed income without “raising” taxes. Chet Culver and the Democrats have raised taxes and fees, and will have to do it again to balance the books, and a gas tax increase still looms. And now the cities and counties want to tax your income.

I just have one question, when will we audit state government and get rid of government programs that are not needed or are duplicated by other state agencies? Sure, Governor Culver ordered a 1.5% across the board cut, but why can’t we make it 10%? I know it would hurt, but why should state government feel less pain in the pocket book than the citizens of our state?

Stop the Nonsense

Again the comment section is out of hand. This time there is some BS about the Huckabee campaign spreading anti-catholic messages. I got this message from Eric Woolson this morning:

“Trainor did not leave the campaign because of any supposed anti-Catholic message.

And Chip Saltsman and I have had our differences but he did not “spread any anti-Catholic messages.” And I would not have tolerated that stuff. Do you want to know how I know all that? Chip is a Roman Catholic. I am a Roman Catholic. The governor’s body man, Drake Jarman, is a Roman Catholic. Kirsten Fedewa, the governor’s communications person is Washington D.C., is a devout Roman Catholic. Karen Johnson, who was on the Governor’s inner circle, is a Roman Catholic.

I was Trainor’s boss. He did not leave because of any anti-Catholic messaging. He left because he had a tremendous opportunity on the campaign of a close family friend.

Please put an end to this nonsense. You can post this e-mail verbatim, if you like. But I tell you from my heart, I would have left the campaign had there been any sort of anti-Catholic activity. I owe that to my faith and my party.”

As for those who think I should patrol the comment section and are upset with me. Newsflash, I actually have a life unlike many who post BS comments. Grow up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Session

Santa Culver has been making the rounds delivering the following email to folks. Just in case you have not seen it yet, here you go.

'Twas the night before session, when all through the House
Not a member was stirring, no one there to grouse.

The portraits were hung in the rotunda with care,
In hope that new money soon would be there;

The lobbyists were nestled all snug on their benches
While visions of budget cuts sent their stomach in wrenches,

And Murphy in his speaker's perch, and I in the gallery,
Had just settled down, to again raise his salary.

When in the Capitol basement, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.

Down the spiral staircase I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door to see Governor Culver, without any cash.

A frown on the face and a furrowed brow,
The Governor is thinking, "What to do now?"

On top of this, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
The REC with a new bad forecast near.

With a little old accountant, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment which route the governor would pick.

As the numbers were dim, and shortfalls abound
The Governor says, "We must raise taxes, all around!"

"Now, Murphy! Now, McCarthy! Now Gronstal and Kibbie!
On Paulsen! On Upmeyer! On, Kettering and McKinley!

To the Senate and House! Inside the chamber wall!
Despite what I've said, we should raise taxes on all!"

The Governor demands it, the legislators sigh,
They meet with dark forecasts, fearing the end is nigh.

So up to the chamber they flew,
Armed with new tax bills, wondering what to do.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the lobby,
"They're spending money as if it's their hobby!"

As I grabbed my wallet and was turning around,
Up from the basement the Governor came with a bound.

He was dressed to the nines, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished from lobbyists taking root.

A bundle of new bills he carried on his back,
And he looked like a beggar, opening his sack.

His eyes – how they sparkled, with new taxes born,
"How to keep up with spending?" he shouted, forlorn.

His droll little mouth quivered as the votes drew near,
In his eye, while it twinkled, he mounted a tear.

With fierce determination, he gritted his teeth,
Knowing higher taxes lied beneath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, but often a grump,
Despite his actions while on the stump.

I watched with wonder, as the votes drew nigh,
Seeing all these new taxes made me want to cry.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Spending more money, then turned with a jerk,

And laying a finger aside of his budget,
Taking great care not to smudge it.

And giving a nod, down the staircase he descended,
Admitting there was no money – and no way to spend it.

He slumped to his office, the legislators gave a whistle,
Noting the Register had gave him a "Thistle."

But I heard him exclaim, ere he hid, out of sight,
"I'll raise taxes on all, to get my budget right!"

Tuesdays with Krusty

Yesterday’s comment section was disgusting. It’s good to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates for RPI chair, it’s another thing to launch into personal attacks and kindergarten antics. Some of you need to grow up. I really question if some people really want a strong Republican Party that wins elections, it seems that a few only want their guy to win and if he doesn’t screw it. We have to get beyond that people.

Pizza and Politics

Strawn continues on his barnstorming tour of the state. One of my trusted correspondents reported that 20-25 people showed up at his Cedar Rapids event yesterday, SCC member David Chung was there so maybe he will have more on the stop at his blog. Strawn’s efforts are to be commended, and the fact that a good number of people turned out to talk with him shows us that there are many Republicans ready to get to work. Too bad some on this blog think it’s more constructive to rip our party apart.

Everyone has a plan, except the guy with the most votes.

I think almost all the candidates running for RPI chair have put forward a plan or general idea which allows us a glimpse of how these candidates would lead our party. The one guy without a plan is Gopal Krishna. Oh I guess we are to believe that Sporer will be his Co-Chair but Sporer is AWOL. Additionally, the Co-Chair is elected by a separate vote so there is no guarantee he would even be elected. More troubling is that the SCC could elect a guy without knowing what he plans to do in the position.

I’m told this is consistent with his previous actions on the SCC. He never talks about why he would be a good leader for the Party, instead he focuses on why others are bad. I’m also still waiting for people like Leon Mosley and Steve Scheffler to explain what has changed in the last 8 years that has you convinced that Gopal is the right man to lead the Party. Eight years ago you both signed a letter to county leadership banishing him, what’s the deal?

Culver organizes” A Season of Hope” event today in Cedar Rapids

The press release says. “The holiday program will recognize the outpouring of support and assistance the Cedar Rapids community has received since the floods, as well as the continuing challenges the community has faced while trying to rebuild.”

This is nothing more than Chet Culver wanting a little pat on the back for all he’s done for the people of Cedar Rapids. The only problem is he didn’t do much. He refused to call a special session because it would have exposed Iowa’s budget crisis before the elections, all he did was scream at the federal government when many of the holdups were created by local inaction. I think some of the flood victims need a little more than a cup of coffee, a cookie and a Chet Culver for Governor Rally; they need help.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Waiting on the Dark Horse

On Saturday the Des Moines Register did a story about Chairman’s race. It’s just another story that paints the Republican Party of Iowa in a poor light if you ask me. The article states that we are looking for “stability.” Again, I couldn’t disagree more. We need a new approach, a new vision, and better results.

With Christmas just a few days away, and a public chair forum the following weekend, the race for chairman is deadlocked and little will change until 2009 rolls around. If I was a SCC member, the mere fact that nobody is able to get close to the required nine votes for a victory would make look outside of the current list candidates, rather than compromise my vote just so someone can win.

Let’s look at what votes are locked up (for now).

Gopal Krishna is the frontrunner. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Supporting his is National Committeeman Steve Scheffler, Committeewoman Kim Lehman, Lisa Smith, and Gopal himself.

Danny Carroll is in the game with two committed votes in Eldon Pals and Wes Enos. The problem for Danny is the fact that he has very little opportunity to see his support grow as the races comes to a close. I think it’s safe to say that if Carroll can’t find more votes, it’s logical to see Pals and Enos throw their support behind Krishna. If that happens, Krishna moves within 3 votes of victory.

Matt Strawn is the wildcard. I’m confident that he has support on the committee, but I don’t think he has the solid type of support that Krishna and Carroll have. That’s not all bad for the Strawn camp as he’s probably the first choice of the majority of the 10 other SCC members who are not supporting Gopal, Carroll, or Matt Randall.

This is why I’m betting on a Dark Horse to emerge. These are serious times for the Iowa GOP, for the Party to be relevant we need a Chair who can speak about Iowa’s fiscal crisis, and use it to grow the Party. While all of the candidates seeking the chair position are honorable people (except Krishna), we are not a party looking for stability, we are a party looking to find our purpose. The SCC needs to look for the candidate who can make the party relevant again. I don’t think that candidate is in the mix yet.

Total Domination

Even with Greg Jennings yet to play, I have won the championship in Yoda’s fantasy football league. Going into the playoffs as the 2nd seed, I was confident that the number one scoring team in the league would be just fine. Krusty Kudos to Phillip Rivers, DeAngelo Williams. Antonio Gates, Matt Prater, and that wise GM who made some last minute roster moves to ensure a victory. Oh and if your curious, Yoda finished the season at 5-8 and missed the playoffs.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Culver’s first draft of his letter sent to state employees.

Dear Fellow AFSCME Member,

Over the last few weeks, I have ordered all state departments to reduce spending. This will have an effect on state employees, and the services you provide Iowans. I want to take this opportunity to tell you directly why I took these actions, and what the next steps will be as we respond to our economic situation.

As you know, I’m the most incompetent Governor is our state’s history. Now that we are in the midst of an economic challenge my incompetence has become more apparent. My advisors like Bonnie Campbell want me to blame Wall Street and the Federal Government for our state’s financial mess, but that wouldn’t be truthful and while I might be a complete moron who’s in way over his head, I don’t often lie. The result from our reckless spending over the past two years has created an economic recession that is hitting Main Streets and factories and farms and families – and state government agencies – all across Iowa.

And as we speak, 43 of our states are either in or headed towards a deficit. Iowa’s Constitution does not allow our state to operate in a deficit; if it did everything would be fine except my reelection effort. This means cuts in spending are needed to balance our budget.

This process began this fall, when the state’s revenues fell short of predictions. You may have read State Auditor Dave Vaudt’s warning about our looming financial crisis, everyone kept telling me we had $600 million dollars in our reserves and an AAA bond rating. Only recently have I learned that I must cut expenses and unnecessary travel, and to freeze state hiring.

Last week marked another important step in this process. On Friday, the Revenue Estimating Conference lowered revenue projections for both fiscal years 2009 and 2010. I guess Dave Vaudt was right, but how was I supposed to know that our economy wouldn’t grow at a 10% clip?

At that time I indicated I would take action to cut spending in the current 2009 budget by an additional $60 million. I was advised then that this amount would be an appropriate, measured response to the REC action. It would allow my office, state budget planners, the respective state departments and the legislature to begin focusing on the task ahead of putting together a 2010 budget.

However, after further review of our revenue projections and budget commitments along with several meetings of my budget team, I am convinced that $60 million in additional adjustments to the current budget is not enough to prepare us for the challenges before us.

The REC indicates that revenue estimates for both 2009 and 2010 may be reduced even more in April. My Council of Economic Advisors predicts that the bottom of this economic downturn has not yet reached Iowa. And economic trends, both nationally and internationally, continue to bear bad news. Simply put, my Democrat collogues and I really put our state in a bad place. We are committed to find ways to make things look better than they really in hopes that you and the people of Iowa continue to vote Democrat, and reelect me as your governor.

Therefore, over the next few weeks, I am going to take the following steps:

First, I have met with Bonnie Campbell who is on the Board of Regents about selling the Iowa Lottery for some quick cash. I know the Board of Regents doesn’t have anything to do with the lottery, but she really the one running the show. She tells me that selling the Iowa Lottery for a quick pile of money is a lot like one of those risky reverse mortgages that they con old people whit when they need quick money to pay off their gambling debts. Bonnie assures me that if we can somehow put a bandaide on this mess I can get reelected in 2010.

Second, I will have additional secret meetings with Dan Kehl, a casino operator about buying the Iowa Lottery. See Dan has been very generous lately to House Majority Leader McCarthy and myself so we feel it’s justified to give him first crack at buying the lottery. That said, I will encourage him to let some of the other big investors in TouchPlay get in on the action as well since most of my large contributions come from gambling interests.

In addition, I will ask the legislature to approve transferring approximately $10 million to the General Fund from the Senior Living Trust Fund, our Infrastructure Fund, and our Rainy Day Fund. This is exactly why we couldn’t use our rainy day funds to help flood victims in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Columbus Junction and other communities in Iowa. Helping flood victims wouldn’t help me get reelected; I needed to make sure that money was there to fool Iowans about the true state of our budget.
These actions are in addition to $77 million in reduced spending that I announced on December 9. Together, these cuts represent nearly $180 million. This will have an impact on programs that the State provides.

As you can imagine, this is not how I thought my first term of Governor would go. I thought it was all about helping those who gave money to my 2006 campaign and staying at the Knapp Condo in Florida every weekend. It sucks by the way that I now have to “rent” a room for a $160 bucks a night.

Nonetheless, in 2006 and 2008 the Iowa voters proved that you are about as intelligent as I am, so by selling the Iowa lottery and playing some budget games we will fool the voters again in to believing our state finances are in a better position than most states.

Mike Gronstal, Pat Murphy, Kevin McCarthy and I take full responsibility for creating this economic crisis. The responsibility however calls on the taxpayer to respond to it. You can count on us to do just enough to get reelected in November of 2010, you can take that to the bank!

We have endured challenges in the past. Iowan’s are known for their short memory and laziness. Knowing that and coupled with the actions I have mentioned above, gives me optimism and confidence about what the future holds for me and my family. Our Iowa values of resilience, strength, and common-sense will sustain us through this, and any, challenge.

Finally, as this year comes to a close, I want to thank you for your service to our state. From floods and tornadoes, to the economic situation we now face, state employees have always risen to the occasion. So, even as we meet these unexpected challenges, on behalf of the First Lady, and the Lt. Governor, I want to wish you and your families a safe holiday season, and best wishes in the New Year. If you need us, we will be in Knapp’s condo in Florida, its frickin cold in Iowa and I hear the roads might be bad tonight so be safe.

Chester J. Culver
Governor of Iowa

P.S. We are in this together. In that spirit I hope you can join me tonight to help raise money for my reelection. The Details are as follows:

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Governor Chet Culver
Lt. Governor Patty Judge
Chet Culver Committee
Please come and enjoy an evening of fine foods and friends.
5:30 p.m. -- 7:00 p.m.
Noah's Ark Ristorante (second floor)
2400 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Patrons - $25,000
Hosts - $15,000
Guests - $5000
Please RSVP to Chris Khoury
Ph 515 288-2287 or email

The Fundraiser is actually going on this evening. Great timing! i wonder who's giving the $25,000? "Mr. Kehl, the Governor will see you now."

Governor, You are elected to lead in times of crisis, not play the blame game.

Below is the letter Governor Culver sent to state employees. Once again, he blames George W. Bush for our state's problems, not the Democrats out-of-control spending of the past 2 years.

Dear Fellow State Employee,

Over the last few weeks, I have ordered all state departments to reduce spending. This will have an effect on state employees, and the services you provide Iowans. I want to take this opportunity to tell you directly why I took these actions, and what the next steps will be as we respond to the national economic situation.
As you know, we are in the midst of an economic challenge that is historic in its scope. While its cause comes from actions on Wall Street, supported by misguided federal policies from Washington over the past eight years, the result has been an economic recession that is hitting Main Streets and factories and farms and families – and state governments - across the nation.

And as we speak, 43 of our states are either in or headed towards a deficit. Iowa’s Constitution does not allow our state to operate in a deficit. This means cuts in spending are needed to balance our budget.

This process began this fall, when the state’s revenues fell short of predictions. As a response, I directed agencies to cut expenses and unnecessary travel, and to freeze state hiring.

But maintaining a balanced budget and staying in front of this national economic crisis requires continued and shared responsibility throughout state government, as well as in communities statewide.

Last week marked another important step in this process. On Friday, the Revenue Estimating Conference lowered revenue projections for both fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

At that time I indicated I would take action to cut spending in the current 2009 budget by an additional $60 million. I was advised then that this amount would be an appropriate, measured response to the REC action. It would allow my office, state budget planners, the respective state departments and the legislature to begin focusing on the task ahead of putting together a 2010 budget.

However, after further review of our revenue projections and budget commitments along with several meetings of my budget team, I am convinced that $60 million in additional adjustments to the current budget is not enough to prepare us for the challenges before us.

The REC indicates that revenue estimates for both 2009 and 2010 may be reduced even more in April. My Council of Economic Advisors predicts that the bottom of this economic downturn has not yet reached Iowa. And economic trends, both nationally and internationally, continue to bear bad news.

As Governor, I hear these warnings. I will protect our State’s fiscal position, and I will do so without raising taxes on Iowans.

Therefore, over the next few weeks, I am going to take the following steps:
First, I am directing the Department of Management to immediately revise its projected balance sheet for the General Fund in order to adjust for the recent REC action and make other adjustments based upon DOM’s best projections of income and expenditures. This means the State will have a projected negative ending balance on June 30, the end of our current fiscal year.

Therefore, next week I will make across-the-board reductions in General Fund expenditures to assure there will be no State budget deficit at the end of fiscal year 2009. I will sign an Executive Order to implement an across-the-board cut of 1.5% to the general fund, or $91.4 million.

I will ask for one exception to this across-the-board cut: the Correction Officers and Troopers who are on the frontlines and are essential to our public safety. I will ask the legislature to “backfill” an appropriate amount of funding to make sure essential positions are not cut.

In addition, I will ask the legislature to approve transferring approximately $10 million to the General Fund from accounts and funds in state government that have balances that exceed the amount needed for the current fiscal year.

These actions are in addition to $77 million in reduced spending that I announced on December 9. Together, these cuts represent nearly $180 million. This will have an impact on programs that the State provides.

As you can imagine, this is not what I want to do, but as Governor I believe that this is what must be done.

Nonetheless, we are in a better position than most states. We have more than $620 million in cash reserves that will help us through this situation. We have a AAA bond rating that allow us to do some things that other states cannot.

And I am confident that, in January, President-elect Obama and Congress will immediately go to work on an economic stimulus package that will make a difference to critical financial issues facing all States, such as funding for Medicaid, improving our infrastructure, creating new jobs, and rebuilding our economy.

We did not cause this economic crisis.(?!!)
But the responsibility falls to us to respond to it. We have endured challenges in the past, and we have succeeded. Our long history of fiscal responsibility, coupled with the actions I have taken, gives me optimism and confidence about what the future holds for our state. Our Iowa values of resilience, strength, and common-sense will sustain us through this, and any, challenge.

Finally, as this year comes to a close, I want to thank you for your service to our state. From floods and tornadoes, to the economic situation we now face, state employees have always risen to the occasion. So, even as we meet these unexpected challenges, on behalf of the First Lady, and the Lt. Governor, I want to wish you and your families a safe holiday season, and best wishes in the New Year.


Chester J. Culver
Governor of Iowa


Former State Representative Barbara Finch has died in an auto accident.

Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. KCCI has the story.

Iowa’s Financial Bailout: Sell the Lottery

Just a few months ago when the national and world economies collapsed, Iowa Governor Chet Culver, and the Democrat Leaders in the State House and State Senate assured us that Iowa’s economy was still strong and that thanks to the Democrats we have a balanced budget, $600 million dollar cash reserve, and a AAA bond rating. Here, let me translate that for you. Umm we don’t talk about the 1 Billion dollars of increased spending over the last two years, things are great, and you should thank us by voting Democrat.

Now its doom and gloom and I wonder if the average Iowan recognizes their hypocrisy?

What scares the living daylight out me is the fact that in addition to their increased spending, they have also already passed significant tax and fee increases.

They raised the cigarette tax by a dollar per pack.

They increased vehicle title fees dramatically, yet the Iowa DOT says our public road system will experience a $4 billion shortfall in funding for construction and maintenance of public roads over the next 20 years and thus they want a fuel tax increase.

With property values either stagnant or in decline, local municipalities continue to increase the valuations of our homes to generate more revenue, yet many people could not see their home for its assessed value.

Yet with all of these increased fees and taxes Governor Culver and his Democrat friends are going to come and ask for more of your hard earned money because they have to, there is no way around it.

Things are so bad Culver is considering selling the Iowa Lottery to a casino operator. Props to the guys at City View for scooping this one. We don’t know they term of the lease, but we do know that it will be leased for a one time lump sum. Its deals like this that we must oppose. This has absolutely nothing to do with doing what’s best for Iowa, this is all about making sure Chet Culver can paint a good fiscal picture, just like the Dems did in 2008, so he can get reelected.

Wake up people. Say no to Chet’s risky re-election scheme.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can/Should the new RPI Chair serve two masters?

With the Kim Lehman fiasco finally behind us, the original argument used against her and Steve Scheffler in their bids to become our representatives at the National Convention, are now in play for the race for chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.

Gopal Krishna is on the board of the Iowa Christian Alliance
Danny Carroll is on the board of the Iowa Family Policy Center
Matt Strawn is on the board of the Iowa Right to Life

This is a tricky issue because on one hand this is a clear indication that the above candidates will not walk away from the core principles of our party. On the other hand we have seen how wearing two hats can get messy. Whoever is elected chair needs to put the Party first, if one can’t do that they shouldn’t be running.

Pate is up with a website.

Check it out here, sorry I mean here.

Follow Up on Vilsack

For all you arm chair politicos, Tom Vilsack is not going to run against Grassley now that he’s the Secretary of Agriculture. If anyone serious is going to run against Grassley they need to start today. In October Grassley had $2,655,814.95 cash on hand. It take a long time and a bunch of $2300 dollar (1155 if you want the actual number) to raise that much coin. AS SOA Vilsack will not have the time to do his new job while raising money and campaigning against Grassley. Christy is another story but I think she would get killed.

Pizza on Strawn tonight.

In Mason City, with a bad economy this could get spendy. :D

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vilsack to be Named Secretary of Ag

Congrats Tom, but I thought you were in line to be our next US Senator?

While I question his Ag credentials (he’s a town boy/attorney/state senator/ governor) having the SOA from our state is a big deal.

I wonder is Poohsack will try to increase honey production in the US?

The Dark Horse

While the Blogosphere is white hot with discussion about the Chairman’s race for the Republican Party of Iowa, the way I see it, no candidate is close to garnering the nine votes required to be elected. At best one of the candidates may have five votes, but getting to nine is proving to be a difficult task. There is no doubt that this is as volatile of a chair race that many of us have ever seen.

That said; this is the perfect environment for a dark horse candidate to emerge. Some had thought that Strawn was the dark horse, but I had heard rumblings about his quest for chair right after the November elections so I’m not sure that I would classify him as a dark horse.

All I know that with none of the current candidates being able to approach the nine votes needed a dark horse candidate probably has a better shot at winning than most of the current candidates with their hats in the ring. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing either.

Yesterday the Flyover Boys did a great job in describing what we should be looking for in a chair. While many have stated that the best breeding ground for leaders of the party is our grass roots county organizations, I disagree. Our county organizations have many great people associated with them and I mean no disrespect to those people, but the chair of the party needs to be the CEO. I think that is exactly what they Flyover Boys made clear in their post yesterday.

We need a chair that can raise millions of dollars.

We need a chair that will have instant respect from major donors, legislators, Vaudt, Northey, King, Latham, and Grassley.

We need a chair that understands our grassroots activists and wants to help them.

We need a chair who doesn’t want to water down what our party stands for, but wants to create bold contrasts between Republicans and Democrats, but also refuse to walk away from our conservative principles.

There are very few people in Iowa who fill that bill, but they do exist. Recent guys who have raised that kind of money are former statewide and federal candidates like Jim Nussle, Doug Gross, Mike Whalen, and Jeff Lamberti. While they all have baggage from their losing campaigns, we would be stupid not to do all we can to keep them involved with the party.

Another name that gets kick around as a potential gubernatorial candidate is Bruce Rastetter. There is a debate on whether he wants to run for Governor or be a king maker in Iowa politics. If he’s the later, than he’s a name that deserves consideration. Rastetter clearly has an interest in Republican politics and he has been a major player in a multiple cycles.

As for me, I’m a patient man. I’ll wait until the first of the year or so to see what the field looks like them because I don’t think the field is set yet.

What say you?

(Keep it clean and positive please. Some of you went over the line yesterday.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

There is more to leading the Party than being well versed in BlogSpot, Twitter, and YouTube.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Republican Party in Iowa needs to do a better job in communicating its message to voters, and communicating with its county organizations and activists. Last week it seemed to me that many of my collogues in the Iowa Blogosphere went a little overboard on the importance of New Media. Yes it’s free and we should be using it, but it’s really a small piece of the puzzle.

Last week technology buzz was largely created by Matt Strawn’s chairman announcement which was made done on YouTube which was followed up with a blog and email communication. Krusty Kudos to Strawn for doing using these mediums, I think it was a very wise move on his part.

As for the technology debate, I think these conversations are more pertinent in the discussion of what type of person the party should hire to be its communications director. Should we hire someone who can write a press release for the 2 or 3 times a year where that is needed, or should we instead look for a person who can use social networking tools to communicate for the Party? I’d rather have the later. The RPI communications director should be more of a reporter, than a sit behind the desk staffer.

As for the chair election, I remain unkommitted. I want to see big ideas; I want to see someone discuss the mechanics of voter turnout. Unfortunately, nobody has released those types of plans yet, but it’s still early and I don’t have a vote in this matter so I might not be privy to such information.

My friend over at Fly Over Country nailed it today. This is a must read.

Newsflash: It’s Cold Out

-2 yikes, I’m glad the heat is working at the Krusty Konservative Corporate Offices.

Props to President Bush

For showing some athletic ability when an Iraqi journalist stood up and threw his shoes at the President. Bush took it in stride, but maybe someone might want to tell this dude what would have happened if he had done that to Saddam Hussein…

I can’t wait till Bush is gone…

I had thought that Bush could do no more damage for the Republican Party after Obama won the election. Man I was I wrong. Bush is set to give the auto industry (UAW) another $40 billion dollars. This is insane; the UAW President was out there bashing Republicans and the “Far Right” on Friday. So what does Bush do, he goes out and gives them more than Congress was going to give them. Sure the UAW will thank Bush, but continue to be the Democrat grassroots operation. Sickening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Harkin: Liberal Elitism at its Best

Tucked away on the Des Moines Register’s website is a story about the plane carrying Ruth Harkin that skidded off the runway at the Waterloo airport on Friday. Harkin was in Black Hawk County for a Board of Regents meeting at the University of Northern Iowa.

I’m glad that Mrs. Harkin attends these meetings and takes her role on the Board of Regents seriously. When she was appointed to her position with the Regents, many wondered how she would attend the meetings since she lives and spends the majority of her time in the DC area. Friday’s incident at the Waterloo airport provides us with a glimpse on she is able to balance her responsibilities in DC and Iowa, the use of ConocoPhilips $60 million dollar corporate jet.

I think it’s outrageous that Ruth Harkin can use a $60 million dollar corporate jet complete with two pilots and a flight attendant for her private use. I guess I’m assuming that ConocoPhillips doesn’t have any business in front of the Board of Regents. Furthermore, one has to wonder if Ruth Harkin would receive such a generous gift from ConocoPhilips if she wasn’t married to a very powerful United States Senator.

I doubt that Senator Harkin would be able to accept such a lavish gift from any company due to Senate rules dealing with such matters. Unfortunately, those same rules don’t extend to the spouses of our elected officials.

In a time when the American public is outraged over the irresponsibility of corporate America, which was clearly illustrated by the Big 3 automakers when they showed up in DC on their private jets to beg for billions of taxpayer dollars. We should expect more from corporate America, those in financial trouble and those who are not, and we should expect more of our elected officials and their families as well.

Tom Harkin is also a hypocrite. When asked about the Big 3 flying to DC on their private jets he said, “the big three automakers "thumbed their noses" at taxpayers by flying private jets to Washington, D.C. this week rather than cutting company costs and flying commercial." Yet he must think it’s OK for ConocoPhillips to fly his wife back to Iowa to attend to her personal business. I also find it hypocritical that while Harkin has been critical of companies like ConocoPhilips, his wife and their bank account continue to benefit.

Conoco-Harkin, Liberal elitism at its best!

Oh, and I almost forgot. After reading about ConcoPhillips generosity to Ruth Harkin, one tends to understand why Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich thought he should benefit financially from having to fill President Elect Obama’s Senate seat.

Friday, December 12, 2008

2010: Make or Break for Iowa Republicans

There was a lot of talk after the devastating elections of 2006 that the 2008 contests were of critical importance. While I thought they were important, I have long thought that the 2010 elections will determine if Iowa is a blue, red or purple state.

Even with gains in the State Senate, and House, Iowa Democrats thought they were going to fair much better on November 4th than they did. That’s good news for Republicans, many GOP insiders feel that we have reached bottom and are beginning to rebound. So while that’s good news, I think Iowa Republicans need to be prepared to defend three seats in Iowa they might otherwise overlook.

With King and Latham proving that they are entrenched in their congressional districts Iowa democrats will probably only put up token opposition to them in 2010. It is my belief that they will target our state wide officials in an effort to make Iowa a solid blue state. There is no doubt Iowa Democrats will do whatever it takes to see Chet Culver reelected, but Grassley, Vaudt, and Northey better be prepared for stiff competition.

If you don’t believe me just read this.

While former Governor Tom Vilsack was obviously disappointed that he wasn’t tabbed for a cabinet post in the Obama administration, so was I. Vilsack is an obvious candidate to run against Senator Grassley. DailyKos recently had Research 2000 conduct a poll of a likely Grassley v. Vilsack 2010 matchup.

The results are sobering

Grassley: 48%
Vilsack: 44%


Approve 57
Disapprove 36


Approve 55
Disapprove 36

Now I have to remind you that Research 2000 was the same group that had Becky Greenwald within 5 points when Latham’s internals showed him with a 22 point lead.
There is no doubt that a poll like this is done to encourage Vilsack to run, but Iowa Republicans must be prepared. Sure the 2008 elections just ended, but we have a lot of work to do; and a lot on the line in 2010.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Iowa GOP Chair Race

By now you have probably figured out that I don’t think Gopla Krishna should be elected to be the Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. How this liar is still even an option is beyond me.

So with that out of the way I want to assess the field of candidates and look at the other candidates weaknesses. I’m not doing this to tear these guys down, I’m doing it to because this is serious business and we need to be sure that the SCC gets the best person possible to fill this position. That means asking these candidates the tough questions.

In an effort of full disclosure I’m a long way from throwing my support behind any candidate. While many people want to know who it’s going to be sooner rather than later, these kinds of elections are very fluid. We could see new candidates emerge, or a candidate who has been written off could catch fire. As a reminder at this time in 2006 Ray Hoffmann wasn’t even an option, yet he won in a convincing manner when the vote was taken.

Before we look at the current fields weaknesses, I first want to say that all are good people who believe they can move the party forward. If you see them, thank them for wanting to make our party better.

Matt Randall: Randall is a current SCC member and Ames businessman.

Strengths: His passion to get young people more involved in the party, and his determination to see RPI run more like a business.

Weakness: Outside of Ames Randall is unknown and is a relative newcomer to Statewide Republican Politics.

Matt Strawn
: Strawn is the Principal owner of the Iowa Barnstormers, former Iowa campaign Manager for John McCain, and former Chief of Staff for Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers.

Strengths: Strawn brings a young fresh face to RPI, his experience in DC makes him well versed in various issues and I’m told he has some experience in fundraising.

Weakness: While Strawn is a native Iowan, he just moved to the state a year and a half ago meaning he is basically unknown outside of a few circles.

Gopal Krishna
: Krishna was forced to resign as Co-Chair of the Party early in 2000. He worked to undermine the leadership of the party in his quest to take over the reins himself. Recently it seems that Krishna has some trouble with the truth about his past involvement with the party.

Strengths: None

Weakness: Plenty. Seriously, if the SCC wants to make the party irrelevant elect this guy.

Danny Carroll: Carroll is a former state legislator, and board member of the Iowa Family Policy Center.

Strengths: a long time legislator who understands the legislative process and various issues. He’s also well respected and mild mannered.

Weakness: his mild mannered soft spoken demeanor is perceived that he lacks the fire in the belly to lead our party out of our current darkness. Carroll has also lost his last two bids for his State House Seat.

Christopher Reed
: Reed is a businessman for Marion who recently ran against Sen. Tom Harkin.

Strengths: was able to win a 3 way US Senate primary with limited resources.

Weakness: unable to raise significant money.

Andy Cable: Cable is a longtime GOP activist and chair from Hardin County.

Strengths: as a long time county activist he has an understanding of how the party should work.

Weakness: unknown to most people.

Paul Pate: Pate is a former State Senator, Secretary of State, Gubernatorial Candidate, and Mayor. He is a businessman from Cedar Rapids.

Strengths: has proven the ability to win local and state wide elections in the past and raised adequate money to support his campaigns.

Weakness: while Pate is still well known in Linn County, he hasn’t been visible or involved in statewide politics for almost a decade.

Ted Sporer: Sporer is an attorney from Des Moines, former SCC member, and chair of the Polk county GOP.

Strengths: as a party insider for years he understands the problems that the party faces.

Weakness: his actions don’t match his rhetoric.

I don’t know if the perfect person to chair the Republican Party exists. For me the ideal person has already been involved helping elect Republicans in Iowa. Is known by a number of people around the state, not just in Des Moines, has the ability to raise money for the party, can articulate the Republican message, and put in place a team of people who are interested in helping Republicans win rather than taking a paycheck and padding one’s resume.

Knowing that many of you have a horse in this race please share the strengths of your candidate. Lets keep this constructive.

Random thought on Blagojevich

I think the corruption case involving Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is going to be a messy one. There is no doubt in my mind that Blago will cut a deal and squeal. Does he chirp about Rezko and Ayers, is Rahm Emanuel involved? This is undoubtedly bad news for President Elect Obama as he is tarnished at the worst time in his post election honeymoon.

On another note it is widely known that “Candidate 5” is Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. While the Feds have said it wasn’t him who indicated a willingness to pay for a senate appointment, I wonder if this so called emissary is none other than Jessie Jackson Sr.

Cyclone Conservative is back on line.

Welcome back Don!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trouble with the Truth

Last week we all took a little time to look back at Gopal Krishna’s first go around with the Republican Party of Iowa. If you weren’t around then or didn’t read my posts on the subject you just have to know it wasn’t what some would call constructive, and Krishna ultimately faced removal from his post as Co-Chair and resigned from the Party.

I’m told that Mr. Krishna was angered with my posts on his time at the party and told people it was a bunch of lies. What’s a blogger to do, I don’t think posting a couple Yepsen articles, and a run down from the SCC meeting which sought his removal, and a letter form the Co-Chair of the party and a majority of the people on the SCC is spreading lies, but letting people know about past events.

I was a little surprised to see Krishna tell the Iowa Independent that there was never a Krishna/Sporer slate, and he’s not even decided that he’s running for chair. These are bold faced lies. Lets look at the time line of events last week.

First Grant posted about the “secret meeting” in which the Krishna/Sporer slate was discussed. This piqued my interest for a number of reasons but I didn’t write about it because I didn’t have a source but know that Grant wouldn’t have posted the story if there wasn’t truth behind it. Then SCC member David Chung chimed in with this post, which included the following:

The other issue of course is the election of a new party chairman. Yesterday, Grant Young (aka G$) over at Questions, Comments and Insults, scooped everyone by making public the slate of Gopal Krishna as chairman and Ted Sporer as co-chair.

After reading those comments from a SCC who would shoot down false rumors I moved forward with my posts. So while Gopal lies to the Iowa Independent and say’s he’s not running, SCC member Bill Anderson told the Sioux City Journal that Krishna has asked for his support.

In the Iowa Independent, Krishna said that bloggers like Grant and I are lying and trying to divide the party. He said, “we can express opinions without bashing people.” If properly vetting a candidate who seeks to lead the Party is “bashing” and trying to tear the party about then I’m fine with that.
It seems that Mr. Krishna has some trouble with the truth, which is why I have a problem with him being the leader of the Republican Party in Iowa.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Marriage on Trial

The Iowa Supreme Court begins hearing a case that could bring gay marriage to Iowa. Battleground has a link to where you can listen to the proceedings. To be really honest I feel pessimistic about this trial. I think it has to do with how quickly the moral foundation of our country has been compromised. Less than nine years ago someone told be that this day would come, I didn’t believe them. I could never foresee our government thrown out the institution of marriage. I also didn’t see the quick march to socialism either but that’s what we have here today.

One of the things that bothers me the most about this case is how it ended up in the courts. You may remember it was the Democrat “leaders” in the State House and Senate who punted the issue to them because there was no way they would go on record by voting on whether or not gay and lesbian couples should be afforded special rights that allow them to marry. Ahhhh politics.

Jan Michelson had a great show yesterday about this. He talked about how No Fault Divorces have already gutted the institution of marriage. If the courts allow gay marriage in our state, our first action item should be to revoke our No Fault Divorce laws. Marriage isn’t something you do for a few years. The liberals on the left want to make this about health benefits and emergency room visitation, that’s just a sham.

Speaking courts, the Feds took the Illinois Governor into custody.

Chicago politics at its best, nothing like selling a seat to the United States Senate.

Monday, December 8, 2008

SCC Meeting Rekap

Lehman Censured

The Republican State Central Committee censured National Committeewoman Kim Lehman at this weekend meeting. To read the censure click here. The motion passed by an 8-7 vote. I think this was the correct action to take against Lehman since she was clearly in the wrong. However I think the censure motion is poorly written.

The issue at hand was not that Iowa Right to Life “attacked and distorted” Miller-Meeks the pro-life position, it was that our National Committeewoman sent out the email containing these comments and she did nothing to show her support of our Republican nominee for Congress in the 2nd District.

Somehow people are distorting that simple fact, and people like Steve Deace are trying to make this about Miller-Meeks not Kim Lehman. The truth is Kim was naïve in using her email address to send out the IRL voter guide, and even more naïve in her response to the mess she created.

A number of people from the 2nd District came to speak out about the matter and I heard that most of them did a great job in stating their opinion, and Chairman Iverson kept control of the meeting. Unfortunately, there is always someone who uses a situation like this to throw more gas on the fire. Linn County GOP Chair Jim Conklin continued to make an ass out of himself. His ranting and raving about the Scheffler, Lehman and the rest of the SCC adding nothing to the debate at hand. Some people just like to scream because it makes them feel more like a man I guess. Fortunately for every Jim Conklin we have a Trudy Caviness who is far more respected and able to get her point across with her approach.

Heck, while I’m at it I would like to pose a simple question. Who cost Miller-Meeks more votes, Kim Lehman or Jim Conklin? If we every want to win the 2nd CD Republicans need to offset the Dems vote margin in Johnson County and the only place that is possible is in Linn County. We need a much stronger effort in Linn County.
On one final note, I think the decision to use a secret ballot for the censure vote was good. I understand why people wanted to know who voted which way, but we need to put this issue behind us. A roll call vote would just have put targets on some people’s backs. We need to move forward.

Reed v. Mosley

Another heated exchange at the meeting was between Christopher Reed and Co-Chair Leon Mosley. While Kim Lehman has received most of the attention for her actions, not many people have discussed the fact that our Co-Chair was out campaigning for Steve Rathje even after George Eichhorn and Reed jumped into the race. Reed pointed this out, and Mosley defended his support of Rathje by saying that Reed was never going to raise the money or gain the support by jumping in late. Newsflash Leon, Rathje wasn’t going to do any better, and the fact that he finished 3rd should tell you to let it go.

Strawn is running for Chair

I was a little worried that my intelligence on him as a potential candidate for Chair was wrong. Strawn hosted a reception for SCC members at their hotel on Friday night. The chair election will be on January 10th.

Parting Shots

Kudos to RPI for feeding all the folks who attended the meeting. Classy move, at the end of the day we are all family.

Kudos to everyone for enduring a 6 or 7 hour meeting on a Saturday. I was on my couch watching football. Also props to the 1000 or so people who kept checking out my blog on Saturday, when are you going to learn, I don’t work weekends.

Kudos to Iverson for running a good meeting. This stuff gets overlooked too often.

Kudos to Grant Young for keeping us posted Saturday. See the young kids get to work weekends.

Kudos for not electing a chair and setting up a public forum for candidates later this month.

Kudos to Lehman for showing poise and strength through a difficult meeting. Now learn from this.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Past behavior is always the best indicator of what to expect in the future. Just say no to Gopal.

I have spent the last two days making sure that people know about Gopal Krishna’s past involvement with the Republican Party of Iowa. Some have been critical of my approach, I expected that, which is why I have waited and wrestled with posting this information.

I believe that electing a new chair at RPI is probably the most important step in the Republican Party’s rekonstruction. If they do their homework and get it right, we will find success. If they fail, we will simply waste another two years and continue to the Party that’s lost in the woods.

The one thing that surprises me the most of about the discovery of a secret slate for Chair and Co-Chair is the fact that it seems to be more of a power grab, than an effort find the right people to fix what ails the Party. Ask yourself the following questions.

As chairman would Gopal be able to be a good communicator for the Party?

He is obviously very intelligent, but to be honest he’s hard to understand which doesn’t bode well for him in TV and Radio interviews. He has chaired the3rd District Caucus a few times and people have said they can’t understand him. So will be able to motivate the base of our party?

As chairman would Gopal be able to raise the necessary funds to not only make the party operate, but to grow it?

With a poor economy fundraising is going to be difficult no matter who the next Chair is going to be. But what kind of experience does Gopal have in raising money? What kind of connections does he have with previous and potential donors? You can have the best plans in the world but if you can’t fund them they are worthless.

Speaking of plans, does Gopal have one?

I’m told that Sporer, Pate, and Carroll have been communicating their ideas for the party, but what are Gopal’s plans? We all agree that we need to do things differently, but just saying that isn’t good enough.

In my opinion it looks like a power grab if you ask me, which would be consistent with what Gopal was up to in the cycles leading up to his resignation/removal in 2000.

So let’s look back to what lead to his removal.

Gopal served as Co-Chairman for several cycles, all thorns in the side of the sitting Chairman. In 1996, Brian Kennedy helped lead us to a majority in the Iowa Senate. What did Gopal do? No help with fundraising or organization. Why then did he want to be co-chair? You would expect a co-chair to put some sweat and time into preserving and strengthening our Party. Gopal began bad mouthing the Party, its leaders and the decisions that were being made. He went to Central Committee meeting after Central Committee meeting trashing the state party. He says he would do a better job if he were chairman. An interesting tactic in building party unity.

When the time came for the next chairman’s election, Gopal promised to be good and work with the new chair. He said he wanted to build a stronger party. He was re-elected.

In 1998 during Steve Grubb’s tenure, Iowa was the only state in the union to gain seats in our legislature. The only state! Who ran the legislative races…..the state party. During the Lightfoot campaign’s self-destruction, the Party was still able to make inroads on the democrats in the statehouse and picked up seats. What did Gopal do? He continued his campaign across the state bad mouthing the party, its staff and the product it produced. Again, an interesting tactic in building party unity.

When the time came for the next chairman’s election Gopal tried to pour over the wounds of the State Central Committee and County Chairman, it wasn’t well received. A candidate to replace him was found and unfortunately, Gopal won be a narrow margin.

We all thought the final chapter in the Gopal saga would be the 2000 election cycle under Kayne Robinson. The Assistant Chief of Des Moines PD had a zero tolerance for bullshit. Robinson met with Gopal as soon as he was elected chairman and told Gopal there would be NO disruptions and NO undermining the Party or the Chairman. Robinson warned him and told him his time, as co-chairman would be over. Gopal begged Robinson to trust him and that he would never do that to him.

And so it began…Gopal’s final push to become Chairman. Gopal engaged his followers from the SCC; David Karwoski, Michael Clark, and Lisa Smith. Kirshna and his group ran across the state bad mouthing Robinson and the state party on every decision made at headquarters. It even got so bad that the Kirshna group tried to block the purchase of a digital camera and a fax machine. Small purchases to some, but he campaigned around the state saying the state party was wasting funds. Wasting funds by purchasing a digital camera and fax machine. What???? Is this building party unity? Is this being a team player?

As the votes were put together Steve Scheffler was solid behind Robinson. He was even working the coalition to oust Gopal. Scheffler, what has changed your mind since 2000? I hear that you are telling people that you are not involved in the race for chairman. The national committeeman for the state party is not involved in this race? I thought we elected you as a leader of the party back at the state convention. It would be nice to hear from John Hulsizer and Leon Mosley on this matter as well.

The above might not sound serious to some, but the best way to ruin any organization is to undermine it leadership. What would happen in any business if the VP of the company was going out to its dealers saying that the company sucks and would be better if I was the CEO. Dude would lose his job the same day. This is what Gopal’s history is. He’s not a team player, he’s a cancer.

We need a chairman who can unite our party, raise the necessary funds, and implement new ideas which will help us win election. Gopal didn’t do anything to help with our legislative successes in 96 or 98; he just caused internal problems in hopes to gain control of the party.

Is this the guy to lead us in our weakest hour? I don’t think so.

Gopal’s ouster in 2000 sets a precedent for Chair election to happen without notice.

It seems that the State Central Committee could elect a new Chair when they meet this weekend. Previously we were lead to believe that the election would occur on January 10th. According to 2nd District SCC member David Chung, no 10 day notice required to have a chair election. However the party by-laws do stipulate that a written agenda outlining the subjects to be covered at the meeting has to be included, and while SCC members can request items for discussion, it needs to be done prior to the notice.

I was able to get my hands on the minutes from the September 18, 1999 SCC meeting. This was the meeting in which current Chairman Kayne Robinson asked for Gopal Krishna removal as the Party’s Co-Chair. Ultimately, Lisa Smith (a current SCC member) delivered Gopal’s letter of resignation to the committee.

Before that however the committee had a long debate on whether or not they could vote to remove Gopal since it was not included in the agenda. The committee decided that they could remove him since the agendas that are sent out are often vague. This is further strengthened when the committee voted Leon Mosley as Co-Chair of the Party at the same time.

So here’s the deal. The SCC can elect a new chair tomorrow if they choose to. I would urage you to contact your SCC members and tell them not to do so. Are all the potential chair candidates going to be at this weekends meeting? Are the only two candidates for Co-Chair Leon Mosley and Ted Sporer? Additionally, if it is true that there is support of the Gopal/Sporer slate some county activists might what to hear from their SCC members why this is the best direction for the party before the vote is taken, not after.

Contact your SCC members. Their email address can be found here.

Iowa Republicans: Back to the Future?

Many of us in the blogosphere give David Yepsen crap about his inability to write anything good these days. After doing so digging around I see that the articles Yepsen is writing today about the Iowa GOP are very similar to what was being written back in 2000 when Khrishna was removed/resigned from the State Party.

Any of this sound familiar to you?

“Former Republican state party co-chair Gopal Krishna of West Des Moines is feuding with state party chair Kayne Robinson. It's one of those deals over who is in charge and whether the party is being run properly.”

“This sort of internecine warfare has become a routine sideshow on the Republican State Central Committee. It seems there's always some plot bubbling somewhere. It would be funny if it weren't so serious.”

“They consistently fail to execute a decent Election Day get-out-the-vote effort around Iowa. Democrats are doing a better job turning out their base vote.

Privately, many Republicans agree and say fixing that problem is the No. 1 task facing the central committee.”

All from Yepsen’s column in the Des Moines Register on May 13, 2000

“The central committee is charged with getting out a base Republican vote in each election. In recent years, it's been failing. Instead, the committee enjoys infighting.”

From Yepsen’s May 1, 2000 Column in the Register

Is Gopal the change we need, or just more of the same crap that has made Iowa Republicans a minority party in Iowa? Since we know there is a slate that was presented to some members of the SCC, I want to hear why this is our best option.

More to follow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gopal as RPI Chair - Really?

I’ll be posting a series of things about Gopal Krishna who seems to have the inside track to be the next Chair of the Republican Party of Iowa. The intended purpose of the following posts are to educate current SCC members and County activists about what lead Krishna to resign from the party in 2000.

The following is a letter to all Republican District Caucus Delegates and Alternates from April 24, 2000. The Letter is signed by Leon Mosley, the National Committeeman and Committee woman, and 11 SCC members. Including current members of the committee like John Hulsizer and Steve Scheffler.

I think Mosley, Hulsizer and Scheffler should inform us how Mr. Krishna changed since April 24, 2000 that would warrant a complete 180 from removing his as Co-Chair to now possibly electing him Chairman of the Party.

The Lehman Drama Kontinues

I’m going to be in and out today so I don’t have a lot of time to devote to the blog. I still plan on posting about the RPI chair race either later today or first thing Friday. That subject deserves a little more attention in light of my friend Grant’s scoop on a Gopal/Sporer ticket.

In the short time I have before I need to run out I want to discuss the other hot button topic that will be discussed on Saturday, the Kim Lehman fiasco. Now most of you know I advocated for Sandy Greiner before the convention, and called out Lehman for her actions in opposition to Miller-Meeks. I still think what Lehman did was wrong and stupid, and all she ended up doing is widening the divide that currently exists in our Party while confirming the argument used against her at the state convention, that she’s incapable of wearing the hats of IRTL, and National Committeewoman for the Republican Party of Iowa.

So by now we all know that a throng of people from the 2nd CD will attend the State Central Committee to demand her removal or encourage her to resign her position with the Party. With the economy in the shape its in those people might want to save the money and time it will take them to get to Des Moines because at the end of the day Kim Lehman will still be the National Committeewoman.

What many people have overlooked in this matter, including myself, is the simple fact that the SCC has no authority to ask for her removal. In fact I don’t think the constitution and bylaws that govern the State Party have anything to do with the National Committee people because they are technically members of the RNC.

I couldn’t find the Iowa GOP’s bylaws on line, but I did look at the RNC rules which can be found here. From reading it over it seems the only reason a National Committeeman or Committeewoman can be removed from office is if they do not support the Republican nominee for President or Vice President.

So while I don’t have any problem with people being upset with Lehman, they need to voice their opinions one last time and move on. Additionally, Kim has a lot of work to do to clean up her image. I think the larger task at hand for the SCC is finding a new Chair.

More on that later today or first thing tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Komment on Yesterday’s Komments

Last night Steve Deace of WHO Radio and Ed Failor, Jr. of Iowans for Tax Relief, had an interesting discussion in the comment section in yesterday’s post about the Republican Rekonstruction effort. My friend Dustin Blythe also contributed some good constructive thoughts as well. I just want to tell people that their back and fourth is what was intended when I created this blog a few years ago. Sadly there are some who take the opportunity to attack those that either makes them feel uncomfortable or disagree with. Krusty Kudos to all of you who participated in a grown up conversation yesterday.

While I’m mentioning Deace, I have long not understood the Republican hostility towards him. Sure he doesn’t tout the Republican line like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh, but we know that because he has been very clear that he serves Almighty God not a political party. I’m fine with that, its not like he is our Party chairman, he’s a radio talk show host.

As for Dustin’s comments about what I have written about Doug Gross and Dave Roederer, I will continue to stand by every single word that I have written on this blog. Maybe I’m wrong but just because Doug and Dave have a long history of political involvement in this state doesn’t mean that their line of thinking is correct when it comes to watering down what our Party stands for and their insistence on pissing on Iowa’s First in the Nation status.

Quite frankly I’m a little bit disturbed that more people are not outraged that some of our Republican leaders want to moderate our core principles. Trust me folks, a Milquetoast Party of Iowa isn’t ever going to win an election. Secondly, I feel it is a crime against the Party when Doug and Dave openly speculate that major candidates will skip the caucuses because of the large group of Republican evangelicals that dominate the First in the Nation Caucus. Our best way to grow our Party is through the caucuses, look at what South Carolina has done with its First in the South status.

Anyway, I understand that Doug and Dave are key movers and shakers, especially when the caucuses roll around. That’s why they should me the Iowa Caucuses number one cheerleaders, not its main detractors. While I’m sure both advised Romney and McCain to play hard in our state, the simple fact is sometimes you get beat; especially we you fail to bring in new people to the process. So while I’m sure they are not used to people holding them accountable for their words and actions, I will continue to do so. As I’ve said before when they stop bemoaning about Iowa’s social conservatives and pissing all over the Iowa Caucuses, I’ll stop writing about them.

On a related note, I meant to write about this on Monday. Before I loaded up my Thanksgiving plate we took time to pray like so many other families do. Before the prayer a member at the table read the following:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

Abraham Lincoln
President of the United States
1863 Proclamation of Thanksgiving

I’m always amazed how our founding documents and the words of our great leaders remain timeless. I often try to think what our Founders or Lincoln would think about the current debate we are having about moderating our position, or the growing belief that government’s law is supreme, not Gods. Or what would they think if they walked into the new Capitol Visitor Center and saw engraved in the walls “We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution,” which is a complete misrepresentation of our nation’s real history.

I laughed in my History of Political Thought class in college at the notion that a Democracy will evolve into socialism over time. I’m not laughing anymore.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rekonstruction: How to build a more inclusive Party.

Talk to any Republican moderate, conservative, or libertarian in Iowa and they will all tell you that the Party needs to be more inclusive if they want to win elections. The problem is while they are all saying pretty much the same thing; it means different things to different people.

So while we could sit around a table and debate what part of our party platform we should ignore, I propose that we look at getting people involved in areas that they are passionate about, and build our party that way. There is so much that Iowa Republicans need to accomplish over the next 21 months, we need all hands on deck, everyone must help in the Reconstruction effort if we are to be successful.

The first step in building a more inclusive Party is for the State Central Committee (SCC) and its new Chair, and Co-Chair to recognize that that they need to let more people be part of the process. A strong organization is built through activity and increased participation. Let’s use a church as an example of what I’m talking about. If the members of a church only show up and talk to other members on Sunday’s that church has a hard time growing and attracting new members. Every church I’ve been to understands this, and thus put a premium on its members being part of a small group. These small groups often meet and socialize outside of the church and are formed on either a shared interest or similar set of circumstances that the members are facing.

Small groups are an easy concept that’s been right under our nose for a long, long time, but the only small groups that exist for Iowa Republicans are either County Central Committees or the State Central Committee. We have failed to use issues, events, and projects to grow our Party through small groups.

Build Small Groups via Issues

We all know there are people in our Party who are passionate about one particular issue over another. Some quick examples that come to mind are Life, Traditional Marriage, Immigration, Taxes, Economic Development, Health Care, and Renewable Energy. We should be pooling our best and brightest talent in each of these areas. A group like this could be tasked with a number of things like suggesting legislation, providing talking points to our supporters and activists, and encouraging other people who share their passion on a given issue to get involved with our Party.

Build Small Groups via Events

While I think getting more people involved in small groups will help the Party fundraise, when I say events I’m not talking about things like the Lincoln or Reagan Dinners. I’m talking about events like the Caucuses, Straw Poll, and other potential opportunities to earn media coverage when they may arise. Iowa Republicans will once again host the First in the Nation Caucuses in 2012 and probably a Straw Poll in 2011. I think it would wise to create some small groups that look for ways to make these events better and more successful. We have a wealth of political talent in this state but we don’t utilize it like we should. Additionally, issues arise where we should make sure our voices are heard. For example in a few days the Iowa Supreme Court will begin hearing the case against traditional marriage in our state. It might be wise to for Iowa Republicans to organize a rally at the judicial building. It’s an easy way to have our point of view heard and a good way to bring more people into the fold.

Build Small Groups via Projects

Let’s see, we seem to have a problem with our absentee and early voter program, not to mention same day voter registration. Instead of complaining about it, we should find people who are passionate about these issues and let them come up with a plan. No matter your opinion of Rep. Christopher Rants, he is very passionate about these issues and we need to find a way to use it to build and grow our party.

Our goal for a new Republican Party should be one that engages the activist and gives them ownership in the process. Some people get nervous when the term “Big tent” gets thrown around, but if everyone has a job, or responsibility, we are less likely to bicker over the 5% of things we disagree on. The Janet Metcalf’s and Joy Corning’s of the world feel like they don’t have a place within our party. Sadly they are correct. Now they must understand that the Party isn’t going to compromise on some core principles they might not agree with, but we desperately need their help on those things that that motivated them to get involved in politics in the first place.

The SCC and Party Leadership must change they way they operate. Currently our flock only gathers at a monthly County Central Committee or a quarterly SCC meeting. We must find a way to break that mold if we ever want to grow.

I’d like to know your constructive thoughts on this or any other ideas you may have.

Catching up on a few items.

Yepsen Interviews

David Yepsen interviewed for a new job yesterday. You can read the story here. By looking at his competition for the director's position at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and SIU I think he is a lock and they would be lucky to have him. I had to laugh though at some of the things he wants the center to focus on; it’s the same stuff he has written about for years at the Register.

You could get locked up for 3 years is you shoot yourself.

Don’t get me wrong here, NY Giants wide receiver, Plaxico Burress is a moron for shooting himself in the leg with a handgun recently. However the hairs on the back of my head stood up as I watch New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg say that Burress should serve 3 years behind bars if convicted of possessing a loaded handgun. I’m sorry I thought as an American I had the right to bear arms. Now I don’t know any of the details about what Burress did, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have a permit to carry a gun, but Bloomberg’s words were shocking if you ask me.

Are you smarter than a Becky Greenwald? Kurt Meyer’s is not.

Before the November election it became pretty clear that Becky Greenwald had no business running for Congress. That led me to wonder how in the world did she win her primary? Well I found the answer to that question today. The following is a letter that 4th District congressional candidate Kurt Meyer sent the FEC:

Michelle Lee Grant
Senior Campaign Finance Analyst
Reports Analysis Division
Federa Elections Commission
999 E Street N.W.
Washingtone, D.C. 20463

Identification Number: C00443325
Reference: Termination Report (7/1/08 - 7/31/08)

Dear Ms. Grant:

This is in response to your letter of August 21, 2008 promted by the Commission's preliminary review of Kurt Meyer for Congress compaign's termination report.

The purpose of this letter is to formally state that all loans made to the campaign by Kurt Meyer from personal funds have been forgiven.

This statement is submitted as an amendment to the campaign's termination report (2 U.S.C. 434(b)(8)).

If you have questions for me or need additioanl informaiton, I can be reached most conveniently via email at the following email address: *******


Kurt Meyer

Holy misspellings and grammatical errors Batman. And you guys think I’m bad…

Lord of the Ring

It looks like President Elect Obama is taking some pointers from Kobe Bryant and is getting Michelle a $30,000.00 ring for her support during the Presidential campaign.

A couple of thoughts.

First, if I’m his daughters I’m pissed because all they got was a dog. Secondly, it shows Obama as an elitist.

Now I could care less what the dude does with his own money, but I doubt this sits well with people who have watched their 401k’s decrease in value by 40% in the last few months, or those who struggle to make they loan payments.

More on the Republican Rekonstruction later in the morning.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I’m Back!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break. I know some of my hardcore readers wanted a little content to hold them over for some of the break but I needed a little break. It’s great to be back, and we have a lot to discuss.

GOP Central Committee meets this weekend.

My sources tell me that there will not be a chairman vote; that will be held till their January meeting. So this weekend’s gathering will be more about the direction of the party since the losses on November 4th.

Personally, I have never liked the fact that Iowa Republicans wait so long to elect their new leader. By the time a new chair is elected 3 months will have passed, three months we will never get back in rebuilding the Party apparatus. At our current rate a new Chair will be elected in January, and staff will be brought in sometime in February. While 3 months is too long to go without a chair election, the Party can’t go without a fundraising operation for 4 months.

As we get fired back up after the break we will be discussing some of the things that our representatives on the SCC should discuss at their meeting this weekend. Please add your thoughts in the comment section.

Terror Attacks in India

I don’t know if I’m the only one but the Thanksgiving Terror attacks in India scare the crap out of me. The rocky relations between India and Pakistan are well known, and could escalate at a moment’s notice. Both countries have nuclear weapons, and with America in a time of transition, we are not able to play a meaningful proactive role in calming the tensions between the two. While America is focused on its financial crisis, we still need to be the voice of reason around the world.