I tuned in last night to WHO to hear Steve Deace interview Peter Teahen, GOP primary Kandidate for Iowa’s Second Kongressional District. I have to say, I was pleased to see that Deace used many of my recommended questions. Unfortunately, I found Teahen’s answers less than satisfactory.
Deace didn’t hold back (too much). There were some things I wish he would have explored further, but given the time allotted, he kovered a lot of ground. Deace jumped right in to the whole David Tredrea thing. But, then Deace pretty much left it alone when Teahen klaimed that the FBI and Scotland Yard are involved and that his life had been threatened by Mr. Tredea while the two were in Darfur. I don’t know what to believe about all this, but if there really are restraining orders in place as Teahen claims, kan we see them? The cynic in me thinks that Teahen calling Tredea a psychotic krackpot would be a pretty good way to try to discredit him and avoid actually dealing with the allegations. And who is going to be able to actually check on these claims and see if Scotland Yard really is trying to track down Tredea? Before next Tuesday?
I guess if I felt Teahen had been honest about everything else, I’d find it easier to believe him about this. When Deace asked why he had been a registered Democrat, Teahen said that Mike Blouin had been a personal friend of his, and so he switched parties to vote for Blouin in the Democratic Primary. The problem is that Teahen had spent many years as a registered Democrat prior to the Bouin race, and Teahen failed to mention that until a kaller brought it up.
Ah, yes, the phone kalls. There were some good ones. One asked about a quote in the Iowa City Press Citizen in which Teahen had said he was a registered Democrat so that he could have a seat on the Iowa Mortuary Board. Often, certain numbers of seats on such state boards are reserved for both Democrats and Republicans to ensure that the boards don’t function as partisan entities. So, if Teahen lied about being a Democrat to get one of the Democratic seats, that would be pretty bad.
Teahen’s excuse: then Gov.Terry Branstad told me to do it, so I thought it was OK. Dude, the “I was just following orders” argument didn’t work at Nuremberg, and it doesn’t work here either. Sounds to me like Teahen wanted a seat on this Board for the perceived power it would give him, and he was willing to break a few rules to get it.
Oh, and I’d sure like to know what Terry Branstad has to say about this.
Then there was the kaller who called Teahen out on referring to himself as a “mental health professional” (which he had just done a few minutes earlier when introducing himself to the radio audience). At first he seemed to deny that he had kalled himself a mental health professional, and then he said that because he helps people deal with the emotional trauma of disasters, that makes him a mental health professional. He klaims to have some sort of certification, but could not cite any degree or state license he holds.
He actually did answer the life question pretty well, but this was one area where I wish Deace would have had more time to smoke him out. Deace did a great job of pointing out that Teahen’s good friend Blouin sure didn’t seem as pro-life by the end of the race as he did at the beginning. I wish he’d have had time to point out that giving money to Julie Thomas (Jim Leach’s general election opponent in 2002 and 2004) wasn’t exactly helping the pro-life kause either. I know, Jim Leach wasn’t exactly the pro-life standard bearer, but at least he voted the right way on things like the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. I can’t see Thomas doing that. I don’t really kare if she helped save your kid’s life if she’s all for promoting the murder of other people’s kids. Those kind of people konfuse me the most. How can you devote your life to saving kids as a pediatrician, but on the other hand be OK with killing them before they are born.
You can tell that Teahen has public speaking experience. Even under some pretty tough questioning, he never got too rattled (though he did sound a bit annoyed once or twice). He told some pretty kompelling stories about helping families bury their babies who had been miscarried, and how seeing a 20-week baby affirmed his belief that that is life.
I really wish I kould believe that he was sincere, but I just don’t. Not after all the ethical lapses and misrepresentations that have kome out about Teahen.
Deace didn’t even have time to touch on the FEC komplaint or Teahen’s personal life. That’s worth another hour of air-time right there.
Overall, Teahen did a valiant job, but I don’t think his smooth talking was enough to kover the multitude of problems he has. And I don’t think Republicans in the Second District should have to expend the time and effort it would take to deal with all these problems in the general election.
If this is the garbage that floated to the surface in the primary, I’d hate to see what the Dems kan dig up on him for the general.