Outside of the comments made by Wally Horn (Iowa’s version of Ray Nagin) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal’s (Iowa’s version of Kathleen Blanco) opportunistic push to raise taxes and have the state spend it self into dept, I have been impressed with out leaders at the state, local and national level.
The federal government’s response has been much better than Katrina. There is no doubt in my mind that Iowa is benefiting from Jim Nussle's position as the OMB Director and his closeness to the President in this great time of need. Governor Culver has stepped up, and Senators Grassley and Harkin have preformed well.
Unfortunately, my opinion was changed when Governor Culver’s office released to the media that John McCain disregarded Culver’s request to stay away from the flooded communities. Culver's office felt local law enforcement would be pulled away from the flood recovery effort to provide security for the McCain visit.
I’ll be really honest here. I don’t have a problem with Culver’s office advising McCain to stay away, but I think it was extremely distasteful for his Chief of Staff, Patrick Dillion, to go to the press with the story after McCain’s visit. What good does such an action accomplish? It simply stinks of politics.
My source on the ground, who was handling the media aspect of the visit, said that McCain well received in Columbus Junction yesterday. The mayor, city council members, business owners and residents all appreciated McCain’s visit and didn’t seem put out at all.
I also think its ironic when I read Dillon’s comments that local law enforcement being pulled away from flood recovery, but then I see pictures of Mari Culver in the entourage with President Bush. Was Mari serving in an official capacity and needed to travel with the president, or did she just want to ride in Marine One?
I have also been told that none of the Republican legislators were contacted by the Governors office regarding the Presidents visit, but Democrat legislators Tyler Olson and Art Staed were both present. Oh, I forgot as my friend Wally “Ray” Horn says, “These are good loyal Democrats, and they need our help” so why would a legislator like Kraig Paulsen (yes he really spells it with a K) be included, I mean he only represents the large rural area around Cedar Rapids that has seen extensive damage.
I’m sure Wally “Ray” Horn and Mike “Blanco” Gronstal were upset that Air Force One didn’t just fly over and drop a pallet full of cash on Wally’s lawn. Instead President Bush actually showed that he cares about the people affected, just look at the pictures.
I thought yesterday was a great day here in Iowa. The President, Homeland Security Secretary, the OMB director, and a Presidential candidate all took the time to walk amongst those who have suffered from these floods and talk to them one on one about their concerns and needs. Unfortunately, the political hacks in the Governors office felt the need to take a swipe at a Presidential candidate for showing he cares about Iowans.
I have a quick question for these punks. Are you going to reprimand Specialist Curtis White and Daniele Ritter who got married yesterday in Columbus Junction? The Mayor walked her down the isle, people from the town gathered to witness the event, and oh my God, I bet they prayed to boot.
I would argue that the wedding in Columbus Junction was a bigger distraction than McCain’s visit there. I’m also willing to bet that the people in Columbus Junction appreciated both distractions yesterday after what they have been going through.
Get a life Dillon. Oh I forgot to add that his wife was recently hired as battleground states director for the Obama campaign. Dillon should be fired for playing politics in a time of crisis in Iowa.