Since returning home I’ve had a chance to catch up on the newspaper and what I recorded while I was gone. One of the most interesting political stories in Iowa that is out there is Governor Culver’s feud with the employee unions. Last weekend Iowa Press showcased two union leaders their frustration with Governor Culver was obvious. Then I saw yesterdays milk carton story, which my friend Nathan wrote about over on Battleground Iowa.
It seems to me that big labor is responding to the Yepsen’s of the world who thought that the recent floods would ease the tensions between the Governor and the unions. Simply put these guys are pissed off over the governor’s veto of the expansion of the collective bargaining bill, and Culver has made it worse by blowing these guys off. All of this leads me to think that Chet Culver could have a primary on his hands in 2010 unless he bows down and kisses the union leaders ring.
Culver is in a tough spot politically. First, he did the right thing by vetoing the bill, but in doing so he pissed off his base. For example, how do you think the Iowa Family Policy Center folks would respond to a Republican Governor who vetoed a pro-life bill? That’s right, with a primary.
So who could the unions get to primary Culver? It’s not as hard as one might think. The conversation starts and ends with Mike Gronstal.
Do you really think a guy like Gronstal is content with being the top dawg in the Senate for the rest of his political career? His other options would be to run against Grassley or King, that can’t be appealing. He could wait for Harkin to retire or to be beaten, but that’s at least 6 years away. That leaves him with one option, to primary Chet Culver.
I think he’s game as long as the unions line up to back his play. Also Gronstal would not have to give up his Senate Seat to primary Culver.
2010 is going to be fun folks!