Friday, October 31, 2008

A Change Election?

As we enter the final days of this election cycle, the news media and the Obama campaign keep reminding us that this is a change election. However in Iowa if the news media is to be believed there will be little or no change except for who our president is, and we all knew that was going to happen regardless of the political environment.

There are really two games in town for Iowa Republicans. The most obvious is the race for control of the Iowa House of Representatives. Now on Tuesday I’ll be posting my state house predictions so I don’t want to give anything away just yet, but there are a number of candidates to be excited about and there is a scenario where Republicans take back the majority.

When you look at the State House effort there are a number of entities advocating against Democrat candidates which helps. My only concern is that if voters tune in late all they have seen is negative ads. Now I know that you must contrast yourself against your opponent, but there is a fine line that campaigns should not cross. Ask Rep. Gayman, a Democrat who took an attack too far which will send her packing after just one term.

In a somewhat surprising development the other opportunity for Republicans is in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District where Dr. Miller-Meeks has given Congressman Loebsack all he can handle. Now most Dem activists and the liberal news media will quickly point out the districts voter registration numbers. However, I ask you to find me another congressional district that has gone through more in this election cycle.

In less than 5 months, the 2nd District has been hit by the largest natural disaster in its history, which was then followed up by the national financial crisis. Things couldn’t get much worse. Those two events caused many of the normal issues that we see in campaigns to take a backseat while the desire for visionary leadership has become the major issue which has fueled Miller-Meeks’ campaign.

Miller-Meeks has backed Loebsack into the corner. Loebsack like a fighter on the ropes has put his gloves up to fend off a major blow. His campaign has obviously increased its media buys in the last full week, but I don’t think an ad about gas prices or a good ad on his work for veterans answers all of the charges that Miller-Meeks has put at his feet. Seriously people, in the bluest of districts Loebsack isn’t running ads against the “failed policies of George Bush” or social security; which is interesting when you consider the Democrats are using those issues in their state legislature races.

There is an upset brewing in the 2nd District, Miller-Meeks has the momentum and it’s not just her supporters who feel it. People are talking about it over there. Like many campaigns that surge, timing is everything.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More on the Register’s Liberal Bias

Conservatives and Republicans always moan and groan about the liberal bias in the media. What the Des Moines Register has done in this election cycle is a clear example of the bias that we all complain about, and it’s also probably why they continue to lose subscribers and have to give their product away if you fill up at Kum & Go.

Yesterday I touched on the Register’s endorsement of liberal hack Becky Greenwald, and the fact that they ran a story about Becky returning to the airwaves after a three week hiatus due to a lack of funds. Today I have learned from trusted sources that there is much more in to this story.

The media buy that the Greenwald campaign unveiled and the Register crowed about was for one ad that ran just one time. The Greenwald campaign reached into the bottom of the cookie jar and gathered their change and bought one ad. There isn’t much of a story here besides that her campaign is desperate and her campaign is relying on the Des Moines Register to do the work their campaign should be doing. What really should be discusses is how the 12K Greenwald blew on airing a single ad just once could have been better spent or more effective on radio in marketing terms.

Yet the Register felt the need to do a story. It’s important to note they have never done a story on Latham’s ads. Heck they have been on the air with ads for the last three months so these was ample time for them to do so. On the other hand, Greenwald did three weeks of TV that ended over 25 days ago. The thought that last night’s one time ad buy has somehow rescued their campaign is a complete joke.

There is a measurement in any advertising campaign that deals with exposure frequency. An average consumer has to see an ad something like 3.5 times before they consciously remember what the product is that is being advertised. And then it is a 7 exposure frequency before the average consumer can remember what the message point of the ad is.

Again - Greenwald bought one ad - that ran once. And - they were dumb enough to make it a 60 second ad - meaning that even if she gets last minute money somehow here at the end - she will have an even harder time finding available ad space to run it in.

This was much ado about nothing - yet the Register who is more like a Liberal Political Machine felt it required a story. I’m told they even asked the latham campaign for a comment, but refused to include it in their story because it didn’t fit their agenda of writing a sunshine – happy –happy story about Greenwald. Isn’t this how the Chinese media works? Only allow comments - pictures and film that is always positive for them. I have been amazed at their lack of shame in promoting her. So much so that she should legally be reporting their stories as contributions on her FEC reports.

So I did a little digging to see what the Latham quote was that they couldn’t use in their story. Through the power of the internet I was able to get the full quote which is as follows:

“This buy of a single spot running only one single time will give Becky Greenwald the perfect opportunity to explain to taxpayers why she supports bailing out the mess created by a crooked Wall Street CEOs with $850 billion of Iowans’ hard earned money.”

Now the Register went out of their way to ask for a comment, and the Latham campaign were happy to provide them one, but then they went discarded it when it didn’t fit their want they wanted to say. The Des Moines Register has tossed all journalistic integrity aside to push their views - not only on the editorial page but into the news section with tainted stories.

It comes as no surprise that the four major newspapers in the 4th District have endorsed Latham. The Fort Dodge Messenger, Mason City Globe Gazette, Iowa State Daily, and The Ames Tribune.

IDP absentee program.

Iowa Democrats are accused of pressuring an 87 year old woman to vote absentee by a Democratic campaign volunteer, there is nothing wrong with that right? Well the woman is named Angela Murphy-Hayes and she’s a dementia patient, was coerced to cast a ballot about two weeks ago.

This is just sickening.

Democrats love to remind us how much they care about people, especially the sick, poor, and elderly, but these are the same people they exploit when every election rolls around. They don’t care about these people; they just want them to vote for their socialistic policies.

Wake up America!

Around the Delegation

First District: Are you tired of political ads or wish campaigns took a different tone? Well you might want to consider moving to Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Incumbent Bruce Braley and challenger Dr. David Hartsuch have run TV ads. I get the Hartsuch absence, but Braley would be smart to become better known in the Quad Cities. Hartsuch made the most news after being snubbed by the McCain Campaign. His conservative credentials are impeccable, and he is an intelligent individual, I just wish he would have been able to build somewhat of a traditional campaign, because while I think Braley will win, the margin might surprise some people.

Second District: I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Miller-Meeks, but what the heck is Loebsack doing? We joke about Dick Cheney being in an undisclosed location, but the same could be said for Loebsack this election cycle. Sure he’s run some TV ads, but where is the grassroots effort he had in 2006. Obama isn’t doing him any favors either. Loebsack is in trouble folks.

Third District: Finally we had some news on the race. Challenger Kim Schmett blasted the Boz over the response to the Iowa Floods. While the floods are a huge issue in the 2nd CD, it’s a little trickier in the 3rd where the damage wasn’t catastrophic. Like Hartsuch, Schmett’s campaign has had little or no financial resources to work with which is unfortunate sine Boz spent so much money in the primary and the Register hates him.

Forth District
: While the Register focuses on an incompetent candidate, Tom Latham has run an excellent campaign. I find it odd that Greenwald rolled out a 60 second ad, she needs volume in the final days before an election. Latham is traveling the district and out there meeting the people. While I’m sure the Latham folks would have liked another cake walk, we have seen to Latham emerge as a tremendous campaigner.

Fifth District
: I don’t spend much time on it because it’s solidly King Country. Ron or Rob Hubler (sorry it’s not worth my time looking up) looked like a dufus a few weeks back when he criticized King for taking some credit for the completion of Highway 20. Anyone who’s worked on the project would tell you that King and his staff have worked night and day on that project. While the Dems can dream about dethroning King, it’s simply not going to happen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Des Moines Register: Predictable and Disappointing

Well the Des Moines Register has made their endorsements, and once again they show their bias and inability to do the necessary homework on these candidates. There was no doubt that they would endorse Democrat Becky Greenwald, heck one has to wonder if Greenwald’s communications director works in the campaign office or at the Register. The thing that blows my mind is that they build up Greenwald who’s intellectually weak, out of money, and just another Dem hack running for Congress while they basically ignore the other female candidate, Dr. Miller-Meeks who is also seeking to break the glass ceiling in Iowa.

Both won contested primaries, and both out raised their opponents in the final three months of the campaign, but where Miller-Meeks has an incredible background, and has run a campaign that has taken it to Loebsack, Greenwald has poorly managed her campaign resources, doesn’t have the impressive background that Miller-Meeks brings to the table. Yet the Des Moines Register has kept Greenwald’s campaign alive with free press coverage, like today’s announcement that for the first time in four weeks, Becky is going to be back on TV. Seriously, her month long absence from the airways should have been a bad story for Greenwald, but the Register bails out Becky once again because she’s a liberal Democrat.

Here is what the Register had to say about Greenwald:

“Greenwald has a wide range of experience - from health and human services to agriculture - that could serve Iowa well in Congress. She has studied in Mexico and worked for the American Red Cross, Garst Seed Co. and Pioneer Hi-Bred.”

“A vote for Greenwald is a vote for potential - that she will bring the leadership she's shown in business and civic life to elected office. But to be effective, she'll need to dedicate the time and energy to fully understanding the complexity of federal programs and be an independent thinker who will work across party lines.”

Heck I have potential, everybody has potential, but does that make them a good representative in Congress? No. Their endorsement went on to basically say that she doesn’t have a good grasp of the issues, but that’s to be expected from a new comer.

Now let’s compare the love for Greenwald to their reasons against the other woman running for Congress, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

The Register said, “Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a physician from Ottumwa, is also an impressive candidate. She's smart, has in-depth knowledge of health care, has served in the military and has a compelling life story, which includes leaving home at the age of 16 and working her way through school. Like most campaign newcomers, including Loebsack two years ago, her knowledge of many issues is shallow. But her background indicates she'd come up to speed quickly.”

So where they pointed out Greenwald’s individual achievements, they glossed over Miller-Meeks’.

Miller-Meeks’ story is probably the most impressive of any candidate that I’ve seen run for office in Iowa. So while they high light Greenwald’s resume they gloss over Miller-Meeks’. Seriously, this is laughable. Miller-Meeks is a former nurse, 24 year military veteran, emergency room physician, faculty member both the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa, first female president of the Iowa Medical Society, and is an Ophthalmologist in private practice. Heck I heard somewhere that she can speak Korean.

Now if you only read the Des Moines Register you wouldn’t even know that Iowa’s 2nd congressional District has the opportunity to elect the first female to Congress. I believe the Register is going to have a little egg on their face on November 5th when Becky Greenwald is still just a Dem activist, and Miller-Meeks is going to be Iowa’s fist female in Congress.

And just for my own editorial purposes, that’s the way it should be. Miller-Meeks has been breaking the glass ceiling her entire life, she’s a great role model for young women. If anyone is going to break that glass ceiling in this election cycle its Miller-Meeks. We should all help her do it, and make the Des Moines Register look like fools.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are you smarter than pollster Becky Greenwald?

Ok, wait a minute…

Fourth District Congressional Candidate Becky Greenwald doesn’t know the difference between a bill and a law, but she is now an experienced pollster?

Apparently the Latham campaign released their enternal poll showing them with a 56 to 34 percent lead after Greenwald released the results of a poll that shows her down only 5 points to Latham. Both polls use a small sample size, but Greenwald is quick to dismiss the poll showing Latham with a comfortable lead.

I was told that Becky poo-pooed the Tarrance poll by using her grown up running for congress person voice to utter the following gem: "I just know from my market research background that you really need a 400 sample size," Greenwald said Monday.

Say what?!?!

So 400 is the standard sample size for every possible poll according to "market research expert' Becky Greenwald - whether you are polling the whole nation or a high school of 500 students.

Anyone who has taken a simple statistics course knows that factors of universe and sample size yield what is called the margin of error. Maybe we now know why Pioneer ushered Becky and her unique knowledge of marketing out the door.

Are you smarter than a Greenwald?

I’ve been a little amazed by the amount of coverage the Des Moines Register has given to Becky Greenwald. It seems about every other day they find a way to get her some free press, and we all know they will endorse her campaign sometime this week. Yet they refuse to cover the fact that her campaign is broke, which is a result of poor management by a bunch of out of state politicos. Now I might not go as far as my buddy from Jewell did last week when he called it for Latham, but I’m not worried about Latham, and he has built a well oiled campaign team.

Now we all want to send competent people to our nation’s capitol to represent us right? Well if you answered yes, you only have one candidate to support, Tom Latham.

Recently Greenwald responding to a KIMT TV (Mason City) question about one thing she respects about Tom Latham.

Greenwald responded with, "The nurses bill that he introduced after being in Congress for 13 years. It's not a bill yet, but I do hope he can get it out of committee and I hope it becomes a bill because that would be good legislation."

Looks like someone needs a civics lesson…

This leaves one to wonder - does Becky not understand the simple process that every child learns from watching School House Rock's I'm Just a Bill song? Latham's nursing legislation is a bill - anything introduced in Congress IS a bill. And it’s already good legislation. Did she mean law? Does she not understand even the simple terms frequently used in the office for which she is running?

Maybe instead of her family sending thousands of dollars to fund her campaign they should have sent a couple basic School House DVDs and encouraged her to sit down and watch them. Or maybe she should sit this election out and let a third grader who better understands the differences between bills and laws have a shot at running against Latham - I mean the third grader would be more qualified than Greenwald.

Who knows, this may lead to a new game show on FOX called "Are you smarter than a Greenwald?" What am I thinking; it would probably be cancelled after one week because nobody would ever lose. This kind of reminds me of someone else.

Seriously, I don’t understand the Register’s obsession with Greenwald. She’s a pretender, and knows less about the process as a candidate than a grade schooler.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Stretch Run

State House: Rants v. McCarthy on Iowa Press

Wow, these two guys don’t like each other. Rants did a good job, as a veteran who has doing Iowa Press countless times his experience really shows. McCarthy on the other hand talked extremely fast, and when Rants would point out the short coming of the House Democrats he McCarthy got pissed.

McCarty said Democrats are working to gain seats but wouldn’t give a goal. Rants said his goal was 51 seats. Before the election I’ll give you my picks on every house seat. Until then, I do think House Republicans are facing a strong head wind.

Iowa US House Races

Latham and King are safe, as are Boswell and Braley. The only game in town is the 2nd District race between Dr. Miller-Meeks and Dave Loebsack. Loebsack has a new TV ad talking about gas prices while Miller-Meeks continues to pound Loebsack on wanting to move to government run health care, his support of the Wall Street Bailout and the Death Tax. Miller-Meeks has been an aggressive candidate and a relentless campaigner.

Presidential Race

I was watching Meet the Press yesterday and something struck me as odd. So we all like the electoral map, but NBC Political Director, chuck Todd said that they color the map based on polling in that state, and the amount of money being spent on ads. I understand the line of thinking, but if you would have used a similar model in predicting previous Iowa elections we would have Senator Ganske, Governor Lightfoot, and Governor Nussle. Money is important in politics, but these are not normal times we are in, so I don’t think is wise to trust every projection you see out there.

I do think Iowa is closer than the polls indicate, the real question is how off are they. I guess if I knew the answer I’d be busy getting paid than writing a blog for free.

More later.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Latham Ad

Becky’s Buzz? More like Fizzle.

A few weeks ago Becky Greenwald’s campaign was lauding the fact that the DCCC had elevated her campaign status and included her in their Red to Blue program. In their release they noted “Red to Blue was a proven success in the 2006 cycle. In 2006, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $22.6 million for 56 campaigns averaging $404,000 per campaign. Red to Blue was also responsible for solidifying the structure of dozens of campaigns and making a real difference for Democrats across America.”

So Becky is flushed with money right. I mean that $400k from the national party should really help right? Well it looks like the DCCC’s promise to bailout Greenwald’s campaign never came through. In fact in her Pre-General FEC Report, Greenwald’s campaign raised $34,682.24, spent $43,750.14 and has just $15,409.09 cash on hand. Oh, she still owes one of her consultants $10k.

The thing that angers me is the fact that media outlets like the Register take Greenwald’s press releases and run with them as if they are gospel. If you want to see a female get elected in Iowa, you better tune in to Iowa’s 2nd District where Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks has taken it to Loebsack.

Follow up on Reed Debate

Christopher Reed pissed off Senator Harkin and got a lot of media attention with his debate performance yesterday. The segment in which Reed called Harkin “Toyko Rose” was his strongest in the entire debate. In watching his body language he not only delivered a haymaker, but he didn’t flinch, he stood firm. And while the media will say that we shouldn’t call anyone anti-American, I tend to agree with Reed on this one.

More on Greenwald: "man the lifeboats -- screw the women and children - save the corporate CEOs!

Greenwald on her support of the Wall Street Bailout:

"It was the right decision," she said. "The risk of doing nothing was much worse than the risk of doing something." Her opponent, incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Latham, voted against the bailout package twice saying it was excessive, not thought out thoroughly, and would make very little difference in the long run. Greenwald said she understands why so many were tempted to let corporate CEOs fend for themselves when they were "standing on the edge of a cliff." However, she added, "The problem is they're standing at the edge of a cliff with a rope tied around their neck and if they go off, then the rest of us go.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What? Don't have time to read my Latham post

Then just watch this...

Stay tuned for lefty liberal reaction in the comment section!

Reed: Tom Harkin is Al Qaeda’s Tokyo Rose

I think I might just tune into this debate. Tokyo Rose was the name given by Allied forces in WWII and Korea to the English speaking Japanese propaganda broadcasters. Their intent was to disrupt the morale of our forces listening to their broadcast.

Word on the street is that Harkin is pissed.

Harkin and Reed Square off at IPTV Debate

Ultimate underdog Christopher Reed squares off in an IPTV debate today. Reed has absolutely nothing to lose so he should come out swinging against Harkin. Reed is a very reserved polite person, but when trying to slay goliath you have to go directly at him. I encourage everyone to check out the debate. The “conversation” airs tonight at 7 p.m.

The Liberal Blogs doing Greenwald’s Dirty Work

As noted here, Becky Greenwald is out of cash and her campaign is stuck in neutral as Election Day approaches. Proof of her broke campaign is the unfinished TV ad that she has placed on YouTube for the liberal blogosphere to use. The ad is 42 seconds long, meaning it was going to be a 60 second spot and it also doesn’t include the video or audio disclaimer by the candidate. They obviously spent a good deal of money on this ad, but don’t have the money to finish it and put it on TV.

The worse part of the ad is the fact that it’s full of lies. First off two of the people in the ad are not from the 4th District. The younger guy is a huge democrat operative who worked for Culver and Clinton and is a lead on some national DNC veterans group. The older men are die hard Dems who wouldn’t vote for Tom Latham anyway.

Tom Latham earned an “A” on the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association's (IAVA) scorecard on veterans’ issues for the 110th Congress.

Greenwald claims Tom Latham voted against extending military health coverage to National Guard members and their families (No supporting vote information cited by Greenwald)

FACT: This could qualify as one of the most outrageous lies Greenwald claims about Tom Latham. Latham authored legislation that is now the law of the land which provides access to military health benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve and their families. Because of his leadership on this issue Latham’s accomplishments has been recognized by numerous National Guard, Reserve and military service organizations.

FACT CHECK: Tom Latham introduced H.R. 558 – The National Guard and Reserve Readiness and Retention Act on February 2, 2005. Latham’s legislation provides access to military health benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve by allowing Guard and Reserve members to purchase military health coverage for their families under the TRICARE (military health care) program on a continuous basis. Previously, TRICARE was provided only while the member was deployed, leaving many families uninsured for most of the member’s time in service. Congressman Latham efforts in the House culminated in the enactment of H.R. 558 as section 706 of H.R. 5122, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY07, signed into law on October 17, 2006. The new benefit became available October 1, 2007.

Latham’s effort was joined in the U.S. Senate by Senators Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.

Latham’s work was lauded by numerous National Guard, Reserve and military organizations including the National Guard Association of the United States who awarded Latham The Charles Dick Medal of Merit.

The citation along with the award proclaimed that Latham “distinguished himself as a strong supporter of the National Guard.” And that he “has worked tirelessly and with great personal sacrifice to support TRICARE for Guard members.” They continued that Latham’s “commitment to Guard members and their families will have a long lasting effect on the future readiness of our military.”

FALSE: Greenwald claims Tom Latham voted against the GI Education Bill citing a vote on May 15, 2008 (Roll #330)

FACT: Not only was Tom Latham an original co-sponsor of the GI Education Bill – he sought a more responsible path for the bill becoming law without raising taxes on the engine that drives Iowa’s economy – our small businesses.

FACT CHECK: Nowhere in Greenwald’s attack on Tom Latham does she mention the fact that Tom Latham was actually an original co-sponsor of the Post 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act (also known as the new GI Education Bill), a bi-partisan bill to completely overhaul and nearly double G.I. Bill education benefits for veterans. The bill closely resembles the educational benefits provided to veterans returning from World War II, and increases benefits to address the reality of rising tuition costs and increased deployment of National Guard and Reserve units.

And, Greenwald fails to note that Tom Latham voted for passage of the New G.I. Bill as part of H.R. 2642 (June 19, 2008: Roll #341 and #342) which was the final legislative vehicle used by the U.S. House and Senate to bring the bill to the President’s desk for his signature on June 30, 2008.

The early vote Greenwald cites was a massive bill of which one small part was the GI Education Bill. This version also saddled Iowa’s small businesses with a tax increase. 98% of Iowa employers are small businesses and the last thing we should do is hit our small businesses with additional taxes during tough economic times. As the final version supported by Latham proves – the education benefits for our soldiers and veterans could be expanded and strengthened without weakening the bottom line of the businesses that will employ them after their service to our country has been completed.

FALSE: Greenwald claims Tom Latham was the deciding vote that withheld a one-time $1,500 bonus to certain U.S. service members. (No supporting vote information cited by Greenwald)

FACT: This was one amendment of many offered to a bill over five years and two Congresses ago. The amendment was opposed by U.S. Generals leading the effort in Iraq. Citing the best long-term interests of our service members, Democrat John Murtha and 221 other members of Congress who voted no versus the 213 members who voted for the amendment. And, Latham’s work and vote on a separate measure for a special $1,000 monthly bonus for soldiers far exceeded the benefit offered with this amendment’s one-time $1,500 bonus.

FACT CHECK: While Greenwald fails to cite the actual source of the vote she is attacking Congressman Latham on – the Latham campaign is providing the due diligence on her behalf - a vote on an amendment from five years, and two Congresses, ago (Roll #554 10/17/03.) The amendment was offered by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan in Fiscal Year 2004, H.R. 3289. The amendment would have reduced Iraq reconstruction funds by $265 million in order to provide a one-time $1,500 bonus for each service member in the region.

Greenwald fails to mention that U.S. Generals on the ground in Iraq were opposed to cutting reconstruction funds stating that it prevented them from achieving the ultimate goal of completing the mission and getting U.S. troops home. Greenwald also fails to mention that the current Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and former Marine, John Murtha (D-PA) was adamantly opposed to the amendment - stating the following in his floor speech about his fellow Democrat’s amendment: “But I do not think, as hard as we work for pay, I do not think an amendment like this helps us. I think we really have a problem. I know we all want to help the troops, but we struggle all the time trying to make sure we balance out the money they make. I just do not think this is the right way to do it.” “I would ask the Members to vote against this amendment.”

The biggest misstatement by Greenwald is that Latham’s vote was the “deciding” vote that caused this amendment to fail. The amendment actually failed by a vote of 213-213 – with an additional 8 members of the House not voting either way on the amendment. That means that there were actually 221 members of the House who cast the deciding vote on this amendment – per the wishes of the generals on the ground in Iraq and former Marine and Democrat Congressman – and present chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee – John Murtha.

She also fails to commend Tom Latham for his votes for permanent increases in special add-on payments for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan such as Hazard Duty Pay, Family Separation Allowance, and a special $1,000 monthly bonus for soldiers.

FALSE: Greenwald claims Tom Latham voted to cut veterans' healthcare programs by billions of dollars and opposed funding to cleanup VA facilities that were as badly neglected as Walter Reed Hospital. (No supporting vote information cited by Greenwald)

FACT: There is a reason that Greenwald cites no supporting information to accompany this charge – because it doesn’t exist. Tom Latham has supported appropriations legislation that has increased funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care, including renovation and construction of VA facilities, by 100% since 2001. And, Latham has been a champion of working for and authoring legislation that expands equal access to VA health care for all of America’s veterans.

FACT CHECK: Greenwald is factually challenged at best. Congressman Latham has supported appropriations legislation that has increased funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care, including renovation and construction of VA facilities, by 100% since 2001. He has also authored legislation that gives veterans greater access to their promised health care benefits regardless of where they reside. This legislation, known as the VALOR Act, would give veterans enrolled in the VA health care system the choice of receiving their VA funded care at their local hospital or physician’s office rather than traveling to a VA health facility.

In addition, Congressman Latham has supported:

Increasing travel reimbursement from $0.285 per mile to $0.415 per mile and freezing the deductible for veterans traveling to access VA care (Public Law: 110-329). With rapidly rising gas prices, increased VA travel reimbursement will assist rural veterans until VA-funded care can be brought closer to them.

Hiring at additional 2,000 claims processors to reduce the backlog of VA disability claims (Public Law: 110-329).

Establishing 115 new VA health clinics since the beginning of 2007.

The Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008 (Public Law: 110-387), which provides a full continuum of care for substance-use disorders and enables at-risk veterans to obtain care and overcome the stigma that may prevent them from seeking the services they need. The law also establishes a pilot program to allow veterans in certain highly rural areas to obtain care from their local community providers.

Yeah, I had a little help with this one… but the truth needed to be told.

State House Money

OK I have to admit that I may have bit off more than I can chew in regards to following the State House candidates October financial disclosures. Here’s the deal, when doing it for congressional candidates I look through 10 reports, to do the same for the house candidates I’m looking through 200, and that’s just the State House candidates. Don’t fret, I did look through them and calculate some rough figures that give us some insight on the key focus for Iowa Republican’s, regaining the majority in the Iowa House of Representatives.

For some reason or another Rants’ report is still not on the Iowa Ethics website. So my over numbers are incomplete, but I still think I’m able to paint a pretty accurate picture. When it comes to State House fundraising the advantage clearly goes to the party that’s in the majority. As an example I’ll use Gronstal’s report (I know he’s in the Senate, but it illustrates my point). Gronstal raised $345,342.00, that’s a lot of coin especially when you see that he raised that with just 264 contributions. That’s an average contribution of over $1300 bucks.

From the numbers I was able to put together it looks like Democrat incumbents were able to out raise Republican incumbents by about a half a million bucks. Now that’s with me making a guess on what Rants was able to raise. Now that’s a significant difference, but to be honest it could be much worse.

One the other hand, the Republican candidates seeking to knock off democrat incumbents or win open seats out-paced their Democrats rivals by well over $200k. Lets look at the candidates I’ve been following.

Jamie Johnson – HD 9

Johnson outraised Rep. McKinley Bailey $52k to $45k.

Scott Belt – HD 100

Belt narrowly outraised Rep. Paul Shomshor $28,800 to $28,750.

Jared Klien – HD 89

Klein is running in Sandy Greiner’s open seat, he out raised his opponent $37k to $14k.

Ross Paustian – HD 84

Paustian outraised Rep. Elesha Gayman $79k to $74k

So there is some reasons to be hopeful, but as I’ve long told you money is important, but it’s not the end all be all in winning a campaign. We also need to recognize that the Iowa Democrat Party does a good job helping their local candidates while Republicans focus on select races and leave the other candidates to fend for themselves.

Other tidbits I discovered while strolling through the financial reports.

1. The Democrats have been rewarded for providing an exception to casinos in regards to the smoking ban. There is a lot of money from casino operators fueling the Democrats election efforts. With their money out of Republican coffers maybe we will take a tougher stand against the expansion of gambling in our state.

2. It seems to me that the way money is being raised for Republican effort has changed in a major way. As I mentioned above, the Republican challengers and candidates in open seats outraised their Democrat opponents. The amount they outraised their opponents is almost exactly the amount a group called “Team Iowa PAC” contributed to their campaigns.

Team Iowa PAC was funded by a who’s who of major Republican donors, and looks to headed by Bruce Rastetter and Nick Ryan. It’s an interesting spin off of bundling that we see in Presidential campaign fundraising. Instead of them giving to candidates individually, they pooled their money and channeled it to some of best places for Republicans to make gains and pick up seats.

Girl Power

While not from the financial reports, there is a new Iowa PAC in the state, Purse PAC. Purse stands for People United for Republican Sisters’ Elections. The only litmus test is that you have to be female, and a Republican.

Their kickoff event drew over 100 women and a few brave men and was a huge success. I think groups like these are critical in growing our Republican bench.

I’ll have more on Latham and Reed in a bit.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I guess the Hsu Fits…

Norman Hsu that is.

I guess one might be able to say that Dr. Miller-Meeks is giving Congressman Loebsack a bi-annual check-up and the doctor has some more troubling news. Congressman Dave Loebsack’s campaign has accepted $2,000 from alleged con man Norman Hsu, who was indicted in late 2007 for alleged bilking investors out of at least $20 million.

Hsu also bundled more than $100,000 in contributions for Clinton’s campaign and co-hosted a $1 million Beverly Hills fundraiser for the New York senator before a 1992 fraud conviction, his flight to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution and a second round of questionable financial dealings were revealed. Authorities have linked Hsu to a California family that allegedly made $200,000 in contributions to Democrats between 2005 and 2007 despite earning less than $50,000 a year.

In last night’s debate Miller-Meeks pointed out that it was Loebsack who promised to set new ethical standards when he was elected in 2006. Already in this campaign Loebsack has been forced to give the $5,000 contribution he received from Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who heads the committee that writes tax law yet stands accused of failing to pay tax on rent payments he received on a Caribbean villa that he owns to charity.

From a recent Miller-Meeks press release she says, “Once again, we find Dave Loebsack saying one thing and doing another. He claims to put Iowa first but then he takes money from sources that are clearly ethically challenged,” said Miller-Meeks, who will meet Loebsack in a televised debate this evening in Cedar Rapids. “Hillary Clinton felt compelled to return $850,000 she received from Norman Hsu and his friends. My question is: What did Dave Loebsack do with Norman Hsu’s money? And what did he have to do in return for it?”

Miller-Meeks: The Real Deal

There has been a lot of debate on the right side of the blogosphere here in Iowa about the state party, our Republican philosophy, and our candidates. Over the course of her primary campaign and now in the general election campaign, Dr. Marriannette Miller-Meeks has proven herself to be the real deal and showed it in last night’s KCRG-Cedar Rapids Gazette debate vs. Congressman Dave Loebsack.

As someone who has followed this race for some time, I had high expectations for Miller-Meeks. We all knew going into the debate that she is intelligent, relentless, and a tireless campaigner, but sometimes something happens in the bright lights of a television studio in a debate setting and a candidate that you think is superior struggles and fails to deliver the performance their campaign needs.

Miller-Meeks didn’t have that problem last night. You could instantly tell that she was comfortable and confident on stage next to Loebsack and it took her very little time to show the voters in the 2nd Congressional District that voters have a different option than Dave Loebsack in November, and it’s a good option, her!

The second question of the night was about Miller-Meeks moniker of Loebsack of “Do Nothing Dave” and her assertion that congress has failed to lead on the issues that matter to all Americans. Miller-Meeks didn’t back down from her claim, she reinforced it by saying that we didn’t see leadership in dealing with the floods or the bailout bill from Loebsack. She contrasted that with Latham’s actions calling for instant action before Congress took their 5 week vacation. Later in the debate she talked about Pelosi visiting the district right before Congress went back into session. Pelosi promised instant action, but week after week went by, and not until the financial crisis was upon us did they finally address the issue by tacking it on to the bailout bill. When it came to discussing leadership, Miller-Meeks mopped the floor with Loebsack last night.

Loebsack countered by telling us everything he has done talking about this committee and that committee. He then said he was proud of the Grassley-Loebsack tax relief bill. Miller-Meeks instantly fired back by saying, “Let me borrow a famous line, I know senator Grassley, he’s campaigning with me tomorrow, and Congressman Loebsack, you’re no Senator Grassley.” Loebsack then countered that he had sponsored a bill with Steve King.

After watching the debate, the differences between the candidates is very clear. Congressman Loebsack has always looked for a government handout. His support of the bailout bill and socialized medicine are true to his big all inclusive government ways. Miller-Meeks on the other hand believes in personal responsibility, free markets, and a smaller less intrusive federal government. Throughout the debate Miller-Meeks talked about Loebsack’s reliance on special interest money, something he said should be banned in his last campaign, and his blind support of Nancy Pelosi.

In her closing statement, Miller-Meeks noted that she’s not a politician, political activist or a political science professor, she’s just a frustrated citizen who believes that her life experiences can help heal to partisan bickering in Washington DC. She said that America isn’t divided, Congress is. She then retold some of her background of growing up poor in a military family, and with hard work and determination she put herself through college and medical school. She said we need visionary leadership, and a representative who has a finger on the pulse of their constituents.

When scoring the debate it goes to Miller-Meeks hands down. Loebsack didn’t make a gaffe or anything but this debate ended up to be Miller-Meeks coming out party. This debate wasn’t on IPTV or some local access channel; it was a network debate in primetime on the main station in Cedar Rapids. I don’t know what a 30 second ad goes for in primetime these days but that debate was extremely valuable to Miller-Meeks.

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day Miller-Meeks has positioned herself to be a good alternative to Loebsack. For all the attention that Becky Greenwald has received in her race against Tom Latham, it’s the 2nd District race between Loebsack and Miller-Meeks that is the one to keep your eye on. Loebsack got knocked around last night and is in trouble.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Professor PACMAN!?!

It looks like the Miller-Meeks Campaign is going after Congressman Loebsack’s addiction to special interest money with a new website:

I love this stuff!

Loebsack – Miller-Meeks Debate Preview

Tonight Congressman Dave Loebsack squares off against Dr. Marriannette Miller-Meeks for an hour long debate sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Gazette and KCRG TV9. The Debate will last 60 minutes and will be televised live starting at 7:00 p.m.

While Republican congressional challengers in the 1st and 3rd congressional districts have run less than stellar campaigns, Miller-Meeks has run an aggressive campaign, and outraised Congressman Loebsack over the last three months of the campaign. Tonight’s debate is a huge opportunity for Miller-Meeks to show thousands of people in the 2nd CD what her loyal supports have known for over a year, she’s personable, intelligent, and tenacious.

Yesterday her campaign released a new TV ad going after Loebsack.

This could be a fun debate to watch tonight!

State House Money Watch

I’ve been tracking how our Republican candidates are doing in terms of fundraising vs their opponents. All the reports are still not in, but a quick look at some key challenger and open seat races shows the Republican candidates having strong support. More to come when all the reports are in.

Divided we Fail?

It seems my friends over at the Iowa Defense Alliance don’t think I cover our legislative candidates well enough. There may be some truth to that. Now I’ve promoted Jamie Johnson and a few others on this site, but I have not spent time promoting Jane Jeck, David Kerr, or Mark Brandenburg.

Why? Because I don’t know them. Sorry, but I just don’t write things about candidates or campaigns I don’t know anything about. All three are running against incumbents in democrat districts.

Brandenburg is running against Gronstal, yeah I hate Gronstal but the $6.336.00 dollars Mark has in the bank isn’t going to get the job done, sorry.

Kerr is running against Sen. Courtney is a district that has 6,000 more Democrats than Republicans. Kerr raised just over 4 grand in his last report.

Jeck has raised $13,905.00 in the most recent filing period for her State House campaign, but she too is running in a Democrat District and got an F grade from the NRA.

I’ve focused on candidates like Ross Paustian in the Quad Cities, Danny Carroll in Grinnell/Oskaloosa, Renee Schulte in Cedar Rapids, Scott Belt in Council Bluffs, and Carlin Hageman in Cedar Falls. Why, because they have a shot to win.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Monday Morning Krusty Konspiracy

We just have over two weeks until the election and it seems like Obama only needs to take a couple of knees and run the clock down. One might argue that Obama isn’t taking a knee hut has his first string offense on the field scoring touchdowns with the endorsement of General Powell and his September fundraising haul of $150 million.

I have long thought that our enemies around the world would try to find a way to influence the election so that the next President is less of a lion and more like a lamb. The only thing that I couldn’t figure out is how they accomplish their goal. So sit back and enjoy your Monday Morning Krusty Konspiracy.

Obama’s monthly fundraising totals are outrageous. He has consistently raised more money per month than many candidates for president raise throughout their primary campaigns. Obama should disclose the name and address of every donor to the media to make sure foreign people or Mickey Mouse, or the Dallas Cowboys are not illegally donating to his campaign. We already see the mess that Acorn is in, and it is my beliefs that the Obama finance office is much worse.

It’s too bad the main stream media is so lazy, this is something they should be doing but have refused to do. While we are speaking of the media, I’m sick and tired of people telling me “Don’t count out John McCain.” Look, I’m rooting for the guy, but there is a big difference between his race between Obama and the race between his Republican colleagues.

During the summer and fall of 2007 McCain’s Republican opponents lacked the ability to finish him off. For all you Romney and Huckabee fans upset about McCain being our nominee you can look place blame directly on the shoulders of your candidate. In politics when someone’s down and you smell blood you kill them. Both Huckabee and Romney showed that they didn’t have the killer instinct, so they let McCain regain his footing which the media loved and the rest is history. The problem for McCain is the fact that Obama and the liberals are never going to let up, which you only need to turn on your TV to see proof of.

Other stuff worth mentioning:

Dems get Nasty and Personal

The tone of our state legislative campaigns have taken a turn for the worse. Proof of that is a new ad that Community Organizer, State Representative Elisha Gayman is running against her opponent, Ross Paustian in HD 84.

The add is a one of those positive/negative split adds that starts off positive about Gayman, then turns nasty about her opponent. The ad says, “a judge sentenced Paustian to jail for 60 days for refusing to pay child support. Even though Paustian is a partner in a million dollar farm operation, he refused to support his own family.”

Paustian said at a news conference Sunday, “There was never a time when I didn’t pay child support. I love my children. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. For Elesha Gayman to suggest otherwise is shameful and an outright lie.”

I have a real problem when politicians feel the need to dredge up family issues to use in their own elections. Paustian’s daughter was at the press conference yesterday standing by her father. This type of politics has no place in Iowa. As for Gayman she attacked Paustian’s family because she had been attacked for voting for gardeners and flower pots at the governor’s mansion. Classy lady…

In an effort to be non-partisan…

Republican State Senator Jim Seymour was arrested in 2002 for soliciting a prostitute. When asked by the Des Moines Register about the incident he said "This happened quite a while ago, and I'm pretty foggy about the details.” While I’m sure I’d try to forget it, its probably something that would be etched into my memory.

Seymour is up for re-election, and is the perfect example of why you should always recruit the good candidates even in districts where you might think you don’t state a chance. Iowa Democrats didn’t recruit a candidate against him….

Friday, October 17, 2008

Greenwald’s attempt to buy a seat in Congress

I spent a little time getting to know Becky Greenwald’s October FEC report a little better last night. Her $300K haul was impressive, but to get the real story you need to look what who’s giving to her campaign, not just the grand total.

For example I was floored to see that 33% ($150,000.00) that she has raised in her campaign has come from her own pocket, or from the Garst Seed family money. Now THAT is the way to buy a congressional seat! Maybe at next year’s Garst Family reunion they can wear t-shirts saying, “We gave Becky $150k and all she got was an ass kicking.”

I have to admit however, that after reading Greenwald’s FEC report I’m a little depressed. As the Godfather of the Iowa blogosphere I consider myself to be well established, well that’s not the case. I noticed that DesMoinesDem from Bleeding Heartland gave Greenwald’s campaign $2400.00 and gave Ron Hubler’s campaign $2000.00.

This upsets me for a couple of reasons. First, now campaigns are going to come asking me for money, and secondly, I think I might have overlooked the $250,000 blogger earned income tax credit hidden in the bailout bill? No wonder Greenwald supported the Wall Street Bailout.

While I’m at it, people can now search the Iowa Campaign disclosures. This is something bloggers on both sides have wanted for a long time. So for example, I was able to determine that DesMoinesDem has given state candidates $4,350 since 2003.

What am I doing wrong, why am I broke and can’t afford to contribute to candidates?

On another note
, former Republican National Committeeman Steve Roberts felt the need to punch Christopher Reed in the final days by his quote in today’s Des Moines Register.

Des Moines Republican Steve Roberts, a former longtime Republican National Committee member, said the one-sided race is a sign of turmoil within the Iowa GOP and an enthusiasm gap that favors the Democrats. "I think this is the toughest time the Iowa Republican Party has had in its history," Roberts said. "I think it's a walk in the park for Harkin. Actually, he doesn't even have to go to the park."

Roberts painted a pretty bad picture for Republicans while he was still National Committeeman so this doesn’t surprise me. I just don’t understand why people can’t get it through their head to take a swing at Harkin when the opportunity arises. Instead we piss in our own well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It’s Over – McCain Wins

Miller-Meeks outraised Congressman Loebsack

I don’t know how you can’t like the fight and determination of Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Isn’t this the type of candidate we long to represent us?

All throughout the primary Dr. Miller-Meeks had to listen to those in the media talk about how a relatively unknown woman from the rural part of the district can’t win the Republican primary against a well known businessman from Cedar Rapids. She was unfazed and won her primary. After the primary the media was quick to write her off because of the advantage Democrats have in the 2nd district in terms of voter registration. She kept her head down and continued to work.

I have to admit I was stunned to learn that Miller-Meeks was able to out raise Congressman Loebsack in the last three months of the campaign. Miller-Meeks raised $108,599.26 and gave her campaign $20k putting her total for the quarter at $128,559.26 compared to Congressman Loebsack’s $108,142.10. So even without her personal contribution Miller-Meeks outpaced Loebsack by $417.16.

The picture for Loebsack is much worse if you consider he only raised $36,432.10 from individuals. Loebsack continues to rely on special interest groups to fund his campaign, while Miller-Meeks has had to rely on funding her campaign through the grassroots.

I have been amazed at the amount of column space the Des Moines Register has given Becky Greenwald, yet they have basically ignored the campaign that Miller-Meeks has run. While Loebsack still enjoys a cash on hand advantage of $ 456,656.96 to $83,274.27 (5 to 1 ratio), Latham has a 31 to 1 cash on hand advantage over Greenwald. Plus we all know that Congressman Loebsack exactly well thought of in the 2nd CD while Latham is very popular.

I guess we should not be surprised when Miller-Meeks defeats conventional wisdom because if you have ever heard her story (later in the show) she’s done it her entire life. There is something afoot in the 2nd District, Miller-Meeks has proved to be a relentless campaigner and in a year where the American people are upset with Congress and looking for intelligent, competent people to represent them anything can happen.

Get behind Miller-Meeks folks, she’s got a chance.

Becky Bailout

One of the major stories coming on the heels of yesterdays financial disclosures was the news that 4th District Challenger Becky Greenwald out raised Congressman Tom Latham $308,452.01 to $290,812.32. There’s just one catch, Becky blew it all and has a meager $25k cash on hand and owes her consultant $11k of that.

This supports what I wrote about yesterday. The Greenwald campaign knew when the DCCC was going to be polling in the district and went up heavy on TV to artificially inflate their numbers in hopes that the DCCC would dump a bunch of money in her race. It worked, the DCCC has put the 4th District race as a target, but with the news that Greenwald is broke and the fact that Latham is pounding her on TV and Radio don’t be surprised to see the DCCC scale back or move to more fertile ground.

I guess we should call her Becky Bailout. She would have voted to use your tax dollars to reward the greed on Wall Street, and she has to rely on the DCCC to bailout her Congressional campaign. Sounds like a classic liberal to me.

Random Fundraising Observations

I’m breaking down my coverage of the Congressional October Quarterly Reports into three segments. This first one looks at Districts 1, 3, and 5 where I think the incumbent will be reelected easily. Now that doesn’t mean there are not nuggets of info to be found in these reports.

I will follow with the 4th and 2nd Districts shortly. Each deserve their own post/

Iowa’s 5th District Race

Congressman Steve King
Raised this Period: $191,689.27
Current Cash on Hand: $351,239.55

Challenger Ron Hubler
Raised this Period: $95,235.42
Current Cash on Hand: $64,654.06

What we should take away from this.

First, Hubler doesn’t have a chance. King does a good job of working his base and traveling the district, King’s money advantage and name ID plus the size of the district make it nearly impossible for Hubler to dethrone King.

If you are a fan of King, you should be encouraged by the fact that King is having his best fundraising year by a huge margin. In 2002 (the year he was elected) King raised just under $650k, in his 04 campaign he raised just under $540k, in 2006 he raised just over $612k. In 2008 with a month or so to go King has raised $862,337.09. I guess the argument that he can’t raise money needs to be put to rest.

Iowa’s 3rd District Race

Congressman Leonard Boswell
Raised this Period: $133,045.34
Current Cash on Hand: $325,757.93

Challenger Kim Schmett
Raised this Period: $56,294.35
Current Cash on Hand: $25,357.72

What we should take away from this.

Well while Boswell was down with yet another mystery sickness, it looks like he was still able to call his special interest groups and ask for money. Boswell took in over $98,000 from special interest groups this quarter.

This race isn’t close. My good friend John Deeth said recently that “Kim Schmett looks like an abandoned backup plan, positioned for a serious race if Ed Fallon had knocked off Leonard Boswell in the Democratic primary.” I couldn’t agree more. Shortly after Boswell won his reelection Schmett’s fundraiser bailed as did his campaign manager. What Republican’s failed to realize is that the advantage that the Dem primary provided them wasn’t the fact that Ed Fallon might knock off the Boz, it was that the primary forced Boswell to spend a ton of money. If a serious Republican would have stepped up early in 2007 and started running and raising money the challenger might be on equal footing money wise.

Iowa’s 1st District Race

Congressman Bruce Braley
Raised this Period: $184,854.12
Current Cash on Hand: $402,586.60

Challenger David Hartsuch
Raised this Period: $25,163.00
Current Cash on Hand: $7,391.01

What we should take away from this.

Hartsuch was never able to get his campaign off the ground and Braley has proven to be a good fundraiser (thanks trial lawyers!). Braley has raised almost a million bucks, but only has $400k in the bank against a challenger who hasn’t raised mush over $40k for his campaign. Sure he has given a bunch to the DCCC and IDP, but 600K is more than King used to raise for a cycle.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Joe’s Debate

Have we ever seen a presidential debate that focused so much on one dude? Joe was mentioned by McCain 15 times and Obama 5 times. Joe’s question to Obama this week did something McCain and his thousands of paid consultants and campaign workers have not been able to do, expose Obama as a socialist. So while it’s easy to focus on Joe, McCain used him as an example for how Obama’s tax policies and health care programs work against the average American. Well done by McCain.

I thought McCain did what he needed to do tonight. The real question is did he do enough to change the dynamics of the race. I think there are some things to work with if you’re the McCain campaign. While the main street media think you have to stick your foot in your mouth to lose a debate or say something stupid, Obama gave the McCain a gift wrapped issue of Supreme Court Judges. Obama clearly stated that the next president may appoint the judges that determine the whether or not Roe v Wade is overturned.

These are key words for the evangelical vote, and Obama made it clear that he’s not going to do anything that would overturn the ruling. The McCain campaign must use the clip of Obama saying these things to engage the evangelical vote. I just question if he is willing to go there.

That’s more like it!

“Senator Obama, I’m not President Bush, if you wanted to run against him you should have done so four years ago.” John McCain

Latham Pounds Greenwald –McCain’s Last Stand-Show me the MONEY!

Fear not my friends, I know I’m a lazy bum and didn’t write yesterday but I’m not about to turn into the Real Sporer or QCI. Just kidding guys, you know I love ya. Well there is lots of stuff to talk about today, so I’m going to touch on them and the maybe elaborate tomorrow.

Is Latham in trouble?!?

The quick answer is no. In fact Latham has probably run his best campaign since being elected, and his recent votes against the bailout have helped him with the base. Sorry Becky it’s not going to happen. I know that some of you are then asking why is Latham attacking Becky Greenwald on her support of the bailout. Simple, she made a huge mistake by taking that position tieing herself to a very unpopular congress. Latham’s ad is well done and plays well in the little towns that make up the 4th district.

Yesterday Greenwald wisely chose to use Latham’s attacks to call for a television debate, giving that argument that Latham must be scared. She also helped make that point by announcing that the DCCC has targeted her race, which means they will probably pour some major resources into the 4th CD.

However, Jayson Clayworth of the Des Moines Register asked a great question that sheds a lot of light on the 4th District race yesterday. Clayworth asked Greenwald if her campaign was out of money since they have not aired their TV ads recently. She denied and said it was strategy.

She’s telling the truth. Greenwald went up early on TV to seed a poll that the DCCC was doing to see if her race was competitive. So while Greenwald’s gamble worked in the sense that she’s going to get some needed financial help from the DCCC, she also blew her cash on that early TV, and when she went dark, Latham came in and has been relentless. Smart move on Latham’s part.

McCain’s Last Stand

John McCain has a lot riding on tonight’s final presidential debate. Obama has opened himself up for a direct line of questioning on William Ayers by pondering with the media why McCain hasn’t made those acuzations to his face in the debate. Careful what you wish for Barack.

John McCain is a fighter, and we all know how badly he wants to win. If you have been looking for fireworks this is a must watch debate. I’ll be posting on it tonight. So check in late (I have to make up for yesterday.)

Money, Money, Money

October quarterly reports are due today. We will get to see how these campaigns stack up, especially in the 2nd and 4th congressional districts. Updates to follow when numbers for both candidates are in. Also speaking of money, state numbers cone in on the 19th. We will cover that as well.

I can’t believe it’s not earned!

Obama’s new wealth spread.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Implosion –The Iowa GOP will not win elections until the internal strife within the party ends.

It was the ticking time bomb that many people, including myself, had hoped would detonate after the November 4th elections, not with three weeks yet to go. Last week we saw our US Senate Candidate claim that the Republican Party of Iowa is actively working against him, then on Saturday David Hartsuch sent out a press release stating he was told by the McCain campaign that he could not speak at Saturday’s rally because of some comments he made two years ago in support of traditional marriage.

I’ll be honest with you, this is not a subject that I enjoy writing about, but with the growing attention this story is getting I guess I might as well jump in and give my take.

Before we delve into the latest saga concerning the Iowa GOP, I first want to get a few things out of the way. You may have noticed that I have not spent much time discussing the US Senate race, or the Congressional race in the 1st district on my blog. That has been intentional on my part, not because I don’t support those two candidates, I do, but because they need to earn it, they need to make some noise and then I’ll gladly give them some love.

You might have also noticed that I have not used this forum to bash and trash these candidates either. While I don’t like to see candidates using their contributions to purchase clothing or even gas, I don’t see what good will come of me berating a campaign or candidate for doing it. I might have a different viewpoint during a primary, but when our party nominates a candidate I will not work against them, and if there is something I don’t like I’ll just keep my mouth (err keyboard) shut.

Every Republican insider you know will tell you that the focus here in Iowa is regaining the majority in the Iowa House of Representatives. I do not disagree with that line of thinking; however that doesn’t mean you can simply ignore or pretend that other campaigns in the state don’t exist or can’t help the overall election effort.

Now I can understand why Reed and Hartsuch are frustrated but I also think we need to clear some things up. First, the RPI has never given a candidate for any office a pile of money after they won the Republican nomination, it simply will never happen. So the reports that the Republican Party is withholding financial support to any campaign are simply not true. What the party does do through its Victory effort is to identify supporters and turn them out on Election Day. Reed and Hartsuch should be getting their supporters to help in those efforts.

What I also think that the RPI must also do a better job of providing non-financial support to our candidates. I’m sure to Reed and Hartsuch it seems like the state party refuses to advocate for them, and I think that argument has merit. I don’t understand why the folks at the party can’t find something positive to say about these candidates when asked in private or at events. If someone came up and said “hey Krusty, can Reed win,” I’d use my time to bash Harkin and tell them that anything can happen especially with the mess in DC. Heck, I might also point out that while he isn’t well known to many Iowans, he has a strong following with the grassroots activists across the state.

There are things that the Party can provide our candidates that don’t cost a dime. Those are the things that they seem to be unwilling to do. They can talk up our candidates to anyone who inquires about them, especially the media. They can publish press releases, announcements, and other communications on their website and email distribution list, they can speak out against their Democrat opponents when the opportunity arises, and they can provide opportunities for these candidates to speak to large groups of people for Republican event. None of that costs a dime, just a little bit of time.

The major source of the frustration from Reed and Hartsuch is the fact that they have not been allowed to speak at recent McCain rallies in Iowa. Now, I will acknowledge that these are McCain events and since they pay the bill for them they can dictate who is allowed to speak. But the fact that Reed has not been allowed to speak at the Cedar Rapids or Davenport McCain event, and Hartsuch was told he can’t speak at the Saturday’s event is troubling.

If you have ever attended one of these things you will know that you’re supposed to get there hours in advance, and they have a bunch of local candidates speak to fill up the time. In Cedar Rapids they had 4-5 legislative candidates speak plus Miller-Meeks. Both Hartsuch and Reed were on the stage but not allowed to speak. It didn’t surprise me that Hartsuch didn’t speak since the event was outside of his district, but if we can find time to listen to these State House and Senate candidate’s don’t we have time for a little Harkin Bashing from Reed?

As for Hartsuch, he has sent out a press release entitled “McCain ’08 Shows Gay Pride by Snubbing Hartsuch.” Now that’s probably not the approach I’d take, but hey I might call myself Dr. Hartsuch instead of Senator Hartsuch with the Congress’ favorability ratings in the tank. Anyway, I’d be pissed too if I saw a state legislator without an opponent have the opportunity to speak while the only State Senator in the 1st District and Congressional Candidate was told he couldn’t speak because of comments he had made two years earlier in defense of traditional marriage.

Seriously folks, these are not prime-time convention speeches, they are simply filler before the candidate arrives. Christopher Reed and David Hartsuch are our candidates, the least we can do is let them speak at these large gatherings of Republicans, and the folks at RPI should be advocating for their inclusion.

Every campaign that is takes root in this state is an opportunity to expand and grow our Republican party. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long shot campaign or not, they all engage a new group of people. Unfortunately, we tend to douse some campaigns with weed killer if the powers that be don’t like the way the campaign is being run. I don’t think I need to remind any of you that our textbook campaigns haven’t done very well over the last 12 years or so.

The sad thing is that there is no way that Republicans can win anything in this state until we stop the internal bickering and backstabbing. We need to work together for the greater good of our party and our candidates. The blame is shared by both sides and the chattering class on the sidelines.

We can and should do better.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Watch this

I'm afraid that 5 years from now, we will be trying to figure out what the hell we were thinking when people were outraged about what a lying dishonorable liar Sarah Palin was by not proving for once and for all that she gave birth to her own child, while we swallowed Obama's laying this fiasco at the feet of McCain without compunction.

McCain needs more ads like this to have a shot.

Where is the bottom?

Yikes, the markets just opened and we are already down 600 points. The Asian markets were hammered overnight, this isn’t good folks. Fear has gripped the market, and the uncertainty will remain probably long after the November 4th elections.

There is no doubt that what goes on in Wall Street has an effect on the business on Main Street and the people who live on Maple Avenue, but I continue to question why the American taxpayer had to spend $850 billion dollars to save Wall Street, when it has clearly gotten worse since the passage of the bailout.

As a free market conservative, I believe that we should have just let the market do what it was going to do. Many times in America we tend to think we can fix things, and fend off a lost. As we all know in our personal lives sometimes you are better off in the long run to expose yourself to the pain and deal with it, rather than pushing it off to deal with at a later date.

In regards to the November elections, the national media has made it clear that unstable markets and economy are good for Senator Obama. I understand that his populist message works better in this environment, but we are in unchartered territory. With things looking so bleak, I don’t think we can truly understand what the American voter is thinking.

In our state and local elections all I can say is that I wouldn’t want to be an incumbent. People are pissed off and are looking for someone to take their frustrations out on. It will be interesting to see what Voters in the 2nd and 4th districts do on Election Day.

Latham was wise to vote against the bailout, and Becky Greenwald was stupid to say she would vote for it. I have all along thought Latham is safe, and he has really helped himself with his vote against the bailout. In the 2nd District Congressman Loebsack voted for the bailout, and unlike Latham, Loebsack hasn’t had years to build relationships in his district which leaves him vulnerable. Also making things difficult for Loebsack is the fact that his opponent Dr. Miller-Meeks is articulate, intelligent, and has done a good job of getting under his skin. Who knows, in this environment anything can happen.

I just looked at the markets again and see we are now only down 200 points or so. Sure I’m a slow typer, but it also shows just how volatile the market is.

Hold on folks.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Some Thursday Thoughts

I took a little time to clear my head yesterday, and my post debate depression has lifted. While I still wish McCain would talk about his efforts to rein in Freddy and Fannie in the debates, at least he has a good web ad out there that explains it.

I don’t understand why we let Obama have a free pass on these issues. Let’s look at the difference between the two candidates on the issue.

John McCain wrote and advanced legislation that would have imposed strict regulations on Freddie and Fannie. Senator Obama wrote a letter to the Treasury Secretary.

I guess what makes me mad is the fact that I as a citizen can write a letter, but our elected officials actually have to power to call a hearing or write legislation. John McCain led, and Obama covered his a$$ by writing a letter. And why isn’t the media asking to see this letter? What did it say? Did he get a response?

American is deadly close to electing an empty suit as its leader. In these times we need a real leader who isn’t afraid to tackle the problems that face our nation. That leader is John McCain.

Also I know I’m a day late and a dollar short on this, but I also encourage you to vote for Aplington-Parkersburg to get $25k from the Henkel Helps Schools Contest.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meet the Depressed

For my loyal readers you know that I tend to tell it how it is. Now from time to time I try to point out some things that the media missed, but I not going to try to spin last night’s debate performance. It was bad, and it was boring.

There is ample and abundant material for McCain to attack Barack Obama on, but unfortunately McCain refuses to that in the debate settings. Sure he and Sarah Palin are good on the stump, but 50 million people don’t tune into a rally like they do for a debate.

McCain has one final debate to set the record straight, its win or lose time.

The choice is his.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Thespian Revolution

I don’t know about you but I find the recent videos of kids singing to Superior Leader Obama to be a bit troubling to say the least. For me it started a few weeks ago with a video of young children singing about Obama. Then yesterday we saw a video of Obama Youth who are marching in fatigues and espousing that Obama has inspired them to this, that or other things.

We are lead to believe that these things just happen, oh and a camera was there to capture it and then someone walked by and offered to edit it. Don’t fool yourself, nothing is spontaneous in politics, it’s all planned and implemented. Heck, even the Obama staff has a time to star in their own little artsy videos.

I can’t wait till these guys are in the White House and need to take a Thespian Break during a crisis or feel the need to force schools to teach our children choreography and Superior Leader Obama songs.

Don’t laugh, it’s done in other places around the world. Just look at what these kids can do if they work together.

I’m sure the liberals and Obama freaks think that North Korea looks like a nice place to live. I mean these are the same people who were so moved by China’s opening and closing ceremonies and longed for America to be able to do something like that… As I watched the above video it didn’t take too much imagination to see Superior Leader Obama sitting right next to Kim Jong Il with that big toothy smile…

God help us

Monday, October 6, 2008

House Dems opt for Negative Campaign

You know in the past when I have written about Union Thug/House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy people have posted comments and sent me emails telling me that it’s a low blow calling this guy a thug.

Well sorry, that’s exactly what this guy is.

The most disturbing part is the fact that he doesn’t try to hide it. It’s kind of like those Scab shits the union guys were wearing in 2006. Anyway, Union Thug/House Majority Leader McCarthy recently dropped of his little book of dirty secrets to the folks at the Des Moines Register.

Now I’ve never done any opposition research, but from what I know it usually contains votes that someone may have made or public statements on issues. Union Thug/House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s research goes a little further, delving into candidates personal lives.

It’s one thing campaigns for President go negative, it’s another thing when some people think such negativity needs to take place in local state house races. It’s hard enough to get the best and brightest people to run for office (just look at our current Governor), but it’s going to get worse with Kevin McCarthy’s style of win at all costs dirty campaigns.

The other disturbing thing is that the Register found many of these accusations to be untrue and false.

But yet McCarthy told the Register, “"If these candidates were elected to office," McCarthy said, "it would not be a stretch that we would need to establish night court at the state Capitol, together with a bailiff and maybe bring in Jerry Springer to cover it."

The majority of the offenses were alcohol related, and almost all of them where over 5 years old. I mean it’s not like Rep. Eric Palmer who had an issue paying his taxes. People drink, some have a problem with the bottle, and some are smart enough to seek help. So does McCarthy think that a former alcoholic who has turned his life around is unfit to serve in the legislature?

How is that sit with the union members? I’m sure are as pure as snow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin wins, Senate bailout bill full of pork.

Most people will tell you that the voters vote for the person running for President, not the VP nominee. I agree, but one can not overlook what Sarah Palin has meant to the McCain campaign. It was my belief that if Palin flopped last night the McCain campaign would be on life support, thankfully the McCain campaign let her take off the training wheels and be herself.

Palin not only held her own, she won the debate.

The main street media is never going to like Palin. She uses phrases they can’t stand like, gee williker, gosh, and say it ain’t so Joe. What the media fails to realize is this is what you hear on Main Street. Palin communicates directly to your average American, something more politicians should do. For a woman who’s been in the national spotlight for 5 weeks, I’m impressed with her.

While this debate will help the McCain campaign, his campaign still has an up-hill battle in the last month of the campaign. I also think that McCain’s support of the Senate Bailout plan doesn’t do anything for him either. Sure something needed to get done, and yes Obama voted for it as well, but this bill is loaded with Pork Barrel projects something McCain is adamantly against.

Does this sound like Main Street to you?

Sec. 502. Provisions related to film and television productions.

Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.

Sec. 504. Income averaging for amounts received in connection with the Exxon Valdez litigation.

Sec. 317. Seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports racing track facility.

Sec. 308. Increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Sec. 314. Indian employment credit.

Sec. 315. Accelerated depreciation for business property on Indian reservations.

Didn’t think so.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Leach leads Republicans for Obama in Iowa

Former Congressman Jim Leach is holding Republican’s for Obama events across the state this week. I have a couple of thoughts on this.

1.Outside of Davenport and Iowa City Leach doesn’t have much influence over the Republican electorate. It’s just a gimmick to garner news coverage. In fact many Republicans in Iowa City and the Quad Cities are pissed off at him, so his crowds might be rather small.

2.Anyone else find it odd that Leach is about to do more campaigning than he ever did for himself. Leach refused to do anything in his reelection campaigns, and never really helped other candidates on the ticket. Now he is actually working against our candidates running for the state house, state senate, and Dr. Miller-Meeks who is seeking to knock off Dave Loebsack.

Thanks Jim

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday Morning Update

I suspended my blog yesterday so that I could focus on the bailout for Wall Street, so I apologize for not posting yesterday.

VP Debate Tomorrow:

While Palin has turned in less than flattering interviews with Katie Couric in recent weeks, I expect her to be on point in tomorrow’s debate. She goes in being a huge underdog against Joe Biden, but I like our chances against the gaff machine. Plus he’s an arrogant a$$ and will have a difficult time not looking like a prick in front of the American people.

Oh, I also see that the debate moderator is writing a pro-Obama book. Nice pick debate commission. We have a real problem with the press in this country, no one wants to report; they only want to give their opinion, which makes them columnist, not reporters. Maybe we should just have Jim Lehrer moderate them all.

Wall Street Bail Out:

Man am I glad that sucker went down. I’m sick and tired of the talking heads in New York and Washington DC telling us that if we don’t give the financial industry a trillion bucks we are going to have a second great depression.

We need real solutions, not temporary fixes. This is the problem with publicly traded businesses, state governments, and our federal government. They are all cooking the books so at the end of the year things look pretty good and our ugly sins are out of sight from the American public. We need to be honest and upfront with the American people.

Five Worth Fighting For Update:

Jamie Johnson
who is running against State Rep. McKinley Bailey in HD 9 is out with a TV ad. Jamie is a great guy. If you recall I wrote about him this summer. Help this guy get elected.

Also if you want to know the truth about Rep. Bailey, like his support for a REC Center in Union Thug, House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy’s district CLICK HERE.