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.


  1. Senator Hartsuch has a long history of unfettered animus toward gay people and seems to have a strange fixation on making homosexuality his top political issue. This is not about "gay marriage", but about homosexuality in general. He made a tasteless joke to the QC Times about gays calling hetros "breeders" and showed his intolerance to be more than just a passion.

    McCain made the right move. Hartsuch is toast in 2 years anyway, either by primary or by a Democrat in the general election.

  2. Anybody see American Beauty? Makes you think don't it?

    Oh,almost forgot. As far as insensitivity goes, I heard from a couple of folks who said he mocked the voice of a mentally disabled person while speaking to the delegation at the convention. Classy. Can we get a confirm on that?

  3. Nice 9:31 and 9:41. Did you read this post or are you a paid Dem blogitator?

  4. You must've read my mind krusty because I had to think for about five minutes before I could remember the name of Christopher Reed.I at least see a few signs for Hartsuch out there.I have not seen one tv ad though for either of these guys so I can only ask how hard are they really running???As for McCain I dont think hes ever had any real love in his heart for Iowa so why would he pay any lip service to our candidates.
    We do need to make changes in the RPI as the leadership seems to be running out the average joe.Until we become a more inclusive party again we will continue to take beatings at the polls.Without going into detail I rate a 7 out of 10 on the conservative scale.Many in the RPI wont want to hear from me because of the 30% I may disagree with them rather than build on the 70% we do agree.Until we can change things like this you are right Krusty we will take many more beatings at the polls.

  5. You know I am pretty sick of the Republican Party snobbery. This year I went to my 2nd caucus and went for the first time to the county, district, and state conventions. The people that run the party from the local all the way to the state are disorganized and so sure that they are the only ones with the answers. It is a mess and I certainly will never give a dime to the RPI. If you can't support the candidate that the people voted for than get out of the postion of leadership. I am not thrilled with McCain at all but when people ask me about the race I always say that I have to vote for McCain and explain the negatives of an Obama presidency. Now am I to believe that RPI can't at the very least do that for Christopher Reed. Does the RPI think that Harkin is better for our state then Reed would be? If so, then they need to move over to the democrat party. And by the way, if they don't agree with Reed's positions, then they don't agree with the party platform. If they don't agree with the platform, then again, I say move to the democrat party. We the people, of the Republican Party, voted on that platform, amended the platform when needed, and have agreed to the final work. Back it up with support of the candidates that intend to move those ideals forward. It seems to me that the party is full of a bunch of sore losers that are going to make us all pay by losing important races and not even attempting to support candidates they don't agree with.

  6. This Party will not become dominant again until we get back to our Conservative roots. This Party needs a real leader that can be trusted to show real leadership. Please Congressman King help save this party and this state, Iowa needs you!

  7. Well put Lisa and anon 12:26.I too tell anyone who will listen why i support Republicans over democrats .its the exact things 12:26 brings up.

  8. There is one VERY simple reason why Hartsuch and Reed have been left out to dry...They're poor candidates.

    They've ran absolutely POOR campaigns. Neither one of them have been able to raise a dime..neither one of them has been out on the stump.

    Hell..I'm from Eastern Iowa..and we haven't seen hide nor hair of Reed since the primary.

    There is ONE very major similarity between Reed/Hartsuch..Who's running their campaigns...I hate to say it..but the Laudner's have ran these guys into the ground.

    Hell.. Chuck Laudner was bragging that he was gonna raise $1 million bucks for Hartsuch..and so far..he's 985,000 away from that.

    You would think that Reed would be able to raise a decent amount of money from GOPers in this state sick of Harkin...instead, he expect RPI to do all his work for him.

    I'm tired of the whining from these two. Reed, Hartsuch...get off your ass and work these last 3 weeks..

  9. 1:04...

    Hartsuch is a complete egomaniacal micro-manager. Chuck Laudner backed off long months ago because Hartsuch wouldn't make the calls to raise money and was obsessing over the most trivial of details. Ask the candidate about this literature and you'll get a 10 minute discourse on how perfect it is. Ask him about a federal issue and be prepared for... Not much.

  10. The whole getting back to our "conservative roots" argument is silly.

    Everyone I hear make this remark is thinking no abortions no exceptions, no gay rights of any kind, rounding up all 20 million illegals, and using Genesis as a textbook.

    And you think that because most of the email forwards you get, the same people you talk to at central committee meetings and county conventions express these views that the majority of Americans must agree with you.

    They don't. About 20% do. Good luck winning elections on that. Both party's platforms are written by their ideological...purists.

    The Republican Party is not a party of soley of conservatives. It is the more conservative of the two parties, which is why it gets labeled as such, so please stop with your righteous calls to 'take back' a party that's not yours.

  11. Ann 1:37,

    You claim that only 20% of the people think like conservatives, and that winning elections would be impossible.
    Well you must not of lived through the 1980's when a CONSERVATIVE named Ronald Reagan won two landslides! With 1984 landslide being one of the largest in American history.
    Or were you not around in 1994 when the House Republicans took back the Congress for the first time in 40 years with the Contract with America!
    Conservatism wins everytime its tried.

    It called having core beliefs in what you believe in and that is why we need to become a conservative party again!

  12. 12:26, I just threw up in my mouth. Cong. King is not the answer.

  13. No doubt he believed in them, but what were the issues Reagan WON on? Abortion? Defense of marriage? Creationism?

    Talk to me about balanced budgets, tax cuts, a strong military, and no pork. Hell, talk to me about tort reform!

    Do you know what pluralism means? The two Steve's, Deace and King, sure don't. They think that because they've prayed about it, then they MUST be right and have the authority to belittle all those who do not agree 100% with their world view.

    Are you in that same category?

  14. Annon 2:39

    You seem really defensive all of a sudden. Could it be that your moderate beliefs and leaders have led us to another electoral defeat again?

    Why is it when you challenge a moderate and or a liberal they immediately belittle other peoples beliefs in faith and morality?

    could it be that they have none?

    Now to answer your question, Reagan and other Conservatives have won when they talk about social,fiscal and security issues.
    Conservatism is not ashamed of our beliefs because we believe in American Exceptionalism.

    Do you know what that is?

  15. Anon 3:14
    Well stated. Hey Mods are you getting ready to take over the White House in Jan? Oops, sorry, I just remembered you can't beat liberal with liberal light. Case in point, Harkin – his 2002 numbers were in the toilet and Republicans could smell blood. The party nominated Ganske that great moderate who wouldn’t be swayed by them damn conservatives. Um, what happened? Ganske didn’t even win his own congressional district. He lost to Harkin in most of the 5th district counties. Look it up. Um…those pesky conservatives strike again. Why, because the conservatives work, they volunteer, they have issues they care about. It wasn’t until McCain was the nominee that more than 200 people showed up for a rally. Hell, the campaign could have saved cash and held the rallies in lobby of the Embassy Suites downtown. The Mods aren’t passionate – they don’t show up….the conservatives do.
    After watching the debate last week, it was hard to see which one of the candidates was the liberal. The two of them were writing more taxpayer funded checks than I have seen in years. WTF. Way to keep the base Big Mac! Oh I forgot, you have the moderates, so I guess you won’t be needing us.

  16. You folks can argue all you want about putting up moderates or conservatives, but it doesn't matter what they are if they are horrible, and I mean really horrible, candidates like Hartsuch and Reed.

    These guys have done nothing, and now the greatest achievement of their "campaigns" will be using what little media coverage they could get to attack fellow Republicans.

  17. Hartsuch and Reed are emblematic of what is wrong when you run on the extreme right agenda with no room for moderates. If the GOP puts up King for statewide office, you will get the same thing. Extremists don't raise money, they only raise the ire of those in the middle. That is where elections are won or lost. Mainstream conservatives and moderates can win the middle, but not extremist right wing burn down the village candidates like Hartsuch, Reed & King.

  18. Operation Extinction is only going to bring the extinction of the Iowa GOP. Independents don't give a crap about a "biblical world view" when they are looking for a job and watching their retirement savings circle the toliet. Deace and King are the poster kids for what is wrong in the Repub party.

  19. Reed needs to find a retired priest to do campaign ads on abortion.

  20. 10:06, there's no way he could afford campaign ads, he spent all his campaign donations on suits frm JC Penny's!

  21. All you cowards that want to bash the people that hold conservative views should get out from behind the computer and run for office yourself. Or are you afraid that people will treat you they way you are treating the people who actually have the courage to run for office? You are a bunch of ungrateful runts who have nothing better to do then trash people that have convictions. And conservatives are the ones who are hateful? Please.

  22. Every word you say, Krusty, may Republicans don't hold a candle to Democrat problems.

    Give me a good reason why anyone with a brain would consider voting for a Democrat. We have wholesale cheating going on in the Democrat party.

    Just because the media chooses to turn their heads the other way doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Just because Mauro says that ACORN is not opperating in Iowa does not mean that the same bunch of thieves is not operating under another name.

    You trust Democrats if you want but the worst Republican is more honest than the best Democrat.

    Maybe the ignorant voters who will vote Democrat like the way the Democrats have destroyed the Iowa economy. They've spent and spent and spent. This is what you get when you have Dims in control of the House, Senate and Governor's office.

    We ain't seen nothing yet, folks unless we stop the Dims somewhere.

    Maybe you can afford to keep Dims in office, but I can't.

    Can you imagine the size of government with Dims in control in Iowa and the nation? It's enough to make us think about moving somewhere else.

  23. October 14, 2008
    A Few Debate Questions
    By Richard Cohen

    With the final presidential debate scheduled for Wednesday and the previous two having revealed absolutely nothing about the candidates, I have taken it upon myself to suggest some questions for CBS' Bob Schieffer, who will do the moderating chores. I assure you that the candidates have not seen the questions in advance nor, when the time comes, will they want to answer them. I flipped a coin and Senator Obama goes first.

    Senator Obama, you are sooooooooo cool. Can you tell us, please, the last time you lost your temper and what about? You have two minutes.

    Senator McCain, I'd like to ask you why you've attacked Senator Obama for associating with the former domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, even though you have befriended G. Gordon Liddy, who was jailed for what amounts to subversion of the Constitution. Liddy also once told his radio listeners to deal with ATF agents by shooting them -- "a head shot," he recommended. What's the difference between Liddy and Ayers? Take as much time as you want.

    Senator Obama, did you ever tell Bill Ayers to his face that what he did was wrong?

    Senator McCain, I have a question regarding Sarah Palin: How could you?

    Senator Obama, in 2007, your former church and its then-minister honored the Reverend Louis Farrakhan, an anti-Semite. Why didn't you say something in protest? Have you ever heard the Latin dictum "Qui tacet consentire videtur," silence is consent?

    Senator McCain, what lessons should we have learned from the Iraq War? Should it have been fought? Should we have stuck to Afghanistan? What are our limits as a great power?

    Senator Obama. Sir, if your plan for troop withdrawal in Iraq had been adopted, the U.S. troops would now be almost out of the country. That being the case, what do you think we'd have there now? Civil war? A peaceful country? An Islamic republic next door in Jordan?

    Senator McCain, do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if history will forgive you for Sarah Palin?

    Senator Obama, do you ever wake up in the middle of night for anything?

    Senator McCain, with the situation in Afghanistan worsening, why don't we switch our troops right away from Iraq, which didn't attack us, to the country from where Osama bin Laden and his Taliban supporters did?

    Senator Obama, given the problems facing our country -- a worldwide financial crisis, a looming recession, the prospect of nukes in Iran and North Korea, and Pakistan, which already has nukes, coming apart -- isn't it reckless of you to think that, at your young age with your limited experience, you can manage it all?

    Senator McCain, virtually the same question to you. But in your case, given your age, isn't this all too much for you?

    Senator Obama, have you ever been in therapy? If so, how did it make you feel?

    Senator McCain, in May, you allowed a restricted number of reporters to review your medical records for a limited amount of time. Some people think you're hiding something. Are you? If not, why not make all the records public?

    Senator Obama, we all know that lobbyists are not the problem in Washington; it's the incessant need of politicians to raise campaign funds. Yet you broke your pledge to accept public financing for your campaign. By doing that, didn't you contribute to this problem? And a follow-up, if I might: If you broke your word on this, how can we be sure you won't break your word again?

    Senator McCain, reportedly, you have been told to avoid looking at Senator Obama during debates because he infuriates you and you could lose your temper. Is this because of Obama's age or his manner or something else entirely?

    Senator Obama, what's a credit-default swap?

    Senator McCain, can you explain short-selling?

    Senator Obama, is Senator McCain right?

    Senator McCain, you are 72 and have had skin cancer several times. Given that -- not to mention the usual exigencies of life -- how could you pick a running mate who is so dismally qualified for the presidency? And please, for the sake of your own reputation, not to mention your mortal soul, don't say anything about the Alaska National Guard.

    Senator Obama and Senator McCain, you both favor NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. Please tell us how you would explain to an American soldier why he or she would have to fight for either country. Please explain why defending Georgia is in our national interest.

    Gentlemen, that's it for now. Over to you, Bob

  24. G Gordon Liddy never pulled the trigger.

    Ayers has actually bombed and his only regret was that he didn't do more.

  25. on the two major tickets we have three US Senators running- Congress has a lower approval rating than Bush!! And these three Senators between them have never made one EXCEUTIVE decision that they had to say was theirs alone and stand by it. Congress is the reason we are in the mess we are today- there are no leaders - just followers there.
    Excuse me but give me an executive that has been forced to make a decision that meant something with no others to blame should it be right or wrong anyday. Governor Palin would be the BEST President of the four. Experience? like the other three Senators that have been taking us down this path for years with no true leadership? think not- give me any intelligent, moral unafraid to make a hard decision leader anyday- once in the Oval Office there is no training regardless of the years in Congress that will make you a better President- in fact will probably hurt you.
    As President you either have the right stuff or you do not.