Friday, November 21, 2008

Huck-a-tour, Proud Mari up in smoke, Yepsen Leaving Town?

Huckabee a Celebrity?

Mike Huckabee was in Iowa promoting his new book yesterday. Huckabee drew huge crowds in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. While some grumble that he is already campaigning for president; I think he is just wisely going to the places where he has a following to promote his book. However, I have to admit it is smart to get everyone’s email address that comes through the line.

Love him or hate him ,you have to admit that Huckabee has done a wonderful job in keeping himself out in front to the people. His show on FOX where he is also a political insider on a number of other shows has turned an already likable politician into a celebrity.

It is still too early to talk about 2012, but if Huckabee runs again he will have a more formidable campaign. First he will have the ability to raise the substantial sums of money needed to run a viable campaign, second that money will allow him to hire more staff and use more technology, and third his increased name ID via FOX will help open doors to other likely voters.

Now we all must remember that George Pataki did a lot of stuff in Iowa in 2005 and 2006 and he never even officially ran for president. There are a lot of things that can happen between now and the Iowa Caucuses.

The Vander Plaats Decade

On another note, Bob Vander Plaats was in Des Moines working the crowd at the Huckabee book signing. Now Bob has a very loyal following in the state and it is obvious that he’s ready for a 3rd attempt to win the GOP Gubernatorial nomination.

First Lady Mari Culver admits to violating the State’s Smoking Ban

Maybe the folks at JEL Iowa should put up a bill board outside of Terrace Hill stating that the two Culver kids could lose their mom if she doesn’t stop smoking. Now I’m sympathetic for those who are addicted to smoking, but I have a real problem when the people who write or influence the passage of laws violate them. Mari Culver should be a role model for people, but not in this way.

I wonder if this happened while she was constantly campaigning with Becky Greenwald. That would drive anyone to smoke.

Yepsen Leaving the Register?

You know it’s bad when the Dean of the Iowa Caucuses is sending out resumes and is a finalist for the position of director of the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. While I might not have agreed with some of Yepsen’s positions, he had reported on the Iowa Caucuses since 1976 and has seen it all. I already don’t frequent the Register’s website, but if Yepsen leaves for a new gig I’ll stop by even less.


  1. Here's a campaign slogan idea for the 2010 Gov campaign that I am sure will go over well in eastern Iowa:

    Bob Vander Plaats: Making the Party smaller since 1998!

    or try this one

    Bob Vander Plaats: He's hot! He's Cool! He chews up moderates and spits (vomits) them out!

  2. Participated in the Huck-a-tour stop in Des Moines last night and can assure you that there had to be close to a 1000 people and Sam's Club had trouble finding enough books for people to buy.

    Yes, Vander Plaats was there and received warm reception as well.

  3. People showed up in Des Moines on a cold, windy night. Does this remind of of another night where Huck supporters showed up? :)

  4. Were any indulgences sold in return for political suport?

    Pope Alexander VI

  5. We are now moving into the second decade of Vander Plaats.

    Still no wins.

    And no gainful employment since...when?

  6. More BVP slogans:

    "Vander Plaats for Governor: Please?!?"

    "Vander Plaats for Governor: Because Mike Huckabee likes him"

    "BVP 2010: If you don't vote for him now, you'll get another chance in 4 years"

    Love me some Vander Plaats! Yeah!

  7. Seriously Bobby V, time to hang it up and move on. You're not going to be governor of Iowa. Ever.

    At least Stan Thompson had the sense to hang it up after two tries at Boswell.

  8. BVP 2002

    Persistence. You gotta love it.

  9. Harold Stassen

    Go for it, Bob!

  10. Bob's problem is he sold out last time around. If you can't stand up for yourself, you are done.

  11. Why isn't the party planning to elect a chairman at their December 6th meeting? Why sacrifice yet another month to the dems?

    Does anybody know? Is it so Stu and his staff have an extra month to send out resumes? Makes zero sense to me.

  12. More Slogans

    Vote Vander Plaats for another inquisition!

  13. Is that Krusty in the picture?

  14. I have a question for everyone. What's bigger Bobby V's ego or Chet Culver's gut??

  15. "I have a question for everyone. What's bigger Bobby V's ego or Chet Culver's gut??"

    If the first problem does not go away, neither will the other.

  16. There are only 3 things certain in life. Death, Taxes and Vander Plaats running for Gov. AGAIN!

  17. Bob is a good friend of mine. He is a strong conservative and at the same time is respectful of others. Something some of you should practice when being to cowardly to put your name by your words.

    -Mark W Vonderohe
    Chairman Allamakee County Republicans

  18. Hey Krusty....this blog now reminds me of the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan, you know...where as soon as the door comes down for "komments" the republican machine guns riddle the landing craft with a flurry of bullets! I guess the circular firing squad analogy fits, even though we're cheap entertainment for the D's right now.
    It's curious to read the many posters who practice the art of "ready, fire, aim" when they komment, and I epsecially love the good folks who have the courage post their handle! (Even if it is Chet Culver's gut!)

  19. Can you think of the best thing to come out of Sheldon? Not Bob Vander Plaats... How about the Brands Brothers? Maybe one of them should run. They could have a wrestling match with Gov. Culver instead of debating.

    I would watch.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Can't beat Sheldon!

    Btw, do you even know what an Orab is? :)

  22. Regardless of what anyone thinks of BVP or Chet Culver, the taste and quality of these comments is shameful. Let's have some serious, thoughtful comments on these topics. Plus, I'll bet some of the blogsters match Chet pound for pound.

  23. Orange + Black = Orabs

  24. Krusty, "Vander Plaats Decade"???

    More like the Vander Plaats Century

  25. What every happened to Sukup? I voted for him years ago...

  26. Ok, you want constructive. What Has Vander Plaats accomplished? He lead an organization the after he left it collapsed. He takes credit for things that he was not responsible for and he turned his back and sold out his supporters in 2006.

    What else is there?

    Oh yeah now he plans on using the Huckabee blind to run for governor again. He can't beat a republican let alone a democrat. His best shot was 2006 and now some of the most loyal of his 2006 crowd refuse to support him. All he has is Wes Enos who is a good guy, just lazy.

  27. Krusty - does the Huckabee organization support a Vander Plaats governor campaign? If you have a few different primary candidates, he could pull this thing off. What do you read in to that? Does he still have his campaign team from before?

  28. 10:13, it's very clear you have do not know, nor have you worked with Wes. He's absolutely anything but lazy.

  29. Bob has courage and compassion. You can tell that by how he interacts with people. Go Bob in 2010. If we get Huck and some other candidates out there campaigning with him we could win. Bob Vander Plaats was on WHO last Friday and said that Huck was telling everyone he'll be back in the state when he campaigns for gubanatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. :) Bob said Huck is highly encouraging him to do it.

  30. I'm all for competitive races! Especially when it comes to the Gubernatoral race.

    However I think any Republican has in uphill battle in 2010. Aside from Branstadt and Grassley Republicans have not won state wide office since 1978, thirty years ago. Iowa has THE LONGEST streak in the nation of not voting out incumbents at 11 straight races.

    Even in the worst of years incumbents everywhere in Iowa are GREATLY favored not only over there opponents but also over other incumbents in different states.

    See the 4 20+ point incumbent congressional wins (the other was what 15 points?) Harkin won by 20, and Grassley wins by 40-50.

    Iowa is a place for incumbents, that being said, I hope we have a loaded primary and a competitive race, it not only makes the best come to the top, but it also raises ad revenue and brings money and jobs into the state.

  31. 9:00AM 11/23 -- so Bob has the support of Huck.

    what do you think his plan will be to win the general election. what are the issues he'll run on to get him 51% of the vote. This must be an issue in the Primary if he runs and has opposition.

    I mean, if he runs on the Republican Party Platform he'd probably get, what, a solid 30% of the Iowa electorate? (especially those new voters that put Obama in such good shape in November)

  32. Here is the issue. Culver has some serious issues going into the 2010 election.

    1. The Iowa economy is in the toilet and it started falling apart in 2007 when the Dems took over the legislature and Culver came into office. Granted Bransted had a bad economy too but unlike Culver, Bransted didn’t have control in the legislature until 1997 so he never had to shoulder the entire blame for a bad economy during the farm crisis. Culver has no one to blame for Iowa’s failures under his tenure.

    2. Now that the Democrats control everything they will be expected to pay back the people who put them there like Unions and Pro-Gay Marriage advocates. If Culver fails deliver on “Fair Share” and Collective Bargaining he’ll lose his base. If he signs that legislation, he’ll lost the independents. The Marriage issue is another problem because again, if he pleases his base, hell lose the moderates. The Right to Work and Pro-Marriage issues both poll at around 65% support across the board in Iowa. He’s almost damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t in both of those areas.

    3. Like Republicans in 2005, now that Democrats control the country and the state there will be expectations for paybacks from the various incompatible wings of the party. Republicans, while we will experience some infighting in 2009 will likely pull together to fight a common enemy in 2010 while Democrats will be fighting amongst themselves due to the competing interests of those incompatible groups. It will be just splintering Republicans experienced when we controlled everything. The problem with the absolute power that comes with single party rule is that it tends to make you forget that you do have an enemy to fight.

    On Vander Plaats, the one major advantage he has the base already likes him. He doesn’t have anything to prove to the social conservatives so he can actually focus on the “pocketbook issues” without alienating the social conservatives. A straight fiscal conservative social moderate cant do that. If we want to win, we need to have the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives working together and Vander Plaats seems to be the only one capable of doing that.

  33. I just dont know anon

    If there was going to be backlash, it would have happened this election, with the bottle tax, the smoking ban, and union backlash, it was primed for a Republican victory, but it just did not materialize.

    I was sure that the smoking ban would come back to haunt the democrats but obviously not. They gained seats.

    The thing Bob has going for him, is the lack of a primary challenger, I dont see any current office holders challenging Culver. Not Rep. King, nor anyone in the legislature making any moves to do so.

    Two month ago I would have told you Rants would be in it, but I really dont think so now.

    I really thought Nussle was one hell of a candidate and he lost by a dozen, even lot his own congressional district.

    maybe Steven Lukan??

  34. I understand your point Adam but I would rebuttal that 2008 has one dynamic that 2008 did not. Specifically President Bush. While I respect him a lot of fingers have been pointed at him over the last 3 years and he has failed to respond to the criticism. A great deal of the damage done to the Republican ticket in 2008 was done by the President’s low popularity ratings. A presidential year is always a referendum on the President and the failures of the Governor are largely overlooked. In 2010, we will have a referendum on Culver’s leadership and I don’t think it will be positive for him.
    Also, when we had control we didn’t form a circular firing squad until the 2002 primary (remember, Lightfoot lost not because of Terry Bransted but because of Jim Lightfoot) I firmly believe that had Bransted run for a 5th term, he probably would have won it and we would have had full control for a few more years. For the Democrats, I expect the firing squad to form some time in 2009 because Culver is not the leader that Bransted was. He isn’t universally respected in his own party and there is already some early talk that the Unions may mount a primary challenge against him if he screws them on Fair Share and Collective bargaining again.

    I could be wrong, but it’s a little early to start singing the funeral durge of the Republican Party in Iowa. We’ll have to wait and see if Vander Plaats can put the pieces together and become the leader I feel he can be. As of today however, he is the only potential candidate with the pieces on the table for him.

  35. I'm a social conservative and cannot stand the thought of another BVP run for office. He just doesn't get me excited about our chances. If he runs, we lose again.

  36. I don't think the votes are there any more to keep FAIR SHARE from passing.

    I would like someone to give me some hope that I am wrong.

  37. Youre right. The votes arent there to stop it. The only thing standing between Fair Share and passage is another Culver Veto. We arent likely to get one of those which gives us a chance to take some seats back in 2010.

  38. Since we'll be screwed with Union growth, etc with a lack of votes in the IOWA Legislature, the least we can do is to organize a solid - across the state Letter to the Editor campaign outlining a few things...

    1) Dems are finally admitting what Republicans have been saying through the election cycle - the State is in deep water financially.

    2) Warning about what FAIR SHARE will do to Economic Development and business growth in general around the state. just explaining it's NOT FAIR SHARE as they talk about it - would be useful.

    3) Attend your local Legislative forums. Your radio and TV stations cover them - make some noise!

    if our Republican legislators are allowed to be silenced, we need to step forward.

    Republicans need to take a page from the Obama playbook and organize more!

  39. The problem BVP has is that he can win 30-40% of the general election vote but the general electorate is so polarized by candidates like Bob that he loses the race with similiar number to that of Christopher Reed.

    The other problem here in Ia is our base is stupid! We have no common sense anymore. But on top of that we have a base that has grown old and lazy. They are use to receiving check or living room meetings with candidates before they support.

    Vander Plaats has a few loyal supporters who will make their voice heard and when they lose they will say the party is to moderate or liberal. Vander Plaats does not have the ability to raise the 2 million dollars by January 1st to run an effective race.

  40. Here's a slogan!

    Bob Vander Plaats, the Chicago Cubs of Republican Politics in Iowa.

    Just wait 'til next year!

  41. anon 8:44
    "1) Dems are finally admitting what Republicans have been saying through the election cycle - the State is in deep water financially."

    Dude -didn't you hear from the top of the GOP ticket? The economy is fundamentally sound and we are all just a bunch of whiners.
    Revisionist historians are SOO funny.

  42. Comparing Vander Plaats to Reed is like comparing an apple to an orange. Reed had no money. In 2006 against an 800 lb Gorilla he had several hundred thousand dollars. Granted, it wasn’t enough to go up against Nussle, but its far better than the paltry $50,000 Reed had. The fact is that most of the independent voters don’t really know Bob yet. Just start asking around in non Republican circles. I’ll bet you will find fewer than 1 in 10 non Republicans who know anything about Vander Plaats. Some will know the name from somewhere (which is positive) but they wont be able to tell you who he is or what he stands for. This dynamic of being a known quantity within the party and almost totally unknown to the independents gives Vander Plaats the advantage of being packageable for a general election. He doesn’t need to have a high profile sprint to the right to shore up social conservatives, they already know him and what hes about. He can be introduced in mass media to the general public as a former teacher, principal, CEO and advocate of children with brain injuries. When asked by the media if he’s pro-life or pro-marriage, all he really needs to say is “yes, look at my bio and my previous statements for more on that but right now I want to talk about Education, Taxes and Jobs.” No other candidate either being talked about today or waiting in the wings has the social conservative street cred to do that without drawing the suspicion of the social conservatives. Steve King has it but unlike Vander Plaats, Steve King is too high-profile outside the party to make any kind of repackageing possible.

  43. Anon 9:41

    You're right, predicting the future is never easy.

    In 2010 there will be no Bush element and the Republicans of the nation will be focused on Iowa.

    That is when the Bobby Jindals, and Mike Huckabee's, Sarah Palin's, etc etc.

    Will be making a move to rech out to the Republicans of Iowa. I think that if the GOP is able to...

    1. Fill these empty races in the State Senate and Legislature (there where WAY too many to mention, something like 22 races without a Republican).

    2. Get Chuck Grassley involved. This is the first time since 98 that the Gubernatoral race falls with Grassley's senate seat. Whether he sticks around or not his constant 70 percent will definitely help down tickets.

    3. Illicit the help from this national figures who will no doubt be more than willing to help.

    4. And as you put it, stop the circular firing squad.

    PS. Anyone think of running Tom Latham?

  44. The idea of Bob runnning again is laughable. Who is advising this guy? If you can't win a primary in two cycles when Bush was popular - what makes you think you have what it takes this time? I'm a social conservative - and will NEVER vote for Bob.