Thursday, December 18, 2008

Culver’s first draft of his letter sent to state employees.

Dear Fellow AFSCME Member,

Over the last few weeks, I have ordered all state departments to reduce spending. This will have an effect on state employees, and the services you provide Iowans. I want to take this opportunity to tell you directly why I took these actions, and what the next steps will be as we respond to our economic situation.

As you know, I’m the most incompetent Governor is our state’s history. Now that we are in the midst of an economic challenge my incompetence has become more apparent. My advisors like Bonnie Campbell want me to blame Wall Street and the Federal Government for our state’s financial mess, but that wouldn’t be truthful and while I might be a complete moron who’s in way over his head, I don’t often lie. The result from our reckless spending over the past two years has created an economic recession that is hitting Main Streets and factories and farms and families – and state government agencies – all across Iowa.

And as we speak, 43 of our states are either in or headed towards a deficit. Iowa’s Constitution does not allow our state to operate in a deficit; if it did everything would be fine except my reelection effort. This means cuts in spending are needed to balance our budget.

This process began this fall, when the state’s revenues fell short of predictions. You may have read State Auditor Dave Vaudt’s warning about our looming financial crisis, everyone kept telling me we had $600 million dollars in our reserves and an AAA bond rating. Only recently have I learned that I must cut expenses and unnecessary travel, and to freeze state hiring.

Last week marked another important step in this process. On Friday, the Revenue Estimating Conference lowered revenue projections for both fiscal years 2009 and 2010. I guess Dave Vaudt was right, but how was I supposed to know that our economy wouldn’t grow at a 10% clip?

At that time I indicated I would take action to cut spending in the current 2009 budget by an additional $60 million. I was advised then that this amount would be an appropriate, measured response to the REC action. It would allow my office, state budget planners, the respective state departments and the legislature to begin focusing on the task ahead of putting together a 2010 budget.

However, after further review of our revenue projections and budget commitments along with several meetings of my budget team, I am convinced that $60 million in additional adjustments to the current budget is not enough to prepare us for the challenges before us.

The REC indicates that revenue estimates for both 2009 and 2010 may be reduced even more in April. My Council of Economic Advisors predicts that the bottom of this economic downturn has not yet reached Iowa. And economic trends, both nationally and internationally, continue to bear bad news. Simply put, my Democrat collogues and I really put our state in a bad place. We are committed to find ways to make things look better than they really in hopes that you and the people of Iowa continue to vote Democrat, and reelect me as your governor.

Therefore, over the next few weeks, I am going to take the following steps:

First, I have met with Bonnie Campbell who is on the Board of Regents about selling the Iowa Lottery for some quick cash. I know the Board of Regents doesn’t have anything to do with the lottery, but she really the one running the show. She tells me that selling the Iowa Lottery for a quick pile of money is a lot like one of those risky reverse mortgages that they con old people whit when they need quick money to pay off their gambling debts. Bonnie assures me that if we can somehow put a bandaide on this mess I can get reelected in 2010.

Second, I will have additional secret meetings with Dan Kehl, a casino operator about buying the Iowa Lottery. See Dan has been very generous lately to House Majority Leader McCarthy and myself so we feel it’s justified to give him first crack at buying the lottery. That said, I will encourage him to let some of the other big investors in TouchPlay get in on the action as well since most of my large contributions come from gambling interests.

In addition, I will ask the legislature to approve transferring approximately $10 million to the General Fund from the Senior Living Trust Fund, our Infrastructure Fund, and our Rainy Day Fund. This is exactly why we couldn’t use our rainy day funds to help flood victims in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Columbus Junction and other communities in Iowa. Helping flood victims wouldn’t help me get reelected; I needed to make sure that money was there to fool Iowans about the true state of our budget.
These actions are in addition to $77 million in reduced spending that I announced on December 9. Together, these cuts represent nearly $180 million. This will have an impact on programs that the State provides.

As you can imagine, this is not how I thought my first term of Governor would go. I thought it was all about helping those who gave money to my 2006 campaign and staying at the Knapp Condo in Florida every weekend. It sucks by the way that I now have to “rent” a room for a $160 bucks a night.

Nonetheless, in 2006 and 2008 the Iowa voters proved that you are about as intelligent as I am, so by selling the Iowa lottery and playing some budget games we will fool the voters again in to believing our state finances are in a better position than most states.

Mike Gronstal, Pat Murphy, Kevin McCarthy and I take full responsibility for creating this economic crisis. The responsibility however calls on the taxpayer to respond to it. You can count on us to do just enough to get reelected in November of 2010, you can take that to the bank!

We have endured challenges in the past. Iowan’s are known for their short memory and laziness. Knowing that and coupled with the actions I have mentioned above, gives me optimism and confidence about what the future holds for me and my family. Our Iowa values of resilience, strength, and common-sense will sustain us through this, and any, challenge.

Finally, as this year comes to a close, I want to thank you for your service to our state. From floods and tornadoes, to the economic situation we now face, state employees have always risen to the occasion. So, even as we meet these unexpected challenges, on behalf of the First Lady, and the Lt. Governor, I want to wish you and your families a safe holiday season, and best wishes in the New Year. If you need us, we will be in Knapp’s condo in Florida, its frickin cold in Iowa and I hear the roads might be bad tonight so be safe.

Chester J. Culver
Governor of Iowa

P.S. We are in this together. In that spirit I hope you can join me tonight to help raise money for my reelection. The Details are as follows:

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Governor Chet Culver
Lt. Governor Patty Judge
Chet Culver Committee
Please come and enjoy an evening of fine foods and friends.
5:30 p.m. -- 7:00 p.m.
Noah's Ark Ristorante (second floor)
2400 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Patrons - $25,000
Hosts - $15,000
Guests - $5000
Please RSVP to Chris Khoury
Ph 515 288-2287 or email

The Fundraiser is actually going on this evening. Great timing! i wonder who's giving the $25,000? "Mr. Kehl, the Governor will see you now."


  1. vote for you state chair candidate here

  2. Krusty, the other shoe...please post about this soon. Here we are with a budget disaster looming and Big Lug thinks he has a rainy day fund.

    This kouldn't be further from the truth. Remember the special session that never happened? You know, the one to bring Iowan's together to take kare of our own, aka the "flood" victims?

    Well, the special session starts January 12th and I would like names taken in DM that day to know which of our legislators ignored their responsibilities to Iowa.
    That 600 million should first be spent as flood relief, not to cover Chet's "arse"

    I'm sure the eastern Iowa delegation will do their part to bring this to the floor, but what say you from the other 90+ kounties?

    I want to know who is first to step up to the mic and say we don't have the money to help our own neighbors recover from the real natural disaster. Chet's fiscal disaster was man made, if he'd only be man enough to admit same.

  3. To vote for your RPI chair candidate go to

  4. I guess Mr. Doland didn't get Krusty the FIRST time...don't spam the blog..jeez

  5. You said it Tibby - Here's the statement:

    “Democrats have put this state in a precarious position,” said House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha). “At a time when the national economy was on it’s way down, Democrats increased state spending by over $2,000 per family, over the span of two years they’ve hired more than 2600 new state employees, and loaded up budgets with pork projects for their preferred constituents. The only thing they have left to show for it is a gaping hole in the budget.”

    House Republicans stated when the Legislature reconvenes in January, they plan to protect the Cash Reserve Fund in order for the state to pay commitments on time and will oppose any attempt to raise taxes on Iowans. If the Economic Emergency Fund is tapped, it should only be used to help address the problems associated with the treacherous flooding and tornadoes that devastated Iowa communities this summer.

  6. vote for you state chair candidate here

  7. It's funny too that about a month ago, Gov. Culver asked to fill a hole in the budget of $40 million. Gee, isn't that the same amount of money that was allocated for the Jumpstart program for flood relief? No one to my knowledge picked up on that. The governor said we had the money this summer, but I guess we really didn't. The reason there wasn't a special session is that this would have all been exposed before the elections.

  8. Mark Doland is a minister and a nice guy so I think its safe to assume that he's not the one spamming even though its his site.

  9. Governor's 2009 Legislative Agenda:


  10. deace has his 2009 predictions out and one is that several R's will declare for gov. Lamberti, Rants, Rastetter, VanderPlaats and Matt Whitaker.

    Or, to put it another way, for State Chair - Strawn for Lamberti, Iverson for Rants, Rastetter??? Danny Carroll for VanderPlaats.

    Something like that maybe? What are your thoughts?

  11. 10:49 - Your homework assignment is incomplete, consider it returned and don't resubmit until your list includes Chuck Larson Jr.

    (That should sufficiently screw up your theories)

  12. It's not my list. It's deace's list. I wasn't even throwing out a theory asshole. Ok, add Chuck Larson Jr. Ok. That also explains Matt Strawn for Chair.

  13. You're as rude as you are dense.
    Of course that explains Matt Strawn, specially if you know how to read FEC reports (say hi to Grubbs too)

    Chuck entering the race will cause for some back room meetings that will essentially wipe out the rest of the field...cept for BVP. He'd run against his Mother.

    Last question: Do YOU have any thoughts....just wondering. Have a Merry Christmas too!

  14. Larson will have a hard time convincing primary voters who have already followed him to slaughter to follow him again. Lets run the list shall we?

    Larson is the man who brought you Doug Gross, Jim Nussle and John McCain. Great! Yeah, sign me up for that campaign.

    Larson will have the same problem McCain had in spending money like President Bush. He’ll start spending money as if he were Jim Nussle. But he wont be Jim Nussle. He will be a Doug Gross retread, just like McCain was redo of Bob Dole. Nussle raised the money he had because he was Chairman of the Congressional Budget Committee in a Republican Congressional Majority with a Republican White House in a year where Terrace Hill was open. Larson wont have any of those things. Thus, he does exactly what Gross did in the2002 primary. He gets to $1.5 million or $1.75 million very fast and that’s his primary ceiling. Nussle had the money to run a $4 million primary. $4 million is enough to scare other contenders out. $1.5 isn’t. Larson had better come in like he wants it if he wants to win that primary. Unlike everything else in his life, this wont be handed to him.

  15. 11:50
    Which of the opposing candidates do you work for? Your details inform me that you are already counting the income you expect to earn supporting your horse in this race?

  16. Speaking of AFSCME:


  17. 11:58, half, if not all of the people on this blog are either lined up to be, have been or desire to become paid by one of the horses or potential horses in the race. Judgeing by who appears to have a concerted blog presence, it’s a good bet that we are looking at a three way primary between Larson, Vander Plaats and Rants. They are the only ones who seem to be pushing their people to the blogs to attack, defend and push their candidacy.

  18. 11:50 has a finger on the pulse though...Cuba Gooding Jr. said it best, "Show Me The Money!"

    I wouldn't pretend to know this answer but exactly how much kash will it take to run against the Big Lug?

    If we raise up a strong kontender, there will be union money flowing from all sides to protect Chet.

    So then, do we drain the RPI coffers at the expense of all other kandidates to fight the top of the ticket?

    We'll waste all our donors generosity on ammo that we shoot at each other in the primaries!

    Let's not go there again. If our
    next roster doesn't have folks that can raise serious kash, then we're pretending all the way to the polls!

  19. Tibby, we’re not going to beat Chet by outspending him. He’s and incumbent Democrat Governor in a state where Democrats control everything. No one, and I do mean, no one can keep up with him in fundraising. Culver will probably be able to pull in $7 or $8 million for his reelection. Even Latham wouldn’t be able to match that. If we want to beat Culver, we cant be looking only at fundraising. We need to find a candidate with a strong message that our base actually wants to vote for. That isn’t to say that our candidate can go up against Culver with $50,000 like Reed did against Harkin. Our candidate will need somewhere in the neighborhood or $4 to 5 million to keep up with Culvers paid media campaign. However, we are going to have to rely on our grassroots network to do a lot of the heavy lifting in this campaign because our candidate will need the money they would otherwise spend on staff and consultants on the ground to match Culver in media buys.

    The good news is that there is a threshold of diminishing returns on campaign spending after which your ads start to over-dilute the market. 2010 will be all about turnout. The Democratic base of unions and liberals are upset with Culver and probably wont push as hard on the ground, but he will be very well funded. Our candidate has to get their message out, but they also need to have a strong workforce of volunteers who will carry their message door to do, put out signs, make calls and crank the turnout wheel. Those things cannot be taken for granted in 2010 because we will go in with a financial disadvantage against Culver regardless of who the candidate is. If our candidate cant both raise respectable money and motivate the grassroots to do the heavy lifting, they will lose. We cant buy this one, we have to earn it. Culver’s incompetence makes it more easy to earn, but if we pick a candidate because we think they can raise the most money and we fail to motivate our base to turn out or twist the arms of other people to turn out, we will lose.

    If we want to win in 2010, we need to be looking at how Vilsack beat Lightfoot in 1998. We cant be looking at how Nussle proposed to beat Culver in 2006. If we try to follow the Nussle modle, we are doomed to fail.

  20. I'll bet Latham could.

    He's currently restricted to 2300 per person with federal system.

    Without campaign finance laws like McCain/Feingold, Latham could probably. King would also do a lot better.

  21. Can we please get over our obsessed love affair with running congressman for governor or senator? Let's look back to see how well that's worked:


    Three times and you're out. Let's look to at a new strategy.

  22. 1:16, I’m willing to bet Latham couldn’t. I’m not saying that because I am attacking him, what I am saying is that he is a member of the minority running against an incumbent governor with control over not just both houses of the legislature, but Democrats also control Congress and the White House. Being in the minority is hard because why you can raise money to hold your own seat, it is difficult to get the special interest (upon which Latham relied heavily this time) to give in large numbers. Try to remember, special interests gravitate toward power. If you and your party have it, they will contribute greatly to you in order to stay near the power. If you and your party don’t have it, they will shy away from giving to you because it alienates the guy with power.

    Nussle was a special case, he was by no means the rule in statewide candidates. Latham can raise more money than anyone who would challenge him for his seat, but like Ganske before him, for every dollar he raises, his Democrat opponent will be able to raise 2. Why? They have the power, and he doesn’t. I know that sucks, but that’s the way of the game. Again, we cant buy this one and if we get stuck on the notion of finding a candidate who can buy it, we are going to surrender our golden opportunity to retake control of this state.

  23. mkucki,

    I'm willing to accept that we are done with Congressmen if you agree that we are done with BVP (I'm not assuming you're a BVP supporter, I just want to narrow the field).
    Based on your model:

    2006--BVP--lost (primary)
    2006--BVP--lost (general)
    2006--BVP--lost (state chair race)

    Are we in agreement?

  24. Countdown to 2010,

    I see your point and I would mostly agree. However, we've never fielded BVP in the general as the top candidate. Also, he does deserve some credit for Huckabee's showing in the caucuses. Granted, that is in the primary and not with a general election audience.

  25. Also, your list needs some updates on Vander Plaats.

    2002 -- Lost the Primary by 3%

    2006 -- Joined Nussle as his running mate. (No Primary)

    2006 -- Was #2 on Nussle's loseing ticket but spent most of the General Election locked in a closet by Nussle's staff.

    2006 -- Expressed interest in, but did no run for State GOP Chairman.

    So really, he has only lost 1 time unless you count 2006, but that is more on Nussle than BVP.

  26. Nobody who can win ever concedes.

    A great candidate will be able to keep pace with Culver in the money race. They will not be able to significantly surpass him but will be able to keep up.

  27. 12:55 - I really do agree with your argument. Respectable fundraising (not anemic) along with great message discipline and a robust ground game and I too believe we can take back Terrace Hill. All that said, the unspoken piece of the puzzle is yet to be seen but proves to be potent...
    A man in the White House picks up a phone, transfers millions of dollars in a day and activates an electronic donor-activist network with 20-30 million supporters, many of whom live and vote in Iowa.

    This is our real challenge, it's like comparing the might of the US military to most third world countries. Let's not allow our party to deteriorate any further.
    I know there's folks who say our new chair shouldn't be too tech-centric, but then again, we need to emulate their success and recapture a new generation of voters.

    There's a lot at stake!

  28. Latham is probably not going to run but Iowa has rarely had a powerful Congressman on the APPROPRIATIONS committee.

    Appropriations is powerful.

    You klowns forget that.

  29. We agree again Tibby, there is another danger of which our candidate must be aware. In 1996, Lightfoot was on the verge of beating Tom Harkin. However, in the last month of the campaign, then President Clinton came in to campaign for Harkin. Clinton at that time was still a rock star to the media, he let the local media onto Airforce One, let them into the Presidential media pool an treated them like big-time journalists. The result was a massive uptick in positive media for Harkin which in turn resulted in an artificial uptick in Harkins numbers. Unfortunately, it was during this time that the Des Moines Register did its poll on the Senate race. The ultimate result was a very public poll and historic indicator of politics in Iowa that showed Lightfoot’s numbers in decline. In turn, his fundraising dried up and he was unable to keep pace with Harkin in the last month of the campaign. He then lost a close race to Harkin, but it was still a loss.

    There is a real possibility that President Obama will have the ability to do the same thing for our dear Chester in 2010. This is one reason why I would suggest we find a candidate that can raise big money from a large group of $100 to $500 donors. Finding some donors who can give in the $50,000 to $100,000 dollar range is always, but they are also the first donors to look at a bad poll or two and pull the plug. This is why finding someone with wide support among the grassroots and party rank-and-file is so important. They won’t look at a bad poll near the end and not just pull the plug, but start giving to your opponent because they don’t want to be left out in the cold if you lose. Big donors are great but to get them, you have to be able to do something for them and as the minority party against an incumbent member of the majority, we can’t do much for them (which is what anon 4:52 seems to forget, or is totally oblivious to) or you have to be the run-away favorite against the incumbent to make them willing to bet on you. Because most of our potential candidates don’t have a lot of name ID they are going to be hard-pressed to come up with creditable polling that puts them ahead, or even tied with Culver early on.

    I’ll state again, no one is going to be able to keep up with Culver in the money race. If we want to win, we need to be careful with our money, recruit strong local leaders to do the jobs that an army of paid staffers usually do and save our money for the big paid media and GOTV push at the end. So to correct you anon 4:52, a “Great candidate” will be a candidate that has the ability to raise big money from small donors, the ability to inspire local leadership to do for free what we normally pay staff to do. Someone who can stretch a dollar in a campaign because they will likely be out performed by Culver on the fundraising front. Most importantly, we need a candidate with the charisma and personal magnetism to attract big enough crowds at events to grab earned media. A strong earned media campaign can supplement a shorthanded paid media campaign and help pump name ID and additional small dollar fundraising. I said it before and I’ll say it again, if we go looking for a candidate that can buy this election, we’ll get another loss because in the end, they can’t buy it.

    One last thought, I never forgot Latham has on Appropriations. Its a powerfull committee, but hes in the minority. Nussle was CHAIRMAN of the budget committee. There is a BIG difference between haveing seat as a minority committee member and being chairman of that powerfull committee. Compairing Latham to Nussle is like compairing Apples and Oranges. Again, nothing against Latham Im just being realistic.

  30. Funny how BVP supporters characterize his loss in a three-way primary as "only" 3% but characterize Gross's loss by 5% to Vilsack as an ass whooping... LOL

    In politics a loss is a loss!!! Don't matter how far, if you don't win you can't govern. Simple as that...

  31. Funny how BVP detractors are so keen on saying he is a looser when no one who has ever beaten him has ever gone on to win the General election. Then those same people who put up Nussle and Gross want us to back their “new boy” because Vander Plaats is a looser? You use the line “you cant govern if you cant win” but you need to take some of your own advice. The grassroots have given you 2 chances to win and you guy has fumbled the ball both times.

  32. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and anticipating a different result." - Bob Vander Plaats

  33. "If you don't win, you don't govern" - Bob Vander Plaats

    Thank you Bob, I think you've proven that a few times ;-)

  34. 6:58 - Okay, we appear to agree so much that Krusty's readers will think we're having an affair, or are the same person....or both!

    To finalize my argument and to this I enkourage replies...I think James Carville said it best way, way back in the 90's.


    Who is the Iowa version of Romney?
    (Accomplished business person)

    To this I mean, someone who has a strong grasp of economics and beyond that, hands on experience in business with a proven track record.

    Now, quite frankly, that criteron eliminates the entire field as I see it right now, save but for one, possibly two kandidates on the edge, but haven't made any public statements to imply intent.

    To this I dare say, is there any way, any who or any how that our next kandidate can possibly win Terrace Hill without the vision, the blueprint AND the experience of the business world to step in and LEAD our state to economic prosperity? There's almost nothing left to cut from our budget save for a few union jobs, which is why they'll defend Chet with every last drop and dollar.

    I think Iowa's future leader is somewhere in his/her office right now working hard to stay on the cutting edge of private industry...yes, even in the midst of a tanking economy....they find success. It will be a younger, highly intelligent and AKKOMPLISHED individual who appears on the scene with a plan that doesn't sound political, it will make sense.

    I can't wait. From this komes all the money and enthusiasm we'll need to overrun Chet's lock on power.

  35. Tom Harkin spends no time in our state and yet he is our Senator.
    For all the time Mitt Romney spent in Iowa, why doesn't he run?
    I agree - we need someone who has a track record, instead of the usual cast of candidates who all sound like a broken record.

  36. If you want to trash BVP, then you will continue to run this party into the ground. BVP is not my first choice, but he has put so much time and effort for our Republican Party that he derserves our thanks. We know he is a social conservative and wears it on his sleeve.

    Everybody knows BVP has the social base wrapped around his finger. Let's listen to BVP's economic/fiscal plans. If they are legit, we have an instant winner. If they are fuzzy, we have a nice list of other options to give a hard look. It's time to give a fair shake where credit is due. It will only help our cause.

  37. I only agree with you in part this time Tibby. I’m not sure Iowa has such a person say for maybe Bruce Rasetter, but I have serious doubts about his ability to mobilize the grassroots. I haven’t settled on any candidate yet. I have some interest in Bob Vander Plaats because I think he is the only one capable of putting together the kind of organic campaign movement I described above. However, I am cautious because his fundraising ability is somewhat suspect. As I have said before, a candidate with a strong organization who cannot put together a strong enough fundraising effort compete with Culver to the edge of the diminishing returns curve I described yesterday will not be successful. Similarly, a candidate with big money who fails to mobilize the base is also destined to fail especially in 2010 which is likely to more closely resemble 2004 in that turnout will be more of a key than money.

    I cant really think of anyone out there who brings both fundraising and organizational strength to the table at this stage of the game but Rasetter and Vander Plaats would seem to me to be the best candidates at their respective ends of the spectrum. I am personally of the opinion that they should both run and we can gage them based on their success in their weakest area. If Vander Plaats is finally capable of raising between $1 million to $1.5 million before the primary that will be a success for him. If Rasetter can build an active organization of grassroots leadership (not just one of those fake lists of County leaders that Nussle gave us 2 years ago) that will be a success for him. The bottom line is this: We HAVE to have a primary in 2010. The party is so disjoined today that I feel as though the only thing that is going to fix the division is to give various factions the chance to compete with one another for control of the party’s future. It is a hard pill to swallow but people on all sides need to be shown in black and white what direction the MAJORITY of the party’s rank and file wish to take.

    Now before one of the random idiots on this blog takes a swing at me for being negative let me say that historicially there is a great deal more creditability for the argument that having it out in a primary is a better way to bring a party together than “unity for unity’s sake.” In 2006 on our side, we merged our ticket and half of the party felt slighted because they never got to have their say at the ballot box. In 2006 on their side, they had a knockdown, drag out 3 way primary and I would argue that they were more unified going into November than we were. In 1998, Vilsack and McCorrmick had it out in a close primary to take on a guy who everyone (myself included) thought was unstoppable I November. They went on to establish a better turnout effort and GOTV program than us and they beat us when polls showed we had a 13% lead going into election day. In 2008, our primary ended early and Hillary and Obama drug their primary almost all the way to the convention. In the end, Democrats were better for that and we never could get people rallied around McCain. Even 3 days before the election I remember talking to people saying that when they made calls and talked to their friends they were hearing from people who refused to vote for McCain. That’s not good. So as we start looking for our candidate in 2010, I would ask everyone to keep their eye on the ball.

  38. Jimador - The only place you'll find "instant winners" in this state is at your local gas station when you "scratch & play!"

    There are far too many drive by idiots on this blog who spew out irrational & uninformed bile.
    Their job isn't to build up the body politic, it's to simply destroy anyone who would dare to compete in the sphere of ideas.

    Before anyone dares to trash BVP, maybe you should see what this man does for a living? Like him or not as a kandidate for "any" political office, how could one ever summarily "trash" this good man?

    You should all be shamed for such nonsocial behaviour and be sentenced to a few days of hard labor in a Soviet gulag before you are allowed to return to our representative republic.

  39. 9:55 - Have to run but in short we have two big problems to solve:

    1) We're polarized as a party. After the last "true" primary, all the "losers" sat on their hands (thinking of another word btw) and watched us lose.

    2) I firmly believe the best qualified person to lead our state is also smart enough to stay away from the political path because we don't yet appear to be serious enough and bi-partisan enough to "WANT" to fix our problems.
    These great kandidates would never run for ego or money, in fact, most would have to spew open their private lives and take a huge pay cut just to serve our great state.

    Brilliant leaders and successful business people didn't get there by accident.

    Neither will our next Republican governor!

  40. Attention Ad Makers:

    "Mike Gronstal, Pat Murphy, Kevin McCarthy and I take full responsibility for creating this economic crisis."

    Chester's own admission.

  41. Many of the commenters are suggesting that if the Christian conservative base rallies around a candidate and volunteers, a victory is achieveable. I think that these commenters are thinly veiled VanderPlaats supporters. Remember that (1) many of the grass roots really don't believe in absentee ballot solicitation because "real" Republicans go to the polls on election day and (2) the democrats have amended the voting process so in their favor that the grass roots can never do it alone without big money. Let's have some serious comments her and not just veiled "vote for BVP" logic.

  42. Anon 12:44, are you suggesting that the people who actually do the door knocking, phone calling, and general recruiting effort should have no say in our process? Perhaps you would be more happy if our nomination process took place in Doug Gross’s office with a select few “experts?” Here is the deal, we have done that before. We did it in 2002, and we did it again in 2006, there was an effort to do it again in 2008 but no one listened in Iowa. Apparently South Carolina didn’t get the memo, but ultimately it happened. The end result was an office full of empty phone lines and countless county meetings where people brought in news of numerous people saying they would vote Democrat in protest. We can throw a fit about how awful it was but unfortunately, that’s the reality of our current situation.

    I’m not saying that our nominee absolutely has to be Vander Plaats, what I am saying is that if the former party establishment trys to ram another nominee down the throat of the party base, we will lose again. Whoever the nominee is, they had better be widely supported by the party, not just the ivory tower country club Republicans.

  43. You BVP supporters are nuts!!

    You don't give Gross ANY credit for winning a three way primary - but give him ALL the blame when he loses the general...

    Vilsack and McCormick had a spirited primary and Vilsack ended up stronger in the general because of it!

    But Rep's don't act that way after a primary..The BVP and Sukup supporters who lost to Gross sat on their ass and did very little to help Rep's win in the general - and Doug is pro-life!!!

    Feel free to ram BVP down our throats for the 4th time??? He won't get my vote and I'm a social conservative...

    If you want to fix the fiscal mess, then Dave Vaudt is our man. Of course it won't matter what fiscal credentials he brings unless he's pro-life..Of course, nevermind the fact we have a PRO ABORTION and fiscally clueless Gov because of the pro-life crowd sitting out the last two statewide elections...

  44. Just a thought...what If the next kandidate had such compelling vision and ideas that he/she was supported by Iowans?

    Just a thought. We need to raise the bar. Now if you think I've just condemed your horse, then so be it. Or, you can go back and say, "We need a stronger message, a better plan and a clearly understood vision that others will support.

    I still stand by my earlier post that our best hope for Iowa's future is currently undiscovered.
    Yes, a gem in the rough.

  45. I agree, we've got some great new leaders in the party these days. The problem is that most of them are pretty young. I'm not sure who the diamond in the rough is for the 2010 race but as I look at the talent in our next generation of leaders, I cant help but feel good about our future.

  46. OK Tim Moran you can close your trap again.

  47. Back in the old days, the Socons unified under the leadership of Ralph Reed and probably claimed more responsibility for success than they really deserved. But since nobody challenged the claims, our party embraced the winners and the "association" hasn't shook loose yet. While any one group has a right to assemble and lobby our party, we won't win elections until we reunite all the groups knowing that we have to work together to get anything done.
    This and other blogs serve to damage our party because those who lead, tend to "read" and this creates an overblown illusion that Republicans won't unify. You'd be surprised how many grass roots folks would gladly work for the cause if leaders would stop fighting over scraps and return to the trenches and provide examples of real leadership.

    Krusty, I know you take weekends off but dude, you have some serious cleanup to do from some profane bloggers on the earlier boards. I can't let my curious and patriotic offspring read your blog anymore if you don't watch over this.

  48. Culver was the guest on IPTV this weekend and thinks he's already saved our state. He won't give more than a token to flood relief and then blame the federal government for failing to step in and rebuild our state.

    Should be fun to watch session next month!?

  49. Anonymous 2:54, what Anonymous 12:44 is trying to say is not that a small group should anoint a candidate. The poster is just trying to point out tht anyone's efforts will fall short until the party, including its regulars, acknowledge that absentee voting is acceptable and not an un-Republican practice that can just be ignored. Also, we all need to come to grips with same day registration. At least in NW Iowa, these voters were democrats. Cluttering up porches with brochures and calling answering machines don't necessarily do it these days.