Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Dark Horse

While the Blogosphere is white hot with discussion about the Chairman’s race for the Republican Party of Iowa, the way I see it, no candidate is close to garnering the nine votes required to be elected. At best one of the candidates may have five votes, but getting to nine is proving to be a difficult task. There is no doubt that this is as volatile of a chair race that many of us have ever seen.

That said; this is the perfect environment for a dark horse candidate to emerge. Some had thought that Strawn was the dark horse, but I had heard rumblings about his quest for chair right after the November elections so I’m not sure that I would classify him as a dark horse.

All I know that with none of the current candidates being able to approach the nine votes needed a dark horse candidate probably has a better shot at winning than most of the current candidates with their hats in the ring. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing either.

Yesterday the Flyover Boys did a great job in describing what we should be looking for in a chair. While many have stated that the best breeding ground for leaders of the party is our grass roots county organizations, I disagree. Our county organizations have many great people associated with them and I mean no disrespect to those people, but the chair of the party needs to be the CEO. I think that is exactly what they Flyover Boys made clear in their post yesterday.

We need a chair that can raise millions of dollars.

We need a chair that will have instant respect from major donors, legislators, Vaudt, Northey, King, Latham, and Grassley.

We need a chair that understands our grassroots activists and wants to help them.

We need a chair who doesn’t want to water down what our party stands for, but wants to create bold contrasts between Republicans and Democrats, but also refuse to walk away from our conservative principles.

There are very few people in Iowa who fill that bill, but they do exist. Recent guys who have raised that kind of money are former statewide and federal candidates like Jim Nussle, Doug Gross, Mike Whalen, and Jeff Lamberti. While they all have baggage from their losing campaigns, we would be stupid not to do all we can to keep them involved with the party.

Another name that gets kick around as a potential gubernatorial candidate is Bruce Rastetter. There is a debate on whether he wants to run for Governor or be a king maker in Iowa politics. If he’s the later, than he’s a name that deserves consideration. Rastetter clearly has an interest in Republican politics and he has been a major player in a multiple cycles.

As for me, I’m a patient man. I’ll wait until the first of the year or so to see what the field looks like them because I don’t think the field is set yet.

What say you?

(Keep it clean and positive please. Some of you went over the line yesterday.)


  1. Herschel, my elves tell me you need a new keyboard. Apparently, your "K" key stopped working?
    Help is koming...Kristmas Eve!

  2. I really want someone that will encompass both the social issues and the fiscal issues and not be afraid to say hey that is what wins elections. We need someone that is not afraid to communicate those issues and stand for what the boots on the streets work and volunteer for.

  3. The problem is what wins elections is not that. It is having the support of the social conservatives, but talking about about the issues that bring moderates in play. The other key is not having a known far right candidate that will instantly have a record that democrats can take apart. The other thing is to find a candidate is under the radar enough that Tim Gill and goons won't Swoop down upon and donate hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Maybe an answer would be having a state law prohibiting out of state money in state races?

  4. Speaking of money. Where did Strawn get his? Certainly he didn't get it as a congressional staffer in Michigan.

  5. speaking of probably none of your business, kind of a rude question, don't you think?

  6. I think I would prefer someone younger. I'm tired of walking into a party or event and wondering if I will have to call an ambulance while I'm there.

  7. So now we are going to let Tim Gill dictate who our chair will be? Good Grief, people, get a spine.

    Gill is already dumping big bucks into IDP. Do you really think he's going to stop if we elect a chair he hasn't heard of?

    Perhaps, putting someone like Danny in the chair spot will highlight the Gill issue and get Iowans pissed off that some out-of-state hack is trying to dictate our elections all so he can marry his boyfriend.

  8. Not meant to be rude, just curious. Did he win the lottery, born into money, self made man like Carroll, Pate and Randall, what.

  9. How about somebody as chair who has defeated the pro gay agenda supporters and not just taken in in the shorts from them twice.

    Pate defeated them by removing a pro gay rights Mayor of Cedar Rapids that happened to be a republican. Talk about taking one for the team.

  10. totally agree we need someone as chair that is not currently running

    we have great leaders in the party that have raised money, that have business connections, and that are leaders in business or have been in politics

    we need a real leader

    we need someone that doesnt need this job

    we need someone that will do it because the party needs them

  11. Your analogy of Danny getting beat in his elections are getting old. Nobody cares that Danny lost twice more than Danny does. The fact is that he is determined to educate and counter the Democratic Machines similar to the ones at Grinnell College and William Penn University (target of approx. 450 African American Students who voted for Obama).
    Danny won every race that he had in good years. Pate lost a primary, Danny never has. (Yoda, I already know your response...He ran against a congressional candidate...which is my point exactly. You cannot compare election races of Pate's and Danny's in the past because they don't match up).
    Danny never intended to run this year but the party could not find a viable candidate so Danny came forward. Danny knew that he had an uphill battle but the D's spent over 200,000 dollars to defend the seat which could have been diverted to Art Staed or Mark Davitt causing Renee or Kent possibly to lose. There are small victories in every election. Ask Pate to run from Grinnell and we can talk apples to apples. Until then, your comparisons carry no weight.

  12. Please no personal attacks. I don't care how much a chair candidate make. I want to know what they plan to do if elected.

  13. First of all I could not disagree more with the statement that we cannot speak about social issues. I spoke about it at every door and won support from democrats that came to respect the fact that I was not trying to hide it on the back page of my pamphlet. It is not that we have to run from our issues it is that we have to learn how to communicate them so others understand them on there terms. Please do not mistake me for a single issue person. I spoke about life, marriage, right to work, tax and spending at every door. I had to explain these issues in a fashion that someone that may not have the views or beliefs I had could understand them.

    Second of all I have come out in support of Danny Carroll, but I believe that Matt Strawn has some very good ideas and should not be the subject of attacks because he may not be my first choice. We are not going to be able to rebuild a party if we are the first one throwing stones at the people we are discussing. We have to do it in a matter that is constructive. It is like yesterday when someone said Matt Strawn is doing this for a paycheck. Now I do not believe that the salary he would be paid is as much as he would make in the private sector. We need to stay focused on the issues of rebuilding a party rather then tearing down each other. This includes Carroll, Pate, Strawn, Randall, Sporer and anyone else that may throw there hat into the arena. I understand there are issues that we may not all agree upon, but as long as we are behaving in this matter it certainly gives our opposition a lot of ammunition.

    Kent Sorenson

  14. Mark I respect your opinion, but you arent really comparing his record of a state rep in a good GOP district to Pate's are you?

    Kudos to Danny for his service as a state representative, but....

    Pate was a State Senator in a district currently held by a democrat. He was a Secretary of State in a state that is very blue. He was Mayor of a city that has democratic voter registration edge of several thousand (approx. 15-20k).

    Danny is rock solid conservative and helluva nice guy, but this is about WINNING.

    Winners win.

    I'm certain that carries weight with the rest of the party faithful.

    And Kudos to Kent Sorenson who I hope to meet someday for his comments about tearing people down. Well said.

    Again Mark, if you make it over to Dagobah some time lets gets some coffee.

  15. can anyone here think bigger than can we or cant we talk about "social issues?"

    or how does a person make their living?

    or the never-ending squabble about anything related to paul pate


    the party needs a leader. the party needs a ceo.

    how about recruiting someone that has actually been successful in politics and/or business to lead this enterprise that is on deaths door

  16. WAR Kent Sorenson!

    I think it's absolutely laughable that people think Matt Strawn needs the paycheck. He is an owner of a professional football team, I'm guessing you don't get to do that if you need the 30k per year Chairman's position.

  17. I think Yoda makes a good point. Pate won many different offices and is a CEO of his asphalt and concrete business.

  18. I've noticed the cycles that whoever is the perceived frontrunner gets attacked on the blogs. First it was Gopaul. Then Carroll. Then Strawn. Now Strawn and Pate.


  19. Well, while we're at it then....
    Jesus Christ could "descend" into the chairs job and the good folks of Iowa and RPI would probably find a reason to put him back up on the cross!

    I fear this will have to get bleak and desolate before we really get a "klue" (this one's 4 you Krusty)

  20. Thanks, Kent for your reasoned words. It's time we all came together with our common goal--defeating Democrats and taking back the Iowa House, Senate and Terrace Hill.

    These Democrats in power have brought economic devastation to this state and they're not done, yet. They are dangerous.

    At this point, Kent, you could even put to good use a few RINOS. At least they count toward the majority. I'd rather have the majority with a few RINOS than the minority with NO RINOS.

  21. Gopal deserves every negative thing said about him.

    Actually, I don't think enough has been said about him.

  22. Notice Kent did not mention Gopal

  23. Yoda,
    This disrict has changed vastly over the past few election cycles...no longer what I would call a "good" district. My point is that Pate is your choice and Danny is mine. They cannot be compared fairly. So let us talk achievements of both individuals. It may work as a Chair/Co-Cair combination (not to leave Strawn out because it could be any three of that combination and I think that the party is in good hands). My position remains the same. Danny Carroll is the most qualified leader if you ask those who he would be leading and working with to get elected. He wins that one I think hands down. I would really push Pate to consider running for Secretary of State. We could really use a new one of those.
    By the way, I "googled" Dagobah to find which movie that was from. I will not be there in the future but invite you to visit Oskaloosa and I will buy the coffee!

  24. K-Dog:

    If Rastetter is willing to strap this on, we will be cooking with fire. He's a bold leader, a ballbuster, a guy who does what he says in half the time it takes others to do it. He'd command instant respect and wouldn't take crap from anyone.

    I'm all for it.

  25. Nussle is damaged not by his campaign for Governor but by the Rudy fiasco.

    Whalen would be interesting, but he got his tail kicked like Nussle.

    Gross also got killed and want to water what our party stands for so that's a no go.

    As for Bruce Almighty, I'm all for it. He's one of the few guys who puts his money where his mouth is. I can't think of nobody who has done more for Republican candidates in the 2006 and 2008 cycles.

  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. Rastetter likely has his eye on another prize...the GOP nomination for Governor in 10'...

  28. Mark,

    I must admit you are better informed on the makeup of the district than I so I will concede your point. It would be difficult to classify any district other than 5th CD as good republican these days. Still, Pate is da' man in my opinion.

    "Googled Dagobah" huh. Too funny.

    Try this:

  29. Shame on you Yoda, sending innocent Krustyites to a Wierd Al Yankovik YouTube.

    But then again, Wield Al Franken is about to steal yet another elektion (with help from George Soros) (get used to it folks!)

    So, as wierd as things have been;
    WAR: Al Yankovik for RPI Chair!

  30. Isn't picking Danny Carroll to be Chair, like Auburn Picking Gene Chizac?

  31. give the cable guy some love. he is in it for the best interest of the party and has been proving it year after year.

  32. If Jesus Christ was to return and run for chair, we know that Clayton County Chair Gwen Eilers would mount a "Write In Steve Rathje" Campaign"

    How about Rathje for Chair and Eilers ED!!!!!

  33. Strawn appears to be the frontrunner if you check out those that vote- whether he has 9 votes is another question.
    A couple questions that need to be answered also is his relationship to IRL and ICA. He is member of each and sits on Lehman's Board at IRL.
    Are we willing to add another member of these two boards to our leadership and once again force them to choose allegiance to their special interest group or RPI?

  34. wtf

    the last thing we need is another irl board member f-ing up this central committee

    dear god have mercy

  35. If Pate is really running, why didn't he show up at either of the Conservative Breakfast Club meetings in Des Moines? A number of candidates for chair were there, smartly, as there were over 100 people there between the two meetings. Seems to me he's not even serious about running, so we should stop talking about him.

  36. Rastetter is undecided on Governor's race but I believe he is also interested in the Chair position.
    He certainly is not afraid of a fight, understands how to win and woudl have no problem raising money statewide

  37. tellyourdadtoshavehismustacheDecember 16, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    isn't strawn the real soco? he sits on ass-crazy kims board?

    give me a break

    these candidates all need to take a walk

    lets find someone else

  38. Not on the IRL BoardDecember 16, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom on Ninth Street.

  39. Looks like the snow day is treating everyone very well.

  40. I would imagine Pate has a job in Cedar Rapids and can't make morning breakfast meetings in the middle of the week in Des Moines. Speaking of which thank f'ing God he's not from Polk County. Thats the only county crazier than Linn right now.

    And has anybody looked out the window lately? I-80 is closed.

  41. I wish your mouth was I-80.

  42. Not on the ITR BoardDecember 16, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    Blessed are the meek,
    for they shall inherit the building on Ninth Street

  43. Not on the IRL or ITR BoardDecember 16, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they shall be rewarded with another weak chair controlled by ICA, ITR, and IRL

  44. Not a CommitteewomanDecember 16, 2008 at 3:13 PM

    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they shall obtain a facebook page and run for chair

  45. A Christy Lane ChristmasDecember 16, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    Blessed are the pure of heart,
    for they shall see Gopal for who he is

  46. Maybe this would be a good time to call out the candidates and ask if they would have supported the censure motion of Ms. Lehman.

    I sure as hell want to know their answers.

  47. Yoda where are you today, you house doesn't overlook I-80?

  48. Rastetter is an ideal candidate

    -He is a successful ceo

    -He can raise money

    -He has instant cred with officeholders and donors

    -And he is willing to go all in to win

    Maybe some of you on the central committee that read this blog should recruit him to chair our party

    The party needs a ceo that can lead a turnaround

    Go get the best one you can!!

    And Rastetter seems like a good place to start your search

  49. Good thoughts on a Gross, Nussle or businessman like Rastetter.

    This is the kind of thinking and discussion we should be having.

    Lets get the best person we can to rebuild this business, our party.

  50. If hog lots killed Gross' candidacy, what do they do to Rastetter's candidacy for anything more than the Pomerantz void?

  51. OK Nick, How come you don't put your name behind your comments??

  52. Jennifer Aniston;s Neck TieDecember 16, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    That's by Bruce Almighty would make a better Party Chair than Gubber candidate 3:33.

  53. Here's a checklist of attributes I'd like to see from our chair:

    Can you guess which "dark horse" they describe?....

    A profound self-confidence

    Empathy -- he understood why others thought the way they did even when he disagreed

    Always shared credit with others

    Repaired injured feelings as soon as possible

    Would take responsibility for his subordinates' failures

    When angry, would write a hot letter, and then put it aside

    Understood his own moods -- so when facing a setback, he would always go to where it happened to boost morale

    Knew how to relax -- went to theater over 100 times during the Civil War

    Made himself accessible to ordinary people -- anyone could get an appointment.

    The dark horse kandidate was none other than Abraham Lincoln. You know, yeah-him! His monument stands eternal watch over our nation's capital! Think he even started a political party?

    Here's a man who could lead us out of a crisis when most thought the kountrys demise was near, and he also united a divided kountry to become stronger than ever before.

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    Kompare these attributes to each of our kandidates for chair...it should make some of them tuck their tails and go home.

  54. We need Mike! Mike! Mike!

  55. Still hasnt gotten over BK's hot stafferDecember 16, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    No. No. No.

    Maybe the Machine Shed can pay for this campaign too.

  56. Krusty:

    I have lost some respect for your judgement.

    Mr. Rastetter would be a great Finance Chair, but State Party Chair?

    ZERO requisite experience or skills to run RPI.

    I suppose every blogger is allowed a swing and a miss now and then.

  57. 6:49 - your comment is very sexist.

    BK Hot Staffer is a friend of mine and I think that person has a name.

    Please do not objectify women in that manner. It's embarrassing to you.

  58. 9:09 needs to get out into the world more.

  59. Sexism has no place.

    I guess I could assume that you are either an Obama supporter or someone who hates Sarah Palin because sexism is a serious problem.