Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Will Barack Obama be the last American President?

Some Russians seem to think so. I have to tell you I laughed a bit as I read this, but our future looks bleak. While the two major political parties have been jockeying for power we have neglected the real problems that face our country. Sure they talk about health care and energy, but when are we going to get real and start talking about the looming entitlement crisis? Ford, GM, Chrysler and a bunch of financial companies were deemed too large to fair by our Government, but what about Medicaid and Social Security? Every single American has paid into those programs and they could cease to exist if foreign entities call in our debts.

Ron Paul wasn’t so crazy after all.

I’ll be honest, if Ron Paul had a different position on foreign policy he would have been my candidate of choice. It seems that Peter Schiff, one of Paul’s advisors predicted our current crisis in 2006. In the following clip he is ridiculed by the TV host and Art Laffer.

So did Laffer pay up?

Clinton cashed in

Man this guy has the golden touch. Bill Clinton received $2.1 million Citi Group, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs. Nice work if you can get it.

Sarah Palin

So the turkey clip of Sarah Palin is making its way around YouTube. What I want to know is where does she get her staff? I know the media loves to blame her but her press aide is terrible to have he positioned to see some dude cutting off the heads of turkeys during her interview. Sarah, I’m willing to go to Alaska and help you out, just send me an email at krustykonservative@gmail.com. Palin is a rock star but is being failed by those who work for her.

I’ll be out the rest of the week unless something big happens. I guess you can say I’m on call!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Morning Roundup

Sorry Tom

For weeks we have been told that former Governor Tom Vilsack was a lock to be Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture. This past weekend we learned that it’s not going to happen, in fact Vilsack wasn’t event approached or vetted for any cabinet position.

I think some Iowa Dems went a little overboard after Obama’s victory assuming that an Obama administration would be full of Iowans because he got his campaign rolling in Iowa. While Vilsack is a loyal Democrat, he wasn’t an outspoken supporter of Obama’s. Heck I was surprised that Hillary didn’t use him more during the caucuses.

This is the problem one creates when you don’t have any business running for President, you get termed a loser. Many think Vilsack could challenge Senator Grassley in 2010. I don’t think that’s going to happen. While Tom’s a little down on his luck now, he would be irrelevant if he ran against and lost to Grassley.

Empty the Bench?

Anyone else find it a bit interesting that the Democrats seem to be empting their bench? It seems anybody who’s anyone is either part of the Obama administration or rumored to be picked soon. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Tom Daschel, Rahm Emanuel, and Janet Napolitiano have all been mentioned or selected. So who is left standing once the Obama Boom busts? Plus there is going to be a bunch of newbie Dems seeking election in the upcoming years making them more venerable to good Republican challengers.

The Bailout Continues

The Feds have guaranteed or pledged over $7.4 trillion in taxpayer money to rescue the financial system. That’s half the value of everything produced in the nation last year. Scary stuff. The latest bailout is for CITI Group and the Auto Industry will get theirs too, just wait and see. So our government refuses to let some of the largest companies fail, but what happens when in the upcoming decades when our government fails to deliver on its promises to the American people in regards to Social Security and Medicare? Will Citi, Ford, GM, Chrysler, AIG, or the others bailout the American people? Yeah, not going to happen.

Are there smoke detectors in Terrace Hill?

The recent hubbub over First Lady Mari Culver smoking it up in state vehicles lead me to wonder if she also lights up in Terrance Hill, a state owned building. Now you all know that I was opposed to the smoking ban, but this just goes to prove how stupid this law is. Its one thing to ban smoking in restaurants or places that serve foods, but to extend such a stupid law to tractors, and business vehicles is just ridiculous. Maybe Mari will start an ad campaign to have the law tweaked a bit so she can smoke on the road, and at Terrance Hill.

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.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Huck hits Iowa

Huckabee is over in Cedar Rapids for a book signing. He had a crowd of over 100 there to buy his book and get him to sign it. Nice bus.

So I expect the Mods will rip on Huckabee, so I'll post the following picture of Doug Gross driving the mystery machine. I think that's Roderer in the back seat.

I thought every Republican was a conservative?

We all know Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Fred Thompson, and Tom Tancredo are conservatives. Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain also called themselves conservatives. Sometime in this past year I wrote about how the word conservative doesn’t mean anything anymore. I was frustrated then, and remain so still today.

I get a little peeved when I read articles like Mike Glover’s AP piece that wonders if Iowa’s social conservatives err evangelicals have rendered the Republican Caucuses in Iowa obsolete. Equally frustrating is the Fly Over Boyz recent post on the same topic. The Mike Glover’s and Fly Over Boyz of the world still have a hard time comprehending how someone like Huckabee won last January, and instead of learning from that election, they instead seek to discredit it.

I think this is an interesting subject that ties in well with the conversation we have been having over the past few weeks. While I respect people like Doug Gross, Dave Roderer, and by other friends in the blogosphere, they are simply wrong when they accuse the social conservatives of ruining the caucuses. The truth is that the moderates who came to Iowa ran bad campaigns, including Mitt Romney.

First let’s set a few things straight.

First, John McCain did staff up early here in Iowa, his collection of talent was very impressive. What drove McCain out of the state was his lack of money, and Mitt Romney’s perceived strength, not social conservatives.

We all know McCain ran 100 million dollar primary campaign; the only problem was he couldn’t raise that 100 mil. The result was a huge June reorganization where he cut his staff drastically, and cut back his activities in multiple states. His rough going in Iowa had much more to do with the fact that he blew us off in 2000 than the social conservatives being against him early on. Let’s not forget Marlys Popma and Maxine Sieleman were on staff, and people like Norm Pawlewski (ICA), Barb Taylor (IFPC and ICA), and Stacey Cargill (anti-gambling activist) were all on board the Straight talk Express early.

Additionally, people thought that Romney was going to turn out 10,000 or so supporters to the Straw Poll, far less than the 4516 votes he actually received. There were a number of former McCain staffers who said that if they would have known the winner needed to be around 5000 votes that probably would have participated. Simply put, McCain’s treatment of the Iowa Caucuses in 2000, his poor fundraising in 2007, and Mitt Romney’s chest pounding all had a part in driving McCain out of Iowa. Not Iowa’s social conservatives.

Secondly, Mitt Romney came into to Iowa and tried to be something he’s not, a social conservative. I have a lot of problems with candidates who try to paint themselves in a different light when it comes time to run for President. Now what I find frustrating is that Mitt Romney didn’t need to change who he was to win in Iowa, his campaign made a strategic decision to go after the social conservatives rather than go after those fiscal conservatives who should have been his bread and butter. Seriously, where was the Mitt Romney who wrote this yesterday about the Auto industry Bailout? A candidate like that can find traction anywhere.

The problem the Romney campaign ran into was their unwillingness to look outside of your typical Republican caucus goer. I remember in the days and weeks leading up to the caucuses, the Romney campaign, particularly Doug Gross, thought the Republican turnout was going to about 70,000 which would have been an all time low turnout in a contested year. The Romney campaign wasn’t off just a little; they missed the mark by almost 50,000 votes as Iowa Republicans turned out in record numbers on caucus night. How could the brightest minds in Iowa politics be so wrong? Simple, they didn’t any campaign was going to turnout new caucus goers and they got steamrolled.

The amazing thing about Mike Huckabee’s Iowa victory was the fact that he was left for dead time after time. The Republican politicos in Iowa laughed at his staff and they laughed at him. Yet only the Huckabee campaign went outside of the box to build its support system. Huckabee went out and did what every Democrat candidate does when they campaign in Iowa; identify supporters from all walks of life. The only other candidate who was able to draw new people into the Republican caucuses was Ron Paul. So while the Romney campaign worked the State Party’s Caucus Attendees list over and over again, Huckabee who probably couldn’t afford the list ,went ton to town and said if you like me, vote for me.

I believe that a moderate Republican could win the Iowa Caucuses, but to do that they can’t limit their campaigns to only those people who have attended caucuses before, or who vote regularly in primaries. In my opinion this is why Republicans have seen their voter registration numbers fall since 2004. What has happened during that time, two huge Democrat caucus cycles in which every one of their candidates go out and find new people to participate in their process. On the other hand our Republican campaigns only go after the low hanging fruit, those who have gone before.

So it is no surprise that Doug Gross and Dave Roderer blame the social conservatives, because it was them who trounced their candidates last January. But the reason they were able to do so was because only their candidate went outside of the box to build their grassroots organization. Maybe instead of discrediting Huckabee’s accomplishments, they should learn from it. But if you know people like Doug and Dave, they will never admit that they got their asses kicked by some hick named Huckabee.

I believe the Iowa Caucuses are alive and well. I think the next go-around we will see campaigns go out and do more heavy lifting when it comes to getting new people involved in the process. All of which will help our party greatly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Almost there

Yesterday Senate Republicans elected Sen. Paul McKinley to lead them in the State Senate. The move came as no surprise as many of the Senators who supported Sen. Ron Wieck are no longer serving in the Senate. McKinley a conservative Republican, now resides over a more unified caucus than his predecessors when it comes to ideology. I think there will be a noticeable difference coming from the minority in the Senate this session.

While the State House has been the focus for Iowa Republicans in the past 2 elections, it’s the Senates turn to get some much needed love and attention. While Republicans are firmly in the minority with only 18 Republicans compared to 32 Democrats, it’s the senate who has some very good opportunities to pick up seats in the next election. Sure it might take time to regain the majority, but it’s an effort we must be committed to.

Congratulations to Senator McKinley and his leadership team.

With 2 of the 3 leadership positions filled with new blood and fresh ideas, we now look to the State Party to see who they reach out to. The names that have been floated are as follows.

Ted Sporer
Gopaul Krishna
Danny Carroll
Marlys Popma
Bill Dix
Matt Randall (SCC Member)
Matt Strawn
Paul Pate

And expect more names to emerge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

Gross on Deace in the Afternoon

Doug Gross continued his media tour yesterday when he spend two hours on Steve Deace’s radio program to discuss the rebuilding of the Republican Party in Iowa. It seems that Doug’s true intentions have come to light, he doesn’t really care about message or mechanics, and he just wants a Republican to knock off Culver in 2012. That’s fine. The only problem with that is that he seems to elude that the candidate he foresees isn’t really pro-life or for traditional family values. I mean why else have a pissing match with social conservatives?

Emily over at battleground has a good write up on that topic today.

Rants says GOP is Exclusionary

Seriously? Rants unloads on the Sioux City Journal and talks about the Democrats edge in voter registration and early voting. Basically Rants says the party is lazy. Now there may be some truth to that, but maybe our activists are unmotivated. Maybe our candidates lack the fire needed to win a close race. And maybe Christopher Rants needs to look in the mirror and realize that he was the Party.

I love how the State Party is everyone’s favorite whipping boy after a disastrous election. Heck, two years ago Rants acknowledged that the party needs to focus on absentees, yet he didn’t do anything about it. My point is not to say that he is the reason we got our asses kicked in early voting and absentees, my point is that until we have a coordinated effort like the Democrats have we will continue to see our candidates win on election day, and yet lose elections because of early votes.

Rants is correct in saying that we as a party must be willing to do the hard work, but everyone needs to be part of the solution. That means the legislative candidate who door knocks should be asking favorable people if they would vote absentee. I don’t care how many doors a candidate knocks, if they don’t ask that person to vote early we are wasting our time.

I’m sick of the blame game, we need solutions. All of our Republican candidates need to be part of the solution. We can’t expect RPI to do it, when they don’t have the staff or financial resources to pull it off. It needs to be a priority and a coordinated effort between every campaign. That mean these campaigns need help pay for its implementation.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Huck vs. Romney = McCain Part Deux?

Stop. Don’t throw anything; I’m not talking about another McCain campaign for president. I’m talking about the internal struggle for control of the Republican Party here in Iowa.

Let’s take a quick look at the political landscape. First we have Doug Gross (former Romney Chair) who has been adamant that the Republican Party should moderate its message to win elections. On the other hand we have the Christian Right (Huckabee) who want to make sure the Republican Party remains committed to the pro-life and pro-family cause. Both agree that we should use pocketbook issues to build a big tent. Just like in the caucuses, all the attention is focused on these two factions of the party, and while they bloody each other up, someone (McCain) lurks in the shadows (New Hampshire). Get it?

We have already discussed a few names like Marlys Popma, Ted Sporer, and Danny Carroll but don’t fool yourselves; there are other candidates out there. For example Bill Dix has been mentioned recently. But if we really want to complete the whole Huck vs. Romney = McCain thing, then maybe that candidate in the shadows is a guy like Matt Strawn. Strawn ran McCain’s Iowa campaign before the June 07 restructuring. Since that time he has been involved as an owner/manager of the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team.

Strawn, an Iowa native, spent a number of years in DC as Rep. Mike Rogers’ (R-Michigan) top advisor and Chiefs of Staff before moving back to Iowa to join the McCain campaign. Strawn is an interesting candidate because if you look at the Barnstormer’s front office it’s full of political people and it might give you a glimpse of what the party would look like under his control. First we all know that Jeff Lamberti is one of the other owners of the Barnstormers, and my blog buddy Grant Young (dude, I’m glad you found your car) is an Account Executive for the team. Becky Beach and Kari Putney the fundraising team for Lamberti’s congressional campaign; are also associated with the Barnstormers and both have been involved in Party fundraising in the past.

In addition to those mentioned above there are three guys already working at the party with connections to Strawn. Matt Gronewald led the House Majority effort and Wes Peterson assisted Darrell Kearney with RPI’s fundraising last year. Both Gronewald and Peterson worked for McCain’s campaign under Strawn. Eric Johansen the party’s 72 hour director cut his teeth on the Lamberti’s campaign which Strawn was an advisor to.

Now this is just a rumor that’s started to float around so I have no clue if this is even going to happen or if Strawn is connected to someone else running like Lamberti himself, I just don’t see Strawn as the ED. When assessing the viability of some of the Chairman candidates it’s the ones that have a connection to the money that will be in play. While I know everyone likes to question the SCC but they all know they need to fund their operation, so Strawn’s connections to Lamberti and Beach help him tremendously.

Again, please stay constructive when commenting about these people. I will continue to write about other candidates as they emerge or I get wind of them running or considering it. We need to explore all possibilities so we can put the best team possible in place.

More on the Senate Republican Leadership vote later today. I hear it will be McKinley.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Until our party is undoubtedly fiscally AND socially conservative we will not win elections

Today we continue with our week long look at rebuilding our Republican Party. For the first time since the election we have seen other blogs talk what our party should stand for as we move forward. Unfortunately, my friends In Fly Over County use a red herring to support their belief that our Party shouldn’t be strongly pro-life and pre-family.

The Fly Over Boys use Christopher Reeds failed US senate campaign as proof that we can no longer run candidates who are firmly pro-life and pro-family. That type of argument doesn’t help us have a healthy debate about the future direction of our Party. A better case study for the Fly Over Boys might be the campaigns of Dan Rasmussen, Jamie Van Fossen, and Tami Weincek, three state house incumbents that lost their re-election campaigns.

Now none of the three state house candidates listed above were rejected because of their stances on the social issues. However, Weincek went out of her way to moderate her position by supporting the minimum wage increase and special rights for gay, lesbian, and transgendered individuals. The question that begs asking is what good did it do for her to reach across the aisle on two issues that our Republican base firmly objects to?

On the other hand Kent Sorenson knocked off an incumbent Democrat in the house with zero help from the party and a firm commitment to the social issues. Walt Rogers who ran for the Iowa Senate might have done the same, as of today he is down only 14 votes and has requested a recount.

Now using the logic of those who want to moderate our positions on the social issues candidates like Walt Rogers and Kent Sorenson should never have won in state in which Obama easily won. In Black Hawk County Obama won with 60% of the vote, yet Rodgers was more than competitive despite McCain losing the county by more than 14,000 votes.

Now I also think the side that wants to moderate our positions is also engaged in a misinformation strategy when it comes to the social conservatives. I have not seen one person in this state who thinks we should only run campaigns on the social issues. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, instead the Social Conservatives don’t believe we should walk away from those positions because a few people and candidates in our Party don’t like to defend them.

On another note I feel that I also must point out one last thing. When Doug Gross was on Iowa Press, he mentioned that he is looking for a Bob Ray type of chair for the Republican Party. Now I think Governor Ray is a great man and his life story is fascinating. But we also need to realize that people like Governor Ray, and Dave Roederer who actively pushed for Project Destiny in the Des Moines Metro last year.

So we let me get this straight, we have a group of people who want to muzzle the Social Conservatives, so we can focus on the “kitchen table issues” but these people are also the ones who brought us Project Destiny, a plan to give tax breaks to Principal Financial Group and a tax increase to individuals.

Until our party is undoubtedly fiscally AND socially conservative we will not win elections. People like Walt Rogers and Kent Sorenson have figured it out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Party Without a Message

The last couple of days we have been discussing the reconstruction of the Republican Party here in Iowa. Before we delve into the topic again today, I want to thank all of you who have taken this topic seriously. I really hope that the powers that be read some of your thoughts and ideas and use them to rebuild our Party. Today I want to focus on the message. First I want to discuss how on earth we became a party without one, and secondly what should our message be moving forward.

Wikipedia defines a political party as a political organization that seeks to attain and maintain power within government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platform with specific goals.

So we have a Party, we have a platform, so why don’t we have a message? I think it’s a pretty simple answer actually. Our party cedes its message to the candidate on top of the ticket every two years. So in Iowa that means our gubernatorial candidates set the agenda half the time, and the presidential nominee sets it the other 50% of the time. There is no continuity and there is no long term vision we are working towards.

On the other hand, ask any Democrat activist what their agenda is and they will spout the same ideals as their local and national elected officials. They want nationalized health care, special rights for gay, lesbian and transgendered people, tax policy that stifle investment and job creation (higher taxes), and a reduced role for America around the globe.

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that their message doesn’t depend on who the candidate is. It didn’t matter if Becky Greenwald or Selden Spencer runs against congressman Latham, the issues are always the same. On the Republican side since we don’t have a message it all depends on who the candidate is. John McCain ran on different issues than Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee would have. Sure for the most part we know what we are opposed to, but we don’t know what we are for, and more importantly why.

Let’s look at the biggest issue on the horizon, health care. Now every Republican I know is against socialized medicine, but many can’t state why, and most can’t articulate what the Republican solution to the problem is. Why? Because Newt has his solution, McCain had his plan, Romney had his, and Huckabee promoted prevention.

Our Party must have a common message if we ever want to win elections in the future. While some issues might take precedence due to the current political environment, there are also core principles that we should never waver from. For instance I think it is absolutely obnoxious to suggest that the Republican Party should walk away from their support of traditional marriage and the right of the unborn. Now does that mean you have to be an avid social conservative to belong to the Party? No, because there are plenty of other issues that one can be involved in through the Republican Party. Don’t think for one second that the Democrats all agree on every single issue, to expect that of Republicans is simply unfair.

What I think people are worked up about is what issues we are going to wage our campaigns on. Quite frankly I don’t know if we should be worried about that right now. Instead I think we need to take our experts in different fields and create issue work groups to create solutions to the problems facing our state and country. Face it folks, we are losing the battle of ideas yet we have leading tax experts, medical professionals, and social conservatives already in our party, let’s use them!

We can’t afford to shift our stances on specific issues every elections cycle. We need to build our party and the only way we can do that is if we stand for something. Otherwise we will continue to watch our supporters erode away because the Republican Party doesn’t stand for anything.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Hodgepodge

GO-P.U.M.As Meet

I know this is a bit harsher tone than in my previous posts on rebuilding our Republican Party, but I really feel we are closer to civil war than reconstruction.

Yesterday Doug Gross summoned GOP leaders from across the state to a meeting about the future of the Republican Party in Iowa. Now I’m all for Republican’s of all persuasions working on rebuilding our party, but I don’t think one select group of people coming up with a plan and shoving it down peoples throats is going to produce anything but another pissing match.

Word on the street is that the Gross meeting focused on who the next Chairperson of the Republican Party should be, and who should be the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2010. This is where I take issue with these types of meetings. First, having a meeting about who should lead the effort at RPI is pointless unless you have some representatives from the SCC at your meeting. I’m pretty sure the SCC wasn’t represented and if it was, that person who was involved will not have the power to sway the committee that is 70% in lock step together.

Additionally it is pointless to suggest that somehow the party has to unite behind a gubernatorial candidate just 7 days after the 2008 elections. This is why we have primaries and I happen to be one who thinks they are a healthy exercise. In fact I think we would have been better off having that primary vote between Vander Plaats and Nussle in 2006, because they way it ended up nobody was happy. Plus we all know that regardless of who is in control of the state party, the party only focuses on the biggest campaign in the state. So if you win the gubernatorial primary, you gain control of the party.

What we need is a compromise where both factions of the Party give a little and win a little. For the Social Conservatives they need to really take their responsibility in selecting a chair seriously. There shouldn’t be any “we hopes” or “I thinks” they need to make a decision that makes sense to everyone in the Party. A solution might be to pair whoever the chair is with a strong co-chair who is from the other faction of the party. Now I don’t mean any disrespect to our current co-chair Leon Mosley who our grassroots loves and is a great supporter of our Republican candidates. It is my belief that we are at a time when we need more hands on the rudder. A strong co-chair also needs to be a spokesperson for the party who can lend a hand in fundraising.

On the other hand people like Doug Gross need to stop throwing pot shots at Scheffler and social conservatives. What good does that do? Heck if he was so upset about the direction party he could have ran for a central committee position, national committeeman, or put hat in the ring for chair. The problem our activists have with these types of people is they like to play quarterback, but they don’t want to go through the two-a-days of training camp.

Scheffler and Gross, along with their supporters need to lead by example and come together. Neither can succeed without the other. Gross needs the SCC to put in place a chair that satisfies his people but doesn’t go against the strong moral convictions of the social conservatives. Scheffler and the SCC need Gross and his fundraising abilities to fund what should be an extensive voter turnout program the likes that we haven’t seen in Republican campaign efforts in Iowa. Having secret meetings and throwing out pot shots over the treatment of a long time GOP icon who is now dead gets us nowhere.

Need some extra cash for the Holiday’s

So I was putting together my Christmas shopping list and realized that I might need to scale back this year. But then like a message from God, Brian Williams came on my TV and explained to me that if I was three months behind in my mortgage the federal government would intercede and lower my monthly payment. So don’t worry kids there will be a Christmas after all!

If I wanted to own Ford, GM or Chrysler I’d buy their stock

OK just going on the record here this is a terrible idea. GM says they are likely to file bankruptcy in January, and Ford says they are out of operating cash and they owe the UAW a huge chunk of money stemming from a 61 billion dollar agreement they made with the union to take over the pension plans for their workers. So let’s just say the Feds give the auto industry another 25 millions, does that make these companies solvent for what another 3 months?

I know the Dems want to keep these union workers employed, but how much money can we as a country afford to give these private companies? Look I’m all for giving them incentives to create more efficient vehicles, electric cars, and so on, but these companies must be able to stand on their own. I know it’s hard to comprehend but we just might have to let them fail. And who knows through what might seems like a catastrophe could come emerge the next great American industry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kraig Paulsen replaces Rants as Republican Leader in the House

Yesterday the 44 Republicans who were elected to serve in the Iowa House elected Kraig Paulsen as their leader over former leader Christopher Rants. The weeks and months ahead will prove if this move was simply a symbolic move or if real changes will be made in how House Republican operate their campaigns. Nevertheless, this is a move that had to be made. Christopher Rants over saw the effort that took a 56-44 seat Republican majority in the house in 2000 to a 44-56 Republican minority in 2008.

While Rants was rejected by his collogues n what I’m told was a very close vote yesterday, the void created by his absence will be a tough one to fill by Paulsen and his leadership team. While Rants has his flaws, he was a good fundraiser and communicator for the House Republicans. It is in those two areas that Paulsen needs to concentrate his efforts.

It is my belief that the election of Paulsen is more of a symbolic move than anything else. Paulsen was Rants’ first lieutenant and was involved in the day-to-day operations of the House Republican campaign effort, so I don’t expect to see much change in staff or consultants. I could be very wrong on this, but if Paulsen saw things that he thought could be done better or should be changed I would have thought it would have been exposed to the Republican caucus since it could have been used to make the case against Rants.

Looking ahead I think we will see more change for Iowa Republicans. I’m told that Senator McKinley is challenging Ron Weick for the Republican leadership post in the Senate. Everything I’m hearing indicated that McKinley will be the one who emerges. It’s important to note that a good chunk of the votes Weick received when he was voted last year are no longer members of the Senate.

We also know that that the Republican Party of Iowa will have a new chairperson as well. It seems to me that Republicans learned a lesson after the 2006 elections when none of these positions saw leadership change. While elevating new people to leadership roles is always newsworthy, what we really need to see if these people are actually going to provide changes in strategy when it comes to our Republican campaigns.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Republicans of every stripe must unite if we ever want to win.

At the end of last week we discussed some of the names that have been floated to lead the RNC and Republican Party of Iowa. In both instances there are probably other interested parties who haven’t stepped forward yet, especially in regards to the Republican Party here in Iowa. This weekend we learned that Doug Gross is assembling a group of people this week to discuss how Republicans can narrow the Democrat’s edge in voter registration, which would also help Republicans win statewide elections.

Additionally a small group of conservatives gathered to discuss potential options for chairperson of the Republican Party of Iowa. However, it seems that the State Central Committee will not elect a chair until January, a move that I think is a mistake as Republican’s need all the time they can get since the clock its already counting down to election day 2010. While I would never recommend rushing such an important decision, I think having the new chair in place before January 1st would be wise.

Interestingly enough both National Committeeman Steve Scheffler and Doug Gross discussed the future of the Republican Party in Iowa on Iowa Press this past weekend. The interview didn’t generate any real fireworks, but it also lacked any specific ideas to move our party forward. All I took out of it was to expect more of the same, which means we should prepare to lose more legislative seats in 2010 and maybe a statewide elected Republican unless we can rally around the cause of winning elections.

All Republicans need to swallow hard and unite if we want to win in 2010. For that to happen I think both sides need to accept some of the blame for the position we find ourselves in. So let’s discuss the crap that we need to deal with before we can more on.

Social Conservatives need to be more inclusive and tolerant of people and candidates who don’t comply with a strict anti-abortion litmus test.

Now first realize that I would classify myself as a member of this group. Now I’m going to tell anyone that they must support and volunteer a pro-choice candidate, but the internal bickering between the moderates and social conservatives in our party must stop. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the 2nd Congressional race, where newly elected National Committeewoman Kim Lehman sent out an email which contained an attack on Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

While Miller-Meeks wasn’t in lock step with the Steve Deace wing of the party, she publically stated that she was pro-life and Roe v. Wade was bad law which should be overturned. Miller-Meeks also believed there should be exceptions for the life of the mother and a victim of rape or incest. What was shocking to me was the fact that the most bitter and pointed comments in the Iowa Right to Life voter guide was reserved for a candidate who was 70% good on their issues. Missing in that voter guide was anything critical about Harkin, Braley, Loebsack, and Boswell.

My recommendation to our socially conservative groups is to focus your energy on electing someone who really excites you, and attack the real enemy. I don’t think anyone expects ICA or the IRL to actively campaign or support a candidate who they don’t think is with them on their issues, but they just need to learn not to attack them. Plus we have to remember that their first vote is who will be the Speaker of the House, or Majority Leader. Trust me; Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are not with us on these issues.

Social conservatives like to remind us that no election can be won without them. It’s a true statement, but politics isn’t a take it or leave it kind of business. For the pro-life, pro-family agenda to be advanced we need Republican majorities. Look at what Tom Vilsack tried to do with an executive order when first elected. Look at what the Democrats were able to do to that agenda is just one legislative session once they had total control. Yet we argue about this candidate or that candidate isn’t “pure” enough. A Republican majority in either chamber would have prevented most of this legislation.

Now I’m not saying that conservatives need to compromise their principals. They have every right to recruit and support candidates who are with them on our issues. Heck, if there is a RINO you don’t like, primary them and let the best candidate win. But when the primaries are over we need to come together and work on winning elections plain and simple.

The Republican Establishment also has things they need to work on.

It amazes me that the social conservatives are being blamed for the lack of message within the Republican Party. This couldn’t me farther from the truth. The liberal media would lead you to believe that our candidates only talk about gay marriage and abortion. I have a question for you. How much time did Jim Ross Lightfoot, Greg Ganske, Doug Gross, and Jim Nussle spend on talking about those issues in their campaigns?

Sure Nussle spent considerable time on the abortion issues but it was a self inflicted problem, not because “the base” needed convincing. When you look at the message breakdown on economic/kitchen table issues it’s been the establishment candidates who have failed us. In this last presidential campaign we saw John McCain lose the kitchen table issues to Obama, but we shouldn’t have been surprised, our Republican standard barers have not been able to win the debate on economic issues vs. their Democrat challengers for more than a decade.

Additionally we lost two incumbent state representatives last Tuesday,and one of the issues which lead to their defeat was the gas tax. Their Democrat opponents said they supported raising it. Now I know their opponents were a little fast and loose with the facts, but I don’t understand how we can get beat up on an issues like this when we are in the minority. We didn’t have to flirt around with the gas tax issue. Seriously, in all the campaign ads I watched it was the Democrat candidates making the economic argument talking about property tax relief, or attacking one of our candidates on something like the gas tax.

Here is what I remember from these establishment candidates. Lightfoot talked about totally nude dancing, Greg Ganske carried a huge pencil around and yelled “its not pencil dust”, Doug Gross followed Vilsack around with a money truck and now advocates against personal property rights, Jim Nussle wanted to create an entire new branch of state government, and our state house candidates campaigned against flower pots and trains to nowhere. Where was the argument for fundamental tax relief and simplification?

And yet we wonder why Republicans keep losing elections.

Both the Establishment and Social Conservatives are to blame for the mess we are in. The frustrating thing is they agree on about 95%, but that other 5% has created a massive divide within the party. All I know is that if want to win elections in 2010 we need the Establishment and Social Conservatives working together, not against each other.

The leadership elections in the House and Senate will give us a glimpse of our future. However, I believe the decision that the State Central Committee makes in January when they elect a new Chairperson will be the biggest indicator if we will be able to unite our party and finally start winning elections again.

While I’m glad that both the establishment crowd and conservative activists are meeting, I just wish they would sit down and meet together. If this turns out to be a battle between the two groups only one thing will come of it; defeat.

Friday, November 7, 2008

OP or GOP, the choice is yours.

Yesterday I wrote about a few names that were mentioned in the mix to be the next chair of the Republican Party in our country, most of you took the time to bash candidates and staffers. Nice job folks, really classy, but please tell me how the heck that helps us fix the problems within our Party. Your behavior is sickening, and its people like you who need to go away and never be heard from again.

Today I’m writing about the next chair of the Republican Party in Iowa. I hope you can find a little self discipline and actually discuss the topic that I’m writing about. I also hope that you find a way to be constructive, so keep the personal vendettas to yourself.

I hadn’t planned on writing on this topic so soon. The State Central Committee doesn’t meet until the first Saturday of December so I thought I had a little more time. However with today’s announcement that current Chairman Stewart Iverson is stepping down, and Ted Sporer’s announcement on Steve Deace’s radio program yesterday that he is seeking the position, I guess now is the time to have this discussion.

First we need to understand the process.

The first action that must be taken by the SCC is a 10 day notice that there is going to be a chair and co-chair election. That means for them to elect a chair at their December 6th meeting, notice will have to be served around Thanksgiving. I don’t think this is going to be any big secret, but if they don’t elect a new chair in December it will be obvious that the SCC and the powers that be are still searching for an acceptable candidate.

After notice is filed, it will take nine votes to elect the chair. There are 17 people who are allowed to vote for the chair and co-chair. They are the 15 members of the SCC and the National Committeeman, and National Committeewoman. Now I get the sense that this time around people, meaning county activist would like to have time to lobby and talk to their local SCC members about the candidates and potential candidates.

The following are the candidates that I have heard that are or may be interested in the position. Please note my comments below do not represent an endorsement or anti-endorsement of any candidate, I added those for educational purposes only.

Ted Sporer – Polk County Chairman, former SCC member. It is no secret that Sporer has long wanted the job. His recent write up on his blog is a great write up which I would encourage you all to read. Sporer has a boxer’s mentality and desperately wants to take the fight to the Democrats. While no one will disagree with that, some people might be turned off at Sporer’s rhetoric, while other might find it refreshing. Sporer is a veteran of the Party and knows how it operates, and he has produced some very solid ideas in the past. Sporer would find an easier path to the chairmanship if he could point to some previous successes. He did address that issues yesterday on the radio, and I only bring that up because that’s what I hear on the streets.

Danny Carroll – Former Legislator. Carroll’s name was mentioned as a possible replacement in the last chair election but I believe he was sick or didn’t follow through on his bid. Now some will say that there is no way we should select a person who has loss two consecutive house campaigns to the top spot at the Party. While I understand the point, I think Carroll deserves consideration just like every other potential candidate. Carroll can attest firsthand the power of the Democrats early voting machine as he has won both campaigns on Election Day, only to see him lose once the absentees are counted.

Marlys Popma – Former RPI ED, McCain/Nussle Staffer. I found it interesting that her name was mentioned to me on the same day the Des Moines Register posted a story about her considering her retirement from party politics. While some will see her name and think it’s the Party continuing a rightward drift, some people think she is the choice of the establishment of the party. It seems odd but you have to consider that she worked for McCain and Nussle, so she’s a known commodity to the people who were involved in those campaigns. She also has served as the party’s Executive Director twice, so like Sporer she understands the inner workings of the Party.

Please keep your discussions civil folks; let’s discuss what needs to be done to win elections without eating our own. Whoever the chair is they will need to be able to serve as the Party’s spokesperson, fundraiser, and organizer. Personally, I think we need a chair that’s committed to changing the mechanics of the party apparatus. I think Republican’s 72 hour program is good, but it needs to be combined with 5 month turnout plan that includes neighborhood canvassing, and voter registration efforts.

For Iowa Republicans to be successful we need more than a chair who gets it, more than new strategy, we need everyone to buy in to the system and work for a common goal, victories on Election Night. Until we go that we are the OP, not the GOP.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Next Important Vote: RNC Chair

My good friend Chris Cillizza had an interesting post on the race for the next chair of the RNC yesterday. I found the names that he mentioned to be fascinating, not because it included the name of a former Congressman from Iowa, but because the RNC chair could have a major impact on the Iowa Caucuses so we better not mess this up.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of the names he mentioned come from states who want to see their state either preserve their status as an early presidential primary or caucus or want to elevate their states status. Simply put there is a lot of risk to Iowa’s 1st in the Nation status if we have a RNC chair who is hostile to us.

In honor of Cillizza, here is the list.

Jim Nussle, Iowa
. I was surprised to see Nussle on the list and think and find it to be intriguing. As we all know Nussle was a heck of a Congressman but a poor gubernatorial candidate. Having seen him speak after his gubernatorial campaign, it is clear that Nussle’s comfort zone in national politics not state government. Nussle has always done well in the fundraising department and can speak intelligently on a host of issues. Being from Iowa he should support our First in the Nation status, but his candidate of choice in 2008, Rudy Giuliani didn’t fully embrace Iowa, and skipped the Iowa Straw Poll. (I believe that Rudy would have done much better in his quest for the Republican nomination had he fully competed in Iowa.

Katon Dawson, South Carolina
. Mr. Dawson is the chair of the Republican Party in South Carolina and has helped to cement his state’s First in the South status. It is my belief that Dawson would help preserve our current nomination calendar, not alter it. I can’t speak to Dawson’s ability to communicate and fundraise but I have talked to national types who speak highly of him.

Jim Greer, Florida. Here’s where we start getting in trouble folks. Florida and Michigan created a lot of havoc in the nomination calendar in 2008. There is no doubt that they both want a prominent spot. Now from my vantage point they received a ton of attention in the primary, if Greer’s being mentioned he obviously wants more.

Saul Anuis, Michigan
. See above. For those of you who don’t know Saul he’s a little like Ted Sporer. Now we know how that cuts both ways. Anuis is a great communicator and full of energy, and there is no secret that he would want a more prominent role for Michigan to play in the nomination calendar. Also don’t fool yourself and think potential presidential candidates are not playing in this game. I don’t who Anuis supported in the primary, but a more prominent role for Michigan is good for one candidate, Mitt Romney.

Mike Duncan, current chair
. Moving right along.

Michael Steele, Maryland
. Steele is a rising star in the GOP. He is the former Lt. Governor of Maryland, and their US Senate candidate in 2006. Last cycle he served as Chairman of GOPAC, and supported Rudy Giuliani. I like Steele a lot but I think I remember him saying some not so supportive things about Iowa’s First in the Nation Status.

Chip Saltsman, Tennessee
. Chip is the former Chair of the Tenn GOP, was Bill Frist’s main political guy, and then engineered Huckabee’s Huck-a-boom. Saltsman is extremely likable and young, something the GOP needs. Selecting him however might be too blatant for fans of other potential presidential candidates. However, Saltsman has seen the value of Iowa first hand.

It’s too early to guess who it’s going to be, but never too early to start talking about it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Good news first. Congressman Latham and Congressman King should be commended, not only did they win reelection they won convincingly. We expected this from King, but Time magazine called the 4th District race one of the top 12 house races in the county to watch. I guess they got that wrong. Krusty Kudos to both campaigns.

The rest just flat out sucked. McCain was a disaster, Reed, Hartsuch, Miller-Meeks, and Schmett all got a whooping. Christopher Rants still has not had an election where he has picked up seats; House Republicans return with 44 seats in January. And the Republicans in the Iowa Senate out preformed and lost only one seat.

There is no need to try and write about all that ails the Republican Party in Iowa in one post, there is plenty of time to do that in the months ahead. We have a lot of work to do if we want conservative leadership in Iowa.

As for my predictions I have a little crow to eat today. I’m still surprised that our congressional candidates were only able to garner 40% of the vote. It clearly shows the erosion of the Republican base in Iowa. For me the biggest surprise of the night was how poorly both female candidates in Iowa did. Greenwald and Miller-Meeks garnered 39%. And while I’ll eat crow on my Miller-Meeks prediction. Last night’s results confirm that she was the strongest female candidate in Iowa.

Becky Greenwald had a voter registration advantage in her district, while Miller-Meeks had a huge deficit in voter registration in hers, yet Miller-Meeks was able to garner the same percentage of the vote. It’s also interesting to note that congressional challengers were only able to win 8 counties last night. King, Latham, and Braley won every county in their districts, Kim Schmett won one county in the 3rd vs Boswell, and Miller-Meeks won 7 of the 15 counties in the 2nd, but failed to win in the larger counties.

Miller-Meeks showed promise and I still believe she was our best candidates out there; unfortunately the 2nd District looks to have been impossible for any Republican to win this cycle. It will be a shame if we don’t see Miller-Meeks on the ballot again. Personally I think she would be an outstanding Lt. Governor candidate who would bring tremendous assets to any campaign, especially with health care issues. I don’t mean to insinuate that Miller-Meeks can’t win a campaign of her own, it’s just that the 2nd district as it currently is difficult for any republican to win, and I don’t think she’s well enough known yet to run for statewide office.

On a more philosophical note, many people are now saying that it took a Carter to make Reagan possible. I hope that’s the case, but I’m sure Democrats are saying today it took a Bush to make Obama possible. I believe that Obama has huge expectations to live up to, we need to hold him to these high standards.

One final thought. I could not help but see the symbolic nature of what happened last night from the city of Phoenix. Our party nationally and locally grew tired and lost. We no longer has a soul… we became The Government. There are many disgusted people, but remember the phoenix. A phoenix is a mythical bird with a long life, and near the end the phoenix builds itself a nest and then ignites it. Both nest and bird burn and are reduced to ashes. From these ashes a new, young phoenix arises, reborn anew to live again.

Out of the city of Phoenix, our Party has been reborn.


Incumbents win Federal Races by large margin.

State Senate Republicans only lost one seat (19 seats)

State House Republicans lost 3 seats (44 Seats)

I’ll have more thoughts later and come back to eat some crow, but so does the Register and all the Greenwald groupies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

State Legislative Predictions

I apologize for not posting my State House predictions yesterday afternoon as I said I would. I was pulled away from the office and couldn’t get them posted.

Just like the presidential race here in Iowa, predicting the outcome of the races for the Iowa House of Representatives is a tossup. The media and most Democrats tell us there is another blue wave coming, and Republican insiders really believe they have a chance at taking the majority in the House.

I’ve studied at these House races and I see some very promising things, and then find some races that are equally disturbing. I’ll be up front from the start, I can get Republicans to 49 seats in the House but I don’t know how realistic I’m being in that scenario. I think the more likely outcome is that the Republican’s return in January with 46 or 47 seats.

Open Seats

Republicans have to defend 9 open seats and the Democrats have to defend 4. For Republicans to take the majority they need to be perfect, and I think that’s a tall order in this election cycle. Here are the Republican open seats.

I believe that Republicans will win the following of their open seats.
HD 60 where Peter Cownie is running in Libby Jacobs’ seat in Polk County. Republican Hold
HD 13 where Scott Thornquist is running for Bill Shickel’s seat in Mason City. Republican Hold
HD 55 where Jason Schultz is running for Clarence Hoffman’s seat in Western Iowa. Republican Hold
HD 69 where Eric Helland is running for Walt Tomenga’s seat in Johnston. Republican Hold
HD 70 where Kevin Koester is running for Carmen Boal’s seat in Ankeny. Republican Hold

While that’s good news, I believe we will lose 4 Republican seats that should be solidly Republican. Three of these seats are clear targets where the Iowa Democrats are playing on offense. They are outspending Republican candidates by a large margin.

HD 59 where Chris Hagenow is running to fill Dan Clute’s seat. Clute won the seat in 2006 easily, but the Dems have put on a full court press. They have a big lead in absentees, and have out spent Hagenow by a huge margin. Chris is a great candidate, but the party just couldn’t afford to match the nearly $350k the Dems have dumped in to that race. Plus Jerry Sullivan’s ads are really good. Republican Loss

HD 89 where Jared Klein is running to fill Sandy Greiner’s seat. This should be a seat we hold, and many people tell me that we will. I’m sorry to rain on the parade but I don’t see it. Now Jared is a nice guy so don’t take this the wrong way, but his opponent is running an ad where he lists his resume which is impressive, then it lists Klein’s which it only states that he worked for George W. Bush. Is the ad fair to Klein? Probably not, but it’s deadly in this political environment. Klein’s opponent is also outspending him 2 to 1. Republican Loss

HD 44 where Annette Sweeney is running to fill Polly Granzow’s seat in Hardin County. Now this is a seat that I could be wrong about, but once again the Democrats have poured in tons of money and have a good shot of picking up this seat. Republican Loss.

The fourth open seat I have down for a loss is Chuck Gipp’s seat (HD 16) in Decorah. I really go back and fourth on this one, but the reason I have it as a loss is because there is also a hotly contested state senate race up there and that really hurts our chances in my opinion. While the Dems have spent more money on their candidate, the difference isn’t as vast as the races mentioned above. Republican Loss.

Democrat Open Seats
HD 29 (Foege), HD 27 (Jochum), and HD 92 (Wise) are all easy holds for the Democrats. The only seat they need to defend is HD 36 which was held by Rep. Dandekar who is running for the State Senate. The Republicans have a strong candidate in Nick Wagner who I think will win this seat. Republican Gain

So that means out of the 13 open seats Republican win 6 and Democrats win 7. This basically makes it impossible for Republicans to take back the majority as they would 5 challengers to win and all incumbents to be reelected. Now it is possible for Republicans to do better than my projections, but they also have incumbents with some feisty competition.

Most notably is Dan Rasmussen of Independence. Rasmussen always has a close reelection but this time he’s got his hands full. Also Jamie Van Fossen in Bettendorf is facing a well funded challenge, and we also need to keep an eye on Dawn Pettengill and Tami Wiencek.

On the bright side we do have some good challengers who could knock off some Democrat incumbents.
Jamie Johnson in HD 9 has run a great race against Rep. McKinley Bailey. Republican Gain
Ross Paustian in HD 84 is a great candidate and Rep. Elesha Gayman stepped in it when she brought up a family matter in one of her attack ads. Republican Gain

After the two mentioned above our chances to knock off a Democrat incumbent drop.

Renee Schulte HD 37 has a chance to knock off Rep. Art Staed in Cedar Rapids. Possible Pick Up.
Scott Belt HD 100 won on Election Day in 2006 but I fear he may suffer the same fate against Rep. Paul Shomshor. Possible Pick Up.
Jeremy Taylor HD 1 has a chance to beat Wes Whitead but it all depends on the mood of the moderates in both parties in Sioux City. Possible Pick Up.

Rick Bertrand HD 2 - loss vs Rep. Roger Wendt.
Austin Lorenzen HD 18 – loss vs Rep. Andrew Wenthe
Danny Carroll HD 75 – sadly a loss vs Rep. Eric Palmer
Steven Richards HD 8 – loss vs Rep. Dolores Mertz
Carlin Hageman HD 19 – loss vs Bob Kressig

So here is how I get to or 46 Republican seats in the house.
38 Republican Incumbent Wins
6 Open Seat Victories
2 Challenger Victories

Now, the number might stay the same but how we get there could change. For example it wouldn’t surprise me to see a Republican incumbent lose and a challenger like Schulte and Belt win. That said I just don’t see State House Republicans winning 9 open seats, 4 challenger races, and reelecting all 38 incumbents in this environment.

State Senate

I’m not going to break it down like the House but I think they come back with 17 Republican Seats. Now before you freak out on me, I’m excited about what type of Senators those 17 are. Gone are Mulder, Lundby, Putney, and Angelo. And while we will not hold all of those seats the new Republican Senators will give us solid foundation to build on in two years.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I was going to post these tomorrow but I thought about it and wanted to give you guys more time to chew on them and post your own. I think in rural Iowa Republicans will do well but the urban areas of the state could see huge democrat turnout. Remember this is just my take, I’ve been wrong before…

President of the United States

Iowa Results: Obama 53%, McCain 46%
Electoral College: Obama 286, McCain 252

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way, I went to a local gun shop this weekend and the place was packed. I wonder why?

United States Senate

Harkin 56%, Reed 44%

Now I’ve mentioned this before and many of you have disagreed. I just don’t see Harkin doing much more than he’s ever done in his past elections. The simple fact is that there are a lot of people who really dislike him and are not going to hold their nose because they don’t know his opponent. In their minds anyone is better than Harkin.

United States House of Representatives

1st CD: Braley 56%, Hartsuch 44%

See above. While we all know that David Hartsuch hasn’t run your typical campaign, neither has Braley. Neither has run TV ads and Braley isn’t campaigning. Now Braley is safe but if I were him I would have built my name ID with some ads or something.

2nd CD: Miller-Meeks 49%, Loebsack 48%, Other 3%

I’m going against conventional wisdom here. If you listen to the media they cite the registration numbers and quickly focus on another race. I think that’s lazy journalism and flat out wrong. Miller-Meeks is everywhere, and has somehow found away to match Loebsack on the air. She spanked Professor Pacman at their televised debate, and has clearly claimed the leadership issue as her own.

On the other hand Loebsack has been in hiding and isn’t doing anything to motivate his base. Think about that, the State Dems are running ads against Renee Schulte about her wanting to privatize Social Security, but it’s not an issue in the Congressional race, shocking. In every election there is a race that comes out of nowhere and surprises people. I think the 2nd District race is primed to do just that. Watch this one on election night.

3rd CD: Boswell 59%, Schmett 41%

Now some might think that I’m being nice to Hartsuch and Reed and taking out some anger at Schmett. That’s not the case. The reason for Schmett’s low number is Polk County. It’s going to be bad folks. Obama has visited that county numerous time and Boswell is the guy they all know.

4th CD: Latham 56%, Des Moines Register err.. Greenwald 43%

Part of me wants to give Latham a larger percentage of the vote because he’s earned it, but 56% is what he did against Spencer last cycle and I think Latham stays the course. Latham is Iowa’s future power player in DC. He has positioned himself well for redistricting and his performance this year should fend off serious challengers in the future.

5th CD: King 59%, Hubler 40%

Welcome to King Country. King has also insulated himself from future attacks by raising the most money of any cycle in his years in Congress. Sure the Register hates him, but the people in his district respect him, and like the Western Iowa straight shooter.

Legislative Predictions will be coming later today.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Register’s Candidate: Becky Greenwald

You all know I don’t have a problem posting bad pictures of candidates, just ask Governor Culver. He’s a photo of Becky from the Obama rally. Yikes! Here’s Ms. America according to the Des Moines Register:

While you will never see a Register article pointing out Greenwald’s faults, here’s another one. One would think that a candidate from Perry would know that the historic Hotel Pattee is located in her home town not Boone.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

3M = Miller-Meeks Momentum

Congressman Dave Loebsack is in real trouble. Yesterday the Miller-Meeks campaign released internal polling numbers to Jim Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The poll showed incumbent Rep. Dave Loebsack leading 45.4 percent to 42.7 percent with a 2.06 percent margin of error. An incumbent polling at 45% just days before Election Day is lethal.

The Loebsack campaign questioned the numbers, suggesting they were the result of “soft methodology,” not a significant shift in voters’ sentiment and Loebsack’s spokesperson said, “These numbers are manufactured.” Now let’s compare this development to what happened in the 4th CD list last week. The Greenwald campaign released a poll showing Latham with a 5 point lead, the Latham campaign countered with numbers of their own which showed a much larger lead for the Congressman. The simple fact that Loebsack’s campaign didn’t counter with their own internal numbers tells you all you need to know, Miller-Meeks campaign has caught fire and Loebsack is in real trouble.

Also in this morning’s Gazette is their endorsement for the 2nd Congressional District. Sorry Dave, its more bad news as they enthusiastically endorsed Miller-Meeks.

“We were pretty comfortable with endorsing Loebsack for a second term ... until we met Mariannette Miller-Meeks. The dynamo Ottumwa Republican physician and military veteran, who entered college at age 16, runs a small business and has been president of the Iowa Medical Society and a university professor. She impressed us with her command of key issues and a track record that proves she gets things done.”

Ummm Dave, it looks like you should have run a more aggressive campaign, because your headed back to school, not Congress.

So while the Des Moines Register has been obsessed with Becky Greenwald, it’s now obvious that if Iowa is going to elect a female to congress for the first time it’s going to be Dr. Miller-Meeks. Many people are now aware of her amazing life story of her continuously pulling herself up by her boot straps, but don’t over look what she has over come in this campaign.

1. She wasn’t given a chance in the primary because she wasn’t from Cedar Rapids or Iowa City.

2. She was quickly written off after the primary because of the voter registration numbers in the District.

3. The entire district was affected by the massive June floods making it difficult to campaign and raise money.

4. Former Congressman Jim Leach endorsed Obama, putting her in a difficult position in her race to take back his seat.

Despite all of that she soldiered on and is now in a great position to win a seat in Congress.