Friday, January 23, 2009

Chet: Good at drinking, bad at providing leadership

My staff placed me in a padded cell yesterday after they figured out that I wasn’t about to cool down over Culver’s plan to see the lottery. During my confinement, a tasty story about Governor Culver appeared on the Politico.

The governor of Iowa, Chet Culver, was spotted double-fisting at the Recording Industry Association of America party at Ibiza.”

Iowa’s budget situation would drive anyone to drink. I’m starting to wonder if Culver has a problem with the bottle. I posted a few weeks ago that Culver was our drinking with Bill Knapp on a Thursday night. At that time he had made it known that he wasn’t able to submit his budget proposal to the legislature. Now we see Culver double fisting it in DC, providing further embarrassment to our state, and we are still without his budget proposal. That sentiment is catching on.

Speaking of fisting…

Ummmm, yeah I’m not going to add anything to that.

How long will Joe last?

Look at President Obama’s body language. I think Joe’s on borrowed time. We all know he just can’t help himself. He’s not going to change. I put the over/under on Biden’s time serving as VP at
2 years.

Caroline Out: Tax Issues, Nanny Issues, and Marriage Issues to blame

And don’t forget she’s as dumb as a box of rocks. If her name wasn’t Kennedy she would have never, ever been considered. Read the NY Post Story here.

Just say NO!

I was happy to see our Republican leaders speak out against Culver’s lottery scam. Props to them. That said I don’t like the idea of selling the lottery to IPERS, just leave it alone. It provides the state with $60 million every year. It’s bad business to sell it for pennies on the dollar for some quick one time cash advance. We have to stop doing this.


  1. What the hell is your problem about the beers? We Republicans aren't all teetotalers and you'd better be careful if you are saying beer drinking is bad. Those kinds of things always come back to bite us on the ass.

  2. Nobody has a problem with beers. But what's wrong is, Culver clearly has a drinking problem. It used to be nobody would talk about it, but now it's become so obvious that people can't help but talk about it - and especially if it's in national news publications. It's just embarassing.

  3. Krusty, you are absolutely right that selling the lottery is a terrible idea but I think you are missing the point with the Republican position on this.

    Republicans in the House and Senate are DEAD SET AGAINST selling the lottery. But if the Democrats are DEAD SET on selling it, then leasing it to IPERS is a better alternative than letting Culver's Cronies have it for cheap.

    If you listened to the audio (Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa has it on her blog) of Senator McKinley and Representative Paulsen, you will get a much better sense of the Republican position than what some of the papers are suggesting.

    Republican leadership is against the sale of the lottery. Period. But if the Democrats are going to sell it, why not provide a better alternative?

  4. They should stand on principle and oppose it and tell the voters why it’s a bad idea. When you read the media reports is sounds like they agree we need to find some quick upfront cash, so we are fine with selling it, but we should sell it to IPERS.

    Just be against it and inform the public why they should stand with you.

  5. Its actually a brilliant bit of strategy by McKinley and Paulsen here..

    Culver/Gronstal, et al..want to sell the lottery to a bunch of their campaign contributors..

    If they want to sell the lottery, ok..fine..but instead of selling it to benefit a small number of private interests to help the state budget, sell it to IPERS to help support our state and local employees' pensions

    The GOP has put themselves in the better position here. Nicely done Sen. McKinley and Rep. Paulsen....

  6. The strategy might be effective at putting AFSCME in a tough spot, too. Their members would be much better served by keeping IPERS healthy.

  7. I get the strategy, but if that actually happened and IPERS buys the lottery, the fact remains that the general fund is going to lose 40 to 50 million a year.

    When you have budget issues, the last thing you do is get rid of a revenue stream.

  8. Krusty..

    Yes..that's true...however..Culver and company now have to answer why they want to benefit their campaign contributors instead of state/local employees retirements. That's a pretty hard corner for Chet and the gang to get out of.

    Yepsen was right the other day to say that its all but a done deal. We don't have the votes to stop it from happening..

    So..the best move is to use a little political jujitsu against the Lug and Gov Gronstal.

    One thing Krusty that is going to be critical for the GOP the next several years is to not only say when we're opposed to something and stick to our guns..but to also offer alternatives.

    We can't simply always say no to everything the Dems say..without putting ideas out there of our own...Doing so instantly gets us labeled as "obstructionist"..

  9. Cedar you under estimate the power of public opinion on this issue.

    Politically we lose if its sold in any way. In essance they will find a short term solution to our budget problems and basically take away our greatest campaign issue for 2010; fiscal irresponsibility.

    A real alternative would be providing a list of programs we could cut that find $200 million.

    I know you love gimmicks and political jujitsu, but that's not what's in the best interest for Iowa long term.

    If it was me, and I didn't like my options, I'd raise taxes on the casions for 22% to 30%. Take that Dan Kehl, thats the kind of political jujitsu I'd be playing.

  10. I wish I had $10,000 to do a poll at this time on the sale/lease of the lottery. My guess is that 75% or more of Iowans are opposed to it. Republicans should stand back keep feeding Culver as much rope as he needs--it will make a great campaign issue for some lucky candidate.

  11. That "Lucky Candidate" is probably Bob Vander Plaats.

  12. Maybe it will be Bob's Year in 2010. A Drunk vs. a Christian Family Man.

  13. 11:45,

    It didn't work in the Linn supervisors race.

  14. Selling the Lottery is the dumbest idea I've ever heard of. We should start by saying no way, no how.

    And what do our leaders do? They clearly indicate a willingness to sell it, just to someone else. IPERS.

    For God's sake, this is even dumber than the original idea. You're gonna have the retirement fund own a lottery? Will they give retirees free scratch tickets with each month's distribution? How does a retirement fund run a lottery? Do they invest the profits back in the IPERS fund? Which is really the market?

    Doesn't this sound like the same idea we got the shit kicked out of us for with Bush and Social Security?

    Why can't you just tell them NO! Start at no! and negotiate to no freaking way!

    Republicans shouldn't utter a word, they shouldn't offer an alternative, they should let the Dems put up every vote it takes to get this done. It's their freaking mess, let them take responsibility, plan the solution, and sell this idea. The backlash will make TouchPlay look like a walk in the park.

    McKinley and Paulsen are just accessories to this planned heist. Stop it now before this goes too far.

  15. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake...

    Napoleon Bonaparte

    "Les démocrates sont de visser en place, laissez-les manger leur propre vomi"

  16. Have we forgotten what turned things around for us in 1994?

    We're looking at the same situation that we had back in 92.

    A newly elected, highly popular charismatic President...both houses of Congress controlled by President's party..

    So..what did the GOP do back then? Did they merely stomp their feet, say no to everything and offer no solutions of their own?

    Of course not..and Newt Gingrich and company knew they couldn't do that. They had to come out there with their own solutions..their own ideas..otherwise, they'd simply get labeled as obstructionist and pushed to the wayside.

    So they put out their own ideas into the arena..and from it..came the Contract with America...which helped to the GOP takeover in 94.

    Anon say "isnt that how we got the shit kicked out of us for with Bush and Social Security?"

    The reason why Bush got the shit kicked out of him is because he didn't FIGHT for his ideas.

    The biggest problem in the Bush 43 White House..was that they didn't communicate ANYTHING effectively. Bush certainly wasn't a skilled communicator..and trotting out the Press Secretary to do your political work for you is never a winning strategy.

    We in Iowa need to be like Newt and the GOPers back in 94. Put out ideas out with them..and effectively communicate them to the voters.

    We simply can't be the "No" party..When times are tough, people are expecting actions to problems.

    If the Democrats don't want to consider our ideas, fine... Then we hold them accountable like Anon 2:08 properly points out..

  17. Russ from WintersetJanuary 23, 2009 at 5:44 PM

    "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake...

    Napoleon Bonaparte"

    Tibby @ 2:55 pm

    Since selling the lottery would be a game changer for ALL Iowans, both (R) and (D), I think that this current case is the exception to Bony's original quote. Plus, it assumes that Democrats are our "enemies" instead of misguided members of our own coalition.

    Osama bin Laden is our enemy, liberal Democrats are just misguided dumbasses who happen to be in charge of our State and Nation at this time.

    Can you imagine Bony saying "Never interrupt your feebleminded ally when he is making a mistake"? No, because Napoleon Bonaparte wasn't a dumbass.

  18. Perhaps this is a passive aggressive approach, to the 2010 gubernatorial election, but I'm going to try to foment some discussion anyway. There seems to be very little that stands in the way of Chet Culver's re-election. We hear incessantly little state-paid messages about how he feels the pain of the flood victims. The free advertising will just continue to build during the next two years. And he can run even prettier paid advertisements with his war chest. What if the Republicans just let BVP run as the sacrificial candidate and not waste their money and develop even more of the bad feelings that a Republican primary engenders? I don't think he'd win, but at least when he lost it would be for good. He wouldn't be able to blame anyone but himself for his loss this time and the Republican party of Iowa could move on and try to find some real competitors.

  19. Kossuth County RocksJanuary 23, 2009 at 11:06 PM

    Anon 6:12

    Agreed on BVP. Until he's run his course, we will NEVER get behind one candidate. BVP's support is wide, but paper thin. But that paper thin support was enough to derail Nussle, Gross, and Sukup in the past, and will ensure a Whitaker, Vaudt, Latham or Northey bid in the future will fail in a primary (if BVP run's)

    Bottom line: BVP can win a primary, but little else. And for you fringe social conservative who think this is a moderate vs. conservative issue - you'd be wrong! I'm a social conservative and BVP will never get my vote. But until BVP run's on his own, and get's beat and can't blame or point to someone else, we are stuck. Good post 6:12 - right on

  20. Of course, there is always the possibility that Vander Plaats would win if you gave him his chance … Or is that a possibility you don’t want to explore? His network if seems fairly robust and in spite of the fact that several of the hacks who frequent this site hate him, he is a solid motivational speaker. What if he comes out talking about education, economic development, healthcare and tax reform? After all, the guy has been an educator, the CEO of a firm providing care to families caring for children with brain injuries and his own consulting company must be doing well enough to pay his mortgage which is better than a lot of small business owners are doing these days.

    All I’m saying is don’t write the guy off. He isn’t Christopher Reed and he may surprise you if you give him a chance and don’t spend your whole day out on every blog you can find bashing him.

  21. He's had 8 years to gain traction - and YOU think we need to give him a chance??? We are doomed!! OMG and LOL

    Anon 11:07 get a klue!!

  22. He couldn't win a three way primary (in which he was a declared candidate for almost 2 years.) I know Deace loves to throw Gross under the bus - but what does that tell you about BVP when Gross can scrape together a winning formula in a primary in less than 4 months??? Why didn't the motivational speaker have broader appeal?? We going to blame Gross for that as well? I'm sure Deace will somehow : ) Folks, it's time to wake up!

  23. Anonymous 11:07 the poster at 6:12 doesn't seem to be saying BVP is a bad candidate or that he couldn't win or that it wouldn't be great for the State of Iowa if he did, just that it might be better for all of us to just let him have his chance this very difficult cycle and move on instead of having the party deal with his ongoing angst that he's never been given a fair chance. No need for a commercial message, please.

  24. On the plus side, Bob has national connections like Gov. Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingerich. If you get those two guys in the state we might have a chance. Who do you get for Vaudt?--Exactly. Give Bob a chance, if Iowans pit Chet against Bob, you might be suprised.

  25. Kossuth County RocksJanuary 23, 2009 at 11:23 PM

    Anon 11:07

    In politics EVERYTHING is earned. Like sports, you put your team out and you play the game. Somebody win's and someone loses.

    BVP has put himself out twice, and lost BOTH times. Gross beat him fair and square in a primary. Culver and Judge beat Nussle and BVP fair an square in a general election.

    BVP has had chances - we don't need to GIVE him anything. If he wants it, he will have to earn a shot at Culver. Just like Gross and Nussle earned theirs. You can bitch and moan all you want, but just like in sports, if your team wants to win, they will earn it - nothing is GIVEN to anyone.

  26. I thought BVP was the beacon for the grassroots?? Now is connections to Huck and Newt are the magic bullet to victory in Iowa???

    President Bush at his zenith in popularity came in and campaigned for Gross and we still lost!!! Connections to DC carry very little water out here in Iowa...

    Some of you on this blog need to remember a little history, otherwise we will keep making the same mistakes

  27. So 11:23, are you suggesting that BVP has an exclusive arrangement with Newt Gingerich and Mike Huckabee that they wouldn't enter the state to support any other Republican candidate, whether during the primary or the general election? I know I am ignorant about a lot of political ways, but it seems pretty incredible to me that these potential contenders in 2012 would only come into the State of Iowa and meet a lot of potential voters on behalf of BVP.

  28. What would be your "Dream Ticket?"

  29. Kook Fringe is killing usJanuary 23, 2009 at 11:33 PM

    So the fact Vaudt can't get anyone from out of state makes him a non-starter?? What if the grassroots here in Iowa made Vaudt their man??? So you're saying Huck and Newt are the new kingmakers here in Iowa? I thought Huck supporters didn't like the "establishment" telling them who to vote for??? Sounds hyprocritical, no, that kan't be!!!

  30. 11:33-1

    I'm not saying that Newt or Mike wouldn't come to the state but they wouldn't stay in the state. They would come once and leave. I know that Mike said he would campaign extensively for Bob. Mike is a good speaker and can fire up a crowd, and talk to people and not down to people. That is what Iowans like and respect.

  31. I'm not getting into an argument with someone who's name is "Kook Fringe is Killing us."

  32. And the “hate on Vander Plaats by clueless hacks train” continues to roll on Krusty. Personally I think the Republican party in Iowa needs to have a primary in 2010. Kossuth County is right. If Vander Plaats is a better candidate today than he was in 2002 or 2006 then lets see him prove it lets see if he can win a primary first. I think Vander Plaats can win, but I also think he needs to be tested. I would rather not see that test come against Vaudt or Northey because I would rather not risk losing the Auditor or Secretary of Ag’s office, but bring on Whitaker, Larson, Rants and Rastetter. I think that primary would be very healthy for the party and it would answer a lot of questions that frankly need to be answered. But lets agree to do this. Lets agree to run that primary on real issues and vision for our future, not BS like how many times BVP has run in the past, or how much money Rastetter has given to the IDP and Culver, or Rants’ record of losing seats in the Iowa House, or Whitaker and Larson’s ties to Bush and Gross … In the long run, none of that crap matters and it’s just that, crap. None of it is relevant and none of it will matter to the general electorate in November of 2010. All of that “baggage” only serves to fuel this pissing contest on line which I think we all agree is dividing the party more than the SoCon vs. Moderate battler ever could.

  33. 12:36 - Mr. Vander Plaats has been part of 2 election cycles already. Not sure whether there's such a thing as a fair and square primary win with him involved. Both cycles his supporters felt he was betrayed and that things wouldn't have been different if others weren't buying the election. What's the likelihood that, if he loses a primary, he won't again cast the blame on someone but himself?

  34. To all those who say that Bob Vander Plaats is done because he lost two primaries than what do you say about Ronald Reagan? I think he would agree that "Three Times A Charm"

  35. You also have to throw Newt Gingrch into that argument. After all, Gingrich lost in 1974 and 1976 before he finally won in 1978 … Should he have “gotten a clue” or “gone away” as the ingenious anonymous bloggers here suggest?

  36. Remember '94:

    Ding ding ding, you win the prize!

    Can we please DO something for once, instead of just shouting at the rain, claiming to "stand on our principles", and holding seances where we channel Ronald Reagan?

  37. Just found this on the new Iowa Family Policy Center blog - you gotta hear Chuck Hurley eat a pro-gay marriage pastor's lunch in about 2 and a half minutes in a clip from Mac's World (Mac's new show) recorded last week:

    Sorry to interrupt the thread, but this is gold.

  38. Vander Plaats is defintely viable, in fact, of the names I've heard (King, Vaudt, Rants, Larson, Jr. and Bruce Rastetter), Vander Plaats is our best prospect. Fiscally and socially conservative AND still reaping the political benefits of being at the center of a winning Huckabee campaign.

  39. Vices like gambling always do more destruction in costs to individuals, families, communities and state budgets than they pay back. The State of Iowa should never have gotten into legal gambling in the first place. Vices like gambling are always, sooner or later, connected with corruption. So we see the corruption here in the pay off a Culver/Democrat political machine selling out to the campaign donations of a private interest.

  40. 1:26, was that Ted Haggard?

  41. Annon. 9:01 am,
    Are you on drugs? you have got to be the biggest bvp kool-aide drinker in this state!. First of all don't ever compare that 4 time loser bvp to Ronald Reagan. Reagan was more than just a man running for office, he lead a Conseravtive Movement. Reagan inspired a nation, he lead with conviction, he was a man of core belief's. What does bvp do for a living beside run for Gov? What are his core belief's? What issue's does bvp champion beside self promotion?
    Iowa is in serious trouble and we need serious people to lead this state and bvp as demostrated by his own actions for over 10 years he is not a serious or authentic leader!

  42. oh for God's sake, Ronnie was a refrigerator salesman who snoozed his way through his eight years. His staffers used and abused the Christian Right as badly as did Dubya's.

    Worshipping larger-than-life legends is just dumb.

  43. Just got this e-mail from Senator McKinley's office in an e-mail.

    Governor Backpedals on Risky Scheme to Sell Iowa’s Lottery, Gamble with State’s Future

    Sen. McKinley: “Iowans from every corner of this state spoke out against this reported plan and said enough is enough.”

    DES MOINES – Iowa Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) issued the following statement in response to Governor Culver’s decision today to abandon his reported plans to sell Iowa’s lottery, one of Iowa’s top revenue generating assets:

    “During the governor’s first two years in office, Iowa’s budget has ballooned by nearly a billion dollars and is now facing hundreds of millions of dollars in shortfalls because the governor and legislative Democrats failed to act responsibly and keep the government living within its means.”

    “I have been against selling the lottery since the initial account that Governor Culver had reportedly made closed door plans to sell the lottery to some of his biggest campaign contributors. His desperate, risky scheme to fill the massive budget hole he created would have amounted to very short term gain at the expense of long term pain.”

    “Iowans from every corner of this state spoke out against this reported plan and said enough is enough. Now is the time for our elected officials to use common sense and budget with responsibility. I also urge Governor Culver to seriously reconsider his $700 million dollar bonding proposal that will amount in even more debt for our children and grandchildren. Iowans expect us to make tough decisions and it is time that we re-establish the notion that it is Iowans who run government and not the other way around.”

  44. I hope BVP runs, and Northey too, and we get a crowded primary full of people wanting this office and willing to work hard but when faced with the facts, I just dont know if we are going to get them.
    1. Culver has a fundraising edge that is mammoth.
    2. Culver beat Nussle in his own district, in 2006.
    3. Democrats have edge in registered voters for the first gubernatoral election in decades, and Democrats won three times in a row (98,02,06) when they where behind in registered voters.
    4. Culver has unions, Dem Party big wigs, and even Republicans that are in his corner, and all want favors from him.

    I think Tom Latham has the motivation, money, fundraising ability, infrastructure, political clout and moderate appeal to put up the best fight. He won D-4 two straight times by 15-20 points when it was carried before by Culver, Harkin, and Obama handily.
    Motivation because, as highly as I think of him, I don't think he can win in a D-3 that contains Ames (his home of reference) and the Des Moines area, If restructuring goes as everyone is projecting.

  45. I hope BVP runs again and loses - so we can finally finally put that chapter behind us. LOL

  46. So BVP = Reagan now???

    We are in more trouble that I thought! The wingnut/kook social conservative fringe is going to kill our party. You can be pro-life, go to church every week, fiscally conservative and think marriage is between a man and a woman, and THAT's not enough anymore..God help us.

    Good luck Bob. I don't care what Newt or Huck say - it's the grassroots WHO decide here in Iowa. You won't have my vote if you run

  47. Anon: 9:18

    The problem with your logic is with a crowded field, if BVP loses a close primary and we lose the general - his supporters will think that's why we lost!!!

    Just let Bob have it, let Culver beat him and just end the BVP experiment. If not - he'll run again!! He's like the energizer bunny.

  48. 9:28 is right about this much. This primary will be decided by the grass roots, which ironically probably give Bob an advantage. But calling each other liberals, moderates, kooks and fringe elements isn’t helping anything. 9:18 is right. Culver is going to be very difficult to beat and sitting on this blog insulting one another and running down our potential candidates isn’t going to help. I think we need to get the primary going and start evaluating the candidates based on the campaigns they run today. May the best man or woman win, and after they do lets focus our attention where it belongs … On Chet Culver.