Friday, March 31, 2006


Traveling Tom abandons Iowa once again

While the Iowa Legislature works to finalize important legislation before the 2006 session ends, Governor Vilsack demonstrates once again that his priorities lie elsewhere. In continuation of a trend started shortly after the 2004 election, Vilsack will spend this weekend in Florida instead of Des Moines. The state GOP has put together a website (aptly named Traveling Tom) to help Iowans keep track of their governor.

Instead of a governor who treats Terrace Hill as a pit stop between out of state appearances, Iowans deserve the kind of leadership Jim Nussle and Bob Vander Plaats have already demonstrated in the fight against Touchplay slot machines. While our absentee governor racked up frequent flyer miles, Congressman Nussle and Mr. Vander Plaats worked to preserve the quality of life Iowans have come to expect from our state.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


UI CRs Elect New Leadership

Congratulations to the newly elected executive board of the University of Iowa College Republicans! Greg Baker '09 was elected Chair and Crystal Bouziden '07 will be the Vice Chair for the upcoming year. The rest of the executive board includes: Secretary Eric Rodriguez, Treasurer Zach Johnson, and Events Coordinator Maureen Houser.

The UI College Republicans have been an integral part of our campaign efforts here in Johnson County and we look forward to working with the new leaders in the upcoming year.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


County Supervisor Race Set

With the passage of today's 5 p.m. filing deadline, the field for the 2006 Johnson County Supervisor's race is set. There are two seats up for election, currently held by Democrat incumbents Mike Lehman and Sally Stutsman. Two Republican candidates have filed and will be on the Primary Ballot in June: Alan Curry and Rich Benn.

In a sign of how ready Johnson County is for some change, two Democrat challengers have filed to run against the incumbent supervisors: Larry Meyers and John Schneider. It'll be interesting to see how the Democrat primary turns out (John Deeth has some comments on his blog about this) and whether the angst over the road construction debacle shows up even in their ballot box. Regardless of the primary result, come November all Johnson County voters will have a chance to voice their concerns and bring about some real reform in the courthouse for the first time in 44 years.

Here's the Auditor's full list of candidates who have filed as of the deadline. Also, Alan Curry recently launched his campaign website -- check it out for more information about the momentum building on his campaign.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Nussle and Vander Plaats visit UI Students

Congressman Jim Nussle and Bob Vander Plaats visited Iowa City on Monday afternoon to meet with the University of Iowa College Republicans.

(PHOTO ABOVE L: Nussle and Vander Plaats sit down with students; ABOVE R: Vander Plaats shares his passion with students, including UI College Republican Chair Christian Goos)

For more information, you can read Jims Journal about his visit, and check out this story from the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

UI students tell Nussle jobs their top priority
Diane Heldt
Cedar Rapids Gazette

IOWA CITY - Creating more and better jobs around the state is a top concern
of the University of Iowa students who spoke to Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle on the UI campus Monday.

The students also told Nussle of their interest in the concept of a ''tuition contract'' that would keep tuition rates locked in and stable for a certain amount of time, and said a state energy policy that combats rising energy costs is important.

U.S. Rep. Nussle and Bob Vander Plaats, his running mate, met with about 25 members of the College Republicans.

The two are making stops at college and university campuses across Iowa to talk with students and get ideas for making Iowa a more attractive place for young people, Nussle said.

Much discussion focused on how the state can create better jobs and more opportunities. Nussle said the Iowa Values Fund, a state initiative created to spur job growth and economic development, has not gotten the job done nor has it provided the number of jobs promised.

''There are a number of exciting, new ideas out there that I believe need more attention from the state than what the Values Fund is about,'' Nussle said.

Energy is a cutting-edge industry that should be a focus for job growth in the state, Nussle told the students. He said Iowa needs to do a better job of providing incentives that encourage the use of ethanol. The state needs to put more E85 underground fuel tanks in place, he said.

''I'm also willing to be pretty drastic about this - I'm willing to impose a mandate,'' he said.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Former Governor Ray to address "Character" in Johnson County

Former Iowa Governor Robert Ray will give a lecture entitled "Does Character Count?" on Tuesday, March 28 at 7:30 PM. The event will take place in Room 101 of the Biology Building East (on Iowa Avenue) in Iowa City and is open to the public. A map of the location is available here.


Terry Nelson to guide McCain through the caucuses?

University of Iowa grad and Bush 2004 national political director Terry Nelson has signed on to Sen. McCain's Straight Talk America PAC.

From the Washington Post:

Nelson, a native of Marshalltown, Iowa, managed Iowa Republican Rep. Jim Nussle's 1994 race and went on to serve as majority staff director of the Iowa state Senate caucus. Nelson served as political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2000 and as deputy chief of staff at the Republican National Committee two years later. He is a partner in Dawson McCarthy Nelson, a GOP media firm, and the Crosslinks Strategy Group.

Of Nelson, McCain said: "Straight Talk is fortunate to have the strategic guidance of one of the country's most seasoned professionals."

Krusty Konservative has some interesting discussion on this development.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Leach challenger fails to get on Dem Ballot

It seems that "would-be challenger" (as the Des Moines Register calls him) David Loebsack failed to collect enough petition signatures to get on the Democrat Primary Ballot to challenge Congressman Jim Leach in the 2nd Congressional District.

The Democrats apparently will still be able to nominate him at their District Convention, but if I were a delegate to the convention, I think I might be asking myself what other careless mistakes are coming down the road. And moreover, would we really want to elect someone to represent us in Washington who doesn't appear to pay adequate attention to important details?

In his defense, our "would-be challenger" came awfully close -- he only needed ten more signatures and the rules are a bit complex. According to the
Secretary of State, candidates were required to turn in at least a total of 1,716 signatures, and at least half of the counties in the district (8) had to to have a minimum number of signatures. Our "would-be challenger" barely made the total minimum number by turning in 1,756 signatures (only 40 more than needed), but he only had six counties of the sixteen in the district where he was able to meet the minimum number of required signatures -- he was three short in Louisa County and seven short in Muscatine County.

And evidentally, all this was only discovered minutes before the 5 pm filing deadline on Friday, since the papers were turned in with only four hours to spare for the Secretary of State to process. (Note to Self: if you ever run for office, be sure to turn in plenty of extra signatures, practice your counting, and turn them in a couple days early to leave yourself time ... just in case)

Incidentally, this seems to be a recurring problem for Democrats. In Ohio, another Democratic Candidate for a very competitive open House seat
failed to get on the ballot. Rahm Emanuel at the DCCC may want to host a refresher course on the election laws -- it's pretty tough to win votes when you're not even on the ballot.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Convention welcomes candidates

Delegates heard from a number of candidates, including: Mark Leonard, candidate for Secretary of Agriculture ; Representative Sandy Greiner, running for re-election in House District 89; and Emma Nemecek, candidate for House District 29.

(PHOTOS L to R: Leonard, Nemecek, and Greiner)

Andrew Dorr, Political Director for Congressman Jim Nussle's gubernatorial campaign also spoke to the convention, as well as candidates for County Supervisor Rich Benn and Alan Curry, and Steve Rathje, a candidate for the U.S. Senate up in 2008.


County Convention a Success

The Johnson County Republicans gathered for our County Convention on Saturday, March 11 at the West High School Auditorium.

(LEFT: Leah Adams, Margaret McDonald, and Carol Ann Christiansen socialize in the lobby over coffee provided by the UI College Republicans)

In addition to hearing from candidates and elected officials (see next post), delegates elected individuals to serve as District and State Delegates and approved the County Platform.

The convention also garnered coverage in the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Iowa City Press Citizen.

(LEFT: County Supervisor Candidate Rich Benn, Treasurer Chuck Seberg, and Credentials Committee Chair Deb Thornton welcome delegates in the lobby)