Saturday, April 22, 2006


2nd District Convention: A Spell of Speakers

I saw Jim Leach enter the building as I returned to the auditorium. I hoped the rules discussion was over and was pleasantly suprised to find that Secretary of Agriculture candidate Bill Northy had arrived and began his presentation to the convention. Northy made the point that he is the only full-time farmer in the race. He also noted that he has raised more money from more donors than both of his primary opponents combined, and also has more endorsements from legislators than both of his opponents combined.

10:59 - Jim Leach is introduced. He gave one of his trademark academic speeches. The first subject was internet gambling. For the last decade or so, the congressman has been trying to get a bill passed that would ban US banking instruments from being used for online gambling. He compared the problem to having a TouchPlay slot machine in almost every home.

The second subject was on the need for campaign finance reform. Leach: "It's a scandal that only half of Americans vote." Politicians should be more concerned with courting voters than courting donors.

Leach ended with a bit of red meat for the party faithful. Or something approaching red meat. He said that while people may disagree about how President Bush has governed our country, no one can doubt President and Laura Bush's commitment to their family. (Not that they had a tough act to follow on that front.)

11:07 - Dave Vaudt gets a huge reception. Who'd have thought a month ago that the state auditor would get a rockstar reception? Spoke briefly on CIETC: "Identifying fraud waste and abuse is central to this job." He didn't address Nussle's call of an inspector general, but did give him a shout-out. Parting shot: "Vote for Vaudt, still the only CPA in the race for state auditor."

11:11 - Ugh, back to rules debate. A motion to allow delegates to propose an amendment to the platform without support from anyone else is mercifully voted down.

11:18 - Rules pass. Huzzah.

11:19 - Robert Dopf, candidate for secretary of state is introduced. A theme of his speech is that Iowa cannot give the Des Moines southside Mauro machine control over the state's elections. The cronyism, nepotism, and corruption exibited in the CEITC scandal has the Mauro brothers writ large across the face of it. Dopf: "People ask me if I know who Archie Brooks is. I know Archie Brooks, I prosecuted Archie Brooks." Dopf sucessfully tried Brooks in federal court for cutting off police, fire and ambulance communications in Des Moines when he wasn't given the special treatment he had come to expect as a part of the Mauro Machine. "I didn't expect him to get jail time because it was a first offense, but I did think his political career was over. But the Mauro Machine had Archie right back in to the political mix." And look where that example of Mauro judgement has landed us.

Dopf listed his credentials as U.S. Attorney and Federal Elections Judge and parted by saying "I am committed to facilitating access to the ballot for every eligible voter and am committed to making the process secure, fair, and honest."

11:27 - Karey Claghorn is introduced. She states that her expereince in the supermarket industry allowed her a unique perspective on the food supply chain from start to finsh. Claghorn said it also gave her insights on food safefty and consumer preferences. Bringing value added agriculture to the state is on of her top priorities. "For every load of [unprocessed] grain that leaves this state, a job leaves this state." Claghorn said she will work with Nussle to reorganize government from the top down to benefit small business and agriculture when when they are both sent to Des Moines in November.

This is a great report! It makes me feel as if I was there.

Oh wait I WAS there for all of the fun and excitement.

We had a good convention and I think we will have a whole lot of new GOP faces in Des Moines after this Nov.
I also thought the convention went well. I would like to point out, though, that Northey made this untrue statement:
"He also noted that he has raised more money from more donors than both of his primary opponents combined, and also has more endorsements from legislators than both of his opponents combined"

I was surprised he would pick such a venue to spout untruths.
Anonymous, Northey's comment about FR and endorsements also caught my attention, but to say definitely that it's untrue is awfully strong. you got somewhere we can look to verify? Updated disclosure reports won't be out for a while, and I haven't found lists of supporters on either website.

regardless, I actually found both Northey and Claghorn much improved over the previous time I saw all three together back in October. The campaign trail has definitely polished them both -- I no longer fear that any of the three who gets the nomination wouldn't be able to handle it and win in November.
I was wondering the same, Observer--where is the proof? How can Northey make those comments? It takes a lot of gumption to say you've got more of anything right now.
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