Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Northey and Leonard at Spaghetti Dinner too

After Nussle, the next most interesting part of the evening was watching Mark Leonard and Bill Northey, both in their formal speeches and before and after the event. Though I must admit, I seem to be coming a bit more ambivalent about the race -- both men seem to be capable candidates and its getting tougher for me to differentiate significant differences between the two.

They both arrived early and were the last ones to leave -- not wanting to leave a person un-talked to. Northey was alone and so spent a good while putting his signs up outside and around the hall. Leonard came with Tim DeMuth, his Eastern Iowan Chair (who's a Johnson County resident), so he began talking to people right away while Tim was posting the signs.

Leonard's speech was well-polished, and very similar in content to the previous times I've heard him speak. The one thing that struck me though -- was that it sure seems like he or his staff are paying an awful lot of attention to Krusty's Blog ... several comments throughout the speech were things that I don't recall hearing before and seemed to be responses/defenses to the attacks against him by commenters on Krusty -- including the fact that he's a Banker, whether or not his international travel has really helped increased trade opportunities, etc. I don't think the average listener would have heard what he said as defensive, but it jumped out at me as responding directly to many of the criticisms in the blogosphere. (Warning, that link has 246 comments, last time I looked, and some get nasty, so don't head overthere unless you have some time and patience)

I don't really recall much of the policy content of Northey's speech (that's what I get for waiting four days to get around to posting), but though his delivery was a little less charismatic than Leonard he has definitely improved since his first visit to town back in October. What was impressive, however, was when he turned to his discussion of campaign momentum -- fundraising, his big endorsement by Claghorn, and his upcoming legislative endorsements (included on this list). We don't have many Republican legislators in Johnson County, but we love those hearty souls that represent portions of the county -- Reps. Sandy Greiner and Jeff Kaufmann, and Sen. Jim Hahn were all at the Dinner on Friday and Northey made a point of pointing out that they are all supporting him. (To be fair, Leonard has an impressive list, too, just not as many legislators and none of ours)

You can also check out more comments about these two, as well as the other speakers at the event from another Johnson County blog, Sick of Spin.

The Northey/Claghorn team has spent a lot of time on these blogs trying to smear the Leonard campaign. They're scared (and should be) but have resorted to the worst technique--one that most people have been able to see through. Krusty's blog includes a lot of lies and insinuations, all of which were proven false. Leonard's history and ethics continue to prove themselves and he has run a very clean campaign--Especially given the fact that he could really come down on Northey for bribing Claghorn to drop out of the race with the promise of the number 2 seat--a fact that Dusky is really relishing.

As cornfield commentator stated, Northey's speeches are easily forgettable, so is his position. Leonard's stick with you and rouse a true passion for agriculture, security, family and Iowa. Once you hear him speak, you don't forget him.
Your list of Leonard's endorsements isn't complete. What you have linked is his advisory committee, which is different from an endorsement list. Leonard doesn't have his list of endorsements on his website, but it is substantial and includes Mary Lundby, Branstad and Ray, as well as numerous legislators, businessmen and party leaders.
If anyone does have a list of endorsements, I would like to see it.
you are correct. if they post a full endorsement list, I'll be happy to add it.
Based on what I've seen, if Leonard listed all his supporters, it would fill the entire blog. The Northey-Claghorn deal is absolutely illeagal. Northey will be convicted if he is prosecuted for it. The Republican party needs to head this off now, or we'll all take a beating over it. There is no way we can elect someone who doesn't even know the laws of the state and is breaking them before getting into office. This is absolutely incredible that anybody could still be backing Northey.
I just read the entire thread on Krusty. Its exhausting, but I really learned a lot. There were what seemed to be 3 people who were set on destroying Leonard's campaign. I would say their plan backfired. I learned absolutely nothing about Northey, except he lacks speaking ability, is over-weight and has a bad tailor. I learned a LOT about Leonard--his accomplishments, over-seas travels, endorsements, the list goes on and on. If I had read only that thread, I would have no choice but to vote for Leonard. Its so easy to distinguish the BS from the facts.

OH, and if I were a Leonard staffer or one of his family members and had read that, knowing the man, it would have been difficult sit quietly by and let it happen. What a classy bunch they must be to have not retalliated
Ever since the legality of the Northey-Claghorn hook-up was questioned, I haven't seen a thing from his supporters on these blogs. Are there any supporters left? I really wish Northey would say something about this.

The Leonard bashing has stopped, too, which pretty much proves it was Northey or Claghorn staffers.

OK, so you've got this guy who lacks character and charisma and basically people to sleep during his speeches. He tries the smear tactic and fails miserably. He bribes another candidate to drop out of the race and admits to it at a press conference. His website blogs are TERRIBLE--bad grammar, misspellings--it looks like a grade-schooler wrote them. What is he paying VE for?

It seems like Leonard could just sit back and watch them implode.
I was at the spaghetti dinner on Friday night and at the event in Johnson County back in October. Here are my thoughts on the two SoA candidates. Leonard was confident and well-spoken at both events. Northey was better at the spaghetti dinner then he was at the BBQ in October, but still lack the little something call charisma. Both are very good and sharp on the issues, though Leonard has seemed to have fleshed out some new issues on the campaign trail. Northey still spends the majority of his time talking about how great the ethanol industry is for Iowa, but really doesn't address many other issues. Leonard demonstrates that he has the experience to do the job, has a vast array of skills needed to do the job. Northey said that his main qualification to do the job is that he is the only full-time farmer in the race. I don't know about everyone else, but I would like the Iowa SoA to have a bit broader experience coming into this position.
One thing that did strike me was the endorsement lists. Leonard has been touting for a long time his impressive list of endorsements, but Northey has quite a few key legislative endorsements. However, as a cattleman, I am not completely thrilled about all of the endorsements he has received from past presidents of the ICGA. The Corn Growers have been a pain to cattle interests at times, simply not realizing that we are in the fight together. I know from speaking to Leonard that he would equally represent both cattle and corn interests.

So those are my thoughts. I was undecided going in; leaning towards Leonard. Now, after the event and seeing them both again for only the second time, I have to say that I am 100% supportive of Mark Leonard for Secretary of Agriculture.
Cornfield Commentator,
The Leonard website has posted a list of endorsements now. I counted 83 for Leonard and 73 for Northey. So much for his "I have twice the endorsements" line. Poor guy, none of his lines actually work for him.
You have GOT to check out the SOA ethics discussion on Krusty!!!
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