Wednesday, August 30, 2006


GOP Opens County HQ

The Johnson County Republican Headquarters is officially open! A great crowd turned out for our grand opening, visiting with our Republican candidates, touring the space, and getting started at the hard work of grassroots politics.

Our next governor, Jim Nussle, and future first lady, Karen Nussle, came to join in the celebration and show his support for the all local candidates and volunteers who will be working to ensure a Republican victory in November. Congressman Nussle also underlined his support by presenting a $2000 check to the County Party to help fund the HQ operation.

We were also joined by other candidates (shown R to L below, while Nussle performs the honors of cutting the ribbon), County Supervisor Candidates Alan Curry and Rich Benn, Todd Versteegh, Johnson County Chair, Jim Nussle, Karen Nussle, State House Candidate Emma Nemecek, State Representative Sandy Greiner, and '08 Senate candidate Steve Rathje. State Representative Jeff Kaufman was also in attendance earlier in the evening.

A number of media representatives were also in attendance, including KCJJ 1630AM, who broadcast live from the event for two hours. I'll update links below if any other stories become available online. Photo below is Jim Nussle talking to KCJJ.

UPDATE: Here's the Daily Iowan's report, and the story for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The Press-Citizen, on the other hand, didn't feel it was worthy to send a reporter. KCRG also showed a short clip of footage on their 10 pm news.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Kerry--Now Thinks He Won in 2004...

People thought that perhaps John Kerry had decided to accept the fact that he lost to President Bush in 2004. Well, guess not. Kerry is sending an fundraising email for Ohio Democratic Party Governor candidate Ted Strickland to 100,000 Democratic donors alleging election impropriety by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell-(R) as the reason why he lost in 2004.

Kerry states "He used the power of his state office to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote" Huh? Proof anyone? *sound of crickets*

A recount requested by minor party candidates showed that Bush won Ohio by well over 118,000 votes. Other groups allege that Ohio's election system discriminates against minority voters.

Fact: Over 1 million more Ohioans voted in 2004 than 2000
Fact: A record turnout by black voters was recorded in 2004 in Ohio

Now, does that sound like voter suppression? Or the delusional rantings of a failed presidential candidate who obviously couldn't accept the fact that he lost in the first place?

Monday, August 28, 2006


Culver Snubs Iowa City

The news out today is that Chet Culver has rejected five of the eight invitations from the media to join Jim Nussle in a debates, including one debate proposed to be hosted by KWWL here in Iowa City. Jim Nussle accepted this invitation to debate here (as well as the other seven), because as he says:
The debate process is meant to benefit the public and should be designed to
include as many Iowans as possible from across the state. Iowans deserve
to hear directly from the candidates running for Governor about their vision for
the state’s future.
Jim Nussle wants to take his campaign to all parts of the state, including here in Johnson County. In fact, he'll be here this week, helping us open our new County Headquarters.

It sure tells you how scared Chet is to let the public see him side-by-side with Jim Nussle, when he's not even willing to debate in one of the most Democrat-friendly counties in the state. Maybe there's something to the fact that I continue to run into Democrats and Independents around town who know that Jim is right leader for our state, regardless of his party. After all, Chet did come in 3rd place here in Johnson County, geting only 26% of the vote in June.


DCCC pulls a fast one on Iowa's media outlets

Thursday the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it was cutting its ad buy for one of the least effective congressmen in DC, Leonard Boswell. The Dems tried to spin this as a vote of confidence in Boswell, but the facts tell a completely different story. Take it away Krusty:
What really happened is the DCCC clearly overbought. If you look at this article from The Hill can see that the DCCC made a $51 million dollar ad buy, but they only had $32 million on hand at the end of June. According to the Hotline, the DCCC only raised $4.2 million in August and had $35 million on hand. Any way you slice it, the DCCC overbought, especially when you consider that TV buys aren’t their only expense. They were forced to cut down their buy because they don’t have the resources.
A little digging would have revealed this to any reporter interested in the truth. That's obviously not these guys. It is delusional to see this as anything but a positive for Lamberti and continued GOP control of the House.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Yepsen discusses Harkin '08

Yepsen has his first look at the race for Senate against Tom Harkin in '08. In a nutshell, he doesn't think Congressmen King or Latham will run, and he's feeling bad enough for us that he went so far as to make his own suggestion, WH Pol. Dir Sara Taylor. Johnson County even got a mention (so when we get Steve King here for an event, we gotta be sure we send David an invite):
King is a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. He knows he can sit in
the U.S. House for as long as he wants. While his conservative base in western
Iowa is a good one, he would face a harder sell with more moderate and liberal
voters in vote-rich eastern Iowa. (Please reserve me a seat for any King
campaign appearances in Johnson County.)
Interestingly, not even a mention of the one person publicly considering the race, Johnson County resident Steve Rathje.

UPDATE: State 29 takes on the issue.

UPDATE2: And of course Krusty and his commenters have joined in.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Culver up Poop Creek over crackpot investment schemes.

You know he's stepped in it big time when the Daily Iowan comes out swinging aginst the (special-interest-and-out-of-state-funded) Democratic nominee.
A recent issue of contention is Democratic candidate for governor Chet Culver's investment proposal for the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System - and, as Republican candidate Jim Nussle points out, his plan is a bad move to make.
See also: Krusty.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Fallon's fall from grace?

Ed Fallon, darling of the left during the Democrat primary, and supposed paragon of political virtue seems to be leaving that side of his personality behind as the general election nears. His support for Ako Abdul-Samad's quest for the statehouse has raised more than a few eyebrows. A certain godblogger of the Iowa blog scene (who sported a "Vote Fallon" ad on his/her site) had this to say about the situation:
I must say that I'm very disappointed that Ed Fallon is continuing to support Ako Abdul-Samad's bid to become a State Representative after all that's come out about missing paperwork at Creative Visions and Ako's own "rubber stamp" behavior on the board of CIETC.

Mainstream Iowan has more on the situation.

Former Cyclone receiver Jack Whitiver is opposing Abdul-Samad. Don't hold the Cyclone bit against him.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Iowa's Terry Schiavo?

I first became aware of this situation at the University of Iowa Hospitals on the KGAN 6pm news last night, and the Press-Citizen now has an article up about it.

I'll direct you to the article for details, but the facts will sound quite familiar. Woman in coma. Mother and Father want to do everything possible to keep her alive. Husband says he won't consent (in this case, to a blood transfusion, because he's a Jehovah's Witness and its against his religion). Parties argue about what the woman would want.

Johnson County District Court Judge Marsha M. Beckelman issued a four-page ruling that gave guardianship to the woman's father, rather than her husband. As summarized in the article, and what I recall from the television news, the judge looks at all the evidence, trying to determine whether the woman, Tawnya Nissen, subscribes to the Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs or not. I'm looking for a copy of the ruling, which if I track down, I'll post, but from the sound of it, she decided that it was impossible to know, and thus the court needed to error on the side of protecting life.

Kind of makes you proud that an Iowa judge gets it right. Hopefully the husband will let the issue rest now, but we'll be watching to see if this continues through the court system.

UPDATE: Here's some more background from KWQC in Davenport, including video. There's also an online poll expressing your opinion about the Judge's decision.

UPDATE 2: The Des Moines Register picked up the story this morning with the most exhaustive treatment yet. At least one other blog has also picked it up and is trying to push the story nationally.


RAGBRAI Followup - Dems DID charge for water!

As you recall, Johnson County Republicans joined the Nussle and Leach campaigns in handing out FREE cold bottles of water the morning of the RAGBRAI ride into Coralville.

I was skeptical of the reports we heard from one or two riders jokingly that the Democrats were selling water earlier on the route. But it WAS TRUE! Democrats WERE using the opportunity to raise money instead of generating good will. They were set up a couple miles before us, as shown in this e-mail notice:

LOCATION: The RAGBRAI/Blue State Lemonade stand will be located at 1186 Black Diamond Rd. SW, the farm home of Stan & Noreen Yoder . . .

FRIDAY, 9AM, 11AM, 1PM: We need volunteers!!! Can you spare a few
hours to help the Dems make some money? Take a few hours of that vacation
time you’re about to lose and join us. It will be hot, but it will be fun,
and the heavy lifting will be done by 9am. When you RSVP to me about
volunteering, please include your mobile number or day time number, so I can
call you if we are all sold out before you arrive.

Guess I can't fault them for their enterprise, making money is the american way after all. Still a bit ironic isn't it -- we Republicans being the generous ones while the Dems are the misers.


Bolkcom Officially Opposed

Independent Candidate Jay Christensen-Szalanski has officially qualified to be on the ballot against Democrat State Senator Jay Bolkcom.

This blog has discussed Christensen-Szalanski before, as well as some of Bolkcom's defects. We'll be looking forward to watching this campaign progress.


Press-Citizen Biased?

Fellow Johnson County blogger, Mike Thayer at Sick of Spin, has been doing a series of posts looking at the Press-Citizen and its biases in editing stories, selecting stories, and editorializing.

Not that any of our readers probably need help realizing that the daily rag in the people's republic of johnson county is a bit more than left-of-center, he still makes some well-researched points that I had not realized. Check them out -- and good work, Mike!

Monday, August 14, 2006


It's Hanusa

O. Kay Henderson is up with a post stating the State Central Committee selected Mary Ann Hanusa as our candidate for Secretary of State. Mary Ann is going to need a lot of help, but I think this is winnable, even with a shortened campaign. It'll be tough to establish name recognition in less than three months, but the Democrats have a flawed candidate in Mauro. He won't be able to escape the corruption he has helped breed in Polk County.

UPDATE: The DMR has an article online now.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


SOS Round-Up

Not much original news here, but to save you some time and energy, here's a quick round-up of the situation with the Republican Secretary of State Nomination. According to state central committee member and blogger extraordinaire, Ted Sporer, the state central committee will be meeting (by conference call, if I heard correctly elsewhere) to pick a nominee on Monday evening.

On his blog, Sporer is seeking input from the grassroots, as to who the committee should pick. If you are really impassioned, you might also consider contacting our district reps on the state central committee.

According to Sporer, and as discussed on other blogs, the following folks are being considered/seeking the nomination (in alphabetical order):

Steve Curchill
Mary Ann Hanusa
Mike Hartwig
Jeff Heil

More details on each are below:

Steve Churchill is a former state representative from Johnston, Iowa. Yepsen has a brief profile, but I can't find any other good synposis of his background online.

Mary Ann Hanusa currently works in the West Wing of the White House as the director of Presidential Correspondence. Prior to that, she worked on the district staff of Senator Grassley, and was apparently active in the 2000 Presidential campaign in western Iowa. She was mentioned a couple times in this Register Profile of WH Staff. Here's another story about her campaign for the nomination.

Mike Hartwig was the nominee in 2004. He is currently vice president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, and apparently executive director of Marriage Matters of Iowa.

Jeff Heil was Marshall County Auditor for seven years. He currently works as an analyst for Ruan Securities Corporation, where you can find his current bio. He's also got an MBA, and rumor is that he may be willing to commit some significant financial resources.

In my opinion, we should pick someone who can do the job well. In reality, the winner of this election is going to be driven by who wins the Governor's Race . . . I just can't imagine people voting for Jim Nussle and then dropping down and voting for Mauro, so the key is to have who is capable, credible, and able to commit some time to helping excite people about the race and doesn't provide any reasons for someone not to continue down the party line.

But at the end of the day -- we just have to have someone on the ballot, and when Nussle wins, he'll be bringing a few new members of the executive council along with him.

Hopefully, as soon as a decision is made, we'll have more info out.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


A Big Night -- 3 Members of Congress Lose Primary Bids

Not quite sure what message to take from primary election results around the country tonight. As nearly everyone has probably heard by now, Senator Joe Lieberman was beat by liberal-blogosphere-backed millionaire Ned Lamont. In addition, however, moderate freshman Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz of Michigan also lost to a more conservative candidate Tim Walberg and far-out Democrat Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney lost in a runoff election to Hank Johnson.

While it's possible that commentators will look back and point to tonight as a sign of an anti-incumbent tide, I don't think that'll be the case and here's why. While that sentiment may have played a bit of a role, each of the races was a unique situation -- particular the two House Members, and these defeats were not as unusual or unexpected as an incumbent going down normally would be.

Schwarz was only a freshman Republican, elected with a plurality in a hard-fought multi-candidate primary in 2004. Though he surprised me with his relatively party-line voting in the house, he is much more moderate than this reliably-conservative, Republican district in Michigan, and he only won the primary two years ago because the conservative vote split between half a dozen candidates. Walberg, who won, was one of the candidates from the primary campaign two years ago. He never really stopped campaigning, had significant support from the Club for Growth, etc., and unified the grassroots around his candidacy. Honestly, it would have been more shocking had Schwarz pulled it off.

McKinney needs no introduction, and her district has already booted her out once as an embarrassment. Punching capitol police and continuing her no-holds-barred opinions did not endear her to her district any further. Her opponent had broad support, including from Republicans, and again, this election was a correction of the anomaly of her election in the first place.

This isn't the making of an anti-incumbent groundwell, or much of a national message at all.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Democrat accuses SOS Candidate Mauro of Corruption

The Des Moines Register this morning has an interesting article that sheds some light on the corrupt Polk County Democrat political machine.

Polk County Record Tim Brien, who lost his bid to be re-elected in the Democrat Primary, accuses Democrat Secretary of State Candidate Michael Mauro of conspiring to oust him. Furthermore, he explains that he chose not to challenge the close election, because he knew Mauro wouldn't have conducted the process fairly.

If a Democrat doesn't trust Mauro to administer the duties of his office fairly and impartially, how in the world can Iowans of all political stripes trust him to do so as Secretary of State?
As Iowans learn more about the Mauro Machine the answer will become clear -- we can't.

Now, Republicans just need to find a new candidate to run against him.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Republicans have fun day in Swisher

Republicans participated this morning in Swisher Fun Days. In the photo above, you can see the banner being carried by (L to R) Scott James and his son, Jacob, of Iowa City, and Bob Anderson, of Swisher. They are followed by other Republicans including county supervisor candidates Rich Benn (in the yellow car), Alan Curry (walking with his sign), and Emma Nemecek (and her golf cart).

Swisher gave a warm welcome to all those converging on the charming community, and we had fun, despite the sprinkles of rain during the first part of the parade.

For those of you not familiar with it -- Swisher is Johnson County's northern outpost, just miles from the Linn County border. Signs of growth and young families were everywhere, in this town conveniently located between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

It was also a treat to be in the heart of a growing RED PRECINCT in Johnson County. Jefferson-West, in which Swisher is located, gave President Bush 54% of the vote in 2004!

Finally, though I hate to give a Democrat free publicity on these pages, I can't help myself. Emma Nemecek's opponent for House District 29, Ro Foege, has one of the most absolutely bizarre campaign techniques that I have encountered during my time in politics. For the past several parades, apparently in a somewhat clever play on his name, he has been represented by a number people wearing boats.

So, in honor of the boats, and in repayment for this free publicity, I am encouraging a little creative song-writing in the comments. Come up with some new lyrics to the classic children's song, starting off with the first verse:

Ro, Ro, row your boat . . .

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Is Loebsack Reading Our Blog?

About a month ago, I posted about how blatantly Loebsack stands with Pelosi and Dean -- copying their materials for his website.

It seems that he may be reading our blog, because the pages I referred to are no longer linked on his webpage -- Where Dave Stands. The box on the right side of the screen which lists "additional issues," used to include the offending pages, and now includes new, very personalized issue pages. Problem is, he hasn't removed the pages entirely from his website. He still stands with Pelosi and Dean, he's just trying to hide it a bit better by removing the links. You can still pull them up and see them here, here, and here . . . at least for now.

Also, seems Loebsack is taking a page from from another Dave, David "I'm going to canoe across the state" Osterberg, who ran a bizarre campaign against Senator Charles Grassley in 1998. Loebsacks apparently going to drum up support by walking nearly 500 miles across his district. Gee, it worked so great for Osterberg... got him all of 30% of the vote!

And if you're reading Dave, I hate to break it to you. But no matter how far you walk, you're not going to out-work our Congressman. I've been amazed so far this year at the parades and other events in Johnson County Leach has been showing up at -- he's working determined, quietly, and successfully, not taking anything for granted.


Cash gift to Culver by CIETC boss

Do you ever wonder what those CIETC executives did with their excessive salaries and bonuses? According to State 29 (and the Institute on Money in State Politics) a chunk of Ramona Cunningham's $360,000 went to Chet Culver's campaign.

Jim Nussle's call for an honest and transparent payscale for government employees couldn't come at a better time. While Tom Vilsack is doling out $59,000 "retention" bonuses to his failed pick for governor, Mike Blouin, and Chet Culver is cashing checks from the leader of the CIETC scandal, Jim Nussle is providing leadership and new ideas for Iowa.

One shouldn't be suprised to find Polk Co. Democrat Machine boss Micheal Mauro on the receiving end of what looks to be a donation from Charles Brooks, CIETC employee and brother of, you guessed it, Archie Brooks. Tom Vlassis, one of Archie Brooks' DM city council colleagues who has admitted he was "Rubber Stamp" on the CIETC board of directors, donated to Mauro's campaign. Mauro also appears to have received money from Vic Scaglione, one of his former employees in the Polk Co. Courthouse and a recent CIETC alumnus. Funny how that works out, eh?

Also, Chet had this to say to the Charles City Press:

‘‘One of the things we learned with CIETC is there were many conflicts of interest, there were cases of nepotism,’’ Culver said.

Does anyone else have trouble stifling themselves after reading that statement? As one whose DC-based father has raised most of his campaign money via out of state lobbyists and one who has accepted money tainted by the biggest corruption scandal ever to hit Iowa, Culver has no room to speak of nepotism or conflicts of interest. Shame on him.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


WH '08: McCain gains an Iowa blogger