Thursday, November 30, 2006


WPost's Broder gives Leach Goodbye Treatment

You'll want to check out David Broder's column in the Washington Post this morning, which gives our outgoing Congressman Jim Leach some going-away love.

I'm really not sure that I buy the argument that the internet gambling bill had anything to do with his loss -- it sounds to me like a special interest group trying to take advantage of a coincidence for their own gain -- I think it's much more likely that it's the fact that Leach sat in one of the bluest Republican-held congressional district in the entire nation.

Still, it's a decent read and some interesting nuggets, including Leach's praise of Mitt Romney. Though I know this is no suprise to Jeff Fuller, I'm not sure that's a pairing I would have predicted.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


King considering running for RSC Chair

According to The Hill, Congressman Steve King has been making the rounds in an effort to be considered for the position of Chair of the influential House Republican Study Committee, a group of 100 or so conservative Republicans. The current Chair, Mike Pence (R-IN) just lost his bid for Minority Leader, while the past chair, John Shadegg (R-AZ), lost his bid for Minority Whip but had been a previous member of leadership.

Maybe I missed it, but I hadn't heard any noise about this in the Iowa press. It will be interesting to see how this develops and how King's star will continue to rise in the House. It would suggest to me that he might be more interested in sticking around there, rather than jumping right into a Senate campaign.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Chet not timely

From the latest Civic Skinny column: "Senate Democrats are already irked at Governor-elect Chet Culver, who told them — they say — that he’d appear at their first caucus. They waited and waited. No Culver. They’re pissed."

A trend? See the update here by our own Corny for more on Culver's inability to make it somewhere on time.


The same Skinny column claims DC sources are indicating Jim Leach will be appointed ambassador to India...


University to Honor Congressman Leach

Looks like the University of Iowa is holding a reception for Jim Leach on December 1, from 4-6 pm at the Old Capitol. Here's the invitation. Anyone have any more details?

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Let the Caucuses Begin!

The Des Moines Register has several pieces of interest this morning: a survey piece of the state of play on both sides of aisle in presidential caucus campaigns, and indepth look at Senator Barack Obama's potential team within the state, and an announcement from the Republican Party of Iowa:

Mark your calendars, the 2007 Republican Straw Poll will be Saturday, August 11, 2007 in Hilton Coliseum. I know it may take holding your nose for some folks to step foot in ISU's basketball venue, but I remember this being one of the coolest political events I've ever attended eight years ago. There was something about a gathering that was a fun party -- mixing food, music, and politics and drawing families, many of whom I would have never expected to go to a political function -- that just felt like the way politics is supposed to be.

I hope that our state party pulls together another excellent event this summer -- though I do find it strange that there's still no mention about it, not even a press release, on the party website or "blog." UPDATE: Guess we just had to wait 24 hours for the official word.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


The Future of Conservatism

Another one of the underrated benefits of losing an election is the chance that it offers our party to self-reflect. There'll be lots of discussion about the appropriate strategy and tactics over the next few months, but sometimes lost in all that inside baseball is a discussion about our ideas.

Some Republican leaders are already starting to speak about their visions for the future. The recently re-elected Republican Whip in the U.S. House, Congressman Roy Blunt, gave a good speech on this topic last week. (You can see the video or read the text).

I'll try to post other speeches or articles as I see them. If we take advantage of this opportunity to open dialogue and reenergize our ideas, in two years the country will be longing for a return to some common sense.


We Warned You . . .

One of the few joys from the results of Election Night has been the opportunity to watch Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi attempt to lead the disparate factions of her party to try to govern. I have not doubt that she will continue to provide much amusement over the coming months -- if you can forget that the Democrats are playing with the future of our country.

After the Caucus slapped down Pelosi's pick to help lead the most ethical Congress in history, her choice to be Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel has once again begun pushing for a return of the draft:
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the incoming chairman of the House of
Representatives' tax-writing committee, said he would introduce legislation
to reinstate the draft as soon as the new, Democratic-controlled Congress
convenes in January.

Asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" if he was still serious about the proposal
for a universal draft he raised a couple of years ago, he said, "You bet your
life. Underscore serious."
More on Rangel's comments here and here. Hold on to your hats, it's going to be a wild ride. And just wait till our Big Lug gets back from his "How to be a Governor" retreat in West Virginia .

UPDATE: By the way, speaking of Chet's training weekend, why do you suppose he missed out on the official group photograph? I'm just speculating, but given his history -- showing up late for just about every event I've seen in Iowa City, and his first post-election press conference, maybe he learned the rest of the world doesn't always live on Chet-time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Kaufmann elected Asst. Republican Leader

Jeff Kaufmann, who represents part of rural Johnson County, was elected to be a part of the Republican leadership team in the Iowa House. He will serve as one of the party's assistant leaders. Congratulations Jeff!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006



Our brothers and sisters out in Woodbury County are having quite the row if we are to believe the Souix City Journal's Bret Hayworth:
Brown contended the people Salem described trying “to hijack the Republican Party of Iowa” did what Salem said — “if you don’t agree with them 100 percent on every issue, they not only refuse to support you, they take active steps to destroy you, including the use of innuendo and outright lies.” Salem said fear of that approach means good candidates won’t come forward, which played into why the party fared poorly in Tuesday’s election. Brown said “the problem with bombs is that they can destroy everything with their fallout, as was done in this campaign.”
Our state chairman seems to think everything is OK, though.
Asked twice about it for my story, Ray Hoffmann, a Sioux Cityan who heads the Republican Party of Iowa, said he wasn’t aware of any schism in the Woodbury County party.
It's this kind of thing that makes me think it may not be so bad being outnumbered here in Johnson County. When you've got no one to argue with, you argue with yourself.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006




Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Don't even think of reading this ...

if you haved VOTED.


Johnson County Polling Locations (or search your address).

We'll be busy getting out the votes, so don't expect any posts today, unless there's something agregious ... after the polls have closed, I may try to post tidbits that I'm seeing around the country -- we'll just see. During the day, you can check out Johnson County Turnout here.

If you're looking for results, here's the Johnson County Returns.

I'll try to update tonight if I discover which online sites are calling the congressional races around the country the quickest.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Crowd Comes for Obama, Walks Out on Culver

I wonder what advisor thought that Chet Culver could keep around the crowd who came to see Barack Obama. The Des Moines Register report on the rally downtown includes the following nuggets:

Following Obama's speech, much of the crowd dispersed while Culver still
spoke. While some said they were attracted by Obama, people seemed to split as
to whether he was the only candidate drawing a crowd.

"If he wasn't here, it'd still be 75 percent of the crowd," said Iowa City
resident Daniel Loptka.

However, for University of Iowa students Adam Katz and Ethan Gill, and
others who were filing out, most of the supporters were there for Obama."A good
majority" of the crowd, said Katz, came for the Illinois senator, "because he
could be the future president."

I suspect the latter. I know of more than a few Republicans that were curious about seeing Obama and were considering holding their nose at being in the same place as Culver,Harkin, Loebsack, et. al.

Back to work ... we're over halfway through our 72-hour efforts. It's been an amazing weekend. See you at the victory party!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Deniese O'Brien Lee Enterprise Papers: Adding Lying to voters to Intentional Animal Cruelty?

Update: The Women, Food and Agriculture problem was with the newspaper. The intentional animal cruelty issue is still O'Brien's.

It sounds like O'Brien's litany of desperate excuses has at least one major flaw. O'Brien claimed she was not even on the farm at the time her cattle were left to starve to death due to her activity with the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network. However, that organization was not even founded until 1994, seven years later. What gives?

Do you think Northey's slogan for the next 3 days will run something like this: "You can't trust Denise O'Brien to tend livestock, you can't trust her to tell the truth, and you can't trust her with Iowa's agriculture."

More at South of Iowa and State 29 (Standard disclaimer: State 29 has interesting commentary coupled with vulgarity of all stripes. Avoid if you're easily offended).

Friday, November 03, 2006


Foege: Misleading Voters....Misleading District 29

Ro Foege is up to his old tricks again of misleading the consituents he claims to represent in House District 29.

Foege's campaign sent out a mailer to residents of District 29 with following claims:

"Ro led the fight to pass legislation to make it harder for government to condemn private property rights"
"Ro's legislation now makes the government, and not the landowner, prove it has a good reason to take your property"

What's wrong with these statements? Neither one of them are TRUE.

The eminent domain legislation, HF 2351, was submitted by the House Judiciary Committee, of which Ro Foege is a member of. This legislation was in no way, shape or form created by Rep. Foege himself as he claims.

Ro Foege didn't "lead" any efforts to advance this important legislation through the Iowa Legislature as well.

Here's the real story..It was our own Rep. Jeff Kauffman who lead the fight for these important reforms as the floor manager of the legislation in the Iowa House.

Ro Foege himself even admitted in a Guest Opinion piece in the Iowa City Press-Citizen from July 13, 2006 that he was merely a co-sponsor of the legislation only. The opinion piece was written AFTER the veto of the legislation was overriden by the Iowa Legislature.

The only other mention Foege makes about the legislation is an entry on his website stating he voted for it.

That's a far cry from leading any efforts to pass the legislation as Foege claims he did. A Google search of Foege's involvement with the eminent domain legislation shows little in the way of action taken by Foege advocating the bill.

Don't be mislead by exaggerated claims of leadership by someone who doesn't have the record to back it up with. The real story with Ro Foege and the eminent domain reforms is simple--Foege was a backbench supporter, with no real involvement in passing of the legislation.

Its time for a change in District 29. That change is to elect Emma Nemecek on November 7th!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I always did feel lonely at New Pioneer Co-op

So, Johnson County has a plethora of "satellite voting" locations in the weeks leading up to the election. This is a phenomenon I had never heard of until moving here -- the Auditor sets up at "convenient" (ie: heavily democratic) locations around the county where individuals can register and vote at these locations on the spot, using an absentee ballot. I am not a fan of the practice -- particularly as administered with such variance across the state.

Nevertheless, that's the way it is here in Johnson County. Now, one statistic from the early voting statistics made me laugh, and I just felt like sharing. You see, I've been a member of the New Pioneer Co-op since I first moved to town. And I've always felt a little lonely, driving up with my Nussle-Vander Plaats bumper sticker, and making my way through the organics, wine, and non-dairy products. Turns out it wasn't just paranoia. The satellite voting station held at the Co-op one day has the distinction of taking in the lowest number of Republican votes of any station. How many Republicans dared to not only shop but vote at the Co-op? TWO.

It seems that the Crunchy Con movement still has some growth to do here in the People's Republic of Johnson County.


Nussle, Vander Plaats each visit Iowa City Twice in One Week

Election Day is just around the corner and we're hard at work at the Johnson County HQ. The importance of our efforts to the Nussle-Vander Plaats campaign is evidenced by all the attention we've received in the final week. Jim and Karen Nussle and Bob and Darla Vander Plaats stopped by together Sunday evening after an afternoon of phonebanking.

Jim and Karen Nussle were back again today on the 99-county bus tour, visiting every corner of the state. You can see the Press-Citizen coverage here.

And tomorrow morning, we will be joined by Bob Vander Plaats again, bringing along special guest, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.


Via Krusty: Huge SOA race development

Most of the people reading this blog are already going to vote for Bill Northey, the Republican candidate for Secretary of Agriculture. There has been a development that all Iowans need to know about, especially those who don't pay a whole lot of attention to the down-ballot races. Tell your family and friends, this is important:
State Representative Clel Baudler, member of the Iowa House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, called on Denise O'Brien to explain the [intentional] animal cruelty charges filed by the Cass County Sheriff in 1987 before voters go to the polls next Tuesday.
Denise O'Brien, the Democrat nominee for Ag Secretary, has successfully kept the intentional cruelty charges off the radar during this campaign. However, she must explain why Iowans should entrust the highest agricultural office in the state to someone who's family farm was cite for intentional cruelty to animals.

I have to say, if the shoe was on the other foot and some hypothetical GOP SOA nominee had inflicted intentional cruelty on his/her livestock, I wouldn't be able to vote for him/her. Even with all of O'Brien's promises of tofu and organic rutabaga, I would hope Democrats would backbone up and at the very least not vote in this race. Any chance?

Update: More at State 29. (As always, be warned: State 29 isn't entirely work/family friendly.)