Posts Tagged ‘4th District’
» posted on Saturday, April 21st, 2012 at 8:01 pm by Editor
Reports are still funneling in from Republican district conventions across the state and we’re sure they’ll be all over the Pauloshpere by morning, but we had to give a quick recap. Your Iowa Freedom Report team was deployed to District 4 today where freedom lovers were cautiously optimistic they could carry the day despite the frothy mix of out-dated neoconservativism and Opus Dei theocracy that swept the northwest corner of the state in January.
The major prize at stake in today’s conventions was control of the Republican state central committee. The Register has a full recap of those election results and credits Paul backers with 6 of 12 seats up for grabs. Craig Robinson at The Iowa Republican tweeted that 10 were either Paul supporters or favorable to Paul. This includes people like Chad Steenhoek of Ames, a staffer on Gingrich’s super PAC who has worked with Paulites in the past. Joel Kurtinitis (CD3), Kris Thiessen (CD4), Dave Cushman (CD1), Iowa Freedom Fund board member Jeff Shipley (CD2), John Kabitzke (CD3) and Marcus Fedler (CD2) are all well-known for their advocacy of smaller government. What this likely means in a practical sense is that Iowa politicians will be forced to take seriously Paul’s ideas, even though the central committee is not itself a policy making body. You’re also likely to see the group taking more stances on policy matters, taking cues from the actions of combative social conservative national committeefolks Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehmen.
Various other committee seats were up for grabs as well. Freedom advocates ran mixed slates of Ron Paul supporters and their allies for every seat on the delegate nomination, credentials, rules, and platform committees. Paul staffers were reluctant to share details with Iowa Freedom Report, but from where we sat, returns looked quite promising. From a national standpoint, a majority on the nominating committee could mean a majority of Paulites in Iowa’s national convention delegation. A majority there and in just four other states means that Paul could be nominated from the floor of the RNC in Tampa. That would be a far cry from 2008, when Paul was barred from even stopping by the convention in St. Paul, despite a run allowing sitting Republican congressman free access to the convention floor. Let’s put it this way, 2008 Libertarian nominee Bob Barr, an active opponent to John McCain was granted greater access to those proceedings than Paul.
One major coup attempt disrupted the convention briefly in Fort Dodge. Someone, and at this time we are unable to determine with any certainty who it was, tried to push through major rule changes to the caucus to convention process. For as long as any Iowa Republicans can remember, national delegates have been selected in a “district caucus” the night prior to state convention. Technically, the district conventions go into “recess” for two months and re-convene the Friday night of convention for delegate elections. This year, some forces, whether outside or local we don’t know, called for district conventions to elect national delegates then “adjourn.” A claim was made that an unknown group (Paul supporters by implication) wished to hold “secret meetings” for delegate selection. Of course, these “secret” meetings are the common practice and in fact quite well-publicized. Ironically, while they were the presumed target, the Paul campaign urged all its supporters to defend the long ago agreed upon rules. Whoever was behind the rules purge pulled out all the stops in CD 4. Robocalls and emails went out the night before. A young-looking Romneyian was even dressed up in Paul garb to disrupt the proceedings, shouting loudly about how undemocratic the process was and at one point acting as though he would square off with the sergeant at arms in a fist fight. It was so well acted that some Paul supporters told IFR that they suspected the young man was actually a brilliant Paul loyalist attempting to use reverse psychology to convince the delegates that Paul was behind the unorthodox rules purge. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the convention voted down the intrusion. It made for an interesting sideshow and perhaps a preview of what the establishment could pull at state convention as their cold dead fingers tighten their grip on the party.
Much progress was also made on the platform. Planks that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago sailed through with minimal objections. Republicans committed themselves to a repeal of the Patriot Act (in Steve King’s district no less!), nullification of various mandates, and a complete abolition of the IRS. Overall, the day provided a strong indication of the shifting winds within the Iowa Republican Party. Now if we just had some candidates to go along with it, but we’ll have more on that in the coming weeks. . .
» posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2011 at 11:20 am by Editor
The first look at Iowa’s possible new Congressional districts could hold promise for the freedom movement. Iowa’s declining population meant the loss of one seat in the House, meaning the duopoly-controlled Legislative Services Agency must propose realigned districts and the State Legislature must approve them. While its not likely that the first draft will survive the process, it seems pretty good for our cause.
Incumbent politicians win re-election something on the order of 90% of the time, and in Iowa, that number creeps higher. Despite polls showing high unfavorable ratings for Congress, Iowans returned all 5 Representatives and a Senator to Washington in 2010. And while Debt Culver was the first incumbent governor ever to lose re-election, he lost it to a man who served 4 prior terms. With Iowa losing a seat, it is a given that at least one incumbent will be defeated in 2012. If this map holds up, we may be able to rid ourselves of two.
Most promising for our movement is the new 4th District, roughly covering the northwest quadrant of the state. This will be a safe Republican district and would include both Republican incumbents – Steve King and Tom Latham. While both are pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to the freedom message, a heated primary would force them to reach out to independent-minded freedom voters. If it is a close race, votes from our movement could tip the scale to whoever offers us the best deal. If, as I suspect, Congressman King jumps out to an early lead, Latham would have to move to the top of the Nolan Chart to court us while King doubles down on his neoconservative base. The key will be staying non-committal in the early going. Many Republicans simply see small-government voters as their natural constituency and are baffled when we don’t support their entitlement expansions, wars of choice, or get excited about their budgetary silver bullets like shifting PBS funding to a Republican pet project. Whatever happens, in King vs. Latham, freedom Republicans can score a win if they play their cards right.
On the eastern side of the state, Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack are new neighbors in a relatively Democrat-leaning 1st District. This district swaps the Quad Cities for Cedar Rapids but otherwise looks similar to the old 1st. Braley was badly bruised in last fall’s contest. In fact, a Republican with Ben Lange’s money but Will Johnson’s message probably would have snuck away with a victory. A strong effort in the caucuses by either Ron Paul or Gary Johnson could give a freedom candidate a running start in 2012, but any Republican will have an uphill climb in this district with Barack Obama back on top of the ticket. Freedom voters might want to consider becoming “Democrats for a Day” and forcing either Braley or Loebsack to break ranks with his party and come out swinging against the Butcher of Benghazi’s warpath. Braley has a good start, as we reported last week, but he has a disturbing habit of saying the right things only to do a bait-and-switch when its time to cast the vote.
District 3 will be Leonard Boswell’s domain. Expect him to be a top Republican target again in 2012 as his district shifts south and west to include a lot of rural counties from Steve King Country in addition to Polk. The open Republican primary could be a good place to run a freedom candidate since whoever come out is likely to be viable in the fall. Freedom Senator Kent Sorenson doesn’t have a re-election to run for until 2014 and he’ll live in the new 3rd. Just sayin’.
The new District 2 may sleeper for our cause. There is no incumbent in this district, which now includes the Quad Cities (home of Iowans for Accountability, Super Liberty, and the Tea Party of the Quad Cities) along with libertarian Fairfield, and the University of Iowa. If we can somehow talk Clyde Cleveland into retiring early from his numerous business venture and running for Congress, the Justin Amash might just lose his title as second best member of the House. If the Republican nomination is out of reach, then this district might be a place where a Libertarian candidate could push for double figures in a 3 way race. In addition to Cleveland, Ed Noyes, Richard Campagna, Dr. Chris Peters, and Dustin Krutsinger all live here and have some seasoning from previous campaigns. The Democrats seem to be lining up Christie Vilsack to run in this seat if the plan holds up. Republicans won Scott County in 2010 and the national party might be willing to gamble some serious coin on this seat if they can rake in big money.
Back in the Army, we had a saying, Murphy’s Laws of Combat we called them. One of them was that no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy. So this plan may be destined to die on the legislature’s floor. But if it holds, things could be looking up – potentially way up – for the prospects of liberty in Iowa in 2012.
4 comments | filed under Uncategorized | tags: 1st District, 2nd District, 3rd District, 4th District, Bruce Braley, Clyde Cleveland, Dave Loebsack, Democrat Party, Libertarian Party, Redistricting, Republican Party, Steve King, Tom Latham
» posted on Sunday, August 1st, 2010 at 6:04 pm by Editor
While Iowa Freedom Report was crossing the state with Governor Gary Johnson and Our America, we weren’t the only group spreading political awareness amongst the 20,000 strong traveling circus of cycles.
Grassroots Cyclists – A group of drug policy reform advocates and cycling enthusiasts primarily from the Ames area teamed up to form the “Grassroots Cyclists.” They sported some sick custom-made jerseys emblazoned with a red cross superimposed over a pot leaf and the logos of NORML, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, and Americans for Safe Access. The team gave some welcome support to Governor Johnson’s efforts and passed out team coozies that ensured Iowa bikers will never again promote alcohol without also promoting health freedom.
Iowa Right to Life – Abortion opponents covered the route with their t-shirts and the risque new slogan “Repopulate Iowa – Feel Free to Reproduce.” Its great to see the life movement reach out beyond their religious base. Too many Christians forget that politics is not church and that biblical arguments go exactly nowhere when you’re not speaking to someone who shares a biblical worldview. However, if putting thousands of athletic young people together, cladding them in spandex shorts, and giving them virtually limitless access to alcohol isn’t enough inducement to unprotected sex, its hard to see how a florescent shirt is going to tip the scale.
Candidates – Several state and local candidates worked the route with their sign teams and mingled in the crowd. Notable among them was Democrat candidate in CD-4 Bill Maske. Maske passed out literature declaring a job to be a universal human right, as opposed to something one must earn by gaining an education or learning a skill useful to employers. Wow. The implications of that are so terrible that this editor had to cross check it with his website. While the “universal human right” language does not appear, he does literally praise the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates artificially low (ie, printing more money) in John McCain-like fashion. Then he follows his call for massive Huckabeen public works projects with a call for fiscal restraint at some undetermined point in the future. With wackos like this in the running, its becoming easier to see how Tom Latham can win easy reelection every year in a Democrat-dominated district.
Tim Pawlenty – The mainstream Republican Party’s next stuff shirt visited Iowa over the weekend to the fawning adulation of the mainstream media and partisan blogs. He did not ride RAGBRAI, let alone the whole route. Sheesh, this guy probably hasn’t even climbed Mount Everest. Next.
» posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 at 1:57 pm by Editor
Kent Sorenson is already idolized by Iowa’s libertarians, constitutionalists, and conservatives and now he could officially become the “Iowa Republican Idol.” Congressman Tom Latham from the 4th District is hosting a fundraiser through his leadership PAC For America’s Republican Majority (FARM PAC) that allows Iowans to vote for their favorite State House and State Senate candidates. The winner from each house of the legislature will receive a $5,000 donation from the PAC.
Sorenson and up-and-coming freedom candidate James Mills are among the Senate candidates competing. On the House side, Iowa Freedom Report recommended candidate Tom Shaw is an option, as is Campaign for Liberty leader Glenn Massie, and member Jason Schulz. Unfortunately, you’re only allowed to vote for one member of each house, so choose wisely liberty lovers.
After you’ve voted for your favorite Senate and House candidates, a third question lets you pick which potential Presidential candidate you like for the 2012 caucuses. Congressman Ron Paul and Governor Gary Johnson are both choices. It seems that there’s no money attached to the Presidential question, that it is just a straw poll. Like any straw poll, a good showing for the good doctor and/or the good governor would show Latham (or at least his staff) that the hearts of Iowa Republicans are after less government, not more.
The contest is open until August 31, so you have some time to think it over. There is no cost to participate, except that you have to give Mr. Latham your email address. I know that some people don’t like signing up for lists because of all the political spam, but many new email servers, including gMail have a new feature called a “delete” button that negates that concern. Make sure to vote for Iowa’s Republican Idol here.
» posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 1:36 pm by Editor
Just a few links to clean up from over the weekend. While Iowa Freedom Report was covering the 1st District Republican Convention in Dubuque, 4th District Republicans were gathering in Iowa Falls. The Iowa Republican has the story and the commenters on it tell about the fight for State Central Committee seats. From the freedom movement, AJ Spiker and Dr. Drew Ivers finished first and second in the voting. Both Spiker and Ivers are co-chairs of Iowa’s Campaign for Liberty, the state branch of Dr. Paul’s organization. Dr. Ivers has served on the Committee in the past and Spiker is the chair of the Story County Republican Party. America-first and gold standard advocate Linda Harrington from the John Cox campaign sought to run but lacked anyone to nominate her and caused a bit of ruckus when she tried interrupting the candidate speeches to nominate herself. That’s too bad, if Harrington was slightly better organized she could be a real asset to the movement. Back in 2008, she didn’t bother to formally court Ron Paul supporters during her bid for national committee woman, though most were pleasantly surprised at the last minute to find a woman of her convictions on their ballot and voted accordingly at the state convention. David Chung of Hawkeye GOP has the full list of the new Central Committee here.
In other news, self-described libertarian Republican Rob Gettemy released a video blog on the second amendment at his website.