My good friend, Doug Gross, is once again calling a top secret meeting of a bunch of know-nothing, washed up moderates. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, June 22nd in Des Moines. The topic of discussion will be the current field of gubernatorial candidates, as well as some other people who Doug has added to his ever growing list of potential candidates.
The following is Doug’s list he has been mailing out, and I have added my comments for your reading pleasure.
State Senator Jerry Behn: Behn has made no secret that he wants to run, and he has even enlisted the help of former Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Stewart Iverson to help open doors for him. Here is a little free advice Jerry, if you need Iverson to open doors for you, it’s not going well for you. I also probably wouldn’t ask him for advice when it comes to the platform of the Party.
Former Governor Terry Branstad: I think Doug’s $100k poll said that people think the Republican Party is “backwards looking.” How does dusting off TEB help us with that?
University of Dubuque President, Jeff Bullock: Jeff’s an interesting name, but not well known. He might make a hell of a Congressional candidate against Bruce Braley, but then again, he contributed money to Braley’s campaign. There goes that…
Russ Cross: Cross is a banker from Ames and has also led the Story County Republican Party. Cross’s wife runs Innova Ideas & Services, a marketing company based in Ames, Iowa.
Siouxland Chamber of Commerce President, Debbie Durham: Shared the ticket with Gross as his Lt. Governor candidate in 2002. Everything I hear is that she has no desire to throw her hat in the ring.
Christian Fong: Fong serves on the Generation Iowa Commission, and while that’s all fine and dandy, he has no business being on a list of potential gubernatorial candidate as of this moment. Plus, when will people heed my advice that, if you want to run for political office in the future or be appointed to serve as US Attorney, don’t blog. K’mon.
Former State Rep. Chuck Gipp: Gipp’s a class act, and would make one hell of a Lt. Governor candidate, but he lacks the fire and determination that is needed in a gubernatorial candidate. Look, there is a reason why the dude retired from the Iowa House and instead opted for a gig with the Soil Conservation Division. In this economy, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to build up their IPERS retirement benefits. You just better hope State Treasurer Fitzgerald doesn’t piss it all away…
Former State Senator Jeff Lamberti: Will he or won’t he? Public sentiment is currently saying no. People say he doesn’t have the fire in the belly for statewide campaign.
Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang: I like the Farm Bureau, except when they want to raise the gas tax. Lang also serves on the Board of Regents. While the Farm Bureau often times lines up and supports Republican candidates, Lang has done little to raise his name ID with the party faithful.
Mike Mahaffey: If this guy ever actually does run for office again, I’ll strip down to my underwear and run down the middle of Grand Avenue during rush hour. Like so many potential candidates, he has done little to help Republicans win statewide in the past, so it’s interesting to see someone like this emerge now.
Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley: The dude is running and is probably too socially conservative for Gross, which is good for McKinley.
Max Phillips: Max is the President of Qwest Communications for Iowa and South Dakota. Qwest is also where Teresa Wahlert spent the bulk of her career. Momma always told me, “If you don’t have anything snarky to say, don’t say anything at all, so maybe I should stop now. In all seriousness, Phillips is the chairman of the Iowa Business Council. That group represents the 22 largest businesses in the state. I have no clue where he is at on the issues, but his professional background seems impressive.
State Rep. Chris Rants: He’s running, and Gross doesn’t like the guy. Again, that is probably a good thing.
State Rep. Rod Roberts: Like Behn, Roberts’ says he’s probably running. It’s also unlikely that Gross would back Rep. Roberts. Again, that’s a good thing. Roberts has been showing up here and there, and has a lot of good qualities that people like in their political candidates. He just needs to find away to get better known across the state.
Bob Vander Plaats: Doug has publicly said they he is looking for a candidate to be the alternative to Vander Plaats. I’m sure that BVP is on the list so Doug can complain about all us Christians who need to quiet down and let the big squishes pilot the party.
Mike Whalen: Look, I’m a big fan of the Machine Shed so it’s difficult for me to speak ill of the guy. I also was told a while back that Whalen might be bringing one of his restaurants to the Altoona area. The more the better if you ask me. Look, as you know, I’ve spent a lot of time on Mike in 2006. He’s a good guy, but he’s not running. He told me so.
Teresa Wahlert: I wrote about her last week. Just read this to learn more about her. She’s Doug’s dream candidate, and if you are one of the other people included on Doug’s list, let me just let you in a one important detail. You will never stand up to Teresa Wahlert in the circles that Doug runs in. The only purpose of the meeting is for him to tell a few $500 donors that they need to unite behind Wahlert, because the current field of Vander Plaats, Rants, and McKinley are too representative of the base of the party.
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