There has been a lot of talk about how important it is for Republicans to win the special election in House District 90 on September 1st. There is no doubt that all eyes on are the GOP, but let’s not forget that this house seat has been held by the Democrats for a long time. Still, Iowa Republicans believe they have a winner in Stephen Burgmeier.
From all accounts, Burgmeier is an exceptional candidate. However his Democrat opponent, Curt Hanson, is running on a platform of cutting taxes, reducing spending, and creating jobs. It’s interesting that Hanson is running on an agenda that is contrary to that of the Democratic caucus that he wishes to join. House Democrats have made it clear that they want to raise taxes by eliminating federal deductibility, and despite a poor economy, they passed the largest budget in Iowa’s history.
We also shouldn’t forget about the four labor bills that House Democrats attempted to pass in the last legislative session. Those bills were defeated because there were six Democrats who opposed their party leadership on those bills. The most notable example of this was the vote on prevailing wage legislation.
If you recall, House Democrats were only able find 50 votes for the prevailing wage bill. If it hadn’t been for Rep. McKinley Bailey’s last minute change of heart, the bill would have passed, which would have put a huge financial burden on local and state government and paved the way for higher taxes.
By electing Stephen Burgmeier to the Iowa House, Republicans would be taking away another vote from the labor union’s agenda, which a majority of Iowans overwhelmingly reject. As we look to the 2010 legislative session, we cannot count on Rep. Bailey to continue to do the right thing at the last minute and vote against big labor’s agenda or the repeal of federal deductibility.
There is no doubt that Iowa Republicans have a lot riding on the special election in HD 90. Now that the Democratic tidal waves of 2006 and 2008 have receded, Republicans are able to operate in a much friendlier political environment. House District 90 has 770 more registered Democrats than Republicans; however, when Republicans are in the majority, they win in districts like HD 90.
A Republican victory on September 1st would give a tremendous boost to the fundraising efforts of House Republican Leader Rep. Kriag Paulsen. Not only would a victory put an early tally mark in the win column for Paulsen, but it would instill confidence in GOP donors that Paulsen is equipped to win races on Democrat controlled turf.
A Burgmeier victory would also help new Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn convince donors and activists that the change he has brought to the Party is working. The same can be said of Iowans for Tax Relief, which is calling the shots on the ground in the HD 90 race.
Iowa Republicans from across the state have flocked to the southern Iowa district to lend a hand in an effort to win the seat. Unlike general election State House campaigns, both political parties are doing all they can to be victorious on September 1st. With the full attention of Republican activists, the Republican Party of Iowa, Rep. Paulsen and his staff, and Iowans for Tax Relief, they will have nobody but themselves to blame if they are unable to win the special election in HD 90.
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