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November 7th, 2009

Republican Party of Iowa Event Live Feed

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Written by: Craig Robinson

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Watch the live feed of the event by clicking here.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is the featured speaker for tonight’s Republican Party of Iowa fall fundraiser. Pawlenty will share the stage with six Republican gubernatorial hopefuls, including former governor Terry Branstad, who will share the stage with his counterparts for the first time this election cycle.

What to look for…

Great Expectations:

Governor Terry Branstad is considered by many to be the front-runner in the race. Branstad held a rally at his campaign headquarters earlier this afternoon which was attended by more than 200 people. His communications director, Tim Allbrecht, said that all the people who attended the rally this afternoon were generated through new media and social networking. No phone calls or postcards were used to turn out people.

Branstad is probably the only candidate who will have to manage expectations. If he is able to excite the audience in front of the assembled media, the narrative that the Branstad campaign has been using will continue to spread and take hold in the media. If he falls short, his opponents and their allies will attack.

Friendly Fire

For the other gubernatorial candidates, tonight’s venue provides an opportunity to attack Branstad. Will Chris Rants continue to publicly question Branstad’s record? What about Bob Vander Plaats?

Will the campaign field winnow?

Events like these also provide an opportunity for candidates to bow out of the race gracefully. The best example of this would be when Mitt Romney used the CPAC stage to exit the presidential race. Rumors abound that some candidates are getting low on campaign funds. As campaigns run low on cash, the likelihood of candidates dropping out increases.

Update: Rod Blum

1st District Republican congressional candidate Rod Blum stopped by blogger’r row. Blum said the he is likely to kick off his campaign later this month. Blum is a real estate developer and is the CEO of a software company. Blum said that he will devote a significant amount of time to his campaign.

Update two:

Pat Bertroche – Candidate for 3rd Congressional District

Straight talker, physician

Straight forward. Will vote how he says he will. And will aks the people which direction he should go

Solution for healthcare

-none of the bills in congress offer true reform

Tort reform

Medication and device reform – too expensive to bring to market

Interstate competition for insurance companies

Costs of training doctors

We spend 2.5 time on alternative therapies

How do you feel about the 2nd amendment ?

– He’s all for it.

-Used to hunt.

-Ate what he killed

-with dear wasting disease, it’s too similar to mad cow, so he doesn’t want to eat it and he just shoots skeet

1000 foot rule as schools is stupid

-won’t stop criminals

-need others around to shoot the bad guy

County meetings – how are those going

-positive reaction to his campaign

-similar to Huckabee

-hitting Pizza Ranches

-Huckabee only had 2 or 3 people at his first pizza ranch visit

-Pat had 20 at that same Pizza Ranch

Even Dems are paying attention to his message
– Show quoted text –

-want a positive, responsible message

Not a politician – people find his approach refreshing

Chris Reed – Candidate for 2nd Congressional District

Were you pleased with your recent kickoff events?

-Pleasantly surprised at turnout in Ottumwa

You have a bigger entourage this time around?

Go after rural vote

Steve Burgmeier is on board and will help deliver that rural vote

-SB thinks CR’s conservative message will resonate

What kind of time are you going to have to put into the race?

-this is easier that a statewide race

-in business for 12 years, and have a great staff who can cover

-can’t be everywhere, but have volunteers in all counties who can be there and help out

Following the example of Tom Latham – modeling his campaign after TL’s , don’t reinvent the wheel

Matt Schultz – Candidate for Secretary of State

Currently a Council Bluffs city councilman

2nd term – 4th year – Attorney

Announcement focused on jobs – what can SOS do about jobs?

-has a bully pulpit who can be and advocate for business

-federal deductibility Mike Mauro should have been the first to say that would be bad for Iowa business

Matt has tried to make CB a business friendly community

What about voter fraud, same day voter registration, ACORN. What can be done to make sure vote is secure?

-photo ID – he supports it

-need to do that to get on a plane, pay with check at Hy-vee

-Same day registration need to be reformed

-should be cast as provisional ballots

-give candidate opportunity to challenge these in close races

30 married 3 kids, married 8 years

Young, but he’d put his resume against anyone

On city council, he cut taxes every year

Cut $1 mill form mayors budget

Update three:

6:05 p.m. Event kicks off

Crowd surprised with the loud rock tune: “Welcome to the Party”

4th District Central Comm. Member – Isaiah McGee – welcome

Pledge of Allegiance

Invocation – Pastor from Walnut Creek Church

“As goes the pulpit, so goes America”

6:11 – Video from State Auditor Dave Vaudt

-still calling attention to
-governor trying to muzzle the taxpayers’ watch dog with huge budget cuts

Vaudt: “In God we trust. Everyone else, we audit.”

-Huge roar from crowd

Video from Sec. of Ag. – Bill Northey

Introduction of Dignitaries
-County Central Committee members
-State Central Committee members
-Christopher Reed – 2nd Congressional District Candidate
-Pat Bertroche – 3rd Congressional District Candidate
-Dave Funk – 3rd Congressional District Candidate
-Dave Jamison – State Treasurer Candidate
-Matt Schultz – Sec. of State candidate
-George Eichorn – Sec. of State candidate

6:16 – Video from Congressman Latham
-In Washington getting ready to vote on Pelosi’s healthcare bill
-This is a government takeover of healthcare

6:20 – Video from Congressman King

-Working hard to stop Pelosi’s health bill
-crown jewel of liberal political agenda – federal funding of abortion
-cradle to grave socialism
-need to kill the healthcare bill with a “wooden stake through the heart”
-Dedicated to funding the military
-Obama needs to make a decision on Afganistan

Video from President of the Federation of College Repblicans

-Speaking on Behalf of Grassley
-Grassley goes to every corner of the state
-gets support of young people
-introduces live speech from Grassley

6:24 – Senator Grassley speaks

6:24 – Senator Grassley speaks

-“Tonight our common focus is leadership.  Tonight, we are looking forward.”

-“Enthusiasm is building in our party.” Victories in New Jersey and Virginia

-Discussing huge attendance at recent town hall meetings

-Iowans of all political stripes are scared of what’s going on in Washington, the legacy of debt we are leaving to our children

-He has longest streak of not missing a vote of any senator today.  – Applause

-Neither Pelosi nor Reid have focused on main street America.

-“Raising taxes, cutting medicare, and raising premiums is not the healthcare Americans are asking for.”

-Under Pelosi bill, you can go to jail for 5 years for not having the kind of healthcare the government is mandating.

-First time ever the federal government is saying you have to buy something.  Violation of 10th Amendment.

-GOP is not for the status quo, but we do not want a government takeover and a huge deficit

-free market forces should be unleashed

-tort reform

-buy insurance across state lines

-Congress has a choice between liberal 2000 page bill, or a more sensible 200 page bill.

-Do we want to grow government, or return to the era of personal responsibility?

-Quotes Barney Frank – crowd boos

-“Hope and change have brought Americans fear.”

-Next year, voters will get to choose between higher taxes or maintaining taxes, between a government that encroaches on every aspect of life, or a government that allows you to make decisions for yourselves.

-This meeting is about coming together and getting America back on track.

-Election is less than a year away.  We need to make a case for new leadership.

-“They want to redistribute wealth and take property without just compensation, and that is unconstitutional.”

-“I’m ready for the coming election and the debate that will pursue.”

-“We are ready, we are prepared, and we will win.”

6:40 – Chairman Strawn takes stage

-Iowa’s current first district representative was the author of the cash for clunkers program.  We need to take our candidate, Rod Blum, and trade in the clunker in Washington right now.

-Big victory in Ron Corbett’s mayoral victory in Cedar Rapids.

Turns to Culver

-generational debt thanks to Chet Culver

-leaders trust citizens to vote on marriage amendment

-tough budget times call for tough decision – across the board cuts were lazy

-Help is on the way.  Iowa’s GOP candidates will provide competent, principled leadership.

-Tim Pawlenty has provided that kind of leadership to our north.

-reformed schools, cut budget, lets his constituents purchase health insurance across state lines.

-vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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