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November 20th, 2009

Roxanne and Her Special Interests

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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ConlinTIRThe month of November has been incredibly busy. With countless big news stories and major events taking place all over the state, it has been difficult to cover everything that has gone on. There have been a number of stories that need to be written. Some of these issues and events may still become stories on their own, but I feel like I’m getting a little backed up. So, before I forget where I’ve been this month, I figured I needed to at least mention them before my memory fails me. I hope you will indulge me with an opportunity to clear my desk by having a couple clean-up articles today.

How Can Roxanne Conlin “Take On” the Special Interest When She Uses a Prominent Member of a Special Interest Group in her Campaign Video?

Roxanne Conlin claims in her “announcement” YouTube video that, “Taking on the special interests has been the cause of my life.” Then, twelve seconds later, she is pictured with Jeremy Lewis, who is the Development Director for One Iowa.

This should come as no surprise given Conlin’s donor history. She has served as the President of one of the most liberal special interest groups in America – The American Trial Lawyer Association. She has also contributed tens-of-thousands of dollars to liberal special interest groups like the American Association of Justice (Trial Lawyers), the National Organization for Women, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and EMILY’s List.

In addition to her donor history, Conlin also filed an Amicus brief in the Iowa Supreme Court case Varnum vs. Brien. An amicus brief, which means ‘friend of the court” in Latin, offers the Court information on a point of law or some other aspect of the case to assist the court in deciding a matter before it. Conlin argued that Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

I don’t think anyone thinks that she would do anything other than promote the radical agenda of groups like One Iowa if she were ever to find herself inside the halls of Congress. It just seems ironic that she would attempt to frame the start of her campaign around her opposition to special interests. If there was a little more truth in political advertising, she would have said, “Financially supporting, and personally promoting liberal special interest groups has been the cause of my life.”

Iowans have grown accustomed to the reality that some campaign promises are eventually broken. By breaking a campaign promise only 12 seconds after it was made, Conlin may have set a new record.

One Iowa Staffer

Jeremy Lewis as he appears in the Conlin Video followed by his picture from the One Iowa announcement when he joined the staff.

Senate District 37 Race between Kent Sorenson and Staci Appel ramps-up

Appel Kicks off Event Campaign One Iowa Fundraiser

On Thursday, November 12th, liberal State Senator Staci Appel kicked off her re-election campaign with a fundraiser in Des Moines. The event was hosted by Mike Simonson, a Des Moines architect. Simonson is also an active member of One Iowa, a pro-gay marriage group. Simonson serves on the “kitchen cabinet” of One Iowa’s Campaign for Marriage Equality in Iowa. Ironically, it was One Iowa who speculated that Sorenson would be the first to make this race all about gay marriage when, in fact, it’s Senator Appel and One Iowa who are the single issue and wedge issue activists.

Sorenson Kicks off Campaign with Ron Paul and Tom Latham Rally/Fundraiser

Last Saturday, State Representative Kent Sorenson kicked off his State Senate campaign with over 400 people at the Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn. In all honesty, calling it a rally or a fundraiser isn’t quite accurate; it was more like a conservative convention starring Kent Sorenson.

The morning started off with Ron Paul having a discussion with a room of conservative leaders from across the state. Then there was a packed private reception for Sorenson with Ron Paul and Tom Latham. Finally, 400 people packed the ballroom for a rally style event. WHO Radio personality Steve Deace was the event’s emcee. Sorenson, Congressman Latham, and Congressman Ron Paul all addressed the audience.

The event was fascinating in the sense that it provided an example of how the Republican Party and Tea Party activist can coexist and come together to help elect principled, conservative candidates to office. While Sen. Appel’s event was obviously centered on the issue of gay marriage, Sorenson’s event covered a lot of topics. Sorenson even told the people in the audience that he understands that not everyone in the room probably agrees with him on the marriage issue, yet there are other issues that he cares deeply about that they do agree on, and he will work to advance those issues in the state senate.

Sorenson’s event was a huge success in that a bunch of people turned out on a Saturday morning to see both him and Ron Paul. I’m also told that the event was successful in raising a considerable amount of money for Sorenson’s campaign. Congressman Latham, who represents Sorenson’s district, was wise to attend the event. Latham railed against Nancy Pelosi and the Obama Administration for their bailout scheme, cap and trade, and the healthcare bill. The crowd ate it up.

Republican leaders need to look at this event and try to replicate it across the state. It was a tremendous showing of unity.

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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