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June 24th, 2009

The Hypocrisy of Iowa Democrats

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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kiernanMichael Kiernan, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, is up in arms over comments that Ed Failor Jr., the President of Iowans for Tax Relief, made at a Flag Day event which was organized by the Boone County Republican Party. At the event, Failor compared the current economic actions and policies of the Democratic party to those of the Nazi party in Germany in the 1930’s.

This isn’t the first time that Failor, Jr. has compared Iowa Democrats to Nazis. After the Speaker of the Iowa House Pat Murphy removed the people from a public hearing on the repeal of federal deductibility, Failor said that Murphy had acted like a “jack-booted Nazi.”

In Failor’s defense, in the two times that he used the word “Nazi,” he was not insinuating that Democrats are advocating genocide or world domination. He instead was referring to the Nazis’ control of the manufacturing industry and their use of strong-arm tactics to silence their critics.

What is interesting about this most current saga is the hypocrisy of the new Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, Michael Kiernan. While Kiernan is personally offended by Failor’s use of the word “Nazi,” he has been silent over Democrat State Senator Jack Hatch’s use of the word “n—-r” on the floor of the Iowa House of Representatives during the legislative session.

Not a single newspaper would write the word that Sen. Hatch uttered to State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, yet every news outlet used the exact the word that Failor used. That shows the severity of Sen. Hatch’s comments compared to those of Failor, but Kiernan didn’t ask for Hatch to apologize. He didn’t publically denounce Hatch; he instead gave a silent endorsement of Hatch by not saying anything at all.

The actions of Chairman Kiernan, a Des Moines City Councilman, are shocking when compared to how the Iowa Democratic Party was run and handled under former chairman Mike Milligan. In the fall and winter of 2007, I had the opportunity to work alongside Milligan and his staff as we prepared for the 2008 First in the Nation Caucuses. The differences between the Republican Party and Democratic Party were shocking in terms of structure, philosophy, and professionalism. To be honest, after witnessing Milligan and his staff in action, one could start to understand why Iowa Republicans are not a majority party in this state.

However, when Milligan exited the Democratic Party, it seems as if that professionalism left with him. Many people were shocked to see Kiernan’s response to Chris Rants’ tweet that he was filing the necessary paperwork to run for governor.

Kiernan responded to Rants’ announcement by saying, “Chris Rants announced his candidacy today on Twitter. His tweet should have been, ‘I Oppose smoking ban, Power Fund, Pre-K and I-Jobs. Favor recession. Perfect candidate for Party of Nope.’This is my Twitter-worthy response: ‘Culver/Judge moving IA forward despite Bush-Rants recession. Busy wrkn 4 IA families. Happy 2 discuss w/Rants/Vander Plaats/whomever nxt yr.’”

That type of response is what you would expect from a politician or political party that is desperate for media attention, not a party that leads in voter registration, controls the governor’s office, and has majorities both chambers of the legislature. Maybe the reason for Kiernan’s reaction and hypocrisy is that he can feel it all starting to slip away.

Not only did Hatch utter a racial slur and get a pass from his party chairman, but the media also gave him a pass on the matter. Where was the media reaction when Sen. Hatch was selected to honor one of Iowa State University’s most distinguished alumni, George Washington Carver, a great African-American? Where was the media when America’s first African-American President appointed Sen. Hatch to an influential health care work group that will make recommendations to the Obama administration? And where is the media’s reaction to Hatch’s current trip to Algeria, where he is conducting a democracy training workshop on “Citizen Engagement” in conjunction with National Conference of State Legislatures?

That’s right, the media doesn’t seems to have a problem with Hatch’s racial slur and his apparent hypocrisy, but they instead have a field day over what Ed Failor, Jr. said at a GOP meeting. Americans expect more out of the news media, but sadly, the media continues to push its own political bias which has been on display lately.

Maybe Chairman Kiernan should make sure his own house is in order before lecturing morality to Iowa Republicans. As mentioned earlier, Kiernan has been silent on the Hatch incident, and he has been silent on Democrat State Representative Kerry Burt’s early morning OWI during the legislative session. And maybe before Chairman Kiernan demands that our Republican gubernatorial candidates denounce Failor, he should ask Democrat State Representative Dolores Mertz to return the $1000.00 PAC check she received from Iowans for Tax Relief before the last election.

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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