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March 6th, 2009

The Treasurer of the Iowa Democrat Party wants to Primary Pro-Business Democrats

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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sagar-photoThis morning Ken Sager, the Treasurer of the Iowa Democrat Party, and President of the Iowa Federation of Labor told the six Iowa Democrats who voted against the prevailing wage legislation that the labor unions are unhappy with them. So unhappy, that he welcomes primary challenges against those individuals. The comments were made at a taping of Iowa Press which airs tonight on Iowa Public Television at 6:30 p.m.

Sager is identified as the Treasurer of the Iowa Democrat Party on campaign disclosures from obtained from the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

The following is a transcript of the exchange between Sagar and Mike Glover of the Associated Press and David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register during the taping of Iowa Press. Neither Yepsen or Glover, pointed out that Sagar is also an official with the Iowa Democrat Party.

Mike Glover of the Associated Press: “Mr. Sager, it wouldn’t be an official Iowa Press show if we didn’t spend a little time talking about politics. Your labor organization and other unions spent a lot of time, effort and money electing Democrats to the legislature. The Democrats in that legislature rejected the first major piece of labor legislation that came up this year. Are there going to be some primaries next year?”

Sager: “I think we’re clearly going to look closely at those people who’ve supported us and will look closely at some of the others. We’re trying to do an analysis to see where we have possibilities to do some positive things in terms of electing people who are going to support working families’ issues. We are going to start putting together some committees in some districts and I’m sure that as time goes by we’ll have longer list of districts…”

Glover: “So your message to people in the legislature is: ‘if you don’t support us, watch out.'”

Sager: “That’s always been labor’s message. The business community does the same thing. If you don’t support ABI’s proposals, they’ll find somebody to run against you. It shouldn’t be any surprise that the labor movement has the same philosophy with regard to our agenda.”

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register: “But Mr. Sager, a strategic question: Don’t you run the risk of weakening some of these Democratic incumbents. They’re called the six-pack — the six Democrats in the Iowa House of Representatives who have not gone along with you on prevailing wage. We’re talking about those legislators. If you primary them, aren’t you going to weaken them — enabling the Republicans to win in November?”

Sager: “That’s entirely possible.”

Yepsen: “And that doesn’t bother you?”

Sager: “No.”


The transcripts were obtained off of the Radio Iowa website.

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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