The Des Moines Register has an article today about Branstad’s inner circle. The title of the piece seems to indicate that Branstad has mixed in some new faces with his old crew. What a refreshing idea. The only problem is that the story goes on to focus on Doug Gross, Rich Schwarm, and Dave Roederer, the Iowa’s GOP’s longtime establishment troika.
The last thing I want to read about is how smart Doug Gross is. We know, he tells us all the time. I really don’t need Doug telling me little insights about his relationship with Branstad either. To be honest when Doug said, “If one of us grunts, we know what the other means,” all sorts of strange images popped up in my head.
I’m just thankful they didn’t talk about Roederer’s love affair with Project Destiny, the failed property tax scam that would have been a taxpayer bailout of companies like Principle Financial. Its people like Gross and Roederer who make people like me queasy about Branstad’s return to politics.
In addition to Branstad’s campaign manager and running mate, the only other new names that were mentioned in the article were Bruce Rastetter, Roger Underwood, and Teresa Wahlert. These are not new names. Rastetter and Underwood is a long time GOP donors, and Whalert is basically Gross’ political sister as both had strong connections to Marvin Pomerantz.
We all know that these people are involved in the campaign, so this article doesn’t tell us a damn thing. What I want to know is why didn’t the Branstad campaign want to promote any new faces that are involved in his 2010 campaign?
If it were up to me, I would have talked about people like, Carmine Boal, who help shape policy for the campaign. What about the business leaders who participated in his Vision 2020 Policy Conference? Who advises him on social issues, immigration policy, and other issues? I would be truly interested in stuff like that.
I think the Branstad campaign has actually done a good job of reaching out to get new people involved, but you wouldn’t know it by reading this article. Instead, we learned that Doug Gross and Terry Branstad know what each other means when they grunt. Awesome. Where is my absentee ballot.
After reading this article, this is the image I have of the Branstad troika.
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