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March 2nd, 2010

Imagine! A New Executive Branch in 2010

Capitol DomeBy James M. Johnson

It is possible — not just hypothetical, but actually possible — that the Republican Party may seize control of the entire executive branch of the State of Iowa in next November’s election.

Nationally, polls indicate so much voter frustration over the incompetence of the Democratic Party, the election of 2010 may make the Revolution of ’94, which gave the GOP control over Congress for the first time in 40 years, look like last weekend’s pseudo-Tsunami compared to the one that hit Southeast Asia in 2005.

On the state level, the Republican Party already holds the Secretary of Agriculture seat in Bill Northey, and the State Auditor’s office in David Vaudt. But now, what was unthinkable just one year ago, is entirely possible: the GOP could take all four executive seats that are now held by Democrats: Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Attorney General.

So much has been said and written about the Republican primary race for Governor that I need not mention it in this column. Suffice it to say that it is ours to lose. But look at the other three executive offices, and ask yourself if Secretary Northey and Auditor Vaudt would appreciate some company at the State Capitol.

A New Chief Elections Officer

Imagine! Instead of a Secretary of State from the corrupt, union-dominated, thug-infested, vote-stealing, election-fixing Polk County Democratic Mafia, Iowans have the chance to elect to the position of chief elections officer, a man of integrity, honesty, and character. Either of the two announced Republicans would be a refreshing change, and a deliverance from the Dark Side:

First, George Eichhorn, a former three-term State Representative who chaired the CEITC investigation, and who helped exposed government corruption and $1.8 million of fraud;

And second, Matt Schultz, an attorney and two-term City Councilman from Council Bluffs, whose pro-business policies have made him one of the most notable up-and-comers in Western Iowa.

For Secretary of State, 2010 means out with the corrupt, machine style politics of union thugs, and in with a trustworthy, honorable, proven public servant.

A New Chief Financial Officer

Imagine! Instead of a State Treasurer who makes the State Auditor sound like a voice crying in the wilderness, “Repent! Before Iowa goes bankrupt!” voters have the chance to elect a man with a proven track record of competence and pro-growth ideals. Republicans have two choices:

First, Dave Jamison, a five-term Story County Treasurer who has served on the State Republican Central Committee and co-founded the Iowa Republican County Officials Association, which works to elect fiscally conservatives on the local level;

And second, Dr. Jim Heavens, a four-term Mayor of Dyersville, who has been a successful agribusinessman and nutritionist, and who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

For State Treasurer, 2010 means out with the silent and irrelevant office holder who has presided over a financial meltdown, and in with fresh, proven, competent leadership.

A New Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Imagine! Instead of an Attorney General who treats corporations like the enemy, and who has haunted the corridors of the Capitol since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, voters have the chance to elect a young, smart, energetic conservative as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

Brenna Findley has served as Chief of Staff for Iowa Congressman Steve King since 2003, and graduated from one of America’s top 10 law schools, the University of Chicago. Her pro-business stance will bring a refreshing change from the anti-business reputation that Iowa has suffered in recent decades.

For Attorney General, 2010 means out with the old, failed, anti-business policies of the Jimmy Carter era, and in with the new, energetic, business-savvy advocacy of someone who wants Iowa “Open for Business.”

Once again, Republicans need to ask themselves how much they have appreciated Bill Northey in the Secretary of Agriculture office and David Vaudt in the State Auditor’s office. To use a line from MasterCard, priceless. But taking these other three seats is priceless squared.

For the last year, GOP pundits, bloggers, and donors have had an inordinate fixation on Terrace Hill. Yes, it is important, I am not denying that. But it is not the only executive seat that Republicans must fight to win.

The offices of Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Attorney General are vital to Republican interests — both now, as a counter to the possibility the Democrats still may retain the legislature in 2010 — and in the future, as Republicans prepare for what will surely be a battle royal in 2014 and 2016, when neither Tom Harkin nor Chuck Grassley run for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

If Democrats lose all the executive seats in the Statehouse, and are only left with Mike Gronstal and Pat Murphy as their poster boys, then both U.S. Senate seats (as well as the Governorship in 2014) will fall to Republicans.

To take a page from the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, we must remember the Grand Strategy, and not just be fixated on who gets to live in the Victorian house on Grand Avenue.

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About the Author

James M. Johnson
James M. Johnson is the president of the Iowa Republican Assembly, which works to get constitutionally minded conservatives elected to leadership positions in the Republican Party, and to elective office on the local, state, and federal level. He has worked on over 50 political campaigns and holds an M.A. in public policy with a concentration in political communication.




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