July 21st, 2010

Republicans Need to Get Serious About the Secretary of State Race

It has been twelve years since a Republican occupied the Secretary of State’s office.   Chet Culver used the office as a platform to run for governor after two terms in office.  According to the Feds, he also used it to throw elaborate parties and misspend taxpayer dollars, but who gets worked up over things like that?

Republicans botched an opportunity to win back the seat in 2006.  Frankly we nominated the wrong guy, there was no focus on drafting an outstanding candidate to run in the first place, and then we left it up to the state central committee decide.  Face it, they would have problems ordering a pizza, so letting them select a statewide candidate is risky business.  Our eventual nominee was Mary Ann Hanusa.  She was solid but not phenomenal.  She also was dealt a bad hand in trying to build a campaign from scratch in less than four months.

Hanusa performed better than the top of the Republican ticket, a clear sign that Republicans could have won the seat had they taken the races seriously.  Now we are faced with knocking off the incumbent Secretary of State Mike Mauro.  Regardless of the current political environment, that’s going to be a tough task as it’s a rare occurrence to knock off an incumbent statewide office holder in this state.

Typically the only opportunity to pick up a seat like this is to wait until the incumbent retires or they decide to run for higher office.  The former is far more likely than the latter.  That is unless are a career local politician, like our current Secretary of State, Mike Mauro.

Mauro of course is a product of Des Moines’ south-side political machine.  He is also the brother of the infamous Polk County Supervisor John Mauro.  You may recognize his name from the CIETC fiasco.

Secretary of State Mauro is likely to spend the next 20 years occupying his office unless Republicans decide to do what it takes to knock him out.  Mauro will never be as vulnerable than he is this cycle as he is not well known, only held the office for one term, and is up for reelection is a bad year for Democrats.

If Republicans don’t use this opportunity to win the office, Iowa Democrats will have a friendly chief elections office in the state.  That’s a scary thought in any election, but especially so after all the Acorn B.S. and voter intimidation that as associated with Obama’s 2008 victory.

Fortunately, Republicans nominated a clean as a whistle Matt Schultz.  Schultz is a currently a Council Bluffs City Councilman.  During the primary he has proven himself to be smart, competent, and energetic.  Unlike 2006, Republican have nominated an outstanding candidate, now we just need to invest in his race.

If you still need a reason why this office matters, consider the following.

In 2006, when launching his bid for Secretary of State, Mauro told the Waterloo Courier “Everybody wants safety, security and integrity”.  Who doesn’t want that?  The problem for Mauro is that “safety, security and integrity” are not words that many would associate with his previous record.

As the Polk County Auditor in the late nineties, Mauro was investigated by the Feds for his alleged involvement of election fraud in his brother’s race for Polk County Supervisor.  I didn’t know that being investigated by the Feds brings “integrity” to the office.  No concrete evidence was found.  So like O.J., Mauro is completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

The Mauro’s publicly and proudly refer to the Polk County Democratic machine as “La Machina”.  It is not hard to imagine why someone who is so involved with partisan machine politics that could make Chicago blush would want to be in charge of elections for the entire state and not just Polk County.

According to a joint study by Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota, in 1992 Clinton carried 86% of convicted felons and 93% in 1996.  Perhaps that is why Mauro is opposed to repealing Governor Vilsack’s 2005 executive order restoring voting rights to convicted felons.  Vilsack signed it on a Friday afternoon after the press corps had gone home for the day.

In addition to walking in parades and posing for marathon pictures, Governor Culver’s idea to cut the fat out of government was to have everyone take a 10% pay cut.  Everyone except Lt. Governor Patty Judge, State Treasure Mike Fitzgerald and you guessed it, Secretary of State Mike Mauro didn’t think they should have to go with less.  I guess doing so would have forced Mauro to eliminate his daily lunches at Tumea’s on the south side.

From George Soros’ ACT, to Obama’s Alma Mater ACORN, to illegal aliens casting ballots, to people using fishing licenses as identification, we got elections issues. Seldom a day goes by without reading a news story about voter fraud.  Just recently we learned that enough felons voted illegally in Minnesota’s election that it could have altered the out come.

What has Mr. Mauro done to ensure Iowa’s elections are safe?  Nothing.

An interesting set of facts for a guy who so moved this humble klown with the words “Safety”, “Security”, and especially “Integrity.”

We can do better.  Get involved in Schultz’s race.

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About the Author

Krusty Konservative
Herschel Krustofski is the pseudonym for the anonymous author of Krusty Konservative, a blog which focuses on Iowa Politics. Created in February of 2006, Krusty Konservative is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the Iowa blogosphere. Since its conception, Krusty Konservative has never shied from tackling controversial issues, and providing insight to the inner workings of Republican politics in Iowa.

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