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October 28th, 2011

Caucus Chronicles: Killing the Tax Code is Not Optional

These Optional Flat Taxes Need to Be Good Enough To “Kill” The Current Tax Code

Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are both promoting optional flat taxes. I think it’s great that we have candidates talking about fundamental tax reform in the current election cycle. In college, it was Steve Forbes flat’ tax that got me interested in politics. I joined his Iowa campaign after I graduated in 1999.

Needless to say, in my position as a campaign organizer, I heard Forbes talk about “pots of honey” and his flat tax more than most. However, another thing I remember Forbes saying is that the current tax code had to go. That is something I’m not hearing from Perry or Gingrich.

Forbes liked to say, “The only thing we can do with this hideous beast [the current tax code] is kill it, drive a stake through its heart, bury it, and hope it never rises again to terrorize the American people!”

The Forbes 1999 flat tax was optional just like Perry’s is, but Forbes believed that people would see the benefits of the flax tax, and it would ultimately render the old tax code obsolete. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Perry. Whenever Perry’s plan is criticized, his advisors like to remind people that it’s optional. That makes me believe that we are just going to park a new tax code next to the old one.

A different option would be great, but I would rather institute a flat tax that would make the existing code obsolete. Perry should take another page from Forbes and tell people that the current code needs to be taken out back and killed.

Santorum Continues to Hammer Herman Cain on Abortion

Rick Santorum is making sure that caucus goers are aware of Herman Cain’s position on abortion. Santorum’s campaign has wisely taken a number of Cain’s interviews on the subject and made them into a web video. The video also includes quotes from well known Iowa social conservative leaders like Steve Deace and Bob Vander Platts. is also mentioned in the web ad.

Santorum’s campaign also released a web ad featuring the candidate’s family, but it focuses mostly on his youngest daughter, Bella. The video clearly shows that Santorum lives by the words that he says on the campaign trail. In recent weeks, it seems like Santorum has decided to let people get to know a more personal side of him. It’s a strategy that could pay off. Santorum has been an attack dog in every debate thus far, opening himself up may allow him to attract more supporters.

Santorum is also scheduled to hit his 99th county next week, an accomplishment that no other candidate will likely achieve before the caucuses.

Right to Work – Perry attacks Romney’s “Flip-flop”

It’s interesting that, at the same time Governor Scott Walker was imploring Iowans to have the courage to take on public employee unions, Mitt Romney was in Ohio flip-flopping on the Right-to-Work issue.

The Perry campaign was quick to pounce.

Iowa – Campaign Chairman Bob Haus released the following statement:

“For almost 65 years, Iowa has been a proud right to work state. Gov. Romney’s flip-flops on right to work laws was just plain wrong. When presented with a chance to be a leader and to stand up for workers and taxpayers, he shrugged his shoulders and looked the other way. In doing so, he undercut what has been a cornerstone of Iowa’s economic growth and individual freedoms for the past 65 years. Gov. Romney may have shrugged off right to work protections, but Iowans took key note.”

Stat of the Week – Three

It took the Iowa Cain campaign three emails to get their own phone number right.

An email titled ”CORRECTED RSVP PHONE #” was followed up with “SERIOUSLY RIGHT #.”

The Cain campaign’s odd web ad that featured campaign manager Mark Block taking a drag from his hand-rolled cigarette generated a lot of attention this week

Here is the original followed by Jimmy Kimmel’s version:

David Letterman’s Take:

Here’s the Cain video they should have wanted people to be talking about:

Bachmann’s Iowa Campaign Looks Like Huckabee 2.0

Earlier this week Michele Bachmann announced that Eric Woolson would assume the role of her Iowa campaign manager. Woolson managed Huckabee’s 2008 campaign and Wes Enos, who also works for Bachmann, worked under Woolson on the Huckabee campaign.

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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