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April 17th, 2011

KEVIN’S KORNER: Tea Party troubles, Branstad channels Sharpton, and Huck pardons Trump

Saturday’s Tax Day Tea Party rally at the State Capitol was, unfortunately, weak.  Mother Nature deserves most of the blame, as it was bitterly cold and windy…  There were 300 people there.  Maybe half of those stayed until the end…  The event had an overall feel of disorganization and suffered greatly from technical issues…  It was a sad departure from the first Tax Day rally, which had 4,000 attendees, beautiful weather, and came off without a hitch.

The best speech, by far, was Herman Cain’s.  That should come as no surprise to anyone who has heard him speak before.  And if you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to listen to this man.  It is very, very difficult not to like and be impressed with Cain.  It’s a shame many of the attendees left before Cain took the stage…  Tim Pawlenty also gave a good speech that was well received.  Unfortunately for T-Paw, two other speakers, Ralph Benko and Steve Deace, criticized him after he left…  More on T-Paw in a bit…

State rep Kim Pearson decided to use most of her allotted time at the Tax Day rally to attack her fellow GOP legislators.  It made me wonder…..if she dislikes the Republican Party so much, why is she a member of it?  … Since Pearson is opposed to a late term abortion ban, because it doesn’t ban all abortions, is she also opposed to Planks 1.07-1.14 of the RPI Platform? …  Pearson, standing near the front of the crowd, also felt the need to talk loudly during much of Herman Cain’s speech.

I wish Governor Branstad would have vetoed the first redistricting plan.  From the way our legislators voted, it looks like they approved of it as long as the map didn’t affect them directly.  A lot of them believe the second map could have been worse.  Yeah, and it could have been better, too…  In terms of the Congressional races, the big losers are the Democrats.  And they don’t even realize itTom Latham will move to the 3rd District and finally send the Grumpy Old Man packing.  Boswell won’t be able to run his ugly smear attacks against Latham, who will have more than enough money to counteract the liberal lies.

The redistricting puts Christie Vilsack in a real pickle.  I know, bad pun … She wants to run for something, because two taxpayer subsidized incomes in one home are much better than one …  Vilsack’s best chance would be to primary Dave Loebsack.  If she does that, the lefties get mad.  They want her to move to the 4th and run against Steve King.  If she does that, her political career dies a quick death.

My clandestine, ubiquitous informants tell me Donald Trump has been making personal phone calls to Iowa GOP leaders.  Looks like this could be more than just a publicity stunt…  Trump also recently met with 2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee.  Word is, The Donald ended the get together by telling The Huckster, “You’re fired”.  Huckabee replied, “You’re pardoned.”

What was the news Headline of the WeekThat’s easy: “Pawlenty announces presidential run, campaign denies it”…  In the same interview, T-Paw took a not so subtle shot at Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin.  He said Mitt Romney was the GOP frontrunner, then added, “And on the other end of the continuum, you’ll have perhaps Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, or I don’t know, maybe Hulk Hogan will get in the race too.  Who knows?  But I think in between those two things on the continuum, there’s a role for a serious person who has tackled these kinds of issues.”…

So, Palin and Bachmann aren’t serious people?  And you’re equating them to Hulk Hogan?  Dude, I’ve seen Palin and Bachmann in person.  As best as I can tell, neither of them are jacked up on steroids, balding, have orange skin, or end every sentence by saying “brother”…  On the other hand, I think “Real American” would be a perfect theme song for a Bachmann or Palin campaign…  Considering T-Paw is trying to court people who like Bachmann and Palin, he should be very careful with his dismissive remarks…  Stephen Colbert strikes comedy gold again.  Last week, it was T-Paw’s speech to the Iowa Federation of College Republicans.  This week, it’s Bob Vander Plaats and the Family LeaderClassic stuff!

Did Governor Branstad really play the race card while trying to salvage Isaiah McGee’s Senate confirmation?  Sadly, yes he did.  Here’s what Branstad told reporters this week:

Branstad: “I think it’s unfortunate that a minority person I’ve appointed is being attacked in this way.”

Reporter: “So he’s being attacked because he’s black?”

Branstad: “Well, he’s the only black department head that I’ve appointed.”….

Come on, Governor.  This is the kind of crap I expect from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, not from you… Isaiah McGee is a great guy who is very intelligent and I’m sure would have done a good job as head of the Iowa Human Rights Commission.  I’m sure he will land on his feet somewhere.

Finally, please do what you can to help the young family of our friend E.J. Infanger, a former Branstad and Romney staffer, who passed away last week.  A college fund has been set up for his two young boys, Hunter and Gage.  Every little bit helps.  You can make contributions here:

EJ Infanger Memorial Fund
c/o Wells Fargo Bank, NA
PO Box 578
Denison, IA 51442

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About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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