April 11th, 2011

LOL: Obradovich Gives Latham Edge Over King In Primary

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Written by: Krusty Konservative
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If you ever needed proof that Kathie Obradovich, the political columnist for the Des Moines Register, doesn’t know jack about Iowa politics, just read her Sunday column.

Kathie weighs in on the potential, yet unlikely, primary battle between Congressman Steve King and Congressman Tom Latham.  Kathie writes, “If it came down to a two-man primary, I’d give Latham, of Ames, a slight edge. He has already represented 36 of the 39 counties. He’s been working hard at raising money, and he has access to lots more.”

Money does play a huge role in political campaigns, but sometimes it’s not a factor in primaries.  You would have to have your head in the sand for the last couple of years not to realize this.

Locally, Brad Zaun was outraised by a significant margin in the 3rd CD primary last year.  Zaun easily won that contest despite his fundraising disadvantage.  In Florida, Marco Rubio kicked the snot out of Charlie Crist who was well known and had as much money as he needed.

This same scenario would play out in a Latham/King primary.  King’s has closer ties to the activists in the counties, and that would pay huge dividends if a primary does happen.  I‘m not saying that Republicans don’t like Latham; I’m saying that King will have an advantage in the primary electorate.

OK, so Kathie obviously doesn’t understand the inner workings of partisan primaries, but she also gets her facts wrong.  Kathie writes, “King isn’t likely to move. He lives in Ida County, in the most heavily GOP area of the district. King’s frequent appearances on Fox News means he’s well-known outside his old district.”

Where to start?  Yes, King is unlikely to move.  Sure, being on Fox News helps, but King has built relationships and earned the respect of Republican activists over the last decade.  Iowa Republicans are not star-struck by King because he’s on Fox News they appreciate him because he’s one of them.  There is a HUGE difference.

Now the major error in that paragraph. “He lives in Ida County, in the most heavily GOP area of the district.”   What? King isn’t from Ida County he’s from Sac County.  The Des Moines Register’s redistricting tool clearly state’s that.

I get that King lives closer northwest Iowa, where conservatives dominate the political landscape, but Kathie’s argument is that Latham has represented more of the District.  I agree that King’s ideology is more in line with Republican activists all across the state, but it have nothing to do with where he lives.  Northwest Iowa is full of rock-ribbed conservatives that King will own.

Kathie also got it wrong about the proposed 3rd District.  Kathie writes, “Latham already represents Dallas County and is known in the Des Moines media market. But Boswell has represented much of the territory in the past, including the population center in Polk County, and is seen as a natural fit with the rural areas.”

Latham just didn’t represent Dallas County before his current district includes Dallas, Madison, and Warren.  Those are three of the six most populist counties in the proposed 3rd District.

Yes, Boswell has represented seven of the counties before, but besides Polk County, none of them have much population.  Plus, the six counties that Boswell represented before, Warren, Union, Ringgold, Taylor, and Page, have a significant Republican registered voter advantage when combined.  So outside of Polk, I don’t see where Boswell has any advantage.

I know that I’ve been tough on Kathie from time to time, but she’s gone from not being reformed to flat out wrong.  Instead of an editor, Kathie would benefit from a fact checker.

The Green Jacket

I bet Chet Culver really missed being the Governor of Iowa yesterday.  It had to be hard seeing another guy get to ride in a National Guard helicopter.  Via Twitter, I asked Branstad’s Communications Dude, Tim Albrecht, the Branstad was going to get a greet jacket.  I didn’t get a response.

I will say, that following Albrecht’ tweets, he seemed to share Culver’s excitement for helicopter rides.  Maybe he got the jacket.

Follow Me On Twitter

I’ve been blogging for five years now.  That’s a long time, and as you have noticed, I just don’t have it in me to blog five days a week anymore.  So you guys need to take what you get, but if you want more, you can follow me on Twitter @krustykon.

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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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