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November 18th, 2012
 

Kevin’s Korner: Branstad’s Sixth, Romney’s Gifts and Union Lunacy

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together.

It is becoming obvious that Terry Branstad is planning to run for an unprecedented sixth term as Iowa’s governor. If he succeeds, Branstad will become the longest serving governor in U.S. history … Doug Gross, one of Branstad’s closest advisors, publicly stated he thinks Branstad will run. That’s enough confirmation for me …

Another sign he’s gearing up for another run: Branstad’s campaign committee has held two very successful fundraisers during the past 31 days … With Florida Senator Marco Rubio as the headliner, Branstad raised more than $600,000 on Saturday at his Second Annual 65th Birthday BashGreat name for the event, BTW … The 600 grand is a new record for the five-term governor for one event …

The mood at the event was interesting. Iowa Republicans clearly want to put the November elections behind them, but are having a hard time doing so … Everyone I spoke to had a theory on what went wrong … The moderates think we need to tone down the abortion and gay marriage rhetoric. The so-cons think we need to ramp it up. The libertarians think we need to bow at the Ronulan altar

They’re all wrong. As I said last week, we got beat organizationally and on messaging. Period. We simply need to learn from this butt-whuppin’ and do better next time …

Conspicuous by their absence at Governor Branstad’s birthday bash: RPI Chairman A.J. Spiker, Executive Director Steve Bierfeldt, Finance Chair Drew Ivers and all other members of the Paulistinian wing of the RPI/SCC … At least, as best as I could tell … And yes, their absence was noticed by others … You’ll recall, Ivers said it was his goal to go after the big money donors to boost RPI’s fundraising numbers. Well, they were all in one place Saturday evening … Opportunity missed …

Also interesting to note that former RPI Chairman Matt Strawn and his wife were in attendance and served on the “birthday committee” for the event, which means they helped both financially and organizationally … Much more on the event and Marco Rubio’s speech tomorrow here on TIR.

Branstad and the AFSCME union have begun negotiating new contracts for state employees … Remember, as he was leaving office following an electoral trouncing and while our economy was severely struggling, Debt Culver saddled Iowans with more debt by giving huge pay increases to his union cronies. Now, the unions are asking for $122 million more in 2014 and $159 million more in 2015

Unions themselves are not the problem. Greedy union leaders are. Like the ones that just cost 18,500 workers at Hostess their jobs and might be depriving our children and grandchildren the exquisite joys of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Wonderbread … A plague on all your houses!!

Branstad, Rubio and other prominent Republicans are wisely backing away from Mitt Romney’sgifts” comment. Politically, that is the wise thing to do. Personally, they likely agree at least somewhat with what Romney said … There is no doubt that President Obama pandered to key constituencies to secure their vote …

Obama’s gay marriage flip-flop, his unconstitutional directive to basically grant amnesty to young Hispanics, his forgiving interest on college loans and, of course, all the goodies he placed in Obamacare were geared toward making sure his base turned out on Election Day. Mission accomplished … Of course, Obama could have accomplished immigration reform anytime during his first two years in office since the Dems controlled Congress. He made no attempt until it was time for reelection … The “gifts” weren’t the only reason Obama won, but the blatant pandering certainly helped …

While Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal denounced Romney’s comments, he also made two excellent points: “One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote … And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education.”

Did you know that it’s both racist and sexist to criticize Susan Rice for lying to the American people? Of course it isRule #1 in the Democrat Playbook: When you have done something that is clearly indefensible, it is time to play the race card, the sexist card or both, as the Congressional Black Caucus is doing …

President Obama, to a lesser degree, is also playing the sexist card, saying Republicans should criticize him, not Rice, who is potentially his next Secretary of State … OK, Barack. We’ll play. There are numerous questions about Benghazi that you need to answer. Here are my top five:

(1) Why did you send your ambassador on every Sunday news show to deliberately lie to the American people?

(2) The CIA admitted that they knew immediately the Benghazi attack was done by terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda, and wasn’t a response to some video. When did you know?

(3) Why were we told differently for two weeks?

(4) Why was any mention of Al Qaeda stricken from the reports?

(5) Why did your state department decrease security in Libya when Ambassador Stevens repeatedly asked for increased security?

John McCain didn’t exactly have a stellar week pressing the Benghazi issue. While he did capably smack down a reporter, he missed a senate briefing on the Benghazi attacks to conduct that press conference … His scheduler is likely sending out resumes at this very moment.

Ron Paul delivered his farewell speech to Congress last week. He discussed his 23 years in office, spanning a 36-year period, during the 48-minute diatribe … 4.8 seconds were spent listing all of his legislative achievements …

Lighten up, Francis. I’m just teasing … Paul does make some excellent points in the speech … So go ahead, Paulistinians. Put on your tinfoil hats, grab your Ron Paul-logo emblazoned bong and chant along with “liberty” lovers everywhere:

Speaking of those who have lost it, is Kirk Ferentz cracking under pressure? … With his team staring at a losing season, talk continues to swirl among spoiled Hawkeye fans that Captain Kirk should be beamed out of Iowa City … Ferentz is not a happy man these days. The usually mild-mannered coach is doing his best John McCain impersonation and lashing out at reporters …

Personally, I think the Hawkeye fans need to chill. Ferentz deserves the benefit of the doubt. There is some good young talent on that team and this is his youngest squad ever. I think people should be patient and see what another year brings … Besides, you can’t afford to buyout his contract …

How bad have things gotten for Hawkeye fans? They were ecstatic about the basketball team’s come from behind victory Saturday over that hoops powerhouse Gardner-Webb … Yes, that is a school, not an accounting firm …  And yes, they were down 20 points at halftime, but come on. Gardner-Webb? That comeback would be impressive if it was against a team that had reached the NCAA Tournament recently … Or ever …

Meanwhile, congrats to the Iowa State Cyclones. Bowl bound and loving it, with a chance at some major national recognition this Friday when they host West Virginia in a game televised by ABC.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for dropping by the Korner. The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.

Photos by Dave Davidson, Trudy Caviness


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 TheIowaRepublican.com.




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