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May 20th, 2012

Kevin’s Korner: Fundraising Fumbles, Zaun’s No Pawn, and Am I a Paulbot?

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. Common sense is so rare it should be classified a superpower.

I’m trying to make sense of the Republican Party of Iowa’s financial numbers. It’s not a pretty picture. Donors simply are not opening up their wallets for RPI …

Basically, fundraising plummeted as soon as A.J. Spiker took over the party. He was elected chairman on February 11. Here’s a look at RPI’s fundraising numbers for the year, according to FEC filings:

January $53,767.84
February $30,657.64
March $19,497.75
April $23,314.66

In April, RPI spent $71,124.24 while raising less than 1/3 that. I’m hearing the numbers for the first half of May are even worse … By comparison, RPI raised $54,876.91 in April 2011 and spent $63,880.87… The back-to-back low totals in March and April are the worst two month stretch, by far, since before Matt Strawn became chairman in early 2009 … The good news: RPI still has $432.535.02 cash on hand. The bad news: That will disappear quickly if things stay on their current track

RPI headquarters lost another tenant last week. They’re forcing the Polk County GOP to leave. On Wednesday, on their own accord, Governor Branstad’s team packed up all their files, computers, and, most upsettingly, their Swingline Stapler … No one’s threatening to burn down the building yet. Probably because RPI is figuratively in ashes already … Will Team Branstad’s departure cost RPI money? Probably. They made donations to RPI for much more than what the office space they used for storage was worth…

Although the Republican Party of Iowa is having major problems raising $$$, Republicans in Iowa are not. Congressman Steve King garnered more than $350,000 in the past six weeks and now holds more than $1 million cash on hand … King hits the campaign trail Monday morning, making 11 stops over three days, including the opening of the Ames Victory office Wednesday evening.

Congressman Tom Latham gets a fundraising boost this week from his buddy John Boehner, the U.S. Speaker of the House. Boehner is doing a breakfast fundraiser for Latham on Friday in Johnston. The cost is $100 per plate … Righteous bucks … This is one occasion where I hope Republicans bring plenty of pork, as in all-you-can-eat bacon and sausage.

Former congressional hopeful and current Iowa Senate Republican Whip Brad Zaun stepped into the state’s biggest primary battle when he endorsed House Representative Annette Sweeney over fellow Rep. Pat Grassley … Zaun, who has made a lot of bold moves and statements this year, made another one by going against Senator Chuck Grassley’s grandson … Usually Iowa Republicans bend over backwards to appease Grassley, like the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition did recently. Brad Zaun is not the appeasement type.

Governor Branstad is making some unwise statements lately. First, he’s using fuzzy math to claim his 200,000 new jobs creation pledge is on track. It isn’t … And he’s back to talking about raising the gas tax. The politics of even discussing this right now are unwise. If Branstad forces the gas tax increase through next year, he will have broken the pledge he made in the final GOP gubernatorial debate. People will remember that pledge and use it against him or his chosen successor in 2014.

Mitt Romney’s speech in Des Moines last week was one of the best he’s ever delivered. Granted, the bar is pretty low, but Romney sounded strong on Tuesday. His reimagining of the Obama administration taking over the cell phone industry was spot-on … By spot-on, I don’t mean on car roofs or dinner plates.

Regular readers of the Korner might be shocked by this, but apparently I’m a “potential Paulite”. Maybe you are too. Or are you a full-fledged Paulistinian? Take this quiz and find out for yourself … My personal favorite question is #12 … Yes, I agree with Ron Paul’s views on some things. But I will never turn to the dark side and become a full-fledged Paulistinian. At least, not without a lobotomy

Speaking of lobotomies, VP Joe Biden doesn’t blame West Virginia Dems for picking an inmate over Obama. Neither do I. Seriously, only a mental midget would vote for Obama…

From his grave, Andrew Breitbart continues to haunt the President. Breitbart uncovered a booklet published in 1991 by Obama’s literary agent. It clearly says he “was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” … I’ve always rejected the whole Birther thing, but this is an interesting development … Obama’s literary agent fell on her sword as claimed it was a “fact-checking error by me” …

I wonder what country Donald Trump’s hairpiece was born in … The King of the Birthers chooses his new Celebrity Apprentice tonight. I’m rooting for Arsenio, but I think Clay Aiken will win …  More importantly, who will “The Game of Thrones”? Only three episodes remain in season two of television’s best show. This program alone makes HBO worth the price.

That’s it for this week. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like an armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.

Photo by Dave Davidson,

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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