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April 30th, 2012

The Agony of an Iowa Democrat Convention

It has been an interesting year for GOP conventions in Iowa. Following plenty of chaos and shenanigans at Republican get togethers, I decided to see how the other half lives. Saturday morning, I ventured to Storm Lake for the Iowa Democrats’ Fourth District Convention.

Here are my thoughts, as they happened, upon my arrival in Storm Lake:

8:43 am I pull into the middle school parking lot where the convention is taking place. There are lots of cars plastered with Obama/liberal bumper stickers. I wonder which of my bumper stickers the Democrats will find more offensive: the Latham for Congress one or the one that simply says “LIFE”. My guess is the latter.

8:47 am Entering the building. Everyone here is very friendly. Lots of people say “Hi” as I walk past them. They probably wouldn’t if they knew who I am. A lady at the door offers me an Obama lapel sticker. “No thanks, I’m trying to quit,” I reply. She just stares blankly at me. I get that a lot.

8:49 am There is a lot of Christie Vilsack and Obama signage on display here. There were zero Romney signs or stickers of any kind at any of the GOP district conventions.

8:53 am I receive my guest badge and head into the cafeteria, where the convention will be held. There is an Obama propaganda film playing on a movie projector. It hypes his killing Bin Laden, “saving” GM, etc. There’s no mention that taxpayers lost at least $23.6 billion on the GM bailout.

8:56 am This is definitely an older crowd. 95 percent of those here at pushing 65. It looks like a Drake basketball crowd, or the early bird special at Perkins. Some think Republicans are the old folks party. Not judging from this group.

8:57 am Christie Vilsack is standing near the front of the room, near the podium. She’s not mingling with folks. Just chatting with a few of the higher-ups.

9:01 am Time to begin. They don’t seem in a hurry to convene.

9:05 am Ah. Now I understand the delay. They had to make sure the Obama indoctrination was complete. The propaganda film is over and they’re getting ready to gavel in. Thank goodness. I couldn’t take much more. Though I fear I’m about to be subjected to much worse.

9:06 am Tom Harrington from Story County is the temporary chair. He calls the convention to order.

9:07 am They’re starting with a DVD from Commie Tommy Harkin. He’s “not able to make it”. What a shock. I’m not sure Harkin could even locate Iowa on a map anymore.

9:07 am I notice Senator Bob Dvorsky’s boss, Sue (the Dem state chair) is here. Commie Tommy mentions Christie Vilsack. Dozens and dozens waken from their stupor and a golf clap breaks out. This crowd is as lively as an insurance seminar. I wonder if Ovaltine is on the lunch menu.

9:08 am Commie Tommy claims the country is being “dragged backward by a Tea Party-dominated GOP that has never been more narrow and extreme.” Yes, narrowly focused on ousting liberals and extremely P.O.’d about the massive debt Harkin and his friends are burdening future generations with.

9:10 am Harkin is done. Thankfully. We’re now doing the Pledge of Allegiance. I was wondering if these godless heathens would get to that. No prayer, of course. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone by praising our Creator.

9:12 am The chair announces they have only 160 seated delegates. 35 registered alternates. Weak. There are lots of empty seats.

9:13 am I’m seated at a middle-schoolers’ cafeteria table. It’s got those long benches on each side. Haven’t sat at one of these in a couple of decades. It makes me long for rubbery pizza and a half-pint of milk.

9:15 am The chair is comparing him self to Spanky from the Little Rascals. Where’s Tommy Boy when you need him?

9:17 am A Christie Vilsack campaign op just asked if I wanted an interview. She doesn’t realize TIR is not exactly friendly to The Abortion Queen. The aide asks if I’ve seen any other media. Nope. I guess they don’t find this debacle newsworthy.

9:19 am The chair says the platform committee “had a marathon meeting”, lasting 13-14 hours. I guess they couldn’t decide if they should just openly admit they support killing babies or just to keep calling it a “women’s health issue”. Coming up with a new name for “global warming” also took up a lot of time. “Climate change” hasn’t caught on. My suggestion? Call it what it is … weather.

9:21 am  “This election, you can’t go by the polls,” the chair proclaims to the delegates. “Things are gonna change in a few months and things are gonna start breaking our way.” Wow. I guess the country is all of a sudden going to decide the last four years were awesome.  He then admits the 4th is a conservative district. Gee, ya think?

9:22 am Credentials chair report: 200 people exactly seated as delegates. 43 alternates. Not as bad as earlier, but still several hundred short of every Republican convention last week. Granted, they didn’t have a presidential primary. Still, 200 is weak. The GOP 4th District Convention had 619 delegates.

9:24 am They are now addressing how to become a national delegate. No floor nominations. You need to have a petition with at least three signatures, and they must be turned in within 15 minutes. Delegates will be elected today. It’s safe to say, the Iowa Democrats’ system for choosing national delegates is much, much better than the Iowa Republicans’ convoluted process.

9:25 am Oh, joy. Sue Dvorsky, Senator Bob Dvorsky’s boss, is speaking. She’s planning on hitting all four district conventions today. I’ve got to admit, that’s a good move. RPI Chair A.J. Spiker was returning from RNC meetings in Arizona, and did not make it to any of our district conventions.

9:26 am “This district is an absolute wonder. We are so excited about this map,” Boss Dvorsky says. LOL. They’re looking at a 46,453 voter registration disadvantage and they’re excited about it. Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

9:27 am Dvorsky promises there will be umpteen trillion Obama campaign offices in Iowa. Then she calls Christie Vilsack “a rock star”.

9:28 am “The President will be able to win up here,” Boss Dvorsky says. Wanna bet on that one, Sue? He might win Iowa. He will not win the 4th District.

9:29 am Dvorsky praises her minute minority in the Iowa House, saying the 40 House Dems “outted” “the smallest, meanest, most vicious agenda” from Republicans.

9:30 am I’m flabbergasted. The chair of the Iowa Dems just launched one of the most laughable and ridiculous attacks ever against Iowa Republicans: “This group of people in there are promoting an agenda that is small and mean and vicious. If you have or had or love a child, they’re coming after four year olds to graduate students. If you breathe air or enjoy water, they’re coming after that. If you have or are an elderly parent and you’re worried about that, they’re coming for that.”

9:31 am Wow. “Republicans like to beat up old ladies and kick puppies” was next on her script, but she didn’t want to go too over the top.

9:31 am Dvorsky claims the entire state is “in play” in 2012. Hmmm… If the entire state is in play, why have Dvorsky and her minions so far failed to recruit a candidate in five senate districts and 16 house districts?

9:32 am “Last week, they just elected their delegates to a man who can’t be the nominee. It’s madness,” Dvorsky says. For the first, and probably last, time I agree with the Dem Chair.

9:33 am Senator Bob Dvorsky’s boss is done. My ears are bleeding.

9:35 am Tom Harrington is back on the mic. He wants to tell a story. It’s actually a joke, and a pretty good one. The gist of it is, the British wore red coats so when they were shot, the blood wouldn’t show. The French found out about it and from that day forward, they wore brown pants…

9:37 am Some hippie-looking dude is walking around with a mop. Rumor has it someone gagged during Dvorsky’s diatribe and the hippy is cleaning up the mess.

9:39 am Congressional hopeful Christie Vilsack is introduced. She’s excited that she got one vote today. The waitress who served her this morning is a registered Dem who just moved here and said she’d vote for her. Don’t get too excited, Mrs. Vilsack. You won’t get many more voters in this county.

9:40 am Vilsack’s saying a whole lot of nothing. What else is new. She refuses to take a stand on any issue. She won’t even answer if she would have voted for ObamaCare or the Civil Rights Act. The media has picked up on her Hillary Clintonesque ploy.

9:46 am “My reason for running for Congress is very clear,” she said. Then failed to make anything clear. Something about wanting to articulate to young people where the jobs are. I guess ain’t cutting it anymore.

9:48 am She’s now talking about how the 4th is the richest agricultural space in the world. Yeah. That has nothing to do with you or your hubby.

9:49 am Vilsack just promised to add more details soon. I can’t wait.

9:50 am She’s committed to finishing Highway 20. Pander, pander, pander.

9:52 am 13 minutes into the speech, she finally scores an applause line. Vilsack’s talking about females running for congress and promises they will “change Congress”.

9:53 am Wow. This is a long-winded speech. Now pushing 14 minutes of saying absolutely nothing.

9:54 am I just noticed another reporter. Print guy. Probably with the Storm Lake paper.

9:55 am She’s basically giving her life story. The potted plants posing as delegates look thrilled. Another applause line, mentioning how hubbie Tom got started in politics.

9:56 am She’s proud of “heading up two non-profits”. Doesn’t mention that one of them is the umbrella organization for all the abortion providers in the state. Why not? That would probably get another applause line from this crowd.

9:55 am “Steve King has represented 48 percent of this district, but I represented all of it.” Umm, Mrs. Carpetbagger, you’ve never held an elected office. And believe me, your pro-abortion values do not represent this district.

9:57 am Vilsack has now switched to attack mode. She repeats the constant Dem lie that King “has voted against Medicare”. He voted for the Ryan Bill “which will destroy Medicare in this country”. Another lie. “And Medicaid as well”. Her nose keeps growing.

9:58 am “I could go on and on and on about things that he hasn’t voted for,” Vilsack says. It’s called getting the government out of peoples lives. I know that’s a ridiculous concept for a pro-government liberal.

10:00 am Vilsack is wrapping up. Says she does intend to beat Steve King.

10:02 am They’re now passing a collection plate around. Tithe to the big government masters. The chair says all the funds will go to the Vilsack campaign. I guess all those checks from Nancy Pelosi and Planned Parenthood aren’t paying the bills.

10:03 am Well, I’ve had enough. An hour of the lib lunacy is about all I can stand. If I leave now I’ve got enough time to grab second breakfast at Hardee’s, then hit the road  home.

10:06 am Awesome. My car didn’t get egged. Latham and LIFE bumper stickers still in place. My Jeep and I survived the foray into liberal land.

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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