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July 8th, 2013

Catching Up After a Long 4th of July Weekend

Stop the Convention Talk

Last Friday, Roll Call published an article about the likelihood that the Republican nomination for the open U.S. Senate seat in Iowa will be determined at convention.  The article quotes an unidentified “top Iowa Republican operative” and nobody else.

The talk about a nominating convention is premature, especially considering that the primary is still eleven months away.  Yes, plenty of Republican office holders took a pass on running for the seat, which left us with what will likely be a large and ambiguous field of candidates, but that doesn’t increase the probability of a nominating convention.

Just because the field of candidates may soon swell to five or six candidates, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be that large come primary day.  The 2010 gubernatorial campaign had six Republican candidates prior to Branstad’s entrance into the race.  And while there isn’t a prominent figure like Branstad looming to enter the race, candidates who can’t muster support or marshal the financial resources necessary to wage an effective campaign may be forced to exit the race prematurely.

As the race currently stands, I don’t see how any candidate could garner 10 to 15 percent of the vote.  That means that a majority of primary voters are still out there to be won over.  As is always the case, the person who puts together and runs the best campaign is the most likely to win, which is the way it should be.

Tom Woods = Propagandist

Instead of reading the Roll Call article and determining that the viewpoint expressed therein is uninformed, Libertarian Tom Woods took to his website to declare that Iowa Republicans are worried that the libertarians will wreck our chances to win the U.S. Senate seat.

Woods writes:

With an open U.S. Senate seat now available in Iowa thanks to the retirement of Democrat Tom Harkin, Republicans there are scrambling to replace him with a business-as-usual, platitude-repeating, treat-us-like-we’re-7 neocon automaton. They are afraid, however, that the Ron Paul folks in charge of the state party will fasten a libertarian candidate on them. Such a candidate couldn’t win, they say. However, a candidate who repeats neocon talking points, supported the bailouts, and — if their track record is any indication — intends to change nothing will be super attractive to everyone.

Just a few observations from someone who’s actually from Iowa and follows Iowa politics.

1. The GOP primary electorate doesn’t have any desire to nomination a business-as-usual, platitude repeating, treat people like they are seven year-olds candidate.  This anti-establishment talk is completely unfounded since there isn’t even a candidate the so-called establishment wants to unite behind.

2. Mr. Woods would be wise to study up on recent events concerning the Iowa GOP.  Yes, his liberty loving friends are at the helm of the Republican Party of Iowa, but their influence and ability to replicate what they pulled off in 2012 from Ron Paul has been dramatically diminished.  A nominating convention would be messy, but anyone who thinks that that the Ron Paul/libertarians would dominant it is fooling themselves.

Mr. Woods is tremendous propagandist for the libertarian movement, but his knowledge and understanding of Iowa politics is limited.  He should stick to what he’s good at, writing books.

Iowa Democrats Hate Their Own Candidates

Waterloo State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic has formed an exploratory committee to run for Congress in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.  If Kajtazovic does run, she will have to defeat former House Speaker Pat Murphy in a primary next June.

Screen shot 2013-07-07 at 9.39.44 PM It seems that prominent Democrat blogger John Deeth is already on the Kajtazovic bandwagon.  On his Facebook page Deeth blasted Pat Murphy by calling him just another white dude, and taking issue with his leadership as Speaker of the House.

Deeth is not the first Democrat blogger to take issue with one of the Democrats seeking office in 2014.  DesMoinesDem, a blogger at the Bleeding Heartland blog, wrote a piece earlier this year stating that Brad Anderson, the Democrat candidate for Secretary of State, was a bad candidate based on his background.  Anderson is a former Obama staffer and political operative.

So, let’s see.  Deeth doesn’t like Murphy, and there are some other Democrats thinking about running in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.  DesMoinesDem doesn’t care for Anderson.  Does anyone like or care about Jack Hatch?  While Braley is already the defacto Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate, Iowa Democrats are not all that excited about him, and some don’t even know he’s running.

Not a good way to start an election cycle.

The Motorcycle Vote

Ernst HarleySources say that State Senator Joni Ernst’s entrance into the U.S. Senate race in imminent.  Since the legislative session ended, the talk of Ernst’s candidacy has died down.  Also since the end of session, four other Republicans have announced their candidacies.  Already Ernst has seen one of her areas of expertise be trumped by another candidate.  Having served 21 years in the US Army Reserves and the Iowa Army National Guard, it would seems likely that Ernst would be have a leg up on her competition when it comes to foreign policy and military issues.  Sam Clovis has never held public office, but his military background is not only extensive, but also impressive.

If that wasn’t bad enough for Ernst, now Matt Whitaker is going after the motorcycle vote.  Ernst, a Harley Davidson rider, posted a picture of herself on a Harley with a new Harley jacket her husband and daughter bought her for her birthday.  To celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary last week, it appears that Whitaker went out and bought a Harley.

Whitaker Harley

Only time will tell who wins the motorcycle vote.

4th of July Parades

The U.S. Senate primary may be in its infancy, but there will not be another round for 4th of July parades before the primary.

Joni Ernst walked with Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds in the Clear Lake parade.  She had a sign that said “Happy 4th of July” written in black magic marker.

Sam Clovis stayed close to home and participated in the Sioux City parade.

David Young walked in the Pella, Urbandale, and West Des Moines 4th of July parades.

It doesn’t look like Mark Jacobs or Matt Whitaker did any parades.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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