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June 16th, 2013

Kevin’s Korner: Branstad’s Sixth, Big Liberty’s Plan and Adios Marco

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. There’s nothing worse than a late blooming philosopher.

Is Edward Snowden a hero or villain? A patriot or a traitor? A whistleblower or a liar? Truth is, we don’t yet know. Let’s see how it plays out.

In case it wasn’t already completely obvious that Governor Branstad is running for reelection in 2014, it should be now … My clandestine, ubiquitous informants tell me Branstad’s campaign has hired Vonna Hall away from Republican Party of Iowa HQ to serve as the governor’s campaign scheduler. Hall is the last holdover at RPI from the pre-Spiker era. She was also the only non-Ron Paul campaign staffer on the payroll …

Even more proof Branstad is running: They have already rented out the same Urbandale campaign office that Congressman Latham and the Romney campaign used in 2012. The sizable space also incorporated the entire 2012 GOP Victory operation … (edited: Not the space Branstad used in 2010)

Only a total political opportunist would become his party’s chairman for a few months to use that position as a springboard for higher office. It looks like that’s exactly what Tyler Olson did. He resigned at IDP chair last week and apparently plans to run for governor … The Iowa Dems are desperately scrambling for a viable candidate after the Iowa poll showed Branstad thumping Jack Hatch 57%-28%. Olson ain’t it.

The GOP primary for the U.S. Senate race is heating up. Finally. I anticipate at least two more candidates will join the fray by mid-July, after the finance reporting deadlines. And they won’t be the last ones, either … The obligatory Paulistinian candidate will also eventually jump in. Likely Drew Ivers

Ivers with Paul

Big Liberty will coalesce behind one chosen candidate, like a good little cult, and hope no one surpasses the 35% threshold in the GOP primary. That would send the nomination to the state convention … That would set up the Paulistinians for another convention coup attempt … Except, it won’t work this time, because unlike the 2012 Iowa Caucus, other campaigns will actually organize their delegates …

It’s very easy to out-organize everyone else when you’re the only ones trying. It’s a different story now, as we’re seeing on the county central committee level all over the state

1st DEC

The circle is now complete. Iowa Republicans have formed District Executive Committees in all four Iowa congressional districts, without any of the meetings being called by Big Liberty’s Iowa headquarters …

The First DEC met in Cedar Falls on Saturday to elect officers. Marshall County Chairman Pete Rogers was named DEC chair. Benton County’s Tim Busch beat out Jim Conklin and Paulistinian Will Johnson for the co-chair slot. Conklin, a longtime Linn County activist, was named secretary …

Several people praised the efforts of Chelle and Scott Adkins for organizing the committee. Kudos. Plus Chelle is one of the few fellow East Carolina University alums in Iowa. So she’s OK in my book. And this is my book. Or column. Semantics.

Senator Grassley stuck the proverbial fork in Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential hopes by calling the Florida senator’s immigration views “naïve”. Grassley has led the good fight on immigration reform. He filed an amendment calling for border security first. Rubio was one of five Republican senators voting against it. Adios Marco


Meanwhile, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will boost his 2016 GOP primary prospects when he signs a bill requiring women to view an ultrasound of their baby before they get an abortion. This is good legislation that will save lives. Seeing an actual human being growing inside your belly is guaranteed to reverse some women’s decision to have an abortion …

Watching the lefties going apoplectic over this Wisconsin bill is hilarious. Whenever there’s legislation aimed at reducing or ending abortions, somehow that’s “extreme” in liberal land … Some people think crushing the skull of an innocent baby is extreme, but lefties have no problem with that … Fortunately, due in part to ultrasounds, the fight for life is turning against the liberals …

I have to laugh at the ridiculosity of people who refused to vote for Mitt Romney complaining that Barack Obama is the worst president ever. Only two men had a chance of winning the presidential election. If you didn’t vote for Romney, you helped Obama get elected, so you’re partly to blame for giving us the worst president ever. You look pretty ridiculous complaining about Obama now.


The Polk County GOP is holding the Second Annual Gov. Robert D. Ray Golf Outing on Monday, June 24 … Last year’s inaugural event was a big success, raising around $20,000, and this year should be even better. Governor Ray and several prominent Republican officials will be on hand. There’s still time to sign up a foursome or as an individual …

Let’s hope former Drake Bulldog football star Glenn Lott will not be playing in the outing. Or at least, not on my team …  A few weeks ago, Lott broke a golf club over his partner’s arm, then stabbed him with it. Allegedly … All over a disagreement on Lott’s score on the previous hole … Lott was a DB for the Bulldogs in the 1970s and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills …

ettore ewen

Another former Hawkeye state football player is garnering headlines in the world of professional wrestling. Former Iowa defensive lineman Ettore Ewen is a rising WWE star under the name Big E Langston

Big E Langston

Ewen‘s career at Iowa never amounted to much due to injuries, but he has done very well for himself in a short time in WWE. Ewen and his cohorts perform in Cedar Rapids at the U.S. Cellular Center on June 29.

Finally, I have a prayer request. My friend and former co-worker Tom Brand is dealing with the aftermath of a heart attack. Tom is the executive director of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters so plenty of Iowans are familiar with him. Tom is only 42 and has a wonderful family down in Missouri. He’s recovering in the hospital, but can use your help …

Tom Brandroadkill 2

A funny story about Tom: He bears a striking resemblance to a former wrestler with a ridiculous gimmick that went by the name Amish Roadkill. His entire vocabulary consisted of one word: “Chickens” … So, as an inside joke, mainly to amuse me, Tom would occasionally say “chickens” at random moments during his farm reports. God speed and quick recovery, my friend.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. Sometimes possession is an abstract concept.

Photo by Dave Davidson and Naomi Leinen

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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