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February 3rd, 2013
 

Kevin’s Korner: Rove’s War on Steve King, Caucus Polling and the GOP vs. Gay Marriage

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.

The first 2016 Iowa Caucus poll is out. Three years early. It provides an interesting, but ultimately insignificant, snapshot of the race at this point … According to Harper Polling, Marco Rubio is the favorite right now in Iowa, at 26.5%. He’s followed by Paul Ryan 18%, Rick Santorum 13.5%, Rand Paul 12.5%, Chris Christie 12% and Scott Walker 2.5% … Keep your eyes on Not Sure. He scored an impressive 15% …  Rubio’s immigration plan has split conservative pundits. I’ll be curious to see how that effects his standing here once this all fleshes out …

Harper Polling is the same group that did the U.S. Senate poll last week, which showed Steve King as the favorite among Republicans, but Tom Latham as the most likely candidate to win in the general election …

Meanwhile, after completely failing in the 2012 campaign, despite spending over $300 million, former GOP whiz Karl Rove has a new group that plans to wage war against candidates they deem as “far right” and “Tea Party” … Their first target: Our very own Steve King

“We’re concerned about Steve King’s Todd Akin problem,” Stephen J. Law of the paradoxically named Conservative Victory Project told the New York Times … Memo to Rove and Law: Back the F offI agree King would have trouble winning a statewide general election, and I agree idiotic comments from Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock hurt the GOP last year, but this is Iowa!! … Steve King is beloved by Iowa conservatives and if you go to war with him, we will go to war with you …

Telling Steve King he can’t do something is also a surefire way to get him to prove you wrong. I’m sure people like me saying he can’t win a statewide general election was enough to rile up the good Congressman. But having a so-called “conservative” group spending big bucks to attack him is likely to spur King to fight back … And he’ll have a few hundred thousand Iowa Republicans fighting alongside him …

Here’s a better idea for Rove and Co.: Go after liberal blowhards like Geraldo Rivera, who wants to run for the U.S. Senate because he says the Republican Party is absent of pro-choice, pro-immigration voices … Geraldo, please tell me where the pro-life, anti-illegal immigration voices are in the national Democrat Party. Then go join them … Rivera is the worst news anchor of all-time and I am all for anything that would give him less TV time …

Back to our senate race, I do think Iowa Republicans need to be prepared in case both Tom Latham and Steve King decide not to run. That is a possibility… And no, I don’t consider Bob Vander Plaats a viable option. He has lost three GOP primaries. He could not win a statewide general election, especially one of this magnitude …

I would be interested to see some other names thrown into the mix, like Matt Schultz, Rod Roberts and Tom Brands … OK, not really Brands, but after Friday’s victory over top ranked Penn State, the Hawkeyes’ wrestling coach is the most popular man in Iowa City right now. And none of these other guys could win in Iowa City …

Biggest surprise of the week: It took Bob Vander Plaats more than 36 hours to respond to the Ken Mehlman/David Kochel event where they urged Republicans to accept gay marriage. I fully expected to read a press release from The Family Leader as I was walking back to my car after covering the event on Monday. Or at least when I woke up the next morning … It finally arrived on Wednesday

Mehlman and Kochel want us to believe that support of same-sex marriage is the “conservative” view. I would argue that it’s the libertarian view. Conservatism is not libertarianism, no matter how much the Paulistinians want us to believe that it is … Conservatives believe in small government, not zero government. Social conservatives also believe in traditional values. Supporting marriage between same-sex couples is not a traditional value …

Neither Mehlman nor Kochel focused much on the argument that hardcore opposition to gay marriage is a losing political issue. I think that’s a better argument for them to make, and one that I’m inclined to agree with … In 2014, any candidate that makes his opposition to gay marriage the centerpiece of his campaign is likely to lose everywhere except the deepest of red states. That’s just a fact. Public opinion is turning in favor of gay marriage … I’m not saying abandon your principles. I’m saying center your campaign on conservative issues you can win on …

Along those same lines, I will never understand why some of the most ardent opponents of gay marriage in Iowa put their support behind Ron Paul, a man who believes gay couples should be allowed to marry, can’t decide if homosexuality is a sin, and when asked about the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, said he would “defend that constitutionally” … Yet people who tried to impeach those same Supreme Court judges, because they felt they acted unconstitutionally, publicly endorsed Paul … Makes. No. Sense.

I bring up Ron Paul because it’s clear that the next step in Ron/Rand Paul campaign is to cozy up to the Vander Plaats crowd and convince them they’re on the same side. Sadly, there are some so-cons naïve enough to buy into the con job. A few already have …

A year and a half ago, State Senator Kent Sorenson would likely be one of those many Iowa Republicans  mentioned as a potential candidate for higher office. Now, not so much … There is a cloud looming over Sorenson and it’s growing darker …

The “stolen homeschooler list” lawsuit against Sorenson, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, et al., is moving forward after the judge in the case denied all the defendants’ motions to dismiss the suit … Former Bachmann presidential campaign staffer Barb Heki filed the suit, claiming Sorenson stole the list off her computer and the Bachmann presidential campaign let Heki take the fall after the homeschooler list was used illegally

Meanwhile, methinks something is brewing with the Iowa Senate ethics investigation into Sorenson. I contacted Senate Ethics Committee Chairman Wally Horn (D-Cedar Rapids) to ask if a complaint against Sorenson had been filed. Horn told me he could not discuss it … Translation: A complaint likely has been filed. Otherwise Horn would have simply said there’s no complaint … Of course, there’s also that FEC complaint Sorenson, Bachmann, et al., are dealing with

Time now for this week’s edition of “You Might Be a Paulistinian If…” Try to figure out the logic in this one … You might be a Paulistinian if this is your Facebook post: “We need to become a big tent party again by accepting all libertarians and pushing out all the neocons and RINOs.”

Remember how the Dems told us over and over again health insurance would be cheaper under Obamacare? They lied … I know. ShockingObama’s IRS estimates the cheapest family health insurance plan for 2016 will cost $20,000. Yes, I said cheapest … And if you don’t buy health insurance, you will be forced to pay a penalty of around $2,400

Basically, every claim the Dems made to push this monstrosity has now been proven false: lower premiums, smaller deficits and you can keep your current plan. Not true … Elections have consequences.

After President Obama claimed in an interview that he skeet shoots “all the time”, it took a week for the White House to produce a single picture of him doing so. They finally came up with one, supposedly from last August … Meanwhile, they have hundreds of pics of Obama playing basketball and golf … The White House also demanded that the picture be used for news purposes only and not be photoshopped. I complied. I did not photoshop this. That doesn’t mean somebody else didn’t. Voila:

My Super Bowl pick: Ratings will dip because all the non-football fans have already seen the new commercials on YouTube … Oh, and the 49ers over Ravens by 8.

Finally, I wish a belated, very happy 72nd birthday to David Kepler. The Hamilton County GOP activist is still dealing with medical issues after waging a hellacious battle with cancer last year. David and his wife Becky are wonderful people and great Republicans. I wish them nothing but the best.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. Man’s mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.

Photos 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 TheIowaRepublican.com.




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