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April 28th, 2013

Kevin’s Korner: Senate Scramble, Poohsack’s Pigford Pains and Drone Zone

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way. – Terry Goodkind

The coming week will be a pivotal one in Iowa’s 2014 U.S. Senate race. With Congress on recess, Steve King will spend the week here in the state. King told me Saturday that he will meet with family, friends and trusted advisors this week to weigh the pros and cons of mounting a senate run … I anticipate Congressman King will make a decision on whether or not to run very soon …

Rod Roberts is also weighing a decision on whether or not to run. There was this cryptic Facebook post on Tuesday

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The former state rep and 2010 gubernatorial candidate told me late in the week that he is “certainly considering” running for the U.S. Senate. Roberts’ interest would likely shake up the TIR Power Rankings

Perhaps so would the possible entry of David Young, the chief of staff for Senator Chuck Grassley. Young told that he is considering a run. Politico has more on the Van Meter native …

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I think Iowa Republicans have a strong field, whether that includes Steve King or not. Bruce Braley is not the moderate he’s desperately trying to portray. And he’s beatable … More on the U.S. Senate race tomorrow …

Vilsack Winnie Pooh

Those Iowa Dems hoping Tom Vilsack will run for governor next year need to take a long, hard look at this New York Times article … It details, at great length, the fraud-ridden Pigford settlements that Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, paid out with our tax dollars …

The Pigford payouts were supposed to go to black farmers who had been discriminated against. There is ample proof that Vilsack has given tons money not only to minority farmers who were never discriminated against, but also to minorities who never farmed

Conservatives, including Congressman King and Andrew Breitbart, have long investigated the Pigford scandal. Now the liberals’ favorite paper is onto it. That does not bode well for Tom Vilsack … This story has legs and will haunt any efforts by Vilsack in another run for office. It’s even more damaging than those Poohsack pictures …

Boston police

Following up on a key portion of last week’s Korner, Congressman King and state Rep. Tom Shaw delivered a smackdown to the Paulistinians criticizing the for their handling of the search for the Boston Marathon terrorists … King and Shaw were asked about it during a forum in Ft. Dodge on Saturday

Key quote, from Shaw: “There’s lots of things to be critical of government of and I know myself I’m critical many times. But when government does it right, we should be applauding them, not disparaging them. So I, myself, want to thank the Boston and Watertown Police.”

There is a troubling trend developing with Rand Paul. The fact that twice in a little over a month, he has had to do a major reconstruction on something he said shows that maybe Rand is not ready for prime time … First, he talked about there being “thousands of exceptions” to his Life at Conception bill …

Then this week he said, “I’ve never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

That was a puzzling statement coming from someone who spent 13 hours filibustering against drone use on American soil. Now Rand is claiming his words didn’t come out the way he meant them to … Fine. But this repeated backtracking is a problem for someone who wants to be our next president …

Here’s the big problem: Either Rand Paul doesn’t know where he really stands on the issues he claims to care about the most, or he has trouble defending those stances when challenged … The Bots have lots of work to do getting Rand ready for 2016.

Obama Planned Parenthood

There’s no confusion about President Obama’s stance on abortion. Last week, he became the first sitting president to address the Planned Parenthood national conference. Even worse, Obama actually said, “God bless you” to the nation’s largest abortion provider …

In the wake of the horrors of the Gosnell trial, the fact that Obama would make such a callous statement shows he has no regard for life. It’s a travesty that he is our president.

It would be nice if Iowa Republicans could finally make some movement on the life issue and at least manage to strip taxpayer funding of abortions and abortion providers. That would be one significant accomplishment in a legislative session that has accomplished next to nothing … Also, kudos to the 21 Iowa senators who signed on to Dennis Guth’s personhood bill. The gay marriage fight might be lost, but the more important battle for life is turning our way …

The Iowa Legislature is supposed to end its session this Friday, May 3. I don’t see any way possible for this to happen. Longtime observers of the goings on at the Capitol tell me this is the strangest legislative session they can remember. There is very little action … The two sides remain miles apart on several major bills and a solution in the next few days on education reform, the budget, tax reform and several others seems unlikely.

Debi Durham

There were already rumblings about the millions of $$$ in tax credits the Iowa Department Economic Development handed out to lure businesses like the fertilizer plant in Lee County to the state … Now, a WHO-TV investigation shows Debi Durham spent a whopping $73,000 in travel expenses in fiscal year 2012 …

Knowing that Governor Branstad travels on the cheap while on the campaign trail, I’m surprised he’s letting this kind of apparent overspending go on. I’m betting those expenses will be significantly lower over the next year and a half.

I’m generally not in favor of any particular groups receiving preferential treatment, but I’m glad to see the NYPD ban discrimination against redheads … It’s about time something looked out of the 2%. Even though we gingers have no souls

Finally, congrats to Jon “Bones” Jones, the pride of Iowa Central Community College in Ft. Dodge. Despite breaking his big toe in gruesome fashion during the fight, “Bones” obliterated Chael Sonnen last night to remain the UFC light heavyweight champion … Jones was the junior college national wrestling champion in 2006.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. However mean your life is, meet it and live it.- Thoreau

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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