News Center

August 2nd, 2013

National Media Flocking to FAMiLY Leader Event – The Friday Roundup

Media requests for the FAMiLY Leader’s Leadership Summit are pouring in.  With a line up that includes Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Iowa Caucus winner Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump, it’s no wonder that journalist are making another pilgrimage to Ames, Iowa.  Bob Vander Plaats told yesterday that the New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, NBC News, ABC News, and many more national media outlets will all be in Ames a week from Saturday to cover the event.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the FAMiLY Leadership Summit will be the political event of the year in Iowa.  The FAMiLY Leader has put together a great lineup of interesting and relevant speakers.  Regardless of whether you are a Bob Vander Plaats fan or not, there is no denying the event his organization has put together is top notch.

I’ve also been impressed with how Donald Trump has handled a couple of radio interviews about the event.  His interview with Steve Deace was excellent.  His interview with Van and Bonnie was entertaining.  I have seen him speak at a function like this before, and I left a little disappointed.  If he’s anything like he was on the radio with Deace, he’s going to exceed expectations.

Grassley trying to help the Iowa GOP raise money

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley has lent his name to a fundraising letter for the Republican Party of Iowa.  It is common for high-prolife elected officials to help raise money for state parties, but Grassley also sent out a letter asking larger donors to agree to meet individually with the Executive Director of the Iowa GOP, Steven Bierfeldt.

Grassley’s plea for donors to meet with Bierfeldt:

I’ve been impressed with the fundraising and cost cutting programs the Iowa GOP and its chairman, A.J. Spiker have put forth over the past few months.

In addition, under Chairman Spiker’s leadership the party has enacted several programs focused on winning local elections, building grassroots support and adhering to the conservative values and messaging our Republican Party has championed.

I also appreciated what I saw and heard when the Iowa GOP’s leadership briefed me on plans to retake the Iowa Legislature, re-elect Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, win Congressional races, and win this U.S. Senate seat for the Republican Party.

Because I know you share my conservative values and our desire to help Republicans win elections, I wanted you to be among the first people contacted by the Republican Party of Iowa to receive a private, in person briefing on their plans for the 2013-2014 election cycle.

The Republican Party of Iowa’s Executive Director Steven Bierfeldt will be in your area within the next few weeks.

I’d consider it a personal favor if you would take 15-20 minutes out of your schedule to allow Steven to brief you personally on the Iowa GOP’s important programs and relay the structure being put in place to keep the Iowa House, take back the Iowa Senate, and claim Iowan’s open U.S. Senate seat for the Republican Party.

A couple thoughts:

Bierfeldt has been the Executive of the Republican Party of Iowa since June of 2012.  It seems a little odd that Grassley needs to open doors for him more than a year after taking the job.

Wasn’t Iowa GOP Finance Director Drew Ivers supposed to be reaching out to major donors?  He’s been on the job since September of last year?

I don’t know what plans Grassley has seen, but the first step that the brain trust over  at 621 east Ninth Street should do is end all the speculation about Spiker, Ivers, or Co-Chairman David Fisher running for the U.S. Senate themselves.  You cannot honestly say that you are laying the groundwork to help Republicans win the U.S. Senate seat if you are openly considering running yourself.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy resigns to take job with Attorney General

This news came out of left field, but I’m never surprised when a legislator quits to take a job with state benefits.  It’s called cashing in.

What’s interesting is that I believe it means that McCarthy is angling to run for Attorney General sooner or later.  If Attorney General Tom Miller decides not to seek re-election in 2014 and McCarthy runs, it’s going to look kind of sleazy.

Even more interesting is what it means for Democrats in the Iowa House.  With Tyler Olsen running for governor and Pat Murphy running for Congress, it will be interesting to see who becomes the Democrat leader.  The likelihood that it’s going to be someone extremely liberal and out-of-step with most Iowans is very high.   The timing of this is helpful to Republicans as they are likely to have a change in leadership too.  The only difference is that Republicans have someone in place to ensure an easy transition.  The Democrats do not.

Last week I said that I thought Tyler Olsen should have run for Congress.  With this news, I think he should have stayed in the House and led his party.

Top Democrats Take a Pass at Running For Governor

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal announced this week that he will not be a candidate for Governor.  Senate President Pam Jochum also said that she isn’t going to run either.  Thus far, State Senator Jack Hatch and State Representative Tyler Olsen are the only two legitimate Democrats running.  The chances that either could knock off Governor Terry Branstad are very slim.

Actions of Larry Hedlund are Inappropriate

Fired Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation supervisor Larry Hedlund is a real piece of work.  After knowing that his job was in jeopardy, he squeals to the Des Moines Register that he’s being punished because he called the cops on Governor Branstad’s speeding Chevy Tahoe.  After making a huge ruckus, the State Trooper driving Branstad was ticketed and fined.  Unbeknownst to the trooper, Hedlund paid the ticket and got the Register to write another article about it.


I think it’s time for the folks at the Register to stop assisting Hedlund with his public relations campaign.  If he’s not going to release the 500-page complaint the state has compiled against him, then the Register should stop reporting on his every move.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus