News Center

October 4th, 2013

The Des Moines Register Gets In Bed With the Koch Brothers? – The Weekly Round Up

Americans for Prosperity announced that it would he holding a Republican primary debate for the U.S. Senate candidates on October 23rd at Drake University.  All of the announced candidates, Sam Clovis, Joni Ernst, Scott Schaben, Matt Whitaker, and David Young have agreed to participate.  Mark Jacobs, who is currently exploring the possibility of a U.S. Senate run of his own, will not participate.

The debate is being sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and the National Review, but also includes Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich.  Obradovich’s inclusion in the debate is interesting for a couple of reasons.  First, the Des Moines Register decries the use of “dark money” groups that the Koch brothers are notorious for funding.  Americans for Prosperity is the most prominent of the Koch backed groups.

Second, why did AFP choose Obradovich, who is a columnist, and not of the state’s political reporters?  Lee Newspaper’s Mike Wiser, James Lynch, and Ed Tibbits are all well respected reporters, and so too is Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson.  I just find it interesting that they chose a columnist from the Register, and that the Register would want to have one of their own participate in a Koch funded event.

If you are interested in attending the debate, tickets can be reserved at

The Shutdown

The government shutdown came at midnight on Monday, and I have yet to have it impact my life in any meaningful way.  When I woke up on Tuesday morning, the lights turned on, the kids who get on the school bus across the street from my house were still picked up, the traffic lights were operational as I drove around town, and my mail was even delivered.

While the liberal news media and Democrats all predicted Armageddon, life as most of us know it continues undeterred. Sure, I might not be able to view the October Quarterly campaign disclosures on October 15th, but that’s not a big deal.  I’ll live.  I know that there are 800,000 employees of the federal government who are currently not working, and while that is a hardship for them and their families, they are allowed to immediately file for unemployment benefits.

It’s really no different from when the Des Moines Register was furloughing their employees a couple of years ago.  None of them at the time were predicting doom for the paper.  In fact, they all now have swanky new offices in downtown Des Moines.  Yes, it creates a hardship, but there are safety nets.  Nobody is losing their benefits, and people every day in this country deal with difficult situations like the loss of a job.  Temporary work stoppages are not that big of deal in the grand scheme of things.

What the government shut down does show us is just how large and bloated the federal government has become.  Remember, it’s “non-essential” government employees that have been furloughed.  So let’s look at some of the non-essential government agencies.   This information is courtesy of the New York Times and ABC News.

NASA – 97 percent of its employees (18,134) have been furloughed.

EPA – 94 percent of its employees (16,205) have been furloughed.

Education – 94 percent of its employees (3,983) have been furloughed.

Commerce – 87 percent of its employees (46,420) have been furloughed.

Labor – 82 percent of its employees (16,304) have been furloughed.

The media always asks Republican candidates where they would cut government.  Well, the list above may be a good starting place.  I’m not saying we have to eliminate entire departments, but I think it’s safe to say they could be scaled back.

Some Air Support Sure Would be Nice

As stated above, the liberal media in this country are pounding Republicans over the government shutdown.  There are a number of groups such as the Heritage Foundation that have pressured Republicans to shut down the government.  Now that they have, it would be nice if these groups would lend a helping hand by running some ads that help communicate why this is necessary and what we hope to achieve.

The Heritage Foundation was in Des Moines this week raising money from Iowans to help fund their organization.  One would hope that money could find better uses than running TV and Radio ads against Republicans, which Jim DeMint’s Conservative Senate Fund was doing last week.  It’s one thing to play tough, it’s another thing to be stupid.  It’s time for conservative groups to help provide some air support to Republicans instead of friendly fire.  Last I checked, it’s the Democrat controlled Senate and White House that’s the ultimate inhibitor for conservative policies.  Maybe we should attack them…

Grassley vs. Harkin is like Night vs. Day

U.S. Senate Tom Harkin canceled his weekly press conference with Iowa reporters this week because of the government shutdown. A press aide told reporters, “Due to the funding lapse, Senator Harkin’s offices are now closed. Therefore, he will not host an Iowa media call this week. The call will resume when the lapse has ended.”

Harkin reversed his decision and decided to hold his weekly press conference, but the damage was already done.  It’s obvious that Harkin was attempting to politicize the shutdown.

Senator Grassley, on the other hand, tweeted, “Some Democrat Senators have sign on door ‘out of business/govt shutdown’ my office is open w skeleton staff according to law.”

I think it’s clear who the real statesman is.  Thank you Sen. Grassley.

The Des Moines Register Deserves a Participation Award

The self-congratulating from the Des Moines Register on being the “first to report” on the special investigator’s report regarding Kent Sorenson is obnoxious considering the fact that the Register barley lifted a finger in uncovering the scandal.

Publishing a report put together form a special investigator doesn’t require any skill.  It’s embarrassing to see them crow about their latest “accomplishment.”  It had to sting a little bit when they read the report, which repeatedly cited original reporting by

A.J. Spiker Has Friends in Low Places

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman A.J. Spiker has been purging longtime GOP activists and elected official from his personal Facebook page.  Spiker says that he’s removing his political contacts so that his personal page won’t be overrun by political nonsense.  I guess that makes sense, but it is kind of embarrassing that the Chairman of the Party only has 433 “likes” on his new political Facebook account.

While A.J. is purging Iowans from his personal Facebook page, Dimitri Kesari, the man who gave Kent Sorenson a check for $25,000 from his wife’s jewelry store to entice Sorenson to switch his allegiance from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul before the caucuses is still A.J.’s personal Facebook friend.  Interesting.

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 3.56.34 PM

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