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October 25th, 2013

The Des Moines Register Screws Up – The Friday Round Up

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Written by: Craig Robinson

Des Moines Register Prints Official Notice of Special Election AFTER Election

DMRBallotOn Tuesday night, the Des Moines Register published an article about Des Moines City Councilman Brian Meyer’s victory in the special election for Iowa House District 33.  Meyer, a Democrat easily defeated his Republican opponent.  Meyer will replace State Representative Kevin McCarthy who resigned after taking a position in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

What’s strange is that the Register published public notice of the special election from Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald on Wednesday, the day AFTER the special election. asked Fitzgerald what the heck happened.  Fitzgerald said, “The Register made an error on what date they should place it the paper.”

Wow.  Great job Des Moines Register.

Maybe the Register staff was too busy enjoying their swanky new offices.  Or maybe they were too busy pursuing blogs trying to find content for their paper.  I mean, after the whole Nancy Sebring scandal, they seem to have an uncontrollable sex drive.

On Wednesday, the same day they published the notice of the special election and sample ballot for the special election, the Register was busy “investigating” a report from about a University of Iowa teaching assistant who inadvertently emailed her class nude photos of herself from a cyber-sex chat.

No wonder the Register’s circulation is down.

Chris Christie – A Lock for Re-election, not the Republican Presidential Nomination

New Jersey Governor Chris Christy made news this week when he dropped his challenge against legalizing gay marriage in his state.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of time talking to reporters about how this will play in Iowa should he choose to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

From The Hill:

“It definitely hurts his chances in Iowa. This is the type of issue that you can’t say to a Republican activist that it just wasn’t worth fighting anymore. For a lot of people, this isn’t a political issue he’s given up on. This is a core fundamental religious issue,” said former Iowa Republican Party Political Director Craig Robinson. “I imagine they’re not going to have a ‘win Iowa’ strategy at the front of their campaign.”

From the L.A. Times:

“Everything he does makes perfect sense in New Jersey,” said Craig Robinson, editor of, a conservative blog in the state that has traditionally cast the first votes of the nominating process, in its precinct-level caucuses. “His problem is that what’s good for him in New Jersey isn’t necessarily going to help him in Iowa.”

While the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza believes “2013 has been a very good year for Chris Christie. And it’s going to get better.”  I don’t think it could get much worse if he’s serious about running for president.  The national media is infatuated with Christie because of his bombastic style, his willingness to cuddle with President Obama while chastising Republicans, and perhaps more importantly, his lack of a political soul.

Christie has flip-flopped on so many important issues in the last twelve months that he makes Mitt Romney look like a model of consistency.  Christie has caved on issues like immigration, gun control, and now marriage.  Why?  Because in each instance, he read the political tea leaves and changed his mind.

Polk County Annexes Waukee?

Well maybe, but only if Sam Clovis is elected to the U.S. Senate.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sam Clovis continues to release more and more names of county organizers and supporters.  His total is now up to 300 people, who represent 20 of the state’s 99 counties.  While looking over the list, I noticed that Clovis listed a couple from Waukee and said they were from Polk County.  Waukee entirely located in Dallas County.  Which means Clovis actually has public supporters in 21 counties.

Ten things about the Americans for Prosperity Debate

1. It wasn’t a debate. It was a forum.

de·bate noun \di-ˈbāt, dē-\: a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something.  There were no different opinions on anything Wednesday night.

fo·rum noun \ˈfȯr-əm\: a meeting at which a subject can be discussed.  That sounds more like it.

2. The candidates refused to challenge one another, which means all that voters are going to make up their minds based on style and appearance.  This is a huge advantage for Joni Ernst, as she is obviously different from the other candidates.

3. The “debate” looked very professional.  The folks at AFP should be commended for putting on a good-looking event.  I was also impressed that 400 people were in attendance.

4. There is no reason to ask all six candidates the same questions.  All the candidates can be asked a question about Obamacare, but listening to six different versions of the same answer was kind of boring.

5. Scott Schaben and Paul Lunde seem like nice enough guys but I could have done without their participation.  Six candidates is a lot, and let’s be honest, these two candidates are never going to break five percent on Election Day.  It’s never pleasant to exclude a candidate from participating in a debate or dinner, but “debates” should be reserved for serious candidates.

6. Americans for Prosperity does not support ethanol, wind, or farm subsidies, yet they didn’t ask the candidates any questions about those issues.  Why?  It would have been interesting to hear where the candidates stand on these issues.  We know where they all stand on Obamacare, an issues which was talked about at length.

7. If the debate format isn’t going to allow the candidates to mix it up with each other, then the debate moderators should ask the candidates direct questions, especially if a candidate has made conflicting statements in the past.  For example, Kathie Obradovich’s question was basically the same question she asked Whitaker a few months ago and the same question that he screwed up.  Maybe she should have just asked him about his inconsistencies on the issue.  The same goes for Ernst and the gas tax.

8. The AFP debate does nothing to change the Republican primary race.  I think the candidates got some debate practice, and that’s about it.

9.  I thought Clovis, Whitaker, and Ernst looked and sounded the best.  Clovis had more substance than the other two, but that was expected.  I think those three are probably the “winners” if I had to pick some.

10. I was shocked that more focus wasn’t given to Congressman Bruce Braley – not even a towel joke.




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.

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