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June 21st, 2013

The Week in Review


Three Republicans may have formally launched their bid for the United States Senate, but it would be a stretch to say that any of them are actually candidates yet.

This week, Congressman Bruce Braley voted against a federal late term abortion ban that will outlaw most abortions after twenty weeks.  So what do our three U.S. Senate candidates have to say about this?  Apparently nothing.

Yes, we all know Congressman Braley is pro-choice, but following the Carhart fiasco here in Iowa for the past few years and more recently learning about the grotesque practices of Kermit Gosnell, Iowans deserve to know where exactly Braley stands on issues surrounding the abortion industry.  The ONLY ones who can force Braley to talk about these issues are those running against him.

Abortion is obviously a separator issue in the general election, but also in the Republican primary.  Social conservative tend to do well in primaries and caucuses in Iowa, so I’m stunned that NOBODY wants to champion this issue or take a swipe at Braley.  Quite frankly, there might not be a better time to talk about abortion issues than now, so taking a pass at the opportunity is a big mistake.

I’m not really surprised by the inaction from the field of U.S. Senate candidates.  None of them seem to know what a press release is.  You can talk until you are blue in the face at local GOP meetings, but if you really want to get your message out to people, you need to seize opportunities where you can use the media to talk to more people than typically attend a GOP county meeting.

When it comes to where our U.S. Senate candidates stand on the issues of the day, all I hear is crickets…

The New Neutral?

Chuck GrassleyOn June 4th, Senator Chuck Grassley told The Hill that he “wasn’t going to be involved in [the U.S. Senate] primary.”  That includes his former Chief of Staff David Young.  Grassley’s position didn’t catch many Iowans off guard, but his decision to headline a couple of fundraisers for Young in Washington D.C. later this month has them now scratching their heads.

The Des Moines Register reported that Grassley will be the special guest at a fundraiser for Young at an event held by the Recording Industry Association of America on June 26th, and at National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters the following day.

Sure, Grassley is just showing up at Young’s fundraising events, but appearance is everything in a town like Washington D.C.  Young’s entire campaign apparatus is also inundated with former staffers and consultants that have worked with Grassley in the past.  Furthermore, Grassley is lending Young a hand with the most difficult task a U.S. Senate candidate faces – fundraising.

Grassley told Des Moines Register reporter Jennifer Jacobs that he called to give Matt Whitaker a heads up about his upcoming appearance at Young’s DC fundraisers.

I wonder how that call went?  “Hey Matt, just wanted to let you know I’m going to headline a fundraiser for my former Chief of Staff at the offices of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign.  It’s no big deal. Nobody is going to think anything about it.  I’ll back whoever wins the primary.  See ya on the campaign trail!”

I think the only one that thinks Grassley is neutral in the U.S. Senate race is Chuck Grassley himself.

The Kleptocrat in the Kremlin

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 11.37.50 PMI used to love it when Steve Forbes would say, “kleptocrats in the Kremlin” on the campaign trail back in 1999.  Forbes was talking about the Russian government taking U.S. aid but not paying its government workers, but the saying now has a new meaning.

Apparently New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was in Russia a while back where he met Vladimir Putin.  Kraft took off his Super Bowl XXXIX ring to show Putin.  Putin, with the three imposing KGB agents around him, turned and walked out of the room, keeping the ring.

This story is fascinating on so many levels.  For years, Kraft has said that he gave the ring to Putin, but is now fessing up that it was stolen.  Even more crazy is that the Bush White House implored Kraft not to make a big deal over it given that Russian/U.S. relations were tense at the time.

A couple of more thoughts.

1. The last man on the face of this earth that I’d ever want to meet is Vladimir Putin.

2. I’m sure Putin hates America and everything she stands for, yet he can’t help but want to possess something truly American, a Super Bowl ring.  The liberals and libertarians tell us that the rest of the world despises us because of our involvement foreign affairs, but besides the radical Islamists, they loath America because we are the envy of the world.

The Des Moines Register’s Big Move

movedIf you didn’t know that the Des Moines Register has moved a few blocks north from it’s existing downtown location, you obviously don’t read the newspaper.  For months, the Register has documented their move to Capitol Square from their former downtown building.

The one thing that they failed to document is the reason why they are moving.  Sure, the updated space has to be a huge improvement, but who leaves a building that you own for leased office space?  Trust me, I’m not about to sell my house and start renting a place a couple blocks away no matter how nice it is.

While the Register owned it’s own building, they didn’t own the ground it was built upon.  The 100-year lease is about to expire and even though the tenant built the building that stands on the ground, the landowner holds every advantage in the negotiation.  So, the Register abandoned its building and will now attempt to sell it.  Good luck.  Who on earth would want to buy a structure and then have to work out a deal with the people who own the ground beneath it?

I find this all to be humorous.    I’m sure that a 100-year lease sounded like a good deal in the early 1900’s, but looks utterly stupid today.  Kind of like the Democrats wanting to expand Medicaid in the state because the federal government is temporarily picking up the tab.

This Register Employee Could Face $1,000 fine and Three Years in Prison

Screen shot 2013-06-16 at 11.45.14 AMIt was also nice to see that the Des Moines Register violated the law by using United States Postal Service containers to move some of their personal items to their new location.  Section 1707 of the U.S. Code states:

Whoever steals, purloins, or embezzles any property used by the Postal Service, or appropriates any such property to his own or any other than its proper use, or conveys away any such property to the hindrance or detriment of the public service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; but if the value of such property does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Purloins is an underused word…

Even thought there is a clear warning on every U.S. Postal Service mail tray that clearly says, “WARNING. MAXIMUM PENALITY FOR THEFT OR MISUSE OF POSTAL PROPERTY $1000 FINE AND 3 YEARS IMPRISIONMENT (18 USC 1707).” A Des Moines Register staffer just couldn’t refuse using the lightweight, yet sturdy corrugated box.Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 11.47.21 PM


Regardless of the fate of the staffer, it was nice of the Register to post some self-incriminating photos of the perpetrator in action.




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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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