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January 12th, 2014

Kevin’s Korner: Campaign Casting, Christie’s Collapse and a New Abortion Queen

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.

Despite a whirlwind of activity last week, the GOP field in both the Third Congressional District and the secretary of state race are far from settled. There remain several Republicans interested in running for these two very important seats that the GOP must hold in 2014. How it all shakes out in the next few weeks will be very interesting …

Former Secretary of State Paul Pate’s decision to run for the office again could keep some challengers out and has likely created concern amongst the Dems, whose chosen candidate is a partisan, ultra-liberal, campaign hack …  If Pate runs full throttle, he will be difficult to beat in a primary and a general election. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done

There are other Republicans who are considering entering the SoS race, including House Rep. Rob Taylor … Taylor is also pondering a congressional bid … Other potential SoS candidates include Brenna Findley and Rod Roberts. There are others, as well.

Brad Zaun plans to enter the Third CD race after the January 21 Iowa Caucuses. However, Zaun has already sent petition ballots to county chairs in the district, so his campaign can collect signatures at the caucuses. Smart move … Zaun is telling folks he will run a much different campaign this time and he learned from the mistakes he made in 2010 when Gollum Boswell slimed him in the general election …

Schultz family 2010

I put current Secretary of State Matt Schultz as the odds-on favorite in the congressional race, due to his name identity and popularity with the GOP base. However, Brad Zaun is a strong ground campaigner, Monte Shaw should not be underestimated and David Young could surprise us all … I expect there will be others that jump in

PE teacher and congressional wannabe Joe Grandanette seems to be under the incredibly deluded impression that his primary challenge is the reason Tom Latham plans to retire. That’s what Grandanette implied in response to TIR founder Craig Robinson’s analysis that Grandanette’s campaign is “futile” … Word on the street is, when asked about Grandanette’s claim, Latham’s staff replied: “Who in the blue hell is Joe Grandanette?”

Jake Chapman by Airhart

Freshman State Senator Jake Chapman is still weighing his options regarding the Third CD race and plans to make an announcement very soon. Chapman was just named the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. That’s an important position …

Sen. Chapman replaces fellow Senator Jack Whitver, who strongly considered a congressional bid, and is now the minority whip in the Iowa Senate. That makes him the second highest-ranking Republican in the senate, after Republican Leader Bill Dix … Both Chapman and Whitver are young and impressive public servants, and future stars in the Republican Party.

Whoever wins the 3rd CD primary is likely to take on, and defeat, ultra-liberal Staci Appel in November. Appel did a good job getting financial backing from the pro-abortion crowd, including Nancy Pelosi and the Abortion Queen Christie Vilsack

Much to the Des Moines Register’s chagrin, this means the Abortion Queen Vilsack won’t be running for Congress. They’re stuck trying to prop up Abortion Queen version 2 Staci Appel, who lost to Kent Sorenson by 18 points in a brutal 2010 state senate race.

Register Miller-Meeks

Contrary to what you might have read elsewhere, there was nothing “abrupt” about Mariannette Miller-Meeks resignation as Iowa public health director, and certainly has nothing to do with a Democrat-manufactured “scandal” about a food stamps comment. Anyone with common knowledge of Iowa politics knows Miller-Meeks has been considering another congressional bid for several months and her resignation is obviously the first step in that process.

Terry Branstad

There is a fantastic front page article in the most recent edition of Cityview covering Governor Branstad’s lengthy and unparalleled political career. It details Branstad’s amazing 18-0 electoral record and how time after time, Democrats think they’ll defeat Branstad with an ultra-liberal opponent. They’re doing it again this year.

Here’s the money paragraph from the article:

“The 2014 race is shaping up as a contest where Branstad will face Democrat Jack Hatch, who has already proposed increasing taxes, raising the minimum wage and more regulation of hog confinements. Hatch fits the failed Democratic gubernatorial model nearly perfectly — a liberal Des Moines politician proposing increased taxes and expanded government. A longtime Des Moines developer, Hatch is only one shady-looking real estate deal away from a newly-minted Branstad campaign bumper sticker.”

Branstad’s former chief of staff, Jeff Boeyink, appears on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning to discuss the Chris Christie bridge scandal. That’s not quite as prestigious as having a weekly segment on KCWI’sGreat Day”, but it’s a big honor for Boeyink … That’s sarcasm, for those of you in Lee County.

chris christie steve king (159)

The media’s supposed GOP presidential frontrunner for 2016, Chris Christie, has major problems with the bridge scandal in Jersey. This is a very serious issue. Investigations and lawsuits are flying and if proof is unearthed that Christie had knowledge of, or a role in, the bridge shutdowns that snarled traffic and were done as political retribution, then the New Jersey governor could be finished politically …

Governor Christie did the right thing by canning those directly involved and addressing the scandal at length, but this is far from over …

Of course, the IRS targeting President Obama’s political enemies is a very serious issue too, but you wouldn’t know that from the mainstream media. The big three networks alone devoted 17 times more coverage to the Christie in one day, one day, than they devoted to the IRS scandal in six months, according to an MRC analysis …


Speaking of Obama scandals, he has finally fired the Obamacare website contractor. The $678 million deal was given to an old college buddy of Obama’s via a no-bid contract. continues to flounder, as does this entire disastrous piece of legislation …

Those 16,000 Iowans who were told they needed to sign up for insurance again, after already going through the arduous process once, are still without coverage because the feds are still incapable of transferring the necessary data to the Iowa DHS. Pathetic.

Finally, pro-lifers have plenty of opportunities to support the cause this month. March for Life time is rapidly approaching. Next Sunday Saturday , January 18, Iowa Right to Life holds the second annual Midwest March for Life, beginning at 11 am at the State Capitol … The third annual Siouxland March for Life takes place next Saturday, January 18. It starts at Cornerstone Church in Sioux City … The 41st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. takes place Wednesday, January 22. … Click the hyperlinks for more details.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.

Photos by Dave Davidson, and Chad Airhart

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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