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February 2nd, 2014

Kevin’s Korner: RPI Goes Carrolling, Clovis Smacks BVP and Obamacare Exposed

Greetings, happy Groundhog Day and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. If that rodent predicts six more weeks of winter, I will drive to Pennsylvania and make Punxsatawney Phil into Punxsatawney fur. I’m not kidding. I’ve had it with this winter crap.

The election of Danny Carroll as the new RPI co-chair changes nothing. Carroll is a divisive figure in the Republican Party and I heard nothing yesterday that convinced me that will change … He will not mend fences with disaffected Republicans, help Big Liberty hold onto power or help RPI’s woeful fundraising …

Yes, I said woeful. While not as bad as the November report, when they raised only $5,500 and spent $45,000, the December report is still bad news … In their federal account, the one that really matters, RPI raised only $30,216 while spending $46,211

The Republican Party of Iowa is down to just $169,000 cash on hand heading into a very important election year. They started 2013 with $295,000 … RPI spent $126,000 more than they raised in 2013. And $110,000 of the money they “raised” is actually a postal service refund to the RNC, which state parties got to keep …

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B…bu..but..what about that big Ron Paul-RPI Christmas moneybomb in Texas? That’s where almost all the December money raised comes from. 20 donors from Texas, along with $6,000 from Matt Whitaker’s campaign and $3,000 from David Young’s.

BTW, longtime SCC member Gopal Krishna, who was the only one who did not vote in the co-chair election, is out of the country in India. Efforts to reach him were apparently unsuccessful …

If Krishna had voted by proxy, as several others did, he likely would have sided with Eric Rosenthal, making the vote a 9-9 tie. Chairman A.J. Spiker would have then been forced to cast the deciding vote … Instead, it went 9-8 for Danny Carroll.


Former presidential contender Steve Forbes returns to Iowa Thursday, March 20. The runner-up in the 2000 Iowa Caucus will headline the Polk County GOP’s annual spring dinner. Details are still being finalized. This should be another good event for the Polk GOP. Forbes remains very popular among Iowa conservatives.

An Iowa House subcommittee unanimously passed a gas tax increase last week. The three Republicans on the committee, Josh Byrnes (Osage), Brian Moore (Bellevue) and Gary Worthan (Storm Lake) are apparently tone deaf to the fact that a tax increase in an election year is political suicide … The only way it would work is if they also pass a significant income tax reduction, or eliminate it altogether and it’s still dicey with that caveat …

State Senator Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) has a much more palatable proposal. Senate File 2014 would take two percent out of the general fund to pay for roads and bridges. The state budget is $7 billion. There’s no reason they can’t find enough money in there to fix Iowa’s infrastructure.

A TV station in Pittsburgh unveiled the most devastating repudiation yet of Obamacare. Their cameras rolled as workers at a small business learned of the impacts of Obamacare on their personal healthcare plans. The reactions tell quite a story: “They call it the affordable health plan. There’s nothing affordable about it. I can’t afford it.”

Remember, Obama and Bruce Braley told you, if you like your plan, you can keep it. They lied. Repeatedly.

The U.S. Senate primary race in Iowa is getting nasty with Joni Ernst and Sam Clovis trying to takedown financial frontrunner Mark Jacobs … The field will also be ready to take down Bob Vander Plaats if he enters

Sam Clovis already delivered the first shots. Appearing on the Mac’s World webcast, Clovis said BVP doesn’t have “the breadth and depth on the issues that I do”, those pushing him to run are out-of-state moderates and BVP would be “not likely to win” against Braley in a general election.

I asked the Clovis campaign who are these out-of-state moderates he’s referring to. His spokesperson was unsure.

Senator Grassley says he will vote against the Farm Bill. The lifetime farmer has good reasons, too: “If I were to vote ‘yes’ on this bill, it would be an endorsement of the egregious manipulation of my payment limit reforms behind closed doors. I cannot in good conscience do that.” … I’ll take Grassley’s word on this. If he says an ag-related legislation is a bad bill, it’s a bad bill.


Iowa Secretary of State, and congressional candidate, Matt Schultz came under fire when the Cerro Gordo County auditor claimed three voters in that county had their votes wrongly disqualified due to errors from Schultz’s office. The Democrats, naturally, are piling on. They’ve been trying to tear down Matt Schultz since the moment he was elected in 2010

Schultz’s office says the blame lies elsewhere: “The statement blaming the Iowa Secretary of State’s office is completely inaccurate,” said Schultz’s spokesperson Chance McElhaney in a press release. “The custodians of the records are the 99 county clerks of court and are certified to be accurate and then provided to the Secretary of State’s office and all 99 county auditors in accordance with the law.” …

A senate hearing on this issue scheduled for Monday and Secretary Schultz will be there to defend himself. Should be interesting.

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Chris Christie’s troubles are getting deeper and the piranhas in the press will not let it go until they bury him, politically. The New York Times got former Christie ally David Wildstein saying the New Jersey governor knew about the controversial lane-closing scheme on the George Washington Bridge that snarled traffic … Christie denied that and fired back at Wildstein and the New York Times Saturday afternoon … This isn’t going away anytime soon …

Meanwhile, the Dems are trying to convince us that Hillary Clinton is the most accomplished woman in the world, but they can’t name one significant accomplishment from her time as secretary of state. Finding gaffes and scandals is pretty easy though …

This “accomplished woman” hasn’t driven a car since 1996. Yet, Hillary and her minions will try to convince you she can relate to middle class, everyday Americans. She can’t. Hillary is simply the most power-hungry woman in America and must be stopped.

Here’s another great clip. This is a little old, but I had not seen it until a few hours ago. Fox News commentator Brit Hume provided a masterful editorial about the Washington March for Life and the farce that is the “pro-choice” movement … It’s a clip everyone, no matter where you stand on the issue, should watch. In two minutes, Hume destroys the pro-abortion argument as capably as anyone I’ve ever heard:

I’ve long admired Brit Hume. He was a rare conservative in network news while working for ABC during the 80s and 90s, but his coverage was always, dare I say, fair and balanced …  Hume, more than anyone else, provided journalistic credibility to Fox News Channel and made “Special Report” the best political show on television. By far. It still is, despite Hume’s semi-retirement.

Blue-RIbbon baconfest

I finally got to attend Baconfest. Last year I had tickets but was unable to make it. This year was looking very iffy too, but I made it down to the State Fairgrounds Saturday for the final two hours of the event. I’m glad I did. It was quite the scene and I’m as big a bacon lover as anyone …

Having said that, I was a little disappointed with Baconfest, maybe because it was impossible to live up to the years of hype … The food left a little to be desired. Some of the special bacon-enhanced dishes were tasty, but the numerous free samples were not very good. I like my bacon nice and crispy and there was little of that to be found. Still, it’s bacon. I shouldn’t complain …

The best way to sum up Baconfest is this: Imagine the state fair midway food vendors, the beer tent and the grandstand, throw them all into one large room and give all the food a bacon theme. That’s pretty much it.

Finally, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. I predict Broncos over Seahawks, 27-23 in a classic.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up.

Photos by Dave Davidson,

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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