There are just 43 days until the November election. According to the most recent Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, Democrat challenger Fred Hubbell is leading Governor Kim Reynolds in a very tight race.
With that in mind, what do we really know about Fred Hubbell? According to the millions of dollars of ads the Reynolds campaign has run against him, he’s a rich, out of touch corporate CEO who cares about his own pocketbook more than the people he employs. If we listen to what Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann says about Hubbell, he’s South of Grand (for you out-of-towners, that’s where all the old money in Des Moines lives) elitist who enjoys high tea and crumpets (whatever those are).
Hubbell may enjoy tea and crumpets now, but the image that’s been painted of him thus far in the campaign might not be entirely accurate. Let’s not forget, this is a candidate who is hiding something. Why else wouldn’t you release your tax returns? We know he’s rich and lives off generational wealth, so what’s there to hide?
Surprisingly, there are publicly available resources out there that can help us understand more about the man who may just become the next Governor of Iowa. Who better to turn to than the newspaper Iowa depends on, The Des Moines Register.
This article appeared in the Thursday, August 20, 1987 edition of the Des Moines Register, but it was originally published in February 1983. Apparently it was one of Chuck Offenburger’s favorite columns, “Mad Dogs bay at moon”
Background: The Mad Dogs, is a slow-pitch softball team made up of some of Des Moines blue bloods. The team name traces back to the late 1800’s to F.M Hubbell, the great, great grandfather of three Hubbell’s on the team, Fred, Jim III, and Mike.
Below are a few tidbits from the column, followed by a couple points to ponder.
“the team logo, which has the words “Madus Dogus” in Greek letters surrounding two dogs in, shall we say, a canine embrace.”
So yes, straight-laced, boring Fred Hubbell once proudly dawned a baseball jersey with two dogs going at it as its logo. It’s kind of funny to visualize that these days, but what is contained further down in the article may be more concerning.
Offenburger writes about the annual Mag Dog’s party held at the swanky Des Moines Club.
“Most came dressed to kill, except for the Mad Dogs themselves, who wear their game jerseys. As you’ve surely concluded, there is sort of a fraternity party aura. Boys will be boys, you know. They tell of the time at the first party when a 100-person line forms and bunny-hopped through the women’s restroom.”
But there is more…
“The wildest it got Saturday was when one Mad Dog, this one wearing his full uniform topped by a World War II Nazi helmet, came racing across the room, dropped to his knees behind an unsuspected guest and bit her on the rump.”
There are what, nine or ten dudes on softball team? Which means that there is a 30 percent chance that this “Nazi Rump Biter” was a Hubbell. Maybe it wasn’t Fred. But in the world in which we all live, we can turn on cable news or read the local paper and see how mere accusations can stymie an appointment or how a lewd comment on social media can end careers and tarnish reputations.
More concerning for Iowans is that sadly we know what a cesspool the State Capitol can be. It’s a bipartisan problem. We have seen Republicans resign in shame, and Democrats, like Nate Boulton, ride out the storm and ignore the tepid calls for his resignation by his Democrat colleagues.
It’s important to note, the account of Mad Dogs isn’t from Fred Hubbell’s youth. He was full grown man in his thirties. So what type of person is Fred Hubbell?
Well, we don’t really know.