Iowa Republicans have nominated some candidates who are remarkably ill-suited for the jobs they are seeking. There’s secretary of state nominee Matt Schultz, who doesn’t know how voter rolls are maintained, uses unfounded fraud allegations to get attention, and thinks a focus on job creation means the secretary of state should get involved in legislative battles over tax and labor bills.
There are incumbents like State Representatives Jason Schultz and Dwayne Alons, whose oddball ideas Bleeding Heartland has covered before.
But this story in the Carroll Daily Times-Herald suggests that Dan Dirkx, Republican candidate in Iowa House district 51, sets the gold standard for ignorance.
Imagine walking into a job interview and admitting you know zilch about your employer’s work and haven’t bothered to read up on it because you aren’t too interested in the subject. That resembles Dirkx’s approach to this campaign. I don’t know where to begin with this article; if I pulled every astounding thing he said I’d violate fair use standards. Here’s a good beginning:
In his [Carroll Area Development Corporation] appearance at the Carrollton Centre, Dirkx said eastern Iowa shouldn’t rely so heavily on the government in the wake of floods, and he acknowledged that he doesn’t “know much” about what the Iowa Department of Economic Development does.
CADC executive director Jim Gossett asked Dirkx directly what legislation he most favored and found most offensive in the 2010 session in Des Moines, Dirkx did not name a single bill, issue or program.
“I wouldn’t even want to say one way or another,” Dirkx said. “I remember last March when the (Des Moines) Register came out with the two or three pages of what got done and the two or three pages of what didn’t get done, I thought, ‘Man, I got a chunk of information here.’ I took it home and dropped it on the kitchen table. There are currently 13 people living in my house. I haven’t seen it and I haven’t taken time to research it. So to answer your question, don’t know.”
Moving to economic matters, Dirkx takes issue with government’s involvement in flood and disaster relief. An estimated $4.1 billion in state and federal funds have been committed to recovery from the flooding and tornadoes of 2008 in Iowa.
“When people hear the word ‘FEMA’ they must just think that money falls out of the sky because there’s no shame in taking money from FEMA,” Dirkx said, referring to Federal Emergency Management Agency programs.
Dirkx said that, counter-intuitively, poor people may be better off in a flood than those with means.
“The people that are the bottom of the food chain, and they’re affected in a negative way by a deluge of water, in my world, if I was at that part of the food chain that would be a good thing because there are people that have money, and people that have money would have a mess, and the people that don’t have money can clean up their mess and then the people who have money can pay the people who don’t have money and they can go buy food,” Dirkx said. “That’s the way the economy works. You don’t just give things to people.”
OK, just one more:
“I was asked the other night in an in-home meet-and-greet, ‘If you could make one law, what would that law be?’ Just off the top of my head, I said, ‘A law that you can make no more laws,’” Dirkx said.
Please read the whole Daily Times-Herald article, then tell me if you’ve heard of any candidate who has less of a clue about the elected office he or she is seeking.
Iowa Democrats consider House district 51 one of their stronger pickup opportunities in a tough election cycle. State Representative Rod Roberts represented the area for the last 12 years but vacated the seat to seek the Republican nomination for governor. Farmer and Crawford County Supervisor Dan Muhlbauer became the Democratic Party’s replacement candidate this summer after the original candidate dropped out. The district covers Carroll County, eastern Crawford County and southeastern Sac County (map here). As of the beginning of September 2010, there were 5827 registered Democrats, 6011 registered Republicans and 8179 no-party registrants in House district 51.
UPDATE: Following Dirkx’s disastrous remarks to the Carroll Area Development Corporation, Carroll Mayor Jim Pedelty and former GOP state rep Art Neu both endorsed Muhlbauer. This should be a Democratic pickup.