Weekend open thread: Blasts from the past

What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread.

I never got around to pulling together news clips on Governor Terry Branstad’s official campaign announcement Wednesday night. After the jump I’ve posted the video of his speech to that rally in Des Moines. Easy for him to take credit for the improving economy when he came back to politics shortly after the worst U.S. recession in 60 years. Every state is doing better economically today than it was four years ago, regardless of which party controls the statehouse or the governor’s mansion. At one of his first re-election campaign stops, Branstad told a Pella audience about some of the achievements and goals he outlined in his speech to state lawmakers earlier this week. As usual, Branstad appeared alongside Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. He said their focus will be on jobs, especially STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering and math jobs). Branstad and Reynolds held campaign events in thirteen Iowa cities and towns from Thursday through Saturday.

Sam Roecker noted that Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” was the top single the first time Branstad was elected governor in 1982. That one brings back memories: my brother took me to see her concert at Vets Auditorium in Des Moines on the “Let’s Get Physical” tour.

Speaking of blasts from the past, I recently came across a video of “Republican Clair Rudison” telling a bunch of Iowa high school students that the GOP was historically the civil rights party. Which was true 150 years ago and even 60 years ago. But it hasn’t been that way for a long time. Why do you think the states where segregation was most entrenched swung from the Democratic to the Republican Party since the 1960s? Why are Republican politicians the driving force behind efforts to suppress African-American votes in so many states now?

If Clair Rudison’s name sounds familiar, it’s because last time we heard from him, he was masquerading as a Democrat in order to challenge State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad in a 2010 primary. Rudison’s campaign was funded in part by conservatives who opposed marriage equality, so I’m not surprised to see him identifying with Republicans now. In fact, he has endorsed Steve Rathje in the GOP primary to represent Iowa’s first Congressional district. I’ve posted his endorsement letter after the jump.  

June 2013

Dear Friend:

I am writing this letter for the distinct purpose of urging you to support Steve Rathje in his race for the United States House of Representatives, First Congressional District.  Through conversations with Steve and others, I’ve performed in-depth, imperative research and have come to the conclusion that there is no other nominee that possesses the tenacity and fortitude that Steve Rathje does.

Steve is a no-nonsense professional who views our state and nation from an altruistic perspective.  He believes that rather than the government controlling the means of production and charity, that they are best left in the hands of the private sector.  Regardless of ethnicity, religious background, or creed we are all Americans, and Steve’s ultimate objective is to faithfully serve both the constituency of his district and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Steve Rathje is a fiscal and moral conservative, who stands by his principles, offers broad expertise, has clear and firm positions, and who offers high credibility.  Moreover, through my conversations with him, instead of repeating political sound bites, I have found Steve’s 6-Tier Economic Plan to be original, distinct and powerful.  I believe is will promote greater strength for all Iowans and Americans.

I am proud to endorse Steve Rathje in his run for the US House.  I hope I have the opportunity to visit with you in the near future, or that we can meet at the many events in the First Congressional District where I will be representing Steve.


Clair Rudison


Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans

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