Bleeding Heartland is a community blog about Iowa politics: campaigns and elections, state government, social and environmental issues. Bleeding Heartland also weighs in on presidential policies and campaigns, federal legislation and what the Iowans in Congress are up to. Join our community, post your thoughts as comments or diaries, help keep our leaders honest and hold them accountable.
Drew Ivers, a longtime social conservative Republican leader, said some party activists object to the growth in the state budget during Branstad's tenure. The budget Branstad approved in 1983, his first year in office, included $2.05 billion in general fund spending. In 1998, his last year in office, he approved general fund spending of $4.5 billion.
"The party needs to get back to the Goldwater definition of conservative: that which governs least governs best," said Ivers, of Webster City, who is uncommitted in the race. [...]
Branstad brings many assets, but not a fresh face, noted Roger Hughes, a longtime Iowa Republican strategist.
"I would be hard-pressed to vote against my friend Terry Branstad, but I think we need some new folks," said Hughes. "I'm not sure him running is good for the party."
The Republican primary field will narrow if and when Branstad formally becomes a candidate, but no one dropped out in response to yesterday's news. Updates on the other Republican gubernatorial candidates are after the jump.
Fong, who has been on a 17-city campaign tour this week, said Republicans should have a choice of candidates.
"It's not only good for Iowans to have a choice, but it makes for a healthier process to have a good dialogue about the ideas," Fong said.
Vander Plaats and Rants will be taking the fight to Branstad, but for now Fong is keeping his powder dry. He could play nice in the hope of becoming Branstad's running mate, but Branstad might already have someone else in mind for that job.
We never did learn who was behind that YouTube claiming there's no difference between Branstad and Culver. In recent weeks the creator of that piece posted another video on Branstad, set to the "Time Warp" song from Rocky Horror Picture Show:
In addition, this short clip indicates that the Draft Branstad PAC sent a cease and desist letter to creator of the "Terry and Chet" videos: