[Bleeding Heartland Logo]

About
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.
Author
- desmoinesdem
Highlights
- Iowa 2012 election coverage
- Who's who in the Iowa House for 2013
- Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2013
- Iowa wildflowers
2014 Election Coverage
- Absentee ballot numbers
- IA-Sen
- IA-Gov
- IA-01
- IA-02
- IA-03
- IA-04
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of State
- State Auditor
- Iowa Senate overview
- Iowa House overview
- Senate district 5
- Senate district 7
- Senate district 9
- Senate district 13
- Senate district 15
- Senate district 17
- Senate district 27
- Senate district 29
- Senate district 39
- Senate district 41
- Senate district 47
- Senate district 49
- House district 8
- House district 15
- House district 25
- House district 26
- House district 28
- House district 30
- House district 33 (2013)
- House district 40
- House district 51
- House district 60
- House district 63
- House district 65
- House district 68
- House district 73
- House district 82
- House district 91
- House district 92
- House district 95
- House district 99
Search




Advanced Search


Paid Advertising


Bleeding Heartland
It's what plants crave.

Brad Anderson will challenge Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:59:12 AM CST


Barack Obama's 2012 Iowa campaign manager Brad Anderson confirmed yesterday that he plans to run against Secretary of State Matt Schultz in 2014. I hope there will be a competitive Democratic primary, because from where I'm sitting, Anderson looks like the wrong candidate for this race.

UPDATE: Added details from Anderson's formal announcement below, along with his campaign bio and a list of Democrats on his steering committee (including Senator Tom Harkin, former governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver, Representatives Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack, and several former chairs of the Iowa Democratic Party). Looks like there will be no competitive primary.

desmoinesdem :: Brad Anderson will challenge Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz
Anderson is a rising star in Iowa Democratic politics. His official bio on the Link Strategies website covers the early stages of his career:

Brad Anderson is a seasoned communications, research and government affairs professional with a strong track record of delivering results at the state and federal levels of government.

Anderson got his start doing research on John Edwards' successful 1998 run for United States Senate. After that campaign cycle, he moved to Washington, D.C. to help lead the Business and Ethics research operation at the Democratic National Committee, as well as lead the vice-presidential rapid response efforts during the 2000 campaign. In 2002, Brad served as research director for the successful re-election of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. Anderson returned to Washington in 2004 to run research for Senator John Edwards' Vice Presidential campaign team.

In August 2006, Brad was named Iowa Governor Chet Culver's Communications Director and Chief Spokesman. Anderson joined Link Strategies in 2008 and went on to form LPCA with Jeff Link and Bonnie Campbell. Since the firm's inception, Brad has worked firsthand with President Barack Obama's campaign at the state and national levels. He has also given guest lectures on research and communications across the country, including Northwestern University, Loyola University and Iowa State University.

That's quite an understatement to say Anderson "worked firsthand" with the Obama campaign. He was communications director for the Obama campaign during the 2008 general election and managed the re-election effort in Iowa last year. Campaigns and Elections magazine just put Anderson on its list of 500 top "political influencers" across the country. Anderson didn't make the same magazine's list of Iowa influencers as recently as April 2011, although that piece named Anderson's business partners Jeff Link and Bonnie Campbell.

Appearing on Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" program last month, Anderson explained why he's motivated to run against Schultz.

"I'm certainly looking at it. I think there are a lot of innovative things that we could do with that office that are not currently being done," Anderson says. "I think the current secretary of state has wasted a lot of money on fruitless DCI investigations." [...]

"Obviously preventing voter fraud is important to everyone. We all support that," Anderson says. "There are just different ways to do it."

Anderson, as the manager of Obama's Iowa campaign this past year, oversaw an effort that identified thousands of new Democratic voters in Iowa. He suggests as Iowa's chief election official he would focus on  boosting voter turn-out.

"Quite frankly back in I think it was '92 we were at 80 percent turnout. You know, we're at 73 (percent) now," Anderson says. "I always believe we can do better and we should always focus on, you know, how do we get more people involved in the process, how do we get more people out there to vote as opposed to this idea that we constantly have to threaten penalties and felonies and things like that."

Since the early stages of his campaign against the highly competent Mike Mauro in 2010, Schultz has exaggerated the voter fraud problem in Iowa. Ignoring the views of county auditors, he pushed relentlessly for a voter ID law. Keep in mind that there are virtually no examples in Iowa or anywhere else of people impersonating another registered voter at a polling place on election day. Voter ID laws are a convenient way to suppress Democratic-leaning voter groups, who are less likely to have a driver's license, but they don't address problems such as voter registration fraud, double voting, or absentee ballot fraud. Even Schultz's full-time criminal investigator working to root out voter fraud hasn't come up with any cases that could have been prevented by a photo ID requirement at the polls. So far a few non-citizens and convicted felons have been charged, but all of them had valid photo ID in Iowa.

Last summer, Schultz tried to enact emergency rulemaking to deal with Iowa's ineligible voter problem. A Polk County District Court judge stopped him from enacting those rules during the 2012 campaign but has not ruled yet on their legality. Since the election, Schultz backpedaled on one of his proposed emergency rules, but he still wants to use a federal database to find alleged non-citizens who are registered to vote. In all likelihood most of these people are recently-naturalized citizens. Schultz wants to send them intimidating letters warning them that they might be committing a crime if they try to vote.

Bleeding Heartland has a longer update in progress about Schultz's efforts to combat voter fraud. For many weeks I have been seeking details on voter fraud complaints submitted to the Secretary of State's office in 2012, either through their website or their toll-free voter fraud hotline. I am guessing that almost none of the complaints concerned the type of fraud that could be prevented by photo ID requirements. Schultz testified before the U.S. Senate last month that more criminal charges will be forthcoming. He indicated at a Republican fundraising dinner in November that he will keep fighting the voter ID fight. Clearly he believes it's a political winner; on his twitter feed, Schultz has linked to various opinion polls showing people support photo ID requirements.

Schultz has used the Secretary of State's office to wage a partisan crusade. He's even using federal Help America Vote Act Funds to pay for a full-time criminal investigator.

Iowa Democrats should nominate a candidate for secretary of state in the Mike Mauro mold. An experienced county auditor who has run elections can make a strong case against Schultz. Auditors understand the administrative work involved and are better-suited to remove the Secretary of State's office from the partisan political arena.

I don't think Anderson stacks up well against Schultz's record. He knows a ton about elections, but Republicans will have no trouble caricaturing him as a tool trying to stack the deck for Democratic candidates. It doesn't help that Link Strategies employed Zach Edwards, arrested in January 2012 for hacking into Schultz's e-mail. Jeff Link immediately fired and distanced himself from Edwards, who later pled guilty to a simple misdemeanor. Do you think that will stop Republicans from running tv ads about Anderson's buddy who committed a crime in order to smear Schultz?

The least surprising thing I've read in a while was today's headline by Kevin Hall for The Iowa Republican blog: "Dem With Ties to Electoral Shenanigans Wants to be State's Chief Vote-Counter." Schultz and his allies will depict Anderson as a player in a devious plot by Democratic operatives to subvert fair elections.

Any comments about Schultz's record or the 2014 campaign for secretary of state are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Anderson held a press conference on January 10 to formally announce his campaign. O.Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa posted excerpts and a link to the audio of his remarks.

"...We take our right to vote seriously. We help pick American presidents and we even invented the computer, but recently too many eligible voters have been intimidated, our state's technology has gone dormant and our tax dollars have been wasted on fruitless investigations. We can and must do better, which is why I've made the decision to run for Iowa Secretary of State."

The secretary of state is Iowa's top election official. Current Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Republican, was first elected in 2010 and in the past year Schultz has led an effort to review voter registration records to check for ineligible voters, like felons or illegal immigrants. Anderson calls that "offensive" voter intimidation. Anderson suggests an already-existing electronic system that verifies a voter identity at the polls would be a cheaper option.

"A better way to prevent fraud than voter I.D. and doesn't disenfranchise a single voter," Anderson said, as he rapped the lectern with his knuckles to make his point.

Anderson's campaign website includes this bio:

During the 2012 election cycle, Brad Anderson was on the front line as President Barack Obama's Iowa State Director.  Throughout the campaign Brad and his team increased voter turnout and organized volunteers and local officials across the state to protect eligible Iowans' right to vote.  As a result Iowans voted early in record numbers and Iowa was one of just a handful of states to increase voter turnout from the historic levels set in 2008.

Beyond his long history working for campaigns and causes, both Anderson and his wife Lisa started small businesses in Iowa.  Since 1997, Anderson has helped build campaigns dedicated to middle class job creation, tax fairness, and civil rights.  No candidate has embodied these values more powerfully than U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, for whose 2002 campaign Anderson helped coordinate the message and media efforts.

After working on U.S. Senator John Edwards' 2004 Iowa caucus campaign, Brad joined Link Strategies, where he continues to advise campaigns and assist local communities on referenda to create jobs, improve wellness, make communities safer, and improve conservation and water quality.

From 2007 through 2008 Anderson served as Communications Director for Iowa Governor Chet Culver.  In that time Culver signed into law several landmark pieces of legislation - including laws to increase the minimum wage, expand pre-school and establish same-day voting registration.

In 2010 Anderson and his business partner, Jeff Link, started a company called My Digital Manager - a simple, user-friendly online platform for searching video and digital assets.  

Brad and his wife Lisa, along with their children Alice and Will, live in Des Moines with their dog Gracie Carmel.  Lisa is a speech therapist, running her own small business, Small Talk Therapy.  They attend Westminster Presbyterian Church where Brad has served as an elder since 2011.

Anderson's steering committee:

Anderson for Iowa Steering Committee:

Marti Anderson - State Representative, Des Moines
Jan Bauer - Story County Democratic Chair
Nancy Bobo - Obama for America Team Leader, Des Moines
Kim Boggus -- Obama for America Team Leader, Des Moines
Tim Bottaro - Attorney, Sioux City
Bruce Braley - U.S. Congressman representing Iowa's 1st District
Scott Brennan - Former Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party
Bonnie Campbell - Former Iowa Attorney General and Chair of Anderson for Iowa
Chet Culver - Former Iowa Governor
Sandy Dockendorff - Iowa State Central Committee Rules Vice Chair, Danville
Gary Dunham - President of Iowa Teamsters Local 231
Sue Dvorsky - Iowa Democratic Party Chair
Bob Dvorsky - Iowa State Senator, Iowa City
Rich Eychaner - Iowa Business leader and activist, Des Moines
Mike Fitzgerald - Iowa State Treasurer
Bill Gerhard - President of the Iowa State Building Trades, Iowa City
Teri Goodmann - Local leader, Dubuque
Tom Harkin - U.S. Senator
Jim Hayes - Attorney, Iowa City
Jennifer Harrington - Page County Democratic Chair, Obama for America Team Leader
Fred Hubbell - Former CEO Equitable Insurance, Des Moines
Patty Judge - Former Iowa Lt. Governor
Theresa Kehoe - Treasurer of Anderson for Iowa, Des Moines
Michael Kiernan - Former Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party
Bill Knapp - Chairman Emeritus of Knapp Properties, Van Meter
Dianne and John Liepa - Party activists and IDP Hall of Fame member, Indianola
Jeff and Patty Link - Business partner and Anderson for Iowa advisors, Des Moines
David Loebsack - U.S. Congressman representing Iowa's 2nd District
Paula Martinez - Political and Latino activist, Carlisle
Linda Nelson - Pottawattamie County Democratic Chair
Sally Pederson - Former Iowa Lt. Governor
Kevin Perkins - Obama for America Team Leader, Davenport
Janet Petersen - Iowa State Senator, Des Moines
Dan Prymek - LiUNA Laborers' Iowa LECET Director, Waukee
Sam Reno - Obama for America Team Leader, Des Moines
Bob Riley - CEO Feed Energy, Des Moines
Andrea Rivera - United Auto Workers CAP Director, Des Moines
John Stone - Cerro Gordo County Democratic Chair
Dale Todd - Local leader and activist, Cedar Rapids
Rob Tully - Former Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party
Tom Vilsack - Former Iowa Governor
Christie Vilsack - Former Iowa First Lady
Pat Walters - Obama for America Team Leader, Johnston
Peggy Whitworth - Obama for America Team Leader, Cedar Rapids

SECOND UPDATE: The Cedar Rapids Gazette's Todd Dorman comments,

Yeah, we had a good secretary of state in Mauro, someone who actually wanted to do the job, even the tedious parts, and not simply use it as a springboard for grander political ambitions. His four-year tenure was a nice break between Chet "celebration of voting" Culver and now Matt "show me your ID" Schultz.

Anderson's background in political strategery doesn't suggest he'd break that spin cycle. But we'll hear him out. Plenty of time. Lots.

Personally, I'm looking for a secretary of state candidate who promises to never call a press conference, who won't slap his or her massive portrait or name in Ambition Bold 48 point all over everything, who vows to seek a minimum of five terms and who states, openly, often, that he or she would make a monumentally lousy governor, senator or U.S. rep.

Who were the refs in the best-officiated football game you ever saw? Don't recall? Perfect. That's what I'm talking about.

FEBRUARY UPDATE: Former Democratic nominee for governor and U.S. Senate Roxanne Conlin joined Anderson's steering committee.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email
Tweet This!

One for the "what is he thinking" file. (4.00 / 2)
There is no way he is the right candidate.  Mauro was exactly what we want in that office, and I hope he runs again.  He has a record to run on.  

I think Secretary of State is an office that does not receive the attention it deserves, or the fundraising, but maybe after the latest wave of ALEC-inspired voter suppression moves in states across the country, the Dems will start supporting these races.

But a partisan hired gun from Link Strategies?  I think that is the most ill-advised potential candidacy I have seen proposed yet.  It even tops Culver running again.


Mauro (4.00 / 1)
Does Mauro get to keep his job with the Iowa Department of Labor if he were to run again and lose?  He's got to put the interests of his family and his own retirement first.  I know that isn't an ideal thing to say, but it is true.  

Mauro is a superior candidate, but he's universally respected and does he really want to potentially lose some of that good will by running.  Schultz will not take it easy on anyone.    


[ Parent ]
Good point. (4.00 / 1)
I don't know the answer to your question.  But if not Mauro, then another candidate with a background in managing (as opposed to trying to win) elections, or a lawyer with experience in elections or administration, and someone who can be seen as credible by Republicans as well as Democrats.  Schultz has proved to be a partisan tool.  How is it an improvement to run a candidate with nothing but Democratic campaigns in his work history?  My tool versus your tool is what that will set up, and it will be a singularly unedifying dialogue.

[ Parent ]
there are many good country auditors (0.00 / 0)
I hope one of them will step up and not be deterred by the fact that a well-connected operative is in the race already.

Running a candidate who has worked primarily for Democratic campaigns would be a huge mistake, especially since the midterm electorate won't be as friendly to Democrats.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.


[ Parent ]
I don't think Mauro would run again (0.00 / 0)
But he did an outstanding job.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
things change (4.00 / 1)
Campaigns and Elections magazine just put Anderson on its list of 500 top "political influencers" across the country. Anderson didn't make the same magazine's list of Iowa influencers as recently as April 2011

fast ... It's not a secret that OFA has indicated that they are not interested in sharing their data from the 2012 election. So Anderson's stock skyrockets while your garden-variety Dem loses clout. He has access, so "wrong candidate" is open to debate at bare minimum.

OFA and the Democratic Party have never been quite one and the same. It's OFA that has successfully mobilized the "Obama coalition" while Dems have had mixed or poor results. It's not just 2010. Prior to Obama's candidacy, minority/youth turnout were low during the non-presidential cycle.

jdeeth mentions the election results (90% Obama) in PGC-MD, which he says makes JC look like West Jesus, Idaho. Not so fast. The same jurisdiction narrowly voted down marriage equality, which otherwise won statewide. The point is that "Obama voters" don't necessarily share your priorities & aren't necessarily lock-step allies. I expect some bubbles to burst as Obama's final term winds down.

Latino voters in particular voted to make a statement. I see that the politicians who garnered some press from the DOT DACA hearing are Republicans:


Reps. Guy Vander Linden, R-Oskaloosa, and Dave Heaton, R-Mount Pleasant, questioned Trombino and disputed the department's logic.

"Because they have been deferred, then these people are temporarily authorized to be here," Heaton said. "And that being the case, I believe that these people should be open to receiving a driver's license here in the state."

There's a bottom line regarding the treatment of Latinos -- no results from Dems will guarantee open minds when it comes to Republicans, especially Republicans who are making some sense.

he still wants to use a federal database to find alleged non-citizens who are registered to vote. In all likelihood most of these people are recently-naturalized citizens. Schultz wants to send them intimidating letters warning them that they might be committing a crime if they try to vote.

Are you saying a Dem challenger like Mike Mauro or Jeff Danielson will address this directly? I doubt it very much. I sense that there's bipartisan consensus on how to proceed on this specific issue. Tom Miller has blessed Schultz's procedural blueprint and Smithson is on board w/ the SOS, which is not insignificant. I see a lot of "zero fraud/zero intimidation" lipstick all over piggie. The end result will be ~80% verification of status by direct interaction with the feds w/ a smattering of unfortunates getting a letter inviting additional bureaucracy due to procedural shortcomings.

Voter ID laws are a convenient way to suppress Democratic-leaning voter groups, who are less likely to have a driver's license

Every two years this gets trotted out. If any Iowa Dem runs on this, Schultz will win. Esp with the roll-out of REAL-ID, any reasonable person will ask why on earth will Dems go to the mat to secure votes from the identity-less just to toss them back into ID-less pool -- until the next go-round. The Constitutional argument is a cop-out. Why can't concerned Democratic politicians who put so much energy into this fight every two years fashion a meaningful solution to get people IDs? Because if it's impossible to do, then we have no business imposing all kinds of restrictions on the everyday lives of these "Democratic-leaning voter groups."

I was not in favor of the idea of dropping government funds into food banks because this imposes an ID requirement. The reality is that most food banks have no or minimal ID checks, so they are the sole resource for those who are not eligible for government assistance due to status or lack of ID. It just seems to me that we can solve a lot of problems in one fell swoop by addressing the ID issue directly. I am actually not in favor of Voter ID requirements, but OTOH, possession of an ID is rapidly becoming a necessity for basic social and economic mobility, which, for most people, is more urgent, frankly.

Do you think that will stop Republicans from running tv ads about Anderson's buddy who committed a crime in order to smear Schultz?

The least surprising thing I've read in a while was today's headline by Kevin Hall for The Iowa Republican blog: "Dem With Ties to Electoral Shenanigans Wants to be State's Chief Vote-Counter."

I think an ad regarding the incident is guaranteed, no matter who is running. It was a dumb little stunt. It is true that Anderson has a stronger connection to original sin, but have you seen his Steering Committee? Anyone left over for the would-be challenger? I suspect that some of the validators would prefer a Mauro, but at the same time, politicians are always beta-like shape-shifters when it comes to the new alpha in town. Anderson's pitch is basically that he can produce the same successful coalition of 2012 for wins statewide. If that's the case, do Kevin Hall/TIR or some orange jumpsuit ad matter? Probably not. And yes, it's a big if, so a prospective challenger will have to expose flaws in this strategy during the primary. If nobody takes him on, it will tell you a lot about the state of the party & whether new brooms sweep clean.



other candidates and OFA (0.00 / 0)
I think Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald would make a great candidate for Secretary of State. Not only is he auditor of the largest county but he learned from the best as Mike Mauro's assistant before he was elected Secretary of State. Jamie also has that magic Fitzgerald last name that is probably worth a few votes by itself. I wouldn't give Brad Anderson any bonus points for having ties to OFA. OFA may have won here in 08 and 12 but the people running the IDP coordinated campaign in 2010 were all OFA people from 08 and 12 and their OFA magic didn't work in 2010. The only times OFA  Iowa staff was successful here is when President Obama was on the top of the ticket.  

not an unreasonable position (0.00 / 0)
the people running the IDP coordinated campaign in 2010 were all OFA people from 08 and 12 and their OFA magic didn't work in 2010. The only times OFA  Iowa staff was successful here is when President Obama was on the top of the ticket.

but clearly a different candidate isn't going to be able to leverage existing infrastructure to mount a challenge unless Anderson drops out.

Schultz won't be easy to beat, regardless. County auditors may not like the hassles associated with his "reforms," but I doubt voters disapprove of his actions. He will present himself as a proactive, not partisan, incumbent who is fulfilling his 2010 platform. Via press conferences, IPTV etc, he's been given sufficient cover as an SOS working in a bipartisan fashion toward "zero fraud, zero intimidation." How HAVA funds are used is not a sizzling election issue. And who in state government, except Sen Courtney, is taking a strong public stand against Schultz's actions?

Aside from infrastructure, Anderson at least has some degree of separation from the Dem establishment. He is free to try and "fire up" Latino voters and other minority voters who may be sympathetic for statewide GE Dem advantage. If he fails, he's expendable.

I agree with all of the posters here who yearn for an SOS in the Mauro mold, but I don't see it happening because Dems have decided on a cynical strategy: stoke outrage in certain targeted demographics while maintaining a safe distance to simultaneously maintain a "law & order" profile in most other parts of the state.  

   


[ Parent ]
exactly (0.00 / 0)
OFA may have won here in 08 and 12 but the people running the IDP coordinated campaign in 2010 were all OFA people from 08 and 12 and their OFA magic didn't work in 2010. The only times OFA  Iowa staff was successful here is when President Obama was on the top of the ticket.  

No one can magically transform the midterm electorate into a presidential-year electorate.

Having Harkin at the top of the ticket will give Iowa Democrats one advantage they didn't have in 2010. The coordinated campaign in 2010 was underfunded, but Harkin will be in a position to spend millions if he has to. Branstad will outspend our gubernatorial nominee, but at least we won't be up against the double whammy of Branstad and Grassley.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.


[ Parent ]
Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Iowa Liberal Blogs
- Ames Progressive
- Blog For Iowa
- Essential Estrogen
- Iowa .Gif-t Shop
- Iowa Independent (archive)
- Iowa Policy Points
- Iowans for a Future That Doesn't Suck
- John Deeth
Iowa Conservative Blogs
- Hawkeye GOP
- The Bean Walker
- Caffeinated Thoughts
- The Conservative Reader: Iowa
- The Iowa Republican
Journalists' blogs and research
- 24-Hour Dorman
- Cedar Rapids Gazette government page
- Iowa Fiscal Partnership
- Iowa Policy Project
- Iowa Politics Insider
- Iowa Watchdog.org
- On Brief: Iowa's Appellate Blog
- On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts
- Newton Independent (Peter Hussmann)
- Politically Speaking
- Price of Politics, etc.
- O.Kay Henderson at Radio Iowa
Iowa Democrats
- Tom Harkin (U.S. Senator)
- Bruce Braley (IA-01)
- Dave Loebsack (IA-02)
- Iowa Democratic Party
- Iowa House Democrats
- Iowa Senate Democrats
Statistics


 
Powered by: SoapBlox