[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 politics in 2008
- Iowa politics in 2009 (1)
- Iowa politics in 2009 (2)
- National politics in 2009 (1)
- National politics in 2009 (2)
- 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
- 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 39
- Senate district 41
- Senate district 47
- Senate district 49
- House district 25
- House district 28
- House district 33 (2013)
- House district 40
- House district 51
- House district 60
- House district 65
- House district 68
- House district 73
- House district 91
- House district 92
- House district 95
- House district 99
Search




Advanced Search


Paid Advertising


Bleeding Heartland
It's what plants crave.
Kim Lehman

2016 Iowa caucus watch: Rick Santorum and Rand Paul visiting soon

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 12:09:00 PM CDT

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum will be the main speaker at a pro-life lunch event in Des Moines on April 15, WHO-TV's Dave Price reported today. Price notes that Santorum "is the national spokesman for the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City led by Kim Lehman, the former Republican National Committeewoman and Santorum 2012 backer." Lehman's group advocates for adult stem cell research only, rather than fetal stem cell research.

In other 2016 presidential contender news, Republican Party of Iowa Chair A.J. Spiker announced today that U.S. Senator Rand Paul will headline the Iowa GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner in Cedar Rapids on May 10. Paul just won the straw poll at the annual CPAC conference, a major event for conservative activists from around the country.

Supporters of Ron Paul's presidential campaign are strongly represented on the Iowa GOP's State Central Committee and in the party's four district committees. However, attempts by "Paulinistas" to win leadership posts in the Scott County and Polk County Republican Party recently failed.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has agreed to headline the Polk County Republican Party's spring fundraiser on May 23.

Any comments related to the next presidential campaign are welcome in this thread. I had to laugh when U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted with a joke that Hillary Clinton is too old to run for president. She will celebrate her 68th birthday in 2016. Mitt Romney just turned 66. Senator John McCain was 71 when he became the GOP's presidential nominee in 2008.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Republican Party of Iowa or Ron Paul loyalists of Iowa?

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:40:00 AM CDT

Supporters call them "constitutional conservatives" or members of the "Liberty Movement." Detractors call them "Paulbots" or "Paulinistas." Whatever you call them, you have to admit that the Ron Paul faction of the Republican Party of Iowa pulled off tremendous organizing feats last weekend.  
There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1614 words in story)

Kim Lehman not seeking another term on RNC

by: desmoinesdem

Thu May 24, 2012 at 14:09:46 PM CDT

Iowa's Republican National Committeewoman Kim Lehman announced today by e-mail that she will not seek another term on the RNC this summer.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 842 words in story)

Iowa's RNC members refuse to sign Romney delegate pledge

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 18:47:53 PM CDT

Iowa's three representatives on the Republican National Committee were denied entry to a reception with Mitt Romney today after they refused to sign a "delegate pledge form."
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 400 words in story)

Weekend open thread: Which Republican presidential candidate will go next?

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 20:32:49 PM CDT

Here's a question to get our weekend conversation going: which Republican will be next to follow Tim Pawlenty out of the presidential race?  
There's More... :: (9 Comments, 817 words in story)

Polls, vows, ads and other Republican Iowa caucus news (updated)

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:32:30 AM CDT

It's time for another news roundup on the Republican presidential campaigns in Iowa. This week brought new polls, new commercials, and hints of new candidates joining the race. It wasn't a promising week for Bob Vander Plaats and his FAMiLY Leader organization, however.

Poll numbers, campaign ads, and more are after the jump.  

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 3466 words in story)

Iowan Gentry Collins exits race to head RNC

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Jan 03, 2011 at 07:31:00 AM CST

Longtime Iowa political operative Gentry Collins has ended his bid to become chairman of the Republican National Committee, he told RNC members in a January 2 letter. Collins made the news in November by resigning as RNC political director and sending RNC members a devastating critique of current chairman Michael Steele's leadership. Dropping out of the race to succeed Steele, Collins wrote that

part of his mission in campaigning for chairman was to shed light on the party's financial condition, which he said, "has been a game-changer for Chairman Steele's re-election prospects." [...]

"I entered this race to make sure there was a credible alternative to Michael Steele and have said from day one I will not get in the way of electing new leadership at the RNC," Collins wrote.

Collins continued: "It is after much consideration and thought that I announce my withdrawal from the race for Chairman of the RNC. I believe that there are several qualified candidates in the race for Chairman, each of whom would do a fine job leading the committee through the 2012 Election cycle."

I figured Collins was a long-shot to take his former boss's job for various reasons. It didn't look good for him to establish a committee to support his bid for RNC chairman while he was still working at the committee. Craig Robinson's critique of Collins' "ego," "vengeful style" and "heavy-handed" tactics may have put off some Republican insiders too.

Various "whip counts" published by Washington-based journalists showed Collins with only three firm commitments from voting RNC members, far behind the front-runner, Wisconsin Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus. (That's pronounced "ryns pree-buhs.") Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn had publicly backed Collins, but committeeman Steve Scheffler was an early Priebus endorser. Iowa's committeewoman Kim Lehman is supporting Priebus too; she and Scheffler backed the main alternative to Steele in 2009.

Four previous leaders of the national GOP have been from Iowa. The most recent was pro-choice moderate Mary Louise Smith in the mid-1970s. Smith is still the only woman to have headed the RNC. Two women have entered the race to replace Steele, but a rule requiring the party chair and co-chair to be different genders puts them at a disadvantage.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Iowa's RNC members split on race for chairman

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 16:36:33 PM CST

Longtime Iowa political operative Gentry Collins officially announced yesterday that he will run for chairman of the Republican National Committee this January. Collins filed paperwork for the race last month shortly before he resigned as the RNC's political director. One of the three Iowa RNC members, state party chairman Matt Strawn, has already endorsed Collins.

However, RNC member Steve Scheffler told The Iowa Republican blog that he will back Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus for RNC chairman.

Not only is Scheffler supporting Priebus, but he has agreed to serve in Priebus' "kitchen cabinet." [...]

Preibus won Scheffler's support by being a strong defender of Iowa's first-in-the-nation status, having a strong stance on social issues, and pledging to run a tight ship if elected to lead the RNC.

Scheffler's support of Priebus is also a blow to Gentry Collins' bid to be RNC chairman. Collins, an Iowan, has spent years working in Iowa politics. His inability to secure the support of all three Iowa RNC members will likely be a red flag to other members of the committee.

Scheffler would have come into contact with Collins when Collins was running Mitt Romney's Iowa campaign in 2007. Scheffler heads the Iowa Christian Alliance, which organized house parties featuring Romney and several other Republican presidential candidates before the caucuses. (Neither Scheffler nor the Iowa Christian Alliance endorsed a candidate in that GOP field.) Scheffler was elected to represent Iowa at the RNC in July 2008, and Collins worked for John McCain's campaign in Iowa during that year's general election.

I haven't seen any public comment from Iowa's third RNC representative, Kim Lehman, regarding the upcoming race for chairman. She and Scheffler are ideologically similar, having been elected by the same faction of socially conservative delegates to the Iowa GOP state convention in 2008. In January 2009, Scheffler and Lehman publicly supported Katon Dawson for RNC chairman. He lost to current chairman Michael Steele on the sixth round of balloting.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Lehman won't admit she's wrong about Obama's faith

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:20:08 AM CDT

Iowa's Republican National Committeewoman Kim Lehman stood by her false assertion about President Barack Obama's faith yesterday. As Bleeding Heartland discussed here, Lehman claimed last week that Obama "personally told the muslims that he IS a muslim. Read his lips." Sam Stein of the Huffington Post asked Lehman to clarify and got this response:

"I was watching television when he was over there talking to the Muslim world and he made it, in my opinion, clear he was partially Muslim," Lehman told the Huffington Post. "The way he was approaching that speech was, 'Hey I'm one of you. I'm with you.' He didn't have to say that... but he did." [...]

"Again, going back to his speech... he would have said I'm a Christian and I'm from the Christian religion and we can work together. It didn't appear to me he said Christianity was part of his religion."

But oops! Stein looked up the transcript of Obama's June 2009 speech in Cairo and found this:

Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I'm a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.

The Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs also sought comment from Lehman yesterday:

This morning, Lehman said she was referring to an Obama speech in Cairo last summer in which he reached out to Muslims "to seek a new beginning." In that speech, he makes no comment about being Muslim, a transcript shows.

Lehman said she objected to Obama's speech because "it just had a sense of embracing or aligning with the Muslims. I don't know. It was unnecessary the stuff he said. That's the whole point."

Lehman said she would never give anyone the impression that she is anything but a Christian.

"I don't give myself an appearance to the Muslims that I am aligning myself with the Muslims. I am strictly a Christian. I believe that. I stand by that. I'll die by that," she said.

Jason Hancock noted at Iowa Independent that this isn't the first time Lehman has used her twitter account to claim Obama is Muslim. According to Stein, though, she may be "the first [Republican] national committee member to fully endorse the Obama-is-a-Muslim view."

Lehman told Politico to read Obama's lips regarding his faith. She should take her own advice. She ignores the president's numerous public statements about being a Christian because in her opinion, one speech "had a sense of embracing or aligning with the Muslims." Republicans should be embarrassed to have one of their leaders pushing conspiracy theories, and it's a sad comment on the Iowa GOP that no one stepped up to counter Lehman's view.

Speaking of poor form, neither Stein nor Jacobs linked to this blog, which was the first to report on Lehman's comments about the president's faith.

UPDATE: The Iowa Democratic Party cited Lehman's comments in a fundraising e-mail, which you can read here. Todd Dorman posted a funny take on this episode too.

Krusty Konservative feels Lehman is "not helping the Republican cause."

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Iowa RNC member Kim Lehman believes Obama is Muslim

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 07:39:04 AM CDT

You come across the strangest things on Twitter sometimes:

Barack Obama,Kim Lehman,RNC

Yes, it's delusional to believe Politico is in the game to "protect" Barack Obama, but for now I'm more interested in Republican National Committeewoman Kim Lehman's claim that the president is Muslim. Presumably she was responding to Tim Grieve's August 19 report for Politico on the latest Pew survey about the president's religion. Pew found that about 18 percent of American adults say Obama is Muslim, while about 34 percent say Obama is Christian. About 34 percent of those who identified themselves as conservative Republicans told Pew Obama was Muslim. Grieve's report referred to "a dramatic spike in false views about the president's religious faith." Politico's Josh Gerstein also reported on the Pew finding, as well as a Time magazine survey which (using different wording) found even higher numbers of Republicans believe the president is Muslim.

Neither Lehman nor anyone else would claim Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad's not really a Christian because his mother was Jewish. Yet for some reason, it's not enough for Lehman that Obama has been baptized, regularly attended Christian churches for many years and was sworn in on a Christian bible.

I wonder how many other prominent Iowa Republicans believe the urban legend about Obama being Muslim. Representative Steve King recently claimed Obama is a "Marxist" who "surely understands the Muslim culture." What about Senator Chuck Grassley, Representative Tom Latham and Republican Congressional candidates Ben Lange, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Brad Zaun?

State party chairman Matt Strawn and Steve Scheffler, head of the Iowa Christian Alliance, are Iowa's other two representatives on the RNC. Do they and members of the Iowa GOP's State Central Committee share Lehman's view?

Branstad's own interfaith family background makes him an ideal person to speak publicly about religion as a matter of faith and an individual's spiritual journey, as opposed to a genetic inheritance. But I'm not holding my breath for Branstad to dispel false rumors about Obama. He generally avoids taking any position that would anger conservatives--when he's not kowtowing to far-right sentiment, that is.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

New thread on the 2012 Iowa Republican caucuses

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 10:27:03 AM CDT

It's time for another look at the Republican presidential contenders' prospects in Iowa. The 2012 cycle may seem like a long way off, but the serious candidates will probably start hiring staff in Iowa before the end of this year. Since the last time Bleeding Heartland covered this ground, several Republicans with presidential ambitions have spoken out on our GOP gubernatorial contest, visited Iowa or scheduled trips here during this fall's campaign.  

Lots of links and speculation are after the jump.

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 2330 words in story)

Weekend open thread: 4th of July edition

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 20:45:37 PM CDT

Happy Independence Day! Longtime Bleeding Heartland readers know that I love July 4 parades, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's festivities in Windsor Heights. For once they are starting the parade at 3 pm instead of when the sun is strongest at 1 pm. Now let's hope we don't get rained out. In the morning I may adopt Charles Lemos' tradition of listening to the Broadway musical 1776 on this holiday.

What's your view on Iowa's restrictive fireworks laws? Libertarians hate it. I think it's safer to leave the firework displays to professionals. Also, amateurs setting off firecrackers can be disturbing for veterans with PTSD. Troy Patterson takes the opposite view: he doesn't mind doing "dangerous stuff in your cousin's backyard" but hates the professional fireworks displays, which he calls "an exercise in pomposity, aggression, triumphalism, and hubris."

Many non-Iowans are surprised to hear that we usually throw candy at our July 4 parades. Parents, what's your policy on the big bag of candy your kids collect from politicians and church floats? Do you make your kids ration the sweets out over days or weeks, or do you let them eat as much as they want because hey, it's a holiday?

I got a kick out of a Twitter exchange today between Grant Young (who writes the Republican blog Questions, Comments & Insults) and Kim Lehman, Iowa's Republican National Committeewoman. Young re-tweeted a quotation from President Woodrow Wilson: "If you want to make enemies, try to change something." Lehman replied, "he would say that since he worked to destroy the Republic for socialism. Those were changes that should make enemies."

There's the 4th of July spirit: accusing a Democratic president of undermining the country for socialism. In reality, Wilson's administration presided over a big crackdown on socialists and other leftists, but why let facts get in the way of a good Republican narrative?

Share whatever's on your mind this weekend here.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Early reaction to Branstad's choice of Kim Reynolds

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 20:54:47 PM CDT

A string of prominent Iowa Republicans spoke out today praising Terry Branstad's choice of State Senator Kim Reynolds for lieutenant governor. IowaPolitics.com posted the Branstad campaign's press releases with encouraging words from Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn, Iowa Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley, Iowa House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen, former Congressional candidate and tea party favorite Dave Funk, former gubernatorial candidate Christian Fong, and Iowa's representatives on the Republican National Committee, Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehman. Scheffler heads the Iowa Christian Alliance, and Lehman is a past president of Iowa Right to Life.

The Branstad campaign is anxious to avoid an embarrassing display of support for Bob Vander Plaats at this Saturday's Republican state convention. Today they hit convention delegates with an e-mail blast and robocalls stressing Reynolds' "conservative credentials." The strong words from Scheffler and Lehman in support of the ticket may prevent any media narrative from developing about religious conservatives rejecting Branstad. The Iowa Family Policy Center (viewed by many as a rival to the Iowa Christian Alliance) backed Bob Vander Plaats in the Republican primary and vowed not to endorse Branstad against Democratic Governor Chet Culver. That group recently affirmed that Branstad would need to undergo a "fundamental transformation" to win their support in the general election campaign.

Lehman wrote at the Caffeinated Thoughts blog today that Reynolds' "record speaks for itself." Lehman's long list of conservative bills co-sponsored by Reynolds in the Iowa Senate impressed Caffeinated Thoughts blogmaster Shane Vander Hart. He supported Rod Roberts for governor and was a leader of the petition drive lobbying Branstad to choose Roberts as his running mate.

To my mind, Reynolds' record in the Iowa Senate says only that she sticks with the consensus in the Republican caucus. She has not taken any unusual positions or been outspoken on any major issues under consideration. An acquaintance I spoke with today, who spends a lot of time at the capitol every year during the legislative session, had not even heard of Reynolds before this week. That's how low her profile has been during her two years at the statehouse. Reynolds may be a reliable back-bencher for conservatives, but I don't see her as a strong advocate for the religious right. She doesn't have the stature to drive the agenda if Branstad is elected. Like Todd Dorman wrote yesterday, the lieutenant governor gets to do "whatever the governor lets you do. And in a Branstad administration, if the past is an indicator, his mate will be the special director of the Department of Not Much."

Nor is there any indication that Reynolds would urge Branstad to make social issues a priority. I think this pick indicates the business wing of the Iowa GOP is fully in charge--or at least one faction in that wing. Others in the business community appear to have been pushing for Jeff Lamberti or Jim Gibbons to be selected as Branstad's running mate.

Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge spoke about Reynolds today on behalf of the Culver campaign. She suggested that Reynolds may not help Branstad with the social conservatives who supported other candidates for governor, because she "comes out of the same camp as Terry and Doug Gross rather than out of the camp of Bob Vander Plaats or Mr. Roberts." In a press release and news conference, Judge also emphasized that we don't know much about Reynolds' views on key issues, and that her learning curve will be steep, because she has relatively little experience at the statewide level: "It will take a lot of study on Kim's part. [...] If [Branstad] keeps her in the basement in a small office as he did [former Lieutenant Governor] Joy Corning, then she's not going to have much of an opportunity to know what's going on." Say what you will about Patty Judge (I'm not a fan), but she did have a strong legislative record and eight years of holding statewide office going into the 2006 campaign. She has had real influence on policy in the Culver administration.

Being a blank slate may have its advantages, however. Iowa State University Professor Steffen Schmidt thinks Reynolds was a good choice because she is so unknown that she won't turn voters off or take attention away from Branstad.

Share any thoughts about the Branstad/Reynolds ticket in this thread.

UPDATE: Jason Hancock pointed out at Iowa Independent:

Kim Lehman, another member of the Republican National Committee and formerly president of Iowa Right to Life, praised Reynolds' selection and her legislative record, ticking through each of the bills she has sponsored since entering the state Senate in 2008 and concluding, "Reynolds went into office and took the bull by the horns and got busy."

However, a closer look at the bills Reynolds signed on to reveals she only sponsored one piece of legislation on her own - a requirement that the Department of Natural Resources develop depredation plans to fill harvest quotas of antlerless deer in each county that have not been met at the end of the last established deer hunting season each year.

Other than that, she nearly always joins with all or a large majority of the state Senate's 18 Republicans to push bills.

FRIDAY UPDATE: Reynolds gave an interview to Kathie Obradovich and spoke about being a recovering alcoholic. This is not going to be an issue.

The Branstad campaign is trying to counter opposition to Reynolds over her support for a recreational lake project that angered some property rights advocates. Today the campaign released an endorsement from State Representative Jeff Kaufmann, who tried to intervene in that dispute on the side of property owners.

"I remain dedicated to the fight for private property rights in this state," said Kaufmann. "The last four years of Democratic control of the Legislature has yielded no strengthening of these rights.  The Democratic majority has not allowed debate of a single property rights bill despite overwhelming support for the 2006 landmark legislation."

"Our attempts to protect property rights will be thwarted, as usual, by Governor Culver and Democratic leadership without Republican control of the Legislature," added Kaufmann. "To me, all other property rights discussions are secondary to that goal.  I look forward to working with Kim Reynolds in the future to protect property owners in the future."

The Branstad campaign also sent conservative blogger Shane Vander Hart a statement from Reynolds about eminent domain:

I fully support the 2006 legislation that curtailed the use of eminent domain to take private property. I do not support eminent domain for commercial development purposes. I support eminent domain only for essential public services.

That answer satisfied Vander Hart. However, one issue with these recreational lake projects (like ones proposed for Page County, Clarke County and Madison County in recent years) is that the advocates will claim the land grab serves an essential public service, like providing more drinking water. However, analysts dispute whether the lake is really needed as a drinking water source, or whether that's a ruse to obscure the real goal behind the project. A few people stand to make a lot of money if the farmland they own can be developed as lakeshore property. So the question is whether the state would allow other people's farmland to be condemned in order to create a lake that's basically a private commercial development.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

High-ranking departures point to "full-scale bloodletting" at RNC

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Apr 05, 2010 at 20:09:53 PM CDT

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has been under pressure lately. Since he took over in January 2009, the RNC has spent far more than it has raised, and the latest numbers show the Democratic National Committee ahead of the RNC in cash of hand (which is highly unusual). Major Republican donors have been fleeing the RNC for various reasons, including staffers' embarrassing fundraising proposals and massive overspending on luxury hotels, limos and nightclubs. Today RNC Chief of Staff Ken McKay resigned, prompting one of Steele's advisers to leave in what Jonathan Martin described as "a full-scale bloodletting":

"Leadership requires that I can safely assure you, our donors, and the American people that our mission is what drives every dollar we spend, every phone call we make, every email we send and every event we organize," Steele wrote in the email [sent to RNC members and donors on Monday], obtained by POLITICO. "Recent events have called that assurance into question and the buck stops with me. That is why I have made this change in my management team and why I am confident about going forward to November with renewed focus and energy."

McKay didn't immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

But his apparent firing has roiled the close-knit world of GOP operatives and Monday night longtime Republican strategist and Steele adviser Curt Anderson said his consulting firm would no longer be working with the RNC.

"Ken McKay's departure is a huge loss for the Republican Party," Anderson said in a statement to POLITICO. "Ken steered the party through very successful elections last fall that have given us tremendous momentum. He's a great talent. Given our firm's commitments to campaigns all over the country we have concluded it is best for us to step away from our advisory role at the RNC. We have high personal regard for the Chairman and always have; we wish him well."

It's hard to see how the turmoil at the RNC won't end with Steele's departure, although Josh Marshall argued today that Steele

can't be fired, in significant measure, because he's black. Because canning Steele now would only drive home the reality that Republicans were trying to paper over, fairly clumsily, when they hired him in the first place. So Republicans are stuck with his myriad goofs and #pressfails and incompetent management and all the rest because of a set of circumstances entirely of their own making.

Hey, don't blame Iowa's RNC members; they voted for Katon Dawson over Steele in January 2009. But I must say I doubt a guy who became a Republican because the government desegregated his high school, and more recently belonged to an all-white country club, would have been the right man to rebuild the GOP's image.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Dream recruit may spark Republican infighting in Senate district 45

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:21:07 AM CST

Iowa Republicans have landed Sandy Greiner, their dream candidate against first-term Democratic State Senator Becky Schmitz in Senate district 45. The southeast Iowa district includes all of Washington, Jefferson, and Van Buren counties, plus part of Wapello and Johnson counties (map here). Schmitz defeated Republican incumbent David Miller by 184 votes in 2006, but the area leans slightly Republican in terms of voter registration.

Greiner represented Iowa House district 89, which makes up half of Senate district 45, for four terms (1993 to 2001). She then served for two years in the Iowa Senate before redistricting prompted her to return to House district 89 for another three terms (2003-2009). Consequently, she starts the race with high name recognition in the area and will be able to campaign almost as an incumbent. Republican blogger Craig Robinson sounds ready to declare this seat won for the GOP.

Greiner will be a stronger opponent for Schmitz than the three Republicans who had previously declared for the seat (Richard Marlar, Randy Besick and Dan Cesar). However, I would not assume that local Republicans will be united behind her this fall. Greiner is linked to business elites who have battled with activists on the religious right for control over the direction of the Iowa GOP.

Join me after the jump for more background on Greiner and why I suspect some social conservatives will fight her candidacy.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1768 words in story)

Republican National Committee rejects "purity test"

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:15:16 AM CST

The Republican National Committee won't be imposing the "purity test" proposed by committeeman James Bopp of Indiana. During last week's meetings in Honolulu, a group of state GOP chairs unanimously voted against requiring Republican candidates to agree with at least eight out of ten conservative policy stands in order to receive RNC support during the 2010 campaign.

Bopp withdrew his motion from the floor on Friday after a compromise had been reached. RNC members then unanimously passed a non-binding resolution that "only 'urges' party leaders to support nominees who back the party's platform," Politico's Jonathan Martin reported.

Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in Illinois and Delaware would have failed Bopp's purity test and therefore not qualified for RNC support. The resolution that passed does not penalize candidates who disagree with various "core principles" of the GOP. Still, Bopp tried to spin the compromise as a victory:

"You've got to determine that the candidate supports all the core principles of the Republican Party before you support them," he said, explaining the alternate measure.

But when asked whether it was binding, Bopp was cut off by Oregon GOP Chairman Bob Tiernan, who was standing nearby the impromptu press briefing.

"That resolution passed is not binding; it's a suggestion," said Tiernan.

As Bopp began to again make his case for the compromise, Tiernan again interjected.

"There's nothing mandatory or required in there," the Oregonian noted.

"Can I answer the question, Mr. Chairman?" Bopp shot back.

Continuing, Bopp explained that he thought the RNC's decision to, for the first time, make it party policy to urge candidates to pledge fealty to the GOP platform represented a significant step.

But Tiernan, standing just over Bopp's shoulder, again rebutted his committee colleague.

"I'm not going to take that back and make my candidates sign it, that's ridiculous," Tiernan said, gesturing toward the compromise resolution in a reporter's hand. "We don't have a litmus test and we rejected the litmus test today."

As Bopp continued, Tiernan again spoke up.

"There's nothing binding in there," said the state chairman.

"Can I finish?" a plainly annoyed Bopp asked.

"Read the words," replied Tiernan.

"Shut up," Bopp finally said.

Although the RNC papered over this dispute, clearly tensions remain over whether Republican leaders should insist that candidates be conservatives.

Two of Iowa's RNC members, Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehman, supported Bopp's purity test. Our state's third representative on the RNC, Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn, didn't comment on Bopp's effort when it first emerged or last week, to my knowledge. I assume he agreed with other state party chairs, who according to various reports strongly opposed the idea. If that is inaccurate, I hope someone will correct me.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Year in review: Iowa politics in 2009 (part 2)

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 14:13:59 PM CST

Following up on my review of news from the first half of last year, I've posted links to Bleeding Heartland's coverage of Iowa politics from July through December 2009 after the jump.

Hot topics on this blog during the second half of the year included the governor's race, the special election in Iowa House district 90, candidates announcing plans to run for the state legislature next year, the growing number of Republicans ready to challenge Representative Leonard Boswell, state budget constraints, and a scandal involving the tax credit for film-making.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 5535 words in story)

Year in review: Iowa politics in 2009 (part 1)

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 08:08:56 AM CST

I expected 2009 to be a relatively quiet year in Iowa politics, but was I ever wrong.

The governor's race heated up, state revenues melted down, key bills lived and died during the legislative session, and the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in Varnum v Brien became one of this state's major events of the decade.

After the jump I've posted links to Bleeding Heartland's coverage of Iowa politics from January through June 2009. Any comments about the year that passed are welcome in this thread.

Although I wrote a lot of posts last year, there were many important stories I didn't manage to cover. I recommend reading Iowa Independent's compilation of "Iowa's most overlooked and under reported stories of 2009," as well as that blog's review of "stories that will continue to impact Iowa in 2010."

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 5197 words in story)

Weekend open thread: opportunities and promises

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 15:35:21 PM CST

This thread is for anything that's on your mind this weekend.

After the jump I've posted links about Christian Fong, Sarah Palin, House district 1 and Kim Lehman to get things rolling.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 624 words in story)

The shrinking Republican tent (part 2)

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 07:47:10 AM CST

Not long ago I noted that Republicans are not even considering a socially moderate candidate to challenge Dave Loebsack in Iowa's most Democratic-leaning Congressional district.

Now some members of the Republican National Committee have the bright idea of cutting off party support for any candidate, anywhere, who strays too far from conservative dogma.

I knew some conservatives were crazy, but I didn't know they were that crazy.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1504 words in story)
Next >>
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