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Tim Pawlenty

He couldn't wait until after the election?

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 10:00:00 AM CDT

I've never been a fan of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, but until this morning I didn't take him for someone who would kick a friend when he's down. Today's breaking news is Pawlenty resigning as national co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in order to become CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable.
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The 10 biggest Iowa political blunders of 2011

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 08:54:21 AM CST

Let's review the most boneheaded moves from the year in Iowa politics.

This thread is not about wrongheaded policy choices. It may be stupid to cut early childhood education programs, kneecap the state Environmental Protection Commission, or pass an "ag gag" bill that would never survive a court challenge. Yet all of those actions carry potential political benefits, since they appeal to well-funded interest groups or a large group of voters.

My top ten list of Iowa politicians' mistakes is after the jump.

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Pawlenty's Iowa chairman joins Rick Perry campaign

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:56:54 AM CDT

Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker joined Texas Governor Rick Perry's campaign yesterday as Iowa co-chair. He had previously led former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's Iowa campaign effort. On Monday Pawlenty endorsed Perry's leading rival for the Republican nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Whitaker's partner in the Des Moines law firm Whitaker Hagenow is State Representative Chris Hagenow. He endorsed Pawlenty this summer and hasn't publicly committed to another candidate yet.

After the jump I've posted part of a Perry for president press release with background on nine new staffers just hired to work field. Romney is not investing as much in his campaign's Iowa ground game as he did before the 2008 caucuses.

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Pawlenty endorses Romney; will Iowa backers follow?

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 13:28:34 PM CDT

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president this morning, trying to set the media agenda as eight Republican candidates prepare to debate in Florida this evening.
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Rick Perry momentum links and discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 10:42:11 AM CDT

Texas Governor Rick Perry has quickly become the front-runner in the Republican presidential field, so it's time to catch up on his campaign in Iowa and around the country.

Samples from the governor's rhetoric and policy statements are below, along with recent poll numbers and some Texas-sized chutzpah from Perry's latest Iowa speech.

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Weekend open thread: No safety net for Newt

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Aug 27, 2011 at 15:28:25 PM CDT

What's on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? Newt Gingrich is probably wondering who's going to pay for him to fly around the country on private jets. His presidential campaign can't afford the expense anymore, and his former gravy train 527 group American Solutions went belly up last month.
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Ron Paul's second tv ad and Iowa campaign roundup

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 14:15:25 PM CDT

Representative Ron Paul launched his presidential campaign's second television commercial today. The 60-second spot contrasts Paul with "smooth-talking politicians" from both political parties, including his three strongest rivals for the Republican nomination.
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Pawlenty quits presidential race

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 16:47:10 PM CDT

Backers of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign insisted all summer that he would stay in the race at least through the Iowa caucuses, but he gave up this morning.
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Ames straw poll news and discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 09:42:46 AM CDT

The Republican Party of Iowa gets its first bite at the apple today, raking in money at the Ames straw poll event. Six presidential candidates who paid for space at the venue will speak to the crowd, along with five GOP elected officials and state party chairman Matt Strawn. I've posted the speaking schedule below and will update this post throughout the day.

Nine candidates will appear on the straw poll ballot: the eight who debated Thursday night plus Representative Thad McCotter of Michigan. Voting closes at 4 pm, but it may take Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz a long time to tabulate results because of the large number of expected write-ins. Speaking of Schultz, I noticed on the Secretary of State's website yesterday that he has put out only one press release since his embarrassing smackdown of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman two months ago. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board dismissed an ethics complaint that the Iowa Democratic Party filed regarding that press release.

Any comments about the spectacle are welcome in this thread, especially first-person accounts from Bleeding Heartland users who are in Ames today.

Which candidates, if any, will receive fewer votes than write-ins Sarah Palin, Texas Governor Rick Perry or "Rick Parry," the name Stephen Colbert's Super PAC is pushing? I expect McCotter will have a tough day. Don't know who is supporting him besides former Iowa House Speaker Chris Rants, and he doesn't have a huge following in the Iowa GOP anymore, to put it mildly. When McCotter bid for space at the straw poll, he probably wasn't expecting to be left out of the Fox News debate. That plus the lack of time and money he's spent in Iowa puts him at a big disadvantage.

If former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty does better than expected in the straw poll, he will owe thanks to a couple of outside groups. The American Petroleum Institute's Iowa Energy Forum and Strong America Now both have organizational ties to the Pawlenty campaign. Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register discussed those connections and the outside groups' work in greater detail here. Four years ago, Mike Huckabee's Ames straw poll effort got a huge assist from Americans for Fair Taxation, helping Huckabee finish a close second to Mitt Romney.

UPDATE: News from the day is after the jump.

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Iowa GOP/Fox debate discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 19:20:30 PM CDT

Eight Republican candidates take the stage this evening in Ames for a debate co-hosted by Fox "News" and the Republican Party of Iowa: Representative Michele Bachmann, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Representative Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.

Several Republicans who have launched presidential campaigns weren't invited to the debate, including former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, longtime GOP activist Fred Karger (the first openly gay Republican presidential candidate), and Representative Thad McCotter. Fox made that call because those candidates didn't receive an average of 1 percent support in five national polls. It's an especially tough break for McCotter, who might have assumed automatic entry to the debate after paying for space at Saturday's straw poll event. He will be on the straw poll ballot, along with the eight candidates debating tonight.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry isn't in Ames because he hasn't officially declared his candidacy. Perry will try to bigfoot the straw poll by making his intentions clear on Saturday in South Carolina.

I'll update this post later. Meanwhile, comments about the debate or the GOP presidential race are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Thoughts about the debate are after the jump.

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Iowa State Fair tips and soapbox schedule

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 09:59:07 AM CDT

The oppressive summer heat broke in time for today's opening of the Iowa State Fair. I've posted some of my tips for enjoying the fair below, along with the schedule for this week at the Des Moines Register's "soapbox." Ten Republican presidential candidates (including one I'd never heard of) are speaking, along with Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
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Iowa GOP finalizes Ames straw poll ballot

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 18:54:51 PM CDT

Nine declared presidential candidates made the cut when the Republican Party of Iowa's State Central Committee decided today who would appear on the ballot for the August 13 Ames straw poll. Those candidates are Representatives Michele Bachmann, Thaddeus McCotter, and Ron Paul, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. There will be a write-in line for attendees who want to express their support for someone else.

Central committee members were evenly split over whether former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Texas Governor Rick Perry's names should also be listed on the straw poll ballot. Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn cast the tie-breaking vote for not including them. O.Kay Henderson posted a good write-up of the debate during the committee meeting.  

Only six candidates (Paul, Bachmann, McCotter, Santorum, Cain and Pawlenty) paid for tent space outside the straw poll venue. A 527 group called Americans for Perry was not allowed to rent space for the event, according to the group's executive director, Craig Schoenfeld. He was one of the Gingrich staffers who quit as a group in early June.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that three declared GOP presidential candidates will not appear on the Ames straw poll ballot. Longtime campaign operative and gay rights advocate Fred Karger officially launched his campaign in March. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson joined the race in April. Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer announced his candidacy this past week.

SECOND UPDATE: Iowa GOP State Central Committee member David Chung described what happened at Saturday's meeting here. I agree with him that investing in the straw poll would have been a good investment for Karger. (He would have received more attention in Ames than he did by running a few television ads here last November.)  However, I can also understand why Karger wouldn't want to spend $15,000 in campaign funds on a donation to the Iowa GOP after the way RNC member Steve Scheffler has communicated with him and excluded him. Chung suggested that the committee should have adopted criteria for inclusion on the ballot instead of a list of names. He added,

So, why did Johnson and Roemer not make the cut? The real reason is that no one in the room felt passionately enough that they should be on the ballot to suggest it. My sense is had someone suggested adding them, the SCC would have done it.
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Presidential 2Q fundraising news and discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 17:21:41 PM CDT

"Underwhelming" is the best way to describe the Republican presidential candidates' latest reports to the Federal Election Commission. During the second quarter of the year, the GOP presidential field collectively raised less than $40 million. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama raised $47 million for his campaign committee from April through June, plus another $38 million for the Democratic National Committee.

Details from the FEC reports are after the jump.  

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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.  

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Bachmann in Iowa news roundup, with first tv ad

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:53:19 PM CDT

Conventional wisdom says President Barack Obama would love to run against an "extreme" Republican candidate, such as Representative Michele Bachmann. With unemployment up again and likely to rise further as Obama tries to outdo Republicans on government spending cuts, I'm not convinced that a big campaign war chest will be enough to get the president re-elected.

Watching Bachmann's solid introductory television commercial and highlights from her recent Iowa tour, I challenge those who write her off as "unelectable," especially in this economy. Ad video, transcipt, analysis and more Bachmann campaign news are after the jump.

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New Pawlenty ad spins candidate as a winner

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 12:25:08 PM CDT

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty started running his presidential campaign's second television commercial in Iowa today. The 30-second spot describes victories for Pawlenty in battles with public workers and Democrats in Minnesota.

Most of the Republican presidential candidates haven't launched paid advertising in Iowa yet, but Pawlenty needs to make headway before the Republican Party of Iowa's straw poll in Ames, now less than six weeks away. His camp also appears to be feeling pressure to halt Representative Michele Bachmann's momentum in Iowa.

The video, annotated transcript and other news from the Pawlenty campaign are after the jump.  

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Register poll has good news for Bachmann, bad news for Pawlenty

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 21:35:49 PM CDT

The Des Moines Register's new poll of 400 likely Republican caucus-goers indicates that Representative Michele Bachmann is gaining ground. Selzer and Co surveyed Iowans between June 19 and 22, and the margin of error for the sample of likely caucus-goers is plus or minus 4.9 percent. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads the field with 23 percent support, but he has already indicated that he won't invest heavily in Iowa this cycle. Bachmann nearly matched Romney in the Register's poll with 22 percent. Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain placed a distant third with 10 percent, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Ron Paul (7 percent each), former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (6 percent), former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (4 percent) and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (2 percent).

Romney's best numbers are among moderates, people with less than a college education, and those earning less than $50,000 per year. Bachmann did particularly well with respondents who are very conservative, well-educated and/or between the ages of 45 and 64. The encouraging poll numbers will give her more buzz just as she is scheduled to formally announce her candidacy (for the second or third time) in Waterloo on June 27.

The results are terrible for Pawlenty, who doesn't seem to be getting any traction out of his large staff and many Iowa visits. Putting a less-bad spin on the numbers,

Republican pollster Randy Gutermuth pointed out that the Iowa Poll took place before Pawlenty's television ads, direct mail and other paid voter outreach had time to penetrate.

"It's way too early to be writing off Tim Pawlenty," said Gutermuth, who is not affiliated with any presidential candidate. "I'm sure they'd rather be leading today, but I don't think they're jumping out of buildings either."

Maybe not jumping out of buildings, but eager to change the subject as soon as this poll came out. On June 26, Pawlenty's campaign announced the formation of an Iowa Legislative Steering Committee. Legislators serving on the committee cover all regions of the state: Iowa Senators Randy Feenstra (district 2), Rob Bacon (district 5) and Shawn Hamerlinck (district 42), and State Representatives Chip Baltimore (district 48), Joel Fry (district 95), Erik Helland (district 69), Chris Hagenow (district 59), Steve Lukan (district 32), Linda Miller (district 82) and Matt Windschitl (district 56). Unfortunately for Pawlenty, all the endorsements in the world won't turn things around unless the candidate starts connecting with caucus-goers. Right now Bachmann leads him even as a second choice for Iowans who prefer Romney--and that's without any of the candidates picking apart Pawlenty's fiscal record and heavy state borrowing.

Speaking of the Register's opinion polls and caucus coverage, the Sunday paper announced that Jennifer Jacobs will be the Register's chief political writer. She replaces Thomas Beaumont, who took a job with the Associated Press this spring.

Any comments about the Republican presidential race are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Douglas Burns tells us what a top British bookmaker says. Even before this poll was released, Ladbrokes gave Bachmann the best chance of winning the Iowa caucuses.

SECOND UPDATE: More detailed questions results from the new Iowa poll are here. I've highlighted some interesting results from the "issue" questions after the jump.

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Ames straw poll bidding and other GOP presidential campaign news

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 10:39:31 AM CDT

Six candidates joined the bidding yesterday as the Republican Party of Iowa auctioned off space for the Ames straw poll event. Representative Ron Paul ponied up $31,000 for the best spot to pitch a tent outside the August 13 festivities. Four years ago, front-runner Mitt Romney used that spot, but the well-financed Romney is ditching this year's straw poll.

The other candidates to pay at least $15,000 for guaranteed spots at the venue and on the straw poll ballot were Representative Michele Bachmann, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and (coming way out of right field) Representative Thad McCotter of Michigan. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was conspicuously absent from the bidding. Candidates who didn't bid yesterday may secure a spot on the straw poll ballot later. Among the possibilities: Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Follow me after the jump for more on the Republican campaign trail in Iowa, including new endorsements and Pawlenty's first television commercial.

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Weekend open thread and GOP presidential campaign links

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 08:15:00 AM CDT

What's on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers?

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sent out his first direct mail to Iowa Republicans this week. The mailer is a biographical piece, describing Pawlenty's childhood and family background as well as key achievements as governor. Two prominent Iowa Republicans are co-chairing Pawlenty's campaign in this state: former gubernatorial candidate Christian Fong and Roger Underwood. Fong has carved out a niche as a promoter of conservatism among younger Iowa voters. Underwood has worked in the ag industry in Ames for the last three decades and was a policy adviser for Terry Branstad's gubernatorial campaign. After the jump I've posted the Pawlenty campaign press release with more background on Fong and Underwood.

Black Hawk County Republicans still hope Representative Michele Bachmann will officially announce her candidacy in Waterloo this month, even though she already confirmed during Monday's CNN Republican debate that she is running for president. In a web video released June 13, Bachmann said she had filed papers to run and promised, "With your common sense and with your energy, working together, we will take our country back in 2012." Many presidential candidates become book authors, and Bachmann is shopping around a memoir, to be published this fall. State Senator Kent Sorenson is heading Bachmann's campaign in Iowa; Iowa GOP State Central Committee member Wes Enos is a staffer for her political action committee. Enos was Mike Huckabee's political director in Iowa before the 2008 caucuses.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's presidential campaign looks finished before it officially began. A few days ago Danny Carroll resigned as Moore's Iowa campaign chair, saying Moore was not "going to be able to raise the money necessary for a viable campaign." Sioux City Pastor Cary Gordon, a Moore supporter and prominent figure in last year's campaign against retaining Iowa Supreme Court justices, told Bret Hayworth that he has advised Moore to drop the presidential bid he's been exploring. Moore wasn't raising enough money to compete in the Iowa GOP's August straw poll in Ames, Gordon explained.

Parenting magazine just named Des Moines number 5 on its list of 100 "best cities for families," citing good education, health and amenities as well as a low unemployment rate. Moving his wife and children to Des Moines for several months didn't boost then-Senator Chris Dodd's campaign for the 2008 Democratic caucuses. But at least Dodd wasn't charging a school district back home in Connecticut for his daughters' education in Iowa. When Rick Santorum was in the U.S. Senate, a suburban Pittsburgh school district paid big bucks for his children to use its internet-based school from their home in Virginia.

Speaking of Santorum, has anyone heard his Iowa radio commercial? His campaign didn't release the size of the ad buy.

This is an open thread.

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Rick Santorum's first radio ad in Iowa (with transcript)

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 13:36:54 PM CDT

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is back in Iowa today, meeting and greeting potential caucus-goers in Denison before attending a "Trunk & Tusk" reception at a farm near Holstein later in the afternoon. Tonight he headlines an event for the Ida County Republican Party, and tomorrow he will join the Iowa Tea Party bus tour in Spencer.

Starting this week, Santorum will reach Iowa Republicans though the radio as well. His first commercial went up yesterday on nationwide satellite radio and hits the airwaves in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina later this week. The campaign didn't release the size of the ad buy.

You can listen to Santorum's 60-second spot at his presidential campaign website. I've posted my transcript after the jump, along with some analysis of the message and what's notably absent from the message.

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