Branstad gets a shot across the bow from the right

WHO reporter Dave Price posted a good scoop at the Price of Politics blog about a flyer attacking Terry Branstad, which appeared on some cars in Des Moines on Saturday. The flyer says “Paid for by Iowans For Truth and Honest Government,” but it reads like the case that supporters of Bob Vander Plaats would make against Branstad in the Republican gubernatorial primary. The distributors seem to have wanted publicity, because they put the flyers on at least one car in the WHO-TV parking lot.

anti-Branstad flyer that appeared in Des Moines, 8/22/09

The line about the “pro-infanticide Lieutenant Governor” refers to Joy Corning, who is pro-choice and has criticized activists who make the abortion issue a “litmus test” for Republican candidates.

Attacking Branstad for saying nice things about Mitt Romney may reflect the fact that Branstad’s former top aide, Doug Gross, was Romney’s Iowa chairman before the 2008 caucuses. However, it should be noted that one of Vander Plaats’ campaign co-chairs is State Representative Jodi Tymeson, who also supported Romney for president.

If Branstad gets back into politics, most of the Republican establishment will support him, but a significant number of rank-and-file Republicans may be swayed by the arguments made in this flyer. It would be ironic for Branstad’s main obstacle to be the religious conservatives, who carried him to victory in the 1982 and 1994 GOP primaries.

Iowa Democratic Party chair Michael Kiernan released a memo on Friday making the case against Branstad from a different perspective. I’ll have more to say on that in a future post.

  • Abortionists and perverts?


    This is exactly the kind of thing that gets put under windshield wipers. It’s John Birch-grade baloney.

    • are you saying

      you think this might have been created to discredit the anti-Branstad arguments?

      I have no idea who’s behind this, but if Branstad runs, some of these arguments will carry weight with the GOP base: raised taxes, increased spending, expanded gambling, few restrictions on abortions, appointments to Iowa Supreme Court and State Board of Education, etc. The only one they forgot was “two sets of books.”

      • Nope...

        I’m just saying that this is far-out winger stuff. A lot of the claims are exaggerated, misinformed, or just plain don’t hold water. It really has no legitimacy.

        Like saying that Branstad doubled the state budget from $2 million to $4 million while in office. I mean, yeah he did, but he was in office for the better part of two decades!

        Or take the fact that the Romney pic is from a DMU candidate forum, and that Branstad is only speaking as host of the event–while the flier makes it sound like they’re practically married. That kind of thing.  

        • understood

          but it’s true that he didn’t try hard to stop the expansion of gambling in Iowa, and he did agree to raise the (regressive) sales tax more than once.

  • Who do you think is going to get the nod

    on the GOP side?  (Assuming TB enters or not)

    • if Branstad runs

      I think he will be the nominee, but only after a serious fight. I don’t think anyone can talk Vander Plaats into stepping aside, and I think he has a hard-core base of support and a lot of ammunition to use against Branstad.

      If Branstad doesn’t run, I have no idea. I can’t see Rants putting together a winning coalition. I still think Fong is too young to win a statewide primary. Maybe someone else will be drafted to stop BVP, but I have no idea who that could be.

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