Jim Gibbons’ Congressional campaign hasn’t impressed me so far, but I’m even less impressed by supporters of Republican rivals who are trying to discredit Gibbons as a “carpet-bagger.” It’s supposed to be a big scandal that Gibbons recently moved from Boone County (part of IA-04 and a 20-minute drive from the Des Moines suburbs) to Polk County. This attack is an insult to the collective intelligence of third district voters.
So I almost didn’t click on Charlotte Eby’s blog post yesterday, “Candidate new resident of Iowa’s 3rd District.” But there was something interesting in the story after all:
Former Iowa State University wrestling coach Jim Gibbons moved into an apartment in Des Moines from a home in [a] rural area near Perry, said Nick Ryan, who responded on behalf of the campaign.
I’ve been hearing that Gibbons was Bruce Rastetter’s man in the Republican primary to face Representative Leonard Boswell, and Eby’s post contained the first piece of evidence supporting that rumor. Ryan was recently in the news speaking on behalf of the American Future Fund, but he “works primarily for Rastetter’s companies”. He accompanied Rastetter to meetings with Iowa House and Senate Republicans to talk political strategy during the 2009 legislative session.
If Ryan is taking press calls for the Gibbons campaign, it’s a safe bet that Rastetter’s money is on Gibbons. Why the ethanol baron would prefer him to State Senator Brad Zaun is still a mystery to me. Anyone with a good hypothesis is welcome to post a comment here or send me an e-mail: desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.
UPDATE: In the comments, Bleeding Heartland user mirage points out that Cityview’s Civic Skinny and Iowa Progress have pushed the carpet-bagger angle. Point taken, though neither of them said that should be a reason for Republican primary voters to reject Gibbons. I’ve observed commenters at The Iowa Republican trying to use this argument, though.
Speaking of The Iowa Republican, they published a Gibbons press release today containing an idiotic tax proposal. Might appeal to some Republican primary voters, but it’s completely impractical.