News I learned from a non-story about Gibbons

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

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.

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  • clarification....and explanation.....

    desmoinesdem, before you continue to say republicans are behind discrediting Gibbons with the carpetbagger tag, i suggest you go to the sources for this info, Cityview Magazine and, a leftist blog.

    secondly, republicans are not as concerned about the carpetbagger label as they are about Gibbons fibbing about his resume and history.  You will note on his website he claims he worked in Des Moines for the last two decades, but FINRA documents say he was working in Perry for nearly a decade of that. in addition, on his facebook page he claims to work for Wells Fargo since 1992, yet in reality only worked there one year.  he goes on to claim Des Moines as his hometown, but was actually born and raised in Ames.  it is the many and continued lies that have republicans up in arms as well as the resume inflation. your question…it is my belief that one of two things, or both, contribute to Rastetter’s support of Gibbons…..1. Rastetter began looking for a candidate in the summer timeframe and settled on Gibbons, not knowing Zaun was available or would even run (until Zaun announced in December).  by that time the wheels were in motion with Gibbons already, for better or worse.  2. Rastetter needed a candidate he could “control”, thus the Nick Ryan management of the Gibbons campaign, where with Zaun, Zaun would bring his own management of the campaign (the same team that won him the last five elections), could not be “controlled” by Rastetter, and Zaun’s philosophy of government getting OUT of subsidies and Zaun’s desire for lower taxes and spending ay not have been Rastetter’s view with his ethanol holdings, which need continued huge government subsidies to be at all viable.

    that is my hypothesis only.

    • that's a pretty good hypothesis

      and I have updated the post to include those links.

      Honestly, I stopped reading Iowa Progress after their coverage of the IA-03 Democratic primary last year. I’ll have to start stopping by there again now that Geraldine is writing about other things.