Weekend open thread: Iowans who should run for governor edition

The cover story in Cityview this week is the awkwardly-headlined “25 people not running for governor (but should)”. The list includes former Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson, who would be outstanding, and activist LaVon Griffieon, a friend who has inspired me. I don’t agree with all the names on Cityview’s list, but the whole point of a feature like that is to provoke discussions and arguments. So, Bleeding Heartland readers, who should be running for governor of Iowa, and what do you think of the list Cityview compiled?

This thread is for anything that’s on your mind this weekend. I am horrified by the plane crash that wiped out so many influential past and present citizens of Poland. If you’re wondering why the Polish elite were flying on a Soviet aircraft, apparently it was faster than the planes other countries use for similar purposes.

Many prominent Iowa Republicans and candidates are attending Representative Steve King’s “Defenders of Freedom” dinner, featuring Representative Michele Bachmann. King grabbed the blogosphere’s attention this week by slamming the Humane Society as “vegetarians with an agenda.”

I’ve been reading some clips on the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this weekend. Although the event is in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina was very much off the radar. Sarah Palin electrified the crowd yesterday, but the presidential straw poll ended up nearly tied between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. I was amused to read this snapshot of Republican family values:

just overheard a mom tell her young daughter at #SRLC, “No, we don’t support Medicaid. Medicaid is for losers.”

At Drake University today, counter-protesters outnumbered the members of Fred Phelps’ clan “church.” I still lean toward not elevating the importance of those freaks by generating more media coverage of their rallies. Ignoring them seemed to work fine for the Des Moines area Jewish community last year.

  • I say

    that both Fred and Charlotte Hubbell would probably make great gubernatorial candidates.  Liz Christiansen, former DNR deputy director, is less known, but I think she would do very well in politics.

  • Trying to sell papers

    The trick 9 guy and Ashton Kutcher?  They are in the entertainment business so I understand. I would have put Joe Seng on there and David Miles would have made the list.  I love Jim Leach, wish he was still in Congress.  Bring back the centrists!  

    • Joe Seng lost me

      when he tried to delay the implementation of septic tank inspections during the 2009 session. He seems like a good guy in a lot of ways, but that was underhanded and clearly went against the public interest in improving water quality.

    • I have never understood Leach's popularity

      He was one of the two people most responsible for the wave of financial deregulation in the 1990’s (along with Phil Gramm).  Leach was also a big cheerleader for impeaching Clinton.  Why did anyone think he was a moderate?  Was it because of the cardigan?

      • he was clever

        at gaming the interest group voting scorecards. For instance, he would vote pro-choice and pro-environment on some things, but he would vote against the money needed to implement pro-choice, pro-environment policies. But he looked like a moderate.

        During the 1990s he did bad things on deregulation, but during the 1980s he was one of the first to warn about the S&L disaster coming down the pike. I think I remember that he offered some kind of amendment that would have prevented a bunch of the S&L losses, but only about two dozen members of the U.S. House voted for it.

  • Dick Myers

    shoulda been governor

  • Alternate history 2006

    1. I wonder what would have happened if Sally Pederson had run in 2006. Would she have beaten Culver? Would Blouin still have run? How would a Gov. Blouin be faring right about now? Or a Gov. Pederson?

    3. Speaking of Blouin, he’s one who’s due for a second act I think.

    4. Roy Buol, Dubuque mayor would be a good one to consider.

    I’d like to see Matt McCoy as governor, if for no other reason than to watch Steve Deace’s fat head explode. Also, it would be nice to have the first openly gay governor (at the time of election–Jim McGreevey shouldn’t count).

    5. We’re going to have to keep some of these folks in mind for after Culver gets his whoopin’ in November.

    • I think Sally Pederson would have won the primary

      if she had run in 2006. Culver didn’t beat Blouin by very much, and Pederson is extremely popular among the Democratic base.

      I am relieved we didn’t have to experience Blouin as governor. Instead of I-JOBS we would probably have the Values Fund on steroids, which very little of lasting value to show for all our money.

      • Pederson was great.

        She was one of the smartest people that I’ve ever met.  Although she was a diffident public speaker in the beginning, she had gotten to be pretty good by the end of her term.

        I supported Blouin during the primary, mostly because of he had the overwhelming support of the state legislators.  While you may be right about the “Values Fund”, at least he would have passed fair share.

        • how would he have passed fair share?

          I don’t think the votes were there in the Iowa House. I also suspect he would probably have vetoed the collective bargaining bill like Culver did in 2008.

      • Gov. Pederson's first term

        I agree. I think if Sally Pederson had run, Blouin would have sat the election out. It would have come down to Pederson and Culver, and Sally would’ve won.

        Where do you think we’d be with Gov. Pederson?

        I think she’d have followed Vilsack’s style of leadership much more closely. She’d have called the Legislature into special session after the floods, for starters.

        I also think her version of IJOBS would have been more service-oriented instead of construction/infrastructure oriented. She’d have funneled money into schools and social services to save jobs there instead of building as many roads.

        • interesting question

          Probably yes on the special session. Probably her office would have had better communication with the public and state legislators.

  • On the Republican side,

    I think Ted Sporer should throw his hat in the ring.  If nothing else, my online buddy would provide great entertainment value.  It would be interesting to see how the R side would respond to him.  In the age of Palin, he could do surprisingly well.

    • I think he has a lot of enemies

      and wouldn’t get far in a GOP primary.

    • not so sure about that one

      Sporer is a BIT too strident for me…and that’s a serious understatement.  I knew him as a high school debater (of all things) when he was a coach at Valley High School.  

  • alternate history 1990

    If Tom Miller had switched his position on choice at that time he would have beaten Avenson in the primary, and probably Branstad in the general. I knew tons of people who wouldn’t vote for Miller solely because he was against abortion rights at that time.

    I voted for John Chrystal in that primary and believe he could have beaten Branstad in the general, but he was a less experienced politician for sure.

    Avenson was an extremely weak nominee against Branstad. Even my almost always straight-D-ticket voting neighbors voted for Branstad that year.

    • John Chrystal would have been a great governor

      He knew about business, and international trade.  In fact, I think that he knew some of the Soviet leaders personally from the 1950’s Khrushchev visit.

      • yes, he visted the USSR more than a dozen times

        and knew many high-ranking Soviet officials. I talked to him about that once. He was an amazing person.

  • I never agreed with every vote Jim Leach cast

    Whether he was gaming the system or not is irrelevant, his voting record struck a balance. I disagreed with Jim’s stances on flag burning and gambling as well for the record. This is more than you can say for our current “representative.”  I have been disgusted with partisan politics for years and the only reason I am registered with one is because otherwise I would be shut out of the process.

    I am more comfortable within the Democratic Party, but I certainly wish we would have had a primary back in 2006.  I was only 19 at the time so I couldn’t even consider running

    Whenever dmd or Rachel Maddow for example throw around the words corporate or conservadem that says to me they consider the concerns of both business and labor.

    When Craig Robinson and his ilk start spewing about RINOs that lets me know that this person must have a balanced point of view or at least record.

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