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Spencer ends campaign against Latham

( - promoted by Simon Stevenson)

Did everyone see this story?  Who is going to run against Latham in the 4th?



Spencer ends campaign against Latham


The Huxley physician says he is stopping his congressional run for personal reasons.

October 13, 2007


College Students - On Vacation During Caucus

Just a thought.  Even if the Iowa Caucus date stays at January 14, 2008, most college students will still be on Winter Break.  If it moves to the first week of January, they will definitely be on break.

How will this affect the race?  Who does it help?  Who does it hurt?

I believe John Kerry won every single college campus precinct in 2004.  Will Iowa college campuses matter in 2008?

House Fundraising

(For your reading pleasure. I'd like to promote a reader diary to the front page at least once a day, so consider that an incentive to attract some comments and allies here on BH. - promoted by Chris Woods)

If you haven't checked out the FEC report on the House races, you should.  There's some pretty interesting factoids in there.

All in all, Dems had some big fundraising. 

I'll break it down for you race by race:

IA-01: Bruce Braley had a solid 2nd quarter as an incumbent.  He raised $95,694 – $61,500 of which was from PACs.  Coming in second in 1st district fundraising was Mike Whalen, who raised $18,217.   According to the Web site, big Mike is still $434,000 in debt.  YIKES!  How many times do you have to eat at the Machineshed to make that up?   Looks like Bruce is all on his own.

IA-02: Rep. Dave Loebsack had a big quarter, raising almost $140,000 – $91,950 from PACs. Nobody else is even trying to fundraise here.

IA-03: Rep. Leonard Boswell had a MONSTEROUS quarter, raising $490,023 – $371,820 from PACs.  Wow.  That's a big pull.  The DCCC must've lit a fire under him.  His opponent from last cycle, Jeff Lamberti, raised $22,000, leaving him still buried under $125,000 in debt.  The Boz is strong, and this political climate can only help.

IA-04 & IA-05: For some reason, their numbers aren't posted yet.  Anybody know more about this?

Top of the Ticket

When narrowing down the choice for the Democratic presidential nominee, we should also ask ourselves which candidate provides the strongest “Top of the Ticket.”

Who provides the best top of the ticket candidacy when considering these targeted U.S. Senate races, or these DCCC Frontline members, or these targeted Iowa Senate races?

Can we win Senate seats in South Dakota with Barack Obama on the ticket?  Can Dems pick up a seat in Mississippi or Louisiana with Hillary at the top?  What about Maine with John Edwards?  Can the Dems expand their majorities with Vilsack or Dodd or Biden?  Who is the best person to protect and promote a Democratic majority?

Or is the whole notion of a “top of the ticket advantage” just a bunch of hogwash?

Congressman Rants?

I’ve been hearing some buzz that if Steve King runs against Tom Harkin, Iowa House Minority Leader Chris Rants would run for Congress in the 5th.  Rants is from the Republican black hole also known as Sioux City.

The Woodbury County Democrats have a Web site, “Rants is Wrong”, detailing a few of Mr. Rants’ bad votes.  I am sure there are more out there.

Let the opposition research continue.

Keep your eyes open for any peculiar moves by Rants.



( - promoted by Drew Miller)

It’s official.  Barack Obama has way more friends than we do.

A new Web site,, is keeping track of how many friends each presidential campaign has on MySpace.

Here’s the breakdown as of today:

And look!  The Republicans are trying too!

For the record, everyone should know that Borat of Kazakhstan has 421,238 MySpace friends.

Tila Tequila, the original MySpace “artist” and spammer has 1,670,131 MySpace friends.

Barack Obama has done a great job on Facebook too.  The One Million Strong for Barack group is up to 268,205 members.  How many of those are from an early primary state?  In fact, how many of those folks are not from Illinois?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But kudos to Team Obama for reaching out to social networks.


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Vegas Baby, Vegas

Who needs political pundits when you have Vegas bookies?

On (click “Exotics”), the Vegas odds-makers give us the “live line” on who will become President of the United States.  As of today, here’s the breakdown:

    Hillary Clinton, 1-1

    Al Gore, 3-1

    John McCain, 3-1

    Barack Obama, 6-1

    John Edwards, 8-1

    George Allen Jr, 10-1

    Rudy Giuliani, 10-1

    Sam Brownback  10-1

    Mitt Romney, 10-1

    Bill Richardson, 12-1

    Mark Warner, 15-1

    Mike Huckabee  20-1

    Evan Bayh, 20-1

    Wesley Clark, 20-1

    Chuck Hagel, 22-1

    Colin Powell, 25-1

    Joe Biden, 30-1

    Condoleezza Rice, 30-1

    Newt Gingrich, 40-1

    Tom Vilsack, 40-1

    Russ Feingold, 40-1

    Rick Santorum, 50-1

    Tom Tancredo, 50-1

    Chris Dodd, 50-1

    Mike Gravel, 50-1

    Tom Ridge, 50-1

    Tom Daschle, 50-1

    Bill Owens, 50-1

    Bob Kerrey, 50-1

    John Kerry, 50-1

    George Pataki, 50-1

    Gary Locke, 70-1

    Dick Gephardt, 75-1

    Dick Cheney, 75-1

    Howard Dean, 75-1

    Alberto Gonzales, 75-1

    Bob Ehrlich, 75-1

    Charles Schumer, 75-1

    Harold Ford Jr, 75-1

    Jack Kemp, 75-1

    Jeb Bush, 100-1

    Bill Frist, 100-1

    Jay Rockefeller, 100-1

    Ralph Nader, 100-1

    Paul Bremmer, 150-1

    Joe Lieberman, 150-1

    Bob Graham, 150-1

    Michael Bloomberg, 150-1

    Tommy Franks, 200-1

    Jesse Jackson, 200-1

    George W Bush, 200-1

    Dennis Kucinich, 200-1

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, 250-1

    Bill Clinton, 300-1

    Paul Wolfowitz, 750-1

    Alan Keyes, 750-1

    Elizabeth Dole, 750-1

    Clint Eastwood, 750-1

    Ted Kennedy, 750-1

    Bill O’Reilly, 750-1

    Laura Bush, 1000-1

    James Carville, 1000-1

    Jesse Ventura, 1000-1

    Al Sharpton, 1000-1

    John Ashcroft, 1500-1

    Donald Rumsfeld, 2000-1

    Pat Robertson, 2000-1

    Bill Maher, 2500-1

    Donald Trump, 2500-1

    Michael Moore, 7500-1

I’d throw a dollar at Laura Bush, with those odds.

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The Pursuit of Caucus Pledge Cards

The previous discussion about caucus pledge cards got me thinking.  Hillary’s camp made a big mistake last week.

Hillary’s first mistake, besides the whole National Anthem part, was not aggressively soliciting pledge cards from the audience.  I think I may have seen a sign-up sheet on a table, but that’s not going to do it.

Now, sure, it’s early.  And maybe the audience was more “undecided” than “committed.”  But the fact is Team Hillary didn’t push people to sign up, at least in my opinion.

There were 3,000 folks there, the vast majority of which were caucus-going Iowa Democrats.  And they were there to see Hillary.  It seems like a wasted opportunity to let all those future volunteers/precinct captains slip by, especially when Hillary lacks activist structure in Iowa.

At a Vilsack event I attended, the folks were pretty aggressive about getting attendees to fill out the cards.

It will be interesting to see if Team Obama has the materials and the capacity (staff + volunteers) to capture pledge cards from the crowds in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Ames, which I hear will be huge.

Also, FYI, the Ames event has been moved to the Hilton Coliseum.

New Staffer Updates for Hillary and Obama

( - promoted by Drew Miller)

We have a new round of Iowa staffer updates.

As Chris Woods reported yesterday, Chris Hayler of John Kerry and Evan Bayh fame has been picked up by the Hillary campaign as its Iowa Political Director.

This morning’s Hotline reports that Mark Daley has been picked up by Hillary as her Iowa Communications Director.  Daley is the executive director of One Iowa, and previously held posts as Communications Director for the Iowa Democratic Party and Leonard Boswell for Congress.

I am also hearing rumblings that Steve Chasse has been picked up by the Obama campaign.  He’s a great pick up.  Formerly with John Kerry in 2004 and more recently aligned with Governor Mark Warner’s bid, Chasse has solid labor ties.

CAMPAIGN DEBT: Insult to Injury

( - promoted by Drew Miller)

After checking out the FEC reports on U.S. House candidates available on the Web, it’s fair to say that losing an election doesn’t just put you down in the dumps emotionally.  It also puts you in the poor house.  Unfortunately, it’s a bipartisan problem.  With that said, the worst offenders are Republicans.

Check out some of these losing candidates who broke the bank (as of Dec. 31, 2006):

1st District

    Richard Dickinson (D)– Cash-on-Hand: $2,300; Debt: $45,909

    William Dix (R)– CoH: $10,658; Debt: $125,000

    Bill Gluba (D)– CoH: $348; Debt: $50,073

    Brian Kennedy (R)– CoH: $1,729; Debt: $126,000

    Mike Whalen (R)– CoH: $4,963; Debt: $448,950

3rd District

    Jeff Lamberti (R)– CoH: $8,476; Debt: $150,000

4th District

    Selden Spencer (D)– CoH: $2,248; Debt: $35,000

5th District

    Jeffrey Ballenger (R)– CoH: $33; Debt: $350,000

    Robert Chambers (D)– CoH: $25; Debt: $19,400

    Roy Neilsen (I)– CoH: $1,036; Debt: $48,500

    Joyce Schulte (D) – CoH: $137; Debt: $48,500

Of course, winning doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the black:

    Steve King (R)– CoH: $29,332; Debt: $57,233

If you’re friends with any of these folks, expect to get a mailing or seven asking for a bailout.

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House Rematches?

( - promoted by Drew Miller)

Today, the Hotline blog ponders rematches for House races in 2008, particularly GOP incumbents who got the boot that want to get back in.

It’s probably an appropriate time to start ponder 2008 House races in Iowa.  Since IA-01 and IA-02 are pretty solid, I’ll put my “races to watch” on IA-03 and IA-04.

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Stop Hillary Barn

For anyone who has traveled east-bound on Hwy. 20 near Tama, it’s hard to miss.  There’s a barn with a giant sign on it.  It’s been up for months.

What does it say?  Hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with farming.

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Swimming in the Talent Pool

While the Republican side has been quick to hire quality talent in the state, it seems like the Democrats, at least relatively, have been slower to the punch.

There’s a lot to fill: field, political, advance, press, scheduling and finance to name a few.  In your mind, thinking about the talent remaining in Iowa, who are the Top 5 staffers Dem presidentials should be thinking about?

Also, who were the best pickups for staff so far?

Hillary Names Iowa Director

( - promoted by Drew Miller) has the press release from the Clinton campaign.

    The Clinton presidential campaign announced today that veteran Iowa operative JoDee Winterhof will run its state operation. Winterhof, a fourth-generation Iowan, served as Sen. Tom Harkin’s chief-of-staff from 1999-2003, and worked on his presidential and senatorial campaigns…

    In addition to her work for Senator Harkin and other campaigns in Iowa, Winterhof served as the first Political Director of America Coming Together (ACT) during the 2004 election cycle, executing the largest progressive voter mobilization in history. She will take a leave as a principal at Grassroots Solutions, a firm that specializes in grassroots advocacy, political field consulting, training, and targeting.

    Before that, Winterhof was the National Project Director for The White House Project, a non-partisan public education campaign working to see women at the highest levels of leadership in the country and served in the political operation of EMILY’s List.  Additionally, she served as a political appointee in the Clinton-Gore administration at the National Women’s Business Council.

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Obama Staffs Up in Iowa

Charlotte Eby in the Quad City Times breaks the big story on some new hires for the Obama campaign in Iowa:

    Paul Tewes will serve as Obama’s director in Iowa, where the caucuses kick off the presidential nominating contest. Tewes, a Minnesota native, ran Democrat Al Gore’s Iowa caucus campaign in 2000.

    Iowa native Emily Parcell has been tapped to serve as the political director. She worked on Sen. Tom Harkin’s re-election campaign in 2002, and U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt’s 2004 caucus campaign.

And so, the hiring for the big three (Edwards, Obama and Clinton) finally begins.

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The Whisper Factor

( - promoted by Drew Miller)

Here’s a story (not really, it’s total trash) hopefully everyone will forget before too long.  Apparently, someone in “somebody’s” campaign is spreading a lie that Barack Obama was at one point a Muslim

Here are a few points to think about.

1) Barack Obama has always been a Christian.

2) Who cares?

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