Waukee's small-time controversy could be talking point for school vouchers

Matt Chapman is a concerned citizen living in Waukee. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The Waukee school board approved a settlement for almost $1 million to former human resource director Terry Welker on Monday. Two other lawsuits for wrongful termination are pending and one was dismissed in 2014.

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits are former district employees, who allegedly faced retaliation after reporting that Chief Operating Officer Eric Rose had used school property at home, allowed unauthorized individuals to use school facilities, and altered time cards.

While the crimes themselves are petty, the settlement is not and will give ammunition to lawmakers with an appetite to re-write Iowa’s education system.

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Republicans running scared in Iowa House district 6 (updated)

The Republican Party of Iowa is spending heavily to defend Iowa House district 6, where voters will choose a successor to State Representative Jim Carlin on January 16. The Iowa GOP did not intervene to support Carlin before last month’s special election for Senate district 3, considered safe Republican territory. Carlin won that race by a little less than 10 percent. Amazingly, the Democratic candidate gained more votes in the half of the district that Carlin has represented in the Iowa House.

Campaign finance reports (here and here) show the state GOP has spent more than $118,000, mostly on television and radio commercials in the Sioux City market and direct mail to residents of House district 6. I enclose below the positive television commercial about Republican candidate Jacob Bossman and several direct mail pieces attacking Democratic nominee Rita DeJong.

The tv spot relies heavily on an image of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley with his longtime staffer. Grassley headlined a rally to support Bossman on January 13, but the party didn’t have to pay his travel expenses. The senator is passing through western Iowa on the federal government’s dime as part of his annual 99-county tour. UPDATE: A reader notes the “rally” was moved from a room that would hold 250 people to the lobby, so the few dozen attendees would appear to fill up the venue.

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Comparing the Iowa Democratic and Republican early GOTV

Officially, early voting begins in Iowa 40 days before the general election (September 25 this year). The Iowa Democratic Party has been sending field organizers and volunteers out to do voter contacts for weeks, and didn’t even take a break for the holiday weekend.

Concern over the Democrats’ head start on GOTV was one factor behind the recent change in Iowa GOP leadership. New state party chair Jeff Kaufmann has promised to build a strong field organization in time for the midterm election. Fortunately for him, a dark money group associated with the Koch brothers is already ramping up its voter contacts in Iowa.

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IA-Sen: Americans for Prosperity and Steve King came to Carroll

(Thanks for the write-up.   - promoted by desmoinesdem)

The Koch Brothers-funded group, Americans for Prosperity, is conducting a series of town halls in Iowa attacking Congressman Bruce Braley who is running for senate. They call it the “Big Government Braley” tour. The first two events, yesterday in Fort Dodge, and today in Carroll, featured Congressman Steve King. The third, on Saturday in Marshalltown, will be conducted by Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The meeting today was kicked off by AFP state director Mark Lucas. He said the greatest threat to the United States is the deficit. He also talked about cap and trade and a carbon tax as threats.

Then Lucas turned the mike over to Steve King.

What King said follows: 

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New tv ads running for and against Obama in Iowa

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is launching a new television commercial today in Iowa, Virginia, and Ohio. The spot responds to a negative ad by the 501(c)4 group Americans for Prosperity, pivoting to an attack on future Republican nominee Mitt Romney. After the jump I’ve posted video clips and transcripts of those commercials and the latest anti-Obama ad from the 501(c)4 group American Future Fund.

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