# Bob Krause



Mike Franken has the right experience, perspective

Bob Krause is president of the Veterans National Recovery Center and was a candidate for U.S. Senate.

I endorse Mike Franken for U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary on June 7. Many of you have read that I was almost in this race, but withdrew after it became apparent that I would be short on nominating signatures.

I first met Mike Franken in January 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic was dawning, when I convened a debate of the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate that year. I found him to be friendly, warm, and personable. 

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Bob Krause withdraws from U.S. Senate race

And then there were three.

Bob Krause announced on March 13 that he is no longer seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, having been “blindsided by the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on nomination petition signature gathering” at this year’s Iowa caucuses.

Turnout is always low for non-presidential year caucuses, and many county Democratic committees switched to virtual caucuses due to high levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations and community transmission in early February. A statement released by Krause explained,

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Challengers react to Grassley's tweet showing Ukrainian president

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley posted a screenshot of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy following a virtual meeting with numerous members of Congress on March 5.

Grassley shared the photo with his more than 670,000 Twitter followers at 11:44 am, commenting, “Joined a zoom mtg w President Zelenskyy. we don’t hv a minute to waste in helping Ukraine fight off Putin who is killing innocent ppl to benefit his own ego.”

U.S. Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota blasted Republican Senators Steve Daines and Marco Rubio, who posted similar screenshots of Zelenskyy while the meeting was ongoing. Phillips tweeted, “The Ukrainian Ambassador very intentionally asked each of us on the zoom to NOT share anything on social media during the meeting to protect the security of President Zelenskyy. Appalling and reckless ignorance by two US Senators.”

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Iowa reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Like many, I’ve been consumed this week by the horrifying news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Although Vladimir Putin and his hostility to democracy occupied a lot of my head space in my “past life” covering Russian politics, I never imagined all those years ago that he would go so far as to annex Crimea, let alone launch a full-scale assault on Ukraine.

Foreign policy and military strategy are not my areas of expertise, so I have no insight on how Putin imagines he could benefit from this invasion. Even if he manages to install a puppet government in Kyiv, how will Russian forces maintain control of Ukraine, and how will the Russian economy weather the crushing sanctions? What’s his endgame?

I reported extensively on Putin’s rise to power in late 1999. Russian President Boris Yeltsin had appointed the virtually unknown security official as prime minister that August. But Putin didn’t become popular until a few months later, through a military campaign in the breakaway Republic of Chechnya. The Russian people broadly supported that war, in part due to slanted media coverage, and also because of apartment bombings (that may have been instigated by Russian security forces) and widespread racist attitudes toward Chechens.

Perhaps Putin hopes to replicate that formula for his political benefit. But I find it hard to believe that any significant share of the Russian population support all-out war against Ukraine. Who really believes that a country with a democratically-elected Jewish president needs to be “denazified” by force?

It’s been more than 30 years since I visited Ukraine’s beautiful capital city and the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. For that matter, I haven’t visited Russia in more than two decades. Even so, I’m heartbroken to see the avoidable loss of life on both sides. Please spare a thought for the citizens of Ukraine—whether they are Ukrainian- or Russian-speaking—because I don’t think anyone outside the Kremlin wants this war.

Most of Iowa’s leading politicians reacted to the invasion on February 24. I’ve compiled their comments after the jump.

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IA-Sen: A big quarter for Abby Finkenauer

The latest Federal Election Commission filings from Iowa’s U.S. Senate candidates included one big surprise. Former U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer raised more money than seven-term Senator Chuck Grassley during the third quarter of the year.

Follow me after the jump for highlights on fundraising and spending by all the Senate candidates.

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Why Mike Franken thinks he can beat Chuck Grassley

The Democratic field for U.S. Senate appears to be set at last, with retired Vice Admiral Mike Franken’s campaign launch on October 14. Franken is the fifth Democrat to join the field, following Dave Muhlbauer, Abby Finkenauer, Glenn Hurst, and Bob Krause.

Although he got a later start than his primary competitors, Franken enters the race with a strong base, having received 68,851 votes (nearly 25 percent) in last year’s four-way primary for U.S. Senate. Nominee Theresa Greenfield benefited from massive establishment support and some $7 million in outside spending before the June 2020 primary.

During an October 14 telephone interview, Franken discussed his decision to run and his stance on some major issues of the day.

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