# Dan Dolan

IA-02: Mark Lofgren is first Republican to challenge Dave Loebsack (updated)

State Representative Mark Lofgren of Muscatine will formally announce tomorrow that he is running against four-term Representative Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s second Congressional district, James Q. Lynch reported today for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. After the jump I’ve posted Lofgren’s official bio and material from the “issues” and “endorsements” pages of his campaign website. Of the seventeen current Iowa House Republicans and four former state representatives who have endorsed Lofgren, four live in Loebsack’s district. Dan Dolan, who lost last year’s GOP primary in IA-02 to John Archer, has also endorsed Lofgren.

As of June 2013, the 24 counties in IA-02 contain 170,130 active registered Democrats, 138,390 Republicans, and 180,950 no-party voters. Loebsack defeated Archer by a comfortable margin in 2012, but in the 2010 midterm election he needed help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to fend off a challenge by Mariannette Miller-Meeks, winning by only about 11,000 votes in what was then a more Democratic-leaning district.

Governor Terry Branstad appointed Miller-Meeks to lead the Iowa Department of Public Health in 2011. The GOP challenger to Loebsack in 2008 as well as 2010, Miller-Meeks has attended some Republican Party events this year and confirmed last week that she is still considering a third Congressional bid. Having fallen short in the 2010 Republican wave, Miller-Meeks would likely face an uphill battle persuading GOP primary voters that she deserves another chance to win this district.

Lofgren’s decision leaves Iowa House district 91 open for the 2014 election cycle. This swing district currently contains 6,300 registered Democrats, 6,291 Republicans, and 8,401 no-party voters. A detailed district map is at the bottom of this post. Democrat Nathan Reichert represented the Muscatine area in the Iowa House for three terms, losing to Lofgren in the 2010 wave. Lofgren defeated Democratic challenger John Dabeet last year by 915 votes.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Congressional 2Q fundraising news roundup

Four of Iowa’s five Congressional incumbents go into the final months of the campaign with far more cash on hand than their opponents. Details from the second quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission are after the jump.

The latest round of reports cover funds Congressional candidates raised and spent between May 17 and June 30. Bleeding Heartland covered the first-quarter FEC reports here and the “pre-primary” reports covering April 1 to May 16 here.

Continue Reading...

IA-01, IA-02: NRCC bumps up Lange and Archer

The National Republican Congressional Committee just announced the third set of GOP challengers to achieve “young guns” status, “the top tier of the Committee’s four-level ‘Young Guns’ recruitment program.” Two of the seven candidates to make the cut are Ben Lange, who is running against three-term Democrat Bruce Braley in Iowa’s first Congressional district, and John Archer, who is running against three-term Democrat Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s second Congressional district. The NRCC elevated Lange and Archer to “contender” status in May, along with Archer’s primary opponent Dan Dolan.

Continue Reading...

Iowa primary election results thread

Polls closed across Iowa at 9 pm, and I will update this post periodically as results come in from around the states. Any comments related to today’s elections are welcome in this thread.

P.S.- As expected, Wisconsin Democrats fell short in their effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker.

UPDATE: Results are after the jump.  

Continue Reading...

IA-02: Ads and endorsements for Archer and Dolan

The two Republican candidates in Iowa’s second Congressional district have been campaigning hard through personal appearances around southeast Iowa, paid advertising, and direct mail. I have no idea who’s got the upper hand between John Archer, attorney for John Deere and Pleasant Valley School Board member, and Dan Dolan, a successful home-builder. Archer took leave from his job in March in order to campaign full-time. He also started running radio and television commercials sooner. Dolan’s self-funding provided his campaign with more money to spend during the final weeks. The National Republican Congressional Committee has given equal recognition to both candidates.

After the jump I’ve posted the prominent public supporters for each candidate, along with videos and transcripts for Dolan’s latest television commercial and Archer’s latest radio spot.

Continue Reading...

Enter Bleeding Heartland's 2012 Iowa primary election prediction contest

Iowa primary elections are coming up next Tuesday, so it’s time for another Bleeding Heartland election prediction contest. A dozen questions are after the jump. There are so many competitive Iowa House and Senate primaries that it was difficult for me to choose. I tried to achieve some geographical balance and cover different types of primaries (open-seat races vs. challenges to incumbents, safe seats for one party vs. swing districts).

To enter the contest, post your predictions as comments in this thread before 7 am 6 pm on June 5. Predictions submitted by e-mail will not be considered. It’s ok to change your mind, as long as you post your revised predictions as an additional comment in this thread before the deadline.

No money’s at stake here, just bragging rights. This isn’t like “The Price is Right”; the winning answers will be closest to the final results, whether or not they were a little high or low. Even if you have no idea, please try to take a guess on every question.

Continue Reading...

IA-02: Dolan goes up on television

Republican Congressional candidate Dan Dolan launched his first television commercial yesterday, a little more than a week after his primary rival John Archer went up on the air. The video and transcript are after the jump. Up to now, Dolan has spread his message primarily through personal appearances around the district and direct mail.

A more extensive news roundup on the Iowa second Congressional district campaign is in progress. Any comments about that race are welcome in this thread. William Smith reported for The Hawk Eye that delegates to the second district Democratic convention on April 28 were solidly behind three-term incumbent Dave Loebsack. I have not been able to confirm whether his primary challenger, State Senator Joe Seng, attended the convention as well.

Continue Reading...

IA-02: Constitution is focus of Archer's second tv ad

Republican candidate John Archer has launched his second television commercial across Iowa’s new Congressional district. Follow me after the jump for the video and transcript.

Archer’s first television commercial ran for one night only on January 3. Last month his campaign ran a radio ad district-wide with a focus on gasoline prices and energy policy. Dan Dolan, the other Republican candidate in IA-02, has not placed any radio or television commercials but has spent a considerable amount on direct mail.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Congressional 1Q fundraising news roundup

While many Americans dread tax day, April 15 holds a silver lining for political junkies: the chance to read the latest federal campaign finance reports. Follow me after the jump for details on the money raised and spent by Iowa’s five U.S. House incumbents and five challengers between January 1 and March 31. Note: at this writing, Dave Loebsack’s primary challenger Joe Seng had not filed a quarterly report with the Federal Election Commission. I will update this post if one appears. He may not have raised enough money yet to trigger reporting requirements.

Click here for the latest voter registration numbers in Iowa’s four new Congressional districts.

Continue Reading...

Updated voter registration numbers in Iowa's Congressional districts

All the expected Congressional candidates in Iowa have filed nominating papers with the Secretary of State’s Office: Bruce Braley, Ben Lange, and Rod Blum in the first district; Dave Loebsack, Dan Dolan, and John Archer in the second district; Leonard Boswell and Tom Latham in the third district; and Steve King and Christie Vilsack in the fourth district.

No one I talked to last weekend saw petitions for State Senator Joe Seng at various county conventions in IA-02. Therefore, I assume Seng will not file to challenge Loebsack in the primary. Either Iowa’s worst Democratic lawmaker was just looking for a little free publicity earlier this month, or he didn’t realize how many signatures he would need to qualify for the ballot as a Congressional candidate. FRIDAY UPDATE: I was dead wrong–don’t know how Seng got the signatures, but he’s on the candidate list from the Secretary of State’s Office.

To mark the field being set in all four districts, I’m posting updated active voter registration numbers for Democrats, Republicans, and no-party voters in all 99 Iowa counties, grouped by Congressional district. The numbers in the tables after the jump come from this page at the Iowa Secretary of State’s website (pdf).

Any comments about the Congressional races are welcome in this thread. I love this story about Dolan accidentally addressing the wrong convention in Monroe County last Saturday. The Democratic delegates politely listened to his stump speech, after which someone raised his hand to suggest Dolan might want the Republican convention instead. Now that’s what I call Iowa nice!

UPDATE: Here’s a change of pace: King has never debated a Congressional challenger before, but he is proposing to debate Vilsack six times. No word yet on the details of the offer.

Continue Reading...

Weekend open thread: 2012 Iowa county conventions edition

The Iowa Democratic Party and Republican Party of Iowa held county conventions today. After the jump I’ve posted some notes on where Iowa politicians and candidates spent the day, and which Democrats addressed the Polk County Democratic convention. I left the convention during the lunch break, because delegates had finished most of the day’s business, including all work on the platform. However, the Polk County Republican convention was still going strong at this writing (around 5 pm).

This is an open thread; all topics welcome, especially county convention stories from today or years past.

Rick Santorum destroyed the competition in today’s Kansas caucuses, winning 52 percent of the vote to 21 percent for Mitt Romney, 14 percent for Newt Gingrich and 13 percent for Ron Paul. Romney swept the delegates at stake yesterday and today in the Guam and Northern Marianas Islands caucuses. Romney also won the Wyoming caucuses and most of the delegates from the Virgin Islands.

BONUS POTENTIAL FLAMEWAR TOPIC: Kevin Drum makes a counter-intuitive case: Return of the Jedi is the best Star Wars movie, especially if you take out the 10 minutes of horrific Ewok sequences. Thoughts?

Continue Reading...

IA-01, IA-02: Debt ceiling hike to be campaign issue

Last week, the U.S. House passed a resolution to disapprove President Barack Obama’s latest request to raise the debt limit. The mostly party-line vote was also mostly symbolic and consequently received little media attention. However, Republican challengers in Iowa’s first and second Congressional districts are likely to highlight this vote in their campaigns against Representatives Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack.

Continue Reading...

Where the Iowans in Congress stand on SOPA and PIPA

Wikipedia, Reddit and many other websites are dark today to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), now pending in the U.S. House and Senate. Momentum appears to have shifted against this legislation in its current form, but a modified bill might still pose a threat to freedom of information. I sought comment on this legislation from all members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation.

UPDATE: Added Representative Bruce Braley’s statement opposing SOPA below, along with a comment from Representative Steve King’s office.

LATER UPDATE: A statement from Representative Leonard Boswell is now below as well.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Added a YouTube video about SOPA, released by Braley’s re-election campaign.

Continue Reading...

IA-02: Loebsack on the Frontline, Republicans campaigning (updated)

In another sign that Iowa’s second Congressional district will be competitive next year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added three-term Representative Dave Loebsack to its “Frontline” list of vulnerable incumbents. Meanwhile, Loebsack’s three declared challengers have been meeting and greeting Republican activists during the busy Iowa caucus season.  

Continue Reading...

Iowa Congressional 3Q fundraising news roundup

October 15 was the deadline for Congressional candidates to file reports on their third-quarter fundraising with the Federal Election Commission. Follow me after the jump for highlights from the filings for incumbents and challengers in Iowa’s four new Congressional districts.

I’m covering the districts in reverse order today, because based on second-quarter filings, political junkies are most closely watching the money race in IA-04 and IA-03.

Continue Reading...

IA-02 update: Loebsack moving, Republicans declaring

Representative Dave Loebsack has closed on a new house in Iowa City, a move that will enable him to run for re-election next year in Iowa’s second Congressional district. The new map of political boundaries put Loebsack’s longtime Linn County home in the first district, represented by fellow Democrat Bruce Braley. Loebsack announced plans to move into IA-02 the first day Iowa’s map was proposed.

Loebsack said he chose Iowa City in order to be close to his son, daughter-in-law and grandchild. Johnson County has the second-largest population in the new IA-02 and is Iowa’s most Democratic-leaning county by far, with more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans. As of July 2011, the county dominated by Iowa City and its suburbs contained 40,177 registered Democrats, 18,275 Republicans and 31,927 no-party voters.

Since winning the 2006 election, Loebsack has represented Iowa’s current IA-02, which has a partisan voting index of D+7. In other words, in last two presidential elections, the current IA-02 voted about seven points more Democratic than the national average. Loebsack won re-election in 2008 by more than a 20-point margin against Mariannette Miller-Meeks, but he was sweating it last fall. Both his campaign and the and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put up negative television commercials against repeat GOP nominee Miller-Meeks (see here, here and here). Loebsack ended up winning by a 51.0 percent to 45.9 percent margin.

The new IA-02 has a partisan voting index of about D+4. According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, the Congressional district contained 503,218 active registered voters as of July 2011: 178,562 registered Democrats, 139,359 Republicans, and 184,692 no-party voters.

Not only does Loebsack’s new district lean slightly less Democratic, the incumbent has never represented its most populous county. Scott County includes the Iowa side of the Quad Cities. As of July 2011, it contained 36,303 registered Democrats, 30,305 Republicans and 46,914 no-party voters. Braley lost Scott County in his narrow 2010 win over Republican Ben Lange in IA-01. Lange said in May that he will not move to IA-02 to challenge Loebsack. He has not ruled out a rematch against Braley in the new IA-01.

On July 6, Republican John Archer announced that he has filed paperwork to run for Congress in IA-02. Archer lives in Bettendorf, one of the Quad Cities, and is senior legal counsel for the John Deere company. He also serves on the Pleasant Valley school board. So far Archer’s campaign website has only buttons for donors and volunteers and a link to the candidate’s Facebook page. After the jump I’ve posted the full text of his campaign announcement.

Last month another Scott County Republican, Dan Dolan of Blue Grass, said he would challenge Loebsack in 2012.

Dolan, who has operated Dan Dolan Homes in Davenport for 20 years, said his decision to run is motivated by frustration with what he describes as “professional politicians.” […] Dolan is upset with the nation’s accumulation of debt and what he sees as an unwillingness by those already in office to do anything about it. […]

Dolan said the recent congressional redistricting in Iowa helped motivate him to consider running for office. He noted that the new district boundaries comprise a large portion of the areas where his company has a presence with housing developments.

According to dandolanhomes.com, Dolan’s company has housing developments in Davenport, Muscatine, Blue Grass, Clinton, LeClaire and Iowa City.

Democratic-leaning Clinton County is the third most-populous in the new IA-02, and Loebsack has not represented that county before either. Braley carried Clinton against Lange in 2010.

UPDATE: Tea party activist Richard Gates announced plans last month to run for the Republican nomination in IA-02. He is a veteran and machinist from Keokuk (Lee County), and also midwest administrator for the conservative group 912 Patriots for Action. Inspired by Glenn Beck, he became active in politics in early 2009. He supports replacing all income and corporate taxes with a consumption tax (the so-called “fair tax” reform). During the last election cycle, Gates endorsed Chris Reed, who finished third out of four candidates in the IA-02 primary.

Lee County leans Democratic, but it has one of the highest unemployment rates in Iowa. Loebsack barely led Miller-Meeks there in 2010.

Continue Reading...
Page 1 Page 2