The 10 biggest Iowa political blunders of 2011

Let’s review the most boneheaded moves from the year in Iowa politics.

This thread is not about wrongheaded policy choices. It may be stupid to cut early childhood education programs, kneecap the state Environmental Protection Commission, or pass an “ag gag” bill that would never survive a court challenge. Yet all of those actions carry potential political benefits, since they appeal to well-funded interest groups or a large group of voters.

My top ten list of Iowa politicians’ mistakes is after the jump.

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Pawlenty's Iowa chairman joins Rick Perry campaign

Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker joined Texas Governor Rick Perry’s campaign yesterday as Iowa co-chair. He had previously led former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Iowa campaign effort. On Monday Pawlenty endorsed Perry’s leading rival for the Republican nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Whitaker’s partner in the Des Moines law firm Whitaker Hagenow is State Representative Chris Hagenow. He endorsed Pawlenty this summer and hasn’t publicly committed to another candidate yet.

After the jump I’ve posted part of a Perry for president press release with background on nine new staffers just hired to work field. Romney is not investing as much in his campaign’s Iowa ground game as he did before the 2008 caucuses.

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