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Iowa Politics Roundup: Culver Attacks Branstad with First Ad of General-Election Campaign PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 18 June 2010 09:55

Governor Chet Culver's campaign has launched its first ad of the general-election season, and it's aimed directly at Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Governor Terry Branstad.

The ad, called "Cooked," focuses on former Republican State Auditor Richard Johnson's assertion that Branstad "cooked the books" and "kept two sets of books." The ad also says: "Branstad doubled state spending, raised the state's sales tax, raised the gas tax, [and] even wanted to tax Social Security."

The ads are the first Culver has run since November 2009, when he ran ads called "Balanced Budget" and "Stronger Than Ever" that focused on state spending and recovering from the 2008 floods and the national recession.

Branstad campaign manager Jeff Boeyink defended Branstad's record and said the ad offers no positive vision for the future.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Democrats Kick Off General-Election Campaign at State Convention PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 11 June 2010 13:13

Four days after the primary election, between 800 and 1,000 Iowa Democrats are gathering for this year's Democratic state convention in a rally-like setting at the Polk County Convention Complex.

It will be Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin's first big speech since capturing the nomination on Tuesday.

"Speaking to the delegates, formally accepting the nomination ... I think it is a big deal," said Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Norm Sterzenbach. "It will be a big moment."

While Labor Day weekend is the traditional kickoff to the general-election campaign, the state convention sets the tone for how the summer campaign is going to go, Sterzenbach said. Iowa Democrats last week moved into a new coordinated-campaign headquarters in Des Moines, and that campaign officially opens next week.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Insiders Expect Branstad Win in Primary PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 04 June 2010 13:25

Iowa political insiders and analysts are putting their money on Terry Branstad to win the Republican Party's top-of-the-ticket race in Tuesday's primary election.

One longtime insider to GOP politics predicted this week that Branstad will win with roughly 50 percent of the vote, with Bob Vander Plaats just under 30 percent and Rod Roberts at about 16 or 17 percent. That insider said he would be "shocked" if Branstad didn't win the nomination.

But Dennis Goldford, a political-science professor at Drake University, gives the social-conservative backing behind Vander Plaats a little more credit than that. "I'd be surprised if Branstad lost the primary, but I wouldn't be shocked," he said. "It may well be that Branstad wins. I wouldn't say he got it, [that] it's done."

Iowa Politics Roundup: Senate Candidate Conlin Attacked Over Ties to Lobbyist PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 28 May 2010 13:26

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tom Fiegen used a second televised forum Thursday night to attack opponent Roxanne Conlin, this time about her connection with a Monsanto lobbyist and her job as a trial lawyer.

About halfway through the forum (sponsored by, Mediacom, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and the League of Women Voters of Johnson County), Fiegen was asked about flood relief -- an issue key to residents of flood-ravaged Cedar Rapids -- but instead decided to use the moment to launch the attack.

"I want to address the special interests," said Fiegen, a former state senator. "One of the things that Roxanne has run on is she's not taken any money from lobbyists. But one of her BFFs, that's best friends forever, [is] a gentleman by the name of Jerry Crawford. ... Since then, Jerry Crawford has received $150,000 as a registered federal lobbyist from Monsanto."

Iowa Politics Roundup: Active Republican Primaries Lead Early Voting to Tilt Toward GOP PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 21 May 2010 15:02

With a contentious primary for governor and competitive congressional primaries, Iowa Republicans have surpassed Democrats nearly three-to-one in requesting ballots to vote early in the June 8 primary election.

Nearly 15,000 Republicans statewide had requested ballots to vote early as of Friday, compared with 5,305 Democrats, according to the secretary of state's office.

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