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Iowa Politics Roundup: Social Issues Quickly Divide Democrats, Republicans at the Capitol - Page 2 PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 21 January 2011 14:45

Pawlenty, Romney Each Report $100K in Iowa Spending in Final 2010 Report

Two potential 2012 presidential candidates – former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney – reported more than $100,000 in expenditures from their Iowa political action committees in the final fundraising report of 2010. Romney’s state PAC ended the year with a significant cash advantage, however, reporting more than $108,000 in cash on hand, compared to $1,950 for Pawlenty.

Another potential candidate, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, reported less spending – roughly $30,000 – and ended the year with a cash balance of more than $32,000.

The reports were filed this week with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board:

Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC-Iowa raised $81,000 between October and December last year, spent $109,936, and had $1,950 left at the end of the year.

Of the three potential 2012 presidential candidates with Iowa PACs, Pawlenty donated to the most Iowa candidates and groups in the last quarter of 2010. He made 19 political contributions including $7,500 to the American Family Association’s AFA Action Inc. of West Des Moines, $7,000 to House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha), $5,000 to the Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, $1,500 to the Iowa Family Policy Center, and $1,000 or $500 to other legislative candidates.

Romney’s Free & Strong America PAC-Iowa raised $87,500 between October and December of last year, spent $108,037, and had $108,639 left at the end of the year.

Contributions came from only seven people, including a total of $70,000 from Eldon and Regina Roth of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota – the founders of Beef Products Inc. who were also top contributors to the campaign of Governor Terry Branstad.

Expenditures include a $10,000 contribution to the Branstad campaign on October 16, $1,000 contributions to State Auditor David Vaudt and Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, a $1,500 contribution to Iowa Senate candidate Andrew Naeve of Clinton, and a $2,500 contribution to Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Red Oak.

Santorum’s Iowa Keystone PAC raised $37,000 from October through December, spent $30,402, and had $32,148 left at the end of the year.

The money came from only four sources, including $25,000 from Foster Friess of Jackson, Wyoming, and $10,000 from the Pennsylvania Keystone PAC.

However, Santorum made nearly a dozen contributions to Iowa candidates in the final quarter of last year. They included $5,000 each to Governor Terry Branstad, attorney-general candidate Brenna Findley, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and state-treasurer candidate Dave Jamison. He gave Schultz another $2,500 on December 17, after the election.

Santorum gave $1,000 to Iowa Senate candidates Kent Sorenson of Indianola and Rick Bertrand of Sioux City. He also gave $500 contributions to Iowa House candidates Jeff Kaufmann of Wilton, Paul Kern of Dubuque, and Kim Pearson of Pleasant Hill. A $250 contribution went to state Representative Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights).

Cain Speaks on Economy, Political Ambitions in Cedar Rapids

Potential Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain visited Cedar Rapids recently as part of an exploratory visit through Iowa.

Cain, a radio host, writer, and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who now is based out of Atlanta, has formed a presidential search committee to test his financial and political viability for the upcoming presidential election, with a decision on whether he will formally run for president coming later this year.

Cain told the small group of Republicans who gathered to see him at the Longbranch Hotel & Convention Center that he if he runs, his strategy for winning the Republican nomination and the presidency includes securing victories in states where Senator John McCain underperformed in the previous election.

“We have a lot of conservatives out there who haven’t gotten off the sofa and voted yet, and those are the people who I am going to go after,” Cain said.

Cain, 65, said his decision to potentially run for president is motivated both by the direction of the country and factors in his own life, including recently beating stage-four liver and colon cancer. He said his main priority is to leave the world better for his grandchildren.

“This ain’t about us. What I’m doing here isn’t about me. It’s about helping our grandkids have a better life,” Cain said. “There are simple enough ideas for all of the issues that we face that we can put this country back on the right track.”

Through his introductory speech and a question-and-answer session with the audience afterward, Cain’s focus was on the economy and energy independence.

Cain said his experience at problem-solving and saving a nearly bankrupt Godfather’s Pizza company during his time there will help him deal with the problems that America’s economy faces.

“America is bankrupt; we’re broke; we just don’t want to face up to the solutions for these problems,” Cain said. “It’s my approach to problem-solving that will get us to where we need to get to.”

Republican Whitver Wins Senate Special Election

Republican Jack Whitver of Ankeny, the owner of three local fitness facilities who is attending law school at Drake University, is Iowa’s newest state senator.

Whitver won a special election Tuesday in Senate District 35 against Democrat John Calhoun of Polk City, 63 to 36 percent, according to unofficial results from the Polk County Election Office. The seat in northern Polk County was vacated by Senator Larry Noble, who resigned to become Iowa’s public safety commissioner.

This weekly summary comes from, an online government and politics news service. Reporter Andrew Duffelmeyer and other correspondents contributed to this report.

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