Politics & Elections
Iowa leaders to hold press conference in advance of Romney event PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Matt Sinovic   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:42

Iowa AFL-CIO President Ken Sagar, Midge Slater with Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, and Recent Iowa Graduate Morgan Miller to Hold Press Conference to Welcome Mitt Romney Back to Iowa

DES MOINES – In advance of Mitt Romney’s speech tomorrow, Iowa AFL-CIO President Ken Sagar, Midge Slater with Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, and Morgan Miller, a recent University of Iowa graduate will hold a press conference to welcome Mitt back to Iowa by taking a look at his business philosophy and what it would mean for our economy.

Mitt Romney has repeatedly cited his business experience as his chief qualification to be President, claiming he would use it to boost the economy, create jobs, and reduce the deficit. Romney's business strategy wasn’t about strengthening companies and creating jobs for long-term economic growth. It wasn’t about investors and workers playing by the same set of rules, and it certainly wasn’t about creating an economy built to last by rewarding hard work and responsibility and strengthening the security of middle-class families.

In a career of buying and selling companies, Romney’s pattern was to reap quick profits for himself and his investors at the expense of workers and communities. Sometimes it meant sending American jobs overseas. Other times, it meant cutting wages and benefits. In Romney’s economic philosophy, CEOs and wealthy investors prosper by any means necessary, even when it meant companies failed and workers were left behind. Romney believes in two sets of rules – one for people like him, another for everyone else.

Mitt Romney wants to go back to the philosophy that created the economic crisis. Iowans want to move America forward – to an economy built to last, where hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and everyone has a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules.

Tuesday, May 15 
10:00 AM

WHAT: Press conference on Mitt Romney’s business philosophy 
WHO: Ken Sagar, Iowa AFL-CIO President; Midge Slater, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans; Morgan Miller, recent University of Iowa graduate 
WHERE: Lawn of the Des Moines Public Library Lawn; Grand Ave between 10th and 12th Street; Des Moines, IA


Immigration: Romney’s Evolving Dilemma PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 08:09

While Rick Santorum openly discussed his Christian faith – and said it would not influence his would-be presidential decision-making – voters remain uncertain as to what role Mitt Romney’s faith may play should he become president.

Immigration may prove to be the most dramatic religious-political conflict in Mitt Romney’s bid for the nation’s highest office. His great-grandfather fled across the U.S. border into Mexico in 1885 to escape persecution for his Mormon faith. His father was born in Chihuahua, an American colony in Mexico, in 1907. Both men were denied citizenship there due to the country’s statutes.

Romney, who served as bishop over Boston Mormon churches for nearly a decade, compared the plight of his forefathers to that of current immigrants in America during a January speech in New Hampshire.

“He extended a sympathetic hand to Hispanic voters as a candidate,” says California attorney Robert P. DesJardins, who studied the Mormon religion and its history for his newest novel, Land of the Saints (http://robertpdesjardins.authorsxpress.com/). “It’s also a gesture that is consistent with the Mormon tradition of welcoming immigrants, both into the country and into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The LDS Church has publicly supported the Utah Compact, signed into law in 2010, which advocates policies that “reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming … state” and reflect the nation’s “history and spirit of inclusion.”

But several conservatives, including those in the Minutemen Project, an activist group that patrols the U.S.-Mexican border, say the compact promotes tolerance and amnesty for illegal immigration. Conservatives simply do not know where Romney will side on the issue beyond 2012, which is one reason why the wealthiest Republican presidential candidate has had to endure an extended vetting process, DesJardins says.

“It’s clear to most non-Mormons who have studied the religion that this view on immigration is meant to gain members,” he says. But the spirit of inclusion has not applied to everyone.

“The earliest publications of the Book of Mormon, in the 1820s, states that dark-skinned people are ‘cursed’ because they rebelled against God, whereas the ‘white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome’ colored people were in God’s good graces,” he says. “Black men were not permitted to hold priesthood until 1978, and women still are not allowed to hold the position.”

Conservatives fear Romney will say anything to get elected, he says. It’s the same kind of conformity his church followed in relinquishing polygamy, a then-crucial pillar of the church, in order for Utah to gain statehood after 50 years of petitioning during the late 1800s. It’s no coincidence black priests were permitted in the church only after the civil rights movement.

“While researching the religion I was surprised to learn about human deification, Kolob (claimed to be an actual planet existing nearest to Heaven), and ‘Mormon underwear’ – temple garments viewed either literally or symbolically to have powers to repel evil,” DesJardins says.

Attempting to predict the future in politics, as a rule, tends to make fools out of pundits, he says. However, as is the case with most individuals, the best predictor of future behavior is the past.

“I hope conservatives have their beachwear ready in August for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida,” DesJardins says, “because I’m pretty sure Romney is bringing his flip-flops.”

About Robert P. DesJardins

A successful California lawyer for more than 35 years, DesJardins is now a lecturer, private judge and judge pro tempore for the California Superior Court – in addition to being a novelist. In Land of the Saints, his third book, his main character is an attorney who finds himself drawn into the mysterious and dangerous world of Mormon spirituality after a friend is charged with murder. DesJardins is also the author of The Mistral and A Darker Shade of Orange.

The Chairman's Report PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by A.J. Spiker   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:46



It has been another busy week here at the Republican Party. We had a very successful Lincoln Dinner on Saturday at Veterans Auditorium. We got to hear from a number of speakers including Congressman King, Congressman Latham, Senator Grassley, Lt. Governor Reynolds, Secretary of State Schultz, Senate Minority Leader Behn, Majority Leader Upmeyer and of course our featured speaker, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Mr. Cuccinelli spoke about his challenge to Obamacare and how we must defeat President Obama in November and repeal this atrocious law. Our nation can never hope to recover if it is saddled down by Obamacare. He also spoke about the need for individuals to fight for limited government at the local as well as national level.  I particularly enjoyed seeing lots of old and new friends and want to thank our speakers and everyone who attended for helping to make it a great event.


The committees for our state convention in June also met this past weekend. I would like to thank all the grassroots individuals who served on the platform, nominating, rules and credentials committees. The nominating committee put together a slate of delegates and alternates for the national convention. This slate will be voted on by delegates to the state convention in June.


The slate of delegates is as follows:


Terry Branstad- Boone

Chuck Grassley- Butler

Margaret Stoldorf- Montgomery

Michelle Bullock- Polk

James Mills- Floyd

Steve Anders- Pottawattamie

Roger Leahy- Jefferson

Mark Hansen- Pottawattamie

Will Johnson- Dubuque

Lexy Nuzum- Madison

Andrea Bie- Allamakee

David Fischer- Polk

Drew Ivers- Hamilton


The slate of alternates is as follows:


Kim Reynolds- Clarke

Cody Hoefert- Lyon

Sam Clovis- Plymouth

Jeff Jorgenson- Pottawattamie

Lisa Smith- Wapello

Brad Zuan- Polk

David Wiederstein- Cass

Mmike Gresham- Fremont

Jennifer Bowen- Dallas

John Bowery- Page

Ruth Long- Union

Tracee Knapp- Ringgold

Therese Davis- Guthrie


Just a reminder our monthly Chairman’s Lunch is May 30th at the Republican Party of Iowa headquarters. The event begins at noon and will feature guest speakers Lt. Governor Reynolds and Senate Minority Leader Behn. The cost is $20 and you can reserve your spot by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please consider joining us for this event. It is vital to have open communication between elected officials and Iowans if we are to succeed this fall.


To Victory,

A.J. Spiker

Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa

Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

ICYMI: Des Moines Register: Braley viewed as a doggedly determined 'rising star' PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:58

Des Moines Register

By Jennifer Jacobs

May 8th, 2012


Those who know Bruce Braley well say one of his defining personality traits is doggedness. The former trial lawyer follows projects from start to finish, and staffers say he insists they do the same.


Braley’s name is bandied about as a future U.S. Senate candidate (to replace Democrat Tom Harkin if he chooses not to run again in 2014, or to replace Republican Chuck Grassley, who is up for re-election in 2016).


“I think Braley is a rising star in the Democratic Party,” said state Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield. “I believe he has shown some common sense in picking his fights. He doesn’t run off willy-nilly at the head.”


A panel of eight Iowa and Washington-based journalists organized by The Des Moines Register ranked Braley fourth in effectiveness out of Iowa’s seven congressmen. That placed the three-term Braley above two colleagues with more seniority in the House — Republican Steve King and Democrat Leonard Boswell — as well as Dave Loebsack, who was elected at the same time as Braley.


Braley got off to a fast start in proposing and steering passage of legislation during his first two terms, when Democrats were in power. That’s tougher this term, now that he’s in the minority.


One accomplishment that Braley points to when he was part of the majority is reforming the way Medicare pays Iowa doctors, who have historically seen lower payments from Medicare than doctors in larger states. Iowans in Congress had sought to change the formula for years. At 3 a.m. on a Saturday in 2010, after hours of negotiations with Democratic leaders over the health care reform law, he helped secure an agreement to change the payment structure.


His staff noted practical accomplishments to benefit his district. When the 2008 floods washed out a bridge over the Cedar River in Waterloo that the Iowa Northern short-line railroad company used to carry goods, the rail cars had to make a 300-mile detour. That increased costs for manufacturers and farmers. Braley successfully pushed for money to repair rail lines knocked out by natural disasters. The railroad bridge reopened in late 2009.


Braley is also into plain talk. Lawmakers have made numerous attempts over the years to require the government to write forms and documents in easy-to-understand language, but Braley’s bill, the Plain Writing Act, was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.


He helped secure a tax credit for small businesses that hired unemployed workers. In Iowa, the credit assisted in the hiring of 104,000 people through the end of 2010, his aides said.


Braley ranks 87th in the lineup of the National Journal’s most liberal to least liberal members of the House. He is more liberal than 80 percent of the House on social issues and 84 percent on foreign issues, according to the Journal analysis of votes cast in 2011.


Braley, whose father fought on Iwo Jima, champions veterans issues, and he has a remarkably good working relationship with Republicans on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, congressional insiders said. For example, Braley and a freshman Republican from Indiana did two field hearings last fall, one in Iowa and one in Indiana, on unemployment among veterans.


To help disabled veterans retrofit their homes, Braley co-sponsored a bill to expand a grant program. He worked with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to help win House approval of the Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act in 2011. The proposal is now stuck in the Senate.


Meanwhile, to keep in touch with Iowans, Braley does a conference call with Iowa reporters on Wednesday mornings and sent out 278 news releases in 2011. He has visited every county in the 1st District in the past 12 months.


“He just does everything that he could possibly do. He has been fantastic,” said Pat Sass, chairwoman of the Black Hawk County Democrats. “You couldn’t find anyone that’s more active.”

Understanding Mormonism PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:07
The Softer Side of Mitt Romney
If Voters Understood his Religion, They’d Warm to Candidate,
says Mormon Author

Critics say the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney seems “stiff” and out of touch. Some say it’s because of his immense wealth. Ross H. Palfreyman, a Mormon author of Two Years in God’s Mormon Army (www.mormonarmy.net), thinks it’s something else.

“People get distracted by religion, especially the Mormon religion, because, hey, we do some quirky stuff,” Palfreyman says. “I think Romney has stayed away from the personal stuff because much of it has to do with being Mormon. But if people knew about his experiences as a Mormon, they’d see his softer side.”

Like Palfreyman, Romney served two years as a Mormon missionary, a rite of passage that teaches young men compassion and self-discipline, among other values, Palfeyman says. That time away from home – no visits allowed and only two phone calls a year on Mother’s Day and Christmas – can be the most memorable in a Mormon’s lifetime, he says.

Palfreyman offers facts for voters about Mormonism and Romney’s relationship to it:

• Romney served his two-year mission in France. No matter where a young man serves his mission “it prepares you for a life of service,” Palfreyman says. The missionaries witness abject poverty, learn selflessness and hard work, and learn how to accept rejection.

• Romney also served five years as bishop of his congregation in Belmont, Mass. It was an unpaid position where he managed nuts-and-bolts-type issues like administrative tasks and more delicate duties, including financial counseling and assistance, and marriage relationship help.

• Mormons revere and exalt the Bible, and see it as the bedrock of Christianity. They also believe in a revelation given from God to Joseph Smith, which is found in the Book of Mormon.

• Children are baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 8. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a potential running mate for Romney, was baptized into the LDS Church while living in Utah with his family. Rubio converted to Catholicism as a teenager.

• Mormons believe God wants human beings to follow a health outline called “The Word of Wisdom,” which discourages use of alcohol, tobacco or coffee. Adherence to this health code is especially important for baptism, full-time missionary work, church school attendance and entry into the church’s temples. Violation of the code is not grounds for excommunication or other disciplinary measures. Other guidelines include limited meat consumption, the restriction of narcotics and an emphasis on eating herbs, fruits and grains.

Romney is far more than the stiff businessman in a suit often seen in public, Palfreyman says.

“Clearly, there’s a softer and more developed side to Mitt Romney, because he was a great bishop from all I’ve heard,” he says. “His religion is the elephant in the room, but he’s got to keep it from distracting from his message about what he would do as the nation’s leader.”

About Ross H. Palfreyman

Ross H. Palfreyman is a Laguna Beach, Calif., lawyer who began his mission work in 1973 in Thailand, during the Vietnam War and the Thai Revolution of ’73. Two years of trying to convince devout Buddhists that they’d be better off as Mormons was trying enough, he also was threatened at gunpoint and fended off parasites and rabid dogs during his “indentured servitude.” He initially wrote about his experiences for his six children. Palfreyman’s youngest son returns from his mission in Mexico in August.

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