Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Republican Party Abolished Slavery

On this day in 1865, the 13th Amendment -- abolishing slavery -- became part of the U.S. Constitution -- when ratified by three-quarters of the states.

Despite protests from the Democrats, the Republican Party made banning slavery part of its national platform in 1864. Senator Lyman Trumbull (R-IL) wrote the final version of the text, combining the proposed wordings of several other Republican congressmen.

All Republicans in Congress voted for the 13th Amendment, while nearly all Democrats voted against it. So strongly did President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) support the 13th Amendment, he insisted on signing the document, though presidential approval is not part of the amendment process.

Outlawing slavery was a Republican achievement.

This article is also on the Grand Old Partisan blog, each day celebrating 154 years of Republican heroes and heroics.

Monday, October 27, 2008


If you have ever seen the movie The Bridge On The River Kwai, at the end the British officer looks at all of the devastation war has wrought and says: MADNESS!!!

Well I had my MADNESS MOMENT today. For two weeks around the lunch room at work I have listened to a younger worker rant and rave about the corruption of the bailout. I had a great time thinking this young man may have the makings of an up and coming conservative.

So here comes lunch today, and the young man announces he has voted absentee for Barack Obama, I point out Obama voted for the bailout, the young guy says, I know but he hasn't been there as long as McCain. So hoping this young firebrand knows his stuff I ask him how did you vote for the down ballot offices, I never followed those races!! He said, "I voted straight Democrat!"

I pointed out the Senator he voted for voted for the bailout, and co-sponsored the rules that set up this economic problem, and that the Congressman he voted for voted for the bailout. I also pointed out their opponents already stated publicly and unabashedly they were against the bailout. Well he said it was easier to vote the straight ticket, the ballot was so long and by voting straight ticket I got out of there quicker.


-Tim Grover,
The Plain Blunt Guy

Friday, October 24, 2008

News From Iowa House GOP Leader Chris Rants

Bad bonds?

With the recent economic downturn across the country, you’ve been hearing me talk about protecting Iowa’s economy now so our state does not also slide into the meltdown. There are several alarms that have been going off recently that are pointing to the fact that we need to act swiftly. The Revenue Estimating Conference projected our state revenues are down….WAY down. The Medicaid numbers have gone up…WAY up. Those two things combined with the legislative Democrats’ runaway spending the last two years have already left a hole in the budget. This, we’ve talked about already.

We’ve also talked about the Democrats’ response to these problems. It’s okay, it’s fine, we have a AAA bond rating. Besides the fact that Fannie Mae also had a AAA bond rating, there’s now MORE to the story.

If you haven’t heard some of the news about this lately, it’s okay—I’m watching out for you.
Read this story .

In it, you will find that actually, the agencies that give the AAA bond rating have been less than honest with their assessments. Here’s a glimpse:

"The story of the credit rating agencies is a story of colossal failure," said Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The California Democrat said, "Millions of investors rely on them for independent, objective assessments. The rating agencies broke this bond of trust, and federal regulators ignored the warning signs and did nothing to protect the public. The result is that our entire financial system is now at risk."

So the Democrats are banking our state’s security on a bond rating that might be a lie. Does anyone else see that as a major problem? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Fall Grades Are Posted

Speaking of major problems.

Add this to the mix: Recently the CATO Institute released their findings of the ninth biennial fiscal report card. They examine the tax and spending decisions made by the governors since 2003.

They use statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records – governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades.

Our governor? Well, he received an F. That’s right, failure. He failed to cut taxes or reduce spending. He did a great job of raising taxes and increasing spending though, which is why he received his F grade. Read it Here .

Don’t be fooled though, Governor Culver had a few little teacher’s pets in earning his F grade. See, all 53 members of the Iowa House have helped him earn that pitiful grade, and on Nov. 4th it will be time to grade them.

The Weekly Stampede

Culver, Burt play ‘fast and loose’ with election law

(Waterloo) – Governor Chet Culver’s planned endorsement of democratic state house candidate Kerry Burt will take place just outside of a satellite polling place on the campus of Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo today. The location of the press conference skirts the edge of a state law that forbids campaigning within a 300 foot radius of polling places says Stewart Iverson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.

Governor Culver may be adhering to the letter of the law but is playing fast and loose with its spirit,” Iverson said. “Planning a campaign event to coincide with satellite voting on a college campus reeks of the kind of politics that most Iowans are tired of.”

Last week, former presidential candidates Howard Dean and John Kerry stumped for Barack Obama in Davenport and Ames respectively. Both events took place on college campuses near satellite voting locations.

These campaign events centered around polling places are exactly the type of activity this law was meant to stop,” Iverson said.

Senator Grassley touts ‘strong’ McCain economic program

(Des Moines) – Today Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley joined McCain-Palin advisor Doug Holtz-Eakin and Dave McCartney, an Iowa “Joe the Plumber”, to discuss why John McCain’s pro-growth economic policies are best for small business owners.

Senator Grassley: “I feel that John McCain will help Iowa and America in the coming years because of his strong economic program.”

On the economy and national defense:

Senator Grassley: “I don’t think there’s any doubt or any concern in anybody’s mind that the experience that John McCain had in the military as well as what he’s had as a United States Senator makes him the number one choice of people for looking out for national defense. Obviously a strong domestic economy is the best bulwark for a strong national defense.”

On the economy and energy:

Senator Grassley: “John McCain is for drilling and I heard speeches all through July where Obama was saying the he was not for drilling. Well, (Obama) may be a born again driller now, but I want to make sure that I have as president someone who wants to make use of our own national resources.”

On Obama’s recent remarks to, “spread the wealth around”:

Senator Grassley: “It’s a disincentive for growth, and I will point to my own life even though I’m 75 years old now. You name any number of jobs I had and every person that hired me invested money to create jobs. I’ve never had a poor person or a low income person offer me a job, and that’s why we can’t kill the goose that laid the golden egg, and that’s the small business of America that creates jobs. That’s why we can’t have wealth redistribution added to the attitude that Obama’s got, that you take money away from people just to make other people feel good.”

David McCartney: “What I really strongly believe is that John McCain knows what we need and that is more jobs. We need good paying jobs. Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the small business owners is keeping us down, the employer mandates that he’s proposing to enact on us is really going to hurt us. Personally, if (Obama’s) going to enforce mandates on me then I’ll have to trim my workforce and rethink my whole strategy. The economy is already starting to slow and we’re feeling it. For (Obama) to propose a few mandates and tax increases on us is preposterous. We’re already paying more than our share in taxes.”

Election Day is almost here, RPI needs your help!

The Republican Party of Iowa is looking for individuals to serve as poll watchers for the general election, November 4, 2008. Poll Watching is an incredibly rewarding experience that enables individuals to see the election process in action.

For further information or to sign up please contact Director of Election Day Operations Danny McNamara at or by phone at (515) 864-6127. In Jackson County, you can contact Jean Davidsaver at .

McCain Draws Even With Obama After Debate in AP Poll

By Catherine Dodge

October, 22, 2008

(Bloomberg) -- Republican John McCain erased Democrat Barack Obama's lead in the presidential race less than two weeks before Election Day in an Associated Press-GfK poll, as two other surveys put Obama ahead by 10 points or more.

The AP poll, taken over five days following the candidates' final debate Oct. 15, shows Obama with 44 percent support and McCain with 43 percent backing among likely voters. Similarly, an Investors Business Daily/TIPP poll shows the race tightening to a 4-point Obama lead.

Click Here to read more.

Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Weekly Stampede

Reed campaign: Harkin flip-flops on credit default swaps


October 15, 2008

(Marion, IA) – Christopher Reed, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, today criticized Sen. Tom Harkin and his flip-flop policy of credit default swaps – the legislation that allows Wall Street investment firms the right to gamble away America’s nest eggs. Said Reed, “Tom Harkin is now trying to gain back public support during this election cycle. The bottom line is that he made a bad choice and now he is trying to cover up.” Sen. Harkin recently announced that he would propose legislation to correct these Wall Street financial problems.

Sen. Tom Harkin co-sponsored the language that allows Wall Street investment firms to take money from their investors and gamble it away and then either pay-up or pay off their debt. Recently, Congress passed a $700 billion bailout package to save Wall Street and their bad gambling investments. “Wall Street went to the river boat and gambled away our nest eggs and now we have to pay AGAIN through assessed taxes. It’s government at its worst,” said Reed. Christopher Reed stressed that Sen. Harkin has had 20+ years to make changes and he has done nothing but add more government agencies and personnel to correct his bad policy decisions. “It is time that Iowans fight back and take back their lives,” said Reed. “Sen. Harkin is not doing the job that he was elected to do. It’s time to send him home and put and Iowan in the U.S. Senate.”

Click Here to read the whole article.

Sen. Sam Brownback to keynote 2008 Ronald Reagan Dinner

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Reception: 6 p.m. ; Host Committee Reception: 6:30 p.m. ; Dinner: 7 p.m.

Hy-Vee Hall
730 3rd St
Des Moines, Iowa

Host: $1000 (Host Reception, Photo & Table of Ten)
Sponsor: $500 (Host Reception & Dinner for Three)
Individual: $100 (Reception & Dinner)

Contact Wes Peterson for reservations or more information at or call 515-282-8105.

Volunteers needed for campaign mail program

RPI is seeking volunteers to assist with a special campaign mail program to help elect Iowa Republican candidates. Volunteer tasks include sorting, bagging, and transporting mail pieces in Central Iowa. This program is a great way for Republicans of all ages and abilities to take part in this historic campaign!
Interested volunteers should contact Nathan Treloar at 515-282-8105 or

Election Day is approaching, RPI needs your help!
The Republican Party of Iowa is looking for individuals to serve as poll watchers for the general election, November 4, 2008. Poll Watching is an incredibly rewarding experience that enables individuals to see the election process in action.
For further information or to sign up please contact Director of Election Day Operations Danny McNamara at or by phone at (515) 864-6127.

McCain-Palin Launches new TV ad: “Fight”

ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, McCain-Palin 2008 released its latest television ad, entitled "Fight." The ad highlights John McCain speaking directly to the American people about his bold plan of action to make the next four years better than the last eight. To do that, John McCain will fight to set a new direction by fighting for the American people. He will protect Americans' savings and investments, lower taxes, curb government spending, work toward strategic energy independence and always fight for our country. The ad will be televised nationally.

To learn more about John McCain's "Pension and Family Security Plan" and "Jobs for America" economic plan, please see:

Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

Saturday, October 11, 2008

News From Iowa House GOP Leader Chris Rants

Holes in the Budget

Today we called on Governor Cuvler and Speaker Murphy to let Iowans know how they plan to cover the more than $30 million shortfall they’ve created in the 2009 state budget.

As a result of yesterdays changes in revenue by the nonpartisan Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) that show a declining revenue in the state, the budget year we are currently in is out of balance. Only $7.5 million in revenue is available to cover a $36 million price tag for Medicaid, the state’s program to assist with health care for the elderly and disadvantaged. That leaves at least a $28.5 million gaping hole in the state's budget thanks to the Democrats runaway spending.

By law, the budget must remain balanced and today Leader Rants called on Democrat leaders to be upfront with Iowans and let them know their plan to balance the budget.

Democrats will have to act quickly to balance the state’s budget and they only have three options: increase taxes, cut the budget or both.

The governor has the power to initiate across the board budget cuts before January, however we’re doubtful Culver will have the courage to stand up to his party leaders.

My instincts are that the governor will play politics with the state’s budget and put his political party before the people of Iowa by waiting until after the November elections so he doesn’t hurt his party’s chance of winning.

Our country is on an economic downturn.

Our state is not insulated from the effects of that fact.

Our fiscal house is not in order, we have gaping holes in the budget and no one except Republicans will stand up and say it.

If there isn’t action soon, Democrats will be forced to raise taxes, make across the board cuts or both.

To see the documents from nonpartisan staff, visit my website.

The Weekly Stampede

Iowa GOP leaders respond to second presidential debate

DES MOINES, IA -- McCain-Palin 2008 today released the following statements from Dave Roederer, Iowa State Chair for McCain, Stewart Iverson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa and Christopher Rants, House Republican Leader, on tonight's presidential debate in Nashville.

Dave Roederer, McCain Iowa State Chair: "Tonight's town hall debate worked well for John McCain. Americans were able to ask him direct questions and he responded with direct answers showing the kind of leadership our country needs right now. Obama played to the crowd yet again in hopes of being rewarded with a free pass from the media. It's a strategy his campaign has used repeatedly during this election, but it doesn't do anything to help everyday Americans with the problems they face."

Stewart Iverson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa: "John McCain was the clear winner of tonight's debate and he didn't need spin from the media or pollsters to do it. He engaged Americans with real solutions for the economy, energy independence, and the war on terror. Barack Obama could only offer more of the same: catchy buzz words and empty rhetoric that in no way matches his record of raising taxes and expanding government."

House Republican Leader Christopher Rants: "Voters are looking for straight talk and substance during these uncertain times. John McCain delivered that tonight and proved that he is the only candidate with the experience and background necessary to get our country back on track. Barack Obama continued to distort not only his own record, but John McCain's as well. It is very troubling to me that after hundreds of speeches and now two debates, we're all still left wondering, who is the real Barack Obama?"


Volunteers needed for campaign mail program

RPI is seeking volunteers to assist with a special campaign mail program to help elect Iowa Republican candidates. Volunteer tasks include sorting, bagging, and transporting mail pieces in Central Iowa. This program is a great way for Republicans of all ages and abilities to take part in this historic campaign!

Interested volunteers should contact Nathan Treloar at 515-282-8105 or


Ronald Reagan Dinner is October 25th, RSVP today!


State Chairman Stewart Iverson

Honorary Dinner Chair: Steve Roberts

Co-Chairs: Senator Chuck Grassley, Congressman Tom Latham, Congressman Steve King

Honorary Dinner Co-Chairs: Governors Bob Ray & Terry Branstad


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reception: 6 p.m.

Host Committee Reception: 6:30 p.m.

Dinner: 7 p.m.


Hy-Vee Hall

730 3rd St

Des Moines, Iowa


Host: $1000 (Host Reception, Photo & Table of Ten)

Sponsor: $500 (Host Reception & Dinner for Three)

Individual: $100 (Reception & Dinner)

***Contact Wes Peterson for reservations or more information at or call 515-282-8105.


Election Day is approaching, RPI needs your help!

The Republican Party of Iowa is looking for individuals to serve as poll watchers for the general election, November 4, 2008. Poll Watching is an incredibly rewarding experience that enables individuals to see the election process in action.

For further information or to sign up please contact Director of Election Day Operations Danny McNamara at or by phone at (515) 864-6127.


Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to vote for Barack Obama

From Michael Zak, a Republican speaker:

On July 2, 2008, Barack Obama announced: "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

Obama's Civilian National Security Force:
• What sort of people would be in this paramilitary force?
• What sort of weapons would they have?
• Who would command them?
• Would they be subordinate to the U.S. military?
• Would they be subordinate to the police?
• What would be the purpose of this paramilitary force?
• What would it do?

And, what are Obama's "national security objectives?"

Michelle Obama lifts back the curtain hiding Barack's plans for a new order:

"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation. That you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."


Monday, October 06, 2008

News From Iowa House GOP Leader Chris Rants

2009 Republican Agenda
Today the Iowa House Republicans rolled out our plan for the 2009 legislative session.

See below for the plan and visit for more specifics.

Security for Families

• Protecting your Identity and Privacy
House Republicans know that a key part of financial security is protection from identity theft. That is why we will require the state of Iowa to notify Iowans when it is learned someone else is using their social security number and penalize government officials who sell private information for personal gain.

• Keeping Local Control of Schools
House Republicans support local school boards and officials. We will end plans to take away their authority over taxes, curriculum, getting rid of bad teachers to unelected out of state arbitrators.

• Education standards
House Republicans will approve rigorous state content standards by 2014 and set in motion recommendations for rigorous performance standards. Republicans offered this proposal in 2008 and it was adopted and then repealed by Democrats on April 25.

Security for Taxpayers

• Ban Pork Barrel spending
House Republicans will end the stealthy and unaccountable process of earmarked pork barrel projects. We will cancel the pork projects approved by the Democrats and use those dollars on flood relief efforts.

• Property tax freeze
House Republicans will approve a K-12 allowable growth that does not raise property taxes. It is the same position Republicans took when we offered and supported H-8007.

• Runaway spending
During the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions, Democrats increased state spending by $928 million or 17 percent.

State Auditor David Vaudt described the FY 09 budget as one that “represents a significant step backward in terms of transparency and fiscal responsibility.” He added, “If we can’t make ends meet with nearly 5% average annual revenue growth, how will we make it if revenues flatten out or decline, as they do in a recession?”

Security for Businesses

• Strengthening Right to Work
House Republicans will end the relentless campaign to repeal Iowa’s Right to Work Law. We will pass a resolution constitutionally protecting Iowa’s Right to Work Law, and place it in Chapter 20 of the Iowa code to protect all workers.

• Small business tax increase
House Republicans will repeal the painful small business tax increase approved by Democrats. Republicans unanimously opposed the tax increase 2008.

• Renewable Jobs
Republicans will work to ensure that we have a business climate that promotes not just new forms of electric energy production, but a transmission system that allows our green power to be sold out of state thereby bringing profit to Iowans and power to America.

In the first month...

Iowans are looking for accountability and answers from their leaders. That's why House Republicans will accomplish the following during the first month of the 2009 session.

• Strengthen Iowa’s Right to Work law. This law protects all non-union workers from being forced to pay union dues. States with Right to Work laws create more jobs and have higher incomes than states that don’t.

• Repeal the $50 Million Tax Increase on Small Businesses. House Democrats passed a painful tax increase on Iowa’s small businesses last session and Republicans will immediately repeal the increase.

• Freeze Property Taxes. Republicans will freeze property tax increases for Iowans so they can catch their breath from the floods and other natural disasters.

• Ban Pork Barrel Spending. Republicans will ban any future pork barrel projects like decorative flower pots, and cancel pork such as a new recreation center in Des Moines that Democrats approved.

The Weekly Stampede

In their own words: Christopher Reed, candidate for U.S. Senate

Many Iowans are asking who is Christopher Reed and what is he doing?

I’m Christopher Reed and I am a father, a husband, a veteran and a small business owner – and I am traveling Iowa campaigning to be your next U.S. Senator

I was born and raised in Solon, Iowa. I joined the Navy after high school and served my country for 5 years. After that, I came back to Iowa to raise my family and started a small business. I now live in Marion with my wife and 3 children.

As your Senator I will work to return to you your Constitutional rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone is throwing the word “change” around during this election cycle. Change is definitely needed in Washington, but along with that you also need reform. Without reform change is just business as usual, but with different players. I want to be that Senator who forces reform in our U.S. government and the way it conducts its own business.

I am a pro-life candidate who will defend marriage between one man and one woman and will strongly promote family values.

As your Senator, I will defend your right to bear arms as granted in the Second Amendment. I will support the war on terror until the battle is won. The surge has worked and we are winning. The U.S. is training the most professional military forces in history. We need to let them do their job until the battle is won. If we surrender now, we are sending a message to the world that we are weak – enabling them to strike at any time without any notice.

Iowa also needs a Farm Bill that is not full of wasteful spending. I will be that Senator who will work to pass a farm bill that will enable Iowa to continue to feed and fuel the world. I will work to protect our precious agriculture commodity and make it grow.

As your Senator, I will work to defend our borders and keep Iowans safe from illegal immigrants. I want to punish employers who are hiring illegal immigrants and enforce the laws which have been enacted by Congress. Illegal immigrants should not be able to receive better health care than most Iowans, and they should not be entitled to the same social security benefits as hard working Iowans. Our liberties are precious and we must protect them to the fullest extent for each U.S. citizen.

It is important that you know that I am going to push for the drilling of oil in the United States and ANWR. Four dollar gas is unacceptable in a country where millions of gallons of oil lie beneath our soil. There are many capped wells in the United States that are just waiting to be re-opened. This will send a strong message to the oil “powers that be” that the United States is back and we are back better than ever. By drilling in the United States, we will become dependent on ourselves while creating many new jobs at the many new oil sites across the United States. DRILL HERE – DRILL NOW – DRILL OFTEN!

And finally I will work to cut your taxes. By cutting taxes I will be returning your hard earned dollars to your pocket – you will be able to provide for your families and pursue your own happiness. Besides, you know how to spend your money better than the government does. I think our current financial crisis is evidence of the reform that is needed in Washington, D.C.

Our founding fathers did not have career politicians in mind when they developed the two houses of Congress. It is time for change in Washington. Iowa – you have the chance to stand up and say “we’re not going to take it any more – we want our country back!!” Now is the time for change. I am not looking to become a career politician. Once again, it is my turn to stand and serve my country.

Iowans’ deserve a United States Senator who will return their rights to them. You have worked hard for what you have. Enjoy life – enjoy your liberties – and enjoy your pursuit of happiness. Your founding fathers extended that right to you – so embrace it and live life to its fullest. This is your country so fight for it and take it back!!

I am Christopher Reed. I am running for the United States Senator and I am asking for your vote on November 4th.

Respectfully Submitted,

Christopher Reed


Culver turns blind eye to Iowa’s economic concerns

(Des Moines) – Governor Chet Culver told reporters Tuesday that Iowa’s “fiscal house is in order” despite current economic data that paints a different picture.

Speaking at his own homeland security conference in downtown Des Moines, Culver said that Iowa, “is actually much better positioned than most states,” to deal with the nation’s financial crisis.

Stewart Iverson, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, said that the $1 billion in new spending that Culver and his accomplices in the legislature have passed since 2006 would now be, “handy to have around,” to help with recovery efforts.

Iverson also pointed to reports from the office of State Auditor David Vaudt showing that lawmakers will already be dealing with a budget that is over $500 million in the red when they reconvene in January.

“No one ever expects to be hit by tornadoes, floods, and a financial crisis all in the same summer,” Iverson said. “But the fact remains that the state’s ability to respond to crises like these has been diminished due to a complete lack of fiscal restraint by Governor Culver’s office and the Democrat controlled legislature.”

At Tuesday’s press conference Culver also touted Iowa’s 4.6% unemployment rate, which is below the national average of 6.1%, but failed to mention that the number of unemployed jumped 7% from the previous month and is now at its highest level since 2005.

“A lot of people lost jobs and businesses in this summer’s floods, so an increase is understandable,” Iverson said. “It surprises me that the Governor would use rising unemployment to highlight Iowa’s good economic health.”


Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Thanks For Choosing Life!

On September 25th at 2 pm my mother in law passed away, at 80 years and 7 months old, and it has taken this long to formulate a reflection about her life.

You know there are a lot of jokes out there about mother-in-laws, which, I never ran across one that applied to my mother in law. I respected her too much for that. She was always nice to me and everyone she came in contact with. I guess in my mind the greatest thing she ever did in her life was to choose to give life to her children. Without that one fundamental choice she made, my life wouldn't have been that good, and I probably would have ended up with a mother in law those jokes would have applied to. So thank you mom for bringing my wife into this world, the best thing that ever happened to me. Leona's life affected many other lives also, she had 1 son and 3 daughters, 13 grandchildren, and 22 great grand children!!! WOW!! All because a farm girl from western Iowa chose life!! What an impact on our society that must have made since Leona made that one fundamental choice. Nobody made Leona do that, she had a value that ran through her life that influenced her to do that.

I think that fundamental value is something we as Americans need to defend, and promote, including making sure our elected representatives support that fundamental choice Leona made, and don't try to undermine it through such societal undermining, such as Roe vs. Wade, and separation of church and state. I believe when you follow a pro life example you lead a happier life and it makes you more considerate to others. I know in my professional life it has made me a better servant to my customer because I now look at the customer as a person rather than a number. I also believe if our country has become more crass, inconsiderate, and more unsafe it is because of a lack of respect for life. I guarantee you our government will be better when we have officials in it that fundamentally respect life, and make a stand for it!!! So thanks mom for choosing life, you made an impact on this world that I am not sure you were even aware of, you did your part if things go bad from here it is my generation's fault.

Tim Grover
The Plain Blunt Guy

Sunday, September 28, 2008

News From Iowa GOP House Leader Chris Rants

Truth Alert!

40 days before election day, House Democrats rolled out more empty political promises—this one regarding Iowa’s economic future. But before Iowans take the bait on this, they need to check the facts.

Forced Unionism
One of the Democrats’ key planks is to reward hard work and play by the rules. What about those people who are working hard, playing by the rules but simply don’t want to join a union? The Democrats voted to force those hardworking folks to pay union dues whether they belong to the union or not.

Iowa’s right to work law prohibits forcing workers, both public and private, to join a union or to fork over union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Having our right to work law in place helps create real jobs and grow the economy. From 2001 to 2006, real personal income growth, as reported by the US Commerce Department, averaged 9.04% in right to work states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska). In states not having a right to work law (Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri) it averaged 6.61%. Also, private sector job growth over the past five years was higher in Iowa than it was in non right to work states, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Pork Barrel Spending
How does pork barrel spending secure Iowa’s economic future? Speaker Murphy and Leader McCarthy even snuck some personal pork projects into the budget this year. They might want to explain to the taxpayers why they had them pay for decorative flower pots for the city of Des Moines, full time gardeners at the governor’s mansion and a brand new recreation center on the south side of Des Moines.

Higher Taxes
The Democrats’ record over the last two years on taxes is frightening. Not only did they give Microsoft big tax breaks, but they refused to give the same tax breaks to smaller Iowa-based businesses. Everyone is excited that Microsoft is locating in Iowa, but we need to be fair and offer the same tax breaks to everybody else. Additionally, Democrats had the opportunity to extend the tax break that individuals received on their federal stimulus checks to businesses. They said no.

Identity Theft
It’s hypocritical to claim Democrats will be tough on individuals who engage in identity theft when they voted against having the government inform Iowans when it is learned that someone else is using their social security number.

While being in control the last two years, Democrats have done nothing to lessen the economic burdens Iowa seniors face. In fact, their record proves they’ve been okay with taking more money out of seniors pension checks.

The House Republicans have not rolled out a plan of empty promises and hollow details. We stand firm on our record of protecting hardworking Iowans. If Iowans place Republicans back in the Majority they can know they can count on us to protect Iowa's Right to Work against EVERY attempt to force non-union workers to pay union dues.

Iowans know we’ll end the pork-barrel spending like decorative flower pots in Des Moines. They understand that not only will we NOT raise any property taxes, we’ll put a freeze on them. And they appreciate that we'll force tough identity theft protections onto the governor's desk and stop the irresponsible, government knows best attitude that has led to a billion dollar spending increase and tax increases.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Weekly Stampede – September 25, 2008

McCain, Palin rev up supporters, tour flood damage

From the Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 18, 2008

CEDAR RAPIDS - John McCain lashed out at his opponent for failing to protect American workers from the financial dominoes falling on Wall Street and at the Democratic Congress for failing to deliver timely flood recovery assistance to Iowans.

"When I pushed legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Sen. Obama was silent. He didn't lift a hand to avert this crisis," McCain said during a Thursday morning rally at PS Air at The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.

Later, after a 20-minute walking tour of the Time Check neighborhood in northwest Cedar Rapids, the Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Sarah Palin, called for quick congressional action to help Iowa families and businesses get back on their feet.

Noting that it's been three months since historic floods devastated 100 blocks of Cedar Rapids, McCain called for quick action on a recovery assistance package "that will provide not only home-owners, but businesses, a chance to be restored, to create jobs and give people an opportunity to rebuild their lives."

Click here to read more.


Iowa Business and Government Leaders Highlight McCain-Palin Economic Plan & Why it’s Best for Iowans

(Ankeny, IA) – Several state and local elected officials met Wednesday with leaders at Accumold, a plastics manufacturing firm based in Ankeny, to discuss the benefits of the McCain-Palin economic plan and why it is the best choice for Iowa taxpayers.

State Representative Carmine Boal of Ankeny, State Senators Brad Zaun of Urbandale and Larry Noble of Ankeny, and Polk County Supervisor E.J. Giovannetti toured the Accumold facility and then held a press conference with CFO Steve Boal to show support for the McCain-Palin plan. The conference also touched on concerns with the Obama-Biden economic plan that calls for raising taxes on many Americans and the businesses that employ them.

Steve Boal is uniquely aware of how increased taxes and regulations can adversely affect both families and businesses. As the chief financial officer for Accumold, he is the first to see how new taxes and red tape can strain his company’s budget making it harder for them to expand and create new jobs.

“I believe Obama’s ideas for change are taking America down the wrong path,” Boal said. “We need less government, not more, because more government translates to higher taxes.”

Boal also knows the negative effects higher taxes have on families across Iowa. His wife is State Rep. Carmine Boal of Ankeny who also attended the conference.

“Obama has said repeatedly that he’s going to ‘tax the rich’ more in order to help the middle class, but his record doesn’t show that,” Rep. Boal said. “He has already voted to raise taxes on Americans making $42,000 a year, why wouldn’t he do it again?”

State Sen. Brad Zaun’s district does not include the Accumold facility, but called it a, “great success story for Ankeny,” and cited it as an example of smart economic growth.

“Tax breaks always help stimulate new investment and development, no matter where they come from,” Sen. Zaun said. “It’s that investment that enables lawmakers to then keep taxes down.”

State Sen. Larry Noble said that the McCain-Palin plan would be more productive in helping the small businesses that employ the majority of Iowans.

“Bureaucracy and taxes don’t make us stronger, it just drags us down.” Sen. Noble said.

Steve Boal summed up the discussion saying, “John McCain’s philosophy supports smaller government and lower taxes while Obama’s plans include more government. More government is not what Accumold needs.”


Election Day is approaching, RPI needs your help!

The Republican Party of Iowa is looking for individuals to serve as poll watchers for the general election, November 4, 2008. Poll Watching is an incredibly rewarding experience that enables individuals to see the election process in action.

For further information or to sign up please contact Director of Election Day Operations Danny McNamara at or by phone at (515) 864-6127.


The question remains: Obama, Fannie, & Freddie

“While the American taxpayer’s hard-earned money was corrupted by a government-backed mortgage business in Washington, Barack Obama took record amount of their campaign cash, and did absolutely nothing to regulate their books. Just like he did over two years ago, Barack Obama chooses to ignore John McCain’s calls to regulate and reform Fannie and Freddie, while defending his own affiliations with their corrupted corporate executives and his stockpile of campaign cash.

“One question remains. Did Barack Obama provide Fannie Mae special access when he appointed Fannie Mae’s embattled former CEO Jim Johnson to lead his vice presidential search committee while Mr. Johnson was still receiving $71,000 a month from Fannie Mae?” ---Tucker Bounds, spokesman McCain-Palin 2008

Three Key Facts:

1. John McCain introduced reforms and regulation for Fannie and Freddie over two years ago.

2. While taking $120,000 in campaign cash in just 3 years, Barack Obama has maintained Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s broken business model.

3. Barack Obama appointed embattled former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to lead his Vice Presidential search. At that same time Jim Johnson was receiving a $71,000 per month in pension benefits from Fannie Mae. Johnson also received millions in compensation due to accounting manipulation at Fannie Mae.


Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Weekly Stampede – September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Senator Grassley!

The Republican Party of Iowa wishes our senior senator, Chuck Grassley, a very happy 75th birthday! Send him a birthday wish via his website, or on his MySpace page,


Election Day is approaching, RPI needs your help!

The Republican Party of Iowa is looking for individuals to serve as poll watchers for the general election, November 4, 2008. Poll Watching is an incredibly rewarding experience that enables individuals to see the election process in action.

For further information or to sign up please contact Director of Election Day Operations Danny McNamara at or by phone at (515) 864-6127.


McCain-Palin 2008 Launches New TV Ad: "Foundation"

ARLINGTON, VA-- Today, McCain-Palin 2008 released its latest television ad, entitled "Foundation." The ad features John McCain talking directly to the American people about our economic crisis and his plans to reform Wall Street and fix Washington. The American people cannot afford Barack Obama's agenda of higher taxes, especially when our economy is in crisis. The ad will be televised nationally.

Click here to read more.

Watch the new ad:


Prominent Clinton backer and DNC member to endorse McCain

From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston, Extra

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, will endorse John McCain for president on Wednesday, her spokesman tells CNN.

The announcement will take place at a news conference on Capitol Hill, just blocks away from the DNC headquarters. Forester will “campaign and help him through the election,” the spokesman said of her plans to help the Republican presidential nominee.

Click here to link to the article


Iowa McCain-Palin Campaign Presents Obama with his own “Hollywood Star”

DES MOINES, IA -- In honor of Barack Obama's star-studded Hollywood fundraiser with Barbra Streisand tonight, the McCain-Palin campaign honored Obama with a celebrity "Star of Fame." Additionally, in the spirit of the fundraiser, tonight the Iowa Victory Office phone banks will play Barbara Streisand songs.

"While Barack Obama is posing for pictures with Hollywood's elite, some of whom are contributing $28,500 -- a price substantially unaffordable to the average Iowan -- Iowa families are worrying about how what's happening on Wall Street will affect their lives on Main Street," said Gentry Collins, the McCain Midwest Regional Campaign Manager. "We don't know whether Barack Obama will use this opportunity to disparage 'bitter' Iowans who 'cling to guns or religion,' as he did at one of his most recent California fundraisers, but we know that Iowa families are worrying about the current financial crisis and how to heat their homes this winter. Tonight's fundraiser is further proof that Barack Obama is out of touch and can't relate to the needs of Iowa voters. He's wrong on the economy, his health care plan needs work and he lacks the experience and judgment we need in a president; however, we do think he makes one heck of a celebrity and deserves his own star in Hollywood. We hope this star reminds Senator Obama of the serious challenges hard-working Iowa families face every day."


Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

Harkin-Obama Let Wall Street Sink!

While Wall Street was sinking, what were Tom Harkin, and Barack Obama doing? SAVING THE DELTA QUEEN!!!! Let me say that I believe the Delta Queen is OK, I don't have anything against it, but this illustrates the thinking behind a Senator who has been in Washington too long and has lost touch, and his protege who has lost touch very quickly.

I offer this as evidence: Sen. George Voinovich introduces bill to save the Delta Queen on September 17, 2008. On September 16, Sen. George Voinovich has introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate (bill no. S. 3498) to save the Delta Queen by exempting her from 1966 Safety at Seat Law. Support comes from at least seven other Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, giving the Delta Queen a new chance for a bipartisan vote in favor of this unique historic steamboat. Cosponsors of this promising bill so far are: Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), and Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), but as Vicki Webster, one of the campaign leaders to save the Delta Queen says: "We need much more direct support from Senators all over the country, but especially from the ones coming from a river state".

Members of the Save the Delta Queen grassroots campaign are calling to action all Delta Queen fans and supporters. Campaign's co-leader Franz Neumeier says: "Get on the phone, go to your Senator's local offices, fire up your fax machines and urge your Senators to support this important bill to give the Delta Queen a chance to survive." Campaign leaders are also asking supporters to talk to their local newspapers and TV stations to report about what it means if the Delta Queen disappears forever. "And don't forget to point out that all this is not about safety, because the Delta Queen in fact is a very safe boat", says Neumeier. Detailed information about the Delta Queen's safety can be found at


-Tim Grover, The Plain Blunt Guy

Friday, September 19, 2008

News From Iowa House GOP Leader Chris Rants

Legislative Pages

Do you know high school junior or senior who has an interest in government or politics? The 2009 Legislative Page Program application is available and due no later than October 3, 2008. This is a great opportunity for western Iowa youngsters to learn new skills, gain real world experiences and gain a greater understanding of our government. If interested, point the students to for more details.

Something to think about...

In the wake of all the financial news from this week, I’m not sure if you all saw the governor’s comments regarding the state of Iowa’s economy. He said, "We've got a very stable economy". The governor is not concerned at all about the state of our economy and I find that troubling.
All he needs to do is take one look at downtown Des Moines to see numerous financial institutions and insurance companies that call our state home. All he needs to do is read the paper to see that the largest ethanol producer in the country might be going under. All he needs to do is read his email to know that the 2nd largest city in the state has no downtown due to the summer flooding. All he needs to do is read the bills he signed to know that he approved some of the largest spending increases in our state’s history.

Certainly, I believe we need to keep a watchful eye on the status of our economy here in Iowa to ensure that no matter what happens on the federal level, we’re protected here. But I do not think it’s wise to gloss over the situation, and pretend that nothing bad is going to happen to us before the next president is elected.

The next president will have to "figure out why our national economy is going in the tank," Culver said. "I'm not worried that Wall Street will affect Iowa" in the four months until the next president takes office.

I hope the govenor hasn't forgotten how many retirees and IPERS recipients are watching their nest eggs shrink.

Maybe we should be prepared, just in case.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The MSNBC reporter made a mistake while covering the 9/11 ceremony. I see John McCain, I see Cindy McCain, and Barrack Obama. Where was Michelle? The MSNBC talking head said she had other events.What events could be more important than attending the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero? Maybe she was studying all of the different ways she suddenly discovered she was proud of her country about. Maybe Oprah had a brunch going on, Oprah's 9/11 brunches are world famous. Kudos goes out to the MSNBC anchor who asked the question: Where is Michelle? Enjoy your new posting at NBC Sports. Say isn't it getting crowded over there? Here is the video of Michelle standing behind her man at the 9/11 memorial:

-Tim Grover, The Plain Blunt Guy

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Well very shortly we will be given the opportunity to chart our country's future, when voting lets keep in mind what we will be doing to future generations. Do we want them to live in freedom, to do what ever they chose to do with their lives, or do we want them to pay for mistakes we have made with our economy, and the inability to curb our addiction to ever larger,costly and intrusive government.

THe facts are all there, America is monetarily bankrupt, we can no longer inflate ourselves into prosperity. I was struck in the last Rocky movie how Rocky taught his son that it is not how hard you hit, it is how hard you can get hit, and still keep moving forward.

To be Plain Blunt about this, America, about 43% of us have lost the ability to do that. We take a hit and allow it to flatten us, and accept what ever the government will give us to cushion the blow. It cuts across all aspects of society, big business is lining up now to get their share, after the real estate industry got theirs. Mean while more and more foreign governments own more and more of our children's financial legacy. For this we should be ashamed.

Who will take the hit for the next generation when they grow up and the government is broke, or they have everything they make taken from them by the government to pay for hits we refused to take.

Where would we be right now if the WWII generation hadn't taken the hit they took for us? So yes it is important to vote this year and to pay attention to what each candidate says for EVERY OFFICE on the ballot, our children's future depends on it.

Tom Tancredo has the best way to assess a candidate, ask that person what they want to do when elected, not what they want to be. Don't vote for some one just because you think they will win. Make up your own mind, and VOTE!!

I leave you with the wisdom of JOHN QUINCY ADAMS:
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams

-Tim Grover, The Plain Blunt Guy

Saturday, September 13, 2008


School District A just added a building addition of over 1 million dollars, its enrollment is over 1,000 students. School District B has under 1,000 students enrolled, School B got a racing@ gaming grant and paid the book fees for every child in the district.The thought crosses my mind if School A ever thought in the process of spending the 1 million dollars that maybe paying for their own students books would be a good idea!!!JUST A THOUGHT!!

-Tim Grover, The Plain Blunt Guy


Interesting results on the school board elections in Jackson County. Incumbents in Bellevue, East Central, and Andrew school districts all got defeated. In the one contested race in Maquoketa the incumbent won by only 83 votes.

-Tim Grover, The Plain Blunt Guy

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Weekly Stampede - Sept 12, 2008

Poll: Convention lifts McCain over Obama

“In the new poll, taken Friday through Sunday, McCain leads Obama by 54%-44% among those seen as most likely to vote.”

By Susan Page, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year.

McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul. Then, he lagged by 7 percentage points.

The convention bounce has helped not only McCain but also attitudes toward Republican congressional candidates and the GOP in general.

"The Republicans had a very successful convention and, at least initially, the selection of Sarah Palin has made a big difference," says political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "He's in a far better position than his people imagined he would be in at this point."

9/11 statement from John McCain

ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator John McCain delivered the following statement on the seventh anniversary of 9/11:

"No American living then should ever forget the heroism that occurred in the skies above this field on September 11, 2001. It is believed that the terrorists on United Flight 93 may have intended to crash the airplane into the United States Capitol. Hundreds if not thousands of people would have been at work in that building when that fateful moment occurred, and been destroyed along with a beautiful symbol of our freedom. They and, very possibly I, owe our lives to the passengers who summoned the courage and love necessary to deny our depraved and hateful enemies their terrible triumph.

"I have witnessed great courage and sacrifice for America's sake, but none greater than the sacrifice of those good people who grasped the gravity of the moment, understood the threat, and decided to fight back at the cost of their lives.

"I spoke at the memorial service for one of them, Mark Bingham. I acknowledged that few of us could say we loved our country as well as he and all the heroes of September 11 had. The only means we possess to thank them is to try to be as good an American as they were. We might fall well short of their standard, but there is honor in the effort.

"In the Gospel of John it is written, 'Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.' Such was their love; a love so sublime that only God's love surpasses it. I am in awe of it as much as I am in debt to it. May God bless their souls.”

RPI student internship opportunities

The Republican Party of Iowa is looking for interns from across Iowa to assist with the 2008 General Election. Applicants need to be committed to electing John McCain and Republican candidates in November. Students from any major are invited to apply and may also be eligible to receive college credit for their work.

For more information, contact Nathan Treloar at 515-282-8105 or
Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

News From Iowa House Minority Leader Chris Rants


A story broke this afternoon from the Associated Press that “Culver has virtually ruled out the possibility of calling the Legislature into special session to craft a flood relief package.”

What a disappointment.

In my opinion, this decision is a bad one. Instead of worrying about upcoming elections, the governor needs to focus on the local officials and people begging for action and leadership.

Last week we took our caucus to Cedar Rapids and we witnessed that this situation is about so much more than just federal aid.

It’s about people who will pay penalties and interest on property taxes they can’t pay…for homes they can’t live in.

This is about small businesses that are empty—literally, empty—that will see a tax increase if they try to reopen their doors.

It’s about the jobs that will be lost if even one of those businesses has to close its doors.

It’s about the families that are still sleeping outside their dilapidated homes in tents and campers, and with winter right around the corner, it’s about Iowans who will be left out in the cold.

I’m no interested in playing games or competing with others on ideas and proposals—so I will not rule anything off the table. I’m only asking today that the governor just bring us to the table. I’m asking that he consider the pleas of those in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Parkersburg, New Hartford, Columbus Junction, and on and on…consider their need, the way they’re struggling and not turn a blind eye to the action that needs to take place. A special session is necessary.

We get a call everyday from one of the impacted areas, pleading with us to have a special session. I’ve heard that plea and I’m on board. If you agree, I’m asking you to get on board too and advocate for those who are hurting—ask the governor to call a special session:
(515) 281-5211


Two things you should know

1st: The governor took a cheap shot at me today at his press conference. In talking about not having a special session, he also said I was AWOL on flood recovery efforts. The governor needs to do a better job of keeping tabs on me. It’s true that I haven’t been sitting around at a meeting in Des Moines for the past three months. I WAS however in Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City multiple times meeting with local officials, talking with everyday Iowans about their dilapidated homes, and touring damaged small businesses. And I was in Palo where city council members asked me to take up their cause of calling for a special session. So that’s just what I did. The governor can take all the cheap shots he wants, but it’s not going to help one person get back in their home or open one business.

2nd: Apparently my travel schedule isn’t the only thing he got wrong. But don’t take my word for it, read the recent article in the Des Moines Register.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Weekly Stampede - August 28, 2008

GOPFest 2008 tickets on sale now!

On September 20th, the Polk County Republicans will host GOPFest 2008, a festival and informal fundraiser. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be this year’s guest speaker. Come and enjoy a great night of fun and entertainment!
To purchase your tickets please contact the Polk County Republicans at 280-6438 or Please include your Name, Address, Phone Number, and the number of tickets you would like. Tickets are $25 for Adults and $15 for Students.
Poll watchers needed for Election Day

Poll watchers are needed the 2008 General Election. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Danny McNamara at or (515) 864-6127 for more information.
Poll watching is a great way to contribute to the GOP while also being involved in the election process.
Biden choice highlights Obama’s weakness

DES MOINES, IA – Today, Iowa Republican leaders questioned Barack Obama’s motives for choosing Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential nominee.

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Stewart Iverson and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey took part in a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

IA Sec. of Ag Bill Northey: “As foreign policy becomes more important, it’s obvious that Obama is trying to play catch up to the John McCain campaign. This doesn’t change Senator Obama’s experience, but emphasizes the huge problem that he has: a lack of experience.”

RPI Chair Stewart Iverson: “Barack Obama is trying to compensate for an area of weakness by selecting Joe Biden as his running mate. Energy and the economy are the top two issues, and Biden and Obama are on the wrong side of these issues. Both of them oppose offshore drilling and nuclear power. John McCain wants energy independence and wants to drill here and drill now.”

At a press conference from the steps of the Iowa Capitol, David Roederer, Iowa chairman for John McCain 2008, was joined by former Iowa Senate President and former U.S. Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean Mary Kramer and State Auditor David Vaudt to voice their concerns with an Obama-Biden ticket.

State Auditor David Vaudt: “I find the Biden selection interesting. If you step back and take a look at one of Obama’s biggest critics, it’s Joe Biden. Barack Obama’s experience, his credentials, have all come under question. I think he is reaching out to someone to balance that. As the state auditor, I always have to look at the fiscal side of things and Barack Obama and Joe Biden have supported some of the biggest tax increases in American history.”
Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa

News From Iowa House GOP Leader Chris Rants

What's REALLY Going On With Your Tax Dollars?

For months we’ve been hearing from the governor and Democrats that a special session is urgent—we MUST come to Des Moines and address the needs of the storm victims and we must do it FAST, before the winter weather takes holds.

Now we’re hearing the complete opposite…maybe we don’t need a special session at all!

Since the flooding, the Executive Council has been meeting—allocating money at will for these emergencies.

The Iowa Code gives the Executive Council broad authority to act when the Legislature is not in session. The Executive Council consists of Governor Culver, Secretary of State Mauro, State Auditor David Vaudt, State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

Under the Iowa Code, the Executive Council has the ability to tap a "standing unlimited appropriation" from funds otherwise not appropriated to pay for emergency expenditures. Funds not otherwise appropriated means money available in the general fund ending balance. Approval of the expenditure of funds requires a simple majority vote of the Council.

While it is a good public policy to have the Executive Council approve emergency spending and therefore limit the need for a special session, it is also necessary for the taxpayers to know how much is being spent, what it is being spent on and if the money is coming from the ending balance, how much unobligated money is left.

Particularly distressing is news that as on Monday, the Executive Council approved $99.8 million in expenditures for flood relief. We have asked for a breakdown of the expenditures but at this point, our requests have not been answered.

However, we have been made aware that $3 million has been spent on consultants, Witt and Associates and State Public Policy Group (SPPG). Witt and Associates were hired to "cut through the red tape of the federal bureaucracy" and SPPG was hired to facilitate Rebuild Iowa Advisory Commission meetings.

These expenditures bring up several important questions:

1) What is this money being spent on when we don't even know how much the federal government is going to come up with? Allegedly Speaker Pelosi has promised our congressional delegation another supplemental disaster funding bill before the end of September.

2) What is the current ending balance of the general fund - both for FY 08 and FY 09?

3) What programs are going to have to be cut to allow for these expenditures?

4) What if revenue does not meet the REC estimate? Will across-the-board cuts follow?

5) Why does the state need to hire a consultant to "cut through the red tape"? Isn't that the job of our Senators and congressional delegation?

6) And most importantly, how would $3 million have helped flood victims if they had received the money instead of it going to high-priced consultants?

House Republicans are calling on the governor to release ALL of the figures regarding approved expenditures by the Executive Council. Iowans deserve to know how the 2008 disasters are going to be paid for before taxes are raised. We don’t want it to be a surprised come tax season.

A Bi-Partisan Ticket

From Michael Zak, speaker on the history of the Republican Party:

Most history books written by Democrat professors downplay the fact that the Worst President Ever was a Democrat. Did the Democrats nominate him? No, he was the 1864 Republican nominee for vice president.

Andrew Johnson - Andrew Jackson Johnson, to be precise - was the only southern Senator not to go with the Confederacy. For being strong on national security, this hardline Democrat was nominated by the Republicans to be Abraham Lincoln's 1864 running mate. He was drunk at his swearing in as vice president, and it was downhill from there. A month later, the murder of the Great Emancipator made Andrew Johnson president.

Andrew Johnson shared none of Abraham Lincoln's compassion for African-Americans. Referring to Frederick Douglass, whom Lincoln had called "one of the most meritorious men in America," Johnson said: "I know that damned Douglass." "White men alone must manage the South," he declared. In a message to Congress, President Johnson said blacks have less "capacity for government than any other race of people. Whenever they have been left to their own devices they have shown a constant tendency to lapse into barbarism." This from a man whose political party was overseeing the mutilation and murder of countless black people in the South!
On this day in 1866, President Johnson began his "Swing around the Circle," a trip through the Midwest to win popular support for his policy favoring neo-Confederate, Democrat control of the South.

In one speech lasting an hour, the pompous and crude Andrew Johnson referred to himself more than two hundred times. In another, he went so far as to imply that the murder of Abraham Lincoln had been part of God's plan to make him president. At a third event, he said the Republicans' House majority leader deserved to be hanged. After Johnson compared himself to Jesus, his remaining speeches were drowned out by hecklers. State government officials refused to be seen with him.

In the midterm elections that November, so disgusted were most Americans by this buffoon in the White House that Republicans won two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress. Congressional Republicans endured Andrew Johnson in the White House for nearly two more years before impeaching him.

In 1874, Tennessee Democrats re-elected Andrew Johnson to the U.S. Senate, making him one of four American presidents to hold federal office after leaving the presidency. Can you name the other three?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

House GOP Stages Week-Long Sit-in on House Floor

House GOP Refuses to Take Summer Vacation without a Vote on Energy, Stages Week-Long Sit-in on House Floor

Last Friday, August 1st, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) adjourned the House of Representatives for the five-week August recess after refusing to allow Congress to vote on legislation to increase the supply of American-made energy and to address the high price of gas.

Just after the lights and the microphones were turned off in the House gallery and C-Span had stopped its live coverage, dozens of Republican Members, led by Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN), Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), delivered a letter to Speaker Pelosi demanding that she call the House back into an emergency session this month to debate and vote on this issue. They then proceeded to loudly debate the energy issue in front of hundreds of U.S. citizens, who they freely welcomed into the House gallery to listen and participate. Some representatives even received standing ovations from the crowd after they concluded their off-the-cuff but passionate speeches.

Since no media or cameras are allowed in the House gallery because Congress is technically "out of session," GOP Members and staff have sent out "A Call to Action on American Energy" to encourage all interested American taxpayers who happen to be in the Washington, D.C. area, even if they are just visiting as tourists, to come to the House floor this week to lend their support by listening and by voicing their concerns in front of dozens of Congressmen.

Remember, democracy doesn't work unless you participate! If you want Congress to reconvene this month and to address the energy issue before the summer is over, the Congressmen pushing this debate are urging you to take action in any or all of the following ways:

  • Attend the open debate in the House gallery if you happen to be in the Washington, D.C. area.

  • Report on what you see after you attend, since the press is restricted from the event.

  • Blog, blast email alerts, call reporters, write op-eds in your local newspapers, etc. and let your family and friends know what is going on.

  • Flood Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office phone lines with calls, asking her to call Congress back to D.C. for an emergency session.

Capitol Hill office phone: 202-225-0100

Capitol Hill Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Members who have stayed in town and participated in the protest thus far: Reps. Bilbray, Bilirakis, Bishop (R-UT), Blunt, Boehner, Boozman, Brady, Broun, Brown (R-SC), Burgess, Campbell, Cantor, Moore-Capito, Carter, Cole, Conaway, Culberson, Dent, Fallin, Fortenberry, Foxx, Gohmert, Herger, Hoekstra, Hunter, King (R-IA), Lungren, Manzullo, McCarthy (R-CA), McCotter, Nunes, Pence, Pickering, Platts, Poe, Porter, Price, Putnam, Sali, Shadegg, Shimkus, Smith (R-NE), Turner, Walberg, Walden, and Westmoreland.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

News From Iowa GOP House Leader Christopher Rants

Offering REAL Solutions

Recently I received a letter from Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Directors of RSM McGladrey (area accountants from the area most affected by the recent flooding). This letter was stressing the fact that Iowa taxpayers “need help now.” The accountants proposed a few suggestions for tax incentives in light of the 2008 floods which would help provide some immediate relief to the affected taxpayers.

I agreed with the folks at RSM McGladrey, I believe their suggestions would go along way to opening the door to further discussions. Below is my release:

(DES MOINES)—Today House Republican Leader Christopher Rants (R-Sioux City) rolled out a proposal centering around tax incentives for Iowans affected by the storms and flooding of 2008.

Rants’ main suggestion focuses on bonus depreciation and extending the benefit through 2009 for taxpayers who qualify. In early 2008, the federal economic stimulus package included a provision that was designed to aid business taxpayers by increasing the expensing allowance for depreciable assets. However, Iowa failed to couple with the federal law and Iowa businesses were faced with a tax increase.

Rants suggests immediately coupling with the federal standard and then going further; extending that provision into 2009. By coupling and extending the bonus depreciation, taxpayers affected by the weather will be able to replace damaged property, equipment and machinery without having to pay increased taxes. Failure to enact this proposal means that Iowans replacing flood damaged equipment will see their tax liability go up.

“Small businesses, which are the backbone of our communities, large businesses, which employ so many Iowans, and farmers that feed the world are all trying to put the pieces of their operations back together. It’s important to their vitality to offer some immediate relief so they are able to purchase equipment to rebuild their businesses,” said Rants. “I am committed to coming up with solutions and tax incentives to help those businesses who are starting with nothing, allowing them to get back on their feet.”

The Republican Leader is also interested in considering property tax relief for Iowa homeowners who are struggling from weather-related damage as well as sales tax relief on building supplies, materials and other furnishings.

Rants’ ideas have already been endorsed by Cedar Rapids and Iowa City managing directors from RSM McGladrey accountants.


Shortly after I sent my release, Democrat Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent out a press release of his own—here are some clips:

“The House Republican Leader's plan for flood relief is an utter embarrassment and flood affected Iowans should be outraged.”

“Their proposal is another major warning sign that the Republican party has veered terribly to the political right and is completely out of touch with mainstream Iowa. We have thousands of individual Iowans hurting right now...many of them with their homes and property devastated. We have levees that need repaired or entirely rebuilt. We have hundreds of miles of roads and rail that need repaired. We have insurance obligations that need to be monitored and federal assistance that needs to be obtained - and the list goes on and on. And what is the House Republican proposal to deal with flood relief? Tax cuts for big corporations!”

I’m not entirely sure exactly what the Majority Leader is talking about here—not sure how we’ve “veered terribly to the political right” by trying to make nonpartisan solutions for those who’ve had their homes and businesses destroyed.

As you can clearly read, Republicans are not suggesting that these tax incentives are the end all/be all solution to dealing with transportation, agriculture, education, public health or housing issues.

I was not trying to make partisan statements, but apparently Republicans are not allowed to even make suggestions on how to help those affected by the catastrophic events.

Maybe Leader McCarthy didn’t really understand that these suggestions came from LOCAL folks who have had friends, family and neighbors suffering from the destruction. Maybe he didn’t understand that businesses that he calls “big corporations” are mom and pop retail stores, local contractors and builders, or small owners who are just trying to pick themselves up and rebuild because they want to stay in our state.

Maybe Leader McCarthy should stop trying to politicize the floods and instead of criticizing suggestions, offer some of his own.