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.