Frank Hatch, father of Democratic gubernatorial candidate, dies at age 95

The campaign has released a statement this afternoon:

DES MOINES — Jack Hatch, candidate for Governor, released the following statement Monday regarding the passing of his father, Frank Hatch, in Stockbridge, MA, Sunday at Age 95:

“This is a sad time for my family.  My father, Frank Hatch, passed away of natural causes Sunday in a care facility near Stockbridge, MA.  He was 95.  I last saw him in June 2014, and was aware he was not in the best health.  I was glad I had the chance to talk to him at that time.  Funeral and burial arrangements are pending, but we are expecting to lay him to rest at the National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. My dad was a World War II Army veteran and retired from active duty as a Captain in the 87th Airborne Division.  He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 1954.  He is preceded in death by my mother, Joanne Fitzpatrick Hatch.

I’ve had great support in the past 24 hours from family and friends.  Thanks to all for respecting my family’s privacy at this time.”

UPDATE: Governor Branstad’s campaign released a statement late this afternoon.

(URBANDALE, Iowa) – The Branstad-Reynolds campaign today released the following statement from Governor Branstad after learning of the passing of Senator Hatch’s father.

“I recently learned of the passing of Senator Hatch’s father, and I express my deepest condolences to Senator Hatch. I respect and salute the service that Senator Hatch’s father gave to our nation in uniform. My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Hatch and his family at this time.” – Governor Terry Branstad

UP Project targets ‘gender gap’ in Ernst race against Braley

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was the Republican candidate in California who ran against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in 2010. Fiorina is now leading a PAC organized to turn out more women voters for conservative female candidates like Joni Ernst, the Iowa Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2014.  Ernst, before the June 3 GOP primary, got the backing of SHE-PAC, another group that seeks to support conservative female candidates.

Read the news release below.

Carly Fiorina Launches Unlocking Potential Project for 2014 Campaign
Iowa Among Six Target States

“Liberals and Democrats fear nothing more than mobilized, articulate conservative women”

McLean, VA – Carly Fiorina issued the following statement announcing the launch of the Unlocking Potential (UP) Project, an organization dedicated to organizing conservative and Republican women in key states in an voter education and turnout effort.

“Liberals and Democrats fear nothing more than mobilized, articulate conservative women, and we will be highly engaged in building effective activist networks among conservative women,” Carly said.

“Democrats are already gearing-up their nonsensical “war on women” attacks, Unlocking Potential will refute these.  Women are not a special interest group; we’re more than half the country.  So when there are 50 million people – one out of every six Americans – on food stamps, and jobs are scarce, and ObamaCare is wreaking havoc with people’s lives, it is women who are going to stand up and fight for their lives, their livelihoods and their families,” Carly said.

The UP Project will engage women at the grassroots level to help conservatives close the gender and technology gap. It will utilize cutting-edge technology and techniques to target, persuade, and turnout female voters in six key states with competitive Senate races: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia.

“We have studied the successful campaigns and movements that have applied targeted and personal grassroots efforts to stimulate positive action,” Carly said. “They focus on real interactions; door-to-door and person-to-person contacts, and not just television advertising. These personal efforts are most effective in persuading and activating individuals.”

@JoniErnst, @BruceBraley issue statements on Hobby Lobby case

The two major party candidates who are competing for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat released statements about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in the Hobby Lobby case.  Read the candidates’ statements below:

At 11:46 a.m. — Braley Statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision Restricting Women’s Access to Contraceptives 
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today issued the following statement after the Supreme Court’s decision involving Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.:

“99 percent of women choose to use contraceptives—and many of those women gain that access through their employer-sponsored health care coverage. It’s deeply troubling that today the SupremeCourt decided that corporations can now unilaterally deny their employees access to birth control. Recent health care reforms had ended the days when women unfairly faced higher health-care costs and were routinely denied access to health care coverage and services—today’s decision moves us backward. Women’s health care shouldn’t be subject to the whims of corporations and we need to continue to fight to ensure that women have equal access to health services.”

At 2:18 p.m.  — Ernst Campaign Makes Statement on Burwell v Hobby Lobby Case
Des Moines, IA – Upon the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Burwell v Hobby Lobby case, Gretchen Hamel, Joni Ernst spokesman, made the following statement:

“Joni applauds the Supreme Court for reigning in a federal government that continues to overreach and apply a one-size fits all approach on Iowa and the American people.

This case was never about limiting individual healthcare decisions – but about pushing back against the violation of religious freedom by President Obama and Bruce Braley, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

The senator they both seek to replace issued a statement as well.

At 10:18 a.m. — Harkin: Supreme Court Decision Will Limit Access to Critical Preventive Care for Everyday Working Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

“Providing consumers with access to preventive care services with no cost-sharing was a top priority for me in crafting the Affordable Care Act.  This coverage empowers Americans to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families. For men and women alike, decisions about medical care and personal health, including birth control, should be made in consultation with their doctor, not their employer.

“Contraception is essential health care. Ninety-nine percent of women— our sisters, daughters, friends, colleagues, and neighbors—will use some form of birth control in their lifetime, and strong majorities of Americans support the notion that women should be able to make their reproductive care decisions without interference from their employer.

“I disagree strongly with today’s Supreme Court’s decision, which will limit access to critical preventive care for everyday working people in Iowa and around the country. I am heartened, however, that the Court’s narrow decision would not extend to other guaranteed health benefits from the Affordable Care Act such as blood transfusions and vaccinations.

“While the Supreme Court has ruled, this fight is far from over. Along with my colleagues in Congress, I am deeply committed to ensuring that all Americans—men and women alike—can get the health coverage they need, and we will be exploring legislative remedies to ensure that affordable contraceptive coverage remains available and accessible.”

Rather than have its male chairman or male executive director speak, the Iowa Democratic Party chose to issue a statement from its female spokesperson.

At 9:44 am — IDP Statement on Hobby Lobby Case

Des Moines – As the Supreme Court rules today on the Hobby Lobby case, Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Christina Freundlich released the following statement:

“No woman should have her access to affordable birth control cut off because of her boss’ opinion.  Yet that’s what state Sen. Joni Ernst supports, along with a constitutional “Personhood” amendment that would ban some common forms of birth control entirely and outlaw a woman’s right to choose even in the event of rape, incest, or to save the life of a mother.  This includes keeping a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy from getting the care she needs and criminalizing common forms of birth control that help them stay healthy and plan for their families – it even blocks preventative care that reduces the risk of cancer and osteoporosis.

“Time and again, state Sen. Joni Ernst wants to put her extreme ideology before the rights of Iowa women to make their own medical decisions with their doctor. That’s not fair and not what Iowa women deserve.”

The Republican Party of Iowa’s new chairman issued a statement today, but it wasn’t about the Hobby Lobby case. It was about Jack Hatch, the Democrat running against Republican Governor Terry Branstad.

@SenRandPaul hires former #IAGOP chair @sgrubbs as consultant #2016

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has hired Steve Grubbs as a consultant. Grubbs’ most recent consulting work in Iowa politics was done on behalf of Mark Jacobs, the perceived “establishment” candidate in the Iowa GOP’s 2014 U.S. Senate race. Jacobs finished third in the primary, with about 17 percent of the vote.

With the hire, Rand Paul acquires an operative not previously associated with the “liberty movement” inside the Iowa GOP.

Grubbs is a former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party and a former state legislator. He was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives when he was 25 years old.  When Grubbs was 31, he put his name on a statewide ballot. Grubbs ran for the Iowa Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nomination in 1998, for the chance to face off against Democrat Tom Harkin.  Grubbs was among a handful of ambitious Republican lawmakers in the Iowa House who wanted to crack a sort of glass ceiling in Iowa politics — the ceiling created by long-time Republican officeholders Terry Branstad and Chuck Grassley (who are still holding office and seeking election 16 years later, by the way).

The primary that year was shaping up a lot like the GOP Senate primary Iowans just witnessed. Grubbs and his opponent, state senator Maggie Tinsman of neighboring Bettendorf,  were not well-known outsidethe Quad Cities. Grubbs was considered the front-runner in the race early on.

However, while Republican Congressmen Tom Latham and Steve King ruled out running in 2014, then-Congressman Jim Ross Lightfoot entered the race in March, just three months before the primary. Lightfoot won the GOP’s nomination with an Ernst-esque 61 percent of the vote, then lost a close race against Democratic Senator Tom Harkin that fall.

Grubbs worked for Steve Forbes presidential campaign in 2000.  I interviewed him a few years ago about the air-conditioned tent the Forbes campaign put up for the Iowa GOP Straw Poll in August of 1999. Grubbs was also brought in to briefly run the Herman Cain effort in Iowa until it ended December 3, 2011. When I asked Grubbs what one does with campaign signs for a campaign that has ended, he quipped: “You recycle.”

Read more about the Rand Paul/Steve Grubbs alliance below in the RANDPAC news release:

Iowa RANDPAC Chief Strategist Announcement

Des Moines – Senator Rand Paul named former Republican Party of Iowa Chairman, Steve Grubbs, as Chief Strategist of his Iowa RANDPAC operation today.

“If we’re to be successful in putting together an effective organization to advance the cause of liberty and freedom, we need to have successful state operations. Steve’s experience as State Chair, serving in the Iowa legislature and working for five previous presidential campaigns will help us build on what we already have in place,” said Paul. “He will join A.J Spiker in Iowa, and Doug Stafford nationally, in leading the organization that I rely on to advance the cause of Liberty in Iowa and nationwide.”

Grubbs, a former Davenport legislator, is founder of Victory Enterprises, a Midwest-based political and technology consultancy firm.

“Senator Paul has the commitment to liberty and freedom that our nation is looking for in a time when the White House is relentlessly eroding both. I also believe that Rand Paul has the ability to broaden the base of our party to younger voters which is essential to the future,” said Grubbs.

Steve Grubbs has served in leadership roles for two of Senator Bob Dole’s presidential campaigns as well as Steve Forbes, Tommy Thompson and Herman Cain.

Grubbs, who currently chairs an international technology network of 3,600 tech CEO’s will also provide assistance in the inclusion of technology, social media and digital strategies into the effort.

Doug Stafford, Executive Director of RANDPAC, commented on his relationship with Grubbs, “I’ve known Steve for more than a decade. He is well-respected in Republican politics and a good strategic thinker. I look forward to working with him in the coming months.”

Grubbs joins A.J. Spiker, also a former Iowa GOP Chair, in the Iowa RANDPAC operation. Said Spiker: “I am pleased to be working with someone of the caliber of Steve Grubbs, and believe this is an important step for RANDPAC and advancing Senator Paul’s political and policy goals.”

RANDPAC is a political action committee whose goal is to elect Republicans across the United States who are committed to less government and more freedom. Senator Paul has actively traveled across the nation campaigning on behalf of Republicans and expects to maintain an aggressive schedule into 2015 and beyond.

AUDIO: New #IAGOP chair’s first speech

Former state Representative Jeff Kaufmann of Wilton was just elected chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.  He addressed the central committee members who elected him by voice vote and members of the public who are at party headquarters for the event. Listen below.

AUDIO of Kaufmann’s remarks, 12:30

AUDIO from the #IA03 nominating convention

If you want to relive the day or hear how it all transpired, I’ve posted audio from the speeches the candidates (or their designee) gave this past Saturday at the Iowa Republican Party’s third congressional district nominating convention at Des Moines Christian High School in Urbandale.  The “mult box” which provides an audio feed from the sound system did not work.  The first few audio files are “wild sound” from the room. The last several are audio files from a recorder I was able to place on the lectern, however many of the candidates took the microphone and roamed around the stage, so that audio isn’t crystal clear either.

AUDIO of first round of speeches before first round of voting. After the delegates’ ballots were counted, the candidates finished in this order: Brad Zaun 130, Monte Shaw 118, Matt Schultz 95, David Young 86, Robert Cramer 75 & Joe Grandanette 7.

AUDIO of second round of speeches before second round of voting. For some reason, the lowest vote-getter in the first round was not tossed out, so Grandanette’s is the first voice you hear.  In the second round, the candidates finished in this order: Zaun 157; Shaw 122; Schultz 88; Young 81; Cramer 60; Grandanette 2.

AUDIO of third round of speeches before third round of voting. Cramer was the first to speak, and he took himself out of contention.  In the third round, the candidates finished in this order: Zaun 188; Shaw 126; Young 102; Schultz 85.

AUDIO of fourth round of speeches before fourth round of voting. Although Schultz had been dropped from this round of voting, Young gave Schultz a chance to speak — and Schultz asked delegates who had voted for him to support Young. In the fourth round, the candidates finished in this order: Zaun 206; Young 171; Shaw 120.

AUDIO of fifth round of speeches before fifth and FINAL round of voting.  The final tally: Young 276, Zaun 221

Click here to listen to Young’s speech to delegates after he had been announced as the winner.

The final tally: Young 276, Zaun 221

David Young won with 276 delegates’ support compared to Brad Zaun’s 221.

The key, as you’ll see below in the county tallies, is the Polk County delegation (Zaun’s home county)un 221

Adair: Young 6

Adams: Young 3

Cass: Young 9, Zaun 3

Dallas: Young 41, Zaun 14

Fremont: Young 1, Zaun 4

Guthrie: Young 6, Zaun 3

Madison: Young 9, Zaun 4

Mills: Zaun 5, Young 7

Montgomery: Young 2, Zaun 6

Page: Young 4, Zaun 5

Polk: Young 126, Zaun 126

Pottawattamie: Young 34, Zaun 26

Ringgold: Young 4

Taylor: Zaun 5

Union: Young 8

Warren: Young 16, Zaun 20

Young and Zaun make their final pitches

David Young spoke first.

“I have solutions. I want to be at the table,” Young said, then delivered his best campaign line: “I don’t want to blow up the governemt, but I do have a stick and I want to whack it.”

“… know who my boss is. It’s not John Boehner…or Eric Cantor…My boss is you. You have the power hire me. You have the power to fire and I respect you immensely,” Young told the delegates.

Brad Zaun quipped as he began: “I just have to say for one second, I wish my speech teacher from high school could see me now because if I could recall my grade wasn’t an A – but I’ve improved somewhat.”

Zaun again stressed that he was the top vote-getter on June 3.

“I ask you to consider this. the people spoke on June 3. They did put me in first. Please put that in consideration. I also have been in first place all day long,” Zaun said.

Zaun listed some of his top campaign issues — term limits, ObamaCare, tax reduction, then concluded: “I have ran a positive campaign…I’m asking the Monte people to please consider me.”

And then there were two….

The next round of voting went as follows:

Shaw: 120

Young: 171

Zaun: 206

Here are the county totals:

Adair: Shaw 4, Young 2

Adams: Shaw 2, Zaun 1

Cass: Shaw 1, Young 8, Zaun 3

Dallas: Shaw 14, Young 29, Zaun 11

Fremont: Shaw 2, Young 1, Zaun 2

Guthrie: Shaw 5, Young 2, Zaun 2

Madison: Shaw 2, Young 7, Zaun 4

Mills: Shaw 5, Young 3, Zaun 4

Montgomery: Shaw 1, Young 2, Zaun 5

Page: Shaw 4, Young 2, Zaun 4

Polk: Shaw 51, Young 80, Zaun 121

Pott: Shaw 8, Young 24, Zaun 28

Ringgold: Shaw 1, Young 2, Zaun 1

Taylor: Shaw 1, Zaun 4

Union: Young 3, Shaw 5

Warren: Shaw 14, Young 6, Zaun 16


As Schultz bows out, he backs Young — surprising Zaun camp

Prior to the next round of voting, David Young gave Matt Schultz a chance to speak.

“It has been an honor serving as your secretary of state,” Schultz said, and got a standing ovation.  Schultz finished last in the previous round of balloting and was eliminated.

“I want all of you to know how much I respect David Young. We need somebody who can go to washington & fight who’s conservatrive and who can win,” Schultz said as he endorsed Young’s candidacy at this nominating convention. “…I’m asking all of you who supported me to get behind David.”

Young made a few remarks in the time he had remaining, then Monte Shaw spoke. Shaw focused his remarks on foreign policy in this go round, telling the delegates the U.S. cannot be the world’s policeman, but America must understand the dynamics of foreign policy.

Brad Zaun saluted Schuultz as “the secretary of state in the history of the state.”

“(Schultz) definitely had the liberal media after him,” Zaun told delegates, before continuing: “I’ve got to try to win some of you guys over here.”

“…We have got to send someone to Washington DC that holds accountable this unconstitutional liberal president and I’ll give you my word. I will,” Zaun said.

Voting commenced at around 2:30 p.m.