A little bit about a lot of things

Governor Tom Vilsack signed a package of bills today aimed at boosting use of alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel as well as boosting generation of energy from the wind and the sun.  The event was scheduled at 9am, outdoors on what the Vilsack’s press advisory described as the "West Mall."  That means outdoors on the west side of the statehouse.  Seems a little grand to call it the "West Mall" — that is unless you’re hankering to get a job close to the National Mall in Washington.  The event had to be moved inside, into the capitol’s first floor rotunda.  It started 15 minutes late, perhaps partly due to the last-minute dash to find electricity for the mult-box set up for television cameras and radio recorders to get sound from the microphone at the lectern.      

There was a large crowd of folks from commodity groups, the ethanol industry and even from the petroleum industry at the bill signing.  One petro lobbyist made a point of stressing to me the industry’s victory on the "mandate" issue. The bill does not require that all fuel pumped in Iowa be an ethanol blend, a move advocated by GOP Republican candidate Jim Nussle and some (but obviously not enough) legislators.

Speaking of the National Mall, Vilsack communications director Rodell Mollineau spent the Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C., catching up with former colleagues who work on Capitol hill or in the party.

Ed Fallon’s campaign manager quit last Monday. Ben Zachrich left for "personal reasons" according to a news release Fallon camp sent out today.  It included this line: "Fallon said his campaign all along has used a team management model which relies upon the perspective and talent of everyone on staff."  Zachrich was named campaign manager back in November — after working 18 months on the campaign as a volunteer.  That means Zachrich spent the last two years working for Fallon, and left about two weeks before the primary.

The ad war between Mike Blouin and Chet Culver continues.  Producers of the latest Culver attack ad apparently watched a lot of Bush commercials in 2004, especially one in particular.  Remember the one that had Kerry wind-surfing, flipping back and forth on the screen to symbolize his "flip-flopping" on the issues?  Well, the Culver camp now has an ad with an image of Blouin flipping back and forth.  Blouin’s standing, dressed in a suit and tie (thankfully) and not standing on a board wearing a wet suit.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.