The weekend wrap-up

A bunch of newspapers have issued endorsements in the race for governor.  If you subscribe to an Iowa newspaper, turn to the editorial page and check for yourself.  Branstad got the endorsement of The Cedar Rapids Gazette last weekend, along with editorial page endorsements from The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, The Fort Dodge Messenger and The Sioux City Journal this weekend.  Culver got the endorsements of The Des Moines Register, The Ottumwa Courier and The Mason City Globe-Gazette.

Two legislative leaders were on Iowa Press this weekend.  Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) and House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) say they were surprised by Farm Bureau opposition to the land and water legacy amendment; they don’t think the judicial retention will have much “up ballot” impact and they both think quicker disclosure of campaign donations is a good idea and do-able. Neither would offer specific predictions on House/Senate make-up in January.  And neither, by the way, have ideas to share about how they’d organize a constitutional convention if voters decide to have one.

Democrats have been raising money online to air this attack ad against Senator Grassley.  Meanwhile, Grassley’s campaign ridiculed Grassley opponent Roxanne Conlin for her “meager” fundraising report.

Vice President Biden is scheduled to headline a rally in Dubuque on Friday for Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo).  Details just released Sunday afternoon:

Waterloo, I owa – Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today Vice President Joe Biden will return to Iowa’ s First District for a Get Out the Vote Rally in Dubuque with Braley and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

“ I’ m proud to welcome Vice President Joe Biden back to Dubuque,” Braley said. “ Vice President Biden is one of America’ s strongest voices for middle class families and it’ s an honor that he’ s willing to help us turn out the vote in the First District. Vice President Biden and Senator Harkin have spent their lives fighting for common sense policies that put Main Street ahead of Wall Street, creating jobs and making sure that middle class families have the opportunity to make it in America again. I’ m looking forward to this event and moving forward to a Democratic victory on November 2.”

The rally featuring Biden, Braley and Harkin will take place at the Grand River Center in Dubuque on Friday, October 29th. Doors will open at 10:30 am. Please limit personal items; no large bags or outside signs permitted.

Iowans interested in attending can RSVP online at, call 319-290-6516 or email

Congressman Steve King, the western Iowa Republican, weighed in on the firing of Juan Williams (formerly of National Public Radio & a FOX contributor, now exclusively of FOX). Read King’s statement on his congressional website.  Unlike others, King did not call for ending federal support of NPR.

Matt Campbell, the Democrat running against Congressman Steve King, met with Quabad Talabani.  Details below.

Campbell Secures Interest from Iraqi Leader to Expand Trade

Matt Campbell, candidate to be the next Congressman from Iowa’s 5th District, met with Iraqi Leader Quabad Talabani Friday morning in Washington DC to discuss mideast regional security and trade.  Mr. Talabani is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative to the United States and is the son of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. 

In their meeting Talabani expressed appreciation to Campbell for supporting policies that led to Iraq’s liberty as well as appreciation to the United States and Iowa for sacrifices made to secure Iraqi democracy and freedom.

Campbell and Talabani discussed how increased trade between Iowa and Kurdistan would benefit both regions.  Talabani was receptive to increases in grain exports to Kurdistan and to the idea of developing a sister state relationship with Iowa to promote trade.  Campbell indicated he would reach out to representatives of the Iowa Sister States program following the election on November 2nd to inquire whether a formal agreement could be established between the regions.

Talabani indicated to Campbell that he would be willing to speak in Iowa in the upcoming year to further advance discussions on mutually beneficial trade opportunities and to further discuss progress in Iraq.  Campbell indicated he would follow-up with various organizations in Iowa to facilitate that visit.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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