Won’t go there, they say

There will not be a state government shut-down if the top two leaders in the Iowa Legislature have their way, they say.  (But there is the possibility of a shutdown of state operations if Governor Terry Branstad follows through on his threat to veto budget bills the legislature may send him over and over and over until he gets what he wants.)

The legislature’s top two leaders appear together on this weekend’s edition of “Iowa Press” on Iowa Public Television.  The two offer their predictions about the prospect the redistricting plan will pass the legislature next week (probably will) and whether Branstad’s proposed double-digit increase in the state tax on casinos will pass (probably won’t).  A wide range of other topics, including a discussion of prospects for property tax relief were discussed.  Watch it tonight at 7:30 on IPTV or watch it online here.

NC looks to IA for redistricting reform

The headline from Raleigh, North Carolina:  Legislation looks to IA for redistricting reform.

Loebsack fundraisers in the “new” second district

Wagons are already circling — way before the state legislature takes a vote on a reapportioned map of Iowa’s congresional districts (as well as districts for Iowa House and Senate seats).

As you may recall, the first map unveiled last week would pit two Democratic congressmen (Bruce Braley of Waterloo & Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon) in the new firt congressional district.

Senator Tom Harkin & Congressman Bruce Braley are co-hosting a fundraiser for Congressman Dave Loebsack in the middle of May….in Scott County.  Scott County is currently in Braley’s first congressional district, but Scott County would be in Iowa’s new second congressional district if legislators approve the redistricting plan.  (Loebsack is likely to move into Johnson County/the Iowa City area — which is in the newly-proposed second district — to avoid a head-to-head match-up with Braley.)

Congressman Leonard Boswell also has agreed to host a fundraiser for Loebsack in…wait for it…Jasper County.  Jasper is in the current third congressional district, which Boswell now represents, but it will be in the new second congressional district if the redistricting plan is approved. 

Eric Witte, an aide to Loebsack, says these two fundraisers should erase “any doubt about people’s efforts to help Loebsack in the new Second CD should the map pass…Both Scott and Jasper are in the new 2nd CD as are 14 of the 15 counties Dave currently represents.”

Rand Paul makes first trip to Iowa

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, is in Iowa today — a trip that is nearly four years after his father’s first trip to Iowa on April 11, 2007. 

During an interview this morning in Ames, I asked him which Paul is going to run for president in 2012?

“We really haven’t talked about it that much, to tell you the truth. I think that the signs I see of his travel and where he’s going and how much he has been going lead me to think he might be interested in running again,” Rand Paul said. “…I’ve told people that the only decision I’ve made is that I wouldn’t run against him…And even if he does, I want to be part of the process in some way.”

Were you to run, how would you avoid the criticism Republicans made of Obama in 2007 & 2008, that he lacked the experience to be president?

“Didn’t see to hurt him, did it?” Rand Paul said, chuckling.  “I think it’s interesting, you know, people want to complain about it, but, you know, Lincoln was elected with two years of experience as a congressman 15 years before he ran for president. Obama, I think, announced he was running 43 days into his term…I don’t know. I think people can make any criticism they want and whether it’s valid or not, I think that’s the winnowing process that goes through a primary and that’s what we decide.  We decide who best can articulate our vision.”

(A note: Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in November of 2004, became a senator in January of 2005 and announced he was running for president in February of 2007.)

You have to be motivated to run.  Do you feel that passion?

“I feel the passion to try to fix the problems in our country before it’s too late…To many who say, ‘Why don’t you just sit on the back bench and when your time has come in 12 or 15 or 20 years, then you come forward?’ I see a shorter time line, not just for me, but I see a shorter time line for the country….There’s no money left…within a decade because we are showing just absolutely no restraint,” Rand Paul said. “…Is it just good for a country to continually spend beyond their means? And I see as it not just a Democrat/Republican problem.  I think Republicans are part of the problem as well…The entitlement program for prescription drugs is bigger than ObamaCare. Republicans are 100 percent against ObamaCare, but the vast majority of them voted for the prescription drug program.”

Paul said his book was an attempt to put the tenants of the Tea Party movement down on paper, and he suggested the Tea Party will play a major role in deciding who the GOP nominates in 2012.

David Fischer, a Republican from Ivy, Iowa, who supported Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential bid, and Fischer wants to see “one of the Pauls” run for president in 2012.

“They have a unique message,” Fischer says. “…They fill a void in the discourse.  There’s a genuine message common to both of them of promoting freedom and shrinking the size and scope of government…and a more rational foreign policy you’ll hear only coming from the Pauls.  That’s something that needs to be heard right now because we don’t have a rational foreign policy right now.”

Fischer, a 43-year-old engineering consultant, is a member of the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee.   He just finished Rand Paul’s book last night and had the senator sign it this morning.  Fischer is one of the small troupe of people guiding Paul through Iowa this weekend.

Paul is holding two book-signing events today in Iowa.  The first is in Ames at the University Book Store on the Iowa State University campus; the second is in metro Des Moines.  Paul was in Iowa City, on the University of Iowa campus last night.  Paul will also speak to Iowa College Republicans late this morning and he’ll meet with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, early this afternoon before headlining an Iowa GOP fundraiser this evening in Des Moines.

Redistricting round-up

Here’s the map of the proposed congressional districts.  Here’s a Radio Iowa story outlining the key races.  Here’s the list of legislators who’d be forced to run against another incumbent if they choose to remain in their current home and seek reelection in 2012. 

The four congressmen involved — Latham, King, Braley & Loebsack — issued written statements.  King and Loebsack granted telephone interviews today as well.

King statement on redistricting

See headline above.  Read written statement below.  King also talked by phone with Radio Iowa.  Read what he had to say here and here.

King Statement on Congressional Redistricting Map

Washington D.C.- Congressman Steve King (R-IA) released the following statement regarding the proposed congressional redistricting map that was revealed this morning.

“Today, Iowans got a first look at what our state’s congressional map may look like for the next ten years. Ultimately, it will be up to the legislature and the Governor to decide. I chaired the State Government Committee in the Iowa Senate ten years ago and managed the bill. I know that our legislature will work hard to ensure Iowans get the best representation possible in Congress and the General Assembly. It remains a privilege to serve the Fifth District in Congress, and I look forward to continuing my work in Congress in 2012 and beyond.”

Braley statement on redistricting

See headline above. Read statement below.

Braley Statement on Iowa Redistricting Process

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the first redistricting maps came out:
“This map is a first draft and the first step in a process that will determine new Congressional districts. We’ll all have to wait and see how the process plays out. I’m honored to represent northeast Iowa in Congress, and I’m focused on the very important work we have in front of us: monitoring the conflict in Libya and working on passing a responsible, long term budget to provide stability and certainty to American families and businesses.”

Loebsack statement on redistricting

See headline above. Read statement below.

Loebsack Statement On Iowa Redistricting Proposal

“In Iowa, we are fortunate to have a nonpartisan redistricting process that puts Iowans and Iowa’s communities first, ahead of politics. For more than four years, I have been honored to represent much of southeastern Iowa – in Iowa’s Second Congressional district.  Understanding that the redistricting process is ongoing, as the map stands now, I would plan to continue to represent the southeastern district of Iowa that stretches from I-35 to Iowa City, the Quad Cities and to the southeastern most tip of Keokuk.  I have been honored to represent these communities in the past and look forward to representing them in the future.”

Boswell statement on redistricting

See headline above. Read statement below.

Statement from Congressman Boswell on the release of the first redistricting map is below.

“During my time in public service I have represented 32 different counties in our great state. Whatever the conclusion of our redistricting process, I look forward to continue to representing Iowa and fighting for her interests.”

Iowa Democrats first to release pairings

Democratic staff in the Iowa House and Senate have analyzed the redistricting maps.  Their conclusions:  14 senators will be forced to run against another senator in 2012 and 27 representatives will be forced to run in a district where one (if not two) representatives are also situated.

Here are the Senate pairings:

Kibbie (D-Emmetsburg) versus Johnson (R-Ocheyedan)

Boettger (R-Harlan) versus Seymour (R-Woodbine)

Ward (R-West Des Moines) versus McCoy (D-Des Moines)

Bacon (R-Maxwell) versus Dix (D-Waterloo)

Bartz (R-Grafton) versus Wilhelm (D-Cresco)

Hancock (D-Epworth) versus Bowan (D-Maquoketa)

Hamerlinck (R-Dixon) versus Hahn (R-Muscatine)

I’ll be back in a minute with pairings in the Iowa House.

Here are the House pairings.

Huseman (R-Aurelia) versus Chambers (R-Sheldon)

Iverson (R-Clarion) versus Upmeyer (R-Garner) versus Rayhons (R-Garner)

Shaw (R-Laurens) versus Tjepkes (R-Gowrie)

Jeremy Taylor (R-Sioux City) versus Hall (D-Sioux City)

Brandenburg (R-Council Bluffs) versus Hanusa (R-Council Bluffs) 

Anderson (R-Clarinda) versus Dolecheck (R-Mount Ayr)

Sweeney (R-Alden) versus Pat Grassley(R-New Hartford) 

Wenthe (D-Hawkeye) versus Thomas (D-Elkader)

Hein (R-Monticell) versus Moore (R-Zwingle)

Mascher (D-Iowa City) versus Jacoby (D-Coralville)

DeBoef (R-What Cheer) versus Klein (R-Keota)

Van Englenhoven (R-Pella) versus Vander Linden (R-Oskaloosa)

Swain (D-Bloomfield) versus Hanson (D-Fairfield)