“Real” candidate fires back over “phantom” promotion

“I challenge the mysterious candidate to come forth, announce plans to become a candidate, and present his or her case.  And I call upon all Democrats to listen to their higher self and not allow king-maker politics to engulf the party.” — U.S. Senate candidate Bob Krause, 9-28-09

One of the two Democrats who has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate (for the chance to face-off against U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley in 2010) is scolding Iowa Democratic Party chairman Michael Kiernan.  Kiernan this weekend said a third, well-known candidate would soon come forward to give Grassley the “race of his life.” U.S. Senate candidate Bob Krause, a former state legislator who lives in Fairfield, issued a statement late this (Monday) morning (about three days after Kiernan’s comments were posted on this blog). Read Krause’s statement below.

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Krause is sour on Senate Finance health care bill

I missed this in the crush of email. It involves lemons, lemonade, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-New Hartford, Iowa) and Bob Krause of Fairfield, a Democrat who wants to run against Grassley in 2010. Krause uses the word “quaff” twice in their news release. Read it below.

U. S. Senate candidate Bob Krause Calls for Lemonade Party Today To Call Attention to “lemon” Health Care Bill Proposed by Baucus-Grassley

Bob Krause, Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate, is asking Iowans to quaff a lemonade this morning (Tuesday) at 9 a.m. to draw attention to the beginning of public hearings on the health care reform bill that has emerged from the Senate Finance Committee.

“Nothing that Senator Max Baucus of Montana is chair of the committee and that Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa is the ranking member, Krause said that both will have the opportunity to defend their work. “Their bill has been widely criticized and has been called the “Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enforcement Act” for a former executive with Cigna, a national health insurance company,” said Krause.

“Ironically, this lemon of a bill is one that Grassley helped to craft at the same time he was telling supporters on Aug. 10 that he has always ‘been opposed to the Obama administration’s plan to nationalize health care’,” Krause pointed out.

“Now, the charade is over and Senator Grassley is on record as opposing his own bill, as are nearly all Senate Republicans,” said Krause.

“Given the lemon that has been offered by the Senators from Iowa and Montana after these many months of huffing and puffing, let us all hope that enough of the Senate will come to our rescue and turn this lemon into lemonade,” said Krause, noting the hearings will begin this morning at 9 a.m.

“Quaff and Enjoy! But be sure to use lots of sugar!” Krause urged his fellow Iowans.

Krause, a native of northwest Iowa, lives in Fairfield with his wife, Vicky. A former state legislator, Krause presently serves as chair of the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus. He is also a past president of the Reserve Officers Association of Iowa. Voters can learn more about his campaign at www.KrauseforIowa.com.

Grassley turns 76 today

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-New Hartford, Iowa) turns 76 today.  He is not (so far) celebrating with a text.  His Twitter account has been silent all week.

One of the Democrats who hopes to face Grassley in 2010 has decided to mark the occasion by writing new lyrics for a familiar tune.  Read candidate Bob Krause’s news release below. (Historical note: Grassley’s 2004 opponent, Art Small, sang in his own campaign ad. During a stateshouse news conference announcing his candidacy, Small also sang part of the theme song to a cartoon to underscore his underdog status.)

U. S. Senate candidate Bob Krause offers Singing Telegram to opponent on birthday

Bob Krause, Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate, offered his opponent, Senator Charles Grassley, this singing telegram today on the senator’s 76th birthday:
(To the tune of “Happy Birthday”)

Happy Birthday to you
we wish that you too,
would Twitter to your following,
that heath care can go through.

Instead you persist,
With opportunities missed,
and say that poor Granny
will sadly be dissed.

The problem so far
Is the fear that you are
listening to the lobbyists
instead of your heart!

When health care is done,
And the public option is won,
Then we can all Twitter,
That the country has won!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Senator Grassley,
Happy Birthday to You!

Talking about “Fieganomics”

Former State Senator Tom Fiegan (pronounced FEE-gun) formally declared himself a candidate for the U.S. Senate today. If you go to his campaign website, you can read his announcement speech and Fiegan's bio.  Here's the Radio Iowa story about Fiegan's announcement.  A little background from the story:

Fiegen will face Bob Krause of Fairfield and perennial candidate Sal Mohamed of Sioux City in a Democratic primary

….Nine years ago Fiegen ran against a legislator who'd been the leader of Republicans in the state senate and won. Fiegen then served two years in the legislature before redistricting tossed him into a 2002 contest against another incumbent Republican — Fiegan lost that race.

Grassley is seeking his sixth term in the U.S. Senate.

Republican “possibles” at Sac County GOP gathering

UPDATE:  Read the first Radio Iowa story about the event.  Or, listen to all the speeches.

The time is 8:28 a.m.  I am sitting in a lovely building on the Sac County Fairgrounds, an original  "Chautauqua" building that was constructed in the early 1900s.  This is the site of a Sac County GOP gathering that will feature four men who are considering the idea of running for governor.

SacCity450

Two of them are farther along in the process.  Both Bob Vander Plaats and Christopher Rants, both of Sioux City, have formed "exploratory committees."  Representative Rod Roberts of Carroll and Senator Jerry Behn (pronounced "BAYN") are in the contemplative phase.  Vander Plaats and Rants were first on the scene here, followed by Roberts and Behn,  They've been chatting individually with the folks who have been paying $10 per ticket to attend this breakfast event. 

At 8:33 a.m., a prayer was offered and immediately following the prayer folks started lining up for breakfast. The building is huge, with rows of painted benches as well as picnic tables.  "The media" is stationed at a picnic table near the middle of the hall, near an electrical outlet. In about 20 minutes — at 9 o'clock — each of the four potential candidates will be given a chance to speak (individually) to the crowd.  This is the first time all four have appeared, together.

According to Senator Steve Kettering, a Republican from nearby Lake View, Sac County is a "Republican county."  He says the Sac County GOP had a "pretty good hook" in pledging to share proceeds from the event if one of the four would "formally announce" they're running for governor at this event. 

Kettering, though, considers the 2010 race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination wide open at this point, with "a couple of hands full" of other candidates considering jumping into the race.  "In my judgment, the gubernatorial race has not started," Kettering said moments ago.  "…It's way too early.  Obviously, there are still a couple of hands full of people still talking about it."

There are over 60 people seated now at picnic tables covered by red and blue tablecloths.  They're enjoying a breakfast of egg casserole, fruit and cinnamon rolls. Senator Kettering just showcased his own plate of food for the reporters here, pointing out the cinnamon roll as the "little bit of fun" on his plate.

At 9:07 a.m. the Pledge is recited by the crowd, followed by introduction of county elected officials in the audience as well as GOP precinct chairs.  The emcee is Brian Krause, pastor of the Faith Bible Church in Sac City.  According to Krause, there are about 12,000 residents in Sac County and both Krause and Kettering estimate Republicans comprise about 60 percent of registered voters, with about 40 percent registered as Democrats. 

Krause, by the way, assured the crowd he is not related to Bob Krause, the Democrat who has emerged to challenge Republican US Senator Chuck Grassley's reelection.  "There is nobody in my gene pool who is challenging Chuck Grassley," Brian Krause said.

Senator Behn is first and, after starting a stop watch to adhere to the 15 minute time limit each candidate has been given, he beings with a pledge: "I would spend your money carefully, just like I'll spend your time carefully."

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Campaign websites

Yesterday, as I was doing a check to make sure I had State Auditor Dave Vaudt's age correct in my story, I ran across his campaign-style website.  (Vaudt, as you may know, announced yesterday that he would seek a third term as auditor rather than run for governor in 2010.) It made me wonder which statewide candidates/officeholders have websites up today:

  • Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey (R-Spirit Lake) is "in the process of updating" his campaign-style website.
  • Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro (D-Des Moines) has an up-to-date campaign website
  • State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald (D-West Des Moines) and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (D-Des Moines) have no campaign websites that I can find (one would think there'd be something out there as Mauro and Vaudt, for example, are accepting online contributions on their sites).  If Miller & Fitzgerald did have websites, I'm guessing the Iowa Democratic Party would have a link, and they do not.
  • The Republican Party of Iowa has links to the websites of their two GOP congressmen (Tom Latham and Steve King) and Senator Chuck Grassley, who is up for reelection in 2010.  Bob Krause, a Democrat who wants to challenge Grassley's reelection, has a website, too.

Among potential/likely/certain gubernatorial candidates, these are the three who have websites up and operating:

A Democrat emerges to run against Grassley

Bob Krause, a 59-year-old Democrat from Fairfield, plans to hold an event Saturday, March 28 in Des Moines to announce he's formed an "exploratory committee" for a U.S. senate campaign. It's the first step to challenge Republican Senator Chuck Grassley's reelection bid in 2010.  Krause's event was highlighted on The Bleeding Heartland blog yesterday, but surfing there this evening I cannot find the original post, only this reference in the calendar. The previous post seems to have been deleted, perhaps at the request of Mr. Krause.  "Bleeding Heartland sort of jumped the gun," Krause said when I reached him by phone this afternoon. 

Read this Radio Iowa story for a review of Krause's extensive resume.  If you've been around Iowa Democratic Party politics since the 1970s, you probably know Krause.  He was elected to the state legislature when he was 23 years old.  He also worked on Robert Fulton's 1970 gubernatorial campaign and did some stints as a staffer for the Iowa Democratic Party.  His area of expertise is transportation and he just retired in 2008 from the Iowa Department of Transportation.