Branstad, Reynolds RSVP regrets

Neither Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds nor Governor Terry Branstad will attend Texas Governor Rick Perry’s “Day of Prayer and Fasting” in Houston on August 6.

“We are not making any plans to go,” Reynolds said this morning during a statehouse news conference. “…Just have a conflict of scheduling so don’t plan on going.”

Branstad/Reynolds “Proof” party

Governor-elect Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor-elect Kim Reynolds will co-host a party at Proof in a couple of weeks.  Proof is a restaurant in downtown Des Moines which features North African and Eastern Mediterranean cusine.  Try the falafel.  Proof in the context of this restaurant is “the baking term for rising dough” and is not a reference to the calculation of how much alcohol is in an adult beverage.

The Tuesday, December 7 event is billed as a “pre-inauguration celebration” according to an invitation I’ve seen, but according to Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht: “The event at Proof is not related to the inaugural.”

There will be a separate committee to raise money and plan the inaugural.  The fundraiser at Proof next month “is to provide resources to our campaign committee to help fund our transition efforts, as the Legislature and governor did not provide an appropriation for the transition in the current year’s budget,” Albrecht says.

The December 7 event at Proof is scheduled to last 90 minutes (from 4:30 to 6 p.m.)  “Sponsorship Opportunities” of up to $10,000 are offered.

January 4, 2011 special election for Reynolds’ seat

Governor Chet Culver has set the date for a special election in southern Iowa to fill a vacancy in the state senate.

Governor Culver Sets Date for Special Election

Election will fill vacated seat in the 48th Senatorial District

DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver today announced that the special election to fill a seat vacated in the Iowa State Senate will be held Jan. 4, 2011. The seat was vacated when Lt. Governor-elect Kim Reynolds resigned the post last week.

The 48th district in south central Iowa includes Clarke, Decatur, Taylor, Adams, Montgomery and Ringgold counties, as well as portions of Union County. The text of the proclamation directing the special election is below.

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Reynolds resigns from Iowa Senate

Lieutenant Governor-elect Kim Reynolds of Osceola is a state senator, too, until today.  She’s just resigned, allowing outgoing Governor Chet Culver to set the date of a special election to fill her seat in the senate.  Reynolds could have held the post until January when she’s to be sworn in as lieutenant governor, but has decided against that scenario.

Reynolds resigns from state Senate seat

Lieutenant Governor-elect thanks constituents for opportunity, pledges to work hard as state’s new lieutenant governor
(URBANDALE) – Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Reynolds today resigned from her seat in the Iowa Senate in order to focus solely on assisting Gov. Branstad’s transition team.

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Last minute hits of 2010 campaign

The big news of the weekend for (most) Iowans is that both Iowa and Iowa State won today. Iowa beat Michigan State 37-6; Iowa State beat Kansas 28-16.  Many Iowa politicians, though, are waiting for their “scores” to be posted on Election Night. The Iowa Democratic Party has a countdown clock on its website, if you want to know how many hours, minutes & seconds are left ’til the polls open on Tuesday. The Republican Party of Iowa’s website doesn’t have a countdown clock; it does have something about party chair Matt Strawn’s “power hour” tour which concluded today. 

There are a few skirmishes in the closing hours. Democrats are pointing to this story in The Cedar Rapids Gazette about GOP lieutenant governor nominee Kim Reynolds.  Republicans are pointing to this story about Attorney General Tom Miller’s fundraising.

There was a debate about the judicial retention election on IPTV’s “Iowa Press” this weekend (the show is rebroadcast Sunday morning at 11:30).  After the show, Iowa for Freedom issued this news release:

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Romney/Branstad rally in CR (AUDIO)

Click here to read a Radio Iowa story and listen to the half-hour-long rally.  What follows is a live blog of the event.

The clock just struck 10 o’clock this morning. I’m sitting in a conference room at the Kirkwood Events Center in Cedar Rapids, waiting for former Goveror Mitt Romney and former Governor Terry Branstad (who’s running to return to the governor’s office in Iowa) to enter the room for a political rally.  Most of the crowd is chatting.  A woman has twice hooted, for lack of a better descriptive word, but the rally has yet to begin.

At about five ’til 10 Branstad walked in the back of the room, but a staff member escorted him back out.  A dark curtain is hanging along the east wall of the room, providing a backdrop for the stage and placement for the “Road to Victory: Branstad/Reynolds 2010” sign that hangs from it.  

Mariannette Miller-Meeks is first to speak to the crowd. “I thought I was having a bad hair day until I stepped out into the wind,” she said, as a sort of mistress of ceremonies.  “…This is a no-fly day.”

Miller-Meeks told the crowd her opponent, Congressman Dave Loebsack, “hadn’t expected much of a race,” then she said her husband had shared a quote from Will Rogers with her: “There’s two ways to argue with a woman.  Neither works.” 

The crowd cheered as a group of Iowa Republican candidates and the party’s chair entered the room. “Look what the bus brought in,” Miller-Meeks said, adding a few seconds later: “Boy, the Winnebago can bring in a lot of people.” She also joked with the crowd about Romney wearing jeans on the campaign trail.

Kim Reynolds, the nominee for lieutenant governor, is next to speak. “Oh, my gosh, what a phenomenal turn-out…Terry Branstad& I have each traveled to all 99 counties in the state of Iowa.”

The crowd cheered.  “And you know what we’ve seen are good, honest, hard-working people who want…stability returned to their government….These past four years have given Iowans whiplash…We have seen bloated spending…a film office scandal…promises of 30,000 jobs with an I-JOBS program that was administered so poorly that we’ve actually seen a loss of 20,000 jobs.”

Reynolds soons delivers the line Terry Branstad used thrice in his debate with Culver last week. “We know that Chet Culver loves Iowa and we know that he has tried really, really hard, but you know what?” Reynolds asked. “The results speak for themselves and the status quo is not acceptable anymore.  You know what I think?  I think it’s time to change course.  Help is on the way with Terry Branstad leading it.”

She was done speaking at 10:20 a.m., introducing a “great friend of Iowa…Mitt Romney.”

“Wow, what a welcome.  Thank you so much.  Thanks you guys.  Wow,what a welcome.  Thank you so much.  It’s a — thank you,” Romney said as the crowd of probably a little more than 200 cheered.

Romney cited a line from the theme song of the hit TV show Cheers. “It sure is nice to be in a place…where everybody knows your name,” Romney said.

Romney used the phrase “extraordinary team” to describe the roster of statewide candidates who were standing on stage, along with Miller-Meeks, a candidate in the congressional district that includes Cedar Rapids.  “What a difference these people will make for Iowa,” Romney told the crowd.

Romney said Iowans have an unsual opportunity to examine the two major party candidates for governor. “In this case,you’ve got two people who’ve both been governor and you can compare the records of the two people,” he said.

A few moments later, Romney made reference to the introduction of Kim Reynolds.  “When you said someone young, attractive and full of energy, I thought Terry Branstad,” Romney said and the crowd laughed and clapped.

Romney quickly referenced his travel schedule. “By November 2, I will have been in 25 states…and there’s something very powerful going on in the country.  There’s going to be a remarkable rejection of Obama/Pelosi/Reid and the liberal policies you see right here in Iowa.”

He mentioned some of the other gubernatorial candidates he’s been campaigning with over the past few months.

Romney said the federal economic stimulus hadn’t created private sector jobs, but instead had “protected government workers and unions.  It did not do what the economy needed….then we saw ObamaCare…cap and trade..and their card-check efforts.”

Romney returned to a theme he discussed during his spring-time book launch tour. Liberals “don’t fundamentally understand what makes America America,” according to Romney, who said liberals, “whether they’re in Washington or Des Moines” are trying to “smother that spirit” of America.

“No, we will not let you take over America,” Romney said.

Romney predicted Branstad would cruise to victory:  “Nov 2, about 10 seconds after the polls close, they’ll be calling the race.”

Romney quickly wrapped up, speaking for a little more than seven-and-a-half minutes, then Branstad began speaking.  He began by touting the entire ticket.

“We’ve charted a path that’s taken us through all 99 counties,” Branstad said, then there was a pause before he continued. “What I’ve seen and what I’ve heard from you, the people of Iowa, is that we need to chart a new path…and we intend to do that.”

“…We must raise incomes, not propery taxes and debt in this state.”

“…Will you help this whole team win on November 2?” Branstad asked.  “Governor Romney’s not the first governor to come here to campaign for me, and he won’t be the last.”

Branstad goes on to talk about NJ Governor Chris Christie, who campaigned for Branstad earlier in the month.  Branstad (with Romney standing right there on the same stage!) told the crowd that, during Christie’s speech, he hadn’t been that inspired by a speaker since Ronald Reagan.

“The choir needs to sing,” Branstad said, winding down.  The crowd began to chant:  “Branstad.”

Romney shooks hands and posed for pictures before saying to three hovering reporters: “Gotta go, guys.”  He exited the room.

The governors are coming

You call a group of lions a pride and a group of geese a flock. Elephants in a group are called a herd, but sometimes the phrase a “parade of elephants” is used if the elephants are moving.   A group of Republican governors are coming to Iowa.  I’ll let you assign a name to the group.  The details of their travel appearances in Iowa are below, as outlined in a news release from the campaign of former Governor Terry Branstad, the Republican who wants to be governor again.

Govs. Romney, Barbour, Jindal, McDonnell and Pawlenty to join Republican ticket at events in final week of the campaign

(URBANDALE) – Former Gov. Terry Branstad and lieutenant governor nominee Sen. Kim Reynolds will launch a 7-day, 36-city “ROAD TO VICTORY’ tour beginning this Tuesday, October 26, 2010.

Joining them at various stops will be former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour,  Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

 The following events are open to public and press.  The Branstad campaign encourages attendees to RSVP by calling 515-276-2266.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10 a.m.          Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds Linn county “Road to Victory” rally with Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. nominee Kim Reynolds 
                        The Hotel at Kirkwood
                        7725 Kirkwood Blvd. S.W.
                        Cedar Rapids, IA

Noon             Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds Dubuque county “Road to Victory” rally with Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. nominee Kim Reynolds 
                        Grand River Center
                        500 Bell St.
                        Dubuque, IA

5:30 p.m.      Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. nominee Kim Reynolds attend the Scott County GOP Reagan Dinner featuring Gov. Mitt Romney
                        Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center
                        2021 State St.
                        Bettendorf, IA

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

11 a.m.          Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell hold Jasper county “Road to Victory” rally with Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. nominee Kim Reynolds
                        Jasper County Republican Headquarters
                        107 1st Ave. W.
                        Newton, IA

The 2010 Jefferson-Jackson Day program (Audio)

“We aren’t going back,” Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky just told the crowd as she concluded her opening remarks at 7:42 p.m.  There was a delay in the program’s launch this evening, due to a false alarm.  Party officials say 1400 tickets were sold for the 2010 Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.  There are tables set for a little less than 1200, however.

The night’s cash haul?  “We have broken $300,00o,” Dvorsky announced to the crowd.

What follows is a live blog of the evening.

Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo) was the first elected official to speak.  I don’t recognize the music they played as Braley makes his way on stage.  (Braley staffer emailed to say it was “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys.  Braley grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa.)  “In 2006, we gave them hope.  In 2008, we gave them change and in 2010 we’re going to give them hell.  We’re just going to speak truth to lies and speak truth to fear and they’re going to think it’s hell when they’re listening to it,” Braley said to open his remarks.

Braley next said the pundits who are predicting November 2 will be “doomsday for Democrats” are wrong.  “We are at our best when we are standing together, fighting for what we believe in…and that’s why Democrats are going to win all over this state on November 2.”

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Governor Christie campaigns for Branstad (Audio)

Over 700 people are gathered in a large banquet hall connected to Hy-Vee corporate headquarters in West Des Moines for a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad.  Tonight’s keynote speaker is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  A prayer has been said; the Pledge has been said; Amazing Grace and The Star Spangled Banner have been sung.  The crowd, at 6:21 p.m., begins to eat. 

At 6:47 p.m. the master of ceremonies, Mark Pearson of WHO Radio & Iowa Public Television’s Market to Market, returned to the microphone to being the program.   First speech of the evening comes from state Senator Kim Reynolds, Branstad’s lieutenant governor/running mate.  Reynolds thanked the crowd for their donations, saying it would be used to fight the “negative, smear attacks that will be hurled against us.”

Reynolds’ voice rose as she made her next point: “We cannot stop and we cannot become complacent.”  She gave a short speech, similar to what she says on the campaign trail, wrapping up at 6:54 p.m.

The event chairman of the evening, agribusinessman Bruce Rastetter, is up next, telling the crowd the 2010 Branstad campaign has over 12,000 individual contributors on its donor list.

Branstad is behind the microphone at 6:57 p.m.  “This is a total sell-out,” Branstad said to start, then he introduced the family (actually just the granddaughters).  “It is a really exciting time.  I’m really pleased and honored you’re here…Help is on the way.  Iowa Republicans are energized and motivated and we are going to take back control of the direction of this state.”

Branstad amended Rastetter’s figure and told the crowd his campaign is nearing the level of 13,000 individual donors. “That’s the biggest we’ve ever had,” Branstad said, adding tonight is the biggest fundraiser he’s ever had in his five gubernatorial campaigns (in1982, ’86, ’90 and ’94 as well as 2010).

At 7:03 p.m. Branstad begins his introduction of Christie, saying Christie took over a state that was “mired in deep, deep dodoo, as they say….Since he was elected, he has done exactly what he said he would do…Here’s a man of great leadership and fortitude…He has reformed and cleaned up the corrupt mess that was the State of New Jersey.  He is the model of what a Republican leader and a Republican governor can do.”

At 7:05 p.m. the lights in the hall came up as the crowd stands to applaud Christie’s entrance, then were dimmed as the applause dies down.  “I just happened to be in the neighborhood, so we decided to stop by,” Christie joked. “…When a leader like Governor Terry Branstad calls and asks for your help, first, you kind of pinch yourself…and second, you say to yourself, ‘You’re got to answer that call.'”

Christie joked that Iowa and New Jersey are “a little bit different.”

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Mike Pence @ Iowa F&F banquet

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is this evening’s keynote speaker for the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition banquet.  It’s part of a reallignment of the old Christian Coalition.  The Iowa Christian Coalition renamed itself the Iowa Christian Alliance in 2006, and when Ralph Reed launched the national Faith & Freedom Coalition last year, the Iowa Christian Alliance allied itself with Reed’s group.

What follows is a live blog of the event.

Gopal Krishna is the master of ceremonies this evening and he joked with the crowd about the process of becoming a naturalized citizen, then Krishna offered a top ten list for immigrants, beginning with “speak English” and also including:  “If God offends you, we suggest you consider some other part of the world as your new home.”

Krishna introduced the statewide GOP candidates who are in the crowd, including GOP lieutenant governor nominee Kim Reynolds (Terry Branstad is not here).

Third district congressional candidate Brad Zaun, a Republican from Urbandale, was allowed to speak to the crowd.  “You have probably turned on the TV and you’ve seen some personal attacks on me that have been taken out of context,” Zaun said. “…Congressman Boswell is a nice man…but I feel very passionate about what’s going on and it’s unfortunate about these ads and campaign.  I would challenge Congressman Boswell just one time, in one ad, just give us a solution.”

Zaun gave a very brief speech, mentioning what his living situation will be if he’s elected: “I’m going to get a sofa that folds up to a bed and live in my office.”

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