Is BVP working for IFPC? is reporting former Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats — the chair of the “Iowa for Freedom” group which led the campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices — has been hired by the Iowa Family Policy Center’s Board.  I’ve left a message for IFPC board chairman Danny Carroll and a spokesman for IFPC says he’s been asked not to speak with the media about IFPC’s “reorganization”.  

I asked Vander Plaats last Tuesday night (Election Night) what he intended to do in the future after the successful campaign against retaining the judges, and he said: “I plan on having a voice.”   Vander Plaats then volunteered that he was going to Colorado this week, for a Focus on the Family event. 

Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, released this written statement to Radio Iowa today, neither confirming nor denying Vander Plaats is working at IFPC:

“In response to your media inquiry, I want to let you know that Bob Vander Plaats and his wife Darla are enjoying some out-of-state r & r after last week’s huge win.  All of us at IFPC/IFPCA are VERY pleased with last week’s electoral successes, are optimistic about restoring conservative values and policies, and look forward to great things, including an informative and inspiring “Celebrate the Family” event with 2008 caucus winner Mike Huckabee at 3 pm Nov. 21 at First Federated Church in Des Moines.  All announcements about Bob’s role with us will be made during or before that event. 

“We’ve been very blessed over almost 14 years of civic involvement and family ministry, and greatly appreciate Mr. Vander Plaat’s past, present, and future friendship!  Thanks for your interest.”

Bryan English, director of public relations and outreach for the IFPC, is gone.  English’s (former) cell phone is now being answered by someone else at IFPC.  Mike Hartwig, the long-time vice president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, is no longer part of the organization’s phone tree either.

And the first one is…

The first potential GOP presidential candidate of 2012 scheduled to make an appearance in Iowa after the 2010 midterm election is Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich will bring his book tour through Iowa next week.

For those of you keeping track at home, there have been plenty of potential 2012ers who’ve visited Iowa before November 2, 2010.  Among the most frequent visitors: Minnesota Governor Tim Palwenty & former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. 

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee — winner of the January 3, 2008 Iowa Caucuses — wins the 2012 early bird award, however.  Huckabee was in Iowa in July of 2008 (serving as keynote speaker at the Iowa GOP’s state convention) and in November of 2008 (on his book tour).

Gingrich: food stamps versus paychecks

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the third potential presidential candidate of 2012 to record messages for the Faith & Freedom Coalition which are being  phoned in to Iowa (and other states), urging conservatives to vote tomorrow.  Here’s the Gingrich script:

“Hello, this is Newt Gingrich, urging you to vote this Tuesday.  This election offers a choice between the Obama/Pelosi/Reid vision of higher taxes, bigger government and more people on food stamps versus our vision of smaller government, lower taxes and jobs with paychecks.

‘We need leaders who understand faith in God and freedom made America great and only a return to those principles will restore us to greatness, so please, go to the polls and work for the candidates who stand for faith and family and freedom. Urge your friends and family to vote, too. 

‘Thank you. God bless you and God bless America.”

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee also recorded messages for the Faith & Freedom Coalition.  The coalition’s Ralph Reed talked about the effort during a banquet speech in Des Moines in early October.  A segment of the Radio Iowa story:

…“We’re going to ring door bells.  We’re going to Facebook our friends. We’re going to Tweet people. We’re going to make phone calls,” says Ralph Reed, a former leader of the Christian Coalition who is heading up the new, national Faith and Family Coalition. “We’re going to do whatever we have to do and we are going to turn out the biggest conservative vote in a midterm election in American history.”

According to Reed, his group has identified over seven million American households that he labels “pro-family” — as the adults in the household hold both “pro-life” and “fiscally conservative” political views.  In Iowa, about a quarter of a million households are listed in the group’s “pro-family” database and Reed says the Faith and Family Coalition will spend $300,000 before Election Day contacting those potential voters in Iowa.

Huckabee robocalls into Iowa

Robocalls featuring the voice of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin started coming into Iowa this week.   Today, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s voice is on another round of robocalls, for the same organization — the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

Here’s Huckabee’s script:

“Hello, this is Mike Huckabee, urging you to go to the polls on Tuesday, November 2.  It’s time that we send a message to Washington politicians that we want to end runaway spending. We want to cut taxes and repeal ObamaCare.

“We’ve got to restore America to greatness through a return to the moral values of faith and family, so go to the polls and vote for the candidates who share your values.  Urge your friends and family to vote, too.  Thanks — and God bless.”

Huckabee’s annual pilgrimage in November

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, returned in November of 2008, as part of his book tour.  Huckabee was back in Iowa in November of 2009, as part of his next book tour.  Now, in November of 2010, Huckabee will be back in Iowa.  Politico had the details in its Morning Score. Tom Beaumont of The Des Moines Register has more details this afternoon.

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.”

[Read more…] poll on ’12 presidential race

Click here to read the details on the poll released today.   Here’s how the Iowans surveyed ranked the field of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates:  Mike Huckabee at 22 percent, Mitt Romney at 18 percent, Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, Sarah Palin at 11 percent, Ron Paul at 5 percent. The poll has a 4.5 percent margin of error, so take that into account.  It means there’s a statistical tie for first and third in this poll.

List of potential 2012 candidates who’ve visited Iowa

Here a list I’ve compiled of Republicans who’ve visited Iowa since November 4, 2008 (Election Day) and are/have been considered potential presidential candidates in 2012.



  • Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: appearance via video at Iowa Tea Party State Convention in November, 2009;  keynoter for Congressman King fundraiser in April, 2010. 
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: American Future Fund event in Davenport, Iowa House GOP fundraiser in Cedar Rapids, Polk County GOP fundraiser in May, 2010; candidate training, fundraiser for congressional candidate Brad Zaun, July, 2010.
  • Congressman Ron Paul: campaign fundraiser for state senate candidate Kent Sorenson in November, 2009; keynoter for Campaign for Liberty conference in Des Moines in May, 2010; keynoter for Iowa GOP convention-eve event in June, 2010.
  • Congressman Mike Pence, Iowa GOP fundraiser in Linn County,  Congressman King fundraiser in July, 2009; appearance via satellite at an Iowa GOP rally in Iowa City in April, 2010.
  • Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum: American Future Fund speech to Dubuque, appearances in central Iowa in October, 2009; keynoter for Iowa Christian Alliance event in March, 2010; keynoter for luncheon at Iowa Republican Party state convention in June, 2010.

Additional notes

Nevada Senator John Ensign was in Iowa early in June of 2009 to deliver an American Future Fund lecture. Lots of stories were written at that time, describing Ensign as a potential 2012 candidate.  It was right before the story broke about Ensign’s affair, ending such speculation.

On the Democratic side of the ledger, President Obama has visited Iowa three times since November 4, 2008.  Obama was in Newton on Earth Day, 2009.  Obama was in Iowa City on March 25, 2010. Obama was in southeast Iowa/Ottumwa on April 27, 2010.

Vice President Biden was in Iowa, campaigning for Governor Chet Culver, on May 18, 2010.  (He mentioned the BFD.)  Biden was also the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraiser in November, 2009.

The Huckabee Show, weekdays, on TV soon…

The Huckabee Show” — a show to air on weekdays on FOX TV affiliates — will debut at the end of this month.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, has had a week-daily radio show called The Huckabee Report and a weekend show on the FOX Channel.

Huckabee talks about ’12; Huckabee staffer talks about Iowa governor’s race

Here’s the full transcript from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s June 27, 2010 appearance on FOX News Sunday.  Host Chris Wallace pressed Huckabee about a run for the White House in 2012. 

WALLACE: Governor, let’s turn to your political future. Where are you on the idea of running for president in 2012?

HUCKABEE: Well, as I’ve said to so many people — and I get asked the question — it doesn’t matter where I am. 

“…I have been very adamant that no decision like this would be, should be, or could be made until after the 2010 elections. That’s where our focus needs to be. What happens after that, God only knows and He hasn’t told anyone yet.

WALLACE: But you — clearly, you’re leaving the door open.

HUCKABEE: I haven’t closed the door. I think that would be foolish on my part, especially when poll after poll shows that there is strong sentiment out there. I end up leading a lot of the polls. I’m the Republican that clearly, at this point, does better against Obama than any other Republican. You know, I’m not totally unaware of that.

[Read more…]