Incumbents and Tiger Woods

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Chet Culver, Chuck Grassley, Leonard Boswell…what are you thinking? Any worries about next year now? Yes, the general election is 11 months away. But it sure was interesting to see what happened to incumbents this week. A 23 year old challenger upset a man more than three times his age, who has served two decades on the Des Moines City Council. In West Des Moines, a 20 year veteran member got bounced. Two incumbents also went down in Windsor Heights. And another one fell in Ames.

If you combine those results with some polls that show support for office-holders tumbling, it makes you wonder whether this “throw the bums out” mentality is just misguided angst about the economy (which could evaporate if the economy rebounds next year) or if it will remake the overall look of government. Hmmm….

There’s a lot of speculation about which of the five remaining Republican candidates will leave the race for governor next. Christian Fong became the first to exit, if you don’t count Senator Minority Leader Paul McKinley (although some question how “in” the race he ever really was). It sure doesn’t sound like the next man out will be former House Speaker Chris (don’t call me Christopher any more) Rants, at least not this week. Today, Terry Branstad’s campaign sent out a release touting legislators (Rants’ current co-workers) who are supporting the former four-time governor. Here’s the release from Branstad, followed by one Rants sent out today.

Governor Terry Branstad Announces Legislative Leadership Team
(URBANDALE) – In a sign of growing momentum as he explores a bid for governor, Gov. Terry Branstad today announced the support of Republican legislators from across the state as part of his initial legislative leadership team.

“These individuals are on the front lines of legislative debate,” said Branstad. “They recognize the need for conservative solutions in dealing with the state’s record budget shortfall. They sounded the alarm, but unfortunately, Gov. Culver was unwilling to listen. I share with them their positive vision for our state’s future and look forward to working with them to advance Iowa’s comeback.”

Branstad says this team will work on expanding the governor’s support across the entire state.

“One of the first goals of this team will be to expand and broaden the base of our campaign’s support within the House and Senate Republican caucuses over the coming months,” Branstad said.

The list of Gov. Branstad’s legislative leadership team are as follows:

Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull
Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyeden
Sen. Larry Noble, R-Ankeny
Sen. Pat Ward, R-West Des Moines
Rep. Steve Lukan, R-New Vienna
Rep. Ralph Watts, R-Adel
Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, R-Wilton
Rep. Rich Arnold, R-Russell
Rep. Lance Horbach, R-Tama
Rep. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden
Rep. Henry Rayhons, R-Garner
Rep. Dave Tjepkes, R-Gowrie
Rep. Erik Helland, R-Grimes
Rep. Linda Miller, R-Bettendorf

Last month, the Branstad 2010 Committee announced that former State Rep. Carmine Boal, R-Ankeny, would serve as the statewide organization chair.

Rants: “Some of us know Terry Branstad all too well”

“Terry Branstad is saying those who believe he isn’t conservative enough ‘don’t know him.’ The trouble is that some of us know Terry Branstad all too well,” said Rep. Chris Rants, candidate for Governor from Sioux City.

“It was Terry Branstad on the other end of the phone when he called lobbying me to raise the cigarette tax when I was Speaker. It was Terry Branstad wielding the veto pen when he gutted our education reform legislation because Republicans wouldn’t go along with all the spending he wanted. It is Terry Branstad’s signature on the largest tax increase in Iowa history,” added Rants.

“Opposing the Branstad tax and spend record doesn’t make someone a member of the ‘confrontational right,’ it just makes them a fiscal conservative.”

On Wednesday Terry Branstad told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald that those criticizing his record as governor, “Now I have people saying I’m not conservative enough. Now I have people calling me a moderate, or a liberal,” he said. “These people don’t know me.”

The article with Branstad’s comments can be found here –

Is there any woman out there who won’t come out this week to say she had a fling with Tiger Woods? Why will his wife stay with him after all of this? It’s probably just the media’s fault. Maybe they beat him in the face with that golf club, too.


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