Secretary of State Chet Culver, who is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for governor, called land developer Bill Knapp an "honorable man" and "a lifelong friend" Friday.
Knapp, who is part of Culver's campaign, is at the center of controversial land transactions with the state transportation department and a public charity.
A lot of inside baseball subtext in this article.
The Blouin-Culver battle is in some ways a proxy war between Vilsack and Harkin. The two Toms have been uneasy allies for seven years. The Iowa Democratic Party is now a wholly owned and operated Vilsack subsidiary, and now the governor has visions of the presidency. Harkin, entering the twilight of his remarkable career, no longer has such visions, but would probably like to see himself back on top as the undisputed leader of Iowa Democats.
The governor is clearly the driving force behind Blouin, and has whipped most of the legislators (Johnson County delegation excepted!) into line. Harkin's backing of Culver is more subtle, but seems to be present.
Reader Dave In Minneapolis looks at yesterday's Blouin statement on choice and picks out the phrase "I would not sign any legislation":
The governor can decide not to sign a bill in Iowa and it will still become a law. A distinction from a veto! To pass abortion restrictions the leg only needs 50% +1 not 67% if he had used the word veto.
Agreed. Blouin is showing a little progress but he needs to keep feeling the pressure. And we need a full court press to win back the legislature, to keep those restrictions off any governor's desk.
Inevitably, Greg Connell has ended his campaign after the fatal car accident. A sad end for someone who showed some promise - maybe not as governor but perhaps for something else.