Endorsement week continues and the senate incumbents get the nod:
Christensen-Szalanski's opinions on a number of hot-button issues differ widely from Bolkcom's -- for example, he supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as well as supports restrictions on embryonic stem cell research -- yet Christensen-Szalanski has focused his campaign on proposing a more narrow definition of the role that state government should play.
His main critique of Bolkcom is the two-term senator's low number of introduced bills that actually make it through the legislative process. Bolkcom's large number of bills, however, is not anything for which he needs to apologize. As Bolkcom has discovered repeatedly in the last eight years, there are times when merely offering a bill will draw enough public scrutiny to an issue that the participants take actions that render legislation unnecessary. And, when the legislative climate is strongly against passing a bill, it sometimes takes multiple sessions to wear down lawmakers' opposition. If nothing else, these bills offer proof to Bolkcom's constituents that he is listening to their concerns and working toward enacting their wishes.
I'm thinking of Joe's leadership on payday loan sharking. Also, my third party friends, before you stubornly cast an "independent" vote, Bolkcom is virtualy the ONLY legislator interested in easing Iowa's incredibly strict definition of party status so you can get your precious G or L on your voter card. (Aside to my Democratic friends: drop your Nader grudge and help Joe. If the Greens get their G's on their cards, they might be able to skip that top of the ticket race in 2008)
The endorsement of Republican Dave Miller is incredibly weak:
He has a reputation for not being accessible to his constituents and for not being present at a number of key votes in the Legislature. Not only is he not the most charismatic of politicians, but he also had the nerve to come to an interview with the Press-Citizen's editorial board and offer some of the most virulent anti-higher education rhetoric we've ever heard. We urge everyone to convince him there is value to state universities beyond their role as engines of economic development.
Please. God. No.
OK, so it's just the dimwitted Robert Movak but it's close enough to Halloween to be scary:
Mark Warner's decision to withdraw from consideration for the 2008 presidential nomination has produced speculation at high levels of the Democratic Party that former Vice President Al Gore may run again...
Two unpopular major party candidates, shades of Minnesota 1998?
In the Illinois gubernatorial race, a new SurveyUSA poll shows the support of both Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and challenger Judy Baar Topinka (R) down, with Green Party candidate Rich Whitney surging.
Blogojevich leads with 44%, while Topinka gets 34% and Whitney pulls an astonishing 14%.
Key finding: 'Among Illinois independents, the candidates are effectively tied: Topinka gets 31%, Whitney 29%, Blagojevich 27%.'"