Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conventions Converge and Convene Across Iowa

Convention Convergence

It's a Saturday of politicking across the state as Democrats hold congressional district conventions in all five districts, while Republicans meet in three out of five. Indeed, both 2nd District conventions will be just a hop, skip and yogic flight apart in Fairfield--though someone needs to tell Bob Vander Plaats.

(That's not the biggest political event of the week for the 2nd CD, as President Obama's second visit to the district in a month takes him across the southern tier of Dave Loebsack's turf on Tuesday: Ft. Madison, Tom Vilsack's own Mt. Pleasant, and Ottumwa.)

I'm skipping out on the conventions; it's Smallest Farm season and I don't want to devote a full day to platform fights and committee elections. But the Iowa Democratic Party did send out a handy-dandy checklist of who's planning to be where.

Governor Big Lug is planning on making it to all five conventions, a feat comparable to Phil Collins flying the Concorde and playing both Live Aid concerts. (Where did I put that Beloit College Mindset list again?) Senate candidate Tom Fiegen is trying for four while Roxanne Conlin has three on the list. (IDP sources tell me that Bob Krause will be at some conventions as well, but his schedule didn't make the initial relase.)

In addition to Culver, here's the speakers:

1st District Dems in Peosta will get their congressman, Bruce Braley, both Conlin and Fiegen, and Sec of Ag candidate Francis Thicke

The 2nd CD confab in Fairfield may be the best bet to see all three Senate candidates, as it's where Krause (and Thicke) call home. Congressman Loebsack and IDP chair Mike Kiernan will also be there.

The 3rd District Dems will come on over to Adventureland for their Altoona convention, and they have a big slate of big shots: Senator Tom Harkin, Secretary of State Michael Mauro, and Congressman Leonard Boswell, along with Conlin (this is the one Fiegen skips) and Thicke.

4th District Dems meet up north in Mason City and get Fiegen (no Conlin), Mauro and congressional candidate Bill Maske.

Over in Atlantic, the representationally challenged Democrats of the 5th District will get the two guys hoping to beat Steve King: Matt Campbell and Mike Denklau. Also on deck: Harkin, Mauro, Fiegen and Kiernan.

What to read into the scheduling decisions? Conlin concentrates on the Democratic base turf in east and central Iowa; Fiegen skips Conlin's Polk County.

And in other convention news from the IDP, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is keynoting the June 12 state convention. That might be worth a day away from the garden.

On the right side, Republicans from Districts 2, 3, and 5 meet this weekend, in Fairfield, Grinnell and Sioux Rapids respectively. CDs 1 and 4 go next weekend on Socialist Labor Day, May 1. (Sorry. Had to.) All three candidates for governor are planning to be at all three conventions, though Vander Plaats needs to update his schedule as he lists "Mt. Pleasant" for the site of the 2nd CD convention.

The RPI is also bringing a road show to each convention with the party leaders and the candidates without primaries: Chairman Matt Strawn, "Co-Chair" (insert my standard puzzlement) Jim Kurtenbach, Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, State Auditor David Vaudt and Attorney General candidate Brenna Findley (who, desmoinesdem notices, Terry Branstad seems to luuuuv these days... and now that I think about it I don't see Tom Miller and Mike Fitzgerald on that Dem schedule, though I'd bet on seeing them at least at Altoona.)

It's also a good bet that the three Secretary of State candidates and both state treasurer contenders will make the rounds, and that a good chunk of the day will be taken up by the four 2nd District candidates and the SEVEN 3rd CD hopefuls. They could be speechifying in Grinnell all night.

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