Sunday, April 22, 2012

Who Else? A Sunday Summary

Tickets for The Prez get handed out Monday at the IMU to UI students/faculty/staff; I'm hoping to attend in press mode. It's been writer's blocked week for the one with the beret, though I'm sure a presidential visit to my city Wednesday will shake me out of things long enough for a decent live blog.

For today, I've stolen the Kevin Hall format from TheIowaRepublican: a brief clip weekly summary with at least one music clip.

 Sounds like Republicans had an interesting district convention day yesterday. Bleeding Heartland has the big takeaway: no public supporters of de facto nominee Mitt Romney were elected. Register has details too. Also noted by many: only one woman elected out of 16 seats. Now who's got a war on women?

Put that together with Iowa's national committee members walking out of a Romney meet and greet rather than sign a public commitment to Romney pre-convention (Scheffler: "I will support the nominee when we have a nominee") and not a good week for Willard in Iowa. Sure, there may be Romney supporters among the members who didn't state their endorsement, but it's clear support for Romney was a definite negative yesterday. (Congrats to Johnson County GOP chair Bob Anderson, elected yesterday. Anderson maintained a stance of chair's neutrality through caucus season.)

Wonder how these splits are going to play out in all those contested primaries, now just six weeks away as the incumbents slog through at least another week in session? The Branstache made a big endorsement in one of those races: no-incumbent Senate District 6, where he's backing Carroll mayor Adam Schweers. Maybe BVP will jump in to endorse one of the other two Republicans out of spite. Next weekend Democrats have their congressional district conventions, in a more harmonious atmosphere.

Two Johnson County Democrats are running for national delegate slots next weekend at the 2nd District convention in Ft. Madison. Senator Bob Dvorsky came close at the state convention in 2008, but washed out sometime around 2 AM on what felt like an eighth ballot. That's a hint of how hard it is to win national delegate: "I have supported and worked hard for Democrats in Iowa for over 40 years. I was the first senator in Iowa to support Obama and will work hard to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden. I’ve never had the opportunity to serve as a national delegate."

Relative newcomer Tim Judd of North Liberty is taking a very different approach, running an aggressive, almost legislative style campaign, He's also running for national platform committee and state central committee.

Expect a gender-balanced state central committee and delegate slate: because the rules are written that way. It's separate elections for male seats and female seats.

It's unlikely that the uncommitted slate, which won 1.5% of caucus night delegates and was viablie at the Johnson County convention last month, will even come close to the 15% viability mark at any district, though they may have some platform influence.

But maybe not on drug law reform, as President Obama ruined 4/20 by backtracking on medical marijuana. It's an underrated issue that costs both parties handfuls of votes; I've always had a pet theory that one of the big parties could decimate the Greens and/or Libertarians just be coming out for the Peter Tosh platform.

Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico Republican governor now running as a Libertarian, sees the opening. One poll, which names him alongside Obama and Romney, shows Johnson a 6% with Obama 5 ahead of Romney. Johnson asks of Paul supporters: "Where do they go? I don’t think they end up voting for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.”

Well, one other place they could go is to Virgil Goode, who won the Constitution Party nomination this wekend. It's the former Virginia congressman's FOURTH ballot label. He was first elected as probably the last old-school. Byrd machine style conservaDem in 1996, and made your average Blue Dog look like Dennis Kucinich. He won as an independent in 2000, then switched to the GOP until losing in 2008. The Constitution Party is a bit obscure but remember: Ron Paul, in a snit with 2008 Libertarian nominee Bob Barr, endorse the Constitution Party's Chuck Baldwin instead.

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