Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Week In Review

Best news of the week: The dean of Iowa journalists, retired AP reporter Mike Glover, is back in the ball game at  One more site to visit first thing every morning.

Good news for the many Democrats running in the 1st CD: House speaker Kraig Paulsen, the GOP's most viable candidate, is out. Multiple reports that Black Hawk County's Walt Rogers is interested. Second term legislator, exactly the same length of service as Anesa Kajtazovic. Though the Gazette's James Lynch joked:
The author of the faux "Vonica Mernon" account found this funny.

Mernon, I mean Vernon, Dandekar and Kajtazovic were all on hand for the EMILY's list Madame President forum Friday in Des Moines. This led to another round of Hillary 2016 speculation, and navel gazing from state and national media, about Clinton's problems in the 2007-08 caucuses. I took a look at Clinton's caucus failures the day before her third place finish. Hoping she fixes those failings before the 2016 caucuses…

…if there even ARE 2016 caucuses. We may well be choosing between Hillary and That Dude In Federal Prison in a June primary. Thanks, Kent. To the national folks it's not the Iowa Republicans who screwed up 2012; it's IOWA. Rachel Maddow bashed us three nights running. Don't forget, the Daily Kos wing of the party is still mad that Iowa scuttled Howard Dean in 2004. The Scream, which I still occasionally use as a ringtone, happened AFTER the Much More Important Third Place.

Mark Smith is the new House Democratic leader, winning what looks like it was a contested fight with Rick Olson of Des Moines. That common name will likely cause as much clutter in my Goodgle News Alerts as his predecessor, Kevin McCathy, did; there's a California congressman in the House GOP leadership who share's McCarthy's name. (I also learned there is another Steve King, from Colorado, who is an awful lot like our own Steve King who is NOT running for president. And there's always New York's Peter King, who is also capable of calculated outrageousness.) But near as I can tell Kajtazovic is unique.

The convention for McCarthy's House seat is now contested. Latino activist Joe Henry has jumped in alongside Karl Schilling who based on his announcement minutes after McCarthy's resignation appears to be the pre-selected successor.

Terry Branstad set the date for the McCarthy special for October 23. That's just two weeks before the November 5 city election. The district is entirely in the city of Des Moines. Why not just combine the legislative special with the city election? That's what Tom Vilsack did in 2001 for a Cedar Rapids legislative vacancy. It meant keeping the polls open till 9 across Cedar Rapids, rather than the usual 8 PM city election close. But that's still cheaper than a whole additional election. Since Polk County has cities with both primary and runoff provisions, this could mean the auditor has to manage five separate elections, some overlapping, between September and December.

Other legislative races:
  • Council Bluffs Finance Director Art Hill (R) announces in Senate District 11.I My bet is this means retirement for GOP incumbent Hubert Houser, though I've seen no announcement.
  • Rob Hogg announced for re-election in his Cedar Rapids Senate seat.
  • Bob Anderson, state central committee member and former Johnson County Republican chair, is now being openly called a candidate in Senate District 39, where Sandy Greiner is retiring. Anderson will face Michael Moore of Washington in a primary. The name Royce Phillips, Tiffin city council member and former mayor, is also being tossed about…
Won't be long till I have to dust off spreadsheets and start keeping track of this. Who wants District Of The Day 4?

In the governor's race Jack Hatch will be up on TV soon, and he picked up an endorsement from fellow Des Moines Senator Matt McCoy. So how much of the primary with Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids split out - on East vs. Central lines? Hint to all candidates: Johnson County outperforms in contested Democratic primaries, because our courthouse races are a big draw. In both 1998 (Vilsack-McCormick) and 2006 (Culver-Blouin-Fallon) Johnson was the number two county in the state, ahead of larger Scott and Linn.

Locally: Sign wars are heating up in the Iowa City school board race.  Of the nine candidates, Phil Hemingway is the only one not to form a campaign finance committee, required after $750 of fundraising or spending. But he's got plenty of home-painted signs on the east side. Also noted in school races: Former Iowa House candidate Dick Schwab is seeking re-election to his Solon school board seat.

The "21 makes Sense" (sic) committee reorganized this week. Not only are the supporters of lowering the bar admission age back to 19 incapable of returning phone calls to reporters; the previous committee, Yes for Entertaining Students Safely (YESS, not nearly as good a name as 2007's Student Health Initiative Taskforce) just closed its accounts last month. The previous campaign leader, bar owner Mike Porter, has moved out of state, successfully driven out of business by the city and University. "All it took for Iowa to become the top party school in the country was for me to leave town," he posted on Facebook. "I guess i was holding the party scene down too much. Hahaha"

I guess so, Mike: “Of course I’m drunk, it’s Thursday night in Iowa City.” (In what may be an effort to keep up, Iowa State is offering students $1000 to NOT live in the dorms.)  

Site notes:

1. I may start doing a post like this regularly.

2. Blogs are pretty old school in the Twitter Era, but before that we geezers used to have these things called "personal home pages." I hosted mine with my Internet service provider. They followed in the footsteps of GeoCities and pulled the plug on this service on August 1, with enough notice that I was able to save what I needed. I used this space to host some photos back in the Iowa Independent era (2007-08) and I haven't and probably won't take time to update those links. So some of my archives will have little red Xs where there should be pics.

3. Also, after the Ashton Kutcher traffic spike, I decided after a lot of thought to host ads. These are not necessarily endorsements.

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