Sunday, September 01, 2013

Week In Review: August 26-September 1

Either my sense of news judgement is off, or everyone else's is. Two stories I thought were big this week didn't get much attention.

I really think two different 2014 caucus dates, meaning Iowans Can Caucus Twice, is a huge huge issue cutting to the core of caucus integrity. I seem to be the only one who thinks so, or at least the only one saying so in public.

Locally, the first Iowa City election since 1991 with no primary is a pretty big deal, but I admit to possible bias there since it gets me out of a whole lot of work.

Several announcements and non-announcements this week, not all surprises.
  • State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald will not run for governor, which wasn't very likely and we didn't expect it.
  • Meanwhile Jack Hatch let slip that he's planning his formal announcement for governor on Sept. 17. That pretty much sets up a three candidate field, or maybe a two and a half men field, with Hatch, Tyler Olson and long shot Bob Krause.
  • Jim Fausett, Coralville mayor since 1995, is stepping down. Council Member John Lundell announced for mayor next day.
  • Also in Coralville, not necessarily related, former city staffer Laurie Goodrich is making a second try for council.
  • In North Liberty Gerry Kuhl (occasionally rumoured to have other ambitions) is running for a third council term.
  • Clear Creek Amana has a blank line on the school board ballot. No one filed in the District 2 race. The North Liberty Leader reported that former board member Kevin Kinney (a deputy sheriff also occasionally rumoured to have other ambitions) is running again as a write-in. Good thing because I was wondering how good a job Mickey Mouse was going to do on the school board. Why are the traditional none of the above write in votes always from the Disney universe? You never see Bugs Bunny. Perhaps Ames Mayor Fred Hoiberg could enlighten us.
In Waverly, 20 year old Wartburg student Jacob Martin, who may or may not play basketball, is running for mayor. Better shot there than in Iowa City, where no student has been elected to the city council since 1979.

Speaking of young candidates, Anesa Kajtazovic got a nice 27th birthday present Friday: a wide lead in an admittedly unscientific poll on IowaHorserace, the new site from retired AP journalism god Mike Glover. This despite Glover's use of a green and yellow color scheme, same as Pat Murphy. I'll give Mike a break and just assume he's a Packer fan.

The lead here isn't far out of line with another online metric: Facebook likes for the 1st District Dems. There's overlap in Facebook likes, of course, people like more than one. But there's not lots of duplication, or "double voting" if you will. So here's the numbers:

Dandekar: 189
O'Brien: 415
Murphy: 553
Vernon: 745
Kajtazovic: 2578. More than the rest put together.

So two points of data, which prove nothing more than Anesa is popular with the online crowd. How that translates into real votes, we don't know yet. But certainly not a sign of weakness, just an anecdotal note of one of her strengths. Anyone else remember Hillary's people mocking Obama at the time of the 2007 JJ Dinner?
“Our people look like caucus-goers,” Grunwald said, “and his people look like they are 18. Penn said they look like Facebook.”
A marriage bus with 13 couples from St. Louis came to the County Admin Building to get licenses at Kim Painter's office. It had been a while but it's been a regular occurrence since Varnum-Brien. Painter says the next bus is scheduled for October. Maybe federal recognition of marriage equality, even for couples in states that don't recognize it, will pick up the pace. I'm proud that they choose Johnson County for their destination weddings. I'll be prouder when they don't HAVE to come here and can get married at home.

I got retweeted by MSNBC's Chuck Todd, which was the coolest thing that's happened to me on Twitter since the daƴTw计terℊod Chuck Grassley╒o॥ow印 me. (Punk rock characters thanks to this handy tool that I recommend to super abbreviators Grassley and O. Kay Henderson.)

Finally, this story actually happened in late June but I only learned this week: Low Tax Looper died in prison. Looper, who legally changed his middle name to Low Tax so it could be printed on the ballot, tried to win a 1998 Tennessee state senate election by murdering his opponent. And you thought stealing yard signs was playing dirty. The widow won on a write in with 95% - she's still in office - and Low Tax Looper went to the big house, not the state house.

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