Monday, February 03, 2014

Week in Review/Upcoming Events: January 27-February 10

This argument seems to come up about this point every second term. Dana Milbank: "As I sat in the House gallery Tuesday night, watching President Obama give his State of the Union address, I found myself wishing we could repeal the 22nd Amendment limiting presidents to two terms."

Bill floating around Des Moines that would combine school elections and city elections in odd-year Novembers. I like it, would boost turnout for both. The logistics could be worked out. But expect the schools to oppose it. Was hard enough getting to school elections every OTHER year rather than EVERY year.

Republicans have been remarkably quiet about Matt Schultz's "vote fraud" hunting disenfranchised legit voters in Mason City.

Still info-overloaded on campaign finance numbers. Joni Ernst did weak enough that Politico names her one of the quarter's Top 10 Disappointments... still, that six way race is really just a four way race.  Maybe even a three: there's been some public hints that Matt Whitaker should take his ex-US Attorney resume and challenge Tom Miller instead.

That would leave Ernst, self-funder Mark Jacobs, and Sam Clovis. (Bruce Braley has outraised them all put together... and as much as we Dems are wishing for it, Bob Vander Plaats WON'T get in.) So if it becomes three serious contenders, long shot Scott Schaben, and Some Dude Paul Lunde, the primary might settle things after all.

Jim Mowrer is looking less Some Dude like every quarter as he again outraised Steve King. That sound you heard just before halftime last night was Steve King's brain exploding at the multi-lingual version of "America The Beautiful" in the  Coke ad. At the 47 second mark, Bob Vander Plaats had a similar catastrophic cranial failure when he saw the gay dads.

Anesa Kajtazovic, recovering from a poor first report, raised more October to December than Pat Murphy, who had to chip in some of his own money to roll the odometer just over 100,000 for the quarter. Put an end to the rumor that Black Hawk Dems are waiting for Anesa to drop back down to her House seat, because there's now an announced candidate, grad student Andrew Miller. He's 23, same age Kajtazovic was when she won.

Dems also recruited a candidate in House 7, veteran and ex-policeman Dave Grussing of Armstrong. He's challenging Republican Tedd Gassman, who knocked off Democrat John Wittneben by just 44 votes in 2012.

Looking at the week ahead, we have elections Tuesday. Clear Creek Amana is voting on a bond issue. 146 early voters in three hours at the basketball game Friday, but overall, early voting is way down from a similar bond issue in February 2006. Swisher is picking a new mayor in an election dominated by, depending on who you talk to, "personality conflicts" or "progress vs. status quo." Weather looks horrible for Tuesday, so get into the auditor's office today to vote.

Party central committees are having their first post-caucus meetings with their newly elected members this week. The Republicans meet Monday 6 PM at the Coralville Library. Democrats meet Thursday at 7 at the North Liberty Library. Our interim chair is out of town so I've been drafted to run the meeting, which should be good entertainment.

Sunday the Des Moines Register is "unveiling a redesigned format that will give readers more pages of content, broader statewide coverage, more topical local stories and new sections provided by USA Today." I'm guessing this can't be good.

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