Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Corbett, Caligiuri Crossed Off

It's worth noting none of yesterday's must be record setting ChallengePalooza to candidate's nomination papers came from Democrats. Six of the eight challenges came from Republicans, and the other two, the most frivolous, cane from a Libertarian.

Contrast that with the scene on filing deadline day: all the Democratic governor campaigns,  and primary opponent Pete D'Alessandro PERSONALLY, collecting signatures in the failed effort to get Therese Greenfield on the ballot.

(A shoe yet to drop: The back story on the fraudulent signatures submitted by Greenfield's now fired campaign manager,)

One thing I don't get:  Why didn't the victims of ChallengePalooza hire one of the many professional petitioning firms if they knew they were on the bubble, which they should have know at least by caucus night? That's an expense, sure, but worth it compared to not being on the ballot at all. Most of the blame for these failures falls on the candidates themselves - even Greenfield, whose initial petitions (leaving aside the forgery issue) were just barely adequate. This is a task that should always always always be overkilled.

With Ron Corbett, the primary challenger for governor, and congressional candidate  and Caligiuri, both off the ballot, the Republican primary in Johnson County just got way more boring. GOP voters have only the five candidate SecOfAgPalooza on the ballot. This will boost crossover votes in the Democratic races for supervisor and open Senate District 37.

Also, Governor Reynolds and the state Republican Party are no doubt furious at the Johnson County Republicans. The Caligiuri petition challenger, Matt Evans (a decent dude who I worked with on caucus arrangements) is not only campaign manager for Christopher Peters, who is now the only candidate on the ballot. He is also the Johnson County Republican chair.

While it's always risky for a Democrat to try to grasp Republican internal politics, it seemed clear to me that Caligiuri was the insider choice. Peters' ties to the Republican Party are weak. He ran as a capital L Libertarian in a 2010 Senate race, and it seemed clear in 2016 that the GOP was a flag of convenience for him. Peters also denounced Donald Trump late in the campaign and said he was not voting for Trump - but c'mon, he was never gonna vote for anyone but Gary Johnson anyway.

Caligiuri, meanwhile, has deep roots in Iowa social conservative politics, and I always bet on a SoCon over a libertarian in a Republican primary. She was recruited to the race late, after Peters had been on-stop running since 2016, had been raising significant money, and not insignificantly hails from the same small town, Osceola, as Reynolds. But that's not a priority for Johnson County Republican leadership, who would rather focus on running one of their libertarian friends against Joe Bolkcom in the number one Democratic state senate seat.

No comments: