A little bit about a lot of things. Feel free to flesh 'em out in the comments.
Wednesday's Iowa Democratic Party's Facebook profile was purple. In 2007, the legislature passed and Governor Culver signed the Safe Schools Act aimed at reducing bullying in Iowa schools. Thank you IDP, Governor Culver, Iowa legislators.
Former Governor Bob Ray (last of the Republican moderates) cut an ad supporting the 3 Iowa Supreme Court Justices who are on the ballot this year. Iowa doesn't elect judges--we appoint them from a list prepared by a bi-patisan committee--but they come before the electorate to be retained. A former legislator and failed gubernatorial candidate is running a campaign to reject them for the unanimous decision ruling on same-sex marriage last year. Many who do not support marriage equality are coming out (heh) in support of the judges. We'll see if outrage at politicizing the judiciary outweighs the vitriol.
Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) picked up some endorsements. The Des Moines Register was nice, if somewhat tepid. TheCedar Rapids Gazette's endorsement, while hardly glowing, was surprising given the paper's history of mostly endorsing Republicans. Nevertheless, Dave deserved better for his devotion to rebuilding Iowa after the storms and floods of 2008, especially Cedar Rapids. He has stayed on FEMA and other government agencies, spent countless hours workig side-by-side with cleanup crews, and expanded AmeriCorps programs to increase the capacity of programs responding to disasters.
Leonard Boswell (IA-03), who had a weak endorsement from the Des Moines Register two years ago, has been re-energized in the last two years, fully involved in healthcare and a number of other issues, and the Register acknowledged this in a strong endorsement.
The Gazette's endorsement of Terry Branstad for governor was not suprising, but considering what current governor Chet Culver has done for flood-ravaged Cedar Rapids, it seemed pretty ungrateful. Not an endorsement yet from the DI, the U of I's student newspaper, but a moving opinion piece entitled The Danger of Branstadby Emily Inman on the importance of health care coverage for children in today's edition.
The Gazette did fawn all over Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in their endorsement over Roxanne Conlin. No surprise, but kinda disgusting.
Congressman Steve King (IA-05) ventured out of the far western district he represents to visit the People's Republic of Johnson County (Iowa City) and share his great wisdom on healthcare at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Must have been stumping for Marianette Miller-Meeks, Dave Loebsack's opponent. King got the endorsement of the Sioux City Journal, but the endorsement seems based more on the political climate favoring Republicans, rather than the actual worth of these two candidates:
This time, the decision of an endorsement in the campaign for U.S. House in Iowa’s 5th District was more difficult - in part because our criticisms of King have sharpened over the last two years, but also because we are impressed with Democratic challenger Matt Campbell.
In fact, after sitting down for an hourlong editorial board Q&A with Campbell, we understand why King wouldn’t debate him.
Bright, personable and prepared, Campbell in our view represents King’s strongest adversary to date. He understands and articulates reasoned positions on issues of importance to western Iowans. Possessed of moderate views on issues such as taxes and national defense, he fits this district much better than did past Democratic opponents of King.
Unfortunately, the political landscape in America this year doesn’t favor Campbell’s party. Loss of majority control in the House is a distinct possibility for Democrats in the November elections. Should the GOP retake control of the House, veteran, experienced Republican King would be in a stronger position to serve district interests than would a freshman member of the minority party.
Despite their praise of Campbell, the Journal sides with King, but "tepidly and not without reservations."
The money is starting to pour into TV with major buys by Loebsack's opponent, oh, I mean an organization not affiliated with any party or candidate. Uh, huh. One ad attacks both Dave Loebsack and Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01). Braley, by the way, also got the Register's endorsement.
And there's a $100,000 TV buy against Ray Zirkelbach, a state legislator representing Jones County and pieces of a couple of other rural counties.
Iowa legislature. $100,000.
Most of the money we're talking about comes from the American Future Fund mentioned in Jamess's recent article on independent expenditure groups. Bleeding Heartland says they could spend as much as a million dollars on Braley's challenger. Public Citizen reports that their 2010 expenditures so far total $8,791,073.00.
The last gubernatorial debate happens today. It'll be shown tape-delayed, offering the unusual opportunity for a debate party with the Gov himself and Senator Tom Harkin at the Teamster's Hall in Cedar Rapids. Sorta like watching game films, I guess, since it's being live-streamed too. C'mon by if you're in the neighborhood. There will be light food and beverages. Remarks from Culver and Harkin around 7:30, with viewing at 8.
Iowa's First Lady Mari Culver will join campaign volunteers for some door-knocking in Coralville Saturday morning. If you want to grab a clipboard and walk a little before the Iowa-Wisconsin game, come over to State Senator Bob Dvorsky's at 10.
Francis Thicke, candidate for Iowa Secretary of Ag, is having a fundraiser at Devotay in Iowa City on Sunday.
That's what I got; what you got?