Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Whalen: Republican or Democrat?

A recent addition to Kennedy's Asked and Answered section of his website seems to be garnering much attention on a "Konservative" blog.

It seems that Republican (?) candidate Mike Whalen has been known to donate to Democrats in the past, has worked to see George Bush defeated, and may have even tried to run for Congress as a Democrat in the past!

It isn't often that you will see me take a harsh tone for or against a candidate, but COME ON! How can this guy expect to run for Congress (on either side) with such a "meandering" political tendency. Republicans are fired up for this race because they know that the Dems have a good chance to steal the seat. With this latest information on Whalen, coupled with his lenient stance on immigration, vague Contract for American jobs that is shorter than this post, and questionable stance on the life issue, how could any true conservative support this guy?

I think the GOP electorate is smart enough to realize that no matter how many times Whalen invokes Ronald Reagan in a speech or tries to emulate Newt Gingrich on paper, he is simply pandering to them by saying what he thinks they want to hear, not what he really believes in.

Knowing that he donated to get Jim Nussle defeated, while running as a Republican in the district currently held by Nussle will not play well.

Whalen has lost some respect as a candidate in my book. Not for actually donating to one party or another, but for simply being so arrogant as to believe that after he worked against the Republican Party as he has, that it would be acceptable to try to be their Representative. He simply thought nobody would find out. It has been said that he is known to play fast and loose in business and in politics...now I see what they mean.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Polling Numbers

Two candidates for Congress sited polling data this week to claim that they are leading in their respective primaries.

Bill Gluba announced on Monday that he is officially running for Congress. In this QC Times story titled "Gluba declares he’s front-runner", Gluba mentions a Zogby poll that shows him 19 points ahead of Democratic rivals Bruce Braley and Rick Dickinson.

In a similar fashion, Bettendorf Republican Mike Whalen released a poll this week which he himself commissioned that shows him 27 points or more ahead of his Republican rivals Brian Kennedy and Bill Dix.

I'm not sure if these numbers seem all too convincing. Gluba is clearly having trouble raising money for his Primary. And knowing that Whalen shelled out another $10,000 or more to get a poll showing he's in the lead as he's simultaneously running campaign ads on the radio to boost name ID somehow doesn't make me a believer either. I'm not commenting on whether either of these guys actually are leading their races...Mike Whalen for example, is undoubtedly better known than his opponents... just that their polls seem a little bogus to me.

Kennedy Visits Mexican Border

"If a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words . . . it is definitely true of this photo. Today, while surveying the Mexican border near Zapata, Texas, I witnessed this boat crossing the Rio Grande with not a single border patrol officer in site. Isn’t it time we Do Something about Illegal Immigration?" wrote Republican Brian Kennedy in his blog this week, accompanied by the photo to the right.

Kennedy has spent the last few days in Laredo, TX visiting America's border with Mexico.

While Mike Whalen criticizes Kennedy for taking a vacation and Democrat Rick Dickinson claims "We have enough division in this country" and declines to talk about immigration, Kennedy poked at Bill Dix, saying he should take some time to get out of the Statehouse. He added that “Iowans should share that outrage because it’s our national security and our economic security that’s being put in jeopardy as well,” he said. “I left with a better sense of the scale we’re looking at.”

Check out this article by Ed Tibbetts from the Quad City Times for the full story.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Outlook for the Governor's Mansion

The race for Terrace Hill seems to be shaping up now, four months before the primaries. Last week you may recall that Democrat Chet Culver, your current Secretary of State, picked up the endorsement of now-running mate Patty Judge, who dropped out amidst fundraising troubles.

Today news sources are reporting that GOP Congressman Jim Nussle has beaten his Republican opponent Bob Vander Plaats a couple months earlier than Vander Plaats had hoped. Vander Plaats will now be Nussle's running mate.

While Democrats still have two heavy-weights pitted against each other (Culver/Judge and Mike Blouin) and a somewhat credible third candidate, Ed Fallon, in the race, the GOP is now without any primary competition in this year's largest race. Will this new endorsement help unify the Republican Party and lead to a victory in November, or will the Dems be able to mobilize their party throughout the primary and come together in June to rumble into the Governor's mansion on Election Day?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dix on Immigration, Dickinson on Medicare

Today Bill Dix released news of a part of his immigration plan. Dix has filed legislation in the Iowa statehouse which would require mortgage brokers and bankers who service home loans to refuse financing to a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

He also, like Republican opponent Brian Kennedy, calls for tougher employer sanctions for those employers who knowingly hire illegals.

With this new addition to the Dix immigration plan, Mike Whalen is the sole GOP candidate to reject the notion of stricter employer sanctions, opting instead for the implementation of a national ID card of sorts, that would allow employers to immediately determine if an applicant is legal or not (supposing the ID card never gets counterfeited as the current forms of documentation do).

Dix goes on to note that similar legislation was filed by Democrats in the Iowa Senate last week.

This is an interesting addition to the Democratic agenda, and a surprise here in Eastern Iowa, as Democratic Congressional candidate Rick Dickinson has been known to call illegal immigration a "wedge issue" and decline to discuss it.

What Dickinson has been discussing lately is Medicare Part D. He is on a tour of the mid-size towns along the HWY 20 corridor. Dickinson points out that seniors seem to be confused by the new system, and that our families deserve better. He puts health care reform at the top of his priority list if elected to Congress.

Dickinson will be making stops in Dyersville and Independence on Saturday to talk about Medicare Part D.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Week(s) in Review

As I have been away, it seems that much is abrew in the 1st District. Here is a rundown:

As noted below, Mike Whalen announced a new "Contract for American Jobs". Whalen called for a flatter tax system, cuts in entitlement programs, and tax breaks to businesses and corporations. The article from the Times is posted on his website.

Also detailed a few posts down, Bill Dix called for less health care red tape. Article on his website as well.

Brian Kennedy tried something new to the District in his campaign. Last week he aired a live webcast. A recording can be found on his homepage.

Also, while scouring candidate websites I found that a few debates have been taking place around the District. All three Republican candidates also appeared side-by-side at a debate held in Manchester a couple weekends ago. Audio can be found on this page at Brian Kennedy's website. At a previous debate held about a week before that at Wartburg College candidates from both parties went at it...All but Mike Whalen that is. It was a three-on-two debate. The GOP seems to hold it's own, but the Dems get some good shots in as well. A recording can be found here.

On the left side of the race, Bruce Braley has been busy collecting Union endorsements. Visit his newspage to see everyone jumping on the Braley Bandwagon.

Rick Dickinson released that he announced his candidacy in January and has opened a new headquarters in Dubuque. You can find this release, and listen to audio from his announcement tour here on his website.

Bill Gluba released results from a poll purporting him to be in the lead in the Democratic Primary at the end of January. Unfortunately, his fundraising numbers came out three days later...look a few posts down for that. Since then he has challenged Congress to crack down on oil companies and sent out a newsletter asking constituents for ideas for a Democratic agenda.

Lost Post!

I seem to have lost a previous post regarding the 1st District candidates 4th Quarter fundraising numbers from the FEC. It was up briefly a few weeks ago, and has since disappeared. Here is an incomplete version I had saved as a draft while I was working on it. Rather than re-write the entire piece, I will just post this since it is now old news. Also, let me apologize to the visitor who left a comment in the short time the post was on the site. In fairness, I have reposted that in the comments section.


The previously written Draft:

I know I recently posted about my thoughts regarding handicapping frontrunners based solely on fundraising numbers, but the latest round of FEC reports are out, the newspapers are reporting it, and it seemst that Bruce Braley and Bill Dix are still in the lead within their parties.

Check out this AP article taken from the Waterloo Courier. It details that Braley, the top Democrat, has amassed over $289,000 in cash on hand at the end of 2005. Bill Dix also had a consistently strong 4th Quarter, bringing in over $112,000 to give him an account balance of almost $257,000.

Second in his party, Rick Dickinson seems to have had a tough 4th Quarter, bringing in a little over $25,000, which was barely enough to top Bill Gluba who had a $21,000 Quarter. Dickinson however, has substantially more cash on hand than Gluba, at $118,000 to $28,000, which is still substantially less than the previously mentioned Bruce Braley.

On the Republican side, Brian Kennedy came in second, with 4th Quarter receipts totalling about $150,000, giving him a year-end balance of $164,000. Mike Whalen came finishes out the GOP, raising only $54,000 in the 4th Quarter, with $84,000 in the bank.