Monday, April 24, 2006

First District Convention Post Game

This past weekend party die-hards from across Iowa's First District (though Scott County had a dismal turnout) attended their District Convention.

Krusty may have taken a while to post because he couldn't find a believable way to spin the convention into a victory for his statehouse buddy Bill Dix, but I'll give you the complete rundown here and now, spin freee, based on first-hand observation from someone who lives in the District, not some unnamed correspondent.

The convention started off with a well attended breakfast hosted by Congressman Jim Nussle. The crowd gathered early, at 8:00 and heard lengthy but lively remarks from Nussle. He touched on several issues, as well as the importance of electing a Republican to replace him in his Congressional seat.

Entering the convention hall, delegates were greeted by a plethora of Brian Kennedy and Bill Dix signs, including several giant posters on stand-alone easles of Brian Kennedy's plan to defend the border with a huge (probably life-size) picture Kennedy standing over the banks of the Rio Grande. Mike Whalen was severely under-represented in the sign war. He had a few big barnsigns sitting on the floor along the wall, but that was basically it.

Sign war: Winner: Kennedy, closely followed by Dix

Before entering the Convention, delegates were bombarded with opportunities to wear candidate stickers. It's hard to say how many delegates displayed a preference for each candidate, but there seemed to be a lot of red and yellow for Kennedy, and a lot of red white and blue for Dix. Again, little support for Whalen.

Sticker war: Tie, Dix and Kennedy

Once seated, delegates were greeted by about a pound of literature on their chairs. They found material for central committe races, Secretary of Ag races, etc., but the only handout from the Congressional race was Whalen's year-old recipe card. NOTE: The cinammon rolls Whalen was giving away courtesy the Machine Shed tasted like they were a year old also. Dix had no literature that I saw aside from that on his lit table, and Kennedy had what appeared to be college student delegates decked out in Kennedy attire passing out an immigration flyer similar to what he distributed at County Conventions at the entrance.

Lit war: Draw

Finally the convention got underway. First, SOA candidates spoke, minus Mark Leonard who failed to make it to the 1st CD that day. Then, Bob Dopf gave a talk about his candidacy. None of these speeches were really anything worth listening too. Also note Chuck Allison did not make it to the 1st on Saturday either.

Around 11:00 the crowd was able to hear the Congressional candidates...all but Mike Whalen that is. In true Whalen fasion, he was predictably late and did not have to appear with Dix and Kennedy.

Kennedy spoke first. He had the most energy of any candidate. He gave a very brief bio, then hit on several key issues. He seemed impassioned and at home among the party activists, like a true leader of this crowd, probably leftover from his party chair days. Interestingly, he was the only candidate to touch on most of the conservative issues; pro-life, immigration, etc. He delievered his usual theme of principle over politics. Kennedy was interrupted by applause on several occasions, and at the end of his talk received a bit of a standing applause from a few delegates. Great speech.

Dix spoke immediately after Kennedy. After the first speech, I fully expected Dix to have something interesting to offer, or at least off it with a little energy. Dix, however, was disappointingly predictable. He spoke very unenthusiasticly about his family and his farm for the majority of his time, then touched on a few issues like tax cuts, but didn't really offer much substance. I was quite surprised to see Dix, while he and Kennedy seem to be in a battle for the Conservative title since Whalen is out of the running for that, didn't even mention the right to life and didn't hit hard on immigration. Overall not a bad speech, but he offered nothing new to these people, all of whom I'm sure he's met before (except the Scott County folks), and he failed to inspire the crowd.

Whalen appeared a while later. He didn't have the benefit of hearing the other two, and so had no idea what their speeches were like. Consequently, I caught him reading notes for his prepared speech, and he did the worst. He mentioned his father and Ronald Reagan. He wheezed some anecdotes, as usual, but failed to connect with the grassroots conservatives in the room, in my humble opinion. Also, he didn't look at ease. Something was bugging him...perhaps the criticizm of his leftover rolls.

Speech: Winner: Kennedy with Dix in second. Whalen again a distant third.

Overall impressions are as follows. Kennedy was hurt by a poor showing of delegates from Scott and Clinton Counties, though probably not as much as Whalen. Still, for the convention being held in the rural northwest part of the district (read: Dix's natural home turf) he did a great job. Dix wasn't on his best game on Saturday, though his staffers did a good job with his "presence". That is, signage and stickering. A large (proportionally, of course, to the other counties) turnout from Bremer County helped his cause. Still, I saw a lot of Dix yard signs walking out the door with the delegates at the end of the day. Whalen doesn't seem to be at home with a crowd like this. Half the delegates are pissed at him for donating to Dave Nagle, the other half for offering shitty cinamon rolls. He definitely did not win the day. The worst part for him was when he was seen being dragged out of the building during platform discussion by his staffer, because they needed to leave and he was too engrossed in discussion/harassment of the Kennedy staffers and state central committee members.

Taking into account the location, contents of speech, stickers/t-shirt support, and general conversation with other delegates, I think Kennedy was the winner of the day. Dix underperformed considering the locale, but still had a lot of support. Whalen can tout his polls all he wants, but is losing ground fast among this crowd.

22 Comments:

Blogger Maverick said...

Scoop:

Awesome post. I took the liberty of sending it verbatim to Krusty.

11:51 AM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Scoop Iowa said...

Thanks, I see that. I don't know who his correspondent was, but they were way off base. My report is simply what I observed. People of course are welcome to disagree, but I couldn't let his correspondent's all out lie stand as truth.

11:56 AM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krusty's correspondent was probably Gronewald. He's not biased.

12:31 PM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That post on Krusty was the worst thing I've ever seen. I hope he's learned his lesson.

Thanks for the post. Objective stuff is good to read, especially for those of us who missed it on Saturday but are still interested in the race.

12:37 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Krusty said...

Gronewald was not my correspondent.

It was someone who does not work for either campaign. As for anons "I hoped he learned a lession" What the hell am I supposed to do? I can't attend all 5 konventions.

12:55 PM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the way it looks, Krusty is also playing the slander game with Leonard--He lied to us all, saying Leonard owns an airplane. Who cares about airplanes!! I want to know about the conventions. I'm done with Krusty. Thanks for the accurate post, Scoop.

1:21 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger poli-quest said...

Who spoke for Mark Leonard at the first convention? Did they do well?

1:22 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger proudiowan said...

No one spoke for Leonard that I saw. He was supposed to be there himself in the afternoon, but the meeting was over before he was able to get there.

1:30 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger poli-quest said...

I read that he was badly held up at one of the conventions. Too bad there was no representation for him...

1:34 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Krusty said...

I never said Leonard owns a plane.

But if you are that sensative its probably a good thing not to read my blog

2:34 PM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krusty said "I don’t think most GOP activists can relate to someone who has an airplane."
Not sensitive, just looking for a truthful venue to get information. Sorry for the war on your turf, Scoop.

2:44 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger G.O.C. said...

Scoop, we don't have quite the same level of intrigue and excitment, but if you're interested in how things went down in the second disrict you might check out the . That is if it's OK to toot my own horn...

3:51 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Scoop Iowa said...

g.o.c.-

It's always cool to promote your work here...If I don't like it I'll just delete it!

Your coverage of your convention is unmatched. Great post. I'm glad to see you were able to break down Nussle's speech for everyone to see. He was truly on top of his game Saturday.

3:59 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Maverick said...

Hey Scoop

Nussle was on his game Saturday. I heard VP for the first time as well. Holy buckets I wanted to scream "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!" when he was done. He was on FIRE. He set the stage for Nussle, who did a great job.

It was good stuff Maynard.

6:39 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Yoda said...

hmmmmmmm..... heard VP for the first time? Need to get out more, my friend Mav does....

"We need a CEO and an educator etc.", in my sleep, I still hear....

7:00 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Scoop Iowa said...

Ditto the comments from Yoda. How can you have never heard Vander Plaats? He was everywhere out here before they joined teams.

I also agree with Maverick that Nussle was on top of his game. Bob VP didn't come to the 1st District, but I can tell you that Nussle got his morning off to a good start in Independence.

7:16 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Maverick said...

Scoop:

Because I've known Nussle for years, have helped him on his campaigns many times (organizational side, not rich financier), so I never stopped to listen to BVP.

I now understand the BVP movement and why some of his people were upset that he didn't keep going.

5:12 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Yoda said...

sigh.... hear you, I do....

6:21 AM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I witnessed the incident between Whalen and the Kennedy staffer. In my opinion Whalen is a dirty old man who has a few LOOSE screws.

2:47 PM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Steve Canyon said...

I have seen him badger Kennedy staffers. Literally yelling at them, saying "Why are you not supporting me!?"

As if getting in someone's face and yelling at them isn't reason enough not to support you, Mike. And he tends to pick on the college aged girls, because I think he believes he can intimidate them.

Is that what you saw?

6:01 PM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous First District Dem said...

I hope somebody is going to blog on the Democrats district conventions. Dickinson has started up the 'ambulance chaser' comments against Braley and Gluba says "We don't need another trial lawyer in Washington". Man, the first district could be a fun one.

4:14 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Scoop Iowa said...

First District Dem...

Unfortunately, I can only be in one party. I have been hearing word though of a little back and forth on the Dem side finally...can you provide any more details?

6:29 PM, April 26, 2006  

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