Wednesday, July 26, 2006

HD 85

A few days ago a reader over at Krusty Konservative asked about an update from the 85th District in the Iowa House (Davenport). I offered up a quick synopsis then, but today's QC Times has a great article by Ed Tibbetts detailing the national attention this House race is getting.

As things heat up between incumbent Jim Lykam (D) and challenger Roby Smith (R), the race has been catching the eye of '08 presidential hopefuls. This weekend Smith will play host to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee (you may have seen a few weeks ago that former Congressional candidate Brian Kennedy is chairing his PAC here in Iowa) in a fundraising effort. This comes after Smith recieved a campaign contribution from Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's Commonwealth PAC.

I noted on Krusty, and I'll it again here: Smith is a credible candidate against this incumbent, and represents a good chance for a GOP pickup. He has energy, enthusiasm, intelligence, and ideas to possibly push him ahead in this race. This is one you can bet Scoop will continue to watch.

Courier 1st District Breakdown

This past weekend the Waterloo Courier had a great article breaking down the competitive 1st District race. It is very comprehensive and talks about candidate strengths, weaknesses, lay of the land in the district, and issue stances. I recommend reading the entire piece.

One piece of the article that interested me was the "Moving Forward" section. It has been documented (on this blog even) that Bill Gluba is actively campaigning for Bruce Braley. Brian Kennedy says he is being helpful to Whalen however he can, and that the GOP primary was not so divisive that the party couldn't come together afterward. Dix and Dickinson either declined to comment or could not be reached, though it is noted that Dickenson offers a message of support on his website.

We all know the primaries on both sides were bruising, hard-fought battles. In this swing district, where winning hinges on who can pick up the most Independents, niether Braley or Whalen can afford to lose the support of what should be their party base moving into November. Hopefully all previous candidates will come together actively behind their party's nominee to make this a good fight through the General. I would hate to see the race won or lost based on bitterness/divisiveness amongst supporters.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cheney Stumps for Whalen

Vice President Dick Cheney was in town yesterday raising money for GOP candidate Mike Whalen. It is reportded that Cheney drew a crowd of about 100 to the $500-minimum event, raising about $125,000 during the stop.

Ed Tibbetts has a good article in the Times today regarding the stop, the protest, and both the Republican and Democrat responses to the event.

I do have a few initial thoughts to some of the items in the article though:

“He puts things into perspective,” said Carman Darland of Eldridge, Iowa.

I think this is just a strange quote...What does it even mean?

More importantly:

Cheney’s low approval ratings have had Democrats floating the idea that his presence might actually hurt Whalen with general election voters.

This is a silly argument for the Dems to be floating. It is mid-July. The election isn't for another 4 months. I don't think many Independents will go to the polls on Nov. 7th and vote against Whalen because he had the VP in to fundraise for him in July. To the contrary, I think events like this are good for seems to be the only way he can he can raise money in the district, and a cool $125,000 in one evening isn't doing to bad.

Overall, it sounds like this even has to be classified as a success for the Whalen campaign and VP Cheney.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bayh Stumps for Braley with Gluba by his Side

Democrat 1st District nominee Bruce Braley was the benficiary of a Davenport stop by '08 hopeful Sen. Evan Bayh Friday night.

From the QC Times:

“We have to stand on Democratic principles and stand on our values,” he said. “We’ve got to reach out to our fellow citizens to move forward. By appealing to the better instincts of the American people, by asking people to make the tough decisions to do more now, we can make a stronger America, a more decent and more just America,” to pass on to future generations.

“We’re all in this together,” Bayh said.

Aside from Bayh stumping for Braley, Braley's primary rival Bill Gluba (who carried Scott County and was once weighing a post-primary run at the seat as an Independent) has been seen by Braley's side a lot lately. In a show of great party unity, Gluba has been spotted driving the Braley entry in the Bettendorf 4th of July parade, was at this rally wearing a Braley sticker proudly, and was even reported in this article as to have been driving Braley around the district a lot lately. This is good for Gluba, and great for Braley, who realizes he has to shore up support in vote-heavy Scott County to carry this district in November.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Who's Coming to Eastern Iowa?

As mentioned on this blog before, Mike Whalen will be bringing VP Cheney to Davenport for a fundraiser. Cost of attending this event for the candidate worth $100 million is a wallet-busting $500 per person. Or, you can spend $1000 and get your picture taken with the Vice President. This event will be July 17th.

Also scheduled to stump for Whalen in a small-time fundraiser in Black Hawk County is 2008 hopeful Sen. John McCain. McCain will be in town on July 14th, and cost for this event is only $25.

For the Democrats, 2008 hopeful Sen. Evan Bayh will be in Clinton and the QC stumping for several Dem. candidates. In Clinton, at 5:15 on Friday, he will be bashing the President (read the first paragraph of this article and you'll see what I mean) on behalf of Rep. Polly Bukta and Sen. Roger Stewart. Both incumbents have a battle on their hands with two good GOP challengers, and bringing Bayh in signifies that the Dems are having to fight to keep both these seats. Stewart's challenger, Clinton Mayor LaMetta Wynn, was the beneficiary of a stop by Gov. Pataki earlier this year.

While in Eastern Iowa, Bayh will also be rallying the troops for Bruce Braley at an event in Davenport. This gathering will take place at the Scott County Democrat HQ at 7:30 PM on Friday.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Whalen Fundraising Ability Called into Question

According to the Quad Cities Times, Mike Whalen is worth somewhere between $40 and $110 Million.

A Bruce Braley spokesman seems to look forward to the moment when Whalen breaks the $350,000 contribution threshold triggering the Millionaire's Amendment. At that point, Braley can hit up his donors for three times the current contribution limit.

Whalen spokesman Brian Dumas says that won't happen, and the article does point out that Whalen starts with a clean slate for the general election (after dumping in over $340,000 of his own cash for his primary election victory).

My question is this: After the newspaper prints that the guy is worth $100 Million, just who is going to donate to him so that he doens't have to spend his own money? If I were solicited by their campaign for a donation, my answer to him would be to go sell another hamburger.

Perhaps it's best summed up by this comment to the QC Times article online:

Suzi Q wrote on July 02, 2006 9:34 AM:"Well, Mr. Whalen we now know you don't need any contributions. You can certainly fund your campaign again for the general election as you did in the primary."