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Iowa straw poll on the outs with GOP establishment (time to move on)
The Washington Examiner ^ | November 22, 2012 | Brian Bakst

Posted on 11/23/2012 1:08:09 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

DES MOINES, Iowa - In the days since Republicans lost an election many in the party thought was theirs, chatter has been bubbling about what the GOP should do to recover.

For Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, it starts with the smallest of actions: abandoning the state's now-infamous straw poll.

Once a festive checkpoint on the road to the leadoff Iowa caucuses, the poll has devolved into a full-blown sideshow, Branstad and other critics contend. They say it's an unfair and false test that has felled good candidates and kept others from competing in the state.

"It's just something that's gotten totally out of control," said veteran GOP presidential campaign consultant Charlie Black. "It's been bad for years, but no one has had the guts to say it until now."

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: gopprimary; iowacaucus; presidentialprimary; strawpoll

1 posted on 11/23/2012 1:08:20 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All

From the Iowa Republican:

“The Ames Straw Poll has always faced a long list of detractors from outside the state of Iowa. More recently, political operatives and pundits within the state say the event needs a retooling, primarily to help preserve the Iowa Caucus. Governor Terry Branstad is more blunt. He believes the Ames Straw Poll should be discontinued altogether.

“I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Branstad told the Wall Street Journal. “It has been a great fundraiser for the party but I think its days are over.”

His remarks drew a swift rebuke from Republican Party of Iowa Chairman A.J. Spiker, who the Journal described as being “peeved” over Branstad’s comments.

“Governor Branstad is wrong, and this is not a decision he will make anyway,” Spiker said. “It is a decision the party and the candidates will make.”

Actually, it ‘s probably not a decision Spiker will make either. He would have to be reelected twice as RPI chairman to be involved in the decision-making process in 2015, when the next Ames Straw Poll would be held.

“Frankly, now our time is better spent redesigning our organization, recruiting and training candidates and raising money for 2014, which is the actual responsibility of the current State Central Committee, rather than waste a lot of time pontificating over what a future SCC or chairman may or may not decide to do with an event that, if held, won’t happen for another three years,” SCC member Wes Enos told TheIowaRepublican.

Enos was also a staffer for Michele Bachmann, who won the 2011 Straw Poll. That victory was the highlight of Bachmann’s campaign. She quickly sunk back into single digits in the polls, finished sixth in the Iowa Caucus and ended her campaign the next day. Bachmann’s quick fade is part of the reason Branstad believes the quadrennial festival will end.

“You saw what happened the last time,” Branstad said. “I don’t think candidates will spend the time or money to participate in a straw poll if they don’t see any real benefit coming out of it.”.....................................

http://theiowarepublican.com/2012/branstad-calls-for-end-to-ames-straw-poll-spiker-disagrees/


2 posted on 11/23/2012 1:24:45 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

This is interesting nuts and bolts stuff. It has people of various stripes in Iowa - who had supported various candidates in the last two elections or occupy various positions within the state - attacking one another over the straw poll’s future.

The larger picture is more important, though. The fact is that across the board there is simmering-to-boiling dissatisfaction with the process, which is to say, roiling from having lost to Obama and having lost several senate races that should have been won.

As flawed as the process is, IF the GOP had WON the White House and done even fairly well in senate races, you wouldn’t be seeing this roiling.

This is what election losers do.

But when you actually read the whole article you see where issues are behind some of the sour grapes and struggles. Sure Bachmann won the straw poll only to crash and burn and Paul won second though never having a chance to be nominated. But look at what a Romney operative said about Romney and the Iowa caucuses - forget the straw poll which Romney passed on. That Romney had to be tough as nails against illegal immigration to be competitive in early Iowa because of that state’s GOP politics, only to have it hurt him in the general election.

Like the straw poll controversy, the caucus sour grapes and this time on an actual issue, are all because the GOP lost. Winners don’t do this, even when they have valid complaints.

The Democrats have become a monolithic machine. They really don’t care that they are a party of Leftist extremists who manage to be that while cloaking that just enough to fool enough people into hating/fearing Republicans. That’s just fine with them. They have no qualms, no concience, no serious public disagreements. The LSM is fully on board to help them fool the public.

Meanwhile you have conservatives saying they will never vote Republican again because of their dissatisfaction with everything, especially Boehner and his House Machine, not just the candidacy of Mitt Romney.

Just as the steamroller Democrats gear up for four more years of destroying America, their opposition is fracturing and scattering.

Somebody, please find me a silver lining in this dark cloud...


3 posted on 11/23/2012 1:53:55 AM PST by txrangerette ("hold to the truth...speak without fear". (Glenn Beck))
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To: txrangerette
....The Democrats have become a monolithic machine. They really don’t care that they are a party of Leftist extremists who manage to be that while cloaking that just enough to fool enough people into hating/fearing Republicans. That’s just fine with them. They have no qualms, no concience, no serious public disagreements. The LSM is fully on board to help them fool the public....

In the last couple of days I've been listening to the LSM resigned to the FACT that Obama will raise taxes on the people he said he wouldn't during the campaign (no surprise really to ANYONE) -- MSM reporting that since Obama WON he is free to do whatever he wants.

JUAN WILLIAMS looked into the camera (without flinching) and admitted that Obama's policies will hurt a lot of people. Thanks Juan, that isn't the tune you were singing leading up to the election. You -- as a long time liberal -- knew (and parroted) the economic lies coming from the Democratic party to fool the voters and smear the GOP candidates.

The GOP cannibalism must stop. Tea Party conservatives must unite -- keep building strength in local and state elections. Keep showing up at town hall meetings!

Support the growing number of state legislatures fighting Obama Care!

Vote!!

4 posted on 11/23/2012 2:34:08 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Iowa needs to be dropped altogether as the first primary state.

It’s not a Republican state and their caucuses suck, big time.

Too much time and money is spent in Iowa catering to locals, only to have those preachers decide on the winning candidate.


5 posted on 11/23/2012 2:39:49 AM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: onyx

There is far and away too much time devoted to the GOP presidential primary.

There are too many “debates” set up by the RNC (for DNC operatives to exploit)!!


6 posted on 11/23/2012 2:53:31 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: txrangerette

“...Romney had to be tough as nails against illegal immigration to be competitive in early Iowa because of that state’s GOP politics, only to have it hurt him in the general election.”

The vast majority of Republicans will not support a candidate who rewards illegal activity.

If rewarding scofflaws is the future of the Republican Party, screw ‘em.


7 posted on 11/23/2012 2:53:31 AM PST by SatinDoll (NATURAL BORN CITZEN: BORN IN THE USA OF CITIZEN PARENTS.)
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To: SatinDoll
If rewarding scofflaws is the future of the Republican Party, screw ‘em.

The scofflaws [the majority voting in 2012 - legal parasites feeding off a conservative host] just got 4 more years.

They're "rewarding" themselves.

What's next?

Fighting each other isn't a winning strategy.

8 posted on 11/23/2012 2:57:47 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Here’s a thought... Why don’t we make all Republican primaries CLOSED primaries?


9 posted on 11/23/2012 3:32:05 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (Greed + Envy = Liberalism)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Bring back the 'Smoke-Filled Room!"

It's time to disengage from the whole Presidential Primary process, a dubious entanglement of a private institution's expenses and private interests with the machinery of the States. It's a broken, perhaps even illegal method for choosing delegates and, ultimately, the presidential nominee.

It's tack and blinders the Party elites use to control the Base.

A Voting Rights federal case could be made that several distinctive groups of Republicans are having their voting rights "submerged" solely based on where they live.

BTW That's illegal, and it's a part of the Voting Rights Act that won't get tossed should Section V ultimately (and rightly) be declared unconstitutional.

Liberals and Democrats in New England and in other areas with early, so-called. "open primaries" have (much) more say in who ultimately wins the nomination than Republicans in North Carolina, for example.

The latter and other states, including California if I'm not mistaken, have primaries on dates selected by party mugwumps, for all kinds of ancillary reasons unrelated to selecting a winning ticket, fundraising, national party publicity interests, etc.

Regardless, the nomination battle ends before these latter primaries take place. Republicans in North Carolina have had ZERO say in who wins the presidential nominations for decades, and perhaps longer.

Want people to show up at precinct meetings? I'd take the "smoke-filled rooms" over this present crap system (mostly a product of Democrat "reforms" following 1968 and 1972) any day, and would gladly lose the media circus.

Why should the taxpayers pay for party plebiscites?

The Presidential Primary tournament needs to be scrapped.

10 posted on 11/23/2012 3:44:21 AM PST by Prospero
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To: Cowboy Bob
Here’s a thought... Why don’t we make all Republican primaries CLOSED primaries?

Whaa..?! And screw up the GOPeee's annointment process??!!

11 posted on 11/23/2012 4:05:57 AM PST by TADSLOS (LOSING BIG- The GOP legacy.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The primaries ought to be held in the order of percentage of Republican votes cast in the previous presidential election. States that have the highest percent of their voters voting GOP get to go first. That certainly would not be Iowa and NH. Why should Democrat states and voters choose the Republican nominee? The present system is obviously a failure.


12 posted on 11/23/2012 4:08:43 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Primaries should be held on the same day.


13 posted on 11/23/2012 4:10:55 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!)
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To: onyx

And drop NH as the second while we’re at it for similar reasons.


14 posted on 11/23/2012 4:37:52 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Many of those commenting seem unfamiliar with the Ames Straw Poll.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_Straw_Poll


15 posted on 11/23/2012 4:45:23 AM PST by iowamark
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The LSM will continue in lockstep with the Democrats just as soon as the Dems blame the GOP for everything that will go wrong, going forward. Right now they can afford to let a thing or two slip out to the contrary.

Rush predicts that Obama will let the Bush tax rates expire and everyone’s taxes will go up. Then he says Obama will ask for legislation that will roll back those increases for everyone except “the rich”. Putting the House in the crosshairs. While people are screaming for relief from the taxes coming out of their pay, the House will be made to look like they are punishing everyone in order to protect “the rich” from their tax hikes.

At that time, or anything approaching that situation, the LSM won’t have a bad word to say about Obama and the Dems. It will be all bad GOP, all the time, until the GOP gives up.

Bad stuff is coming.

Our side will not do what we want them to do, which would be to refuse to raise the debt ceiling and refuse to fund Obamacare as well as refuse all tax increases.

If our answer is to splinter and scatter in all directions to third parties or to sit home and pout, that is the wrong answer.

We need a holding action. That was GOING to be Mitt Romney and some more senators. Now that hope is lost.

The holding action now should be, get involved as a conservative, do not splinter and run away, push your states to nullify Obamacare, continue to contact your congresscritters to do the right things, and VOTE every time.

The other thing is to attack VOTE FRAUD.

I don’t trust our elections any more in the key states.


16 posted on 11/23/2012 5:15:28 AM PST by txrangerette ("hold to the truth...speak without fear". (Glenn Beck))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“The scofflaws [the majority voting in 2012 - legal parasites feeding off a conservative host] just got 4 more years...They’re “rewarding” themselves.”

Ah, come on! We fight the enemy and not each other. Giving up and caving in to the communists is no way to stay free.

Individual states have more power to deal with illegals than is said publicly.

The problem in all states is entrenched business interests who exploit cheap illegal workers and contribute political donations to compliant politicians. These people are Republicans.

Democrats just want illegal aliens because they will vote Democrat in exchange for free shit.

So what are the solutions?

Arrest those who hire illegal aliens AND stop state welfare to illegal aliens.

No jobs + no welfare = return trip home.

Yep, it’s a beautiful thing and quite simple.


17 posted on 11/23/2012 5:28:27 AM PST by SatinDoll (NATURAL BORN CITZEN: BORN IN THE USA OF CITIZEN PARENTS.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Iowa “Governer” “Terry” Branstad would plant his lips on ANY BIG Business’ ASS and start SUCKING. He is the very Definition of an “Establishment” “Republican” and GOP-e. He is the “wonder-boy” who “gave(inflicted)” a State Lottery AND Casino Gambling(again “for the children” and “for schools”) on this state. The “Republican” “Party” in Iowa is 110% RINO and Controlled by GOP-e.


18 posted on 11/23/2012 5:36:40 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: txrefugee

I like that idea !


19 posted on 11/23/2012 5:47:41 AM PST by onona (It's a good day to celebrate life)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hold every damn primary vote in every State and do it on the same day. No need to make it a drawn out ordeal... it is all a side show anyway. Unless the republicans give up this "one world order", progressive "federation of planets" attitude and gets about the business of reeducating the populace and fighting populism with nationalism and pride in being an American again... they are dead. They are dead to me at this time and millions of us will move on to a new party if they do not show real progress in the next 6 to 8 months. 2014 is when the TEA Party needs to show that it is alive, well and mightily pi$$ed off!

LLS

20 posted on 11/23/2012 5:48:32 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (WOLVERINES!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
What you are not getting is that those that lost this election ARE NOT part of who we are. They are the enemy as surely as pelosi and reid are. We must defeat the evil within the republican party before we can defeat the evil that is the dim party. How do we defeat these evildoers if we do not stand up and fight them?

LLS

21 posted on 11/23/2012 5:50:57 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (WOLVERINES!)
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To: US Navy Vet
He is the “wonder-boy” who “gave(inflicted)” a State Lottery AND Casino Gambling(again “for the children” and “for schools”) on this state.

What is wrong with a lottery and casinos? You have a problem with them?

22 posted on 11/23/2012 6:03:25 AM PST by Go Gordon (It's barack hussein obama - because he doesn't believe in capitalism.)
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To: iowamark

Many of those commenting seem unfamiliar with the Ames Straw Poll.


Yep the Straw poll gets a lot of attention amongst some groups but in reality isn’t that important as a measuring device as to who will win the Iowa Caucuses or the Presidency.

Since the Straw poll began only one winner has gone on to win the Iowa Caususes and the Presidency... George W. Bush.

The last two winners of the Straw Poll didn’t even win the Iowa Caucuses.

2007.... Romney won,... Huckabee won the Caucuses... McCain Gop nominee
2011.... Bachmann won... Sanatorum won the Caucuses... Romney GOP nominee

The Straw Poll is a fund raiser and big party ... nothing more.


23 posted on 11/23/2012 6:12:23 AM PST by deport
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To: LibLieSlayer
Hold every damn primary vote in every State and do it on the same day.

I'm for that!

24 posted on 11/23/2012 6:18:27 AM PST by Reddon
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

All the states need to have their primaries on the same day; all the primaries need to be closed primaries; and the candidate should be the one with the highest vote total. This way the left-wing states and the left-wing GOP-E do not get to dictate the candidate, it shortens the primary season and thereby saves money better spent in the main campaign.


25 posted on 11/23/2012 6:19:05 AM PST by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: Go Gordon

Yes I DO! Your Corrupt State(and Nevada) is who pushed and pushed and pushed both here all during the 1980s and 1990s. Brandstad and our Idiot “Legislature” passed it and signed it(Casino Gambling and the Lottery) in the early 1990s by using the LIE that it will be “for the Children” and for “Schools”(BULLSHIT)! Turns out that MOST of the State’s Ill-Gotten “gains” have been put into organization’s like the “Iowa-West””Foundation(politician’s SLUSH-FUNDS)” and the like. SO NO I do NOT Like “Gambling” it is a TAX on the poor.


26 posted on 11/23/2012 6:20:23 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Then they need to dump New Hampshire hard and fast. For far too long that state has been saddling the rest of us with RINO’s.


27 posted on 11/23/2012 6:49:08 AM PST by Uncle Ivan (Alea iacta est)
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To: FreedomPoster
We have 50 states and 52 weeks in the year leading up to the nomination. How about some sort of lottery system to determine which week the individual states will have their primary. This would assure that no state is lost in the shuffle (i.e. small super Tuesday states)and there would be at least a week of campaigning in each state so that candidates would have to speak with individuals in each state.

I doubt the press would like spending that much time in the middle of the country but who cares what they think.

28 posted on 11/23/2012 7:02:01 AM PST by Cowman (How can the IRS seize property without a warrant if the 4th amendment still stands?)
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To: LibLieSlayer

IN SC, it may be that a TEA third party is the only way to beat “Lovable Lindsey”, but I guess even that would fail. People in SC don’t even know his record.


29 posted on 11/23/2012 7:03:42 AM PST by Theodore R. ("Hey, they must all be crazy out there!")
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To: onyx
Make Ohio the first Primary state

followed by Fla and Colorado

That's a loy of R money that can used to desconstruct liberalism and its impact tp the voteers who count the most.

30 posted on 11/23/2012 7:04:29 AM PST by Homer1
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To: Uncle Ivan

Saddling us with RINOS, yes, but it’s a willing complicity on the part of uninformed Republican primary voters, along with divided intraparty opposition to the head RINO for that year.


31 posted on 11/23/2012 7:06:28 AM PST by Theodore R. ("Hey, they must all be crazy out there!")
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To: deport

You’re exactly correct. The Straw Poll only is as relevant as folks think it is. Does it have relevancy? Yes, because it always seems to eliminate some from the field but it has very little to do with predicting an eventual winner. No one has to come and no one has to participate—it is a giant party with a straw poll.


32 posted on 11/23/2012 7:11:41 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: US Navy Vet
The “Republican” “Party” in Iowa is 110% RINO and Controlled by GOP-e.

Well, yes, but...

The current version of the Iowa GOP is indeed run by a bunch of shiny-pants "business" types in Des Moines/Polk County (Cedar Rapids used to count for more than it does now) who are in it to benefit themselves and their cronies. It used to be the ag bloc that they kissed up to, but the insurance and banking types superceded it to some extent, and now even the teachers unions get to pull on the reins. This group of GOP bigs will pay lip service to traditional values, but they are not traditionalists in anything other than looking out for their own interests.

However...

There is that nominally "fundamentalist" or "evangelical" component to the Iowa GOP that perennially attempts to grab the wheel of the ship away from the cronies, the result being a zig-zag heading smack into an iceberg; they - and the state in general - always seem to go right into the freezing water, while the GOP-e always seem to be in the first-class lifeboats (relatively dry and with a flask of brandy... unfazed and ready for the next cycle).

When I was still a Republican who thought I mattered, I would get upset at the parade of GOP-e approved empty suits that would inspire absolutely NOBODY to vote, let alone be enthusiastic. Conversely, I would cringe when the grassroots - which they are, by-and-large - Christian fundamentalists would go scorched-earth to maneuver someone grotesquely unqualified for office into a race largely on the basis of their religious testimony (or some such thing).

So one can watch with dismay the "we must put forward this guy because he's part of the club" people square off with "we must put forward this guy because he's part of the church" people. Oh, boy! Another choice between some political functionary representing the good-old-boys club or a born-again dark horse who can't describe the difference between arson and incest.* I think the vast majority of voters are long past being tired of it, but the local GOP organizations seem to lack their previous ability (or possibly desire) to tell either faction to get its respective crap together. The various media "kingmakers" in the Iowa market are often less than helpful in that they tend to poison both wells so that nobody wants to drink from either one as the primary process moves forward.

About the Iowa primary (okay, caucus), I have already said my piece repeatedly, so the short suggestion for the GOP is for Iowa to have its first-in-nation status pulled immediately, to be restored only when Iowa is rid of Tom Miller and Tom Harkin, and not necessarily in that order. The Ames straw poll? It's an amateurish PR fest cum agricultural fair in a land of low-hanging fruit, and largely a joke to anyone who isn't jockeying for a position on a campaign staff or making a buck off it by catering, so if the Iowa GOP wants to hold a talent show in the school gym, let them do so... and then ignore the hell out of the winner. Please.

Mr. niteowl77

*Hat tip to Mark Twain.

33 posted on 11/23/2012 7:31:10 AM PST by niteowl77 (Getting stuck with other peoples' just desserts good and hard for over 50 years.)
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To: niteowl77

I agree with MOST of what you say here(minus the Christian “Fundamentalist” “Thing”. Iowa have NOT been right since that BASTARD Hughes was Governer/Senator. Ever wonder WHY Iowa now has 4 Congessional Disticts?


34 posted on 11/23/2012 7:38:25 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Cowboy Bob

I agree and while we are at it why don’t we move the first primaries to the red states and quite letting blue state Republicans chose our candidates.


35 posted on 11/23/2012 7:58:56 AM PST by wild74
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To: US Navy Vet
I agree with MOST of what you say here(minus the Christian “Fundamentalist” “Thing”.

Fair enough. I consider myself a "Christian fundamentalist," but the term is admittedly pretty broad; in any event, I do not cut my co-religionists any more slack than anyone else.

Harold Hughes was a MAJOR figure in the turning point of this state, and certainly not for the better. Unfortunately, the Robert D. Ray years were not unalloyed sweetness and light, especially in view of how many skids were greased up during those years so that Terry Branstad's signature was something akin to a foregone conclusion. The Iowa GOP-e (who always got along well enough with the Dems off-camera) helped lay the groundwork for a lot of garbage that came to fruition in Branstad's term(s).

(BTW, I'm not a big Terry Branstad fan either. Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver managed to make the guy look almost Washingtonesque by comparison, but Vilsack and Culver would make a lot of people look Washingtonesque by comparison.)

Mr. niteowl77

36 posted on 11/23/2012 8:05:19 AM PST by niteowl77 (Getting stuck with other peoples' just desserts good and hard for over 50 years.)
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To: niteowl77

Bob Ray was/is a RINO’s RINO. Witness his behaviour during the 2010 Iowa Supreme Court Non-Retention Campaign.


37 posted on 11/23/2012 8:40:27 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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