Daily Archives: June 20, 2010

Will Christian Conservatives Rob The GOP of Victory in Iowa by Gregory Hilton

The liberals can not defeat Republicans this year, but the radical right will make sure the left wing triumphs. As this article notes, that is what they want. The so-called Christian right would prefer a liberal victory rather than having a conservative Republican who would not focus entirely on abortion and gay marriage.
Bob Vander Plaats is a sore loser who was defeated in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Now he is talking about running as an independent because former Gov. Terry Branstad will not pick Vander Plaats as his running mate. His other demand is for Branstad to issue an illegal executive order banning gay marriage, even though this could result in a Governor’s impeachment.
Vander Plaats tactics worked in 2006 and four years ago he was selected as the nominee for Lt. Governor. I admire Branstad for saying no, but highly unpopular liberal Gov. Chet Culver may now be re-elected. Graham Gillette of the Des Moines Register says a Vander Plaats campaign equals a Culver victory, but that is the goal of the Christian right: “In many ways, the Vander Plaats folks would prefer a Culver victory over one for Branstad. They do not like Culver, but Branstad’s victory would limit options for them in years to come – like who gets to be party chair, who controls party resources and who is in charge of the messaging carried and heard by conservatives. The heart of the battle in Iowa is not about winning an office, but for who controls the Republican/conservative/Tea Party cause. Vander Plaats is not ready to go into that good night and Branstad puts a significant dent into the aspirations of many who support Vander Plaats.”
The Iowa situation is amazing because Branstad is absolutely a social as well as an economic conservative. He is focusing his campaign on jobs, taxes and the deficit. The Iowa Family Policy Center wants him to focus on abortion and gay marriage. The liberal Democrats can not believe their good fortune.
The Iowa Republican Convention is on Saturday, June 26th and Branstad has selected State Senator Kim Reynolds as his running mate for Lt. Governor. Her nomination will be challenged by the evangelicals and they are expected to push Vander Plaats. Both Branstad, 63, and Reynolds, 50, are solid conservatives and the only disagreement they have with the evangelicals is their refusal to issue an illegal executive order overturning the Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage.
The whispering campaign against Reynolds concerns her two arrests in 1999 and 2000 for drunk driving. Senator Reynolds has been sober for the last 8 years and says “I sought help, and I’m a stronger person for it today. What I learned is that you don’t give up. You don’t lose faith. You hold your head high and move on.
”It’s been a very public experience that I’ve been through. A decade ago I did not think I would ever get the opportunity to serve in the State Senate, or to be standing here as a candidate for Lt. Governor. I could not have done it without a strong faith, a family that has stood behind me and a great network of support.”

The New Breed: Jamie Herrera Heads to Congress by Gregory Hilton

State Rep. Jaime Herrera, 33, and her husband with U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, State Sen. Joe Zarelli and State Rep. Kevin Parker.

State Rep. Jamie Herrera now has a commanding lead in the GOP primary. Rep. Brian Baird (D) is retiring and this is an excellent pick-up opportunity for the GOP. If she wins, Herrera will instantly become a national spokesman for the Republican Party.
Herrera and her primary opponent are Hispanic, and they both advocate a tough crackdown on illegal immigration. She supports beefing up security measures at the border, refusing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and, like Arizona, using local law enforcement to identify people who could be deported. She says “I will be a member of Congress more concerned with saving your money than spending your money. . . Any real reform will start by stemming the flow of those entering this country illegally. I do not support amnesty for illegal immigrants.”
The district is basically suburban Portland (Vancouver, Washington) on the Washington side of the Columbia, with a large rural area. Vancouver has many young professionals who want nicer homes but cannot afford to live in Lake Oswego and West Linn. The district is not at all like Portland, with its very liberal bent. Congressman Baird was a “Blue Dog”–who famously averred to the growing tea party movement in his district as “brownshirts”.
Under great pressure from his district, he voted against the health care reform bill. He then announced his retirement and voted FOR the final HCR bill. There are strong rumors he has been promised a federal job in return for his vote but that it will not be official until the next Congress.
Herrera and her husband Daniel met when they were both interns in the office of Congresswoman Rodgers.