Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pachyderm Pride

It's an elephant stampede across Iowa. Check out this list and tell me if the republicans are concerned about getting out "their base" on election night...

President George W Bush
First Lady Laura Bush
Senator John McCain
Governor George Pataki
Governor Mitt Romney
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Representative Newt Gingrich
Senator Bill Frist

I'm told we will likely see all of these people stopping in Iowa in the next week. Holy pachyderm!

Outside the Dome...

You know how some days just kick your a*$? Today was one of those. Slept badly. Couldn't seem to get caught up on election stuff. And, then, this came...

Chocodiles! I remember having them in Belleville, Illinois, where I grew up (before you ask, it's near St. Louis). Chocodiles are chocolate-covered twinkies. What more could you want in life? I mentioned a few months ago I had this completely random craving for them. And Mark Hoffman, an engineer here at station, remembered. He found them on-line. Who knew?

Chauncey the Chocodile. He got fired in the '90s as the spokesman. Was he too pimp?

Monday, October 30, 2006

8 Days

Apparently, Iowa loves Alex P. Keaton. The Culver camp claims 1,000 people showed up at Drake University Monday to hear Michael J. Fox talk about stem cell research. Too bad they didn't have chairs for them. The event started an hour late (Not sure why. No one explained it to the crowd). It didn't feel like the air conditioning was on either. The conditions proved to be too much for some people, at least that's what they told us as they left long before Fox showed up.

Those who stayed seemed completely "wow-ed" by Fox's appearance. They interrupted him numerous times as he spoke. Each time, he paused, acknowledged them and continued.

Fox said his former character, Alex P. Keaton, (who you Family Ties fans will remember was a devoted Republican) would approve of him fighting for stem research funding.

Fox also recalled another character of his, Marty McFly, from his movie, Back to the Future. Fox talked about how the future had been stalled because there hasn't been enough commitment to fighting diseases like Parkinson's. So he closed his speech by saying (this was barely audible because of the applause from the crowd) "forgive me, but it's time to get back to the future."

(Outside the dome...)

Not sure what to make of this, but Ellen Degeneres on her show Monday seemed to be wearing the same tie I wore the other day when I spilled my Cafe Mocha all over it.

(It's not too hard to see where the coffee ended up, huh? Can I send my dry cleaning bill to Caribou?)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Turning the Hose on Culver

So much for the whispers among the anti-Culver folks. Whispers, no more. Nussle's debuting a radio ad where the announcer asks, "is Culver smart enough to be governor?"

It's a direct response to that tv ad where Culver and Patty Judge stand in the "rain" criticizing the Earthpark project (bringing the human-made rain forest to Pella). The ad surprised some people, including some dems with whom I regularly talk. They say it's a natural to tie Nussle to those big-spending pork projects from other states, but to take on a big Iowa project and call it wasteful? But, then again, they say, What if it works?

(One little note...the radio ad announcer talks about Culver's rain hat. It's actually Patty Judge's rain hat, in case you care.)

Poor, Dave


The boy's name David is pronounced DAY-vid. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "beloved."

thinkbabynames.com makes it sound pretty good, huh? Letterman, Matthews, Chappelle, Barry, uh, Price. They all love the name. Lamberti?

Lamberti's now completed the trifecta: George W Bush, Laura Bush and Dick Cheney. They've all come to town to trumpet his skills in the 3rd district race. Too bad every one of them butchered his name. (O.K., maybe "butchered" is a little strong. How about "hacked"?)

"Jeff LAM'-berti", so said the Veep and First Lady. The Veep also used "Lam-ber-TAY".

Now the Prez commended the efforts of "Dave" Lamberti. Sorry, Jeff. But the money's good, right?

Monday, October 23, 2006

I Have a Secret...

Let's see...Chet Culver has a secret. Republican conspiracy theory: Culver's bringing back Touchplay. That's why he's taking all the money from Touchplay supporters.

Today we found out that Jim Nussle has a secret. Democratic conspiracy theory: Nussle's expanding casino gambling. That's why he's taking all the money from casino owners.

The brain drain, workforce shortages, energy independence, tuition costs...surely voters don't need to hear about those issues as they decide which one of these two guys should be their next governor, right?

Is it possible all these dollars to the gub candidates will pay for revenge? Could it be that Touchplay owners are ticked that republicans screwed them out of millions by taking away their gambling machines? Could it also be that casino owners are backing republicans to make sure they don't have to deal with Touchplay competition?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Paging 007 and Don Henley

(Courtesy: www.swschwedt.de)

Conspiracy theories and secret plans...ooh, this governor's race is getting mysterious.

(During and following the fourth and final gubernatorial debate sponsored by The Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television) --Jim Nussle's alleging Chet Culver's devised a secret plan.

The pro-Touchplayers gave Culver wads of cash (including republican big-time giver, Bill Krause--the founder of Kum n Go, which stands to lose a gazillion dollars if Touchplay never comes back. You'll remember Krause was none too pleased with his party's nominee after Nussle stated he'd never bring back Touchplay. He pulled his support for Nussle. Who would have guessed he'd start writing checks for Culver. Although, Culver did mention during the debate that his uncle went to college with Krause. Maybe that's it. Maybe it has nothing to do with Krause wanting to help Nussle lose for opposing his business ventures).

(Courtesy: www.dba-oracle.com)

So here's the secret plan...after Culver's elected, he'll give Touchplayers back their games or at least get them a good settlement with the state so they'll...

a) drop their suit and
b) get back some of their cash they spent on those too-close-to-slot-machines.

So what's the proof? Nussle said follow the money and we'd find it. We followed it. We still can't find that proof.

(Courtesy: www.wuz.it)

Culver calls the move "desperate", so did democrat surrogates after the debate, the two Toms, Harkin and Vilsack. Vilsack used football Saturday to offer a football analogy. It was a "hail Mary pass", he said, referring to the late-in-the-game, your-team-is-trailing-so-you-have-no-other-choice-move.

A couple other randoms from the fourth and final debate...(have you noticed not much news ever comes out of these, other than this time with the Touchplay replay talk?)

Culver criticized Nussle for not supporting a raise in the minimum wage. I asked if that meant he didn't think Nussle's pledge during the debate to raise the minimum wage was sincere (during the "Lightning Round phase").

Culver responded by saying Nussle failed to answer the question. I went back and checked the tape to make sure I hadn't blacked out during that part of the debate. Nope, Nussle answered it. And he said "yes" to the question. Although I don't recall Nussle before saying that he'd raise the wage with no strings attack (repubs have talked of raising the wage, only if tax cuts or other more traditional repub-friendly measures are tied to it).

BTW, we were wondering if we were even going to get to talk to Culver at all following the debate. Nussle came out first. Touchplay dominated his Q & A with us. Then the dems' surrogates arrived. After they left, we were told Culver wasn't coming. Then we were told he was. I wonder what changed?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Money, Money, Money

(Photo Courtesy: orangebuffalo.ca)

Just got the latest money numbers...

Chet Culver

$ raised this period (July 15-Oct 14) $3,096,178
$ spent this period $3,641,002
$ on hand $707,781
$ raised (since Jan 05) $6.33 million

Jim Nussle

$ raised this period (July 15-Oct 14) $2,848,057
$ spent this period not provided
$ on hand $1,325,330
$ raised (since Jan 05) $7.1 million

Gov Vilsack raised about $ 8 million for his re-election campaign in 2004.

What's in a Name?

I'm getting quite a few phone calls and emails these days from the possible presidentials. That's no surprise. But two messages in particular are interesting. Who called from Wesley Clark's campaign? A guy named John Edwards. And who called from Mark Warner's campaign? A guy named John Carey (Say it phonetically. It's a lot funnier.)

Sorry for the lack of postings lately. Several factors in play here. Our software had a few hiccups. Not sure what causes those. I also had a conference in D.C. for a few days. But most importantly, I got engaged. I surprised my girlfriend, Emily, when she went home to visit her family in Tampa. So that oughta be a good enough reason to go blog-less for a few days, eh?

Lastly, go Cards! The hell with the Amazing Mets. St. Louis needs a game 7 win!

Monday, October 09, 2006

No Love for the Doc

I wish I would have been keeping a scorecard for every time I've heard "Shelden Spencer", the dem running for the 4th district. If I would have, it looks like I would need another tally sheet.

Check out Spencer's name in this release...

There's no such thing as bad publicity, isn't that what they say?


GREATER DES MOINES - The Greater Des Moines Partnership's Government Policy Council will host a series of breakfasts with the 2006 Congressional candidates for the Third and Fourth Districts, which include Polk, Dallas and Warren Counties, during the month of October. Each candidate has been invited to speak to members of the business community about their vision for promoting regional economic growth in Central Iowa at the federal level. Candidates will be given the opportunity to respond to questions from the audience during the program.
Each breakfast is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m., at Partnership offices in the Arthur Davis Conference room, 700 Locust St., Suite 100. The schedule is as follows:

Monday, October 9th - Dr. Spencer Selden (D) (IA 4)
Friday, October 13th - State Senator Jeff Lamberti (R) (IA 3)
Thursday, October 26th - Congressman Tom Latham (R) (IA 4)
Friday, October 27th - Congressman Leonard Boswell (D) (IA 3)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mac is Back

Senator John McCain is coming back to the metro next week and he has a new group of leaders who'll have his back.

Here's the release:

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today Straight Talk America announced that thirteen state legislators have joined together forming the Iowa Legislative Advisory Team for the PAC. These legislators will advise Straight Talk America on matters relating to the Iowa Legislature and their efforts to gain and maintain Republican control of the Iowa Senate and House.
Joining Straight Talk America are Senator Larry McKibben, Senator John Putney, Senator Pat Ward, Senator Mark Zieman, Representative Rich Anderson, Representative Dave Heaton, Representative Steve Lukan, Representative Mike May, Representative Rod Roberts, Representative Bill Schickel, Representative Doug Struyk, Representative David Tjepkes, and Representative Walt Tomenga.
"We greatly appreciate Senator McCain’s support of our Republican candidates," said Roberts, House Assistant Majority Leader from Carroll. "I look forward to working with Senator McCain to maintain control of the House of Representatives."
"Senator McCain has shown tireless effort helping elect Republicans across the country and I am proud to advise him on his efforts here in Iowa," said McKibben, Republican President Pro Tempore of Marshalltown. "Senator McCain’s leadership and experience will be invaluable to our efforts to regain control of the Iowa Senate."
"I am honored to have the support of these fine legislators," said Senator John McCain. "Their connection with the grassroots community in Iowa will make a big impact on our efforts to elect Republicans in 2006."
These legislators join State Senator Chuck Larson as advisors to the PAC along with former Chair of the Iowa Bush-Cheney 2004 Campaign, David Roederer, who was announced last month as Iowa Chairman of Straight Talk America.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Great Debate

Are we now finished with the debates for the 3rd District? I hope not. We've offered another chance for Boswell and Lamberti to go head-to-head on our "Insiders" show Sunday, October 15th (Seen Sundays here at WHO-TV at 6:30am and 10:15am--That's for you, Boss)
Lamberti's people said, yes, to the offer. Boswell's peeps said, no.
So who won last night? I bounced that question off as many of my independent-minded friends and co-workers as I could throughout the day. Most seemed to think Lamberti may have faired a little better. They thought he was assertive, but not too much. Although, some told me Boswell did show some fight in him at times. Some complained Boswell's answers seemed to wander at times.
The biggest complaint was Iraq. A new NBC poll said the war in Iraq is the number one topic on voters' minds for November. But the debate offered little to show any differences between the two men on that issue. Good luck, voters.