Friday, May 30, 2008
Iowa Repubs will get a look at who should be their best catch to beat Democratic U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. Yeah, I know. That was lame. But I needed to a reason to show off my brother Jake's 8 1/2 pound Channel Catfish he just pulled in at Carlyle Lake in southern Illinois.
Tonight, I will debate a forum between two of the three R's who want to knock Harkin out of office. For some reason, Steve Rathje, a Cedar Rapids businessman, has decided he doesn't want to take part in this debate and turn down the chance to go statewide for an hour. For free. In this race of little-known challengers with little money in the bank, it's beyond me why Rathje doesn't want to do this. Iowa Public TV seems to have bent over backwards to let him in at the last minute. They gave him 'til noon. But no change in plans. Oh, well, we'll need one fewer chair.
George Eichhorn, the Stratford attorney, and Christopher Reed, a Marion businessman, will get to make their case. It's my first live debate as a moderator. I hope I don't confuse Reed with the other Christopher, you know, Superman. My mom and dad are in the crowd, too. No pressure, not at all. And I'll try not to think of the fact that in too few hours after this hour-long 9pm debate wraps up, I have to step off in Saylorville for Dam to Dam. Dam.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I can't imagine what it's like for the people of Parkersburg. Imagine losing her home. Some lost family members, too. They lost their vehicles. They lost their businesses. So they have no place to live, nothing to drive and no place to work. How do they not just collapse and sob?
One of the most telling sites I saw was what used to be an empty field. Now it's become a junkyard that keeps growing. It has more than 200 vehicles. Although, vehicles isn't the right word anymore. They are just scraps. Mangled scraps. Each vehicle has some items in it. They may or may not actually be items from the owners of the vehicles. With the way the storm hit, there's hardly any way to tell. I found the insurance card in one from one of the men who died. It took our breath away. We didn't know how to react. I found a broken fishing pole in one. Wedding reception napkins in another. A wedding invitation in another. There was a flattened stroller. It is just incomprehensible the damage to these vehicles. Each one looks like the result of the worst traffic accident you've ever seen. Except there wasn't just one.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out."
On "Meet the Press" Tim Russert pointed out that Bill Clinton actually had the nomination wrapped up in April (although Clintonian semantics may argue otherwise). But clearly, that's the afterthought in this statement. Was she really saying she shouldn't quit because of the chance of an assassination of Barack Obama? Really? What do the Clinton-should-be-the-Vice-President people think of this? Do you really think comments like these will help her chances?
Friday, May 23, 2008
Agriprocessors Announces Leadership Change
POSTVILLE, IA (May 23, 2008) – Aaron Rubashkin, the owner of Agriprocessors, Inc., announced today that the company will hire a new chief executive officer.
“The best course of action for the company, its employees, the local community and our customers is to bring new leadership to Agriprocessors,” Rubashkin said. “The company has begun the search for a new permanent chief executive officer. We have engaged a team of industry experts to help us identify and secure a new leader who can help us meet the needs of Agriprocessors today and in the future. We will make more information on the search process available by the end of next week.”
Agriprocessors has long been committed to its workers and the local community, and to providing innovative and quality products.
The company is conducting an independent investigation of the circumstances which led to the recent worksite enforcement action, and is fully cooperating with the government. The company can not respond to specific allegations due to pending legal issues.
May 24 – May 28
2:30 p.m. Boswell will speak at an event honoring former Congressman Neal Smith and dedicating the newly renamed Neal Smith Federal Building.
Neal Smith Federal Building
210 Walnut Street
7:15 a.m. Boswell will attend the S.O.S. (Stuff on a Shingle) authentic military breakfast, and appear on the Van and Bonnie Morning Show.
7105 NW 70th Ave.
9:00 a.m. Des Moines Event
Boswell will attend a World War I memorial service.
E 6th Street & University
10:00 a.m. Des Moines Event
Boswell will attend an event honoring veterans of the Korean & Vietnam Wars.
Korean & Vietnam War Memorials
State Capitol grounds
11:00 a.m. Des Moines Event
Boswell will attend a veterans’ memorial service.
Vets Auditorium, south Gaskell Room on the balcony level
833 5th Ave.
2:00 p.m. Boswell will speak at the RaySociety event honoring World War II veterans.
Harmon Fine Arts Center
25th & Carpenter
10:00 a.m. Boswell will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Corporate Headquarters Building.
Grand Ave. & 14th Street, SW corner
Thursday, May 22, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 22, 2008
IOWA DEMOCRATIC HEAVYWEIGHT ENDORSES DREAM TICKET CAMPAIGN
Veteran Presidential Campaign Strategist Jerry Crawford
Calls for Unity Ticket, Praises VoteBoth.com
DES MOINES, IA--Veteran Democratic Party leader Jerry Crawford today endorsed a “dream ticket” with both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, saying it is time for the Party to unite regardless of who wins the nomination. “This election is more important than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton,” Crawford said. “For the sake of our Party and our country, Barack and Hillary need to take a hard look at running together.”
“Right now, our Party is brother against brother, literally—my brother is for Barack and I support Hillary. Soon we are all going to have to do what VoteBoth is doing--take a deep breath and have a serious conversation about how Democrats win in November.”
Crawford, a Des Moines native, is widely renowned as one of the Party’s savviest strategists and fundraisers. He has chaired the Iowa campaigns of the previous five Democratic nominees: John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton (twice), and Michael Dukakis. Crawford initially backed Tom Vilsack’s unsuccessful White House bid and last year endorsed Clinton, who named him her Midwest Co-Chair.
Since Crawford chaired the Dukakis campaign’s Iowa bid in 1988, the Democratic nominee has won the Hawkeye State every four years except in 2004, when George W. Bush edged out John Kerry by a razor-thin 49.9%-49.23% margin. Iowa is a must-win state for Democrats in November.
Crawford joins the growing ranks of prominent Democrats supporting a unity ticket with both Obama and Clinton. Representatives David Scott (GA) and Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH), both outspoken advocates for Obama and Clinton, respectively, argued Monday that a unity ticket was essential for victory in November. Other unity ticket backers include Governor Ed Rendell (PA), former Governor Mario M. Cuomo (NY), Senator Charles E. Schumer (NY), and DLC chairman and former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (TN).
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Go ahead. Insert your Viagra/Cialis joke here. Does size matter? I mean, when it comes to crowds. Barack Obama drew about 7,500 last night in downtown Des Moines for his first post-caucus visit. John McCain's return run brought in about 250. By my math, that means Obama brought 30 times as many peeps. What does it mean? Obama's people say it proves Obama has all the mojo. Senator Chuck Grassley, on behalf of McCain, told us polls matter more than rally size (I'll be curious what he says about polls later on in the campaign).
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The polls are closed in Kentucky and votes are being counted in Oregon, and it's clear that tonight we have reached a major milestone on this journey. We have won an absolute majority of all the delegates chosen by the people in this Democratic primary process.
From the beginning, this journey wasn't about me or the other candidates. It was about a simple choice -- will we continue down the same road with the same leadership that has failed us for so long, or will we take a different path?
Too many of us have been disappointed by politics and politicians more times than you can count. We've seen promises broken and good ideas drowned in a sea of influence, point-scoring, and petty bickering that has consumed Washington. Yet, in spite of all the doubt and disappointment -- or perhaps because of it -- people have stood for change.
Unfortunately, our opponents in the other party continue to embrace yesterday's policies and they will continue to employ yesterday's tactics -- they will try to change the subject, and they will play on fears and divisions to distract us from what matters to you and your future.
But those tactics will not work in this election.
They won't work because you won't let them. Not this time. Not this year.
We still have work to do to in the remaining states, where we will compete for every delegate available. But tonight, I want to thank you for everything you have done to take us this far -- farther than anyone predicted, expected, or even believed possible. And I want to remind you that you will make all the difference in the epic challenge ahead.
It's actually getting a little chilly out here. Not cold. But chilly, now that the sun is going down. I doubt these packed in peeps will feel much of the chill though. I'm sitting way too close to Shane's Rib Shacks. That's not fair. I'm trying to watch the diet now that I'm less than two weeks away from running Dam to Dam. Damn barbecue.
We were told we could pick up our equipment and get into our place on the media riser at 4:30. 4:30 came and went and so did many media's patience. Many of us needed to be in place for our 5pm live shots on the news. It was close. Producers back at the station kept calling wondering if we were going to make it. At about 4:45pm, the secret service started letting us come through the security line. We made it onto the media riser by 4:52pm. Crisis averted.
I'm hearing there may be 10-11,000 here tonight. It's a far cry from the 75,000 who came out to hear Obama in Portland, Oregon. But let's not forget those Oregonians don't get much of a chance to see these v.i.p.'s like we do in Iowa.
From where I'm sitting, I can see the line stretching on the ends of two different blocks. This place will be packed. I can't imagine many of these people will even get to see a glimpse of Obama. You would hope they can at least hear him.
The Obama folks say this won't be a victory speech here tonight. But I bet it will come close. I'm sure Obama won't dog on Hillary Clinton. Expect a little praise for her, no praise for John McCain and a lot of praise for Iowans. It all started here, remember. And I doubt Obama will let any of these people here tonight forget it.
Nor will he let people across the country forget. Make that people across the world. There are about 300 media members here, someone from the Obama campaign just told me. I've already seen Japan and German crews. I'm sure there are many more.
You wonder if Iowans are tired of this yet. Or maybe January to May was enough of a break. I guess we'll know once we see how many people come here.
Monday, May 19, 2008
(Photo Courtesy: AFP)
I wonder what Hillary Clinton thought when she saw pictures like these from Oregon. 75,000 people (or so it's estimated) came to see hear Barack Obama in Portland. It doesn't look like Obama will officially have the nomination secured when he comes to downtown Des Moines Tuesday night. But he might be able to say by then he has a majority of delegates.
What kind of crowd will greet him in Des Moines? It's scheduled as an outdoor rally. Will it sound like a victory party?
We got our butts kicked in softball again Sunday. We're 0-2 so far. Man, I felt old. We played a bunch of guys who clearly shouldn't have been playing in our league. High school/college age, mostly. Young punks.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
It almost doesn't look like our country. I'm not used to seeing prisoner camps like this. I've never seen so many federal agents in one place. Hundreds? The detainees, as you might guess, looked freaked out. At least many of them did. Some constantly shook their legs as they waited in the makeshift federal courtroom inside the Electric Park Ballroom. (A photographer at our station remembers making the drive there numerous times for dances back in the day). Other detainees showed no expression at all. It was hard to say what they were thinking or feeling. I wonder how many of them seriously thought this could happen.
Late Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney's office in Cedar Rapids revised its detainee number. Not sure what happened. But it dropped from 390 to 389. I wonder how much this whole process cost? All the agents, the hotel rooms, the meals, the transportation, all the materials they brought to the cattle grounds...it has to be millions. All the detainees are gone now. But the feds rented the place through May 25th. Is there a second raid in the works? The U.S. Attorney's office did acknowledge there were 697 complaints of fraud, identity theft, etc. at the Agriprocessors Plant in Postville. Yet the feds only nabbed 390 people. Oh, yeah, make that 389. Have all the others fled the area. Fled the state? Fled the country?
What about the bosses in all of this? Swift management and owners seemed to escape unscathed. How will the Agriprocessors higher ups fare?...they had no idea any of this was going on? Even though there seems to be almost as many complaints about undocumented workers as there are total workers at the plant? This story doesn't seem to be over just yet.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This place is crawling with federal agents. They are everywhere. Dozens, if not hundreds, are here. Emergency vehicles and SUV's are constantly coming and going inside of the one gate that I can see is open at this hour (it's about 11:30am, btw). Men in black keep a close eye. No sign of Wil Smith yet. It seems like almost every vehicle has darkened windows. Aren't those illegal?
Homeland Security Federal Protective Services Police cars have also been going in an out. I've never seen them before. But I think we've seen at least seven of them in the last five minutes. A couple of men in dark suits are now walking around. They look important. I'm wearing a dark suit. Maybe someone will think I'm important, too. No, probably not.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Your station has never fully reported on burden these illegals have placed on the people of Iowa. I don't feel any sympathy for criminals."
If people have broken the law, there should be consequences. There’s a legal system in place to determine those consequences, and justice should be fairly imposed with due process.
I’ll be interested to see if federal authorities will be bringing any charges against the employer. We know that the Swift Company never faced any charges after the raid in Marshalltown, and the enforcement of immigration violations against corporations has plummeted during the Bush administration. Until we enforce our immigration laws equally against both employers and employees who break the law, we will continue to have a problem with immigration.”
The state’s role in today’s exercise has been limited. The Department of Public Safety is providing traffic support on the scene, and if additional criminal activity is discovered through the course of the exercise, the DCI is prepared to investigate at the state level.
I believe it is important that we crack down on illegal immigration. Illegal means illegal. Not just those who cross the border, but also those who are responsible for helping make it happen -- traffickers, identity thieves, those who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and anyone who has taken advantage of employees or turned a blind eye. At the same time we must take care to protect due process, and consider the impact on a small community and the people involved.
My Administration has made clear to the federal government the importance of ensuring the humanitarian side of this exercise is addressed in the community, and I have received assurances from the federal government that they are doing so.
I have also directed relevant state agencies to convene a working group under the Lt. Governor’s direction to ensure that state agencies are assisting the community in dealing with this event. This group will include representatives from Iowa Workforce Development, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Human Rights, the Department of Education, the Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Working group members have met this afternoon with the Lt. Governor to get briefed on this and begin working through their agencies to assist the community.
While this is a federal exercise, my office will continue to keep the public and press informed of any additional state involvement."
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Apparently, Klayton Korver left a pink t-shirt that says "Korver's Girlfriends" for my wife. Should I be worried? Do I need cooler hair to compete?
Our softball team (it's kind of a station team, since we all either work at the station or used to work here) didn't get blown away, but we did walk away with an "L" today. It was our first game of the 14-game season at the Des Moines Parks and Rec league. The wind was crazy. Not good for me to try to pitch. Oh, well. We got down early but came back at the end to at least make it respectable, 11-9. Better luck next week. At least I didn't give up any home runs.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Repubs have apparently found their George to take them to that de-lux apartment in the sk-y-y...I mean to Washington.
Tom Harkin launched his re-election campaign in March to serve Iowa as our United States Senator and continue the fight for progressive change for our state and our country.
The Harkin campaign is busy preparing for November, building the organization, raising the funds, and working hard every day to make sure Tom can continue to fight for us in the Senate.
Click here to help our campaign by making a donation today.
So far this year two Republicans are actively campaigning to challenge Tom in November, Steve Rathje and Chistopher Reed.
Earlier this week a third Republican announced his candidacy for the Senate. George Eichhorn appears to have the institutional Republican support that could make him competitive in the June 3 Republican primary and beyond.
Show your support for Tom Harkin by clicking here to make a donation of $25, $50, or $100 today.
According to the Associated Press, "Eichhorn released a list of 33 prominent Republicans who are endorsing his effort. Supporters include state Senate Minority Leader Ron Wieck and former Senate President Jeff Lamberti."
We have long known that the Republicans are not going to go out without a fight. In all of Tom's previous elections, well-funded conservatives have waged hard and dirty campaigns, laden with distortions of Tom's tremendous record of accomplishment. We expect this campaign to be no different.
Tom is unafraid of Republican attacks and has repeatedly stood up for us by taking on the Bush Administration. In fact, last year Tom was literally the strongest congressional critic of the Bush status quo, as he won the distinction of being "the most vetoed Senator" by the Administration.
Iowans want positive change, and that's why Tom is taking nothing for granted and is hard at work to build a blue Iowa in 2008.
Please show your support for real change in Washington by clicking here to make a donation to our campaign today.
Thank you for your support.
Citizens for Harkin
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I predicted earlier in the day it would be a split tonight, in the political game, I mean. I figured Obama had to take North Carolina. And I thought (sort of confidently) that Clinton could take Indiana. But as I write this, Obama's making a charge. Indiana looks to be pretty close.
If that holds up, Clinton sure is going to have a tough time selling herself to the remaining undecided superdelegates. I mean, what is her argument? She's been talking about all this momentum. But the big mo is m.i.a. tonight. I don't see how a butt-kicking in Carolina and, at best, a squeaker in Indy looks like the big mo. But the Clintons are masters at spin. That's why she pays her spinners all those millions, right? They'll earn their money tomorrow.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Boswell did debate Republican Jeff Lamberti back in 2006. He didn't debate Republican Stan Thompson in 2002.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The following is a joke forwarded to me. You right-leaners will like it a lot more than the lefties. Indies, I don't know what you'll think of it. I'll try to post these from time to time just so you can see what's being passed along to in boxes these days.