Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Durham said Branstad offered the job a few weeks ago. She said she had a tough decision figuring out what to do since she has been the President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce for 15 years.
She pulled a Bob Dole. Remember how he use to say, "Bob Dole doesn't agree with that...", instead of just saying "I" like most of us do? Durham said, "Debi Durham cannot create 200,000 jobs. But Debi Durham in partnership with the economic development professionals around this state..."
She said the key word in the new name (which has the catchy name of "Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress") for the new organization is partnership, "because that is what it is about".
Branstad said of his selection of Durham, "I looked all over the state of Iowa...you might even say all over the country for the person I thought was the right person."
Durham said there is "not a perfect model" for the public-private partnership she and Branstad want to create, so she plans to create one in Iowa.
Durham said she talked with Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal Monday night about issues of transparency with the new organization. She said "if it involves public funds, it will be transparent". The media will undoubtedly have plenty of questions about this as it gets going.
Durham didn't say when she would quit her current job but plans to start working both jobs for a while.
Finally, Durham, I don't believe, is responsible for this video (I think it was the Sioux City RAGBRAI committee). But we can still enjoy it again...
Giggling Anchor: Speaking of the network morning shows, NBC Today Show's Matt Lauer couldn't make it through an interview when the conversation brought up "package shrinkage" (I also seem to remember a "Seinfeld" episode dealing with that topic, but I digress).
Here's the proof.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Earlier today, the State Board of Canvassers – composed of Governor Culver, Secretary of State Mauro, State Treasurer Fitzgerald, Secretary of Agriculture Northey and State Auditor Vaudt – certified the statewide results of the November 2, 2010 General Election.
In total, 1,133,434 Iowans voted in the 2010 General Election. This accounted for a turnout of 54-percent and was the highest number of total voters participating in a midterm election in state history.
The official canvass results, including the winner’s list, can be found by visiting www.IowaVotes.gov and clicking on the link under “Election Results” or by clicking on the direct link: www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/results/index.html#9.
With the 2010 General Election coming to a close, Secretary Mauro congratulated Iowa’s election officials for administering another smooth and successful General Election.
“County auditors, their staff, and thousands of precinct election officials deserve considerable praise for once again making our election process work incredibly well,” Secretary Mauro said.
“On a personal note, the completion of this election is also bittersweet as it is the last statewide election that I will oversee as Secretary of State. Knowing our state is fortunate to have outstanding and dedicated election officials, I am confident Iowa’s election process will continue to be safe and secure and one in which Iowans can trust.”
France's president is "thin-skinned"These are some of the juicier tidbits released in the latest waves of leaks. What do you make of all of this? Is this freedom of information/freedom of the press? Do we have a right to know what our government is saying/doing about/with foreign leaders? Or does the release of this info (some of it highly classified) damage our relations with other leaders and potentially put our military leaders and our citizens' lives in danger?
The U.S. spied on the United Nations
China hacked into Google
Saudia Arabian King wanted U.S. to attack Iran
Top Duck: Who knew Des Moines had a man who could out-call all the rest? Todd Copley of Des Moines won the World Championship Duck Calling Contest over the weekend. I'm still trying to find the video. But it must have been a big day. ESPN reports Copley had tears streaming after his win.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
And how would you react is you saw this "impromptu" chorus breaking out in song at the mall?
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sarah Palin, the telegenic Republican who exasperates and delights voters about equally, is dropping ever more hints of a presidential bid, including a visit Saturday to the key state of Iowa.
The official purpose of her trip to suburban Des Moines is to promote her new book, “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag.” But Democratic and Republican insiders will search for every possible hint of whether she will seek the nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee, has fed such speculation in recent days. She told ABC’s Barbara Walters she thinks she could beat Obama, adding, “I’m looking at the lay of the land now.”
In a separate interview, Obama told Walters, “I don’t think about Sarah Palin.” He added that Palin has “a strong base of support in the Republican Party, and I respect those skills.”
Palin will attend a second book-signing event next week in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first presidential caucuses in 13 months.
Some political pros suspect it’s a tease, a way for Palin to keep drawing big crowds to her lucrative TV show and books while avoiding the nitty-gritty work of organizing a national campaign, wooing hard-to-impress caucus voters and raising millions of dollars.
Others warn against underestimating her ambition or her ability to snatch the GOP nomination from a dozen men who covet it.
“She may run away with it, and that’s something everybody has to be prepared for,” said Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucus. He is weighing another presidential run, and some feel he wants to set high expectations for a possible rival.
While Palin’s fans are loyal and legion, the prospect of her running for president alarms some Republicans. They think Palin is too polarizing and too inexperienced to defeat Obama, even if Republicans in general can maintain the momentum of their powerful performance in this month’s midterm elections.
Her foreign policy gaffe Wednesday kept the question alive. She declared on Glenn Beck’s syndicated radio show that the United States has to stand with “our North Korean allies” in connection with tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Her mistake was quickly corrected by her host. But it drew immediate fire from liberal bloggers who cited it as an example of her lack of foreign policy expertise. Newspapers in Asia and Europe echoed the criticism. The Times of India says Palin “did it again,” while London’s Daily Mail says she “may want to brush up on her geography.”
The conservative U.S. website The Weekly Standard came to Palin’s defense, pointing out that “she correctly identified North Korea as our enemy literally eight seconds before the mix-up.”
At home, polls show voters deeply divided over Palin. A recent AP-GfK poll found that 46 percent of Americans view her favorably while 49 percent hold an unfavorable view. The portion holding a “very unfavorable” view heavily outweighs those with a “very favorable” view.
In the poll, 79 percent of self-described Republicans said they like Palin. That suggests she might do well in GOP primaries, although she has some work to do in Iowa.
In exit polls of Iowa Republicans who voted this month, 21 percent said they’d like to see Huckabee win the 2012 caucus. Another 21 percent named Mitt Romney, and 18 percent picked Palin.
Palin has given mixed signals about her intentions. She recently granted interviews to ABC and The New York Times, even as she vowed not to speak again with CBS News anchor Katie Couric, whose 2008 interview left Palin seemingly unable or unwilling to name a newspaper or magazine she reads regularly.
Palin’s speeches and book-signing parties typically are carefully controlled affairs, with reporters kept at a distance. But if she is to compete in early voting states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, she will have to mingle with inquisitive voters in scores of living rooms and small gatherings, experienced strategists say.
“At some point in time, if she’s a serious candidate, she has to do what other candidates do, and that’s engage people one on one,” said veteran Iowa GOP activist Steve Scheffler. “You may be a rock star, but if you don’t have the mechanics, it’s difficult.”
Huckabee, an ordained minister who ran an intense grass-roots campaign in Iowa before falling to eventual GOP nominee John McCain, agreed.
“People in Iowa and New Hampshire are not star-struck because somebody is running for president,” he said. “They will ask the hard questions and they will put people through the wringer.”
It’s possible, however, that Palin’s high visibility — boosted by frequent appearances on Fox News and her new TV show on the TLC network, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” — will let her play by different rules. No other potential GOP candidate can touch off a media frenzy with a brief comment on Facebook or Twitter, as she can. Palin’s golden touch extended to her daughter Bristol, whom voters repeatedly brought back for more “Dancing with the Stars” despite her limited talent.
Before the TV hit’s final show, in which she finished third, Bristol Palin said winning the contest “would be like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me.”
Sarah Palin’s record certainly has its dents. Some Republicans partly blame her for painful Senate losses in Nevada and Delaware, where she endorsed tea party upstarts who won the GOP nomination but lost to vulnerable Democrats. Closer to home, she was embarrassed when her Alaska GOP rival, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, won re-election with a write-in campaign after a Palin-backed challenger had won the party nomination.
Many are still bewildered by Palin’s abrupt decision in July 2009 to step down as Alaska’s governor. If she didn’t want to finish one term as governor of a sparsely populated state, they ask, how badly can she want to be president, and how well could she serve?
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine recently told the Kennebec Journal: “I think she likes being a celebrity commentator for Fox, and a speaker, and being able to provide for her family. It’s a lot easier to charge people up than to actually govern.”
Former first lady Barbara Bush said Palin seems happy in Alaska and “I hope she’ll stay there.”
In Iowa, some doubt that Palin can skate by on her fame while Romney, Huckabee and others go door-to-door, day after day.
“Is she going to try to organize on star power, which is problematic?” asked Ed Failor Jr., head of Iowans for Tax Relief. “She really could be a very good candidate,” he said, “but there are a lot of decisions she needs to make about how to proceed with the caucus process.”
Palin keeps only a few advisers close to her, led by her husband, Todd. She told the New York Times Magazine that if she runs for president, “the organization would have to change.”
Bob Vander Plaats, who heads The Family Leader, an Iowa umbrella group of evangelical Christian organizations, said Palin appeals to many but must do some ground work.
“There’s a big difference between coming to Iowa and signing a book and coming to Iowa and saying you want to be commander in chief and leader of the free world,” he said. He said the last celebrity candidate in Iowa was former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who fizzled badly.
“It didn’t play well when he came with his rope lines and his motorcades,” Vander Plaats said. “People wanted to sit at the kitchen table with him.”
Terry Holt, a Washington-based Republican campaign strategist, said Palin “is a force to be reckoned with.” She’s doing some things that a candidate needs to do, he said, and “all the things that kingmakers need to do.”
Following a midterm election in which voters embraced non-mainstream Republicans in many states, Holt said, “it would be a mistake to sell her short.”
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Newton, IA, (November 22, 2010) – Jim Lowrance, Group President of Great Western Bank, Iowa, announced today that Charles “Chaz” Allen will join the bank’s management team, leading the Newton, Iowa location. Allen’s appointment to the bank position is effective November 30, 2010.Iowa Governor Chet Culver could soon join the unemployed when his term expires in January after voters decided not to give him a second term. I talked with Culver today about his search. He said he hoped to have something in the coming weeks but wasn't in a rush. Meanwhile, former Governor-turned U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stopped by. I asked him about the chances of Culver going to Washington. It doesn't sound like there would be anything for him working for Vilsack. Here's the story we ran on tv.
Allen comes to Great Western Bank with a broad background in business management over a 23 year period. His career includes experience in the fields of auditing, finance, revenue assurance and quality assurance. Allen’s career has encompassed such roles as Presale Project Manager, Contract Implementation Analyst, Revenue Assurance Manager, Billing Operations Manager and Government/Community Relations Manager. He was most recently employed with Iowa Telecom as Community Relations Manager. Allen is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University and has completed course work toward a Masters in Business Administration at St. Ambrose University. He also served as an adjunct professor of Business Law at Kirkwood Community College from 1997 to 2000.
Allen has been active in community volunteer service as a member of the Task Force for Infrastructure and Transportation, the Governor’s Rebuild Iowa Office, Leadership Newton 2002 Program and Newton’s Blue Ribbon Governance Task Force. He is currently in his fourth term Mayor for the City of Newton and has been actively involved in Newton’s nationally recognized job recruitment and creation efforts.
“The versatility and the business knowledge that Chaz possesses will be an immense asset for Great Western Bank,” Lowrance said in making the announcement. “Chaz has a proven track record of leadership in business and in the public sector. Great Western is pleased that he will be joining us and leading the Bank’s team in the Newton area.”
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I'm not flying home to Illinois for Thanksgiving. Can I still get someone from the TSA to come manhandle me at my house or do you have to go to the airport for that?
Newt Gingrich sure sounds like he is running for president, doesn't he? He signed books in West Des Moines this week and said he and his wife would decide whether to run in February or March. It is nice to have a deadline, isn't it? Sure helps those of us trying to handicap the 2012 race. On Channel 13's Insiders, Polk County Democratic Chairman Tom Henderson doubted Gingrich will run. He thinks Gingrich is just trying to stay in the news, sell books, etc.
Mike Huckabee told me Sunday he doesn't have a timetable for making his decision. So, let the speculation continue. I asked since Sarah Palin said this past week that she could beat President Obama, does he think he could beat the Prez? Huck said since he thought he could beat him in 2008, he thinks he could beat him in 2012. Huck also said Palin's decision on whether to run will have no effect on his decision. Wouldn't they be fighting for some of the same social conservatives in Iowa in the caucus? That could be quite a battle in the Hawkeye State. (Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson offers her word-by-word account of Hucks' visit.)
Huck's news conference came before his speech with the FAMiLY LEADER organization at the kickoff event at First Federated Church in Des Moines. And, yes, the "i" is lower case, where the other letters are all in CAPS. Our reporter, Emily Carlson, who also covered the event, told me organizers said there is no "i" in team, so it is not supposed to be capitalized in the word, FAMiLY. There you have iT.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Allen said he has some job leads of his own. Allen used to work for Iowa Telecom, which Windstream later bought out. Allen was one of the nearly 150 people laid off after the acquisition. He said he is now looking at a couple of strong job possibilities but couldn't elaborate. He said he expects to know something "soon". But again, he couldn't elaborate on how soon is soon. He has also been working on what will be the third season of a racing reality series. It airs on Fox Sports Midwest. It's the Great American Stockcar Series, GASSTV.
Allen said Wednesday, a Russian television station based out of Washington, D.C., is coming to town to do a story. Newton's exposure is about to go global.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
"I'm extremely grateful for the support from Polk County voters. Unfortunately, I'm also totally disheartened with what's happened to the three supreme court justices. It's a shocking, SHOCKING lack of appreciation of our judicial system."
I'm looking at the last definition under 2a...the part about "writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation" .
jour·nal·ism noun \ˈjər-nə-ˌli-zəm\
Definition of JOURNALISM
1a : the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media b : the public press c : an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium
2a : writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine b : writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation c : writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest
Clearly, we can all agree Olbermann adds his own interpretation, opinion, etc., to his work. He is not a "reporter". So, since everyone knows his political bias, should he be exempted from NBC's policy regarding political contributions? It's not like Lester Holt just got nailed for doing it (which, of course, would be personally devastating with my whole professional man-crush on Lester and all...). What do you think? Should Olbermann get a pass on this? Should be stay suspended until he apologizes? Should he get canned?
Tie Problem: Is there a 12-step program for ties? I'm kidding, of course. And I'm not trying to make light of people with serious addictions. So, I say this all in fun. But, perhaps, I do have a problem with ties. I just cleaned out 10 from my closet. And it's tough to tell. Not sure what it is about ties. But I just can't get enough of them. I have probably gotten rid of 40 ties or so the past 3 or 4 years. I don't even want to admit how many I still have. Here are the discards. Anyone need a tie?
Friday, November 05, 2010
Thank you for all your support over the years. Representing Iowa as Secretary of State has been a great experience that I have enjoyed very much. I am lucky to have so many wonderful friends. I always see life as a journey that presents many difficulties and opportunities. I look forward to the opportunities that lay in front of me and I look forward to the future. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.Feeding Time: Here's a question for the parents out there. Our son, Hayden, is about 3 1/2 months old now. He seems to be a "grazer". He likes to eat a few ounces and then an hour or two later, do it again. I'm thinking it would be good to get him to eat more at once and then not feed him as often. What's your experience/advice on this?
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Partiers watching the returns on Fox.
Anyone need any reading material?
A dozen flavors of hot tea? I think my aunt drinks this stuff. Surely, they won't miss a few packets? Christmas is coming, Aunt Pris:)
Quite a colorful spread of food. And healthy, too. I want a brownie.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Here's the hope... Allen told me he has received "hundreds of emails and phone calls" at home and the mayor's office right after the story aired. Some offer personal help for him and his family. Others want to help people featured in the story. Still others have business possibilities. But here's the biggest name of the bunch: Donald Trump. Yes, the Donald. Allen told me he had a message from a man who said he worked for Trump. When Allen called him back, the man asked if he could hold on the phone for a bit so that Trump could get on the phone. Allen joked to me, "I don't have a job right now. I can hold all day if it will help!" Allen said they talked for 10 or 15 minutes.
Allen said, at least so far, there's nothing concrete to report on Trump's conversation. Perhaps, it could lead to an opportunity. Allen's hoping to figure out how to take advantage of all this attention for his town, which could really use something positive. Too many people are hurting there right now.