Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Palin is Coming to Iowa

Breaking news...Sarah Palin WILL speak at the Tea Party of America event in Indianola Saturday as previously scheduled, according to a spokesperson. My previous posts have the background. But get a snack. It will take a while to catch up.

O'Donnell Out Again

In, Out, In, Out: I just talked with Tea Party of America Co-Founder Ken Crow. He said former Delaware U.S. Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell is out. If you're keeping score she has been invited to speak at the group's Restoring America event in Indianola, then she was dis-invited, re-invited and now re-dis-invited.

And Sarah Palin's appearance is still "on hold" for that same event. She was supposed to headline the event. We will see if that changes now that O'Donnell's appearance confusion is cleared up. For now.

Palin Tea Party Appearance On Hold

Palin Paused: The back and forth, chaos, confusion, conflicting statements, etc., that we've heard over the past 48 hours with the Tea Party of America's "Restoring America" event at the Indianola Balloon Field has taken yet another twist. Becky Beach, the Iowan helping to coordinate Sarah Palin's visit to the state this weekend to headline the tea party event, confirmed Palin's visit is now officially "on hold". Beach told me she expects to know Palin's final plans later today. But she said regardless of whether Palin cancels her tea party appearance, she will still come to Iowa this weekend. Palin will likely either hold an event Friday night or Saturday for supporters with the Organize4Palin movement. Busloads of supporters had planned to come see Palin Saturday, so either way, Palin isn't planning on bailing at the last minute to disappoint those who have traveled across the country to see her.

The tea party event has been marred by problems ever since organizers first announced Monday that former Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell would speak before Palin at the event. Then organizers rescinded the invite. One said it was because there really wasn't an open speaking slot. But another had said organizers had received dozens of emails from tea partiers complaining about the O'Donnell addition. But then last night, organizers changed their mind yet again and re-invited O'Donnell. O'Donnell accepted the re-invite. Following all of that, Palin is now trying to figure out whether she still wants to be a part of this. Beach said Palin will still go to New Hampshire Monday for the Tea Party Express event there (that same group is hosting Michele Bachmann in Des Moines tonight).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Palin Will Go from Iowa to New Hampshire

Now What? We knew Sarah Palin was headlining the Tea Party of America's event at the Indianola Balloon Field this Saturday. There is a conflicting mix of announcement rumors and skepticism about her visit. Her diehards think this will be THE announcement that she's running for president. Others question her desire to give up her lucrative life and ability to put together the organizational staffing and fundraising she would need to be a top-level candidate. Either way, this may fuel some of the talk even more. Palin will go to New Hampshire after her Iowa appearance, according to this release from the Tea Party Express.


The Tea Party Express - - is excited to announce that Governor Sarah Palin will once again be a part of the Tea Party Express national tour! Governor Palin has confirmed she will attend the Tea Party Express rally in Manchester, NH on Monday, where she will give brief remarks.

Chairman Amy Kremer said, “We are always thrilled to have Sarah Palin join one of our rallies. She is an electrifying figure in conservative politics and a hero to the tea party movement. We’ve been fortunate to have her at five of our past tea party rallies, including two of our biggest tour kickoffs. Governor Palin is a true tea party champion and knows she has an open invitation anytime!”

The Tea Party Express is in the midst of a 30-city tour themed “Reclaiming America,” which culminates in Tampa, FL for the Tea Party Presidential Debate hosted by CNN and Tea Party Express. The event in Manchester takes place on Monday, September 5th from 12pm-1:30pm, at the Veterans Square Park. More information can be found HERE.

Other high-profile figures who have confirmed attendance at various stops along the Tea Party Express route include presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer, and Thaddeus McCotter.

O'Donnell Coming to Iowa

Re-Do: I feel like I can hear the old guy at the ballpark..."Scooore-cards. Scoooore-cards. You can't follow the action without a scoore-card!" The Christine O'Donnell saga as taken yet another turn. First, Tea Party of America organizers confirmed today the 2010 Delaware Republican U.S. Senate nominee was coming to the event this Saturday in Indianola where Sarah Palin makes her "major announcement". Then hours later, the group said there was a scheduling problem and there was no slot available for O'Donnell. So she got dis-invited. Guess what? O'Donnell is supposedly back on the schedule. O'Donnell said this tonight in an email, "In Troublemaker (her new book) I talk about 'rising above it', and have humbly re-accepted the re-invitation to speak in Iowa."

Her staff said the group re-invited her, so she will be there.

Unless something changes again.

O'Donnell Speaking Appearance Canceled in Iowa

O'Disinvited: Tea Party of America organizers have changed their Saturday lineup twice, all within hours and involving just one person. Tuesday morning, the group said former Republican Delaware Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell would speak during its event featuring Sarah Palin at the Indianola Balloon Field. But then a few hours later, organizers announced O’Donnell wouldn’t be speaking after all. Founder Ken Crow said as of Monday his thought was, “I said, sure, why not? Bring her on”, when asked by O’Donnell’s staff whether she could speak.

But Crow claims he later figured out his group didn’t have an available speaking slot for O’Donnell, who is traveling the country on a speaking tour for her new book. Crow said his group didn’t disinvite O’Donnell for her recent abrupt decision to walk off during a live televised interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. He said the decision also has nothing to do with other bad press O’Donnell has received since her now infamous “I am not a witch” campaign commercial last fall. Rather Crow blames the change on miscommunication between his people and hers. He said, “It’s pretty simple. There's a lot of confusion on a lot of people's parts and we and I didn't have our ducks in a row."

A spokesman for O’Donnell’s political action committee called me late Tuesday afternoon to say O’Donnell really isn’t sure what has changed. He said her staff had already been working on making arrangements for O’Donnell to take a red-eye flight to Des Moines from Las Vegas, where she was scheduled to give a speech Friday evening. That was the only way to get her to Indianola in time for the speaking slot around 1pm before Palin gave her speech. Being a mid-sized city, Des Moines has few options for direct flights from many other cities.

O’Donnell tweeted two messages about the late developments Tuesday afternoon. She wrote, “We were told things changed on their end, and I truly wish them the best with this important event.” And she wrote, “Was honored to be asked to speak at Iowa event Saturday, and changed my flight to make it work.”

Crow doesn't deny that not all his tea partiers were thrilled to have O’Donnell come. But he said he personally would have been fine with her speaking. He said, “You know, Dave, people get mad at everybody. There's people who don't want President Obama to come to a rally. There's people that don't want Sarah Palin to come to a rally."

But Saturday he still expects thousands to come to his rally to see Palin, even without her fellow tea partier, O’Donnell, by her side.

Saturday's event has already been moved from Waukee to the Indianola Balloon Field to make room for the expected crowd.

O'Donnell Out, Sanders In

Balloon Pops: The Indianola Balloon Field is a popular spot for the next few weeks. Sarah Palin's coming to the Tea Party of America event there Saturday. So is Christine O'Donnell. Oh, wait, no, she's not. We heard this morning O'Donnell, the defeated Tea Party-backed, Republican U.S. Senate candidate who got beaten badly last year in Delaware, would also speak before the group's event. But that's all changed. Ken Crow, one of the founders of the Tea Party of America, said there's been a scheduling snafu and there's no room for O'Donnell on the speaking schedule. O'Donnell's in the middle of a national tour for her new book. But it's been plagued with some bad press. O'Donnell walked out of an interview during CNN's Piers Morgan.

So, as it sounds now, Palin should get most of the stage to herself at the event, where she's expected to make a "major announcement", according to Charlie Gruschow, another one of Tea Party of America's founders. For Palin fans, you have to hope her major announcement will not be the same type of major announcement we had here last week. Former New York Governor George Pataki was expected to make his major announcement at the Polk County Republicans summer picnic at the Iowa State Fairgrounds last Saturday. But the day before, he announced he wasn't running and he wasn't coming to the event. Hopefully, for Palin fans, Palin actually comes to the event Saturday instead of pre-announcing her news the day before.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, the Democrat, is quite familiar with the balloon field. He hosts his steak fry there every year. He just added to his guest list. He already booked Paul Begala, Bill Clinton's former adviser. Today, Harkin announced Vermont's Independent/Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders will also come to town that day. Here's Harkin's message to supporters about the addition:

I am sending you a quick note to share an exciting update about the upcoming Steak Fry.
I am thrilled to announce that my friend Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will be joining us at the 34th Annual Harkin Steak Fry. Back in December, Bernie's epic eight-hour Senate oration against extending the Bush tax cuts went viral on the Internet - and soon became the New York Times bestselling book "The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class."
While, he won't have time to reprise The Speech - you can count on Bernie to fire things up in short order!
Get your ticket for the 34th Harkin Steak Fry today!
And as a reminder, the legendary Paul Begala will deliver the keynote address. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, September 18th at the Balloon Field in Indianola.
Don't miss out on this lineup of great speakers, to get tickets and learn more about the Harkin Steak Fry, visit or call 515-277-9966
Thank you, and I hope to see you there!

United States Senator

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oklahoma Plane to Missouri and Texas

What's Going On???--My alma mater is in the middle of rumor central tonight. Here's why: a private plane with Oklahoma tail markings (is that what they call them?) has been doing a good bit of traveling today. It went from Norman to Columbia (home of my Missouri Tigers) and then back to Norman. Then it went on to College Station, Texas (home of Texas A & M) and then back to Norman and then back to Columbia tonight. What's the reason for all of this? And have they ever heard of a telephone, email or Skype?!

Here's a link to that details the trips.

Does this have anything to do with Missouri's previous desire to leave the Big 12 last year? What about A & M wanting to leave the Big 12 now? Does Oklahoma want out, too?

It's the talk of the message boards on tonight. Does it mean something is in the works or are the conspiracy theorists just going crazy tonight?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pataki Not for President

Pa-What The...?--I admit I went home a few days to Illinois for my niece's 1st birthday (Happy B-Day, Maddie!) and I'm just getting back. But what did I miss? When I left town Wednesday morning, former New York Governor George Pataki was running for president. The Polk County Republican Party expected a "major announcement" from Pataki during his appearance at the group's summer picnic at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. But all of a sudden the "major announcement" came before the picnic: Pataki isn't running for prez after all.

And people said his campaign 4 years ago was a short one. This one ended before it officially started. Here is the release I had waiting in my inbox:

Former New York Governor George Pataki Bows Out

Polk County GOP Picnic Sets Record Ticket Sales for Saturday Event

DES MOINES, IA: In overnight developments, former New York Governor George Pataki has informed Polk County (IA) Republican officials he will not be making an appearance at the Polk GOP Picnic on Saturday August 27.

The former three-term Governor from New York has also issued the following statement regarding weeks of speculation about a run for the Presidency(excerpted):

"Today, my family and I have reached the very difficult decision not to seek the office of President of the United States... While I have chosen not to run, I remain committed to the cause and will support a candidate who offers the vision, the ideas and the leadership to bring an end to America's debt crisis."

Polk County GOP Chairman Kevin McLaughlin said, "We regret that Governor Pataki has decided to forgo an Iowa appearance with Texas Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Congressman Ron Paul and U.S. Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, but we are still nearly sold out for Saturday's Picnic." You can still get tickets at 515-280-6438 or by emailing Tickets are $25 per person, students are $10. The event starts at the famed Jalapeno Pete's venue at 5 p.m.
Ron Paul's supporters have been complaining that he hasn't received his fair share of attention since he finished a close second in the Republican Party of Iowa's Straw Poll 2 weeks ago. With Pataki and that "major announcement" not getting in the way, we will see what kind of news Paul can make.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pataki for President

Pataki for President: The Polk County Republicans are getting some more company for dinner. Organizers heard back from the campaigns of Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Michigan Congressman Thad McCotter that both would attend. But this week the guest list has grown. Finance Director Darrell Kearney said he got a call from former New York Governor George Pataki’s people. Pataki was taking him up on the invite to appear at Saturday’s Second Annual Summer Picnic at Jalapeno Pete’s on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. And Kearney expects Pataki will make a major announcement. He said, “They told me I could not say he was a candidate. They told me that might come at the end of the week, implied they had a very important announcement to make.”

Pataki briefly explored a presidential run in the 2008 election. (I think the first time I ever interviewed him it happened at the fairgrounds in 2006).

Kearney said after he found out Pataki would come to the dinner he got a phone call announcing a change of plans for Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry’s spokesperson had told him previously Perry would not come to the dinner. But Tuesday morning, Kearney got a call to say Perry would come after all. Kearney, a long-time party activist, said, “A lot of times it takes only one candidate to start it rolling. Then, all of a sudden, all the other candidates feel they want to get in on the crowd.”

Kearney said he already heard back from the campaigns of Herman Cain and Rick Santorum that they wouldn't be attending. He said he still hadn't heard back from Michele Bachmann's people, so he has no idea what she is doing. Kearney said he also reached out to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's people but no response.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Governor's Job Creation Goal

Behind So Far: Halfway through his first year after returning to the governor’s office, Republican Terry Branstad is falling behind the pace he would need to create 200,000 jobs over the next 5 years to fulfill his often-repeated campaign pledge. Looking back at data from the Iowa Workforce Development covering Branstad’s first 6 months of employment reports (covering January through July), the state has added 14,400 non-farm jobs. Branstad would need the state to create 20,000 jobs over the time period to keep pace with the goal of his campaign pledge. Brandstad admitted, “We have a long ways to go. But I tell you we've hit the ground running and we're working very hard on it."

Tuesday morning, Branstad begins a 3 day, 14 city stop of cafes, community centers and businesses his office calls a “Jobs Tour”. Branstad said the tour gives him a chance to talk with Iowa businesses to find out what they need to expand the workforce, including removing regulations and restrictions that hinder job development. Branstad said, “The lieutenant governor and I will work to make economic development and jobs in Iowa our top priority."

Brian McCollum, of Des Moines, has been out of work since losing his job in January. He hopes to find work as a project manager and relies on job boards and networking to expand his chances. He isn’t counting on the governor’s tour to bring him a job. He said, “I think they have to be seen and heard. But at the same time, I have to think to myself, what's in it for me as the individual? What am I going to get out of this? I hate to be self-centered about this but how is this going to benefit me?”

McCollum isn’t discounting any politician’s efforts to seek a better business climate. But he won’t wait for government to bring a job to him. He said, “If I'm waiting for that, I'm going to be waiting a very, very long time. No. You've got to be proactive in what you're doing."

McCollum is already a little too familiar with life without a job. His wife lost her job 2 years ago. But he said she was fortunate to find a new one 4 months later, which gives him both hope and counsel as he goes through the process.

McCollum never misses a chance to network. He tries to make the most of his "down time" by organizing speakers for the Unemployed in Des Moines group that meets at Smokey Row in Des Moines. He also helps schedule and referee youth soccer.

He sent along his resume, which he hopes will help lead him to work as a project manager.

Brian E. McCollum

Seeking an opportunity in Project Management as a Project Coordinator, Project Manager One, or Business Analyst.

Related Qualifications
• Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
• 7 years of experience in a Project Management delivery environment
• Client based relationship management to meet project, stakeholder, and customer needs
• First and second tier interaction and support with external and internal IT staff resources
• Proven ability to foster and build professional relationships
• Client base included Insurance and Financial Services industries

Summary of Qualifications
15 years of experience in managing project activities in the Information Management, Printing and Publishing industries.

Professional Experience
Regulus Group / 3i Infotech May 2003 to December 2010
Project Coordinator/ Account Specialist
Primary point of contact for day to day client support in a document processing and statement printing industry. Relative experience.
• Supported Project Management in Client Project Integration. Worked with Regulus clients day-to-day that offered insight and knowledge to Project Management for operations, processing applications, business rules, testing, tracking, and closure. Worked as Project Manager for smaller projects, providing estimates for cost, change control , tracking and scheduling, budgeted cost, communication, regular status updates with clients, and project close.
• Recognized for leading effective management of day-to day business operations in the
absence of Relationship Management and Project Management.
• Partnered with clients to create agendas and criteria for client update calls, co- lead with Relationship Management to create and define short and long term objectives for future planning .
• Provided efficient administrative execution and communication of client and Regulus objectives to internal customers. Analyzed business processes and implemented improvements that positively impacted the customer experience and Regulus initiatives
• John Deere contract renewal- Collaborating with the Regulus Management team in the negotiation of their 10 year old contract. Provided analysis of existing and related new services to the management team. Included in the analysis was input on
the value and methods to eliminate long term data retention. This retention reduced
cost to the customer for reprinting of statements and enhanced data security.

Xerox-Midwest Document Systems July 2001-May 2003
Account Manager
Midwest Document Systems was a Premier Plus Xerox Sales Agency. Responsibilities for this agency included selling digital print solutions, color applications, software, and Analyst services business to business.

RR Donnelley & Sons May 2000 to May 2001
Account Manager
A Fortune 500 magazine and publications printer working with Meredith Publishing and its flagship publication Better Homes & Garden. Interacted and communicated with both external and internal customers working in a team environment to help develop alternate and more economical manufacturing plans. Also helped with cost control, quality issues, and insured contract standards.


Certified Associate in Project Management Project Management Institute
Project Management Basics Des Moines Area Community College
Project Management Exam Prep Des Moines Area Community College
A.A. Degree Des Moines Area Community College
Mailing Specialist Program United States Postal Service
Xerox Sales Training Leesburg Virginia

Relative Experience

President (current) & Vice President (2010) Mid-Iowa Soccer Officials Association (MISOA). MISOA represents 150 plus Soccer Officials in Central Iowa at the High School, College, Adult, Competitive, and Club levels.

Program Coordinator- Unemployed in Des Moines
Works with the Event Coordinator for this local networking group to ensure presentations and guest speakers are arranged for meetings.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cast Your Kernel Results

Corn Count: If corn kernels are any indication, President Barack Obama may have a tough year ahead. Sure, our Cast Your Kernel booth at the Iowa State Fair is far from scientific. But I don't recall a presidential vote so lopsided in the past. The president took 40% of the votes. The Republicans split 60% of the total. I'll be curious how these numbers look when we do this next year after knowing who the two party's nominees will be.

Now to the numbers...

Michele Bachmann has lead since day 1 and she follows up her Iowa Straw Poll win with a victory in our corn poll. She finished with 26%
Rick Perry has been on the move ever since he stopped by the fair. He made a big push the past 3 days and ends up at 23%
Ron Paul also made a late surge today and caught up with Mitt Romney with 15%
Sarah Palin finished in 5th place with 6% (yes, we included her, even though she'd not a declared candidate. Rudy Giuliani was in the mix, too).
Herman Cain came in 6th with 5%
We didn't let people vote for Tim Pawlenty after he dropped out of the race last Sunday. But his total of 3% still tied Rick Santorum.
After that, Newt Gingrich took 2%, along with Giuliani. You can see the full results here.

We had 40,267 votes. That's the second most all-time, second only to 2008. 48,865 people voted when Obama edged out John McCain 51-49%.

Interestingly, 4 years ago, voters went far more for Democrats than the Republicans. Does the big change the other direction this time mean something for the next election?

President on Vacation

Travel Plans: President Barack Obama is taking heat for taking his family on vacation. Should the man not take time "off"? (let's be honest, the president is never off the job). Should he have just picked a different place to go instead of Martha's Vineyard? Obviously, there are millions of Americans who can't afford to go there right now. Millions can never afford to travel to the place on the East Coast that brags about being chain-free: "No Starbucks, no Gap, no Wal-Mart" as it says on its website. Do people really begrudge the president for getting away from Washington? The numbers show he's not being a slacker compared to his predecessors, at least according to CBS Radio's Mark Knoller, who tracks these kinds of things. He said Obama has only taken about 1/3 of the vacation time off that George W Bush took, although Obama has taken about twice the time away as Bill Clinton did.

Is this just one of those distractions opponents talk about instead of pitching solutions to the huge problems the country faces? Or is it just that people are so p****d off about the economy that they don't want to see the president golfing and beaching, etc. at a sweet resort?


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Iowa Pilot Dies in KC Air Show

Breaking..Bryan Jensen, a pilot from Atlantic in western Iowa, died today during an air show in Kansas City. Onlookers captured the crash on video. Here's the story from our affiliate in Kansas City.

Palin in KC

Iowa Follow--As I mentioned in the previous post, Sarah Palin posted a new video that's all about Iowa. But tonight, I saw this column in the Kansas City Star that there are questions exactly what Palin did during her stop in KC. Palin wrote about her family at the Liberty Memorial. But the star's political columnist Steve Kraske writes that people don't recall seeing Palin ever showing up there. Weird.

Palin Video

Palin Probability: Is she or isn't she? Few politicians can draw a crowd like Sarah Palin can. My tired feet can testify to that (Although, technically is she a politician, since she doesn't hold office?). But can Palin turn her celebrity into candidacy and does she want to? She does seem to be one of those either you-really-love-her or you-really-don't-like-her-at-all kind of choices.

Have you seen her new video? It is shot during Palin's visit last week to the Iowa State Fair and it plugs her next trip to Iowa, too, on September 3rd. The video only re-ignites speculation she will run. Karl Rove didn't hurt things either when he predicted she would run.

The video includes part of our story about her that night, along with part of our interview with her, too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

King Questions Perry's Timing

One In, One Out: This weekend, Iowans saw one Republican presidential candidate get into the race and another one leave it. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty quit the race Sunday after a disappointing and distant 3rd place finish Saturday night in the Iowa Straw Poll. That's not the part of the weekend that has 5th District Republican Congressman Steve King shaking his head. It's the entrance of Texas Governor Rick Perry into the race that King isn't too thrilled about. King said, "There could not have been a worse time to do that in my opinion. And it had to be timed willfully to compete with the Straw Poll here in Ames."
Perry announced his candidacy in South Carolina and New Hampshire Saturday, the same day as the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames. King went on to say, "That may be subtle in Texas. But we got it here in Iowa."
King had good things to say about Michele Bachmann's win in the straw poll. He said, "She's put together a campaign that, at this point, it's historic, to, in 48 days, come as far as she has as a candidate to win in the Iowa Straw Poll. You can't be anything but delighted for her and what she's accomplished."
King isn't saying he's supporting Bachmann. At least not yet. He said he won't endorse anyone until after Labor Day, at the earliest.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

One Presidential Candidate to Appear at Iowa State Fair Parade

Paul on Parade: The Iowa State Fair starts Thursday, the same day as the nationally-televised debate of the Republican presidential candidates and 3 days before the Republican Party of Iowa's Straw Poll. The Iowa State Fair parade steps off Wednesday night in downtown Des Moines. A chance for presidential candidates to get their names/faces out before thousands more Iowans, right? But the fair spokesperson tells us only Ron Paul has a float for the parade. The Revolution rolls on...

Huckabee Playing for Cain and Pawlenty

Double Duty: Mike Huckabee played hard in the Republican Party of Iowa's Straw Poll in 2007 where he finished 2nd to Mitt Romney. It looks like he will be playing again. Music. And he isn't just picking one candidate's tent. So far we know he's helping out both Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty.

First, here's the release from Cain:

(Ames, IA)- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain today announced the entertainment for his booth at the Ames straw poll festivities on Saturday, August 13, 2011.

Cain will join Governor Mike Huckabee at noon at the Friends of Herman Cain tent to share their musical talents with straw poll attendees.

"I am honored to have the Governor join me on stage for this historic event," Cain said. "We share many commonalities, including the deepness of our Christian faith and our love of music," Cain said. "I am humbled by his graciousness to share his musical gifts with me and I hope Iowa voters will enjoy the show."

Both Cain and Governor Huckabee are supporters of the Fair Tax and both are Baptist ministers. Cain appeared on "Huckabee" on Saturday, May 28, 2011 on the FOX News Channel. He will appear on "Huckabee" again following the straw poll Saturday.

Straw poll goers will also enjoy fresh slices of pizza from Godfather's Pizza. Cain served as the President and CEO of Godfather's Pizza and, after a dramatic financial turnaround of the company, led his management team in a buyout of the restaurant chain.

"Godfather's is a true American success story. With the right leadership, we were able to take the company from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability in just 14 months," Cain said. "With 116 locations in Iowa alone, Iowans have come to know and love Godfather's as an institution in the state."

"While many candidates will bring in outside entertainment and food, I have chosen to create a personal experience for straw poll goers," Cain said. "Both music and Godfather's have been essential components in the achievement of my American Dream, and I am honored to share them with thousands of friends at Ames."

Former American Idol contestant and Tea Party singer Krista Branch will also perform at the Friends of Herman Cain tent, singing her singles "I Am America," "Foreign Land," "Remember Who We Are," among others. Local Iowa bands, Kat Daddy 55 and One Way Quartet will also perform.

And here is the tweet from Pawlenty advisor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

SarahHuckabeeSarah Huckabee

by GovMikeHuckabee

My dad @govmikehuckabee will be playing with Sonicflood and the Nadas @timpawlenty's tent at the Ames Straw Poll on Sat! Very excited!

Culver Team Getting Together

Culver Gathering: Chet Culver is getting the band back together. The former Iowa governor started his own business, The Chet Culver Group, as a consultant after losing his re-election effort for governor last November. Culver later got nominated to serve as a board member to Farmer Mac. But the U.S. Senate still has to confirm him. That won't be a problem, right? Everything is working SOOOOO smoothly in Congress these days. But Culver has to knock out some remaining debt he has from his political campaign. So Culver is hosting a "reunion" gathering next Monday in Des Moines. It's for former staffers and volunteers and it would probably be o.k. if people wanted to chip in a few bucks to get rid of that debt.

Here's the invite notice:

Join us as we get the band back together to retire campaign debt, renew old friendships and launch Gov. Culver to his new role

Monday, August 15 v 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Lucca Restaurant in the East Village
420 East Locust, Des Moines

Price of Admission-$50 per person

Questions or to RSVP v Call 515.661.4601

Paid for by the Chet Culver Committee

Rick Perry vs. Rick Parry

Perry Parody: Well, well, well, won't this be interesting? Texas Governor Rick Perry will let people know Saturday he's running for president. He'll do it in South Carolina. Yes, I said Saturday, the same day as the Republican Party of Iowa's Straw Poll in Ames. Good way to get some attention away from the candidates competing in the straw poll, wouldn't you say? Perry will get some votes at the straw poll. The pro-Perry group, Americans for Rick Perry, is working to get him some write-in votes. This year the party allows write-in votes. Pro-Perry people have also been running ads pushing him as a better alternative than the current field of Republican candidates. Here's one from Jobs for Iowa:

But, now these Perry ads are about to get some competition from a man with the same name, just a different spelling. Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert's SuperPAC organization is starting some ads Wednesday in Des Moines. It is pushing for Rick Parry, yes, spelled with an "a", instead of an "e". Colbert announced it on his show last night. I can't find the full ad anywhere and Colbert said the only way to see it is to "move to Des Moines".

Here's the clip.

Another Cast Your Kernel?

Corn Copier: I knew we should have trademarked our "Cast Your Kernel" theme at the Iowa State Fair. O.K., I'm kidding. But only sort of. This is our 6th year, I believe, of having people vote with a corn kernel. They drop one into a Mason jar for the favorite candidate. HBO featured it in the movie about Barack Obama's presidential campaign. He stopped by and voted. This summer we are doing the presidential race again. In 2007, we had nearly 49,000 votes. Just stop by our booth in front of the administration building on the grand concourse. You know you want to.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Latham Holds Early Straw Poll Vote

Logging In: Iowa 4th District Congressman Tom Latham apparently didn't want to wait for the results of the straw poll. He started his own on-line straw poll vote. It's not scientific, of course, and it doesn't match the party's actual straw poll ballot. For example, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is listed as a choice on Latham's vote, but not on the party's straw poll ballot. So are Sarah Palin and Rick Perry.

Latham's office said more than 3,700 people voted on the site at last check. It won't say which candidate is winning. But it does add nice little tease. It says there are 2 front runners. And one of them would surprise people. Hmmm. A surprise? Any guesses?

They will announce the on-line straw poll results on the morning of straw poll Saturday.

Geithner Staying on as Treasury Secretary

Staying Put: It couldn't have been a good week...or a good month...or likely a good year for Timothy Geithner. The treasury secretary had to sweat it out as Congress screwed around, arguing back and forth, about whether to lift the debt ceiling. Would the U.S. default on its loans? Congress finally agreed on a deal to raise the debt level this past week. But then Friday night, Standard & Poor's lowed the country's credit rating, an historic move, citing all the political bickering going on in Washington, along with the fact Congress didn't put added revenues into the compromise. The White House confirmed today Geithner will not quit his post, as had been rumored.

This comes after Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called for the president to fire Geithner. I haven't found any other candidate to make that call.

Boil Order in Grimes

Boil Order: Don't drink the water in Grimes, unless you boil it first. The culprit: fecal bacteria. Here's the release from the city of Grimes:

City of Grimes has issued a BOIL ORDER


Fecal coliform [or E. coli] bacteria were found in the water supply on August 3, 2011. These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.

What should I do?

• DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

• Fecal coliforms and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

During our routine bacteriological testing one of five samples came back positive for coliform which triggered additional sampling. The original positive site came back clean, however another positive site came up positive for total coliform which triggered this action. It is of our belief that these negative results are isolated to the sampling sites and sampling methods but this precaution must be taken. We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within 48 hrs.

For more information, please contact Grimes Water at 515-202-9028, email at or mailing at 1801 N. James. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800) 426-4791.

FYI - Because our permit was expanded the number of testing sites throughout Grimes was expanded and two new sites were added on. One of the sites was on North James. The sample was taken from an OUTSIDE faucet and the test result came back positive for Fecal Coliform. This prompted another series of testing and the house right next door to the one that came back positive was tested again using the OUTSIDE faucet. This one came back negative for Fecal Coliform but positive for Total Coliform. Total Coliform in itself doesn't prompt a boil order but because there had been a prior positive test for Fecal Coliform the two combined necessitated a violation and a mandatory notice requirement. Additional testing will be done using INSIDE faucets and we will know those results in 36-48 hours.

PLEASE NOTE - only one site was contaminated and it was an OUTDOOR faucet. The rest of the samples were fine.

ALSO NOTE - OUTDOOR faucets will not ever be used again (although it is allowed but not ideal) as they can harbor unknown contaminants and bacteria growths especially in warm or hot weather.

The DNR said that door-to-door flyers are not mandated and to use whatever methods we would normally use to distribute any other public notice information.

All three major tv stations will be notified as well as list serve and Facebook.

Here is the official LONG notice –


Grimes water is contaminated with [fecal coliform] or [E. coli] BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING Fecal coliform [or E. coli] bacteria were found in the water supply on August 3, 2011. These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.

What should I do?

· DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

· Fecal coliforms and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

· The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.

What happened? What is being done?

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.

During our routine bacteriological testing one of five samples came back positive for coliform which triggered additional sampling. The original positive site came back clean, however another positive site came up positive for total coliform which triggered this action. It is of our belief that these negative results are isolated to the sampling sites and sampling methods but this precaution must be taken. We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within 48 hrs.

For more information, please contact Grimes Water at 515-202-9028, email at or mailing at 1801 N. James. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800) 426-4791.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Former Ft. Dodge Police Officer Arrested

Serious Charge: A former Fort Dodge police officer could be in a whole lot of trouble with the law. Galin Hindt, a 7-year veteran, is accused of coming up to a woman at a Ft. Dodge bar in April, according to a story in the Fort Dodge Messenger. The paper reports he told her that unless she let him take her home, he would bust her for driving drunk. The paper said Hindt then took the woman to his apartment and forced himself on her. The woman escaped after he fell asleep, according to the report. Hindt quit his job on the force two days after the woman told authorities what she said happened that night.

Here's the release, which has far less information than the newspaper:
Fort Dodge, Iowa --- This morning, 46 year old Galen Hindt of Fort Dodge, Iowa, was charged with Extortion and 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse after an extensive investigation into an incident on April 6, 2011.

Galen Hindt is a former police officer for the Fort Dodge Police Department.

On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 the Fort Dodge Police Department received information Officer Hindt was a suspect in the sexual abuse of a Fort Dodge citizen. To maintain the integrity of the investigation and avoid a potential conflict of interest, the Fort Dodge Police Department requested the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) conduct the investigation into this incident.

Hindt resigned from the Fort Dodge Police Department on Friday, April 8, 2011.

Hindt turned himself in to the Webster County Jail at approximately 8:00 AM on Saturday, August 6, 2011. He appeared before a judge soon after, and was released on his own recognizance.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Santorum Questions Bachmann and Paul's Congressional Leadership

Leadership Lacking: Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum isn’t saying how he would have voted on the debt deal in Washington. He would just say it needed a balanced budget amendment and more spending cuts. Santorum, a former member of Congress, said if he were still in Congress, he thinks he could have influenced the debate to better the bill. He said, “I’d like to think, unlike some of the other presidential candidates who are there (in Congress), I would like to think I would have had an impact on the process and from everything I can see, they had no impact on the process."

Santorum questioned the effectiveness of fellow candidates and current members of Congress, Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann and Texas’ Ron Paul. Both had pushed for Congress to refrain from raising the debt ceiling, a concept heavily criticized by many other candidates, members of Congress and economists. Santorum said their idea is impractical because there’s no way to achieve enough immediate cuts to avoid adding to the debt without drastic reductions. Santorum questioned the leadership of the two. He said, “I question whether the people who say they want to be leaders in the country...well, here's a big, probably one of the biggest issues this country's facing...and they weren't a leader in Congress. So why should we elect people who can't leader in Congress to lead the country?"

I talked with Santorum during stop number 2 of the day at WHO Radio (after a late night in eastern Iowa and an early morning stop in Indianola today). He appeared on conservative host Jan Mickelson's 9am broadcast, although Jan is off. Jamie Johnson filled in, the same Jamie Johnson who serves as Santorum's state coalitions director in Iowa. Johnson told listeners several times during the interview that Jan actually booked Santorum for the day. He didn't. But station management had asked him if he wanted to fill in as host for the day. And, so, of course, he said, yes.