Wayne Ford is Right!

My friend, Ted over at The Real Sporer has a post about Democratic  Rep Wayne Ford from IA House District 65. It seems that Rep. Ford is at it again, stirring the pot about race issues in Iowa. This time the target is the Iowa State Fair. According to the Des Moines Register, Ford is concerned that the entertainment lineup at the fair includes two minorities among the twenty scheduled performers. Two out of twnety, that is 10%.

Readers may not know that I am a minority myself. My father was an African-Chinese mix from Jamaica and my mother was from Guam. So as a minority (and a mathematician by training) I  have to agree with Rep. Ford. The numbers simply are not proportionate.

The last full census, done in 2000, showed the Iowa population breaking down into:

White Black American Indian
Native Alaskan
Asian Native Hawaiian
Pacific Islander
96.14% 2.51% 0.63% 1.48% 0.08%

The 2005  numbers show a little change but the total white population remains over 95%. So when I do the calculation, 5% of 20 is 1. Therefore Rep. Ford is right — the State Fair must be racist, since the headline acts do not represent the demographic makeup of Iowa.

The state fair clearly has one too many minority act. I think that we should replace Corbin Bleu with Taylor Swift.

Reed Wins (there will not be a recount)

I received an email today from the Eichhorn campaign. In the email Eichhorn urges us to:

… come together behind our Presidential nominee, Senate nominee, our Congressional nominees and our local candidates.
It is critical that we win our races at the federal and local levels.
There is so much at stake.

There will not be a recount, there will not be a convention battle, our Senate nominee is Christopher Reed.

First things first, we need to get through this flooding. We need to take care of ourselves and our neighbors. Once we get through this disaster, we Republicans need to unite behind our candidates and work together for victory in the fall.

The Linn County GOP Convention

When Linn County expanded the number of supervisors from three to five this year, it created an opportunity for Republicans to get elected to county office. For many years, Supervisor Lumir Dostal was the only Republican in Linn County government.

This fall,  former Senator Mary Lundby, R-Marion, was widely considered the favorite in her race for Supervisor District 4. With Lundby out of the race, the Linn County Convention will have to re-convene to select a challenger for Central City Mayor Don Gray.

Reed wins! (unless there is a recount)

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Christopher Reed remains in the lead after the canvass by the county auditors. After the canvass the results are:

Candidate votes %
Christopher Reed 24,916 35.26
George Eichhorn 24,392 34.52
Steve Rathje 21,106 24.87

Under Iowa law, a candidate must have 35% of the vote to win a primary. After the canvass, Reed has the required 35%.

The ball is now in the Eichhorn camp — they can still call for a recount. Eichorn would not have to beat Reed, he would only need for Reed’s percentage to drop below 35%, sending the nomination to this weekend’s GOP State Convention.

I am not a lawyer but there is an interesting wrinkle. Should the race go to the convention, the nomination is wide open. The convention could nominate anyone, not just one of the three declared candidates.

The GOP State Convention

I always enjoy the State Convention. The State Convention is an opportunity to see many of my political friends and make new ones. We get to hear our candidates and elected officials and their vision for our party, our state and our nation. It is a great way to get fired up for the election season.

This year’s convention should be an interesting one. First, there remains the possibility that the convention will select a candidate for US Senate. The vote canvass should be going on right now but an interesting wrinkle is that flooding may have an effect on the canvass. As one example, the Floyd County courthouse (Charles City) is underwater. I am not sure what the next steps are but this could be the big event at the convention.

Second, Phyllis Kelly is not seeking re-election as National Committeewoman. As of now there are at least three candidates seeking the position. This position is critical in maintaining Iowa’s First in the Nation Caucuses. It should be interesting.

Third, Friday night, the congressional districts will each meet and select their 3 delegates and 3 alternates to the Republican National Convention. I am hearing that there may be more candidates than usual for these positions.

Fourth, on  Saturday, the convention will consider the State Platform. If the Second Congressional District is any indication, there could be more amendments than ever. In the years that I have served on county, district and state platform committees, I have rarely seen even twenty amendments to the platform. This year in the Second District we had closer to seventy. Expect a very spirited platform discussion.

Fifth, Krusty called it Sporer’s Battle Kry. Polk County GOP Chairman and former State Central Committee member Ted Sporer has a post on his blog entitled Unity for real change in a time of real change. I am in Kansas this week but I saw at Battleground Iowa that Ted was on Steve Deace’s radio show last night. I will not repeat all of the issues that Ted mentions but he starts the post by saying:

We have seven days until the 2008 Republican State Convention will come to order. The Convention is our biennial opportunity to come together and discuss the state of the Republican Party in Iowa.

I am not sure what form this discussion will take, but if it occurs, we all need to be there.

See you in Des Moines!

RPI and the Senate Primary Recount

Earlier this week, Battleground Iowa posted that RPI Chairman Stew Iverson was soliciting support from State Central Committee members to pay for a recount in the US Senate Primary. They later retracted and said that they had posted this information in error.

Today, Ted over at The Real Sporer has a post about SCC treasurer Gopal Krishna refusing to sign checks for recounts in the US Senate and 2nd District primaries.

As a Republican and SCC member, I was concerned when I saw the initial Battleground Iowa post. I made some calls and now that Ted has broken the story, I will comment.

I think it would be inappropriate for RPI to pay for recounts in either election. It is unseemly because it gives the impression that RPI is trying (especially in the Senate primary) to help the establishment candidate over the upstart newcomer.

Long before I was elected to the SCC I had expressed concern about members publicly endorsing candidates in contested primaries. I think it hurts our party, discourages grassroots activists and allows candidates to question how fairly they will be treated by the party.

Even if this were a good idea, the appropriate way to make such a critical policy decision would have been to call a special meeting of SCC rather than the chairman or staff acting unilaterally.

In case no one noticed, there is a lot of frustration out there with RPI and the SCC. I and others were elected as outsiders and reformers to help address these issues. Even the appearance of favoritism on the part of the party in our primaries hurts us in the long run.

I am pleased to see that Gopal was willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue. If the Eichorn or Teahen campaign wishes to call for a recount — I would not be at all concerned. It is the potential state party involvement that concerns me.

When I was elected to the SCC in the 2nd Congressional District, I promised that:

… during my tenure on the State Central Committee, I will neither seek nor accept a paid staff or consultant position with any campaign or PAC, nor will I publicly endorse any candidate in a contested primary.

Despite what anyone else does — I intend to keep this promise.

Teahen will not call for recount

The Des Moines Register and Cedar Rapids Gazette are reporting this  morning that there will not be a recount in the 2nd Congressional District race. Barring any major surprises in next week’s official canvass, the Teahen camp announced that they will not call for a recount.

The good news for those of us in the 2nd District is that we now have a candidate, and we can focus on, as Miller-Meeks puts it, sending Loebsack back to school.