Happy Veterans Day

Remember, Freedom i s not Free. Today finds my two sons on active duty safely stateside but our adopted son Chris is starting a deployment with the Marines in Afghanistan.

Not just today, but every day, thank those who have served.

We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in.

— General Colin Powell

Election Night Winners 5/10

Fifth in a series of commentaries on election night winners.

Steve Deace — People have a love-h ate relationship with Steve Deace, they either love him or hate him. I am not even sure which category I am in. His talk WHO talk show Deace in the Afternoon has become extremely influential in conservative circles.

During the campaign I felt that Deace was overly critical of Senator Grassley. Now, I do not agree with the senator on every issue, but listening to his questioning of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court reminded me why Chuck Grassley is one of the good guys.

Deace was one of the leading voices in Iowa for removal of the three Supreme Court Justices. He also put Kent Sorenson and Kim Pearson on the map. All in all I would say that Steve Deace had a good election night.

Now, I have not really met Steve in person but I think he and I might just get along.

Election Night Winners 4/10

Fourth in a series of commentaries on election night winners.

Matt Strawn — After a couple of unsuccessful chairmanships, Hoffman who resigned under fire and Stew Iverson whose tenure at RPI was strained, Matt Strawn could hardly do any worse. Instead, Strawn has managed to be a new kind of chairman. During his tenure he established excellent relationships with both the House and Senate GOP caucuses. He remained on message and in-sync with our elected officials.

During the campaign he was the visible face of the Iowa GOP. Matt has a good understanding of the press and he seemed to be everywhere at once. Presiding over a Victory Plan during an election like this, Matt’s star is certainly on the rise.

It is no secret that he is a young man with ambition. When Matt was running for chairman, some were critical saying that he was too ambitious. My response was, that ambition will be a tremendous incentive to deliver as chairman. Too often the position of RPI chairman has been the last stop before retirement in a political career. Whether he runs for chairman again, Matt’s political career is anything but over.

Election Night Winners 3/10

Third in a series of commentaries on election night winners.

Stew Iverson — Overshadowed  by the other events of the night, Tuesday saw a political comback. After serving as Senate Majority leader and tumultuous term as RPI chairman, Stew Iverson has staged a comeback. Representative Iverson is now back in the legislature representing HD 9. I got to know Stew while serving on the State Central Committee. I like Stew, it’s good to see him back.

Election Night Winners 2/10

Second in a series of commentaries on election night winners.

Brent Oelson —  You would have to live in Linn County to understand why Brent Oelson was a big winner last night. Up until last night, Brent was the only elected GOP county official in Linn County. I am not just talking about supervisiors, I mean all county officials.

Brent was instrumental in recruiting Palo Mayor John Harris to run against 16 year Democrat incumbant, Jim Houser. Despite a battle with cancer in the waning days of the campaign, Harris, who oversaw the re-building of Palo after the 2008 flood squeked out a victory. Brent may be a contrarian on the Board of Supervisors but he will not be the only one.

After living in Linn County for nearly 20 years I can scarcely belive that we now have 2 of 5 Republican supervisers. Great job Brent!

Election Night Winners 1/10

First in a series of commentaries on election night winners.

The Iowa GOP Establishment — Whether you consider ‘establishment’ to be a perjorative or a compliment, the Iowa GOP Establishment was a big winner last night. There is no more establishment candidate than Terry Branstad. A quick look at his transition team and you see David Roederer, Jeff Boeyink and Tim Albrecht. It would be hard to assemble a more establishment group than this one.

Boeyink brings experience from successful tenures from RPI and Iowans for Tax Relief. He is professional, capable and connected. Albrecht is the founder of the Drudge-like TheBeanWalker.com, he has excellent political instincts and understands both old and new media. Roederer is sometimes painted by conservatives as evil and while I don’t always agree with his politics, he is capable, committed, intelligent, thoughtful and surpsisingly witty.