Author Archive for Justin Arnold

Mr. Arnold is a long time constitutional conservative. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa. Over the last few years he has been involved in numerous political campaigns, most recently serving as campaign manager for an Iowa House candidate and serving as a city chair for Tom Latham. He is self-employed, running a small business in Ankeny, Iowa where he resides with his wife.

Ed. Reform Bill: A Failure of Policy & Politics

Iowa HouseSoon after the final votes of the Iowa legislative session were taken late last week, many legislators from both Parties took to multiple media platforms trumpeting the “historic” and “sweeping” positive reforms they had just passed.  I would love to fully concur—and if I happened to be a Democrat I certainly would—but as a Conservative Republican I am less than impressed with some of these “achievements”.

Of the three major compromises reached I believe, at the most, Conservatives should be “somewhat satisfied” by the understandable terms reached on tax reform and health insurance coverage.  However, I am deeply disappointed by what has passed as “reform” in Iowa’s K-12 education system.  The following will focus on education reform and later in the week we will deal …


What Are Iowa Republicans Looking For In A Senate Candidate?

mystery candidateThere is one certainty about the pool of voters who will decide the impending Republican Senate Primary–they won’t necessarily be the “average” Iowan.  Some of the folks who show up to the polls on June 3rd, 2014 will surely be disaffected Independents (and some meddling Democrats), but the bulk of voters will be fairly hardcore Republicans and single issue activists.  This group will have a specific set of traits they are looking for in a candidate, so the question is what are they?

The focus here today will not be on issues, policy prescriptions, and deeply-held core beliefs–we will get into that down the road–but rather on the more admittedly surface level of broad characteristics.  I believe that the candidate who emerges will be a …


Term Limits In Iowa: A Policy Proposal

Cronstal 1st yearIOne of my favorite self-coined terms is “legi-saurs”.  As you may guess it refers to politicians at all levels of government who get elected–and then never go away.

Like many on the right I am convinced this semi-permanent presence in the halls of power is a destructive one in politics.  These careers start innocently enough.  The member actually has a job in the private sector, lives as a normal citizen, and regardless of ideology brings fresh ideas and solutions to the table.  But in most cases, over time, they eventually detach from the economy by not working  outside the Capitol, they develop grudges against their colleages, their ideas and thinking become stale, and they learn to play the legislative process like a game.

Here in


Braley Votes Again For Obamacare—Why This One Was Worse Than The First

Bruce B.Yesterday the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted once again to repeal Obamacare in full—a vote that passed 229-115 on party-lines besides two democrats who crossed over.  Not the least bit surprising was that Rep. Bruce Braley once again voted in favor of Obamacare—but my how much different this must have felt than his first vote for it three years ago.

A Different Landscape

Besides the obvious fact that Braley is now a U.S. Senate candidate, a variety of things made yesterday’s vote a much bigger political gamble.

Consider this, on the day the Senate passed Obamacare through the Reconciliation process—March 25th 2010—the Real Clear Politics approval rating for Congress was a shocking 17.4% approve to 77% disapprove.  As bad as that seems, at that time


Another Potential Scandal Brewing In Iowa’s Education System

Iowa map educationWith a sweeping education reform package currently being worked on by a bi-partisan Conference Committee at the Statehouse, some potentially damaging information about how the state is representing student achievement is coming to light.  Late last week the citizen group Iowalive released a report that would, if true, give all Iowa parents and legislators cause for grave concern.

The crux of the report is Iowalive’s claim that the standards our Department of Education is using to report student proficiency levels is misleading.  This, according to the group, stems from Iowa having adopted a lower standard to measure student learning called the “40th National Percentile Rank”.  This current set of standards was adopted a decade ago by the then Governor Vilsack administration and is different from …


South Carolina Republicans Embarrass GOP

sanford 2Last Week Steven Colbert said the results of Tuesday’s special election to fill a South Carolina House seat ‘scared him to his core’—I couldn’t agree more.

Of course he was referring to disgraced Republican Governor Mark Sanford completing his political comeback by beating Colbert’s sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch (54% to 45%) on Tuesday night.  Sanford’s victory came despite him being less than four years removed from weaving a web of lies that included cheating on his wife and leaving the country during his term as governor to be with his mistress.

What were they thinking?

The only justification for voting en mass for such a man was that palmetto Republicans didn’t at all like Ms. Colbert Bush.  I’m not saying I blame them since even …


An Explanation of the Republican Party’s District Executive Committees

Chad Brown(The following is a guest piece from Polk County GOP Co-Chair Chad Brown)

The political season in Iowa never ends, and the county leadership of Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District is on the move to organize. The harder we work to organize the counties, both Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District and RPI will grow in strength. Some of my activist friends have wanted an explanation of the District Executive Committees, so I wrote this explanation to detail their role.

District Executive Committees have traditionally been a vital ingredient to the success of the Republican Party in Iowa. Their important role is detailed in the RPI Constitution. Traditionally, the Republican Party is built as a grass roots Party that was always strong because it had a firm foundation …


Braley Sits For Interview — Makes Outlandish Claim

Deeth and Braley  2 crop

 

Last week liberal blogger John Deeth scored an interview with Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley as he embarks on a bid for the U.S. Senate.  Though you may not agree with Deeth often on policy (or ever)—he is an excellent writer out of Iowa City and he knows his stuff.

Most of the interview was standard liberal fare (read here), but on the topic of immigration reform Braley made a pair of false claims, the second of which was a real whopper that could haunt him later in this campaign.

Why No Reform?

When asked generally what’s happening with immigration reform and how it will be resolved Braley said this:

“One word has kept us from having meaningful immigration reform, and that word


The Big Domino Falls: Steve King To Stay In U.S. House

steve kingFrom this point forward the Republican quest to replace Tom Harkin just got more interesting.  With King removed from the picture the next batch of announcements we get will be declarations and not withdrawals.

I was never one to think Republicans needed King in the race to win the seat, and in fact have been lukewarm on his chances.  I truly believe that a relative newcomer on the scene has a better shot at shoring up the base while still pulling a majority of Independents–which in turn will bring victory.

Prediction wise, don’t be surprised if the list of candidates who decide to run is very, very short.  I would not be shocked if only 2 names of the 6 or so being thrown …


Bill Northey Says No To U.S Senate Race

bill northey 2It appears the allure of having your name on every fuel pump in Iowa has proved to be too much for Bill Northey to give up.

Today Mr. Northey officially removed himself from the potential candidate pool.  Though many speculated, few insiders ever saw him making a run as probable.  I have seen him speak at several political events and he seems like a genuinely nice guy.  Having said that, the perceived strength of his candidacy that many shared was somewhat surprising to me.  Though Bruce Braley is certainly beatable, it is going to take a bold candidate capable of stirring up some real passion to pull it off.  I am not certain this would have been a strength for him, and I could be …


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