I attended this morning’s 2010 Republican Legislative Kickoff Breakfast. At least 200 people, including legislators, party leaders, lobbyists and candidates were in attendance. The event was opened by Jim Kurtenbach, Iowa Republican Party Co-chair. Brief speeches were given by:
- Steve King, US House District 5 Representative. Â Invocation and some comments. Â He acknowledged that the results of our work are in God’s hands.
- Linda Upmeyer , Iowa House Republican Whip. Â She reminded us to pray, work to get volunteers on campaigns, and raise the financial resources needed to win.
- Kraig Paulsen , Iowa House Republican Leader. Â He commented that he has a lot of love in his trunk, plus a few sticks of dynomite.
- Steve Kettering, Iowa Senate Republican Whip, Â He said “A comeback for Republicans is a comeback for all Iowans!”
- Paul McKinley, Iowa Senate Republican Leader. Â Paul related a story about meeting some US Department of Labor employees in New York who stayed at the Ritz Carlton at the government’s expense… their comment: “It’s a new day!”.
- Matt Strawn, Iowa Republican Party Chair. Â “Iowans have gotten a taste of what a Democrat dominated government is like” and “we have solutions”.
Through out the speeches, a consistent message of satisfaction that all Iowa Republicans in the 2009 voted consistently with the party, that we cannot support a budget that exceeds revenue, that we need to give Iowans the right to vote on the definition of Marriage, labor unions cannot be allowed to destroy Iowa businesses, and that Democrats are extremely vulnerable.
I was honored to sit next Royd Chambers from Sheldon, who was deployed with the Iowa Air National Guard to Kyrgyzstan during the 2009 session. I was also seated next to Bill Northey, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture. I had a good chat with Bill about the upcoming budget work in his department, and it sounds like everyone is putting the nose to the grindstone!
Governor Branstad was there, as well as Bob Vander Plaats. I’m assuming the Rod Roberts and Chris Rants were also there, but I did not get a chance to see them. Other candidates that I happened to see included:
- George Eichhorn, running for Secretary of State
- Dave Funk, Brad Zaun (Iowa Senator from Urbandale), and Mark Rees, all three running for US House District 3
- Chris Reed and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, both running for US House District 2
I saw Dave Vaudt as well… Tom Latham was not able to attend the event.
Overall, the event was encouraging and a great opportunity to connect with folks I had not seen in a while. Â Although Republicans are in the minority, our legislators are ready to do the hard work of helping reduce unnecessary spending and fight for Iowans rights.