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2010 Iowa General Assembly Preview

2010 Iowa General Assembly Preview

gavelMonday is the first day of the 2010 session of the Iowa Legislature.  Over the past month or so I’ve had an opportunity on my internet radio show The Conservative Reader Report to discuss the upcoming session with a few local Republican House Members, including Peter Cownie, Erik Helland, and Chris Hagenow.  All of them had the same message we’ve been hearing via the press: this year’s session will be about the Budget.

These Republicans also stated their support for giving Iowan’s the right to vote for a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage, despite the fact that it appears unlikely such an opportunity will exist in the 2010 session. Mike Grandstall has already stated that he will not allow a bill that will define marriage as one man and one woman.  The liberal media is all about calling it discriminatory and that it is “against same-sex marriage”, but the biggest furor should be over one simple thing: Democrats being “against”  the right of Iowans to vote on this important issue.  It is ironic that the Democratic Party, the supposed party of “Yes”, is now the party of “No”.  And this on something less trivial than the typical money spending that Republicans typically try to stop, but on a most fundamental right of Iowans, and clearly desired by a majority of Iowans, to vote on this issue directly.  Instead, the majority party chooses to abrogate the rights of Iowans.

Also on the table are potential opportunities to bring back some labor union priorities, Fair Share apparently being on top of the Governor’s list (he and other Dems owe the unions a lot, and they have not done much to deliver so far).  Other priorities include Prevailing Wage, and Doctor Shopping.

Getting back to the budget, it was encouraging to see today’s Des Moines Register editorial recommending, along with “preserving healthcare for low-income Iowans”, among other things, that the Legislature take a hard look at Tax Credits and consolidation, but most important:

“…the discussion also should include suggestions about what state government can do without…”

How long can it take to figure this one out?  And the Register even made some good suggestions:

“…the Power Fund? Economic-development programs? Services that could be turned over to private contractors?”

And they said, (gasp!) that schools would have to get by with less!

This is certainly a start.  Perhaps the approach that the Editors are seeking is to “make a list and lets see what we can drop to get the budget balanced”.  The notion that budgeting is a hard process involving a balance between what we can afford and what we want is the unfortunate result of coveting what others have.  Greed and selfish desire drive this kind of thinking.

Unfortunately, our current legislature and administration’s thinking about the role of government is that it exists to make sure everyone gets their share of the pie… that everything that has ever looked like a legitimate government service or department must be viable.  Try to stuff everything into a bag, and then pull out a few odds and ends to make it fit the budget.

The typical conservative view is that government exists to address the real needs of the people that cannot be filled by individuals and business or non-profits.  Life (defense, security, emergency services), liberty (justice, rule of law), and property/pursuit of happiness (infrastructure, free-market capitalism).  Most of what government needs to address can be fit in these categories.  Some would say that anything on top of that is optional.  But why should they be optional?  All that does is promote the idea that there is a government trough available at least in good times, and as we’ve seen, also in bad times.

Our government should stop spending money on things that that the government simply does not need to be doing and can instead be done by business, non-profits and individuals on their own.  Instead, our government will continue to bloat because everyone seeks the opportunity for free money from the government.  What is needed is real discipline.

And don’t believe that your taxes won’t get raised… as long as the Legislature is unable to bring spending down to an appropriate level they will need to find ways to “raise revenue”… that is, raise taxes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I might take some heat for this.  I agree that the NRA recommendations for changes to Iowa handgun laws would be beneficial to the citizens of the state, and I hope we can get them brought through the legislative process soon.  However, I also agree with the Register that in 2010, this will simply be a distraction.  And in 2010, with a Democratically controlled Assembly, we probably won’t see it pass anyhow.  It would be best to wait until 2011 when the balance of power is likely to shift back to the right a bit.

However, I don’t take the same position on the Marriage Amendment.  It would not hurt to allow this to hit the floor and get discussed and voted on in both houses this year… it will still need to be approved in the 2011 session before it can go to the voters.  Delaying it a year does only that… delays it.  The sooner the people of Iowa have an opportunity to vote on this the sooner we can put it behind us.

I’m also glad to see the Register continue to argue for transparency.   I don’t think that either party historical has a corner on promoting more open government, but Republicans have tried last year to get some good legislation through to ensure the public would have easy access to information about what our government is doing, but was rejected by the Majority.  It really is time to open the doors and make the data available to all.

TCR Report Preview: Polk County Chair John Bloom, and Chris Hagenow

TCR Report Preview: Polk County Chair John Bloom, and Chris Hagenow

Join us this Tuesday (January 5) from 3:00 to 5:00 Central for The Conservative Reader Report on Des Moines’ only completely local and live internet talk radio station: Des Moines Local Live! This week’s guests are:

John Bloom, Chair of the Polk County Republican Party.  John will bring us the latest updates on the 2010 caucus preparations, an overview of the relevant major political events of 2010, an update on activities in the Republican Party in Polk County, and will answer your questions.

Chris Hagenow, Iowa House member from District 59 (West Des Moines, Windsor Heights and Clive).  He will talk about the 2010 legislative session, issues that are important to you today in Iowa, and thoughts about the 2010 elections… and he’ll answer your questions as well.

We’ll have updates on the political news that’s important to you, along with the Smart and Dumb politicians of the week.

Only on The Conservative Reader Report.

TCR Report Preview: Polk County Chair John Bloom, and Chris Hagenow

TCR Report Preview: Tim Albrecht and Dr. Pat Bertroche

Join us this Tuesday (December 29) from 3:00 to 4:00 Central for The Conservative Reader Report on Des Moines’ only completely local and live internet talk radio station: Des Moines Local Live! This week’s guests are:

Tim Albrecht, Communications Director for the Terry Branstad for Governor (of Iowa) campaign. Tim is a well known political activist and former host of his own show at Des Moines Local Live. He will bring us an update on the campaign, thoughts about the activities of the next few months, comments on issues impacting state government here in Iowa, and answer your questions about the governor’s race.

Pat Bertroche, Republican candidate for US House from Iowa’s 3rd district. Pat is one of 4 people currently vying for the opportunity to oppose Leonard Boswell in the November 2010 election. He will talk about his positions on the issues and answer your questions.

We will also have updates on the most important political news, and the Smart and Dumb politicians of the week, only on The Conservative Reader Report!

Dr. Pat Bertroche To Make It Official

Dr. Pat Bertroche To Make It Official

patbertroche1This Friday, Pat Bertroche, whom we have mentioned here before as a Republican candidate for 3rd District US House from Iowa, will make his formal announcement of candidacy.

Pat will make his announcement at the corner of East 14th Street and Euclid in Des Moines where Younkers once had a store.

I had the opportunity to speak with Pat in August while Leonard Boswell was running a farce of a town meeting in Sigourney. As with Dave Funk, Pat seems to share many of the same conservative passions that many of us do for both addressing our fiscal mess by reducing the size of government, and some of the key social issues that have been problematic, abortion being one of them.

Pat also hosts a show called “The Reasonable Republican” on the same Des Moines Local Live internet radio station that The Conservative Reader Report can be heard on. Pat’s show is on Friday’s from 2 to 4.

Here’s Pat’s press release:

Dr. Patrick Bertroche will formally announce his campaign for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District on Friday, December 18th, 2009, at 12pm. He has sent his FEC papers by Fed/Ex Tuesday, and the next logical step is to move forward and announce his intention to run for the 3rd District House seat.

He will announce his candidacy at E. 14th & Euclid Ave., near where the old Younkers store used to be, to illustrate the need for better infrastructure and job growth that Iowa needs for a better economy.

Dr. Pat is passionate about Iowa, and will bring a depth of knowledge and vast experience on all issues that affect Iowans, especially Medicare reimbursement and job creation for the 3rd District of Iowa. Dr. Pat plans to work closely with local and state officials to boost small business growth and job creation.

Dr. Pat LISTENS to Iowans.

For more information, you can check out his website, www.bertroche4congress.com, you can call the campaign headquarters at 515-556-0526, or his Campaign Chairman at 515-710-0798. Email: [email protected]

You can also follow him on Twitter at PatBertroche, and on Facebook, Pat Bertroche.

TCR Report Preview: Polk County Chair John Bloom, and Chris Hagenow

This Week: Conservative Bloggers Forum And Peter Cownie On TCR Report!

This will be a great week on The Conservative Reader Report as we host the Conservative Bloggers Forum from our Internet Radio studio on Des Moines Local Live!  Shane Vander Hart (Caffeinated Thoughts) and Grant Young (Questions Comments and Insults) will join me to talk about the big issues of the day, including the meaning of being Conservative, the war in Afghanistan, and the war on Culver.

In our second hour, Peter Cownie, President of Junior Achievement of Iowa and Representative to the Iowa House from District 60 will be on the show to talk about his passions and the upcoming legislative session only a few weeks away.

All this plus government and political news updates AND the Smart and Dumb politicians of the week on The Conservative Reader Report!

Join us on Tuesday December 8 from 3:00 to 5:00 Central on Des Moines Local Live Internet Radio!

Remember, The Conservative Reader Report is not so much a news organization as it has a perspective!

Yet Another Election Day!

Yet Another Election Day!

ballotTuesday December 1 is runoff day for cities around Iowa, including Des Moines, Windsor Heights and West Des Moines Ward 1.  Polls open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.

It should be pretty simple.  All of Des Moines has to vote today.  Period.  If you live in Ward 1 of Des Moines, you are voting for an At Large (Leisha Barcus v Skip Moore) PLUS the hotly contested race of Tom Vlassis v Halley Griess.  Those of you in the other wards in Des Moines are just voting for the At Large seat.

Also, all of Windsor Heights is voting to fill two At Large seats… your ballot will indicate “Vote for only two” with the following choices provided: Betty Glover v  Flo Hunter v Carole Tillotson, v David Jenison.

Folks in West Des Moines have to think a little bit harder… only Ward 1 voters will be voting in West Des Moines, with the choices being Robert Parks v Kevin Trevilliyan.  If you don’t know whether you live in Ward 1 or not, look at this link (Adobe Reader required).

All of your ballots and polling places can be found at this link.

I hope you don’t get tired of me saying… get out there and vote!!!

Dr. Patrick Bertroche is challenging Rep. Boswell

Dr. Patrick Bertroche is challenging Rep. Boswell

bertrocheI have previously listened to Dr. Pat Bertroche speak on several occasions, including the day I went all the way to Sigourney to participate in Leonard Boswell’s “Town Meeting” (that’s French for “Stuffed with Union members”) only to be turned away.  At least Bertroche had time for me that day, along with a handful of others who talked with him for a couple of hours at the Pizza Ranch in Sigourney.

Although Pat had already publicly stated his intention to run for 3rd District US House, he put out a press release this past week (which I’ve provided below).  In addition to the information provided by his campaign, it’s worth noting that he is now hosting an internet radio show on Friday afternoons called “The Reasonable Republican” on Des Moines Local Live (where I also happen to host The Conservative Reader Report on Tuesdays).  Pat joins Jim Gibbons, Dave Funk and Brad Zaun in what will likely be a very competitive primary race.  I have had Dave Funk as a guest on my show, and plan to have the other three as well in the near future.

Dr. Patrick Bertroche is announcing he intends to defeat Rep. Boswell Next November.  Dr. Bertroche has spent the last 9 years serving the medical needs of central Iowans, and will bring a potent insight and deep understanding to the race for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. 

He is a local boy, born in Des Moines and raised in Indianola.  He graduated from Indianola High School, and the Graduated from Drake University with a BA in Political Science.  He then went to The University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, now Des Moines University, and graduated in 1995. After completing his residency, he returned to the Des Moines area, and started his private practice in Clive.  He has been serving the needs of central Iowans since 2000.

Dr. Bertroche has a son, Pat, who is in the Marine reserves, and is stationed in Des Moines.  He will be returning to college next year, and intends to complete his business degree.  It is his son who challenged Dr. Bertroche to pursue this candidacy, by asking Dr. Bertroche, “In 20 years, what are you going to say you did to save our country?”  It was then he decided to run for Iowa’s 3rd District seat.

Dr. Bertroche has shown determination and drive in all he has accomplished.  He has traveled extensively around the world, starting with his first international trip when he was 12 to Ireland with the Friendship Force.  From his international experiences, he has gained an insight into other world cultures that is lacking in today’s US Government.  He would bring this expertise to Washington, and would help re-establish America as a respected global leader.

He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Des Moines University.  As a Professor, he is playing a role in educating future physicians.  As a mentor, he has influenced hundreds of students, some of them now physicians, and has provided a positive and rewarding learning experience. 

Like most rural boys, his first job was on a farm.  It didn’t take him long to learn the valuable lessons of hard work, integrity, and prayer.  With this knowledge and experience, at 16 he tried his hand at business, and has been creating jobs for central Iowans since.  He understand the struggles of small business, and knows that small businesses are really good people pursuing their American Dream.  As a small businessman, he understands that struggle, and will work hard for Iowa’s small businesses.  He knows small businesses create jobs that Iowans need.

From his work as a physician, Dr. Bertroche also understands the struggles of hard working folks who are overburdened with taxes on everything they earn, and everything they own.  He understands that families today need to have two incomes, not by choice, but because of the amount of taxation that occurs that strip them of the ability to provide a good life for their children with a single income.  Dr. Bertroche thinks it is wrong for families to be forced into placing their children in daycare instead being able to stay home because of a punishing tax system that benefits Washington greed and power mongering.

Dr. Bertroche has received much encouragement to pursue Iowa’s 3rdCongressional District seat.  He has the support of many small businesses, and physicians.  He has put together a team of great volunteers that has helped get his message out to potential voters.  Most importantly, Joe Grandanette has joined his campaign as Campaign Chairman, and brings many years of experience to running a campaign.  Also, Susan LaSala has joined the campaign as Volunteer Co-Coordinator, and brings years of experience in organizing.  Jeff Green has agreed to be the Webmaster, and Jeff brings years of design and IT experience.

With great people like these behind Dr. Bertroche, he is confident that he can win the nomination and defeat Rep. Boswell next November.  For more information, you can check out his website, www.bertroche4congress.com, you can call the campaign headquarters at 515-556-0526, or Campaign Chairman Joe Grandanette at 515-710-0798.

You can also follow him on Twitter at PatBertroche, and on Facebook, Pat Bertroche.

Upcoming Conservative Reader Report December 1 2009 – Guest Erik Helland, Iowa House Member

Upcoming Conservative Reader Report December 1 2009 – Guest Erik Helland, Iowa House Member

Erik HellandJoin us this Tuesday from 3 to 5 at Des Moines Local Live for The Conservative Reader Report!  Our guest will be Republican Erik Helland, representative from Iowa House District 69, which covers the northern part of Polk County and includes the towns of Sheldahl, Alleman, Elkhart, Polk City, Johnston, Grimes, and Saylorille.  The state of the Iowa Budget, the upcoming 2010 legislative session, and your questions will be included in our discussion with Erik. 

We will also be talking about the latest Iowa Poll results on how Iowan’s perceive themselves politically, government and business issues of the day, and your opinions. 

Join the conversation by entering the chatroom or calling the studio at 888-327-1007 or 515-327-1007.  You can also participate by twittering me at @tcr_report.

Iowa Republican Party “Leadership For Iowa”

Iowa Republican Party “Leadership For Iowa”

rpi-logoTonight Republicans from around Iowa met at the Elwell Family Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  Isaiah McGee, Iowa State Central Committee Member, acted as Master of Ceremonies.  He made some brief remarks, including “We Must Unite!”

Video presentations from David Vaudt, who criticized Democrats 30% slash of his budget as an attempt to “muzzle the taxpayers’ watchdog” and Bill Northey who wants to see more republicans in the state capital.

Representatives Tom Latham and Steve King could not attend, but they probably had a good excuse since they are working in Washington tonight.  Both provided videos where they spoke to the health care bill being debated today.  Both are trying to kill it.  King stated that “Iowans need to speak out until the bill is mortally wounded with a stake in its heart!”

Huge applause came for Senator Grassley as he stepped on the stage to speak.

Quotes from Chuck Grassley: “Our common focus is leadship and vision for the future.”, “Iowans of every political stripe were telling me, both by words and by action, that they are scared.” “For the first time in the history of the United States the government wants to tell us we must buy something.”  Grassley also mentioned that Republicans have a 200 page bill as an alternative to Democrats 1,995 page bill.  “They want to redistribute wealth, they want to take property without just compensation, and that is not Constitutional.  That won’t happen on my watch.”

Quotes from Matt Strawn: “It’s a good week to be a Republican, not just because of how we won, but how we were able to show the distinctions between Republicans and Democrats to the voters.”, “Iowans are desperate for competent leadership.”  “Real leaders don’t sign the largest budget in the states history and then try to convince iowans otherwise.” 

Pawlenty: “Chuck Grassley has changed Washington more than Washington has change him.” “(Re: Virginia and New Jersey) We need to launch the same comeback across America.” 

Tim Pawlenty provided a stimulating speech to Republicans in Iowa tonight.  It was clear before too long that he was working on his 2012 campaign, but provided ammunition and motivation to push folks toward 2010 as well.

All of the candidates for Governor provided strong speeches, each providing their own unique angle on pretty much the same message: Culver is making a mess of things, we need to cut spending, fix the definition of Marriage, bring more jobs to Iowa by making the state more business friendly. 

Tonight was the first big night for Republican activists to get a taste of Terry Branstad 2.0 (or perhaps 2.1).   He seemed a little rough tonight, starting out hesitatingly, but he eventually warmed up and did well. 

A major benefit of tonight’s event is the continued opportunity for activists to hear not just stump speeches, but ideas.  Although Republicans will be selecting one person to run against Chet Culver, the combined voices of all of the candidates bring some great perspective, great ideas, great concepts to merge together into a platform that our candidate for governor, whoever that ends up being, can bring.  The crowd tonight was well engaged… the big challenge is to keep them and voters engaged through the coming year and maintaining focus.

You can watch the entire event at CSPAN’s web site shortly.  We will provide a direct link to the video tomorrow.

Republican Event Tonight!

Iowa Republicans are holding their Leadership For Iowa event this evening, which will feature Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, and all of the remaining candidates for Iowa governor.

New for me tonight is the Press Pass.  Even though I would have planned to attend anyhow, I was invited to be part of Bloggers’ Row, with the opportunity to speak with all of the candidates prior to the event.  Sharing the table with Craig Robinson of The Iowa Republican, and Albert Bregar of Iowa Defense Alliance, Grant Young of Questions, Comments and Insults,  Shane Vander Hart of Caffienated Thoughts, and some others.

Looks like we get to interview a bunch of politicians.  Should be interesting.

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