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The Conservative Reader:



A new message from Matt Strawn, Republican Party of Iowa:


ACTION ITEM:  Join US for a Republican Rally at the State Capitol tomorrow night.

Just when you thought things could not get worse at the Democrat-controlled Statehouse, majority Democrats have hatched a plan to raise income taxes on tens of thousands of Iowans by eliminating your right to deduct federal income taxes on your Iowa income tax return.

What Democrats call “tax reform” we see for what it is:  a blatant attempt to use Iowa’s tax code to play destructive class warfare games and redistribute the wealth.  Their plan would result in big tax increases on the very people on which we are depending to get this state out of our economic slump.

And, for the first time in Iowa history, you would be forced to pay state income tax on money you use to pay your federal income tax.  A tax on a tax is wrong and Iowa Republicans MUST stand together and defeat this job-killing legislation.

Here are TWO big ways you can help stop this bill:

  1. ATTEND the Republican Rally at the State Capitol today.   On Tuesday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. there will be a public hearing on the proposed bill to eliminate federal deductibility.  We want to pack the House Chamber with hundreds of Republicans to oppose this terrible legislation.

    Republicans are encouraged to gather in the basement of the State Capitol at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night to hear from opposition leaders and learn how you can make a difference.  We will then march up to the House Chamber and fill the seats.  If you are able to attend, please send an email to Eric Johansen, our Political Director, at [email protected].

  2. Call your State Representative and State Senator, ASAP.  Let your legislators know you strongly support keeping federal deductibility and OPPOSE raising taxes on Iowa’s job creators.  Here are the numbers for the House and Senate:

Iowa House of Representatives:  515.281.3221
Iowa Senate:  515.281.3371

Don’t know your state legislators?  Click here and use this tool to find out who represents you.

Want to see the actual bill?  Click here to see the actual legislation.

This legislation could be the defining moment of the 2009 General Assembly.  The state checkbook is empty, the savings are nearly gone, the credit card is getting ready for action, and now Democrats are getting ready to stick-up taxpayers for even more.  Enough is enough.

You don’t have to wait until November 2010 to start making a difference.  You don’t have to wait to make your voice heard.  JOIN us at the State Capitol tomorrow, call your legislators, and SHARE this information with other Iowa Republicans.

We can still win this battle.   ACT NOW!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Conservative Reader will be at the Rally and Hearing… look for udpates on Art Smith’s Twitter, and a wrapup here after the hearing!

Matt Strawn: Don’t Raise Iowans’ Taxes!  Public Hearing March 31

Matt Strawn: Don’t Raise Iowans’ Taxes! Public Hearing March 31

The deductibility of Federal Income Tax on the Iowa Income Tax is in jeopardy.  Iowa Democrats have officially brought the issue to the table in the Iowa House in HSB 284 (currently in the Ways and Means Committee).  Iowans need to stand up against this bill, as it is a direct increase in the income tax obligation of Iowans.  After rejecting sound recommendations from Iowans and elected Republicans, the Democrats are anxious to fix the mess they have created by raising our taxes.

There will be a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 PM (meeting commences at 7:30) at the Iowa Statehouse in the House Chambers.  This is the public’s best opportunity to be heard.  If you can, please plan to attend.  If you don’t want to see your taxes raised, now is the time to act.  Attend the hearing.  Contact your contact your State House Representative and Senator.  Doing nothing will allow this to proceed.

Matt Strawn, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, had comments on this in the past few days:

Democrats release Plan to Eliminate Federal Deductibility to Force YOU to Pay a Tax on a Tax: Elimination of Federal Deductibility looks like it is on the Democrats’ “Must Do” List before Session Ends. This could be Death Blow to our Economy!

It is becoming increasingly clear that legislative Democrats plan to raise income taxes on thousands of Iowans before they leave town and they will do so by eliminating your right to deduct federal income tax payments on your Iowa income tax return.

Brace yourself, but elimination of federal deductibility would mean a huge tax increase on the very Iowans who start businesses and create jobs—the people on whom our state’s future economic recovery rests. This tax increase would spell utter disaster for Iowa taxpayers and cripple the Iowa economy.

For years some people have talked about getting rid of federal deductibility and lowering income tax rates to make the whole works revenue neutral for ALL taxpayers. But this is NOT what the Democrat tax and spenders at the State Capitol are planning. No. Instead, legislative Democrats are going to play class warfare and punish those Iowans who have the audacity to succeed.

A few weeks back Senate Democrat leaders first suggested elimination of federal deductibility was on the table for serious consideration. This week that sentiment was echoed by House Speaker Pat Murphy (see the story “In the News” below). And, yesterday, Democrats released details of their plan to eliminate federal deductibility and raise income taxes on nearly 90,000 Iowa households.

Iowa Democrats should be ashamed. In the face of the challenges presented by this economic upheaval, how have they responded? Well, they’ve cleaned out the check book (the general fund is out of money). They’ve emptied the savings account (the reserve funds are being run dry). They are planning to max out the charge cards (see the Governor’s plan to borrow three quarters of a billion dollars). Now, they want to mug thousands of Iowa taxpayers to feed their spending habits.

Folks, this looks very real to me and we had better be prepared to act. Please watch in the next week as the Republican Party of Iowa prepares to do battle on this critical issue. We will bring to you multiple opportunities to engage on this issue and I trust Iowa Republicans will respond to our call to arms to prevent this destructive tax increase.

People, we cannot let the Democrats tear our financial house to shreds!  Show up!

Iowa Right To Life Book Sale

Iowa Right To Life Book Sale

Iowa Right To Life is holding their annual book sale… Going on right now.  This is a great cause to support, and they have lots of great books.  Here’s the details:

There are great deals to be had on thousands of used books at the Iowa Right to Life Book Sale, which begins Wednesday, March 25 at the KJJY Event Center at 7-Flags in Clive.

Most books are priced between $0.25 to $5.00. There are also rare and collectible books, magazines and record albums, as well as CDs and DVDs.

New Pro-life Material: By request, we have purchased the latest and greatest DVDs and books to help you build your library, provide resources for youth groups and for your own personal research. We are selling the material at cost.

Wednesday, March 25 (Premier Night): 4:00 PM-9:00 PM
Admission on Premier Night only: $5.00 (children 17 and under are FREE)

All Other Sale Days Free Admission
Thursday, March 26: 9:00 AM-9:00 PM
Friday, March 27: 9:00 AM-9:00 PM
Saturday, March 28: 9:00 AM-9:00 PM
Sunday, March 29: (Closed)
Monday, March 30: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Download the Book Sale Flyer to Post and Give to Friends:

Donate Your Books for Our Fall Sale:
Drop them at 1500 Illinois Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

For More Information:
515.244.1012 or [email protected]
Or 515.205.8024
E-mail [email protected]

Facebook event link

Tea Parties Coming…

Tea Parties Coming…

If you’ve been listening to the conservative talk shows lately, you probably already know about these anti-tax events being held throughout the country.  People are turning out in droves to show their support for lower taxes, better tax structure (like the Fair Tax), and support smarter, smaller, government and spending.

Here in Des Moines, there are two events that I’m aware of.

One is scheduled for April 11 at the Iowa State Capitol.  I don’t know the time yet… I will update you when I do know.  Chris Reed is reported to be the MC for this event.

The other is scheduled for April 15, also at the State Capitol, from 11 to 2.  This group has a web site setup at

If you are concerned about where taxation at all levels of government are heading, attend one of these events.  I expect that both events will have great speakers present.  And politicians actually pay attention when large numbers of people show up.

I’m sure we’ll have more information here as these dates get closer.

Update: change start time for April 15 event.  – Ed

Matt Strawn: Don’t Raise Iowans’ Taxes!  Public Hearing March 31

Kraig Paulson’s March 13th Funnel Week Report

Iowa House Republican Leader Kraig Paulson provided a report on the status of the first Funnel Week activities:

During each legislative session there is a point in time when we reach the ‘funnel weeks’. These are self imposed deadlines which state a bill must have made it out of committee or it cannot be considered for the rest of the year. The deadline does not apply to spending bills, tax bills, or certain leadership sponsored bills.

This week was the first funnel week at the Capitol and like every year, there are some survivors and some casualties.

First, some of the causalities or bills that didn’t make it:

  • Tougher penalties on the delivery, possession, and manufacture of cocaine
  • Increase penalties for employing illegal immigrants
  • Allocate $15 million from the Iowa Values fund to Small Businesses for disaster recovery efforts.
  • Create tax credits to benefit those in disaster areas
  • Changes to Iowa Smoke Free Air Act
  • Bills prohibiting cell phone use while driving
  • Repeal of Iowa’s right-to-work law (once again this bill is dead, we’re hopeful no attempt will be made to amend it on to any other bills)

Now, the survivors:

  • Prevailing Wage (price fixing for public projects)
  • Employee choice of doctor (doctor shopping workers compensation bill)
  • Public Employee (Chapter 20) contract negotiating technical changes — this bill is identical to the initial collective bargaining bill the Democrats tried to sneak through last year
  • Private cause of action for consumer fraud
  • Increasing Tax on Propane

One quick note, even though a particular idea may have “died in the funnel” it may still return in the form of an amendment. For the full list, visit the House Republicans’ website at

It was a rather crazy week. It had some highs and some lows. The most significant positive was the fact that enough votes to pass the doctor shopping bill never surfaced. You may recall the Democrat majority had, with much fanfare, declared they were going to turn our current workers compensation balance on its ear by allowing employees to choose their own doctor for employment related injuries.

Recall also that currently Iowa’s workers compensation cost is 41st in the nation and yet we have the 3rd highest employee benefits. It’s a well balanced system and this proposal was projected to raise insurance by as much as 15%. But Iowans engaged and the bill did not even get called up for a vote.

My biggest disappointment is that we still have yet to do anything of consequence to help restore our economy. On Monday I did a Point of Personal Privilege on the House floor reminding the Speaker that Republicans believe the House priority should be bills tested with the following: Does the proposed legislation grow Iowa’s economy – Does it create more jobs – Does it encourage employers to invest in our workforce? If it passes the test we should press forward, if it does not, it should be set aside.
Regardless, 80,000 Iowans remain unemployed and we continue to debate things like changing the names of state government departments and creating a special tax on paint. This seems ridiculous to me.

I think it’s regrettable we have now finished week 9 and really have yet to do anything affirmative to restart Iowa’s economy. Nothing to help small business owners who are hanging on with all their might and nothing to help ease the tax burden on families across the state.

Republicans will not stop trying to reach across the aisle to get productive work done on behalf of Iowans. We’ll sit down with Democrats, when they let us, and craft solutions to the problems we’re facing.

We will work hard coming up with solutions that help restart Iowa’s economy and balance the budget without raising taxes on Iowans.

As always, if you have ideas and thoughts, please contact me [email protected] and visit our website to see constantly updated information (

The Iowa Republican & The BeanWalker

The Iowa Republican & The BeanWalker

Two new Iowa web sites have popped up in the past few weeks.

One is The Iowa Republican.  Craig Robinson founded this site as an alternative to the media content currently available that, especially in Central Iowa, maintains a particularly strong slant to the left.  Craig managed to also snag Krusty Konservative, Battleground Iowa and Constitution Daily as resident commentary (replacing their former site locations).  The site has a very professional look, contains valuable content and appears to be a great start to providing valuable and timely news and commentary relevant to those of us who espouse a Republican, and apparently conservative, perspective.

The other is The Bean Walker.  Tim Albrecht publishes this site that looks a lot like the Drudge Report, only it’s focused on Iowa news.  The site includes links to web sites for what I think are every known media outlet in the state, including Iowa-based blogs (including The Conservative Reader).  Also a great approach, good content, and an independent reporting vessel iteself.

Both of these web sites are great additionals to the resources available to Iowans for news and commentary.  Good luck to both as we all continue to grow the value of the Internet and bring valuable content to Iowans!

Peter Cownie Weekly Update: Keeping Young People In Iowa

Peter Cownie Weekly Update: Keeping Young People In Iowa

This week’s newsletter from Peter Cownie provides some insight into some of his goals as a legislator.  Helping keep young people in Iowa after they graduate from high school and/or college has been a challenge in recent decades.  Reasons for the large numbers of youth leaving the state range from financial opportunity to entertainment to lifestyle.  Ultimately, jobs are key, and attracting young people means attracting companies.  Peter also looks at ways to promote staying in Iowa for college education.

The best question a citizen can ask a person seeking public office is: why are you doing this? Every candidate should have a passion for what he/she is trying to accomplish and remember that passion each time he/she makes a decision. I was asked this question more than any other during the campaign. My answer is simple: I want to see more young people in Iowa. I grew up in Iowa and I want to do something about the young people that have chosen not to stay here and those that might think to leave in the future.

I serve on the Economic Growth Committee and we recently heard a presentation from the Generation Iowa Commission. I asked the presenter what deters young people from staying in Iowa after college. The answer was one word: jobs. I could not agree more. Young people will go where the best jobs are located. The current economic times will only reinforce this reality. In every decision a legislator makes this session, he/she needs to keep in mind the 80,000 unemployed Iowans and how we can help put them back to work. We also need to bear in mind those young people who want jobs in Iowa.

The Iowa Legislature needs to remember the big picture. The big picture is that Iowa’s population is not growing quickly compared to other states. According to estimates from the Census Bureau for 2000-2008, Iowa ranks 42nd in population growth percentage. I have introduced a bill that will help retain and recruit young people to Iowa. This bill would allow college graduates who stay in Iowa to deduct the interest on student loan payments changing the limit from $2,500 to $5,000 annually. Students in Iowa graduate with the highest debt levels ($26,208 on average) in America. This bill would give direct help to college graduates who are just starting a job and could use the relief in their pocketbook. It is in the best interest of the Iowa Legislature to reach out to our young people and ease their burden. This bill will help keep our young people where we want them: Iowa.

This week’s newsletter also appeared in the West Des Moines section of the Des Moines Register, along with pieces from Pat Ward and Chris Hagenow.  You may note that Pat hits hard on the Popular Vote bill, which we have opposed here as well.

Peter, Pat and Chris, along with Bob Brownell, also hosted a public forum in West Des Moines on February 28, which I attended.  More on that later.

Peter Cownie Weekly Update: Keeping Young People In Iowa

Peter Cownie’s Weekly Update: Are We Helping Young Iowans?

Peter’s weekly newsletter (pdf here) from Feb 23 is below.  How our state Legislators evaluate bills to identify where priorities and value are best provided in our economic situation is definitely key.  Peter provides some great perspective on what we do (or rather, don’t do) to ensure that the next generation has the skills they need to manage their personal finances responsibly, and he has put forth a bill to do just that.

The current General Assembly should be doing everything within its means to improve Iowa’s economy. America is experiencing historic downturns in the stock market, housing market, and the banking industry, and unemployment is rising in Iowa and the nation. The primary question that legislators should be asking themselves is what they can do to help improve the economy. Legislators should be asking these three questions when looking at every bill that comes to a vote this session:

  1. Does this legislation grow Iowa’s economy?
  2. Does this legislation create more jobs?
  3. Does this legislation encourage employers to invest in our state?

The Legislature also needs to think about the future generation of Iowans. How can we best help them to attain the skills necessary to succeed in life? I believe that every student in Iowa should receive specific financial literacy education in his/her school. Last year, the Legislature took a good first step in requiring financial literacy to be part of the core curriculum for our schools. However, the Legislature did not go far enough.

The current financial literacy curriculum is not specific enough in nature. I believe every student in Iowa should know how to balance a checkbook, learn the danger of a credit card, the responsibilities regarding a home mortgage, and the merits of saving money. These are skills and knowledge lacking in our society. I have drafted a bill that will do precisely this. The Legislature can take an important step for the future of all Iowans by passing this legislation. Everyday the Legislature needs to work at getting Iowa back to economic prosperity. We also need to keep in mind the next generation of Iowans. It is our job to ensure they do not encounter the same problems we are experiencing. It is every legislator’s duty to serve all Iowans even the ones who do not yet have the right to vote.

Polk County Republicans Select New Leadership

Polk County Republicans Select New Leadership

As we mentioned yesterday, tonight was the Polk County Republican Party election for Chair and Co-chair.  John Bloom of West Des Moines was elected Chairman and Will Rogers of Des Moines was elected Co-chairman.

There was a good-sized. group, including about 80 Central Committee members at Hillside Elementary School in West Des Moines.  The meeting lasted about two and a half hours.

The new leaders are both committed to working to build a stronger party, including improvements in the use and management of technology, and soliciting more active participation by committee and other party members in priortizing the party’s work, plugging people into areas where their talents can be used effectively, unifying the message of the party, and getting Republicans elected.

We look forward to working with this team and finding opportunities to help promote the party’s message.  I only met Will tonight, and have known John for a little over a year, and I believe they will make a great team!

Congratulations to both John and Will!

For those of you in Polk County, if you are not already involved, now is a good time to start.  We will have contact information available here at TCR: Iowa in the near future.

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