Late last week we brought you a message from Polk County Chair candidate Will Rogers.Â Today we bring you a word from the other candidate in the race, Dave Edwards.Â One of these two men will be declared leader of the Polk County GOP Tuesday evening.
Last year Mr. Edwards ran for the Iowa Senate in District 16 and, though he lost, showed a great deal of courage in running in the first place.Â The voter registration numbers for this districtÂ on the day of the voteÂ were: D-16,353; R-7,591; NP-10,410…enoughÂ said. Â Though running against tremendous odds, Edwards put in a lot of work and was unafraid to talkÂ about the non-PC issues negatively impacting his district.Â If he should prevail Tuesday he will have a first-hand perspective on just howÂ steep a climb some of the districts in the countyÂ have become.
Though thereÂ is a great deal of contrast between these two candidates both in style and background, I amÂ convinced that either will bringÂ a unique set of helpful traits to the Party.
Below is the full transcript of Mr. Edwards’ letter to The Conservative Reader: Iowa.
To begin with, I want to thank the readers of your publication for their support of my Senate campaign in last yearâ€™s election.Â We were blessed with a fantastic outpouring of volunteersÂ – from parades, to envelope stuffing, to door knocking.Â It was a lot of hard work, but a very rewarding experience.Â Volunteers like you are what it is going to take to reclaim our state and our country and we need to get fired up now to win that battle and help the Republican Party to grow and be the messenger for prosperity and freedom that our nation so sorely needs right now.
I am running for Polk County Republican Party Chairman because I want to stand beside you in that fight to beat back the liberals here in our county.
I have served my community in various ways over the years.Â In the past, Iâ€™ve served as a member of Des Moinesâ€™ Housing Appeals Board as well as several years as a board member for the Valley High Manor Neighborhood Association.Â Currently, I am a proud member of the Carlisle VFW Post 2099, and serve in the Color Guard there, helping to provide flag and rifle ceremony presence at funerals for those who have served in the military.Â I have put in many hours as a softball coach for various teams for my seven children for the last twenty years.Â Also, my wife of 27 years, Teressa, and I, host a weekly family Bible fellowship which is held in our home.
Last March, I threw my hat into the ring as a Republican candidate for Iowa Senate District 16, running against a 16-year Democratic incumbent.Â As a candidate for the Iowa Senate, I walked hundreds of miles and spent countless hours talking to voters in my district. I met a tremendous number of Republicans and Independents who agreed with us in principle, but did not feel actively engaged with our efforts.
I believe that there is an opportunity right now to bring these voters into the Polk County Republican Party by having leadership in the party that they can relate to and showing them the tremendous success we can have as a party by promoting our principles of limited government and personal responsibility.
I envision a Polk County Republican Party that takes the next step here to grow and strengthen itself even more. With Iowaâ€™s first in the nation status, I believe eyes across the country are directed at this state. I believe that with the right chairman and the right direction, Polk County can be seen as an example not just in Iowa, but across the country. We are well poised to bring Polk County to a higher level with the right leadership and vision. I have some specific goals for fundraising and voter contact/registration that I would like to achieve as Chairman, but I believe the most important part of my job will be to energize our base and build grassroots enthusiasm and activism to lead to a Republican victory in 2014 and beyond.
I am running for chairman of the Polk County Republican Party because right now this party is at a crossroads. Right now, there is a very real disconnect among the leadership and the members of the Republican Party in Polk County. This disconnect is pretty obvious from the Central Committee meetings, on down to the lack of voter enthusiasm I saw while on the campaign trail.
This county needs a leader that can work with everyone in the party. I believe I am that leader. I believe my experience on the campaign trail is proof of my commitment to the Republican party and of my strong work ethic. My campaign generated excitement across a broad spectrum of voters. I believe that was because I was a candidate people could relate to.Â I mentioned earlier all of those unengaged Republican voters that I met while on the campaign trail. I believe this is a prime time to draw those voters into active involvement in the party by giving them party leadership they can trust and relate to.Â I believe that my experience gives me tremendous knowledge about energizing grassroots activists and continuing to keep enthusiasm there.
In the end, all of our efforts will be measured out on election day.Â Having run my own campaign I know first-hand what local candidates need in order to be successful. And the bottom line comes down to grass-roots organizing.Â Personal contact during a campaign is the single most effective method of turning out voters.Â We need to re-vamp our efforts at organizing our House Districts down to the precinct levels. We need to continually refresh and update data and volunteers so that candidates have an instant and built-in network to hit the campaign trail running.Â And we need to host training to enable volunteers and candidates to maximize their efforts.
It is said that a house divided will not stand.Â I am asking for a chance to pull the people of this party together and make the Polk County Republican Party better than it has ever been.Â With your support, I look forward to advancing our conservative principles here in Polk County, and helping turn Iowa back to a red state once again.Â Please make sure you are there for this important vote on Tuesday, February 26, 7:00pm at the Holiday Inn, Mercy Campus at 1050 – 6th Avenue in Des Moines.
Today’s special election for Senate District 22 are being tabulated. Â Charles Schneider is the winner, beating Desmund Adams in both Polk and Dallas Counties. Â Here are the vote counts:
Congratulations to both candidates for their work and willingness to serve the public!
I break from a majority of Republicans on the current fiscal cliff negotiations and believe the rate increases that Democrats are seeking should eventually be agreed to. More specifically I would support John Boehner signing on to taking the top bracket from 35% to 37-38% (short of the 39.6% Obama wants).
Of course the argument against doing so is the superior oneâ€”essentially that the Senate and the President want more money to spend while having not passed a budget in 3 years and having not yet put any real spending cuts or entitlement reforms on the table. But the two Parties have been at a stalemate over this issue for years and in my view the trump card is that last month they held the Senate, picked up seats in the House, and won the Presidency. To me the bottom line is that if a political party never agreed to anything they didn’t think was 100% ideologically or philosophically accurate we would never reach any compromise. This in fact is the definition of compromise, and in light of the election results anyone who thinks Republicans weren’t pushed into a position of forced compromise is fooling themselves.
The reasons for swallowing this bitter pill are multiple. First off, though often times the winner of an election pushes for the passing of legislation saying they ran on it when they really didn’tâ€”that is not the case here. There is no question that President Obama ran on raising taxes on rich people and Mitt Romney ran on lowering rates and capping deductions. Secondly,Â over 60% of the American people in poll after poll say they want the wealthier among us to pay more taxes. Unfortunately, the alternative of refusing to budge on this issue in favor of tax increases on 98% of Americans is simply not good policy.Â All sides agree it would be devastating, not to mention it plays into all the awful stereotypes of Republicans and is politically fatal.
Not helpful here is that this whole discussion echoes the earlier scene at a Republican Primary debate where all 10 candidates on stage said they would not take a deal of $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue increasesâ€”the majority of non-hardliners in this country just flat out won’t deem a political party serious about solving a problem with this kind of position.
Just to be clear, the above is not at all to say I agree with raising any rates, but the facts are the facts. The Democrats have a far stronger hand hereâ€”and it’s certainly strong enough to yield this specific tax increase they desperately want.
Looking on the bright side, after suffering the defeat we just had nationally if the only direct price Republicans have to pay is to raise taxes by 2-3% on one bracket in order to get the Bush tax cuts made permanent (until we have a majority to do real reform), then I think one could argue that is not an obscenely high cost.Â The big part of making this an acceptable outcome is of course what will be given by the other side to reward this concession?
As of now clearly Democrats have not offered anything and are not acting in good faith. Since they don’t have to give on entitlement reform in this situation, essentially Democrats are going to have to agree to hundreds of billions in non-discretionary, non-defense spending cuts. My position is if Boehner gets this in exchange for the small bump in rates, that is an acceptable outcome. If he isn’t able to achieve thatâ€”then caving on this position is a major defeat.
The Media Fails Us Again
So far in this “negotiation” Republicans and John Boehner in particular have been getting killed for letting the whole debate revolve around a portion of revenue increase that would fund the government for about 8 days. This is such a great and obvious point, and frankly the shallowness of our national debates in general makes it hard to have much hope for the future of the Republic.
I fully agree with the criticism for Republican leadership losing the messaging war on one hand, but on the other I wonder what more they can do about it. Time and time again they speak of Washington not having a revenue problem but a spending problem, and they certainly are publicly making the case this would fund the government for only 8 days. The reality is that of all the power and influence the liberal media has over this country, perhaps the most lethal and subtle is their ability to decide what the focus of the debate is. For obvious reasons the President wants it to center on a rich vs. poor construct, and low and behold that is exactly what we have.
My Advice To Boehner
If I were advising Republicans I would suggest putting this debate in context by making an obvious point that I have not heard made yet. The absolute proof that we have a spending problem and not a revenue problem is that just to balance the budget in one fiscal year we would have to raise tax revenues by 40%. Yes that’s right, 40% more dollars into the treasury just to get to the point that we are not running a deficit every yearâ€”that is without paying down a penny of the $16 trillion in National Debt.
This of course is because in past years we have borrowed 40 cents of every dollar we spent (so far this year it is up to 46 cents of every dollar). The notion that tax rates would have to be raised on the entire country to a level generating 40% more money each fiscal year is so insane that just maybe it could break through the media machine and into view of the population.
The End Game
Whatâ€™s so frustrating for Republicans, including myself, is how much sense these arguments make and that we can’t even get the Party that controls the majority of our government to even discuss the bigger more frightening picture.
That being said, the reason we have elections is so that each Party can make their case and the people can make their choice. Even though it’s not sound policy, given the fact that this choice has just been made, conceding a few percentage point increase for one tax bracket is not the end of the world.
In spite of all the venom being directed toward the Republican leadership in the House we need to be rooting for them to succeedâ€”which in this case means getting the least destructive outcome in a tough situation.
The post The Harsh Republican Reality of the Fiscal Cliff appeared first on The Conservative Reader.
Chris Hagenow is the winner in Iowa House District 43 after today’s recount. Â The official recount results are: Hagenow: 8,742; Judkins: 8,719; write-ins: 17. Â 17,478 votes were counted. Â The recount resulted in one additional vote for Hagenow from the unofficial count on election day.
The recount was requested by Democratic challenger Susan Judkins after the official results showed that she lost by a 22 votes against incumbant candidate Chris Hagenow. Â Both candidates are well known within the district and in the only public forum held with both candidates, there was limited differences in responses to questions from both. Â The district includes Clive, Windsor Heights and parts of West Des Moines. Â Representative Hagenow has represented the area (with some changes from recent redistricting) for the past 4 years.
Thanks to Jamie Fitzgerald for providing the numbers this morning!
((This isÂ second installment of a 2 part piece, to startÂ with Part 1 click here))Â
In the end, where we failed was to reach what is popularly called the Low Information Voter. These are voters who for whatever reason get very little to no political information, and what they do get is confined to a very narrow set of media vehicles. By targeting local news and other prime listening/watching avenues, the Democrats were successful in reaching those voters, supplemented by their usual other logistical operations of doorknocking, calling, and absentees.
We did quite a bit better this time on the logistical side with doorknocking, calling, signs, and candidate events. The Victory centers, though not perfect, were an improvement on the past. I believe we can build on that by better coordination with the county central committees and their individual headquarters operations. I believe this will be possible primarily by getting as early of a start as possible in the 2014 election cycle, and begin coordinating our logistical effort, as well as raising the necessary funds within the same timeline to support those efforts.
A big area that helped us was absentees. Republicans have greatly improved on their game from even ten years ago, when Democrats would be the vast majority of absentee votes. Though they are still ahead, Republicans largely narrowed that lead in 2012. We can build on that success in 2014 to get even more marginal GOP voters to cast a ballot in our GOTV operations.
One factor that hurt us in a big way was that the top ticket in Mitt Romney had short to no coattails. Though it didn’t seem to effect incumbents much, any challenger or newcomer in an open seat, from a preliminary analysis of the numbers, was drug down as voters seemed to vote the downticket to the supervisor level in line with their vote in the presidential. This will not be an issue so much in the mid-terms, at least for the state races, particularly if Governor Branstad would run again.
We also had a difficult time competing with money. We always have structural problems in this area due to the usual suspects of Democrat contributing groups, especially the unions, but part of this was from to the unpopularity in the leadership change of the Republican Party of Iowa. They simply were not in the game, leaving the heavy lifting to be done by the PACs and the Legislative Majority funds as well as the local entities and the campaigns themselves. It is necessary I believe that we have all entities engaging in 2014, and make whatever changes necessary at the leadership level to ensure that we have all the assets we can have helping us to win the mid-terms. I believe better targeting will also use our funds in most efficient and effective way possible.
The best advice I can give to Iowa GOP activists wanting to gain more congressional seats, as well as winning a majority in the state senate, is to not dwell to long on our failures or disillusion ourselves with doom and gloom. Rather, properly analyze what went both right and wrong in 2012 and build on that, then go right back at them for 2014, and most importantly begin as soon as possible. We are not by any means out of the picture, and I believe control of both the legislature and governor is well within our grasp.