Yesterday the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted once again to repeal Obamacare in fullâ€”a vote that passed 229-115 on party-lines besides two democrats who crossed over.Â Not the least bit surprising was that Rep. Bruce Braley once again voted in favor of Obamacareâ€”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 yesterdayâ€™s vote a much bigger political gamble.
Consider this, on the day the Senate passed Obamacare through the Reconciliation processâ€”March 25th 2010â€”the Real Clear Politics approval rating for Congress was a shocking 17.4% approve to 77% disapprove.Â As bad as that seems, at that time in 2010 there was still a residue of â€œchangeâ€ excitement in the air, theÂ Tea Party wasÂ only just forming, Democrats had not yet lost theÂ House,Â and President Obama could still credibly make the argument (especially to Independents) that he had successful solutions to the nationâ€™s problem.
Since that day however the absolute failure of the trillion-dollar Stimulus Bill has been fully revealed, the implementation of Obamacare has been continually problematic, the economy has not recovered, and the national debt has further ballooned.Â And this is not even to mention the numerous scandals and mini-scandals that have surrounded the administration for the past week and a half.
Perhaps even more troubling for Braleyâ€™s Senate candidacy is that the mood of the public is remarkably similar to the grim view they had the day Obamacare passed.Â The following are the RCP polling averages from then and now: Congressional approval on March 25th 2010 wasÂ 17.4% approve to 77% disapproveâ€”Congressional approval from 5 days ago on May 9thÂ stood atÂ 16.8% approve to 76% disapprove.Â Public approval of the Obamacare legislation one day after it passed on March 26th 2010 was 50.7% oppose to 39.4% support–and 8 days ago on May 9thÂ it was 49.8% oppose to only 39% who support.
For Braleyâ€™s purposes what perhaps will be the biggest difference from then and now is he has left the friendly confines of Iowaâ€™s 1st Congressional district (D+ 27,356) and has entered a statewide contest (D+ 4,952).Â On top of this he has just voted in favor of one of the largest and most expensive initiatives in American historyâ€”oneÂ which onlyÂ 39% of the public currently support.Â
Braley no doubt believes in this legislation to his core and will neverÂ vote against it.Â Nevertheless itâ€™s a safe bet that as he pushed the â€œnayâ€ button yesterdayÂ he was keenly aware that the circumstances had changed drastically since his first vote on the legislation.Â What has transpired since then has not been kind to the bill nor to any purple stateÂ legislators voting for it.Â
Though President Obama and many Congressional Democrats were not heldÂ accountable forÂ their economic and policy failures in 2012, at some point their luck will run out.Â IfÂ in November 2014 Obamacare still can’t even muster 40% support and implementation keeps getting more and more messy–the RepublicanÂ who emerges to challenge Braley will need less and less luck.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
For those who havenâ€™t paid attention to The Des Moines Registerâ€™s recent editorial board history, there is no question their endorsement of Mitt Romney is a big story.Â This history includes a 40 year gap in backing a Republican for President, spanning all the cycles between Richard Nixonâ€™s second run and Mitt Romneyâ€™s second bid for the oval office.
Over the next week much of what you hear from both the left and the right will be various forms of skepticism, questioned motives, and outright dismalsâ€”including claims this was payback for Obama disrespecting them last week.Â Our readers clearly know we generally donâ€™t have much love for The Register, and specifically we exposed the ridiculous intellectual dishonesty of their 2008 presidential endorsements.
Not only will this reversal-of-course make national headlines in the coming days, it will alienate their shrunken consumer base of hard-line Democrats.Â This prompts the questions: Is it possible they have turned over a new leaf, or was this retribution and/or just a disingenuous ploy for attention?Â Surprisingly, my sense is it’s likely the former and not the latter.
What To Make Of This?
Having noted their highly partisan past, I believe all the suspicion and skepticism surrounding this endorsement is largely unfair.Â The Register deserves the benefit of the doubt for two reasons.
First, Republicans have yearned for a state paper that played things close to down the middle for years.Â To finally see evidence this institution may be heading this direction and react by simply dismissing it out of hand is biased in and of itself.
Many will say this one action cannot undo years of daily left-slanted journalism, and they are correct, but realize as well that this endorsement is no small thing.Â If Romney was up 7-10 points here in Iowa you could make the case they simply were backing a sure winnerâ€”the reality is that this is a very tight race and The Registerâ€™s abandoning of Obama could actually have a small impact, especially on those somehow still wavering voters.
The other reason Republicans shouldnâ€™t cheapen this nod to Romney lay in the actual substance of the endorsement itself.
Before reading it I was expecting heavy equivocation ( â€˜though we like Romney on X, we fear he doesnâ€™t understand and will be damaging to Y and Zâ€™ )â€”this however was largely not the case.
Though sure to say America needs to be even more hospitable to illegal aliens and that losing â€œprogressâ€ on gay and transgendered issues is unacceptableâ€”the remaining balance of the endorsement did not spare Obama on his poor record and laid out a strong case for why Romney would succeed in fixing turning around the economy,
The text reveals this was an â€œendorsement-endorsementâ€ and not just lip service.Â Nobody has been harder on The Des Moines Register in recent years than The Conservative Reader, but judgment must be cast on words and deeds not prior reputation.Â In this case The Des Moines Register was willing to put the two candidates on a scale and report how they saw the resulting measurement.
Going forward, if and when The Register is willing to give Republicans a fair shakeâ€”than Republicans should be willing to return the favor.
Following the Supreme Court ruling upholding The Affordable Care Act, the financial fallout for the American people must be re-highlighted.Â We will have political analysis in the coming days, but for now here are the facts regarding the taxÂ implications of this law
Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare
Individual Mandate Excise Tax(Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying â€œqualifyingâ€ health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following
Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS)
Employer Mandate Tax(Jan 2014):Â If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.Â This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).
Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years
Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013):Â This increase involves the creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).Â This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income
|2013+ (current law)
|2013+ (Obama budget)
*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.Â It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.Â It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.Â The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.
Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on â€œCadillacâ€ health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family).Â CPI +1 percentage point indexed.
Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:
||First $200,000 ($250,000 Married) Employer/Employee
||All Remaining Wages Employer/Employee
||1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed
||1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed
|Obamacare Tax Hike
||1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed
||1.45%/2.35% 3.8% self-employed
Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)
HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.
Flexible Spending Account Cap â€“ akaâ€œSpecial Needs Kids Taxâ€($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.Â There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.Â Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.
Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.Â Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100.
Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).Â The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.
Tax on Indoor Tanning Services($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons
Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services
Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS
Tax on Innovator Drug Companies($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.
Tax on Health Insurers($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. The stipulation phases in gradually until 2018, and is fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.
$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)
Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.
Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting($17.1 bil/Jan 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers
â€œBlack liquorâ€ tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion).Â This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.
Codification of the â€œeconomic substance doctrineâ€(Tax hike of $4.5 billion).Â This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks â€œsubstanceâ€ and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.
While not big news that Iowa Republicans donâ€™t wait with bated breath for the Des Moines Register to anoint a Republican candidate the cream of the presidential crop, in recent years their recommendations have barely risen above laughable fodder. Since we could all use some comic relief from this seemingly endless campaign season, letâ€™s take a look back at the Registerâ€™s recent forays into Presidential advocacy. What follows are two main reasons, among many others, why they should stick to merely reporting on the political pulse of Iowaâ€”instead of trying to alter it.
Reason #1 â€“ A Sketchy, Schizophrenic History
While nearly all the data on editorial board endorsements show that they have a miniscule impact, if any at all, well over 70% of newspapers insist on letting readers in on their intense, well researched, and agenda free vetting. Though a nightmare for the hard journalism side of the paper, the hubris of editors and the short term buzz created by endorsements proves, cycle after cycle, too intoxicating to deny. Clearly I have no problem with public expressions of political opinion. If a newspaper wants to engage in it in spite of the fact it is counter-intuitive to their charter, then they have every right. However, one does have to wonder if itâ€™s too much to expect for them to undertake the process with a minimal amount of intellectual honesty. Consider the following examples, all from the Des Moines Registerâ€™s editorial board since the year 2000.
â€¢ When contrasted against a Democrat, they have not deemed any Republican candidate fit for the White HouseÂ in the last three cyclesâ€”opting for Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, and Barack Obama in 2008.
â€¢ Of the Republican primary field in 2000 they chose, believe it or not, George W. Bush. Beyond the massive irony, whatâ€™s interesting is that they chose Bush over fellow competitor John McCain, describing McCain as â€œhaving a tendency toward petulance when the cameras were off, and a lone-wolf style of action that has left him without the support of colleagues who should be his biggest admirersâ€. Never mind that eight years later he was chosen by the editorial board as the best choice amongst Republicans in 2008â€”though of course he ultimately fell short of recommending.
â€¢ In 2004 The Register had sized up John Edwards and concluded that he would make the finest president amongst the group, giving him the nod over all other Democrats running. Somehow over the next four years, he had regressed so far in his ability to lead the Country that when he came back in 2008 they couldnâ€™t recommend him. Not only did they bump him from their top spot they slid him behind both Hillary Clinton and Obama, saying they â€œtoo seldom saw the â€˜positive, optimisticâ€™ campaign we found so appealing in 2004. His harsh anti-corporate rhetoric would make it difficult to work with the business community to forge change.â€ Something tells me the editorial board doesnâ€™t have quite the same problem with the â€œharsh anti-corporate rhetoricâ€ being screamed by the Occupy Wall Street crowd today.
â€¢ Also in 2004, in what would prove to be perfect foreshadowing for their future love affair with Barack Obama, the paper, as mentioned above, endorsed John Edwards over the rest of the field. In doing so they wrote that after initially discounting Edwards because of his lack of experience, they changed their minds after hearing him eloquently speak about the needs of ordinary Americansâ€”you canâ€™t make this stuff up! Clearly their weakness/hunger for the fool proof combination of inspired speech giving and inexperience had not been quenched by the time 2008 rolled around. This leads us to the biggest piece of evidence that all the Register is accomplishing is insulting our intelligenceâ€¦
Reason #2- Â The 2008 Debacle
While the preceding examples were shady, The Registerâ€™s editorial board performance in 2008 showed beyond a reasonable doubt not only where their allegiance lay, but that the whole point of their endorsements are to furtherÂ an agenda. They ended up of course endorsing Barack Obama in the general election, but itâ€™s the way they got there that is so telling.
First, they chose Hillary over Obama on the Democrat side, while endorsing McCain over the rest of the field on the Republican side. I donâ€™t doubt that the selection of McCain was largely due to him being the most moderate Republican in the field (though strangely he was a disturbing â€˜petulant, lone-wolf actorâ€™ eight years earlier), but he also would have been a â€œsafeâ€ choice at the time because he was polling in single digits and in 5th place. Picking a Republican that would not go on to win the nomination, like McCain appeared to be at the time, would have kept them out of the undesirable situation they eventually found themselves inâ€”having to endorse their second Democratic pick over their first Republican choice (Obama over McCain).
Embarrassed and knowing they had to explain it away somehow, they managed to make themselves look even worse. They acknowledged the situation and explained their reasoning by claiming they had endorsed McCain because they felt he was a man of honorâ€”but as the campaign wore on he became opportunistic and less dignified. What they cited as the biggest reason of why McCain was out for them was his selection of Sarah Palin. They did this, I kid you not, on the grounds of her inexperience! So to recap…The inexperience of a VP candidate turned them off enough that they instead chose to support, for the actual presidency, a man who had served less thanÂ four years in the Senate.
A great way to sum up the whole disingenuous circus is that while selecting McCain in the primary they said, â€œnone can offer the tested leadership, in matters foreign and domestic, of Sen. John McCain of Arizona. McCain is most ready to lead America in a complex and dangerous world and to rebuild trust at home and abroad by inspiring confidence in his leadership.â€ Contrast that with this insight as to why Hilary Clinton was a wiser choice than Obama, â€œWhen Obama speaks before a crowd he can be more inspirational than Clinton. Yet, with his relative inexperience, itâ€™s hard to feel as confident he could accomplish the daunting agenda that lies ahead.â€…You have to give them credit there–that was some impressive foresight.
Former Des Moines Register opinion editor Richard Doak, who authored the 2004 Edwards endorsement, summed it up best in a later interview. Sharing his thoughts on the process he said, â€œThe primary purpose of editorialsÂ are to stimulate discussion in the community… and itâ€™s a vehicle through which the newspaper expresses its values.â€
Trust me Richard, Iowa Republicans are plenty aware of the Des Moines Registerâ€™s â€œvaluesâ€. Perhaps if they used any manner of consistency in the endorsement process, beyond of course the consistency of their Liberalism, maybe more Iowans would â€œvalueâ€ the paper enough to start buying it again.
This is second installment of a 2-part interview.Â To read part one click here.
Health Insurance Exchange
The debate raging on a national level regarding Obama Care has produced 50 separate state level clashes on this unpopular legislationâ€™s viability, practicality, and future. Currently 27 states are suing the Federal government on the grounds the law is unconstitutional, while last week a referendum in Ohio resulted in 66% of voters expressing their wishes to be excluded.
In Iowa the form this debate has taken largely centers on the state level requirement to set up a health insurance exchange to work in accordance with Obama Care. Democrats tried last session to construct this exchange but the measure failed and set the scene for an all-out slug fest in 2012.
The roll-call from this Democratic attempt, in which 12 Senate Republicans voted in favor of the exchange, was a major factor Ms. Rogers cites in spurring her decision to run for this House seat, â€œIt was something that some of these Republicans campaigned against and then went in and voted for, and that was a real thorn in my side.â€
Besides viewing it as flatly unconstitutional, she would have voted no on the exchange for two main reasons. The first is due to differing interpretations on what failure to set up the exchanges would result in. Though the Republicans who voted in favor did so on the grounds that failing to do so would trigger authorization of the Federal government to do it for us, Ms. Rogers believes that not having the exchanges would result in Iowa receiving a waiver from the Executive branch:
â€œWe have to fight the full implementation of Obama Care every way we can. The Supreme Court could announce as early as tomorrow whether they will hear the Obama Care challenges. Why would we volunteer to set up a new state bureaucracy before the Supreme Court has ruled? We shouldn’t. Why would we set up a state exchange and volunteer to pay for that unconstitutional debacle? We shouldn’t. Obama has stated publicly that he feels he will be forced to grant waivers to states that havenâ€™t passed the exchanges because there is no way to administer Obama Care without them. That means that by refusing to implement the health insurance exchanges, Iowans effectively have the ability to opt out of a major portion of Obama Care.â€
The second reason is funding, and more specifically the long and destructive history the states and the federal government have in jointly paying for programs, â€œState governments, including Iowa, so often get duped on the promise of free federal money. The issue with these exchanges is that they come in partially funded, and sure there is that promise of federal money there but the other part has to come from the stateâ€”and that means from the taxpayer. Itâ€™s not just a tax hike up front with the federal government, that we canâ€™t control, but it is going to be a tax hike up front for the portion that our state has to pay.â€
Issues Going Forward
Having spoken to many Republicans, and interviewing multiple candidates and elected officials, you donâ€™t need to be a political expert to see that Governor Branstadâ€™s outline for reforming Iowaâ€™s educational system is in real trouble. Although constructed as a proposal big enough to build a legacy on, when you get equal blow-back from Conservatives and the teachersâ€™ union the chances of breaking ground, let alone building anything, are slim.
Having worked her way through college teaching private pre-school and kindergarten this is an area that Ms. Rogers has a special interest in:
Â â€œI donâ€™t think its rocket science to figure out why people arenâ€™t rushing to support a plan that takes the best teachers out of the classroom at a time when we are trying to find ways to better reach children. The major problem I have with it is that the good teachers are going to be teaching 50% less, and how on earth are you going to help children when you are taking their teachers away? What the plan does is it increases bureaucracy and decreases the number of good teachers we have in the classroom.â€
Beyond disliking it for those reasons, she fears, and was told by a Department of Education employee in the Branstad administration, that one of the effects of the reform would be to divert good teachers from Ankeny to Des Moines. If true, this would not only threaten losing quality teachers in the classroom but possibly losing them to a school district outside of HD 37.
In place of the current system, and the Governorâ€™s proposed reform, the changes she would push to implement would have a different focus:
Â â€œEducational choice is one of my number one issues. I love open enrollment because it does introduce an element of choice into the public school system. I would also go further and allow more freedom for home-schoolers, more freedom for charter schools, and more freedom for private schools. If vouchers are a part of that, even better, because they are a tool that introduces a market element into the system that lowers the cost and increases the amount of learning that is going on.â€
Though failure to take control of the Iowa Senate last week severely reduced its likelihood, a widespread willingness of Iowa Republicans to address illegal immigration is beginning to form. Ms. Rogers indicated that she would favor potentially passing legislation to hamper Iowaâ€™s influx of illegal aliens and when asked specifically about Arizonaâ€™s recent attempt had this to say, â€œI donâ€™t see anything wrong with what Arizona has done, because when they joined the Union they basically said that we are going to give you (the federal government) the responsibility to protect us and that this is no longer just our stateâ€™s border but itâ€™s now a Federal border. All the Arizona law does is re-enforce the fact that it is still a state border. If the Federal government is going to back out of their responsibility to protect it as our nationâ€™s border I think that Arizona has every right to protect it as a state border.â€
Although the list of Republican legislative priorities is long and getting longer, itâ€™s safe to say that passing a Constitutional Amendment barring gay marriage in Iowa has a home in the top three. In one of the most cowardly and inexcusable political maneuvers in our stateâ€™s history, Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) has managed to save rural Democrats by robbing all Iowans of the opportunity to have their voices heard.
As one would suspect, being an attorney and a Conservative, Ms. Rogers has a strong opinion on the Varnum decision. From a legal perspective the two problems she has with the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling was that they considered some issues that were not part of the legal briefs filed and â€œthey applied a heightened level of scrutiny to a new class, and created this class based on a behavior and not a real and immutable characteristic.â€ Noting that she was not surprised by the unanimous nature of the decision she added, â€œI think it was a political decision from beginning to end and that they had the result in mind before they ever read the briefs.â€
Analysis of the Race
Three factors that are likely to come into play for her candidacy are how the district views the Tea Party, how she navigates through a crowded field, and how voters react to her relative youth. Far from shying away from any of them, she actually views all three as positivesâ€”and makes some very convincing arguments in the process.
For any Tea Party politician, whether running or governing, an issue always in play is the political peril inherent in cutting government and removing services that people have become accustomed to. While its effect will be softened by the fact that this is a Republican primary, and that applying Tea party principals at the state level as opposed to the federal level is a far different animal, it still will remain an issue. An example of this is that next session will gavel in with the Governor seeking legislative approval to cut Medicaid. This is a reality that Ms. Rogers recognizes and will seek to deal with in the following way, â€œYou have to educate people and make them realize that some of these things are not theirs and that government canâ€™t give them anything that they donâ€™t first take away from somebody else. And if you wouldnâ€™t reach into your neighbors pocket and take it then you shouldnâ€™t be living your life in a way that you are willing to take it through the government.â€
The fact that there will be many other contenders vying for the seat does not intimidate her in the slightest and is something she sees as a net positive for the district, â€œIâ€™m not afraid to run in a primary against five or six other people, and really Iâ€™m excited for the district because they will have an opportunity to vote for someone who is as Conservative as this district is and that shares their principles. Even being a lot younger than the other candidates, I still probably have a longer track record of political activism and fighting for these principles.â€
As she mentioned, at 25 she will be both the youngest person in this race and one of the younger candidates in recent memory to run for the Iowa House. While I could be wrong, my sense is that this wonâ€™t play a big role in the race. I say this, first, because it would have to be brought up by another candidate and itâ€™s unlikely that this contest will devolve into that type of an unseemly affair. Second, as she notes, she has the background and the experience to offset and eliminate it as a viable factor, â€œI think that youth and inexperience can go together, but Iâ€™ve been in this long enough that inexperience isnâ€™t a word that applies to me. The two things that are really important are your motivation and your principals, and I have both in spades.â€
After spending a few hours with her, this is a claim that is hard to doubt. She has a keen sense of tactical politics and one could easily see her going toe-to-toe with both the fellow Republicans in this primary and opposing Democrats should she be selected.
The results of the recent Ankeny City Council election, in which the most Conservative candidates running all won, indicates that voters will certainly give her a chance to win them over. She will likely make the most of itâ€”and in doing so make this race very, very interesting.
Photo courtesy of Dave Davidson, whose work can be found at prezography.com