Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


April 29, 2006

"They [illegal immigrant protesters] have to show up for work if they want to continue to have a job. There are far better ways to gain the support of the American people than shutting down businesses and looking to disrupt entire communities," NY Governor George Pataki said.

"If we don’t talk directly with the Iranians, we are not going to move this [issue] forward," Democrat presidential candidate Wesley Clark said. "We must address Iran’s isolation, security concerns and nuclear power concerns. Let [Iran President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad look like the hothead. The United States has to work toward a solution to this crisis."

"When I heard that 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) FEMA-purchased new trailers for the displaced victims of Katrina have been languishing for weeks in a little used airfield in Hope, Arkansas without being shipped to the families in desperate need for shelter, my first reaction was: 'Why that's Bill Clinton's home town! Why isn't he raising the roof on this bureaucratic nightmare,'" Ralph Nader wrote in a letter to Bill Clinton.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Immigration backlash

The Rocky Mountain News reports on a anti-immigration rally at the Colorado state capitol. The group frequently invoked the name of Rep. Tom Tancredo as an anti-immigration chant as other speakers spoke to the crowd. They would shout," Tancredo, Tancredo, Tancredo..."

The group hopes to place an initiative on the state ballot to deny government services to illegal immigrants:

If passed by voters, the measure would add language to the Colorado Constitution saying that illegal immigrants would not be entitled to government services other than public education and emergency room care, both of which are required by federal law. It also would allow citizens to sue agencies for non-compliance.

The measure was first proposed in 2003 by Tancredo, R-Colo., and later spearheaded by Evergreen resident Bill Herron. The court challenge two years ago prevented supporters from having enough time to gather signatures to get it on the 2004 ballot.

Gingrich visiting Iowa’s 99 counties

The Des Moines Register covered last night’s speech by Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity to the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines. In the speech, Gingrich indicated he was certainly interested in having an impact on the agenda--  if not the presidential nominee of the Republican party:

Gingrich told the audience that he would be back in Iowa to see the state fair, that his wife had graduated from a college in Iowa and that "we hope to personally visit all 99 counties."

"I'm doing a dinner in Sioux City in the near future," he said.

But Gingrich, who said after a lecture at Iowa State University on Friday that he wouldn't decide whether he would run for president until 2007, was coy about whether his future appearances would mean an actual bid for presidency.

Democrat change agents

The NY Times profiles the two Democrats charged with bringing their party to a majority in Congress:

They are fast-talking, hard-charging, wisecracking graduates of two of the most punishing political training grounds in the nation. Representative Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York are loud, garrulous urban brawlers: a blur of endlessly quotable attack lines, opportunistic legislative proposals, relentless fund-raising and big-shoulder tactics.

Mr. Emanuel is the head of the Democratic campaign committee in the House, and Mr. Schumer has the same job in the Senate. And the Democratic Party this year is counting on them more than anyone to return the party to power in what is shaping up to be the most competitive midterm Congressional election in 12 years.

To their supporters, they are energetic and creative — just the jolt Democrats need to end their period out of power.

"They have the party by the neck and they are shaking it," said James Carville, who met Mr. Emanuel in the 1992 presidential campaign for Bill Clinton. Even Richard Bond, a former Republican National Committee chairman, described them as "both brilliant at what they are doing: they are performing the way party leadership ought to perform."

One of Republicans' concerns is just how effective these two are:

In one sign of how these men have sent waves of worry through Republican circles, Mr. Schumer's committee reported in March that it had $32.1 million in the bank, compared with just $16.5 million in the Republican Senate account. Mr. Emanuel's committee had $23 million, almost the same as the $24.4 million by the Republican Congressional committee.

Stuart Rothenberg, the publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report, said of the two, "This is unusual, and it's quite fortunate for the Democrats."


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