Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


January 16, 2006

"Nominees now, Democrat and Republican nominees, come before the United States Congress and resolve not to let the people know what they think about the important issues such as a president's authority to go to war," said Sen. Joe Biden.

"He’s trying to fight this war with rhetoric," Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) responds. "Iraq is not where the center of terrorism is. So when he says we’re fighting terrorism over there, we’re inciting terrorism over there. We’re encouraging terror. We’re destabilizing the area by being over there ‘cause we’re the targets.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


2008 Calendar

Iowa is holding its Statutory Caucuses Monday night. However, in 2008 the caucuses may be a lot earlier. While the Democrats on the special committee to make recommendations on the Democrat nominating process sold out New Hampshire, there is a long standing agreement between Republicans and probably the next Governor of Iowa to hold firm on Iowa then New Hampshire.

The Manchester Union Leader reports that legislation is making its way through the New Hampshire legislature to defy the Democrat National Committee’s changes to the calendar in 2008:

New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has said he will move the date of the primary ahead of new caucuses placed between Iowa and New Hampshire. Regardless of any party rule, he would act under a state law mandating the primary be held seven days or more before any similar election.

Gardner has also said he would probably not set the date of the primary until late in 2007.

You well could see Iowa’s caucuses in 2008 happening in December.

Rice for President

The forces wishing to draft Condoleezza Rice as the Republican nominee will be raising their flag in a big way in Iowa at Monday night’s caucuses.

Polk County is holding their caucuses at the new Des Moines convention center for all the precincts instead of in a hundred different meetings in each precinct. This is sure to attract the Rice troops and the cameras for an excellent photo opportunity.

Dessert with Tancredo

Colorado Sen. Tom Tancredo is hosting a dessert reception in Des Moines, Iowa with Polk County Republicans following the caucuses tonight in Iowa.


Reid’s spin

"Not a single Democrat, including Harry Reid, received 5 cents from Jack Abramoff," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said. "This is a Republican scandal. When the Justice Department completes its investigation, this will all be Republicans involved criminally." This is Sen. Reid’s spin as quoted by the Associated Press in the Las Vegas Sun.

Reid received at least $68,941 from Abramoff’s clients, and Reid has refused to return the funds.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) was reported by the Associated Press as being under investigation for corruption in the Abramoff scandal as well. Harkin let Abramoff’s Democrat associate draft a letter on behalf of Indian gambling interest and soon there after received $17,000 in contributions. It was recently reported that Harkin received a total of $45,750 from Abramoff’s interest. Harkin also failed to reimburse for the use of Abramoff’s Washington skybox until recently.

Another aspect of this story is the fact that the Associated Press is reporting that few Americans are paying much attention to this matter:

Fewer than one in five Americans, 18%, say they are paying very close attention to the scandal around Abramoff, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating in a wide-ranging probe that could involve up to 20 members of Congress and their aides, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Of course Reid’s spin has even more difficulty holding up given the obvious scandal brewing with the Democrat New Orleans Congressman covered by the Washington Post:

A former aide to Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) pleaded guilty yesterday to bribing the congressman to promote high-tech business ventures in Africa.

Brett M. Pfeffer, 37, of Herndon, a former president of a McLean investment firm, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official and aiding and abetting the bribery of a public official in 2004 and 2005.

Alito’s wife distressed

Judge Samuel A. Alito’s wife Martha left the confirmation hearing room in tears because of the character assassination that Sen. Ted Kennedy attempted. The tears did not begin until Sen. Lindsey Grahm (R-NC) offered apologies to Alito’s family for the misbehavior of Democrats during the hearings.

One senior Republican in the hearing room said of the situation: "After three full days of attacks against her husband’s character, Mrs. Alito had enough. Democrat behavior during this hearing has not only been wrong, it’s been embarrassing. Ted Kennedy is nothing but a bully."

Kennedy was not able to bully the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman. An exchange erupted over whether Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., had received a letter from Sen. Kennedy asking that the committee seek certain papers related to Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

Kennedy said he sent it.

Specter said he didn't receive it.

Kennedy said he must have received it.

"I take umbrage at your telling me what I received," Specter said. "I don't mind your telling me what you mailed. But there's a big difference between what's mailed and what's received. And you know that."

Kennedy demanded the committee go into closed session to vote on subpoenaing the documents from the Library of Congress.

"And if I'm going to be denied that," Kennedy thundered, "I'd want to give notice to the chair that you're going to hear it again and again and again and we're going to have votes of this committee again and again and again until we have a resolution."

"Well, Senator Kennedy, I'm not concerned about your threats," interrupted Specter. "I'm not going to have you run this committee and decide when we're going to go into executive session."

With that, Specter turned his head, banged the gavel and opened another round of questions.

Blunt declares victory

"I've counted a lot of votes in my seven years in the whip's office, and this was a well-fought fight on all sides," Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said in announcing victory in the race for Majority Leader of the U.S. House.

Rep. John A. Boehner (R-OH) did not believe Blunt’s assessment of the race. Boehner called on Blunt to resign from his current position as Majority Whip.

Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) said that Blunt’s count couldn’t be correct because he had already taken in defectors from Blunt’s side in the race for Majority Leader. Shadegg just recently entered the race and is known as a staunch conservative.

Democrats’ new money man

Carl D. Chidlow, the finance director for Grassroots Democrats, will take over the Democrat National Committee's vacant fundraising post at the start of next month. Grassroots Democrats is a state fundraising organization.

Chidlow served as deputy finance director for Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry's (D) presidential campaign, a post in which he was in charge of the care and feeding of deep-pocketed donors. Chidlow quit the Kerry campaign in November 2003 after the firing of campaign manager Jim Jordan.

Democrats are doing poorly in the fund-raising department versus the Republicans. There is some hope that Chidlow will bridge the high dollar gap that has existed in the DNC since Howard Dean became chairman.

Specter and the "I" word

When asked what could happen if lawmakers find Bush in violation of the law concerning the current spying activity, Specter answered: "Impeachment is a remedy. After impeachment, you could have a criminal prosecution, but the principal remedy ... under our society is to pay a political price."

Senator Sam Brownback, who also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced that he did not agree "with the legal basis on which they are basing their surveillance."

Clinton & Belafonte

Sen. Hillary Clinton and Harry Belafonte are both slated to appear at The Children's Defense Fund's 2006 Winter Benefit awards luncheon.

Recently, Belafonte said that George W. Bush is the world's greatest terrorist.


Sen. Max Baucus, ranking minority leader of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, said Friday that outsourcing white-collar jobs to low-wage countries such as India has become a global fact of life — and that America must learn to live with it.

Baucus is traveling in India with Sen. John Kerry in India. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry said U.S. companies that shifted white-collar jobs overseas were "Benedict Arnolds"





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