Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


July 26, 2006  

"I've expressed my own preference, but whatever ends up being decided is what we'll need to do," Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) said about supporting the placement of Nevada’s caucuses between Iowa and New Hampshire. "If I do decide to run, I think you have to compete according to the rules as they are written and in the places and the order they come."

"Democrats still stand for increased spending paid for with higher taxes and raising the flag of surrender in the central front in the war on terror," Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Vilsack & the DLC

Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA) is wrapping up his first year as chairman of the moderate Democrat Leadership Conference. Vilsack has Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) as his teammate in this endeavor . Hillary’s husband, Bill, used the DLC to launch his candidacy for president.

Vilsack first year is best characterized as seeking to try to achieve unity with liberal Democrat groups like the unions through policy.

"I think it's important for our party, specifically as we enter the fall elections, for candidates at every level to have innovative and creative ideas," Vilsack commented to the Des Moines Register before going to the annual conference in Denver.

The Des Moines Register reported in its article on Vilsack’s efforts with unions:

In April, Vilsack convened the council's top leadership and the heads of some of the nation's largest labor unions to ask for cooperation with the council's policy efforts.

Gerry McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said labor's relationship with the council had "never been good" before that meeting, which McEntee attended.

Out of the meeting came an agreement that the council would support one of the labor movement's top legislative priorities: to allow a majority of employees at any workplace who sign union cards to form an officially recognized union. Under current U.S. law, however, even after a union collects a majority of cards, it then has to win an election, giving anti-union companies an opportunity to derail the vote.

During the DLC conference Vilsack also steered away form the traditional central liberal government controls, stating: "The reality is that many of the great solutions to the problems that we face as a nation today are not going to be found on K Street. They are going to be found on the main streets of our communities, and it is going to be important to have state and local officials involved in this national conversation to shape better solutions."

Vilsack & Hillary also rolled-out their new plan, American Dream Initiative, for America at the Denver conference. The plan offers incremental health care improvements - such as helping to provide health insurance after individuals have been laid off between jobs.

Another goal of the plan is to create 1 million more college graduates than would have been expected by 2015. More details of the American Dream Initiative are expected this weekend.

Here are the tenants of the plan:

Every American should have the opportunity and responsibility to go to college and earn a degree, or to get the lifelong training they need.

Every worker should have the opportunity and responsibility to save for a secure retirement.

Every business should have the opportunity to grow and prosper in the strongest private economy on earth, and the responsibility to equip workers with the same tools of success as management.

Every individual should have the opportunity and responsibility to start building wealth from day one, and the security and community that come from owning a home.

Every family should have the opportunity to afford health insurance for their children, and the responsibility to obtain it.

In order to expand opportunity for all Americans, we must demand a new ethic of responsibility from Washington: to put government’s priorities back in line with our values—and its books back in balance—by getting rid of wasteful corporate subsidies, unchecked bureaucracy, and narrow-interest loopholes; collecting taxes that are owed; clamping down on tens of billions of dollars in improper payments and no bid-contracts; and restoring commonsense budgeting principles like pay-as-you-go.

Vilsack’s breach of contract

Analysis by Roger Wm. Hughes

Governor Tom Vilsack has breached an unwritten contract with New Hampshire. A breach of contract that is certain to eventually end Iowa’s supremacy in the presidential nominating process. New Hampshire has complained of Iowa’s recent betrayal of the two states' long-standing deal to not allow others to intervene in their dual beginning presidential roles.

Vilsack has tried to spin the situation by stating, "At this point we continue to preserve our first-in-the-nation status and that's important," Vilsack said.

However, Vilsack also said he would abide by the Democratic National Committee’s decision to add Nevada between Iowa and New Hampshire.

Vilsack's spin is that New Hampshire keeps their first in the nation primary and Iowa keeps the first in the nation caucus. However with the DNC establishing that they can arbitrarily avoid tradition, the strength of Iowa and New Hampshire’s position no longer has gravitas. It is only a matter of time before the DNC or RNC sets up some other system, now that tradition no longer matters.

Another problem facing Iowa’s governor is that New Hampshire is likely to move its date ahead of Nevada. This leaves Iowa in the precarious position of whether to move its caucus date ahead as well. With Vilsack’s betrayal of New Hampshire, it is unlikely that New Hampshire will cooperate in giving Iowa advance notice to enable Iowa to pull off an earlier date for their caucus.

It is also a pretty good bet that Governor Vilsack will not do well in the New Hampshire primary if he still foolishly believes he has any chance of being the Democrat nominee after this Judas act.

Iowa would precede the New Hampshire by eight days, as it long has. But Nevada’s caucus would be placed five days after Iowa and just three days before the first-in-the-nation primary under the recommendation of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee.

The dates set by the committee are for Iowa to be on Monday, Jan. 14, Nevada for the following Saturday, Jan. 19, followed by New Hampshire on Jan. 22 and South Carolina a week later on Jan. 29.

So, Minority Leader Harry Reid’s home state of Nevada is now the object floating in the punch bowl of the traditional Iowa – New Hampshire party.

Liberal taxation

The Washington Times’ column "Inside Politics" reports on Pete du Pont’s article on how Democrats have lost their way on taxes:

"John F. Kennedy believed that 'an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance our budget, just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.' So he proposed income tax rate reductions, which the Democratic Congress enacted the year after JFK's death. Back then, Democrats were for them: More than 80 percent of Democratic senators and representatives voted for the Kennedy tax cuts," Pete du Pont writes at

"My, how times have changed. Today the Democratic Party is so vehemently opposed to income tax cuts that when President Bush's reached their final vote in May 2003, only 4 percent of Democratic legislators (2 of 48 senators and 7 of 205 representatives) voted 'yes,'" Mr. du Pont said.

"Opposing tax cuts has become the mantra of the liberal left. Sen. John Kerry wants to roll back Bush's 'unaffordable tax cuts.' Sen. Mark Dayton (D., Minn.) called the cuts 'dangerous and destructive and dishonorable.' Bill Clinton in 2003 said the cuts were 'way too big to avoid serious harm.' And various New York Times editorials called them 'economically unsound,' claimed that 'they will increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars' and said they were unlikely 'to stimulate the wallowing economy.' Earlier this month House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi promised that the election of a Democratic House in November would result in a 'rollback of the tax cuts.'

"Of course they have it backwards. President Bush's personal income, capital gains and dividend tax rate reductions have created economic growth, significantly increased government tax receipts, and reduced the federal deficit by nearly $130 billion. As the New York Times was forced to admit in its front-page headline on July9, a "Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Curbs U.S. Deficit." But it isn't surprising at all; the truth is that when tax rates go down, economic activity goes up."

Harkin votes to void Iowa law

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) voted to allow pregnant teenage girls to be transported outside of Iowa so that they would not have to notify a relative that they were having an abortion. The Senate passed the legislation 65 to 34 with 14 Democrats voting for the legislation prohibiting the violation of state laws. Presidential hopeful Evan Bayh (D-IN) supported the legislation prohibiting interstate transportation of a minor without consent.

To view roll call votes follow this (link).

Israel: stop arms supplier

The Guardian Unlimited reports that Israel is demanding the stopping of Syria’s role in supplying Hizbullah arms:

Israel is demanding that any peace deal with Lebanon includes agreement on international control or monitoring of the country's border crossings with Syria to block the delivery of weapons to Hizbullah fighters.

Katyusha rockets and other equipment are still being sent from Damascus into Lebanon as fighting continues in the south, a senior Israeli foreign ministry official told the Guardian yesterday.

Nevada Republicans not sure

The Nevada Republican Party may not go along with the Nevada Democrats in holding their caucus in-between Iowa and New Hampshire. Such action would certainly take away from New Hampshire’s current role in the nominating process.

"We're going to look at whether we want to change (the date), but it's not going to be a real priority for us to jump up and down about until after the November election," State Republican Party Chairman Paul Adams said.

Gays' P.R. campaign

The LA Times reports on the Gays launching a new public relations campaign to gain support for gay marriages:

In upholding bans on same-sex marriage this month, judges in New York and Nebraska relied on the same legal argument: Gays and lesbians do not have a right to wed because their relationships are fundamentally different from straight relationships.

Stung by that reasoning, gay and lesbian leaders have set out to convince the public that it's not true.


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