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April 2011

Ground to a halt

McKinley's Memo - Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley

Paul mckinley The Iowa Senate left town early this week. 

Unfortunately, it was not because the Legislature had adjourned for the year.

In fact, it is quite the opposite. 

Lawmakers have now exhausted their 110 days of per diem and there is a strong possibility that the end of session may still be several weeks away.

Hardworking Iowans have rightfully been asking, “What’s the hold up and why the inaction?”

As you know, it takes 26 votes to pass a bill in the Iowa Senate.  The current make-up of the Senate is 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans.

All session long, with very few exceptions, Senate Democrats have taken the approach that if they do not have 26 votes in their own party to pass a bill, they will not allow a debate on it.

Now as the session wanes into the 11th hour, Senate Democrats are finding it increasingly difficult to even find the 26 votes in their own caucus to do much of anything.

So instead of working out compromises with Senate Republicans and finding bi-partisan agreement to benefit the people of Iowa, action just grinds to a halt.  Very little significant progress is being made on the budget for the next fiscal year.

Additionally, hundreds of bills sponsored by Senate Republicans, passed by the Iowa House or asked for by Governor Branstad - designed to promote and accelerate private sector job creation, cut taxes, reduce spending, remove rule and regulatory barriers to job growth, provide more clean energy, reform education, protect life and provide Iowans with a greater say in their government - have largely been killed by Senate Democrats.


Senate Democrats have demonstrated that they would rather play partisan political games than allow good bi-partisan public policy to become law.

Many of these Senators in the majority party have told their constituents they are supportive of various issues of importance when they are back home in their districts, only to experience a weekly reoccurring bout of amnesia as soon as they walk through the doors of the Capitol.

Is it any wonder why Iowans become disenchanted and shake their head in disapproval at the partisan shenanigans that too often rule the day at the Capitol?

While Senate Republicans have had a much greater influence than in recent years past, the partisan games and uncompromising tenor of the Senate continues to hold up the progress that Iowans voted for just months ago.

We have said from day one that we are anxious to work with our House colleagues, Governor Branstad and our Democratic counterparts across the aisle in order to help move this state forward.

There is no reason Iowa cannot be a shining example to Washington and the rest of the nation of what it really means to truly find common cause.

In these final weeks, let us not miss our chance to once again showcase this great state.

As always, I welcome hearing from you and can be reached by phone at 515-281-3560 or by e-mail at

Paul McKinley
Senate Republican Leader

*Please consider forwarding this important message on to your friends and family!

76% See China as Bigger Economic Threat Than Military One

The International Monetary Fund has now projected that China will surpass the United States as the world's number one economy by 2016, and Americans overwhelmingly believe China represents a bigger threat to America economically than militarily these days.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just eight percent (8%) of adults now think China is a bigger threat militarily. Seventy-six percent (76%) disagree and say the Asian giant represents a bigger threat economically. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

AP: Shoppers should get ready to pay more at register

Editor's Overview:  The AP is just now getting around to talking about inflation and how it's hitting Joe Sixpack households.  The following is a story run on April 28 out of Cincinnati, Ohio......

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Households reeling from gasoline near $4 also face bigger bills for everything from changing their babies' diapers to wiping their noses to treating themselves to ice cream.

Major makers of everyday consumer products and groceries say they have to raise prices to offset soaring costs for their fuel and the materials and ingredients that go into their products.

Read On.....

Fight inflation, prepare for an emergency



Tim_pawlenty URBANDALE, IA, -- Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who formed a 2012 presidential exploratory committee on March 21, today announced the members of an Iowa staff that will be led by two-term state Rep. Erik Helland of Johnston.

Annie Kelly, who was recently the director of operations for Pawlenty’s Freedom First Political Action Committee, has been named state deputy director. Tracie Gibler, an Ottumwa native who managed Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ 2010 congressional campaign will serve as Pawlenty’s state political director.

"We've assembled an Iowa team with an exceptional balance of depth and experience combined with energy and passion," Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said. "This team knows Iowa and knows how to build successful coalitions. With their help, we will unite Republicans behind Governor Pawlenty's conservative record of success."

Helland is the Iowa House majority whip and serves on the Ways and Means, State Government and Local Government committees. His political experience includes working as Midwest political director for former New York Gov. George Pataki’s 21st Century Political Action Committee and as an Iowa field staffer for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Helland earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Drake University.

Kelly, a Philadelphia native, was deputy director of Pawlenty’s 2006 re-election campaign. A senior associate with the Washington-based firm BlueFront Strategies, she is a veteran of the McCain presidential campaign and a former employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She also interned in the White House Office of Senior Advisor Karl Rove.

Gibler, who earned her law degree at Drake University, was a field director in Iowa and Florida for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. Her work in Washington, D.C., includes a stint as director for development with Americans for Limited Government.

Field representatives include:

Daniel Catlin has political experience in several states. He was a field director for the Alabama Republican Party, campaign manager for an Alabama state Senate candidate and field director for Americans for Limited Government in two Virginia congressional districts.

Andrew Wagner of Minneapolis has worked as an intern for the Minnesota Republican Party and a state senator. He was the campaign manager for a Minnesota House candidate and was active in the Minnesota College Republicans.

Andy Swanson of Dayton, Iowa, served as deputy campaign manager for Rep. Tom Latham’s 2010 re-election campaign. He also was a field representative on the McCain presidential campaign and regional coalitions director in Ohio and Pennsylvania for the McCain-Palin organization.

Anthony Zammit, an Eau Claire, Wis., political consultant and a former chairman of the Minnesota College Republicans, was deputy political director for U.S. Sen. Norman Coleman’s 2008 re-election campaign. He was also Statewide Catholic Coordinator for the Minnesota Victory ’04 campaign.

Dane Nealson of Ames is a former chairman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans. He was the Iowa Victory field director for the Republican Party of Iowa last year. A former legislative clerk, he also was field director for the 2008 Miller-Meeks congressional campaign and an Iowa field representative for Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.

John Wesley Vinson was the deputy manager of the 2010 Zaun for Congress campaign. He has also served as a field director for an Oregon gubernatorial candidate, manager of a Virginia delegate candidate’s campaign and field director for an Alabama congressional candidate.

Kevin Kuhle, a Drake University graduate and former student body president, is a legislative clerk in the Iowa House. He was a field director for the 2010 Republican Party of Iowa House Majority Fund staff and managed a 2008 Wisconsin Assembly campaign.

Mike Thom of West Des Moines is a legislative clerk in the Iowa House and was a campaign aide to David Jamison, the 2010 GOP candidate for state treasurer. An Iowa State University graduate working on his master of public administration degree at Drake University, he worked as a USDA biological science aide from 2003 to 2010.

Rob Anderson, a political science major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, was an intern for Governor Branstad’s 2010 campaign.

Travis Holler, a 2011 graduate of the George Washington University, was an intern in the Office of Presidential Correspondence at the White House in 2007 and 2008. He also was an intern on the Bob McConnell for Governor campaign in Virginia in 2009.

Look at how inflation is eroding your purchasing power

By Mike Thayer

Over the last 17 weeks the cost of gas and food has steadily crept up, now costing you an extra $28.03 per week in comparison to the first week of January.  That's an increase of about 4.5%.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is just the tip of an iceberg.......

The Coralville Courier has been charting gas and grocery prices since January.  Below is a chart showing how the increases in gas and groceries is affecting your wallet.  The chart utilizes median household income data from Iowa Workforce Development, specifically for Johnson County which after taxes works out to about $750 a week, take home pay.  All the numbers for gas and groceries are for weekly average purchases, the month references are just providing a rough timeframe, year-to-date.  Weekly gas prices are for Soccer Mom, driving kids to school, running errands, having a part time job, picking kids up from school, taking kids to an extra curricular activity, you get the idea.  Weekly grocery prices are - with one exception for a single roll of paper towels - for food only, milk, eggs, ground beef, a loaf of bread, that kind of thing.  Not included in that assessment are toilet paper, cleaning supplies, deodorants, soaps, impulse buys like candy bars, charcoal, school supplies, light bulbs, things like that.  I'm willing to bet most of you haven't received a 4.5% increase in pay during the course of the last four months.

Month Wkly Take Home Pay Gas Grocery Wallet after gas/grocery purchase
January $750.00 $60.00 $57.13 $632.87
February $750.00 $65.00 $57.80 $627.20
March $750.00 $70.00 $66.74 $613.26
April $750.00 $78.00 $67.16 $604.84

Your purchasing power is being weakened.  Thank the Fed.  They are playing games with the value of the U.S. dollar and the country's debt.  The result of their game playing is inflation.

Professor Lewin "F*** YOU REPUBLICANS" story still has legs

The local liberal media may want this story to die in order to buffer the liberal professor, but more credible news organizations and people that actually care about the news are giving the issue its due coverage.




What we're not getting from local media is follow-up on a question any reasonable person is asking:  Is the professor going to be punished in any way?

Related Story:

It's official, career politician Sally Stutsman making jump from Supervisor to Iowa House

Sally_stutsman The Cedar Rapids Gazette has reported that Johnson County Supervisor Sally Stutsman has announced plans to run for the Iowa House.

A former social worker, Stutsman began her fifth four-year term on the Board of Supervisors in January.

Read On.....

Question:  Will the Johnson County Republican Central Committee put up a candidate to oppose Stutsman, let alone put up a Supervisor candidate to fill Stutsman's vacant seat?  I sincerely hope they do, but it's doubtful on both counts.

Gas prices hit $4 a gallon mark in Coralville

CORALVILLE, IA. -- The price for a gallon of gasoline has gone up over the $4 mark at one Coralville area convenience store, with many others priced at $3.99 per gallon for regular unleaded (not that ethanol crap).  The cheapest place to buy gas in town as of this writing is the Coralville HyVee, priced at $3.94 per gallon.  If you present a HyVee grocery receipt you receive a discount, today's discount is 8 cents per gallon. 

As a matter of perspective, you could buy gas at the Casey's on the strip for $2.99 a gallon back in January.  So if you have a 20 gallon tank on your vehicle, you paid about $60 to fill up back in January, you're shelling out about $79 to do it today.  If your travels have you filling up every week, that's another $76 a month coming out of your pocket and some speculators are now predicting gas to hit the $6 mark by summer.  

I've been cautioning and writing about rising gas, grocery and other prices in the Coralville area for months now, and here's why you shouldn't pay attention to liberal blogs and so-called sources of news.......

Here's a quote from the Iowa Liberal, attempting to discredit Sarah Palin and inflation talk back in November:  "Inflation is the least of our worries right now and there’s no sign that it’s going to be an issue in the future."

Once again (pick an issue, any issue), the Iowa Liberal was/is wrong. 

Coralville area prices for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline - April 29, 2011:

Location Price
1st Ave. BP $3.99
1st Ave. Kum & Go $3.99
1st Ave. DeliMart BP $4.04
Highway 6 BP $3.99
Casey's on the strip $3.94
Coralville HyVee Gas $3.94
Gasby's BP on 965 $3.99
Casey's - 965 $3.99

A by the tank perspective on today's prices:  If you buy 16.139 gallons of gas at the 1st Ave. DeliMart BP today at $4.04 per gallon, it will cost you $65.20.   If you fill up at the Coralville HyVee as I did today, it will cost you $62.44. 

Related story, why rising prices are happening: