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Tags: Terry Branstad

A Republican Tied Statewide in Connecticut? Ahead in Hawaii?



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It’s not that everything’s coming up roses for the Republican Governors Association . . . but they’re getting some encouraging numbers.

Quinnipiac polls Connecticut and finds Republican Tom Foley tied with the incumbent . . . 

Tom Foley dominates the crowded Republican primary field in the Connecticut governor’s race and is locked in a 42 – 42 percent dead heat with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

There is a large gender gap as women back the Democrat 45 – 37 percent while men go Republican 48 – 39 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds. Foley leads 83 – 9 percent among Republicans and 45 – 33 percent among independent voters while Gov. Malloy takes Democrats 79 – 10 percent.

Last month Quinnipiac found Ohio governor John Kasich ahead by 5 over Democrat Ed Fitzgerald, an encouraging start considering where Kasich’s numbers have been in previous years.

In Iowa, Republican Terry Branstad is well ahead in his bid for reelection. In Arizona, where Jan Brewer is retiring, Secretary of State Ken Bennett is the front-runner, at least for now, and has led steadily. In Texas, the first poll of the year put Republican Greg Abbott ahead of Wendy Davis, 47 percent to 36 percent.

Perhaps most surprisingly, out in the Aloha State, the Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser poll found Republican Duke Aiona leading incumbent governor Neil Abercrombie in a head-to-head matchup 48 to 40 percent, a result that even Aiona found “surprising.”

Tags: Tom Foley , Duke Aiona , John Kasich , Terry Branstad , Greg Abbott

Suddenly, the GOP Governors Fail Us



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Pardon the depressing portion of today’s Morning Jolt… there’s always John Kerry and laughably inaccurate Obama arguments on the sequester to lighten the load.

Republican Governors, Disappointing Us One After Another

So, my dear righty friends, does this give off a whiff of crony capitalism?

Members of an Iowa board charged with doling out millions to lure business to the state often work for companies that benefit from the incentive programs they oversee, an Iowa Watchdog  review shows.

Additionally, Iowa Economic Development Authority board members donated thousands of dollars to political campaigns, including Gov. Terry Branstad, prior to their nominations to the board. The Republican governor led the charge to create the authority when he took office in 2011 and appointed its entire board, which has to gain final approval from a majority in the Iowa Senate.

The board selected dozens of companies in the past year to receive a combined $189 million in taxpayer money and tax breaks, with the goal of luring more business to Iowa and growing its economy. An Iowa Watchdog review of state campaign donor lists, legislation and records from the authority showed a majority of the money went to fund projects at existing businesses, rather than to land out-of-state or new companies.

“Whenever there is even an appearance of a conflict of interest we abstain,” said Theodore Crosbie, an authority board member and vice president of global plant breeding at Monsanto. “We take the subject seriously. All members have been diligent about this matter.”

But the review found potential conflicts of interest among board members. Specifically, it showed six companies – John Deere, Aviva USA, Monsanto, Cargill, Brownells Inc. and Interstate Companies – received at least $39.6 million in tax incentives and state grants and loans, despite leaders from the respective companies serving on the authority’s board. In exchange, the companies promised to create 983 jobs. State documents did not show a figure for the incentives received by Brownells.

Pretty dispiriting time to be a Republican. Here in Virginia, Bob McDonnell just agreed to a transportation bill that includes way too many different types of tax increases. I think some folks on the Right are understating the fact that the state genuinely needed a steady supply of revenue to pay for transportation projects and repair, but McDonnell began with a plan that would eliminate the gas tax and increase the sales tax. Now the sales tax goes up, the tax on gas is reduced and shifted to wholesale (easier to hide from consumers), AND the  car tax goes up from 3 percent  to 4.3 percent AND there’s a new 0.25 percent sales tax on homes in Northern Virginia AND there’s a new hotel tax. Did you guys forget anything? I mean, for a deal like that, we could have elected Democrats.

We’ve seen Kasich in Ohio and Scott in Florida punt on the Medicare expansion. And now this you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours mess in Iowa. I’m sure everyone involved in Iowa Economic Development Authority will insist the $189 million they’ve spent so far created jobs… but that’s not the point, as it’s hard to spend $189 million and not create any jobs. The point is that any business that has an employee on the Authority board has an enormous advantage in getting economic assistance from the state, an advantage that a small start-up is unlikely to have.

Tags: Bob McDonnell , Iowa , John Kasich , Rick Scott , Terry Branstad

Iowa GOP Donors to Christie: Please Run!



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Well, here’s a development sure to irk backers of every Republican not named Chris Christie. A group of Iowa Republican donors is traveling to Trenton to, in effect, beg him to run for president:

Some of Iowa’s top Republican campaign contributors, unhappy with their choices in the developing presidential field, are venturing to New Jersey in hopes they can persuade first-term Gov. Chris Christie to run. The entreaty is the latest sign of dissatisfaction within the GOP over the crop of candidates competing for the chance to run against President Barack Obama in 2012.

Bruce Rastetter, an Iowa energy company executive, and a half-dozen other prominent Iowa GOP donors sought the meeting with Christie, the governor’s chief political adviser, Mike DuHaime, told The Associated Press. The get-together is set for the governor’s mansion in Princeton, N.J., on May 31.

“There isn’t anyone like Chris Christie on the national scene for Republicans,” Rastetter told the AP. “And so we believe that he, or someone like him, running for president is very important at this critical time in our country.”

Last cycle Rastetter gave the maximum $2,300 to Mitt Romney, then Rudy Giuliani.

Rastetter was the top fund-raiser for Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad last fall, and he was wowed by Christie when Christie appeared with Branstad last fall.

Tags: Chris Christie , Iowa , John McCain , Mitt Romney , Rudy Giuliani , Terry Branstad

Iowa Republicans Are Showing Up Today



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Iowa Republicans have some interesting races today, including former governor Terry Branstad vs. Bob Vander Plaats in the gubernatorial primary, as well as picking nominees among crowded fields to run against potentially vulnerable Democratic House incumbents Dave Loebsack and Leonard Boswell. Meanwhile, Iowa Democrats are picking their sacrificial lamb to go up against Sen. Charles Grassley.

Unsurprisingly, the Republicans are motivated to come out on primary day:

Far more Republicans than Democrats are voting in today’s Primary. Thunderstorms have marched across the state, perhaps prompting some voters to delay a trip to their polling place. However election officials in eastern, central and western Iowa say turn-out trends for Republicans already are much higher than for Democrats because of interest in the Republican race for governor . . . The state’s commissioner of elections expects between 150,000 and 175,000 Republican ballots to be cast in today’s Primary and about 100,000 Democratic ballots.

UPDATE: Here’s a small example from an Iowa radio station: “Polk County Voter turnout update: as of 3 p.m. Republicans 16.58 percent (12,273); Democrats 4.2 percent (4,583).”

Tags: Bob Vaander Plaats , Terry Branstad

Even 6 Percent of Democrats Approved of Bush When He Left Office



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Public Policy Polling finds Iowa governor Chet Culver, a Democratic incumbent, with a healthy job-approval rating of 28 percent.

His approval with independents is 22 percent and with Republicans it’s 4 percent, and even among Democrats he stands only at 56 percent.

If Culver’s approval among Republicans goes any lower, it will be easier for PPP to just list the supporters individually than provide a percentage: “Culver’s approval rating has dropped from 4 percent to Floyd.”

Republican Terry Branstad leads Culver, 52 percent to 37 percent.

Tags: Chet Culver , Terry Branstad

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