Determined Leadership. High Expectations. A Brighter Future. Rants 2010 Iowa Governor


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    To Early to Proclaim a Front Runner

    Posted 3/8/2015 by Christopher

    Last weekend CPAC; the annual Conservative Political Action Conference gathering of conservative activists, consultants, and politico fan boys,  came and went with Wisconsin Governor  Scott Walker finishing a close second to perennial CPAC straw poll winner Rand Paul. Walker is receiving  heightened scrutiny as the Governor has surged to “front runner” status in Iowa, at least two out of three polling firms tell us so.


    Before elaborating on why it's far to early to proclaim Walker, or anyone else for that matter, a front runner, let me say I'm a big Scott Walker fan.  Not necessarily a supporter yet, but certainly a fan. However, I started following the Wisconsin Governor when he had a throw down with the state employees unions, and his state Capitol building was almost paralyzed by protestors trying to stop the legislature from acting on his proposals.  As someone who had just gone through my own bruising legislative battle with Governor Culver and the Democrats over their attempts to expand the scope of public employee collective bargaining here in Iowa,  well, to paraphrase Renee Zellwanger’s character Dorthy in the movie Jery McGuire – he had me at ‘hello’.  I've watched him closely ever since, from the attempts to recall him from office to his third statewide victory in just four years.  I even had the opportunity to listen to him last summer while attending the Republican Lt. Governors annual meeting in Milwaukee, and I found him to be impressive, down to earth and relatable.

    To read the rest of my first column in the DesMoines Register click the link above, or go here:

    Caucus Snapshot

    Posted 2/22/2015 by Christopher

    Less than eleven months remain before the first votes are cast selecting our next President.  The Granite Staters like to say Iowa picks corn and New Hampshire picks presidents. The truth is Iowans decide who's left for New Hampshire to pick from.  I wrote last month I'd be exploring the  GOP field in my coming columns.  But this column will be my last so I’m compelled to do a Cliff Notes version.


    Ted Cruz: The Spoiler – The junior Senator from Texas has made as many, if not more, trips to Iowa than anyone in an effort to make things difficult for Huckabee.  Not specifically Huckabee, but Cruz is going after the “values voter” and shows up every time Bob Vander Plaats has an open microphone.  So, yeah, he and Huckabee are competing for the same votes.  Bet on Huckabee.

    To read the rest of my column that appeared in the February 22nd Sioux City Journal, click the link above

    372 Days to the Iowa Caucuses

    Posted 1/10/2015 by Christopher

    IIn 372 days Iowans will trudge through snow to vote in Iowa’s presidential caucuses.  The campaigns have started in earnest and 2015 will be make or break for some candidates.

    There are a more than a  dozen Republicans (you aren’t reading this column for any insight on Democrats) running – or laying the ground work to run.  Let’s check in on three of them.

    Rand Paul: The Front Runner - At least he is in Iowa.  His father’s previous finish, and built in apparatus is both a blessing and a curse.  Paul the elder received 26,036 votes or 21.4% in what was essentially a three person race. Santorum and Romney, split by 34 votes, garnered 24.5% each. If Paul can hold those numbers in a field with half a dozen or more candidates he’ll be pretty formidable come January 18th.  Paul’s built in advantage are the legions of libertarians who love his father. His challenge is to hold that coalition together and add some traditional GOPers to it.  Iowa is an expectations game, and Paul will be expected to equal or beat his father’s results.

    to read the full column that appeared in the Sioux City Journal clicked the link above. 

    Finding Gratitude

    Posted 11/25/2014 by Christopher

    Last week as I stared out the windows of the Minneapolis airport watching the snow fall and the ground crew struggle with luggage in the frigid temperatures, I thought about how thankful I should be for those outside helping me get to my destination.  Thus began my weeklong experiment in finding gratitude in all things.  

    It's a fitting time as we celebrate Thanksgiving week. Yes, Thanksgiving WEEK. This uniquely American holiday is deserving of more than just a brief twenty-four hours before we head pell-mell into the Christmas shopping season (that's a column for another day).  I'm not suggesting that anyone spend more than one afternoon a year watching the Detroit Lions, or adding gelatinous canned cranberry to their diet, but we can be thankful for a full week. For a humorous take on why Thanksgiving is a week worthy holiday, visit , the creative writing outlet for a friend of mine.

    Before going farther, I know what some of you are thinking... "Finding gratitude in everything" sounds like new age mumbo jumbo.  I've been given this same challenge for the past year and often felt the same reaction. Hence the week long experiment. Could I do it?  I promise, I felt better for it, and you will too. 

    To to read the full column that appeared in the Sioux City Journal click the link above

    The Most Important Race You Aren't Paying Attention To

    Posted 10/19/2014 by Christopher

    Most of us are ready to throw our television sets out the window to escape the negative television ads pouring out of the campaigns for US Senate.  The Governors race has become a snoozer with Branstad leading by a country mile in his bid for an unprecedented sixth term.  The King vs Mowrer contest for Congress is intriguing for the “will he” or “won’t he” debate angle. 


    All three of these races generate headlines, blog posts, tweets, and lots and lot of television commercials.   But there is a contest just as important that you probably haven’t thought about yet – the race for Secretary of State.


    Most folks don’t think about the Secretary of State’s office – that is until they stop counting ballots at 2am during a presidential election, or there is a re-count, or there are charges of voter fraud.  In other words, most folks don’t think about who their Secretary of State is, or what they do – until its too late.  


    In our democratic system of governance we put our collective trust in the integrity of ballot box.  The Secretary of State as the state’s chief elections official is entrusted to protect that integrity – from the voter registration process, to access to the polls, to conducting recounts in close or contested elections.  


    Matt Shultz won the office four years ago, but chose to run for congress in central Iowa this year, and as a result the are no incumbents on the ballot this year for Secretary of State.  The two candidates are Paul Pate of Cedar Rapids and Brad Anderson from Des Moines.  The two candidates couldn’t be more different.

    To read my full column that appeared in the Sioux City Journal, please click the link above.

    GOP Needs Plan to Raise More Boats Faster

    Posted 9/7/2014 by Christopher

    The other day my neighbor struck up a conversation as I was pulling my garbage cans to the curb.  He thought he had a sympathetic ear as he bemoaned the Democrats' campaign to raise the minimum wage.  I'm sure most of my neighbors, and readers, think I'm just a notch or two on the dial away from Attila the Hun.  I think he was taken aback when I told him it didn't  bother me if they raised the minimum wage.


    I'm concerned about income disparity in America.   I'm fearful of what it means for our economy and society, and concerned about what happens at the ballot box if we don't address it.


    There has been, and always will be income inequality.  Intrinsically there is nothing wrong with that.  Work harder, work smarter - get ahead.  Build a better mouse trap - get farther ahead.  That's capitalism. It is the best and only economic system for rewarding ingenuity and hard work.  In theory we rise or fail based on our own merits.


    The problem comes when people who work hard can't get by, let alone get ahead.  It  worsens when the difference in wealth between the mousetrap designer, and the guy assembling the mousetraps on the shop floor is so great they live in completely different worlds with no shared experiences.   When the son or daughter of mousetrap assembler, working forty hours a week plus a second job, is stuck in a failing school with no chance to succeed while the designer doesn't want to improve those schools while their kids learn Chinese attending a top notch school; they lose that shared American experience.  It's that growing separation in society where danger lies.

    To read the full column that appeared in the 9-7-14 Sioux City Journal click the link above. 


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