Wednesday, November 08, 2006

History repeating itself……..

……….. is not a good thing when it doesn’t work the first time. It’s also important to look at the facts on the ground and to learn from them in a zero sum game like politics.

It is very clear that Iowa Republican politics focuses on a top down model. The top of the ticket gets and spends most of the money, most of the energy and most of the control over the state wide effort. Any review of money raised and how and by whom spent irrefutably demonstrates that historical pattern.

This model obviously used to work. We dominated politics for many years in Iowa. Those years are obviously over. While we’ve had some successes, legislative and now a couple of down ballot state wide races, the consistent trend line is down, and now sharply down.

The 2002 and 2006 vote totals bear no relationship to resource allocation:

Doug Gross-456,612
Greg Ganske-449,892
Mike Hartwig-420,290
Dave Vaudt-464,469
Matt Whitaker-421,574
John Askew-446,136
Total Congressional-546,382

Jim Nussle-466,757
M. A. Hanusa-465,871
Dave Vaudt-666,571
Bill Northey-520,357
Total Congressional-519,070

The complete lack of correlation between assets expended and vote returned clearly evidences the failure of the top down model that we have employed for the last several cycles. No one candidate is at fault, no institution is at fault, no one consultant or lobbying interest caused this problem; every one did. The system finally wore out. This is not an attack on anyone-it is a fact. How we deal with this fact is the issue before us. A rational discussion will be healthy for our Party.

A twelve year trend is not an abberation. We are all left with this question, can we learn from our mistakes and begin rebuilding at a foundational level right now, or do we wait for the Presidential campaigns to create so much division that we miss the wonderful opportunity before us in the next two years.


curious george said...

Well Theodore it looks like you were right.

Where do we go from here?

mohammed was a pedophile said...

Ted, All:

The question has been posed "Where do we go from here?"

Easy. We have to figure out who the enemy is. The Party Uber Alles folks would have you believe that the enemy is the Democrats. They could not be more wrong.

The enemy is liberalism as an ideology. It has to be eradicated from all sectors of society, beginning with the Republican party. Let's clean house!!

There are three factions in the party right now; the unctious religios; the business interests, and; the libertarians. Each of those factions hates the other two but all need to be placated to win an election. The pubbies lost the libertarians. They stayed home. Not their fault, the Republicans did not give them anything to vote for.

So where do we go from here? To the bar for about a week or so, then home. Re-read your Bastiat, Hayek and Rand and wait until the primaries.

Anonymous said...

sporer, you are getting bagged on Krusty, but leaders generally do and those doing the bagging are probably Chris Woods and his othe friends having a blog party with paint....

Sporer, this makes complete sense. i recall you talking about this months ago, it needs to be a top down and bottom up compression strategy....

Nussle/Dorr whording all the resources(and basically hanging down ticket races out to dry) didnt help.

i still think Sporer will be chair. hoffman is rediculous.

Anonymous said...

i am ashamed to write this, but the only winner last night had Nemmers as one of its first hires(and subsequent fires), but nonetheless i found that humorous. i fell off my chair when i heard a northey said say how he was the 'only full time farmer in the race'. I recall time and time again Nemmers took credit for coming up with that...not sure if he actually did...

Anonymous said...

do you have that video from the city council meeting? you should just have that streaming all the time on your blog...

Anonymous said...

I concur, sporer will be chair. Hoffman will be thrown out faster than Allison was.

war sporer

Anonymous said...

What is this I'm hearing about Nussle staffers inflating their mileage in order to pad their already high salaries?

tim s said...

Tami somthing or another (I don't know her last name, she is from waterloo) is the only republican to have won against a democratic incumbant for the Iowa house. They are media consultants who know how to craft a message--something the party has to work on. Not only becuase we have lost, but becuase the party has to deal with the media. Something our friend Ted is not afraid of but everybody else is.

In the days of micro targeting campaigns the top down method does not make any sense. Melman and Rove's idea of micro targeting districts means we also have to get candidates across the board who are also articulate for their districts causes while believing and living the principles. One last thing that would have helped any game plan, and we all probably have heard this, would be if those who are "on the top" don't rule with an iron fist with their decisions. We need transparency in government and in our campaigns...

uncle ted for chair

Anonymous said...


Krusty is lame.

WAR-The Salamander Letter

Kenboiraq said...


or do we want to keep getting beat? Ted fights, the Dems fear him, and his ability to organize and coach is beyond comparison. And the decision to make Ted the Chair is even in question because???????????????????

mohammed was a pedophile said...

tim s:

Pretty good analysis except for one thing...the Republicans did not HAVE a message.

It gets back to a post that I made on another thread. Conservatives no longer believe in the superiority of their ideas.

tim s said...


Do you believe that is becuase they don't use those ideas or becuase they aren't good enough at articulating them? I want to say it is some of both. As easy as it does or does not sound, I say the message has to be recreated with the idea of teaching as we go to show that we can both govern and once more prove we are the party of ideas and abilities (the standard conservative philosophy..isn't it?).

If you havn't read Rush's transcript (today's broadcast) I highly recommend it. As he said, it is tough pulling the water for those who do not deserve it. Pence for minority leader. Newt for something..pres? vp? party leader?

mohammed was a pedophile said...

tim s:

I think part of it is that they don't believe what they say. Nussle talked a hell of a game but when it came right down to it, he had voted for every big government spending bill that came down the pike.

I think that the articulation problem comes into play here as well. The Republicans have wanted to be liked by the criminal liberal news enemedia. What they fail to recognize is that good politics is not always good policy and vice versa.

What did the Republicans offer people as an alternative to the RATS. Nada. Nothing. Their campaign themes were "At least we aren't DemocRATS" and "Vote Republican: We Suck Less." You can only go to that well so many times before people start demanding some results.

Iraq being a complete clusterfuck did not help. Rumsfeld stepping down should bode well for the war effort. He should have been shitcanned a year ago.

The Contract With America demonstrated that when conservatives run as conservatives and present their ideas directly to the people, they win big. They haven't learned that lesson and now we are stuck with Bush.

Kenboiraq said...

Rumsfeld will be missed as he was very popular with everyone I know. Many Generals did not like him since he attacked their sacred cows.

What is anyone else going to offer that Rummy did not offer? The whole Army Times piece is worthless as nobody buys that paper unless checking promotion lists.

Bush stuck with Rummy because he was the best man for the job and Dems went after Rummy because they hated his attitude. Democrats would rather lose this war and have Republicans to blame than win and be outside of power.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, putting all of our hopes statewide into basically one race (maybe 3 if you count the 2 congressionals) who then put the campaign into the hands of a bunch of incompotent staffers sank everyone's boat.

I was at a meeting in May where Sporer predicted all of this would happen and said why. Sporer might or might not have all the answers but at least he is asking the right questions.

mohammed was a pedophile said...

Rumsfeld is a pencil-pushing, bean-counter who's experience in running a war was to be one of the cogs left over to implement Nixon's back-handed admission
of failure (i.e. Vietnamization). Rumsfeld is a product of his times; he learned failure wouldn't get you fired, particularly if you can blame previous administrations. His plan for the war in Iraq amounted to: show up, scare the hell out them, let the Iraqi people do the rest, and oh, keep the cost down.

Just because he's entertaining and knows how to foil the press, doesn't make him a military genius. Seeking military advice from most of the other "leaders" in
this country (Kerry, McCain, Cleland, just to start
with) is similarly dumb; they were on the losing side, after all. While more is often learned from failure than success, the failure of that generation in war
has left them scarred. The lesson they learned is not "fight to win", but rather "if I had it all to do over again, I would have stayed home and got stoned".

We won't even get into the other failure (Colin Powell) who flubbed the diplomatic parts of the run-up
to war (insisting on going to the UN, not getting "permission" from the Turks to use OUR OWN bases),
which necessitated a deviation of the orignal plan; an assault from north and south, that would have squeezed most of the "insurgent" elements we're dealing wiht
now right out of the war. When we couldn't launch a North/South invasion, the plan simply became "race hell-bent for leather to Baghdad, forget prisoners,
let them run away, wait for the expected internal revolt and welcoming of Americans as liberators.

Bad plan, all the way around.

While it is true that Rumsfeld did not run the war in 1965 and beyond, the fact remains that when he was in a position of authority responsible for the conduct of
the war (or what was left of it), knew the US Army was
still regularly lying about victory, and knew that is
was still concealing the fact that it knew the war was lost. And thorugh it all, he continued to put a smiley face on a policy designed to shield the American
public from it, until the fall of Saigon made it painfully obvious. He repeated his performance vis-a-vis Iraq.

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Hey Teddy

Thanks for your insights. I look forward to hearing more about our reconstruction.

It seems the staffers that lost wish to blame everyone but themselves and their own poor strategy and communication decisions.

They say all politics is local. No one, other than Northey, ran on anything locally important to us.

When CIETC came up, they ignored it. When the Michael J Fox lie was foisted upon us, they ran away from it.

They didn't want that to be the message. Huh? What was the message they wanted to use instead? I sure never heard one.

Northey ended up winning because of the hot topic of local control and Denise's late scandel over cow murder. I heard commercial after commercial from Northey on the cow murders. Obviously others heard it too. If that had not come up, we'd have Denise in charge.

He had more votes than Nussle. In fact, Northey was the top vote getter. Nussle had less than 1000 votes than Hanusa!

I've heard you talk about a bottom up strategy too. I think our results prove you were right. At least it's a new road to travel.

Anonymous said...

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I'm all for some sanity next time around.

War Sporer!

Joe said...

Amen. The other problem with "top down" is that it doesn't build a bench. I'm at a loss as to who is rising in the party to make an attractive challenger in four years. The roster is weak, and I don't know of any good free agents coming available.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who wants to run for office needs to start running to day. Target a canidate, watch him/her and their votes, get active in your community-volunteers baords commisions ect. Ready Aim and then fire. Lets be smart. The democrat will get drunk off of power. Lets work hard at the ground level and raise a new crop of republicans.


Anonymous said...

Start early and build an organization. Use autodialers and billboards or yard signs in conjunction with the internet.

Anonymous said...

The statewide totals are interesting, stunning really. Nussle ends up being the next to last statewide votegetter, barely getting more votes than Hanusa who jumped in as a mercy candidate at the last minute.

Nussle got that low total with 100% of the available resources, all the money from the big donors who wouldn't give money to anyone else, taking over the entire party, all the phone banks, the 72 hour program, cutting out the state central committee, the county central committees, (grassroots)etc.

And, lets not forget, he had over $6 Million dollars!

Looks like the only trickle down that worked was for Hanusa and they didn't even want her to run.

I'm also stunned at the results in the 1st district for Nussle. How could he lose so badly in his home district?

No leadership coming from the 1st district it would appear.

Anonymous said...

I thought Sporer was pretty restrained election night. He continues to prove he is our best spokesman.

Anonymous said...

Atrocious showing. We need firebrands like Steve King and Ted Sporer rather than NPR types. Appealing the liberals does not work. You can't outspend a liberal or out promise one so why are we trying?

Anonymous said...

The ONLY spokesmen.

Not exactly the Real Sporer said...

I, for one, WELCOME our new Democrat overlords.

Anonymous said...

You're all crazy. Do you really believe that pouring a majority of resources into down ballot races is the silver bullet we've been missing all these years? Maybe you're right...if Dave Vaudt could have just spent EVEN MORE money on worthless radio ads we'd be have won by six points. Unbelievable...

As for Mr. Sporer, I like you sir. But your brand of conservatism is not what will attract swing voters. If we want an ideologically pure (I suppose I could have said fascist) GOP that treats it's platform as God's own law, then we should go for it. We'll lose ourselves out of existence within a generation.

If you would actually look at the contract with america you'd see that the closest thing to a social agenda in there is tax incentives for adoption...please get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ted

I heard you on Deace on the way home. Good job! I'm still listening at home now. Glad to see you were serious about rebuilding.

Christian Conservative said...

Anon 3:35 You added 2 and 2 and got 5. Where are the Dems getting there people? In the Legislature and Courthouse!!!Harkin, Boswell, Vilsack, Culver and Braley were all elected to lower office before their current positions.
We need to develop people like Tim Morgan and support people like Danny Carroll. These people are your next Congressional and State Candidates. Build the grass roots in Senate and House Districts. ( remember when NW Iowa was Dem Territory.)
Christian cons gave you the 5th district, Christian Cons gave this state to GW Bush. Christian Cons stayed out because of people like you. If you want to ignore us we will go away and take our grass roots with us.

Anonymous said...

Please go then. Do you know what it means to live in a pluralist society?

The Republican Party is NOT the 'Christian Cons' party. Conservatism is a subcategory of Republicanism not the definition. Go start your own Conservative Party and see how many elections you win. Our two party system is not perfect, but it's reality. Incramentalism will never satisfy your zealotry but it's the only way reach the goal.

Iowawatcher said...

Perhaps the conservatives lost all over America because the majority of people don't want what they're selling. It's not simply a strategy problem, although I know some of you war historian-types think that's the problem. Conservatives also think that they lost because the majority is too stupid. Well, you uber intelligents can go around and insult the majority while they hold office and make decisions on your behalf.

in the flock with herky said...

All of us who have listened to conservatives worry that Ted will make the platform more liberal have been laughing for years.

Ted is pretty socially conservative, a super hawk on security, and a real Milton Freidman and Ron Reagan on economics.

Anonymous said...

Christian Conservative-right on.

The DemocRats start people our in municpal and county elections.

We think they start in politics by running for state wide office or congress.

Its building the party we need to do, bottom to top because top to bottom isn't working (ask Govs. Lightfoot, Gross and Nussle.)

Anonymous said...

The State Central Committee, District Chairs and every paid employee at RIP needs to be replaced. The local Counties were shit on by RPI and everyone else. Not one of the paid party folks gave a damn and refused to respond to the questions and concerns of local Central Committees. The rumblings have started. RPI, SSC and District Chairs don’t expect anything from your County Central Committees you abandoned us and all the local state candidates. Good luck in 08 because we are on separate teams right now.

Christian Conservative said...

Zealot!! Why is it when we lose the Christians are demeaned and scapegoated. We are called Zealots and "holier than thou". Maybe anon, someone should remind you of your own history. Why does the first ammendment start with freedom of Religion? This country was founded by "zealots" just like me, looking to escape religious suppresion and gain the freedoms God gave us. Why does the architect of the Contract With America, Newt Gingrich, devote a whole chapter in his latest book to restoring God to his rightful placein America?
My party (and I can call it my party) was created by the abolitionists movement ( more Zealots whom people like you found inconvient and wanted to silence at the time.)I believe the abolition of Abortion and the defence of Traditional Marriage are no less as important in this day and time. I believe it so strongly, because I serve someone greater than my own self intrests.
Look around for the latest Newsweek mag about God and politics. Inside you'll find a map showing the concentration of voters identifing themselves as evangelical. Don't cringe! Its the red/blue map we've seen after the last two elections.
So just be careful who you want to leave. We supply an army of the volunteers, but we are fickle. we won't sell our soul to the Devil just because he has an R behind his name. We are principled. We want our place at the table not in the kitchen. Remember 800 people were at the ICA dinner. How many came to the Reagan dinner? Oh right, 0, we didn't have one. Just like the Dems can't take the black vote for granted. You need me more than I need you.

Anonymous said...

Scheffler must have let you off the leash this evening.

I said go...start walkin'...

mohammed was a pedophile said...

Scheffler is only out for Scheffler. Interesting how the most "Christian" campaign is the one that pays him the most.

mohammed was a pedophile said...

Just read Christian's missive. He is right to a point. The evangelicals give more votes to the Republicans than the blacks and the goonions combined give to the RATS.

The problem is that they listen too much to guys like Scheffler, who is usually being paid off handsomely by a candidate, instead of thinking for themselves.

I also worry that the evangelicals spend too much time making our candidates talk about their "testimony" or their "walk with God" instead of actual policy debates. I believe in God but if a candidate comes along who will actually reduce the size of government, control spending, promote capitalism and freedom, and kill terrorists in a brutal and efficient manner, I don't care if the guy sacrifices kittens to Stercutius, I'll vote for the guy.

Kenboiraq said...

Christian Conservatives are essential to the Republican Party but this party is of man and not God. I feel safe remembering what my Bible tells me to do and seeking God knowing I am extremely flawed as a human on this earth. The Republican Party is far closer to my Christian beliefs than the Democrats and I feel pretty good working for Republican Candidates. I feel betrayed occasionally but if I worked for a Democrat I would feel evil since I know their policies and have seen them in action.

Christian Conservatives better learn to campaign and stop patting each other on the back. Campaigns are won with shoe leather and not happy thoughts.

I won't go as far as voting for Stercutius but I will say many thought Ted Sporer was a Rhino when he took over Polk County. I dare say he has proven to be fantastically conservative and the best prize fighter we've got. We need to get with the program and support him or keep taking our butt kickings and be happy about them.

Go Ted and keep up the fight.

Anonymous said...

Ted - I agree with you. As a former candidate myself, I have experienced this first hand. I didn't really have a chance at winning when I ran and didn't expect much help but I communicated with others that did have a shot and they all had the same frustration - if you weren't running at the top of the ticket you were practically ignored by the state Party.

I think our demise this year was the result of two problems:
1. We have a hard time finding candidates that are relatable and "real."
2. I agree that our failure to support the entire ticket statewide is a major problem and communication between the Party and the candidates is not very good.

I'm looking forward to kicking ass in 2008. I think if we do the right things and find solid, down-to-earth candidates, we can win...big.

mohammed was a pedophile said...


As far as kicking ass in 2008 goes, if you can't field a conservative candidate then you will lose again. Simple as that.