Washington Post Poll: Huckabee Leads Field of Potential 2012 Presidential Challengers

July 24, 2009

A new Washington Post poll shows former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee leads Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich in a match-up of potential 2012 GOP presidential contenders.

The Concept Works represented Huckabee in the lead-up to the 2008 Iowa caucuses and TCW owner Eric Woolson managed Huckabee’s winning campaign in the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.


Alfredo Jimenez to Perform with Los Saleros on Friday in Des Moines

July 23, 2009

Alfredo Jimenez, the El Savadoran artist with a sophisticated, lively sound, will perform as the featured vocalist in front of the Des Moines band Los Salseros this Friday, July 24.

Jimenez and Los Salseros will open at 9:00 p.m. at the Kirkwood Ballroom, Fourth and Walnut Streets, in downtown Des Moines. They’ll perform until 1:00 a.m. Admission price is $10 at the door.

Jimenez, whose own band, Del Alma, has performed in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, recently retained The Concept Works to represent him and market the band throughout the Midwest. Del Alma has produced two CDs, Dulce Inspiracion and Folclor Latino.

Woolson to be Guest on Iowa Public Radio “Talk at Twelve” on Wednesday, July 29

July 23, 2009

Eric Woolson of The Concept Works will be a guest on the Iowa Public Radio program “Talk at Twelve” at noon Wednesday, July 29.

Moderator Greg Shanley will host a conversation between Woolson and New Hampshire political analyst Arnie Arenson. Woolson, a GOP strategist, and Arenson will provide counterpoints on a range of current national political issues. Arenson, a former Democratic state legislator and talk show host, has served on the national board of Common Cause. She hosts the weekly television program “Political Chowder” in her home state. Her website is www.politicalchowder.com.

The program can be heard in central Iowa at 640 on the AM radio dial or by logging on to the live simulcast on www.iowapublicradio.org.

Vander Plaats: First Scientific Poll in GOP Gubernatorial Race Helps Bring Contest, Issues into Focus

July 21, 2009

Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats, the frontrunning Republican in the 2010 Iowa gubernatorial race, writes for a leading political website, “The numbers in the first scientific poll of the 2010 GOP primary, published last week by The IowaRepublican.com, are helping bring the race into clearer focus. The poll told us a few things we already knew about Gov. Chet Culver’s vulnerability and our party’s growing opportunity for victory – and it even contained one or two surprises that the pundits may or may not admit.” To see the entire article, click here.

First Scientific Poll of 2010 GOP Governor’s Race Has Vander Plaats Far Out in Front

July 15, 2009

DES MOINES – A scientific poll published today by TheIowaRepublican.com website shows Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats leading his nearest competitor by more than a three-to-one margin in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary.

The poll, conducted by the Washington, D.C., polling group Voter Consumer Research, shows Vander Plaats with 46 percent support among registered GOP voters, following by 27 percent undecided, 14 percent for former House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City, 3 percent for Cedar Rapids political novice Christian Fong, 3 percent for Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley of Corydon, 1 percent for state Rep. Rod Roberts of Carroll and 0.2 percent for state Sen. Jerry Behn of Boone. Five percent indicated support for another candidate or none of the candidates in the field.

The polling also shows Vander Plaats has the strongest favorability ratings among all the candidates and is the most recognized name in the field.

“Today’s poll of the GOP primary reflects what we’re seeing across the state – Bob Vander Plaats is clearly the favorite among Republicans to represent our party in next year’s election against Chet Culver,” said state Rep. Jodi Tymeson, who chairs Vander Plaats’ state committee. “As with any poll, we know it’s a snapshot in time and that there’s a lot of work to do between now and Election Day. But it’s when one candidate in a six-person field winds nearly half the support, it obvious who GOP voters want as their nominee.”

Voter Consumer Research was founded by Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, who was President George W. Bush’s primary pollster. Van Lohuizen has been retained by numerous political candidates, corporations, and various think tanks. The Republican primary sample polled 394 Republican voters on July 2 and July 5-6. Its margin of error is 5 percent.

Another part of the group’s statewide polling, release earlier this week, shows 53 percent of Iowans are ready to give someone else the opportunity to lead the state while only 36 percent believe Culver deserves to be re-elected. The general election sample consists of 500 Iowans and has a 3.7 percent margin of error.

“Far and away, Iowans recognize that Bob stands for their values and they know he’ll put a stop to the massive government spending increases that Chet Culver and legislative Democrats have thrown at us and working families are already starting to pay for,” Tymeson said. “They want Bob Vander Plaats because he’ll do the right things instead of saying one thing and then doing another, which has been the hallmark of the Culver administration. Iowans are clearly ready to elect a new governor next year. I’m convinced that person will be Bob Vander Plaats and today’s poll proves it.”

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Vander Plaats: Culver, Democrats Took Advantage of Flood Victims to Tax, Spend More

July 8, 2009

SIOUX CITY – The failure of Gov. Chet Culver and legislative Democrats to mesh the state’s tax code with federal disaster relief provisions was “simply a way to take money from people who had already suffered far too much,” Sioux City Republican Bob Vander Plaats said today.

In a story published in today’s edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, state Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, said his party did not adopt the appropriate federal tax laws because the state would have taken in $56 million less in this fiscal year. Although Democrats refused to consider a GOP proposal to reduce spending by $300 million, McCoy said action to spare Iowans from the higher taxes was “a hit to the budget that, frankly, was not an option.” As a result, many Iowa flood victims who filed their state taxes early will be forced to repay refunds that were based on the federal guidelines.

“Where was Chet Culver when this was happening? Was he simply asleep at the switch again or did he go along with the plan to feed his voracious spending habit?” Vander Plaats asked. “When he signed the state budget into law, he effectively said to thousands of flood victims that he was going to balance the state budget on their backs. It was simply a way to take money from people who had already suffered too much to pay for his bloated government that consistently does less with more.”

He added, “This is the clearest evidence yet that state government doesn’t have a revenue problem; Chet Culver has a spending problem. When Senator McCoy is willing to admit that his party didn’t couple the state tax code with federal disaster relief provisions because it was ‘a hit to the budget’ that tells Iowans that we need leadership that going to look out for them rather than pick their pockets when they’ve been knocked down by a natural disaster.”

Vander Plaats said the episode also demonstrates the need to make our state’s tax structure simpler. “We’re long overdue for tax reform that helps Iowa’s working families and the people who create jobs. We’re never going to get that on Chet Culver’s watch but it will be a priority for my administration,” he said.
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Vander Plaats: Culver Needs Fiscal New Year’s Resolution to Curb His Out-of-Control Spending

July 1, 2009

SIOUX CITY – With the start of the new fiscal year today, Gov. Chet Culver should make a resolution to control his excessive spending habits that have already pushed the state to the brink of an illegal deficit, Republican Bob Vander Plaats said.

“The Legislative Services Agency reported today that state revenues are $123 million less than the estimate the budget was based on. That may mean the state is deficit spending or Chet Culver’s budget director may be correct in saying he can transfer enough funds to ‘manage’ the estimated $58 million shortfall. Either way, Chet Culver’s irresponsible, out-of-control spending have left state government with a deficit or just pushed it to the very edge. He needs to make a resolution to change his ways,” Vander Plaats said today. “I realize that traditional New Year’s resolutions come on January 1, but the fiscal year starts today. Besides, because of Chet Culver’s irresponsible handling of the budget, we can’t afford to wait another minute for him to start a healthier fiscal regimen.”

He added, “It takes 21 days to develop a new habit so if the governor starts today and works very hard, he’ll be able to resist his big-spending ways by the time his staff starts to work next month on the next fiscal year budget. He might even work up the ability to say no to legislative Democrats who only want to increase spending, taxes and the size of state government.”

Culver said last week that the state budget “should be all right,” despite concerns by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency that slumping state revenues can’t keep pace with sharp spending increases approved by Culver and the Democrat-controlled legislature since the Democrat took office in January 2007.

While, the state’s largest union agreed to a zero-percent pay raise this year, merit raises and “step increases” that move employees closer to the top pay in their grade mean state workers still will receive an average 4.5 percent raise in the coming fiscal year.

“That adds $121 million to the overspending that’s already going on,” Vander Plaats said today. “I respect state workers but we shouldn’t be giving raises when the private sector is cutting back and state government is faced with a $903 million shortfall this year because of the governor’s fiscal mismanagement.”

Culver has also said he hopes Iowa’s economy will rebound faster than other states so the state can work its way out of the financial hole he’s dug. However, a published report on Monday indicates economists expect Iowa’s employment and revenue to remain down for the next two years.

“New Year’s is a time when people often face the cold, hard facts, reflect on their shortcomings and resolve to take action and make constructive changes,” Vander Plaats said. “I’d encourage Chet Culver to do exactly that today on the fiscal new year and set the state budget back on the right course.”