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Iowa Journal News Analysis: Iowa Republicans Convention

posted on July 18, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Paul Yeager: Kay, we're going to first talk aboutGovernor Culver and it has a little bit to do about the floods but we're seeinga different classification of employees and it has something to do withtax.  Tell me what the Governor isconcerned about with contractor's misclassification of employees.  What does that mean, first?

Kay Henderson: The allegation is that contractorsclassify certain of their employees as independent contractors thereby they canpay them less.  They may not even bepaying them the minimum wage.  Theycertainly aren't paying into their pension plan. 

This is a bugaboo for unions in the state because theysee that some contractors are able to big on projects and win them because theypay wages to their employees, these so-called independent contractors that arefar below those earned by union people.

Paul Yeager: So, the union is a little upset about thisone.  As you said they were a bugabooabout it.  Who else was upset about this?

Kay Henderson: There are some concerns that this isoccurring within the flood zones, if you will, that there are some contractorsin the Cedar Rapidsarea who may be employing this tactic. And the aforementioned unions, this is another part of the politicalequation here, Governor Culver angered unions in this state when he vetoed abill that unions sought regarding collective bargaining rights and this is seenin some quarters as an olive branch that the Governor is sort of reaching outto unions and saying, hey, I'm in your corner.

Paul Yeager: To a traditional Democratic base, he'sthinking of ...

Kay Henderson: Oh, maybe running for re-election.

Paul Yeager: He might need the unions and somesupport.  Let's talk about theRepublicans.  They had their stateconvention last weekend.  They electedleaders from the Iowa Christian Alliance and the Iowa Right to Life, usuallythought as traditional members of the GOP but what was the significance oftheir election right now?

Kay Henderson: This was seen by some as a showdownbetween moderate or establishment types within the party and socialconservatives represented by Steve Scheffler of the Iowa Christian Alliance andKim Lehman of the Iowa Right to Life group. Those two individuals did win seats on the Republican NationalCommittee. 

They displaced, in one instance, a fellow that had beenthere for decades, if you will, Steve Roberts, a local lawyer in Des Moines.  And the other slot was sought by a woman,Sandy Greiner, who is an outgoing state legislator.  The key for her seeking that post was theidea that she would work to keep Iowafirst in the nation as the Republican National Committee sets the calendar ofthe future for 2012. 

The two people who won these seats, the aforementionedSteve Scheffler and Kim Lehman, intend to press this party to more closelyadhere to the principles that are very important to social conservatives,namely abortion. 

And in this matter there is also an attempt among somepeople in the party to perhaps purge it of Republicans that they call RINOs,Republicans in name only, people who don't hold the values that many in theparty see as keen and important for candidates seeking office under theRepublican banner.

Paul Yeager: So, not so much of Iowa interest but Republican interest -- notso much Iowa Republican interest that their election is seen as a vote for.

Kay Henderson: Right.

Paul Yeager: The keynote speaker was Mike Huckabee,former Governor of Arkansas, Presidentialcandidate, won Iowain the caucus.  You had a chance to talkto him beforehand.  Is he beingconsidered for a vice presidency?

Kay Henderson: And his answer was quite curious.  He said, no, they have not asked for any ofthe documents one would assume would be requested for him to be on the list ofserious vice presidential contenders McCain may choose as a running mate. 

The other thing that occurred was three questions intothe interview after I had sort of set aside the vice presidential sweepstakesquestion Huckabee returned to the issue and said, hey look, I'm not sitting bythe telephone waiting for these people to call. And he said, I'm going to quote here, "it would mess up a lot ofthings I have going." 

In other words, Mike Huckabee is out on the hustings,he's very popular with the Republican base. He could be building a ground swell of support nationally for run in, ohI don't know, say 2012.  And he also hassome things going in the media.  He'snegotiating with Fox about having a show on the network. 

This past week if you were driving around Iowa and listening to aradio station you may have heard him substituting for Paul Harvey.  So, he indeed does have things that wouldreally be messed up were he to become the Vice Presidential pick.

Paul Yeager: It sounds like he's building namerecognition across the country and he did get that after winning Iowa and then going ondown the line.  He certainly had somebuilt but looking forward.  Do you getthe sense at all that maybe 2012 is what all of this is eventually pointing toand not so much a vice president spot?

Kay Henderson: I do because there are a lot of people,Republicans, who will privately tell you that it is perhaps not going to happenfor John McCain in 2008 and so people are already lining up thinking about2012.

Paul Yeager: Well, we're not thinking about 2012, we'rejust thinking about the rest of the program. But Kay Henderson, thank you so much for stopping by.  We'll see you next time on The Iowa Journal.

 

Tags: Chet Culver elections future Iowa news Republicans