The race to decide which Republican will challenge Gov. Chet Culver next year remains pretty fuzzy at this early hour.
Four-term former Gov. Terry Branstad tells The Des Moines Register that, contrary to recent buzz, he is not considering a fifth run. Although he hasn’t lost that politician’s skill of issung a denial with just a few inches of wiggle room:
“I certainly don’t want to give anyone the impression that I’m thinking about it, because that would be not really correct,” he said.
He’s not running, but still, he sounds like a college football coach promising to stay put just before sneaking out for a secret job interview.
Perhaps the bigger news in the same story is a more flat denial by Vermeer CEO Mary Andringa that she’s not interested. A lot of Republicans have been talking about Andringa as a potentially appealing and historic candidate. But she says she is “not pursuing” the nomination.
Former Iowa Senate Prez Jeff Lamberti is thinking it over, as are several others. Bob Vander Plaats is already in, but I don’t get a sense the party is coalescing around his candidacy.
Speaking of uncertain elections, Iowa City and Coralville voted on a one-cent local option sales tax yesterday and the results are too close to call. Election night totals had the tax measure passing by six votes in Iowa City and failing by seven votes in Coralville. Incoming absentee ballots will decide the issue.
No such drama in Linn County, where Marion, Hiawatha, Robins and Center Point an a portion of Walford all approved the sales tax by wide margins. Cedar Rapids approved it in March, so the communities that approved it Tuesday now get a cut.
Voter intent was also pretty clear in Independence, where a $1.8 plan to convert an old Fareway into a new city hall got smashed.
What will happen to biofuels, now that some blends have failed emissions targets set by the Obama administration? The Register explores the issue.
What will happen to the city council member from Council Bluffs on trial for soliciting a prostitute now that he’s facing a jury with nine women? The World-Herald has coverage.
And in Burlington will Des Moines County employees forgive the Board of Supervisors for enacting an out-of-state travel ban only to break it for a lobbying trip to Washington D.C.? From the Burlington Hawk Eye:
“I can see how some county department heads would be pissed about this trip. We told them to sacrifice, and then it looks like the board isn’t,” (Supervisor Dan) Cahill said. “With that said, I think this is a very valuable trip, and it could get us some grants.”
In addition to any grants, I’d also bring back some Washington Monument snow globes, Obama action figures or some other small tokens. Might smooth things over.