With the conventions beginning next week the campaigns will be getting into full swing soon thereafter. One here in Iowa that the nation will be watching is the race for the senate seat currently occupied by Chuck Grassley.
Grassley goes into the contest with two big pluses – incumbency which is hard to beat anymore and money, money, money. As chair of the Judiciary Committee, and member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget Committee coupled with his high seniority makes Grassley the kind of guy that lobbyists beg to shower with money. A quick trip to Open Secrets shows that Grassley has money and certain industries will keep him in the chips.
His opponent doesn’t have Grassley’s money, but Patty Judge does have a some big pluses on her side. First there is her reputation as a politician with integrity. Second is her opponents own stumbles especially over the judiciary nominations that are the kind of self inflicted wounds that most politicians only dream of. But maybe most important is Judge’s bulldog character. Expect her to fight and fight hard to the end.
From the Hill Tuesday we get a portrait of Patty Judge the fighter:
Grassley, 82, has consistently won more than 60 percent of the vote in each of his reelection contests. But this year, he faces his first real competition and a very unpredictable election cycle, with polls showing him as little as 1 point ahead of Judge.
“I think she’s trusted. I think people respect her and like her, but I think she’s got to run a great campaign in order to convince people to make the change,” said David Andersen, assistant political science professor at Iowa State University. “If you’re going to unseat Chuck Grassley, you have to convince people there’s a reason to do it.
Those who have worked closely with Judge also describe her as capable of taking on the Senate legend.
“She is a pretty aggressive campaigner in getting out and meeting people across the state, which I think particularly going against Chuck Grassley … is really going to be a strong quality in a candidate,” said Norm Sterzenbach, former deputy campaign manager for the Culver-Judge gubernatorial campaign.
Judge has condemned Grassley’s support of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who came in second in the state’s caucuses. She has endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who eked out a win there in February and is eager to campaign with Clinton when she next visits Iowa.
“I think that she’s a strong woman, and I think I’m a strong woman, but I think we both are very, very qualified to take on the jobs that we’re seeking, despite our gender,” Judge said.
Add to this that Chuck Grassley has been pretty much hiding from most Iowans during this term. Thanks to research by a new website called fakegrassley we see that while Grassley claims to make his 99 county tour yearly in the most populous counties he avoids people. This has been very evident since he signed on to Sen. Cotton’s treasonous letter last year and even more conspicuous since his unconstitutional stand on judicial appointments.
DES MOINES – Progress Iowa today released in-depth research detailing Senator Chuck Grassley’s public town hall meetings since 2011. What was discovered is that Senator Grassley has not held an open public meeting as part of his annual 99 county tour in nearly all of the state’s major population centers, including no public meetings in 11 counties overall, 8 of which are among Iowa’s most populous 10 counties.
“The findings from our research into Senator Grassley’s public meetings are shocking – he has intentionally avoided hearing from the open public in most of Iowa’s largest counties,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “This is not just a one-year anomaly. Our research shows Senator Grassley repeatedly and consistently holding zero public events in nearly all of our most populated counties. Senator Grassley is essentially hiding from the public input of nearly half of his constituents. Senator Grassley reminds us regularly that he visits 99 counties each year, but with far too many private events and no public events in Iowa’s biggest counties, his so-called ‘full Grassley’ tour should be called the ‘fake Grassley.’”
Key findings from the report, which can be found at http://www.fakegrassley.com, include:
Since 2011, Senator Grassley held just 3 public town hall meetings in Iowa’s 10 most populated counties, and held no public meetings in 8 of the 10 most populated counties:
Scott: 2 (none since May 2012)
Black Hawk: 0
Pottawattamie: 1 (none since August 2011)
Senator Grassley has not held a public meeting in Polk, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, Woodbury, Dubuque, Story, Dallas, Jasper, Buena Vista, or Fayette counties, which comprise just over 45% of Iowa’s total population.
Less than half of his 99 county tour meetings are open to the public; in 2016, Senator Grassley has stated he has visited 72 counties, but just 25 of those have been public town meetings
Progress Iowa is hosting the full findings of the report on the new website www.FakeGrassley.com, which includes additional information and statistics about Senator Grassley’s travel schedules.
I can vouch that that in my neck of the woods that a Grassley sighting is a very rare occurrence. His last foray out our way was shortly after he refused to do his job. The meeting was very tense with most people there to ask why he wouldn’t do his job and Grassley refusing to answer.
No wonder he is hiding.