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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Eye on 2012: Is Branstad betting on Mitch Daniels?

By Douglas Burns | 08.27.10 | 7:05 am

The British bookmaker Ladbrokes put unannounced, but much-speculated-upon, potential GOP presidential candidate Mitch Daniels at 25-1 to win the White House in 2012.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels

Those long odds may turn into what horse-racing handicappers call a “good price” if  Terry Branstad is elected to be Iowa’s next governor Nov. 2 and continues to sing the praises of the Indiana Republican as he did during a campaign stop in Carroll Wednesday.

“What I’ve done is I’ve looked around the country and said, ‘What states have really made a difference?’ And one of the states that I’ve seen that’s made a difference in recent years is the state of Indiana under the leadership of Gov. Mitch Daniels,” Branstad said during his Carroll speech.

Branstad said Daniels, elected in 2004, came in as a fiscal-restraint Republican and reduced the cost and size of government, and used technology to add efficiencies.

“Today, six years later, compare and contrast Indiana with its neighbors, Ohio on one side, Illinois on the other, Michigan on top of it,” Branstad said. “Every one of those states is deep in debt and in real financial trouble and losing jobs. Indiana, on the other hand, has seen a growth in jobs in recent years, and they’re getting their state’s financial house in order.”

There are numbers to back up Branstad’s heaping helping of accolades for Daniels. An in-depth June profile in the Weekly Standard magazine outlines many of Daniels’ accomplishments in great detail. Most noticeable is this: For the first time in 40 years more people are moving to Indiana than leaving it. In 2008, during the Obama tidal wave, Republican Daniels won re-election with the most votes in the state’s history — including 20 percent of the African American vote.

In 2004, there was a $200 million deficit in Indiana. Four years later the Hoosier State showed a surplus of $1.3 billion.

For his part, Daniels is making no early rumblings of a presidential run. On Wednesday, Daniels told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he’s not interested in the White House.

“This is nothing I have started, encouraged,” Daniels said. “People have asked, ‘Please don’t absolutely close your mind’ and I have said I’ll think about it.”

“It’s nothing I’m going to do anything about,” Daniels told the Kentucky newspaper.

Iowans have heard those sorts of denials before from other eventual presidential candidates.

His speech in Carroll wasn’t the first time Branstad has made it a point to speak highly of Daniels. Branstad’s recently announced plan to dissolve the state’s Department of Economic Development is patterned after Daniels’ work in Indiana. And Branstad even caught flak from the Democratic Governors Association earlier this year for a television ad that was nearly identical to one of Daniels’ ads from his 2008 re-election campaign.

The Daniels speculation raises the potential of an intriguing scenario for the GOP in the 2012 Iowa caucuses. The party could have western Iowa social conservative Bob Vander Plaats, a supporter of the last Iowa GOP caucus winner, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, again backing the homespun preacher. And in the other corner, the Republicans may very well have Branstad, a sitting governor with his political machinery humming, standing with Daniels, a numbers man.

Branstad wasn’t the only significant Republican in Iowa this week talking about the prospects of a Daniels run. Former GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes has been in Iowa promoting a new book, “How Capitalism Will Save Us.”

In an interview with The Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich, Forbes spoke highly of Daniels.

“He’s had a very impressive record in Indiana, long-term. It’s a state that has a lot of manufacturing here in the Midwest, and its credit rating went up,” Forbes said.

In Carroll, after the Branstad event, state Rep. Rod Roberts, R-Carroll, (an early and loyal supporter of Sen. John McCain in the 2008 caucuses and primary process) told The Iowa Independent he thought Branstad was clearly referencing Daniels as a gubernatorial role model who has launched programs and policies Branstad likely will seek to replicate in Iowa.

“I didn’t read any more into it than that, but I know there is speculation about the governor of Indiana and he’d certainly be welcome here in Iowa,” Roberts said.

And Daniels, like other governors, can point to actual accomplishments to develop a connection and rapport with Iowa voters, Roberts said. If Daniels can do that, “he becomes a player in 2012.”

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