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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

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

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.

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Palin draws enthusiastic crowd of admirers for Iowa visit

By Douglas Burns | 12.03.10 | 12:56 pm

SPIRIT LAKE — Seven-year-old Grace Klatt wore a toothy grin with her winter hat.

She was exuberant, bouncy even, fresh from a meeting with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Should Palin run for president?

“Yes!” exclaimed Grace, interjecting her youthful conviction into an interview The Iowa Independent was conducting with her mom, Jennie (Troutman) Klatt of Spencer.

The mother-and-daughter duo were among an estimated 700 people at the Walmart Supercenter in Spirit Lake Thursday for Palin’s northwest Iowa stop on a tour to promote her book, “America By Heart.” Melissa Stephens, assistant Spirit Lake Walmart manager, said the store sold about 1,00 copies of Palin’s book in the last few days, and handed out 563 wristbands for readers interested in getting their copies signed.

“I know we let some people in later on,” she said.

Store manager Jan Coon said people started arriving about 8 p.m. Wednesday,  15 hours before Palin’s book-signing started.

“We stayed the night in the store,” said Jennie Klatt, who teaches physical education in Spencer. “We knew that the enthusiasm was a lot.”

Former Alaska Gov. and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks with admirers at a book-signing in the Spirit Lake Walmart Supercenter on Thursday (photo by Douglas Burns)

Klatt said she admires the courage of Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate.

“She’s willing to stand up for her principles at any cost to herself,” Klatt said.

Klatt said Palin connected exceptionally well with the many kids mothers had in tow for the book-signing.

“She just said she (Grace) is the cutest thing she’s seen so far today,” Klatt said.

Klatt thinks more Americans should read Palin’s books, delve into her record, rather than accept what the media churn out about the potential 2012 presidential candidate.

“Because of the coverage she’s gotten in the media you don’t hear about her accomplishments,” Klatt said.

She said Palin supporters are motivated by political attacks on the former Alaska governor.

“You’re way more likely to get out and support her because of the hideous attacks,” Klatt said.

Cindy Chapman, a home health-care professional from Emmetsburg, got her wristband at 6:30 a.m.

“I’ve always admired her,” Chapman said. “I think she’s a real person. She speaks her mind.”

Chapman has a child with Down’s Snydrome, as does Palin, and connects with that. But she doesn’t think Palin will run for president.

“I just don’t think she will,” Chapman said. “At this point in time I don’t think she will.”

Angela Hasek, 17, a senior in high school at Fairmont, Minn., skipped class to visit Palin and get the book signed.

“Obviously, it’s not every day that you get to meet a politician as amazing as Sarah Palin,” Hasek said, adding: “She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and she will take crap from pretty much anyone, but it doesn’t hold her down.”

Andrea Betts, also 17 and a friend of Hasek’s in Fairmont, was thrilled with the hug she received from Palin in the book-signing line.

“I am so excited,” Betts said. “I am just so giddy. It was just such a great experience. She’s very inspiring to me. I just think that she’s out there. She’s just such a great role model. And the things she says are just so down to earth when she has so many reasons to be just so high above everyone else.”

Rick Kalsow, a limousine service operator in Arnolds Park, was leaving the store with his book signed after about 2-1/2 hours in the Walmart.

“I’ll tell you what. I like to hunt and fish,” Kalsow said. “And Sarah’s a big hunter-fisherman, lives up in Alaska. She’s pro-gun. I voted for her.”

Kalsow, a Republican, thinks Palin related well to western Iowans. In fact he invited her to go hunting with him in northwest Iowa or South Dakota.

“I tell you what, she’s even better looking than the cover of this book,” Kalsow said. “I mean she is a very, very fine-looking woman. It was great fun to meet her.”

Does Palin have a chance, should she enter the Iowa Caucuses?

“She’s got a chance,” Kalsow said. “She’s a hell of a nice-looking woman and she’s smart.”

Nancy Vierkant of Spirit Lake, a stay-at-home mother who is active with the Dickinson County Republican Women, came with her 9-year-old daughter, Maddie.

“She is a huge Sarah Palin fan,” Nancy Vierkant said. “We’re Republicans in our house so we talk about her a lot.”

Maddie was the one in the family who asked her mom to go to the event. Vierkant said she would urge Palin to enter the race and thinks she has a workable base in western Iowa.

“I would love to see her try it,” Vierkant, 39, said. “I think she’s a strong woman. She’s got great views, and she does have a following. I think she might have a little bit of a fight, but I think there’s things she can overcome to get there.”

Diana Pritts, a staff member at the Spirit Lake Public Library, brought the lending copy of the book for Palin to sign.

“She’s more beautiful in person than she was on TV,”  said Pritts, who lives in Estherville. “I’m probably the biggest Sarah Palin supporter at the library.”

A self-described “avid” Fox News viewer, Pritts said Palin is no doubt divisive, a fact that will affect any presidential ambitions.

“She’s going to have to get a lot of haters to love her,” Pritts said.

Several people who talked with The Iowa Independent at the store Thursday said they were devoted followers of Palin’s reality show on TLC, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” which airs on Sunday nights.

“I wholeheartedly follow her program on TLC,” Pritts said. “She’s an amazing woman.”

Palin fielded no formal questions from the media during the Walmart event. Her fans lined up in the apparel section and made their way behind a curtained area where Palin quickly signed books and made small talk, taking extra time with those who had kids. Walmart media-relations representatives firmly instructed reporters to refrain from asking questions as they were escorted in waves to a photo-shoot table just feet away from the book-signing.

In the wave before Iowa Independent, CNN reporter Jim Acosta broke ranks.

“Any chance you’re any closer to a decision on running for president?” he asked.

“Not any closer yet, no,” Palin said.

Walmart staff pulled the CNN crew from the event.


  • Anonymous

    What is amazing to me is this woman who spends no time with her own children except on planes or in front of cameras is still thought to be the epitome of motherhood by these people. This woman who can’t tell the truth from an ear of Iowa corn is admired because ‘she speaks her mind.’ It evidently doesn’t matter that she only ‘speaks her mind’ from behind her phone and her Facebook page, never in front of that dang media who might ask her to defend a view. I’m bewildered by the adoration for this money-loving, America-hating liar, who has done nothing positive for anyone except herself in two years. Where is her foundation to help special kids? Where are her trips to Haiti to help people? Heck, why isn’t she mad about the tax cuts that will add trillions to the deficit, instead of being OK with ending help for the unemployed, money which will return immediately to the economy? Wait, that would require Sarah Plain to be a compassionate, caring person, and not just for the ‘good people’ who pad her bank account.

    • Anonymous

      Sarah gave her entire speaking fee to the special needs group PU.R.E while visiting in Georgia. This wasn’t the first time she had done this. She tweeted for peope to donate to the Haiti earthquake and Tennessee floods. The tax cuts you are talking about do not exist. We don’t want taxes cut more than they are now, we want rates to stay where they are now. If we keep them the same how does that cost more money than is already going out now. Obama is the one costing us trillions of dollars on non existing “shovel ready” jobs. Try and read and watch somehing other than the whar comes out of the liberal media. Read some of the actual bills coming out of congress and see what they are pushing on us. Why shouldn’t Sarah be able to make some money for herself? Last time I looked it was still a free country, so good for her.

    • Gleese John

      And just how, pray tell, do you know how much time she spends with her children? Are you shacking up with the creep who moved in next door so you can watch her 24/7? As for the rest of your asinine post, I won’t waste my time except t say you are living proof that liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • Anonymous

    Gorgeous, gracious, gifted Gov. Sarah Palin is America’s most beloved & popular author, TV personality, politician, and role model. She is a superstar celebrity.

  • Nicole Olmstead Coulter

    “bewildered by the adoration for this money-loving, America-hating liar”

    You’re serious? America hating? I’ll just mention a few things I admire about Sarah Palin because I don’t know your motivations for saying such inane things. I am a former Democrat. I used to think like you that conservatives were greedy. What I have found is just the opposite. Study after study show conservatives give more of their own money to charity than the average liberal. Moreover, conservatives/libertarians believe in the private sector’s ability to create jobs. That’s why we don’t want a foolish tax HIKE on job creators in a recession. I feel sorry for your warped view of reality. When the vice presidential candidates had to release financial documents in ’08, it showed the Palin’s gave WAY more of their income, as a percentage, than the Biden’s, despite earning less.

    As for starting a “foundation” … she has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Christian school scholarships in the last 18 months while promoting tolerance for Down’s children. If you think she is money-loving, why did she turn down a 40% raise as governor in 2009, even though it was recommended by a private consulting group?

    She gave up the governor’s chef, the governor’s private jet, and the chauffeur. Meanwhile, Obama quit a $174,000 a year job to take a $400,000 a year job, that also comes with a $150,000 expense account, $100,000 taxfree travel account, and $19,000 in entertainment.

    Say what you will about Palin, but at least your taxdollars aren’t subsidizing her lifestyle.

  • Anonymous

    I just am bewildered, and concerned, that the best the republicans has to offer is Sarah? When I see and hear real positions offered that matter to me, maybe? When she is willing to discuss those positions and support them with rational well reasoned debate forums, maybe? When she is willing to answer questions from the, in her words, “lamestream” media, maybe? Anyone who can’t stand up to the discomfort this causes simply does not have what it will take. How can anyone support these positions and ideals we have not even heard as I recall? Can anyone offer one position and solution she has offered to the people. Do we dare elect someone who woul truly be a puppet for the people who buy her way into office? We need people running who actually have thoughts and solutions of their own. I want someone who if god forbid may have to choose a nulear option, has a real mind of their own.

  • Anonymous

    Cannot believe people waste the gas and time to see this ditz. I guess it’s the same ones that would vote for Huckleberry or Romney

  • singh

    Is Sarah palin running for president again? Palin will be representing the republics because she is famous in the media and has a higher chance of winning than anybody else. Winning presidency is no more about finding the right person or being smart, its about who has more money to spend for their campaign, its about looks, its about stuff that doesnt matter. And the facts that do matter are ignored.

  • Anonymous

    It’s pretty tragic, but Palin has a good shot for the same reason Bush did…Americans love brand names. Her handlers are doing a brilliant job of remembering that any fame is good fame, whether it’s for an untimely resignation, multiple reality shows, or family mini-scandals.I just hope that when the predictable masses choose their new puppet leader, _this_ one turns around and bites the hand that wields it. Nothing would make me feel better about our political nightmare than if this whole thing was a Macchiavellian charade to get into a position to do some good. Seems damn unlikely, though. If it happened, she’d be ousted immediately, and who would we have next? Based on recent Republican trends and the American public’s careful, thought out approach to voting, there’s only one possible choice.That’s right.President Snooki.

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