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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.


Johnson may have made GOP debate cut

Karger continues to petition debate organizers for inclusion
By Nicolas Mendoza | 09.20.11 | 6:01 pm

It appears that former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will be among the 2012 GOP hopefuls that have met the polling threshold needed to qualify for an upcoming debate. Political strategist Fred Karger, however, is continuing to petition Fox News for a chance behind a lectern.

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz reported Tuesday that Johnson will be among those assembled on stage:

The former New Mexico governor won the right to participate, according to Fox sources, by cracking 1 percent in the latest five national polls in which he was included — Fox News, CNN, McClatchy-Marist, ABC, and Quinnipiac — which was the criterion the network had set for inclusion.

Gary Johnson

Talking Points Memo noted that Johnson has yet to receive final notification that he will participate in the debate, though he told TPM, “It would be good news if we get it.”

Johnson is a self-identified libertarian who differentiates himself from U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the more popular of the libertarian GOP candidates, with his support for abortion rights and his opposition to the construction of a border fence. Johnson attended one other GOP debate, where he was asked about his support for marijuana legalization and discussed his initial opposition to the war in Iraq.

According to Politico, Johnson’s inclusion in the debate came over the objection of the Florida Republican Party, which has excluded him from Saturday’s Florida straw poll.

If he does indeed receive a debate invitation, Johnson will have temporarily left the ranks of presidential candidates who have been deemed to have too little support to gain the valuable national airtime of a debate. These candidates include former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and Karger, who pleaded his case in letter to debate organizers.

Fred Karger

“Gentlemen: Great News! I have now achieved an average of 1 percent in seven national polls, and I am writing to request my invitation to the Fox News, Republican Party of Florida and YouTube debate on Thursday, Sept. 22,” begins the letter from Karger. He adds that he believes he met the 1 percent threshold prior to the debate held in Ames, and reminds those receiving the letter that he filed a 158-page complaint with the Federal Election Commission as a result of his exclusion.

“I asked the FEC to expedite their investigation so that I could be included in this weeks debate, but have not been notified of their findings. So in the interest of fairness, and with more polling information (see below), I trust that the organizers of Thursdays debate will allow me a spot on that stage,” he states.

Karger cites the following polls as listing him with 1 percent or greater: Fox News (April 28), Zogby (May 23), Zogby (July 25), Harris (2 percent, Aug. 4), Synovate (Aug. 8) and GFK (Aug. 26). The campaign also notes that he received less than one percent in a McClatchy-Marist poll on Aug. 10.

If the debate stage once again eludes Karger, he still plans to grab a bit of the spotlight by airing a 30-second commercial spot in the Orlando market.

“I want to be in the GOP Debate Thursday night in Orlando to talk about my ideas to turn this country around, but if Fox News won’t let me join my fellow candidates for President once again, we will be there via a 30 second commercial,” said Karger. “We will run our latest spot, ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’ during the debate throughout the Orlando market. In the commercial, I take on the world’s largest oil company Exxon Mobil and its CEO, Rex Tillerson in order to bring down gas prices.”

A copy of the ad is embedded below:

(Lynda Waddington contributed to this report.)




  • IowaExpat

    Former Senator Percy died this week.  He was the last Republican that I liked and admired.

    • Anonymous

      He does seem to have led an honorable career.  And a legacy which, unfortunately, hasn’t lasted long.

  • Bruce Rheinstein

    Glad to see Gary Johnson included.  The debates could use some fresh blood!

  • Anonymous

    There’s a limit to how many people can usefully be on the stage during one of these debates.  More than five and it becomes an exercise in one-liners or complaints by those on the edge not getting enough questions.  Karger seems like a nice enough guy, but he has no chance given the lack of executive or political office experience.  Johnson had his chance in the first debate and fell flat.  He could have been the younger alternative to Paul with executive experience but the libertarians are solidly behind Paul.  It might be worthwhile to give McCotter a try, but not Roemer.  As much as I like Santorum, anyone polling under 5% at this point should probably be left out. 

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