It is not difficult to figure out who the Republican establishment backs in Iowa politics. There are some names that are just dead giveaways.
And, in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, they are just about all in the same boat.
Karl Rove, Doug Gross, David Kochel, Nick Ryan, Bruce Rastetter and Terry Branstad.
Yeah, what more needs to be said?
Rove is a prominent enough figure. He needs no introduction. I don’t think I need to go into detail about his establishment credentials.
That doesn’t mean I won’t give you a little something, though:
Next is Doug Gross. Gross was once the Republican nominee for Governor in Iowa. And yes, Gross was an advisor for Branstad prior to running for Governor himself.
Check out this line Gross threw out about Iowa:
And Gross is one big reason Branstad returned to Terrace Hill:
“Gross cited the poll in asserting that GOP front-runner Bob Vander Plaats was unelectable because social issues like same-sex marriage were too “central” in his campaign.” (https://www.bleedingheartland.com/2010/06/24/branstad-sticking-with-doug-gross-playbook/)
And yes, Gross was not a Trump fan either:
Gross even warned Iowa GOP leaders not to endorse Trump in 2020.
Next is David Kochel. Now this could take a while. I first encountered Kochel during the 2014 Senate race. He and I did not agree on the idea that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Kochel, on the other hand, was content with marriage including same-sex couples.
But with Kochel, there’s more (so much more) where that came from. The guy cannot stand Trump.
First, Kochel was/is #NeverTrump:
Less than a month before the 2016 election, Kochel was calling on Trump to leave the race:
Kochel talks about the “volume of dipshittedness” when it comes to Trump:
Kochel expresses his belief that Trump is a liar:
Kochel calls Trump campaign’s coordination with Putin “treacherous” and maybe “treasonous.”
Kochel mocks Trump about his sacrifices when it comes to his “venereal health.”
Kochel was aggressively pro-gay marriage when the Republican Party still stood for biblical marriage.
He takes pride in being pro-gay marriage, actually. And, he points out he was well ahead of Biden and Obama when it comes to supporting gay marriage:
Kochel mocks social conservative Bob Vander Plaats:
Kochel continues to “celebrate” gay marriage:
Kochel calls the transgender bathroom issue a “fringe issue” that Republicans are “wasting their time on.”
Nick Ryan and Bruce Rastetter have worked for years to remove Congressman Steve King. You can read about Ryan’s frustrations with King here.
Rastetter is a political power who has a long history of donations to Republicans, but has also given to former Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin and the Iowa Democrat Party.
Finally, former Governor Terry Branstad. And let’s just be honest about this. Obviously Iowa loves Branstad. But again, let’s be real.
I could go through things Branstad did that reveal a weak Republican. I could. But I could save you and me time and just share this quote from Branstad:
“I didn’t know what was in the party platform and I didn’t care.”
The platform for the Republican Party is the playbook. It informs elected leaders what Republicans across the state want.
It is critically important, or at least it should be.
So, look, is it possible all of these guys lining up behind Feenstra to support his candidacy is a coincidence?
Sorry, I am not even going to entertain that possibility for a milli-second. It is 100 percent intentional.
Now, Feenstra has worked really hard on social media to tout himself as a huge Trump supporter.
But knowing what you now know about Gross and Kochel, do you really think they’re going to galvanize around true Trump supporters?
Rove has given Feenstra $1,000. Kochel has given Feenstra $750 so far. Gross has given $1,000. Ryan has given $2,800. Rastetter, yes, has given $2,800. And finally, Branstad has given $2,000.
This is not all by accident.
Nobody will go to these folks to find a “consistent conservative.”
And these guys aren’t going to back someone who will stand up to party leadership when necessary.
In the end, they’re not going to coalesce behind someone who will best represent Iowa’s Conservative Fourth Congressional District.
The Iowa Standard is NOT endorsing anyone. Congressman King, Jeremy Taylor and Bret Richards all have individual strengths. King and Taylor have stood up to leadership within the Party. Richards has worked exceptionally hard. He is an Average Joe, everyday-Iowan that relates as a real “neighbor.”