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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:16 am 
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Likely 2012 presidential candidates have been sniffing around Iowa for months on book tours and under-the-radar speaking engagements. But now the entire field–all dozen or so possible GOP challengers–are being invited to a megachurch on the outskirts of Des Moines for a March 7th candidates’ forum–the first of its kind for 2011.

And the question is: Who will be so bold as to come?

Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, says the group plans to send invitations out this week to anyone who has expressed the slightest interest in the 2012 Republican nomination. That means everyone from Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich to Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum. Even Atlanta radio host Herman Cain will get an invitation.

“I’d think that these potential candidates would like the chance to come have a dialogue with evangelical Christians,” said Mr. Scheffler, one of the state’s most prominent GOP organizers and a member of the Republican National Committee.

Normally, candidates would jump at the opportunity to address as many as 1,000 conservative activists in the state that holds the first big test of the presidential election.

But this cycle is already looking a little weird as challengers continue to stay mum over whether they will compete for the nomination or not. Many say they plan to keep coy until April or even later.

Attending a prominent candidate forum in Iowa in early March could be the first overt step some of the challengers take toward a 2012 bid.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/12/29/iowa-gets-first-big-2012-forum-so-who-will-show/

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:26 am 
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Huckabee's name not included :roll: but I'm sure he was invited.

A little history behind Steve Scheffler. He is head of Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition (formerly the Iowa Christian Alliance) and also our National Committeeman (the grassroots voted him in office in 2008 and he will most likely lose support if he runs again in 2012....he has been a disappointment.)

The Iowa Christian Alliance during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses said they were behind no one candidate but yet pro-Romney and anti-Huckabee calls were traced back to their office. It was claimed that it was someone on staff who didn't have authorization to do these calls.

This forum is a tad early. (Cain and Santorum will probably show up.) What I make of it is Scheffler and Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition is trying to jockey as the Evangelical kingmaker against Bob Vander Plaats' organization, The Family Leader, who has already stated they will play an important role in the 2012 caucuses. Vander Plaats' organization will overshadow Scheffler's and I think we are probably going to see some fireworks.

For the record, I don't trust Scheffler and there are many reasons why.

I believe Huckbee will be on his mega book tour during this time. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:28 am 
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Can they participate without formally announcing? How about Huckabee and Palin with their media contracts?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:39 am 
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GrannyT wrote:
Can they participate without formally announcing? How about Huckabee and Palin with their media contracts?


That's a good question, GrannyT. You are probably right that Huckabee will be much constrained by his contract. Perhaps he will not be able to campaign until after the book tour. He is coming to Kansas in March! and I hope to see him at the Watermark Book Store for the new book signing. I can hardly wait!

But when one considers the title of his book being A Simple Government, it makes sense that Huckabee intends to take a very large part in our nation's policy-making. I hope that means becoming our next President. I really do not see anyone of comparable Reagan-like qualities that can do this job of re-uniting this country and bringing back conservative values. On our holiday trip I was able to read some of a book by Reagan's speechwriter and was struck again and again by the similarities in their style, personality, temperament, and wisdom.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:17 pm 
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I thought everyone here would get a kick out of this picture, from Wise Republic, regarding who may show up at the forum:
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:06 pm 
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What a happy bunch of guys, and one gal! Only Haley Barbour looks really serious. :|

But any of them would be better than Obama.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:44 pm 
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justgrace wrote:
What a happy bunch of guys, and one gal! Only Haley Barbour looks really serious. :|

But any of them would be better than Obama.


I agree that any of them would be better than Obama with one exception. I believe the person in the second picture would be worse because too many people would be lulled into a false sense of security because of the (R) after his name. Liberals have wanted same sex marriage and socialized medicine for years. It took a morally bankrupt republican to accomplish these goals. :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:02 am 
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navyqueen wrote:
justgrace wrote:
What a happy bunch of guys, and one gal! Only Haley Barbour looks really serious. :|

But any of them would be better than Obama.


I agree that any of them would be better than Obama with one exception. I believe the person in the second picture would be worse because too many people would be lulled into a false sense of security because of the (R) after his name. Liberals have wanted same sex marriage and socialized medicine for years. It took a morally bankrupt republican to accomplish these goals. :(



You have a point! That one is an impostor, certainly not a conservative because of his capitulation on taxes, abortion, government health care.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Well, here it is. While this evangelical organization is doing this forum the organization Bob Vander Plaats is with (The Family Leader) will be touring Iowa's 99 counties targeting the four remaining Supreme Court justices involved in the gay marriage ruling. (Three down and four to go.)

Candidates coming to Iowa better be ready to address this issue because it seems to not be going away.

By the way, four freshmen legislators are drawing up legislation to start impeachment on the remaining four judges. 3 out of 4 of these new conservatives were endorsed by Huck PAC :)

Quote:
Vander Plaats plans 99 county tour targeting remaining judges

Leaders of the movement pushing for continued ouster of Iowa judges due to a 2009 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage are hoping to capitalize on 2010 victories by visiting each of the state’s 99 counties during a 2011 bus tour.

Bob Vander Plaats, a three-time GOP gubernatorial candidate who now leads the latest reincarnation of the Iowa Family Policy Center’s political action arm — The Family Leader – said that “as a basketball coach, he was always interested in momentum” and “knew it was important” to “capture on that momentum and seize on that momentum, if you hoped to win the basketball game.”

Vander Plaats also assures in a video announcing the upcoming tour that the momentum he hopes to capture “isn’t a game.”

“We are talking about the future of Iowa and the future of our country,” he said.

Matt Reisetter, who currently serves as director of development for the The Family Leader, also produced a promo video for the upcoming bus tour, but it isn’t the first time he’s spoken out against the Iowa Supreme Court justices who decided unanimously that a state law excluding homosexuals from state-sanctioned marriage was a violation of the existing equal protection clause of the constitution. In September 2010, Reister appeared in a video for Iowa for Freedom, a group organized by Vander Plaats and funded by out-of-state interests in the lead up to the 2010 judicial retention elections.

Reisetter, who has only been identified by his first name on the organization’s website and e-mail announcements, was also an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Iowa House. He sparked controversy with an LGBT student organization at the University of Northern Iowa for a 2010 speech titled: “Homosexuality: Is it okay to be gay?”

Currently, the exact route and timing of the tour hasn’t been determined, but information posted on The Family Leader site indicates that it will run from Jan. 11 to late March. “Like-minded” Iowans are being encouraged to come out and meet the bus “as we discuss our next steps.” Complimentary food will be provided, according to the website.

In a recent e-mail to supporters, Vander Plaats advocated for the resignation and/or impeachment of the four justices that did not appear on the November retention ballot, and used the issue as a fundraising pitch. The latest missive from the group, which did not include an ask for money, encouraged supporters to pray and provided a link to a January 2011 calendar with specific topics for prayer on each day.

Justice Not Politics, a group formed prior to the retention vote in an unsuccessful effort to keep three justices on the bench, issued a statement in response to Vander Plaats calling the move “just another example of continued outrageous rhetoric and political grandstanding.”

The bus tour, according to Reisetter, is designed to “energize those of you who are like-minded, and build a movement that advances conservative principles for generations to come and that span the entire state of Iowa and beyond.”

http://iowaindependent.com/50094/vander-plaats-plans-99-county-tour-targeting-remaining-judges

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:55 pm 
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So if VanderPlaats & his organization are skipping it, Huckabee most likely will also, right?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:33 pm 
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If Mike skips an event in Iowa, that, in itself, reduces the event's relevance.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:08 am 
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melopa wrote:
If Mike skips an event in Iowa, that, in itself, reduces the event's relevance.

:like

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:11 am 
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My view is that the chances of the Governor attending this "conference" are Slim to None, and Slim just left town.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:25 am 
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Earlier this evening (Fri 1/7) MH was on Hannity. Mike made it clear that he would not be participating in the candidate forums being held early in the year. Sounds as if he has already decided on a timing strategy and we'll just have to wait to see what it is. It's a delicate balancing act he's engaged in -- keep the tv program as long as possible to maximize "free" exposure, but not so long that potential voters begin to look elsewhere. He probably won't time it perfectly, but his political instincts will probably serve him well here, as they have in the past.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:47 am 
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I do not believe the Governor's comments on his show last week had anything whatsoever to do with a "hidden" message to his supporters. My view is that he has truly not decided 100% for certain yet, but if and when he gets in it will be later on in the year after the field has possibly thinned out some, or tired out.

My gut tells me he will run, barring some enormous change in the political landscape of the nation. Now is his time. 2016 may be too late not only for him, but for the nation as a whole.

He stands head and shoulders above anyone else on the playing field and has tremendous instincts, wisdom, and experience. It will be difficult to watch all the other candidates suck all the oxygen out of the room for several months as the talking heads continue to ignore or downplay the Governor's importance.

However, I believe his announcement day will come. He will win the nomination after some trying months and hard campaign. Then- he will win the Presidency.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Word out today that Bob Vander Plaats' group (The Family Leader) will also be starting a presidential lecture series in February. Rumor started out that Huckabee would be one of the five in the series.

Quote:
Pawlenty, Gingrich, Santorum, Cain expected to speak in Iowa's “Presidential Lecture Series”

Sources inside and outside Iowa have helped Fox News identify five candidates who've agreed to appear at The Family Leader's series of "presidential lectures," scheduled to begin next month.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has accepted an invitation by the socially conservative organization to speak in the lecture series. Pawlenty has put in a lot of early work in Iowa, perhaps more than any other yet-to-officially-announce candidate.

It's believed Pawlenty will lead off the lecture series next month. We are learning the other four to be announced Thursday will be former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former US Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The host of FNC's 'Huckabee' has tentatively accepted an invitation to speak, but this will be contingent on whether he actually enters the race.

The Family Leader is led by Chief Executive Officer Bob Vander Plaats. His organization's efforts behind the removal of three Iowa Supreme Court justices through retention votes last November have made Vander Plaats a much more visible and influential figure in Iowa Republican politics.

An official at The Family Leader says the lecture series will begin in February.


http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/01/19/who-are-other-four-iowa-advocacy-group-touts-presidential-lecture-series

But at a press conference from The Family Leader today Huckabee's name was not one of these five. It was instead Michele Bachmann. I'm sure the invite is open to him whenever he decides to enter the race. Since it is a "lecture series" it most likely does not have an end date.

Oh, and by the way, they didn't even invite Mitt Romney.
:floor
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0111/Iowa_social_conservatives_exclude_Romney.html#

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:57 pm 
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GOP12 has Vander Plaats response:

http://gop12.thehill.com/2011/01/iowa-s ... -cold.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:23 pm 
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Update: Vander Plaats says no slight intended, he's just been "unable to communicate with [Romney's] office or his staff...left a lot of messages"


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Here is the official announcement of The Family Leader lecture series and who is scheduled. They are not giving up on Huckabee.

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Pawlenty, Bachmann, Santorum to appear at FAMiLY Leader forums

Three potential Republican presidential candidates have agreed to speak at forums organized by The FAMiLY Leader, an organization led by the chairman of last fall’s successful effort to vote three Iowa Supreme Court justices off the court.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum each has agreed to give lectures, answer audience questions and hold news conferences in three different Iowa cities. During a news conference this afternoon, Bob Vander Plaats of The FAMiLY Leader said his group’s “Presidential Lecture Series” is more about educating than about politicking.

“We think this gives our base of support a real opportunity to be educated with some real national leaders on pro-family policy,” Vander Plaats said.

Each of those three potential candidate — over the course of a single day — has agreed to speak at Dordt College in Sioux Center in the morning; make a midday stop at Pella Christian High School and wind up at the University of Iowa in Iowa City late in the day.

“At each location…the lecture and question-and-answer series will be videotaped and we plan on blasting that message to our some 50,000 email database constituents so they get an opportunity, if they cannot attend, to see these public figures with their pro-family vision,” Vander Plaats said.

Pawlenty has agreed to appear on February 7. Bachmann will do the three-stop tour on April 11 and Santorum’s scheduled for May 2. Vander Plaats said his group intends to have one forum a month, through perhaps October.

Two other potential presidential candidates — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Godfather’s Pizza C.E.O. Herman Cain — have agreed to do participate in the lecture series, but a date hasn’t been set yet for their appearances.

Vander Plaats, who backed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, said “conversations continue” with six other potential candidates, and he listed them in this order: Huckabee, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence; Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels; Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour; former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and South Dakota Senator John Thune. As for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a 2008 candidate who is mulling another bid for the White House in 2012, Vander Plaats said “messages have been left” for Romney.

Listen to the news conference: FAMiLYLeaderForums

http://www.radioiowa.com/2011/01/20/pawlenty-bachmann-santorum-to-appear-at-family-leader-forums-audio/

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