Thursday, November 12, 2009

There's no need to fear! Dept.

Roxanne Conlin announced her intention a few days ago to run as the Democratic candidate against Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in 2010, after the primary of course. What makes this interesting is that she also ran for Governor of Iowa in 1982, against Republican Terry E. Branstad, who won and then served four terms as Iowa's Governor.

I was a Conlin supporter in the 1982 campaign. The experience was tremendously dispiriting. The Des Moines Register's ace political reporter, David Yepsen, got his teeth into Conlin's refusal to release her tax records, a reluctance which seemed reasonable to us Conlinistas since they weren't just her taxes — the Conlins filed joint returns. By the time Branstad was done with Yepsen's tough but straightforward reporting on the issue, Conlin looked like a fat cat tax cheat who owned a city block of downtown Des Moines.

Long story short, the Iowa governorship was a glass ceiling Conlin just couldn't break, and Branstad was sworn in that January, 1983. As I recall, Branstad's remark the morning after the election was, "We beat her brains out."

I mention this now, because Chuck Grassley may be getting senile, but the vast right-wingnut conspiracy is not. Memories are long in Iowa, and Roxanne Conlin is a name to conjure with. Storm flags are flying.

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