Monday, July 28, 2008

Jim Doyle Leaving, Barbara Lawton to Become Governor!

I'm jumping the gun a bit, but every indication is that Jim Doyle is packing his bags for an appointment in the Obama administration. The positions I've heard mentioned include AG, Health and Human Services, perhaps an appellate court judgeship, or maybe even ambassador to Ireland. Doyle really likes Ireland.

Normally the transition to a new governor in a situation like this would be fairly smooth. This one might be a lot more interesting due to the rocky relationship between Doyle and Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton. While I don't expect any big immediate policy changes, there might be an awful lot of Doylies looking for jobs when their patron saint leaves town.

No matter what position he takes in the Obama administration, Doyle is unlikely to bring more than a handful of people with him, and that means a bunch of folks who hitched their star to his are going to be out of luck. Few Doylies have ever shown Lawton much love, so she has little incentive not to roll heads at the capital and at party headquarters. Expect to see a lot of resumes floating around Madison during the next few months.

But it may not play out that way. Looks like Doyle has a plan in the works that would create a safe haven for many of his most loyal servants. A plan that would turn the Democratic Party power structure on its head. A plan that would also be an extraordinarily nasty parting shot at Barbara Lawton.

But more on that later...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Iowa Republicans Eating Their Own

The Iowa Republican Party is self destructing. It was taken over by Christian fundamentalists a few years ago, and they're rather successfully running it into the ground. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

Their latest faux pas was to boot their own US Senator, Charles Grassley, from their delegation to the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, and replace him with ... the President of the Iowa Christian Alliance!

Grassley's a moderate who isn't exactly loved by the nuts in charge of the Iowa party, but his real sin in their eyes seems to have been digging too deeply into financial irregularities surrounding certain prominent televangelists. Looks like the good Christians running the Iowa Republican Party see honesty as a virtue that only applies to the little people.