The following document depository and analysis refers to the June 8, 2010 Republican State Senate (S41) primary where Roby Smith and his handler Steve Grubbs of Victory Enterprises used perhaps the most despicable distortions and eleventh hour tactics against a conservative Republican this writer has ever witnessed in decades of political observation, including that perpetrated by Democrats and in independent attack pieces.
The aim-point was Republican David Hartsuch M.D., and at that they were barely successful, if slithering ones way to a nomination is all one cares about, or being a consultant claiming scalps however reprehensibly obtained. But part of the collateral damage was the irresponsible risk they placed other Republicans running for office in that year, and the implications of their reckless attack upon the Republican platform and its heritage of advocacy for civil rights.
The pages below include communications sent in that time period to various Scott County Republicans and other interested individuals defending the Hartsuch record and challenging the perpetrators and enablers. The material has been arranged, annotated, edited for clarity or repetition (multiple communications were sent). Veritaspac will retain this on our Web site as a permanent record, a case study regarding dishonorable political behavior. In the future we hope to analyze the political group dynamics that spawned, or enabled such activity and post those thoughts.
Ed. note: It is our understanding that Victory Enterprises, still headed by Steve Grubbs, is heavily involved in the primary campaign of Mark Jacobs for US Senate. Keep an eye on that race for any of the tactics used in 2010 against competing Republicans.
Item 1 – E-mail communication to Scott County Republicans, circa June 17, 2010:
Compare the two eleventh hour broadsides AKA “hit pieces” reproduced here. Both were in my mail box on the Friday and Saturday before the election. Both were directed at conservative Republicans who have legislative track records in defense of not only the Second Amendment but constitutional due process. The first (both front and back are shown as Exhibit B for Branstad) was produced by Iowans for Responsible Government, recently exposed as a well funded Democrat attack group. Now go on to the second broadside.
Exhibit B, front:
Exhibit B, back
The item below was distributed by Roby Smith and produced by Victory Enterprises. Exhibit A, front and back. Notice any similarities? At their core is the total divorce from honor. They both serve to deceive voters.
Exhibit A, front
Exhibit A, back
Our nation’s service academies require a pledge to the effect “I will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.” It is a pledge to be admired and emulated in every day life. There should not be an exemption for Republican operatives grossly distorting the truth or using despicable tactics.
Roby Smith narrowly “won” the Republican nomination for Senate District 41 by defrauding the people of the district of the relevant truth and by false and defamatory characterization of not only his conservative opponent Senator David Hartsuch but of two thirds of the Republican Senate caucus and over half of the Republican House caucus.
In Senator Hartsuch’s case it was both by the despicable assertion in the afternoon of the Thursday before the election, indeed his campaign ended up being built around it, that sponsorship of an amendment to an amendment by Senator and Emergency Medicine physician David Hartsuch, which only affected non-criminal so called protective orders and had nothing to do with a conviction or finding of domestic abuse or “stalking” or any other adjudicated criminal act, was an effort to stand up for “gun rights for abusers.”
The next day Roby Smith, with a hit piece produced by Victor Enterprises doubled down on the slime by insinuating a vote against final passage of the underlying bill (SF 2357) was a vote in support of guns for “stalkers and abusers.” It should be an interesting accusation for the recipients of this communication given that two-thirds of the Republican Senate caucus including Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley and over half of the Republican House caucus including House Republican leader Kraig Paulsen, and other Republican leaders in both caucuses, voted with Hartsuch by opposing the same Democrat led bill (SF 2357) as an attack on Fourth and Sixth Amendment protections not to mention the Second Amendment.
It is inescapable that the broadside reproduced above is essentially applicable to each Republican member of the legislature who voted against SF 2357 — the substantial majority of the combined Republican caucuses. One wonders if those minority Republicans who voted with the Democrats believe that their caucus leaders and the majority of their caucus colleagues should be characterized in such despicable terms and using such dishonorable tactics in what should be a collegial primary. One wonders why any member of the caucus would want to be associated with a firm that produces such trash about Republicans .
One wonders about comity with a “winner” of a Republican primary paying for and using such trash against fellow Republicans. One wonders about the disgust felt by Republican donors who innocently contributed the funds for such trash. One wonders how there can be any defense of such trash and about donors willingness to be associated with those responsible in the future.
The “Victory Enterprises” / Roby Smith final days smear campaign started out as a letter received just the day before the broadside calumny set forth above hit the mailboxes. It contained a number of gross distortions on a variety of matters inexplicable from someone who is a conservative or a truth teller. . . . However this political analysis has a particular focus . . . the outrageous distortion evidenced above . . . and the implications for each of you. — Ed note: the letters referred to above are set forth later in these pages along with the contemporaneous commentary.
The smear piece above also refers to what in reality was a second level amendment offered by Hartsuch to an amendment to SF 2357, referred to above. Smith has characterized such an amendment to the amendment as somehow an effort to “gut” the bill. It was referred to in the hit piece but never actually set forth by Steve Grubbs / Smith . . . ever. It was better for their purposes to falsely characterize the amendment.
The simple amendment they refer to but did not actually set forth to benefit Republican primary voters reads, in toto: (Senate Amendment 5156b) “A person who is subject to a protective order under paragraph “a” shall be afforded the opportunity to challenge the factual basis for the entry of the protective order.” The wording by specific reference does not apply to “stalkers and abusers,” the reference is to protective orders. Indeed the language is Hartsuch’s defense. But of course Smith lacked the integrity to present the brief sentence to Republican primary voters for their edification. Instead he employed a malicious characterization in the eleventh hour.
Is this what Republican primaries have come to? Is this how unity is achieved? It reflects horribly for the outlook for cohesiveness in the party. Regrettably Smith and Victory Enterprises in the same piece have also aided and abetted our political enemies and sullied the reputations of the substantial majority of the Republican legislative caucus.
Once again . . . two thirds of the Republican Senate caucus including Republican Leader Paul McKinley and 56% of the House Republican caucus including House Republican leader Kraig Paulsen ultimately voted with Senator Hartsuch to oppose the underlying legislation (SF 2357) as hopelessly flawed from a civil liberties standpoint. Hartsuch merely tried to improve a bad bill. It is unavoidable that Smith and Victory Enterprises must believe that the vote of two thirds of the Republican caucus and the majority of House members was an effort to give or protect “gun rights for domestic abusers and stalkers.” How is one to expect comity with such outrageous calumny? . . .
Unless Smith and Victory Enterprises tactics are repudiated they and the Republican Party can say nothing about Democrat attacks . . . (when) Democrats are disreputable or engaged in calumny . . . because Republican Roby Smith and Victory Enterprises employ reprehensible tactics. Indeed association with either tells Democrat operatives what to expect in that particular race. “Go ahead and do your worst because they can be expected to . . . they did it against their own.” What a nihilistic nightmare.
From a Republican standpoint the only way to protect the Republican majority who supported SF 2357 is to repudiate Roby Smith and his handler for their crass distortion and dishonorable tactics. Certainly those campaigns will decry the Democrats if / when the Democrats do use Victory Enterprises / Smith’s tactics (note one cannot refer to such distortion as “Democrat tactics” as Smith and Victory Enterprises have established that the concepts are interchangeable). By not castigating the tactic by Republicans one cannot call the Democrats saying the same thing a distortion.
You should know that prior to his (their) ultimately losing campaign four years ago (state house race against Jim Lykam) the QC Times characterized Smith’s campaign thusly: ” . . . much of the campaign material has been filled with misleading scare tactics . . .” (QCT 11-1-06). Victory Enterprises was also involved with that race. The situation is an invitation to the Democrats to run the nastiest campaign possible because no discretion can be expected from Smith, only a last minute nasty fusillade. The RPI and individual candidates must repudiate the substance and the tactic. . . .
. . . Smith smeared a consistent conservative (and) he has sullied his own standing. Conservatives, in order to protect the Constitution, civil liberties, conservative values, protect taxpayers, and restore the culture have to take some hard votes. Those votes should be defended and not allowed to fall prey to grubby cheap shot tactics. Rewarding the perps of those tactics means no hard votes will be taken. The bigger picture for conservatives is that if you hold your nose and vote for these types you are perpetuating a tactic that will be used against true conservatives by every wannabe with no mettle and no history.
From a “no-party” and TEA Party perspective support for someone like Smith portends business as usual. Ultimately it will not benefit Republicans who will look like Democrat-lights at best . . . just as likely to distort the truth . . . just as likely to say anything to get elected. Smith reflects the antithesis of what I thought Republicans were trying to do to correct the “business as usual” and “they are no different” and “they all lie” disgust that many people have. They could easily be attracted to an independent conservative.
Roger Mall Davenport , Iowa
Ed note: Roger Mall served as a campaign volunteer on Hartsuch’s 2006 and 2010 campaigns.
The commentary below is from an E-mail communication to Republican contacts circa June, 30th, 2010. It refers to the distortions and accusations made in a letter to Republicans “from the Desk of Roby Smith,” first seen Friday June 4, 2010, just four days prior the June 8th primary. The Smith letter is shown below as Exhibit C, pages 1 & 2. the commentary is a point by point rebuttal and interrogatory. It was sent to Smith as well but was never responded to.
Questions Christian, social conservative, and other organizations might want to ask Roby Smith. All relate to the Republican Party platform or the integrity of the political process. This material represents the authors personal political opinion. This is a start, there are more to be asked and many venues or organizations that might be interested in asking them. Roger Mall
Exhibit C page 1 (front)
Exhibit C, page 2
Our organization (ad hoc group sending letter) gets its support from social conservatives. The matters referred to below relate to issues that speak to the integrity of the political process and implicate a candidate’s electability among our core supporters. Most of these questions relate to issues raised in a letter you circulated only in the very last days of the primary campaign. It is reproduced herein (see above).
- Mr. Smith: We are concerned with the prospects for amending the Iowa Constitution to protect the institution of marriage as between one man and one woman. Prospects are impacted by the perception of mixed signals presented to voters by notorious individuals well connected to a candidate’s campaign.
You say you support the marriage amendment to the Iowa Constitution yet one of your most prominent supporters, former State Senator Maggie Tinsman, was a deciding vote in opposition when it came up several years ago. She was also the largest recipient (maximum amounts) by any legislator of funds from two individuals, Phyllis Stevens and Marla Stevens, both dedicated to seeing gay marriage in Iowa.
It has been revealed that those same two individuals have been indicted on charges relating to the embezzlement of nearly six million dollars from Aviva, an insurance company with offices in Des Moines. Clearly their legitimate incomes could not support the largess they showered on politicians like your supporter. While she certainly had nothing to do with the theft of the money have you called on your supporter to return the funds and will you return the funds provided to you by that person?
- To our knowledge you have never published your responses to the teachers union survey, yet you have published others. Our organization is often called on to support Republican candidates because of the Republican Party platform. The Republican platform takes a number of positions as regards education policy and government spending and state mandates. It is important to know whether your responses to the teachers union may be in conflict with provisions of the Republican platform, many planks of which are strongly supported by our members. May we have a copy of your responses to the survey?
In the letter reproduced herein you refer to Iowa teachers as being paid an annual salary ranking them 42nd in the nation a few years ago. It was a teachers union supplied figure unadjusted for cost of living. Even compared to the nation as a whole, on a cost of living basis, Iowa ranked about in the middle. However when compared to the plain states region, the standard of comparison for Iowa on cost of living related matters, Iowa’s teachers were compensated then at a rate $200 from the top state in the plains states region. Iowa was certainly not as stingy as you and the union have intimated. Will it be your practice during the course of the general election campaign to uncritically parrot the financial propaganda of public employee unions?
- In your recent primary campaign you relied on newspapers to presumably accurately reflect the positions of your opponent. Our local newspaper in its own editorial column referred to your literature in your 2006 general election campaign as “filled with misleading scare tactics (QC Times 11-01-06).”
Your 11th hour ads this year referred to Senator Hartsuch as “standing up for gun rights for abusers” Senator Hartsuch on final passage of the bill you referred to was in fact joined by the majority of the Iowa Republican caucus IN BOTH HO– USES including most of our key social conservative supporters. Is their vote accurately, charitably, collegially referred to as implicitly a vote to put guns in the hands of domestic abusers?
Concerned Woman For America, by far the country’s largest pro-woman organization, opposed the federal 1996 Lautenberg Amendment which is the predecessor to the Iowa law you refer to. They opposed it because, among other reasons, it could lead to the confiscation of self-defense firearms from a women who slapped her husband for whatever reason. Why are you in favor of removing self-defense firearms from women for a misdemeanor? What other fundamental Constitutional rights do you think should be automatically removed as a penalty for a single misdemeanor?
Regarding your characterization as “gun rights for abusers” a mere second level amendment to a bill most Republicans in the legislature ended up opposing as hopelessly flawed, why did you not supply Republican primary voters the short specific language that Senator Hartsuch actually offered? For the readers of this communication the language was as follows: Senate Amendment 5156 b: “A person who is subject to a protective order under paragraph “a” shall be afforded the opportunity to challenge the factual basis for the entry of the protective order.”
You made great sport of asking why no other Republican legislators supported what was an amendment to an amendment. Perhaps it was because they already had concluded that the bill was hopeless as a matter of Second Amendment rights and other civil liberties. Why do you think the majority of Republicans joined Senator Hartsuch in opposing final passage of the bill? Are all of them, including most of the Republican caucus leadership, in favor of putting guns in the hands of abusers?
The choice of lead visuals and the theme of the 11th hour attack ad by Democrats directed against Governor Branstad is remarkably similar to the ad referred to above which you and Victory Enterprises produced. That ad was a follow on the next day to the letter reproduced below. No doubt you know which ads are being referred to here. What particular impression do you think Democrats were trying to impart in their ad regarding Governor Branstad? Do you share that sentiment? If not why not?
How was the substance and tactic you used as regards Senator Hartsuch different from that used by Democrats to affect the primary election? Was the Democrat ad honorable? How many sex offenders in your neighborhood would have a gun if Terry Branstad had his way?Moving on to other matters you brought up in your letter the Friday before the election . . .
- The county, district, state and national Republican platforms oppose human cloning. Nearly every Republican in the Iowa legislature opposes it. You say you are pro-life and have signed surveys that oppose clone and kill experimentation on human subjects. What problem do you have with Senator David Hartsuch’s proposal to amend organ donation statutes to prevent unintended consequences regarding reproduction, progeny and potential uses of donor ovum or eggs or reproductive organs for clone and kill experimentation?
- What is it you find embarrassing or troubling about Senator Hartsuch’s comment to the Quad City Times, referred to in your letter, to the effect that rampant teen sexual activity is bringing down test scores? Does premarital sexual activity help junior-high and high school test scores? Do you think premarital sexual activity is not a factor as regard educational attentiveness and test scores?
- You are also apparently embarrassed or troubled by Senator Hartsuch’s support for ending no-fault divorce, a matter that has been advocated in Republican platforms in this state for a number of years. If it was the comment that “bad marriages can have good outcomes for children,” what is it that you find objectionable or embarrassing about that comment presuming the context was divorce and the effect of broken homes on children? Do you support the Republican Party platform on the issue?
- Your letter brings up the 2008 Congressional race in which Senator Hartsuch was our Republican candidate at great sacrifice to himself and his family. What other candidates were you aware of that were willing to make the run and so indicated their desire to do so? Should the Republican Party not have run a candidate?
The election result in Hartsuch’s senate district was that John McCain received 46 percent of the vote in his race for President and Hartsuch received 45 percent, a one point difference in the total vote. For Scott County the figures were McCain 42 and Hartsuch 40. Given that the presidential campaign dominated with paid and “earned” media throughout the summer and fall and the fact that his performance was so close to John McCain’s in spite of the lack of resources is it not unreasonable to cast dispersions on the performance of Senator Hartsuch? Would you have done better?
- One of your prominent supporters is well connected to gambling interests in the state. What is your position on expansion of gambling in any form? Do you support the Republican Party platform in that regard? What is your position on the exemption for casinos as regards Iowa’s smoking regulations? Should smoking be allowed in casinos but not other large and small businesses? Will you support legislation to repeal the casino exemption? Will you support legislation to repeal the ban on smoking in private businesses? Do you support the Republican Party platform as regards these matters?
Letter addressed to Jeff Boeyink, Campaign Manager, Branstad – Reynolds 2010
New Ad: “Roby Smith Believes Terry Branstad Gave Guns to Sex Offenders!”
Political Opinion – 14 September 2010
Dear Mr. Boeyink
Who knows, using the deep logic endorsed by two prominent Republicans, Roby Smith and Steve Grubbs, the Democrats may be putting the finishing touches on an ad imagined in the subject line to this communication!? But let me be clear, if they do so it would be sinister, indeed it would perpetuate an outrageous smear of former Governor Terry Brandstad. But the fact is it would be logically irrefutable by Smith or Grubbs. Of course the latter fact would make doing so just delicious from a Democrat perspective.
Indeed one would have to be rather obtuse not to see the clear implications of the Grubbs/Smith logic at work for the Democrats. Look at two ads from the primary again. They are set forth below and, in case the embedding is corrupted, they are attached as a file as well.
Smith describes a vote by an incumbent Republican Senator on a principled matter of due process and civil rights (who by the way was joined by the majority of Republicans in the state legislature in opposing the same bill in question, SF2357) as a vote to put guns in the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers. And look again at the hit piece that landed at the same time as the Smith/Grubbs midnight attack, the anti-Brandstad hit piece run by “Iowans for Responsible Government.” That ad refers to a principled administrative and civil rights position of Governor Terry Branstad as Branstad saying sex offenders and felons “should get guns when they get out of jail. ”
It is all so delicious from a Democrat perspective because the Smith ad was designed by a former chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa and a current major vendor with close ties to the Des Moines Republican establishment. “Sweeeeet!”
Now Mr. Boeyink you are on record as referring to the anti-Branstad ad and the tactics used as a smear and distortion. Well was it a smear and distortion . . . and if so please tell me, a supporter of the Republican platform, and the twenty-five House Republicans and the ten or twelve Senate Republicans in this state who voted the same as Smith’s primary opponent, how the Smith/Grubbs hit piece ad was not a smear and distortion but the Democrat produced ad was?
The 2010 State Republican Party Platform approved overwhelmingly by delegates has something to say relevant to this matter: It supports repudiation not silence. Plank 14.07: “We insist that the Republican Party and its candidates stand for honesty and integrity in all political advertising.” The 2010 State Platform goes on to say in the next Plank (14.08) “We expect political campaigns to be conducted in a positive and truthful manner.” Those who counsel we should ignore these matters are counseling ignore the platform and the political renewal it calls for. Where is “we insist” honored in any counsel to shut up or “move on” about such a matters? Where is due diligence to the platform and to protecting the majority of the Republican legislature in shirking such responsibility?
And now the Branstad campaign under your direction is raising money for Roby Smith this Thursday here in Davenport (your campaign office confirmed that checks are written to Smith’s campaign), effectively marginalizing by bypassing other Senate and House candidates in this area who face difficult races and need money NOW. These are individuals who we implore to make the race in Democrat districts, who are loyal to the Branstad election effort, but who receive barely a coachman’s nod when it comes to fund raising support from the top of the ticket. These are local candidates who have never made statements denigrating the majority of Republicans in the legislature and who have honored the state Republican platform by not denigrating its provisions.
At the very least discerning Republicans might ask why this event is not organized to benefit all Republicans in this area? Instead, incredibly, you single out the likes of a candidate who used the greatest segment of his campaign money in the primary in a last minute smear and distortion no different than what the Branstad campaign experienced at the hands of Democrats. The atrocious win at any cost primary campaign perpetrated by Smith/Grubbs was dishonorable and a great disservice to Republicans in the legislature and to Terry Branstad’s principled positions on second amendment and other civil rights. We are lucky Chet Culver is so bad and Democrats are in such disrepute.
And speaking of campaign money . . . it was recently reported that AG Tom Miller has returned campaign donations from the DeCoster family. It was done in response to the well constructed challenge from our own AG candidate Brenna Findley regarding the “egg scandal.” The burden for Miller was that he should avoid being perceived as the recipient of perceived tainted funds from a questionable source. The “taint” was “merely” political as far as we know as there was never any representation that DeCosters stole the money they lavished on candidates. So was Brenna Findley right in calling for him to return the money? I believe she was and that Miller was smart to do so.
But the Democrat Party has probably received actual “tainted” money. You may know the names Phyllis Stevens and Marla Stevens who were significant donors to the Iowa Democratic Party. Of course they are the notorious two “married” females who have been indicted for embezzling millions of dollars from Des Moines based Aviva Insurance Company. The amounts they donated to the Democrat Party and candidates that election cycle were far beyond what their legitimate means of support would indicate. Why do I bring this up? To maintain Republican consistency on the issue of possibly “tainted” donations.
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, then Senator Maggie Tinsman, a Republican, was the largest single state legislative campaign recipient of the two women’s combined largess. Keep in mind the Stevens couple’s had a notorious gay rights political agenda. Keep in mind also that Senator “I support marriage” Maggie Tinsman bolted not only from the Republican Party Platform but the nearly unanimous Republican caucus to cast a deciding vote in opposition to merely putting the proposed Marriage Amendment to the Iowa Constitution on the ballot for the people to decide. Phyllis Stevens, one half of the “married” couple, is on record (prior to the indictment) that she (or they) only give to people who support “freedom’ or “equality ” the recognized code word for gay marriage, et al. Their combined generosity ($4200.00) was more than even Planned Parenthood, the states largest abortion syndicate, gave to “I am not for abortion” Maggie Tinsman. Not only did the Tinsman campaign receive the Stevens’ highest support during the 2006 primary, to state legislative candidates, they gave to few other legislative candidates that primary. Maggie Tinsman did not steal the money but she has never publicly repudiated the gift or given it back as Miller has done.
I am certainly not defending Attorney General Tom Miller as he is a Democrat hack who has to go. But he was smart enough to return “tainted” money. The Democrat political apparat no doubt advised him to do so. He gave the DeCoster donations back even though there had been no indictment of the DeCosters of any relevant criminal activity. The Stevens pair have been indicted. What do you think Ms Tinsman should do regarding the donations from the Stevens pair? Unless she has reimbursed the money, what should candidates do who have received donations from Tinsman? It is not that Democrats are in a position to make an issue of the matter.
The reasons I bring this up is Ms Tinsman has been a prominent financial supporter of Smith and other Republicans. But why is it that we should now forgo being in a position to further critique Democrats on ethics matters in order to protect a Republican from similar ethical critiques? It is understood that neither Tinsman or Smith by way of Tinsman have legal obligations to return such funds. But in not doing so it is an example of giving up issues because our own house is not in order.
Not part of the commentary at the time, but a more recent exploration of related ironies.
Published herein on April 13, 2014.
And Steve Grubbs/Victory Enterprises/Roby Smith must believe it’s true
Governor Branstad paid a visit Thursday to Victory Enterprises, a political consulting firm located in Davenport headed by Steve Grubbs. There are ironies, contradictions, puzzlements, or worse, confirmations related to the visit to that particular business.
As we have pointed out before there is an obvious similarity between the logic and theme of an attack by Democrats on Governor Branstad just prior to his 2010 contested primary and that used by Steve Grubbs /Victory Enterprises / Roby Smith in their campaign against conservative incumbent State Senator David Hartsuch. Both examples were misleading smears and distortions, prime examples of Illinois style politics. Both efforts were intended to suppress the vote for the leader going into the primary. Both were also intended to hobble the target going into the general, should the target prevail in the primary.
In primary contests, because only a portion of the party’s electorate shows up, one need only move a relative handful of votes in order to achieve the primary goal. Grubbs’ Smith was behind, and had to do something dramatic and eleventh hour so as to preclude the truth from getting out in time. Smith / Grubbs ended up winning by only 180 votes so they only needed to turn half that from Hartsuch or in combination add a few and detract a few. The grotesqueness of what they did is thoroughly explained by accessing the page link above titled Shameful.
If the attack, also exhibited below, on then State Senator Hartsuch was not a smear or distortion, then neither was the attack on Governor Branstad. The logic used in both is of the same ilk. A position in defense of civil liberties is distorted to be support of a nefarious thing. It is inescapable by their logic. Grubbs /Smith must think Governor Branstad wants to put guns in the hands of sex offenders.
Here are the front and back sides of the eleventh hour mailing employed against conservative State Senator Hartsuch. Notice the oh-my-god graphic and then the logic used by Grubbs-Smith. The refutation of this smear is on our page line @ Shameful.
Now look at what Democrat operatives had to say about Governor Branstad . . . the oh so compelling graphic . . . and the equally refined logic . . . delivered earlier in May
The terms we used to describe this despicable sort of campaigning were not first uttered by us. The terms “misleading smears” and “distortions,” and “Illinois style politics” were first used by Branstad’s 2010 campaign manager Jeff Boeyink regarding the Democrat anti-Branstad campaign. Adding to the “paradoxes” was that Boeyink was formally an executive with Iowan’s for Tax Relief. Grubbs has been notoriously close to personages there. That Grubbs-Smith used the same theme against a conservative Republican is at least ironic.
The occasion of Branstad’s visit was a bill signing ceremony regarding Senate File 2339, legislation which provides for tax credits for “repurposing” abandoned public buildings. Victory Enterprises is housed in a former school building in extreme southwest Davenport.* We have no idea if or how Grubbs’ Victory Enterprises benefits from the law nor do we have any desire to wade through its specifications. But there is a general irksomeness to such bills.
We object to special considerations for sellers or buyers no matter who they are as they are not available to other businesses on an equivalent basis in their particular pursuits or needs. We also find it curious that a more accessible now “repurposed” building, the old Johnson School west of Five Points in Davenport, which is older and more difficult to repurpose, because of its architectural design and zoning, but which was decommissioned more recently, was not selected. Left to deteriorate it would have been more of an eyesore.
Even more objectionable is that Branstad’s decision to highlight a firm such as “Victory Enterprises” normalizes political perfidy and thereby associates himself with it.
* Just wondering. Given the political pornography that Victory Enterprises makes it a practice to produce, and the indifference shown by the governor, would the guv celebrate the repurposing of a public building to say an adult book store instead of a purveyor of political porn? Tax revenue is tax revenue.