I wasn’t able to attend Iowans for Tax Relief’s Tax Day where Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty spoke, and then they also held a Gubernatorial forum where all gubernatorial candidates were invited to speak, and all did except our incumbent governor.

Craig Robinson at The Iowa Republican thought that out of all of the Republican candidates, Roberts shined.  He wrote:

Rod Roberts, the mild mannered statesman, was hands down the most forceful and the only candidate willing to tell Iowans for Tax Relief where he disagreed with them.

Roberts began his speech my telling the 500 in attendance that he disagreed with two of the six questions on ITR’s candidate questionnaire. Roberts disagreed with ITR’s People’s Right to Vote Amendment. The amendment would require all tax increases to be voted on by the people of Iowa. Roberts argued that the people’s elected representatives are given the responsibility by the state constitution to make those decisions. Roberts said, “Elections have consequences, the people have the right to fire their elected representatives if they ignore the will of the people.” Roberts also disagreed with ITR’s property tax limitation proposal.

Roberts was the only candidate that didn’t come in and simply placate to the positions of Iowans for Tax Relief. Both Vander Plaats and Branstad basically endorsed the entire survey. In doing so, Roberts showed the toughness that many think he lacks. He also delivered the best speech out of the three Republicans. Roberts was obviously comfortable talking about taxes and his proposals.

While Roberts delivered a dynamic speech, Bob Vander Plaats had his head down, reading his prepared remarks throughout his eight-minute speech. Only on a few occasions did he deviate from his prepared remarks. Vander Plaats tried to use the event to make the case that he is both a social and fiscal conservative.

Having to read his remarks instead of delivering a well-rehearsed speech like we have grown accustom to, Vander Plaats may have confirmed what many fear about him – that he doesn’t have a firm grasp on the fiscal issues like his opponents do. While Branstad’s delivery didn’t burn the house down either, he exceeded expectations and has released the most detailed plans to date.

If you want to know which of the three Republicans gubernatorial candidates did themselves the most good on Saturday, the debate begins and ends with one man, Rod Roberts.

Having watched the video below of the ITR event, I would have to concur.  Below you can watch Governor Pawlenty, Bob Vander Plaats, Rod Roberts, Terry Branstad, Eric Cooper (Liberterian Candidate for Governor), and Jonathan Narcisse (former Democrat and now independent candidate for Governor).  Everyone minus Governor Chet Culver. 

I would have to say that Eric Cooper gets my vote for the most entertaining speech.

Watch live streaming video from eyeowa at livestream.com

HT: The Conservative Reader for the video.

Update: If you want to just listen to Representative Robert’s speech, you can do that here.

2 comments
  1. I’ve come to see Pawlenty as being a bit of a wind-sock.

    I gotta respect Roberts for not bowing to populism’s dumber side. If you want to see what happens when voters take direct control of taxes and fiscal initiatives look no further that California. Still, I wish candidates and the political parties would spend less time talking about ‘red meat’ issues like taxes and more on the on the wonky stuff like how to successfully *run* government and the services it provides. Management policy is what ultimately makes or dooms public work.

    1. @Argon, Don’t disagree with you there. That is vitally important, and it is one of the reasons that Culver’s administration has been a failure. Setting politics and ideology aside, he’s been incompetent as an executive.

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