The mood of the crowd attending the 2011 Iowa Republican Legislative Breakfast was held at the Embassy Suites in Des Moines was warm despite the cold and snow this morning. Which was a significant change from two years ago after being handed a major defeat. Lt. Governor-Elect Kim Reynolds acted as emcee and also was given time to address the room full of legislators and activists.
Reynolds encouraged the legislators to not squander their political capital, but to “spend political capital boldly” when they base it on conservative principles. Representing the incoming administration (Governor-Elect Terry Branstad was unable to attend this morning) she promised that the Branstad/Reynolds administration will have an “open door policy” and they promised weekly press conferences, open leadership meetings and that they would have regular town hall meetings to give citizens opportunity to discuss their concerns.
You can watch her entire remarks below:
State Senator Paul McKinley (R-Chariton), the Iowa Senate Minority Leader, spoke next. McKinley noted the difference that two years makes. He noted to eruptive applause in the room that “adults have taken over the Governor’s office.” He said that Republicans had made strives toward breaking Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal’s (D-Council Bluffs) “Senate monarchy” as they were introducing 10 new members to the Senate chamber, flipping six seats in November. Senate Democrats, on the other hand, are introducing only one freshman this year.
McKinley expecting to build on their 2010 success cutting the margin in the Senate to only two seats said, “I assure you we will pick up the majority in 2012.” He promised that Senate Republicans would work to dismantle the job destroying policies implemented during the Culver administration.
You can watch Senator McKinley’s remarks below:
The new Iowa House Majority Leader, State Representative Linda Upmeyer (R-Garner) was introduced next as Iowa’s first female House Majority Leader. You can watch her comments below:
State Representative Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha), the new Speaker of the House (was sworn in this morning), asked the room, “how do you feel about the number 60?” Republicans now hold a commanding 60-40 majority in the Iowa House. Speaker Paulsen promised a commitment to making state government smaller and more efficient. He also said that the House “will pass a resolution to allow Iowans to vote on the definition of marriage.”
You can watch Speaker Paulsen’s remarks below:
Congressman Steve King (R-IA 5th District) was the last speaker and he said he wanted to give credit where credit was due – “We couldn’t have done this without Barack Obama.”
And Nancy Pelosi. And Harry Reid.
He promised that the U.S. House of Representatives would vote to repeal Obamacare. He noted Americans and Iowans believe in the Constitution and want it followed. He shared about the new practice that the Republican majority promised to implement – attach the constitutional rationale for every bill they vote on. His comments are below:
A great kickoff to what should prove to be an interesting session of the 84th Iowa General Assembly.