5:30p – There’s no wifi here at the Fairgrounds so I think I’m going to abandon the idea of liveblogging. I can’t do it very effectively from my phone. I will tweet occassionally at @shanevanderhart. I’ll post on this later tonight. Please consider this an open thread and let me know what you think of the race so far and if you are watching on C-SPAN what you think of the evening.
5:15p – Here early, there is a small group outside from Occupy Iowa protesting. Probably about 30 at most. There is a good crowd here tonight.
Tonight at 6:00p the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition will hold their Presidential forum. The event is co-sponsored by the Iowa Energy Forum. IFFC held a forum in the spring with had over 900 in attendance at Point of Grace Church in Waukee. Tonight at the Knapp Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds they are expecting up to 1500. All candidates that met the following criteria prior to October 1st were invited:
Registered with the Federal Elections Commission a presidential exploratory committee orr presidential campaign;
Met all U.S. constitutional requirements; and
Garnered at least an average of one (1) percent in all of the most recent polls from: Rasmussen Reports, Mason-Dixon, and the Des Moines Register.
Those who will attend are: Texas Governor Rick Perry, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Businessman Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman declined. The agenda for the evening is below:
4:30 – 6:00 Registration, Meet/Greet and Buffet Dinner
6:00 – 6:03 Welcome by Gopal Krishna
6:03 – 6:05 Invocation by Jeff Mullen
6:05 – 6:06 Pledge of Allegiance by Therese Davis
6:06 – 6:10 National Anthem by Carolyn Haugland and Emily Gerdts
6:10 – 6:20 Recognition of Special Guests by Gopal Krishna
6:20 – 6:25 Introduction of and Remarks by Steve Scheffler
6:25 – 6:33 Introduction of and Remarks (and Appeal for Monies) by Ralph Reed, Jr.
6:33 – 6:45 Introduction of and Remarks by Reince Priebus
6:45 – 6:55 Introduction of and Remarks by Herman Cain
6:55 – 7:07 Questions* and Answers by Herman Cain
7:07 – 7:17 Introduction of and Remarks by Michelle Bachmann
7:17 – 7:29 Questions* and Answers by Michelle Bachmann
7:29 – 7:39 Introduction of and Remarks by Newt Gingrich
7:39 – 7:51 Questions* and Answers by Newt Gingrich
7:51 – 8:01 Introduction of and Remarks by Ron Paul
8:01 – 8:13 Questions* and Answers by Ron Paul
8:13 – 8:23 Introduction of and Remarks by Rick Perry
8:23 – 8:35 Questions* and Answers by Rick Perry
8:35 – 8:45 Introduction of and Remarks by Rick Santorum
8:45 – 8:57 Questions* and Answers by Rick Santorum
8:57 – 9:00 Introduction of and Closing Prayer by Mike Demastus
C-SPAN will be covering the event live as well so you can watch if you are not able to make it in person. I’ll start the liveblog at 6:00pm (CST). Feel free to consider this an open thread in the meantime.