Bob Vander Plaats For Iowa’s Next Governor!

My friend Randy Davis has quite the way with words. I echo his sentiments and offer my support to Bob Vander Plaats the next Governor of Iowa, someone The Hawkeye State will be proud of!

I would like to introduce you to Bob Vander Plaats (say Vander-Plots) and why I believe he should become…..


Over the past 22 years we have traveled all over the nation with our ministry. During those two plus decades we
have had the opportunity of being in hundreds of churches and literally meeting thousands of people from all walks of life. I know from experience that it is extremely rare to find an individual with as many positive qualities as Bob Vander Plaats.

Not only is Bob a very good friend of ours and a dedicated Christian, but a man of impeccable character with a stellar reputation. I realize that some of you may know Bob and are well aware of all the great qualities he possesses. However, it may be many of you have never heard of him, perhaps in much the same way scores of Americans had never heard of Governor Mike Huckabee, just over one year ago.

Bob Vander Plaats ( pronounced Vander-Plots) received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa and Masters and Specialist Degrees from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

He is also the author of the popular new book, “Light from Lucas” which is available in bookstores and can be purchased at the Web Site called You may also obtain this great book by purchasing it on our Web Site at …and then clicking on “Special Offers.”

If you do not have this book, I urge you to get a copy right away. For me, I would have to say that other than the Bible itself, it is perhaps the most life changing book I have ever read. Like us, Bob and his wife were blessed to have a “special”child. The third of four children, Lucas was born severely disabled. This story will tug at your heart , and then touch your very soul in a way few books can. Shirley and I gave many of these books away as Christmas gifts this past year.

Bob also has served as a high school teacher, coach, and principal for eleven years in Iowa Public Schools. In 1996, Bob became President and CEO of Opportunities Unlimited in Sioux City, Iowa; a human services organization providing rehabilitation services for young adults with brain injuries and other life altering disabilities.

Bob was a Republican candidate for Iowa’s Governor in 2002 and the Republican nominee for Iowa’s Lt. Governor in 2006. He is now the President of MVP Leadership specializing in strategic vision and executive leadership and working diligently to spread God’s “light” through the life of Lucas.

Bob and his wife Darla are the parents of four sons, including Lucas, and reside in Sioux City, Iowa.

I could go on and on about Bob. I guess the primary point I want to make to those of you who do not yet know Bob, is that he is “the real deal.” If you like Mike Huckabee, you will love Bob Vander Plaats. In fact, Bob served as the Iowa Chairman for Governor Huckabee’s Presidential campaign. Even though we are obviously all different, I see many of the same qualities that drew me to Governor Huckabee in Bob Vander Plaats.

In a nutshell, Bob is HONEST. That may seem to be a rare quality for a person in the political world , but it is true. He is a tremendous communicator, and in my mind, impossible to dislike. For Iowa conservatives, there is no one even remotely close to possessing the qualities of this man.

In fact, if it were possible for Iowa conservatives to “create” a person in a lab somewhere that could articulate their values both socially and fiscally, they would “create Bob Vander Plaats.” The bad news is that human beings do not have that scientific ability, but the good news is, we don’t have to. He already exists.

Believe it or not, the year 2010…. is just next year! In 2010, Iowa will have the opportunity to elect a new Governor. Bob Vander Plaats’ experiences have prepared him not only to be the best GOP candidate for Governor in 2010 but also to be the best leader of either party to move Iowa forward. Bob’s considerable advantages over anyone in the race include….

Executive and Business Experience

As CEO of Opportunities Unlimited in Sioux City, Bob led the financial and clinical turnaround of this not-for profit organization. In four short years, Bob’s leadership brought the corporation from the brink of closure to one referenced as “the model in the country.” The governorship requires an “executive mindset”- a leader not a follower. Bob is not only a successful business owner, but also a proven leader in education. Other potential candidates lack that executive record and that combination of skill sets and experiences.

A Leader in Education

Education spending comprises more than 60 percent of the state budget. While educational professionals exert heavy influence on behalf of Democrats, GOP candidates too often cede the education issue entirely. Nominating a Republican candidate with real classroom and school leadership experience will attract “education voters,” particularly independents, to our side. Elections are won-or lost-among independent voters. In recent cycles, we’ve been losing those voters and elections. Bob Vander Plaats will be the only GOP candidate who can match-and exceed- Chet Culver’s experience in education.

Personal and Professional Human Services Story

Republicans have been biennial losers on this issue. We are painted as uncaring on issues of importance to Iowans who need assistance from the human services system. Bob Vander Plaats speaks to these issues as a parent and a professional. As the author of “Light from Lucas” mentioned above, he details his family’s inspirational story of raising a child with disabilities. As a professional who led a nonprofit that serves Iowans with disabilities and was appointed by Governor Branstad to lead a state committee on those issues, Bob will do more than neutralize the Democrats’ perceived advantage on this important issue; he’ll turn the issue into a plus. Once again, no other candidate- Republican or Democrat- has his experience or perspective.

Statewide Campaign Experience (and resulting organizational advantage)

It takes a great deal of work and discipline to campaign for statewide office in Iowa. Many candidates have underestimated the commitment required for such an endeavor. Bob knows what it takes. He is not overwhelmed by the task, rather he relishes it. As a result of a relentless focus, Bob has built a statewide support system second to none. Period.

Solid Conservative Credentials

Our party nominee must distinguish himself from Governor Culver. Bob is recognized for his solid social and fiscal conservative credentials.

The Head Start Edge

Getting out of the blocks fast makes a difference in campaigns, especially when it scares off others. It’s always easiest to beat an opponent who doesn’t get into the race. ( Just ask Bill Clinton. The Democratic power structure was completely aligned to give the 1992 nomination to New York Governor Mario Cuomo, but he took a pass. The rest is history.) The odds of potential opponents sitting out a race increase proportionately when a strong candidate has emerged. Bob is that strong candidate.

The Buyer’s Remorse Factor

Numerous voters who opted for Jim Nussle in 2006 or Doug Gross in 2002 say they wish they would have supported Bob Vander Plaats and he’d been our nominee. Bob will pick up additional support in this election cycle from activists, voters and the party’s “money people” who now believe we’d have a better shot at victory had they backed him rather than someone else. Thankfully, Bob is not turning his back on our party or our state by giving us another opportunity.

The “Who Wants it Most?” Factor

Call it “attitude.” Call it “the heart of a winner.” Call it “the mind of a champion.” In politics as in sports, all things being fairly equal it’s the person who wants it the most that wins. In campaigns, cash is the one factor capable of surpassing willpower and desire. Unlike 2006, no candidate starts the 2010 political cycle with a huge cash advantage. But one candidate-ours-starts and will finish with a winning attitude, heart and mindset. No one will out work Bob Vander Plaats.

National Support Network

Bob has laid the foundation for a national fundraising and support network through his prominent role as Mike Huckabee’s Iowa Chairman and “inner circle” member, and his work with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. National figures like Mike Huckabee, Chuck Norris and others have already pledged to come to Iowa to campaign for Bob.

Forward this to others and let’s get the word out about this amazing opportunity of electing a man of this caliber for Governor of Iowa !

If you would like more information about Bob, feel free to contact me:

Randy Davis
1935 Greenwood Drive
Ottumwa, Iowa 52501

641-680-2997 Cell phone E-Mail Web Address

OR…. you may contact Wes Enos at 1-515-988-4688 in Des Moines.

Big Week For Governor Huckabee

this is probably the biggest, busiest week for Governor Huckabee on the scene since he dropped out of the 2008 Presidential race back in March!  the week began last Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.  Huck returned to the site of our big January Caucus win.  He was originally scheduled to be there in mid June but the Iowa GOP Convention had to be postponed due to the terrible flooding they were experiencing at the time.  

As at the GOP conventions in North Carolina and Texas, Governor Huckabee made an excellent speech and was enthusiastically received.  You can read a report about his appearance, listen to the speech, and listen to an interview with Mike over at Radio Iowa.  More coverage can be found in a live blog from the event from John DeethHERE.  

From Des Moines it was off to New York City for Huck.  He is up in the Big Apple at the Fox News studios.  He appeared on Fox And Friends this morning and will on Hannity & Coumes this evening.  Tomorrow night he’ll be in the “No Spin Zone” with Bill O’Reilly.  He is also in discussion with the Fox News people about the show he will be hosting at a later date.  I can’t wait.  Unfortunately I am without Cable so I will not get to see Huck on TV this time but I can’t wait to hear about the new show!  

EDIT:  the following is an update from an E-mail I recieved from Huck that he sent to his supporters:  

Saturday I was back in Iowa for the first time since we won the caucuses on January 3. Seeing dear friends and “family” that we came to truly love during the process was such a wonderful reminder of how hard our friends there worked to give us such a boost. I spoke at the GOP State Convention and at a fundraiser for the Iowa Family Policy Council headed by Chuck Hurley.

I’m in New York for a few days to meet with Fox News officials and discuss a show I would host as well as appear on numerous Fox programs in the next few days. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a really special opportunity for me—I’ll be subbing for the legendary and immortal Paul Harvey on the ABC Radio Network. As someone whose first job was in local radio in Hope, AR at the age of 14, the thought of subbing for Paul Harvey is truly a special honor.

I get home Wednesday just in time to catch a flight on Thursday to Rwanda, where I’ll be part of a bi-partisan delegation that will include Cindy McCain, former Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle, John Kasich, and Leon Panetta and John Podesta. I’m sure it will be an enlightening week and I will try to report to you from there as time and technology allows.

As is usual, my flight to New York was delayed (welcome to the world of airline travel) and it felt much like summer a year ago when I spent many an evening in airport terminals waiting on word of flights grounded by weather, crew issues, or air traffic. I hope you will say a few prayers for me this week—for travel mercies, wisdom in being on shows like Hannity and Colmes and O’Reilly, and for clarity when substituting for Paul Harvey—then start praying some more as we travel to Rwanda for a week.

Of course, remember Tony Snow’s family in your prayers. He was a class act.

All the best,

Mike Huckabee

P.S. Vertical Day is July 23rd so be sure to mark your calendars. Eight candidates have confirmed their participation including Senators Dole, Cornyn, Inhofe and Alexander.

Also, I am now using Twitter to keep my supporters updated on the latest news. So be sure to start following me on Twitter today.

In addition Mike Huckabee is being blessed with opportunity to fill in for the immortal and legendary Paul Harvey on Tuesday and Wednesday.  In addition Mike has written a guest blog on Texas Senator “Big John” Cornyn’s website this morning on Energy Independence.
If that wasn’t enough, later this week Mike Huckabee with be traveling with Cynthia McCain, Bill Frist, Tom Dascle, and others on a bipartisan trip to Rwanda for the ONE Campaign – A Campaign that supports the elimination of the AIDS epidemic and a solution to global hunger and poverty. 

Good luck and God’s Speed this week Governor!  

A FairTax Update

the following is an E-mail blast from

Dear FairTax Supporter:

The FairTax Campaign Rocks the Boat!

What a thrilling time it is as our idea for a better nation finally starts getting traction everywhere.

While those threatened with extinction—federal tax lobbyists and tax policy experts—have begun throwing the kitchen sink at the FairTax, the public is also getting a lot smarter about how the income tax system hurts America.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (or the smear)

FairTax supporters have taken up their pens and are commenting online, sending letters to the editor and raising the FairTax flag wherever they can. A few writers have been making a huge difference and every supporter is invited to take up the pen—or the keyboard—and fight for the FairTax.

Every day sees a new letter to the editor or web posting defining the 67,500 pages of income tax regulations, the effects of the current tax system on the “Made in America” label and the benefits of a fair, simple and transparent national tax system.

Tax policy was once the exclusive domain of Washington, DC experts who have jealously guarded their elevated status, spun the truth of how the arcane details of the tax code work, helped Congress hide the real effects and size of federal taxes and stoked the political fires to pit citizen against citizen.

That day is coming to an end because of the FairTax.

They don’t like the idea of a simple tax system, of course, and they don’t much care for citizens learning the “secrets” of the dysfunctional income system. The more educated the public becomes; the harder it is for politicians and their handlers to manipulate the truth–and the more popular the FairTax becomes.

Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan and onward to the nation!

In Iowa, the FairTax took root and catapulted our issue to the center of Presidential politics. It was the spark that has lit a grassroots fire across the nation and caused voters to sit up and take notice that there might be a real solution to the income tax mess that bedevils taxpayers and damages the economy.

In South Carolina and Florida, FairTax groups have hosted rallies that saw thousands attend as well as Presidential candidates.

In Michigan, FairTax organizers pushed even harder to extend the FairTax virtues to the state tax system.

In one Florida Presidential debate John McCain told Mike Huckabee that the FairTax is resonating across the country and chuckled as he noted that everywhere he turns he sees someone in a FairTax shirt.

The FairTax bus is still crisscrossing the nation to the delight and surprise of people everywhere.

This is the beginning of the transformation from a national campaign to a national movement with individuals at the local level dreaming up new and even better ways to spread the word.

One fellow from Georgia has asked for help in promoting a FairTax rally next Saturday, February 2 in the online virtual world, Second Life. “I own property next to the FairTax Support Center,” he said. “That’s where I would like to hold a rally!”

The Best is Yet to Come

If you think that its been an exciting ride so far—just wait—its about to get a lot better.

Boortz bookFebruary 12 sees the release of Neal Boortz and John Linder’s new book, FairTax: The Truth–Answering the Critics. You can order a copy now here through

The first 100,000 copies of the book contain’s membership brochure which should help build our army of citizens willing to speak up for a better tax system.

As April 15th approaches again we are making ready for an on-line petition we hope will have hundreds of thousands of names for delivery to both Presidential campaigns and to Congress itself.

The FairTax website saw 100,000 new visitors during December and here at we have worked hard to keep the website current and interesting—both for long time supporters and for new visitors.

We have developed “E-cards” that allow FairTaxers to send a simple message about the FairTax to a friend. You are encouraged to use these messages to both educate the public and bring new strength to our campaign. Click here to send an E-card.

Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff, the brilliant Boston University economist, has posted new work on the FairTax, including how it helps the middle class. While this won’t stop the disinformation campaigns of the critics, it provides a needed answer by a highly respected economist to those who are trying harder than ever these days to distort the FairTax.

Our radio talk show appearances (at 650 and counting) continue to fire the imagination and hopes of hundreds of thousands of citizens who had given up on real tax reform and even given up on the Founding Father’s promise that we are a nation, “Of, by and for the people….”. Leo Linbeck, our Chairman and cofounder recently spent two hours on big New York City station WOR.

The FairTax movement has become as much about the public’s role in public policy as it is about a far better tax system.

Its healthy for the nation and it moves us closer—one step at a time—to seeing the FairTax driven, by the people, to the floor of the House and Senate.

Our goal now is to fan the spark that has been set in the grassroots into a raging fire that sweeps away those politicians who have forgotten they work for the people—not for tax lobbyists and not for themselves.

We are closer than we ever have been before but every one of us knows that as far as we have come, we have as far to go.

We cannot ever underestimate the self-interest of Washington, DC in keeping the power over the citizenry in the hands of the few who profit from manipulation of the tax code.

No single candidate defines the FairTax—this is a growing movement by the citizens of America who are finally standing up to end to our broken tax system and for a far better way to raise and control revenues for the common good.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your passion, your commitment and for your belief that, together, we citizens can create and see enacted good public policy. It is the core belief of our form of government and our best hope for a better nation. Please keep up the good work and keep up the pressure. When our elected officials–and candidates–feel the heat, they will see the light.

Ken Hoagland
National Communications Director


Doesn’t that feel better? After that blues classic I sure do. Now time to move on and move forward!

Let’s look at the big picture. It’s time to see the forest from the trees. let’s step back.. This is by far the darkest day of the Campaign but we have seen dark days before. October 1st was a dark day. That was the day after the end of the 3rd fundraising quarter. The numbers were not good and we took a kick in the pants. However we took that kick in the pants and used that to charge forward with a full head of steam. We’ve taken another kick in the pants today and there is no reason why we can’t turn it into positive fuel and charge ahead again. Let’s look at what has occurred so far

Mike Huckabee won Iowa. McCain won New Hampshire but couldn’t turn that into a win in Michigan. Romney couldn’t turn his win into any success in South Carolina. All indication is that McCain won’t be able to turn his South Carolina win into a win in Florida either. He is now Enemy Numero Uno for the establishment. They seem McCain as an even bigger threat than Huckabee is. Everyone will be gunning for him in the next ten days. Huck is now off the radar screen.

Speaking of Florida this is Rudy’s last stand. His strategy has always been to take a win in Florida onto Super Tuesday and turn it into the nomination. Someone else also has this strategy now and should relish the opportunity. That is Mike Huckabee! And guess what? Mike has more viability and more delegates now than Rudy does. He’s had more success and has gone farther than Rudy has. If there is anyone that can take a Florida win onto Super Tuesday it is Huck!

What we have is a battle for delegates. It is appearing more likely that we are headed for a fight at the convention (but even the Dems are showing signs of that with Hillary’s win in the popular vote but Obama’s delegate win from Nevada yesterday). The delegate count:

1. Romney – 66
2. McCain – 38
3. Huckabee – 26

It appears to me that there is a battle in Florida in which there will be two winners. Giuliani vs McCain and Romney vs Huckabee. The winners of those contests will win the majority of delegates on Super Tuesday. It’s very clear that all four will win delegates on February 5th but those two contests in Florida will decide who wins the most. Rudy/John and Mitt/Mike are battles in which the two will fight over the same voters.

So let’s get some rest today and enjoy the Virtual BBQ with Chuck Norris (and football games after that). We’ve worked hard. We have lots to be proud of. After that we have 9 days. It’s time to refuel and then regroup. We still have lots to fight for.

New hampshire Fallout

Wow! New Hampshire was fun wasn’t it? NH has changed everything and the crystal ball looks muddy at this point. Even minutes before the returns came in last night we were betting the farm on an Obama blowout of Clinton. that did not happen. Of course we did expect a McCain victory and that did happen. With 96% of Precincts reporting here’s the numbers:

McCain – 37%
Romney – 32%
Huckabee – 11%
Guiliani – 9%
Paul – 8%
Thompson – 1%


Clinton – 39%
Obama – 37%
Edwards – 17%
Richardson – 5%
Kucinich – 1%

So what does it all mean? Well the Clinton surprise changes everything in the Democratic race. Before last night it was all but certain that Obama would sweep to the nomination. Not so fast my friend! We now have a Battle Royale on our hands. The win last night has revived Clinton’s campaign and given it brand new life. It has also kept John Edwards around for South Carolina (which he won in 2004). Between New Hampshire and South Carolina is Michigan (who will vote for Clinton even though they’ve lost all their delegates), and Nevada (where Clinton has a big lead right now). If Edwards wins South Carolina again (not likely but possible) we might see a brokered convention in late August.

Now to the GOP. Huckabee won Iowa. Romney won Wyoming. McCain won New Hampshire. More importantly Mitt Romney lost both Iowa and New Hampshire where he was leading big two-three months ago. Romney is down to his last out. That last out is Michigan (where he was born and his father was Governor). It’s going to be a three-man race between McCain, Romney, and Huckabee. I am very anxious to see some new polls from Michigan. Nevada is anyone’s guess at this point. South Carolina looks like Huckabee’s to lose. Florida, Rudy’s last stand is showing signs of the Huckaboom. It’s looking rather good for Huckabee right now but things could change and we must keep working hard.

It is distinctively possible at this point that one or both parties could have brokered conventions. Incredible

Great commentary by Michael Medved

Talk show host, Micahel Medved has a thoughtful and extensive analysis post on Iowa’s results last night. You can read it HERE My favorite part was this:

I believe he won in part due to the fact that he came across as the sunniest, most likeable, least angry candidate in the bunch. Obama’s victory also indicates that voters didn’t buy anger, rage, indignation – they preferred the most positive, uplifting, cheerful of the candidates. In the Snow White Caucuses (yeah, Iowa’s covered with snow) the voters turned away from dwarves like Grumpy (Tom Tancredo), Sleepy (Fred Thompson), Doc (Ron Paul), Dopey (Sam Brownback) and Krazee (Alan Keyes ….all right, I know “Krazee” wasn’t one of the original dwarves but the Keyes-ster deserves an entirely new category). Meanwhile, Huckabee may not exactly be Prince Charming, but he’s charming and funny and cheerful enough.

I also like this passage:

Huckabee earned his victory by piling up big margins among women, the poor, and the young.

And where, demographically, have Republicans faced horrible problems in the recent past (particulary 2006)? We’ve lost by giving our opponents huge margins among…. women, the poor, and the young.

The obvious conclusion is that party leaders need to give special respect and attention to a Republican with special appeal to three key groups that normally reject the GOP — taking a second look at Huckabee for his ability to win women, the poor and the young.

Go read the rest of it. It’s fascinating!

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Iowa Caucus Results!

Here are the Iowa Caucus results:

Iowa Democrats:

Sen. Barack Obama – 38%
John Edwards – 30%
Sen Hillary Clinton – 29%
Gov. Bill Richardson – 2%

100% Precincts Reporting

Iowa GOP:

Gov. Mike Huckabee – 34%
Gov. Mitt Romney – 25%
Fred Thompson – 13%
Sen John McCain – 13%
Rep. Ron Paul – 10%
Mayor Rudy Guiliani – 4%
Rep. Duncan Hunter – 1%

95% Precincts reporting (huh?)

The fallout is just beginning from last night. The Caucuses on the Democratic side are playing out like the GOP straw poll with candidates dropping out. Biden and Dodd are heading home after their poor showings. Will any from the GOP field drop out today? Stay tuned.

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