|2008 Presidential Election Project|
Re: You Can Influence the 2008 Presidential Election!
Dear Iowa County Official:
You have the power to influence the 2008 Presidential Election and the issues the candidates talk about. That’s right you can help select the next President. You can also help ensure that the candidates running for President understand the issues affecting counties and their residents.
You can gain this power by meeting with candidates and hosting candidate events through the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 2008 Presidential Election Project. NACo, in partnership with the Iowa State Association of Counties, launched the project to reach candidates seeking the Presidency in 2008 and get them to focus on county issues.
The goal of the project is for candidates to hear the same message from county officials on key issues. Hearing the same message from county officials, like you, will encourage candidates to focus on those issues during their campaigns and when they return to Washington, D.C.
The project is non-partisan. We want county officials to meet with candidates from both parties. It is important for all candidates to hear the county message. You may even want to meet with a candidate from the other party to ensure that county issues become part of the campaign.
Our current focus is on Iowa and New Hampshire, the states where the first primary and caucus will be held. These states were also chosen because the candidates meet with county officials in their homes, local coffee shops, and at county facilities, giving these county officials strong opportunities to speak with candidates one-on-one.
We have attached a brief description of the project, talking points on key issues and a list of many of the candidates and potential candidates. These attachments are also available at www.iowacounties.org.
So - what do we want you to do? Here are four things:
First – Let us know that you want to participate in the project and how you can help. If you want to ensure that county issues are part of the Presidential campaign, contact NACo staff members Tom Goodman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kevin Sweat (email@example.com) to let us know about your interest.
Second – Plan to attend candidate events and discuss the key issues with the candidates. NACo staff are working to find out when and where candidates, or potential candidates, are campaigning in Iowa. Staff will alert you and other county officials about those visits and the meetings the candidates will be attending.
Third – Plan to host events for candidates. We also encourage you to host events for candidates in your home or in community centers. This will give you an open opportunity to discuss county issues with a candidate.
Fourth – Let us know the outcome. Was the meeting a success? What was the response by the candidates? We want to keep county officials from across the country informed about how the project is proceeding.
This is a great project that can raise the visibility of counties and county issues with our national leaders. We encourage you to participate. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact any one of us. Thank you for your interest.
Larry E. Naake
2008 Presidential Election Project Summary
NACo, in partnership with the state associations of counties, has launched the 2008 Presidential Election Project to reach candidates seeking to become President of the United States of America in 2008 and get them to focus on county issues.
The goal of the project, which is a non-partisan effort, is for all of the candidates to hear the same message from county officials on key issues. Hearing the same message from county officials, who are leaders in their communities, will encourage the candidates to focus on these issues as part of their campaigns.
The project is concentrating on Iowa and New Hampshire, the states where the first caucus and primary will be held. These states were also chosen because the candidates meet with county officials in their homes, in local coffee shops and at county facilities. County officials have one-on-one discussions with the candidates because of the process in these states.
The plan is for the NACo staff to find out when candidates are campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire and alert county officials in those states about meetings and events. NACo will encourage county officials to meet with the candidates and even host events. NACo will provide talking points on two or three key issues to the county officials and ask them to discuss these issues with the candidates.
NACo President-Elect Colleen Landkamer and Second Vice President Don Stapley are leading the project. President-Elect Landkamer and NACo staff visited Iowa in September 2005 and New Hampshire in November 2005 to meet with county officials and discuss how to make the project work.
The project is endorsed by all of the state associations of counties in the country. NACo is working directly with the Iowa State Association of Counties and the New Hampshire Association of Counties.
In the past, NACo has not been successful getting presidential candidates to focus on county issues. The association has tried platform hearings, news conferences and scheduling meetings with candidates, but started too late and could not get the candidates’ attention. Since the candidates are now campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, NACo has begun working on the project and will continue through the election in 2008.
2008 Presidential Election Project Iowa Issues
Methamphetamine abuse is devastating our communities. Many people, especially in rural areas, are becoming addicted to the drug. Counties are dealing with meth abuse at the local level, and it is more than a law enforcement issue. Medical, environmental and social problems are the results of meth abuse and are creating new direct costs to counties.
States are working to control the sale of over-the-counter drugs and other ingredients used in making meth.
Now the federal government must take an active role in combating meth abuse.
The next President of the United States must:
The cost of and access to health care in Iowa is a huge problem for county governments and their residents. Counties are responsible for providing mental health services – the cost of which is rising dramatically. In addition, for some rural residents, access to health care is hours away from their homes.
The next President of the United States must:
County governments are first responders dealing with all types of disasters – natural and man-made. Through their public safety, health, transportation, emergency management and other department’s, counties must develop and carry out detailed plans to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters. But they cannot do it alone. There must be support and coordination among all levels of government.
The next President of the United States must:
Federal – County Partnership
In the past, there was a good working partnership between the federal government and county governments to deliver services to the American people. Counties are not a special interest group. They want to be partners with the federal government. How can we restore that partnership?
For additional information on these issues, contact NACo or check the NACo Web site: www.naco.org.
2008 Potential Presidential Candidates
Senator George Allen (VA) – Up for re-election in 2006. Chairman of the NRSC in the 108th Congress. Elected to the U.S. Senate in Nov. 2000. Elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in Nov. 1993 and served one term, 1994-98, term limited Sen. Allen is currently running a re-election campaign against former Secretary of the Navy James Webb. Allen has made a small number of trips to both Iowa and New Hampshire.
Contact: Senate office # - 202 224 4024.
Senator Sam Brownback (KS) – Won easy re-election in 2004, has stated he will not run again in 2010. First elected to Senate in 1996. Served in U.S. House 1995-1996, Kansas state Agricultural Commissioner 1986-1993. Sources say Sen. Brownback is very interested in a run and has already made several trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Issue Areas: Maintaining American Values, Faith Based Initiatives
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 6521
Senator Bill Frist (TN) – Senate Majority Leader who will self-impose a term limit upon himself and leave office after 2006 elections. First elected to the Senate in 1994, his first, and only public position. Is a licensed physician who received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Senator Frist has been on of the long-presumed candidates for the 2008 election and has made a small number of trips to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Issue Areas: Education, Faith and Values, Social Security, Taxes
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 3344
VOLPAC (Leadership PAC) # - 615 386 0045
Former Rep. Newt Gingrich (GA) – Served as Speaker of the House from 1995-1999 and in Congress 1979-1999. Former Speaker Gingrich has been out of office for a number of years, only to reappear recently on the National scene. He has made a small number of trips to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Contact: Office # - 404 4598 5921
Former NYC Mayor Rudolph (Rudy) Giuliani (NY) – Served as New York City Mayor from 1994-2002 where he led a highly successful campaign to clean up the city. Has made single visits to Iowa and New Hampshire, candidacy is still speculative.
Issue Areas: Fiscal Responsibility, National Security
Contact: Giuliani Partners, L.L.C., # - 212 931 7310
Senator Charles Grassley (IA) – Serving his 5th term in the Senate to which he was first elected in 1980 after serving three terms in the House. Is the current Chair to the Senate Committee on Finance. Sen. Grassley has an advantage being the home-state Senator from Iowa, but has made no public remarks touting a run in 2008.
Contact: Office # - 202 224 3744
Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE) – First elected to Senate in 1996 and is serving his second term. Served in the U.S. Army infantry after graduating college and was sent to Vietnam in 1968. Background is very diverse including employment as a newscaster, administrative assistant in the House, investment banker, and Chief Operating Officer of the G-7 summit in 1990. Sen. Hagel has made one trip to Iowa and took a three-day trip to New Hampshire in 2005.
Issue Areas: Pro-business, International Affairs
Contact: Office # - 202 224 4224
Governor Mike Huckabee (AR) – Serving the second of his term-limited four year terms. Won Lt. Governorship in a special election in 1993 and was later sworn in as Governor in 1995 following Whitewater scandal and resignation of Jim Guy Tucker. Attended seminary school in Fort Worth Texas and served as a Baptist minister for a few years, which some may find controversial. Gov. Huckabee may also have Senate aspirations in 2008 through a challenge to Sen. Pryor; and has also served (like Clinton) as the Chair of the National Governors Association.
Contact: Gov. Office Scheduling Line # - 501 682 3680
Sen. John McCain (AZ) – A decorated Navy Captain who served in the Vietnam war and was held as a prisoner there for 5 and a half years was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and then after winning re-election, to the Senate in 1986. Is famous for his campaign finance legislation and defeat in the 2000 Presidential election primary where he easily won New Hampshire and was a front-runner, but fell off after the South Carolina primary. One of the presumptive frontrunners for the Republican nomination in 2008, Sen. McCain has made several visits to the early primary states and carries with him strong name recognition.
Issue Areas: Government Reform in the areas of Taxes, Spending, Political Maneuvering Reform, and Immigration Reform.
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 2235
Governor Mitt Romney (MA) – Governor Romney is serving the first and only term as Governor (he has limited himself). Elected in 2002, he is chairman of the Republican Governors Association and also ran an unsuccessful Senate bid in 1994. Gov. Romney was Chief Executive Officer and organizer of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and before that founded successful investment firm Bain Capital. Gov. Romney is a Mormon, which has prompted a few questions about his ability to be elected, but he has been traveling the country and the early primary states very often while preparing for a presumptive run.
Issue Areas: Spending Reform, American Values
Contact: Governor’s Massachusetts Office # - 617 725 4005
Governor’s D.C. Office # - 202 624 7713
Sen. Evan Bayh (IN) – Sen. Bayh was first elected to the Senate in 1998 by the largest margin a Democrat had seen in Indiana. He was re-elected to a second term in 2004 which expires in 2010. Before taking his Senate seat, Bayh served as Secretary of State of Indiana from 1986-1988, after which he was elected to the Governorship for consecutive terms. Bayh taught at Indiana University between serving as Governor and Senator. Sen. Bayh has been considered as a running mate several times and gave the keynote address at the 1996 Democratic National Convention. Recently, Sen. Bayh has been making multiple appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire presumably preparing for a 2008 bid.
Issue Areas: Education, Energy independence, trade
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 5623
PAC Office # - 202 326 0450
Sen. Joe Biden (DE) – Sen. Biden is currently serving his 6th Senate term after first being elected in 1972 and most recently re-elected in 2002. Sen. Biden led an unsuccessful campaign for the 1988 Democratic nomination, but has all but officially announced he will be running in 2008. Sen. Biden has made many visits to Iowa and New Hampshire in addition to countless appearances on national television shows.
Issue Areas: Growing middle class, Higher Education
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 5042
PAC Office # - 202 547 2221
Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) – Sen. Clinton is the most talked about prospective 2008 Democratic nomination, but is one that has said the least about the possibility. Sen. Clinton was first elected to the Senate in 2000 and is currently running for re-election in 2006. Many have listed her as the early frontrunner due to her name recognition and massive fundraising efforts. Sen. Clinton is a mainstay in the national media.
Issue Areas: Revive America’s middle class, Higher Education, Reduced Energy Dependence
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 4451
PAC Office # - 202 263 0180
Sen. Christopher Dodd (CT) – Was first elected to the Senate in 1980 after serving three consecutive terms in the U.S. House beginning in 1974. Sen. Dodd was highly presumed to run for Governor of Connecticut in 2006, but decided against it and presumably will be re-elected. One of the few to have spoken publicly about a run in 2008, Sen. Dodd has already held a fundraiser for his campaign but has not traveled the early primary states extensively.
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 2823
Sen. John Edwards (NC) – Was elected to the Senate in 1998 and served one term before losing the 2004 Presidential election as running mate to John Kerry. Edwards has given many speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire and is listed by some as one of the early frontrunners for the nomination.
Issue Areas: Poverty, Expanding America’s middle class, Education
Contact: PAC Office # - 202 955 4511
Sen. Russ Feingold (WI) – Sen. Feingold has served as a member of the Senate since his election in 1992, before which he served as a member of the Wisconsin State Senate. Though not as well known through the nation, many grassroots Democrats are pushing for a run by Sen. Feingold in 2008, even though he has yet to comment on the issue. Sen. Feingold has made a limited number of trips to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Issue Areas: Health Care, Fiscal Responsibility, Immigration Reform
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 5323
PAC Office # - 608 831 1308
Sen. John Kerry (MA) – Sen. Kerry has served in the Senate since his election in 1984, before which he served at Lt. Governor of Massachusetts for two years. A decorated Vietnam War Veteran, Sen. Kerry saw his record come into controversy after he gained the Democratic nomination for President in 2004, losing to incumbent President George W. Bush. Many are speculating about a run by Sen. Kerry in 2008 and he still runs a nationwide PAC.
Issue Areas: Health Care, Energy Independence, America’s Middle Class
Contact: Senate Office # - 202 224 2742
PAC Office # - 202 464 2145
Gov. Bill Richardson (NM) - He has served as a Congressman (1982-1996), United States Ambassador to the United Nations (1997-1998), and U.S. Secretary of Energy; he is presently the Governor of New Mexico. He was also chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention that nominated John Kerry for the presidency. Gov. Richardson was a potential running mate to Sen. Kerry in the 2004 election and afterwards told party leaders he would seek the nomination in 2008. Gov. Richardson has been active with his travel around the country, making many stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, and many other states.
Issue Areas: Immigration Reform
Contact: Governor’s Office # - 505 476 2200
Gov. Tom Vilsack (IA) – The current governor of Iowa is seen by many to have an advantage during the 2008 Iowa caucuses. First elected in 1998, Gov. Vilsack is serving the remainder of his second term, and will not seek another. Gov. Vilsack was named chair of the Democratic Leadership Council in 2005. Plans for a run in 2008 are still unconfirmed though Gov. Vilsack has increased his number of national appearances.
Issue Areas: Education, Health Care
Contact: Governor’s Office # - 515 281 5211
Gov. Mark Warner (VA) – While in office Gov. Warner enjoyed some of the highest approval ratings seen by a governor, but was limited to one term. Many place his among the attractive candidates for a 2008 bid due to his moderate views and support in the South; though some are worried about his political inexperience. Gov. Warner has been actively visiting the early primary states including Iowa and New Hampshire.
Issue Areas: Spending, Education, Revitalizing the Democratic Party
Contact: PAC Office # - 703 518 6135