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NEWS
March 9, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa - Talk about juice. Bruce Rastetter, a multimillionaire agribusiness baron and the largest GOP donor in Iowa, got almost all of the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates - at least 11 of them - to agree to come to the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday for a forum on agriculture issues. They were to sit down on stage for one-on-one, 20-minute interviews with Rastetter, discussing their positions on labeling for genetically modified food, proposed federal regulation of groundwater, foreign trade agreements - and, perhaps above all, the future of Iowa's important corn-based ethanol industry.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa - This time, the presidential cattle call was held at the state fairgrounds - which seemed appropriate, given the topics. Corn-based ethanol, immigration, genetically modified food, wind-energy tax credits, groundwater regulations, crop insurance, trade. Over seven hours, nine potential Republican candidates addressed detailed questions about those and other issues important to the agricultural industry in Iowa, the state that produces about 10 percent of the nation's food, and, more important, holds the first 2016 nominating contest.
NEWS
January 28, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, everybody's favorite Bible-quoting, bass-guitar-playing Republican presidential candidate, is back on the trail, seven years after he won this state's caucuses. On Sunday night, he arrived at the Walnut Creek Church next to I-235 in the suburbs of Des Moines to sign copies of his new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy , for about 50 fans. "Back when he ran in 2007-2008, the question was, who is Mike Huckabee," said Pastor Terry Amman, welcoming him with a slightly deflated cardinal-and-gold Iowa State University souvenir football.
NEWS
January 26, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa - For months, the 2016 Republican presidential race has been dominated by the "invisible primary" scramble for the backing of the party's donor class. On Saturday, it goes grassroots. At least eight likely candidates will give their pitches to 1,500 conservative activists at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, trying to seduce the people who pack a punch in the GOP caucuses, where the first votes of the party's nominating process are scheduled to be cast in a little over a year.
NEWS
January 26, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa - A Republican presidential nomination campaign that is shaping up as even more wide open than the last one opened Saturday as at least eight likely candidates competed to inspire conservative activists packed into a Victorian theater here for 9½ hours of rhetoric and networking. The event illustrated the party's challenge: to find a candidate who can win the loyalty of the grassroots base without moving too far to the right and jeopardizing the GOP's chances of victory in the general election.
NEWS
January 26, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa - New Jersey Gov. Christie told an audience of more than 1,000 Iowa conservative activists at a conference here Saturday that he shares the same political values, deriding the "conventional wisdom" that says he's too moderate for the state that will cast the first votes in the 2016 Republican presidential race in a little more than a year. "Let me ask you this, if I was too blunt, too direct, too loud, and too New Jersey for Iowa, then why do you people keep inviting me back?"
NEWS
August 8, 2014
HERE'S ONE more for your beer-drinking bucket list: RAGBRAI. It stands for the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. No, you don't see the word "beer" in that title, but this seven-day, two-wheel tour can stand up there with Munich's Oktoberfest, Philly Beer Week or a night in an Irish pub as a quintessential celebration of our favorite adult beverage. Pedaling across the corn-filled countryside is the ostensible focus of the annual event, launched 42 years ago by two columnists at the Des Moines Register . This year's ride, held during the last week of July, stretched 418 miles and climbed 11,000 feet through 90-degree heat and one brutal day of windy thunderstorms.
NEWS
July 21, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
MARION, Iowa - Inside a diner crammed with television cameras and national reporters in this town just outside Cedar Rapids, Joe Mallie gave a glimpse of the challenge Gov. Christie could confront in wooing conservative voters to elevate him to the White House. Awaiting Christie's entrance Thursday at MJ's Restaurant, a camera around his neck, Mallie praised the governor's charisma. "People pay attention when he talks, and they feel like listening," he said. "You feel you understand when he's talking.
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