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Posts Tagged ‘bobby kaufmann’

The Prairie Progressive Kaufmann Watch

Prairie Dog

Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2017 issue of  The Prairie Progressive, Iowa’s oldest progressive newsletter.

by Prairie Dog

Bobby Kaufmann, Iowa House District 73, consistently presents himself as a moderate Republican.

“Just the fact that I have a great relationship with all the Democrats in the Johnson County delegation, I think that has been by far my biggest accomplishment.” (Iowa City Press Citizen, 5/12/16).

Here are four bills Rep. Kaufmann recently voted for in the current legislative session:

HHF 517, adding ‘stand your ground’ to Iowa’s gun laws

HF 291, gutting Iowa workers’ collective bargaining rights

HF 516, protecting Iowa from non-existent voter fraud

SF 166, allocating inadequate state aid to public schools

Two Democrats voted for the first one; no Democrats voted for the other three.

The Prairie Progressive is funded entirely by reader subscription,  available only in hard copy for $12/yr.  Send check to PP, Box 1945, Iowa City 52244.

Mr. Kaufmann, That’s Bullying

Prairie Dog

Reprinted with permission from the January 2017 issue of  The Prairie Progressive.

 – Prairie Dog

Much has been written about Bobby Kaufmann’s latest foray into school-yard bullying. The State Representative for Iowa House District 73, is ‘annoyed’ by high school and college students who feel vulnerable, threatened, and fearful following the November election (known in Prairie Progressive dens as The Night of the Living Dread).

Casual observers may not know that Bobby’s ‘Suck it Up, Buttercup’ proposal is classic Kaufmann. It’s not the first time that he’s been annoyed by young people who don’t have the platform bequeathed to him by his father, former state representative and current Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann.

What most distinguishes Bobby as a legislator is that he, like all bullies, tends to punch down. Bobby the Bully is Bobby the Brave when he goes after the Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, or the tiny and universally scorned Westboro Baptist Church.

That LGBT Youth conference, funded privately (despite the word Governor in its title) and coordinated by Iowa Safe Schools, drew over 1000 people in 2015 to listen and talk to local and nationally-known speakers. Bobby, hearing rumors of ‘X-rated’ content, sought to investigate the conference with subpoenas by the House Oversight Committee, which he chairs.
Attempting to use the power of a government committee to intimidate private citizens not involved in a government activity? Mr. Kaufmann, that’s bullying.

We all abhor Westboro’s publicity seeking strategy of desecrating the American flag outside of funerals for veterans. Burning and otherwise defacing the flag are legal acts fully protected by the US Constitution, but once again, Bobby puffed out his chest over a straw man (even the pro-constitutional amendment group Citizens Flag Alliance can count only a handful of flag burnings every year). Seizing another chance for his own publicity, Kaufmann the Younger announced in Letters to the Editor in small-town newspapers that he wasn’t sure what he could do specifically, ‘but count on me to fight with a fiery passion to defend the honor or our flag and our fallen soldiers.’ Those of us who have been targets of Westboro thuggery over the years have learned that they revel in attempts to censor them. Thanks, Bobby, for giving them exactly what they want.

Bobby’s claim that he “value[s] our First Amendment rights” is a joke. Freedom of speech is the same in Washington, DC, in Ferguson, Ohio, and in Bobby’s home town of Wilton, Iowa. Without the freedom to be offensive, it ceases to exist. A protest that fails to annoy or inconvenience may as well not occur. Bobby doesn’t understand our Constitution, or he willfully exploits it for his own self-aggrandizement. Worst of all, Bobby’s faux patriotism is insulting to ‘our flag and our fallen soldiers’ that he pretends to defend ‘with a fiery passion.’ Maybe he is unaware that American soldiers take an oath to protect the Constitution, not the flag.

What also distinguishes Bobby as a legislator is that he, like all bullies, slinks away when he loses control of a situation. Recently Bobby bragged about how many “buttercup” interviews he had done, until he appeared by phone on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s As it Happens (similar to NPR’s All Things Considered). Bobby obviously relished the attention, talking confidently about a school that had brought in a ‘therapy pony’ to ease students’ anxieties, until host Carol Off politely but firmly pressed him to tell her listeners where the therapy pony had appeared. [Editor’s note: this question is an example of what was once known as ‘journalism.’] After three squirming attempts to not answer, Bobby simply hung up, like a buttercup.

All of this punching down on weaker targets by a privileged son could be excused if he occasionally showed the courage to go after people or groups with genuine power. Bobby’s silence is deafening on the abuse of power by the Board of Regents, the Governor’s trial balloon of cutting IPERS benefits to thousands of working Iowans, the payday loan companies, the nursing home industry, the pharmaceutical lobby, and the countless corporate interests that align themselves against our most defenseless citizens.

Bobby ran unopposed in the last election, in a district that includes a chunk of the People’s Republic of Johnson County. It’s time we challenge Bobby to be a big boy, not a bully, or find someone to take his place.

–Prairie Dog

The Prairie Progressive is Iowa’s oldest progressive newsletter, available only in hard copy for $12/yr.!!  Send check to PP, Box 1945, Iowa City 52244.

Another Open Letter To Bobby “Suck It Up Buttercup” Kaufmann

kurt-frieseJohnson County supervisor-elect Kurt Friese had this to say following Bobby Kaufmann’s recently announced plan to introduce a bill to punish universities he calls the “Suck It Up Buttercup” bill. Re-posted here with permission.   Original post at


Dear Representative Kauffman,

You and I have only met in passing once or twice, so I will not presume to know your motives in putting forth what you termed your “Suck it up, buttercup” legislation, which press reports say you plan to introduce when the legislature returns in January. What I can tell you, though, is that the proposal is intellectually, logically, and compassionately void.

Suggesting that you, or any third party (especially in government), should have the authority to decide what is or is not a legitimate fear, worthy of receiving compassionate counseling or friendly support, demonstrates a disturbing lack of empathy. I do not know if you have had personal or family experience with trauma, but one defining characteristic of it is that the person experiencing it knows it to be very real, and when a person who is not experiencing it attempts to delegitimize the fear, well, that is simply being cruel.

We both come from positions of considerable privilege, you and I. If I were to submit in public discourse that I knew what it felt like to be a woman in America, or an immigrant, or a minority of some type, I would be roundly castigated and then laughed out of the room. Your contention that such people should simply “suck it up” demonstrates privileged contempt for people who are different from you. So does referring to them with the pejorative “buttercup,” as if feeling fear means a person is weak or frail.

I was fascinated to read, in a transcript of your interview with the CBC radio show “As it Happens,” that you began the interview by stating, “I believe the national conversation needs to take place with both sides coming to the table.” Speaking as a person who has spent a lifetime gathering people around tables, I can state with expert authority that calling people names like “crybaby,” or denying them help that they desperately feel they need, is not an effective way of asking them to sit at your table. It makes people uncomfortable – perhaps in the same way you felt uncomfortable in that interview, which would explain why you hung up on your host.

You also made it a point to address the protestors who briefly blocked traffic on I-80. You and I can agree that doing so was dangerous, and the local authorities were right to break it up right away. It appears, however, that your main objection was their message, not their means. Do you honestly believe, sir, that if the election had gone the other way, a different variety of protestors would not be doing precisely the same types of activities across the country as we have seen in the past two weeks? They certainly promised that they would. Can you say with a straight face that you would not have accepted those protests as legitimate?

There are a few weeks between now and the beginning of the new legislative session. I am writing today to ask you to take these weeks – gathered around what I hope is a bountiful holiday table full of wonderful food and surrounded by friends and family – take these weeks and ponder in the spirit of those holidays what it means to let your decisions be guided by love and understanding.


Kurt M. Friese, Iowa City
Johnson County Supervisor-Elect


Kaufmann Buttercup Bill Wrong For Iowa

bobby-kaufmann-buttercup-billRepublican Representative Bobby Kaufmann wants the Iowa legislature to pass a law to take away money from public Universities funding grief counseling for students who didn’t vote for Trump and are upset about the election.

The neo-Nazis have a plan, too, and grief counseling might interfere with its success. The Daily Stormer is encouraging Trump supporters to mercilessly harass Clinton supporters online. As explained by The Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin,

“You can troll these people and definitely get some of them to kill themselves”.

With his “suck it up, buttercup” bill, Rep. Kaufmann gleefully taunts the very people targeted by the neo-Nazis (whose leader, Stephen Bannon, has been appointed to the top White House position by Trump). I guess Rep. Kaufmann doesn’t want the Universities interfering with the neo-Nazi plan to have Clinton supporters kill themselves.

Bobby Kaufmann Disappoints Constituent

iowa capitolA disappointing week.  Too many reminders of why I didn’t vote for Bobby Kaufmann last time and won’t next time.

Despite a good bill regarding increases in penalties for animal abuse, and support for increasing the fuel tax in order to maintain our roads, he is still headed the wrong direction on the big items.

Nothing affects our state’s future course more than education.  Education needs to be our first order of business, and be the very first priority on the budget.  The Iowa House failed to invest in Iowa’s future this week.

This past week, Bobby chose to help “enable” the Iowa Taliban agenda.  In a bill that solves absolutely no problems, adds no safety to a private medical procedure, but restricts access to abortion for those most in need and disregards the fundamental rights of half of his district, he has chosen to govern by ideology. Obstructing the freedom to make personal choices about child-bearing gives conservatives a warm fuzzy feeling, without solving any actual problems.  Pretending that fetuses have a right to finish developing into a full term live birth strips rights away from women already fully involved in their lives.

Conservatives are wrong to view abortion as the apex of immorality.  In a time when contraception is safe and reliable,  producing children that you are unprepared to raise well is a far greater sin.

Parents have a moral obligation to prepare properly for child rearing. Responsible child rearing involves knowing what they will need to be taught and provided with to grow into healthy, productive adults.  Children cost money, and “God will provide” is not a financial plan. Sometimes the hard but correct choice is to terminate a pregnancy where the necessary elements for child rearing are not in place yet.

Placing requirements on women such as proving rape or proving health issues is a very slippery slope, and beyond demeaning.

Why does the party of personal freedom and individual rights exempt women from that concept?

Laura Twing lives in Cedar county, with her husband and various animal companions.

Why It Is Time For Legislators To Stand Up To Governor Branstad

iowa capitolThe following letter to the editor by David Johnson was published in the West Branch Times on January 24th.

With the legislature back in session, we’ll soon be bombarded with letters from our elected officials in Des Moines, telling us what wonderful things they accomplished last year, and what they have in store for us this year.

Be sure to watch for key words like “bipartisanship” and “historic.” While last year’s agreement on property tax reform was historic, and passed with bipartisan support, it’s not something to brag about.

Cutting taxes for commercial and industrial property owners is going to be expensive, and no magic back-fill is going to be able to pay for it without a hike in residential property taxes.

If Iowans have to subsidize big business to ensure their sustainability, can we truly call it Free Enterprise? I thought we believed in the philosophy that businesses would make it or break it, based on the principles of supply and demand.

While our elected officials are ignoring this inconvenient hypocrisy, it might be a good time to point out other problems that occurred last year.

While Governor Branstad issued line item vetoes that cut $91.3 million in appropriations for the Peace Officers’ Retirement Fund, the House Republicans refused to act. While Governor Branstad’s Administration refused to hire additional nursing home inspectors with the money that was appropriated for that, again House Republicans refused to act.

Think about that the next time you hear your elected officials talk about their concern for elder abuse. It’s time for less happy-go-lucky rhetoric and more action.

I don’t want to hear what legislators say they care about.  I want to see what they care about through their actions. It’s time for our legislators to show their concern for these issues by standing up to Governor Branstad when he crosses the line. Governor Branstad’s actions are inexcusable, but if the legislature refuses to act, they’re complicit by their inaction.

David Johnson, West Branch
Candidate for State House District 73

David Johnson is a Democrat running against Republican freshman legislator Bobby Kaufmann.  You can help his campaign by visiting his website and Facebook page. Make a donation here.

johnson for statehouse

Iowa Farmers Oppose Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power? No Thanks

Nuclear Power? No Thanks

WILTON—About 65 people gathered at the Wilton Community Center last night to view a screening of the documentary, “The Atomic States of America,” hosted by the group Saving America’s Farmland and Environment (S.A.F.E.). Attendees also heard an update from two of the group’s co-founders Dwight and Dianne Glenney. S.A.F.E. began with a group of farm families who rose in opposition to MidAmerican Energy’s plans for a nuclear powered generating station on 150th Street near Wilton.

No surprise that a group of farmers would fight a large corporation in the biblical terms of David v. Goliath when MidAmerican Energy bought options on 729 acres of prime Iowa farm land in the middle of an established rural community to build a power plant. According to Glenney, the electric utility has three possibilities for the land should they exercise the options: build a nuclear powered generating station, build a natural gas powered generating station, or do nothing. S.A.F.E. is organized so their Davids can remove MidAmerican’s Goliath from their lives and the land options expire without action.

I first met some of the group in October 2012 when Iowa Public Interest Research Group hosted a community organizing meeting to oppose siting a nuclear power plant near Wilton. My advice at the time was, “your most effective voice is with your state legislators when they convene the 85th General Assembly… Let your legislator know you’re opposed to it.” Since then, members of S.A.F.E. engaged their elected officials, securing resolutions opposing nuclear power from the Cedar and Muscatine county boards of supervisors. They also recruited state representatives Bobby Kaufmann and Tom Sands to support their efforts. Membership is approaching 400 people who have signed their petition and joined S.A.F.E.

According to Dwight Glenney, the group has been researching nuclear power during the time since the October meeting. What they learned moved the group from a not in my back yard approach to more general opposition of nuclear power in Iowa, in the United States and globally. Glenney indicated there are options besides nuclear power to supply electricity to meet growing demand in the state.

He reported that MidAmerican Energy has completed their three-year study of the feasibility of nuclear power in Iowa and is expected to deliver the report to the Iowa Utilities Board this week. Dianne Glenney reported on grassroots organizing activity of fundraising, letters to the editor, production of an information packet, attendance at legislative forums and other items.

S.A.F.E. makes a strong point that they are not affiliated with any so-called “green” groups, and that is a strength of the organization. By remaining strictly grassroots, with members of the community effected by MidAmerican Energy’s plans for rural Wilton being the primary stake holders in the group’s activity, they have an independent and unique voice that dovetails with other concerns of rural Iowa.

What’s next? S.A.F.E. supports building any new electricity generating facility on existing power plant locations so that new land is not taken out of farm production. According to Dwight Glenney, it makes sense from the standpoint that the logistical support of transmission lines, roads and infrastructure is already in place. They also plan to advocate with the Iowa legislature for a ban on nuclear power, similar to what 13 other state legislatures have enacted. Such a ban may be permanent, or until the unresolved problem of disposal of radioactive spent fuel is addressed by the federal government. S.A.F.E. is working with their legislators to introduce bills regarding these issues during next year’s second session of Iowa’s 85th General Assembly.

Dwight said that if the issue is resolved, and MidAmerican Energy decides not to build a power plant near Wilton, any funds remaining in their bank account will be divided three ways and donated to local Future Farmers of America groups. For the time being, they asked for financial support and for people to join their growing membership. If you would like to learn more about S.A.F.E., email Dianne Glenney at

Passenger Rail and Eminent Domain Get Married

iowa capitolWhat will it take for the Iowa House to get a bill considered on the floor of the Iowa Senate? Representatives Dave Jacoby and Bobby Kaufmann are hoping that pairing a Senate Democratic priority— funding passenger rail in order to be eligible to receive a substantial grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to upgrade railroad tracks to handle 79 mile per hour traffic— with House File 219— an act relating to eminent domain authority prompted by a controversy in Clarke County— will do the trick.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann has invested considerable political capital in the eminent domain issue. A March 11 story in the Muscatine Journal provides some background information, including the fact that HF 219 passed the Iowa House 93-6. According to Kaufmann, he recruited Rep. Dave Jacoby to co-sponsor the eminent domain bill, asked Jacoby to help write the language, and has spoken publicly about his positive relationship with the popular Coralville Democrat. Eminent domain is one of Kaufmann’s signature issues this session, and he has a lot riding on the outcome, personally and politically. The text of their joint press release is below.

To outsiders, it is unclear what is the secret sauce for getting Republican house bills like HF 219 to an up or down vote in the senate. What is clear is the process is complicated. Democrats can appreciate the complexity, and for the most part, the results of the Senate’s actions. In any event, how this bipartisan collaboration plays out will be something to follow in the closing days of the first session of the 85th Iowa General Assembly.

Kaufmann-Jacoby Joint Press Release May 21, 2013
Kaufmann and Jacoby offer a compromise to the Senate

Rep. Dave Jacoby (D-Coralville) and Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton) have offered an agreement on two key issues that have garnered a lot of interest in the last several legislative sessions. “The eminent domain language passed the Iowa House four times this session, each time with over 90 votes,” said Kaufmann. “There has also been much bipartisan support in the Senate, but it has not been brought up for a vote.” The legislation ensures that land cannot be condemned for recreational purposes by skirting the 2006 law. A controversy in Clarke County has been an impetus for the bill.

The passenger rail proposal which includes matching federal funding for an initial run between the Quad Cities and Iowa City (with possible expansion to Des Moines) has met with significant resistance. The $5.5 million dollars would be a part of the state match. “Passenger rail is an important initiative for my district, and our local Chambers of Commerce. This compromise reflects the continuing spirit of all legislative districts being heard and I believe gives both issues new life and a new pathway into becoming law,” said Rep. Jacoby.

As the 2013 session winds to an end, proposals like this could very well be the lynch pin to adjourning.

Tired Of Right Wingers Claiming To Be Victims

Tuesday night a couple of weeks ago I was down at Muscatine City Hall for a forum for the Muscatine County candidates for state office. At the end of the proceedings, Bobby Kaufmann raised a ruckus about a mailer from his opponent. The mailer apparently listed Mr. Kaufmann’s run ins with the law, including one about 8 months ago. I knew nothing of it at the time, but I asked around after the forum what he was so upset about. I was told about the mailer and told he felt it was a ‘smear.” My first question was is the information accurate? If so, I don’t believe it can be a smear.

Along those lines the Republican Party is the group that calls loudly and often for “personal responsibility.” Seems to me that multiple run ins with John Law would indicate that “personal responsibility” is not his schtick.

He is hardly the first politician to have legal problems. Sometimes a public outing of a problem will bring remorse and a personal rehabilitation. But often the response is arrogance and defiance. Used to be that the voting public had a soft spot for those who show remorse and little time for those who show arrogance. Looks to me based on his response in the forum he is still in that arrogance stage. I used to have a Republican friend who used to speak bumperstickerese. One of his favorite slogans was “you do the crime, you do the time.”

The other thing that kind of surprised me is that surely many people must have known about this record, yet no one stood up and said “maybe he’s not ready yet?” I know had I been in a similar situation, I would not have had to go any further than my father to get a straight answer. He would have told me to clean up my act. NOW!

This is just one local example of a party that is truly arrogant and feels that any criticism of them, their words or actions is wrong and they are therefore “victims” of – well who knows what? – a biased press, distortion, mass hypnosis? Before Youtube and cell phone cameras and other technologies recorded major screw ups for posterity many politicians would deny, deny, deny. Then it became the reporter’s word against the politician’s. But today it is really hard for a politician to deny. Yet they still try to.

Who can forget George Allen in Virginia being recorded calling a member of his opponent’s staff “macaca” knowing full well it was a racial slur. First he denied, then he tried to lie his way out of the incident. I can’t remember whether he eventually apologized, or did the Republican version of apologizing. The Republican apology is the one that starts out “I am sorry if anyone was offended….” No actual feeling of remorse or contrition on their part. No personal responsibility taken. By stating the “apology” that way they set themselves up as a “victim” of those who are too politically correct.

The Romney campaign has been rife with a constant victim mentality. For one thing, they (Romney and Ryan) are constanly lying, then playing a victim card when their lies are pointed out. And they show no remorse for their lies. No siree, they just keep on telling them. Like the one about Medicare, or how about the never happened Obama apology tour? Then there is the one about how they will not turn Medicare into a voucher program, even though that is exactly what is in Ryan’s budget plan. How about the whopper of how Romney really had the plan to save GM. And how he (Romney) never said “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” No contrition for the lies, but when media points out the lies Romney falls into a ‘victim” mode.

Who can forget that poor, poor victim David Vitter? Caught using prostitutes, he tries to lie his way out. When that won’t work, he drags his poor wife on the stage to bring sympathy.

But my favorite this election year is Romney and his financial situation. For one thing as a candidate to lead the most powerful country in the world, he refuses to reveal his financial holdings. These holdings may have information that would indicate that Romney may on occasion make a decision that is not in the interest of the United States, but in his own financial interest. The Sensata incident is a good example of that. Yet when calls are made to reveal his investments, he cries out that his opponents only want to use the information against him. In other words he is saying “I am a victim.” Romney also has investments in tax-avoiding overseas accounts. For the same reason the public should see what his holdings are. Again he claims that he is a victim when someone calls to see these oversea tax avoiding accounts.

And of course there is the tale of his taxes that he refuses to reveal. Again he cries victimhood. It is indeed a very sad commentary that our media simply reports this. And it is also a truly sad commentary on our country that Romeny can get away with playing the victim. He even has his wife running cover for him.

And finally there are the various Republican politicians who have claimed in one way or another that there are no true victims of rape and there is no way possible that a woman can get pregnant from rape (Todd Akin, Richard Murdoch and our own Steve King). When this insane position is taken to task, they act like that they are victims of  those who are too politically correct.

Enough with the false victimhood. Take the credit for your actions. Show real personal responsibility.

Why Bobby Kaufmann Would Be Bad For Iowa

This is the first in a BFIA series on eastern Iowa GOP House candidates.

There are two big reasons why Iowans should not let Bobby Kaufmann anywhere near the Iowa state house as an elected representative.

First, his lack of  judgment, indicated by his history with law enforcement should be a disqualifier, at least for now.   He should demonstrate that his judgment has improved by going a couple of years without getting in trouble with the law before he decides to run for public office.

More than a single incident or two,  Kaufmann the younger has quite a long rap sheet by any standard, so it seems appropriate that he have to at least answer questions about how it came to be that he has 17 offenses, 4 occurring as recently as 2011-2012.   It is a matter of public record so it is fair game.

For the curious, Kaufmann’s history with law enforcement is available at and Blog for Iowa  did a blog post about it back in April based on a story in the West Branch Times.   The Solon Economist conducted an interview with  Kaufmann the younger back in July in which Bobby attempted to explain away his most recent drunken mishap.  In Wednesday’s  Iowa City Press-Citizen Bobby characterized the public intoxication conviction as an “unfortunate misunderstanding.”   The QCTimes picked up the story this week:  “Opponent Dick Schwab said ‘We’re hiring somebody to represent us in Des Moines. In almost every employment search I’ve ever done, you do a background check.'”

Kaufmann tried to cry smear, but he can’t even do that because “smear” by definition is an unsubstantiated charge. These citations are documented.

Even if you accept Kaufmann’s questionable framing of what happened,  when the Solon Economist reported, “out of fear and uncertainty he plead guilty to the charge,” one wonders how, if elected, Kaufmann would stand up for constituents to the increasingly right wing Republican caucus, if he is so easily intimidated.

So let’s say none of the above matters.  There is another more important reason to not elect Bobby Kaufmann.

– He would vote for and support extremist, tea party legislation.

-As a “friend of agriculture,” Kaufmann was endorsed by the Iowa Farm Bureau, partly because he supports avoiding “needless regulations.” This is code for underfunding or dismantling the Iowa DNR and regulations that pertain to the quality of our air, water and land.

– He would  overturn the landmark Varnum v. Brien decision with a constitutional amendment on the nature of marriage.

– While clerking in the legislature, he was a supporter of a house joint resolution that defines life as beginning at conception, co-sponsored by his father (HJR 2003, 83rd General Assembly).

– Branstad’s Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds has said, “we need to make sure we do everything we can to elect Bobby Kaufmann,” to an audience that included Rep. Dawn Pettingill, who famously led a petition effort, signed by 41 Republicans, to stop abortions in Iowa even in the cases of rape and incest, something Republicans plan to do if they gain control of the legislature.    Here is Kim Reynolds weighing in on marriage, and criminalizing abortion.

In classic George W. Bush 2000 style, Bobby Kaufmann is pretending to be a moderate, bipartisan Republican for campaign purposes, but as with Bush, that is nothing but an election year facade.  The reality is that if elected, he would be called upon to push the tea party agenda and it is unlikely that he would be able to stand up to his dad’s powerful GOP cronies when it comes time to call in the votes.