than one in five of the registered Iowa Democrats will likely turn out
on caucus night; the challenge for the campaigns is to identify those who
will turn out in support of their candidate. An important tool in
this effort is the Iowa Democratic Party's voter file, which lists the
state's 1.8 million active registered voters, including the 537,738 active
registered Democrats and has phone numbers, e-mail addresses, voting histories
and a multitude of other detail. One can select for women or for
people who put up a Vilsack sign in their front yard in the 2002 campaign,
or for any of hundreds of selects. Of interest to the presidential
candidates are the 105,000 people who have participated in caucuses since
1984 and are still active. By the end of 2002, Kerry, Edwards and
Dean had purchased the voter file, which carried a price tag of $65,000.
For this they gain access to a user-friendly, web-based system which readily
allows a campaign to add information that only it has access to, to export
to other programs, to print out labels for those volunteers to apply.
Voter files are a fine tool,
but the most important ingredient in a successful campaign is good people.
The individuals who will head up the Iowa campaigns bring varied experience
to the job:
On Dec. 18, 2002 Gov. Dean announced Jeani Murray as his Iowa
State Director. In 2002 she managed John Norris' unsuccessful campaign
for the Iowa 4th CD seat held by Rep. Tom Latham (R). Murray served
as Executive Director of the Iowa Democratic Party from May 2000 to 2002.
Previously she was Chief of Staff to Rep. Leonard Boswell for four years.
She is a graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, and attended
graduate school in journalism at the University of Iowa.
On Jan. 29, 2003 Sen. Edwards named Rob Berntsen, Chief of Staff
to Secretary of State Chet Culver, as his Iowa caucus director, as well
as naming other members of his Iowa leadership team. Berntsen previously
served as Director of the Business Services Division in Culver's office.
He gained his law degree with distinction at University of Iowa College
of Law in 1998. Prior to that, he worked in Washington, DC for three
years, after graduating from Georgetown University (1992). He is
a native of Marion, Iowa. Berntsen is to start in the first part
John Lapp, who ran Gov. Tom Vilsack's 2002 re-election campaign,
is managing Rep. Gephardt's Iowa caucus campaign. Lapp also served
briefly as Vilsack's communications director after the election.
He joined Vilsack in Oct. 2001 as deputy chief of staff, after serving
chief of staff for Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Rep. Ken Lucas (D-KY).
He has a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a M.P.A. from the George
John Norris, who in 2002 ran for Congress in the 4th District
against Rep. Tom Latham (R), is managing Sen. Kerry's Iowa caucus campaign.
Prior to running for Congress, starting in 1999, Norris served as chief
of staff to Gov. Tom Vilsack. In 1998 he served as chairman and executive
director of the Iowa Democratic Party. Previously he served as chief
of staff to Rep. Leonard Boswell and as district representative for then-Rep.
Tom Harkin. He owned and managed the Old Hotel Restaurant in Greenfield
from 1989 to 1992 and served as vice president of the Greenfield Chamber
of Commerce. During the mid-1980's Norris served as state director
for the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition. A native of Red Oak, Norris graduated
from Simpson College in Indianola with a B.A. in political science in 1981
and received his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1995.
Rep. Kucinich's Iowa Field Coordinator is John Friedrich.
Most recently he worked as Midwest political director for Clean Water Action,
from Aug. 2002. He founded and served as executive director of Community
Harvest, a Washington, DC non-profit, 1997-2002. From 1993-97 he
was National political director of Clean Water Action. Friedrich
served as Illinois campaign manager for Harkin for President in 1991-92
and as a field organizer on Harkin's 1990 Senate campaign. He is
a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987) and a native of
no longer competing in Iowa
On July 25, 2003, the campaign announced Rep. Kevin McCarthy
as State Director, replacing Ted Osthelder. McCarthy moved up from
Political Director (announced on April 28, 2003.) McCarthy represents
District 67 in Des Moines; he is the ranking member on the Public Safety
Committee and serves as well on the Ethics, Natural Resources, and Transportation
Committees and the Justice System Appropriation Sub-Committee. McCarthy
is a former Assistant Iowa Attorney General. He served as a counsel
in Washington D.C. for the Tobacco Project, which represents the fifty-two
settling governments under the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
He served as campaign manager for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller in 1994
May 1, 2003 Sen. Graham named Jessica VandenBerg as his Iowa
State Director. VandenBerg from Pella, Iowa, came to the campaign
from her position as caucus director for the Iowa Democratic Party.
In 2002 she worked as the deputy director of the IDP's 2002 Coordinated
Campaign. She served as Rep. Leonard Boswell's communications director
after managing his successful re-election campaign in 2000.