2006.04.24: April 24, 2006: Headlines: COS - Tanzania: Politics: Election2006 - Katus: Rapid City Journal: Tanzania RPCV Tom Katus is candidate for Iowa State Senate

Peace Corps Online: State: Iowa: February 8, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Iowa : 2006.04.24: April 24, 2006: Headlines: COS - Tanzania: Politics: Election2006 - Katus: Rapid City Journal: Tanzania RPCV Tom Katus is candidate for Iowa State Senate

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-234-53.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.234.53) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 9:50 am: Edit Post

Tanzania RPCV Tom Katus is candidate for Iowa State Senate

Tanzania RPCV Tom Katus is candidate for Iowa State Senate

As the Democratic candidate for Senate in the heavily Republican district (and what district in these parts isn't?), Katus has little to lose as he quietly idles his campaign engine and waits for the general-election flag to drop. Figured strictly by the voting history and party registration in District 22, the 66-year-old McLaughlin native has about as much chance winning the election this fall as I have of taking home a Pulitzer Prize.

Tanzania RPCV Tom Katus is candidate for Iowa State Senate

Woster - GOP fight lifts hopes of Katus

If the Republican skirmish in the District 32 primary between state Sen. Stan Adelstein and Elli Schiesow turns into a full-blown war, Tom Katus will sit back, smile and enjoy the show.

As the Democratic candidate for Senate in the heavily Republican district (and what district in these parts isn't?), Katus has little to lose as he quietly idles his campaign engine and waits for the general-election flag to drop. Figured strictly by the voting history and party registration in District 22, the 66-year-old McLaughlin native has about as much chance winning the election this fall as I have of taking home a Pulitzer Prize.

Well, OK, maybe his chances aren't quite that dismal. Hope does spring eternal in politics, after all. And, unlike the judging process for the Pulitzer, there's always room in a seemingly predictable campaign for a clear-skied lightning strike.

Just ask Gov. Mike Rounds, who would still be selling insurance in downtown Pierre if he hadn't believed he was smarter than the odds, and the pundits, four years ago.

I picked Mark Barnett over Steve Kirby in that 2002 Republican primary. And I was at first bemused and then amused when I found out Rounds was running, too. Imagine the nerve of the guy, thinking he could take a few years in the state Senate, some soft-spoken sales skills and a boyish bit of charm all the way to the governor's chair?

In a word: ridiculous.

Good thing for the, uh, governor, that I wasn't his political adviser.

It turned out that Barnett and Kirby slugged themselves out in a bizarre game of campaign rope-a-dope. And Smiling Mike was the only one still standing for the general-election bout with Jim Abbott.

A truly viable Democratic contender, Abbott was hoping to face the badly-battered survivor of a black-and-blue GOP primary. Instead, he drew an untouched Republican with fresh legs and nary a blood spot on his white trunks.

Rounds would became governor largely by fortuitous circumstance, but also by his underrated skill at bobbing and weaving through an always-dangerous 15-round campaign without throwing a low blow or being tagged by a straight right hand.

Float like a butterfly, sting like one, too. And it worked.

Katus intends to float through the next few weeks, hoping that Adelstein and Schwiesow sting each other hard and often. After that, who knows?

"It's going to be a very tough race," he said of Adelstein-Schiesow match. "They're already out with attack ads. I think it's a civil war in the Republican Party."

Katus, an ex-Peace Corps volunteer who works now as a small-business development consultant, thinks most of that feud is based on the divide over whether the government should be involved in legislating moral issues - such as the near-total ban on abortion, HB1215, approved by the state Legislature and signed by Rounds.

That will be a key issue in the primary battle between Adelstein, who voted against the bill, and Schiesow, who supports it. And Katus, who opposes any abortion ban that doesn't have exceptions for rape and incest victims and to save the woman's life and health, is waiting to see if the war improves his election chances from slim to something better.

"Democrats have said that whatever happens with them in their primary, we need a moderate as an alternative," Katus said. "That's why I decided to throw my hat in the ring."

When he does, I'll be watching. If things go well for Katus, I might reconsider my Pulitzer chances.

Contact Kevin Woster at 394-8413 or kevin.woster@rapidcityjournal.com





When this story was posted in April 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


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Rumor Mill: Vasquez to accept new  appointment Date: April 18 2006 No: 877 Rumor Mill: Vasquez to accept new appointment
We have heard persistent rumors that Director Vasquez will soon be receiving a new position in the administration, perhaps a major ambassadorship. This is unsubstantiated although it comes from a credible source. The Peace Corps Press Office has had no comment.

Initiatives and Accomplishments: Vasquez's major initiatives and accomplishments since becoming Peace Corps Director include: an agreement with Mexico in 2003 to host volunteers, sending RPCVs to work domestically in Hurricane relief after Katrina, emphasis on recruitment of minorities and of community college graduates, upgrading Peace Corps' infrastructure especially IT upgrades in the online application tracking process and the Volunteer Delivery System, an emphasis on safety and security of volunteers including the creation of a Situation Room at Peace Corps Headquarters, modifying Peace Corps' "Five Year Rule" for employment, and the expansion of the Peace Corps to its highest level in 30 years. He is the third longest serving Peace Corps Director after Ruppe Miller and Shriver.

PCOL Comment: Although we have had our differences with the Director over the years and opposed his nomination in 2001, we think he is leaving a solid legacy of accomplishment. Director Vasquez, if these rumors turn out to be true, let us be the first to thank you for your service to the Peace Corps, congratulate you on your new appointment, and wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

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The Peace Corps Library Date: February 24 2006 No: 798 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory. New: Sign up to receive PCOL Magazine, our free Monthly Magazine by email. Like to keep up with Peace Corps news as it happens? Sign up to recieve a daily summary of Peace Corps stories from around the world.

PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended Date: April 14 2006 No: 872 PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended
Director Vasquez announced the temporary suspension of the Peace Corps program in Chad on April 14 and that all 29 Peace Corps volunteers have left the country. With a program dating back forty years (See Page 4 of the April 1966 "Peace Corps Volunteer"), RPCVs hope that volunteers can return to Chad as soon as the situation has stabilized. Congratulations to the Peace Corps for handling the suspension quickly and professionally.

Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request Date: April 12 2006 No: 869 Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request
The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that Peace Corps has blocked their request for information on the Volkart case. "After the Tidings requested information pertaining to why Volkart was denied the position on March 2 the newspaper received a letter from the Peace Corps FOIA officer stating the requested information was protected under an exemption of the act." The Dayton Daily News had similar problems with FOIA requests for their award winning series on Volunteer Safety and Security.

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Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

PC announces new program in Cambodia Date: March 29 2006 No: 849 PC announces new program in Cambodia
Director Vasquez and Cambodia's Deputy Chief of Mission Meng Eang Nay announced a historic new partnership between the Peace Corps and the Kingdom of Cambodia that will bring volunteers to this Southeast Asian country for the first time. Under King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia has welcomed new partnerships with the U.S. government and other U.S. organizations.

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Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced the suspension of the Peace Corps program in Bangladesh on March 15. The safety and security of volunteers is the number one priority of the Peace Corps. Therefore, all Peace Corps volunteers serving in Bangladesh have safely left the country. More than 280 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Bangladesh since the program opened in November 1998. Latest: What other newspapers say.

Invitee re-assigned after inflammatory remarks Date: March 21 2006 No: 839 Invitee re-assigned after inflammatory remarks
The Peace Corps has pulled the invitation to Derek Volkart to join the Morocco Training Program and offered him a position in the Pacific instead after officials read an article in which he stated that his decision to join the Peace Corps was in "response to our current fascist government." RPCV Lew Nash says that "If Derek Volkart spoke his mind as freely in Morocco about the Moroccan monarchy it could cause major problems for himself and other Peace Corps volunteers." Latest: Volkart reverses stance, takes new assignment in Paraguay.

RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps Date: February 3 2006 No: 780 RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps
Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: January 3 2006 No: 773 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program

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When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.


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Story Source: Rapid City Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Tanzania; Politics; Election2006 - Katus

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