The 2018 Iowa Midterm Awards

I’ve consciously avoided politics in my column space over the last month or so for a few reasons: perhaps most importantly, because newspaper endorsements in any form are nothing but an ego trip for journalists who seem to believe they have some unique insight into the human experience that can’t be found anywhere else—a useless relic of the past with absolutely no impact on election outcomes. The Des Moines Register endorsed Fred Hubbell and all of the Democrats in the Congressional races, and guess what? Everyone hates them. The Fort Dodge Messenger endorsed Steve King, and guess what? Well, you probably already guessed it.

 

“My Three Cents Worth” has never sought to win anyone over. It contains the rants of a stark raving madman of questionable mental stability, nothing more and nothing less. I have the First Amendment right to write, and you have your First Amendment right to be mad at what I write.

 

But nonetheless, even when I stick to topics like Tom Petty, football, my high school garage band and getting engaged, I’m still taken to task, so what can I do? Against that backdrop, it’s time to hand out some hardware to commemorate the best and worst of the 2018 campaign here in the Hawkeye State.

 

*-Editor’s note: All awards have no actual value and are not redeemable in any way.

 

Best nickname: Cindy Taxme

Despite the fact that it played a crucial role in determining the balance of the U.S. House of Representatives come 2019, the Iowa Third District race between David Young and Cindy Axne was—on its face, at least—mind-numbingly boring.

 

Young, a moderate Republican incumbent and lifelong political insider from Van Meter, is a nice, quiet guy without much of a backstory, much less Trumpian than his Iowa colleagues Rod Blum or Steve King, and Axne’s profile as a suburban small business owner of some bland human resources/marketing company won’t draw fawning national stories or hit pieces.

 

Enter President @RealDonaldTrump. At a rally in Council Bluffs on October 9, he stumped for Young and declared his challenger “Cindy Taxme,” and I haven’t been able to get the new moniker out of my head since. When the king of insults gets a fastball down the middle, he’s not going to miss. 

 

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