Twenty conservative Republicans in the Iowa Senate voted to derail the nomination of former Cedar Rapids Mayor Lee Clancy, who Governor Vilsack picked to be a member of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Senators debated Clancey’s fate for an hour and a half. Republican Senator Mary Lundby of Marion spoke first, saying in a similar situation, she’d be ranting and raving because of the injustice, but she says most moderate republicans have grown used to it, and aren’t even appalled anymore. Senate President Mary Kramer, a republican from West Des Moines, said Clancey was unfit to serve on the Racing and Gaming Commission because Clancey, who’s a registered republican, too, endorsed democrat Al Gore. She said politics is a “very tough game.” Kramer, whose top aide is a long-time friend of George Bush’s family, questioned whether Clancey was truly a republican. Republican Senator Steve King of Kiron suggested democrat Governor Tom Vilsack intentionally nominated Clancey to highlight divisions between moderate and conservative republicans. He said the Governor “threw a cat in the dog kennel and wanted to see” Senators fight. Republican Senator Andy McKean of Anamosa said he had no great personal fondness for Clancey, but he begged his republican colleagues to confirm her because she was qualified for the job. He urged the G-O-P to step away from “unbridled partisanship” and “turn the other cheek.” Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs said former republican Governor Terry Branstad would be unqualified to serve if the republicans use the same standard for him they used for Clancey, as Branstad once endorsed democrat Ben Nelson’s bid to become a U-S Senator from Nebraska. Twenty-seven Senators voted for Clancey, but she needed 34 “yes” votes to get the job.
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