Earlier this summer, 20-year-old conservative Iowa activist Jake Dagel hoped to make a splash by outing toxic metal preacher Bradlee Dean as a fraud and a cult-keeper after the community college student had an unpleasant experience while working for a You Can Run But You Can't Hide street team.
Unfortunately for the ambitious young man, the story failed to catch fire, while at least one prominent conservative activist, Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, came to Dean's defense.
Dagel has deleted most information about the kerfuffle from his website and Facebook page, and moved on to fight other battles with comrades on the right.
On July 26, the Des Moines Register reported in Condemnation of King mounts as Branstad adds to criticism:
By election results, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Ia., has been immune to voter anger over his tongue.
Iowa Democrats hope his latest remark about cantaloupe-legged immigrant drug mules turns off people at home who might be growing weary of his perceived grandstanding, especially on an issue where polling indicates his district is not with him.
But even as condemnation from top U.S. House Republican leaders grew Thursday — and Iowa’s titular GOP establishment voice, Gov. Terry Branstad, added his own criticism — conservatives in northwest Iowa vowed to stand by their man. . . .
Jake Dagel, 21, a social conservative activist from Sheldon, said he thinks many fellow Republicans “don’t see Speaker Boehner as a leader of the Republican Party.” So Boehner’s criticism is “a little ridiculous.” . . .
But Dagel doesn't seem willing to stop with criticizing Speaker Boehner and disagreeing with Governor Branstad. Kevin Hall of The Iowa Republican reported on July 21:
Meanwhile, two sitting Iowa House Republicans in northwest Iowa have drawn likely primary challengers … In HD 2, soon-to-be 21-year old Jake Dagel, an outspoken conservative activist, is strongly considering taking on Rep. Megan Hess (R-Spencer). In HD 3, military veteran Brad Nagel has already announced his intentions to run. That seat is currently held by Dan Huseman (R-Aurelia) … At least one of these races will turn ugly, and therefore, counterproductive.
His "Draft Dagel for Iowa House" Facebook page has attracted 16 likes since it was set up on July 19.
Perhaps Freshman legislator Megan Hess is a target for Dagel because of accusations that she wasn't conservative enough during the 2012 primary, when she competed with Victory Baptist Church pastor Josh Davenport, who told the Des Moines Register that the district "needed a 'more conservative' candidate than Hess."
Her legislative record since being elected--sponsoring bills supporting gun rights and armed teachers in schools while opposing Agenda 21 and labor unions--suggests that whatever latent RINO tendencies her critics detected in the primary never bore fruit.
During the 2012 election, the Spencer daily newspaper reported that the William Mitchell College of Law graduate had fairly well-established Republican cred:
Hess began working as a page in the Iowa Legislature in 2005, worked for the chair of the Public Safety Committee until college graduation and spent time working in the White House Office of Public Liaison and Office of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs. She has also spent time in the offices of Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Steve King, both of Iowa, and worked for the Minnesota House research staff while in law school.
But some of the comments on the article are highly critical of Hess (and fairly petty). Her 2012 primary opponent enjoyed the endorsement of Bachmann presidential campaign pal Kent Sorensen. (More snippy comments on that post--and this one).
Maybe that's what Dagel is banking on. Maybe he just wants his name out there. Bluestem is happy to spread the word.
Photo: Iowa Representative Megan Hess. Bluestem predicts that like Speaker Boehner, Bradlee Dean, and the Des Moines Community College, she'll survive Jake Dagel's opposition. Jeepers.
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