Top 50 Iowa GOP operatives list includes two Pawlenty advisers

The Des Moines Register has a special report listing 50 influential people involved in the GOP Iowa caucuses — folks who can make or break a Republican candidate — and two of the 50 are listed as advisers to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

Former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Chuck Larson Jr. is a former state representative and senator who left elected office after 2006 but remains close to the center of GOP activity in Iowa. Larson, now a partner in a West Des Moines PR and consulting firm, was an early adviser to John McCain’s 2008 campaign and is now advising …Pawlenty.

Karen Slifka, former adviser to the George W. Bush and John McCain campaigns, is a partner with Larson in a West Des Moines public relations and political consulting firm. She was Midwest political director for George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and was a top adviser to McCain’s 2008 Iowa campaign. Slifka, of West Des Moines, was also close to Terry Branstad’s 2010 inner circle and is now advising … Pawlenty.

Another Register article lists the number of visits to Iowa so far in 2010 by leading GOP hopefuls and finds Pawlenty is tied for first with Newt Gingrich, who both visited seven times. Neither gets the prize for coming the farthest to court delegates; that would go to Sarah Palin, who visited from Alaska three times.

The whole Register list:

  • TIM PAWLENTY
    Minnesota governor
    Iowa visits in 2010: 7
  • NEWT GINGRICH
    Former U.S. House speaker
    Iowa visits in 2010: 7
  • RICK SANTORUM
    Former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania
    Iowa visits in 2010: 4
  • SARAH PALIN
    Former Alaska governor
    Iowa visits in 2010: 3
  • RON PAUL
    U.S. representative from Texas
    Iowa visits in 2010: 3
  • MIKE HUCKABEE
    Former Arkansas governor
    Iowa visits in 2010: 2
  • MITT ROMNEY
    Former Massachusetts governor
    Iowa visits in 2010: 2
  • HALEY BARBOUR
    Mississippi governor
    Iowa visits in 2010: 2
  • MIKE PENCE
    U.S. representative from Indiana
    Iowa visits in 2010: 1
  • JOHN THUNE
    U.S. senator from South Dakota
    Iowa visits in 2010: 0
  • MITCH DANIELS
    Indiana governor
    Iowa visits in 2010: 0

The article says the political activity surrounding the Feb. 6, 2012, caucuses is relatively quiet so far, compared with other years, partially because there’s no obvious front-runner, who would be required to stay very active and force the others to try to keep pace.

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