There, I said it. The Republican Party of Iowa (RPI) doesn’t trust you! By you I mean the grassroots Republicans who knock on doors, make phone calls, walk in parades, participate in caucuses and go to conventions.
I served on the RPI State Central Committee (SCC) for over a decade. I know most of the actors and I know that some of them keep the grassroots in mind with every decision they make. But, I also know how the sausage gets made, there are some SCC members who believe that they know best and important decisions should not be left up to the grassroots of the Iowa GOP.
Your betters on the SCC don’t trust you!
So, it should be no surprise that a few weeks ago, in their 1st quarter meeting, the SCC passed a number of bylaws changes — some of which are designed to take power away from the grassroots and consolidate it in the SCC or even the RPI Chairman. Of course, the SCC did this in the dark. Chairman Kaufmann created a special Vision RPI Committee to propose these amendments while bypassing the SCC Organization Committee. Even though the SCC bylaws (Article II, §3) establish that the Organization Committee is charged with handling the bylaws.
Organization Committee, which shall be charged with planning and recommending … Party’s Constitution and Central Committee’s bylaw matters. …
The amendment that I want to single out in this post is the new Article VIII §7 of the SCC Bylaws:
7. Individuals running for delegate to the Republican National Convention must provide a letter of recommendation from an officer of a County Central Committee, a member of a District Executive Committee or a member of the State Central Committee.
What this amendment means is that you cannot be a delegate to the Republican National Convention without the blessing of those in power. Rather than trust the grassroots — the delegates to our district and state conventions — candidates must be approved by the establishment. I wish I were still on the SCC, I would simply write letters for everyone who wants to run and let the people decide. (Note that the bylaw does not specify that the CC officer, DEC member or SCC member must be from one’s own county or district.)
Now, I get the motivation behind this. I was one of the few non-Ron Paulers to serve on the SCC after they took over RPI. But the Ron Paulers did nothing wrong. They worked, they organized, they motivated their base, they came out for caucus and conventions and they effected a takeover. While I didn’t like it, they won fair and square. Theirs was not the first insurgency and will not be the last in the party. It was a couple of decades ago the Evangelicals came to prominence and more recently Donald Trump and his populist movement have made their presence known. If there is one thing that the Republican establishment fears it is that the grassroots will get uppity and that they will lose their power. You don’t need the establishment’s permission to go to the Republican National Convention, your permission comes from the grassroots of the party and their votes at convention!
Caucuses are next week (February 7) and the convention process is starting. I encourage you to go to caucus and conventions. At the district convention every seat on the SCC will be up for election. If you believe, as I do, that the power of this party should belong to the grassroots. Ask every candidate how they voted on this amendment. If they voted yes or won’t answer — throw the bum(s) out!!!