The excellent blog, Iowa Defense Alliance has a post today entitled: The Hypocrisy is Astounding. In it they assert that Republican leaders in Iowa should be outraged at Clayton County Chair Gwen Eilers for her anti-Reed write in campaign rather than at Kim Lehman for Iowa Right to Life's anti Miller-Meeks article.
I want to say first that some of us were (and remain) outraged by Eilers' anti-Reed write in campaign. Here is what I said on this blog:
There is no mechanism for the SCC to remove or otherwise punish a county chair. Only the Clayton County Central Committee or the 1st District Executive Committees (basically the county chairs and co-chairs form the first district) can remove Eilers. I hope they have the guts to do so!
As for Kim Lehman, let me state that I supported Kim in her campaign for National Committeewoman. I had a Lehman sticker on my jacket the day of the state convention and I spoke with many people urging them to support Kim.
The Iowa Defense Alliance is right. IRTL does not have to toe the Republican Party line. But since their Executive Director is also our National Committeewoman, the potential for conflict exists.
The reason this has become such a big issue is not so much that IRTL did not support Miller-Meeks. Rather they call Miller-Meeks, who declares that she is pro-life, a liar. While her opponent, Dave Lobesack is never even mentioned.
Loebsack answered his Project Vote Smart questionnaire:
It is not simply the case that IRTL is not supporting our candidate. In the 2nd Congressional District race, IRTL has chosen to gratuitously attack the candidate who is by any objective measure, closer to their pro-life position, while giving a free pass to the incumbent who is unashamedly pro-abortion.
Every leader in the Republican Party needs to be aware of how their actions affect our candidates and our cause. [[That includes those of us who are bloggers!]] I believe that in this case, Kim felt that her integrity as Executive Director of Iowa Right to Life necessitated publication and distribution of this article.
In the week since this issue surfaced, I have struggled as to how I should respond. I and the other two Second District SCC members, issued a statement to our district last week. As I have watched the situation unfold, I have talked to activists in my district and across the state.