On Message!

A shout out to Republicans in Congress, the Iowa Legislature and our new leadership at RPI. You guys have all been on the same page and on message. Of course I might ask where some of you were last year for the original bailout or SILO or when we had the majority — but I digress

The immediate, loud and unified opposition to Chet's scheme to take out a payday loan for the lottery is a great example.The strong unified reaction to the budget with its so-called across the board cuts is another.

On the national level, I appreciate Senator Grassley and Reps. Lathan and King standing form against the pork bill bailout.

This is the time to stand firmly on Republican principles. Keep up the good work!

Welcome to the Blogosphere

After a flurry of activity (both online and not) related to the RPI chair elections, I have been busy catching up on little things like work. I haven't posted in a while but I am back. Between the federal bailout and Cluver's budget — there is plenty to write about.

First I want to welcome some friends to the blogosphere. Tim Palmer from Cedar Rapids has a new site: HawkeyeReview. I like the widget that tracks bills in the Iowa legislature. Also from Linn County, newly-elected Republican Supervisor (I still love saying that!) Brent Oleson has a new blog aptly named The Marion Contrarian. Brent's first post is about local option sales taxes. I agree with him at least halfway — more on this later.

Both Tim and Brent have been regular commentors on this blog. Thanks guys and welcome.

On another note, some weeks ago, Krusty and I were a little kritical of each other on our blogs. A friend noticed that Krusty disappeared from my blogroll shortly after. Krusty's removal was not deliberate. I meant to remove the now inactive Real Sporer and clicked on Krusty instead. Later today, I will add Brent and Tim's blogs and restore the King of Iowa bloggers to my blog roll.

A time to mourn

The Bible says it best:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: … A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; …
Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 3:4

The Linn County and Iowa Republican families are mourning and weeping today on the passing of Senator Mary Lundby. At the same time Representative Rosemary Thomson has suffered a stroke and been removed from life support.

When I was a newcomer to politics, these two ladies were among the pillars in the Linn County Republican party. I have come to know and respect both of them over the years. 

My prayers go out to the Thomson and Lundby families.

Mary's funeral will be on Wednesday, January 21st at 1:00 pm at

St. Joseph Parish
1790 14th Street
Marion, IA

Cards may be sent to the Lundby family at:

1240 14th Street
Marion, IA  52302

A New Day at RPI

By now most of you know that the RPI leadership elections are over. The new leadership team is: Matt Strawn chairman, Jim Kurtenbach co-chairman, Matt Randall treasurer and Bill Schickel secretary. 

I think that this is an exciting new day at RPI. This is a leadership team that I believe we can unite around. Matt has shown his willingness to listen to Republicans all over the state in his Pizza and politics tour. While I do not personally know Jim Kutenbach, I have heard great things about him from many of my friends and colleagues. Matt is an up and coming leader in this party, a young businessman who will do a great job as RPI treasurer. Bill is a dedicated hard worker and he will be an excellent secretary.

This chair election has been unprecedented. The degree of openness and the level of communication by the candidates and the SCC is refreshing. The interest shown by activists across the state shows the excitement we have in our party. Now is the time for us to unite around our team and our message — the work begins today.

Here is the breakdown of the results:


Chair*

Matt Strawn 10
Danny Carroll 7
Andy Cable 0

* Christopher Reed, [[I forgot: Paul Pate]] and Matt Randall removed their names from consideration.


Co-Chair

Jim Kurtenbach 9
Paul Pate 4
Leon Mosely 4
Christopher Reed 0

Gopal Krisha and Lisa Smith were nominated for re-election to treasurer and secretary respectively. Both declined to run.

Of course, I am not the first to post the results, Krusty, QCI, Flyover Country and Iowa Defense Alliance all beat me to it. But I am happy to say that the results are available at all. In the past, the SCC has kept the vote totals secret. I promised to post them here and with the help of my colleagues on the SCC who also wanted a more open process, I have kept my promise. 

This process brought out a great set of Republican leaders. I sincerely hope that Andy Cable, Christopher Reed, Danny Carroll, Paul Pate, Leon Mosely and Stewart Iverson continue to lend their considerable talents to the party. We need you guys.

RPI Leadership Elections — The Down Ticket Races

The race for chair has completely overshadowed the fact that there are four positions being voted on this Saturday, In addition to a chair, the SCC will elect a co-chair, treasurer and secretary.

The co-chair race has not gotten any attention but it could get interesting. An anonymous commenter over at Krusty has suggested that there may be a dark horse emerging in this race.

Current co-chair, Leon Mosely has declared his candidacy and in today's Cedar Rapids Gazette, Paul Pate indicated his willingness to serve as co-chair, should he not be elected chair:

Paul Pate, the former Cedar Rapids mayor and former Iowa secretary of state, had announced his intentions to run for chairman but said Thursday he could be considered for the co-chair position instead.

“It’s a better fit for what I can offer and what they’re looking for,” Pate said.

The other two races are for treasurer and secretary. Both these positions must be selected from the SCC membership. Gopal Krishna is the current treasurer and Lisa Smith is secretary. So far, no one has publicly declared their candidacy for either position.

RPI Chair Election Saturday

Just a short post to clear up a couple of misconceptions. Both the Des Moines Register and Iowa Independent have stated that the SCC meeting this Saturday is closed to the public and the press. This information is incorrect. This meeting, and all other SCC meetings are open to the public unless the SCC explicitly goes into executive session. [[Clarification: The meeting itself will be open to activists but NOT to the press. There will be a press conference at 12:30 at RPI to introduce the new team.]]

According to Article IV Section 6 of the RPI Bylaws: (FYI: Here is a link to the RPI Constitution as well.)

All meetings of the Central Committee shall be open to the public, except Executive Sessions …

There is no desire on the part of the SCC to take the meeting into executive session.

While I know that some activists are calling for a roll call vote, this vote will be by secret ballot. Just like in the House and Senate caucuses, leadership votes are almost always by ballot. I have promised to publish the vote totals here. (Since I am not liveblogging the event — I will be scopped on this one.) The votes of individual SCC members are not public. Of course, you may ask your SCC members how they voted.

The Silly Season

I am ready for the race for RPI chair to be over. I think we have a great set of candidates and the party is well positioned to prepare for 2010 and beyond. There are two updates today.

First Gopal. I and others on the State Central Committee were lobbied to support a Gopal/Sporer ticket for chair/co-chair. In my previous post, I declared that the Gopal/Sporer ticket was a non-starter. It is now official, right from the elephant's mouth. In a letter published on Steve Deace's blog, Gopal wrote:

Having not received any formal training on how to bring order to a kindergarten class and having realized that the Republican State Central Committee lacks maturity of mind and strength in spine, I decided not to seek the position of the Party Chair. That is why, as you stated in your blog, I never formally declared my candidacy to become GOP Chair.

[[Since this was first posted, someone pointed out Gopal's comments on Iowa Independent they are revealing. –HawkeyeGOP]]

I guess Gopal was never in the race in the first place. So the race is down one but in order to maintain equilibrium in the cosmos, there is a new candidate in the race.

Linda Harrington, of Albion, e-mailed SCC members today declaring that she would be willing to serve as party chair 'without stipend.' She also said that she would team up with co-chair Leon Mosely. Linda was at the candidate's forum but did not ask to be seated with the other six candidates. Linda worked on John Cox's campaign and ran unsuccessfully for the position of National Comitteewoman at the 2008 State Convention.

At Saturday's meeting, the SCC will also elect a co-chair, treasurer and secretary. Stay tuned, apparently anything can happen.