Chung for SCC Robocalls

In may last post I noted that there were robocalls for State Central Committee candidates in the 3rd and 5th districts. I joked that:

If I run again for SCC in 2012, perhaps I will buy TV time 😉

This afternoon I stopped by a Renee Schulte fundraiser between work and my kids' concert. I enjoyed some of Tim Palmer's awesome barbecue and got to see some old friends. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that someone had been doing robocalls in the 2nd District promoting my candidacy for SCC. I have not heard a recording nor seen a transcript but I am told the caller only promoted me.

I honestly have no idea who made the calls. Interestingly, Lisa Smith and I have always worked closely together and whoever did the call selected me and not her. I have been having trouble even speculating who might be behind this.

At the convention and when I wrote my blog post my friends just assumed that I was responsible for the call so no one mentioned it to me — I really had no idea.

Curiouser and curiouser …

SCC Robocalls??? Really?

I just read the Iowa Republican's coverage of the 3rfd District Convention. Craig wrote that all the delegates received robocalls on Friday supporting the three incumbent SCC members, Gopal Krishna, Wes Enos and Eldon Pals. Krishna and Pals won re-election and Pals did not.

If I run again for SCC in 2012, perhaps I will buy TV time 😉

Second District GOP Convention

I have to admit that I love GOP conventions. I get to see many old friends and make new ones. The conventions really are like a big family reunion. Of course every family has its own little eccentricities. Our 2nd District GOP family is in the middle of a hotly contested congressional primary, add in the governors race and their is bound to be tension.

State Representative Tom Sands chaired the convention. I thought he did a good job. Usually the convention chair is a ceremonial position and involves little controversy. Tom definitely got a workout as chair Saturday.

This year there were more speakers than usual.Now, this is a good problem to have because I cannot remember the last time we have had a full slate of statewide candidates. From a logistical point of view it was challenging, we had our 4 congressional candidates, 3 gubernatorial candidates, Senator Grassley, Auditor Vaudt and Ag Secretary Northey. We also had Brenna Findley for Attorney General, two Secretary of State candidates and two candidates for state treasurer. Add RPI Chairman Matt Strawn and you can see the logistical problem. The speeches took a couple of hours. But again I want to stress that this is a good thing. It means that we have challengers up and down the ticket, but it does make the convention planning difficult.

After the speakers we had nine candidates run for three State Central Committee positions. Since winning required a majority, it took 8 ballots and a couple of hours to finally get all three elected. In 2008 we went from 7pm to 1am trying to elect our 3 delegates and 3 alternates to the National GOP Convention so this is probably not a surprise. If my memory is correct, in 2008 we were unable to come up with a mechanism to drop the low vote getters from the list so it took several ballots to get our delegates selected. I chaired the  Rules Committee and we adopted a rule that called for the candidate with the least votes to be dropped after the second and all subsequent rounds of voting. There were a couple of attempts to suspend the rules to either accept a plurality instead of a majority of drop the bottom two candidates rather than the bottom one — neither attempt to speed up the process succeeded.

I think it was about 3pm when we finally had our 3 SCC members. At this time, delegates became aware that we only had the facility until 5pm. As Representative Sands was preparing to hand the convention over to the Platform Committee chair, Don Racheter, a motion was made to suspend the rules and accept the proposed platform as submitted by the Platform Committee. This motion passed by a 2/3 majority and then things went crazy.

The motion essentially ended any possibility of discussing the platform. There were over 20 proposed amendments that had received enough signatures and had been accepted by the Platform Committee. Several delegates were upset and a number of points of order and other forms of objection were raised but to no avail. The motion was in order and passed appropriately.

There are three primary items of business at our district conventions: 1) Giving our district and state-wide candidates an opportunity to address district activists 2) to elect SCC members and committee persons for state convention committees 3) to finalize a platform.

It is my view that different people come for different reasons but for some reason it is always the platform that gets short shrift. I hope in the future we can come up with a way to do all three of these things in the time we have for our convention. I am open to suggestions.

The State Central Committee

I want to start this post by thanking the Republicans of the Second Congressional District for once again placing their faith in me and electing me to the State Central Committee. For the last 11 years, I have had a job that required me to travel over 100 days a year. Therefore it was difficult for me to get out to events and meetings within the district. Since I have recently taken a normal job I will be able to get out and interact with Republicans across the district on a more regular basis.

The State Central Committee will have a decidedly different face this year. In the 2nd District I was elected along with Emily Lofgren of Muscatine and Trudy Caviness of Ottumwa. Emily is a sophomore at Drake University and Trudy is a long-time county chair from Wapello County. I am looking forward to working with both of them.

Across the state, in the 5th District the only incumbent running for SCC was my friend Monte Shaw. Monte was re-elected along with newcomers Tim Moran and Craig Williams. In the 3rd District Wes Enos and Gopal Krishna were re-elected and David Fischer joins the SCC for his first term.

So, if you count me as an incumbent, of nine seats elected yesterday, incumbents won four. I will be watching closely as the 1st and 4th districts hold their conventions this coming Saturday.

District Convention — yes I am running

It is District Convention time. This Saturday, April 24th,  Republicans in Iowa's 2nd, 3rd and 5th congressional districts will hold their conventions. Next Saturday, May 1st, the 1st and 4th districts will hold their conventions.

Of course I live in Linn County in the 2nd CD. This promises to be a convention season unlike any in recent memory. Two things will make our convention especially interesting: 1) it sounds as if we may have as many as 12 candidates for state central committee 2) it seems likely to me that the convention will reconvene the night before the state convention in Des Moines in order to select a congressional candidate.

As far as the State Central Committee goes this will be an interesting election not just in the 2nd District. It sounds as if several current members have decided not to run. However the elections turn out statewide there will be a massive shakeup on the committee. In the second district it sound as if there may be as many as 12 people running for three seats. Jason Hutcheson is not running for re-election but the other two incumbents, Lisa Smith of Wapello County and Joni Scotter of Linn County are running for re-election. There may be as many as 4 or 5 running fro Linn County and two from Wapello County.

I have recently been receiving phone calls and e-mails asking about my intentions for this convention. I will put the speculation to rest — I will be running for State Central Committee

The other thing that will affect this convention is the congressional race. With four candidates, it seems likely that no candidate will receive the 35% of the primary vote necessary to win the nomination outright. As chairman of the rules committee, I suggested that the committee draft rules not just for this Saturday but for the possibility of a nominating convention. One of the interesting twists is that the Iowa Code does not require the convention to nominate any of the declared candidates — it really is a free-for-all.

Since the delegates may ultimately select the nominee, there has been unprecedented interested in this convention. For the first time in my memory, Linn County has filled it's delegation. We have never actually had as many paid delegates as we were allotted.