In this post, I want to address the formation of District Executive Committees within the Republican Party of Iowa. As reported by my friends at TheIowaRepublican.com, county leaders from Iowa’s Third Congressional District met to form a District Executive Committee. Despite statements to the contrary, the actions taken at the Tuesday night meeting were done in compliance with the Constitution of the Republican Party of Iowa. The Third District joins the Fourth District, who formed their District Executive Committee in order to replace Tim Moran when he retired from the SCC. The Fourth District meeting was an expression of open rebellion against the current RPI leadership. TheIowaRepublican.com has an article and video
After the formation of the 4th District Executive Committee in February, I communicated with the other three 1st CD SCC members and we agreed to try to help initiate formation of a DEC in our district after all of the counties held their office elections (in or by April). That effort is ongoing and in the next few weeks both the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts are going to form their own District Executive Committees.
There has been a lot of conflicting information about the formation of the District Executive Committees in recent days and I want to offer my thoughts on the issue.
Correction: I went back to my sources who attended this meeting in person. RPI leadership DID NOT ‘… with legal counsel whether it would be appropriate to take legal action …’
My sources tell me that they:
1) discussed the issue with legal counsel
2) would take action
I made the inference that action meant legal action.
- The current leadership of the Republican Party of Iowa has asserted that the actions of both the fourth and third districts violate the RPI Constitution. I agree with the members of both districts that their actions are proper and in line with the RPI Constitution.
- Some have stated that RPI somehow disbanded the District Executive Committees. During the two decades that I have been involved with RPI, I can not remember a time when we had active District Executive Committees. We may have had them but as a newcomer to the party I do not remember them and I have attended every County, District and State Convention but one in the last twenty years. (I was at a funeral.)
- I missed the last SCC meeting — I spent the day waiting in the emergency room. But I heard from attendees that RPI leadership has discussed with legal counsel whether it would be appropriate to take legal action against the District Executive Committees. Today there are only two but in a few weeks there will be four of these rogue committees. I cannot begin to express how shocked I am that our state party would even consider taking action against our county leadership.
- The districts (and counties) are taking this action because they believe that the current RPI leadership has been tone deaf to issues that concern them. The reaction of RPI’s leadership to the concerns of the counties has been to become defensive and double down.
To paraphrase Ron Paul. The formation of the District Executive Committees is a form of blowback. Like it or not the actions of the last caucus to convention cycle have caused the rank and file within the party to lose confidence in the party leadership. Soon all four districts will have established District Executive Committees on their own. The current leadership at RPI can either try to work with these committees or they can declare them illegitimate and try to circumvent them
or worse make good on their threats and fight them in court.
Like a Republican in the Iowa Senate, I know that on the State Central Committee I am part of a small minority. The current leadership has enough votes on the SCC to ignore me and the few others who hold opposing views. So even though they are unlikely to listen I would encourage the RPI leadership to recognize and work with the newly formed District Executive Committees. The 2014 elections will likely shape the direction of this state for decades to come — no faction of our party is strong enough to win on its own. If we canot put our own house in order we are heading for certain defeat.