I may need to ‘un-retire’

The Republican Party of Iowa

The Republican Party of Iowa

Many of you know that in 2016 I decided not to stand for re-election to the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee. At the time some speculated that I was planning to run for RPI Chairman, National Committeeman, or even Linn County Central Committee Chairman. Truth is, I knew that I would be looking for work and there was a possibility that I might end up moving and I knew I would need heart surgery at some point probably sooner rather than later. As I just announced on Facebook, I will be having open heart surgery in about a week and a half. I would appreciate your prayers!

I haven’t even been retired from the SCC for a year yet and today they went and did a power grab. The SCC took the selection of At-Large National Convention Delegates away from the grassroots! As I have posted numerous times on this blog, the most contentious part of the caucus-to-convention process in Iowa is the selection of national convention delegates. As an SCC member, I have been intimately involved in shaping the delegate selection process in Iowa. While I do not believe that our process is perfect, I have always worked hard to make it more transparent and put the power in the hands of the grassroots — the delegates to the district conventions and state conventions. I am pretty sure that I do not have the ideal solution. In fact I have often solicited solutions from my readers on this site.

One thing I know for sure — nobody was suggesting that the solution was to take the decision away from the grassroots and give the power to the SCC!!!

But that is precisely what the SCC did today by an 8 to 9 vote. This is a copy (transcribed from a friend’s notes) of what was passed:

DISTRICT DELEGATES

1. Those interested in running to serve as either a delegate or alternate delegate must complete a “Declaration of Candidacy” (DOC) form prior to the District Convention to be included in the tabloid for delegates to review before election. The DOC should be available at the caucus, county convention, on the RPI website and RPI will also email County Chairs with information about the process including the DOC.RPI will determine the appropriate due date depending on the date of the District Convention and their deadline to include all the DOCs in the tabloid.The due date for the DOC will also be the final date for submission of interest in running.

2. Candidates Must have been elected and have attended one of the following conventions in that election year: County, District or State.

3. In the case that the elected delegate/alternate did not attend one of said conventions, that seat will be given to the next highest vote getter.

AT LARGE DELEGATES

1. Replace the Nominating Committee with 8 members, 2 from each district in the current SCC along with one of either the National Committeeman and National Committeewoman for a total of 9. Members shall determine amongst themselves who their representatives shall be.

2. Candidates must complete the same DOC that the District Delegates and Alternates delegates must complete. The due date for the DOC will also be the final date for submission of interest in running.

3. Candidates must have been elected and have attended one of the following conventions; county, district or state.

4. In the case that the elected delegate/alternate did not attend one of said conventions, the seat will be given to the next highest vote getter.

5. A “courtesy invitation” to serve as a delegate would be extended to the Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives. These elected officials shall be exempt from the attendance to convention requirement rule.

Here is how the vote went down.

CD 1
N: Chelle Adkins
N: Eric Rosenthal
Y: Jennifer Smith
*Note: Bethany Gates resigned two weeks before the meeting

CD 2
Y: Marianette Miller-Meeks
N: David Hartsuch
Y: Judy Davidson
Y: Jared Klein

CD 3
N: Brenna Bird
N: Ernie Rudolph
N: Bill Gustoff
N: Heather Stancil

CD 4
N: John Thompson [[correction: John voted no]]
Y: Andy Cable
Y: Gary Nystrom
Y: Craig Williams

National Committee
Y: Steve Scheffler
Y: Tamara Scott

A little inside baseball. I see some on social media saying that the Team Branstad did this. The way the votes went down is very interesting. Consider that all of the CD3 reps voted against the measure including Brenna Bird (who is often linked closely with Branstad.) In CD1 Jennifer Smith (one of the more libertarian members) voted in favor. Perhaps the strangest result is that Andy Cable and Steve Scheffler voted on the same side of the issue! It doesn’t look like this vote followed traditional SCC coalition lines at all!

I have heard from some members that the SCC Organization Committee brought this proposal to the floor without giving it to the entire SCC in advance. In fairness, I am told some voted for this in hopes to spark a discussion, believing that it can be changed before we next select national delegates in 2020. Let me humbly suggest that the way to change this is next year at district conventions we drain the SCC swamp!

As a member of the SCC I always fought for more transparency and openness. I fought to give more power to the grassroots. Looks like after my surgery I may need to ‘un-retire!’

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