RPI and the Senate Primary Recount

Earlier this week, Battleground Iowa posted that RPI Chairman Stew Iverson was soliciting support from State Central Committee members to pay for a recount in the US Senate Primary. They later retracted and said that they had posted this information in error.

Today, Ted over at The Real Sporer has a post about SCC treasurer Gopal Krishna refusing to sign checks for recounts in the US Senate and 2nd District primaries.

As a Republican and SCC member, I was concerned when I saw the initial Battleground Iowa post. I made some calls and now that Ted has broken the story, I will comment.

I think it would be inappropriate for RPI to pay for recounts in either election. It is unseemly because it gives the impression that RPI is trying (especially in the Senate primary) to help the establishment candidate over the upstart newcomer.

Long before I was elected to the SCC I had expressed concern about members publicly endorsing candidates in contested primaries. I think it hurts our party, discourages grassroots activists and allows candidates to question how fairly they will be treated by the party.

Even if this were a good idea, the appropriate way to make such a critical policy decision would have been to call a special meeting of SCC rather than the chairman or staff acting unilaterally.

In case no one noticed, there is a lot of frustration out there with RPI and the SCC. I and others were elected as outsiders and reformers to help address these issues. Even the appearance of favoritism on the part of the party in our primaries hurts us in the long run.

I am pleased to see that Gopal was willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue. If the Eichorn or Teahen campaign wishes to call for a recount — I would not be at all concerned. It is the potential state party involvement that concerns me.

When I was elected to the SCC in the 2nd Congressional District, I promised that:

… during my tenure on the State Central Committee, I will neither seek nor accept a paid staff or consultant position with any campaign or PAC, nor will I publicly endorse any candidate in a contested primary.

Despite what anyone else does — I intend to keep this promise.

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