About one and a half weeks ago the Iowa political world was rocked as Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn announced his resignation. Love him or hate him, he managed to bring the Iowa GOP into the 21st century. That resignation sparked a trio of Iowa Republicans to step up to the plate to vie for the honor of serving in a leadership capacity. I spoke with a member of the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee who informed me that it would be a close race between two of the candidates. But evidently some others do not agree with that assessment.
The following is the text of an email sent out by former Republican Party of Iowa Finance Director Darrell Kearney.
Sent: 2/10/2012 3:51:01 P.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Conservative Breakfast Club
THE CONSERVATIVE CLUB OF DES MOINES
THE DES MOINES CONSERVATIVE BREAKFAST CLUB
“Dedicated to Defending the American Free Enterprise System and Defeating Obama’s plans for a Socialist America”
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
7:00am to 8:00am
Chuck Grassley Conference Center, Republican State Headquarters
621 E. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa
STATE CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN PARTY OF IOWA
Bill Schickel assumed the Chairmanship of the Republican Party of Iowa following the recent resignation of Chairman Matt Strawn. Schickel will serve the remaining ten months of Strawn’s Chairmanship with the approval of the State Central Committee. The former state legislator, and Mayor of Mason City, has not made public his intention for running for State Chairman beyond 2012.
Bill Schickel is the General Manager of a KCMR radio station in Mason City. He was a well known television news anchor before venturing into Conservative Republican politics. Schickel served in the Iowa House for three terms. After retiring from the Legislature, he was elected to the Republican State Central Committee as Secretary and State Co-Chair. He has been endorsed by Governor Branstad and other Republican Legislative leaders.
Schickel will comment about the change in the State GOP leadership and his plans for the Iowa 2012 Republican Party Victory effort to defeat Barack Obama and maintain the majority control in the Iowa House, help Senate Republicans take back the Iowa Senate and winning additional Congressional seats.
Scrambled Eggs and Ham, Southern Baked Hash Browns, Fresh Fruit, assorted breads, Coffee & Juice
When this email was forwarded to me this afternoon I really didn’t see what the big deal about it was. I simply thought I missed the election of the new Chairman. It wasn’t until after I spoke with a member of the SCC that I was mistaken. The State Central Committee has not, let me repeat that for you, the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee has not elected a new Chairman. Furthermore the SCC member I spoke with this afternoon admitted that the SCC did allow Schickel to serve as INTERIM Chairman, they did not choose to allow him to serve out Chairman Strawn’s term.
While this email could quite simply be an error on the part of Mr. Kearny I find that hard to believe. And while I am not ready to assert that there is some nefarious plot to “steal” the Chairmanship I am not ready to completely discount it either.
In defiance of Mother Nature the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee met this morning at party headquarters in Des Moines. An overnight snowstorm dumped several inches of snow on the area, but it did not deter Party diehards from arriving at 621 E 9th St in Des Moines to observe the process by which the next set of officers for RPI were to be elected. I was one of those in attendance enduring a two hour drive on snow covered roads in order to report to our readers the my impression of the meeting.
The morning began with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance like any good Republican function should. It was immediately followed up by an invocation delivered by SCC member Eldon Pals. Before any other business was to begin outgoing Party chair Stu Iverson announced that SCC member David Chung was running a little bit behind due to the weather. Next Iverson explained that SCC member Karl Gilbertson was unable to attend due to ongoing health issues and that he was going to be voting by proxy for state chair and that state chair was the only position that a proxy vote was allowed for. Additionally Iverson informed the committee that the election process was going to be via secret ballot and that after the votes had been counted the ballots were going to be destroyed. After getting these announcements out of the way Iverson asked opened the floor for the nomination process for state chair.
At the prompt for the nomination process to begin one SCC member (I don’t remember the names, I forgot to take a notebook with me) nominated all six of the candidates that took part in the forum last weekend for the position of RPI chair. Most of us already know who these individuals were but I will relist them for those of you who may have forgotten. The candidates for State Chair in alphabetical order are:
When no other nominations were forthcoming the nomination process was closed. The committee then proceeded to allow each candidate several minutes to present closing statements before the vote was held. Before the first candidate was allowed to speak Paul Pate asked that his name be removed from consideration for state chair. His request of course was granted.
The first candidate to speak was Andy Cable. His statements demonstrated that he has a firm understanding of how the Republican Party of Iowa operates as well as what needs to be done in order to rebuild the party.
Next to speak was former State Representative Danny Carroll. His speech exhibited the passion that he exudes for the Republican Party and Republican ideals. It was a truly great speech and reminded me of Mike Huckabee.
Following up Carroll was Matt Randall who did indeed speak, but at the end of his speech he stated that he entered the race hoping to draw out other qualified candidates, I would say that he was successful. At the very end of his speech Randall requested that his name be removed from nomination for chair.
Randall was followed up by Christopher Reed. Before he really began he asked to be removed from nomination, but then went on to speak. Reed especially emphasized that the Republican Party of Iowa needs to do more to attract young people into the party.
Finally last but not least was Matt Strawn. Strawn’s speech was not as forceful as Carroll’s but that did not make it any less passionate. His statements affirmed that he was committed to rebuilding RPI and that he had many ideas that he believed would work. It was sometime during this time that David Chung had slipped in, I missed that as I was listening intently to all the candidates.
After the closing statements had been heard an RPI staff member handed out the ballots that the committee was to use for voting. As each member finished indicating which candidate they supported another staffer came around and collected the ballots. Those ballots were then counted in a corner of the meeting room in plain view of everyone in attendance. The final results were that Matt Strawn had defeated his opponents by a vote of 10 to 7 to 0.
The next order of business was the election of the Republican Party of Iowa co-chair. State Chair Iverson opened the floor for nominations. There were no blocks of nominees for co-chair so the nominations came in one by one. Nominated were:
Once again the candidates were allowed approximately five minutes to speak to the assembled committee members. Leading off was former state representative Jim Kurtenbach. He gave a decent speech, but it paled in comparison to those that were given by Strawn and Carroll. Following Kurtenbach was Leon Mosley. Leon gave a good speech as well. He said that he had a good run and that he would not be angry whichever way the SCC went. He stressed his experience working with every county and that he had in essence become the fireman of RPI putting out “grass” fires wherever they sprung up. Pate followed Mosley. Pate gave a pretty good speech in my opinion, he stressed that win or lose he was more than willing to work alongside the individual that did for the good of the party. Christopher Reed followed Pate by echoing Pate’s sentiment by stating that he wanted to work with whoever the SCC chose to lead the party. Once again after statements had been made the ballots were passed out and the committee members voted. After the votes had been tabulated Jim Kurtenbach had won.
At this point I had to leave the room for personal reasons so I was not in the room to hear the arguments for the Secretary and Treasurer positions. All I do know is that Matt Randall defeated Gopal Krishna for Treasurer and Bill Schickel defeated Lisa Smith for Secretary.
I did note a couple of curious things at this meeting. It was within the past week that Gopal Krishna had criticized his fellow SCC members, going so far as to call them childish. Today at the meeting he apologized for his remarks asking for forgiveness. No one on the SCC remarked on this statement so I don’t know if any forgiveness is forthcoming and most likely none will be.
And the other is the letter allegedly written by Leon Mosley in 2000. At today’s SCC meeting Mosley addressed the issue by stating unequivocally that he did not author the letter in question and that it was not his signature on the letter. If this is true it raises the following question, who wrote the letter? Who signed Leon’s name to the letter?
Overall I think the meeting went very well. There was a good turnout from the public. The candidates vying for office refrained from going negative on each other. The elections took place in a very open and transparent manner. I believe that with today’s meeting the Republican Party of Iowa has turned a corner. With new leadership in the Iowa Senate, Iowa House, and RPI Headquarters it is evident that we have indeed entered a new era of Republican leadership in Iowa.
The vote has been taken at the SCC meeting and Matt Strawn of Polk county is the new RPI Chairman with 10 votets. Danny Carroll received 7 votes while Christoper Reed, Paul Pate, and Matt Randall withdrew their names before the vote.
Jim Kurtenbach from Story county was elected Co-Chair over his opponents of Reed, Pate, and Leon Mosley. Matt Randall also from Story county was elected treasurer and Bill Schickel of Cerro Gordo county will be the new secretary.
Congratulations to all.
Only two days left until the State Central Committee members cast their vote for who will lead the Iowa GOP. Please take a look at this link to see what is at stake and what you can do to make a difference.
Wow, I missed quite the eventful day yesterday. I really wish that I had been available to respond to Gopal Krishna’s temper tantrum yesterday but my academic responsibilities must come first. Krusty Konservative; In Flyover Country; Questions, Comments, and Insults; and HawkeyeGOP all have very good analysis and rebuttals to Krishna’s tirade. Usually we would leave something alone when so many other bloggers have gotten their ahead of us, but because we also were highly critical of a Krishna/Sporer ticket for chair/co-chair we feel that his remarks were an attack on us and must respond accordingly.
One of the things that people have been so critical of Krishna for is an allegedly volatile temper, well that temper has been confirmed via an article on Iowa Independent and through an email sent to Steve Deace at WHO Radio. In both documents it is easy to see that Krishna’s anger has boiled over as he attacks not just conservative bloggers like ourselves, but also his colleagues on the State Central Committee. He lashes out like a wounded animal backed into a corner.
It is very easy to see what Krishna is angry about. He wanted to be RPI Chair and because of the vigilance of conservative bloggers statewide that is now unlikely to take place. If you really pay attention to what Gopal has said and written it is obvious that he wanted to be the next chair of RPI. For instance in paragraph five of the Iowa Independent interview Gopal was quoted as saying
“The Central Committee has to have the spine to elect the best person they can. They don’t.”
Or there is this quote from paragraph seven of the Iowa Independent interview,
“The problem has been how the Central Committee thinks they have to pick from whoever wants to run. It should be the opposite. It is the responsibility of the Central Committee to go out and find the best person they can.”
These comments are obviously veiled references to his own desire to assume the chairmanship of the Republican Party of Iowa. Now that his plan had been thwarted he is lashing out at anyone that he sees as his opponent.
Without realizing that he is doing it, Gopal Krishna is confirming everything that he says is a lie. He has shown himself to be a vindictive and petty individual whose only motivation is the accumulation of more power. There is one thing that we can thank Krishna for though. He effectively brought the conservative blogosphere together for a common goal. I would also like to give some kudos to Grant Young for originally breaking this story and to Krusty for digging up the evidence of Krishna’s past indiscretions. Without you guys Krishna may have been able to pull off his under the table dealing. Thank you.
I emailed all of the members of the State Central Committee with my endorsement of Danny Carroll and my reasons for why they should vote for him to be the next chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. This is the email that I sent to them.
Dear Members of SSC,
I am writing this to you in support of Danny Carroll for RPI Chairman. I believe that our party is at a crossroads in determining what way we will head in the future. I believe Mr. Carroll is the one who can lead us down the correct path. He has a proven record of both fiscal and social conservatism, which are the two areas of the party that need to unite in order for us to win elections again. I believe that these two areas of our party are closely tied, and Danny Carroll recognizes this and will bring the party together. He also knows what it takes to run an election in the state of Iowa up against the most well- funded and well-organized Democrats. He has gotten his hands dirty and has the battle scars. We need someone who has been in the trenches recently to be able direct the party on how to proceed with elections in the future. Danny Carroll’s information on how to win is imperative and his knowledge taken from his loses is priceless.
Here I am… callmecrusader… new to politics, grassroots, not a fancy blogger but what I do manage to write comes from the heart. This post will be no exception – from the heart.
I have been reading Mike Huckabee’s latest book Do the Right Thing and came upon a portion in the Politically Homeless chapter. I share the words here:
“Aware or not, a new day is dawning, there is restlessness among the masses for authenticity and direction, and a new generation of leaders is emerging that is driven more by exacting principles than exciting personalities. These activists may find themselves temporarily on the streets with a sense of being politically homeless, but the footings are being dug, the foundation is being laid, and the future of a force is starting to form.”
Politically Homeless - yes, how I am feeling on this cold Iowa night. This newbie to politics with such a strong conviction in what I do that I have gone so far as to tell my children that at my funeral they are to say that their mother was a political activist.
Much has been written and commented upon in recent days about the December State Central Committee meeting, some of which I will include in this post. I have some comments after time spent with my own sources who attended the meeting. Coming from the Huckabee quote above…”a new generation of leaders”… I find it amazing that Mr. Iverson was surprised to hear the outpouring of discussion about what poll watchers experienced. It’s called being in the trenches! Has leadership ever thought about spending some quality time listening to the grassroots? What an idea! We would be a wealth of information to anyone who would care to hear our ideas and solutions to problems in the RPI.
And then there is co-chair, Mr. Mosley, who doesn’t have a computer or know much about blogs. Given, lots of people probably do not have a computer, but from other discussion early on in the SCC meeting, I would have to say that the Republican Party is very lacking in using modern technology! Must we take the cheap way out? Did we learn anything from what the Democrats were able to accomplish with being up to date and on the fast track of modern communicating?
Now to the blogs.
Battleground Iowa was all about Kim Lehman “learning her lesson”.
Hawkeye GOP gives us detailed information about the Censure of Lehman at the SCC meeting. Name calling in the comments: “David Lies”. As if name calling is going to help…and this comment:
David, I really hope this will restore some balance to the Party. The social issues are very important, but so are the fiscal and national security issues, and the most important of all the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights, which are being eroded very very quickly under Democrat control.
I believe in being straightforward and standing your ground for what you believe in, but that has to be done with a degree of intelligence with some forethought toward strategy and prioritization, and overall with a boatload of common sense and a good ability to articulate. Radical, militant, purist, slogan-shouting antics make you look like some foaming-at-the-mouth rogue loon and will convince nobody but the small minority of true believers following you.
That’s why I think this censure of Kim Lehman was a good thing. The more overzealous side of the Right to Life crowd had gotten a little too full of their own power after some successful moves at the state party level and were a little unhinged. They were starting on the path of the purist death spiral and needed to be reeled in before long term damage was done to the party. I hope with the SCC doing this it will send a message and right the ship a bit.
Hummm… I guess I could also be labeled as ‘radical, militant, purist’ but so far, no “foaming at the mouth”, yet!
In Flyover Country: even worse comments left for the strong of stomach to read- these mostly anonymous comments are into tough name calling and wanting names of who voted for or against censure. I found myself thinking that SCC members need to keep an eye on their backs and hope for dull knives.
I agree. I want names too.
Who are the 7 pathetic losers that voted for that b*tch?
She is a terrible human being.
In 2010, lets dispose of her like the b*tch she is. Down with Kim the Loser.
A lot more information and details when reading Krusty. More accounts about Linn County officials. Some disturbing news about Co-chair Mosley “out campaigning for Steve Rathje…”
Last I checked there were 85 comments in the blog about “Just say no to Gopal” including numerous swipes at Steve Deace. Those leaving comments in this section must have worked up a sweat to out do each other with being spiteful.
So, why should I care about the SCC meeting, about the people who wish to point fingers, use gutter and hate language when speaking about Kim Lehman, and in general go about stirring the pot?
Because… right now I verge on being politically homeless. Is this the way the Republican Party has to be? Where is our leadership? Where is our message? What has happened to working FOR our cause?
I will not give up as easily as some might wish. There may be those in the party who probably would hope that people like me would just disappear and leave the party to the professionals.
Thankfully I have learned a lot from Mike Huckabee and I will keep on keeping on. From what I have observed, the Republican Party has a lot of citizens just like me and once we find our stride, look out because our determination will be what puts the party together again.
Perhaps Essential Estrogen says it the best:
Is this the Republican Party of Iowa or a soap opera gone bad. If it’s a soap opera gone bad, dang it, fix it.
Today Steve Deace via WHO Radio sent out an invitation for callers to phone in to share what they would like to say to State Central Committee members who will be having an important meeting to decide who will become leaders of the Republican Party in Iowa.
And, wow, it was quite a show. I felt I spent almost two hours with grass roots political kindred spirits. Those callers who had the courage and gumption to phone in to the show had great ideas. They also shared their frustrations. Each caller had a unique perspective. I found myself thinking that there are others “out there”- Iowans just like me- who care about issues, the party platform, and who are paying careful attention to what is happening in the Republican Party. In other words, I am not alone.
There has been a whirl wind of blogging about what may or may not happen with party leadership roles as the SCC meets to make their choices. The questions are- who will they listen to and do they understand that Iowans are watching? The decisions made won’t go unnoticed this time around.
Blogging is a good way to get thoughts and ideas expressed, yet there was something extra special about hearing the callers speak with Steve Deace. Voices were put with words. Men, women, young and older types (like me) all speaking from their hearts about the state of affairs in the Republican Party.
Listening to Deace speak with the callers provided me with some hope rather than the sense of panic that I had been experiencing. Many Iowans are awake and understand the importance of this SCC meeting. WE are watching and waiting for some action. The action better be good or there will be a loud roar from the grass roots section. We no longer will settle for the cheap seats.
SCC, please know that as evidenced on blogs and in their comment sections and on Iowa talk radio there are many, many grass roots willing to do the work, to be dedicated, to keep on keeping on but ONLY if and when you show us that you care enough to give us the very best leadership there is and leadership that the grass roots will support. We’re waiting. The political ball is in your court then it will be in ours.
As I toured the various Iowa conservative blogs today one the thing becomes very evident, the base of the party is not happy. As we know an alliance of sorts has been forged between Gopal Krishna and Ted Sporer. I would naturally assume that they hoped to keep this newfound alliance quiet until it sprang into action during the vote for RPI Chair, this however is not the case. As I mentioned in an earlier post Grant Young at QCI broke this story with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. I don’t know who his source is, but I would like to thank you for your contribution it is greatly appreciated. This story has then spread to the other conservative blogs like a wildfire. It is generating a heat that must surely be felt in Des Moines.
Now I would like to address the members of our party’s State Central Committee. By now you know that cat is out of the bag. Those of you that have jumped on board with this alliance must have your reasons. I surely hope that you are not simply taking orders from some ringleader. Because that would imply that you are corrupt and I am not ready to make that accusation without any proof. Instead I believe that you are simply misguided. I feel it is my duty and obligation to inform you that your constituents are not happy. Just read some of the feedback posted on the Conservative blogs and you should be able to see it for yourself.
I will even provide a few of the responses that have been posted on the various blogs across our great state. Since QCI is the one that broke this story I will start there. This response came from an anonymous poster on this QCI post.
A removal and replacement in one swift move ala Gopal as treasurer? Not sure if that was legal the first time but it certainly isn’t legal for Chair. But with this SCC who knows they were hoodwinked once so nothing would be a suprise this time.
Next comes the venerable Krusty Konservative. He authored a post in which he provided a letter signed by some current RPI members calling for the removal of Krishna from Co-chair several years ago. It is assumed that some of these people are now supporting the Krishna/Sporer slate. This response comes from an anonymous poster on this article.
It seems like everywhere this guy goes, there’s trouble… the party in the 1990′s, the recent state convention.
My observation is the Gopal is all about power for himself, and not really about doing what is best for the party.
And of course I have to include a comment left on our site. It comes from callmecrusader.
Do you think the decision makers- back door boys -even care that they alienate us? I really don’t think so.
I hope this news is just bad news to get attention and not real news. Yet, in my heart I think this could be a leak to get us used to the idea of these 2 as our leaders.
The good ole boys club is at it again and at our expense.
When one takes in all the blogs, there has not been a single response in support of the Krishna/Sporer slate. Instead there has been a tremendous roar of disapproval and disgust for the dealings that are going on. Our party is looking for a leader that can reunite and reenergize our party, Krishna is not that leader. His election would have the opposite effect. It would only serve to disenfranchise and divide the party more.
So I am going to provide some advice to any SCC members that might be reading this post. When the time comes to cast your vote for RPI Chair, cast it wisely. The party faithful will be watching and they will hold you accountable for your vote. On that you can count on.
What has surprised me the most about getting involved in politics is it’s either all or nothing. One second its calm and the next thing you know, the damn breaks. I think you could apply this to the race for the RPI chairman. We all thought that we had until January to get a full look at the candidates and their positions on where they would take the party. Maybe some nice email exchanges or perhaps some plans posted for all to read, but it looks like we will be going for broke on Saturday according to Hawkeye GOP.
It also looks like the rumors out there are true about the Gopal Krishna/Ted Sporer ticket getting on the fast track. My fellow blogger here, Abregar, wrote a previous post about the dangers of this ticket. I agree with him on that one and I believe I am pretty fair in my assessment since I am FROM Polk County. Krusty pointed out another issue with Krishna today that has me further concerned. Maybe I look at things too simply, buy why would we fill the RPI chair with someone who was thrown out of the co-chair?
I have always thought and still think that Danny Carroll is the best person for the RPI chair position. He is a solid conservative with a rock star record while he was in the Iowa house. Plus, I have been paying pretty close attention to comments made about him on the Iowa blogs and there doesn’t seem to be too much opposition to him….he’s effective and not polarizing….unifying. While reading the Battleground Iowa comments about Danny it seems like the only concerns that the readers had about him is his two-time loss to Eric Palmer. The people who brought this up about Carroll were also trying to promote another name for the chairman position: Paul Pate.
I don’t know much about the dark horse candidate, Paul Pate, so I did some research on him. He currently runs Pate Asphalt Systems in Hiawatha. He challenged a moderate Republican in a primary which resulted in becoming mayor of Cedar Rapids from 2002-2006, he was the Secretary of State from 1995-1998, and he was the state senator of that area before that. His supporters highlight that he is a better candidate than Carroll because he has never lost to a Democrat. This is true, but I would like to point out that he never ran against a Democrat in 2006 and 2008 like Danny did. The game has changed a little bit and Carroll has played it and has learned from being spanked by the Democrats what it takes to win.
Paul Pate also has another problem that I think he needs to confront and can be summed up in two short two words: Rudy Guiliani. Pate’s supporters rave about his social conservative credentials and argue that he only supported Guiliani because he was scared to death of Hillary Clinton. Scared of Clinton, maybe, but Rudy Guiliani? The only candidate we had who was up front pro-choice and pro-gay? Is this the same Paul Pate who one commenter called “staunchly pro-life?” I did read where Pate said that he supported Guiliani because he was the “strongest fiscal conservative in the race” but his choice still does not make sense to me because he not only supported Guiliani but he was part of his campaign staff along with Joy Corning and Mary Lundby. All I’m trying to point out here is if Paul Pate is willing to make this type of choice in the spotlight what type of decisions will he make behind closed doors when no one is watching?
Enough of my analysis and now the information on how you can make a difference. Email the State Central Committees members in your district and let them know that back door deals cannot be made. Also, show up at the SCC meeting on Saturday at 9:00 at 621 E. 9th St., Des Moines. By the way, don’t go the the RPI website for this information because they have neglected to put it there.