Breaking News: Effort to Oust McLaughlin Fizzles

What had promised to be an explosive evening at the Polk County central committee meeting Tuesday night never really materialized.

Throughout the past two days buzz had been growing that an organized effort to unseat McLaughlin as Chairman would take place, and rumors were flying that the person spearheading this undertaking was Rep. Kim Pearson (R-Pleasant Hill).  What is clear following the meeting is that she was never involved at any level, and that the leader of the group aiming to replace the Chairman was in fact precinct 85 resident Craig Bergman.

The only fireworks transpired at the beginning of the meeting when a motion was made to suspend the rules and normal proceedings of the meeting and instead have a vote on removing the Chairman.  What played out was that, by a near three to one margin (91-39), the central committee voted to proceed with the meeting’s business as usual and have the showdown afterward.  Presumably based on the large majority who stood in support of putting off the vote, the contingent on hand to oppose the Chairman realized that they did not have the numbers and chose to stand down on this night.

Perhaps the most memorable and foretelling moment of the night came when Chairman McLaughlin, on mic and standing at the podium, was explaining to a confused group of members that he was not avoiding a vote on his fate.  He summed it up by saying, “if anyone wants to try to ‘send me to the showers’ they are welcome to do that”, which he followed a few seconds later with, “That said, I don’t intend to go to the showers I intend to finish my job.”

Clearly Kevin McLaughlin is not backing away anytime soon, and neither is the sizable sect passionate that his performance as Chairman has not been up to par.  Based on the numbers it is hard to see how this group, in its current size and form, will be able to successfully remove the leadership in the middle of their term.  It is fair to note, however, that while this effort was denied tonight, there has been widespread discontent and rumblings regarding what has been perceived as several organizational shortcomings.

My sense moving forward is that McLaughlin and his team will survive any future attempts to remove him.  The final decider here will ultimately be what it always is–results.  If their performance in November demonstrates success in electing Republicans, particularly Tom Latham, then their style and methods will be vindicated and they will be lauded.  Should they not meet expectations, and should they fail to deliver a number of victories similar to their very successful predecessors–they will be quickly voted out in January.

Conservatives are often fond of saying that results, not good intentions, are what matters.  What we have here is a perfect embodiment of this…as it should be.

About the Author

Mr. Arnold is a long time constitutional conservative. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa. Over the last few years he has been involved in numerous political campaigns, most recently serving as campaign manager for an Iowa House candidate and serving as a city chair for Tom Latham. He is self-employed, running a small business in Ankeny, Iowa where he resides with his wife.

 

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