The Following is a guest post written by Polk County GOP Co-Chair Chad Brown
County leadership is on the move all across the state of Iowa this year. The 2nd District Executive Committee became the third Iowa Congressional District to re-activate.
This meeting convened in Washington, Iowa, on the morning of June 8. Judy Davidson, Scott County Chair, was elected 2nd District Executive Committee Chairwoman with 18 votes, beating parliamentarian Don Racheter, who received 9 votes. The meeting lasted 1 hour 35 minutes and included the election of officers, approval of the proposed rules, discussion on the 2014 Caucuses, District Convention and State Convention, as well as discussing consistent statewide District rules and lastly organizational announcements.
â€œI thought we had great attendance,â€ said Davidson. â€œWe had 28 out of 51 current executive committee members attend our meeting on one of the first nice Saturdays this summer. I think it was a good event.â€
Personally, the re-activation of these D.E.C.â€™s is very near and dear to my heart. As Co-Chair of the most populated county in the state of Iowa, I understand the challenges that go along with my specific county organization. Also, as an active officer of the recently re-activated 3rd District Executive Committee, I have learned much about the challenges faced by those in my neighboring counties. This is due, in part, to meeting and speaking with leaders of other counties more often and getting to know them more closely than I had in the past. This is why District Executive Committees have traditionally provided a vital ingredient to the success of the Republican Party in Iowa. Their important role is detailed in the RPI Constitution.
Traditionally, the Republican Party is built as a grass roots Party that was always strong because it had a firm foundation and was built from the ground up. Unfortunately, the District Executive Committees were deactivated within recent years, and that vacuum was filled by powerful groups that dominated the leadership selection process by preventing Republican County leaders from talking to each other and promoting leadership from the grass roots. We want to restore the grass roots to the Republican Party and include more people.
Itâ€™s unfortunate that these long-standing Committees were deactivated and silenced, but the countiesâ€™ executive leadership in the districts are getting back to basics! â€œI think this morningâ€™s meeting went really well,â€ spoke Trudy Caviness of Wapello County. â€œOur goal was to organize 2nd District, and we accomplished our goal. Plus, I really liked how everyone was allowed to make announcements. I thought the additions to the rules were good. That shows people looked at the rules and read them.â€
Our District Executive Committees are here to improve and unify the Republican Party and get more people involved. This is an exciting time as we begin to restore an important tradition of grass roots to the Republican Party of Iowa. â€œI think itâ€™s so important to give information to the candidates and campaigns,â€ said Karen Fesler of Johnson County. â€œCandidates can now make one call and can get information on the county organizations and when and whereÂ the county central committee meetings are held.Â Itâ€™s a benefit to all of us to meet and work together. Anytime you can create another source for candidates, the media, committees, to get information about Republicans, itâ€™s another way to reach out to people and help our Party. This is a good thing.â€
â€œI see these D.E.C.â€™s as another resource in helping elect Republicans on the district-wide as well as statewide level,â€ added Caviness. Trudy Caviness was elected 2nd D.E.C. Co-Chair, and Karen Fesler was elected 2nd D.E.C. Secretary. Additionally, the body elected two at-large members for the Executive Committee.Â Matt Green was elected over Don Racheter for the first position. Don Racheter then ran and won against Wesley Westmorland on the second ballot to fill the second position. â€œI think it will be a good resource for any district-wide and statewide candidate,â€ continued Caviness. â€œI think that by working together, the county leadership will be a part of a group and be working for the same goal. In recent years there havenâ€™t been many opportunities for new Chairs and Co-Chairs to get together. This will give them the resource of giving new Chairs/Co-Chairs the shared knowledge from people who have been in their shoes. This will be a good support group for the counties.â€
Chad Brown, Polk County GOP Co-Chair and 3rd Congressional District Executive Committee Secretary
Though the U.S. Senate race in Iowa is only in the pre-natal stage the Des Moines Register hasnâ€™t wasted any time in displaying the partisan favoritism it has become infamous forâ€”an impressive feat given the race is only a few months old and has only a combined three candidates declared.
In the last month they have run two stories solely based on Democratic talking points, a practice they have failed to reciprocate for the other side, and flat-out offered no coverage of a significant Republican event.
What makes this so damaging is that there is no shortage of releases from the DSCCâ€™s counterpart in Washingtonâ€”the National Republican Senatorial Committeeâ€”but they seem unable to merit the same ink.Â I routinely get these releases from the NRSC and if they are well sourced and fact based I occasionally run them.Â An example would be the following from yesterday:
June 5, 2013
Lawyer Speak: Braley Misleads Iowa Students…Says Student Loan Rates Must be Kept from Doubling, But Votes Against Legislation to Extend Lower Rates for Iowa Students
Bruce Braley isn’t fooling anyone. The slick former head of the trial lawyers association and liberal loyalist to Nancy Pelosi – in true trial lawyer fashion – is trying to fool Iowa voters yet again, this time about the rising cost of student loans.
Less than two weeks ago, Bruce Braley voted AGAINST a bill on the House floor that would have extended a lower rate for Iowa students’ loans. Bruce Braley might be able to fool a jury, but he can’t fool Iowans.
SHOT: @TeamBraley – Help @BruceBraley’s effort to keep college affordable by adding your name here…. #DontDoubleMyRate #IAProblemSolver
CHASER: Bruce Braley Voted Against A Bill To Extend A Lower Rate For Student Loans. â€œPassage of the bill that would tie student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate. Interest rates on all federal student loans (except Perkins loans) issued on or after July 1, 2013 would be set each year at the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.5 percent. Rates for graduate and parent PLUS loans would be set at the 10-year note plus 4.5 percent. Overall interest rates would be capped at 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.â€ (H.R. 1911, CQ Vote #183: Passed 221-198: R 217-8; D 4-190, 5/23/13, Braley Voted Nay)
If Bruce Braley was actually worried about student loan rates, why did he oppose a bill to prevent the rates from doubling for Iowa students in less than a month?Â Why is he hiding from his vote?
“Preventing student loan rates from crushing Iowa students who are already struggling should be an issue of bipartisan agreement in Washington, but Bruce Braley would rather politicize the issue than actually help the struggling middle class.Â Braley’s misleading trial lawyer speak is just the latest example of his slick attempt to fool the jury – Iowa voters.Â Iowans are too smart for that.”said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen.
The second example of this behaviorâ€”also from the aforementioned Jennifer Jacobsâ€”came just yesterday via a story on a â€œsnarkyâ€ website just launched by the Iowa Democratic Party.Â The website makes a pretty juvenile attempt at poking fun of newly declared Republican candidate David Young.Â You can check it out here if you wish (http://welcometoia.com/), but Iâ€™m not going to give it any more play.Â The point here is the story published by the Register gave this Democratic effort everything it wantedâ€”publicity and exposure.
Whatâ€™s Not News?
A further slap in the face to Republican candidate David Young was the paper not even covering his official campaign announcement last Saturday at a restaurant in Van Meterâ€”this is inconceivable.Â So to recap hereâ€”the Register canâ€™t find the time or personnel to cover the announcement of a serious Republican candidate for the United States Senateâ€¦but they have the time and space to promote a Democrat website created to mock him.Â Itâ€™s just ridiculous.
This is merely a continuation of blatant biasâ€”my all-time favorite was the Republican presidential endorsement debacleÂ from 2008, which if you havenâ€™t seen you need to click the link.Â The Registerâ€™s economic struggles of late have been well documented.Â Though I concede much of this is due to the struggle of integrating a web-based model, itâ€™s hard not to assume a portion of the problem is their distinct and continuing partisan slant.
What kind of business model rejects and insults the sensibilities of what amounts to nearly half of their potential customer base?Â Answer: A struggling one that will continue to be further marginalized unless they change course and offer some balance.
Two days after Chuck Grassleyâ€™s chief-of-staff David Young filed his paperwork, Ankeny native Matt Whitaker has officially joined the Republican U.S. Senate primary.
With around 50 supporters and media members in attendance at Accumoldâ€”an Ankeny plastics manufacturerâ€”Whitaker took to the podium to spell out why he is campaigning to replace Democrat Tom Harkin as one of Iowaâ€™s two voices in the Senate.
After introducing his wife Marci, he spoke of his days growing up in Ankeny and playing football at The University of Iowaâ€”then he turned to the concerning direction he views our country heading in.Â When looking at the current happenings in Washington D.C. he sees a â€œgovernment that is stealing from our futureâ€.Â He then made the point personal by adding, â€œIâ€™m not sure I can look my kids in the eye and honestly say there will be better days.Â We have promised our children that they will have the American Dream, but the only thing we seem to be handing them now is $50,000 in debt for every man, woman, and child.â€
Whitaker described his vision of the American spirit as, â€œhaving the conviction to take advantage of the opportunities this great country offers and to pass it on to the next generationâ€.Â He wasted no time in linking the man who would be his opponent should he win the primaryâ€”Rep. Bruce Braleyâ€”to President Obama, â€œThere is no doubt in my mind that Bruce Braley and Barack Obama will not make America strongâ€.Â He went on to say his candidacy will be an effort to counter-act this reality and ended by stating, â€œIâ€™m going to take a stand to take our country backâ€”and that stand starts today.â€
The highlight of the speech was the following excerpt:
â€œBruce Braley and Barack Obama are making our country weak and they are taking away our futureâ€”not on my watch.Â They want a Senate that thinks entitlements are better than liberty, they think subsidies are better than opportunity, they think itâ€™s OK for the government to require you to buy a product from a private business, and even worse they donâ€™t even read the bills they pass.Â Washington needs every person that goes there to have the stomach to face the problems, the brains to understand them, and the heart to rally Iowans to solve these significant problems.â€
Following the speech Whitaker took questions from a gaggle of reporters.Â For some reason many of the questions were trivial and odd in nature, however, there were two significant exchanges and they went as follows:
Question:Â Where would you want to cut Federal spending?
Answer:Â â€œI think you need to look at the whole Federal budget.Â I think right now the first place Iâ€™d look would be foreign aidâ€”I think we are sending too much money to people who donâ€™t like us.Â I think we also need to look at our support of the U.N. and how much weâ€™re giving when they keep passing resolutions not friendly to the United Statesâ€.
Question:Â Whatâ€™s your take on the immigration reform law going through Congress right now?
Answer:Â â€œI donâ€™t support amnesty.Â As a former prosecutor I enforced immigration laws and I understand theyâ€™re broken.Â Iâ€™ve been to the borders in Canada and Mexico and I see the significant challenges we face.Â With the current bill, again, I donâ€™t support amnesty or a path to citizenship, but I do think we need to fix the problem and secure the borderâ€
The next phase in the primary process for all Iowa Republicans to watch is who else will join the fieldâ€”as there is very little chance that this will be a two-way contest between David Young and Matt Whitaker.Â In the next few weeks the slate of candidates will become much clearer.Â The following four Republicans are mulling it over and all have publicly expressed interest in the primary:Â State Senator Joni Ernst (who has said she will make her decision known soon), former gubernatorial candidate Rod Roberts, businessman Mark Jacobs, and former state central committee member Drew Ivers.
The Washington D.C. based organization tasked with electing Republicans to the United States Senate–the NationalÂ Republican Senatorial Committee–is taking a new and proactive approach in achieving their mission this cycle.Â Part of this strategy has included reaching out early to various political writers and thinkers in Senatorial battleground states–and you guessed it we qualify–to form relationships basedÂ on our shared cause.
Another element of this strategy is being visible early and often with what has become a hallmark of modern political messaging–the web ad.Â Below is an exclusive first look at what I’m being told will be a continuing series of web ads making the case for Republican principles.Â It is very well put together and offers some insight into what kinds of narratives we will see from Republicans not only here in IowaÂ next year–but in all the battleground states in 2014.
The young Republicans you will seeÂ do not appearÂ by chance.Â The Party has an incredible wealth of young talented leaders at the moment and these are the folks who are presently both framing the debate and effectively communicating the Conservative ideology nationwide.Â Â UndoubtedlyÂ this younger generation will exclusively be responsible for the Republican brandÂ over the next 15-20 years–and the RNSC is smart to start highlighting them early.
The potential field of candidates for Iowa’s open U.S Senate seat has further narrowed as current Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz has bowed out.
Tuesday he took to twitter to make the announcement and also sent an exclusive statement to The Iowa Republican.com–who have made a habit lately of further diminishing the Des Moines Register by breaking stories.Â The statement reads as follows:
Over the past few weeks I have been truly humbled by the encouragement I have received from Iowans to run for the U.S. Senate.
After many conversations with my family and friends about the U.S. Senate race, I keep coming back to the fact that I love serving Iowans as their Secretary of State.
In my first two years as Secretary of State we have worked to increase voter participation with our â€œHonor a Veteranâ€ program and our partnership with Rock the Vote to encourage young people to vote through Rock Iowa. We have made it easier to start a business in Iowa by streamlining the filing process, and we used technology to make voting easier by creating apps that allow voters to find their polling place and track their absentee ballots right from their cell phones. We have also created an electronic poll book, â€œExpress Voterâ€, to make voting easier on Election Day.
While I am proud of our achievements, there is more to accomplish. I will continue working to improve the business climate in Iowa and fighting for integrity in our elections. This is why I am going to run for re-election as Iowaâ€™s Secretary of State.
Schultz would certainly have been a serious candidate and his decision to sit this out surprised many.Â Â He flewÂ out to Washington D.C a few weeks ago for meetings, and I highly doubt they told him anything overly negative.Â The notion that Bruce Braley is an overwhelming favorite in the general is flat-out an illusion–he can be beat and I’m confident Schultz heard this in D.C.
As his statement suggests, a major factor was you get the sense he truly does–for now–Â love being Secretary of State.Â Having said that, I can’t help but think if the calendar had been kinder and he wouldn’t of had to give up his current job to put his name on a ballot–he would have done so.
Republicans will see Schultz plenty in the future, and the last hidden factor to consider is this–we have another Senate seat in the state;Â right now it’sÂ held by someone as old as the Republic, and that election falls in a S.O.S off-year.Â Additionally the next few years can be served raising his profile when he wants to, speaking at Republican events,Â and building a wide donor base.Â I bet all this added up to “Schultz for Senate 2016” having a better sounding ring to it.