(The following is a guest piece from Polk County GOP Co-Chair Chad Brown)
The political season in Iowa never ends, and the county leadership of Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District is on the move to organize. The harder we work to organize the counties, both Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District and RPI will grow in strength. Some of my activist friends have wanted an explanation of the District Executive Committees, so I wrote this explanation to detail their role.
District Executive Committees have traditionally been 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 single issue 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. This is why people used to refer to the G.O.P. as The Big Tent.
It’s unfortunate that these long-standing Committees were deactivated and silenced, but the new counties’ executive leadership in the 3rd Congressional District are getting back to basics!Â We are here to improve and unify the Republican Party and get more people involved. The executive leadership of the county-level central committees of the Republican Party of Iowa located within the Third Federal Congressional District of the State of Iowa have called for its first official meeting to be held on May 7 to discuss and consider certain specific matters.
This is an exciting time as we begin to restore an important tradition of grass roots to the Republican Party in Iowa.
Chad Brown, Polk County GOP Co-Chair and 3rd Congressional District Executive Committee ————————————————————————————————-
Article VII, paragraph 1 of the RPI Constitution states:
Article VII District Executive Committees
1. The District Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair and Co-Chair of each County in the Congressional District plus one additional representative for every fifty thousand (50,000) population in that County based on the most recent federal census. The additional County representative sh…all be elected by the County Central Committee.
2. The District Committee shall: (1) direct and coordinate Republican activities in the district, including organizational, candidate recruitment, and finance efforts; (2) coordinate the congressional and legislative campaigns in the district for the duly selected Republican nominees; (3) perform all of the duties relating to any election to fill a district vacancy on the Republican State Central Committee; (4) advise the congressional district’s representatives on the Republican State Central Committee; and (5) do all other things which serve to promote the welfare of the Republican Party and the orderly and successful conduct of the election campaign in the congressional district.
Four days from now the Polk County Central Committee will gather to elect a successor to Kevin McLaughlin and Dave Funk.Â While several people expressed possible interest in running for Chair, it is my understanding that the only two people openly vying for the post at this point are Will Rogers and Dave Edwards.
For the politically active in Polk County who don’t yet know Mr. Rogers and his background, below is a the full transcript of a message he sent The Conservative Reader: Iowa regarding his candidacy.Â It is followed by the personal section of his bio.Â The list of candidates and campaigns he has worked on or led over the last few decades is extensive to say the least, andÂ there is noÂ doubt he has the background to attack the challenge of winning elections.Â Â Among the notable namesÂ of Polk County Republican political veterans who are officially endorsing Mr. Rogers are Brad Zaun, John Bloom, Greg Ganske, E.J Giovannetti, and Darrell Kearney.
Dear Conservative Reader,
I appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers why I am running for the chairmanship of the Polk County Republican Party and what I hope to accomplish once I am elected.
While there are many important objectives that we need to accomplish as a political organization, I believe the two essential missions of the county party should be helping elect republicans to office and advancing the county party platform. And I am running for county party chairman because I believe that now, more than ever, that our party must win and get our county, state, and country moving in the right direction.
I personally know thousands of Republicans in Polk County and around the state of Iowa, but I realize there are likely to be thousands of your readers that donâ€™t know much about me and the level of activism that I have had.Â So before I go any further, I would like to share some background on how I have been involved as a Republican.
Over the past twenty years I have worked and volunteered for several Republican candidates and elected officials.Â In 2003, I served as Executive Director of the Polk County Republicans and served as the co-chairman of the Polk County Republican Party from 2008 through 2010.Â I have been committed to helping elect Republicans from the presidency to city hall.Â But that is just the highlights of my resume. It still doesnâ€™t tell you who I am.
Who I am is a republican activist that believes in God, country, freedom, and conservative principles.Â Who I am is someone that believes you must relentlessly pursue perfection, knowing very well that you will never achieve it.Â But by relentlessly pursuing perfection, we will fall short and achieve greatness.
Who I am is someone that believes our country has been the greatest source of social and economic freedom in the world and that it is our duty to ensure it continues to be that way for future generations.Â And if I am elected chair, my first priority will be to unite the Republican Party by working on our shared beliefs, instead of squabbling over our differences.
As chairman, I will focus on building a strong grassroots organization committed to the core principals of the Republican Party and dedicated to achieving victory. Combined with the solid financial resources, and both traditional and modern communications tools, we can help deliver majorities in the Unites States and Iowa Senates and help re-elect our incumbent Republicans.
I need your support for the chairmanâ€™s election taking place on Tuesday, February 26, at 7:00 p.m. at the Downtown Holiday Inn.Â But I am also going to need your support after the chairmanâ€™s election.Â I am going to need your help in making a difference by door knocking on your street, making phone calls, lit dropping, putting up yard signs, and by make a financial commitment to the county party.
And on Tuesday, November 4th, of 2014, after all the phone calls have been made, after all the doors have been knocked, after all the absentee ballots have been counted, a solemn voice will come on the television and say that â€œIowa has elected a Republican U.S. Senator.â€Â And while your neighbor is home asleep in bed, you will be downtown at a victory party that no one will ever forget.
Thank you for your past and continued support of the Polk County Republicans and I look forward to working with you over the next two years as your chairman.
God Bless, Will Rogers
Will Rogers can be reached by call 515-669-1648 or by email at:Â [email protected]
Will Rogers Bio
I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. After graduating high school, I served in the U.S. Army as an M-1 Tank Crewman and served in combat operations as a part of Desert Shield-Desert Storm. After my enlistment, I returned to Des Moines to pursue an education at Drake University where I majored in Political Science and Rhetoric.
While at Drake University, I worked as field staff for Dr. Greg Ganskeâ€™s campaign for Congress in 1994. After the election I returned to finish my degree at Drake. After operating a small business for five years, I returned to politics to assist Congressman Greg Ganskeâ€™s campaign for Senate in 2002.
In 2003, I was named the first full-time Executive Director for the Polk County Republican Party and was instrumental in rebuilding the county party after the failed elections of 2002. In 2004, I served as Campaign Manager for Congressman Tom Lathamâ€™s re-election.
From October of â€™05 through May â€™07, I worked for the Iowa Soybean Association as a Producer Services Coordinator and was instrumental in promoting Iowaâ€™s renewable fuels industry.
I currently serve as the Director of Government Affairs for the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association and work closely with several members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and state/local government officials.
For over 20 years, I have worked for and volunteered with several local, state, and national political campaigns including:
George W. Bush for PresidentÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kim Schmett for U.S. House of Representatives
Newt Gingrich for PresidentÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dave Vaudt for State Auditor
Phil Gramm for PresidentÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Bill Northey for Secretary of Agriculture
Steve Forbes for PresidentÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brad Zaun for Iowa Senate
Mitt Romney for PresidentÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pat Ward for Iowa Senate
Charles Grassley for U.S. SenateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Charles Schneider for Iowa Senate
Greg Ganske for U.S. SenateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dan Kennedy for Iowa House
Deb Fischer for U.S. SenateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kim Pearson for Iowa House
Greg Ganske for U.S. HouseÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Darlene Blake for Iowa House
Tom Latham for U.S. HouseÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Nick Van Patten for Iowa House
Steve King for U.S. HouseÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â E.J. Giovannetti for Polk County Supervisor
Brad Zaun for U.S. HouseÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Halley Griess for Des Moines City Council
In addition, I served as the Co-Chair of the Polk County Republican Party from 2008 to 2010.
I have been married to Hannah (Holl) Rogers of Minden, Nebraska since 1998 and we have one daughter, Ariella, who was born in September 2009.
Everyone knows 2012 was a tough year for Republicans both nationwide and in Iowa.Â After a few months absorbing the disappointment, the only productive thing to do is regroup and begin making the necessary changes to ensure that 2014 does not find us ceding more ground to Liberalism.
In terms of Polk County politics the few bright spots were Tom Lathamâ€™s defeat of Leonard Boswell and Rep. Chris Hagenow holding on to a razor close victory over Susan Judkins.Â Unfortunately the list of negatives was much longer.Â At the top of this list was losing a strong Republican House District in Urbandale (HD 40), but the bad news didnâ€™t stop there.Â In spite of having an unusually strong set of candidates well matched to their districts, none of them were able to beat the registration disadvantages and hence no upsets were pulled off.Â This is particularly disappointing because itâ€™s going to be tough finding better Republicans willing to run in Polk County than Dave Edwards, Patti Branco, Vicki Stogdill, Dan Charleston, etc.
The Chair and Co-Chair election coming up February 26th is a great opportunity to get some new eyes and fresh strategies involved in our shared goal of electing strong Conservatives into office.Â I have no personal qualms with Kevin McLaughlin or Dave Funk, but, having been present at multiple Central Committee meetings last year, itâ€™s clear that what the situation devolved into was unacceptableâ€”and frankly embarrassing.Â I think both men put in a good deal of effort, had some positive impacts, and I sincerely thank both for their service to the Republican Party.
In terms of the new leadership, I am whole-heartedly endorsing Chad Brown for Co-Chair.Â The primary reason for this is that his large volume of campaign experience is equaled by the enthusiasm and energy he brings to our cause.Â The challenges facing Republicans in this neck of the woods is well known and, in my view, this mixture of operational know-how and dedication is what is required to beat the odds and deliver results.
Among the many inter-party clashes we have had in Iowa is the belief by some that the mechanics of elections are somehow not paramount.Â This could not be further from the truth.Â The focused and meticulous work of bringing voters philosophically to our side and then to the voting booth is what the Party apparatus exists for.Â Chad both knows this and is willing to put in the work to make it happen.
While the integrity of going about things the right way matters even in a vacuumâ€”our political beliefs do not.Â To make a difference these principals must be put into action, and doing so requires elections to be won.Â I have great faith that Chad Brown will be an asset to achieving this goal, and will operate with great character in doing so.
Below is Mr. Brownâ€™s general outline for strengthening the Republican Party in Polk County.
The Victory Plan: Call To Action
Goals and First Steps
Our Purpose: Elect More Republicans and support the Party Platform!!!
Political parties exist to advance core principles and elect individuals who hold these principles into office. We are not designed to be a social club. If we fail to elect more Republicans, we fail in our purpose. In the past, we have lost far too many campaigns that we should have won. Going into the 2014 cycle, Iâ€™ve discussed with numerous Central Committee members that we have identified five goals.
1.Â Polk County Courthouse: When I began to volunteer in the 1990â€™s, we only had one Republican Supervisor in Polk County. We picked up a second supervisor in 2002. Now, we have a real opportunity to pick up a third Republican supervisor and take the majority. If we can achieve this goal, Republicans will gain the Courthouse in Polk County for the first time since the 1940â€™s!
2.Â House District 40: We must work to win back this traditionally Republican State House seat in Urbandale. We can retake this seat.
3.Â House District 30: This is the second suburban State House seat we lost in Polk County. Due to the growth in the suburbs to the east of Des Moines and the trending conservative numbers of this district, we should be very competitive in this race.
4.Â Help Protect Rep. Chris Hagenowâ€™s seat: Rep. Hagenow won his House race by 23 votes. We will work very hard to retain this seat as the Democrats will attempt to challenge Rep. Hagenow in 2014.
5.Â Do our part in Polk County to get out the vote to ensure victory for our Congressional and statewide candidates: We lost Polk County badly in 2012. We need to significantly reduce the Democratsâ€™ voting edge.
Our mission is clear, and we need leadership to clearly state this mission. I say â€“ letâ€™s get to work!!!
Run the Polk County Republican Party of Iowa like a Campaign!
More than anything else, we need more Republican activism. Our candidates come to Central Committee meetings for two reasons: They attend to receive financial and volunteer support. Our candidates and their families put a lot of effort and sacrifices into their campaigns. They run to advance the principles we espouse. When we sign up volunteers at events, we must follow up by activating these volunteers and getting these volunteers to the State House and State Senate candidates who need support. This should be obvious, but according to the Representatives and candidates Iâ€™ve spoken with, it rarely happens. We must do a better job of organizing our volunteers to help our candidates. We must also do a better job of funding our candidates to push them over the top and elect more Republicans.
Our Central Committee meetings should be utilized to help members organize their precincts for our candidates. The urgency to do this is even more needed immediately following redistricting. At least once in the upcoming cycle, Central Committee members should huddle with their respective candidates during a Central Committee meeting. I have had candidates tell me their time was far better spent door knocking than attending Central Committee meetings. We must become a more effective body. Our candidates and members give money and time to this organization. I propose we do not waste our candidatesâ€™ and membersâ€™ money or time. Our members and candidates should meet as a group to network and form an action plan for victory. I propose we develop our volunteer pool so we can make coordinated efforts in State House and State Senate races where we are needed to push a candidate over the top.
Integrity: Serving the Best Interests of the Polk County Republican Party of Iowa
Building the Polk County Republican Partyâ€™s reputation will have enormous value with voters, donors, and the community we serve. Building a strong reputation will increase our ability to recruit excellent candidates, grow strong relationships with communities and organizations within our county, and will make us more effective in growing our base of volunteers, donors and voters.
We expect the Chair, Co-Chair, Executive Committee and our candidates to adhere to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and conduct with each other, the Polk County Central Committee, vendors, and the community we serve and to comply with all applicable laws in regards to conduct as a political entity. As leaders of the Polk County Republican Party, we have a special responsibility to follow the highest standards in all aspects of our lives because our everyday actions influence what people think about our Party. Thatâ€™s called our brand. Others call this our reputation. A reputation or brand is earned over years of consistently focusing on what is best for our members and the community and following high standards of conduct. I believe good people gravitate to an organization that values ethics. We should act in a manner that will serve the best interests of the Polk County Republican Party. Honesty and trustworthiness and avoiding conflicts of interest and/or the appearance of conflicts of interest must be a priority.
We need to include members as much as possible and actively display a spirit of inclusion and ensure they donâ€™t feel like we are wasting their time. If we can actively show them that their efforts make a difference as part of our team, they will be more likely to remain active. We had a lot of enthusiasm during and immediately following the Caucuses. This enthusiasm evaporated. After attending the Polk County Republican Convention in Ankeny and the Central Committee meetings immediately following the caucuses, some activists Iâ€™ve spoken to were turned off and quickly turned away. Central Committee attendance declined following these events. I do not accept the notion that attendance drops following such events. Attendance following the Caucuses should not have to drop. It is clear that we must learn to work as a team.
Fund Raising for Candidates
The Polk County Republican Party has done an exceptional job in raising record funds. At no time in our past have the Polk County Republicans earned so much. We need to continue to build on the trust of our donors. We can build upon our fund raising successes through ensuring very good stewardship of our financial resources. For example, we need to ensure that we use these resources wisely to elect Republicans. More donors will come to us as they gain our trust. Simultaneously, we will elect more Republicans which will also cause our organization to grow in numbers and influence, and donors will continue to trust our leadership as they see us spending every penny with diligence and responsibility.
It is essential that we increase our visibility. I propose we rebuild an Editorial Team to our Executive Committee. We used to have this committee over a decade ago. We have writers amongst our organization, and this Committee will not cost a dime. The Internet also provides us new opportunities to spread our message.
We need to take every effort to engage the Democrats, aggressively and articulately. We cannot be defensive and reactionary, but we need to take the fight to the Democrats by publicly engaging in the debate over local and state issues. We need to identify issues facing this yearâ€™s legislature and start advocating for their position on a precinct specific basis. This increases our visibility and makes us a good partner with our legislative delegation and other conservative organizations.
We need more Republicans. We need to have a Republican presence at every local public function where such booths are permitted so long as the cost is not prohibitive. We could have Republicans signing up supporters outside large city festivals and events. The Democrats have staffers with clipboards to sign up supporters outside the main gates of many festivals. This is another free method to reach new supporters that we need to explore. Most important, we need to follow up with the new supporters we sign up. This is where we activate new activists. We have a large and untapped resource in our community â€“ the many people who can become enthused about the Republican Party. We need to get involved with every group that represents voters. We also need close interaction with Republicans at all of the local colleges. None of us will be here forever, and Iâ€™m a believer that we must train our replacements.
New Committee Functions and Transparency
I believe in the grassroots. Effective communication and ground-up organization are important. We need to redefine the tasks of our existing committees and establish a list of objectives and goals for each committee to accomplish. I believe we need to establish some new standing committees and ask for your help with these committees. Further, we can network with our neighboring counties.
We also need to re-structure our Inclusion Committee on building teamwork between all Republicansâ€¦ to ensure all Republicans feel included in The Big Tent that great presidents such as Ronald Reagan always espoused.
Politics, like every other activity that requires volunteer effort, has to be fun. We should plan different activities with different purposes. Some such activities should be family targeted and family priced and some should be fun for adults. We need to get together for fun as well as business. Good fellowship is a great device for inclusion.
Churches understand this principle. They have expensive retreats for active members, and then they have the ice cream socials and sporting events and other inexpensive, inclusion activities to get visitors through the door. It is time to increase our numbers.
Activities can often be geared for both business and social interaction. The 2016 â€“ Obamaâ€™s America event on August 30 included a social at Champps for candidates and activists to network, and then the movie included the political message. Also, our event created buzz for more to see the movie. Further, a movie is inclusive to all ages including the younger voters that we will need. This was Darrell Kearneyâ€™s original idea, and I organized it with the above purposes in mind. Then, Ryan Keller and April Linder increased its importance by getting the director to call the Central Committee! We did see new people who havenâ€™t attended other functions. Why not get to work at increasing our inclusionary efforts?
I propose that we take action on a few critical needs in the next month of our organization. The following is a list of what I propose we do in the next month.
A.Â Start a Solid and Objective Post-Mortem to learn from mistakes made in the 2012 Election so return stronger for the Midterm Elections.
â€œThose who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.â€ â€“ Santayana â€“
I propose we form a Committee to analyze what went wrong in our 2012 election. We lost too many races that should have been won. Objective analysis may prevent us from making some of the same mistakes. The purpose of this Committee will not be to point fingers but to identify points where the Republican Party came up short so we donâ€™t let it happen in future elections. Our campaign strategy for the 2012 election must be examined to evaluate what did work and what failed. Some of our losses were completely unnecessary and avoidable.
B.Â Organize a Volunteer Pool. We will organize a list of names and days/hours when volunteers can staff our office to work on data entry and organization. In getting to know so many of you, I have learned there is a large volunteer base out there. We need to call this volunteer base to action to organize beginning as soon as possible. By splitting up our needs among a large base of volunteers, we donâ€™t have to ask any one person to spend more than a few hours a week to these efforts, and we will still advance in our goals. Further, we will follow up with the volunteers who sign up to volunteer. This is obvious and should be done. We need to follow up. We must utilize our volunteers to elect Republicans.
C.Â Coordinate with Republicans. With new leadership at the Polk County level, we can put old feelings of resentment behind us and build a new relationship and get past any hard feelings that resulted last year.
I have also contacted leaders in other counties in our district and state to try and find areas in which we can learn from each other and share our resources. I have worked with the Dallas County Republicans during the Adel Green Corn Days and with their parades in Adel and Waukee, and their leadership is ready, willing and able to work with us. I have spoken with the Story County Chairman in Ames and discussed his approach with the inclusion of college students.
Every change we are making in the short-term is intended to push us closer to achieving long-term goals. We need to build upon our foundations of what we are doing correctly and to fix what we are not doing and build upon our areas that are weak. In the long-term, I would like to see the following accomplished:
A.Â We grow our political operation. We need to have enough volunteer activity to keep at least one or two volunteers busy on a full-time basis, every day. This can be stuffing envelopes, data entry, telephone calls, etc. Having a full time volunteer organization will be great. It will take a lot of pressure off our full-time staff so that our full-time staff can focus on what we envision. Theyâ€™re extremely valuable to us as a resource. Also, we need accountability for Central Committee members who do not attend meetings and do not participate in the organization of our county.
B.Â We integrate our Republican Central Committee base with our local Candidates. Our party is a political party, not a social club. To be successful in reaching our goals, we need to help our candidates. We can increase the number of Republicans elected in our county if we aggressively target State House and State Senate seats as well as County wide positions and Supervisor positions. If all of our members only volunteered 30 minutes twice per month, we would be able to door knock the entire county. Twice.
C. We continue to aggressively target new and non-traditional constituencies. There is a way to do this without sacrificing our principles and values. We should continue to reach out to non-traditional constituencies, but we should not waste resources on left-wing propaganda publications. We need not pander but should embrace prosperity and our values and include all in the spirit of inclusion to all people.
With improved organization, we can build the Republican Party in this county! Letâ€™s get to work to make this a reality!
Last night’s Polk County Central Committee meeting was a harbinger forÂ both good and bad things to come for the future of Republicans in Polk County.
Among the several speakers to address the committee were Polk County Sheriff candidate Dan Charleston and Senator Rick BertrandÂ (pictured at right).Â Charleston has been very active in his attempt to unseat his boss Bill McCarthy, who has once again doubled down on his support for spreading controversial traffic cameras throughout Iowa.Â His bid to remove McCarthy will not be easy, however, this is an outcome that becomes more possible with McCarthy supporting a hot-button policy that the majority of Iowans reject.Â While Conservatives throughout Polk County will be rightly focused on state and Congressional seats in the coming months, it would be a mistake to ignore this race for sheriff.Â It can be easily argued that the performance and priorities of law enforcement has an equal impact on citizens at the County level as legislative seats.Â All Conservatives who are unaware of this race would be well advised to visit Dan Charleston’s website, were he lays out his positions on several issues (including traffic cameras and illegal immigration).Â It is safe to say he would bring a far different mindset to the job–and there is much to like.
While Senator Rick Bertrand was not on the agenda to speak, all in attendance were glad he made the trip.Â Speaking for nearlyÂ 20 minutes, he got fired up covering topics ranging from his background, his victory in a legal slander case against Iowa Democrats, and the future agenda of Senate Republicans.
Beyond being a gifted and enthusiastic speaker, the real positive to take away from his presence in the Iowa Senate is his potential to bridge the divides that have recently been created by the emergence of a more Libertarian brand of Republican in the party.Â I have asked him personally about the prospects of real legislative results from the Conservative movement in the Iowa Legislature–and I assure you he has a plan and will be front and center in achieving it.Â In my view, he is one of a handful of current Republican legislators who can effortlessly bridge the gap between the old and new guards in the Republican Party.Â In the coming months The Conservative Reader:Iowa will be laying out exactly what this 7 issue action plan is, and will be looking at each in detail.
Having been in attendance at the last two Central Committee meetings, there is little doubt left that the drama surrounding last month’s meeting is not going away.Â The divide between Chairman McLaughlin (along withÂ other members ofÂ the leadership), and co-chair Dave Funk isÂ quickly approaching critical mass.Â Several times during the meeting there was open bickering and contention between the two.Â This was taking place not in the side or back during down time, butÂ actually during the meeting and at the front of the room.
As of this time I am not taking sides.Â FarÂ more important than taking sides is finding some way for this strained situation to be resolved.Â Besides risking several political objects that are certainly within reach, this feud is simply embarrassing for all of the new folks who have been energized during the caucus and have made the time consuming decision to get involved.Â At this rate the attendance of these meetings will swell only on the grounds of voyeurism, as people will start coming to view a live version of the Jerry Springer Show.Â Finding a way to make these meetings a little less bland would be a more than worthy endeavor, however, this is not exactly what I had in mind.
I will be in attendance at the next meeting, if it is plagued by these same issues than the report you read here following it will be of a far different tone.Â At that point critical mass will have unquestionably been reached and a movement to action will have to be initiated.Â With so much crucial work to be done in the coming months, continuing in this manner is simply not an option.
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 hadÂ 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).Â What is clear following the meeting is that she was never involved at any level, andÂ that the leader of the group aiming to replace the Chairman was in fact precinct 85 resident Craig Bergman.
TheÂ 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.Â Â What played out was that, by a nearÂ three to one margin (91-39), the central committee voted to proceed with the meeting’s business as usual and have the showdownÂ afterward.Â 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 numbersÂ and chose toÂ 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 aÂ confused group of members that he was not avoiding a vote on his fate.Â He summed it up by saying,Â “if anyone wants to try to ‘send me to the showers’ they are welcome to do that”,Â which he followed aÂ few seconds laterÂ with,Â “That said, I don’t intend to go to the showers I intend to finish my job.”
Clearly Kevin McLaughlin is notÂ backing awayÂ anytime soon, and neitherÂ is the sizable sect passionate that his performance as Chairman has not been up to par.Â 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 middleÂ of their term.Â It is fair to note, however, that while this effort was denied tonight, there has been widespread discontent and rumblings regarding what has beenÂ perceived as several organizational shortcomings.
My sense moving forward is that McLaughlin and his team will survive any future attempts to remove him.Â The final decider here will ultimately be what it always is–results.Â 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.Â Should they notÂ meet expectations, and should theyÂ 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.Â What we have here is a perfect embodiment of this…as it should be.