Examining the new ‘code of conduct’ proposed for RPI State Central Committee members

This Saturday the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee will meet in Des Moines. On the agenda will be a new Code of Conduct for the SCC. It has a couple of provisions that have been a long time coming. It says that:

SCC Members shall not:

  1. Endorse candidates in partisan primaries,
  2. Accept paid employment or fees from a primary campaign.

I heartily support these restrictions. I served on the SCC for about 15 years and I can remember when over half of the members were paid staffers for one presidential campaign or another. I have no problem with people serving on campaign staff, but you need to either choose to serve your constituents in the party or a candidate.

There are some other provisions that I strongly oppose:

SCC Members shall not:

3. Publicly denigrate Republican elected officials, candidates, other SCC members or the Republican Party as a whole.

4. Take public inflammatory positions on political issues without coordination with the Communications Department of RPI.

SCC Members shall:

2. Maintain confidentiality when asked or required by the party.

In other words, an SCC gag rule. I want our SCC members to be able to speak their minds. I want them to be able to come back to their districts and tell us what is happening at RPI. SCC members are elected by and accountable to their districts. During my time on the SCC, I called out RPI leadership when I thought they were not acting in the best interest of the grassroots. One example is my fighting for years against National Committeeman Steve Scheffler to end the Friday night National delegate nominating sessions in Des Moines and nominate district delegates to the National Convention at the District Conventions.

Under these rules, an SCC member would have to clear it with RPI’s Communications team if they wanted to support or oppose the movement in the counties to pass censure resolutions aimed at our Congressional Delegation.

Finally, maintaining confidentiality when asked … what does it mean for the party to ask for confidentiality? Is that the chairman? The ED? The National Committeeman?

The reason I ran for SCC all those years ago was to break through the secrecy. Some of you may find this hard to believe but in the old days, election of the RPI chair was done in secret. No one outside the SCC knew who was running. They had the Vauditor (then GOP state Auditor Richard Vaudt) come in and count the votes. He would report who won and the SCC would vote to make it unanimous. SCC members did not even know how many votes each candidate had received. The grassroots did not know who had run for the office! Since Robert’s Rules require that vote results be announced, I promised my district that I would share the results on my blog and on social media. Secrecy and suppression of information are how dictators stay in power. Please remind your SCC representative that they were elected by the grassroots of the party and we are watching!

Author: David Chung


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