We the People of Iowa, well at least the Republicans, have spoken. The Republican State Platform is a document that percolates up from the grassroots. It starts at the local county caucuses and moves through the county convention, district convention and then the state convention getting the approval of the people or their representatives to the conventions along the way.
Back in 2014, my first year as a State Platform Committee member, the Platform was transformed, through the vision of the Committee Chair, Tim Busch, from a document with ever-changing principles and over 400 lengthy and contradictory “Planks” into one with five key unchanging Republican Principles and a shortened and concise list of “Legislative Priorities”, items the grassroots actually wanted to be addressed.
It has improved every year since and been a wonderful transformation from a tabloid that then-Governor Branstad stated no one even read to a checklist for the Iowa Legislature to which we may hold our elected representatives accountable for either obeying or ignoring the will of the people. The Platform also contains “Resolutions” at the end which pertain mainly to what the Republicans of Iowa want from the Republican Party of Iowa (RPI) and this year, the people spoke loud and clear.
At issue was RPI’s continued interference, through its leadership, in a process that belongs to the grassroots, the Republican Primaries. As the non-anointed RPI candidate for the First Congressional District, I have stood with resolve through National Chairman Steve Scheffler’s personal attacks on me on social media and endured RPI Chair Jeff Kaufmann’s exaltations of my primary opponent at the Clayton and Jackson County fundraising dinners with me sitting right in front of him.
Third District candidate, Bill Schafer, another nonestablishment Constitutional conservative, like myself, endured even worse. The 30 plus year veteran did not even get a phone call from fellow veteran Senator Joni Ernst before she endorsed his opponent. Now there is not much we can do about sitting elected officials taking sides in a primary, even though they should not do it, but our elected officials of RPI is another story and this year the grassroots, having had enough of this swamp fog obscuring the process, attempted to dissipate it.
The resolution reads as follows:
“We believe that voting members of the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee should remain publicly neutral and should not endorse or denounce candidates in contested Republican primaries and presidential caucuses; believe that voting members of the SCC should not support non-Republican candidates in a general election; and insist that any voting member of the SCC who does otherwise should resign or be removed from the SCC.”
The message here seems to be clear and concise, which makes it a perfect fit for the Platform. We the People are just as tired of the Establishment as President Trump, we have had enough, keep your mouths shut or do not let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. The ironic thing is that this resolution originated from the delegation from Linn County, my RPI anointed opponent’s hometown so this is not a surface irritation, it runs deep and our Republican leadership better start paying attention.