Have you ever been told to “suck it up” and “hold your nose” and “just vote Republican?” All in the name of “party unity?”
Unless you are already a shill for the Republican Party, then yes, yes you have. But did you know that only applies to you and not the leaders of the party?
Case in point, the election for Auditor of State. Todd Halbur upset the GOP establishment’s hand-picked candidate, MaryAnn Hanusa, in the primary. Todd Halbur also had the audacity to expose the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division. He was a whistleblower who was wrongfully terminated for alleging it was collecting excess revenue from alcohol retailers. He won $1 million in the lawsuit.
But some Republican loyalists viewed Halbur’s lawsuit against the state as some sort of dig on Gov. Kim Reynolds. He was even asked if his lawsuit would hinder his ability to work with Reynolds.
It was so bad, I heard from multiple sources that Halbur’s campaign materials were being hidden at a GOP victory office in Des Moines.
And, to borrow a line from Brenna Bird — do you know how many stops on the bus tour Halbur was able to participate in? Zero!
Halbur’s name never came up at any of the stops I was at. The race for auditor was never mentioned.
It was a fascinating turn of events. Democrat Auditor Rob Sand was viewed as the top threat to Reynolds. He was viewed as the future of the Democrat Party in Iowa. Yet Republicans did little to nothing to beat him in the midst of Iowa’s “red wave.”
Now, Sand comes out of the election stronger than ever. He is able to say he was the only Democrat statewide who survived the “red wave.” He can claim it shows his appeal to voters across political party lines.
Meanwhile, Halbur is left less than 3,000 votes short in the statewide race. And he has conceded the race due to — you guessed it — a lack of support from the Republican Party of Iowa.
Halbur posted an update earlier on Friday, giving praise to God for giving him the opportunity to be the GOP nominee.
“I have conceded the Auditor of State race to Rob Sand and I wish him well,” Halbur wrote. “My campaign unfortunately lacks the resources and manpower to conduct a legitimate recount in this statewide race. The state GOP organization and their leadership team have failed to provide any support and resources to my campaign towards this effort. This leaves me with no other option than to abandon this recount effort just as the State GOP organization has abandoned my campaign.”
Here are all the tweets from RPI Chairman Jeff Kaufmann that have the name “Halbur” specifically mentioned:
Kaufmann’s last tweet with the word “auditor” in it? June 3…of 2021.
What about the Iowa GOP? Here are all the tweets from the Iowa GOP with the word “Halbur” mentioned:
Here is the one tweet about “auditor.” It does include Halbur’s Twitter handle:
🇺🇸 Congratulations to @ToddHalbur on becoming the Republican nominee for State Auditor!
Iowans are tired of the current State Auditor weaponizing the office and using it as a means to attack his political enemies.
— Iowa GOP (@IowaGOP) June 8, 2022
That appears to be it.
In order to unseat a statewide incumbent name ID is important.
I haven’t found any hint of a donation from the Republican Party of Iowa to Halbur’s campaign on his records at the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board website. But I’ll keep looking.
But remember, be a good Republican and support whatever Republican appears on your ballot. Just don’t expect the people demanding you do it to do it themselves.
The power is supposed to reside with you guys — the people, not the party. But power is worthless when you refuse to exercise it.