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Local Republican Leaders Provide Candid Perpective

Steve Deace [1] had probably the best group of people on his show today for talking about local Republican politics and why we are struggling as a party to make an impact in the Iowa Statehouse, and on the national scene. The group included outgoing Polk County (Iowa) Republican Party Chair and State Central Committee member Ted Sporer [2], National Committee Woman Candidate and Iowa Right To Life [3] President Kim Lehman, Steve Scheffler President of Iowa Christian Alliance [4] and National Committee Man Candidate, and Stew Iverson who is chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa [5].

Quite an interesting banter. I have not had time to listen to the entire broadcast (podcast page here [6]) but am listening to it now.

The big item from all I’ve heard so far that I think is worth talking about is the work that is done to produce a party platform, and the fact that so many candidates seem to totally ignore key parts of the platform.

Certainly, it’s understandable that some candidates are not going to completely agree with the entire platform. While I certainly want representatives to provide adequate representation for their constituents, and that sometimes they need to vote their conscience.

However, it seems that representatives (and party leadership) should be very aware of the platform and really seek to understand where their constituents stand on the issues. Republican lawmakers should be seeking to support and promote the platform that the grassroots have developed. The composite planks, as they are worked through the precincts, counties, districts and finally the state conventions, reflect the convictions of the people that care passionately about society and the party. Ignoring the platform is dangerous, and those of us in the grassroots are watching much more closely.

Disappointing is the fact that Stew Iverson publicly admitted in this broadcast that he has not read the entire state platform that is up for discussion this weekend at that Iowa Republican Convention. I’m amazed. This is something I had done with a day of receiving it in June. His only comment was “I haven’t gotten to it yet”, as if it can wait until the last minute.

We all know it. The Republican Party Leadership in Iowa is out of touch. Ted (as mentioned after the District 3 Republican Convention [7]) is a proponent of the need to get the leadership back in touch. The same problem exists on a national level, and somehow there is a need to shake it up. This weekend’s convention is going to be real interesting.

Give the podcast a listen… it’s worth it.