The afternoon of the convention went fairly smoothly. As I mentioned yesterday, we heard the results of the National Committee Man and Woman .
I appreciate the way that Stew Iverson kept things moving by inserting speeches at places where there were dead spots because of voting and such.
We heard the report of the Nominating Committee. As mentioned yesterday, names can be substituted by amending the report. And of course, someone made a motion to amend the report. It took over 30 minutes, but the amendment was approved and a name was substituted for another. 22 at-large delegates plus 22 alternates to attend the National Convention, and two more electors for the Presidential Election if McCain takes Iowa.
Kim Schmett  spoke in the afternoon. He did a good job of expressing appreciate and concern for Boswell and asked us to have a moment of silence as Leonerd had surgery this week connected to cancer surgery he’d had a few years ago. Kim showed an ad he is airing that pokes fun at Boswell’s lack of desire to debate and hits some key issues.
Chris Reed  also spoke during the afternoon. He’s running against Tom Harkin. His speech seemed a little bit tepid to me for a Senate race, not so much in content as in his stage presence (or maybe I was just tired from lunch). Hopefully he can ratchet his presentation up a bit… he’s got a tough job ahead of him.
Then we got the really great news. The Platform Committee had been handed over 60 amendments during the morning. With the time required to debate each item, we were likely to be there until 8:00 or later. I was extremely impressed by the Platform Committee Chairman who suggested that we might only consider about a dozen (he had the specific list) of the amendments which the committee (after reviewing all of them over lunch) considered to relevant. I spoke with one of the members of the committee who told me that the ones we would not be considering were mostly redundant, meaning the people presenting them had not really read or understood the platform. So, a motion to do this was made from the floor, and discussion lasted a little while, and we voted in favor of this approach (thank goodness!).
The amendments we considered mostly made a lot of sense to me, and I believe only one or two were rejected by the convention. A couple required voting by division, but incredibly we got through this process in less than a couple of hours with little (if any) contention.
The Young Delegates brought two very insightful amendments at the end of this process, one seeking elimination of the capital gains tax, and the other seeking to keep government out of controlling legal internet content and commerce. Excellent work on their part, and both amendments were approved by the convention.
I believe we have a great platform. I appreciate the hard work of all of the committees, but I especially appreciate the work done by the Platform Committee because they built a document that essential speaks to what Iowa Republicans believe and want to see from their government and especially Republican politicians.
We adjourned around 5:30 PM (according to John Deeth , the PM is needed for those that might think we worked a lot later and longer, like another party we know).
For my first state convention, this was an excellent experience. There were a number of people like me who were new to this process, and it certainly made some of the process interesting, but it was not unlike other organizational conventions that I’ve attended in the past (mostly church related) where people are there because they feel very strongly about what the convention is doing… otherwise they would not be there. When so many people get together with strong feelings and differing opinions on some items, it can be contentious. I think the party leadership was successful in maintaining order and unity.
Me personally, this is not the end. I will be following the events of the national party, and am already volunteering to help get people out to vote. Regardless of your political opinion, I think the most important things you can do is share your opinion with others, consider input from others, and vote your conscience.
We still have a long way to go.