I don’t talk too much about state politics on this blog because I know many who read this blog don’t live in Iowa.  This blog post over at the Des Moines Register’s staff blog made my blood boil.  Kim Lehman is our National Committee Woman representing Iowa with the National GOP Committee.  She is also the President of Iowa Right to Life.  The Iowa GOP State Central Committee voted to censure Lehman voting 8-7 (two members were absent) because she didn’t support Mariannette Miller-Meeks in her race to unseat U.S. Rep.  Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.

The blog states:

Lehman, who is also president of Iowa Right to Life, helped distribute a newsletter in October that characterized 2nd Congressional District candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks as supporting abortion.

“Miller-Meeks is pro-abortion and believes in birth control education over abstinence-only,” the newsletter stated. Miller-Meeks, an Ottumwa eye doctor, repeatedly described her position on abortion rights as “pro-life.”

I know Kim and her passion for defending the unborn.  I’ve been able to be around her in a variety of settings.  I believe that she is a woman of integrity and was happy to give her my vote at the Polk County GOP Convention to send her further on.  She would not send a letter out like that if Miller-Meeks was truly pro-life.  I think that perhaps the State Central Committee needs to consider a couple of facts here.

1.  As president of Iowa Right to Life, which is a non-partisan advocacy group, she is not to be partisan in that role.

2. Since Iowa Right to Life’s is (as they describe themselves) “a diverse group united in our value for human life and the common belief in each individual’s fundamental right to be treated with dignity and respect.”  It would stand to reason that she, in her role as the president, to criticize any candidate that is not pro-life regardless of party.  I applaud her for that.

For her to blindly support a GOP candidate would mean that she wasn’t fulfilling her role at Iowa Right to Life, and that would be inappropriate.  She did it in that capacity.  So basically the State Central Committee has a beef with her doing her job.

Censuring Kim Lehman is an example of what is not the way forward if the Iowa GOP desires to make any headway in the next election cycle.

22 comments
  1. GOP politics in my county are of the moderate variety and every conservative running for congress has lost in the past 10 years because moderate Republicans cross over and vote for the incumbent Democrat.. even Governor Sebelious (who is not too whippy) got elected by a large margin when she ran against a pro-life conservative.

    It seems that Kim came across this in reverse.. she couldn’t support the pro-choice GOP candidate and got in trouble for it.. moderates seem to want loyalty even though they will not be loyal to a pro-life conservative candidate.. it is a bit hypocritical.

    The sad truth (around here anyway) is that Republicans are just not pro-life (the majority of them)) and.. even though they like fiscal conservatives.. they like social moderates when they vote. Sadly, the last pro-life (Democratic) Governor we had in Kansas (Joan Finney) came across as a bit incompetent.

    We pro-lifers have a long ways to go.. odd because it seems to me that we have come so far. Finding pro-life candidates that can win in “moderate” districts is a real challenge. My friend (an ex-pastor) Nick just got trounced in his run for congress because GOP moderates voted Democrat.. it was sad because he is such a wise person and a very popular state senator.

    I guess I really don’t have any ideas of how to change the GOP and don’t see a 3rd party viable.. maybe we should have tried to support the reform party and influence it for life? Color me clueless.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..Humility is not an Option

  2. GOP politics in my county are of the moderate variety and every conservative running for congress has lost in the past 10 years because moderate Republicans cross over and vote for the incumbent Democrat.. even Governor Sebelious (who is not too whippy) got elected by a large margin when she ran against a pro-life conservative.

    It seems that Kim came across this in reverse.. she couldn’t support the pro-choice GOP candidate and got in trouble for it.. moderates seem to want loyalty even though they will not be loyal to a pro-life conservative candidate.. it is a bit hypocritical.

    The sad truth (around here anyway) is that Republicans are just not pro-life (the majority of them)) and.. even though they like fiscal conservatives.. they like social moderates when they vote. Sadly, the last pro-life (Democratic) Governor we had in Kansas (Joan Finney) came across as a bit incompetent.

    We pro-lifers have a long ways to go.. odd because it seems to me that we have come so far. Finding pro-life candidates that can win in “moderate” districts is a real challenge. My friend (an ex-pastor) Nick just got trounced in his run for congress because GOP moderates voted Democrat.. it was sad because he is such a wise person and a very popular state senator.

    I guess I really don’t have any ideas of how to change the GOP and don’t see a 3rd party viable.. maybe we should have tried to support the reform party and influence it for life? Color me clueless.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..Humility is not an Option

  3. Sorry Shane, but I think you’re missing the point:

    Lehman is not being censured for acting inappropriately as President of Iowa Right to Life. She is being censured because as National Committee woman, a National representative of the Republican Party of Iowa, she should support EVERY Republican candidate. You’re exactly right that she has the right, and perhaps the obligation, to speak out against candidates who do not fulfill the pro-life criteria of Iowa Right to Life. HOWEVER, the problem arises when her role as President of a SINGLE issue organization comes in direct conflict with her role as a leader in a MULTIPLE issue organization, that is, the Republican party.

    FURTHERMORE, during the election for National Committeewoman, when questions were raised as to whether Ms. Lehman’s role as President of Iowa Right to Life would conflict with her role as National Committeewoman, Ms. Lehman PROMISED to support ALL Republican candidates.

    Thanks for your opinion, but I think you may have missed one side of the equation. Please continue to speak out, however. We need discourse and dissenting opinion to finally realize the most appropriate solution, and for democracy to function in its highest capacity.

  4. Sorry Shane, but I think you’re missing the point:

    Lehman is not being censured for acting inappropriately as President of Iowa Right to Life. She is being censured because as National Committee woman, a National representative of the Republican Party of Iowa, she should support EVERY Republican candidate. You’re exactly right that she has the right, and perhaps the obligation, to speak out against candidates who do not fulfill the pro-life criteria of Iowa Right to Life. HOWEVER, the problem arises when her role as President of a SINGLE issue organization comes in direct conflict with her role as a leader in a MULTIPLE issue organization, that is, the Republican party.

    FURTHERMORE, during the election for National Committeewoman, when questions were raised as to whether Ms. Lehman’s role as President of Iowa Right to Life would conflict with her role as National Committeewoman, Ms. Lehman PROMISED to support ALL Republican candidates.

    Thanks for your opinion, but I think you may have missed one side of the equation. Please continue to speak out, however. We need discourse and dissenting opinion to finally realize the most appropriate solution, and for democracy to function in its highest capacity.

  5. I see what you are saying Common Sense.. maybe folks that cannot in good conscience support ANY and ALL candidates of their party should not hold leadership roles in that party.. even when that candidates are not real Republicans 🙂

    I think that party politics are difficult because of the diversity of beliefs embraced by party candidates. For example, a party’s platform can include a pro-life plank but a pro-choice candidate can represent the party in an election. It makes for an interesting race when the candidate no longer represents the views of the party because people like Lehman may hold to the party platform but find it difficult to support candidates who are at odds with the platform.

    I guess it all depends on the definition of what it mans to be “Republican” 🙂

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..Humility is not an Option

  6. I see what you are saying Common Sense.. maybe folks that cannot in good conscience support ANY and ALL candidates of their party should not hold leadership roles in that party.. even when that candidates are not real Republicans 🙂

    I think that party politics are difficult because of the diversity of beliefs embraced by party candidates. For example, a party’s platform can include a pro-life plank but a pro-choice candidate can represent the party in an election. It makes for an interesting race when the candidate no longer represents the views of the party because people like Lehman may hold to the party platform but find it difficult to support candidates who are at odds with the platform.

    I guess it all depends on the definition of what it mans to be “Republican” 🙂

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..Humility is not an Option

  7. @Bob – that is unfortunate in Kansas. I had heard that about the Kansas Republican Party. Too bad.

    @Common Sense – one of the reasons I supported her for National Committee Woman was due to the fact she was going to defend the pro-life agenda for the Republican Party, and I’m sure that is why she was ultimately elected by a pretty wide margin. You illustrate what is wrong with party politics. We need principled people. Miller-Meeks shouldn’t have even been running. I mean if we are going to have somebody who will vote Democrat on social issues, they might as well have a (D) behind their name.

    The letter sent was critical of Miller-Meeks position on abortion and sex ed. It was sent on behalf of the Iowa Right to Life organization. She didn’t endorse Loesbeck. By the way, anybody at the State Central Committee going to throw Leach under the bus? She pointed out that she was, in fact, not pro-life. For that they censure her? Like I said before – all this is going to do is hurt the RPI. Not only that it was only accomplished by one vote with two members missing – if they were divided over this issue it probably shouldn’t have been done.

  8. @Bob – that is unfortunate in Kansas. I had heard that about the Kansas Republican Party. Too bad.

    @Common Sense – one of the reasons I supported her for National Committee Woman was due to the fact she was going to defend the pro-life agenda for the Republican Party, and I’m sure that is why she was ultimately elected by a pretty wide margin. You illustrate what is wrong with party politics. We need principled people. Miller-Meeks shouldn’t have even been running. I mean if we are going to have somebody who will vote Democrat on social issues, they might as well have a (D) behind their name.

    The letter sent was critical of Miller-Meeks position on abortion and sex ed. It was sent on behalf of the Iowa Right to Life organization. She didn’t endorse Loesbeck. By the way, anybody at the State Central Committee going to throw Leach under the bus? She pointed out that she was, in fact, not pro-life. For that they censure her? Like I said before – all this is going to do is hurt the RPI. Not only that it was only accomplished by one vote with two members missing – if they were divided over this issue it probably shouldn’t have been done.

  9. Leach is not a member of the State Central Committee. The state central committee could issue a statement regarding him but that is about it.

    The article in the IRTL news letter contained information that was given directly from MMM’s opponent in the primary, and that information was inaccurate.

    Also, MMM’s position was the same as the presidential candidate at the top of the ticket, whereas Loebsack’s position was a much worse position to hold.

    MMM’s stated position was opposition to abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. Loebsack had no opposition to abortion. Which candidate should IRTL have supported?

  10. Leach is not a member of the State Central Committee. The state central committee could issue a statement regarding him but that is about it.

    The article in the IRTL news letter contained information that was given directly from MMM’s opponent in the primary, and that information was inaccurate.

    Also, MMM’s position was the same as the presidential candidate at the top of the ticket, whereas Loebsack’s position was a much worse position to hold.

    MMM’s stated position was opposition to abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. Loebsack had no opposition to abortion. Which candidate should IRTL have supported?

  11. Jane – I never said that Leach was a member of the State Central Committee. I’m just wondering where the outrage is over a former Republican congressman endorsing Obama is?

    Ms. Miller-Meeks had an opportunity to respond to IRTL questions and gave them the run around, whereas her primary opponent did not. If she was concerned that her record would be stated inaccurately she should have done so and been forthright with IRTL.

    Iowa Right to Life isn’t obligated to endorse a candidate in a congressional race if neither meet with their criteria.

  12. Jane – I never said that Leach was a member of the State Central Committee. I’m just wondering where the outrage is over a former Republican congressman endorsing Obama is?

    Ms. Miller-Meeks had an opportunity to respond to IRTL questions and gave them the run around, whereas her primary opponent did not. If she was concerned that her record would be stated inaccurately she should have done so and been forthright with IRTL.

    Iowa Right to Life isn’t obligated to endorse a candidate in a congressional race if neither meet with their criteria.

  13. Shane – good post. I completely agree with you. She did what she had to do as the head of the IRLC and she has done a lot for the Republican Party.

    Censuring her for doing her job – especially when the candidate she was referring to didn’t have Republican values on a critical issue – is asinine.

    Eric Goransons last blog post..Great Video On Puhblik Edukashon

  14. Shane – good post. I completely agree with you. She did what she had to do as the head of the IRLC and she has done a lot for the Republican Party.

    Censuring her for doing her job – especially when the candidate she was referring to didn’t have Republican values on a critical issue – is asinine.

    Eric Goransons last blog post..Great Video On Puhblik Edukashon

  15. I live in Iowa and I am irritated and how the Republicans in Iowa are doing nothing but eating their own these days. It’s no wonder that the Dems have the majority in the Senate, House and the Governor’s office in Iowa. With the behavior of my party in the last few months I don’t anticipate much changing.

    Renee Wilsons last blog post..Republican Candidates for Congress

  16. I live in Iowa and I am irritated and how the Republicans in Iowa are doing nothing but eating their own these days. It’s no wonder that the Dems have the majority in the Senate, House and the Governor’s office in Iowa. With the behavior of my party in the last few months I don’t anticipate much changing.

    Renee Wilsons last blog post..Republican Candidates for Congress

Comments are closed.

Get CT In Your Inbox!

Don't miss a single update.

You May Also Like

The Gubernatorial Candidates Speak at Leadership for Iowa

I was going to render the video I took of the gubernatorial…

Obama Takes First Step in Backtracking from Flawed Israeli-Palestinian Policy in U.N. Speech

My position on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is nuanced. …

Globalists’ Push for Solar Tariffs Hurts the American Worker

Rick Manning: The globalists just don’t care if the American factory worker in the Midwest loses his job, so long as the foreigners don’t lose anything.

Crude Question

By Dale Mastarone The Obama administration announced it would be releasing 30…