I’ve been contacted by a couple of different people regarding a rumor that Polk County Republicans are submitting an alternate list of delegates to the Republican Party of Iowa for credentialing. I spoke with Will Rogers, the chair of the Polk County Republicans, and he told me thus far only one addendum has been submitted and that was due to a clerical error and impacted one delegate.
The other issue deals with duly elected delegates from the county convention to the district and state conventions not paying their dues on time. Polk County asserts that county convention rules stated that delegates not paying the dues by 10:00a on the morning of the Iowa 3rd District Convention would not be credentialed. Some contend that when the county convention adjourned its rules are no longer in effect and do not supersede the district and state convention rules. So basically at issue is that 20-30 delegates who were elected are looking at not being credentialed and will not be able to be seated not only at the state convention, but the special nominating convention on June 21st.
Rogers referred me to Joe Heuertz, the chair of the county credentialing committee. He told me this impacted 20-30 delegates and forwarded the following email he has been sending out that explains the county party position.
Good evening all:
I wanted to provide some clarification on the issue of seating delegates and alternate delegates at the State Convention, and the reconvening of the Third Congressional District Convention. It is my understanding, after talking to many people, that there are two broad issues that need to be addressed.
The first is related to duly elected delegates from the Polk County Convention who have not paid their dues pursuant to rule XVII, line 15 onward:
“A Delegate to the 3rd District and State Convention shall pay the (sic) all requisite Delegate fees, which must be received by the Polk County Republican Party no later than 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Those Delegates who that (sic) fail to pay the requisite fee on or before such date voluntarily relinquish their standing as a Delegate allowing for the selection of an Alternate Delegate to stand according to the rules set forth herein.”
It is my opinion, as the Chair of the Polk County Republican Credentials Committee, that any duly elected delegate to the District and State Conventions who has not paid their delegate fee as of 10:00 am on April 26, 2014 is no longer a delegate to the District or State Convention. That being said, it is important to note that any and all open delegate slots at the District and State Convention shall not and cannot be filled prior to the meetings of either convention, but that those spots will remain, as has been done in the past, open delegate slots that will be filled by alternate delegates AFTER the preliminary credentials report. Polk county alternate delegates shall be seated, according to their rank, to fill any and all open delegate slots.
The second issue that I feel needs to be addressed is whether alternate delegates who were seated at the preliminary Third District Convention held in Stuart, IA on April 26, 2014 will be seated as full delegates upon the reconvening of the Third District Convention on June 21, 2014 in Urbandale. The adopted rules of the Third District Convention pertaining to this issue can be found under rule II; B.
“Once an alternate has been credentialed as a delegate, they will remain a delegate for the remainder of the day. At a subsequent special convention or reconvening of the convention, the elected delegate selected at the County Convention shall be seated.”
To clarify things, especially regarding Polk County, I don’t believe there is anything in the Third District Convention rules that supersedes the Polk County Republican Convention Rules determining who is a standing delegate based on whether or not they have paid their delegate fees. Any duly elected delegate to the Third District Convention from the Polk County Convention who has not paid their delegate fee on time to the Polk County Republican Party as noted in the rules has forfeited their status as a delegate. Any open delegate slots resulting from said delegates not paying their fee will remain open until the seating of alternates at either convention; the alternate delegates of which will be seated according to their rank.
Finally, as I feel was made clear in the Third District Convention Rules, no alternate seated at the initial convening of the Third District Convention in Stuart shall be recognized as a duly elected delegate upon the reconvening convention to be held in Urbandale, IA on June 21, 2014.
The Third District Credentialing committee is meeting tomorrow to sort this all out and Heuertz believed they were probably going to be overruled. That would definitely seem to be the case after Republican Party of Iowa Chair Danny Carroll sent out the following message:
Yesterday the Republican Party of Iowa received an inquiry from a campaign regarding the seating of delegates and alternates for the 3rd district nominating convention on Saturday, June 21st.
That inquiry stated in part:
“I have concerns that lawfully elected delegates that have been submitted to the Republican Party of Iowa by county parties are being told they are not a delegate because of a rule passed at a county convention. These very delegates had credential badges for the 3rd District Convention and now they are being told they are not welcome to participate in a special nominating convention.”
Below is my response to the campaign. In order to ensure that the most accurate information is provided uniformly and openly I am sending a copy of this response to all the campaigns for the third district GOP nomination and State Central Committee members, current and incoming.
After reviewing the law, bylaws and RPI Constitution, here is my response:
Counties, individuals, or campaigns, should not be telling duly elected delegates or alternates that they are not delegates or alternates.
The Republican Party of Iowa charges a delegate assessment to each individual county during the caucus to convention process. Individuals themselves are not charged a fee by the State Party to be a delegate. Rules stipulate that a county’s delegates are seated so long as their county has paid the delegate assessment. All of the 99 counties have paid the assessment and therefore all delegates elected from their respective counties will be seated.
Any internal rule(s) that a county party adopts regarding a different way to seat delegates, or that would preclude an elected delegate from being seated, would not apply as far as the State Party is concerned. It is the position of the State Party that all delegates and alternates that were elected, shall be seated or will be eligible to be seated.
Throughout the process I understand that with sorting and re-sorting of the lists that data can be moved around within a spreadsheet. Recently we had one campaign call and ask us for the list again, as they wanted to ensure they had a properly sorted list so that each name and address matched up. This was no problem, and we sent it right away.
For clarification and to ensure that all campaigns running in the 3rd district are treated the same, I am including the official list of delegates and alternates from the 3rd District. It is attached in both a sortable, excel format, as well as a printable PDF version with an Iowa GOP colored watermark.
Iowa Code 43.97 requires delegates to district and state conventions to be elected at their county convention. Delegates cannot be appointed and county chairs are not legally able to appoint delegates/alternates to the district and state conventions. This law was referenced in a March 1st email by the previous State Chairman and sent to all county delegates and alternates for whom the State Party has an email address. I have also included the text of that email as a PDF attachment.
Pursuant to the code referenced above, and to ensure the same equal treatment for all throughout the process, it is my intention to recommend the use the attached list, and only the attached list, to credential delegates and alternates in for the State Convention and for the 3rd district special nominating convention.
Any county who has contacted the state party in the last week and informed us that they wish to add, remove, or change delegate names, has been told that would not be permitted. We have requested documentation and further information if they have objected, and as of this writing have not received any.
The role of credentialing falls on the credentialing committee, elected by delegates at their respective county conventions. I have, and will continue to encourage the credentialing committees to abide by the official delegate list.
If an individual, group, or county party wishes to challenge the status of a delegate they must do so in writing. As of this email, no individual, group, or county party has filed a formal challenge in writing regarding the status of a delegate.
In conclusion, it is my judgement that any county party that is telling duly elected delegates that they are not welcome to participate in the 3rd district special nominating convention, is not acting appropriately. Any delegate who was elected as such, remains a delegate throughout the caucus to convention process. Likewise for an alternate delegate. It is my intention to seat all delegates and alternates as per the rules of the process and the attached list.
I will advise the credentialing committee to do the same in order to provide the most accurate data, treat the elected delegates fairly and ensure that the Congressional campaigns are able to work off the same information they have been working off of for the past 2 to 3 months.
So this likely settles it (I don’t want to say definitely because you never know what drama could crop up). If you were duly elected by your county convention you are going to be credentialed on Saturday for the State Convention and those duly elected Iowa 3rd District delegates will be credentialed on June 21st.