How should the Iowa GOP nominate at-large delegates to the Republican National Convention?
Photo credit: Erik Drost via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

I wanted to provide a follow-up to the article I wrote yesterday about the change the Iowa GOP State Central Committee (SCC) made on Saturday to the nomination process for at-large delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Andy Cable, an SCC member from the 4th Congressional District, voted yes on the proposal. He also, rightly, pointed out my last article was one-sided. With his permission, I’m including part of his email to me. He addressed the concern about campaigns just stacking the State Central Committee (like what we saw in 2012) instead of the nominating committee. He also explains why he believes State Central Committee members putting together the slate of delegates to be voted on is better than the nominating committee.

Your concerns about campaigns selecting SCC members was discussed at great lengths in our Committee.  Steps were taken 3 years ago to take campaign politics out of SCC after at least three former members were taking large salaries from campaigns. The neutrality pledge taken by SCC members through the Caucuses has been very helpful.  Couple that with the actual members that will be doing the nominee selecting will be elected by the entire District Convention over two years earlier .  Few campaigns have either the organization or money at that point to concentrate on 4 District Conventions that early.

Controlling the SCC is much more difficult today than 4 years ago by the rules .   Interesting example is that while a campaign that represented only 27% of the Iowa Caucus goers was able to gain over 60% of the Nominating Committee with unknown or unvetted members , who in turn then awarded over 90% of the Delegation to campaign partisans.  At same Conventions the same group also put out a slate for SCC in attempt to control that also .  Here the results were much different and they essentially garnered less than 30% of the SCC seats.  Much more inline with their caucus vote .  Why ? Because SCC members are better vetted , are known and trusted trough out their District and are entrusted with much more responsibilities than just this single issue.  They are also accountable AFTER they vote as opposed to the one meeting and done – unless you count part of that committee meeting prior to official Nominating Committee in a hotel room with staff from a campaign .  5 minutes after the official Nominating Committee meeting which was conducted via phone with Houston TX calling the shots  they were finished – no accountability – Can you name half the Nominating Committee?  Can you tell me their background and prior involvement in RPI?  SCC members are a totally different story.

He makes a good point about the changes made to the state central committee election process that makes it unlikely for campaigns to get involved (I had a friend on Facebook make a similar argument last night). I also see his point about having state central committee members having accountability while members of the nominating committee do not. That is a legitimate point.

I’m still not certain why this proposal had to be voted on Saturday, especially when it was not on the agenda for discussion or a vote (see Heather Stancil’s comment in the update of yesterday’s post). There is plenty of time to solicit feedback on this proposal, as well as, others.

I think former SCC member David Chung offered the best solution (I highlighted it yesterday), get rid of the nominating committee entirely and have the state convention vote on the entire pool of nominees. The electronic voting tested at the last state convention gives us the ability to do that, and then the SCC can consider a balloting process if a run-off is needed. This eliminates campaigns stacking the nominating process, and it eliminates how the slate of nominees are chosen. The grassroots, represented by the state convention delegates, stay in control. A win-win? I think so.

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