One of the things I’m looking forward to at this weekends Republican Convention is the race for National Committeeman. As I wrote before, my pick for the National Committeewoman is State Representative Sandy Greiner. Many people thought that Steve Roberts, the current Committeeman was going to be unopposed, but the rescheduling of the convention due to the floods exposed Steve Scheffler’s stealth campaign for the spot.
The race between Scheffler and Roberts represents the classic battle between Conservative Activism (Scheffler) vs. Moderate Establishment (Roberts). Both men have been involved in Republican politics in Iowa for decades. Robert’s cut his teeth with Governor Ray, Scheffler made his mark as a conservative activist with Pat Robertson.
Both have been communicating with delegates via mail, phone, and appearances at county central committee meetings. A loyal Krustacean forwarded me an email from Roberts yesterday, they were a little pissed that Roberts didn’t use the BCC field and exposed all of the addresses he sent his letter two. Not a good way to make friends.
Anyway, Roberts’ letter stresses his long career as Committeeman and takes the following jab at Scheffler.
“Just like most of you, I have done all of this as a volunteer, receiving no compensation, except the satisfaction of working with wonderful people across this great state on a common purpose to elect Republicans to office at all so that our principals and philosophies can be put into actual practice. For me, while various interest groups that support the Republican Party are vital to the success of the Party, the Iowa Republican Party was and is my first and only priority, because I believe as the Bible says that, “No man can serve two masters.”
The criticism is aimed at Scheffler’s involvement with the Iowa Christian Alliance, and his history of being outspoken regarding candidates that don’t line up with his beliefs.
Scheffler on the other hand is playing to his base by saying that Roberts is a squishy moderate that believes in a top down approach to party organization. The following is from Scheffler’s email.
“The past few weeks have made it very clear that the Establishment Republicans see retaining this office as crucial to having a Party structure that flows from top down. In other words, the Establishment wants all decisions to be made by them. The message is that grassroots workers are not important and that, of course, we are welcome to do the hard work, but at the same time, we should be seen but not heard. In addition, it is evident that all Establishment Republicans, which would include those who are not pro-life and see social issues as negatives for the Party, are supporting my competitor.”
As I stated above this will be one of the most interesting parts of the convention. Scheffler’s strength is that he is known by the activist in the party, he’s one of them. Robert’s on the other hand hasn’t done the traveling that Scheffler has been doing for years until lately. I’m told Robert’s is favored by the Party Leadership.