Monday, November 17, 2008

Huck vs. Romney = McCain Part Deux?

Stop. Don’t throw anything; I’m not talking about another McCain campaign for president. I’m talking about the internal struggle for control of the Republican Party here in Iowa.

Let’s take a quick look at the political landscape. First we have Doug Gross (former Romney Chair) who has been adamant that the Republican Party should moderate its message to win elections. On the other hand we have the Christian Right (Huckabee) who want to make sure the Republican Party remains committed to the pro-life and pro-family cause. Both agree that we should use pocketbook issues to build a big tent. Just like in the caucuses, all the attention is focused on these two factions of the party, and while they bloody each other up, someone (McCain) lurks in the shadows (New Hampshire). Get it?

We have already discussed a few names like Marlys Popma, Ted Sporer, and Danny Carroll but don’t fool yourselves; there are other candidates out there. For example Bill Dix has been mentioned recently. But if we really want to complete the whole Huck vs. Romney = McCain thing, then maybe that candidate in the shadows is a guy like Matt Strawn. Strawn ran McCain’s Iowa campaign before the June 07 restructuring. Since that time he has been involved as an owner/manager of the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team.

Strawn, an Iowa native, spent a number of years in DC as Rep. Mike Rogers’ (R-Michigan) top advisor and Chiefs of Staff before moving back to Iowa to join the McCain campaign. Strawn is an interesting candidate because if you look at the Barnstormer’s front office it’s full of political people and it might give you a glimpse of what the party would look like under his control. First we all know that Jeff Lamberti is one of the other owners of the Barnstormers, and my blog buddy Grant Young (dude, I’m glad you found your car) is an Account Executive for the team. Becky Beach and Kari Putney the fundraising team for Lamberti’s congressional campaign; are also associated with the Barnstormers and both have been involved in Party fundraising in the past.

In addition to those mentioned above there are three guys already working at the party with connections to Strawn. Matt Gronewald led the House Majority effort and Wes Peterson assisted Darrell Kearney with RPI’s fundraising last year. Both Gronewald and Peterson worked for McCain’s campaign under Strawn. Eric Johansen the party’s 72 hour director cut his teeth on the Lamberti’s campaign which Strawn was an advisor to.

Now this is just a rumor that’s started to float around so I have no clue if this is even going to happen or if Strawn is connected to someone else running like Lamberti himself, I just don’t see Strawn as the ED. When assessing the viability of some of the Chairman candidates it’s the ones that have a connection to the money that will be in play. While I know everyone likes to question the SCC but they all know they need to fund their operation, so Strawn’s connections to Lamberti and Beach help him tremendously.

Again, please stay constructive when commenting about these people. I will continue to write about other candidates as they emerge or I get wind of them running or considering it. We need to explore all possibilities so we can put the best team possible in place.

More on the Senate Republican Leadership vote later today. I hear it will be McKinley.


  1. Krusty

    Let me throw out another possibility. Why not Don DeWaay as Chairman, with Andrew Dorr as ED?

    DeWaay is tied in with some of the most successful people in the state and the country. His work ethic is legendary. He is extremely successful, young, and smart. He is good with the media, and can synthesize a message succinctly.

    Dorr is an amazing organizer, and comes from a great lineage of Republicans in the NW part of the state. He understands organization, the mechanics of campaigns, and also has a firm work ethic.

    Break the mold, get someone new, and support him/her with someone who understands the nuts and bolts of campaign work.

  2. Being an "EasternIowanite" leaves me pretty unfamiliar with folks west of Polk county...but I like to hear about "successful, young, smart, legendary work ethic!"
    To make a short post of a very long subject here in Iowa, everyone needs to remember that the only place success appears before work is...the dictionary.
    We need a worker who can return us to the fundamentals of precinct development, grass roots enthusiasm as we take back our once red state one precinct at a time!

  3. Hmm..didnt Dorr run Fred Thompson's run here in Iowa?

  4. Anon:

    You had me until you said Dorr. We don't need to bring back the Freeze List do we? hardly a good way to rebuild a fractured party.

  5. Strawn would be an awesome Chair - why didn't I think of that? He would be perfect. I hope he runs.

  6. We need somebody who is a consensus pick that is not a lightning rod to either faction in the party. A statesman who has a proven ability to win statewide and at the local level against the dems. Somebodyt like Gov. Branstad or even former SOS Pate. Its hard to imagine someone better to thwart the systematic electioneering and voter fraud that is rampant over on Fleur drive.

    Again, Not all good ideas come from Des Moines. Except this idea of course.

    Screw this, somebody just call Yoda and find out if he's running and if not why not.

  7. I just don't think there would be any way Matt Strawn would leave his successful football franchise for the mess at RPI.

    But, a younger conservative business man with his political instincts is the fresh leadership our party could use.

  8. There needs to be a more moderate Republican movement in Iowa. The Bible thumping and neo-fascism may draw the Anne Coulter loving 20%, but it won't be enough to win statewide office, or turning over blue seats.

  9. Did you hear this one? The D's are holding rallies about gay marriage. They are being led by their head gay legislator.

    Geez, I wish those D's would quit shoving their extremist leftwing social issues down my throat.

    Why can't they just leave abortion and gay marriage alone and start talking fiscal policy like the rest of us care about.

  10. WOW! Strawn would be great if they could get him to do it...I hope Krusty is on to something here.

  11. If Palin runs when she is Hillary's current age, she will be running in 2024.

    Patience, young Skywalker.

  12. I think rather than call Yoda, someone should call Sarah at work and tell her that Todd is blogging again without her supervision or permission.

  13. Matt Strawn would be a great new face for the party. I hope he seriously considers it.

  14. Here's the rub:

    *Gopal wants to be Chair.

    Apparently doesnt matter the voting body at state convention removed him from delegate slate.

    *ICA/Scheffler have some irrational fear or worship of Gopal.

    *Lemmings on SCC follow Scheffler.

    *SCC could actually give us gopal as Chair.

    Now I'm no liberal, but this would be a case of the unpragmatic conservative fringe picking our Chair.

    Gopal may be a nice guy, but being Chair is a bad idea. Especially considering state convention.

    What do I know?

  15. That’s why I think Danny Carroll will be our next chair. If you want to beat Gopal, you had better have some friends in that ICA camp to strip away a few votes, otherwise Gopal has 9 and that’s the ball game. If the Doug Gross crowd try to field their own guy they will get 3 or 4 votes and Gopal will win. Carroll is the only real consensuses choice in this election. I don’t see who else has a legitimate shot at the 9 votes needed to win. Out of left field names may be fun to discuss in blogs but realistically, this election will come down to Gopal and the anti-Gopal. Politically, the anti-Gopal candidate best sited to win the election is Danny Carroll … Maybe Bill Dix, but there isn’t a lot of room for error with him. Off-the-wall former staffers are pretty much dead on arrival.

  16. Oh no NOT Andrew Dorr. He really ticks people off. Don't need a know it all. People got so during the Nussle campaign, they refused to work with him. Don't let him near RPI. Grassroots is what we need. Anyone thought about Eric Woolson...?

  17. I agree with the Danny Carroll choice for party chair. I have witnessed Danny's leadership qualities and the younger republicans really rely on him for wisdom and insight as he has fought and led the battle on many tough issues. Danny is a man of integrity and could provide the new direction that the party needs to go down to win elections. Go Danny Carroll!!

  18. Gopal gets 9 votes! Get outta here!

    There are maybe 9 people on the SCC that are affiliated with Scheffler via their ideology, but they are not crazy.

    Gopal gets 6 tops .... maybe only 4and that is if Lehman holds her seat.

  19. If Gopal gets elected can rest assured that there will be several counties that would probably pull their affiliation with RPI.

    After the stunts he pulled at State Convention..he's lost all ability to be a credible leader for activists in our state party.

  20. Gopal is out to destroy the Republican Party as we all know it. He is a theocrat and a theocrat only.

  21. Doug Gross is the one out to destroy the party. His secret meetings and ascertains that the party should follow him and throw out its elected leadership are what makes Gopal possible. People need to stop antagonizing each other or we're not going to have a party. Its time for Doug to shut his mouth and realize that his time is past. All he doing is hardening the hearts of those Social Conservatives who want to drive moderates out of the party. We cannot afford that right now and Doug Gross is directly responsible for it. Maybe he’s too arrogant to see it, maybe he just doesn’t care because he has the opinion that if he cant be in charge, he’ll just destroy the party. But he’s acting like a child and he needs to knock it off.

  22. Without atacking anybody personally, I think we need to maybe raise the bar a little bit and elect a chairman who has some credentials. A former state representative who has lost his his last two races in Danny Carroll? Surely we can do better than that. Dix is another example of just being a former state representative even though he's a quiet and nice guy.

    Gopal? I don't even know him except for what I hear from others, read on the blogs and of course what went down at state convention. He got removed by the convention from the national delegate list. That has got to be some kind of mandate for not making him leader of our party.

    So who does that leave? I've heard rumors of Matt Randall from Ames, Paul Pate from Cedar Rapids, Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny and of course Polk GOP Chairman Ted Spore.

    Since you are obviously an insider, who do you like Krusty?

  23. Did anyone learn about Gopal the last time they threw him out of the party?

    Then he takes a hiatus for a few cycles. Comes back and expects us to forget the slime bag that he is. If you let him be State Chairman, our party deserves to die a very slow death. That's how bad he is.

    If you idiots want Gopal, kiss the RPI's sorry ass good bye.

  24. Wow! I love that the Krusty Komments section hasn't changed a bit since I left the game. Glad to see so many people engaging in an important debate. I'm also not surprised to see so many willing to disparage others to get their point across.

    You know --- I never once commented on the things said here during the 2006 or 2008 elections. I figured it would be better to let things be said than it would be to pour gasoline on the fire. Plus, I'm a big boy and can take whatever mud you want to throw my way and I got paid to do it.

    But, I'd caution all of you to remember that many of the people you bring down on this page aren't "professionals". They're volunteers, activists, even "community organizers" who are truly trying to do what they think is best for their city, state and country. They're man (and woman) enough to "step into the arena".

    There's no need to disparage them --- we should encourage them.

    While I'm sure none of you want it --- my opinion is that this constant finger pointing and name calling in our party has gotten out of control and is one of the key reasons for our inability to focus on the mechanics of leadership. If we can't be leaders in our own party --- we can't be leaders of our country.

    That said --- thanks for the suggestion "anonymous", but I'd prefer to stay in the private sector. As for Strawn (and this may hurt him on here!) he is a good man, a good friend, and someone that --- even if he doesn't become party chair --- should be considered one of the strongest future leaders of our party.


    Oh --- and one more thing. There never was a freeze list...

  25. Andrew,

    Thanks for everything you have done for this party and for everything I hope you do for it in the future.

    Your service to this state and our country is admirable and deserves respect.

    I wish anon posters would keep their thoughts and opinions about past and present staffers to themselves and work to move this party forward instead of dividing and rotting it from within.

    Anon Staffer

    (I would post under my real name but, unfortunately, I too would probably be ridiculed for standing up for you, sorry)

  26. Come on now. If you have gotten your feelings hurt by this mild discourse, you have no place in politics nor in the blogosphere.

    Yes, lets move this party forward. But No, I have no sympathy for your broken heart

  27. I got a fever and the only prescription is more kowbellNovember 24, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    I'm with Dorr on this - the name calling needs to stop.