Monday, January 12, 2009

More on Saturday’s RPI Elections

It seems that some people are a little miffed that a “Dark Horse” candidate emerged in the race for Co-Chair and also won. Most people like an unobstructed view of the road ahead of them, but the world of politics is the last place one could look for such a situation. The election of Jim Kurtenbach caught many off guard, outside of a few anonymous dissenters it will be difficult to find people who are upset with his new position at RPI.

For those who think the election of Kurtenbach was some sort of back room deal, they need to realize that this is how the past chair elections went down. And while there was much more transparency in the chairman’s race, the battle for Co-Chair gathered little attention until Paul Pate openly sought the position late last week. In addition to Kurtenbach and Part, Leon Mosley also received votes, but like I mentioned on this site the SCC members made it clear to Leon that he would not find the votes needed for reelection.

Speaking of Leon, one of the odd things that came out of the meeting was his claim that the letter I posted regarding Gopal Krishna’s removal from the party in 2000 was forged. I find the entire thing odd, I didn’t doctor the letter, and it was also supported by the Yepsen articles I posted and the minutes from the SCC meeting in which Gopal’s actions were discussed.

As a Strawn Administration takes shape there are a couple of things that I think are critical for him to accomplish early on. The first is reaching out to those who supported Danny Carroll. Danny had some passionate people on his side and we can’t afford to lose them. Party elections are like primaries, sure its winner take all, but no campaign is ever successful when the winning camp fails to reach out to those who they defeated. Reaching out is easy, its building trust that always seems to be the difficult part.

Strawn has a tough road a head of him with Republican’s being outnumbered in Iowa by over 100,000 voters and the ugly fact that Strawn will have to raise significant amounts of money in order to do anything about it. One advantage he does have is a Co-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer who have the Party’s best interest at heart. Those three also have the ability to raise funds for the party if he used in that capacity, which they should.

But all of that takes a back seat to his first task, getting Iowa Republicans to unite as a team.

Blog Updates

As some of you noticed I’ve updated my sidebar with some more appropriate subject matter as we enter into the new legislative session. If you have a blog that doesn’t suck I’m more than happy to add you to my list of Krusty Komrades. There is one catch; it needs to be active and about politics.


  1. No comments? Looks like session started.

  2. Krusty -

    You missed one krucial point.

    You're correct, in that Strawn needs to reach out to Danny and his followers and build that trust.

    However, it's inkumbent upon Danny and his followers to support Strawn 100% if the above takes place.

    We suffered (at every level) in 02', 06' and in 08' because losers in the primaries were reached out to - but all that anybody recieved in return was a slap in the face. The fringe social conservative wing will never admit that - but it's true, and it has kost our party dearly.

    If Strawn reaches out in a sincere and tactful way - Danny's people need to respond in kind.

  3. Now this is not about personalities. This is about defeating Democrats and advancing the Republican agenda and trying to save our state and country.

    We had great candidates. Thanks to all of them. Now let's get on with it.

  4. If this was not about a social conservative and a non-social conservative, how come we are saying that Strawn has to reach out to "Danny's people?" Lehman says both are social conservatives. I guess people can see through the rhetoric of Strawn for who he really is. You are right in saying we need to unite, however, social conservatives are not happy that their own sold them out...i.e. Kim Lehman and Bill Anderson, Matt Randall . This will prove to be a difficult task. The school of thought that social conservatives will go with the flow and adapt to the new administration is faulty. We are the majority of the party and I know many who are fed up and willing to fight the battle long term to get the party back...throw my name in. And when the momentum comes back to the social conservatives, I know who bailed with the direction of the wind and I will expose you. Until then, have fun toiling in the minority.

  5. I for one was a little upset with Danny Carroll (and his supporters) on Saturday. After the vote for chair was announced they stormed out of the room, Danny didn't congratulate Strawn, No talk about party unity and some SCC members have been getting nsty emails from some supporters

  6. 2:45
    are Reid Houzer, Monty Shaw and Isaih McGee, not Conservative? they voted for Strawn. McGee recruited Strawn to run

    Steve King really likes Strawn, is he not Conservative?

  7. Danny's supporters did not storm out of the room first of all, I was there. It was a concerted exit. Danny first of all went and congratulated Strawn in his victory as Strawn was receiving applause for his victory. One thing Danny Carroll is not and that is a sore loser. He is a first class gentleman. Throw all of the conservative names around that you want that "like Strawn". Why should that give him credibility? His name should stand for itself. I do not dislike Strawn, I just do not like his agenda.

  8. As far as the nasty calls, they should have listened to their constituents in their districts. They should take the heat for their vote. That is called politics.

  9. what is strawn's agenda?

  10. old school politics 3:13

    just because someone makes a bunch of phone calls or sends a bunch of carbon copied emails doesn't necessarily mean they represent the majority of republicans

    besides why even have a central committee if we don't trust them to make a well researched decision?

    it's easy for someone to say well, I know Andy Cable, but I don't know that Chris Reed, so support Andy Cable.

    What the "grassroots" should have done is said this what we are looking for in a chair, and if you pick someone who doesn't do this or that, you have some 'splanin' to do.

    what you say 3:13 is not politics but is divisiveness that does no one any good.

    what do you think this is a popularity contest?

  11. gee, krusty, where did all the 50 or so people go that routinly post. I think we know you do most of the posting, either you or yoda. this proves it.

  12. I know a lot of people are vacant due to weather issues.

    drive safely everyone.


  13. the division wasn't between soco's and mods. It was a division between those that want to engage the democrats, engage new voters and pursuade other than perfect R voters to vote R...

    and those that don't.

    The those that don't - won.

    We haven't hit bottom yet.

  14. Krusty, Thanks for all your information! I am a new Iowa Senator and I want everyone to know what is going on in the Iowa Legislature each day. I will have a daily blog about things that are happening. If this interests anyone out there, you can go to I want transparency in government!

    Randy Feenstra

  15. Str-awn 's a-gen da-

    See John McCain, Jeff Lamberti, Doug Gross. Moderate. Even. Status quo. More of the same.

  16. We have two idiot Democrats (Hatch and Bolckom) wanting to provide health care for all children of illegals.

    Let's aim at them. They deserve our ire.

  17. For 4:04
    I am an R-voter. I _VOTE_, but I don't choose to work, that's my prerogative. I am unhappy with the over-riding tone of my preferred Party and you fairly-well sum up why. We are not in a war with Democratic Party candidates, elected officials, or voters. We needn't "engage".

    Democrats are our next-door neighbors, we sit with Democrats at church, my grandkids play with kids of D families. I realize this is a blog of mostly activists, but jimminy, the sophomoric drum beating is dumb-sounding at best and the militaristic jingoism is off-putting, period.

    Your summation of the division is far too simple and sounds more like a belligerent line-drawing in the sand.

  18. If I state my name you all will attackJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    The problem we have is two groups of SoCo's one who is in power in a few organizations and are a little corrupt the other group of SoCo's that have had some political success but have never won any big wins, yet. They are at war in this state. Here are some examples BVP vs Scheffler, Lehman vs Carroll, IRTL vs Iowans for Life, Sporer vs Schmet, ICA vs Iowa Family Policy Center.

    This is really a power struggle not a mod vs conservative fight. Yeah democrats want us to see this as a mod vs Conservative fight. Really, conservatives are happy when any republican is elected because we have a voice on life and marriage.

    We also have some old fights that need to end BVP vs Nussle vs Gross, Branstad vs Grandy, and a thousand other little fights between former campaign pro's like.... (I won't name names here)

    If we are going to kick some but here we need to realize that as long as there is more than one person in this party we are going to have more than one idea and way to do things. When an election is won or lost we need to realize who our real fight is with and fight it and not among ourselves.

  19. Strawn's agenda? Getting the party back in the business of winning elections without abandoning our principles.

    4:27 and others need to loosen the tin hats a bit. Need to let some blood flow up there. :)

    We have a great opportunity right now. For the first time... probably since I have been involved, I have sensed some real enthusiasm in the party. Let's get together and get 'r done.

  20. Good post Grant. Strawn signs your paycheck. Can you let some blood flow? He was for McCain!

  21. Let's eat our young!! Yeah - that will work!!!!!January 12, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    So on the basis of who you have supported as a candidate makes you a moderate or social conservative - and that stays with you for life??
    So what that Strawn worked for McCain - every four years staffers here in Iowa can chose with whom they want to work for and support. Based on that logic all conservative staffers would have went where this year??? That's right Brownback - but he ended up not running...Spare me the Huckabee was a conservative krap as well.

    Krusty - please stop this insanity!! Basically some fringe social conservatives on this blog won't support ANYONE, unless they have worked for Gary Bauer and BVP in some capacity...and God forbid you have worked for Nussle, Gross, Latham, Grassley, Ganske, Vaudt, Whitaker, Schmett, Lamberti,Iverson...have I missed anyone??? Whose left fringe SoCo's???? Who passes your litmus test???

  22. Isaih McGee's attitude is whats wrong with our party. He needs to spend less time looking at himself in the mirror and more time out in the 4th district counties doing his dam job.

  23. "if I state my name"

    Right on!!

  24. Just to clear the air, I was asking because it seemed strange. Not making accusations, just asking questions.

    After all of the statements made on the blogs, it seems clear no backroom deals were made in the co-chair race.

  25. I've seen others guess how the votes went...
    here's an anonymous take on the votes:
    for Strawn- Lehman, Ortega, Hulsizer, Gilbertson, Chung, Schickel, Randall, McGee, Anderson, Shaw
    for Carroll- Scheffler, Smith, Hutcheson, Krishna, Pals, Enos, Howser

  26. It's hard for me to believe I'm writing this. In fact, it's hard for me to believe that I'm even still reading this blog. These comment threads are representative of the attitudes that have driven me and others out of the state and out of politics.

    I am a social conservative. I am as pro-life and pro-marriage as they come.

    I have, in the past, supported such "terrible, evil moderates" as Jim Nussle and John McCain.

    When I come across discussions that argue that because [whoever] (elected official, candidate, party official, dude down the street) doesn't prioritize his or her issue positions in the exact same numerical list as the esteemed interlocutor, despite HOLDING THE SAME OR VERY CLOSE TO THE SAME ACTUAL POLICY POSITIONS, said [whoever] is a) not Republican b) not conservative c) not Christian d) Satan incarnate e) responsible for every electoral loss suffered by Republicans for the last 50 years.

    To those people who revel in misconstruing events/situations/conversations in order to make others look bad, or those who would cast out into the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth those [whoevers] considered apostate, I have a few questions to ask/items to mention:

    1) Looking back on the last 10 years can you name a candidate, elected official, or party official with whom you agreed on every detail of every issue?

    2) I have heard it said, and believe it to be true, that "the only perfect candidate is yourself."

    3) From that, it follows that if you simply cannot abide the current crop of elected officials/candidates/party officials, so much so that you must publicly tear them down ON THEIR FIRST DAY IN OFFICE, perhaps you should consider running yourself. I'm not trying to be facetious here, I'm sincerely saying that if you are so convinced of the errorlessness of your views, please give us the opportunity to submit to your authority.

    4) If you have something to say, say it. In my experience, candidates and those who are already serving are happy to hear ideas/answer questions from others. They would just prefer to do so in polite conversation, just like the rest of us. If you are worried about something about Matt Strawn, go to Matt Strawn. Say, "Mr. Chairman, congratulations on your election. I'm concerned about ________ and I'd like to make sure that you are aware of ________. Please feel free to contact me if there's anything I can do to help/any questions I can answer regarding these issues." If you think Isaiah McGee should be spending more time doing ____________, then call him up and say, "Isaiah, it would really be helpful to the 4th district county orgs if you would be willing to do _________________." Both of these men, and many others like them, are solid, decent human beings who have proven themselves willing to have rational adult conversations with people with whom they disagree.

    5) Don't compromise your principles - no one is asking you to - least of all me. But that INCLUDES the principle of not being rude, unfair, or uncharitable to other people. The Golden Rule still applies.

    6) I'd hate to step on the good apostle's toes, but I'm going to paraphrase St. Paul's 2nd Letter to the Corinthians here:

    Now concerning issues and policies, brethren, I will not leave you ignorant.
    Now there are diversities of talents and passions and interests, but the same Party.

    And there are diversities of style and management techniques, but the same Party.

    And there are diversities of tasks to be accomplished, but it is the same Party which benefits from all.

    But the manifestation of the platform is given to every man to profit withal.

    For to one is given the passion for babies; to another, marriage.

    To another, fiscal responsibility; to another, business and tax concerns.

    To another defense and homeland security, to another supreme court judges, to another gun rights, to another education.

    But all these work within the same Party, dividing to every man as it will.

    For as the Party is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one Party, being many, are that Party, so also are our leaders.

    Tired of the analogy, I'm switching back to the original:

    And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

    Finally, I will close (this ridiculously long comment) by reminding everyone that threats to withhold money, time, and votes aren't as exciting as they seem. That field staffer you can't stand will probably get hired for the next campaign. (Or they will discern their real calling and get the heck out!) The party chairman you think is a sellout will end up with a sweet lobbying gig. The candidate you hate will get rich (and have a lot less stress) on exorbitant speaking fees. The central committee member you spend hours trashing on blogs goes home to his wife and kids every night. You have not and you will not destroy these people's lives.

    But ALL of us, INCLUDING YOU, are stuck with The Big Lug and the Obamessiah.

    How's that working out for you?

  27. Well it's hilarious to read the sum total of the anonymous commenters who don't have the cajones to give their name. Even more funny because I doubt they've ever been on their county committee or done any sustained volunteer work, much less have run a campaign.

    Hilarious because everyone chiming in with all their double super secret inside knowledge are contradicting the previous poster with their double super secret inside knowledge - as well as the public domain of facts as we know them - meaning most of you and your double super secret inside knowledge is high quality tinfoil.

    For the rest of us who actually hold the positions and do the party work, everyone seems fairly pleased with the outcome. I personally think we've restored some balance to the party and can make some progress in '10.

    Matt Green

  28. So Over It: Best post I have ever read. Thank you for your maturity. God bless.

    It occasionally needs to be reposted to keep everyone focused on our common goal.

  29. 5:13... actually... I can never find a hat that fits. 8 3/8... Coach had to order and extra helmet in high school.

    Strawn was with McCain? Huh?!?!?! What!?!?! Next thing you're going to tell me is that the Pope is still Catholic... or that Liberace was gay. You so crazy.

    WAR 8:34, hilarious...

  30. Sorry to insert myself to the R party discussion. But “So over it” has a really good post, even from my D perspective.

    Still, this strikes me as somewhat delusional and serves as a partial explanation for the current D dominance in the political world:

    “But ALL of us, INCLUDING YOU, are stuck with The Big Lug and the Obamessiah. - How's that working out for you?”

    Actually, I suspect it’s working pretty well for many of us, and probably not just diehard D’s like myself. After W, the idea of Obama is quite attractive indeed. Not a big fan of the Big Lug, but I can only imagine where we would be with the budget-busting Nussle.

    As long as we D’s don’t make huge mistakes and R’s keep thinking the reason for their troubles is that they haven’t been conservative enough or that all they need to do is rehash Reagan-era rhetoric or get on Twitter, we can all keep waiting for the R rebirth. But when you guys finally get to the actual new ideas for the new era, the unavoidable D mistakes will pave your way back to power.


  31. And as long as you Dems stay blind, delusional and over confidant then we already have a good start to a replay of 94. The "big' mistakes have already been made!

  32. The BVP wing is killing us in this state...