Saturday, July 23, 2011

Iowa GOP Committee excludes Palin & Perry from straw poll

“…I’ve seen Sarah Palin’s people all over this state.”
Just three weeks ahead of its big Straw Poll, The Iowa GOP State Central Committee has spoken, and the names of Sarah Palin and Rick Perry will not appear on the ballot. Well, you say, that makes sense because neither one is an announced candidate. Fair enough. We can live with that, but please explain why three declared candidates who have decided to snub the straw poll by skipping the Aug. 13 event -- Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich -- were included by the Committee? While you consider that one, here's more on the decision from The Iowa Republican:
Those who reserved space at the Straw Poll were guaranteed to be on the ballot. Candidates who reserved space include: Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, Congressman Ron Paul, Governor Tim Pawlenty and Senator Rick Santorum.

In addition to those who reserved space, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Governor Jon Huntsman and Governor Mitt Romney were included on the ballot. A write-in option will also be available.

The Iowa Straw Poll rules, including the ballot finalization process, were passed by the State Central Committee at the 2nd quarter meeting. The Iowa GOP extended invites to an exhaustive list of candidates and potential candidates to attend two meetings outlining the rules prior to the land allocation meeting on June 23.
Looking at the individual members of the committee and what horses they have in the race, proves some insight to the committee's thinking. Radio Iowa's O.Kay Henderson took copious notes while the sausage was being made, and reports:
Six announced candidates for 2012 have paid to play in the Straw Poll festivities and if you look at the membership on the State Central Committee, top-Straw-Poll-property-bidder Ron Paul has a heavy influence on the panel with three key campaign staffers (including his campaign manager Drew Ivers) as members of the committee and another committee member has endorsed Paul. Wes Enos, a key organizer on Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign, is a member of the state central committee, too. Republican National Committeewoman Kim Lehman has endorsed Rick Santorum.


Central committee member Monte Shaw made a motion to add the names of Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich. (He listed those names in that order.) Shaw and Republican National Committeeman Steve Scheffler said it was about keeping the Iowa “relevant” in the national debate.

David Chung moved to amend Shaw’s motion to remove the names of Rick Perry and Sarah Palin. He suggested the bar ought to be “you should be a candidate” for POTUS. Another committee member suggested those who want to support those candidates — or any other — can use the “write in” line on the ballot.


Lehman suggested candidates who have “exploratory” committees or are polling well nationally should be on the ballot. Scheffler said it’s clear that Perry “probably will” run, whereas Christie has said he won’t. “If we don’t include some of these names that are thinking about it, it diminishes the relevancy of our Straw Poll,” Scheffler said. “…I’ve seen Sarah Palin’s people all over this state.”

Another committee member asked if write-in candidate tallies are reported. Strawn, the committee chairman, said yes. Heavens said she was not in favor of putting people’s names on the ballot if they’re not an announced candidate.


A vote was taken on Chung’s amendment to the Shaw amendment, to take Perry and Palin’s names off the ballot. There was a tie, 5-5 vote as those who work on campaigns abstained. Strawn exercised his chair authority to weigh in, and voted yes, so Perry and Palin are off of Shaw’s amendment/line-up.
Three Ronulans on the Committee? Fascinating. Read O.Kay's full post on the proceedings here.

- JP

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