Lehman under fire, she responds

Kim Lehman has been the executive director of the Iowa Right-to-Life Committee for several years.  In July, she was elected by delegates at the Republican Party of Iowa's state convention to be Iowa's National Committeewoman on the Republican National Commitee.  Today, a group of Muscatine County Republicans — including a couple of legislators – is circulating a letter (written in memo form), demanding her removal from the RPI's state central ciommittee and from the RNC.  Read the letter below (NOTE:  a conversation I had with Lehman on this topic is below as well):

TO: The REPUBLICAN PARTY of IOWA State Central Committee
RE: Removal of Kim Lehman from the State Central Committee
2nd District Central Committee County Chairs; Iowa Federation of Republican Women;
Nat’l Federation of Republican Women; Marlys Popma, Victory 08


This is referencing an article distributed to members of the Iowa Right to Life Coalition (IRLC). The article
was part of a Pre-election newsletter, sent to thousands of Iowans weeks before a critical national election.

As EVERYONE knows this will be a very close election in many contests across the state. Addressing this issue has taken time away from campaigns in the 2nd District that we can not afford to lose.
Kim Lehman should be representing ALL IOWA Republicans as National Committeewoman. Her personal stance as IRLC President is in direct conflict with her RPI role – she is actively working against our Republican candidates.

We urgently call for Ms Lehman’s immediate removal from the IOWA Republican State Central
Committee as well as the position of Iowa’s Republican National Committeewoman.
It is our belief that Dr. Miller-Meeks is Pro-Life and for Ms. Lehman to characterize her otherwise is a gross distortion. Dr. Miller-Meeks deserves our strongest support during this election cycle; she has been an outstanding CD2 candidate.

This issue is not confusing, it is clear and it is wrong. The majority of the Republicans signing this letter are Pro-Life, and 100% of us strongly support Dr. Miller-Meeks for Congress. As a County Executive Committee, we have tirelessly worked for the election of ALL Republicans. We will not tolerate State Central Committee members working against our efforts – in any capacity.

We seek immediate action in one of two ways:

1) The immediate removal or resignation of Kim Lehman as Iowa National Committeewoman and State
Central Committee member.

2) A formal apology to Dr. Miller-Meeks sent to all members of the IRLC explaining the
mischaracterization in the attached article. This article was clearly directed at defeating a
Republican candidate on November 4.

We await your response.
Muscatine County Republican Central Committee Executive Team
Michael Gaeta, Chairman Robert Bahn, Co-Chair
Carolyn J. Williams, Secretary Leslie Soule, Treasurer
Marilyn Wedel, Muscatine County IFRW President Gary Allison, At-Large
Robert E. Howard, At-Large
Representative Jeff Kaufmann Greg Baker, Chairman, Iowa Federation of College Republicans
Senator Jim Hahn John Anderson, District 2 Coordinator, IFCR


"One of the things that I'm faced with is I'm a newbie. I've always worked for Iowa Right-to-Life.  It's non-partisan.  It's a separate corporation and Iowa Right-to-Life helps elect Democrats and Republicans and we have staff writers. It wasn't an article that I asked be written, nor did I look at it and say to myself, "This is a great article.' That didn't happen. Can there be a retraction?  I contacted Miller-Meeks and we would be happy to always be able to retract a statement about any candidate that comes out to be pro-life.  I've contacted her and told her all we need is for her to fill out the National Right-to-Life Committee survey because she's a congressional candidat," Lehman said to open the conversation. "We talked and she's going to get back to me on that, so that's where we're at."

Henderson: "Do you think (Miller-Meeks) is a great pretender?" 

Lehman: "The article was kind of a twist and the gal who wrote it, the way she writes is trynig to be creative and when she's talking and the information that came into our office indicated that (Miller-Meeks) was not pro-life."

Henderson: "OK, so you still in your mind have a question as to whether she is?" I asked.

Lehman:  "It's not about me, Kay. It's not about Kim Lehman.  It's not something I directed.  It's the organization and that's the challenge that people are faced with.  I had a false humility thinking that people could understand that Kim Lehman is not Right-to-Life. Iowa Right-to-Life is its separate bylaws, it's purpose is one issue  It's focused on its issue and no where in the bylaws does it talk about elections or candidates or anything.  It's to go forward with the issue. It's not about what I want or about what I want to do.  Technically, I understand personally how important it is for Republicans to have the majority because of their principles going forward and I personally think that (Miller-Meeks) is a great candidate, She wants to reduce government. She understands local control and she understand the dangers of the socialist movement that's going on in our government, so I personally would like to see the organization to be able to do a retraction and I communicated that to her campaign in an email and I realize people are connecting me as personally responsible because I head the organization. My responsibility to the organization is to make sure that the organization contains and does its bylaws. The integrity of the bylaws is what I'm responsible for to the board."

I also left a message with Representative Jeff Kaufmann, a Republican from Wilton, who signed onto the letter above.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Brent Oleson says

    Serving two masters makes it difficult to be loyal and effective for either one.