Iowa GOP chair criticizes legislative leaders for Primary mailings

Iowa GOP chairman A.J. Spiker sent an open letter/email to Iowa Republicans today, urging them to go vote in tomorrow’s Primary Election.  But the middle of the seven-paragraph note was a rebuke of GOP legislative leaders who have used the party’s cheaper mailing rate to send out campaign material in favor of incumbent legislators who face a GOP primary challenge.  From Spiker’s letter:

Many people have contacted me to voice their concern over the fact that the Republican Party of Iowa has sent out mail promoting particular GOP candidates who are in fact involved in contested primaries.  Iowa Republicans are rightly concerned.  Primaries are a healthy part of growing our party and solidifying our principles and should not be squelched by the party.

As I have explained to those concerned, these mailers are a product of the Republican House Majority Fund and its leadership.  The mail says “Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa.” While this is legally an extension of the Republican Party of Iowa, and this may have been a standard practice for some time in the past, Iowa Republicans are rightly concerned that their party would officially take sides in a contested primary.  Imagine how it feels to a candidate who has invested time, money, and energy into their campaign to learn that their own party is openly working against them.

While party leaders and elected officials are certainly entitled to offer their endorsements as individuals to whomever they wish, it is unacceptable to do so in the name of the Republican Party of Iowa.  I expect the new State Central Committee will take up this matter at its first meeting this summer.  On Tuesday Iowa Republicans will decide for themselves who the party’s nominees for office shall be.  After Tuesday is the time for the Iowa GOP to stand behind Republican candidates, not before the primary.

There has been much discussion about whether Ron Paul supporters like Spiker would support Romney. Spiker closed his letter/email with this:

As a final note, last week an encouraging poll was released by NBC. It showed Governor Romney tied with President Obama 44-44 in Iowa. This is very encouraging as I am sure you remember that President Obama won Iowa in 2008 by 9 points. While we have a lot of work ahead of us, we can definitely turn Iowa red in November as more and more people continue to reject President Obama’s failed economic policies.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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