Campaign News

December 28th, 2011
 

Exclusive: Iowa GOP Chair Severs Ties With Strong America Now

Matt Strawn, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, has disassociated himself from Strong America Now after reports that the group has a Super PAC that is advocating for one specific candidate.

In the letter Strawn says, “I was surprised to learn from a member of the news media that a Strong America Now SuperPAC had been created for the express purpose of advocating for one Republican presidential candidate and opposing another Republican presidential candidate.”

Strawn says that he was “given assurances that the organization would not specifically advocate for a particular candidate” when he signed on with the organization.  He then concludes by saying, “While the Strong America Now SuperPAC may be a separate legal entity, the reality is that the assurances I was once given are no longer true regarding candidate advocacy. As such, to remove any appearance of conflict with my neutrality and impartiality in the Republican presidential nomination contest, I resign immediately from any further involvement with Strong America Now.”

Below is the entire letter that Strawn sent to Mike George, the founder of Strong America Now.

Gingrich Iowa Campaign Manager Worked For Strong America Now

More signs of coordination are surfacing between the Gingrich campaign and Strong America Now, a nonprofit deficit reduction group that has come under fire for creating a Super PAC.  The Super PAC is supporting Gingrich and attacking Mitt Romney in the final days before the caucuses.

FEC documents show that the Strong America Now Super PAC was formed on November 1 of this year.  An NBC News article on November 17th notes that Craig Schoenfeld, Gingrich’s current Iowa campaign manager, worked for Strong America Now after the Iowa Straw Poll in August.

TheIowaRepublican.com asked Mike George about Schoenfeld’s involvement with the group, but he has yet to respond.  George is the founder of both Strong America Now and the Strong America Now Super PAC.

Strong America Now built their Iowa organization on the backs of the six campaigns that signed the group’s pledge.  The news that George is actively backing Gingrich has not set well with multiple campaigns.

Update: George emailed the following to TheIowaRepublican.com “We replaced Nicole[Schlinger] with Craig after the strawpoll, but he resigned about two months later to join newt on his own initiative.”

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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