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. 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 “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 serves as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prior to founding Iowa's largest conservative news site, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. In that capacity, Robinson planned and organized the largest political event in 2007, the Iowa Straw Poll, in Ames, Iowa. Robinson also organized the 2008 Republican caucuses in Iowa, and was later dispatched to Nevada to help with the caucuses there. Robinson cut his teeth in Iowa politics during the 2000 caucus campaign of businessman Steve Forbes and has been involved with most major campaigns in the state since then. His extensive political background and rolodex give him a unique perspective from which to monitor the political pulse of Iowa.

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