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September 14th, 2011
 

Huge Rift Divides Palin Supporters in Iowa

A seemingly irreparable divide has developed between Sarah Palin’s key supporters in Iowa.  On one side is Peter Singleton, the California lawyer who moved to Iowa ten months ago, traveled the state meeting with activists, and created Iowa’s Organize4Palin group.  On the other side are several longtime Iowa political activists who volunteered countless hours to develop a grassroots network of support for the former Alaska governor.

Both sides still support Palin and hope she runs for President.  However, if she runs, Palin will have trouble rebuilding her Iowa team.  The key differences stem from Singleton’s Iowa strategy.  He has been the public face of the group, but other Palin supporters claim he has accomplished little else.

“There is no Organize4Palin, there never was,” said former group member Craig Bergman.  “At no point in time has Organize4Palin put pen to title to do the 5X5 executable grassroots plan that you know has to be done. There is absolutely no organization.  None.”

“I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is,” added former Organize4Palin member Myrna Beeber.  “When your trust is broken, it’s broken, and that’s just the way it is.  When Sarah declares, we’ll be out there working for her.  We’re still for Palin, we’re just not with Organize4Palin.”

Peter Singleton says the split was mutual and those that left have already been replaced.  “We’re still moving along real nicely and we’ve got a great team and doing all the things we were doing,” Singleton told TheIowaRepublican.  “I’m very pleased with what’s going on.  I couldn’t be happier with our team and what we’ve accomplished to date.”

Some of the problems in the organization developed during the chaos of the week preceding Sarah Palin’s recent visit to Iowa for a Tea Party rally.  “It was preexisting, but it was exacerbated by the rally,” said former Organize4Palin member Richard Rogers.  “It was just organizational issues.  We rose to a certain level.  Some of us wanted to move past that level and we couldn’t.”

Rogers says the entire core group of Organize4Palin volunteers has stepped away.  Although they remain committed to Sarah Palin, some are losing their patience with her seemingly interminable delay in making a decision about running for President.

“Has she run the string out too far,” Rogers asks.  “There’s still an argument to be made to let the rest of the field winnow itself and then come in, I suppose.  But there are a lot of people who are getting tired of not knowing and they’re either going to other candidates and getting fed up with it.”

Peter Singleton still believes Sarah Palin will join the race.  “I think she’s going to run,” he says.  “I’ve been confident of that all along.   I don’t have any direct knowledge of that and I’m not affiliated with the Governor’s team.  They work independently of us.  She has not tipped her hand at all, but I just don’t see her sitting it out.”

One month ago, Craig Bergman was positive Palin would run for the Presidency.  Now he is not so confident.  However, Bergman still believes the former Alaska governor is the Republican Party’s only chance of defeating President Obama.

“If Sarah Palin does not get into this race, we run the severe risk of nominating Mitt Romney and giving Barack Obama a second term,” Bergman said.  “She has to run.  I hope she sees that.”

Bergman adds that he and most of the former Organize4Palin volunteers will be ready to go to work for Palin if she announces.  However, Bergman will not work with Peter Singleton.

“As for how her campaign would be structured from a flow chart I have no idea, but I don’t think it will have anything to do with Organize4Palin, because there’s nothing there,” Bergman said.  “Certainly, nobody in Iowa is going to report to Peter Singleton.  He’s not organized and not competent to lead an organization.”

For his part, Singleton said nothing negative about the departed members of Organize4Palin. “We’re still moving forward, doing a lot of the same things that are under the radar,” Singleton said.

Bergman says he and other supporters continue work the grassroots in hopes of a Palin candidacy.  “Organizing for Palin is doing very, very well,” Bergman said.  “Organize4Palin.com is a website for people who like to live in hotels and give their names in the paper.”

The dissension in her Iowa ranks goes along with the continuing narrative about Palin being disorganized.  The Iowa Caucus is less than five months away.  Peter Singleton says his group has “laid the groundwork” for Palin in the state.  However, Bergman, Beeber and Rogers do not believe there is a legitimate campaign structure in place.  They will try to help her create one, but Sarah Palin is running out of time, and some of her biggest supporters are losing their patience.

Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com

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About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.




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