News Center

June 23rd, 2011

Thaddeus McCotter Creates Chaos At Straw Poll Auction

By Craig Robinson

At today’s Iowa Straw Poll land auction, participating campaigns were surprised by a mystery participant who would not state which campaign she was representing.

Kellie Paschke, a lobbyist whose clients include Iowans for Tax Relief, arrived at the scheduled Straw Poll auction intending to bid on a parcel of the Iowa State Center for an undisclosed candidate.

Before the meeting started, representatives of Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum were seen outside the building discussing the situation of the mystery bidder.

The representatives went inside and began the meeting, but a short time later, campaign representatives and party staff were seen outside the back door of the RPI headquarters, presumably discussing how to handle the situation.

All of these individuals then went back in the building, but soon came out yet again for more discussion.  At this point all of the campaigns were ready to walk away from the auction.  Pawlenty’s Iowa Campaign Manager, Erik Helland, then arrived to provide reinforcements for the Pawlenty staff already present.  Eventually, everyone went inside again, and it was disclosed that Paschke was at the Straw Poll Auction to bid on a lot for Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan.

Before McCotter’s involvement was revealed, sources linked to Rick Perry confirmed to TIR that Paschke was not there on his behalf.

With all of these unusual happenings, it was unclear whether the auction would actually occur today.  Eventually, bidding did take place.  Here are the details TIR has been able to uncover so far.

-Ron Paul was the highest bidder for a lot for $31,000.00

-McCotter bought a lot for $18,000.00, he was the second highest bidder

-Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain where the next highest bidders, with each getting a lot for $17,000.00.

-Rick Santorum spent $15,000.00 for his lot.

-Pawlenty ended up spending $15,000.00 for a less desirable lot.

-Newt Gingrich was represented at the meeting but did not bid.

Enhanced by Zemanta– Overall the Iowa GOP $113,000

About the Author

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, 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 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,

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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