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January 2nd, 2012

Dirty Tactics Return with New Target

A shadowy group calling itself “Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government” spent much of the past several weeks trying to tear down Newt Gingrich. Now that Newt’s poll numbers have slipped, they have a new target. The candidate with the most momentum in the race: Rick Santorum.

The group sent out robocalls Monday morning accusing Santorum of backing pro-abortion candidates and brings up his endorsement of former Senator Arlen Specter. At the end of the call, Santorum’s personal cell phone number is revealed and the robocall encourages people to dial it and ask Santorum about these issues.

This is the latest tactic from the anonymous group that produced anti-Gingrich web videos and plastered car windshields at Gingrich events with negative propaganda. The group also sent an open letter to Bob Vander Plaats, urging him not to endorse Gingrich. The letter was also critical of Vander Plaats.

Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government had been mostly silent since they posted an anti-Gingrich video on December 21. By that time, Gingrich’s momentum had stalled and Santorum’s had not begun to show up.

So, who is behind these anonymous attacks? The group is obviously well funded, because the videos they have produced are very professionally done. We can safely deduce that the group is not tied to The Family Leader, the Gingrich campaign, the Santorum campaign or any of their supporters.

We can also safely deduce that Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government is working on behalf of one candidate in particular. For better insight, we should look at the recent offensives launched by some of the presidential campaigns. Several have launched negative attacks on Rick Santorum in the past few days, trying to halt his momentum. Shortly after Kent Sorenson jumped ship from the Bachmann campaign to Ron Paul’s, he sent a mass email calling Santorum “a FRAUD”.

State representative Glen Massie, another Paul supporter, has made two robocalls in the past three days that were critical of Santorum. One was sent on New Year’s Eve. The other came this morning. Also, the use of anonymous fliers to tear down an opponent has long been a tactic of Ron Paul supporters.

Rick Perry’s campaign has a negative ad running repeatedly on local radio that accuses Santorum of repeatedly voting for earmarks. So far, this “Christian” group has not criticized Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry or Mitt Romney.

Romney has plenty of past stances that are not in line with social conservatives in Iowa, so if this group were truly advocating for “Christian” values, it would make sense to go after him. However, Romney’s supporters are not likely to be swayed by such attacks.

This anonymous group wants to prevent other conservatives from rising in the polls. Bachmann and Perry’s campaigns are languishing, so it makes sense they would not go after them.

What does not make sense is why this group is not attacking Ron Paul. He is one of the frontrunners and there is plenty in Dr. Paul’s record that does not jibe with the social conservative view of a lot of Iowa evangelicals. Hmmm….

Photo by Dave Davidson –

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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

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