The Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee spent more than two hours on Saturday debating a proposed amendment to the party’s constitution that would change the way the chair and co-chair are elected. TheIowaRepublican.com edited that two-hour debate into a 9 ½ minute capsule to give you an inside look at the internal workings of the committee.
The video below provides a glimpse of the varying opinions on the committee, members voting to overrule their chairman, occasional raised voices and one member attacking the motives of others.
SCC member Chad Steenhoek accused the members of the committee who wanted to debate the issue longer of playing political games and ignoring the grassroots. Those comments angered RNC National Committeeman Steve Scheffler and SCC member Loras Schulte.
Several SCC members stated the exact opposite of what Steenhoek claimed. He said the grassroots wanted the amendment sent to the state convention, but Monte Shaw, Steve Scheffler, Loras Schulte, Tamara Scott and Gopal Krishna all said they heard overwhelmingly from Republican activists who wanted the amendment delayed or tabled.
Chad Steenhoek is one of the least active members of the SCC. He rarely visits county GOP meetings or events in the Fourth District. Steenhoek is a member of the Story County GOP, but has not attended one of their meetings or fundraisers since February.
As you can see in the video, Monte Shaw, who recently returned to the SCC after choosing not to run for reelection in 2012, was the most vocal proponent of sending the amendment to the organizational committee so they can fine tune it, but he was not alone. Several members agreed more deliberation was necessary.
SCC member Joel Kurtinitis advocated for passing the amendment immediately, then fixing it later. Steve Scheffler provided some historical prospective on the sudden rush to approve the amendment.
“This constitutional amendment has never come up before a state convention. Ever. So, to think that we, after all these 40 or 50 years, however long we’ve had this process, that we have to change it right today, I think is insanity,” Scheffler said.
Secretary Mark Doland is the author of the amendment. The SCC was debating whether or not to allow it on the agenda for the 2014 state convention. Delegates would then vote on whether or not to amend the RPI Constitution to chair the leadership elections.
Finally, after the extensive debate, the proposed amendment was sent to the organizational committee, on an 11-6 vote, for more discussion. They are expected to bring it back to the full committee at the next meeting.
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