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October 27th, 2013

Kevin’s Korner: Ruining the Reagan Dinner, Big Liberty’s Big Lie and What Kind of Conservative Are You?

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. Side effects from reading this column may include amnesia, aches and pains, vision problems, colored urine, hallucinations, strange sleep behaviors, bowel control problems and sweaty palms. Proceed at your own risk.

It is a shame that Ted Cruz’ speech at the Reagan Dinner on Friday had to contend with the shameless self-promotion and “poor me” victim playing by Republican Party of Iowa Chairman A.J. Spiker and Co-Chair David Fischer. Many attendees voiced their displeasure afterwards. Most common adjectives: “divisive” and “pathetic” …

Their speeches to open the event were also totally at odds with the message delivered by keynote speaker Ted Cruz, who talked about the need for unity …

Fischer at Reagan Dinner

I will give David Fischer credit for one thing. When he claimed A.J. Spiker “has energized the conservative base of our party”, Fischer was absolutely right. I have never seen the entire grassroots of the Iowa GOP so energized to rise up in one united voice the way they did in opposition to Spiker’s mind-boggling decision to move the 2014 state convention to July …

The grassroots spoke as one, rejected Spiker’s meddling in the U.S. Senate primary, and forced RPI to move the convention back to June … In fact, the grassroots is so energized that they’re calling for the chairman and co-chair to resign …  Great job, A.J. in firing up the grassroots, and thank you David Fischer for pointing that out …

The crowd’s reaction when Fischer introduced Spiker was very telling. Generally, when people try to begin a standing ovation, the entire crowd joins in … There were 60 tables at the Reagan Dinner. The people who stood up and applauded for Spiker were from a total of two tables. At least one of those consisted of the “liberty” wing of the State Central CommitteeTwo, out of 60 … Or looking at it another way, the standing ovation for Spiker entailed 20 people out of a total of 600

I heard from several attendees who said they also did not appreciate Steve Scheffler’s comments while leading the prayer … I will provide a full wrap-up of the Reagan Dinner tomorrow here on TIR

Speaking of Scheffler, this keeps popping up on my Facebook feed, and I have to laugh every time it does:

Scheffler casino

It is clear that Big Liberty planted a hit piece with the compliant Associated Press, designed to turn conservatives against Governor Branstad on the eve of the Reagan Dinner. The article, heavily promoted by Spiker and RPI, is full of distortions and lies. It is also right in line with Big Liberty’s 2014 strategy that I revealed here last month …

Spiker and his gang, in a desperate bid to hang onto power next year, want to frame the inner-party squabbles as conservatives vs. Branstad Republicans. So they conned an AP writer to print that, despite zero evidence or quotes to back up the claim …

Big Liberty is claiming that the Paulistinian wing of the party is actually part of the conservative branch, and that Iowa’s Tea Party types and social conservatives are aligned with them. NEWSFLASH: They aren’t.

Other than a few rubes and sycophants, Iowa’s social conservatives and Tea Party types are fed up with Big Liberty’s failed leadership of the Republican Party of Iowa

They’re tired of the lies, the conflicts of interest, and the “anonymous” attacks using RPI’s database (and yes, we have the proof) … They’re tired of the complete failures at the ballot box under Spiker, and they’re tired of the leadership of the state party having an agenda that seems more geared toward helping Rand Paul in 2016 than helping Republicans regain the majority in the Iowa Senate in 2014

And they’re tired of Spiker and Fischer playing the victim and claiming their decisions are based on their “principled” stands … I fail to see the principles in claiming repeatedly on statewide TV that Mitt Romney has your full support, then going to the national convention and voting for someone else.

I don’t see what’s principled about spending $35,130 more than you raised last month … Yep. While claiming to be “fiscal conservatives”, RPI brought in only $11,533 in September, while spending $46,664

Despite what they want you to believe, the complaints against RPI leadership have zero to do with them standing up against gay marriage. Zero. That’s Big Liberty’s Big Lie. At least, one of them.

Moving on, I attended a screening of the film “Caucus” Saturday night at the Fleur Cinema and was very impressed. This documentary captures the true essence of what the race to win the 2012 Iowa Caucus was like. Some moments are laugh out loud funny, like Michele Bachmann’s verbal gaffes, her husband’s strange behavior and watching Ron Paul lose a fight with a minivan door …

Others moments are illuminating, like the Des Moines Register having to scrap its planned cover photo for the Sunday edition before the caucuses. The planned cover was an illustration of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul arm wresting. The Santorum surge caused them to put the kibosh on that …

TIR founder Craig Robinson has a good write-up about the film. He, and I, recommend going out of your way to see this movie … If you’re a conservative activist in Iowa, you’re also very likely to see an Iowa pal or two on the big screen. If you’re a Paulistinian, you’ll be disappointed that your hero isn’t in the film more.

Finally, with all this talk about the different wings of the Republican Party, you should know what kind of conservative you are. For purely entertainment purposes, take this quiz and find out. Apparently, I’m a “Freedom Crusader”.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, your reflection always looks you straight in the eye.

Photos by Dave Davidson,

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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