Ron Paul Backers Likely to Complete RPI Takeover on Saturday
The Republican Party of Iowa’s state central committee holds it biennial officer elections on Saturday, and in all likelihood, Ron Paul supporters will sweep all of the organization’s officer spots. That election comes on the heels of a Des Moines Register report that details financial troubles for RPI, due mainly to the Paul- affiliated leadership.
Current Chairman A.J. Spiker is running for reelection. His opponent is Bill Schickel, the current co-chair. A few party activists who are not current SCC members had considered running, but ultimately decided not to.
Spiker defeated Schickel on the second ballot in a 9-8 vote last February. This year’s vote is likely to be more lopsided in Spiker’s favor, the state vice-chair for Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign. The makeup of the current SCC includes seven loyal Paul supporters who are guaranteed to support Spiker. He needs nine votes to win. Spiker has been telling people that he has secured enough votes to win.
There are 18 voting members of the SCC. If there is a 9-9 split, Chairman Spiker casts the deciding vote. The same situation exists in the election for SCC co-chair. The three known candidates are Wes Enos, David Fischer and Eric Rosenthal. Fischer, like A.J. Spiker, was state vice-chair for the Ron Paul campaign. Once again, due to the makeup of the SCC, that means Fischer is likely to win.
Drew Ivers, the state chair for the Paul campaign, was elected as the finance chair for the SCC in September on a 10-5 vote. Although that is an unpaid position, the SCC might allow Ivers to get reimbursed for expenses. The co-chair is a paid position. The winner, likely David Fischer, receives a $10,000 salary, plus reimbursement for expenses.
Assuming Spiker and Fischer both win, that means three of RPI’s top officials, plus Executive Director Steve Bierfeldt, will have all been staffers on the Ron Paul campaign, and seven of the 18 other members of the SCC were loyal supporters of the Texas congressman.
Here is a closer look at the candidates for Iowa GOP co-chair:
Wes Enos: From Polk County. Currently in his third term on the State Central Committee, representing the Third Congressional District. From Polk County. Worked as staffer for Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee presidential campaigns and Bob Vander Plaats’ 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
David Fischer: From Polk County. Former SCC member. Did not run for reelection this year. State vice-chair for Ron Paul 2012 campaign. Already wields power on the SCC as a close advisor to Chairman Spiker. Polk County GOP officials said Fischer was lobbying them to allow unelected county convention crashers, all Ron Paul supporters, to be seated as delegates.
Eric Rosenthal: From Linn County. Been involved with over 150 campaigns, on every level. Former Linn County GOP Chair. Served on steering committee for Ben Lange’s 2012 congressional campaign. Supported Rick Perry in 2012 Iowa Caucus.