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March 8th, 2014

Live Blog: Polk County GOP Convention

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Written by: Kevin Hall
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ANKENY – Greetings and welcome to’s live blog of the Polk County GOP convention. Every county in the state is conducting Republican and Democrat party conventions today. On the good guys side (GOP), these conventions take on a huge importance this year due to a battle over seizing control of the state party as well the possibility that both the Third Congressional District and U.S. Senate primaries will be decided by convention delegates.

8:10 am There has been a lot of controversy this week over the Polk GOP convention due to an ill-conceived slate of “at-large” delegates to the district and state conventions that was suggested by county party leadership. That slate, which included 99 names, has been scrapped, and a new slate with just 27 names, comprised mostly of elected officials, candidates and party officials, was suggested Thursday night.

Still, people are upset with the initial slate and there are likely to be a lot of fireworks today. Additionally, there will be more than 30 speeches by candidates and officials. Since this is the largest county party in the state, I expect almost all of the U.S. Senate, Third District and statewide candidates to make an appearance here today.

8:37 They have opened up the auditorium and folks are filing in. Settle in, it’s going to be a long day…

8:47 A lot of the campaigns have booths set up on the other side of the school. They’re kind of away from the auditorium. Lunch will be their key time.

8:50 Folks still filtering in here. I believe Governor Branstad is scheduled to speak to the convention pretty early on. New Iowa poll shows him with 63% approval and leading Jack Hatch 44-29. I won’t say the race is over, but the guy with the checkered flag is getting it ready…

8:53 TIR’s Craig Robinson is here. Must be a big event. Fresh off a quick trip to CPAC.

8:54 So, I’m crammed into a narrow auditorium seat, trying to live blog and videotape at the same time. And I’m in the middle of the row. This might not work so well. There is assigned seat, though. I don’t want to move and get put on double secret probation.

8:55 There was some talk this week of some people making a move to overthrow Polk GOP Chairman Will Rogers as chair of this convention. We’ll see if that develops.

8:56 With more than 30 speakers on the docket, I’m not going to break down or recite each speech. But I will provide highlights and lowlights of the day’s events. I assume there will be some of both.

9:00 Well, it’s start time. Not ready to start yet. Folks still trying to find their seats.

9:02 They’re trying to get people to settle in. Let’s play the feud… I’m dating myself with that reference.

9:05 Feel free to use the comments section to let us know about other county conventions. Oh, and hit ‘REFRESH’ often.

 9:06 Calling convention to order, but then taking a recess until everyone is seated. Sweet. I love recess, followed by juice and cookies.
9:08 No milk and cookies. Boo. No food in the auditorium. Good thing my flask is easily hidden.
9:10 I’m kidding. I would never drink and live blog. That could be dangerous for everyone.
9:12 Governor Branstad is standing on the edge of the stage, ready to make his speech and kick us off. Seats are finally filling up. Still lots of folks standing and chatting there. It is a veritable who’s who of central Iowa politics here.
9:14 And here we go…
9:19 Aaron Sewell did the prayer. Nicole Woodroffe the pledge. Governor Branstad is our first speaker. HUGE standing ovation for the guv.
9:20 Branstad running thru their accomplishments. Mentions having to pay Culver’s I-Jobs debt. “We’re bringing Iowa back to new heights…”
9:21 Branstad slams Dem-led Illinois. A frequent target. Deservedly.
9:22 Branstad talks of reducing the size of cost of government and passing the biggest tax cut in Iowa history. “You’ll see it in your tax bills next fall.” Talking up his education reform package as well.
9:23 The guv stumbled a bit at the beginning of his speech, but has hit his stride. Very well-received speech, even if there might be a few detractors in the crowd.
9:24 Branstad: “We’re fighting Obama in his effort to cut the National Guard… ” Talks of joining with 49 other governors who oppose the president’s plan. “We’re also fighting the Obama EPA’s effort to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard….”
9:26 Site Selection Magazine this week ranked Iowa sixth best state in the nation for economic development, Branstad says.
9:27 Branstad says 2014 will be the best campaign he’s ever run (despite inferior competition). Branstad will visit Polk and Dallas County GOP conventions today. Lt. Governor Reynolds will hit four conventions in eastern Iowa, including Black Hawk and Linn.
9:28 Branstad thinks the audience for helping him carry Polk County three times in a row. “Let’s make it four in a row!” Now talking about wanting to carry Lee County for the first time. Hammers Senators Bolkcom and Hatch. Emphatically.
9:30 Branstad talking up Auditor Mary Mosiman, Secretary of Ag Bill Northey, Secretary of State candidate Paul Pate and the candidates in the U.S. Senate primary. “The Democrats have made a big mistake. The Congress is in big disrepute and they’ve offered another congressman… (Braley).
9:32 Branstad calls Cash for Clunkers (Braley’s pet project) one of the dumbest things they’ve ever done. He’s right.
9:33 He’s been going for 15 minutes now. Longer than the usual Branstad speech. I hope the others are limited to 2-3 minutes or we’ll still be here Monday when the students show up for class. He just wrapped up. Another big standing O.
9:35 Congressional candidate Robert Cramer talking to the crowd now.
9:36 They want to let statewide and congressional candidates speak as soon as possible after they arrive because these guys and gal(s) want to hit several county conventions today.
9:37 Cramer has good stuff in his speech, but his delivery needs work. Too monotone.
9:38 Cramer; “This administration seems proud of the number of people on food stamps. I want to help people get off food stamps and get a job.” First applause line of the speech. Took four minutes.
9:39 Cramer wrapping up now.
9:40 Secretary of State Matt Schultz speaking now. I won’t be able to live blog it because Matt moves around the stage when he speaks and I can’t type and run the video camera at the same time. Multi-taking isn’t my forte.
9:42 Of course, Schultz is now running for Congress. First goal: Repeal Obamacare. First mention of that so far. Won’t be the last. (drink).
9:45 Schultz done. Great speech. Bernardo Grenwher speaking now on behalf of Auditor Mary Mosiman. I know I bungled the spelling of his last name. Sorry Bernardo. Great guy, btw.
9:50 Joe Grandanette, congressional candidate, speaking now. Talks about how he’s the only candidate to challenge the incumbent. He’s alluding to Tom Latham resigning and apparently thinks Latham resigned because Grandanette was primarying him. Extreme delusions of grandeur.
9:53 Yawn.
9;54 Grandanette done. House Rep. Chris Hagenow, the majority whip, speaking now.
9:57 Hagenow playing up some of the House’s accomplishments. Also praises his law partner Matt Whitaker, a U.S. Senate candidate. Asks attendees to get involved and help this summer volunteering.
9:58 Hagenow: “We have learned how to be successful despite a divided government…” Wrapping up now.
10:00 U.S. Senate candidate Sam Clovis up now. “It’s a great day be a Republican. Great day to be a conservative. Great day to be an Iowan…” Clovis mentions the delegate selection process. Asks attendees to be “Iowa nice”. He’s getting some good chuckles from the crowd.
10:01 Clovis: “There are no greater differences in the United States Senate race between me and Bruce Braley…” Says he’s licking his chops and can’t wait to debate Braley one-on-one.
10:03 Clovis: “Wouldn’t it be nice to send somebody to the United States Senate who believes in the Constitution, adheres to it, believes in it, defended it …”  Good speech.
10:04 Paul Lunde, U.S. Senate candidate up now. Oh joy.
10:10 Lunde is the first candidate to go over his allotted time. Matt Whitaker up now.
10:11 Chair Will Rogers, introducing Whitaker, mentions they used to play HS football together. “He got all the talent, but I got all the hair.” Best intro of the day.
10:12 Whitaker mentions he’s been a Polk GOP delegate many times. Talks about creating jobs as a small business owner…this election is about the next generation…
10:13 Whitaker mentions Reagan. Second to praise Ronnie. Drink.
10:14 Whitaker says Obamacare is “job killing legislation”. .. “As a former football player, I understand rankings. When the U.S.A. is 12th in in the world in economic freedom, there’s something wrong.”
10:15 Whitaker says religious freedom is under assault. Mentions second amendment. Covering all the bases… Says he’s heading to Marshall County next, with seven more stops on the way. Wow. Ambitious schedule.
10:16 Whitaker done. U.S. Senate candidate Mark Jacobs up now.
10:17 Jacobs talking about the American Dream. If Dusty Rhodes makes an appearance, that would be awesome.
10:18 Jacobs talks about growing up in Iowa and the odd jobs he held as a teen.
10:19 Jacobs: “I’ve seen the transformative impact you can have on someone’s life when you give them a hand up instead of a handout.”
10:20 Jacobs talks about his time heading Reliant Energy. “I know what it’s like to inherit a fiscal mess…” Says he will tackle deficits and debts in the senate.
10:22 House Rep. John Landon of Ankeny speaking now. It’s just a steady stream of speakers. Haven’t conducted any party business yet, or even mentioned it.
10:24 Landon mentions the importance of electing Republicans to the state senate so we can pass “commonsense legislation”.  Landon says he will run again this year.
10:26 Landon done now. House Rep. Kevin Koester of Ankeny up now.
10:29 Landon mention the webcam abortion ban, a bill he managed on the House floor and passed. He brings up that some Democrats supported it, but none from Polk County.
10:30 State Senator Jack Whitver, of Ankeny, up now. One of the brightest young stars of our party.
10:32 Whitver: “I’m also excited about stripping Mike Gronstal of his power as senate majority leader.” He says we were 800 votes shy of doing that (statewide) in 2012.
10:33 Whitver now talking about eliminating the state income tax, one of his big priorities.
10:35 Congressional candidate and State Senator Brad Zaun up now. Calls Whitver “the future governor of the state of Iowa.”
10:36 Zaun says we need to send someone to DC who has been tested. “You don’t have to worry about where I’m gonna vote on an issue because you know where I stand…” Mentions abolishing the Dept. of Education, Common Core and traffic enforcement cameras.
10:37 Zaun just banged his fist on the podium and killed the microphone. LOL. He continued his speech.
10:38 Microphone fixed.
10:39 Iowa House candidate Zach Nunn speaking now. He’s challenging Democrat Joe Riding in HD 30, the Altoona/ Pleasant Hill area.
10:40 Nunn giving a good speech. Good humor, mixed it with strong bullet points. “My opponent tries to pretend he’s a Republican. He’s biggest thing out today is term limits. I’d like to start by term limiting him out of the House…” Good stuff. Very good speech.
10:41 Speeches are done! For now. Down to business.
10:42 Agenda approved. No discussing the appointment of committee chairs, which were chosen by the Polk GOP executive committee. The report of the committee on rules, from Tom Stockbrand, up next.
10:44 Stockbrand moves to approve the rules, as amended. The amendment would be the new At Large delegate slate, which includes 27 names. Speakers are stepping up. Steve Jones, a delegate from Des Moines 76, recommends an amendment to the amendment.
10:46 Jones’ amendment is to strike the entire delegate slate and have everyone be chosen by the precincts to be delegates to the district and state conventions.
10:48 Jones says the slate, comprised mostly of candidates, says the folks on the slate come here, then leave to go to other counties and aren’t here to do the business of the party. Jon Gruber of Altoona disagrees. Says the original slate of 99 was too large and the new slate of 27 is good.
10:50 John Stokka argues that there are people on that list that are necessary to perform the business of the district and state conventions. Calls the slate “entire appropriate”.
10:51 One delegate asks how long the precedent of slating candidates has been in existence. Long time is the answer.
10:52 Jim Carley, a former House candidate, who was on the original slate, speaks against it. He was opposed to the At Large slate from the beginning. Larry Disney speaks in favor of it. We’re going back and forth with delegates speaking for and against.
10:55 Speeches for and against are done and the question has been called. That means we vote on the amendment to the amendment. Voice vote: The motion fails.
10:56 So, the effort to strike the slate fails.
10:57 Here’s a look at the At Large delegate slate.
10:58 Now a motion to amend rule #12, which says motions to reconsider any vote of the platform or rules are out of order.
11;01 Motion fails. Jim Carley offers an amendment to strike the three previous At Large slates and limit it to just the county chairman, county co-chair, county treasurer and county secretary.
11:05 Debate on this closes. Time to vote on the amendment.
11:06 Voice vote. The nays have it, chair rules. Amendment to strike all three At Large slates fails.
11:07 Now an amendment to strike a rule that the chair’s word is final on rulings.
11:12 New amendment from Jim Carley. Rule 2, rules may be suspended or amended by a 75% vote. Carley says suspending should be a 2/3 vote, amending should be simple majority.
11:08 Tom Stockbrand says the rule was made so the chair can allow the various speakers to speak at any time. And there will be dozens.
11:10 The rule allows the chair to take business in different order. The motion to amend fails.
11:14 Carley points out his amendment is more in line with Robert’s Rules of Order. Wes Enos speaks in favor of amendment. Jon Gruber says this is after the rules are already adopted. “This rule will go into effect after the adoption of the rules. Right now, we don’t have the rules adopted…” So changes can be made now, before the rules are adopted.
11:17 Voice vote. Nays have it. Amendment fails.
11:18 Jerry Sailor, who has proposed a few of these amendments offering another. He promises this will be the last one. Receives one of the biggest applauses so far.
11:19 New amendment, again regarding the election of delegates. Would strike all language regarding the At Large slate.
11:21 Motion fails, again.
11:22 Jim Carley offering another amendment. “One more,” he promises. Wants to add three words to the very end of rule…”That are present…” Saying the rest of the delegates (alternates, etc.)  to fill in open slots need to be present.
11:23 Jon Gruber speaks in favor of and gets a little applause.
11:27 Back and forth debate on this one. That’s now closed. Voice vote: Sounds very close. Motion fails, the chairman rules. Call for division, now.
11:30 Motion passes. So, to be elected a delegate to fill in vacant spots, you have to be present here at the convention.
11:34 John Stokka moves to close amendment discussion. Thank goodness. Passes overwhelmingly.
11:35 We’re now voting on the rules, which would include the At Large delegate slate of 27. And the rules pass overwhelmingly. The rules are adopted.  And there was much rejoicing…
11:36 State Senate candidate Crystal Bruntz, who is challenging longtime incumbent Democrat Dennis Black in SD 15, speaking now. Very impressive resume. Says three issues she’s passionate and knows about: taxes, regulation and education…. “I can get on fire about other issues as well…”
11:37 Bruntz: “This one seat, if we can flip this one, could be the deciding seat in the senate this fall…”
11:38 We’re now electing permanent convention officers. For chair, Dave Funk nominates Will Rogers. No other nominations. So much for that talk of trying to remove Will as chairman. Hot air. Chairman Will Rogers is affirmed as permanent chair of the convention.
11:40 Sherill Whisenand is confirmed as co-chair, Shelly Laracuente as treasurer and Cheryl Weisheid as auditor. All the temp positions were affirmed as permanent.
11:42 Credentials preliminary report: 332 seated delegates, 82 alternates, 13 junior delegates.
11:52 LUNCH TIME! Check back around 1 pm for more of the live blog.
1:01 pm We’re back and about ready to get rolling again. Delicious lunch. Choice of bbq pork or chicken sandwiches. I went with the pork. Coleslaw, baked beans and some sort twinkie-like dessert with pudding. It was all good.
1:04 U.S. Senate candidate Scott Schaben speaking now. He’s encouraging delegates to pay attention to the constitutionality of each platform plank we pass today.
1:06 Schaben says he’s the only candidate in the field who desires a path of solvency of our national debt.
1:07 Schaben says get rid of Obamacare. Drink.
1:08 Schaben says his goal in senate would be to have a 100% attendance record and 100% voting record. Thinly veiled shot at Joni Ernst, methinks.
1:09 Congressional candidate Monte Shaw speaking now.
1:10 Shaw takes a different path, mentions the army base shooting from four years ago and how Obama designated it “workplace violence” instead of terrorism, denying the family of victims benefits. Also mentions Benghazi and says we need to hold this administration accountable.
1:11 Obamacare. Drink.
1:12 Shaw talks about how this is one of the Democrats’ targeted districts. Says Pelosi held a fundraiser for Staci Appel. He didn’t mention Appel by name.
1:13 Shaw: “I’ve been attending these county conventions for 20 years now…’ Mentions his political resume, working for Grassley and Steve Forbes, and his work with the Renewable Fuels Association.
1:14 Shaw went a few seconds over the five minute time slot. Good speech though.
1:15 County Supervisor Steve Van Oort talking now.
1:16 Van Oort doing his duty as a Chamber of Commerce member and selling the city of Ankeny, with tongue in cheek. Funny stuff.
1:17 Congressional candidate David Young up now. Opens up with a good line: “It is spring out there and that’s one thing President Obama can’t delay.”
1:18 Young says we have to tackle the budget deficit, jobs deficit and trust deficit. “We can’t just be a party of no. We have to have solutions.”
1:19 Young talks about Fast and Furious and Benghazi, IRS investigating conservative groups, which Obama denounced as “phony scandals”.
1:20 Young says he will defend people of faith should the federal government come down on them. Asks delegates for their support.
1:22 Jeremy Filbert, candidate for SD 15, speaking now. He’s the mayor of Mitchellville. SD 15 started as a four-way primary. It shrunk to one, Crystal Bruntz. Now it’s a two-way primary, apparently. Filbert mentions he’s a Navy veteran.
1:26 Filbert is running over time. Touches on several different issues. Pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, etc.
1:27 SCC member Gopal Krishna speaking now. Asks all first-time delegates to stand. Quite a few.
1:28 I guarantee a corny joke coming any minute.
1:29 Krishna: “Who wants a big tent except for a couple days when going camping?”
1:29 Krishna: “They think we need to attract more minorities. I’m sick of being called a minority.”
1:30 Krishna: “It is totally unfair if illegal aliens get amnesty.” Krishna says take home two words: Republican unity.
1:31 Amended credentials report: 365 delegates
1:32 Now electing district and state convention committee members. No nominating speeches. Thankfully, but candidates will be allowed one minute speeches.
1:33 We’re using the “Texas Plurality Ballot”. The person we least want to move on is who we vote for. Like “Survivor”. It’s meant to speed up the process. Everyone is for that.
1:44 Here are the nominees for district platform committee We elect 11: Jim Carley, Art Smith, Tim Oberlin, John Lindley, Connie Schmett, Adil Khan, Jon Gruber, Richard Rogers Lee Booton, Mark White, Paul Sugg, Katie Joy Ussery, Catherine Huggins, Tracy Behr, Mark Bunge, Jason Schmidt, Norm Pawlewski. 17 nominees so far.
1:45 Scratch Tracy Behr. 16 nominees for 11 positions.
1:46 Scratch Connie Schmett, Jason Schmidt and Katie Usery. 13 nominees for 11 positions. Now we get to hear speeches. Up to one minute for each.
1:56 Wes Enos posted on Facebook that every other country in the Third District is already done with convention. We haven’t elected our delegates and alternates yet. I’m putting the over/under for today at 5:33. Any takers?
1:57 We are now down to 12 nominees for 11 positions. Voting now.
2:02 State Senator Charles Schneider speaking now, while they count the votes.
2:03 Schneider: “Our party best reflects the values and principles of our founding documents.”
2:04 Schneider laying out the differences between Republicans and Dems. “Their party believes government solves all problems…” , etc.
2:05 Schneider says our elected officials should be servants to the people rather than the people being servants to government. Big applause for that line. Good speech.
2:12 Results are in: Adil Khan is the one nominee who didn’t make it onto the Platform Committee. A large rebuke of the Paulistinians taking place around the state today.
2:14 Now nominating Rules Committee members. TIR’s Craig Robinson has been nominated, Scary.
2:17 Nominees are John Stokka, Craig Robinson, Tony Seliquini, Jonas Cutler, David Niffenegger, Matt Devries, Wes Enos, Dave Funk, E.J. Giovanetti, John Bloom. There are 10 nominees for nine slots.
2:18 Nominees speaking now.
2:36 Getting ready for the vote announcement… Paulistinian Matt Devries is the lone nominee who did not make it. Once again, they are rebuked. Complete turnaround from two years ago. Getting a taste of their own medicine today, and not just in Polk County.
2:38 Now taking nominees for the District Credentials Committee.
2:42 District Credentials Committee nominees. 15 of them for nine slots: Darlene Blake, Jamie Kitchel, Nicole Woodroffe, Gloria Mazza, Doe Davidson, George Wood, Dave Edwards, Jim Douglass, Mike Ginther, Joe Heuertz, Grant Menke, Adil Khan, Bobbi Bentz, Aaron Ely and Liz Van Zomeren. They’re all doing very brief speeches now.
2:57 I’m still here. These committee votes are incredibly time consuming. Ballots being collected now. This seat is getting uncomfortable. My backside is starting to hurt. And the flask is empty.
2:59 Polk GO Co-Chair Sherill Whisenand is talking about the party’s vision: “Polk County will be a permanent Republican majority.” Amen.
3:07 U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst on stage now.
3:08 Ernst: “We have got to stop 40 cents of every dollar that the federal government spends. Don’t you agree?” We do. Applause line.
3:09 Ernst mentions her role as battalion commander in the Iowa National Guard. “We have got to have a strong national defense…”
3:10 Ernst: “Believe me, when I go to Washington…I will not balance our federal budgets on the backs of our servicemen or women.” That line sounds familiar. I wonder if she heard it on “Great Day”. Bruce Braley tried to balance the budget on the backs of our soldiers, included Wounded Warriors.
3:12 Ernst: “I see Bruce Braley and this administration trying to replace our Iowa values with Washington, D.C. values…. I am the Republican candidate that will beat Bruce Braley in November.” This is the most energetic I’ve heard Ernst on the stump. Another good speech. Great reception from the delegates.
3:14 Another recess. Good. I need one.
3:27 We’re now stalling for time, still waiting on the count for the election to the District Credentials Committee. The natives are getting restless.
3:30 They’re now trying to explain the delegate selection process and the crowd isn’t grasping it. Too much math, methinks.
3:33 Just shoot me.
3:34 Thank goodness. Anita Morrell is here with the junior delegates. Eighth grader Hannah Peterman giving the junior delegate report. Always a highlight of GOP conventions.
3:35 Resolutions: Remove unnecessary troops from peaceful countries, support removal of the Healthy Kids Act (big applause for that). support removal of curriculum teaching evolution as fact. There were one or two others.
3:37  Big announcement from Adam Bentz, Ankeny 6: Iowa State beat Oklahoma State in overtime. Good job Cyclones.
3:39 Finally, the results for the Credentials Committee. Moving on: Jamie Kitchel, Nicole Woodroffe, Gloria Mazza, Doe Davidson, Dave Edwards, Mike Ginther, Joe Heuertz, Grant Menke and Bobbi Bentz. Liberty Iowa Director Adil Khan is rebuked again. Again, the Paulistinians overreach comes back to bite them.
3:41 Now doing nominees for Organizational Committee. At some point this weekend we will get to electing delegates. I hope.
3:43 Nominees for the Organizational Committee are David Kerr, April Linder, Brad Boustead, Alex Latcham, Mike St. Clair, Don McDowell, Aaron Sewell, Deborah Mikelson, George Wood, Mary Whisenand, and Jackie Walkwitz  11 candidates. That means 11 speeches.
3:54 Chairman Will Rogers just said it’s his goal to get us out of here within an hour. I’ll believe it when I see it. Again, I set the over/under at 5:33 pm.
4:13 Deborah Mikelson and George Wood are the two who did not make the committee. Mikelson was nominated by a Paulistinian, so that hurt her chances.
4:14 And finally…we will elect delegates and alternates. Stay tuned.
4:22 Allright. My precinct is done. We elected two delegates. I’m one of them. Yay. I get to sit through two more of these marathons! Other precincts are wrapping up.
4:30 Ok, so they’re still sorting out the whole delegate deal. 263 total will be elected. Almost everyone here will be either a delegate or an alternate to the district/state conventions. Everyone who is a delegate to the county convention will entered into a delegate lottery to fill the remaining seats at random.
4:34 There’s confusion about how we’re choosing alternates. In the past, the precinct has always chosen its delegates and its alternates. We don’t choose our own alternates this time. They go into a lottery pool.
4:37 Some of the long timers (Steve Roberts and Norm Pawlewski) are having problems understanding the process. It’s different from how we’ve done in the past, but it makes sense. Basically, everyone here has a good chance to be a delegate or an alternate to the district/state convention and it’s fair to everyone.
4:39 Richard Rogers is now giving the Platform Committee report. My batteries are getting low so I’m not going to do the blow-by-blow of this discussion. I will say they have pared down the monstrosity, 28-page platform that was passed two years ago to just 3 1/2 pages.
4:43 There is quorum call. We might not have enough delegates present to proceed. Many left after the delegate selection. Counting now.
4:46 We do have quorum. 261 still here. I’m going to stick around til the end to make sure everything is ratified properly. The lengths I go to for you guys…
4:56 BREAKING NEWS: RPI Chairman A.J. Spiker announced he is stepping down March 29. SCC will elect a new chairman. Interesting…
5:02 A we oppose Common Core amendment just passed, a “we support medical marijuana” plank failed.
5:10 Good grief. Sometimes we as a party are just stupid. Some of these planks make zero sense. Just passed one regarding “mens rea” (guilty mind). Why?
5:19 We are nearing the end. At least, it’s getting closer. Though I don’t think we’ll get there by 5:33, so those of you who took “the over”, congratulations. I think you’re gonna win. Your prize is in the mail.
5:30 Still going… From all the evidence I’m seeing and hearing around the state, the Branstad campaign had a very good day turning out their delegates across Iowa. Lt. Governor Reynolds should have no problem being certified at the state convention, and I believe the State Central Committee, determined at district convention, will have a decidedly new look. One that is much more representative of the Republican Party as a whole, instead of slanted toward libertarians.
5:33 It’s official. The over/under of 5:33 has been surpassed. We’re still debating platform amendments. I might make it home by 7. Maybe. Every other county in the Third District wrapped up hours ago. Of course, we are, by far, the largest county in the district and the state.
5:38 OK, my battery is near death and we’re almost finished here, so I’m going to wrap up the live blog. Thanks for reading along with this arduous process. If anything big happens I’ll update.
Don’t forget to “spring forward” with your clocks tonight and I’ll see you one hour earlier tomorrow morning in Kevin’s Korner. Have a great night!

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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