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April 15th, 2014

Whisenand Elected to SCC; Jorgensen Takes Leave to Help Clovis; Carroll’s FOIA Request of Senate Dems Denied

Polk County GOP Co-Chair Sherill Whisenand is the newest member of the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee, which is essentially the state party’s board of directors. Whisenand was a unanimous choice by the Third District Executive Committee during a meeting on Monday in Greenfield.

“We need leadership. We need people who can pull this thing together and move the party forward,” Whisenand told “I’m respectful of different views, but I’m also a consensus builder and I think the party has a long way to go to mend fences. I believe that I can be an important part of that.”

Sherill Whisenand is a longtime Republican activist. She is the former chair of the Story County GOP, former RPI organizational director and has done extensive work for national Republican groups.

Whisenand fills the vacancy created when Gopal Krishna was elected RPI co-chair last month. The term only lasts two more months. A new State Central Committee will be elected at the district conventions on April 26. Their term begins as soon as the Iowa GOP state convention adjourns on June 14.

“I’d like to welcome Sherill to the committee and look forward to working with her as we move through the convention season and the May State Central Committee meeting,” said SCC member and Third DEC Co-Chair Ryan Frederick. “It’s a privilege to work with so many dedicated Republican activists and Sherill is no exception.”

Pottawattamie GOP Chairman Takes Leave to Help Clovis

Pottawattamie County GOP Chairman Jeff Jorgensen announced he is taking a leave of absence from his role as county chairman and member of the Third District Executive Committee in order to assist Sam Clovis’ U.S. Senate campaign as a volunteer.

Jorgensen says he plans to resume his duties as chairman of the Pott Co. GOP after the June 3 primary.

Chairman Carroll Requests Senate Dems’ Emails, Secretary of Senate Denies

RPI Chairman Danny Carroll announced Monday that he had requested documents and emails from Iowa Senate Democrats Janet Petersen, Jack Hatch and Matt McCoy to determine if there were any political motivations behind the Government Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Department of Administrative Services.

Petersen and McCoy are members of the oversight committee. Hatch is the Democrats’ candidate for governor.

“This investigation risks becoming a farce if legislative Democrats fail to hold themselves to the same standards as the administration,” Carroll said in a news release. “The separation of powers should be held to the same level of common transparency. If these legislators have nothing to hide, I suggest they begin compiling the requested documents and immediately release them for the public to see.  Let’s level this playing field and have a full examination of the facts on all sides.”

However, Iowa Secretary of the Senate Mike Marshall quickly denied Carroll’s request.

“In this instance, I regret to inform you that your request has been denied.  The type of records you have requested have not customarily been deemed public documents by the Senate, given that their release would almost certainly have a detrimental chilling effect on citizens’ constitutional rights and willingness to petition their elected officials,” Marshall said as part of his reply.

Tony Schmitz, a former state employee, testified two weeks ago that Sen. Janet Petersen, the chair of the Oversight Committee, had contacted him more than once in regards to coming forward and breaking the confidentiality agreement he had signed. Communications between a committee member and a witness could lead to possible witness tampering.

The Democrat-led Iowa Senate still has not taken up the bill passed by the Iowa House that enacts a ban on confidentiality agreements. Governor Branstad has also issued an executive order banning the practice.

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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