Iowa Delegate to GOP Nominating Convention Talks Ron Paul Support
By Jillian Petrus and James Q Lynch, Reporters
DES MOINES, Iowa - A sweeping victory by backers of Ron Paul at the Republican Party of Iowa state convention over the weekend is a sign the constitutional conservative movement will be a force in the state's GOP politics for years, according to one of the leaders of the Liberty Movement.
The Paul-aligned Liberty Movement scored a near-sweep of national delegates elected at the convention Saturday.
"There's a lot of people who see no difference between democrats and republicans if they're still going to tax and spend at the same rates and get us involved in foreign wars," said Brent Oleson, a Linn County Supervisor and one of the 21 out of 25 Iowa delegates supporting Ron Paul and the Liberty-Movement.
The entire national convention delegation delegates and alternates is pretty much evenly split between Paul backers and supporters of other presidential candidates. However, the 21 delegates elected Saturday are members of the Liberty Movement, and most supported Paul in the Jan. 3 first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses.
"They want to make their own choices into whom they marry or how they conduct their private life and they don't want government in their homes or in their bedrooms," Oleson said.
The Texas congressman's supporters won 10 of 13 delegates elected at the state convention and 11 of 12 delegates elected at the four district conventions the night before, according to Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton.
Paul finished third Jan. 3 behind Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. However the campaign had a long-term delegate-attainment strategy, Benton said. Its effort was aided by the fact the other candidates' campaigns essentially abandoned Iowa after the caucuses, Ivers said.
"It probably looks like he's stacking the deck, but he played by the rules and he played the game properly," Paul's Iowa Chairman Drew Ivers said.
The Paul-Liberty Movement success proves "we will be a force in Iowa politics for years to come," Khan said.
"Our volunteers were active in coordinating delegates and alternates throughout the convention process, and our efforts were rewarded, Khan said. "Iowa can now count on a strong voice for liberty at the national convention."
That's not to suggest there will be a nomination fight in Tampa, Ivers said.
"Romney's got it. There's no contest," Ivers said.
The movement's goal is "to restore liberty and return state and national government to constitutional limits."
Democratic State Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids said any friction in the republican party is good for democrats unified under President Obama. However, Hogg does worry that the dissent in voters across the country does not bode well for Obama or likely GOP candidate, Governor Mitt Romney.
"[People] are so divided now," Hogg said, "Will President Obama, if he's elected, or Governor Romney, if he's elected, even be able to govern?"
Members of the Iowa delegations are:
National Delegates Drew Ivers, chairman, Hamilton; Steve Anders, Pottawattamie; Robert Anderson, Johnson; Andrea Bie, Allamakee; Nancy Bowery, Page; Gov. Terry Branstad, Boone; Michelle Bullock, Polk; Ani DeGroot, Johnson; David Fischer, Polk; Sen. Chuck Grassley, Butler; Mark Hansen, Pottawattamie; Will Johnson, Dubuque; Dusty Juhl, Story; Ed Kelenyi, Jefferson; Brian Kraft, Boone; Gopal Krishna, Polk; Roger Leahy, Jefferson; Jeff Luecke, Dubuque; Rep. Glen Massie, Polk; James Mills, Floyd; Lexy Nuzum, Madison; Brent Oleson, Linn; Kelly Schoen, Linn; Margaret Stoldorf, Montgomery; and Jeff Taylor, Sioux.
Alternate delegates Chelsy Askren, Clayton; Jennifer Bowen, Dallas; John Bowery, Page; Buddi Brooks, Pottawattamie; Chris Canny, Johnson; Sam Clovis, Plymouth; Jonas Cutler, Polk; Therese Davis, Guthrie; Aaron Dowdell, Marshal; Benjamin DuBois, Story; Mike Gresham, Fremont; Eric Grote, Franklin; Cody Hoefert, Lyon; Jeff Jorgensen, Pottawattamie; Tracee Knapp, Ringgold; Titus Landegent, Plymouth; Gabe Lanz, Polk; Ruth Long, Union; Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Clarke; Lisa Smith, Wapello; Sarah Stokes, Black Haw; Chet Swanson, Jefferson; Kurt Whalen, Scott; David Wiederstein, Cass; Sen. Brad Zaun, Polk.
In addition RPI Chairman A.J. SPiker and Republican National Committee members Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehman, both of Polk County, are delegates.
Delegates elected to national convention committees were: Ani DeGroot and Steve Scheffler, committee on Rules and Order of Business; Kelly Schoen and Drew Ivers, committee on Credentials; Nancy Bowery, Page and David Fischer, committee on Permanent Organization; and Kim Lehman, Polk and Gopal Krishna, committee on Resolutions.