After taking some advice from emails and comments on this blog, I’m jumping headfirst into the RPI positions.
I believe the chair’s job is to raise money, communicate with the county chairs, and advance the platform of the Iowa Republican Party (no matter what it says). They should also have an eye on strategy but for the most part the chair’s job is to raise money. The executive director should take care of strategy.
As everybody knows, the Party was almost irrelevant this election cycle. Many of us thought 2006 would be our rock bottom and obviously we are all hoping Nov. 4, 2008 is our new rock bottom. It won’t be unless we get some talented people with big ideas in our leadership positions.
Instead of discussing who I think should be chair, I’m skipping right to the Executive Director position. Per capita we have more political experts in Iowa than any other state. Almost all of us have a close friend or family member that has worked on a campaign in Iowa and many have worked the statewide races. We are lucky to have so many bright minds to choose from. The biggest hurdle is actually getting them to accept the position. I’ve put the following in alphabetical order and please feel free to offer anyone I left out.
Tim Albrecht – Timmy’s AFF gig has to be pretty sweet, but, he’s a rising star within our ranks with little of the stigma of a failed campaign directly attached. His communications credentials will go a long way to heal some of the wounds found at all levels of the party. TA’s talented, articulate, smart, experienced, and has few enemies. And since he’s been a staffer under the dome, he knows that side of the coin, too.
Bill Anderson – Bill has been active in politics for over half of his life. He’s a gunner and sees things in black and white. He’d take the ED job very seriously and wouldn’t let anybody walk over him. He also understands get out the vote efforts and the importance of the grass roots. I can see him transforming the party into something we can all be proud of. He works for King and would be tough to pry away. He’d also have to resign as a State Central Committee Member.
Carmine Boal – Someone else mentioned her as a possibility for chair on another blog. Actually, she would be the dedicated, articulate ED the party needs to get organized and function together with all the stakeholders. Whether or not she’d take the job is the million dollar question. She didn’t run for re-election because she and her husband are empty nesting. But the political itch must be scratched.
Rebekah Brandmeyer - Rebekah is the former co chair/executive director of the Polk County GOP. She has had to work with all of the different Republican factions over the years (and she's had to work with the somewhat opinionated Theodore Sporer Esquire) and Polk County's Republican Party was more efficient because of it. In her absence, you can definitely sense the lack of a core GOP organization in the state's largest county. She was even the organizational mastermind behind the GOPFests when they drew in crowds of over 1000 people. Rebekah...COME BACK!!!
Gentry Collins – Gentry is a professional and has run some very good campaigns even though the candidate was unelectable. He’s been ED in the past and did a very good job working in a doomed structure. In every campaign he has run he has had a topnotch ground game. He has to be on a short list for ED. I don’t know if he would take the job though.
Jen Crall – She ran Latham’s re-elect in 2006, worked in his Congressional office and in fundraising before that. She’s smart, knowledgeable, and capable. Jen could be the fresh air the party needs and detail oriented so the little things the Party needs to do would get done.
Matt Hinch - Congressman Latham's legislative director came back to run the Congressional campaign. Latham was supposed to have been knocked off by Becky Greenwald according to Blue To Red, but Hinch turned the machine around and Latham won every county and the district by over 60 percent. Put his name on the short list.
Eric Johansen - Do we give him the reigns? He's been working it for the past several years under a few different EDs and has seen it done many ways. I think he’d be able to run a decent absentee ballot and GOTV program but don’t know if he’s quite ready for ED. He’s a good guy though and definitely should be considered.
Tim Moran – He’s been involved in campaign work since I believe 2001. He’s an excellent ground guy. He has delivered his area on every campaign he’s worked on and understands the role of the grassroots. He did just take a job with King’s Council Bluffs congressional office but he may be swayed into taking the ED role.
Nicole Schlinger - Nicole probably wouldn't take this one if we begged her. Her name has to be up there with the best of the best. Nicole's background in fundraising, organizing major political events, and her continuous networking with the Republicans in this state (from grassroots volunteers to the largest donors) is unparalleled. Nicole's Capital Resources is the PREMIERE political fundraising mechanism in the state, and at the end of the day, I don't see her moving into this role because she is making top dollar while at the same time pushing our Republican candidates forward. Nicole is just really good. Period.