- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
- Northern Ireland turns to ‘Game of Thrones’ to draw in tourists
- Washington woman live-tweets husband’s horrific car death
- China City of America mulled for New York — with $65M tax dollars
- Yemen defense ministry rocked by suicide bomber, gunfire
Grassley won’t be GOP delegate
Evangelical Christians in Iowa, dominant in the state’s Republican Party, have denied Sen. Charles E. Grassley his request for a place on the state’s delegation to this summer’s Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
Mr. Grassley may attend the party’s Sept. 1-4 nominating convention in St. Paul, but not as a voting delegate.
With a majority of nine out of 17 members on the Iowa Republican central committee, religious conservatives made Iowa Christian Alliance President Steve Scheffler chairman of Iowa’s 40-member delegation in a vote immediately after their state party convention July 12.
“The Republican Party of Iowa is moving significantly to the right on social issues,” the just-ousted Iowa Republican National Committee member Steve Roberts told The Washington Times. “It hurts John McCain’s chances to win this state.”
Other party officials said money for the party is drying up because of past mismanagement and current religious dominance, which has turned traditional Republican politics upside down.
“It’s pretty well controlled now by the Christian Alliance,” Mr. Roberts said. “If somebody came to me and wanted to be a delegate to the national party convention, I used to say, ‘Talk to the state party chairman or to Grassley.’ Now it’s very simple. You go to the Christian Alliance, and they determine who is a delegate, and you have to do exactly as they say.”
In recent weeks, religious activists replaced Mr. Roberts as the national Republican committeeman and also replaced the national committeewoman with pro-life advocates who also oppose gay marriage.
Barring Mr. Grassley from voting-delegate status is seen as a blow to him as the senior Republican official in the state, who normally might have led the convention’s delegation.
Mr. Grassley had said “yes” when asked by Iowa Republican Chairman Stewart Iverson if he wanted to be a voting delegate to the national convention, Mr. Iverson said
Political observers in Iowa saw the move against Mr. Grassley as retribution for his having tangled with evangelical pastors in his state. He initiated a Senate Finance Committee investigation of six televangelists for conspicuous personal spending.
“That had nothing to with it at all,” Mr. Schefflersaid Sunday. He said Mr. Grassley and the other members of the Iowa congressional delegation already had national convention floor privileges - meaning they could walk the floor but not vote.
He was asked if Mr. Grassley had been chosen as a delegate, would he also have been expected to be chairman of the Iowa delegation.
“I suppose it’s true. He would have been chairman,” Mr. Scheffler said. “But the most important point is that we wanted grass-roots activists to attend to help get John McCain and Iowa House candidates elected.”
Mr. Grassley’s Washington office did not respond to several requests for comment.
Robert Novak on Saturday noted yesterday that the “74-year old Grassley once was considered the leader of the Iowa Republican Party’s conservative wing, but has been at odds with the increasingly influential evangelical elements in the party.”
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- Jindal v. Obama: The new school choice battle; La. voucher fight revives reform led by conservatives
- Chris Christie's coup: George W. Bush appears on his behalf at GOP summit
- GOP governors lay out own agenda with Washington gridlocked
- Walker, Christie: The tale of 2 very different GOPers on a quest for the presidency
- Rick Perry visits Israel again, insists GOP won't be bruised by Ted Cruz
Latest Blog Entries
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- NAPOLITANO: Liberty, the wellspring of capitalism and charity
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Young millennials shun Obamacare, creating risky imbalance
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.