Craig Robinson has stopped publishing regularly at The Iowa Republican and plans to transform the site into a personal blog, he told Bleeding Heartland yesterday. Robinson has been the publisher and primary author at Iowa’s most widely-read conservative political website since its launch in 2009. Other writers have been regular contributors over the years, but since early 2015, The Iowa Republican has published press releases or pieces by Robinson himself. Updates became noticeably less frequent over the past year, compared to the blog’s output during the 2011-2012 Iowa caucus campaign and GOP primary season.
The last new post at the site was a May 9 commentary by Robinson, who took shots at Republicans unhappy about Donald Trump becoming the likely presidential nominee. In keeping with past practice, the author did not mention that the Trump campaign did more than $116,000 in business with the Global Intermediate direct mail firm, for which Robinson serves as president.
Via e-mail, Robinson explained that he will likely continue to publish occasional opinion pieces at The Iowa Republican but has "no time table" for when that may begin. He may also use the site "to promote Global Intermediate’s capabilities to readers and potential clients." As for disclosing his side work for political campaigns to the many national reporters who quote him about Republican happenings (most recently Matt Viser in the Boston Globe), Robinson sees connecting those dots as the journalist’s responsibility: "I don’t think its necessary for me to provide a list of current and former clients, anytime I have been asked I have been forthcoming. I have hosted CNN, FOX News, NBC, ABC and a handful of local news outlets at my Global office for the past couple of years, I’m not exactly hiding from anyone."
I enclose below more excerpts from our e-mail correspondence, some passages from the May 9 post at The Iowa Republican, and details on Global Intermediate’s work for the Trump campaign to date.
Iowa is universally acknowledged to be in play this fall. All signs point to Trump investing significant resources here; he needs the six electoral votes and has hired our governor’s son as his state director. Whether or not Global Intermediate produces any more direct mail for the GOP nominee, national journalists seeking local Republican commentary should identify Robinson as someone who has done work for the Trump campaign—not only as a former Iowa GOP political director and publisher of The Iowa Republican blog, as has been standard media practice up to now.