Department of strange fundraising appeals

I've seen a lot of flimsy hooks for political fundraising, but nothing like the latest call for donations to the Republican Party of Iowa.

Candidates, elected officials, and political parties will seize on almost any pretext to raise money. I lost count of how many e-mail blasts I've gotten this week from Democratic groups and campaigns trying to cash in on Representative Todd Akin's comments about rape and pregnancy.

By comparison, the Iowa GOP's Facebook post from last night was creative:

Rumor from the RNC Meetings in Tampa is that the RNC may only seat half of the delegates elected for Ron Paul from Maine. The Republican Party of Iowa strongly values an open election process and hardworking grassroots activists. If this turns out to be true and 1/2 of the Ron Paul delegates from Maine are not seated, then the Iowa GOP will be donating one of its RNC guest passes to all Ron Paul Delegates kept out. If you'd like to help the Iowa GOP defend liberty with a donation, please do so here.

Come again?

You want loyal Republicans to "defend liberty" by supporting the Iowa GOP's efforts to get another state's Ron Paul delegates into the Tampa convention hall?

I can't imagine the Iowa Democratic Party asking me for money to make sure delegates elected halfway across the country were able to wave the flag for Hillary Clinton at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Speaking of which, I received a robocall from Senator Tom Harkin last night, encouraging me to fill out the absentee ballot request form the Iowa Democratic Party sent me a few days ago. Banking early votes is a smart use of limited resources during a general election campaign. Worrying about another state's delegates for a losing presidential candidate is ... (tries to think of a polite word for the opposite of smart) ...

The frustration of Republican blogger Craig Robinson (already annoyed by the Iowa GOP's weak fundraising) was palpable.

It would be nice if the Republican Party of Iowa was as passionate in helping our congressional candidates achieve victory this fall as they are about holding the hands of Ron Paul delegates from Maine. It would seem more appropriate for the Republican Party of Iowa to solicit donations to help win control of the Iowa State Senate than to ask for donations to help Ron Paul delegates from some other state get into the convention.

He wasn't the only Republican to be concerned. State Representative Dawn Pettengill posted this comment on the Facebook thread:

The link takes you to the donation page for Iowa candidates. I'm struggling to find the connection between that link and the post. Someone please fill me in with who posted this and if the people at RPI want to help out Maine, start a different group than our state RPI page and find a different funding mechanism than the one being used to fund our state candidates!

Since A.J. Spiker was selected to replace Matt Strawn as Iowa GOP chairman, Ron Paul supporters have flexed their muscles on several occasions while conducting state party business. Getting riled up about a possible affront to Ron Paul delegates in Maine is just silly.

The campaign for the next two-year term as Iowa GOP leader should be entertaining. Spiker's term ends in January 2013--assuming he makes it that long.

UPDATE: Pettengill posted a couple more comments on that thread:

Dawn Pettengill Let me be clear-ER! I do not care about Maine. I do not care if the people who work at RPI want to help Maine. They can do it on a different page, with a different funding mechanism and on their own time. The Iowa website listed in this link is for Iowa candidates, to pay our staff and hold events for all candidates related to IOWA. We have a lot of people who are a little more than armchair quarterbacks working their butts off right now to defeat Democrats. They are giving up ALL of their personal time to stand for us. Let's be a little respectful to that. Keep the House. Take the Senate. Get our Congressmen elected. That is bottom up and that's the way we win.

5 hours ago · Like · 2

Dawn Pettengill ‎75 days. We don't have time for this. Keep your eye on the prize, because another term of a House majority and us working our tails off, only to have it die the second it hits the Senate, is NOT fun!

5 hours ago · Like · 1

Checking out the Iowa GOP's website, I noticed that last week they were offering supporters "a $10 gift card to Chick-fil-a as our special gift to you" in exchange for becoming a regular monthly donor of at least $10  to their "Patriot Club." I wonder how many takers they got for that one.

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