Iowa GOP Chair A.J. Spiker facing calls to resign

Republican Party of Iowa Chair A.J. Spiker is facing a new challenge to his leadership, thanks to his disastrous handling of the 2014 GOP state convention scheduling. The first prominent Iowa Republican to call for Spiker’s resignation was David Kochel, a former senior adviser to Mitt Romney. But Kochel’s often out of sync with Iowa GOP leaders these days, as a public supporter of marriage equality.

During the past week, two members of the GOP’s State Central Committee have said it’s time for Spiker to go. Jamie Johnson and David Chung spoke out on Simon Conway’s WHO talk radio show on September 13. Chung fleshed out his argument at his Hawkeye GOP blog a few days later. I’ve posted excerpts from that piece after the jump. Chung makes clear that he doesn’t have the votes on the central committee to oust Spiker, nor does he expect Spiker to resign before his term is up. But he makes a compelling case, placing the “convention debacle” in the context of a “general leadership style that is absolutely tone-deaf to any input from outside [Spiker’s] inner circle.”

Remember, the Iowa GOP was named one of the country’s seven “most dysfunctional state parties” before the State Central Committee meeting where a motion to set the state convention for July 2014 passed with little discussion.

From David Chung’s September 16 blog post, “I JOIN A BATTLE I FULLY EXPECT TO LOSE IN A WAR I CAN NO LONGER IGNORE.”

I can no longer sit by and ignore the damage being done to this party.

The Republican Party of Iowa is experiencing a crisis – a crisis of confidence. […]

My call for AJ’s resignation or removal is not based on the moving of the convention date. Rather it is a general leadership style that is absolutely tone-deaf to any input from outside his inner circle. The convention date is just the latest in a string of such incidents.

Ultimately, we are going into 2014 with the rare opportunity to pick up a US Senate seat and the level of distrust between the leadership of RPI and the grassroots has never been higher. The convention date is just another example of AJ squandering an opportunity to at least consult with the governor, our senate candidates, or the newly formed District Executive Committees and get buy-in or form a consensus. Instead, by making the decision and doubling down in response to criticism, he has managed to further weaken our party and thus our candidates. AJ is not the only one to blame here but the stakes are too high to continue down this path. He needs to go. […]

We have an historic opportunity to pick up a US Senate seat, we have an open US House seat and we need to win back a majority in the Iowa Senate. During these crucial times, instead of leading the party forward and preparing us for victory in 2014 – we find ourselves more divided than at any time in my memory. […]

To be fair, the ills of the party, are not all AJ’s fault. But, as Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, he has not been part of the solution – he is a part of the problem.

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