The Republican Party of Iowa’s former executive director Steve Bierfeldt is not helping new leaders gain access to “the party’s social media accounts, email lists, voter rolls email accounts, donor lists and even online access to the bank account.” On July 4, the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs highlighted the lack of new posts on the Iowa GOP’s official website and Facebook and Twitter accounts. I had noticed the party’s lack of activity on social media but did not imagine new leaders were literally locked out. At this writing, the Iowa GOP twitter account is back in service, but the most recent Facebook post is still dated June 13.
The party’s new executive director, Chad Olsen, repeatedly asked Bierfeldt for help with passwords in e-mails quoted by Jacobs. This morning, the conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts quoted Olsen as saying, “We are making progress on our own, directly with individual companies, which can be a slow and deliberate process. The previous executive director (Steve Bierfeldt) still has not provided any additional information….”
Bierfeldt joined the Iowa GOP’s staff shortly after Ron Paul loyalists gained most party leadership positions in 2012. He agreed in May of this year to resign effective June 14, when the Iowa GOP’s new State Central Committee would take control. One of Iowa’s representatives on the Republican National Committee, Tamara Scott, hinted during a contentious State Central Committee meeting on June 28 that ousted state party chair Danny Carroll was working on a “peaceable and professional” exit strategy for Bierfeldt, “something you want when your E.D. has your passwords, your files and your database and is the architect of your upcoming state convention.” Bierfeldt apparently told Olsen last week that “he’d been told to delete all of the Iowa GOP files on his computer, so he no longer had the spreadsheet with all the passwords.”
I’ve been downsized, so I empathize with feeling frustrated after losing a good job. But to sabotage your successor’s work is incredibly immature and unprofessional. Bierfeldt should not be able to get another political or campaign job after this episode. Nevertheless, my money’s on someone bringing him on board with the Rand Paul presidential campaign, or perhaps some PAC affiliated with Paul or the “Liberty” movement.
UPDATE: Added more details below. The longer this drags on, the worse Bierfeldt looks.
UPDATE: Radio Iowa’s O.Kay Henderson talked with Chad Olsen about the problems on July 7.
“When we attempted to use those user names and passwords for the most part we were unsuccessful in gaining access and in those cases where the username was correct, but the pasword was not functional, you can attempt to reset the password,” Olsen says. “The problem was that if we attempted to the reset the password, the reset information would go to the former executive director’s email account.” […]
“We do not yet have administrative rights to the Facebook page,” Olsen says. “We are still waiting for the former executive director to provide those.”
This weekend Olsen did get access to the Iowa Republican Party’s website. Olsen says the party’s finances were never affected by password problem. […]
However, the party’s current leaders do not have control over the “iowagop.org” email account.