Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will not be a delegate to this year’s Republican National Convention. It was suggested in a story in Monday’s Washington Times that Grassley was taken off the delegate list because of his probe targeting the lavish spending of a half-dozen televangelists, but the senator says that’s not the case.
"I’ve never had anybody on the state central committee ever talk to me about that, so I don’t see how that could be an issue," Grassley says. "I’ve never even had much conversation with Republican leaders in Iowa on it." Grassley says he’s heard very little opposition to his investigation of evangelists’ finances, adding, there’s been a "massive amount of support for what I’m doing."
Grassley will still attend the national convention, just not as a delegate, and says he’s not at all disappointed. Grassley says, "I think you need to stop to consider what the situation is and it wouldn’t be one that is of concern to me at all." Grassley says he’s never pursued being a delegate and with his stepping aside this year, other Iowa Republicans will get to attend the national event, which opens September first in the Twin Cities.
"I’m always trying to be helpful to the state party, in fact, I wouldn’t mind being asked to do more," Grassley says. "The way it turns out, with an effort to get more Iowa Republicans involved, then there’s a benefit to that and there’s no loss to me." Grassley has been involved in Republican politics for decades. He was first elected to the state legislature in the 1950s and has served in Congress since the 1970s. He thinks he’s attended at least eight National Republican Conventions as a delegate.
"Say there was one time that I think President Ford asked me to be a delegate in 1976," Grassley says, with a chuckle. "I declined to be a delegate because I didn’t want to get caught between choosing between Ford and Reagan." Neither of Iowa’s two other Republicans in Congress, Tom Latham and Steve King, will be delegates to the G-O-P event in St. Paul next month, but both are expected to attend.