Iowa GOP officials say they’re stepping up security for the January 3, 2012 Caucuses because of concerns that “Occupy Wall Street” protestors may try to disrupt the events. Iowa Republican Party chairman Matt Strawn says the party has been working with local county and precinct volunteers and law enforcement.
“If someone wants to come and participate as a productive member of the caucus, they are certainly welcome to do that,” Strawn says. “But the minute that there is a disruption that infringes on the rights of other Iowans to have their voices heard at what is a private party caucus function, then that’s when we get law enforcement involved and they will take whatever means necessary to ensure the smooth administration of the caucuses.”
Party officials have also hired nationally-known cyber-security experts to make sure caucus vote tallies aren’t hacked.
“We’re in a much more aggressive environment when it comes to groups that want to have their voice heard,” Strawn says. “So whether it’s the ‘Occupy’ movement, whether it’s the anarchist movment, whether it’s a long-wolf hacker that wants to make a name for himself, we need to be prepared.”
“Occupy Iowa Caucus” organizers intend to have a “People’s Caucus” in Des Moines next week, on Tuesday. They plan a week’s worth of “street action” and other protests at candidates’ headquarters next week, too. Occupy Des Moines members have said they do not intend to disrupt the precinct caucuses the following week.