December 19, 2014

Iowa GOP keeps Spiker as chair (AUDIO)

The man who’s been chairman of the Iowa Republican Party for nearly a year will remain in that role. The GOP’s state central committee today voted to give A.J. Spiker a full, two-year term at the party’s helm.

Republican National Committeeman Steve Scheffler nominated Spiker for the post during today’s committee meeting, but Scheffler began with this comment: “The one challenge I think that we have as a party as we leave here today is that in all my years of political involvement I’ve never seen as much acrimony and people writing things, verbalizing things that demonize other Republicans in an effort — I think in a conscious effort — to destroy people’s characters, reputation and integry and that must stop.”

Critics have complained that all the top party positions are now held by Ron Paul backers and fundraising has dried up. Spiker, who worked on Ron Paul’s Iowa campaign, defended the way he’s handled party affairs for the past 11 months.

“Despite claims to the contrary, I have a proven track record of working with many groups within the party,” Spiker said.

Spiker told his Republican colleagues the party has $400,000 in the bank today.

“I am not a state party chairman whose intention is to walk the party line if it means tossing our grassroots activists aside and disregarding their hard work,” Spiker said. “I’m not a chairman who believes we should shy away from the principles of a pro-life message or strong family values and I will never apologize for social conservatism.”

This past August Spiker issued a statement urging Iowans to vote against an Iowa Supreme Court justice who had participated in the court’s 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

Spiker received support from 13 of the 18 members of the Iowa GOP’s state central committee. Former Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel received five votes. Schickel told his fellow Republicans that if they’re “honest” they must admit 2012 was a defeat for conservatives in Iowa.

“Our party is in danger of becoming a dinosaur unless we change,” he said, “unless we make dramatic changes.”

Schickel also criticized Ron Paul supporters for trying to “bring in the entire team to run the Republican Party of Iowa.”

Listen to nominations, remarks from Spiker & Schickel IAGOPJan5 (mp3 runs 22 minutes). The two men also answered questions from the State Central Committee, but there is no audio of that included.

Read a live blog of the meeting.