(Ames, IA) Republican presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan on Thursday said G.O.P. frontrunner George W. Bush is “perverting” the Iowa Republican Party’s Strawpoll, scheduled for August 14.

A Bush campaign memo sent to Washington, D.C. lobbyists and organizations asks the powerbrokers to line-up Iowans to attend the strawpoll, an event which Bush has vowed to win.

“Clearly what we’re seeing is a perversion of the Iowa strawpoll and the whole political process in Iowa, which was supposed to be a small ‘d’ democratic process where candidates are judged on the basis of their organizations and their ability to communicate their ideas to thousands of Iowans,” Buchanan said in an interview with Radio Iowa. In 1995, Buchanan turned out about 2,000 supporters to the Ames Strawpoll.

Buchanan said the Bush campaign memo is another example of how the “establishment” wants to crown Bush as the G.O.P. presidential nominee. “This clearly is an insider’s game with corporate lobbyists urging their executives in the state of Iowa to put the arm on their employees and march ’em out there and have ’em vote for George Bush. It suggests that the establishment has got the fix in and intends to fix the outcome of the strawpoll and the caucuses and primaries because it has a pre-ordained candidate,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan insists the move is backfiring with some Iowans as it seems as if Bush is “marching mercenaries into battle.” “I think it’s gonna breed further and deeper resentment on the part
of Iowans to the fact that a candidate is being imposed upon them from without,” Buchanan said.

Bush campaign officials say they’re pulling out all the stops to enlist supporters for their candidate and they’ll continue to contact organizations which have members who share the Texas Governor’s political philosophies.