An Iowan who was appointed to the Democratic National Committee by President Obama hopes Democrats can embrace the same sanctions Republicans have proposed for states that try to leap ahead of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Caucuses. Jan Bauer of Ames said something must be done to prevent states like Florida from moving their primaries ahead, forcing Iowa to reschedule the Caucuses in 2004 and 2008 for January 3rd.
“The next thing you know we’ll be having Caucuses in November, around Thanksgiving,” she said this week during an interview with Radio Iowa. “If we don’t stop it that way, you know — with penalties, there’s just no way to stop it.”
The Democratic National Committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow to begin discussing the party rules for the 2016 presidential campaign and Bauer is prepared to make the case that Iowa should remain the opening contest.
“If we allow larger states to get involved, then the next thing you know it’s going to be what we’ve seen over the last three months in Iowa, negative, ugly campaigns that are all conducted on TV in 30-second snippets,” Bauer said, “and that is no way to run a presidential campaign, in my opinion.”
Republicans at their party’s national convention last week endorsed rules which penalize states that move their caucuses or primaries ahead of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. States that engage in that kind of “leapfrogging” ahead on the calendar of presidential contests would be allowed to send just 12 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention, a harsh penalty for a state like Florida that would normally send more than 100 delegates.
Four years ago Bauer was in the front row watching Barack Obama’s accept the Democratic nomination at the party’s convention in Denver. Tonight, she’ll be in the crowd in Charlotte, watching President Obama speak, but Bauer doesn’t expect to be in the front row.
“Sadly, I don’t think so,” Bauer said, laughing. “Although we are a battleground state, so we might get close. Knock on wood, let’s hope we’re close.”
Bauer is chairman of Story County Democrats. She is one of five Iowans who serve on the Democratic National Committee.