Republicans are attacking the Democratic candidate who’s running to be Iowa’s top election official, saying Brad Anderson is endangering Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Caucuses by suggesting technology in the secretary of state’s office could be used for the Iowa Caucuses.
Jeff Patch, the communications director for the Republican Party of Iowa, says candidates for secretary of state shouldn’t be muddling in the Iowa Caucus process.
“The parties themselves are perfectly capable of handling the Caucus procedures, Patch says. “…We don’t think that the secretary of state should have any sort of role in managing or providing logistical support for the Caucuses because that would require state employees and state resources.”
Patch says using the voter registration data maintained by the secretary of state’s office would make the Iowa Caucuses the functional equivalent of a primary.
“Mr. Anderson’s plan to use the secretary of state’s office to inject state government into partisan politics will create a problem with other states who are looking to challenge Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status,” Patch says.
Anderson says the integrity of Iowa’s Caucuses should be the goal of all Iowans, regardless of their party affiliation.
“Over the years Iowa taxpayers have invested a lot of time and resources into award-winning poll book technology that could really help check Iowans into the Caucuses and ensure that only eligible Iowans are participating,” Anderson says.
Anderson says his idea would “strengthen the Caucuses.”
“I’m confident that once the elections are over and cooler heads prevail we can find a way that the state can partner with the two parties in a way that is both appropriate and fiscally prudent,” Anderson says.
For more than four decades, Iowa’s Caucuses have been the kick-off event in presidential campaign years. Past winners like Bob Dole in 1996, George W. Bush in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 leveraged their opening round victories in the Iowa Caucuses to secure their parties’ presidential nominations.
Jeff Kaufmann, the new chairman of the Iowa GOP, said in a written statement that he’ll meet with “reasonable Democrats” in the future to discuss ways to “protect” the first-in-the-nation status of Iowa’s Caucuses. Kaufmann, who called Anderson’s idea “ill-advised, was elected Iowa GOP chairman on June 28. Kaufmann plans to meet with Iowa Democratic Party chairman Scott Brennan soon “to transparently discuss ways for both parties to cooperate to ensure that Iowa’s precinct caucuses retain their historic status as the first test of presidential candidates.”