Iowa Republican Party

Joyce Russell/IPR

Kim and Connie Schmett will retain their positions in the Reynolds administration for now, while a state ethics board looks into their work as foreign agents for Saudi Arabia.  

But Gov. Kim Reynolds says the legislature should act to ensure that state officials don’t work as foreign agents in the future.  

The Schmetts, who are long-time GOP activists from Clive, own a consulting firm called Schmett & Associates. The Saudis paid the couple over $100,000 for their work on legislation to allow lawsuits against Saudi Arabia after the 9/11 attacks.   

IPTV

Iowa Republicans are looking ahead to President Trump running for re-election and competing in the Iowa Caucuses in 2020, and a leading Iowa GOP operative predicts the party will rewrite their rules so members of the state GOP governing board can endorse him.

In 2016, central committee members remained neutral, and some Republicans believe that should be the case again in 2020.  

Steve Scheffler who represents Iowa on the Republican National Committee disagrees. 

He says anyone can come to Iowa and run.

John Pemble/IPR file photo

In a surprise formal opinion issued today, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller concluded that Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds should not appoint a new lieutenant governor when she assumes the state’s highest office.   

The opinion contradicts an informal opinion from Miller last year.   

Republicans are sharply critical of the new advice.

In December, Miller’s office said it had researched Iowa law and consulted with the governor’s office.

Branstad Supports Trump Travel Ban

Jan 30, 2017
tani.P/flickr

Iowa's top elected officials are reacting to President Trump's executive order that restricts travel into the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries and puts refugee programs on hold.

Governor Terry Branstad supports the ban.   

At his weekly news conference, he said he is not going to second guess how the policy is being implemented.

Sign on the side of County Road E41 in Story County, Iowa.
Flickr / Carl Wycoff

Iowa is generally considered a swing state, but polling indicates that Iowans will likely be reelecting U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and deliver the state’s six electoral votes to presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Jeff Kaufmann, Chair of the Iowa Republican Party, adds it’s also possible the state’s two most moderate districts will reelect their freshman Republican congressman, and the state Senate could very well flip to a GOP majority. Since it's unlikely Republicans will lose control of the House, the Iowa General Assembly and the governorship may soon be controlled by the GOP. 

Gov. Terry Branstad says he was encouraged by the unity and commitment he observed last Thursday night at the Lincoln Day Dinner, an annual fundraiser for the Iowa GOP.

Many Republican voters, both statewide and nationally, are struggling with whether to support Donald Trump, the party’s de facto nominee.  Though Branstad doesn’t support everything Trump stands for, he is endorsing the New York real estate mogul, citing national security, health insurance costs and debt.

With less than a week before the Iowa Caucuses, it seems to be a two-man race in the GOP field. The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows a statical dead heat between real-estate mogul Donald Trump with 31-percent of likely Republican caucus-goers, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 29-percent. 

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

Though the tone in Washington maybe polarizing, college students in Des Moines from different sides of the aisle can still break bread...or share a pizza. 

About 65 students attended a pizza watch party of the CNN Republican Debate at Drake's Harvey Ingham Hall. The event was cohosted by the Drake College Republicans and Drake University Democrats.

"Our main focus is just to show that we can work together," says senior Bri Steirer, president of Drake Democrats. "I just love politics, so I obviously was going to watch...But we figured we'd make it a joint event. Why not?"

Julia Davis

U.S. Senator Rand Paul visited the University of Iowa today, in one of the first stops on his campaign tour after announcing his candidacy for president.

The Kentucky Republican made several appeals to millennials, whom he called the “Instagram generation,” by emphasizing his plans to end drug war policies, especially those that disproportionately affect minorities.

Emily Woodbury / worldle.net

The Koch brothers announced this week that they intend to spend $889 million in the 2016 presidential race, double the amount spent by the Republican National Committee in 2012.

Who Decides? A Third Congressional District Convention Primer

Jun 6, 2014

For the first time since 2002, the GOP nominee in Iowa's third congressional district will be decided by convention.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with former Iowa House Speaker Brent Siegrist.  He was one of the candidates vying for the republican nomination in the 2002 primary.  After three ballots, and a close vote convention delegates chose then State Senator Steve King.

401(K)2012 / flickr

Four years after the Citizens United ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has made a landmark decision that frees the nation's wealthiest donors to have greater influence in federal elections. Today on politics day, analysis of the court's decision.

Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Stephen Schmidt and Timothy Hagle.

Also, a last-minute enrollment surge enabled the White House to meet its original sign-up target for the Affordable Care Act, a surprising victory for the Obama administration. How does this change the political landscape?

Vaguely Artistic

In this off, off-year election local issues and races were the only things on ballots across Iowa. But, a few of those local races drew a lot of outside money and attention.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about whether outside interest groups influenced local races. We also look beyond Iowa’s borders at what gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey may tell us about the current state of our politics and parties.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he’s considering a run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He headlined a fundraiser for Iowa Republicans Friday night in Cedar Rapids.

He may be picking up where his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tx.), left off his 2012 campaign.

Some high-profile Republicans are saying it’s time to “let go” of one battle in the culture wars — the fight against same-sex marriage.

David Kochel was an advisor to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Kochel says he wants to begin a conversation about changing the Republican Party’s idea of family values.

“I like to think of it as my Republican values, and my conservative values—being pro-marriage, pro-family, and believing in intact families as the best place to give children a hope for the future,” he says.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

With the presidential election looming, hardly anyone is paying attention to Ron Paul anymore. The Texas Congressman ran for the GOP nomination, but has not endorsed his party’s nominee. In several places including the battleground state of Iowa, many of Paul’s supporters are still involved in politics – but not on behalf of Mitt Romney. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon reports, they’re keeping the focus close to

home.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

On a muggy afternoon, President Obama addressed an open-air crowd of an about 10,000 people at Living History Farms near Des Moines. He says the GOP convention involved "a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices, but nobody told you what they were."

Republican Party of Iowa

The Republican National Convention is underway in Florida, and while Iowa may not have the largest delegation, it’s still getting a lot of attention because of Iowa’s swing-state status.

The delegation also has been the source of controversy within the party, because most of its members have supported Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon speaks with delegation chairman Drew Ivers, who's also the former chairman of Paul’s Iowa campaign.

The next two weeks are a political junkie’s delight with back-to-back party conventions. Host Ben Kieffer talks with the experts to recap happenings in Tampa, look ahead to North Carolina, and talk about President Obama’s return trip to Iowa this week.

Ron Paul isn't expecting to get the GOP nomination. He says he'll no longer campaign in states that haven't held primaries. But he and his supporters are pushing for delegates in states like Iowa - who've already voted but have yet to award delegates at the state convention.

Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with A.J.