Tuesday, December 20, 2011 TBR Live – Iowa Confusion
Why is one small document creating a huge controversy in the Iowa Presidential Caucuses? And why is that document now being hidden? So many questions and so few answers . . .
Amid rumblings of dirty politics, back room deals, even a corruption of the process, the Iowa caucuses might to be turning into a New Orleans style free-for-all including the suppression of the 2012 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Presidential Caucus Voters Guide. More details to follow.
First there was the President and CEO of The Family Leader, Bob Vander Plaat's well known feud with Kent Sorenson, head of the Bachmann Iowa Campaign. Sources have said that even though two separate pastors' caucuses, which were hosted by Vander Plaats' organization, wanted to endorse Michele Bachmann, Vander Plaats, a well-known dealmaker and powerbroker in Iowa, refused to endorse her in deference to his need for, what some might consider, personal and petty power politics. Isn’t it a shame that even in the world of “Christian” politics we see way too much human nature?
Still his moves are curious. Allegedly, on Saturday Vander Plaats called the Bachmann Campaign and told Congresswoman Bachmann that she should drop out of the race and support Santorum or Perry. This is a curious move in light of the fact that Bachmann polls higher than Santorum or Perry in a number of polls.
Then today Vander Plaats personally endorsed Rick Santorum and leaves the organization in neutral with no endorsement. Only one evening before he endorses Santorum he is praising Bachmann on a local radio program and saying he would endorse the following day. And what a press conference!
This chaotic event left more than a few of us wondering if the endorsement of Santorum was personal or organizational. It was not until about an hour later that it was made clear that this was a personal endorsement. Which begs the question: Why did the organization not endorse?
Perhaps the answer to that question can be found in a press release Iowa Faith Leaders Address Family Leader Decision to Remain Neutral from the Bachmann campaign which quoted a number of faith and family leaders in Iowa who aren’t sure that even his personal endorsement of Santorum wasn’t misguided.
For instance, Pastors Matt Floyd, Bill Tvedt and Brad Cranston , along with faith leader, Tamara Scott, all endorsed Michele Bachmann wholeheartedly insisting “Michele Bachmann is a biblically qualified, capable, no-compromise leader who is the only truly consistent conservative in the race." Apparently, Mr. Vander Plaats has a different set of priorities than the rest of the faith community in Iowa. Sounds like not everybody was on the same page. Perhaps Mr. Vander Plaats needs a little time away, his thinking and actions seem a bit muddled.
Then there is the mystery surrounding the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition. Steve Scheffler, Presisdent of the organization, whose Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Presidential Caucus Voter Guides are iconic – both for identifying candidates stands on key issues and as a major fund raising tool for the organization – suddenly, and at the last minute, decided to pull the 2012 Voter Guides after they have already been printed. That could literally mean tens of thousands of dollars sitting in a warehouse doing nothing and not raising multiple tens of thousands of dollars for the organization.
For the first time in 15 years the Voter Guides have not gone out. So, was there information in the Voter Guides that Mr. Scheffler – or those who influence him – did not want out? Having received an advance copy of the Voter Guide (which we wil send to anyone who sends us a message on Facebook), we know that Michele Bachmann is the only candidate with a 100% score.
Suddenly, with no explanation given, it is pulled. Remember the words of the pastors and faith leaders in Iowa, “Michele Bachmann is a biblically qualified, capable, no-compromise leader who is the only truly consistent conservative in the race.” But the famous Voter Guides, which show her with a 100% score, are suddenly pulled? Curious!
Was Mr. Scheffler pressured by outside forces? Threatened? Told by his Board of Directors not to send them out? Surely a man of such repute would never succumb to the siren song of personal gain. Some might say, “Well,that’s politics.” Of course, “that’s politics” could be the answer. All of this could be written off as the petty nature of politics and powerbrokers. Strange things happen in the “fog of war” or – as in this case – the “fog of political war”, except for one small item.
There are continued rumors of backroom deals and corruption of the process. Naturally one hopes that the persistent whisperings about backroom deals and political corruption in Iowa are only rumors and that no one is actually willing to sell their endorsement or hide Voter Guides for nefarious reasons, but, unfortunately, as we all know, it has happened in other elections.
But, be assured, having now seen and documented the strange goings on in this campaign, we will be keeping a close eye on the 2012 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Presidential Caucus Voter Guides, the money, and the players in this political Kabuki dance.
Here is the preview copy we received of the VOTER GUIDE.
Just another note, I wrote to the Faith & Freedom Coalition and asked them about the circumstances surrounding the withholding of the Voters' Guides on Monday night and they still have not responded.
I think it is odd that we sent the below letter to our attorneys Tuesday, I started posing questions about certain improprieties and Voters Guides not going out early Wednesday and then Rick Santorum goes to the Des Moines Register and rats out Vander Plaat, who had just endorsed him, and whose endorsement was supposed to be such a BIG push in the Santorum campaign ... Hmmm .... I do smell something fishy ...