Political activists who share Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s view of limited of government are slowly turning up in key positions at state GOP party headquarters across the country, according to the Des Moines Register
In Iowa, the presence of Paul supporters has triggered a backlash among donors and Chad Olsen, the long-time state Republican executive director, has resigned, the Register reported Thursday.
“Across the nation, a small but ultra-organized group of activists who share Paul’s philosophy of limited government have been working to get themselves installed in top party positions, to dominate GOP conventions, and to strip national delegates from Mitt Romney, the likely Republican presidential candidate. Iowa is one of the first states to see an adverse reaction,” wrote Register political reporter Jennifer Jacobs.
Craig Williams, the party’s treasurer, declined to reveal the Iowa GOP’s financial standing at the moment, but he confirmed that fundraising has dried up.
“To say I’m concerned about the financial viability of the party would be an understatement,” Williams told Jacobs. “And it’s easy to understand why people are taking a wait-and-see attitude with their money.”
Long-time Republican contributor John Gleeson is one of those waiting to see how things go.
“I’m now very concerned about who’s running the state GOP and the direction they’re heading and how conservative a base they’re targeting,” Gleeson, president of Klinger Companies Inc., told Jacobs.
A.J. Spiker, who was Paul’s campaign co-chairman in Iowa, has been named the new state party chairman.
Other Paul backers have also moved into key positions, Jacobs wrote, including filling 10 of the 13 delegate slots tentatively set to represent Iowa at the Republican National Convention in August.
Jacobs said a third of the 18 seats on the state party’s board are also filled by Paul supporters.
Spiker said he sees his job as doing what he can to reach out to “all sectors of the party” and to advance “all candidates” in the elections.
Other Paul supporters dismissed the complaints as nothing more than grumbling.
“There’s a moderate element in Iowa that’s gotten very comfortable, I think,” said incoming state central committee member Joel Kurtinitis.
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