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Iowa's straw poll has no value and means nothing

Updated on August 20, 2011

Rick Perry gunning for votes

Rick Perry gunning for votes
Rick Perry gunning for votes | Source

Iowa's Straw Poll

Having been born in Iowa, growing up in Iowa, and recently living within 20 minutes of Ames, Iowa, I have long been familiar with the Iowa Straw Poll and the Iowa GOP. The straw poll is meaningless. It was created to raise revenue for the Iowa GOP--and the Iowa GOP admits that.

At best the Iowa Straw Poll is a joke--on the candidates. In reality it is misinformation and borders on theft.

To vote in the Iowa Straw Poll for any GOP candidate, the voter must either pay $30 for a ballot or the candidate must buy the ballot for the Iowa voter. Buying votes is not illegal in Iowa during the Straw Poll.

Michele Bachmann bought 6,000 ballots. Her entourage handed them out to those who wanted them. Because she paid $180,000 for the ballots, she won the Straw Poll.

Ron Paul paid the Iowa GOP $31,000 for the best spot with the greatest traffic for his campaign booth. He came in second in the Iowa Straw Poll.

Tim Pawlenty and other GOP candidates did not shell out the big bucks. They received few of the Bachmann-paid Ballots.

The stated purpose of the Iowa GOP Straw Poll is to enrich the Iowa GOP. It, also, adds to the Ames economy but that was never stated in the Iowa GOP charter. The Iowa Straw Poll is not a guarantee for election in November. The Iowa Straw Poll guarantees no candidate will be the nominee of the GOP. Most of the time the winner of the Straw Poll in Iowa is not the national GOP candidate. Far more important is the Iowa caucus.

Bachmann is no heavy weight. She appeals to Tea Party radicals, to evangelicals, to hate groups--but not to mainstream Iowans. It is absurd for any GOP candidate to even consider going to the Iowa Straw Poll. Perry did better by staying away from Ames.

Perry has to appeal to the same base as Bachmann, but he has a lot of baggage: he did not create jobs in Texas, his "abstinence only" campaign saw a sizable increase in teenage pregnancies, with the largest rise in unwanted pregnancies occurring in Austin. His own monogamy is dubious at best, as he has had numerous people report his encounters with two chefs he hired for the governor's mansion, and various males who he placed in advisory capacities. Perry's aid to children fell tragically, a repeat of the state of poor health coverage that put George W. Bush on notice.

Perry's sole source of inspiration is the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) that is run by Tea Party retreads and those who have used the ministry to enrich themselves. The is apocalyptic and will appeal to desperate evangelical extremists, Pentecostals, and Sovereign Citizens, most of whom are in the Tea Party. It will not appeal to traditional rank and file who do not share the charismatic experienced.

More important is that Perry needs to appeal to a broad base. Texas, however, is decidedly racist: coming from the Old Democrats/Dixiecrats who were strict States' Rights and deeply involved in organized hate groups such as the KKK--which is quite alive in West Texas where Rick grew up as a Democrat (and initially served in the Texas legislature as a Democrat).

Perry charges that he will change things: He promises to gut and end social security and medicare. He wants to abolish parts of the US Constitution, and he has promised to "restore" a theocracy in the USA, claiming (without foundation, except found in the poor scholarship of David Barton) that Madison wanted a theocracy and that the majority of those who signed the US Constitution were confessing Christians (which they were not). Perry conveniently forgets that it was the Danbury CT Baptists that asked Jefferson to build a wall separating state and church, and that Jefferson never regretted it nor did any president who followed him.


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