Iowa GOP coup! Sane Republicans fire Paulista chair, take control of party

Forces loyal to Gov. Terry Brandstad seized control of the Iowa Republican State Central Committee at the party convention earlier this month. Now the other shoe has dropped: they have forced Rand Paul supporter Danny Carroll out as state party chair, and replaced him with centrist Jeff Kaufmann.

Kaufmann is a former Speaker Pro Tempore of the Iowa House.

Former party executive director Chad Olson, who was fired when the Paulistas took over the state party machinery after the 2012 caucuses, will get his job back.

Partly because of the highly democratized caucus system, which effectively gives control of the party to the most motivated (and usually the most extreme) elements of the party, the Iowa Republican party tends to be to the Right of the party nationally, just as the Iowa Democratic party tends to be to the national Democratic party's Left.

The coup offers hope that sane conservatives rather than extremists will be able to assert themselves in coming months, in order to maximize the chances of success in Iowa both this year and in 2016.


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