By Derek Willis – New York Times –
The ouster of Ron Paul’s backers from Iowa’s Republican Party leadership this weekend might help the state party raise money.
Paul, the champion of libertarianism and former Texas congressman, is the father of Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, a possible presidential candidate. In describing Saturday’s move, Jennifer Jacobs of The Des Moines Register said the party was trying to build a broader base, with less focus on “pet liberty-movement issues,” adding, “Big donors who closed their checkbooks may start giving money to the state party again.”
Here’s how bad the situation has been for the Iowa G.O.P.: The $129,843 raised in the first three months of 2014 is the lowest amount in a year without a presidential election since at least 2002. Last year, the party raised less than half of what it did in 2005.
The last individual contribution of $5,000 or more occurred a year ago, and the party has struggled to retain even longtime donors. John Ruan III, thechairman of his family’s transportation company in Des Moines, had given at least $72,600 to the party’s federal account since 1992, but he last donated in January 2012.
Of the four states with open Senate races this year (Iowa, Michigan, Georgia and West Virginia), only West Virginia’s state G.O.P. has raised less money this year.
By continuing under the leadership of Ron Paul supporters, Iowa Republicans risked having the state party sidelined, similar to what happened in Nevada in 2012. National Republicans, keen to re-elect Dean Heller to the Senate seat he had been appointed to in 2011, bypassed the state party. They funneled $638,000 to the Washoe County Republican Party to help Mr. Heller, who narrowly retained his seat.
The Nevada state party’s finances have not recovered: It ended March withless than $10,000 in its account for federal elections and has raised less than $25,000 this year.