John McCain-Organization, Iowa
updated August 22, 2007

JOHN McCAIN 2008, INC. (March 1, 2007)
JOHN McCAIN 2008 - THE EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE  (filed with the FEC to establish on Nov. 16, 2006)
Headquarters:  2335 70th Street, Urbandale, IA 50322

Below is a sketch of the campaign as it looked before the July 2, 2007 restructuring and July 10 reverberations (see here for post-restructuring organization). On July 2 state director Matt Strawn left and according to three news sources (the Des Moines Register, the New York Times and Politico) half the staff or more were out as well.   The Register's Tom Beaumont reported, "At least 10 McCain staffers working directly on the campaign for the leadoff nominating caucuses have been laid off or have turned down the chance to keep their jobs at lower pay..."  Beaumont put the size of the remaining staff at seven.  The New York Times reported on July 3, "Mr. McCain’s campaign was in flux particularly in Iowa, where half of his 16-member staff was let go yesterday, campaign officials said."   Senior advisors Karen Slifka and Ed Failor, Jr. left following the July 10 shake-up.  Other departures included political director Matt Gronewald, communications director Tim Miller and coalitions director Marlys Popma (who later returned).  National field director Jon Seaton was poised to take over the reins.
See: Thomas Beaumont.  "Low on cash, McCain slashes staff in Iowa to 7." Des Moines Register, July 6, 2007.
Chairman David Roederer
(announced by Straight Talk America on Sept. 22, 2006)  Chair of the Lamberti for Congress Committee and the Vaudt for State Auditor Committee.  Chaired the Iowa Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign.  Managing partner of StrataVizion, Inc. in Des Moines.  Served as the Economic Development Coordinator for Iowa State University.  Chief of staff for Gov. Terry Branstad, 1991-95; campaign manager for Gov. Branstad, 1990-91.  Director of the Iowa Department of Commerce, 1988-90.  B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, 1973.  [Also, in the private sector Roederer worked for two and a half years in Saudi Arabia designing a national law enforcement agency for a Lockheed Martin company].
State Director Matt Strawn
(reported Feb. 15, 2007; through July 2)  Chief of staff and top political adviser to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan for the past five years.  A top advisor on Jeff Lamberti's 2006 congressional campaign in the Iowa 3rd CD.  Graduate of the University of Iowa.  Iowa native (from Van Horne according to Krusty Konservative, in Benton County in eastern Iowa).
Coalitions Director Marlys Popma
(exploratory committee announced Popma as a supporter Dec. 1, 2006)  Currently president of IHS (In His Service) Consulting.  A two-time executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa, as well as its political director and Victory director.  Has served as president of Iowa Right to Life and as executive director of the Iowa Family Policy Center.  National deputy political director for Gary Bauer for President in 1999-2000.  Deputy Iowa campaign manager for Phil Gramm’s 1996 presidential campaign.  Popma has also worked for the campaigns of Congressman Jim Ross Lightfoot, and the gubernatorial campaigns of Terry Branstad and Jim Nussle.  Resident of Lynnville (Jasper County).
Deputy Coalitions Director Matthew J. Gronewald
(started with Straight Talk America in June 2006 directing day to day ops on the ground)  Managed State Rep. Bill Dix's congressional campaign in Iowa's 1st CD; Dix finished second to Mike Whalen in the June 6, 2006 primary.  Previously he worked for the State Party's Legislative Majority Fund, and as Rep. Dix's legislative assistant while he was the Statehouse Appropriations Chairman.  From Des Moines.
More Coalitions Patrick Anderson
In 2006 Anderson was Iowa coordinator on the John Cox for President campaign.  Campaign manager for Tom Sooter for Iowa Senate; campaign manager for Kenneth Young for Iowa Senate; and worked on Congressman Tom Latham’s 2006 re-election campaign.  Anderson is employed by the Iowa State University Department of Residence.  Before that, he was an Adjunct Professor at Ellsworth Community College.  He began his professional career in real estate working for and owning a custom building business.  He has served as a marriage and family counselor, a pastor, and an evangelist.  J.D. from Oak Brook College of Law; Master's degree in counseling and Bachelor’s degree from Shalom Bible College and Seminary. Anderson and his family live in Hubbard, Iowa.
Social Conservatives Katie Jerabek
Field representative on Jim Nussle's 2006 gubernatorial campaign.  2004 graduate of Creighton University.
Veterans Director Joel Arends
J.D. from the University of South Dakota, 2006. Iraqi War veteran.  Ran for State House against Rep. Steve Warnstadt (D) of Sioux City in 2000. Bush 2000 field staffer. B.A. in political science from the University of South Dakota.
Field Director Marco Nunez
Deputy political director on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2006 re-election campaign.  Deputy regional political director for Western states at the RNC.  Oregon field staffer on Bush-Cheney '04 (Multnomah County and North Willamette Valley Region).

Regional Field Directors
Scott Will
Field staffer on Jeff Lamberti's '06 congressional campaign.

Grant Young
Political director on Jeff Lamberti's '06 congressional campaign.  Regional field representative for Polk and surrounding counties on Bush-Cheney '04.  Director of organization on Greg Ganske for U.S. Senate campaign in 2002; director of organization on Stan Thompson for Congress.  Field organizer on Gov. Bush's 2000 Iowa caucus campaign.

Bryan Humphreys
Worked for the MN GOP in the 2006 cycle.

Noreen Bush
Operations director on Gov. George Pataki's 21st Century Freedom State PAC (announced Sept. 26, 2006)  Experience in government and with Iowa Victory '04.  J.D. from Drake University Law School, 2006.  B.A. from Mount Mercy College, 2003.

Andy Van Zee
Field organizer on Jim Nussle's 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

Wes Peterson
Worked on Jim Nussle's 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

also field
Erik Helland
Did some consulting for Gov. George Pataki's 21st Century Freedom PAC in the 2006 cycle.
Straw Poll Coordinator Jennifer Crall
Managed Congressman Tom Latham's 2006 re-election campaign in the 4th CD.  Deputy chief of staff to Rep. Latham.  Started career in politics as a fundraiser for Congressman Steve King, Stewart Iverson, and Carmine Boal.  Graduate of Iowa State University.
Communications Director Tim Miller
In 2006 was spokesman on State Sen. Jeff Lamberti's congressional campaign in the 3rd CD, and earlier worked on State Rep. Bill Dix's congressional primary campaign in the 1st CD.  Graduate of The George Washington University with a degree in political science and journalism, 2004.
Events Lynn McRoberts

Office Manager/Social Conservative Outreach Maxine Sieleman
(announced as a supporter on Jan. 17, 2007)  Social conservative leader.  Her daily news/talk radio program, "Update Today" first aired on KWKY, a Des Moines Christian radio station, in 1982.  The show currently reaches 90 of Iowa's 99 counties and can be heard worldwide on the Internet.  Sieleman founded the Iowa chapter of Concerned Women for America in 1985.
Senior Advisor Chuck Larson
(traveled with McCain during his April 13, 2006 Iowa trip; reported staying on following July 2 and 10, 2007 shake-ups)  State Senator (District 19-Cedar Rapids) from 2002-06; previously served as a State Representative, 1992-2001.  Founder of Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission, a 501(c)(4).  Deployed to Iraq as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve in Sept. 2003 and served there for a year.  Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa starting Jan. 27, 2001.  General counsel for The ESCO Group, Cedar Rapids, starting in 1999.  Assistant Jones County Attorney, 1997-99.  University of Iowa, JD, 1996; University of Iowa, BA in Economics, 1992.
Senior Advisor Karen Slifka
(announced Jan. 23, 2007; to start Feb. 2007; left following July 10, 2007 shake-up)  Partner at Lincoln Strategies Group, a West Des Moines grassroots consulting firm.  Midwest regional political director at the RNC in the 2006 cycle.  Midwest regional political director on Bush-Cheney '04.  Political director of the Iowa Republican Party.  Field representative for the NRCC in 2000.  Worked for Rep. John Kasich and, after he withdrew, for Steve Forbes during the 2000 Iowa caucuses campaign.  Started her political career in 1992 as a field representative for Rep. Jim Nussle.  Originally from Waterloo, IA.
Senior Advisor Ed Failor, Jr.
(announced Jan. 23, 2007; left following July 10, 2007 shake-up)  Executive Vice President of Iowans for Tax Relief.  Senior political advisor to Gov. George Pataki's 21st Century Freedom PAC  (announced June 14, 2006; part of initial leadership team; departure reported Nov. 21, 2006).  During the 2004 presidential campaign Failor served as executive director of Iowa Victory 2004, helping Bush to carry the battleground state.
Consultant Bob Haus
Des Moines-based consultant (Eagle Media Group LLC).  Senior Iowa consultant on Steve Forbes' 2000 Iowa caucus campaign.  Managed Sen. Phil Gramm's 1996 Iowa caucus campaign.  Managed Sen. Chuck Grassley's 1992 re-election campaign.  Worked for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus.  Graduate of Iowa State University; law degree from the University of Iowa, 1988.

County Leadership
(May 3, 2007) - Mississippi Valley Leadership Team comprising backers from Dubuque County south along the Mississippi River to Lee County on the Missouri border.
(June 7, 2007) - North Iowa Leadership Team comprising backers from Cerro Gordo County and several adjacent counties.
(June 21, 2007) - leadership organization in Marion and Jasper counties.
(July 9, 2007) - Plymouth County Leadership Team.

former Auditor Richard Johnson
(announced Feb. 22, 2007) Johnson was appointed Auditor by Gov. Robert Ray in 1979 after the incumbent died; elected to the position six times; served 24 years. Co-chair of Phil Gramm’s presidential campaign in 1996, and director and treasurer of Sen. Charles Grassley’s campaign committee.   Appointed as the Director of Finance for the Iowa Highway Commission in 1968; appointed as the first Director of the Department of Transportation's Administration Division in 1975; and appointed as the Director of the Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division in 1978.  Mayor of Sheldahl  from 1964-75.  Started in public service as the Sheldahl City Clerk in 1959.  Bachelor's degree in accounting from Drake University; also earned CPA.  Native of Spencer.

former Congressman Greg Ganske
(announced March 28, 2007) Represented Iowa’s 4th CD in the U.S. House from 1995-2003.  Republican Party nominee for U.S. Senate in 2002.

former state Senate President Jeff Lamberti
(announced April 25, 2007)  Republican Party nominee for Congress in Iowa's 3rd CD in 2006.   Served two terms as an Iowa state Senator and two terms as a state Representative; elected president of the Iowa Senate by his colleagues in 2004.

Iowa Veterans Advisory Committee
On April 12, 2007 the campaign announced its Iowa Veterans Advisory Committee, headed by Colonel Bud Day (Ret.) as Honorary Chair and Major General Evan Curly Hultman (Ret.) as Chair.  Also, on June 27, 2007 the campaign announced endorsements of 10 former generals.   Note: Back on Oct. 30, 2006 the PAC announced Iowa Veterans Advisory Committee with Hultman as Chairman and Richard Goebel of Dubuque as Co-Chairman.  (Goebel is not on the new list).

Iowa Mayors for McCain leadership team
On April 2, 2007 the campaign announced support of 23 mayors "from both rural and urban communities and draws upon each of Iowa’s five congressional districts."
On May 7, 2007 the campaign announced suport of Davenport Mayor Edwin Winborn.
Mayor since Jan. 2006.  Served 19 years on the Scott County Board of Supervisors and 11 years as its chairman.  Has also served as Scott County Recorder, chairman of the Scott County Solid Waste Commission, chairman of the Bi-State Metropolitan Commission, and vice-chairman of the Quad City Development Group.  Private sector experience as the owner and operator of Winborn's Sporting Goods.  M.B.A. from the University of Iowa.  Vietnam veteran.  Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Davenport native.

On April 26, 2007, in conjunction with his announcement tour, the McCain campaign released a list "Iowa Leadership Organization."

De Byerly
(announced Feb. 2, 2007)  Grassroots coordinator for Bob Vander Plaats' gubernatorial campaign (through Feb. 2006); grassroots coordinator for Bush-Cheney ’04 in Iowa; campaign manager for Bill Salier’s primary campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2002.   Past Iowa caucus experience includes work for both John Kasich and Steve Forbes' presidential campaigns.  Byerly also served as chairwoman of the Cerro Gordo County Republican Party and as a 2nd District representative to the Republican Party of Iowa's state central committee.  Activist for Iowa Right to Life, Iowa Christian Alliance, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Iowa Legislative Advisory Team
On Oct. 5, 2006, Straight Talk America announced that thirteen state legislators had joined together to form the Iowa Legislative Advisory Team for the PAC.
Sen. Larry McKibben, Sen. John Putney, Sen. Pat Ward, Sen. Mark Zieman; Rep. Rich Anderson, Rep. Dave Heaton, Rep. Steve Lukan, Rep. Mike May, Rep. Rod Roberts, Rep. Bill Schickel, Rep. Doug Struyk, Rep. David Tjepkes, and Rep. Walt Tomenga.
-On Oct. 6, 2005 the Des Moines Register's Tom Beaumont reported that Rep. Dave Heaton of Mount Pleasant had not endorsed McCain.  Beaumont wrote that Heaton said he "would remain neutral indefinitely and was 'very disappointed' by the error."
-Reps. Doug Struyk (Council Bluffs) and David Tjepkes (Gowrie) switched to Romney (announced on April 4, 2007 as part of his Iowa Legislative Leadership Team.

finally, it is important to note that the person McCain tapped to run his national campaign started out in Iowa:
National Campaign Manager Terry Nelson
(reported by ABC News on Dec. 7, 2006)  Senior Advisor to Straight Talk America (reported by AP's Ron Fournier on March 18, 2006).  Founder and managing partner of Crosslink Strategy Group; also a consultant and member of Akerman Senterfitt's Policy practice group.  Political director for Bush-Cheney '04, 2003-04 (announced May 30, 2003).  Deputy chief of staff and director of political operations at the RNC from January 2002 until joining the Bush campaign.  In February 2001 Nelson and two partners formed Dawson, McCarthy, Nelson Media, a Washington, DC consulting firm.  Political director for the NRCC during the 2000 cycle, and earlier served as the NRCC's national field director, 1997-99.  Majority staff director of the Iowa Senate, 1997.  NRCC field representative, 1995-96.  Campaign manager for Rep. Jim Nussle, 1992-95.  Graduate of the University of Iowa with a B.S. in Political Science, 1994.  From Marshalltown, Iowa.

also see
Straight Talk Iowa Style (an independent blog, not connected to the campaign)
Copyright © 2006, 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action