Iowa senator Charles Grassley is being snubbed by his own state's Republican Party.
The group has voted not to send Grassley as a delegate to this summer's national convention in St. Paul, Minn. The Republican presidential candidate will officially be named at the convention scheduled for Sept. 1-4.
Grassley had expressed an interest in being a voting delegate at the convention. Now, although the senator can attend and even walk the floor like other delegates, he will have no voting rights.
Some party insiders say he probably would have been chairman, but Iowa Christian Alliance President Steve Scheffler was selected instead to lead Iowa's 40-member delegation.
The Washington Times reports that evangelical Christians now dominate the Iowa Republican Party. Rumors hint that the committee members were upset with the senator for launching a Senate investigation against Christian television ministries.
Scheffler denies the allegations saying the committee wanted "grassroots" delegates to attend the convention in order to get John McCain and other Iowa Republican candidates elected.
Others see it differently.
"It's pretty well controlled now by the Christian Alliance," former Iowa Republican Committee member Steve Roberts told the Washington Times.
"If somebody came to me and wanted to be a delegate to the national party convention, I used to say, 'Talk to the state party chairman or to Grassley.' Now it's very simple. You go to the Christian Alliance, and they determine who is a delegate, and you have to do exactly as they say," he said.
In a short time frame, the committee replaced the national chairman and voted in a new national committeewoman with a pro-life stance who opposes legalizing homosexual unions.
Critics say these moves have alienated some major Republican donors.
Source: The Washington Times