Iowa CCI tactics called “unproductive & embarrassing”


August 31st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party has publicly rebuked a liberal activist group that has gained media attention by confronting politicians of both parties. Martha Scarpellino, a member of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, described her group this way after they pestered presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Iowa State Fair: “I’m with these guys: the loud, noisy question-askers.” The group also heckled the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee spoke at the Fair.

This past week Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement sent out a press release with details of how the group had “confronted” Republican Senator Chuck Grassley at a town-hall meeting in Carroll “for over an hour” and “demanded” that the senator not cut Social Security. A columnist for the newspaper in Carroll blasted the group’s “ambush tactics” during and after the event. Sue Dvorsky, chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, issued a statement, calling the actions of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement members “unproductive and embarrassing.” She accused the group of being “less focused on results and more focused on creating chaos” that gets written about by the media.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement issued a statement in response, saying Dvorsky’s attack was “baseless” but it also quoted another C-C-I member as saying “sitting back quietly while career politicians debate cuts to our livelihood would be unacceptable.”

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)