Leadership and Supporters
updated December 11, 2006

Unpaid Advisor (Law School Classmate) Chuck Hurley
President of the Iowa Family Policy Center.  Former state representative (represented Lafayette).

Coordinator of Hope for America PAC Eric Woolson
(first reported June 13, 2006; June 14 press release) President and CEO of The Concept Works, a public, media and government relations and crisis management firm with offices in West Des Moines and Bettendorf that he founded in 2002.  Communications director on then Gov. George W. Bush's Iowa caucus campaign, 1999-2000.  Communications director for Gov. Terry Branstad during his final term.  Previously worked for 20 years as a member of the Iowa press corps.  He is also author of Grassley: Senator from Iowa (Mid-Prairie Books, Nov. 1995).

McCain has a hold on the former headquarters of Jim Nussle's 2006 gubernatorial campaign in Urbandale (reported by DMR staff writer Tim Higgins on Dec. 2, 2006; confirmed by exploratory committee--in the event he gets into the race).  Krusty Konservative reports that several people have signed up with McCain: Tim Miller (worked for Dix and Lamberti in 2006), Scott Will (Lamberti), Jenn Crall (Latham) and Erik Helland (who was recently with Pataki's PAC in Iowa).  This also confirmed by the exploratory committee--in the event he gets into the race.
Iowa Chairman David Roederer
(announced 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].
Consultant/"National Advisor" Chuck Larson
(traveled with McCain during his April 13, 2006 Iowa trip)  State Senator (District 19-Cedar Rapids) since 2002, retiring in Dec. 2006; 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.
[directs day to day ops on the ground] Matthew J. Gronewald
(started June 2006)  Most recently 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 Evansdale, Iowa.

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.
Note: 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."

Iowa Veterans Advisory Committee (announced Oct. 30, 2006)
Chairman Major General Evan “Curly” Hultman AUS (Ret.)
From Waterloo.  Iowa State Veterans chairman for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign and a member of the campaign's national veteran's steering committee.  Served two terms as Iowa Attorney General and as executive director of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States.  Started military career in the Army as an infantry private in 1943 and rose through the active and reserve ranks to serve as commanding general of three general officer commands including the 88th U.S. Army Reserve.
Co-Chairman Richard Goebel
From Dubuque.  Served 33 years in the Army Reserve and retired as a Sergeant Major.  Veteran of the first Gulf War and Somalia.  Currently serves as the VFW state commander.
Senior Advisor to Straight Talk America Terry Nelson
(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.

supporter Marlys Popma
(announced 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).

Iowa Office of 21st Century Freedom State PAC: Aurora Business Park, Building 13, Urbandale (Gov. Pataki opened on Sept. 29, 2006)
Chairman State Senator Stew Iverson
(announced June 14, 2006; part of initial leadership team)  Represents Senate District 5, which includes the counties of Story, Hamilton, Wright and part of Webster.  Iverson was elected Senate Majority Leader in 1996 and served through April 2006; he announced in June 2006 that he will not be seeking re-election.  Iverson is a farmer and resides in Clarion (Wright County).  Elected to the Iowa Senate in 1994; elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 1989.  Served fifteen years on the Dows Community School Board.  Served in the United States Marine Corps as budget chief of the First Marine Division.  B.A. in accounting from Buena Vista College; attended Ellsworth Junior College.
Co-Chair Former State Rep. Steve Sukup
(announced Sept. 26, 2006)  Co-owner of Sukup Manufacturing Co., a family-owned agricultural business in Sheffield started by Eugene Sukup in 1963.  Candidate for the 2002 Republican gubernatorial nomination; gained 64,490 votes, finishing second to Doug Gross in the June 2002 primary.  Served in the Iowa House starting in 1994 and finishing as speaker pro tem.  From Daugherty in North Central Iowa.
Executive Director Craig Schoenfeld
(announced Sept. 26, 2006, resigned in Nov. 2006 following the mid-term elections)  Attorney and lobbyist at Wasker Dorr Wimmer & Marcouiller, P.C. in West Des Moines.  Managed Rep. Greg Ganske's 2002 campaign for Senate through late 2001.  Communications director for the Iowa Republican Party.  Political director of Iowa Victory 2000.  Political director of Iowa Victory 2000.  Caucus planning director on Bush's 2000 Iowa caucus campaign (starting Sept. 1999 worked in tandem with the campaign's field operations, preparing county and precinct leaders and supporters for the intricacies of the Iowa caucus process).  Director of communications for the Iowa House Republican Caucus 1999-2000.  Analyst/legal counsel to the House Republican Caucus from 1994-98.  M.A. and J.D. from Drake University, 1994.  B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1991.
Operations Director Noreen F. Bush
(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.
Senior Political Advisor Ed Failor, Jr.
(announced June 14, 2006; part of initial leadership team; left Pataki's team Nov. 21, 2006 following the mid-term elections)  Executive Vice President of Iowans for Tax Relief.  During the 2004 presidential campaign Failor served as executive director of Iowa Victory 2004, helping Bush to carry the battleground state.
Diane Crookham-Johnson
(announced June 14, 2006 as Executive Director; now Executive Director of the national PAC's finance committee)  Vice President for Administration of Musco Lighting Corp. of Oskaloosa; finance roles on a number of Iowa campaigns.  Appointed chair of the Republican Party of Iowa's Victory Fund in June 2005.  Finance chair for the Republican Party of Iowa, 2002-05.  Finance chair for Doug Gross' gubernatorial campaign in 2002.
Loras Schulte
(announced June 14, 2006; part of intial leadership team; left Pataki's team Nov. 21, 2006 following the mid-term elections) Chairman of the Benton County Republican Party and a member of the State Central Committee of the Iowa Republican Party.  Managed Gary Bauer's Iowa caucus campaign in 1999-2000 and Pat Buchanan's Iowa caucus campaign in 1995-96.  He resides in Norway (Benton County) and works as a computer consultant.
Jo Ellen Hill
(announced June 14, 2006; part of initial leadership team)  Managed Mark Leonard's campaign for Secretary of Agriculture in the June 2006 Republican primary.  Regional chair for Bush-Cheney '04.  Member of the Polk County Republican Central Committee and Executive Committee.  Campaign co-chair for the Iowa Federation of Republican Women.

Grassroots Advisory Team
On September 26, 2006 Pataki announced a Grassroots Advisory Team comprising 14 county chairs "named to help the Governor's get out the vote effort for Republicans."

Note: Gov. Pataki announced the initial Iowa leadership team for his 21st Century Freedom PAC on June 14, 2006, in advance of the Iowa Republican state convention:  State Sen. Stew Iverson (Chairman), Ed Failor, Jr. (Senior Political Advisor), Diane Crookham-Johnson (Executive Director), Loras Schulte and JoEllen Hill.  As reported by the Hotline, Schulte subsequently sent out an e-mail stating that his "involvement in the PAC is not an endorsement of the Governor for President but it does reflect how seriously I take the job of helping to fund our 2006 candidates for the State House..."  Schoenfield, Failor and Schulte left Pataki's team in November following the mid-term elections.

Also note: Also note: Erik Helland of Des Moines has been doing political consulting for the PAC; the FEC reports show first payment on Oct. 12, 2005, payments totaling $6,000 through the end of the year and another $7,500 by mid-2006. S.E.I. Consulting LLC of Ankeny also received $5,000.

Iowa Chairman Doug Gross
(announced May 23, 2006)  Attorney at Brown, Winick, Graves, et al..  The 2002 Republican gubernatorial nominee.  Lawyer and lobbyist.  Chief of staff to Gov. Terry
Branstad, 1984-89.  Legislative liaison to Gov. Robert Ray, 1981-83.  Director of the Fuels Division for the Iowa Energy Policy Council.  Chief legislative assistant to
Congressman Tom Tauke; worked on Tom Tauke's successful 1978 campaign for Congress.  Law degree from Drake University, 1985.  Bachelor's degree from Iowa
Wesleyan College in 1977.  Born in Earling, Iowa (Shelby County).
Treasurer/Unpaid Advisor to the Iowa Commonwealth PAC Dave Kochel
Principal at JDK Marketing & Public Affairs in Des Moines.  Executive Vice President at DCI Group.  Managed Lamar Alexander's 1999-2000 Iowa caucus campaign.  Executive director of the Michigan Republican Party in the latter part of 1996.  Executive director of the Iowa Republican Party, 1995-96.  Graduate of Iowa State University in Ames with a degree in political science, 1992.

The Commonwealth PAC Iowa Advisory Committee.
On June 17, 2006 Romney announced creation of this group "composed of fifty distinguished Iowa leaders from all across the state."
also June 17, Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson reported that Gross announced Romney has hired three staff people to work in Iowa on GOP campaigns.
Advisor House Speaker Christopher Rants
(announced Sept. 27, 2006)  Represents District 54-Sioux City.  First elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1992; elected Speaker Nov. 12, 2002.  B.A. from Morningside College, 1989.

Consulting for The Commonwealth PAC; Deputy Political Director at the RGA Gentry Collins

Key Grassroots Supporter - Jeff Fuller.
Fuller of North Liberty runs the Iowans for Romney blog (first posting on May 5, 2006).  Vitreoretinal Surgical Fellowship at University of Iowa.  Residency in Ophthalmology at Medical College of Georgia. Medical School at UAB in Birmingham.  College at Brigham Young University.  Born and raised in Los Angeles area (Glendora High School).

The Commonwealth PAC (Iowa) reported > contributions of $90,800.00 and expenditures of $76,323.36 in 2004 and contributions of $143,000.00 and expenditures of $62,622.95 in 2005.

Steve Grubbs
(reported by DMR's David Yepsen)  President (recently stepped down) and CEO of Victory Enterprises, Inc., a technology communications company that specializes in internet web sites, as well as radio and television advertising.  Senior advisor on the Forbes 2000 campaign.  Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, 1998.  Candidate for U.S. Senate, 1996.  Iowa Caucus chairman, Dole for President, 1996.  State Representative, 1991-97.  Polling and research director for Tauke for Congress, 1988.  Campus director of University of Iowa Students for Dole in 1987, then a field staffer for Dole for President in 1988.  J.D., University of Iowa School of Law, 1994.  B.B.A., University of Iowa School of Business, 1989.

Iowa Coordinators Central - Patrick Anderson
Eastern - Steve Huff
Western - Keith Hunter


Midwest Political Director for All America PAC Chris Hayler
Hayler served as Southeast regional field director on Kerry's Iowa caucus campaign starting March 1, 2003.  Directed the Iowa Coordinated Campaign in the 1st CD in 2002.  Regional organizer for the Alliance for Justice, organizing youth for gun control.  Field organizer for Gore in Washington State.  M.A. in political management and B.A. in political science from George Washington University.

On August 15 All America PAC announced deployment of 50 graduates of its campaign-training program to work as paid staffers on campaigns in Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  Fully half of the staffers were sent to Iowa.

Key Supporter - Roxanne Conlin.
Co-chair of Edwards' 2003-04 Iowa caucus campaign.  Conlin has practiced law at her own firm in Des Moines, Roxanne Conlin & Associates, P.C., since 1991; "she exclusively represents people who have been harmed by others, whether by discrimination, products, doctors or vehicles."  From 1983-1990 she was a principal at Galligan and Conlin, P.C.  Among her many accomplishments, Conlin was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1982, and she served as first woman president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (1992-93).  In 1995 she was elected to Inner Circle of Advocates, whose membership is limited to 100.  Conlin served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa from 1977-81. She obtained her J.D. from Drake University Law School in 1966 at age 21.

Communications Director for One America Committee (in DC) - Kim Rubey.
Press secretary on Edwards' Iowa caucus campaign starting mid-March 2003.  Prior to starting as Edwards' Iowa press secretary, Rubey was press secretary for the DCCC.  In 2000, she served as Midwest communications director for the Gore campaign.  A native of Oklahoma, Rubey graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in American Government.

campaign headquartered in Des Moines and has much Iowa talent including
Senior Communications Strategist Jeff Link
(announced Nov. 9, 2006, also worked for the Heartland PAC)  Principal of Link Strategies, an Iowa-based political and government relations consulting firm he founded
during law school.  Campaign manager for Sen. Tom Harkin’s successful 1996 and 2002 campaigns.  Iowa State Director for Gore-Lieberman in 2000.  Chief of Staff for
Sen. Harkin, 1997-99.  Directed Democrats' efforts to maintain their majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1995.  Executive assistant to Speaker Robert W.
O’Donnell of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1991-94; managed O'Donnell's gubernatorial campaign in 1994.  Law degree from Drake University, 2002.
Iowa State Director Dusky Terry
(announced Nov. 9, 2006, also worked for the Heartland PAC starting in July 2006)  Sought the Democratic nomination for Secretary of Agriculture in the June 2006 primary but lost to Denise O'Brien.  Served as Gov. Vilsack's Constituent Casework Coordinator; Policy Advisor on Agriculture, Environment, and Transportation; Legislative Director; Senior Advisor to the Governor; and finally as Policy Director before leaving to run for office.  Started working for Vilsack on his gubernatorial campaign in January 1998.  Graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, 1997.  Grew up on a farm near Greenfield, IA.
Iowa Field Director Jesse Harris
(from the start of the campaign)  Most recently worked as the Field Director for the Iowa Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign.  Field Director for the Chet Culver for Governor campaign.  Regional Field Director for the 2004 Iowa Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign (Linn County).  Field staffer on John Edwards' Iowa caucus campaign (Warren County).  May 2003 graduate of Simpson College with a double major in History and Political Science.
Advisor Teresa Vilmain
(announced Nov. 9, 2006)  Director of political strategy at the DNC in the 2004 cycle (announced as "General Election Strategist" in February 2003).  Gore-Lieberman State Director in the 2000 General Election campaign.  General consultant to Tom Vilsack's gubernatorial campaign in Iowa in 1998.  Wisconsin state director for Clinton/Gore 96.  Consultant for the Human Rights Campaign's OutVote 96 project.  Political director of Emily's List.  Campaign manager for Geraldine Ferraro's 1992 U.S. Senate race.  Worked on the Iowa caucuses for Gary Hart in 1987 and Michael Dukakis in 1988.  First presidential campaign worked on was Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1980.  Native of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

VOLPAC Iowa Chairman Brian Kennedy
(announced July 13, 2006)  Attorney affiliated with the Davenport law firm of Gallagher, Millage & Gallagher, P.L.C.; resident of Bettendorf.  Most recently competed in the June 2006 primary to be the Republican nominee in Iowa's First Congressional District (announced April 2005).   In 2003, founded Campaign of One, a Republican committee dedicated to creating a new generation of political entrepreneurs in Eastern Iowa.  A co-founder of Progress for America, a national grassroots issue advocacy organization working to support President Bush's legislative agenda.  National political director on Lamar Alexander's 2000 presidential campaign, then joined the McCain campaign as national political consultant.  Has served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, a member of the Republican National Committee, a Co-Chairman of the Republican National Convention Platform Committee, and Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association as well as a political advisor or campaign manager to former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and several other Republican candidates.  Graduated from Iowa State University and Drake University Law School.  Grew up in Eastern Iowa.
VOLPAC Iowa Field Director Marcus Branstad
(first reported late June 2006)  Graduated from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake in May 2006.  Youngest child of former Gov. Terry and Chris Branstad.

Friend/Volunteer - Paul Tewes.   (visited Iowa and made some recommendations in advance of Sen. Feingold's first trip there on April 28-29, 2006)
Campaign manager of Americans United to Protect Social Security in 2005; formed a consulting firm with Steve Hildebrand in early 2005.  Political director of the DSCC in the 2004 cycle.  Field director on Vice President Al Gore's 2000 Iowa caucus campaign starting in June 1999.  Executive director of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, 1998.  Managed Sandy Pappas’ mayoral campaign in St. Paul in 1997.  Managed U.S. Rep. David Minge's re-election campaign in 1996.  Western MN field coordinator for Ann Wynia's U.S. Senate campaign in 1994.  Graduate of Carleton College with a degree in Political Science, 1993.  Native of Mt. Lake, MN.

Grassroots Supporter - Patrick Stansberry.
Stansberry, who lives in central Iowa, runs the Iowa for Feingold blog (launched Jan. 16, 2006).
"I have lived in central Iowa my entire life.  I headed off to college at the University of Iowa thinking I knew what I wanted to do with my life.  After graduating and working for a year, I decided to go back to school to get my elementary education degree.  I recently graduated [Dec. 2005] and will be teaching 2nd grade starting in August [Aug. 2006]."

Starting August 2006, Forward Together PAC is paying the salary of Courtney Dozier, who will work for the Iowa Democratic Party.  (Most recently deputy director of the House Democratic Caucus in Virginia.  Deputy field director for America Coming Together West Virginia in 2004.  Graduate of George Mason University.)

Grassroots Supporter - Matthew Moore.
Draft Mark Warner Iowa Coordinator.

Grassroots Supporter - John Zimmerman (Yellowdogjz).

Zimmerman, who describes himself as "a concerned Democrat in southeast Iowa," runs the Iowa for Mark Warner 2008 blog (first postings on March 14, 2006).
Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action