Terminated

01.25.14

Iowa GOP Fires Contractor Responsible For Facebook Post

The person responsible for a controversial Facebook post on racism has already been terminated by the Iowa GOP.

The Republican Party of Iowa is already taking action after an offensive flowchart was briefly posted on its Facebook page Friday night.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, party chair AJ Spiker said the contractor responsible for posting the flowchart which asked "is someone a racist" has been fired. In addition, he said that the Republican Party of Iowa was taking new measures to avoid such incidents in the future. Echoing his statement last night, Spiker said, "One day ago, a contractor of the Iowa GOP who handles social media made a post referencing a discussion on race that the GOP believes was in bad taste and inappropriate. We apologize to those whom were offended, have removed the post and are ensuring it does not happen again." Spiker then went on to announce that "the contractor has been terminated and moving forward the Iowa GOP has instituted a new policy regarding our social media postings that will require all posts to be viewed and then approved by no less than two individuals before they are submitted and posted."

The contractor responsible for posting the flowchart, Shane Vander Hart, posted an apology on his personal blog. In his statement, Vander Hart wrote, "It was an attempt at humor which perhaps would have been ok for my personal page, but not for the Republican Party of Iowa. My intent was to make light of how the race card is played in American politics. It was an error in judgment, one I deeply regret, and take full responsibility for. I apologize to those whom I offended, as well as, to Iowa Republicans. This is not the message we need to send. It is distracting to our mission of electing Republicans. I also would like to publicly apologize to A.J. Spiker for the problems this has caused him."

Democrats didn't waste any time to jump on the Republican Party of Iowa for this social media fiasco. In a statement Friday night, Scott Brennan, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party said, “Iowans have had enough of the intolerance, hate and divisiveness shared tonight on the Republican Party of Iowa’s Facebook.  This sort of rhetoric – joke or not – has no place in politics, period."

The post comes as yet another off-message moment for the GOP, which is in the midst of a partywide "rebrand" after the 2012 election, following former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's comments about Democrats and women's libidos on Thursday.