Tom Schultz, an Iowa-born Brigham Young University student, has found himself as a key player in a presidential dust-up.
Schultz’s brother, Matt Schultz, is the Iowa Secretary of State who took some swipes at former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. earlier this month over Huntsman’s decision to bypass the Iowa caucuses. The statement came out on the Secretary of State’s letterhead.
The Iowa political blog Under The Golden Dome obtained drafts of the statement via an open records request that showed that Matt Schultz shared drafts of the document with his brother.
Tom Schultz started a website seeking to draft former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum into the presidential race in January 2010.
The speculation was that Schultz’s dig at Huntsman could have been coordinated with Santorum, who is competing in Iowa. The story got picked up by Politico and elsewhere.
Meantime, Iowa’s Democratic Party has filed an ethics complaint against Schultz, claiming he used his office to campaign against Huntsman.
Tom Schultz said on Monday that he’s not affiliated with any campaign, and he doesn’t plan to work for any of the campaigns this cycle.
"I am not paid by Rick Santorum or any presidential campaign, indirectly or directly, period," told me.
Beyond that, Schultz said the following statement his brother sent to Politico is all they had to say:
"I recently released a statement in response to Jon Huntsman's decision to skip the Iowa caucus. Prior to sending my official statement, I forwarded a copy of it to my brother because I value his insights. He forwarded me some suggestions to my final paragraph which I ultimately chose not to use in my statement. These were my words and I did not coordinate with any campaign. As a college student my brother designed a draft Rick Santorum website, but has no official or unofficial role in his or any other presidential campaign. He has never received any financial benefit for this website either. I defended the Iowa Caucuses as well as Iowa voters. We are not single issue voters and I believe that all Presidential candidates should compete in the Iowa caucuses."
-- Robert Gehrke
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