Iowa State College Republicans impeach former president

Iowa State College Republicans are trying to impeach former president Jacob “Vlad” Minock (right).

Amber Mohmand

The Iowa State College Republicans are trying to “impeach” their former president, charging him with sexual harassment, abuse of power, blackmail threats, violent threats and the “unbecoming of a member.” 

Testimonies have been collected about Jacob “Vlad” Minock, a graduate student in business administration, from current and past members of College Republicans during the last four months to compile what College Republicans call “impeachment documents.” 

“[Minock] has officially retired from both the state level and the college level,” said Ryan Hurley, president of Iowa State College Republicans and sophomore in pre-business. “However, he is currently involved with Young Republicans, which is another group of Republicans not on campus, but we want to send a strong message is the biggest thing.” 

The College Republicans’ Constitution states “members must act with honesty, integrity and kindness toward others.” According to Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution, members of College Republicans cannot discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disabilities, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or status as a U.S. veteran. 

Members who do not meet the minimum expectation can be removed from College Republicans by impeachment proceedings, according to Article 3, Section 5. 

“We don’t tolerate these sorts of actions that are unbecoming of a member, and even if he doesn’t attend the meetings, we do not want those sorts of attitudes to be at College Republicans,” Hurley said.

The impeachment can be initiated by officers of College Republicans. It requires a three-fourths vote of all present voting members, according to Article 7, Section 2 of the group’s Constitution. The member who is getting impeached must be notified seven days before the vote takes place. The member will also be allowed to speak before the club at the time of the vote, but he or she is not required to, according to Article 7, Section 2 of the Constitution. 

Minock did not respond to repeated requests for comment by the Iowa State Daily. The Iowa State Daily contacted him twice on Sunday by phone and email and twice on Monday by phone and email.

Sexual harassment

Four sexual harassment claims have been made, according to the document, during the 2017-2018 academic year when the Young Americans for Freedom at Ames High School came to an Iowa State College Republicans meeting. 

“Mr. Minock informed a member that he had “dibs” on a female member of the high school group when she became a freshman at Iowa State University in the fall,” according to the document. 

The document also stated Minock asked a member which high school girl he “wanted to have” at a campus event in December 2019. Young Americans for Freedom from Ames High School was present at a campus event, the document state. 

According to the document, three female students at Iowa State said they stopped attending the College Republican meetings because of the behavior Minock presented toward women. The articles stated Minock said he wanted to recruit freshman women for Iowa State College Republicans because he wanted to “lay pipe,” or sleep with them. 

“While I attended College Republicans, I was at a meeting and witnessed Vlad make several comments that one of the then-members shouldn’t run for a position because she was a woman,” an anonymous accuser wrote in the document. “Not too long after I was at another meeting where multiple pictures of girls in bikinis were used in a PowerPoint. That was the last meeting I attended because the culture [and] environment Vlad created reeked of sexism.”

Abuse of power

The document also stated that Minock used the College Republicans’ data inappropriately by having people write their phone numbers down in order to add them to the group chat.

“Directly after the meeting, Mr. Minock added Laura Emery and one other anonymous female on Snapchat by phone number, demonstrating a serious breach of trust,” according to the document. 

Hurley said the numbers are for club purposes only. 

“When somebody signs up, they give their number. It is highly inappropriate to take that number and use it that way,” Hurley said. “Unless it’s directly about club information, if you were to text somebody, ‘hey, there’s going to be a College Republican meeting,’ that would be OK. But it seems that he was not using it in that way.”

One accuser who remained anonymous in the document detailed the accusation.

“I signed up for College Republicans and put my phone number for the GroupMe, but after one College Republican meeting, Vlad added me on Snapchat using the number from the CR sheet,” the accuser said in the document. “It gave me a very weird feeling and I did not return to College Republicans.” 

Minock had also sent an email from the College Republicans email account with the suggestion to vote on the “Miss Polski USA” pageant, according to the document, which a female member of College Republicans who has since graduated said she “found this to be very weird and creepy and I did not return to College Republicans after.” 

Threaten to blackmail 

One allegation has been made, according to the document, of Minock threatening to blackmail a student. 

“In the fall of 2019, I witnessed Jacob “Vlad” Minock secretly record a student that talked about the legalization of marijuana and admit that he (the student) smoked it in a presentation,” Kimberly Zavoski, secretary for College Republicans and senior in elementary education, wrote in the document. “This student had previously removed Minock from a group chat on GroupMe for reasons unknown to me. After the student had finished speaking, Minock publicly and clearly threatened to send the recording to a company with which the student was seeking an internship, unless the student re-added him to the group chat.” 

Violent threats

Laura Emery, vice president of Young Americans for Freedom and a senior in financial counseling and planning, said she heard Minock refer to a former ISU College Republicans’ Board member, stating that the Board member should be “beaten,” according to the document. 

Unbecoming of a member

The document includes six allegations that it says falls under “unbecoming of a member.” 

A former board member of College Republicans wrote in the documents that Minock referred to Fridays as “Hard R Fridays” and would use the n-word in public conversation. 

Piper Christenson, an alumna from Iowa State and the College Republicans’ secretary from 2016 to 2018, said in the document that Minock displayed “a lack of professionalism when he made and contributed to multiple sexist jokes and comments during official College Republican meetings.” 

“I don’t know how to phrase it,” Hurley said. “He would just be very weird around [women]. He wouldn’t treat them like other people, like the guys in the club, and it was just very weird,” Hurley said. “The word I guess I want to use is like ‘simping,’ but that’s not professional.” 

Simping is the act of overly catering to the desires of a love interest in the hope of reciprocation, according to Urban Dictionary. 

Hurley said Minock would be more professional to the men of College Republicans than the women. 

According to the document, Minock admitted to a member that he was the sole person responsible for inviting Nicholas Fuentes to campus and emailed him about coming to Iowa State months before the event happened. 

Fuentes is the host of “America First” who said he could be accurately described as a white nationalist, as he is both “white” and a “nationalist,” during a speech he delivered March 6, 2019, at Iowa State University. During the speech, Fuentes blamed immigrants, “globalists” and people of color for America’s problems. Many students protested his appearance at Iowa State, and the location was kept secret until a few minutes before the speech. 

More protesters appeared at the speech location than those who supported Fuentes. When Iowa State police told the organizers Fuentes could not speak in the Iowa State building because no reservation for the room had been made, organizers moved the speech to the free speech zone in front of Parks Library. Once again, more protesters showed up than supporters of Fuentes.

Minock and Hurley have separately denied affiliations with the Fuentes event, according to an article written by the Iowa State Daily. Minock said the event was a Turning Point event orchestrated by Hurley, which Hurley denied.  

“Minock then pinned the event on both Turning Point USA at Iowa State University and Ryan Hurley, the current president of Iowa State College Republicans,” according to an Iowa State Daily article about the event. 

Hurley said he did not feel like he had the power or the support to impeach — or to remove Minock from College Republicans — in March 2019. 

More unbecoming of a member

Charles Klapatauskas, a member of College Republicans and president of Young Americans for Freedom, said in the impeachment documents that Minock accused the Sen. Randy Feenstra campaign of bribing College Republican club members for an endorsement. 

“After consulting with the political director of the Feenstra campaign, it was revealed that in no way, shape, or form a bribe was mentioned or made,” Klapatauskas wrote in the document. “I reached out to the political director, Emily Schwickerath, and the campaign director, Matt Leopold, and they were saddened and frustrated to hear that this had been announced at an official College Republican meeting and confirmed that no bribe was made whatsoever. 

“This event made it harder to work with the campaign on the ISU campus,” Klapatauskas wrote. “It was also noted that Jacob Minock had been drinking and was intoxicated during the discussion.” 

Withholding passwords

In the document, Minock has been accused of withholding passwords during the transition to new staff members. 

“Mr. Hurley and I worked together to delete tweets and edit our Twitter biography that had been endorsing Kimberly Graham, a progressive candidate running for U.S. Senate. The biography itself stated “Fan account of @KimberlyforIowa,” Kimberly Zavoski, secretary for College Republicans and senior in elementary education, wrote in the document. 

“Minock defended the state of the Twitter account by calling it a ‘joke,’” Zavoski wrote. “During the time Mr. Hurley and I were deleting the tweets and changing the Twitter account, we noticed that we were suddenly unable to make any more edits. We tried refreshing the page and found that we were logged out of the account. We attempted to log back in using the same Twitter handle and password we had been given by Minock, only to discover the password had been changed.” 

Hurley and Zavoski tried to reach out to Minock and recover the password, according to the documents. Minock read the messages but did not respond.

“The recovery message that [was] sent to the phone number with the last four digits being identical to Minock’s number was rejected,” Zavoski wrote in the documents. “We attempted to reach out to Minock over the course of the next couple of days, only to have him evade our attempts or tell us that he would give us the password ‘later’ and then ignore subsequent follow-up attempts.” 

Zavoski said in the document that she messaged Minock on GroupMe if the recovery phone number was his, which he confirmed. According to Zavoski’s testimony in the documents, Minock said he would check for the password but did not respond to Zavoski.

“I still had no response, so I asked him for the password again, to which I again received no response,” Zavoski wrote. “In the College Republican Official GroupMe group chat, Hurley requested that individuals within the club report the account because it was not under our control, which started a long conversation in which we argued with Minock and asked him to hand the passwords over. 

“At the culmination of the discussion, Minock revealed the password in the public group chat, endangering the security of our accounts, and confirmed it in a direct message to me,” Zavoski wrote. “The password was ‘RyanHurleyisaCuck69.’”