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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Iowa House primary ground zero for gay marriage fight

By Jason Hancock | 06.04.10 | 7:42 am

Differences between the two Democrats competing for the Iowa House District 66 seat couldn’t be more stark. And although most observers think incumbent Ako Abdul-Samad is safe, the candidates’ differing views on same-sex marriage could turn the district into a testing ground for the fall campaign.

Clair Rudison Jr., left, and state Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad

“This race is important and marriage equality is at the center of it,” said Ashlan Shaw, an intern with the Fairness Fund PAC who is working to get Abdul-Samad re-elected. The Fairness Fund is the political action committee for One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT-rights organization.

“This election is crucial for keeping a pro-equality, community advocate in House District 66 and preventing discrimination from being written into the constitution,” Shaw said.

Abdul-Samad is facing a primary challenge from Clair Rudison Jr., an ordained minister that works with the Iowa Missionary and Educational Baptist State Convention. He is a former Texas resident who is married with 10 children. Rudison describes himself as pro-family, pro-life and pro-marriage. The Des Moines district is one of the most heavily Democratic in the state, meaning the winner of the primary is the overwhelming favorite to win in the fall.

So far, Rudison — who did not respond to requests for comment — has focused his campaign on issues like education and the state budget, pointing to the Forrest Avenue Library’s decision to close on Fridays and Saturdays due to budget cuts as a sign the legislature needs new blood. He’s sent out mailers attacking Abdul-Samad on increases to vehicle registration fees and for voting to create the Iowa Film Office. In a video posted on his Facebook page, Rudison says he is an “old-time Democrat who is concerned about the needs of the common man.”

Even though he hasn’t campaigned hard publicly on his opposition to same-sex marriage, the largest donation other than from himself to his campaign came from the Iowa Family Political Action Committee, the political arm of the social conservative and anti-gay organization Iowa Family Policy Center.

“The Iowa Family Policy Center’s attacks on Abdul-Samad and their alignment with Clair Rudison demonstrate Rudison’s focus on a divisive, narrow-minded, and anti-equality agenda,” said Carolyn Jenison, executive director of One Iowa. “Iowa needs leaders like Abdul-Samad who will focus on putting people back to work, improving our schools and rebuilding our infrastructure.”

One Iowa isn’t the only organization taking Rudison’s challenge seriously. Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61, told The Iowa Independent his group is encouraging voters to “send the message that Iowa needs leaders like Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad who are focused on creating jobs, fixing the economy and building up our neighborhoods, and in doing so they will be rejecting a politics that divides our communities and plays on voters’ fears.”

In a recent interview with The Des Moines Register, Rudison said he would vote for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but he wanted to emphasize that he is “not anti-gay. I have members of my family that are gay, and we’ve never had issues.”

Ed Fallon, who easily won re-election in the district three times before stepping down in 2006 to run for governor, said voters in HD66 are far too progressive to ever consider supporting Rudison.

“This is a district that likes progressive Democrats,” Fallon said. “[Abdul-Samad] should win this easily, but he’s not taking anything for granted, which is smart.”

Fallon, who had endorsed Abdul-Samad, said he thinks Iowa Family Policy Center is using Rudison, a tactic that is sure to fail.

“I just can’t see how he could possibly win this district,” he said. Fallon also said he faced numerous primary challenges during his time representing the district, both for 8 years under previous district lines and for 6 more years after redistricting in 2000. So a conservative challenger isn’t all that unusual, although it has never been successful, he said.

Abdul-Samad — the founder of Creative Visions Human Development Center, a non-profit that helps Iowans find jobs and receive family assistance — had more than $11,000 cash on hand as of the May 19 filing deadline. According to disclosure reports filed earlier this week, Rudison has a negative campaign cash balance of more than $4,000.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


  • stdgirl

    Gay marriage

    My concern is that more and more gay men get STD. It seems that gay men is easier to get an STD.
    According to the report from the largest STD dating site == ==(if I spell the site correctly), the gay subscribers
    increased continually. Most of them are sexy.

    • rextrek1

      hey dear… can be hetero of gay..anyone who's NOT careful about sex CAN get a STD – ANYONE!

    • W Scott Lincoln

      So let's be sure to take away the state-sanctioned method of commitment and monogamy, which actually reduces STIs. That makes so little sense, that I hardly believe you are actually concerned about such infections.

  • MacMorrighan

    It's a shame that more people don't realize that in every culture on earth, at one time, before the barbarity that is Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christianity plagued the land, Gay people were deeply revered and venerated as natural-born Shamans whom, by virtue of their sexual orientation (which was thought to be a blessing, not a curse) they also possessed a “power” which allowed them to confer blessings onto their tribe members, to cast spells to protect their tribe, to ensure that the crops thrived, and they could commune with the dead and the gods and relay these messages back to the living. In Europe, the Med., and the Near East it was also common for men to commune with the goddesses through an act of sexual union with either another man or a woman at a Holy Temple.

    Moreover, there are numerous examples of two men or two women being ale to legally marry throughout the world, some of which are still extent: The Romans (two emperors famously married men to the applause and cheers of the on-looking citizens), it was common in Greece, as well as amid the Native Plains Indian tribes and the Chuckchi shamans of Siberia, to name but only a few.

    Generally, it's only devout Christians who are demanding the alleged “right” to vote on the liberties that are extended to a historically disfavored minority–a minority that Iowa has ruled to be a “Suspect Class” and now afforded great legal protections in terms of judicial scrutiny. This country was founded on the ideals that a right to vote comes with qualifications, and that allowing a majority to vote on something that would directly affect a minority, is un-constitutional. Indeed, to have seperate institutions, or to have laws that are extended to one group of citizens and not to another is un-Constitutional as per the 14th. Amend.

    However, according to Yale Prof. of History, Nancy Cott, marriage has historically been employed punitively in this country to punish minorities that are disfavored and bar them from either becoming citizens, or from from being full American citizens. A Caucasian woman, at one time, could even loose her citizenship and be deported for marrying someone outside of her race! Furthermore, this culture-war against Gay people, according to the Southern Poverty law Center's Spring 2005 Intelligence Report came about, according to their finding, because chiefly older white Christian males did not like how they say the country changing in an effort that threatened their place of privileged; i9t became with African American's demanding Civil Rights, then it was women demanding careers and equal pay and such, but in the late 1960s when the Gay community had had enough oppression and were demanding their civil rights, as well, this group of chiefly older Christian white males collectively put their foot down and said, “ENOUGH!” They've been engaged in a culture-war ever since. Most of these groups, in fact, want to dominate the US, ensuring that it's governed not by civil law, but by Biblical Law, which would met out the death penalty for being Gay, or for women who are not virgins on their wedding night.

    For more information on this, I highly recommend the SPLC's Intelligence Report, available, here:…

  • rextrek1

    Uncle Tom Rudison…so typical..of the “I got my Rights” let me trample on yours……oh yea, and I'll USE MY Religion to Justify the Trampling, I'll Demonizeyou, and make sure you are made to look as bad as possible. Hmmm, sound familiar there Mr Rudison? Not more then 50yrs ago…the Buy-Bull was USED to Justify the Fight Against Inter-racial Marriage, and it was used to keep blacks from being Equal. This nitwit has 10kids…and no doubt lots of grandkids…..statisically there is a few who ARE gay…Oh, and he says he has Nothing against gay people really? You wanna stick with that Uncle Tom? How has 2 consenting adults marrying this last year affected your family? ..or your finances? IT HASN'T! Disgusting,pathetic and transparent tactics to pick up the Crazy / religious wackjobs votes….who just want to Interject thier Buy-Bull/form of religion in everyone's lives…..How Very Talibanish of you. …and he says he has gay family members….? Really? Let's HEAR from them on your stances of these issues. I wanna hear what THEY have to say! What a sickening man.

    • Anonymous

      Your hatefilled comments about Rudison has gained him a vote.  I will vote for him anytime he runs.  Gay marriage is a sick and perverted assault on human decency.  Your compariing it to other things is ust another attempt by your kind to intimidate those of us who have decent moral values and it doesn’t work. 

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