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IFPC: ‘Fundamental transformation’ required to support Branstad
The political action arm of the Iowa Family Policy Center wants to make it perfectly clear: They will not be supporting Terry Branstad or Chet Culver in their gubernatorial re-election campaigns unless one candidate or the other undergoes a “fundamental transformation.”
The Iowa Family PAC, which is affiliated with the Iowa Family Policy Center, made rumblings to the same effect last week when it sent an e-mail message to supporters. Since that time, however, the group has had concerns about statements made by Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Christian Alliance and Iowa’s male member of the Republican National Committee.
Scheffler said the group would eventually come around to supporting Branstad because “the alternative would be unthinkable.” Referring to those comments, IFPC Action Board Chairman Danny Carroll said in a press release Monday morning: “As Republican National Committeeman, Steve probably feels obligated to support the Republican nominee, and is apparently willing to go along with politics as usual. Times like these, however, call for something more. Those of us who are concerned about life, family, and constitutional government know we must hold candidates to a higher standard. That is especially true for Christians. We will NOT adjust our standard based on the current occupant of the Governor’s office.”
Such pledges by Christian conservatives have been made previously, and have rarely made their way through election day ballot boxes. In the 2008 presidential cycle, for instance, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, said he would unequivocally withhold support from U.S. Sen. John McCain’s bid “as a matter of conscience.” He went on to secure one million signatures in opposition to McCain’s nomination and then publicly reiterated his opposition months later.
In the end, however, Dobson did exactly what Sheffler has suggested the Iowa group will likely do come election day: Support the lesser of two perceived evils.
The full press release from the Iowa Family PAC is reprinted below:
Iowa Family PAC: We Will Keep Our Word, Because The Alternative Is Unacceptable
June 14, 2010
Pleasant Hill, IA – After nearly a week of calls for blind partisan unity from Republican loyalists, the Iowa Family PAC today reaffirmed their intention to withhold support from either major party candidate for governor in 2010, unless one or both of them illustrates a fundamental transformation.
Speaking on behalf of the Iowa Family PAC, IFPC Action Board Chairman Danny Carroll said, “Our commitment to Biblical principles and the constitutional rule of law is not the result of any political affiliation, nor is it something that changes depending on the names on a ballot. If a candidate or their political party would like our support, they will need to offer a plan for promoting public policy that honors both God and the constitution.”
Last week, Steve Scheffler, a member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the president of the Iowa Christian Alliance, made comments to the media about the Iowa Family Policy Center and the political activities of the Iowa Family PAC. Sheffler’s comments seemed to misrepresent the position of IFPC, and appeared to suggest that the Iowa Family PAC would unconditionally support GOP gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad. When making the comments, Scheffler concluded that the Iowa Family PAC’s support would be forthcoming because “the alternative would be unthinkable.”
Referring to the comments made by Scheffler, Carroll said, “As Republican National Committeeman, Steve probably feels obligated to support the Republican nominee, and is apparently willing to go along with politics as usual. Times like these, however, call for something more. Those of us who are concerned about life, family, and constitutional government know we must hold candidates to a higher standard. That is especially true for Christians. We will NOT adjust our standard based on the current occupant of the Governor’s office.”
“We have made our position clear over the last six months,” said Carroll. “If a candidate for governor wants our support, he will commit to uphold the Biblical principle of individual responsibility, recognize family as the foundational unit for a stable social structure, boldly defend the sanctity of human life and of marriage, commit to limiting the size and cost of civil government, promote high quality education under the authority of parents, encourage an ethical free enterprise system, and defend the Constitutional separation of powers. We are looking for a candidate in the mold of the Founding Fathers who were guided by their respect for the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”
He continued, “We understand that not everyone will view their civic involvement from the same perspective we do, but we have been clear for some time now about the standard we intend to use. If our interpretation of the Bible is in error, we invite other believers to point us to the chapter and verse that will help us make appropriate corrections. If, on the other hand, someone just doesn’t like our standard, we invite them to clearly explain the standard they use when selecting candidates to support.”
Carroll concluded, “Our organization desires to honor God. We are looking for candidates who we can support, not for candidates who aren’t quite as bad as their opponent. In our opinion, to abandon God’s calling for our ministry and civic involvement is what would truly be unacceptable. If you disagree, tell me: what’s your standard?”