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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

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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

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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.

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alan Light.
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alan Light.

Anti-gay groups spent $948,000 in Iowa to oust judges

By Jason Hancock | 11.18.10 | 12:29 pm

Five out-of-state organizations spent $948,355 in Iowa over the course of roughly two months on the successful campaign to oust three state Supreme Court justices over a 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, according to disclosure documents filed with the state.

A group campaigning in support of the three judges, The Fair Courts for Us Committee, spent $366,000 over the same time period almost entirely on radio ads and pro-retention mailers.

Leading the way in anti-judge spending was the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage, which spent $635,627 in Iowa. The majority of the funds — more than $435,000 — went to two statewide TV ads aimed at convincing Iowans to vote “no” on retention. The ads were also paid for with a $100,000 contribution from Campaign for Working Families PAC, an organization founded by former presidential hopeful Gary Bauer.

The entire campaign was led by the Mississippi-based American Family Association, which wholly subsidized the local anti-retention effort known as Iowa for Freedom. The AFA spent nearly $140,000 in Iowa. The largest expense was $56,000 to the Texas-based consulting firm Murphy Turner & Associates LLC. The firm was founded by a former aide to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas).

The next highest expenses for the American Family Association were a $24,858 payment to Shaw Research and $15,000 to Iowa for Freedom campaign manager Chuck Laudner for three months of salary. Bob Vander Plaats, who led the effort, only shows up in the disclosure reports for a little more than $3,000 in travel reimbursement. There is no salary listed.

The Washington, D.C.,-based Family Research Council spent $55,996 in Iowa. Around $20,000 went to a radio ad campaign, with the rest going to its “Judge Bus” tour around the state, the culmination of the anti-retention campaign. National Organization for Marriage also contributed to the 20-city tour, which ultimately cost $45,286.

Lastly, the Washington, D.C.,-based Citizens United Political Victory Fund spent nearly $18,000 on an anti-retention radio ad featuring former Arkansas governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

While these five organizations spent money in Iowa directly for the retention effort, other groups were also active in the campaign to oust the judges. For example, the Georgia-based Faith & Freedom Coalition provided voter guides to churches around the state laying out the argument against retention. The Faith & Freedom Coalition was founded by Ralph Reed, who formerly led the Christian Coalition.

Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund and one of its affiliates, the Texas-based Liberty Institute, offered free legal representation to any church who openly violated federal tax law by advocating for the removal of the judges from the pulpit. Federal tax law forbids 501(c)3 organizations, including churches, from intervening in elections in support of or opposition to any candidate.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


Comments

  • Anonymous

    Only religious Americans could be stupid enough to oust judges for upholding the law.

  • http://twitter.com/colabianchi Mauro Colabianchi

    Money well spent.

    • Anonymous

      I HOPE your being sarcastic? Otherwise YOU seriously have issues.

      • http://twitter.com/urbanomacchi Urbano Macchi

        Ad hominems; the modus operandi of the intolerant left.

        I agree with him, it was money well spent, especially if it convinces the state legislature to bring a constitutional amendment to a vote.

        • Anonymous

          Umm, that was also on the ballot but people voted NO to that too. So does only one NO have value to you? The only NO that counts is the one with big bucks behind it?

          • http://twitter.com/urbanomacchi Urbano Macchi

            The vote on November 2, 2010 was on whether to call a constitutional convention. There are many good reasons NOT to have a constitutional convention called (reasons that have nothing to do with marriage), so that doesn’t really speak to Iowan public opinion on homosexual “marriage.”

          • Anonymous

            The Iowan public opinion on same-sex marriage appears to be that they don’t care very much unless bigots from out of state pump a million dollars into anti-gay campaign ads.

            Unless you can count on millions more in Mormon and Knights of Columbus dollars being dumped on Iowa in the next several election cycles, you might want to tone down your support for the will of the people of Iowa. It could prove embarrassing when they aren’t manipulated in future elections.

          • http://twitter.com/urbanomacchi Urbano Macchi

            Oh I think you can count on millions more in Mormon and Catholic dollars being dumped on Iowa. All for the better.

        • Anonymous

          Ever wonder why it makes you feel so good to want to take away the rights of another citizen, Macchi? I mean, I can’t imagine waking up in the morning, putting on my shirt in tie, looking in the mirror, combing back my hair and saying to myself, “Okay, world, time to go out there and take away Urbano’s rights! But you seem to…

  • Anonymous

    Think of all the Good that Money could have done to HELP the Homeless, Soup Kitchens? Food Banks? maybe someone who needed an extra 1000 or two to keep thier home from being foreclosed on? ….but Noooooo, those “good christians” thought it would be better spent towards Bigotry, hate, and Divisiveness……..wow…WWJD,hmmmmmmmmmm?

    • http://twitter.com/urbanomacchi Urbano Macchi

      WWJD? He certainly would not have condoned sodomy, that’s for sure.

      • Anonymous

        Well if you read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 the story of the roman centurion and his male lover he does.

        • http://twitter.com/urbanomacchi Urbano Macchi

          A claim typical of homosexual revisionism. The Greek, from Luke 7:2: ἑκατοντάρχου δέ τινος δοῦλος κακῶς ἔχων ἤμελλεν τελευτᾶν ὃς ἦν αὐτῷ ἔντιμος.

          Revisionists claim that the use of the adjective ἔντιμος (honored) with δοῦλος (slave) means that the servant was the Centurion’s sexual partner. This seems a stretch, especially given that “entimos” is never used in a sexual context anywhere else in the Bible.

          • Anonymous

            The male on male sex was a rich man and a poor boy in Biblical times. My neighbors had a NO sign in their yard and yet their kid knocked up a teenager. I think that fornication outside of marriage is a Biblical sin. It is sad that those people want to keep others from sinning when they can’t even keep their kids from sinning.

          • Anonymous

            Stick your god-damn bible up your ass, you powerless bigot, and witness the annihilation of proposition 8.

            Your brand of christianity is next on the chopping block.

          • Anonymous

            Bravo!, well put!

      • Anonymous

        You are a Moron…..LOOK UP the word “Sodomy” …..its Done everyday 24/7 by Heteros as well…..its any sex thats NOT Vaginal, so Sodomy includes Oral as well (yea straight people “never” do that….SNARK)

        • http://twitter.com/urbanomacchi Urbano Macchi

          Thanks, I’m well aware of the definition of sodomy, and it doesn’t change my comment.

      • Anonymous

        Facts over fear and loathing:

        A 2006 study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that “38.2 percent of men between 20 and 39 and 32.6 percent of women ages 18 to 44 engage in heterosexual anal sex”.

        • Anonymous

          The problem is, Lighton, that the Centers for Disease Control doesn’t report how many heterosexual men like to screw their women up the ass – and demand it from them. And that’s because heterosexual men wouldn’t admit to it!

      • Anonymous

        Facts over fear and loathing:

        A 2006 study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that “38.2 percent of men between 20 and 39 and 32.6 percent of women ages 18 to 44 engage in heterosexual anal sex”.

  • Anonymous

    Wow… a million dollars in out of state money. All to stir everyone up and get them to vote against their neighbors. Meanwhile, in reality-land, we have thousands stricken with hunger and poverty, jobs being sent overseas, medical ailments in need of research, and returning war vets in need of our care and support. Thank goodness we picked the stupidest thing to spend that money on. Typical non-christian hypocrits.

  • Anonymous

    The religious bigots are very short sighted. While they pat themselves on the back for their shadow politics, and illegal donations from the Vatican, the gays are on the cusp of the greatest federal legal challenge in U.S. history. Proposition 8 will be destroyed. Every religious zealot who makes a living off of anti-gay dollars will pay, severely, for what they’ve done.

    Anti-gay christianity deserves to be destroyed!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OVLODTZRZUHZKQX7FMNWN2N6SE Pozpersonal

    Gay marriage? I have no objection!

    My concern is that more and more gay men get STD. It seems that gay men is easier to get an STD and they even don’t know when they have it.
    According to the report from the largest STD dating site Positivefish. com (if I spell the site correctly), the gay subscribers
    increased continually. Most of them are sexy.

    • Anonymous

      Striahgt people get STDs also. What’s your point?

      • http://twitter.com/urbanomacchi Urbano Macchi

        That they do. However, the rate at which homosexual men get STDs, especially HIV, is many times more than the heterosexual population.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Luxenberg/1165501267 Marc Luxenberg

      The implication is you encourage gay marriage. More legal structure, more stability, more fidelity, fewer STDs. QED.

  • Anonymous

    If we allow outside money and individuals influence Iowa’s judicial system we are opening the door for clearly. . .
    Per Miriam Webster. . .

    A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascist) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
    2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

    We are heading down this road, wake up Iowa, these justices answered a question about an IOWA law that could not live up to IOWA constitutional scrutiny. That is all they did, THEIR JOB.
    Fox News and the republicans have blinded so many with rhetoric with no factual substance. I thought Iowa was proud of its educational system and people, obviously we have gotten STUPID.

    Put the religion away and discuss the issue. We simply can’t allow our politicians be purchased. Now, even worse we have opened the door to buy our legal system as well??

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BS4X26Z5UTQHHFGBDPSDNMDV44 hank

    Can you show me in history when marriage was redefined to include
    same-sex partners. As far as I can historically determine, marriage was
    always accepted as a union between a man and a woman and civilized
    society accepted that as a standard. I’m certain that there were homosexual
    “relationships?” but they never were accepted as a legal marriage

    • Anonymous

      Totally irrelevent question

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BS4X26Z5UTQHHFGBDPSDNMDV44 hank

        Since when is history irrelevant to learning and understanding?

        • Anonymous

          The point is simply, I respect your point of view, I really do. What I can’t condone, if we are to stay on topic, is the irrelevance of the arguments I am reading. The issue is, outside money is working to influence a states judicial system by the use of power of monetary superiority. I can support your perspective in fact, but not at the expense of a fair unbiased judicial system. Pleaed I support writing a new law that can stand the test of judicial scrutiny, but when it doesn’t, don’t sell my right to a fair judicial system to the highest bidder.

        • Anonymous

          http://www.iowacourts.gov/wfData/files/Varnum/07-1499(1).pdf

          Call me in a few days when you have read the entire case docket and can truthfully say say these justices didn’t do their jobs, THAT IS THE POINT.

    • Anonymous

      Can you condone others, external to our state, that are more powerful to impose their ideals and beliefs on Iowa? Isn’t that why we wrote the Declaration of Independence?

    • Anonymous

      Marriage “redefined?” Not at all. Lakota chief Crazy Horse had one or two male spouse(s) and many other Native American nations also have had what we now call same-sex marriages. Ethnographers have documented this. Some examples: Omahas, Zapotecs, Mohaves, Crow, Hidatsa, Ojibwa, Winnebago, Yuma and Timucua. Other cultures too. In 17th century Fukian Province China, same-sex marriages between gay men seem to have been common. And in West Africa, “woman marriage[s]” –a practice by many tribes in the past. In the journal of the French skeptic and essayist, Michel De Montaigne (1580-1581), he recorded Portuguese same-sex marriages celebrated in a nuptial mass in Rome:
      “…….They married one another, male to male, at Mass, with the same ceremonies with which we perform our marriages, read the same gospel service, and then went to bed and lived together. …”

  • Anonymous

    comment

  • Anonymous

    You’ve inspired me, Hank. I’m starting a new organization. It’s called The “American Family Salvation”. AFS for short. It’s for gay people who want to help save the American family. With 51% of heterosexual marriages ending in divorce – as well as untold millions of abortions and children given up for adoption each year – not to mention children from heterosexual marriages going into high schools and mowing down innocents with guns, I think it’s time gay people started doing their part to help salvage the American family. How can we do that? What are the membership requirements? By marrying another gay person…leading upright lives…adopting some of those many unfortunate children left behind – and generally encouraging people to keep guns away from kids. Oh, and if you’re a heterosexual parent and you happen to find yourself in a pinch, we can babysit your children for the weekend as well as ours. After all, we’re a pretty resilient bunch, what’s a couple more kids here or there. That’s the AFS – Gay People Doing their thing to help salvage the American family. It would be our pleasure, I’m sure (Smile).

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