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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.

Photo by Dave Davidson,
Photo by Dave Davidson,

Huckabee, Vander Plaats attempt to thrust social issues back into national conversation

Chuck Hurley says new group could chose the next GOP nominee for president
By Matt Vasilogambros | 11.22.10 | 12:43 pm

The effects of the Iowa judicial retention election were felt far beyond the Hawkeye State’s borders, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said while making a case for a new national emphasis on social issues. Speaking at a fundraiser for The Family Leader Sunday afternoon, the 2008 Iowa Caucuses winner drew a crowd of 1,500 supporters to proclaim a new day for the social conservative movement.

The Family Leader is a newly formed organization led the man who spearheaded the campaign to oust the three Supreme Court justices–Bob Vander Plaats. The new group combines the Iowa Family Policy Center, the IFPC PAC and the formerly federally funded program Marriage Matters. Huckabee, as the keynote speaker, said the U.S. is going through a “dad deficit,” where fathers are leaving families and making single mothers take care of children by themselves. This then leads to the increased need for federal money to prop up those households — $300 billion a year, he says.

“I don’t care how much we change the tax code and tax policy, we will never be able to get our economy righted because what has wronged it is not just an economic issue,” he said. “It is an issue that goes to the very heart of what the family leader is, like it or not.”

Huckabee called the judicial retention vote in Iowa possibly the most important election in the country in this last cycle. He praised the audience for their involvement in voting out the judges based on their 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

“I am here also today to congratulate the people of Iowa for their decision in what was a remarkable election, an election that resonated all across America,” Huckabee said. “And that is to say that the judicial branch is — as are all branches of government — subject to the ultimate bosses in a society like ours. The people.”

He also took issue with the notion that faith-based voters are looked down upon as intellectually inferior.

“Faith-based voters are sometimes smeared at, laughed at,” Huckabee, a former pastor, said. “I got used to it during the presidential debates. I would go to the debates and some of the candidates would get 16, 18, 20 minutes to talk. I’d get three or four. And when I’d finally get a question it would be, ‘Oh, let’s throw you a religious question.’ Somehow they overlooked the fact that I had governed a state longer than anyone on the stage for either the Democrats or the Republicans.”

After several speakers, Vander Plaats took the stage to fire up the crowd, proclaiming: “We the people are not going away.” His speech surrounded the judicial retention election and the future of The Family Leader.

He said on the day of the decision, he saw the “darkness” of the other side. Moving forward, he said the people in the room must “choose to be the greatest generation,” referring the name given to those who fought in World War II and survived the Great Depression. Greatness, he said, is a choice made through Christian actions.

While discussing the Varnum v. Brien same-sex marriage decision, Vander Plaats evoked the death of his father. He said that just a day after his father showed concern over the decision, he died from a stroke. Because of this, he said, the issue was “personal.”

Throughout the event, several speakers, including Huckabee, put a special emphasis on the role men can play in both strengthening the country and their families. Interestingly, men were also brought to the forefront when all supporting pastors “and their wives” were invited to the stage.

Chuck Hurley, the president of IFPC, said in his remarks that his organization could very well choose the next GOP nominee for president — saying the recent Iowa judicial retention election and Republican sweep in both the U.S. House and state legislatures across the country present an ideal opportunity to enact their policy initiatives. He listed several priorities for the new Iowa House this next session, including denying “unconstitutional” same-sex marriage certificates, more measures against abortions and more public funding of churches, families and communities. He also called for the remaining Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled on behalf of same-sex marriage in Varnum v. Brien to resign in an orderly fashion.

Audience members took kind to the rallying cries of Huckabee, Vander Plaats and other speakers, erupting into loud applause at several points in the afternoon. Fitting with the event’s location — a Des Moines church–  many in the crowd would yell, “Amen,” or “Praise God.”

Samona Yentes, of Clive said the judicial retention has had far reaching affects nationwide.

“Gov. Huckabee was right on. You can’t talk about economic issues without talking about social issues because social issues drive economic issues,” she said. “I’ve talked to a legislator in a different state who said that as people are advising them not to talk about the marriage issue, they’re saying, ‘Look at Iowa. If you let the people vote on the issue, they will vote out the judges.’ It was a very clear message.”

This is the fourth time since the 2008 Caucuses that Huckabee has been in Iowa. His appearance added some speculation as to whether he would run for president.


  • Anonymous

    Huckabee is the man America needs… A true fiscal, social and foreign policy conservative. He has consistently opposed all bailouts, advocated for the repeal of Obamacare, used his Fox Show to espouse and promote conservative free-market policies, adherence to the Constitution, and a strong family. His endorsement success rate is a high 80 percent. He helped hundreds of conservative candidates throughout the nation by donating money both from his own pocket and HuckPAC. He is a great communicator thus our party’s the next Ronald Reagan. Mike Huckabee for President 2012!!

    • Anonymous

      oh yea, sure, sure……..don’t know in what world Huckabee would be good for america…..oh yea, in a theocracy america…..Huckabee sucks…he’s pro-warn..anti-equality….he’s a Dangerous man

  • Anonymous

    IMHO, America in the highly competitive 21st century can’t afford to be governed by a president whose apparent lack of understanding about the most profound scientific advancement of the past two centuries leads him to disavow evolution.

  • Gary Stewart

    I truly wish these American Taliban types would keep their thrusting to themselves, and let me and mine live our lives with the full protection of the Iowa State Constitution they enjoy.

  • egc52556

    Huckabee seems like an intelligent and decent man. But he just doesn’t seem to understand — or care — that America isn’t a theocracy.

    • Anonymous

      Huckabee is a Dangerous man….a Wolf in sheeps clothing…..he’d be more then happy to turn america into a theocracy (his brand)

  • Anonymous

    So if Vander Plaats’ dad had expressed concern about racial integration and then died the next day, would VP be justified in campaigning to penalize those who agreed that segregation was unconstitutional? To penalize a judge for correctly interpreting that our constitution does not allow discrimination based on sexual orientation is petty and wrong. It doesn’t matter if the decision made you unhappy, or made your dad unhappy, or even was so inflammatory to you that it lead to a stroke.

    Whether gay marriage is right or wrong is only an opinion, and our judges should not be swayed by or held accountable to an opinion. What they must uphold is our Constitution, and that says that all are equal under the law.

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