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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.

State Sen. Kent Sorenson (Photo by Dave Davidson,
State Sen. Kent Sorenson (Photo by Dave Davidson,

Kent Sorenson: I’m going to the Capitol to ‘burn this place down’

Freshman lawmaker vows to battle Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal
By Jason Hancock | 12.15.10 | 1:00 pm

Compromise and bipartisanship are not on the agenda of newly elected state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R-Indianola), who said during an interview with Christian radio host Steve Deace his plan is to go to the statehouse to be a thorn in the side of Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs).

“I went to the freshman orientation, for the second time in two years, and I’m sitting there listening to them talk about how 90 percent of what we do here is bipartisan, and we really only fight over 10 percent, and a lot of that is true,” Sorenson said. “But then they say that afterward we can do battle but we can leave and be friends outside of this building. Listen, I have a respect for that person as a person, as a human being, as a creature that God created who has value. But there’s no way that the freshman we’ve seen come in over the past two election cycles… they didn’t come in here, they didn’t sacrifice time away from their families and their careers to come up here and make buddies. They came up here to represent an agenda that represents their values.”

Sorenson described a conversation he had with a Republican leader who reminded him that his constituents elected him to come to the Capitol and “burn this place down. They want me to do battle. And I understand that.”

And the focus of that battle will apparently be Gronstal. Sorenson won his seat in a hotly contested and ugly campaign against Democratic incumbent Staci Appel. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on attack ads against Sorenson, and it’s clear that he holds Gronstal personally responsible for it.

“I’m going to take a different approach than [Gronstal] has ever dealt with before,” he said. “He’s experienced a little bit of that, and I think he’s going to experience a lot more in the next four years. I’m going to force votes that he’s never had to take votes on before. I plan on organizing people in his own district. We will get our message out there, and we have ways of making that happen.”

Sorenson pointed to an article in Sunday’s Des Moines Register profiling Gronstal and discussing how he and former Republican Majority Leader Stu Iverson got along well and worked frequently together on bipartisan legislation. Iverson said he and Gronstal used to ride together to events outside the Capitol, an idea Sorenson finds troubling.

“That’s not who I am,” Sorenson said. “I’m actually going up there to take him on.”

And one of the first battles will be over same-sex marriage. Gronstal has repeatedly said he will never allow a vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, saying it would be wrong to put discrimination in the state’s constitution. Even though Secretary of the Senate Mike Marshal has said there is no mechanism whereby senators, even a majority of senators, can override the majority leader, Sorenson is convinced he will be able to force a vote on a constitutional amendment. Last year, in an interview with Focus on the Family’s magazine, Sorenson called the debate over same-sex marriage “my generation’s defining moment.”

“This is what our kids are going to be reading about,” he told Focus on the Family. “It’s up to us to do what’s right.”

Sorenson, who said he will sit on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, said he will also push for impeachment proceedings for the four remaining justices on the Iowa Supreme Court. Three justices were voted off the bench last month following a campaign led by national anti-gay organizations upset with the court’s unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. Sorenson said he hopes to rally support for removing the final four judges during the 2011 session.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


  • Anonymous

    Isn’t that a threat of Terrorism. The guy should be arrested and put into a mental institution.

  • John Deeth

    Dem Sen. Jeff Danielson via Facebook: “Good thing I’m a firefighter.” Best. Response. Ever.

  • Anonymous

    This crazy republican has the same attitude as the perp who poured urine over LGBT books, in a Harvard library, the same attitude as the crazy Texas republican who flew a plane into an IRS building, and the same attitude as the crazy republican who shot at members of a school board in Florida.

    Republican lawmakers are reckless, stupid, and smelly.

    • Anonymous

      You’re placing this guy in the same category as vandal, terrorist, and a deranged psycho? Has the Freshman Senator broken the law or threatened to break the law? You say republican lawmakers are reckless, stupid, and smelly? Really? I would say your statements is pretty reckless.

      • ryanm

        Sorenson *is* reckless and stupid. I don’t know about the vandal/terrorist/deranged psycho stuff.

      • Anonymous

        He is using violent and angry language. And yes, the GOP is like a mad dog right now. They are cocky too because they are full of cash from plutocrats.

  • Anonymous

    This guy has the same attitude as the stalkers who dump their emotions at abortion clinics.

    The republican party has become the emotional party.

  • icareeguns

    We the People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ryanm

    Sorenson is a lunatic. Anyone who has ever met him can tell you that. Hopefully the more mature members of our legislature will keep him muzzled, as he should be.

    • T2theATE

      Now I’m not going to say I’m a huge fan on Sorenson, however, if you are intending to badmouth/discredit him, you must state facts to back up your case. Any debate class would show you that. Also unless you have a specific event that you disagree with you have commited probably one of the more popular fallacies called: Ad hominem. Ad hominem is an attack on the person, not what they stand for.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not sure this meets the standards of an Ad Hominem attack. ryanm is not trying to undermine any specific argument with an attack—he is simply stating his beliefs about Sorenson mental and personal characteristics. And the quotes, in my opinion, do seem to be that of a person who could reasonably be considered dangerous and unstable.

  • Anonymous

    He is a very unattractive man in many ways. I wonder why he is so against same sex marriage. What harm has it done anybody? I have to think that men like him who are so adamant about how horrible it is are very insecure with themselves.

  • Robert Lewis

    maybe Stacy was right about Sorenson

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