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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.


Gary Johnson labels Vander Plaats’ social pledge as ‘offensive, unrepublican’

Family Leader changes document after two candidates sign
By Lynda Waddington | 07.10.11 | 11:46 am

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson issued a formal campaign statement regarding a 2012 social pledge unveiled by Bob Vander Plaats, labeling it as “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded.”

In addition to stating that “the so-called ‘Marriage Vow‘” is the “type of rhetoric” that “gives Republicans a bad name,” Johnson’s campaign released a new web video:

Upon a backdrop of American and patriotic scenes appear several statements regarding what America stands for. For instance, the video states, “it’s not American to give rights to certain groups of people and not others,” and “it’s not American to discriminate against others for the way they were born.”

Johnson’s full statement is reprinted below:

Gary Johnson

Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book.”

This “pledge” is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of “virtue.”

While the Family Leader pledge covers just about every other so-called virtue they can think of, the one that is conspicuously missing is tolerance. In one concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried couples, women who choose to have abortions and everyone else who doesn’t fit in a Norman Rockwell painting.

The Republican Party cannot afford to have a Presidential candidate who condones intolerance, bigotry and the denial of liberty to the citizens of this country. If we nominate such a candidate, we will never capture the White House in 2012. If candidates who sign this pledge somehow think they are scoring some points with some core constituency of the Republican Party, they are doing so at the peril of writing off the vast majority of Americans who want no part of this “pledge” and its offensive language.

Vander Plaats, who heads the religious conservative organization The Family Leader announced the social pledge Thursday during a press conference at the Iowa Capitol. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann was the first to sign and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum was the second.

On Saturday, two days after the original pledge was released, The Family Leader quietly made changes to the wording of the document, posting an updated PDF that removed one of the most controversial statements from preamble portion.

The now missing section stated:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

It remains unclear if Santorum and Bachmann, as signers of the original document, will be held to this now absent belief statement.

For his part, Santorum discussed the pledge on CNN this morning, admitting that he was “taken aback” when he first read it. Watch it:

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  • Anonymous

    Score one for Gary Johnson.  Good job telling it like it is, instead of carefully couching it in language designed to appease the far-right.  As the first candidate to give an emphatic “Hell no!”, he’s just defined sides…and put himself as the first brave enough to defy the zealots for the sake of representing his prospective constituency, the USA.   Taking action in this situation will cause many to give him a second look (and to facilitate that:  and they may just like what they see.

    As for Santorum’s back-pedaling, after someone else has pointed out that the emperor has no clothes (and seems to be raping Liberty), it’s too late to say “Oh yeah, I thought there was something not quite right.”  Especially after you’ve already sucked up by expressing your admiration.

  • Citizen Kane

    The republican party does still have some sane people? I used to have trouble being an independant when the republicans fielded common sence candiates who checked their prejudice at the door, respected, freedom, the judicial system, and the constitution.

  • egc52556

    Amen, Gary Johnson, Amen.

  • UIGrad2010

    Wow, he’s level headed in a party full of loony toons. 

  • Anonymous

    A Republican who actually lives by the Republican value of limited government intrusion.  Fantastic!  Now to find more like him…

  • Kerry Welsh

    Two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is a breath of fresh air amongst the religious zealot homophobes that are the Republican candidates. No wonder the Republican establishment is doing its best to marginalize Gov Johnson and his eminently sensible views on a wide range of issues. There’s a reason he’s still rock-star popular in his home state–a state that is registered 2-1 Democrat, incidentally.

  • Hank Kelly

    Santorum,  how about a pledge to represent all of the people, not just the select ones who demanded (not asked) that you sign the pledge?    I don’t care about your marriage or your bedroom.  Keep your nose and prying eyes out of mine.  What a wuss.  You cowtow, kiss the backside and fall to your knees for the zealots.  You are a disgrace.

  • Anonymous

    Johnson has it right.  Why are these candidates constantly pandering to mystics and after-lifers.  We are here on earth alive. Let’s be sensible about the problems we’ve created and fix them in a businesslike manner. 

  • Otis

    Haw haw haw!!  Don’t these fools know history??  A child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be sold than anything!!  

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