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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.


Cain, Pawlenty also decline ‘The Marriage Vow’

Vander Plaats sounds off against pledge critics
By Lynda Waddington | 07.13.11 | 4:55 pm

Two more 2012 Republican hopefuls have decided against signing onto “The Marriage Vow,” a social conservative pledge announced last week by Bob Vander Plaats, head of The Family Leader. In the wake of the announcements, Vander Plaats is speaking out against critics of the pledge, saying that the document is being misrepresented by the media.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued a statement to members of the media Wednesday afternoon noting both his continued focus on social conservative values and his intention to not sign The Family Leader document.

Mary and I have been married for almost 24 years and have been blessed with two wonderful daughters. In all we do, we remain committed to our core values that are set out in scripture. We are saved by grace. As Christians we are to speak the truth, but to do so with love.

Voters have a right to know about their leaders’ faith and values, and how those beliefs may shape their decisions. To that end, today my campaign released a new video in which both Mary and I speak directly and openly about our faith. I fully support traditional marriage. Unequivocally. The traditional family faces enormous challenges in America, and if elected I would vigorously oppose any effort to redefine marriage as anything other than between one man and one woman.

I deeply respect, and share, Bob Vander Plaats’ commitment to promoting the sanctity of marriage, a culture of life, and the core principles of the Family Leader’s Marriage Vow Pledge. However, rather than sign onto the words chosen by others, I prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own.

I respectfully decline to sign the pledge.

Likewise, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain sent his statement under the subject line of “Cain reaffirms commitment to traditional American values.” In lieu of signing The Marriage Vow pledge, Cain issued the following statement:

I stand firmly with The Family Leader and share their vision and commitment to supporting traditional values in American society.

I am, and will continue to be, an ardent defender of traditional marriage and will work to preserve and protect the sanctity of human life, which I believe begins at conception.

While I commend their intent regarding the pledge, I believe my stated position encompasses their values without the need to sign the pledge.

Shortly following the candidate announcements, Vander Plaats sent an email message to supporters regarding The Marriage Vow, making clear that the organization “has never made the claim, nor ever will, that slavery was better for families.”

Here’s the text of The Family Leader message:

I’d like to be perfectly clear…

The Marriage Vow is about setting a higher standard for marriages and families. This is precisely why we developed The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY.

Having presidential candidates and other leaders sign the pledge will provide Americans with evidence of a higher standard and model which will strengthen marriages, strengthen families, strengthen our economy, and strengthen our society.

Our critics are distorting the facts and misrepresenting The Marriage Vow. The preamble to the vow references relevant and sobering data which points to marriages and families being in crisis. The Family Leader has never made the claim, nor ever will, that slavery was better for families.

The organization has also decided that the pledge document shouldn’t be limited to only presidential candidates. On its website there is an opportunity for anyone who wishes to do so to note support for the pledge, which no longer contains the controversial reference to slavery.

A video posted by The Family Leader to take on the critics about the controversial slavery statement actually begins with Vander Plaats repeating nearly identical language to what has now been removed from the pledge:

Candidates who have stated their support for the pledge are U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum. There are now five candidates who have wholly declined — Cain, Pawlently, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and GOP political strategist Fred Karger.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich hasn’t come right out and said no, but did say during appearances in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids Monday that he thought some of the language needed to be changed or removed — something Vander Plaats has said will not happen.

An email message Tuesday from the campaign of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul spoke exclusively of the debt-ceiling negotiations and did not mention the Iowa document.

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  • tom

    Time for Bob Vander Plaats to put his Sen. McCarthy playbook aside and step into the 21st century. Like the fear of communism taking over our minds and bodies, Witch Hunts and Loyalty Oaths are so 1950s, Bob.

    • IowaExpat

      Richard Nixon used the McCarthy playbook when he developed his so called “Southern Strategy.”  The Republicans have been using this method to demonize various minority groups for many years now.  I hope that people will see this  for what is (intolerance and hate) vote them out of office.  They are not the Americans they portray themselves to be.

  • Anonymous

    The top picture should read, ” The Family Leader – Strengthening our families by trying to destroy yours.”
    Iowa, and America, is *far* better than that, Bob. Please leave.

    • Anonymous

      Love your comment..and Ohhhh soo TRUE! 

       The Family Leader – Strengthening our families by trying to destroy yours.”

  • egc52556

    Pawlenty: “Voters have a right to know about their leaders’ faith and values, and how those beliefs may shape their decisions. [...] if elected I would vigorously oppose any effort to redefine marriage as anything other than between one man and one woman”

    Pawlenty is confusing his personal private faith with his duties in public office.  He can pray all he wants at home, but America’s laws protect the rest of us from him imposing his theology on us.

    America is not a Christian nation.
    America is a nation that tolerates all faiths, including Christians.

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