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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.


One Iowa petitions Vander Plaats to apologize

By Lynda Waddington | 07.19.11 | 2:22 pm

Bob Vander Plaats

One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, has begun a petition to demand an apology from Bob Vander Plaats, head of the religious conservative organization The Family Leader, for “laughing and complimenting a derogatory joke aimed at gay and lesbian Iowans.”

As The Iowa Independent reported Tuesday morning, video surfaced of a March Family Leader whistle stop in Audubon in which an audience member relates an off-color joke to Vander Plaats, who finds the exchange humorous and remarks, “Oh shoot, that’s pretty good.”

“Tell Vander Plaats to quit bullying Iowans,” reads the message from One Iowa to supporters.

“Vander Plaats has made it clear — the way he plans to win is through derogatory language. There is a name for people like that — Bully. And, we cannot allow him to continue this mean-spirited and harmful campaign. … Vander Plaats and the Family Leader may think they can get national media attention by bullying our families, but they are wrong.”

Troy Price, executive director, said, “Mr. Vander Plaats has said he loves all Iowans, and that he is only speaking the truth. Well, if he is telling the truth when he says that he is not mean-spirited, then he should apologize quickly for his actions.”

Under a headline of “Shame on you, Bob!” petition signers are asked to agree to the following personal letter to Vander Plaats:

Dear Bob,

Throughout the debate on marriage, you have claimed that you want to have a civil discussion on the issues affecting loving, committed gay and lesbian Iowans. Yet, as you continue to use hurtful and derogatory language, you are showing more and more that you are not interested in a civil debate, but only furthering your political career. Your comments have hurt not only gay and lesbian Iowans, but all Iowans, and have made our state a joke throughout the country.

Mr. Vander Plaats, you do not speak for me, and I demand that you issue an apology to gay and lesbian Iowans for your hurtful comments and actions.

“Iowans deserve better than this,“ said Price. “Outrageous and derogatory comments like these have no place in the conversation on marriage. We ask that all Iowans stand up to the bullying tactics of Bob Vander Plaats and his supporters, and sign our petition demanding an apology.”

The Iowa Independent requested comment from Vander Plaats and/or The Family Leader prior to our first report on the video. At the time of this update, no response had been received.

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  • Paul Bridson

    What a window into his true character.

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