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.
NOM spent $721k to oust Iowa judges in 2010
National Institute on Money in State Politics released a report this week that shows that the National Organization for Marriage was one of the top political spenders in the 2010 election cycle in Iowa. NOM’s spending targeted three Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in 2009 that Iowa’s legislative ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
National Organization for Marriage made $721,708 in independent expenditures which was 31 percent of all independent expenditures in Iowa in 2010. NOM was the 2nd highest single spender in the 2010 election cycle in Iowa, spending almost double that of Fair Courts for Us, a campaign that supported retaining the judges. That group spent $423,767.
NOM was joined by American Family Association Action which chipped in $171,225. The AFA is listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Family Research Council Action also pitched in $55,997 and is also listed as a hate group by the SPLC. Religious right figurehead Gary Bauer contributed to the campaign as well through his Campaign for Working Families which gave $100,000 to the cause. Iowa Family Policy Center Action gave $10,178. That PAC is affiliated with the Family Leader and Bob Vander Plaats.
These groups are back in Iowa in 2011 and have begun spending in support of Republican Cindy Golding who opposes civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. Golding is facing of with Democrat Liz Mathis in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Swati Dandekar who was appointed to the Iowa Utilities Board. The Democrats’ 26-24 majority in the Senate hinges on the election, and anti-gay groups are targeting the seat in hopes that an evenly split legislature will pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage potentially ending marriage equality in the state.