Iowa Senate Republicans push petition drive to pressure county recorders

Iowa Senate Republicans are using their official website to push a petition drive to pressure county recorders not to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

We already knew that prominent Iowa Republicans have trouble with the concept of judicial review, but Senator Merlin Bartz, who tried last week to give county recorders the right to ignore the law, has taken it to a new level.

Senator Bartz’s page on the Iowa Senate Republicans website is promoting a petition being circulated by Chuck Hurley’s Iowa Family Policy Center.

The disgraceful details are after the jump.

I learned about the petition drive from Ed Fallon’s I’M for Iowa organization. Fallon obtained a copy of this e-mail that the Iowa Family Policy Center has sent to its supporters:

It Is Time To Take Action!

This morning, Senator Merlin Bartz took to the floor of the Iowa Senate and urged the people of Iowa to communicate with their County Recorders concerning the Supreme Court opinion about marriage.

Citing the Iowa Constitution, and Iowa Code concerning marriage, Senator Bartz presented a petition for Iowa Citizens to use as they encourage their Recorder to refuse to issue so-called same sex “marriage” licenses. That petition is attached to this e-mail, and is available for download at http://www.iowasenaterepublica…

Senator Bartz, who has been working with the Iowa Family Policy Center to push for the Iowa Marriage Amendment in the Senate and to protect Marriage across the state, offered the following instructions for use of the petition.

DIRECTIONS REGARDING COUNTY RECORDERS PETITION  

  1. Print as many copies of this petition as you so desire.

  2. Distribute petitions to anybody you feel who would be inclined to help in this endeavor.

  3. Before submitting petitions to your county recorder, make two copies of the signed petition.  Keep one for yourself and send a copy for accountability purposes to the Iowa Family Policy Center, 1100 N. Hickory, Suite 107, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327.

  4. If you need further instructions on how to deliver your petition to your county recorder, feel free to call 1-877-866-IFPC.

Please print and take several copies to church with you on Sunday.  Then, commit to stopping by your Recorder’s office next Monday morning to hand deliver them just as the office opens.

The struggle between the Supreme Court and Iowa law is causing a constitutional crisis in the state of Iowa, and your County Recorder is caught in the middle.  Please keep your recorder in prayer, and bring as many signatures as possible to them on Monday to show that you support them. Recorders offices open at 8:00, so be sure to get there early.

God bless you for your continued work to preserve marriage!

If you look on Senator Bartz’s page on the official Iowa Senate Republicans website, you’ll find a link for downloading the petition and the same instructions sent out by the Iowa Family Policy Center:

DIRECTIONS REGARDING COUNTY RECORDERS PETITION  

  1. Print as many copies of this petition as you so desire.

  2. Distribute petitions to anybody you feel who would be inclined to help in this endeavor.

  3. Before submitting petitions to your county recorder, make two copies of the signed petition.  Keep one for yourself and send a copy for accountability purposes to the Iowa Family Policy Center, 1100 N. Hickory, Suite 107, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327.

  4. If you need further instructions on how to deliver your petition to your county recorder, feel free to call 1-877-866-IFPC.

The full text of the petition is at the bottom of this post.

So, the Iowa Senate Republicans are officially endorsing a campaign to urge county recorders to break the law. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has made clear that county recorders are required to comply with the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling in Varnum v Brien.

Also, the Iowa Senate Republicans are helping the Iowa Family Policy Center build a list for future direct-mail and fundraising campaigns. That’s the point of telling people to “send a copy [of the petition] for accountability purposes to the Iowa Family Policy Center”. Ask anyone with experience in the non-profit world. Signatures on a petition are used to identify sympathetic potential supporters of the organization.

I am not familiar with the level of cooperation allowed between non-profits and political parties under state and federal law. The Iowa Family Policy Center is a 501(c)3 organization. I am contacting attorneys I know, but if anyone reading this post has expertise in this area, feel free to send me a confidential e-mail: desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.

Where is the leadership in the Republican Party of Iowa? Will anyone stand up and tell social conservatives that they don’t get to pick and choose which court rulings are enforced?

“WE THE PEOPLE” petition of the Iowa Family Policy Center (all words in capital letters or bold print are bold or capitalized in the original)

WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, AND THE PEOPLE OF _______ COUNTY, EXERCISING OUR RIGHT UNDER ARTICLE 1 SECTION 20 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF IOWA TO FREELY ASSEMBLE TOGETHER TO COUNSEL FOR THE COMMON GOOD, TO MAKE KNOWN OUR OPINIONS TO OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO PETITION FOR REDRESS OF OUR GRIEVANCES, DO HEREBY SIGN AND PRESENT THIS DOCUMENT TO OUR COUNTY RECORDER AND RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT IT BE HONORED.

WHEREAS, the Iowa Legislature passed and the Governor signed in 1998 the Defense of Marriage Act, stating that marriage in Iowa is only between one man and one woman, and

WHEREAS, on April 3rd, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion that is in conflict with that law and the Constitution, thereby rejecting their oath of office and the legitimate moral sentiments of the people expressed in Iowa Code, and

WHEREAS, the current Legislature and Governor have failed to exercise their Constitutional duty to address the inconsistencies that exist between Iowa law and the Supreme Court opinion, and

WHEREAS, we believe the Court Opinion to be misguided, and the inaction of the Governor and the Legislature to be unacceptable, and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has set April 27th, 2009 as the date that County Recorders should start issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, and

WHEREAS, we are in support of the Iowa law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and urge our County Recorder to take all necessary steps to resist issuing licenses to same sex couples;

NOW THEREFORE, we hereby appeal directly to you, our county recorder, to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples on April 27th, 2009, and every day after, until such conflict between the Supreme Court’s opinion and the law is address by a VOTE OF THE PEOPLE OF IOWA.

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