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Ethics board to investigate National Organization for Marriage spending on retention votes

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 16:40:00 PM CDT

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted unanimously on August 8 to investigate the National Organization for Marriage's spending in Iowa during the 2010 and 2012 judicial retention elections. Details are after the jump.

UPDATE: Added details below on the National Organization for Marriage demanding that the ethics board's executive director recuse herself from any investigation.

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A closer look at the 2012 Iowa Supreme Court retention vote

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 17:15:00 PM CST

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins kept his job Tuesday by a surprisingly large margin of 670,013 votes to 556,782. The percentage of yes and no votes on Wiggins (54.61 percent to 45.39 percent) was a mirror image of the 2010 votes on Chief Justice Marsha Ternus (55 percent no), Justice Michael Streit (54.4 percent no), and Justice David Baker (54.2 percent no). Whereas only ten of Iowa's 99 counties voted to retain three Supreme Court justices in 2010, 36 counties recorded more "yes" than "no" votes this year.

Maps are after the jump, along with some clips on the retention vote. I also list which pro-retention counties produced a plurality of votes for President Barack Obama, which "yes" counties went for Mitt Romney, and which "no Wiggins" counties went for Obama.

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Huge day for marriage equality in Iowa

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:25:00 AM CST

Supporters of LGBT equality are celebrating yesterday's votes for same-sex marriage rights in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, as well as Minnesotans rejecting a constitutional amendment designed to restrict marriage rights to heterosexuals.

The election also slammed the door on any prospect of overturning marriage equality in Iowa.

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No consensus in polls on Iowa retention vote

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 19:20:00 PM CST

The Des Moines Register's new poll by Selzer and Co is the latest survey to give no clear sign of whether voters will retain Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins on Tuesday.  
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Second "No Wiggins" tv ad and other Iowa retention vote news

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 06:35:00 AM CDT

The second "No Wiggins" television commercial hit Iowa television screens on October 26, featuring an "Iowa mom" who happens to be Iowa's new Republican National Committeewoman. The video, transcript, and related news clips are after the jump. Bleeding Heartland covered the first "No Wiggins" ad here.
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Did Burlington churches cross line with "No Wiggins" advocacy?

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:35:55 AM CDT

"No Wiggins" campaign materials on display at two churches in Burlington have stirred up a local debate over whether such advocacy is an abuse of tax-exempt status or an exercise of free speech.
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Iowa Senate district 30 campaign update

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 13:05:00 PM CDT

Last time Bleeding Heartland discussed the Iowa Senate district 30 race, two-term Democratic incumbent Jeff Danielson and his Republican challenger Matt Reisetter had just launched their first television commercials in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. Both candidates have followed up with advertising that I've enclosed after the jump.

I applaud the openness of both campaigns in Senate district 30. Most of the Iowa House and Senate radio and television commercials from last cycle were never uploaded to YouTube, and I expect the same lack of transparency this year.

As for content, Reisetter's third tv ad includes one of the most ludicrous interpretations of an Iowa legislative vote since the infamous "heated sidewalks" of 2010.

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First "No Wiggins" tv ad and other Iowa judicial retention news

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:46:53 AM CDT

It's time for another thread to discuss this year's judicial retention elections. Recent links on the campaign are after the jump, along with the first television commercial urging Iowans to vote against retaining Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins.

UPDATE: Progress Iowa cut a pro-retention video featuring "Iowa Nice Guy" Scott Siepker. I've added it at the end of this post.

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Judicial retention election news and discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 07:55:30 AM CDT

The Des Moines Register's latest Iowa poll indicates a close contest for Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, the target of an anti-retention campaign by social conservatives. In an unexpected move, former Iowa House Speaker Chris Rants publicly advocated a yes vote on Wiggins, despite Rants' opposition to same-sex marriage rights.

In related news, yesterday marked the end of the road for conservative activists trying to challenge Iowa's 50-year-old system for nominating judges.

Follow me after the jump for details.

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Religious right will target three Iowa Supreme Court justices in 2010

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:26:48 AM CDT

Social conservatives made clear at yesterday's rally against gay marriage that they will try to remove Iowa Supreme Court justices next year:

"This is only the beginning," said Danny Carroll, a former legislator and now chairman of the conservative Iowa Family Policy Center. "We will remember and we will remember in November."
Chuck Hurley, also a former legislator and president of the policy center, noted that in addition to legislators and Gov. Chet Culver, three Iowa Supreme Court justices would face retention elections next year.
That includes Chief Justice Marsha Ternus.
"Maybe she will know how it feels after November of 2010," said Hurley.
Justices Michael Streit and David Baker also will be up for retention elections next year. The Supreme Court struck down the state's gay marriage ban on a 7-0 decision.
"Three judges on the ballot. We will remember next November," Hurley said. "You are not fooling anyone."
In Iowa, judges are appointed through a merit-selection process that was approved by voters in the 1960s. Voters decide whether to keep a judge in office. Supreme court judges are up for retention every eight years, while court of appeals and district court judges are up every six years.

I automatically vote to retain every judge, whether conservative, moderate or liberal, unless I have heard from trusted attorneys that the judge is incompetent or corrupt. In more than two decades of voting I've only voted against retention once or twice. I've disagreed with some court rulings, just like Hurley and Carroll disagree with the Varnum v Brien decision. But our justice system depends on judges being able to interpret the law without fear of reprisal.

The threats from Carroll and Hurley underscore how extremism has become mainstream for Iowa Republicans. These are not fringe wackos; Carroll and Hurley are both former state legislators.

Marsha Ternus has 16 years of experience on Iowa's high court. She was appointed by Republican Governor Terry Branstad (as was Mark Cady, the author of the Varnum v Brien decision). Streit and Baker also have lengthy and distinguished legal careers. Yet that means nothing, because social conservatives want to impose their religious beliefs on everyone.

We'll need to remember to tell our friends to vote yes on retaining all judges in November 2010. Many people never bother to fill out the back side of the ballot.

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