Top-Tier Presidential candidates are pandering to Iowa extremists

What happens in Iowa won’t stay in Iowa.

On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down a ban on gay marriages and simultaneously lit a fire under extremists who are willing to say and do anything in order to marginalize or eliminate the third branch of our government.

The nearly 19-month long campaign in Iowa that followed the decision, which was paid for by reckless special interest groups and encouraged by out-of-state politicians, ended on November 2, 2010 when the extremists won, and three justices were voted off the bench.

Throughout the retention campaign, prospective presidential candidates pandered to the Iowa extremists who were attacking the judiciary:

  • Rick Santorum traveled across the state to raise the campaign’s profile
  • Newt Gingrich said the retention vote would be a “clarion call” to the legal secular elite
  • Mitt Romney attacked the nonpartisan group of Iowa justices by calling them members of an “activist court”
  • Tim Pawlenty encouraged the radicals to oust the judges if they disagreed with their ruling
  • Mike Huckabee campaigned for the most radical gubernatorial candidate who later led the effort to oust the judges

After the dust had settled after the election, it became clear which presidential candidate had been working the hardest to pander to the extremists: Newt Gingrich.

During the campaign, Gingrich posted an update on his official website that made it clear that he didn’t support an independent judicial branch. The post declared that, “we’re going to have to fundamentally revisit how we deal with judges because the judicial branch has grown much too powerful and much too dictatorial.”

Even though he spoke out publicly, Gingrich also took a more prominent behind the scenes role. On March 15, 2011, the Associated Press reported that Gingrich had funneled $150,000 through a series of non-profits in order to support the extremists leading the efforts. His attempts to pander apparently paid off.

The leader of the radicals is a 3-time gubernatorial candidate named Bob Vander Plaats (BVP). He is currently making $120,000 per year to continue the attacks on our third branch of government, and taking his extremists rhetoric on the road during a 99 county tour of Iowa.

During BVP’s stops in some of the smallest towns in Iowa, he has made it a point to thank Newt Gingrich for supporting their anti-justice campaign. Check out this video of some of the praise heaped on Gingrich:

Here in Iowa, we’re working hard to educate local citizens about the dangers of inserting partisan politics into our judicial system.

Unfortunately, extremist groups and out-of-state politicians are continuing their efforts to politicize our judicial branch. Due to this dangerous precedent, and the increase in time that presidential candidates are spending in our great state, we plan to highlight their anti-justice statements for the rest of the country.

In the short term, we will be placing web ads in New Hampshire and South Carolina, first on blogs, and then eventually on newspaper websites, to help educate the public about dangerous efforts to attack the judicial system. Currently, you will find our ads running on Blue Hampshire, NH Insider and GraniteGrok. If you would like to support our initial web ad efforts, please click here to make a contribution.


Focus on Iowa’s Future operates as a 501(c)(4). We’re committed to educating the public about the importance of keeping partisan politics out of the Iowa Supreme Court.

This diary was cross posted from Blue Hampshire.

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