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.
In addition to co-chairing the Iowans for Freedom coalition with Bob Vander Plaats, Tamara Scott is state director for Concerned Women of America and has advocated for homeschooling as a member of the Iowa Family Policy Center's Educational Resource Council. At the Republican Party of Iowa's state convention in June, Scott edged out State Representative Kim Pearson in the balloting for Republican National Committeewoman, replacing retiring RNC representative Kim Lehman.
In the new Iowans for Freedom commercial against retaining Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, Scott identifies herself as an "Iowa mom," not as an experienced political activist.
Scott: Whether you're Republican or Democrat or somewhere in between, freedom is an issue for all of us. [Scott stands in a large but immaculate kitchen, looks over a "No Wiggins" pamphlet as she speaks, then looks at the camera. Words on screen Freedom is an issue for All of Us]
I'm an Iowa mom, and I'm concerned about activist Judge David Wiggins. [Words Tamara CENTRAL IOWA appear on screen below Scott as she talks; view shifts to photo of Wiggins, labeled David S. Wiggins Iowa Supreme Court Judge]
He's the worst-rated Supreme Court judge in 50 years. [view of the Iowa State Bar Association's 2012 Judicial Performance Review, large words on screen WORST RATED Iowa Supreme Court JUDGE]
He violated the Constitution by making law. Judges can't do that! [view of U.S. Constitution document, with large words on screen WARNING FREEDOMS AT RISK]
The elites are saying Iowans don't get it. [Scott back on camera, lifts up Des Moines Register opinion section from kitchen counter]
We do get it. It's we the people, not we the courts. [lets newspaper fall back onto counter, continues to speak into camera; NoWiggins.com appears on screen below Scott]
Turn your ballot over and vote no on activist Judge David Wiggins. [view of ballot question on retention with a mark next to "NO"; NoWiggins.com logo on right side of screen; in small print near bottom of screen, paid for message by Iowans for Freedom and the National Organization for Marriage]
Female voice-over: To learn more, NoWiggins.com .
The latest statewide poll on the retention race suggested that Wiggins is in trouble. Public Policy Polling found 43 percent of respondents ready to vote against Wiggins, while just 37 were inclined to support retaining him.
With 20% of voters still undecided it could go either way, but Republicans (65%) are more committed to removing him right now than Democrats (59%) are to keeping him.
Although I do see some "yes on Iowa judges" yard signs around town, I suspect most Iowans don't care much about the retention vote, and the people calling themselves undecided will skip that part of the ballot. If you don't have a strong opinion about same-sex marriage, you're less likely to be bothered about checking the "yes" box next to the judges.
In contrast, social conservatives are highly engaged in the anti-retention campaign. Bob Vander Plaats got plenty of applause when he made the case against Wiggins at the Iowa GOP's fall fundraising dinner last week. He mostly repeated the same wrong arguments about the Iowa Supreme Court "making law" in its Varnum v Brien ruling on marriage.
Vander Plaats introduced a different willful misunderstanding of constitutional rights in this Iowans for Freedom press release on October 24 (excerpt):
Despite being part of the 7-0 unanimous Varnum decision in April 2009, Iowa Supreme Court Judge David Wiggins showed inconsistency by his apparent support of Iowans for Freedom's efforts at his recent campaign stop in Perry," IFF State Co-Chair Bob Vander Plaats said.
Vander Plaats was surprised when Wiggins agreed with Iowans for Freedom during the judge's recent campaign stop in Perry. When asked about the Iowa Marriage Amendment, Wiggins responded, "People have a right to vote. That's one of the most important things in the world."
Iowans for Freedom Executive Director Greg Baker questioned how Wiggins could rule one way, but utter contradictory remarks on the campaign trail.
"It is obvious Judge Wiggins is campaigning to keep his job," Baker said. "In Perry, Wiggins clearly expressed an understanding of the Constitution, yet it was not reflected in the Varnum opinion. Wiggins said, 'I may disagree with the laws passed by the legislature, I'm bound to enforce it.' With this understanding, Wiggins still chose not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, the current law of the legislature. Instead, he chose to make law from the bench by forcing same-sex marriage onto Iowa."
Wiggins was also quoted as saying, "As judges, we are required to enforce the laws that are written by the legislature, they're the Supreme power, and with the caveat that the legislature nor the executive branch cannot take away rights of the majority, take the rights guaranteed by the Constitution."
It is evident Wiggins comprehends that the power belongs to the people and the legislature, which means that his wrong decision in Varnum was not because of incompetence, but negligence." Vander Plaats commented.
Acknowledging that people have the right to vote on constitutional amendments does not contradict the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling on marriage. The seven justices held that Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act violated the state constitution. In striking down that law, the Iowa Supreme Court didn't preclude changing the constitution through an amendment. It's not Wiggins' fault that Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has repeatedly blocked the marriage amendment from reaching the Senate floor.
Speaking of which, our neighbor to the north has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot this November. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune carried this op-ed piece on Sunday.
Four major mental-health professional associations -- the Minnesota Psychological Association; the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; the Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and the Minnesota Psychiatric Society -- oppose amending our state Constitution to exclude same-sex couples from legal marriage. Our associations have independently arrived at this position as health professionals who are trained to engage in practice that is informed by scientific evidence. [...]
Far from "redefining marriage," the research shows that same-sex couples who seek to wed one another are hoping to participate fully in the same traditional definitions of marriage their other family members embrace, and for the same reasons.
Do same-sex couples form and maintain healthy, successful, lifelong intimate relationships? The scientific evidence indicates yes. Additionally, empirical research has demonstrated that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. [...]
Research has found that same-gender parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide loving and nurturing home environments for their children.
How do children of same-sex parents fare? Four decades of empirical research indicates that the development, adjustment and well-being of children with same-sex parents do not differ significantly from that of children with heterosexual parents. [...]
As professionals, our review of the research evidence, as well as our clinical experience with hundreds of Minnesota families, informs us that same-sex partners and parents are equally likely to be healthy, committed and responsible as their heterosexual counterparts, and that the development and well-being of their children is not inferior to children of heterosexual parents.
Any comments on the retention election are welcome in this thread.