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Posts Tagged ‘Iowa Politics’

Some may not be aware, but Iowa has a Republican Senate Primary tomorrow.  The three contenders are Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje, Marion businessman and Navy vet Christopher Reed, and Strattford attorney and former Iowa Representative George Eichhorn.

Any of the three would be better than incumbent U.S. Senator Tom Harkin who has not represented Iowa well.  His liberal positions are not in touch with mainstream Iowa (which I noticed his most liberal positions are conveniently left off his issues page on his website).

Another reason why I feel that Tom Harkin is bad for Iowa is that he no longer lives here.  Unlike the senior senator for Iowa, Chuck Grassley, who lives here when the Senate is out of session and visits every county in Iowa every year; Harkin resides near Washington, D.C., just maintains a P.O. Box in Iowa and is only out here when he is fundraising or campaigning.

I have decided that I am going to cast my ballot tomorrow for George Eichhorn, and I would like to encourage my fellow Republicans who live in Iowa to do the same tomorrow.  I think that George Eichhorn has excellent experience having served in the Iowa Legislature for three terms.  While I am not against seeing non-legislators run against Harkin I feel that both Rathje and Reed are the the strongest candidates.

Regarding policies they are all pretty similar.  I feel George Eichhorn articulates his the best and knows how to campaign.  Steve Rathje has been running for two years, but as a recent Des Moines Register article points out as of 5/14/08, only had $7,700 in the bank.  Eichhorn only has $4,100, but he just declared his candidacy.  Eichhorn also seems to have the backing of some key party leadership.  I also watched a recent debate between Eichhorn and Reed (could somebody explain to me why Rathje wasn’t there?), and I feel that Eichhorn best explained his positions.  Reed came across as inexperienced, and Rathje communicated a lack of desire to win since he couldn’t even bother showing up.

So George, you have my vote tomorrow.  I hope to see you on the ballot in November against Tom Harkin.

Cross-posted at From Their Own Mouths

Update (6/4/08): Congratulations to Christopher Reed who yesterday’s primary.  Very close race.  Mr. Reed was my second choice.

1,873 of 1,873 precincts – 100 percent

  • Christopher Reed 25,150 – 35 percent
  • George Eichhorn 24,735 – 35 percent
  • Steve Rathje 21,326 – 30 percent

Source: KCCI TV

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1.  John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College & Graduate School, lectures on “Genesis and Cosmology” (click his picture to get to his lecture and power point presentation).

It expanded my view of Genesis 1 and its context.  He contends that Genesis 1 doesn’t address the time span for matter or structures being made (Dr. Walton affirms that God does create matter and structures), but rather Genesis 1 addresses God bringing order out of disorder, creating functionality out of non-functionality.  We look at Genesis 1 and see God creating structures, when an ancient Israelite would have looked at Genesis 1 they would look at functions – we have a difference of worldviews.  He says that Genesis 1 doesn’t address creation ex nihilo.  In the Q & A time afterwards he says that Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1 does.  Very interesting lecture.  I still have questions.  The one that moved me originally from having an old earth position to a young earth position was this – “how could there be disease and death before the fall of man and God’s creation being corrupted by sin?”  He didn’t address that.

HT: Tim Olson

2.  Chuck Colson on the Demise of Marriage in Great Britain:

According to a new report by Britain’s Office for National Statistics, the proportion of Britons getting married “has collapsed to a record low,” and that is a quote. One critic of the current government called it “a disaster for children, families, and society.” But, unlike natural disasters, this disaster is completely man-made.

In 2006, there were approximately 237,000 weddings in Britain—the fewest since 1895, when Victoria was still queen and Britain’s population was about half of what it is today. In fact, “the proportion of men and women getting married is below any level found since figures were first kept nearly 150 years ago.”

The marriage rate for British men is 22.8 per 1,000 and for women 20.5 per 1,000.

Related to this is a Break Point commentary that talks about the economic costs of family fragmentation – the rise of divorce and unwed mothers.

As I said earlier, the costs of this family fragmentation are not limited to the children. As one expert wrote, “Divorce and unwed childbearing create substantial public costs, paid by taxpayers.”

How much? A minimum of $112 billion a year. That is more than a $1 trillion a decade in “increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal justice . . . education programs,” and lost tax revenues.

What is more, the “human and social capital” lost from family fragmentation has an economic impact that goes far beyond government expenditures.

3.  Former Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee launches his new political action committee – Huck PAC.  You can also get to it at his previous domain name – http://www.mikehuckabee.com.  Check out his blog post on the Fair Tax posted on 4/15/08 (for those readers outside of the U.S. that is our tax day).

4.  Mark Driscoll on why he hates religion.  Great video!

Amen and Amen!

HT: Steve Randall

5.  Why Rob Bell makes me angry: a pastoral response to Velvet Elvis.

While I wanted to throw Velvet Elvis across the room at times while reading it, I’m not so sure I’d go quite as far as Pat Abendroth, the senior pastor of Omaha Bible Church, (where Erik Raymond the author of Irish Calvinist is on staff).  He does make some good points though as to why Bell makes him mad.

  • Because he preaches an anti-gospel.
  • Because he writes off the virgin birth of Jesus as non-essential.
  • Because he downplays the vital role of conversion.
  • Because he does violence to the clear words of Jesus.
  • Because he is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church

You’ll have to read the post to read why he makes the points he does.  I was also troubled by how Bell handled the virgin birth, and how he does downplay conversion.  I’m not so sure that I would completely agree with Bell doing violence with the clear words of Jesus.  Sometimes they are not as clear as one would think if you do not look at them from the original historical context.  That is true with all scripture, not just Jesus’ words.  On the other hand, Scripture is also timeless and speaks today as well.

What do you think?

6.  Puritan Prayer for Preachers – adapted from The Valley of Vision

My Master God,
I am expected to preach today,
but go weak and needy to my task;

Yet I long that people will be edified with divine truth,
that an honest testimony will be given for you.

Give me assistance in preaching and prayer,
with heart uplifted for grace and passion.

Present to my view things pertinent to my subject,
will fullness of matter and clarity of thought,
proper expressions, fluency, fervency,
a deep emotion to accompany the words I speak,
and grace to apply them to people’s consciences.

Keep me conscious all the while of my defects,
and let me not gloat in pride over my performance.

Help me to offer a testimony for yourself,
and to leave sinners inexcusable in neglecting your mercy.

Give me freedom to open up the sorrows of your people,
and to set before them comforting consolations.

Give your power to the truth preached,
and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.

May your people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,
and help me to use the strongest arguments
drawn from Christ’s incarnation and sufferings,
that people might be made holy.

I myself need your support, comfort, strength, holiness,
that I might be a pure channel of your grace,
and be able to do something for you.

Give me then refreshment among your people,
and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,
or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a redeemer,
or be harsh in treating Christ’s death, its design and end,
from lack of warmth and fervency.

And keep me in tune with you as I do this work.

I need to pray this often.

HT: Justin Taylor

7.  Looking ways to get your kids excited about missions?  Tia over at Desiring God’s blog suggests 10 ways.

8. Here’s something to augment your quiet time – a meditation on grace in Psalm 119.

9.  Al Mohler regarding the real issue with Sen. Obama’s comments:

Take a look again at the words most often cited from Sen. Obama’s comments:

“It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

I will let the political pundits have their day with this. My interest is theological, for Sen. Obama has given us a near-perfect expression of a functional view of religious belief. In other words, Sen. Obama said that “religion” is a coping mechanism for hard times — lumping religion with other issues his audience members were presumably to find strange and alien.

A functional view of belief assumes or “brackets” the question of whether the beliefs are true. One who holds to a purely functionalist view of religious conviction is not concerned with the truthfulness of these beliefs, but only with the effects the beliefs have on the believer, both privately and in social contexts.

HT: Barry Carey

10.  C. Michael Patton on blogging to the glory shame of God:

I believe that we are to defend the faith. I believe that we are to contend for the faith. One of my great loves in theology is the discipline of apologetics. But sometimes our zealousness for our faith can have the opposite effect and actually undermine our witness. We can shame God.

I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this.  You can read a second post he did on this topic.

11.  The Iowa General Assembly wants to mandate a core curriculum for public and private K-12 schools.  The model core curriculum draws heavily from Dr. Willard Daggett, a controversial education consultant based in New York.  You can watch a video that highlights a number of factual inaccuracies and distortions in his speeches, and an article about the controversy.  It has already passed the Iowa House.  If you live in Iowa, contact your state senator ask them to kill this bill.

HT: From Their Own Mouths

12.  Charles Krauthammer says that the U.S. needs to develop a holocaust declaration to deter Iran is using nuclear weapons that it is well on it’s way to developing.  Could we be facing a second Cold War made further complicated by Islamic Extremism?

HT: Kim Moreland at The Point

13.  Want to know how to sin with money?

14.  Oprah’s favorability rating takes a dive from 74% to 55%.  I think people are getting tired of celebrities thinking we take our cues from them when it comes to who we support.

HT: Anthony Randazzo at World

15.  Roger Overton at The A-Team Blog interviews David Wells, author of The Courage to Be Protestant.

16.  Mormon Coffee highlights faith-promoting perceptions of the LDS church as it tries to distance itself from the polygamy scandal/shakedown  happening at the YFZ Ranch in Texas operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

17.  I missed this earlier.  John McCain on Letterman.  I enjoyed this only because it was great to see David Letterman get made fun of.

HT: Paul Edwards

18.  The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer asks are American Christians persecuted?  I would agree with him that we are not compared to many other places, and the persecution that we do face isn’t “for righteousness sake,” (Matthew 5:10).  However in the beatitudes Jesus does broaden what persecution means.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you,” (Matthew 5:11-12, ESV, emphasis mine).

Of course the caveat is being persecuted “for righteousness sake” and being persecuted on Jesus account.  Thoughts?

19.  Joe Carter offers a Christian view on capital punishment.  I agree with his assessment of Christians applying Mosaic law to the debate.  What do you think?

20.  According to Ephesians 2, our children don’t need leading… so why the sign?

I wonder how effective this is in getting people to attend their parenting classes?

HT: Crummy Church Signs

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Sorry for the lapse in posting.  With my new responsibility of being interim pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Indianola, IA, my work with Serve Our Youth Network and just being a dad and husband I’ve been behind in reading my blog subscriptions and news feeds, so that is why I missed a week.

1.  Jeremy Taylor, a teacher at Sioux City North High School, is running against incumbent Democrat Represenative Wes Whitead to represent Sioux City in House District 1.  He recently gave a great speech at the Woodbury County Republican Convention.  Watch below.

Part I: 7 minutes, 32 seconds

Part II: 6 minutes, 1 second

I hope that he wins, and more people like him win to stop the craziness that is going on in the Iowa House before our state goes completely bankrupt both morally and fiscally.

HT: Matt Riesetter

2.  The Barna Research Group has a new study out on Marriage and Divorce that finds marriage is norm among adults with only 22% having never been married.  They also found, however, that divorce is widespread and has lost most of its stigma.

3.  Wayne Larson on Worldview, Antithesis and Where We Get It All Wrong.  He brings up some interesting points.

4.  Great April Fool’s prank from Neil Cavuto.  HT: Matt Proctor

5.  Condy Rice – McCain’s VP pick?  That would be interesting.  I think it would be a strong pick for him, but would rather see somebody with more domestic experience.

6.  The picture below made me laugh out loud.  Anybody else feel the same?

 

HT: Jeff @ Smart Pastor 

7.  Also a good link I found from Jeff @ Smart Pastor.  Ten Worst Ever Life Verses.  Dang, I’m going to have to change mine.  Guys, perhaps reciting #7 to your wife wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  I mean it is scripture after all!

10. Hezekiah 13:7
“Ye that dwelleth in his name, observe the news of the Lord.”

9. Hosea 4:14
“I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—a people without understanding will come to ruin!”

8. Judges 4:21
“But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.”

7. Song of Songs 7:7-8a
“Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.'”

6. Psalm 137:8-9
“O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us—he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

5. 1 Samuel 4:18
“When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backwards from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy.”

4. Matthew 1:9
“And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias”

3. Acts 5:9
“How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

2. Leviticus 18:19
“Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.”

1. Ezekiel 23:20
“There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

8.  Having been a spectator (and sometimes victim) of congregationalism run-amuck as a form of church governance, I appreciated this post by Greg Gilbert over at the 9 Marks blog.

9.  The unchurched prefer cathedrals over contemporary church designs according to a LifeWay survey.  Interesting, exactly the opposite of what I would have thought.  HT: Sam Rainer

10.  Greg Stier on the James 2 faith-works dilemma.  My take is that works don’t save, but saving faith will have works as fruit or the evidence so to speak of legitimate faith.  That is a rather simplified summary of my interpretation of James 2.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!  Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.  You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead, (James 2:14-26, ESV).

11. MTV survey on teens and social activism.  Pretty interesting.  HT: Kurt Johnston

12.  Adopt a Terrorist for Jesus

That’s what the new Web-based ministry Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer (ATFP) is urging Christians to do. Though ATFP agrees the government must fight terrorism militarily, it also believes the real war will be won in the spiritual realm. “Visitors can find a terrorist to pray for, as well as see how many others are praying for them,” said ATFP founder Thomas Bruce. “ It’s all about connecting these prayer warriors to each other to see how others are praying, to encourage each other, to spread the word, and fight this War on Terrorism in a powerful and spiritual way.” (From the Ministry Report Newsletter).

HT: Monday Morning Insight

13.  Also the first ever Amish emerging church – Solomon’s Barn.  I kid you not.

14.  Randy Alcorn does a monthly book giveaway, this month it is his book, Heaven.

15.  Christopher Wesley has a series of blog posts over at the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Community Blog entitled “Good to Great Youth Ministry” based on learnings from Jim Collins book, Good to Great.  Here is a link to the first post.

16.  Andrew Jackson on how Christians can engage in politics without losing their soul.  He offers 10 biblical guidelines for how to do this.

17.  Senator Barack Obama’s outreach efforts to evangelicals has been sabotaged by his former pastor (and I would also say a number of his policy positions).  But it would seem his belief in liberation theology is hurting him.

Barack Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, is dedicated to Black Liberation Theology and income redistribution. This liberal theology goes hand-in-hand with the liberal politics which Obama espouses. Obama’s faith is heavily based in the social gospel, meaning an emphasis is placed on the humanitarian example of Jesus. Humanity’s need for a savior to pay the debt due because of sin, which is satisfied by Christ’s death and resurrection, is relegated to the sidelines.

HT: Politics and Christianity

18.  Foxfier on the death of Charleton Heston.  Not only do two of his movies rank as some of my all time favorites (Ben Hur and the Ten Commandments), but also his work in conservative circles.  Foxfier included a quote from “Winning the Culture War” in her blog that I’ll share here as well.

Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, “Don’t shoot me.”

If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist.

If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you sexist.

If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion.

If you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.

Don’t let America’s universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.

But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation? The answer’s been here all along.

I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.

You simply … disobey.

Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely.

But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don’t. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.

I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King . . . who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might.

Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Vietnam.

In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous laws that weaken personal freedom.

But be careful … it hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies.

19.  Awesome quote.  When I first watched Amazing Grace I didn’t catch this, but Jemila Kwon over at Quirky Grace highlighted a quote given by Barbara, who is the woman who encourages William Wilberforce not to give up on his dream of seeing slavery abolished in Great Britain.

When they stop being afraid, their compassion will return.

20.  Something that leaders don’t often like to do, but I think is vital in order to listen to a variety of viewpoints and have a plurality of feedback: encourage disagreement.  Listen to opposing viewpoints.  This isn’t saying that we should promote disunity.  We need to be charitable toward one another, but I have far too often see a “group think” mentality occur when everybody thinks alike.  Poor decisions are made when we lapse into that.  We should seek to gather not “yes people” around us, but also those who will also challenge our thinking and push us beyond our comfort zone.

HT: High Calling Blogs

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The Iowa General Assembly has been controlled by Democrats since January 2007.  They have pushed through a number of horrible bills from changing our Civil Rights Code to funding ESCR.  They are also seeking to mandate school curriculum in Iowa.  Not just for public schools, which they do have the right to do since they receive state money, but also private schools.  Below is a press release from my friend Eric Goranson who lobbies on behalf of Christian schools in Iowa.

Private School Educators Say Student Achievement Forgotten in State Mandated Curriculum Proposal

(Des Moines, Iowa), March 31, 2008—A group of private school representatives from throughout Iowa today voiced their concern for proposed state mandates that would require private schools to adopt a state-specified curriculum in order to maintain their state accreditation. The private schools, which have enjoyed a strong working relationship with the state of Iowa for decades, are feeling strong-armed by the legislature’s push to require that rather than meet certain benchmarks for achievement, the school’s will be required to teach specific curriculum.

“Private schools live and die by their student achievements,” said Dr. Robert Stouffer, superintendent of Des Moines Christian School, one of the state’s largest non-denominational private schools. “We have always been willing to teach to ensure that our students are meeting, and more often exceeding, the grade-by-grade benchmarks required by the state, but private schools want to maintain the right to determine how we meet that need in the classroom.”

Dr. Aaron Gonzalez, who recently moved from Minnesota to take the helm at Iowa Christian Academy in West Des Moines agreed. “Test scores show that grade level-by-grade level, students in Iowa’s private schools have consistently performed well above state-established benchmarks, as well as above their public school counterparts,” said Gonzalez. “After working in other states, I am surprised that Iowa, which is recognized as an educational leader throughout the country, would force seemingly unnecessary changes onto an element of their educational model that has worked so well for so long.”

Therein lies the concern of the private school representatives — by all measurable standards the curriculum and classroom methodologies they have adopted are working well for those who choose private education. The private schools would simply like to maintain the option to choose all, some, or none of the model core curriculum proposed by the state, rather than be required to adopt it. “If parts of the curriculum make sense for our students and we think it will enhance our student achievement than of course we’ll adopt it,” explained David TeGrotenhuis, principal, Oskaloosa Christian School, “but we want to maintain that right to choose.”

The private school educators stress that districts and schools within districts have unique needs and student populations, noting that a “one size fits all” approach to curriculum does not make sense for students, teachers, or Iowans.  “This is not setting standards,” said Samona Yentes, of the Iowa Association of Christian Schools. “In fact, standards and benchmarks for achievement are notably left out of this legislation. It’s about mandating what is used in the classroom, regardless of the student population.”

Private schools are not the only ones who have balked at being required to adopt a state mandated curriculum.  Professional Educators of Iowa as well as the Des Moines Area Education Association have also expressed their concern about the loss of local control of curriculum within a district.

The private school educators have encouraged Iowans to contact their legislators and ask that they support allowing private schools to have the option of using the proposed model core curriculum. Such options are being debated by the legislature this week.

If you live in Iowa, please contact your legislator and tell them to vote no on the model core curriculum or, at the very least, amend the bill to exempt private schools.

Cross-posted at RedBlueChristian.com

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Chuck Hurley, the president of Iowa Family Policy Center has identified more than $170,000 coming from gay activists from outside of the state as campaign contributions to Iowa Democrats.  The IFPC reported in an e-mail today:

Iowa Democrats have accepted contributions from out-of-state homosexual activists of at least $440,000 since 2006, with $170,000 going directly to Democratic legislators who faced hotly contested elections. Of special note, hundreds of thousands of these activist dollars were given to organizations controlled by Gronstal who is now blocking the IMA.

The Des Moines Register today reported Senate Majority Leader, Mike Gronstal’s response:

“With this latest publicity stunt, Mr. Hurley has violated a couple of the Ten Commandments and committed at least one of the seven deadly sins,” Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat, said in a statement. “But why should this surprise Iowans? Mr. Hurley’s real motivation has always been hate-mongering and raising money from hard-working Iowans to cover his salary.”

Gronstal and House Speaker Pat Murphy need to allow debate on this issue.  It needs to go before the whole Senate and the whole House.  The people of Iowa need to decide this issue.  Not judges like Robert Hansen who feels like he can rewrite laws he doesn’t like.  It may not even be approved by the voters of the state, but at least we can have a voice.

Senator Majority Leader Gronstal’s words are out-of-line.  Churck Hurley makes a legitimate point.  Who is he answering to?  It doesn’t appear to be the people of Iowa.

My friend Eric makes a couple of good points on a blog I contribute to:

Gronstal’s comments bring up two very important points:

1. Gronstal is afraid of answering questions on this issue with substantive responses because he knows that he is out of step with the vast majority of Iowans and Legislators.

2. At least Chuck Hurley is being supported by Iowans who want to preserve the institution of marriage in their own state.  Gronstal has been purchased by out-of-state activists looking to desecrate a time-honored and basic unit of civilization in order to export their brand of morality to other states.  So between Hurley and Gronstal, which man is standing on principle and which one is playing politics?

Even if you are a proponent of gay marriage, I hope you’d agree that the purchase of a key leader to stifle debate and a public vote against the wishes of the vast majority of Iowans AND their legislators is shameful at best.

So true.

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Ah yes, the Iowa General Assembly is back in session and here is a preview of things to come.

There’s enough money for Iowa lawmakers to keep the promises they made last year, even though “naysayers out there” are casting doubt, Democratic leaders said Monday, the first day of the Iowa Legislature’s 2008 session.

“I’m telling you that we will keep our commitments,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said. “You have my word on it.”

That includes increasing pay for teachers, expanding preschool, creating a fund to spur development of renewable energy, and providing more Iowans with health insurance, said Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs.

“Too often in the past dozen years, the Legislature has failed to keep its promises,” he said. “And when you fail to keep your promises, people wonder if you will ever do what you say you will do.”

Meanwhile, Republicans came out swinging, complaining that the Democrats won’t overhaul the state’s property tax system as promised, or cut taxes for low- and middle-income Iowans, prevent gay marriage, or protect the state’s highways and bridges from an incident like the collapse of the Interstate Highway 35W bridge in Minnesota.

Republican leaders said they’re worried, and they think the people of Iowa should be worried, too.

“Literally, all of government in the state of Iowa is under control of the Democrats,” said Ron Wieck, the Senate minority leader. He said it troubles him that the Democratic majority keeps proposing policies that are “anti-business, anti-growth, anti-student, and anti-job.”

Source: Des Moines Register

I predict a legislative season of virtually nothing positive being done.  They may accomplish increasing taxes, oh joy!

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