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Vander Plaats discusses The Family Leader goals

By Staff | Mar 9, 2011

Estherville residents had the chance Tuesday to hear a conservative voice on conservative issues, issues that interestingly seem to be ringing stronger for many Iowans who had previously not considered themselves conservatives.

Bob Vander Plaats, gubernatorial candidate in 2002 and again in 2010, and now president and CEO of The Family Leader, accompanied Dave Barnett to meet with interested conservatives Tuesday morning at Cool Beans Coffee House.

In introducing Vander Plaats, Barnett said of their 99-county tour, “It’s about building and capturing the momentum of the November 2010 election. He question, said Barnett, is “what do we do now.”

Toward that end, Barnett said the organization’s goal is to identify supporters “so the election in 2010 won’t be the only victory.”

And, in explaining the organization’s structure, Barnett said the Iowa Family Policy Center still exists as the umbrella organization that oversees The Family Leader. Other organizations functioning under the Iowa Family Policy Center are Marriage Matters, Iowa Family PAC and Iowa For Freedom. Marriage Matters offers mentor couple training, marriage mentoring and marriage education .

In taking the floor, Vander Plaats used myriad examples to explain The Family Leader’s position on social issues.

“The proof of the State of the Union was when Nancy Pelosi was no longer standing behind Barack Obama but John Boehner was behind Barack Obama.”

Vander Plaats said a conservative groundswell was taking the country, and that Iowa was at the heart of the movement. He said the purpose of his Iowa tour was “to make sure we stay engaged in the fight.”

The first issue Vander Plaats tackled was the Iowa Supreme Court’s April 3, 2009 ruling that Iowa’s law defining marriage as between one man and one woman was unconstitutional. “It didn’t happen overnight,” Vander Plaats said. “That was a longterm incremental process to get to this point.”

Quoting a litany of scripture, said Vander Plaats, “Today we need more pastors and churches speaking the truth. We believe we need to be a voice in the public policy debates.”

Vander Plaats said Sen. Jack Kibbie had “sold out to Gronstal (Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal) on Iowa’s marriage law.

Vander Plaats, who led the successful effort to unseat three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were among those in the unanimous ruling that the state’s marriage law was unconstitutional, said the state needs to change the way it appoints judges.

While it takes a year to 18 months to fine a senior pastor and Northwestern University in Orange City takes a year to two to find a president, it took just six hours from the last interview to forward the nine nominees to Gov. Branstad. “They didn’t even sleep on it,” Branstad.

(Iowa law places a time limit the governor has on replacing the judges.)

“Does anybody get the idea this was settled before it started,” Vander Plaats said. “This was a rigged system.”

Vander Plaats threw his support behind HF-153, the “Personhood Bill” which recognizes life as taking place form conception to natural death. “We’re big time behind House File 153,” he said.

Vande Plaats said he is trying o five three representatives I each of Iowa’s 99counties to represent churches and grassroots organizations. He said The Family Leader is asking candidates what their pro-family vision is for America. He said people can go to thefamilyleader.com and see a video featuring Ron Paul.

Encouraging any would could to attend a marriage rally 11:30 a.m. March 15 at the state capitol, Vander Plaats said the intent of the rally is to call legislators’ attention to the sentiments of Iowans. “We can restore this country,” he said.

“We believe in the law of marriage and we believe marriage is one man and one woman,” Vander Plaats said. “We’re going to stand up for marriage – not against other people.”

When asked whether he would rule out running for Sen. Tom Harkin’s Senate seat, Vander Plaats said, “I don’t rule out anything.”

Harkin has served for five terms, unprecedented for an Iowa U.S. Senator. The next election for his Senate seat will be in 2014.