The following is Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn’s most recent Chairman’s Report.Â – Ed.
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A personal note from the Chairman:Â please keep Bob, Darla, and the Vander Plaats family in your thoughts and prayers over the Easter weekend as they continue to mourn the loss of Bobâ€™s father who passed away this week.
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Governor Culver flips his position on Same Sex Marriage and sides with the Iowa Supreme Court.
After 100 hours of silence, Iowa Governor Culver finally broke his silence on the Supreme Courtâ€™s decision to strike down Iowaâ€™s law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.Â While his statement was carefully written and would have done Bill Clinton proud in its attempt to have it both ways, it nonetheless supports the Courtâ€™s decision and effectively flips the Governorâ€™s previously held position to â€œdo whatever it takes to protect marriage.â€
Yesterday, Republican members of the Iowa House attempted to use a House procedural rule to force a potential vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would let the people vote on the definition of marriage.Â Unfortunately, House Democrats refused to allow a vote on that motion so as to protect their members from having to take a tough vote.
Time and again, Democrats at the State House have avoided facing the tough issues and taking the tough votes.Â Whether itâ€™s unsustainable budgets, job-killing labor legislation, punishing tax increases through elimination of federal deductibility, or failing to lead on defining of marriage, Governor Culver and legislative Democrats continue to demonstrate they are completely out of touch with the values of Iowans.
Iowans deserve better.Â And given the opportunity, Republicans will deliver results!
Democrats refuse to give up on federal deductibility repeal and impose a Tax on a Tax.Â House debate set for next Tuesday on new plan to RAISE income taxes over $400 million in the first five years.
Despite an overwhelming outpouring of anger and protest in opposition to their plans to eliminate federal deductibility, raise income taxes on Iowans at all income levels, and impose a punitive tax on a tax, Democrats at the State House have brought forward a â€œrevisedâ€ proposal that contains ALL of the above.
While your great work, and the work of thousands of Republicans across the state, has given the Democrats pause and has slowed the movement of this terrible legislation, it has not yet put a knife in its heart.
This revised plan raises taxes on over 350,000 households in 2009, with over half of those households earning $60,000 or less.Â By 2011, the number of losers climbs to more than 600,000 households and during the first five years this bill would raise total taxes on Iowans by more than $400 million.
And while the numbers are bad, this isnâ€™t just about numbers.Â This is also about fairness and the painfully twisted attempts to impose a state tax on income you use to pay federal income taxes â€“ money most Iowans never see or have an opportunity to use.Â A tax on a tax is wrong.
This is also about small businesses and jobs.Â The Democratsâ€™ tax plan specifically targets small businesses and imposes new tax burdens on the very small businesses that create the vast majority of new jobs in Iowa.Â How can anyone believe it is sound policy to raise taxes on our stateâ€™s most productive job creators during a time of severe economic stress?
Iowa Republicans will continue to fight this issue and fight it aggressively.Â We have at least one more week of hard work ahead of us as the Legislature prepares to pack up and go home at the end of next week.
Debate on this bill is scheduled for the Iowa House this Tuesday, April 14. Just two weeks ago the House Speaker booted over 600 Republicans from the House Chamber because he didnâ€™t like their vocal support of those speaking in opposition to this legislation.Â I am hearing that hundreds of Republicans are planning to be at the State Capitol on Tuesday to once again fill the balconies.Â Anyone interested in joining them is encouraged to get to the Capitol no later than 10 a.m. and to wear red shirts in protest.
Get to your forums this weekend.Â Keep up the pressure.Â Iowa Republicans ARE making a difference and the finish line is in sight.Â Letâ€™s stretch to the tape and put a dagger in the heart of this job-killing tax increase!
Final three Listen and Learn forums scheduled for next week.Â Take advantage of this opportunity to meet the leaders of your State Party.
Republicans in three more locations had the opportunity to meet with members of our State Party leadership team to discuss the future of our Republican Party as a part of my series of Listen and Learn forums.
In Grinnell, Ames, and Clear Lake nearly 150 Iowa Republicans gathered and participated in some spirited, informative, and very positive discussions.Â When I envisioned and then initiated this Listen and Learn tour I did so knowing the potential existed for some unpleasant dialogue as frustrated Republicans expressed anger over our recent lack of success.
However, what I and other State Party leaders have found as we embarked on this road trip was something completely different.Â Iowa Republicans have little interest in looking backward, in fighting about past failures or reliving past battles.Â Instead, Iowa Republicans came into those rooms full of optimism, energy, and new hope for Republican success in 2010.
Iowa Republicans are READY to partner with their State Party and local candidates to move our principled conservative agenda forward.Â They are ready to work together to elect new Republican majorities and send Governor Culver back to the classroom.
This coming week you still have three opportunities to meet with me and other State Party leaders at our final Listen and Learn forums.Â Check the schedule below and join us at an event near your home.
- 5th CD:Â Listen & Learn Forum 1
Hosted by Chairman Matt Strawn
When: Monday, April 13, 2009
Where: Anita Community Center, 805 Main St., Anita, IA 50020
Time: 6:30pm â€“ 8:00pm
- 5th CD:Â Listen & Learn Forum 2
Hosted by Co-Chairman Jim Kurtenbach & the BVU College Republicans
When: Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Where: Storm Lake, Buena Vista University Forum Room 1, 610 W. 4th St., Storm Lake, IA 50588
Time: 6:30pm â€“ 8:00pm
- 1st CD:Â Listen & Learn Forum
Hosted by Co-Chairman Jim Kurtenbach
When: Saturday, April 18, 2009
Where: Northeast Iowa Community College, 680 Main St., Dubuque, IA 52001
Time: 11:00 â€“ 12:30
Check out Iowa Press this Week as I discuss the future of the Republican Party of Iowa with some of Iowaâ€™s leading journalists.
Today I had the pleasure to represent Iowa Republicans and promote the renewal and resurgence of our party as a guest on Iowa Public Televisionâ€™s program, Iowa Press.Â The program will air at 7:30 p.m. tonight and at 11:30 a.m. this Sunday.
I hope you will have the opportunity to watch the program or to check it out on live streaming video by clicking here .
If you get a chance to watch the show, I would very much appreciate some feedback.Â As your State Chairman I endeavor to represent the State Party in a professional and positive manner.Â If you have a comment on the appearance, please send it to me at:Â [email protected] .
Vacancy on State Central Committee in the First District to be filled at a special meeting of First District Executive Committee on Saturday, April 18.Â Any interested candidates are encouraged to contact our office for details.
It was with a heavy heart I recently accepted the resignation of Karl Gilberston as a member of the State Central Committee representing the First Congressional District.Â Karl has been fighting a serious medical battle and I ask you to keep him in your prayers.
As a result of his resignation, and per the State Party Constitution and By-laws, I have scheduled a meeting of the First District Executive Committee for April 18 in Dubuque.
Current members of the State Central Committee from the First District are John Hulsizer from Dubuque County and John Ortega from Scott County.
Anyone with an interest in pursuing this vacancy is encouraged to call Eric Johansen, our Political Director, at 515.282.8105 or email him at [email protected]  for more information on the time, location, roster of voting delegates, and committee procedures.
If you have an interest in serving the Republican cause at this level, this is a great opportunity.
In the News
FINAL REMINDER: Check Republican on Your Tax Form
Iowa’s political checkoff is a program that allows you to direct part of the taxes you’ve already paid to the political party of your choice.Â The program is very simple: When filing your Iowa tax return, simply mark the box next to “Republican Party” on Line 11 to give $1.50 to the Republican Party of Iowa.Â Doing this does not increase the amount you owe or decrease your return – the $1.50 comes out of the taxes you’ve already paid!
Grassroots Activist of the Week: Lee County GOP Tea Party Participants
This weekâ€™s Grassroots Activists of the Week are those awesome Lee County Republicans who participated in a wildly successful Tea Party held at Ft. Madisonâ€™s Riverview Park last Saturday.Â More than 150 people took part in the event and you can see the link to the story above.
While the Tea Party movement is not a partisan enterprise, Republicans from all across Iowa and the country are participating in this organic and spontaneous movementÂ to demonstrate their frustration with the direction Democrats are taking our nation and to show Americans that citizens can still make a difference in this country.
Thank you to the Lee County GOP for making your local event a huge success and for using that event as a springboard to reenergizing your local County Party.
(If you know someone deserving of being named our Grassroots Activist of the Week, please send a brief letter to [email protected]  — we will keep your nomination anonymous if so desired.)
April 13:Â 5th District Listen and Learn Forum (1), Anita
April 14:Â 5th District Listen and Learn Forum (2), Storm Lake
April 18:Â 1st District Listen and Learn Forum, Dubuque
April 25:Â State Central Committee meeting, Waterloo
April 25:Â The Leon Mosley Roundup (a tribute to Leon Mosley), Waterloo
For updates and local events go to www.iowagop.org 
Four New Ways to Stay in Touch With the IowaGOP
While RPI continues to solicit opinions and comments for overhauling our official website, www.iowagop.org , you can connect with us on Twitter , Facebook , YouTube , and IowaGOP the Blog!  Click the preceding links for regularly updated news, commentary, and alerts from the Republican Party of Iowa. Have a news tip? Email them to [email protected]  or call Eric at (515) 282-8105.