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.
Click below to hear Representative Christopher Rantsâ€™ remarks on the House floor courtesy of The Iowa Republican.
Representative Rants: Part 1
Representative Rants: Part 2
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
Income tax changes face heated debate
Pivotal political point seen in Statehouse tax tempest
Lawmakers wonâ€™t challenge ruling
U.S. Rep King:Â Statement on Obama amnesty plan
The Latham Report:Â GM Firing Should Raise Concerns of Government Power-Grab
Lee County Protesters throw a â€˜teaâ€™ party
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.
Thursday morning (that’s tomorrow) at 8:30 there will be rally at the Iowa State Capitol West Lawn.Â Lots of information at letusvoteiowa.org.Â Please go there and read the information on parking, purpose, etc.
There are a number of legislators, along with Governor Culver, who are questioning the political safety of supporting this amendment.Â Between their fears and the outright obstinance of Democratic leaders to prevent the voice of the people from being heard, we are in dire need of people to take a stand now, to show the Iowa General Assembly that this matters to Iowans in a big way.
Some good information from letusvote.org:
WHAT CAN I DO TODAY?
You can continue to keep pressure on the Iowa House by calling the following Members who are still undecided as to how they will vote on the Iowa Marriage Amendment.Â Urge them to vote yes on the procedural vote.Â Remind them that the procedural vote is a vote on the Iowa Marriage Amendment.
Representative Brian Quirk â€“ [email protected], 515.242.6436 (desk),
Home Address: 1011 Sunset St., New Hampton, IA, 50659
Representative McKinley Bailey â€“ [email protected], 515.281.7480(desk),
Home Address: 521 Elmhurst Dr., Webster City, IA 50595
Representative Mike Reasoner â€“ [email protected], 515.281.3238 (desk),
Home Address: 702 New York Avenue, Creston, IA, 50801
Representative Kurt Swaim â€“ [email protected], 515.242.6417 (desk), 641.208.6330 (cell)
Home Address: 504 North Davis, Bloomfield, IA, 52537
Representative Larry Marek â€“ [email protected], 515.242.6442 (desk), 319.430.0294 (cell)
Home Address: 1741 Riverside Road, Riverside, IA, 52327
Representative Kerry Burt â€“ [email protected], 515.281.7342 (desk), 319.215.8685 (cell)
Home Address: 150 Hawthorne Ave., Waterloo, IA, 50702
Representative Wayne Ford â€“ [email protected], 515.281.4061 (desk), 515.271.0605 (home)
Home Address: 3301 Cottage Grove Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311-3709
Representative Nathan Reichert â€“ [email protected], 515.281.7332 (desk), 563.571.5242 (cell)
Home Address: 1155 Iowa Avenue, Muscatine, IA, 52761
Representative Paul Shomshor â€“ [email protected], 515.281.7325 (desk),
Home Address: 3018 Avenue M, Council Bluffs, IA, 51501
Representative Phyllis Thede â€“ [email protected], 515.281.7336 (desk), 563.508.1773 (cell) Home Address: 2343 Hawthorne Court, Bettendorf, IA, 52722
Also, check out this post from Shane Vander Hart.
Just to give you an update on whatâ€™s been going on with the fallout after Fridayâ€™s Iowa Supreme Court decision to strike down the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act.
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) says he will not allow debate on the matter.
Gronstal, who lauded the Supreme Court decision handed down Friday overturning the stateâ€™s ban on same-sex marriage, was asked by Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley, R-Chariton, if he would join with Republicans in crafting a bill to move an amendment forward.
â€œEleven years ago, you voted in favor of protecting marriage as between one man and one woman,â€ McKinley said. â€œWill you pledge to work with me and craft a leadership bill on this important issue and bring it to the floor a vote by this body?â€
In response, Gronstal shared a story about his daughter, Kate, telling a group of conservative men that opponents of same-sex marriage â€œhave already lostâ€ and that the younger generation doesnâ€™t care.
â€œI learned something from my daughter that day. Thatâ€™s what I see, Sen. McKinley,â€ Gronstal said. â€œI see a bunch of people that merely want to profess their love for each other and want state law to recognize that. Is that so wrong? I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s so wrong.â€
Senator Gronstal voted in favor of the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act before. No one is saying that it is wrong for homosexuals to want a state law to recognize their relationship. It has nothing to do with their desire, though, it has to do with the will of the people and the democratic process.
Now Governor Chet Culver is getting squishy on the subject after saying he would remain open to a constitutional amendment process should this ruling occur the way it did.
â€œAs I have stated before, I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,â€ Culver said in the statement. â€œThis is a tenet of my personal faith. The Iowa Supreme Courtâ€™s decision has, in fact, reaffirmed that churches across Iowa will continue to have the right to recognize the sanctity of religious marriage in accordance with their own tranditions (sic) and church doctrines.â€
Adding that the decision does not require churches recognize or officiate over same-sex marriages, Culver said that he, as governor, must respect the authority of the Iowa Supreme Court and uphold the Iowa Constitution.
What about the judicial branch respecting the legislative branch? Also isnâ€™t the amendment process available to us to address what is deemed a constitutional problem? Heâ€™s trying to deflect and doing a poor job of it. It may not matter however due to 1964 constitutional amendment that requires voters to be asked every 10 years if they wish to convene a constitutional convention. It will be on the ballot in 2010.
Also, Ramesh Ponnuru nails what the problem is with this ruling.
In a democratic system such as ours, it can be perfectly appropriate for courts to set aside laws. Constitutions reflect the permanent will of the people, which trumps the temporary will of the people as expressed in ordinary statutes (if a court is forced to choose between these sources of law to decide a case).
But nobody can plausibly claim that Iowans meant to ratify same-sex marriage when they approved a constitution including equal-protection language. Nor can anyone plausibly claim that Iowans meant to authorize judges to decide such matters as marriage policy when they approved that language.
The courtâ€™s ruling thus has no democratic or constitutional legitimacy. Whether or not same-sex marriage is a good idea, the decision by Iowaâ€™s court to impose it on the state is an outrage.
Major hat-tip to Jeff Angelo, and he brings up some other good points as well.
I shared some thoughts on Sunday regarding this ruling to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to remember God is in control regardless of what happens. Also that we need to do a better job reaching out to the homosexual community and make sure that we are respectful and loving in our speech. I also said that addressing this politically is appropriate, and I donâ€™t want those comments to be interpreted as saying not to be involved.
To that end Iâ€™d like to share some timely news. I spent some time after work sending emails to all of the Representatives and Senators. I received an email back from Representative Renee Schulte (R-Cedar Rapids) who encouraged me to email the committee members holding the bill up:
I encourage all Iowans who oppose this ruling to contact these Representatives and soon, please be sure to do so in a respectful manner. There is a great sample letter that you can use as a guide.
Cross-posted from Caffeinated Thoughts.
Statement on Governor Culverâ€™s Failure
to Keep Promise to Protect Traditional Marriage
Sen. McKinley: â€œ I believe Iowans should have the final vote on this very important and emotional issue. Governor Culver has chosen to stand with 7 elite justices and deny the 3 million people of Iowa the right to vote on this significant issue.â€
DES MOINES, IA â€“ Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) issued the following statement today in response to Governor Culverâ€™s failure to keep his promise to protect traditional marriage in Iowa:
â€œGovernor Culver has failed to keep the promise he made just last year on January 18 after a filming of Iowa Public Televisionâ€™s â€œIowa Pressâ€ to â€˜do whatever it takes to protect marriage as between one man and one womanâ€™. He has failed to lead in creating a responsible budget during the last two years, he has failed to keep spending under control and he has failed to push legislation that will help get over 80,000 Iowans back to work and now he has failed to keep his promise to â€˜do whatever it takes to protect marriage as between one man and one woman.â€™ I believe Iowans should have the final vote on this very important and emotional issue. Governor Culver has chosen to stand with 7 elite justices and deny the 3 million people of Iowa the right to vote on this significant issue. This marriage flip-flop is just the latest example of Governor Culver not providing the leadership that every Iowan deserves.â€
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Granted, it’s no surprise to have any politician make a promise that they can’t keep.Â This particular promise is dreadfully important to most Iowans and for Culver to make this kind of promise and not do everything he can to hold up his responsibility is embarrassing.
This isn’t over.
In terms of celebrations and tradition, this week is considered the biggest week of the year for most Christians.Â Growing up, it was a little confusing because I had understood that the actual days themselves were significant, when the reality is that what the days represent, what they celebrate, is the significance.
Despite that, this is a week when so many people are busy preparing to celebrate the most important thing that God has done for us, and it is sad that we will be desperately distracted with the impact of the Iowa Supreme Court decision that will allow same-sex partners to be recognized as “married”.
Marriage as an institution was designed by God for many good reasons.Â It is intended to honor Him by bringing two people together to fully give their lives over to create what God called “one flesh”… one man and one woman coming together to serve each other, encourage each other, fulfill each other.Â The fullness of that relationship results in the establishment of a family that results from that union.Â Spiritual and physical procreation is the plan of God, and is to the benefit of the family and the society.Â It ensures that there is an established pattern of love, growth, expansion, regeneration, and glorifying of the creator.
Same-sex marriage rejects these fundamentals of God and society and will lead not just toward the continued moral decaying of society, but by reducing the procreative power of society, will join with the impact of abortion-on-demand to diminish the strength of numbers of future generations.Â As fatalistic as it may seem, this leads toward a dying society.
Understand, we are in a time where we must by law allow others to do behind closed doors what they want if it doesn’t directly impact others, but by opening the door to normalizing the behavior and institutionalizing it into the form of life-long partnerships with legal infrastructure to support the normalization, homosexual behavior will become more and more common.Â What I’m saying is, many (and I’ve spoken with people close to me who have said this) who believe that the behavior is wrong, are content with allowing people to do as they please and have no concern about letting gay couples “marry” because they think it is inevitable and and non-impactful.
But they are dreadfully wrong.Â Along with all of the costs associated with normalizing this behavior, we will undoubtedly see an explosion of growth in it, and eventually a predominance of gay “families”, to be followed by generations of severe stagnance because we are unable to maintain sufficient population.Â We will become insignificant and absorbed into other cultures that have not been so foolish.Â If any such survive.
At this point, it is critical that we at least attempt to start the 3 year process of a Constitutional Amendment here in Iowa.Â Although the politics would seem to dictate that this won’t happen in 2009 and possibly not in 2010 either, every effort needs to be made anyhow.Â If we cannot begin until 2011, then we are 5 years away from implementation.
The voice of the people may yet carry in pressing this issue with legislators, and your voice counts.Â Contact your legislator today.Â There are situations where the high court’s role in establishing what is right for our state is critical and usually makes sense even if people need time to absorb it.Â This is not one of those situations, and silence only supports the error.
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This will likely be not only a lively week regarding Gay Marriage, but also regarding HF 807 and SF 468: Repeal of Federal Deductibility.Â Unless the former is so overwhelming that the latter is lost until the hubbub dies.Â However, it’s more likely that the Democratic Leadership will attempt to plow through the debate and voting on Federal Deductibility in an attempt to diminish the public debate over the Gay Marriage issue.
I’m more concerned that one issue may be used to distract everyone while some end run is concocted on the other.Â Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open.Â Watch here (our Iowa Tweets) and at the Polk County GOP web site (Polk GOP Tweets) for alerts and updates… the public may need to come to the Capitol again to raise our voices.
Happy Holy Week.
The good news is that you can stop holding your breath now. The bad news is that there is more work to do.
The Iowa Supreme Court today upheld Judge Robert Hanson’s 2007 decision in Varnum v. Brien. Today’s unanimous court decision (early rumors had indicated there was dissent on the court) strikes down Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act.
Steve Sheffler of Iowa Christian Alliance hit on a very real financial impact today:
What this means for Iowa and perhaps for the forty-seven other states in the country that currently do not recognize same-sex marriage is, to say the least, a monumental mess.Â Because Iowaâ€™s statutes pertaining to marriage do not restrict that privilege to Iowa residents, gay couples from any state may come to Iowa, get married, return to their state and demand recognition under the Full Faith and Credit (Article IV, Sec. 1) provision of the U.S. Constitution.Â â€œFull Faith and Credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.”
I have not had time to review the decision yet, but apparently marriages can commence in 3 weeks.Â Â In making this decision, the justices are quoted from their summary ruling as saying:
“The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa constitution must be declared void even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion.”
Interesting to me on two counts:
- The court comes out and states squarely that they know this decision does not conform to the will of the people.
- The court seems to be subtly suggesting the very answer conservatives sought 4 years ago: a constitutional amendment.
From what I’ve heard, this topic will likely dominate the General Assembly’s work next week, as well as be center stage in the media.Â Expect to hear more this weekend, here and elsewhere.
I’ll say it once.Â I don’t know if the decision was legally right or wrong.Â But allowing marriage to be defined as anything other than a union between one man and one woman is bad for society, and Iowa in particular.Â This is a dark day in Iowa.
The political fallout continues for Democrats as they try to fend off criticism for Pat Murphy’s behavior Tuesday evening.Â A letter to the editor in this morning’s Des Moines register lays it out pretty succinctly: characterizing the behavior of the public at Tuesday night’s public meeting prior to being expelled as anything more than brief expressions of disapproval or aproval (granting the first speaker deserved to be treated better) is spurious at best.Â And Kiernan’s accusations that the public’s actions were orchestrated by Republican leaders is an outright lie; I was there during the preparatory time and there was nothing more than providing people with shirt and buttons… no direction to behave in any way.
If you watched KCCI news on Tuesday night (or the story on the web site), you briefly would have seen my ugly mug.Â A number of people have mentioned they noticed and were surprised at what happened.Â One friend’s Facebook Wall comment: “Way to stand up to the man!”.
Democrats have backed up the bus and skipped debating HF 807 either today (Thursday) or Friday it seems.Â Kent Sorenson twittered us last night that majority leaders were working on an amendment that would ensure enough votes would be garnered to get the bill passed.Â They are still working with the Governor to ensure they don’t get surprised by him (like they did on the Voter Irrelvancy Act that lost steam last month).
Iowa Independent had an interesting piece on the use of Twitter during the proceedings.Â I was monitoring Kent Sorenson and the Senate Republican Caucus tweets, while I was commenting via Twitter myself.Â I was also exchanging messages via email with one of the House members.Â If you were following my tweets, you’ll know that my cell battery died shortly after the last speaker finished.
So here’s my two cents worth: One might think that Democrats would wise up and give up on this foolish venture and let it lie for now with the economy the way it is.Â Passing this bill, which is just another case of a solution in desperate need of a problem (if you take it at face value), will just make a large portion of the Iowa voters angry… winning for Democrats on this bill may be worse than losing because they will probably lose over this.Â A bold move at this point would be to stand up and say “We’ve heard Iowans and we get it: we will work on other methods to help lower income Iowans.”.Â Democrats won’t get what they want, but then again they are less likely to lose seats in 2010.Â And if they think that getting this in during the 2009 session has a better chance of being forgotten by November 2010 than if they pushed it through in the 2010 session, that’s a gamble for them.Â This is something that they would be better to find smaller increments to achieve over a longer period.
If their only goal was this bill, that might work.Â The bad news is, this bill IS one of those small increments.Â If you think this HF 807 is a big deal, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Lastly, one of the speakers Tuesday night, Mark Grittmann, got in contact with me and we’ve shared emails and a phone call back and forth over the past couple of days.Â He was kind enough to share the text of his speech at the hearing, which one needs to understand is very much tongue-in-cheek, and conveys eloquently the point I made above:
Good evening and thank you for listening to the people of Iowa.Â Iâ€™m Mark Grittmann.Â Iâ€™m not a lobbyist and Iâ€™m not representing any special interest group.Â Iâ€™m just a hard-working American taxpayer.
Iâ€™ve heard the Elimination of Federal Tax deductibility may cause up to a $600 Million tax increase and Iâ€™m all for it.Â And those of you supporting this, say this would be good for the State of Iowa.Â So if a $600 million tax increase is good for Iowa, then I think you should do more, so wouldnâ€™t a $1.2 Billion tax increase be even better?
Some have foolishly argued against it.Â Can you believe it?
- Some say the 20% increase in State spending over the last 2 years should be reversed.
- Some say this Bill is revenue neutral.Â But if that is true, and it doesnâ€™t change anything, then why do it?
- Some say that Government, like family households, should live within their means and not let spending get out of control.
- Some say a tax increase during a Global Financial Crisis and Recession is the worst thing for the economy, and that tax increases would hurt employers, causing a loss of jobs and people would leave Iowa to find work in other States.
- Some say the facts about this Bill as to its true impact on taxes isnâ€™t known or has not been fully disclosed, so how can this Bill even be debated yet?Â One news report showed that 40% of the individuals receiving a tax increase make less than $40,000 per year.Â And 69% of the individuals receiving a tax increase make less than $70,000 per year.
- Some say that in November 2010, voters will remember the legislators who raised their taxes by 20%.
And thatâ€™s why I think this $600 million tax increase is good for Iowa.Â It will bring new and improved, and more fiscally responsible Legislators to the State of Iowa in November 2010.
Thank you for listening, and good night.
That gives me an idea.Â We should call this “The Legislative Replacement Act of 2009/2010”.
The news links herein are to Des Moines Register and Iowa Independent.
(Updated with message from Ed Failor Jr. below. – Ed.)
We received word from Ed Failor Jr. of Iowans For Tax Relief that Thursdayâ€™s planned debate on House File 807, Repeal of Federal Deductibility, has been canceled. We donâ€™t yet know when it will be scheduled. You may have heard that Iowans For Tax Relief were asking for people to show up at the Capitol on April 2, but due to this late event, that request is canceled.
We were wondering whether the Majority Party was trying to delay things until the media attention died down, or if they were working on some other tactic to sneak the bill through.Â Kent Sorenson, Republican House Member representing House District 74 (Warren County), tells us via twitter tonight that the Democrats are working on an amendment in an attempt to ensure they can get 51 votes.Â This could be interesting.
We still strongly urge you to contact your representatives to express your opinion about the bill. A tax on a tax is not good for Iowa.
To find out who your representatives are and contact them:
The Conservative Reader is committed to ensuring that you know when your rights are in danger.Â This is one of those times.
Update: Message From Ed Failor:
Great news…we have just learned that the Democrat Leadership in the Iowa House has canceled debate tomorrow on the bill to force you to pay a tax on a tax. This means we do not need you to travel to the State Capitol tomorrow. This is a small victory for us, as typically, this action would indicate as of tonight Speaker Murphy does not have the votes to repeal federal deductibility.
We must remain vigilant. We need you to continue contacting your Legislators and Governor Culver to remind them it is not fair to pay a tax on a tax. If federal deductibility is repealed over 490,000 Iowa taxpayers will see a tax increase, not to mention that of those 180,000 people make less than $40,000 per year.
We will continue fighting for you, and we are not taking anything for granted until House File 807, the bill to force you to pay a tax on a tax, is officially dead and we have taken back the People’s House.
Your financial support is more critical than ever so we can continue airing on message of “No Tax on a Tax” on television and radio stations across Iowa. If you are able to support our efforts, please make a secure online donation to Iowans for Tax Relief today by clicking here.
Ed Failor, Jr.
Iowans for Tax Relief
Pat Murphy will probably say he was well within his rights to clear the gallery at tonight’s Public Hearing on House File 807, the bill to repeal the deduction of Federal Income Tax from Iowa Income Tax.
But he was so wrong.
The galleries were filled with people who opposed the bill.Â It is interesting that Democrats could not raise up any more than a handful of speakers to support the bill, none to sit in the gallery who support the bill.Â And those who spoke in favor were the expected litany of social services and union leaders who would either benefit directly from the bill or are beholden to Democrats.Â One speaker in favor, it was observed, sounded distinctly as if he did not even believe what he was saying.
It’s intriguing to see people mischaracterize the events in the House this evening.Â I was there.Â The very first speaker was roundly booed, and I’ll admit that was inappropriate.Â The public was warned.Â After that, no other speaker in favor of the bill received much more than a low murmur of opposition, and that was not worth talking about.
The galleries were full of people who could not contain, however, their enthusiasm and support for the comments of those who actually made sense, spoke for Iowans and opposed the bill.Â What Pat Murphy (who by the way was not visible in the chamber except when he threw the public out) was facing was an uprising of Iowans who have finally had it with the continued outrageous spending and tax increases being sugar coated as a tax reduction.
Ed Failor Jr., President of Iowans For Tax Relief, was one of many who hit the target on this issue: it will tell our graduating college seniors that there is no room for them or their dreams.Â This bill will impact them coming out of school into the work force (those making under $40,000 will be negatively impacted) and will impact their dreams to be successful.Â They will be a target.
Many small business owners got up to speak in opposition to the bill.Â We already know that small businesses, who employ the majority of Iowans, are at significant risk in the current economy.Â And this bill will most dramatically impact their tax burden.Â They will pay more.Â Several speakers had taken the time to ask their tax preparers to calculate the impact of the bill on their taxes.Â One man explained that he would see a 50% increase in his State tax obligation.
Others spoke very eloquently about the absurdity of the bill.Â I think there were perhaps 5 or 6 who spoke in favor, and 40 or so against it.
The straw that broke Murphy’s back was the applause after college student Greg Baker spoke.Â Â Busloads of students from Ames and Iowa City came.Â It was encouraging to so many students there who share our conservative values.Â I just hope they don’t all decide to move out of state after this session is over.
And once the crowd found out they were being ejected, essentially turning the “public” hearing into a private one, that’s when the shouting and anger showed.Â People were escorted out, and still in an orderly fashion, but not without getting a few messages in.Â The one that rings the loudest is:
“This is the people’s house, but not any longer!”
A later speaker, Ted Morgan, said:
“I’ve never been in a house where the tenants evicted the landlords.”
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn put it well:
“Never have I seen such a gross display of arrogance and disdain for Iowa taxpayers.Â The Iowa House is supposed to serve as the people’s house, the house where great ideas are debated and discussed.”
Earlier in the day, Rep. Paul Shomshor, D-Council Bluffs and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was quoted as saying:
“We think eliminating federal deductibility is helpful for families and middle-class taxpayers,” said Rep. Paul Shomshor, D-Council Bluffs and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
I don’t know how an intelligent person can get away with making a statement like that.Â Either arrogant or stupid, either way it seems obvious Iowa has made a huge mistake electing Democrats into office.
Iowans are starting to see the truth; Murphy may have single-handedly lit a fire he won’t be able to contain.
Update:Â Repeal of Federal Deductibility is tax increase in every tax bracket!
Yesterdayâ€™s newsletter addressed the Democrat proposal to eliminate federal deductibility; a tool that allows Iowans to deduct our federal income taxes from our ordinary income prior to calculating our income for state taxes.Â Â This is the largest, and in some cases the only, tax deduction available to many hardworking Iowans.Â
Last night the House Ways & Means Committee passed out the proposal on a party line vote.Â 14 Democrats voted aye â€“ 11 Republicans voted no.Â Â House File 807 is the new bill number as the bill moves forward and becomes eligible for debate in the House.
After having additional time to study the proposal, we have discovered exactly what we expected: more Iowans than originally stated are going to see a tax increase.Â It is disheartening to hear this explained to Iowaâ€™s taxpayers as a tax cut for two-thirds of Iowans.Â The facts tell us– it is not.Â Â
Under the Democratsâ€™ proposal, 50.9 percent of Iowans will either see no change in their tax liability or see a tax increase in 2009.Â 40% of the individuals receiving a tax increase make less than $40,000 per year.Â 69% of the individuals receiving a tax increase make less than $70,000 per year.Â See the breakdown of HF 807 at http://iowahouserepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/09-feddeductibility-finalversion.pdf.
And believe it or not, over 10% of the individuals receiving a tax decrease in 2009 make over $100,000 per year.Â Based on the discussion last night in committee it appears to be hit or miss as to who the real winners and losers are.
Additionally, the Democrats have failed to inform Iowans about the implications of their proposal in 2011.Â Â On December 31, 2010, the federal tax relief of 2001 and 2003 will expire. It appears now that Iowansâ€™ federal income tax liability will increase by $160 â€“ $180 million.Â This means that youâ€™ll lose the ability to deduct your federal taxes less than two years before your federal taxes are set to dramatically increase.
Finally, the Democratsâ€™ proposal has the potential to put Iowa small businesses in an even deeper hole.Â Because many Iowa small businesses are structured as individual tax payers they too will see their taxes increase.Â Â The way many of these businesses will try to absorb this cost is by eliminating jobs or by passing the added expense onto the consumer.Â Â Either way, our struggling economy will continue to suffer under this plan.Â Â
Make no mistake this bill is a tax increase on Iowans in all tax brackets from day one.Â And within a few years it will result in a huge tax increase for almost every single Iowan.
When this bill is considered by the legislature, House Republicans will fight on behalf of all taxpayers and their ability to keep more of their hard earned dollars.
PUBLIC HEARING: Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Location: House of Representatives Chamber, Capitol Building, Des Moines
Time: 7:30 pm-9:30 pm tonight.Â (Rally at 6:30 in the Cafeteria)
If you can attend the public hearing at the State Capitol on Tuesday at please join us.
EMAIL AND PHONE CALLS
If you are not able to make it but still want to make a difference please call and email your elected officials today.
House Switchboard: (515) 281-3221
Senate Switchboard: (515) 281-3371
Email Lookup: http://www.legis.state.ia.us/aspx/Legislators/LegislatorInfo.aspx
LISTEN TO THE HEARING ONLINE
You can listen to the public debate online Tuesday night through this website http://www.legis.state.ia.us/Audio/Audio.html and click on house audio.