Ralph Reed @ Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event

Ralph Reed, the founder of the national Faith & Freedom Coalition, spoke to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition crowd about the three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were voted off the bench in November’s judicial retention election.  Reed said the three justices had “refused to honor the traditional institution of marriage and we’re not done yet.”  The other four justices who signed onto the unanimous Varnum decision which paved the way for gay marriages in Iowa are still on the court.  Those justices are on the ballot in future retention elections.  Three new Republican members of the Iowa House have suggested those four justices should be impeached.

Reed’s brief, but pointed comment on this topic is interesting as a competing group representing Iowa conservatives — The Family Leader — has been more focused on the gay marriage issue than the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition.  And The Family Leader’s new president is Bob Vander Plaats, chair of the 2010 campaign to unseat the three justices.

Without naming Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels by name, Reed also blasted the “truce” on social issues Daniels had suggested might best serve the Republican Party in 2012 when economic issues seem to be paramount with voters.  (Daniels, a prospective presidential candidate, is NOT here this evening.)  “I’d like to have a leader that can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Reed said.

Branstad @ Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event

Governor Terry Branstad is the first Republican office holder to speak to the crowd. “This is the first significant event of the Caucus season and you’re turnout tonight says you are very interested in making some change,” Branstad said.  “…These people of faith & freedom that are here tonight are people who show up at Caucuses…so you’re talking to a great audience.”

Branstad briefly addressed the candidates, saying the crowd gathered tonight are people who “show up at Caucuses” so they’re valuable to a presidential campaign.

Branstad concluded with a call for prayers. “Governors across this country are making the tough decisions…Many governors are taking a lot of heat to do the right thing…so we ask you to continue to pray for all of our states and all of our country,” Branstad said.

Branstad appointments to boards, commissions

Governor Branstad has announced his choices for openings on state boards and commissions.  He’s appointed a few former state legislators — Democrat Dolores Mertz of Ottosen and Republican Jeff Elgin of Cedar Rapids — to posts.   Branstad also named former Des Moines Register statehouse reporter Jonathan Roos to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

A few Branstad insiders of the past can be seen in the list below.  For example, Chuck Larson, Senior, a former U.S. Attorney who also served briefly as Branstad’s chief of staff and on the Iowa Board of Parole is going to serve on the Iowa Board of Corrections.

Gov. Branstad announces appointees to Iowa’s boards and commissions

(DES MOINES) –  Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced the names of the individuals he has appointed to Iowa’s boards and commissions.

“These individuals share our administration’s vision of laying a solid foundation for Iowa’s future,” said Branstad.  “I am confident that these individuals will serve the people of Iowa and the sectors they govern to the best of their abilities.”

The members of Iowa’s boards and commissions are appointed by the governor. State law requires most boards and commissions to be balanced by gender, political affiliation, geographic location and diversity is considered.

The following individuals were appointed to boards and commissions today:

Accountancy Examining Board
Shelly Laracuente, Ankeny
Robert Williams, Mason City

Alcoholic Beverages Commission
Richard Hunsaker, Carroll

Architectural Examining Board
Dr. Sue Jarboe, Urbandale
Terry Allers, Fort Dodge
Thomas Clause, Winterset

Board of Athletic Training
Dr. William Jacobson, Waukee
Dr. Melody Higgins, Dubuque
Dr. Pamela Davis, Bettendorf
Dr. Christina Taylor

Board of Barbering
Dennis Rafdal, Ankeny
Robert VanVooren, Durant

Board of Behavioral Science
Dr. Daniel Harkness, Waukee
Sherill Whisenand, Des Moines
Sarah Thomas, Clear Lake
Paula Carroll, Clive

Board of Chiropractic
Dr. David Gehling, Decorah
Julie Mueller, Pella
Nancy Kahle, Cedar Rapids

Board of Corrections
Chuck Larson, Sr. Cedar Rapids
Dr. John Chalstrom, Cherokee
Michael Coleman, Waterloo
Nancy Turner, Corning

Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences
Mary Clausen, Webster City
Dana Atkins, Burlington
Kimberly Setzer, Algona
Richard Mosley, Urbandale
Nicole Schultz, West Des Moines

Board of Dentistry
Diane Meier, Iowa Falls
Dr. Steven Fuller, Bondurant
Mary Kelly Grief, Des Moines

Board of Dietetics
Stacey Loftus, Missouri Valley
Daniel Deutschman, Pella
Bridget Drapeaux, North Liberty

Board of Educational Examiners
Marianne Mickelson, West Des Moines
Larry Hill, Thompson
Merle Johnson, Ankeny

Board of Hearing Aid Dispenser
Dr. Catherine Dangelser, Ames
Jon McAvoy, Adel

Board of Massage Therapy
Adam Schweers, Carroll
Larry Dallenbach, Arlington
William Cameron, Bettendorf

Board of Medicine
Dr. Greg Hovertson, Sioux City
Diane Clark, Lake Mills
Dr. Hamed Tewfik, Iowa City

Board of Mortuary Services
Rebecca Ervin, Urbandale
Martin Mitchell, Marshalltown
Thomas Lange, Centerville

Board of Nursing
Leroy Strohman, Algona
Gwen Suntken, Meservey
Jennifer Neeley, Grinnell

Board of Nursing Home Administrators
Daniel Boor, Des Moines
Shane Gaukel, Ankeny
Maureen Cahill, West Des Moines

Board of Optometry
Carolyn Warkentin, North Liberty
Dr. Michael Portz, Red Oak
Dr. Scott Irke, Le Mars

Board of Pharmacy
LaDonna Gratias, Clive
Edward Maier, Mapelton
James Miller, Dubuque

Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy
Bradley Earp, West Des Moines
Jenifer Furness, Davenport
Morris Blankespoor, Pella
Jacklyn Fleming, Urbandale

Board of Physician Assistants
Dr. Jon Ahrendsen Clarion
Gary Nystrom, Boone

Board of Podiatry
Gerald Edgar, Garner
Dr. John Bennett, West Des Moines

Board of Psychology
Dr. Heidi Vermeer-Quist, Urbandale
Dr. Ralph Scott, Cedar Falls
Sarah Henderson, Cedar Rapids

Board of Respiratory Care
Akshay Mahadevia, Bettendorf
Mary Tyrell, West Des Moines

Board of Sign Language Interpreters and Transliterators
Cindy Crawford, Pleasantville
Brent Welsch, Council Bluffs
Stephanie Lyons, Ankeny

Board of Social Work
David Stone, Des Moines
Mark Hudson, Marion

Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology
Dr. Christine Donner-Tiernan, Fort Dodge
Allison Lemke, Newton
Denise Renaudm Iowa Falls

Boiler and Pressure Vessel Board
Keith Taeger, West Burlington
Susan Oltrogge, Des Moines

Child Advocacy Board
Bruce Johnson, Cedar Rapids

Commission for the Blind
Peggy Elliott, Grinell

Commission of Veterans Affairs
Larry Spencer, West Des Moines
Kate Myers, Cedar Rapids
Matthew Alcazar, Fort Dodge

Commission on Aging
Betty Grandquist, Des Moines
Fred Schuster, Cedar Rapids

Commission on Community Action Agencies
Patti Brown, Des Moines
Tom Quiner, Des Moines

Commission on Judicial Qualifications
Duane Cottingham, Peosta

Commission on Native American Affairs
Franklin Phillips, Sioux City
Thomas Putman, Boone
Tiffany Lewis, Ankeny
Judy Yellowbank, Sioux City
Marla Raemakers, Humboldt

Commission on the Deaf
Nathaniel Garrels, Emmetsburg
Jennifer Keaton, Mount Vernon
Tina Kastendiek, Fort Dodge

Commission on the Status of Women
Elizabeth Coonan, Des Moines

Council on Human Services
Mark Anderson, Waverly
Dr. Mark Peltan, Mason City

County Finance Committee
Richard Heidloff, George
Grant Veeder, Waterloo
Jane Huen, Jefferson

Credit Union Review Board
Jan Pepper Simpson, Des Moines

Electrical Examining Board
Ritchie Kurtenbach, Waterloo
Kay Pence, Eldridge
Lori Mease, Des Moines
Barbara Mentzer, Carlisle
Valynda Akin, Cedar Rapids
Chad Layland, Ankeny
Randy VanVoorst, Sioux Center

Elevator Safety Board
Candace Biddle, Des Moines

Engineering & Land Surveying Examining Board
Marlon Vogt, Marion
Jerry Shellberg, Red Oak
Judy Davidson, Bettendorf

Environmental Protection Commission
Delores Mertz, Ottosen
Dr. Eugene Ver Steeg, Inwood
Brent Rastetter, Ames
Mary Boote, Des Moines

Health Facilities Council
Robert Lundin, Le Claire
Vergene Donovan, Spirit Lake
William Thatcher, Fort Dodge

Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa Board (HAWK-I)
Bob Skow, Dallas Center
Kathy Pearson, Cedar Rapids
Gary Steinke, Urbandale

Interior Design Examining Board
Dr. Dorothy Fowles, Iowa City
Katherine Erion, Sioux City

Investment Board of the IPERS
Lisa Stange, West Des Moines
Dr. Marlene Sprouse, Ottumwa

Iowa Autism Council
Danielle Sharp, West Des Moines
Dr. Rachel Heiss, West Des Moines
Janet Turbes, Sioux City
Robin Sampson, Iowa Falls
Jeff Gitchel, Des Moines

Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. James Kenyon, Cedar Falls
Betty Gustafson, Cumming
Kelli Madson, West Des Moines

Iowa Cultural Trust Board of Trustees
Mary Ellen Kimball, Osceola
Connie Schmett, Clive
Chad Umland, Sioux City

Iowa Drug Policy Advisory Council
Jane Larkin, Ames
Warren Hunsberger, West Des Moines

Iowa Empowerment Board
James Christensen, Waterloo
Jean Stadtlander, Manning
Dr. Donald Doudna, Johnston

Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board
Jonathan Roos, Polk City
Mary Reuter, De Witt

Iowa Finance Authority
Eric Peterson, Radcliffe
David Greenspon, Clive
Ruth Randleman, Carlisle
Michel Nelson, Carroll

Iowa Grain Indemnity Fund Board
Lori Goetzinger, Carroll
Sharon Smith, Knoxville

Iowa Grain Indemnity Fund Board
Lori Goetzinger, Carroll
Sharon Smith, Knoxville

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council
Francis Donchez, Davenport

Iowa Lottery Authority Board of Directors
Deborah Burnight, Sioux City
Herman Richter, Milford

Iowa State Civil Rights Commission
Angela Williams, Urbandale
Mary Ann Spicer, Des Moines
David Chung, Cedar Rapids
Randy Moore, Davenport

Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission
Timothy Lapointe, Mason City

Iowa Workforce Development Board
Rita Grimm, Sioux City
Robert Gilmore, Dawson

Landscape Architectural Examining Board
Catherine Huggins, Urbandale
Laura Hawks, Iowa City
Mark Ripplinger, Cedar Falls

Latino Affairs Commission
Rebecca Jackson, Denison

Mental Health Risk Pool Board
Shane Walter, Orange City
Peggy Rice, Humboldt
Teresa Kanning, Atlantic

Metal Health and Disabilities Services Commission
Chris Hoffman, Waterloo
John Willey, Maquoketa
David Hudson, Windsor Heights
Zvia McCormick, Glenwood
Lynn Grobe, Oakland
Susan Koch-Seehase, Sumner

Natural Resource Commission
Conrad Clement, Cresco
Margo Underwood, Clear Lake
Dr. Sally Prickett, Glenwood

Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Examining Board
Jenny Pitts, Des Moines
Ronald Masters, Ankeny
Jim Cooper, Urbandale

Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council
Joan Bruhn, Sioux City
Randy Horn, West Des Moines

Property Assessment Appeal Board
Richard Stradley, Ankeny

Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board
Caryl Swaim, West Des Moines
Gene Nelson, Johnston
Joni Scotter, Marion

Real Estate Commission
Gail Flagel, West Des Moines
Michael Telford, Dallas Center
Susan Sanders, Waukee
Robert Broomfield, Harlan

Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Board
Eric Seuren, West Des Moines
Jill Reams-Widder, Johnston
Keith Sexton, Rockwell City

School Budget Review Committee
Brian Thilges, Woden
Gina Primmer, Council Bluffs

State Board of Education
Eric Goranson, Des Moines

State Board of Tax Review
Jeff Elgin, Cedar Rapids

State Judicial Nominating Commission
Helen St. Clair, Melrose
William Gustoff, Des Moines

State Soil Conservation Committee
Dr. Dale Farnham, Ames
Charles McCollough, Bernard
Harold Whipple, Lacona

Title Guaranty Division Board
Chuck Winkleblack, Ames
Kim Downing-Manning, Clive

A Tuesday night potpourri

I’ve been “away” from the blog for a few days.  Here are some of the stories, events, happenings I should have/could have blogged about:

Babies:  Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R-Council Bluffs) and his wife, Zola, have a new son — Jacob Isaac.  State Senator Roby Smith (R-Davenport) and his wife have a new daughter — Natalie Ruth.

Baby kissers: Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee is “trying to be smarter” about 2012.  President Obama has named Iowa Governor Terry Branstad co-chair of Council of Governors.  Branstad has named former state legislator Libby Jacobs to be chair of the Iowa Utilities Board.  Branstad has named another former state legislator, Jeff Lamberti (the business partner of Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn), to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission.  And Branstad wants his #1 campaign fundraiser to serve on the Board of Regents.  Governor Culver appointed Ruth Harkin (wife of US Senator Tom Harkin) and Bonnie Campbell (former Iowa Attorney General, Branstad’s Democratic opponent in 1994) to the Board of Regents during his term, and Democrats in the Iowa Senate foresee Bruce Rastetter will be confirmed to the Board, too.   Which Minnesotan — Bachmann or Pawlenty — would win Minnesota’s Caucuses on February 7?  Branstad talked with David Chalian of PBS about the field of potential GOP presidential candidates.  A HuffPo story jokes that Iowa’s Caucuses may be held on Halloween.  Newt Gingrich has signed up to speak at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event next week.  The Gingrich camp is giving mixed signals.

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Branstad names Waterman, Mansfield, Zager to Iowa Supreme Court

Just announced…first of Branstad’s picks for the three openings on the Iowa Supreme Court:

Branstad names Thomas Waterman to the Iowa Supreme Court

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today at 2 p.m. appointed Thomas Waterman to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Gov. Branstad selected Waterman from the slate of nine candidates given to him by the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission. By law, the governor is only allowed to choose justices from this list.

“It is the role of the judiciary in the state of Iowa to say what the law is, as applied to cases before the courts, rather than saying what the law should be,” said Branstad. “The separation of powers is central to our Iowa Constitution.”

Branstad said Waterman, of Pleasant Valley, brings private sector experience to the Supreme Court.

“My goal was to choose Supreme Court justices, from the available slate of candidates, who are most likely to faithfully interpret the laws and Constitution, and respect the separation of powers,” said Branstad.

Branstad names Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Edward Mansfield to the Iowa Supreme Court

(DES MOINES) –Gov. Terry E. Branstad today at 2:05 p.m. appointed Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Edward Mansfield to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Gov. Branstad selected Judge Mansfield from the slate of nine candidates given to him by the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission. By law, the governor is only allowed to choose justices from this list.

“It is the role of the judiciary in the state of Iowa to say what the law is, as applied to cases before the courts, rather than saying what the law should be,” said Branstad. “The separation of powers is central to our Iowa Constitution.”

Branstad said Judge Mansfield, of Des Moines, brings both private practice experience and Court of Appeals knowledge to the Supreme Court.

“My goal was to choose Supreme Court justices, from the available slate of candidates, who are most likely to faithfully interpret the laws and Constitution, and respect the separation of powers,” said Branstad.

Branstad names Iowa District Court Judge Bruce Zager to the Iowa Supreme Court

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today at 2:10 p.m. appointed Iowa District Court Judge Bruce Zager to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Gov. Branstad selected Judge Zager from the slate of nine candidates given to him by the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission. By law, the governor is only allowed to choose justices from this list.

“It is the role of the judiciary in the state of Iowa to say what the law is, as applied to cases before the courts, rather than saying what the law should be,” said Branstad. “The separation of powers is central to our Iowa Constitution.”

Branstad said Judge Zager, of Waterloo, brings both private practice experience and District Court knowledge to the Supreme Court.

“My goal was to choose Supreme Court justices, from the available slate of candidates, who are most likely to faithfully interpret the laws and Constitution, and respect the separation of powers,” said Branstad.

Groups “speak out” on proposed tax cut

Several groups have weighed in via email over the past 24 hours, expressing support and opposition to the tax bill which is scheduled for public debate in the Iowa House this afternoon (whenever the Democrats quit meeting in private to talk about it).  Words used in these missives range from “bold” and “excellent” to “misdirected” and “sucker.”  If you make it all the way through all the statements, you will find the word “quintile” which according to the dictionary means “the portion of a frequency distribution containing one fifth of the total sample.”

I share these email messages with you in this post, in the order they were received.

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The 2012 ticker

Here are a few 2012-related developments:

FOX News & Iowa GOP team up to co-host another candidate debate.  This one is to be held in Sioux City — and will be “just days” before the Iowa Caucuses.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul will make the three-stops on The Family Leader’s lecture tour on Monday, March 7.  The last stop is in Iowa City, a lecture scheduled to last from 4 – 4:45 p.m.   That would give Paul enough time to make it back to Des Moines to be the last speaker at the Iowa Faith and Family Coalition’s Spring Event, which starts at 5:30 p.m.  Paul, however, is not among the confirmed speakers at that event.  Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Buddy Roemer and Rick Santorum have said they’ll be there.

The Iowa Faith & Family Coalition’s 2010 Spring Event featured Santorum as keynote speaker.  (The group last year was known as the Iowa Christian Alliance.  It has changed its name to the Iowa Faith & Family Coalition.) In the last cycle, the Iowa Christian Alliance co-hosted a five-candidate event with Iowans for Tax Relief in late June of 2007

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has signed on to be the keynote speaker at big event in the Quad Cities on March 15.  Read the GOP news release below:

Des Moines – In a bid to continue building on the recent successes of Iowa Republicans, Chairman Matt Strawn today announced that the Iowa GOP will be holding a year-long series of events across Iowa designed to support and prepare county organizations for the 2012 presidential cycle.
A key feature of the statewide fundraising campaign will be highlighting a national political leader at each event. The kick-off event will be a Chairman’s Dinner the evening of Tuesday, March 15 in the Quad Cities featuring Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

“The Iowa GOP is only as strong as our grassroots members and county party organizations,” said Strawn. “Building a statewide organization to compete with an Obama re-election machine will require unprecedented coordination and hard work by Iowa Republicans. By taking the state GOP out of Des Moines and to every corner of Iowa, we will be prepared for that fight.”

The statewide series of events will feature national political leaders headlining breakfasts, lunches, dinners or coffees all around Iowa. At every stop, those national leaders will be joined by Iowa GOP officials, local county leaders and elected officials.

In explaining the decision to kick-off the year-long series of events in Scott County, Strawn said Iowa’s third-largest county is the epitome of a rejuvenated and rebuilt Iowa GOP. “Not only did Scott County Republicans deliver for Terry Branstad in November, they won a Dem-held State House seat and swept all three county supervisor seats to hold a 4-1 GOP margin on the Board,” said Strawn, noting that only two years earlier President Obama carried Scott County with nearly 57 percent.

According to Iowa GOP officials, the final details of the March 15 Chairman’s Dinner with Governor Barbour will be released later this week. Iowa GOP officials also indicated the state party has been in contact with numerous national Republican leaders and will have additional event announcements in the coming weeks.

The Wall Street Journal profiled “rangy 47-year-old” Bob Vander Plaats.

And finally, Ron Paul was the winner of last weekend’s poll at CPAC.  Paul and Romney were the only candidates to get double-digit support.

Branstad picks ice cream over pie

And now, something new from our new/old governor. Governor Terry Branstad emerged from his private statehouse office early this afternoon to chat with grocers visiting the statehouse. The Iowa Grocers Association provided a spread for legislators: pieces of apple pie, cherry pie, cups of vanilla ice cream, and cups of coffee.

Branstad had ice cream and a cup of coffee, greeted a group of very excited schoolchildren, chatted with grocers, and then ran back up the stairs to his first floor office. He beat his press secretary, Tim Albrecht, up the steps.

Branstad on endorsement, campaign cash from potential jurists (AUDIO)

Governor Terry Branstad had his weekly news conference this morning and joked with reporters that he wished more than just one of the nine people who’ve been nominated to be Iowa Supreme Court Justices had donated to his 2010 campaign.  He also addressed criticism after it was disclosed his grandchild is enrolled in free preschool.  Read all about it (and listen to the entire news conference) here.

Branstad also addressed a recent David Broder column in which Broder counted Branstad as a backer of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s bid for the White House.  From that February 3, 2011 column: 

…An exceptionally skilled politician, Branstad is generally counted in the Pawlenty camp. His support is the main reason Pawlenty is given a chance in the leadoff caucuses – even against Huckabee, the surprise 2008 winner in Iowa; Romney, who has invested heavily in organizing the state; and perhaps others, including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House.

Branstad said this morning he hasn’t endorsed anyone and was “flabbergasted” to read what Broder wrote.  Branstad also discussed the potential threat of straw polls being held in Illinois and Florida before the Iowa Caucuses.  You can listen to his remarks about these subjects here.

House debate on gay marriage

As many House members sit at their desks to eat the lunches provided by Iowa’s insurance industry, the debate has begun on a resolution that would set up a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment, an amendment which would declare the only legally valid unions in Iowa are those between a man and a woman.  It would make civil unions, domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages illegal. 

At 11:19 a.m., Representative Dwayne Alons began speaking about the history behind this proposal.  “A groundswell of support for traditional marriage has arisen and people all across Iowa are saying, ‘Let us vote!’ Alons said, raising his voice as he said those last three words.

He mentioned the 2010 judicial retention election which tossed three justices off the Iowa Supreme Court. “Iowans are kind of like the person in the cell phone advertisement,” Alons said. “They’re saying, ‘Can you hear me now?'”

Alons said a constitutional amendment is “the only way to rectify the overreach of the court in this situation.”

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