GOP candidate swipes at Democratic governor

Bob Vander Plaats, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2002 and 2006 and the GOP's lieutenant governor nominee in 2006, is a likely candidate in 2010.  He issued a news release just now on the subject of gay marraige. Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat, intends to seek reelection in 2010 and to provide context to the Vander Plaats statement below, you should first read the statement Culver released last Friday after the Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling which legalizes same-sex marriage in Iowa.

"The decision released this morning by Supreme Court addresses a complicated and emotional issue, one on which Iowans have strong views and opinions on both sides." Cul;ver said in a prepared statement.  "The next responsible step is to thoroughly review this decision, which I am doing with my legal counsel and the Attorney General, before reacting to what it means for Iowa.”

Now, the Vander Plaats news release:


SIOUX CITY – Gov. Chet Culver’s inability or unwillingness to respond to the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision allowing same-sex marriages more than four full days after that ruling “speaks volumes about a lack of leadership on a critical issue facing our state,” said Bob Vander Plaats, the Sioux City Republican who has formed a 2010 gubernatorial campaign committee.

Vander Plaats also called on Culver and state legislators to immediately approve residency requirements on people seeking marriage licenses in Iowa.

“There’s an old saying that silence is golden but it doesn’t apply when people need to know where their elected officials stand.  Chet Culver’s refusal to step up and tell Iowans what he’s going to do on an issue that affects the very foundation of our society isn’t the sign of a leader, it’s the sign of someone who’s testing to see which way the political winds are blowing.  At this critical time, Iowans want a leader not a weather vane,” Vander Plaats said.

Vander Plaats noted that Culver vowed in January 2008 to protect the institution of marriage, defined as one man and one woman.

“Did Chet Culver make that promise last year because he thought the courts were going to uphold the definition of marriage and he wouldn’t have to do the real job of a leader?  Is he hoping he can remain silent until the General Assembly adjourns so he doesn’t have to confront fellow Democrats to tell them to do the right thing?” Vander Plaats asked. “If he can’t figure it out, I’ll do it for him. Chet Culver needs to tell Iowans that he will work to protect the institution of marriage. He needs to take the immediate step of telling legislators that they should not adjourn until they approve residency requirements.  It is wrong to allow people whose states do not allow same-sex marriages to rush into Iowa, get a quickie marriage and rush home in order to undermine the laws and values of another state.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.