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April 13th, 2009

Family Feud

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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king2Just one week after the Iowa Supreme Court issued its ruling that purports to allow same-sex marriage, some conservatives in Iowa are calling out one of their own instead of focusing on the two people who are preventing a constitutional amendment that would define marriage in the future.

This past Friday, Congressman Steve King was on Jan Mickelson’s radio program. While some politicians tend to struggle to navigate Mickelson’s show, King does it with ease. The conversation between Mickelson and King provided an excellent analysis of the Court’s decision and what we must do to move forward.

King was very clear on the path he would take to combat same-sex marriage in Iowa. First, work to pass a constitutional amendment. Second, pass a residency requirement with reciprocity that would prevent people from other states coming to Iowa just to get married.

Mickelson’s show was going just as everyone would have expected it to go. King was on message. The callers were conservative and appreciative of King’s stance – well, all but one. The sixth caller was Bill Salier, a former candidate for U.S. Senate in 2002 who now leads the group, Everyday America. Salier referred to King as an “icon of conservatism,” but said that, “the last two segments of the show did more harm than good.”

Salier is not alone in his criticism of King. Bryan English of the Iowa Family Policy Center, and a former congressional staffer for King, also publicly criticized King on WHO Radio during an appearance on Steve Deace’s radio show.

So, what gives, you ask? Both Salier and English take issue with King’s position on a wanting the legislature to pass a residency requirement. While King is adamant about passing a constitutional amendment, he also thinks that passing a residency requirement is critical so that Iowa would not export gay marriage to other states. King’s proposal is very interesting since he wants to see it include reciprocity. This means that if you are not a resident of Iowa but wish to get married here, you also have to be in compliance with the marriage laws in your state of residence.

Salier, English, and others believe that talking about strengthening our marriage laws (including a residency requirement) is a distraction. Instead, they say, everyone’s sole focus should be on passing a constitutional amendment. They believe that, if we play the same little political games that were played on the abortion issue over the last 30 or 40 years, we will get the same sorts of results. They also believe that if people like Congressman King encourage people to waste time on residency bills, it will further ingrain the idea that gay marriage is legitimate.

King is not someone who believes that a residency requirement is all that is needed (like Culver) or someone who will use the fact that he supported a residency requirement to try to fool people into thinking he did all he could on marriage while not actually supporting an amendment (like most of the Statehouse Democrats). I don’t understand why a person with the Iowa Family Policy Center, or someone like Salier, feels the need to create a family feud in what is the darkest hour of the pro-family movement here in Iowa. What good does bashing King publically do other than to fracture the thousands of people who are ready to support a coordinated conservative effort to take back our state?

This is the time when the Iowa Family Policy Center, Iowa Christian Alliance, and Salier’s Everyday America should be utilizing King to help rally more people to join their organizations. We must remember that it was King who sued then-Governor Tom Vilsack over an executive order that would have granted homosexuals, transsexuals and transvestites special protections. King won, and the executive order was ruled unconstitutional. Isn’t that the same type of leadership conservatives are yearning for today?

It is hard to understand the motives of the few people who have gone out of their way to publically ridicule King. The list of things these groups must accomplish over the next four years is monumental but not impossible. Nobody is prefect, including King, but now more than ever, we need to work together.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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