A conservative group in Iowa called, Everyday America, sent out a press release early this morning blasting Sandy Greiner, a Republican candidate for the State Senate, for statements that she made recently that they claim, “disregard[ed] the state’s constitution.”
Everyday America, whose board members include Bill Salier, Jason Hamann, and Kitty Rehberg, blasted Greiner over a comment she made at a TEA party event on April 17th. In her comments, Greiner is referring to a bill that she managed in the Iowa House that prevented Smithfield, a large hog producer, from locating in Iowa.
Before we get to Greiner’s actual comments, you first need to know that then-state senator and current board member of Everyday America, Kitty Rehberg, voted for the bill for which Everyday America is attacking Greiner. Under this line of reasoning, Everyday America’s Kitty Rehberg must be guilty of disregarding the state’s constitution, too.
The Senate passed the bill 47-0, which includes Rehberg’s yes vote, and the House passed the bill 94-5. Another notable yes vote was then-State Representative Danny Carroll.
Transcription of Greiner’s Comments.
“I have been involved in writing legislation that isn’t ‘constitutional’ – when I was trying to keep Smithfield out of Iowa. [Laughs] I was successful for a few years until they challenged me in court [End of Laughter]. The AG’s office came to me and said, ‘this bill that you’ve got here is not constitutional.’ I said, ‘Well, can you show me how to make it Constitutional?’ They said, ‘Well, it’s not really legal to just say someone can’t come into this state because of interstate commerce rules.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m willing to do it if it’s Constitutional or not, and force them to challenge it.’”
Greiner’s comment were made after being asked about the constitutionality of Bob Vander Plaats’ proposed executive order that would place a stay on gay marriages in the state. Greiner told TheIowaRepublican.com today that the legislature should have stepped in and amended the code following the Court’s April 3rd ruling last year. Since they didn’t, we now have two options to preserve traditional marriage in Iowa – pass an amendment to the constitution using the legislative route or call a constitutional convention that would involve considerable risk.
The analogy that Greiner provided the audience is a good one. She merely said that she had been involved in passing a law that was thought by the Attorney General’s office to be unconstitutional, and she compared that experience to what Vander Plaats is proposing.
Many people believe that Vander Plaats’ executive order is unconstitutional, including Iowa’s current Attorney General. Vander Plaats’ disagrees and vows to issue it on his first day in office. Isn’t that essentially what Greiner did in this case?
Vander Plaats’ supporters claim that, since the executive branch in empowered with enforcing the laws, his proposed executive order is a valid exercise of authority to enforce the law in any way the governor sees fit. Such unprecedented unilateral authority vested in one person, the chief executive, should be of great concern to people who want constitutionally based government.
The bill that Greiner spoke about was Senate File 341, otherwise known as the Vertical Integration bill. The bill prevented large meat companies like Smithfield from owning livestock from birth to the market place. The bill had bi-partisan support because it protected small livestock farmers like Bill Salier.
The law was never challenged and is still in effect.
Sandy Greiner also led the Draft Branstad movement.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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