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January 12th, 2010

IFPC Endorses Vander Plaats

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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Vander Plaats CapitolThe Iowa Family Policy Center’s political action committee endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats yesterday. The endorsement was originally meant to be made last week, but a snow storm precluded the organization from endorsing Vander Plaats until yesterday.

Below is IFPC’s press release announcing their endorsement of Vander Plaats as well as videos from the rally of Rep. Kent Sorenson’s remarks, Danny Carroll announcing the endorsement of Vander Plaats, and Vander Plaats himself. will have more analysis of the endorsement later this week.

Iowa Family PAC Endorses Bob Vander Plaats for Governor

The United States was founded by religious men who were nearly all followers of Jesus Christ, and who all shared a Judeo-Christian worldview. It was from their understanding of Biblical principles that they molded a nation unlike any in human history. Thanks to the faithfulness of the Christian statesmen who founded this great nation, we have enjoyed unprecedented blessing in the United States. George Washington, in his Farewell Address, said,

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensible supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness.”

John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Second President of the United States, said on June 21, 1776,

“It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”

President Ronald Reagan, during a 1984 radio address to the nation, summed up the attitudes of the founders on the role of faith in government when he said,

“The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”

In an effort to recover, and pass on to posterity, a state and nation well positioned to enjoy God’s renewed blessings, the Iowa Family PAC will seek out and promote men and women to public office who are bold yet compassionate statesmen leaders. Though we are far from perfect, and may misjudge or be misled by candidates, we humbly offer the following to those who welcome this input. After a careful and lengthy review of the various 2010 gubernatorial candidates, which included several face to face meetings with candidates, we have decided to endorse and offer our full support to Bob Vander Plaats.

The Iowa Family PAC’s evaluation of the candidates was designed to seek out and promote a statesman and public servant who would commit to uphold the Biblical principle of individual responsibility, who recognizes family as the foundational unit for a stable social structure, who will boldly defend the sanctity of human life and of marriage, commit to limiting the size and cost of civil government, promote high quality education under the authority of parents, encourage an ethical free enterprise system, defend the Constitutional separation of powers, and like our Founding Fathers be guided by the absolute moral truth that comes from a regular reading of the Bible. We believe that Bob Vander Plaats is the candidate who best meets those requirements. We are especially pleased with his pledge to stand up to the Iowa Supreme Court and stay their effort to unconstitutionally legislate same sex “marriage,” until the Iowa Legislature and the people of Iowa act on the Iowa Marriage Amendment.

This endorsement is not unconditional. If, in our opinion, Mr. Vander Plaats strays from the bold principles and Biblical standards listed above, the Iowa Family PAC will ask him to correct the error.

As an organization, the Iowa Family PAC encourages every Iowan to fully engage in primary and general elections, and to carefully consider the candidates running for any office. Because we advocate for civic involvement, we believe it is our obligation to lead by example.

In addition to finding a candidate we can support in Bob Vander Plaats, we have enjoyed getting to know several of the other candidates. While each has a desire to serve, there are lingering concerns about them and their ability to lead with the principles and boldness Iowa needs.

For instance, Representative Rod Roberts has been a consistently reliable vote in support of righteousness during his time in the Iowa House. He understands the need to honor God with his service, but seems to have more of a legislator’s temperament than that of an executive. As a member of the Republican Caucus in the House, Representative Roberts can be counted on to interject godly counsel and to cast principled votes. He has not, however, demonstrated the bold resolve and drive necessary to successfully confront those in leadership positions who actively promote wrong-doing in Iowa. While Representative Roberts is not our choice for Governor, he is a man who will be difficult to replace in the Iowa House, and we urge him to consider the greater good of the State and run for reelection.

Representative Christopher Rants has been perhaps the most surprising of the candidates in the GOP field. He has proven that he has a gift for the creative use of procedure to promote policy. His confrontation with Democrat opposition to the Iowa Marriage Amendment on the floor of the Iowa House last year was a showcase for the talent he possesses. We are encouraged by the spirit and enthusiasm with which Representative Rants engaged our group, and while we do not believe that this is the right time to elevate him to the office of Governor, we look for God to grow and use him for great things in the future. Unfortunately, his lengthy legislative record, his history in House leadership, and his past willingness to pursue questionable political pragmatism will take more time to overcome than this primary race allows.

While Representative Rants was the most surprising candidate, former Governor Terry Branstad was the most disappointing. With a 16 year record as Iowa’s Governor, much is known about who he is and how he would govern. For instance, Iowa faced financial challenges similar to today’s when Branstad first became Governor. His answers to those problems included growing government, raising taxes, legalizing gambling, and keeping what State Auditor Dick Johnson referred to as “two sets of books.” He did demonstrate pro-family support at times, like helping to de-criminalize home schooling, fighting rampant “no-fault” divorce, and helping produce pro-marriage public service announcements. Still, significant portions of his record cause Christians serious concern, such as approving immoral “Human Growth & Development” sex education (which is used by Planned Parenthood and others to promote abortion and homosexuality), allowing homosexual advances in his Dept. of Human Services, appointing pro-homosexual Supreme Court Justices who unconstitutionally try to legislate from the bench, and opening Iowa to the ravages of gambling.

Branstad also brings with him a loyalty to long term political partners that seems to trump his loyalty to Biblical principles and the people of Iowa. He continues to refuse to publicly distance himself from his former Lt. Governor Joy Corning, even when she blatantly promotes and defends abortion on demand, state sanctioned sodomy, and the evil that has been loosed on the state as a result. When his former Chief of Staff, Doug Gross, chastised those of us who desire to see Biblical principles promoted in politics and public policy, Terry Branstad was silent. He needs to understand that Christians are tired of being poked in the eye by political elites and then being told to “go along and get along.” He appears to lack an understanding of the deeply important principles that current policies threaten, or at the very least seems to lack the fervor necessary to address them.

Traditionally, most issue driven special interest groups wait until after the primary to engage in an election. Pragmatists will argue that should Branstad win the primary, he will be better than the current Governor, and that we ought to position our organization to support anyone but Culver. As a Christian organization we will always be ready to respond to the work of the Holy Spirit, and we believe that God can change anyone. However, should Branstad become the Republican nominee, apart from clear evidence of a fundamental transformation, the Iowa Family PAC will not endorse either Terry Branstad or Chet Culver in the general election.

We do not accept the notion that by refusing to support one candidate, we somehow become responsible for the election of another. We answer to God, not to a political party or anyone else. We will strive to promote God-honoring, bold, compassionate candidates, and are convinced that in the 2010 race for Iowa Governor, Bob Vander Plaats is the candidate Christians ought to support.

On behalf of the Iowa Family PAC,

Chuck Hurley, J.D.
Danny Carroll

Photo by Dave Davidson

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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