February 1st, 2011

Does The FAMiLY Leader Have Multiple Personalities?

Earlier this month, I was criticized for calling out two pro-life legislators for preventing House File 5, a bill that uses fetal pain as the basis for banning abortions instead of using the standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision in Roe vs. Wade, from passing out of the Human Resources Committee.

In the article, I clearly stated that Rep. Kim Pearson and Rep. Glen Massie opposed the measure because the bill didn’t outlaw all abortions, only those that would occur after 20 weeks.  Pearson told the Des Moines Register, “It would codify deaths of babies from zero to 19 weeks, and I’m not willing to do that.  I want to protect all life, not just some.”

When the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition emailed a copy of the article that I wrote to its members and encouraged them to contact Pearson and Massie, IFFC was heavily criticized for asking the two legislators to compromise on their principles.

Like Pearson and Massie, The FAMiLY Leader is opposed to House File 5, but Danny Carroll, a former legislator who now lobbies on behalf of the group, declared that The FAMiLY Leader is officially registered as “undecided” on the bill.

Yesterday, Bob Vander Plaats, The FAMiLY Leader’s President and CEO, sent a copy of the group’s February prayer calendar to its email list.  For today it reads, “Ask the Lord to bring the late-term abortion bill HF-5 out of committee.”

Will The FAMilY Leader be criticized to the same extent that the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition was for asking Pearson and Massie to compromise their principles?  I doubt it, but it appears that either The FAMiLY Leader’s prayer calendar is inconsistent with the beliefs of the group, or they have changed their mind about House File 5.  In any event, the prayer calendar does not give the group’s donors and supporters a true picture of what the group is actually doing and advocating for at the Statehouse.

On Valentines Day, the prayer calendar reads, “Asks God for a miracle in moving forward the judicial Impeachment effort in the House.”   Apparently Chuck Hurley’s meeting with Chief Justice Cady didn’t go as planned. The FAMiLY Leader has yet to officially support the impeachment of the four remaining justices, but maybe they are changing their tune on that issue as well.

Update: Chuck Hurley just sent out the following email.

Greetings from The FAMiLY LEADER!

Thank You for Praying
For those of you who received our February 2011 prayer calendar, thank you for praying, but we need to make a correction to today’s entry. It should read: ‘Ask the Lord to bring the late-term abortion bill HF5 out of committee as amended, to protect ALL babies.’
Thanks to the many of you who caught this oversight and are praying that God would help us protect all innocent human life.

The floor manager of HF5, Representative Matt Windschitl, has asked that we all pray that “God’s will be done.”

Thank you for your prayers,

Chuck Hurley

Photo by Dave Davidson

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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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