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February 29th, 2012

Republicans React to Dems Fleeing Iowa State House: UPDATED: Paulsen Reax

On a day when a Black History Month celebration was scheduled to take place at the State Capitol, all 40 Iowa House Democrats fled the building to protest two gun bills brought to the floor by Republicans. Democrat House Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed one of the bills would “alter the Iowa Constitution with extreme language that, if enacted, would turn Iowa into the wild, wild west.” In fact, the bill would simply add the right to carry into the Iowa Constitution, just as is written in the U.S. Constitution. The story quickly gained national attention, briefly gaining one of the top spots on the conservative website Drudge Report.

Here is some of the reaction from Iowa Republicans to the Democrats’ move:

Kraig Paulsen, Speaker of the House:

“Iowans sent us here to do their work, not throw a tantrum and walk away from our responsibilities. We are giving House Democrats an opportunity to come back to the Capitol and do the right thing on behalf of their constituents. At the very least, Iowans expect us to show up and do our jobs, I know House Republicans stand ready to do exactly that– it’s time to get to work. “

Matt Windschitl, Iowa House Republican and author of the gun bills:

“House Democrats have chosen to flee the Capitol instead of debating and voting on a Constitutional Amendment to protect our Second Amendment rights in our state constitution as well as the enhanced Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground legislation. I introduced and managed both these bills and feel it is a shame that so many elected Representative would turn their back on their Constitutional obligation to vote on these issues.”

Erik Helland, Iowa House Republican, on Facebook:

“Iowa gets top billing on Drudge…too bad its because the House D’s walked out instead of representing their voters and debating a bill.”

“Vote no if you don’t like it vote yes if you do. My guess they end up with bipartisan support and not a campaign issue. Besides. No vote because you ran is infinitely worse…..we didn’t take an oath that says I’ll only vote when I agree or when it’s easy. No minority caucus has ever pulled this stunt in Iowa.”

Dawn Pettingill, Iowa House Republican and a former Democrat representative who switched to parties in 2007, on Facebook:

“A fabulous family from 300 miles away that came to a Black History month program at the Capitol and are now being asked to go to Ryan’s Restaurant because the Democrats weren’t here. This is the most shameful thing I’ve seen here and I’m ashamed to even report it. But it has to be said.”

“I don’t know. I’m sent here to do a job, not shirk my responsibility. Protesting and leaving the building on something you knew about yesterday is ridiculous. A play for media or something…”

Governor Terry Branstad, meeting with reporters after the Black History Month celebration at the Capitol:

“I think that’s very unfortunate when you have people that decide to, really, abandon their responsibility of being there and representing their constituents.”

“I’ve always felt that the best thing to do is to not be afraid to state your position and then the people of Iowa get a chance to see what your position is and what the other people’s position is and then make the decision.”

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About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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