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Monday, June 19, 2006

Other Iowa GOP Convention Tidbits

This weekend at the GOP state convention in Des Moines also offered some great non-Romney experiences. It was my first time at a state convention and so just taking in the ambience was nice. I met Senator Grassley (pictured with me) and thanked him for voting in favor of the recent Marriage Protection Ammendment and encouraged him to help convince his fellow senators to support this next time around. He is definitely a well-loved senator here in Iowa (at least among the people with which I've spoken).

I was able to spend a few minutes in the convention hall with some of the Johnson County Republicans and when Bob Vander Plaats was accepting the Lt. Gov. nomination. His message is surmised at this Johnson Co. Republicans Blog entry.

During his speech I realized that I was standing right next to Congressman Steve King. He seemed quite fired up as I spoke with him. Later on, I realized that, unfortunately, I had just missed his speech which ended up being the talk of the day. For some of the highly entertaining comments from his speech see this other Johnson Co. Republicans Blog entry (seriously, if you don't click on many links here, you should click on this one). I mentioned to King that I was a Romney supporter and informed him of "Iowans for Romney" to which he responded that he would be "breaking bread" with Romney later that evening. So, in the last week I met and spoke with two U.S. Congressmen, one U.S. Senator, and our future President!

7 comments:

Craig C said...

Good luck, but I think Romney is a stretch. I more realistic candidate would be George Allen.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

You are right, Romney is our next POTUS, and Steve King would be a great one also. Maybe someday....

Burton Rider said...

Jeff: good job covering the events of Saturday, and it was good to see you. Love the photos. I was at the breakfast too and I thought the Governor did a great job.

I really like how confident and comfortable Josh Romney was speaking to that group - they are a great family and every time he brings Ann or someone else up to speak, I think people get a good sense of how grounded they all are.

Thanks for a great post.

Miller said...

Jeff,

It was good meeting you for the first time in person this week. I, too, am glad that Sen Grassley wanted to protect marriage. Sen Harkin, on the other hand, does not seem to exhibit the same convictions. Here is some of our correspondence:

June 20, 2006

Dear Ryan:

Thank you for contacting me. I am always glad to hear from you.

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts regarding the definition of
marriage.

As a matter of my own faith, I believe marriage is between a man and a
woman. I voted for that principle in 1996 when I supported the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), which established the federal definition of marriage
as only the legal union between one man and one woman. I also believe
that questions regarding marriage as a religious sacrament are best left
to individual religious denominations.

Marriage licensing and regulation currently is left to the states, and I
believe that is proper. Both Iowa law and federal law already state that
marriage is between a man and a woman.

With few exceptions, we have changed the Constitution only to expand
participation in our democracy or to make structural change in our system
of representative government. That is why I do not support amending the
Constitution in this area, and why I voted not to support S.J.Res.1 when
it was considered in the Senate. The amendment failed when only 49
Senators voted to end debate on the measure.

Again, thanks for sharing your views with me. Please don't hesitate to
let me know how you feel on any issue that concerns you.
Sincerely,
Tom Harkin United States Senator


And here is my response to the one he sent today: I feel very passionate about protecting marriage, so my words may sound a bit extreme.

Senator Harkin:

Thank you for the honest response to our letter regarding the definition of marriage. We quote from our previous letter to refresh the subject:

“The family is the fundamental unit of society. Marriage is the oldest form of human relationship dating back to the time of Adam and Eve. God designed us in a fashion that man and woman complement each other: physically, spiritually, and emotionally.”

Senator, we need to be nationally united on this topic. We cannot afford to face the ambiguity by leaving this matter to the states. Homosexuals have a strong voice urging that they be granted equal rights, demanding that their relationships be legally recognized.

Consequently, by their acquisition of equal marital rights, another party loses rights: the children. Please consider the long-term ramifications that our nation and its families will face if a constitutional amendment that prohibits homosexual marriage is not created.

We need this amendment. Children will suffer indefinitely without it. Every child deserves a mother and a father. It’s that simple.

Senator, you shared your personal beliefs that marriage should only occur between man and woman. Unfortunately, what you personally believe is dead and meaningless until it is converted into action.

We understand that the debate has ceased, but no topic is shelved forever. Please demonstrate courage by working to enact this vital constitutional amendment. By doing so, you may one day have the privilege of reporting to our Supreme Being that you did everything in your power to preserve the sanctity of marriage.

Every child deserves a mother and a father.
-------------------------

What do you think? Too severe?

Miller said...

Jeff,

It was good meeting you for the first time in person this week. I, too, am glad that Sen Grassley wanted to protect marriage. Sen Harkin, on the other hand, does not seem to exhibit the same convictions. Here is some of our correspondence:

June 20, 2006

Dear Ryan:

Thank you for contacting me. I am always glad to hear from you.

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts regarding the definition of
marriage.

As a matter of my own faith, I believe marriage is between a man and a
woman. I voted for that principle in 1996 when I supported the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), which established the federal definition of marriage
as only the legal union between one man and one woman. I also believe
that questions regarding marriage as a religious sacrament are best left
to individual religious denominations.

Marriage licensing and regulation currently is left to the states, and I
believe that is proper. Both Iowa law and federal law already state that
marriage is between a man and a woman.

With few exceptions, we have changed the Constitution only to expand
participation in our democracy or to make structural change in our system
of representative government. That is why I do not support amending the
Constitution in this area, and why I voted not to support S.J.Res.1 when
it was considered in the Senate. The amendment failed when only 49
Senators voted to end debate on the measure.

Again, thanks for sharing your views with me. Please don't hesitate to
let me know how you feel on any issue that concerns you.
Sincerely,
Tom Harkin United States Senator


And here is my response to the one he sent today: I feel very passionate about protecting marriage, so my words may sound a bit extreme.

Senator Harkin:

Thank you for the honest response to our letter regarding the definition of marriage. We quote from our previous letter to refresh the subject:

“The family is the fundamental unit of society. Marriage is the oldest form of human relationship dating back to the time of Adam and Eve. God designed us in a fashion that man and woman complement each other: physically, spiritually, and emotionally.”

Senator, we need to be nationally united on this topic. We cannot afford to face the ambiguity by leaving this matter to the states. Homosexuals have a strong voice urging that they be granted equal rights, demanding that their relationships be legally recognized.

Consequently, by their acquisition of equal marital rights, another party loses rights: the children. Please consider the long-term ramifications that our nation and its families will face if a constitutional amendment that prohibits homosexual marriage is not created.

We need this amendment. Children will suffer indefinitely without it. Every child deserves a mother and a father. It’s that simple.

Senator, you shared your personal beliefs that marriage should only occur between man and woman. Unfortunately, what you personally believe is dead and meaningless until it is converted into action.

We understand that the debate has ceased, but no topic is shelved forever. Please demonstrate courage by working to enact this vital constitutional amendment. By doing so, you may one day have the privilege of reporting to our Supreme Being that you did everything in your power to preserve the sanctity of marriage.

Every child deserves a mother and a father.
-------------------------

What do you think? Too severe?

Jeff Fuller said...

Ryan,

It was good to meet you and your wife at the breakfast! You must have know Thomas Schultz as well or did you just end up sitting by him?

In answer to your question, the MPA is an issue that needs strong language and your views are appropriately expressed as such. (My wife and I got the same form letter back from Harkin . . . don't you love it when liberals suddenly become champions of states rights when the issue fits their needs?)

Like Romney, you brought the issue back to the children and the detriment that state-sanctioned gay marriages will have on the average child. People argue that they know some great kids being raised by gay couples or that so many kids are raised by single parents, that surely 2 parents regardless of their sexual orientation should be better. However, marriage is an institution that our nation sanctions and supports . . . and divorce is not encouraged by the state.

Likewise, part of the benefit of being married is the tax benefit and part of this is to encourages marriages and encourage children. By nature, gay couples have a distinct financial advantage of not being able to produce children and should not get the benefit meant for heterosexual couples of tax breaks and preferred insurance status.

C.R. said...

Keep a close eye on the Mitt Romney Deception at :

http://massresistance.org/docs/marriage/romney/record/

Romney's support of gay marriage activism and the abortion pill RU-486 as Massachusetts governor does not satisfy the pro-life stance of conservative Republicans, so he is a useless candidate for the Iowa Republican Party Platform.

Iowa and Iowa Republicans have no need for Romney's liberal walk.