Iowa Press: Social Issues Still Front and Center


The Daily Nonpareil (of Council Bluffs, Iowa):

Americans may be focused on the economy at the moment, but conservative social issues will play a role in the Iowa GOP straw poll Saturday and beyond, according to state and national supporters of those issues.

“These issues haven’t gone away,” said former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave. “They will have an impact on the straw poll.”

“(Traditional) marriage is a winning issue,” added Christopher Plante, Rhode Island director of the National Organization for Marriage. “The majority of Americans believe in that.”

Musgrave and Plante were part of a statewide bus tour promoting these and other conservative issues that stopped at Council Bluffs’ Bayliss Park Thursday afternoon. The bus tour will end Saturday in Ames, the site of the Iowa Republican Party’s straw poll that’s gaining in national attention as nearly all of the major GOP presidential candidates plan to attend.

“Iowa has an opportunity to send a message to the nation,” Musgrave said.

... But, it wasn’t just the Saturday straw poll these conservative were talking about. There’s a state election next year in which one man in particular must be defeated, they said.

“It’s important that (Council Bluffs) Sen. Mike Gronstal is removed,” said Jenifer Bowen, Iowa Right to Life director, who criticized Gronstal, the Senate majority leader, for not allowing a Senate vote to ban late-term abortions.

Gronstal has refused to take action to start the process of giving Iowans a say on whether they support gay marriages, Plante said.

“Let the people vote,” he said.