I rarely discuss the politics of my home state of Iowa but today I feel moved to do so...The big race for most of us Iowans this year is the Governors race. Chet Culver (Democrat) has certainly not impressed many Iowans with his performance the last 4 years and as you might expect there are many who challenging him this fall, but before that happens we have to get through the Republican Primary first. The two main contendors for the Republican nod are Terry Brandstad and Bob Vander Plaats. Brandstad is a former governor who served 4 full terms in the 80's and 90's here in Iowa (a total of 16 years) and is very well liked by most Iowans because he came in during a rough economic patch in Iowa and left office with a historic budget surplus (which has long evaporated)...Bob Vander Plaats has tried to run a few times now and lost the Republican nod in 2006 and settled for being a Lt. Governor candidate instead and still lost to Chet Culver. Regardless of who wins, most polls in Iowa show Culver losing. So what are the big issues here in the middle of nowhere? Funny enough they are issues that are big issues across the nation. Gay Marriage is one of the key issues for the Republicans this year. To those who didnt watch the news much last year, Iowa became on of the few states in the US that allows gay marriage after the Iowa Supreme Court threw out Iowa's traditional marriage law and authorized gay couples to marry. This caused a big uproar in the state but the Democratic governor and legislature largely ignored it which means by Iowa law the gay marriages can't be legally stopped until likely 2012 or later.
This is where the two main Republican candidates differ. Bob Vander Plaats claims that if elected he will issue an executive order putting a stay on same-sex marriages. He claims the Supreme Court overstepped its bounds and "created" law instead of interpretting it and therefore that legitimizes his possible actions. However for those of us with at least a basic understand on how our legal system works can tell you such an executive order is unconstitutional and illegal. The courts would more than likely throw it out and cause a constitutional crisis here in Iowa. Such an executive order would be like President Obama saying he didn't like the Supreme Court's ruling on something and issuing an executive order to block the ruling...It's ridiculus and the fact that Vander Plaats continues to claim this to me just makes me dislike him more..to the point that if he wins the Republican primary for governor I will vote instead of Chet Culver who while a crappy governor overall at least he knows his constitutional limits...His main opponent Terry Brandstad has stated that while he doesn't approve of the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling he also thinks we should overturn the law the right way (via the legislature and state-wide referendum). And for that Mr. Brandstad, I will vote for you and wish you the best..and for Mr. Vander Plaats, you sir are a Dumbass...Cheers