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Archive for May, 2011

DES MOINES – Next week, former Iowa State Senator Jeff Angelo will launch a new group aimed at highlighting conservative support for marriage equality. Iowa Republicans for Freedom will help give voice to Iowans who believe that conservative values of smaller government should keep government out of the private lives of all Iowans including gays and lesbians.

Iowans can find out more by visiting http://www.iowarepublicansforfreedom.org, or emailing info@iowarepublicansforfreedom.org. Senator Angelo will hold launch the group with a three-city tour next week. Details of the tour are below:

Wednesday, June 1st
WHAT: Sen. Jeff Angelo to launch Iowa Republicans for Freedom, a group aimed at highlighting conservative support for civil marriage quality
WHEN: 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: West Capitol Terrace, near intersection of Locust and Pennsylvania
State Capitol Grounds
Des Moines, IA

Thursday, June 2nd
WHEN: 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Greene Square Park, corner of 3rd Ave. SE and 5th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA

WHEN: 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Davenport Public Library
Film Room, 321 Main St.
Davenport, IA

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Jeff Angelo was featured Tuesday on the Iowa Public Radio program The Exchange.

“We examine how we sort ourselves politically in two ways. First, a new study shows we’re more likely to seek a mate with similar political beliefs than they we are to seek a mate based on personality or looks. We’ll talk with one of the authors of ‘The Politics of Mate Choice,’ and a couple that defies the research. Iowans Jeff Angelo and Tara van Brederode share opposing political viewpoints on their blog ‘God, Politics and Rock ‘n’ Roll.’ Then, we talk with Michael Dimock from the Pew research Center about political typology. They recently released a study that shows a wide range of beliefs across the two-party system.”

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from The New York Times

… In pledging to support senators who back same-sex marriage — “no matter where they stand on any other issue,” the mayor said — Mr. Bloomberg is dangling a potent political carrot: his money and muscle in the next election.

It was an unusual offer that seemed to capture how important the issue has become to him: in the past, Mr. Bloomberg has resisted building endorsements around a single issue, arguing that it is unwise to judge candidates on any one vote, rather than their entire record in office.

But opponents of same-sex marriage questioned how much influence Mr. Bloomberg would have. “The Republican base is incredibly united on this issue,” said Maggie Gallagher, the chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage. “It’s a really bad idea to be for gay marriage if you’re a Republican, and I don’t think Mayor Bloomberg’s money is going to change that.”

Mr. Bloomberg also held meetings with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who supports same-sex marriage, and with the Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, Republican of Nassau County, who opposes it. A spokesman for Mr. Skelos said that Senate Republicans planned to discuss the issue in the coming weeks and would decide after that whether to bring legislation to the floor for a vote.

Read the full story from The New York Times.

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Although Minnesota’s bill to allow a general vote on marriage for gay and lesbian couples passed Saturday 70-62, the testimony before the legislature was passionate, including this speech from veteran and Republican Rep. John Kriesel.

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from The Associated Press

Gov. Terry Branstad urged Republican presidential candidates Monday to participate in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, saying the state party covers the “full spectrum” of views and isn’t dominated by evangelical Christians.

The call Branstad put out at his weekly news conference came in response to a weekend commentary published in the New Hampshire Union Leader by former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen. He claims the Iowa party has become so dominated by evangelicals that some potential candidates will be tempted to largely skip the state.

Branstad, who defeated Republican Bob Vander Plaats, a leading voice of the evangelical movement, to win the Republican nomination for governor last year, disagreed.

“Iowa is a full spectrum state,” said Branstad, who’s conservative but campaigned mainly on economic issues. “The primary election I won last year proves that.”

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

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from The New York Times

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. has a number of hurdles to overcome if he is to become the Republican nominee for president — including his service in President Obama’s administration as ambassador to China and his comparatively liberal positions on several issues.

But Mr. Huntsman’s positions on gay rights — while to the left of most of his opponents — are likely to be among the least of his concerns. In fact, Mr. Huntsman’s views on gay rights are very close to those of the typical Republican voter — closer than those of someone like Tim Pawlenty.

… Nevertheless, reporters — to say nothing of the candidates themselves — ought not to assume that Republican voters reflexively gravitate toward any and all positions against gay rights. Opinions on these issues are changing fairly rapidly, and the partisan divides are not as strong as those on economic policy.

A Gallup poll conducted last year found that 60 percent of Republicans — and 53 percent of self-described conservatives — support allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military. (Several Republican candidates opposed last year’s repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and Mr. Pawlenty has pledged to reinstate it if he becomes president.) And a near-consensus of Americans — 87 percent in a December 2008 Newsweek survey — support protecting gays and lesbians from employment discrimination, an area where several Republican candidates have ambiguous positions.

Read the full story from The New York Times.

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from The New York Times
As gay rights advocates intensify their campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, the bulk of their money is coming from an unexpected source: a group of conservative financiers and wealthy donors to the Republican Party, most of whom are known for bankrolling right-leaning candidates and causes.

Their behind-the-scenes financial support — about $1 million in donations, delivered in recent weeks to a new coalition of gay rights organizations — could alter the political calculus of Albany lawmakers, especially the Republican state senators in whose hands the fate of gay marriage rests.

The donors represent some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically active figures and include Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund manager and top-tier Republican donor, as well as two other financiers, Steven A. Cohen and Clifford S. Asness.

At the same time, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist who has been a major contributor to Senate Republicans in New York, plans a significant push for same-sex marriage: giving at least $100,000 of his own money, hosting a fund-raiser at an Upper East Side town house, traveling to Albany to lobby lawmakers and giving a speech on the issue.

Read the full story from The New York Times.

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Minnesota Republican Madeline Koch testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose putting same-sex marriage to a popular vote, similar to Iowa’s House Joint Resolution 6 this session. Also similarly, the Minnesota bill was approved.

Read more about Minnesota’s gay marriage ban.

Read more about Iowa’s HJR6, which passed the House in the 2011 session, but stalled in the Senate.

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