For Iowa’s House GOP, legislative gay-bashing is top priority

Des Moines Register took a look at what issues will be hot, warm and cold in the upcoming session of the Iowa legislature. Same-sex marriage rates a “warm” — meaning “One chamber likely to approve it, but not enough enthusiasm yet in both chambers to make passage likely.”

Here’s the analysis:

Expect fiery rhetoric as Republicans call for the Legislature to begin the multiyear process that would lead to a statewide vote on same-sex marriage. The House will pass such a resolution “sooner rather than later,” said House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, the Republican who decides when votes take place. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat, has vowed to block a Senate vote on the grounds that discrimination doesn’t belong in the Iowa Constitution. Opponents of same-sex marriage, such as Sen. Kent Sorenson, R-Indianola, hope to force a vote to suspend Senate rules and ask lawmakers to override Gronstal. It’s not known whether such parliamentary maneuvering would succeed, or, if a vote is taken, whether enough Democrats from conservative districts would join Republicans for approval.

That same Linda Upmeyer also hypocritically told the Register that the GOP leaders were going to focus on jobs:

Leaders of both parties will struggle to keep lawmakers’ attention on helping unemployed Iowans.

“We told the people of Iowa that we were going to focus on jobs and the economy. We’re going to do that,” said House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner.

Politicians always speak out of both sides of their mouth. One usually doesn’t see it in the same article. But, that’s what Upmeyer did. She said the focus was on jobs — with that one big caveat: Legislative gay-bashing is really a top priority.

Senate Democrats want to stay focused on jobs:

With a slim edge in the Iowa Senate, Democrats intend to keep up the “we’re focused on jobs” mantra to avoid the social issues if they can. But certain bills could be used as bargaining chips to preserve Democrat-treasured programs such as state-funded preschool and health care for children.

How sick is that? The GOPers could use health care for kids as a bargaining chip. Wow.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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