Promotes Resolution Dealing With Same Sex Marriage

Washington, DC — Republican Congressman Steve King is trying to get the U.S. House to pass a resolution that says States “may refuse” to recognize or license same-sex marriages, although such non-binding resolutions do not have the force of law. King’s resolution is his latest response to last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Congressman Steve King

(as said) “We’re in a place where the Supreme Court has put themselves above the law, above the Constitution and above the will of the people,” King says.

Most Republicans in congress have publicly expressed opposition to the court’s ruling, so the resolution would likely pass, although House leaders have not indicated it’s a priority for debate. King’s House Resolution embraces what he calls the “traditional definition of marriage” as a “union between one man and one woman.”


(as said) “The domestic life of America has been dramatically transformed by the order of the Supreme Court,” King says.

King calls the court’s same-sex marriage opinion a “blatant act of judicial activism” that has “perverted” the word marriage.


(as said) “And they will impose it on the rest of the country because they’re the ‘enlightened five’ of nine in black robes,” King says. “Well, the Supreme Court has had a terrible record on dealing with large domestic issues.”

King cites the court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision which ruled African Americans weren’t citizens and the federal government had no authority to restrict or regulate slavery and the 1962 decision that ruled mandatory prayer in public schools is unconstitutional. Earlier this year, before the court’s ruling on same-sex marriage last month, King tried to get congress to pass legislation that would forbid the federal courts from deciding such cases, but that legislation stalled.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3


Bob Vander Plaats Headed To Vatican In November

Pleasant Hill, Iowa — Bob Vander Plaats, a Christian conservative activist in Iowa and a Sheldon native, has been invited to a conference at the Vatican in November.
Bob Vander Plaats 2015

(as said) “Received the invitation probably about a month ago now,” Vander Plaats says. “They’re looking for 30 leaders from, I believe, around the world and the whole focus is on spiritual revival.”

Vander Plaats has run unsuccessfully for governor three times and he’s the author of two books. The most recent is based on a Bible passage and is titled  If 7:14, and it calls upon Christians to pray twice daily, at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m. Vander Plaats, who attends the Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, says Pope Francis — the leader of the world’s Catholics — has “a lot of good things to say.”


(as said) “Just showing he’s comfortable in his own skin and he’s willing to communicate the truth, but to do it, I think, in a very loving and graceful way,” Vander Plaats says. “And I think that’s what it’s going to take to eventually have revival in this country and across the globe as well.”

Nearly five years ago Vander Plaats became president and C-E-O of The Family Leader, a Christian conservative group that has been active in the state’s political scene. Vander Plaats himself endorsed presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012 and he led a campaign to unseat Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined the court’s 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa. But Vander Plaats says his book — and The Family Leader organization — are also focused on the bigger picture.


(as said) “We believe campaigns are a moment in time. It’s like the Dutch boy putting a finger in the dike, but the dike needs to be rebuilt,” Vander Plaats says. “We cannot continue to sprint away from the heart of God and call it a good thing.”

Vander Plaats says the purpose of the event at the Vatican will be to “wake up the culture” and he’s ready to be changed himself by participating.


(as said) “When you’re going to spent time in prayer in thought and with other religious leaders…I think you always have to open that this will change you,” Vander Plaats said.

In November of last year the Vatican hosted a conference on marriage at the Vatican with noted Evangelical Christian leaders from American, like Rick Warren, author of the bestseller: “Purpose Driven Life”. Vander Plaats says he and his wife, Darla, are excited about their trip to Vatican City this November, but there’s no guarantee the pope will attend this year’s event. Vander Plaats himself will be hosting a big political event NEXT weekend when The Family Leader hosts TEN Republican presidential candidates at a forum in Ames.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3
Cut 4


Sioux County Fair Starts This Weekend

Sioux Center, Iowa — The Sioux County Youth Fair is starting this weekend.
Fair Logo
Starting on Saturday, July 11, the fair will be at the fairgrounds on Sioux Center’s east side. We talked to Craig De Haan who’s on the fair board, and he tells us what’s going on on Saturday.


On Sunday, they’ll have the Queen and Little Miss Coronation at 5:30.

Starting bright and early on Monday, they’ll have the Fair Board Breakfast Fundraiser from 7 AM – 10 AM, followed by lots of 4-H events. The commercial building is open from 3 to 8:30 PM. They’ll have Inflatables from 4 to 8 PM, plus Mini Train Rides, a Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, and more. The pork feed goes from 5:30 to 7 PM on Monday at the Sioux County Fair. There will also be a Madd Hoss Jackson concert.

Tuesday night the inflatables are back as are the mini train rides and the petting zoo. There’s a Kids Pedal Tractor Pull at 5:30, with a Greased Pig Contest at 6:30.

The kids activities are back for Wednesday. Plus at 5 it’s time for the Barnyard Olympics. There’s also a Sprint Car Race at 7.

For more information, click here for the full schedule.

Speaking of county fairs, Osceola’s is July 15th through 18th, O’Brien’s is the 18th through the 23rd, and Lyon’s is the 20th through the 24th.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio player above, click here for the direct link.


Congressman King Defends Display Of Confederate Flag

Washington, DC — Republican Congressman Steve King says he regrets the “tragic, evil and brutal” murders of nine African Americans in a South Carolina church, but he opposes efforts to ban the Confederate flag from Civil War cemeteries run by the National Park Service.steve king forster center


(as said) “I have been listening to this debate over the last week or so and it troubles me greatly over symbolism that has been redefined by a lot of members of the opposite party,” King says.

The chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa this past week made clear he does not want the party of Lincoln associated with the Confederate battle flag after the driver of a Marion County parade float last weekend displayed three Confederate flags on his truck. King, however, says he sees the situation differently.


(as said) “I grew up in the north. The Confederate flag always was a symbol of the pride of the south from where I grew up,” King says. “My family, my predecessors, my ancestors were abolitionists. They went to war to put an end to slavery.”

One of King’s five-times-great uncles served in the Civil War and his grandfather from five generations ago was killed fighting for the Grand Army of the Republic.


(as said) “This country has put this behind us,” King says. “We’ve been through this brutal and bloody battle. We’ve gone back together for the Reconstruction and we’ve healed this country together and I regret deeply that we’re watching this country be divided again over a symbol.”

King says in a free country, “we have to tolerate” speech and symbols that some find offensive, so that people not only have the right to burn “Old Glory”, they have the right to fly the Confederate flag.


(as said) “When I go to Germany and they’ve outlawed the swastika, I look at them and I think: ‘We have a First Amendment. That can’t happen here in the United States because we’re open enough,'” King says.

According to King, the country cannot “erase” history, but should “keep it in front of us” so it can be evaluated by each new generation. King considers the Confederate battle flag to be “part of the country’s heritage.”


(as saied) “Everything about America’s history is not glorious. Everything about our history is not right in our judgment, looking back in hindsight, but none of us know what it was like for the people to live in that time and that era,” King says. “We can accept our history, we be proud of our history, we can unify our country, we can grieve for those who were murdered and we can preserve our First Amendment rights.”

King made two speeches on the topic on Thursday on the floor of the U.S. House. After objections from Democrats, House Republican leaders tabled a vote on a budget bill that would have allowed the limited display of Confederate flags in cemeteries that are adjacent to Civil War battlefields and maintained by the National Park Service. The Republican speaker of the House says he wants to have a bipartisan review of the issue and that will include whether the Confederate flag and its image may continue to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol. The State of Mississippi’s flag is there, for example, and it bears the image of the battle flag of the Confederate Army.

As this debate was raging in Washington, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley approved legislation to remove the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbia, and the flag was removed by an honor guard on Friday morning.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3
Cut 4
Cut 5


Senator Takes Heat For “Quit Whining” Remark

Ocheyedan, Iowa — A northwest Iowa state senator is taking heat after an email exchange earlier this week.

David Johnson 2015
Iowa State Senator David Johnson (R – Ocheyedan)

A high school science teacher in Waterloo sent an email to Republicans in the Iowa Senate, outlining his concerns about state funding for public schools and he was told to “quit whining” by one of them. Vaughn Gross had just ordered supplies for the coming school year when he found out Governor Branstad vetoed nearly 56 million dollars in funding for public schools. Gross then sent a mass email to 23 Republican senators, asking them to support a special session to boost school finances.

Senator David Johnson, a Republican from Ocheyedan replied, saying Gross lacked the courage to reveal where he was from and he told the teacher to “quit whining.” Gross posted the exchange on his Facebook page. He says, “I was surprised by kind of the tone. I didn’t think it was actually him and then gave him a post and, you know, gave him a chance to reply and he said it was him and wasn’t really apologetic about it,” Gross says. “That was pretty shocking.”

Senator Johnson says he gets a lot of unsigned email and he stands by his “quit whining” message. He calls it a “test” to see if the email was genuine — saying, “Sometimes, in order to have a constructive conversation — especially about education, you have to put your foot down and I did,” Johnson says.

Johnson and Gross had an email exchange on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. It was “much more civil” according to the teacher.


(as said) “Had a decent exchange of some ideas,” Gross says. “I mean obviously we have some areas of disagreement, but it was straight-forward and kind of what I expected the first time.”

The senator says the two had a “constructive” conversation, but Johnson says he’s getting plenty of inappropriate messages from others.


(as said) “I’ve been called so many vulgarities,” Johnson says. “I did not engage in vulgar, obscene language.”

Some of those came via email and, while Johnson isn’t on Facebook, Johnson says he’s been told what’s been posted there. Johnson has been a member of the legislature since 1999.

Johnson serves Senate District 1, which covers Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay, and Palo Alto counties.

Story from Radio Iowa

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2


Months Until Bird Flu Facilities Can Restart

Washington, DC — Two Iowans who testified at a Senate Ag Committee hearing on bird flu Tuesday say it will still be several months before their facilities are re-stocked and operating again. James Dean of Sioux Center is the chair of United Egg Producers, and says they want to be sure all the farms around them have the infected birds hauled away before they bring in new birds.
bird flu barns

(as he says)”The worst thing that can happen to us is that we get our farms clean and sanitized, re-populate and then re-infect the farm,” Dean says. “So, we have to make sure that we do have a time period here where farms around us are clean as well.”

Dean says they could have to wait until the end of the year to get new birds in.


(as he says)”We’re hoping that we can start re-populating sometime in November and December. And we feel that it will take us 12 to 16 months before we are re-populated at our farm,” according to Dean.

Turkey farmer Brad Moline of Moline Farms in Manson, says once they get back up and running, they know cool weather could bring another outbreak.


(as he says)”Yes, we’re still very concerned that this could happen again. The last thing we want is this happening again. Frankly, many producers can survive this once, they could not survive a second time,” Moline says.

The bird flu virus is believed to be carried by migratory birds, and thrives in cooler conditions, so the concern increases for another outbreak as the seasons shift.


(as he says)”Maybe not so much this fall — depending on the speed of the migratory birds heading south — but boy we could certainly be in this area next spring for sure. And other parts of the country have to be aware of this,” according to Moline.

Iowa’s U-S Senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, requested the hearing after at least 77 poultry operations in the state were hit by bird flu in 18 counties. More than 31-million birds had to be destroyed after the outbreak.

Story from Radio Iowa

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3
Cut 4