Thursday, April 23

Pulling Out the Stops

Grafton state senator Merlin Bartz is using the the state Towa Senate Republican Caucus website to encourage voters to petition county recorders to "appeal directly to you, our county recorder, to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples on April 27th, 2009, and every day after, until such conflict between the Supreme Court’s opinion and the law is addressed by a VOTE OF THE PEOPLE OF
IOWA." On the website supporters are asked to distribute the petition to "anybody you feel who would be inclined to help in this endeavor" and to "send a copy for accountability purposes to the Iowa Family Policy Center, 1100 N. Hickory, Ste. 107, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327."

In response, former State Representative Ed Fallon and his wife Lynn's group I'm for Iowa "plan to deliver to Secretary of the Senate Mike Marshall at 11:15 this morning their formal ethics complaint against Senator Merlin Bartz for encouraging county recorders to break the law by refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples."

"For a state senator to use his office and public resources to encourage other elected officials to disobey a unanimous ruling of the Iowa Supreme Court is unconscionable, and possibly a violation of state law,” said Ed Fallon. “Thus, Lynn and I have filed a complaint with the chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, Senator Jack Kibbie, inquiring as to whether Senator Bartz’s action is a violation of his oath of office.”

Meanwhile likely gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats will have a press conference at 11:30 today to pressure governor Chet Culver to use an executive order to stay Iowa county recorders from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning next Monday.

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