A big day for Cruz in Fort Dodge, other GOP convention sites4/13/2016
GOP party platform calls for banning abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, the Iowa caucuses winner who maintains clear-and-convincing Hawkeye State grassroots networking, picked up 11 of 12 national convention delegates selected at regional party conventions Saturday — including three in the 4th District gathering in Fort Dodge.
“We have (Donald) Trump or we have Cruz,” said State Sen. Jason Schultz of Schleswig, the highest vote getter of the Fort Dodge-selected delegates who said he’s with Cruz and will fight any efforts by party insiders to nominate anyone else for president.
Another 15 delegates from Iowa will be chosen at the GOP state convention in May, and they’ll be joined by three state GOP officials, bringing’s Iowa’s delegation total to 30.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture made news in the marathon day (the convention lasted more than nine hours) with his endorsement of U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for re-election to Congress. King faces a primary challenge from conservative state Sen. Rick Bertrand of Sioux City.
“This district needs to support a strong conservative,” Northey said.
King quickly returned the favor, suggesting a Republican president should keep the U.S. secretary of agriculture’s office in Iowa hands by nominating Northey to succeed Democrat Tom Vilsack.
“I think maybe Secretary Northey sounds pretty good to me,” King said.
Bertrand did not attend the convention. Staffers with his campaign declined to comment on the absence.
The more than 600 voting delegates in Fort Dodge spent much of the afternoon narrowing the fields of people who want to represent their party as delegates to the national convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21.
But in addition to lunchtime turkey and ham sandwiches, they were served heaping helpings of political red meat.
Charles Grassley, a six-term, 82-year-old U.S. senator, roused the audience in the Fort Dodge High School gymnasium with a fiery speech aimed primarily at President Barack Obama’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, an appeals court judge.
Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is blocking a hearing for Garland, arguing that a president late in his second term shouldn’t have the power to make a lifetime appointment to what is a divided court.
“I hope you think about this being bigger than one seat on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Grassley said.
Grassley said Supreme Court justices who were initially labeled as moderates often proved not to be.
“You can’t vote these lifetime appointments out of office,” Grassley said.
Grassley predicted his re-election in November would be far from a clear sail in the wake of the Supreme Court battle.
In his remarks to the convention, King said Grassley is “protecting the Constitution” by denying a hearing to Garland.
Some of the strongest words of the day came from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, a Republican who said he’s troubled with an argument from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund calling for voting rights for many felons in prison in an ongoing State Supreme Court case.
Pate said liberals want to put the future of democracy in the hands of dangerous people.
“They want child molesters and rapists and murderers to play a large role,” Pate said.
He suggested prisoners in Anamosa or Fort Dodge could be the deciding factors in sheriffs’ races in Jones and Webster counties, should the voting rights of felons in prison be restored.
The only debate on the 4th District platform came over whether to make language supporting home schooling stronger.
State Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, chaired the 4th District Convention. CV
Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who resides in Carroll. He and his family own and publish newspapers in Carroll, Jefferson and other neighboring communities.
What’s in the 4th District Republican platform?
Delegates to Iowa’s 4th Congressional District convention approved a platform of principles covering a sweep of topics. Among them are:
Elimination of the federal income tax and replacement with a flat tax.
“Aggressively support” a “Life Begins At Conception” bill in Iowa with no circumstances exceptions for abortion.
Support of amendments to the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions defining marriage as “between one natural man and one natural woman.”
Backing a “conscience clause” so that no organization or business can be penalized for refusing services that violate their religious beliefs.
Elimination of all public sector unions.
Opposition to any energy mandates associated with global warming.
Parents should be able to “opt-out” children from vaccinations.
Support of term limits for federal and state elected officials.