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10/05/2010

Poll: Vindictive Iowa For Freedom campaign unnecessarily divides state

by Jeremy Hooper

A Des Moines Register poll turns up completely non-shocking yet thoroughly frustrating findings in regards to the state's upcoming judicial retention vote:

Forty-four percent of Iowans who plan to cast a ballot in the retention election say they will vote "yes" to all three justices. Forty percent will vote to remove all three, and 16 percent say they want to retain some.

More than one-fourth of all likely voters are either undecided or plan to leave the retention boxes blank, according to the poll.
...
Senior citizens, Republicans, men, tea party supporters, born-again Christians, low-income voters and those with only a high school education were more likely to vote "no" to all the justices, the poll found.
Iowa Poll: Retention of justices a tossup [Des Moines Register]

We say not surprising, because the three justices up fro retention are essentially sitting ducks. The so-called "Iowa For Mob Rule" "Iowa For Freedom" coalition, working hand-in-hand with the National Organization For Marriage and the American Family Association, is waging an incredibly expensive campaign of disinformation against the justices for no reason other than their marriage 6A00D8341C503453Ef0134869C87C4970Cequality decision. So whereas in other years this vote would be among the more benign and non-politicized, the anti-gay social conservatives have turned it into a rally cry for the state's fellow foes of marital fairness. A chance to blow off steam. A religious catharsis. An attempt to get some form of retaliation against "activist judges™." How are the non-campaigning, non-fundraising, non-partisan justices supposed to match that? The odds are against them, unfortunately.

We say totally frustrating, because these poll results show exactly why this campaign is so dangerous to our fair and independent judiciary. The poll shows a seismic divide along party lines, faith views, age, education, and a whole host of other issues that are so commonly exploited for the sake of disinformation. Wven if you take marriage equality and gay rights out of it: The almost more concerning point of discussion is the way that partisan, faith-based, out of state special interests groups have taken it upon themselves to enrage a fired up mob with muddied notions of what is and is not the judiciary's proper role in determining civil rights matters. It's a threat that goes way beyond marriage. Hell, it's not even something that's going to directly affect the Varnum decision. But it is something that threatens a co-equal branch of American government: A precious entity that we'll surely miss when it's gone.

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