DES MOINES – Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats said today his willingness to take a strong stand to protect the separation of powers and hold activist courts in check distinguishes him from at least one of his primary election opponents, former House Speaker Christopher Rants.
Vander Plaats said during the Jan Mickelson program on WHO Radio with guest host Bill Salier that he would sign an executive order banning same-sex marriages as part of an effort to give Iowans the right to vote on the issue. Rants, who has said he does not believe the governor has the authority to sign an order, would limit his attempts to using the bully pulpit of the office.
“With all due respect to Representative Rants, I believe that’s the kind of leadership that’s brought us from being the majority in the state to being the minority in the state,” said Vander Plaats, who defeated Rants by more than a two-to-one margin in a poll conducted last week by TheIowaRepublican.com. ““When you give complete power over to the Supreme Court, you’ll have tyranny not liberty.”
Noting that Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order that defied a Supreme Court decision, Vander Plaats added, “Executives need to lead. This is not about winning the office it’s about leading. That’s what separates me from anyone else out there.”
Vander Plaats expressed confidence that he can win “any primary that presents itself,” but added, “This is not about winning a primary. This is about winning the leadership of Iowa. That means you have to defeat Chet Culver and cast a vision for Iowa. You don’t get to lead unless you win. You don’t get to govern unless you win.”
Vander Plaats said he has more education degrees and experience than Gov. Chet Culver, a former high school teacher. He also has more front-line human services experience. Education and human services comprise more than three-fourths of the state budget.
“Culver’s going to be about growing a bureaucracy and growing government. I’m going to be about growing people’s potential. We need to be able to get into his base … that’s how we win with Chet Culver,” Vander Plaats said. “Everyone knows Culver doesn’t want to run on his own record. That means he’s going to run on someone else’s record. In my vision, we’re going to open up Iowa for business … with a competitive tax structure and regulation structure. When you have a vibrant business economy the ripple effect is dynamic.”
Vander Plaats said he would move the state toward a flat tax. He noted that a simplified, competitive tax structure would help businesses of all sizes and help draw young entrepreneurs, including former Iowans, back to the state. “I know we can’t get there overnight but I don’t think the founders of this state thought we should have to jump through all these hoops and hire people to figure out our taxes,” he said.
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