2010 Legislative Reports


Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist

October 25, 2010

If you are paying attention at all, I am sure you have heard or read dozens of opinions on whether to retain or not retain three Supreme Court Justices who will be on the back side of your ballot on November 2nd.  The Register alone ran three top of the Editorial Page Opinions (all supporting retention) and numerous articles (again all giving the edge to retention) about the issue.

Rekha Basu, Register columnist, gave us the benefit of her constitutional acumen in defense of the “Supremes’” Varnum decision.  Let me quote just one paragraph of her article to illustrate the depth of Rekha’s understanding of the issue:

“The idea that if you don’t like the way a judge ruled on a particular case, you should try to engineer his or her ouster is very destructive.  It assumes the justices had ulterior motives, political or personal, though no evidence of a stealth gay rights agenda has surfaced against any of these ones.  If anything, the fact that Terry Branstad, who opposes same-sex marriage appointed two of them, should disprove that.”

Let me answer Rekha.  Engineering their ouster is not very destructive; it is called liberty.  As a citizen, I have the right, the duty to oppose and seek the ouster of public officials who, in my opinion, are doing a lousy job.  Did they have “ulterior motives, political or personal?”  Again, in my opinion, yes, and whether you agree or not, in this Republic I have a right to act on my opinions.  I am not restricted to yours, the Register’s, the lawyers’, retired judges’, ex-governors’, lieutenant governors’, pseudo religious gay rights front organizations’ or anyone else.  If I think a judge has violated their oath to protect and preserve the constitution, I not only will vote against their retention but I will try to convince others they should as well.

There’s a lot more nonsense in Rekha’s article, but she is not alone in her blissful ignorance of the issue and the facts.  Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (a Ron Reagan appointee, Rekha) also came to town and offered her opinion in the Register.  The gist of her public comments as reported in a Register Opinion on Sept. 13th was:  1) Iowa’s method of selecting judges is under attack.  2) “There are some threats to our court systems from judicial elections with the vast amounts of contributions that come into the courtroom.”  3) That “the thing we (the people) want is judges who are afraid to issue such rulings, i.e., (controversial) for fear of the electorate.”

I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who said, and I may be paraphrasing here, “A government that is feared by the people is tyranny; a government that fears the people is liberty.”  Sorry Sandra Day, you missed the whole point.  Our vote for or against retention may or may not change our method of selecting judges.  It will not replace our current system and plunge us into a “buy a judge” system and we want our judges to be mindful of how their decisions will play in the cheap seats.  They can’t just make up things and expect not to be challenged.  They are not immune to public scrutiny.  They are servants and when their service is inferior, they should not expect a TIP.  They should expect to get stiffed.

We also heard from our own Chief Justice Marsha Ternus.  You know, the one who has underage teens drinking alcoholic beverages at her children’s parties on her estate.  But of course she didn’t know about the party.  She was asleep in the mansion at the time.  But her husband was there. Or was he?  Anyway, neither the judge nor her husband received any substantial punishment for this flagrant abuse of the law.  I forget, has the Supreme Court ruled that underage drinking laws apply only to regular people but not the elite people?  But I digress.

Ternus, who said she would not be campaigning to keep her job, has been stumping the state conducting “forums” and educating the public about our judicial selection process.  When is political campaigning not political campaigning?  When an Iowa Supreme Court Justice says it is not, as it applies to her activities.

Ternus, complaining about one of the organizations working to dump her and two of her colleagues, said, Iowa for Freedom “wants our judges to be servants of this group’s ideology, rather than servants of the law.”  According to Blackstone (an Englishman recognized as one of the founders of American Jurisprudence) “The law is the embodiment of the moral sentiments of the people.”  Yes, Marsha, the people are your ultimate masters; not the law as you see it, but the law as they see it.  If you don’t understand this precept or can’t accept it, get off the bench.

Ternus’ arguments at an Ames, Iowa forum on Tuesday, October 12th, were disingenuous and insulting to every Iowa citizen who values the Iowa Constitution and the rule of law.  She made some snide remarks about Pastor Cary Gordon of Sioux City who is challenging the IRS to abridge his right to free speech, showing us that she is even less deserving of continued service on the bench than first imagined.  Maybe after leaving the bench subsequent to the November 2nd retention vote she can go back into private practice and volunteer to help Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) keep underage teenage drinkers off the roads.

The last individual I will mention in this commentary is former Governor Bob Ray.  I have a great deal of respect for Bob Ray, although lately we seem to disagree a lot more on what the Republican Party should stand for.  He appointed me Commissioner of Health twice — the second time even after a vicious attack by Planned Parenthood and a prominent pro-choice Republican state senator.  I had become a born-again believer in 1975.  My position on abortion changed from pro-choice to pro-life which angered Planned Parenthood.  Senator John Murray (R) charged that I was letting my new faith in Christ determine how I ran the Dept. of Health.  He assigned a Senate aide to investigate my activities as Commissioner and whether my faith was affecting my decisions.  When she could find nothing, he edited her report with hearsay and outright lies and gave the governor a 90+ page report.  Bob Ray asked me to respond to the report, which I did, line by line.  He then met with me and the Senator. We talked.  He decided the matter closed and so it was.

I was surprised that Governor Ray would lend his prestige to this group, especially after reading the comments made by former Lt. Gov. Art Neu, Sioux City attorney, Dan Moore and Christie Vilsack.  They all claimed the retention vote was an attempt to “turn back the clock 50 years and politicize Iowa’s judicial branch.” They either don’t get it, don’t want to get it, or are intentionally doing what they accuse groups like Iowa for Freedom of doing – “misleading with the intent to scare Iowa voters.”

Let me say without equivocation.  Your vote not to retain these three justices or any others you may wish to vote on will not change the way judges are chosen.  Only the Legislature and the next governor can do that.  Here are some other facts you need to know before you vote:

The system is already politicized.  The Bar Association and the Trial Lawyers control the system and choose candidates with proven track records of supporting these organizations’ political and social agenda.

  1. Iowa’s Supreme Court was studied by the gay advocate organization that brought the Varnum case to Iowa and was rated as “gay friendly” to “extremely gay friendly.”
  2. Voting on judge retention is not an attack on the system we use to choose judges.  It is part of the system.
  3. You have a right and a duty to voice your pleasure or displeasure with the Courts by exercising your retention vote.
  4. Whether these judges are retained or not, this is not the end of the issue of dealing with Iowa’s activist judges.  It is the beginning.

I have voted no on most judges for decades.  This year I am more informed and more committed to voice my opinion on Iowa’s judges.  I will turn over my ballot to the judge retention section and vote NO on these three Supreme Court Justices and at least one District 5c judge, Robert B. Hanson; the judge who issued the original Varnum decision does not deserve my support.


Norm Pawlewski – ICA Lobbyist

August 9, 2010


Boston, Massachusetts – STRIKE ONE!

During the first week of July, District Judge Joseph Tauro in Boston, Massachusetts, ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  This ruling now holds in Massachusetts only; it does not affect homosexual marriages performed in the state of Iowa.  However, if the decision is appealed, and upheld by higher courts, it will affect Iowa and every other state where homosexual marriage is legal.  And this is where the confirmation of Elena Kagan as a Supreme Court Justice, and the homosexual friendly Justice Dept. of Eric Holder comes into play.

Elena Kagan, Solicitor General, was the White House chief litigator and responsible for directing the government’s defense of DOMA.  During her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she was confronted by Sen. Chuck Grassley to “explain why the Justice Department abandoned the argument that traditional marriage nationally serves the legitimate interest of promoting the raising of children by both parents, which Congress could reasonably conclude is the optimal environment for raising children?”  She stammered through a response, claiming that she wasn’t the “decision maker.”  Bull hockey!  She was the ultimate decision maker and strategist for the government’s defense of the DOMA which 427 members of Congress voted to pass in 1996.  Legal scholars who evaluated the government’s defense said the Department of Justice (DOJ) “threw the case,” intentionally sabotaged its own defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  In a July 9, 2010 article by Bob Unruh on World Net Daily, the Liberty Counsel stated, “in arguments submitted by the Obama administration in the case, the government ‘expressly disavowed the purposes set forth by Congress in passing DOMA.’  In particular, the administration stated in a September 2009 memorandum that ‘the government does not rely on certain purported interests set forth in the legislative history of DOMA, including the purported interests in ‘responsible procreation and child-rearing’ – that is, the assertions that (1) the government’s interest in ‘responsible procreation’ justifies limiting marriage to a union between one man and one woman and (2) that the government has an interest in promoting the raising of children by both of their biological parents.”  The Liberty Counsel said, “Not only did the administration disavow these important legislative justifications for DOMA, but it relied on various politically motivated statements by medical and social science organizations for the proposition that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.  Having disavowed Congress’s stated purposes for DOMA, the administration argued that Congress passed DOMA to maintain the status quo.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.      (A copy of Sen. Grassley’s justification of his no vote for Kagan is available at http://www.iowachristian.com/grassley_statement_kagan.htm .)

However, the truth to this administration and Elena Kagan in particular is whatever they want it to be.  Elena Kagan, who directed the defense of DOMA, lied by omission, to the District Court and lied by disingenuousness, to Senator Grassley.  (Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch has filed a formal complaint to the U.S. Supreme Court asking that Elena Kagan be disbarred.  He requested a criminal investigation into her statements before the Senate Judiciary Committee and said “the effort will be expanded to seek her impeachment.”  For the complete story, go to World Net Daily’s site and scroll down to the article entitled, “Watchdog: We’ll seek Kagan’s disbarment and impeachment.”)

I count this as “strike one” against the traditional definition of marriage because I believe Judge Tauro’s decision will be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court and, therefore, place the federal DOMA at risk.




Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8, approved by 52% or 7 million California voters, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman is “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses,” referring to parts of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Walker wrote in his 136 page opinion, “The evidence shows that, by every available metric, opposite-sex couples are not better than their same-sex counterparts; instead as partners, parents and citizens, opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are equal.”  Poppycock, balderdash, absurd, inaccurate, stupid, uninformed, biased, and shameful.  This assertion is so politically correct and scientifically invalid that for it to appear in a judicial opinion is disgraceful.

In 2004 the New Hampshire Legislature passed SB 427, Chapter 100.2, Laws of 2004. Commission to Study All Aspects of Same Sex Civil Marriage and the Legal Equivalents Thereof, Whether Referred to as Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships.  After 16 months, meeting 20 times in the last seven months, listening to 200 citizens and reviewing scores more and additionally receiving input of dozens of specialists in medicine, social science and public policy, they came to the following conclusion:  (http://www.iowachristian.com/Executive_Summary.pdf)  “Marriage as currently defined does make a difference to our society. One of the great strengths of marriage may well be that individuals participating in it do not have to be aware of the source of those benefits to receive them.  We believe that a deep and thoughtful review of the issues will lead the Legislature and the people of New Hampshire to similar conclusions about the important role that marriage plays in our society and how we should strengthen rather than weaken its ability to play those roles.”

Unfortunately, although the report clearly indicates that one man and one woman marriage benefits society greatly, especially in regard to the welfare of children, the state of New Hampshire ignored its commission, played politics and legalized gay marriage.  (A copy of the Executive Summary of the Final Report can be accessed on ICA’s Web site.)

Another study that Judge Walker should have read is:  “Homosexual Marriage:  A Social Science View” by Dr. Laura A. Haynes, Psychologist, Tustin California, October 5, 2008.  This extensively footnoted study has been made available on ICA’s Web site in the past.  We again make it available for those who want to know the truth about gay relationships and their effect on society as a whole and children in particular.  http://www.narth.com/docs/CPASSAmarriage.pdf

This study is loaded with undeniable facts obtained by serious researchers.  Please read it, have your friends and family read it, especially your teenagers.  They are being indoctrinated, in school, on the street by peers and some teachers.  This study is not X-rated.

Why is Judge Walker’s decision STRIKE TWO?  Because it will be appealed to the ninth circuit Court of Appeals, upheld, and then appealed to the Supreme Court, leading to another opportunity to have the definition of marriage in DOMA to be declared unconstitutional.  That leads me to what could be the final strike against traditional marriage.


Elena Kagan, Obama’s appointee to the Supreme Court, has been characterized by her critics as “a moral train wreck,” a nightmare in black” who “will be to individual rights and the Constitution what Stalin was to Polish nationalism” (I really get that one) and “a woman who has worked fervently to advance the goals of the Democratic Party and liberal causes, usually at the expense of those with whom she disagrees politically or ideologically.”  But the most troubling characterization of her comes from the Democrats who “have promoted the former dean of Harvard Law School as a legal scholar and consensus builder who is respected and personally well liked by liberals and conservatives alike.”  When either or both the Massachusetts or California decisions come before the Supreme Court, will her charm and guile mixed with her penchant for obfuscating and playing loose with the truth convince “old swing vote” Justice Kennedy to do one of his “Gee whiz, I can really be important by doing what’s controversial, not what’s right?”  My guess is she will, and he will.  STRIKE THREE!  We’re out and so is our culture of decency.  All the constitutional amendments (30 minus California) and all other state DOMA’s will be obliterated and as in Europe, morality will have only a token influence.

I hope I’m wrong.  I have no special revelation from God; but I do have the common sense He gave me and that scares me.

However, my brothers and sisters in Christ, remember that “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”  ~~~ 2 Cor. 4:8, 9.

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  2 Cor. 4: 16-18

May my Lord and my God richly bless you.

COMMENTARY – Norm Pawlewski, Lobbyist

Norm Pawlewski – ICA Lobbyist

June 6, 2010


I believe the Republican Primary races on Tuesday, June 8th, are critical and likely the most important primaries in this decade.  Hopefully, we will choose the best of our best to carry our standard forward to the general election in November.  That election will determine whether we will slow or stop the slide toward bigger and more intrusive government, derail fiscal irresponsibility and protect what is left of our culture.  In my opinion, the stakes are that high.  We owe our children and grandchildren the opportunity to realize the liberty and prosperity we have, to one degree or another, been privileged to enjoy.

Although ICA claims bi-partisanship, we refuse to abandon our senses, principles or biblical worldview in favor of it.  We seldom find Democrat candidates who warrant our consideration, let alone support.  Therefore, if you are a Democrat, you can stop reading this commentary, now.

The ICA Board has, in almost all primaries, declined to endorse, or in any way choose candidates to support or oppose in the primary election.  In the past, some Board members or staff may have personally seen fit to do so, but for the most part, they also choose to share their preferences privately.  As ICA’s lobbyist, I agree with their policy and, therefore, adhere to it.

Some pundits and, sorry to say, other biblical worldview organizations have been critical of us for our public neutrality.  They have chosen to publicly endorse some primary candidates and also attack others.  We have not.  We have been called “gutless” and (this is most offensive) not as “Christian” as our critics.  What audacity and, sadly, how un-Christian.  I respect their decision to participate in the political process as they choose.  I ask only that they respect ours.

What will I say about the primary races?  As voters, we have the duty and responsibility to examine each candidate with at least three things in mind.

  1. Does the candidate’s worldview, for the most part, mirror mine?
  2. Am I comfortable that their character will compel them to govern based on that worldview?
  3. Do they have any chance of being elected in November?

In some cases, number three may play a smaller role than one and two.   But it should not be ignored.

I don’t know about you, but endorsements do not influence me very much.  I prefer to find out as much about the candidates as I can by reading about them, listening to what they say and what others say about them.  In other words, I check them out, examine both pro and con, and then decide.  I don’t rely on some one person or group of persons to “tell me” who to vote for.  The information about candidates is there, on the Internet, and elsewhere.  As far as possible, seek unbiased sources.  Everyone has a record and even self-produced Web sites can reveal more or less than the candidate has intended.

I will say this about the Republican primary candidates running this year.  There are very few clinkers among them.  If you have paid any attention at all, they have revealed who they are and chances of them becoming our 2010 standard bearers are next to nil.

If you have not as yet made your choices, please use the little time that’s left to study the candidates in the races in which you have doubt.  If you want me to pick your candidates for you, please send me your ballot and I’ll be glad to do it.  Absurd, isn’t it?

However, you can be sure that between June 9th and next November we will give you all the information you need to make an informed choice.

We encourage you to be highly informed as you go to the polls on June 8th.  Historically only a small percentage of registered voters take the time to vote in primary election despite the fact that their favored candidate may not make it to the

November election.  Don’t let this happen to you. Polling stations will be open from 7 AM to 9 PM. For a complete list of candidates as well as more information about where to vote visit   http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/voterinformation/primary2010.html .

To find your district information visit http://www.legis.state.ia.us/findleg/

To find your polling place visit http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx

To find out if you are registered to vote in Iowa and find out where to vote visit http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/voterreg/regtovote/search.aspx

If you have questions regarding voting in your area contact your County Auditor’s office.  You can locate County Auditor information at http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/auditors/auditorslist.html

Other questions you might have can be answered at http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/electioninfo/primaryfaq.html

Candidate Surveys

Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist

May 19, 2010


Yesterday evening a local radio talk show host and his co-host discussed an e-mail from a Republican leader to Republican candidates about whether or not, and supposedly, how, candidates should answer opinion surveys from organizations, including the Iowa Christian Alliance.

Although some of you are not in the listening area of WHO radio, you may read blogs or other communications commenting on the show’s content.  I am only addressing what I know to be comments by the host that do not square with the facts as they apply to ICA.

The host took issue with a statement in the e-mail that implied these organizations, including ICA, were, in essence, having their survey questions vetted by the Republican Party.  ICA’s questionnaire was developed by Drew Klein and me.  We did not clear the questionnaire or any question on the survey with anyone other than appropriate ICA leadership.  In fact, what Drew and I drew up as a final version of the survey was what went to every candidate running for office at the state and national level.  We do not send surveys to candidates for local offices (i.e., county city or town).

Another issue raised by the talk show host was a statement in the e-mail to candidates that they could answer ICA’s survey because ICA is not going to publish the surveys. That’s only partly true.  We agreed not to display the survey documents on our Web site in return for the Republican Party candidate staff to withdraw their counsel to candidates to not answer our survey, since in some past campaigns candidate answers were twisted or misrepresented in campaign literature or media advertising.

We will provide our supporters and other voters a means of getting the information they need to make an informed decision on who they should support.  We are working on that now and will have a system in place in plenty of time for the November election.  We never get involved in primary elections; but if we have information about a candidate, a query to our Webmaster or me will get you whatever information we have.

The final misrepresentation of ICA’s activities discussed on this show was that ICA will not tell people which candidates are pro-life and which are not.  That is true.  We never have labeled candidates on the basis of their survey answers to our Right to Life questions.  We report their replies on the voter guides, leaving the meaning of their responses to you the voter. If you are a pro-life voter, you will easily be able to                        judge for yourself the candidate’s commitment to the Right to Life.

We wanted you to know what ICA is and is not doing during this election cycle.  Before this e-mail went out from the party about answering our survey, we probably had 80% of the candidate surveys in hand.  We never receive many Democrat surveys.  This cycle we received two, and a letter from one telling us what he wanted us to know about him.  “I personally hold to the sanctity of life, marriage, and family.  I also hold to a strict separation of church and state – first and foremost the protection of our Christian congregations and secondly for the protection of our Constitution.”  That’s only a sample of what Roger Huston, Democrat candidate for House District 47, said in his letter.  He would not answer our survey.  The balance of his letter and a Google of his name told me why he wrote a letter telling ICA what a good, solid Christian he is but would not respond to the simple statements on our survey that would allow ICA to judge his conservative credentials.

If you would like more information about thesubject matter of this e-mail, please call me at 515-287-1291 or the ICA office at 515-225-1515.

Legislature Wraps Up – Goes Home

Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist

March 30, 2010

Legislature Wraps Up – Goes Home

Thank you Lord!

The Legislature had set a target number of days they would meet at a maximum of 80.  They met it with a little to spare.

Before they left, House and Senate Democrat leaders claimed a number of accomplishments.  I won’t bore you with all they claimed, but here’s a few you might find interesting:

  • They passed a balanced budget without raising taxes.  The state budget has an ending balance of $160 million and put a total of $200 million into savings accounts.  (The governor projected a surplus of $382 million.)
  • They accomplished government reform and reorganization.  State government is leaner and more accountable to the public.  Reorganization will save taxpayers over $120 million this year and almost $190 million over the next five years.  (The governor had projected a savings of $340 million this year.)
  • They provided for more affordable higher education with an appropriation of $10 million in new dollars to Iowa’s community colleges and more than $550 million to Iowa’s public universities.
  • They expanded efforts to bring health insurance to all children.  (The original bill, sponsored by Sen. Jack Hatch was significantly scaled back because of funding limitations.)
  • They made it easier for rural residents to access health care and for rural hospitals to be paid for the care they provide.
  • They passed tougher laws on sex offenders and Internet sex predators, denying weapons to domestic abusers while expanding gun rights for law abiding citizens, and new traffic laws that will save lives.  (Texting while driving?)

I think that’s enough.  I’m getting sick to my stomach.

What they did not accomplish would fill your mailbox to capacity.

Here are a few things they did not do:

  • They did not cut spending enough to cover the almost $1 billion the state is short in next year’s budget.
  • They did not vote on and pass a definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman amendment to the Iowa Constitution.
  • They did not assert their right as the only institution of state government legally empowered by the Iowa Constitution to promulgate the laws of Iowa.
  • They did not create, debate and pass legislation to protect teenage girls, young and mature women from chemical abortions provided by Planned Parenthood without the benefit of a hands-on physical exam by a physician in 20 plus family planning clinics.
  • They did not allow debate on legislation that would require that teenagers and women be fully informed about the immediate and deferred risks of abortion prior to consenting to abortion.
  • They did not allow debate and consideration of legislation that would seek to protect the rights of Iowa’s citizens from the unconstitutional provisions of Obamacare.
  • They did not challenge the increased funding some legislators obtained for Planned Parenthood by increasing eligibility to Medicaid family planning benefits from 200% of federal poverty to 300% of federal poverty, increasing the age of women by ten years to age 55 and adding the sterilization of men of any age.
  • They did not allow for a debate of a pharmacists’ conscience clause which would have prohibited requiring a pharmacist from having to dispense a specific medication if doing so is against the pharmacist’s religious or moral beliefs.
  • They did not allow for debate of legislation that would assert the sovereignty of Iowa under the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution over all powers not specifically granted to the federal government.
  • They did not allow debate of a bill that would exempt certain entities from being required to solemnize, celebrate or promote a marriage.  The bill would create a conscience clause allowing wedding photographers, planners, florists, etc., to refuse to participate in a homosexual marriage if that event violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

There’s much more they didn’t do that they should have and did do they shouldn’t have.  I’m sure we will be bringing more of these didn’ts and dids during the coming campaign season.

We will, in our next e-mail, begin to provide you with information about candidates’ targeted races and whatever we can that will help get you informed and involved.

~~“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” ~~1 John 5:14, 15

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