I don’t talk too much about state politics on this blog because I know many who read this blog don’t live in Iowa. This blog post over at the Des Moines Register’s staff blog made my blood boil. Kim Lehman is our National Committee Woman representing Iowa with the National GOP Committee. She is also the President of Iowa Right to Life. The Iowa GOP State Central Committee voted to censure Lehman voting 8-7 (two members were absent) because she didn’t support Mariannette Miller-Meeks in her race to unseat U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.
The blog states:
Lehman, who is also president of Iowa Right to Life, helped distribute a newsletter in October that characterized 2nd Congressional District candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks as supporting abortion.
“Miller-Meeks is pro-abortion and believes in birth control education over abstinence-only,” the newsletter stated. Miller-Meeks, an Ottumwa eye doctor, repeatedly described her position on abortion rights as “pro-life.”
I know Kim and her passion for defending the unborn. I’ve been able to be around her in a variety of settings. I believe that she is a woman of integrity and was happy to give her my vote at the Polk County GOP Convention to send her further on. She would not send a letter out like that if Miller-Meeks was truly pro-life. I think that perhaps the State Central Committee needs to consider a couple of facts here.
1. As president of Iowa Right to Life, which is a non-partisan advocacy group, she is not to be partisan in that role.
2. Since Iowa Right to Life’s is (as they describe themselves) “a diverse group united in our value for human life and the common belief in each individual’s fundamental right to be treated with dignity and respect.” It would stand to reason that she, in her role as the president, to criticize any candidate that is not pro-life regardless of party. I applaud her for that.
For her to blindly support a GOP candidate would mean that she wasn’t fulfilling her role at Iowa Right to Life, and that would be inappropriate. She did it in that capacity. So basically the State Central Committee has a beef with her doing her job.
Censuring Kim Lehman is an example of what is not the way forward if the Iowa GOP desires to make any headway in the next election cycle.