Dear Speaker-Elect Paulsen,
An AP article published by The Des Moines Register on Saturday quoted you saying, “The overwhelming issues that I think will consume the bulk of the 2011 session are going to be spending, taxes and getting Iowans back to work. I think that was the overriding issue on people’s minds when they went to the polls.”
I agree that the economy was the leading issue. As a fiscal conservative I was (and am) concerned about overspending and was as disgusted you probably are about outgoing Governor, Chet Culver’s, payback to union supporters via a wage increase. I am also appalled by the wasteful spending that is inherent in the I-JOBS program, and am concerned about the property tax increases that were seen due to his fiscal mismanagement. I applaud your desire to cut the budget by $300 million. I also want to see our business climate improve through business income tax cuts, as well as, seeing business property taxes reduced so Iowa has a better environment for private job creation. I also want to see personal income tax cuts addressed because I believe we should keep more of what we make.
I also can multitask, and expect you and other Republican legislative leaders to do the same. To say that marriage is not an overwhelming issue is to ignore reality. Voters took the time to flip the ballot over and take the unprecedented step of ousting three Iowa Supreme Court justices. Shortly after the election you indicated that you wanted the Iowa House to endorse a statewide vote when you said, “I expect us to handle that resolution sooner rather than later. What exactly that means is something we’ll have to talk about.”
Talk is cheap however. We want to see action. All we have seen was talk since 2009, and now you are in a position to do something about it. A marriage amendment is a lengthy process so it should start now. The only scenario where I would be satisfied with a vote on a marriage amendment being delayed until 2012 is if the Iowa House re-passes the Defense of Marriage Act with language that removes jurisdiction from Iowa’s courts.
Judicial reform needs to be addressed as well, or do you think Courts are only going to meddle with social issues? There are a whole host of social issues that should be addressed as well from late term abortion to school choice to religious liberty. Again we understand the need to prioritize, but those of us who are social conservatives as well as fiscal conservatives (which is your base and the majority in the GOP) will not tolerate a lack of action on some of our priorities.
Your rhetoric is of concern. You also were quoted saying, “I think if you look, we campaigned on getting Iowans back to work, we campaigned on smaller, more efficient government, addressing the budget, eliminating the debt. Those are the things that every single House Republican campaigned on.”
And many in your caucus campaigned on social issues as well. Simply put Mr. Speaker, ignore social conservatives if you want, but don’t think we will ignore you. You can’t keep majority status without us, and we’re tired of talk. Now is time to act.