Iowa conservatives have sent another letter to Republican U-S Senators who’re thinking about running for president in 2008. Steve Scheffler, president of the Christian Coalition of Iowa, says they want to ensure the senators know that Senate confirmation of President Bush’s judicial nominees is a big issue to conservatives.
“The purpose of the letter is to encourage the Republican senators to get rid of this so-called 60-vote fillibuster rule that in the past has never, ever been used to judge judicial nominees,” Scheffler says.
“Certainly, a fillibuster involves people talking for a long time but eventually letting things come to a vote and that’s just not the way things have transpired (on Bush’s judicial nominees) and we’re just encouraging especially those ’08 presidential candidates to take a strong stand on this.”
Scheffler and the other Iowa conservatives single out Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska for thanks because Hagel expressed disappointment at the deal a dozen senators devised that did not guarantee an up-or-down vote on all of the President’s nominees to federal courts. The group, which calls itself “Iowa Conservatives for Fairness,” also targeted Senator John McCain of Arizona for being one of the 12 senators who struck the deal that did not guarantee a vote on all of President Bush’s judicial nominees.
“There’s sort of a strong message to John McCain that he needs to back off in trying to take the limelight here and undoing years of work to get people elected to office who put forth an agenda that the American people voted for in 2000 and 2004,” Scheffler says.
The head of the Iowa Family Policy Center, officials from Iowans for Tax Relief, the executive director of the Iowa Right to Life Committee, an Iowa spokeswoman for Concerned Women for America and two other Iowa Christian Coalition officials co-signed the letter to the prospective presidential candidates who currently serve in the U-S Senate.
“We want them to know that when they come to Iowa to campaign for president that, you know, people are going to be reminded of what the did or didn’t do right in terms of this issue,” Scheffler says. Iowa Republicans will hold the first caucus in the 2008 presidential campaign. Scheffler says the conservatives and the groups they represent have never before come together in such a unified effort on an issue.
“Even though we all have our own particular niche, there are things that we can work on together and this is certainly one of those projects,” Scheffler says. “It’s not an effort to necessarily steer anybody or a group of people towards a particular candidate but to make sure that people who attend caucuses in 2008 are fully aware of their voting records and political track records.”