A leader in the Iowa Tea Party movement says one of their priorities for the 2012 election will be the defeat of the Democratic leader of the Iowa Senate.
“Senator Mike Gronstal is absolutely not listening to the people and he’s basically shunned the idea that any Tea Partier should be heard,” says Ryan Rhodes, co-chair of the Iowa Tea Party Patriots. “And that is not acceptable.”
Rhodes says Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) is blocking key issues Tea Party activists support.
“Senate Gronstal, in his essentially stalling…shoving the legislation in a corner where the people can’t vote on it,” Rhodes says.
Gronstal has repeatedly pledged to block senate action on proposal that sets up a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment which would ban gay marriage. Rhodes says many new Republican members of the Iowa House are pushing the Tea Party agenda, but they can only push it so far.
“That’s really what’s angering people right now is once again we flipped an awful lot of people,” Rhodes says, referring to 2010 Republican victories in legislative districts, “but we have one single person standing there in the way of progress.”
And Rhodes says there are other issues where Gronstal has taken a stand at odds with the views of the Tea Party. One of those is state support of preschool programs. Gronstal opposes Republican plans to end state funding of preschool for all four-year-olds. Rhodes says it’s a program the state can’t afford.
Rhodes made his comments this morning during taping of the “Iowa Press” program which will air tonight on Iowa Public Television.
In late January, on the same IPTV program, Gronstal said he accepts the “reality” that every decision he makes “can result in (his) defeat in the next election.” And Gronstal said he wasn’t going to change his mind on key issues because, he said, “I don’t give up what I believe in.”