Governor Terry Branstad and Bob Vander Plaats — candidates who competed in a contentious Republican primary in 2010 — are still quarrelling in public.
The latest skirmish comes over an anti-bullying conference — the Governor’s Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Youth. Bob Vander Plaats, the second-place finisher in the 2010 GOP Primary, is now the CEO of a conservative Christian organization called The Family Leader. Vander Plaats issued a statement this morning (read it here) saying Governor Terry Branstad and his staff were “puppets to a far-left agenda” by refusing to take the governor’s name off that conference.
“I can’t help but laugh at that,” Branstad told reporters this morning, after he and his staff laughed when a reporter read Vander Plaats’ statement aloud. “I’m not a puppet to anybody. He knows better than that.”
Vander Plaats asserts that the conference will help “accelerate” a gay agenda in Iowa schools. Branstad last week said he believes in treating everyone with respect and dignity and no one should be bullied in school.
The annual Governor’s Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Youth is put on by the “Iowa Safe Schools” group. It was started during former Governor Tom Vilsack’s tenure and continued during Governor Chet Culver’s term in office. Both Vilsack and Culver are Democrats.