“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” Branstad says. “There are some people that I think feel very strongly about that issue.”
A bill that would raise the state gas tax by a dime over the next three years cleared a House subcommittee last week with the backing of the panel’s Republican chairman. Branstad has said he would not veto a gas tax hike if it clears the legislature. Iowa GOP chairman A.J. Spiker says the gas tax hike “seems to be the creature that just won’t die” and Spiker’s asking Republicans to tell their legislature to “kill” the proposal “once and for all.”
Branstad today said it will be up to state convention delegates this summer to decide if Spiker’s “direction” for the party is the one Republicans embrace.
“I have a lot of trust in our political system, in the caucuses and in the conventions, and in fact of that the people of Iowa that choose to be active in the Republican Party have the right to choose their own leadership,” Branstad told reporters this morning.
Branstad’s 2014 reelection campaign spent time and resources encouraging Branstad’s supporters to attend last month’s Iowa Caucuses. It was an attempt to dilute the influence libertarians who supported Ron Paul’s presidential campaign secured by participating in Iowa’s 2012 Caucuses.
AUDIO of Branstad’s weekly news conference
Copy of Spiker’s letter to Republicans:
Forget Frankenstein’s Monster. The gas tax hike seems to be the creature that just won’t die!
Last year the Republican Party of Iowa did everything possible to ensure taxes weren’t raised on Iowa families.
And we won! But we didn’t do it alone. We had your support.
And we had the support of Republicans, Independents and even some Democrats.
The Iowa GOP made it clear we would do absolutely everything we could to stop tax hikes.
But now there are some legislators still trying to raise taxes; taking even more money from hardworking Iowans.
Just last week an Iowa panel of legislators voted to approve the plan to raise your taxes.
Click here right away to find your state legislators and tell them to kill this tax hike on hardworking Iowa families once and for all.
But don’t worry, this fight has only just begun. And just like last year, the Iowa GOP refuses to back down.
As Republicans we believe we need to cut taxes, not raise them.
The platform of the Republican Party of Iowa even specifically says, “We oppose any increase in fuel taxes.” – Section 26.5
It’s as clear as day. Republicans need to oppose an increase in the fuel tax, and the Republican Party of Iowa has an obligation to defend our platform.
Over this legislative session the Iowa GOP will do everything within its power to oppose an increase in the fuel tax.
Make sure to contact your legislators and tell them to kill this horrible bill once and for all.
And consider aiding the Iowa GOP to stop the gas tax increase with a contribution of $35, $25 or even $20.14
— A.J. Spiker Chairman
P.S. We’re digging in to defend the party platform that Republicans voted for at our last state convention. We owe it to Republicans statewide to hold strong on our conservative principles. Please help us stand for limited government and against tax hikes. Support the Iowa GOP with a contribution today.