Posts Tagged ‘Iowa’

Anti-bullying group barred from Catholic school ceremony

Posted on: May 8th, 2012 by Andy Birkey 5 Comments

Keaton Fuller via Eychaner Foundation

The Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, said Monday that a foundation supportive of LGBT students cannot present a scholarship to a student at one of the Diocese’s schools because the foundation’s mission is “contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

The Eychaner Foundation, an anti-bullying group, awarded high school senior Keaton Fuller a $40,000 scholarship named after Matthew Shepard. The Prince of Peace Catholic School and the Eychaner Foundation had previously reached a written agreement to allow a foundation representative to attend the school’s award ceremony on May 20 and do a brief presentation.

That agreement, obtained by The American Independent, stated: “Please verify that the correct date and time are provided above with the correct name and contact information for the event coordinator and that the scholarship may be presented by a foundation representative if student is awarded a Matthew Shepard Scholarship.”

It was signed in mid-March by the school’s scholarship coordinator.

But last week, the school reneged, apparently after the Diocese intervened. Instead of a presentation by the Eychaner foundation, the Diocese says the award will be presented by a school staff member.

“On Friday, April 27th, my family and I were told by the school that a member of the foundation would not be permitted to present this award at graduation,” Fuller said in an open letter to school staff and students on Monday. “The scholarship committee has not been notified of this decision and my family has been put in the middle, so my family has asked for a reversal of the decision.”

He added, “I have never felt as invalidated and unaccepted.”

Prince of Peace referred questions to the Diocese of Davenport.

The Diocese forwarded a statement to TAI that said it had a “long-standing policy” regarding guest speakers at its schools. “We cannot allow anyone or any organization which promotes a position that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church to present at a diocesan institution,” the policy states.

“The mission of the Eychaner Foundation is to promote tolerance, understanding and anti-bullying policies. We help [LGBT] students survive and work to prevent teen suicide,” said Rich Eychaner, an Iowa businessman who started the foundation. “We’re shocked that Bishop Amos and the Diocese of Davenport find these positions ‘contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.’”

Diocese spokesman Deacon David Montgomery said in a statement, “Keaton will be presented the award by a member of the school staff at the awards assembly along with background information concerning the award.”

That doesn’t satisfy Eychaner.

“Why would we allow others to present an award we make possible?” Rich Eychaner said Monday afternoon in response to the Diocese’s statement.

“We were pleased that Prince of Peace promised to support all of their students,” added Eychaner executive director Michael Bowser. “We had faith that their written agreement would mean something.”

The Diocese of Davenport spokesperson declined a request for an interview.

Conservative group aims to ‘clean up’ voter rolls

Posted on: February 15th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments
A right-wing group has announced it will “pressure states and localities” through lawsuits, if necessary, “to clean up voter registration rolls pursuant to Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).” The group claims that several states have voters on their registration rolls who are ineligible to vote. (more…)

Reports: Interest groups playing expanded role in 2012 elections

Posted on: February 3rd, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

Broadcast media still dominates the world of political campaign ads, which are financed more than ever by interest groups that will play an increasing role in the 2012 presidential election, according to media reports issued this week. (more…)

Bachmann bows out of 2012 presidential race

Posted on: January 5th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

On the heels of her poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, Michele Bachmann has announced that she is ending her campaign to become the Republican nominee for president.


Romney edges Santorum in Iowa

Posted on: January 4th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

Would-be Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney edged his opponent Rick Santorum by a hair during the Iowa caucuses — defeating him by only eight votes. The Republican Party has deemed it the closest-ever margin of victory in a Republican presidential contest.

From CNN:

Ron Paul finished a close third, according to the state GOP. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who placed fifth, said late Tuesday that he would return to his home state to consider whether his campaign would continue.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, had 30,015 votes. Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and an upstart challenger who just weeks ago polled in the single digits, had 30,007, the state GOP said.

Each had roughly 25% of the vote in Iowa, the first state to vote in the 2012 presidential caucus and primary season. Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas, had 21%. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was at 13%. Perry was at 10%, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota had 5%, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman had 1%.

State GOP officials said certified results will be released in two weeks.

Because the race was initially too close to call, many candidates spoke to their supporters before the final tally was released.

“Game on,” said Santorum, to a crowd gathered in Johnston, Iowa. “What wins in America are bold ideas, sharp contrasts and a plan that includes everyone. A plan that says we will work together to get America to work.”

Even Romney praised Santorum’s efforts when speaking at his celebration party. “This has been a great victory for him and for his effort,” Romney said of Santorum. “He’s worked very hard in Iowa. We also feel it’s been a great victory for us here.”

The focus of the race will now shift to New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tues., Jan. 10.

Photo: 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Vander Plaats endorses Santorum for Iowa Caucuses

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by Andy Birkey 1 Comment

Bob Vander Plaats, head of Iowa’s Family Research Council affiliate the Family Leader, an organization opposed to rights for LGBT Iowans, endorsed Rick Santorum for the Iowa Caucuses on Tuesday. The Family Leader had previously declined to endorse any candidate in the GOP Caucuses, but Vander Plaats decided to make an endorsement on his own. (more…)

Physicians criticize Huckabee’s personhood-promoting ‘Gift of Life’

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by The American Independent 1 Comment
Partnering with Citizens United, former presidential contender and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is promoting “fetal personhood” by narrating Gift of Life, a film that promotes legislative action meant to overturn the landmark abortion rights act Roe v. Wade. The board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health argues that the film demonstrates a “disconnect” between the patients and doctors depicted in the film.


Former congressman who says Muslim Brotherhood is behind Occupy Wall Street endorses Gingrich

Posted on: December 15th, 2011 by The American Independent 3 Comments

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

Mother Jones reports that presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has received an endorsement from former Rep. Fred Grandy, R-Iowa, an anti-Islam activist.