Conservative firebrand Bill Salier spoke out at today’s anti-gay marriage rally at the Statehouse, according to Radio Iowa. He had a message for lawmakers who don’t go along on a constitutional amendment:
Salier urged those in the crowd who felt strongly on the issue to consider running against a legislator who supports gay marriage, or who has failed to support moves to place a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage before voters.
“We elect our representatives. And you know what? If we have a disagreement with them, we vote them out,” Salier said, to applause. “…These people must feel the heat of the population and that is why we’re gathered here today.”
So then I started thinking, what happened to those brave souls who opposed the constitutional ban when it failed in the Republican-controlled Senate in 2004? They all must have been voted out by now.
The vote, incidentally, was on March 23, 2004, according to the Senate Journal. You can look it up.
By my own figuring, of the 25 senators who voted no, 19 are still serving in the Senate. All are Democrats.
Five others left the Senate voluntarily, including the late great Mary Lundby of Marion, Republican Don Redfern of Cedar Falls, Democrat Jack Holveck of Des Moines, Democrat Mike Connolly of Dubuque and Republican Doug Shull of Indianola, who was defeated in a run for a House seat.
The only ban opponent who took heat on the issue and lost was Republican Maggie Tinsman of Bettendorf, who was ousted in a 2006 primary by current GOP state Sen. David Hartsuch of Bettendorf.
Hartsuch then parlayed that success into an 84,000-vote loss to U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley last fall.
Nine of 24 ban supporters from 2004 remain in the Senate.
The amendment’s floor manager, Ken Veenstra, then a Republican from Sioux County, was defeated in a June 2004 GOP primary just a few months later. Education was the key issue in his race. The other departures were for various reasons, retirements, defeats etc. unrelated to the marriage issue.
In the fall of 2004, Democrats pulled to an even 25-25 in the Senate and took control in 2006.
So what role did that fateful gay marriage vote have on all this? Beyond a couple of races, not much.
And that’s sort of the point.