Enjoy The Massive GOP Scandal Brewing Around “Pro-Family” Iowan Bob Vander Plaats

Bob Vander Plaats—the president of the Christian activist group The Family Leader—may have asked more than one Republican presidential candidate for $1 million dollars in exchange for his public endorsement.

Now that doesn’t sound very Christian.

According to ABC News, Vander Plaats personally endorsed anti-gay GOP candidate Rick Santorum as his dog last week in the Republican primary—an endorsement that might sway the state’s more conservative pro-family voters.

Less than 48 hours later, Santorum revealed to CNN that Vander Plaats told him, “he needed money to promote the endorsement and that that would be important to do that,” though Santorum added that Vander Plaats never directly asked him to go out and raise money for the endorsement.

Soon after, multiple sources claimed Vander Plaats had also asked other GOP candidates for $1 million in exchange for his endorsement—an amount that one long-time Iowa conservative says wouldn’t buy a lot of advertising in the state at all.

Then, a former Mitt Romney campaign staffer said that Vander Plaats also offered Romney his support in exchange for money back in 2008.

See the pattern emerging?

All this comes amid the recent revelation that Vander Plaats had asked candidates Santorum, Bachmann and Perry to all drop out of the presidential race.

Vander Plaats may fancy himself a kingmaker in the upcoming Iowa election: After all, this is the guy who helped lead a successful campaign to unseat three pro-marriage judges from the Iowa Supreme Court. To help him, Newt Gingrich made a gracious $350,000 donation to the cause.

Zack Ford at Think Progress believes Vander Plaats may have asked Republican candidates to step aside so he could align the party behind Gingrich:

Santorum, Bachmann, and Perry have the social conservative credentials Vander Plaats would want to endorse without the baggage of Gingrich’s infidelities, but if they had dropped out, he could have endorsed Gingrich without it looking like blatant quid pro quo.

But since the candidates refused to drop out, Vander Plaats apparently chose to hit up them all up for cash, even though he ultimately endorsed Santorum.

Of course, Plaats’ organization has released a statement saying that he’s totally innocent: “The allegation by an unnamed source that Bob Vander Plaats asked any campaigns for money in exchange for his endorsement is absolutely false.”

Plaats is no stranger to making an ass of himself—he once called being gay a public health risk, unabashedly laughs at faggot jokes and asked Republican presidential candidates to sign his anti-gay pledge card—but he’ll likely find himself under intense media scrutiny now.

Oh and look, there’s already an online petition asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Vander Plaats’ organization for potential illegal campaign coordination.Our little judge-slayer is becoming quite the big fry, isn’t he?

Enjoy the spotlight, Bobby.

Image via imagefactory101

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  • FreddyMertz


  • shle896

    He should use some of that money to buy a new wig.

  • bagooka

    He looks so gross.

  • Jim Hlavac

    Isn’t it amazing that as these people — and there are quite a few — get oh so much more virulently anti-gay they are getting caught doing illegal and immoral things. And it does strike me that offering money or demanding money from a candidate for office to drop out of a race is illegal. And certainly immoral, for it has nothing to do with the “will of the people.” There was the Koch woman in Minnesota, there was the mayor of Southaven MS, and oh, the list goes on — oh, Cardinal George and his KKK comparison — and on and on they come — and they are putting the nail in the coffin of the anti-gay movement. Such is their disdain and hate for us that they will kiss tuckus of a twice divorced, thrice married adulterer, Newt, and it is getting harder and harder for anyone to take them seriously. It is quite the glorious times for us gay folks since only good will come out of it. Somehow, despite how ugly it seems in the short term, that in the long term the American public will conclude that people (us) who want to get married and join society as fine folks are just better in every way than the creeps who wish us gone. Ah, what a fine time to come. I feel good; it’s like a Christmas gift indeed.

  • Tom

    My concern lies with your headline. There is nothing to “enjoy” here. I cannot see how feasting on the mishaps of others–no matter how hurtful to the cause–enables the cause. That is the stuff of bullies.

    I am reminded of a saying (paraphrased): My candle does not burn brighter when I extinguish yours.

  • tjr101

    Yuck, why do christian conservatives look so creepy? This guy certainly has a large closet full of skeletons just waiting to be revealed.

  • dvlaries

    I wouldn’t trust a used-car salesman with a rug that bad. Yeesh.

  • B

    ‘And it does strike me that offering money or demanding money from a candidate for office to drop out of a race is illegal. And certainly immoral, for it has nothing to do with the “will of the people.”’

    I’m not sure about that – the laws were written to prevent someone from buying influence from government officials and if someone is ‘bribed’ to drop out of an election, he/she will not become a government official to influence, unless the candidate already holds an elected position. It sounds like the sort of situation that could have easily not been considered when the laws were written.

    My guess is that the only reason a candidate would accept a bribe to drop out is that the candidate was going to drop out anyway. If so, this character is wasting his money.

  • Michael

    Homophobia is a sin like lying, stealing and murder. Where we find homophobia, we ALWAYS find other sins. Sin begets sin….

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