tea party trash

Why Danny Carroll Is The Scariest Man In Iowa Today

Since the Tea Party is purposefully decentralized, with no single leader and anybody able to claim their event is a “Tea Party rally,” we’ve already seen some evidence of America’s most pissed off group of people inserting themselves into the marriage debate. Now in Iowa we’re seeing some new action, with Iowa State Rep. Kim Pearson appearing at a 35-person rally yesterday at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, which demanded a ban on same-sex marriage (and abortions). Heading things up: former state lawmaker Danny Carroll, who’s now helping lead the uber-conservative group Family Leader, an umbrella group that now contains the Iowa Family Policy Center. Why is this interesting?

Because Carroll, who has participated in NOM events before, spent last year’s election cycle attacking Republican Terry Branstad, who was elected governor in November. Brandstad “has failed to boldly address the values that we embrace,” claimed Carroll this time last year. “And even if he were to win the nomination, the Iowa Family PAC would not support him.” Indeed, Carroll’s group supported the failed gubernatorial campaign of Bob Vander Plaats, the guy who spearheaded the campaign to oust the three pro-gay-marriage Iowa Supreme Court justices that were up for re-election, and who’s now on a crusade to oust the four remaining justices who formed the unanimous vote. How much does Carroll hate Branstad? So much so that even when Vander Plaats lost the Republican primary to Branstad, Carroll refused to throw support behind the GOP’s pick. This, despite his attempt in 2008 to become chairman of the Iowa Republican party, which would have certainly required him to support the primary candidate.

[Pictured L-R: Brandstad, Vander Platts]

So now that he’s lost faith in the Republican establishment, Carroll is swinging with the Tea Party.

More interestingly, now that Brandstad is in the governor’s mansion having beat incumbent Gov. Chet Culver, in a single week he’s gone from not commenting on efforts to remove the justices to voicing support for it. Huh! Isn’t that one of the things Carroll demanded of Branstad?

So while Carroll — or the state’s Tea Party activists — didn’t wield enough influence to elect Vander Plaats governor, it does appear that his rebuffing of the Republican Party was enough of a blow to get Branstad siding with his anti-gay platform. And while it’s easy to laugh off a little 35-person rally on a Saturday afternoon, you’re bearing witness to one man’s personal mission to help write discrimination into the state’s constitution. He and his ilk are not going anywhere.

[top photo via]

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  • mjcc1987

    I suspect we will be going backwards before we again move forward. Right now, the fearmongers and bigots have the podium but we have history on our side.

  • David Ehrenstein

    What’s with this “be scared” crap?

    What we should do is fight back!

  • Jim Hlavac

    Me not scared. Me waiting for the anti-gay, (or better: “no gays,”) groups, to step up to the microphones and say what’s truly on their minds. While hectoring the few who agree with them they feel fine and have fun, but as they reach out to the majorities need to remove gay people from society — through cure, arrest, deport, whatever they’re thinking of — and they grow more emboldened with their tepid support from politicians almost certainly hoodwinked with “no marriage” talk and not their true agenda of “no gays in America” — they will be doing us all a big favor. A real nice and loud — “Round up all the gays, arrest them, deport them or cure them against their will” campaign is just what this country needs to show how these people are utterly crazy. And it’s not just in the TEA party, for many an erstwhile African-American Democratic Baptist Preacher is of the same ilk. I think it’s wonderful that they pile on the rhetoric; I wish they’d ramp it up. And the more shrill it gets the more absurd they will seem. I can picture one of ’em introducing a law to ban gay bars any day now. How sweet. It’ll appear all the more lunatic the more strident the law is. Maybe get a law to ban gay people from housing, schools, jobs — they should go for the gusto they like to proclaim they have (they wimp out a lot.)

    Sometimes it’s good to have enemies like this, for they’ll shoot their own lips off and the nation will turn to ignoring them and embrace gay folks like they’ve never done before.

  • Ian

    Ug, after living 7 yrs in a “square state” where I actually HAVE been previously fired for simply being out (can’t prove it legally though), and having to live here for another (ug) 5 continuously in the closet simply to stay employed until I can be legally allowed to transfer my license back to CA, the term ‘gay ghetto’ be damned I intend in 2016 to move back to San Francisco & live out the rest of my life where no bigoted breeder ***holes can try to continually ruin it. I’m getting to an age where I just want those bigoted miniscule brained twits to simply leave me be as I don’t see marriage getting legalized until I’m nearly a centarian.

  • mjcc1987

    @Jim Hlavac: Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Momentum is a bitch and while I think we will lose some ground, we will prevail because we as groups and as individuals we stand up. The few can, for a time, make life a living hell and though I see ground being lost in some fronts, death to gays is not acceptable.

  • testington

    Doesn’t being against gay marriage go against the principles of the Tea Party? Don’t most of the claim to be libertarian meaning the government should stay out of people’s personal lives? Oh wait, the Tea Party has no principles it is just a random group of people who don’t even remember what they are angry about spewing backward logic and idiocy.

  • Ian

    @testington: The Tea Party is nothing more than a marketing political gimmick created by none other than the likes of the GOP and the Koch brothers to funnel the ignorant hate-mongering crazies into so as to make the far-right republican party appear more just right of center instead of the far right from center reality that they actually are, to attempt to make themselves more palatable to voters.

  • eg

    Vanderass is also on a bus tour across Iowa drumming up support for his organization focusing on “family values”. His last rally drummed up a whole 6 supporters. The more he pushes this with Iowans I think you will see people get turned off and start to question his obsession. Iowans are smart…and they don’t like to be bothered with this crap. Once something is done, it’s time to move on…there are cows to milk and corn to plant. Wait until spring with the conservative white hairs are back in the fields and can’t focus on anything other than that.

  • slobone

    Wait, why are you saying Branstad now supports impeachment of the pro-gay marriage justices when your very own link says the exact opposite? In fact Branstad is OPPOSED to impeachment. Give the guy a break…

  • Suzanne

    This piece was going so well. It looked like Queerty’s writers might finally start providing some real information along with posts from real news sources. But sure enough it is another fail. The piece is premised on the notion that this activist got the new governor to change his position on impeaching 4 supreme court justices. But that didn’t happen. Branstad opposes impeachment, as the link above shows.

    The lesson: Queerty’s writers don’t bother to read their own linked sources.

  • adam

    Oh yeah, Council Bluffs? My home and the home of Mike Gronstal?

    Sorry, guy is powerless.

    Just saying. Stop underestimating Iowa.

  • adam

    Also, Branstad spoke against impeachment. Dude, bias much? Not that I expected objectivity from a gay site, though I’m a gay liberal, myself. Ugh, it’s just relentless.

  • adam

    @testington: Uh, no. Look no further than New Hampshire. Pretty much the ‘death’ of the ‘Tea Party’ was election night 2010 when they announced they were going after social issues.

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