November 2, 2012
By Matt Baume
This election day, four states will have the freedom to marry on the ballot. But there’s a fifth crucial state in this election: Iowa. Back in 2009, the state Supreme Court unanimously overturned the state’s ban on marriage. And now, anti-gay activists are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw each of those justices out of office.
In Iowa, Supreme Court justices are appointed by the Governor. But then after a few years, each one has to face a popular vote to remain on the bench.
That’s why Justice David Wiggins is fighting to keep his job. Ordinarily, judicial retention votes don’t get much attention. But that changed after the court overturned a marriage ban in 2009. Since then, anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage and The Family Leader have been on a crusade to unseat every single justice who ruled on that case.
Back in 2010, NOM spent $635,000 according to the Omaha World Herald to unseat three of those Justices. And all three lost their elections.
So far this year, our opponents have spent $248,000 just to unseat this one judge. More than half of that money came from the National Organization for Marriage. They’re using the money to broadcast ads like this:
[hold wiggins accountable clip]
“If David Wiggins can impose his liberal values and redefine marriage, many of our Iowa traditions and rights are at risk.”
It’s hard to predict the outcome of this election. Unlike the judges in 2010, Wiggins is campaigning to retain his seat. And polling has been mixed. According to TIR-Voter/Consumer Research, Wiggins has 40 percent support. But a Des Moins Register poll shows him with 49 percent. And a Public Policy Polling survey shows him with 37 percent.
We’re now just days away from the deadline to vote. You can learn more about this race — and others — at afer.org/election2012.