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Vander Plaats Calls for Higher Campaign Standards

Released: 7/26/05

SIOUX CITY, IA - Bob Vander Plaats, Republican candidate for Governor, is incredibly disappointed by the attached email that was sent out by Jim Nussle's campaign Friday afternoon.

"Not only is this the type of negative campaigning that sickens the general public, it is a direct attack on my character which was obviously made recklessly; without any consideration of the facts. Tactics like this will only benefit our Democratic opponents" said Vander Plaats on Saturday.

Vander Plaats position on the issue of prayer, especially prayer in schools, is well documented and without discrepancy.  

Not only has he voiced support for allowing students to pray in school, as Principal of a public high school Vander Plaats stood up to the Iowa Civil Liberties Union (ICLU) and defended the right of his students to have student-initiated prayer at their high school graduation.

In the spring of 1993, the Federal District Court in Sioux City ruled in favor of the ICLU and granted the injunction, banning prayer at the graduations of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn and Sheldon Community Schools. Not satisfied, Vander Plaats, along with two committed school boards, challenged this ruling that was finally overturned by the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, thereby granting students the right to include prayer in their ceremony.

Vander Plaats has, and always will advocate for a moment of silence in public schools at the beginning of the school day, at mealtime, and at the commencement of public school events; with the purpose of allowing students, teachers, and guests the opportunity to pray a prayer from their hearts.

Vander Plaats stands by his comment that our country has moved away from the aura of respect upon which our country was founded.  

As keynote speaker of the National Day of Prayer event at the State Capitol earlier this year, Vander Plaats' remarks centered on the importance of celebrating the virtues of faith and prayer set forth by the founders of our country.  

"I will never allow politics or public opinion to define me", said Vander Plaats, "My faith defines me.  Darla and I have raised our children to value prayer and we have asked for the prayers of many as we pursue the governorship. With that said, I prefer to live my faith rather than exploiting my faith for political gain."

Vander Plaats called on Jim Nussle to resist the lure of politics as usual, saying, "People are tired of empty words and spin. Iowans deserve higher standards from their candidates." 

Visiting 47 counties in the past 53 days, Vander Plaats has remained narrowly focused on the issues and has renewed his request for Jim Nussle to join him in a series of debates on vision, strategy, and leadership for Iowa.  

"In light of Friday's email from the Nussle campaign, I stand ready for a full character debate; based on a lifetime of leadership success and personal integrity. What I would prefer, is to have my character speak for itself and move forward with our attention on economic growth, education, healthcare, and responsible management of state government."For more information on the Vander Plaats for Governor Campaign visit www.vpforgov.com