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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:39 pm 
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This is great.

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob Vander Plaats was endorsed Monday by the president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapter of the NAACP.

In announcing his support for Vander Plaats, the Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. said Democrats should not take the votes of minorities for granted.

"Not all Democrats are our friends and not all Republicans are our enemies," said Ratliff, a registered Democrat.

He said he believes Vander Plaats is the right person to lead Iowa in the future.

Ratliff, who is the pastor of Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines in addition to being the president of the Iowa-Nebraska Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Democratic governors have not followed through on their pledges to increase minority hiring in state government.

"Some of our fellow Democrats take African-Americans and other minorities for granted," Ratliff said. "Minorities should not be taken for granted, that they will all vote the same way."

In addition to his endorsement, Ratliff said he will actively campaign for Vander Plaats.

"Certainly I want to go around the state to talk to individuals of all backgrounds and colors," he said. "He is one of those individuals who is just a living breathing example."

Vander Plaats is making his third bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He is part of a crowded field of Republicans seeking to oppose incumbent Democratic Gov. Chet Culver.

Reps. Christopher Rants and Rod Roberts, Sen. Jerry Behn and Cedar Rapids businessman Christian Fong are contemplating a run, and former Gov. Terry Branstad has not ruled out a comeback bid.

Vander Plaats has worked hard to collect the backing of social and religious conservatives, in part by focusing on his opposition to a Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. He has said he would issue an executive order overturning that decision, a proposal that has raised the eyebrows of legal experts.

Ratliff said that played a role in his endorsement.

"It's an important factor," he said at a Statehouse news conference. "He's talked about the importance of defending the institution of marriage."

Ratliff said he's never voted for a Republican governor. He said he's frustrated that a Democratic governor hasn't followed through on promises to increase the role of minorities in state government, a pledge he said Vander Plaats will fulfill.

"He won't just talk about those things, he'll do something about them," Ratliff said. "That takes backbone and determination. That's what I want in my governor."

Ratliff has been a minister for 30 years and has long been a leader in the city's minority community. He also sits on the board of the national NAACP.

"He makes a difference in people's lives every day," Vander Plaats said.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-vanderplaats-endo,0,5639770.story

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:39 pm 
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This is actually a pretty good endorsement, many local chapters of NAACP will go stir crazy at it though-as our's here in Sioux City is pretty liberal.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Great news for Van der Plaats. Shows he can reach out to all voters and that all voters can support him.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Awesome! But as I have said many times, this type of thing need not be an unusual occurrance. If Republicans change the way they think about black voters - their assumptions and their rhetoric - this can happen much more regularly.

Earlier this year, BET's co-founder endorsed Bob McDonald. It's not like blacks are in love with the Democratic Party - despite the fact that most of us vote for them. Hopefully this will get some attention.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:24 pm 
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That's Bob McDonnell. And this is great news.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Ratliff has never voted for a Republican. Bob VP knew Ratliff is a political activist who cared about the same issues as him and courted him and asked for his vote. Ratliff will now register as a Republican so he can vote for Bob VP in the primary. This is a huge boost for Bob and opens up all kinds of doors to attract new voters to him. Ratliff will be Bob's campaign Co-Chair and will be actively promoting him for the primary in June and then the general election next Nov.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:33 am 
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Iowans Rock wrote:
Ratliff has never voted for a Republican. Bob VP knew Ratliff is a political activist who cared about the same issues as him and courted him and asked for his vote. Ratliff will now register as a Republican so he can vote for Bob VP in the primary. This is a huge boost for Bob and opens up all kinds of doors to attract new voters to him. Ratliff will be Bob's campaign Co-Chair and will be actively promoting him for the primary in June and then the general election next Nov.


Key words: "he asked for his vote." Hopefully Bob VP wins and other Republicans learn from his example here.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:06 pm 
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This is a key lesson that Republicans need to learn, not just for people in the African-American community but for all groups that vote heavily in the Democrat column, the disabled included. Reach out to them and don't do it by changing who you are as a party. Aim your message in the right direction and communicate it well.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:28 pm 
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BDBopper wrote:
This is a key lesson that Republicans need to learn, not just for people in the African-American community but for all groups that vote heavily in the Democrat column, the disabled included. Reach out to them and don't do it by changing who you are as a party. Aim your message in the right direction and communicate it well.


Absolutely!! Amen!

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