Newt Gingrich Helped Jump-Start Campaign To Oust Iowa Judges

Newt Gingrich secured $200 thousand for a successful campaign by anti-gay groups last fall to oust Iowa Supreme Court justices who voted to allow gay marriage in Iowa, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It wouldn’t have happened without Newt,” said David Lane, executive director of the group that spearheaded the campaign, Iowa For Freedom.According to the Times, Gingrich, who is launched the early stages of a presidential campaign on Thursday, has been courting evangelicals for some time. Part of that courtship included playing a pivotal role in removing three Iowa judges in the last elections.

Judges in Iowa are appointed, but the general population votes whether to keep them on at the end of a term. So in 2009, after the Iowa Supreme Court voted unanimously to allow gay marriage in the state, social conservative groups like the National Organization for Marriage, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council started a campaign to boot three of them from the bench. They were eventually successful, and now the remaining four justices are under attack from a few Republican lawmakers who have drafted legislation to impeach them.

NOM and the AFA donated money to the campaign through Iowa For Freedom, which spearheaded the effort. But David Lane, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, told Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold of the Times that “It wouldn’t have happened without Newt. Newt provided strategic advice and arranged the initial seed money, about $200,000, which is what got everything started.”

Lane said that Gingrich arranged the contribution, from an anonymous donor.

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