Republican Rep. Steve Holt has taken exception to a mailer sent to voters in Iowa House District 88. That race is between conservative mother Helena Hayes and moderate Republican attorney Rep. Dustin Hite.
Here is what isn’t up for debate. Hite spoke out against the bathroom bill. He has also been against removing gender identity from the Iowa Civil Rights Code. He has been a vocal opponent of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ efforts to give parents school choice.
The FAMiLY Leader sent out the following mailer on the race:
The facts of the mailer are not in question. Period. Everyone knows Hite is a no on Education Savings Accounts. And, in case people forgot, here is what Hite said about the bathroom bill:
“That was in the Senate, not in the House. I’ve got a couple of bills that deal with that issue in my committee and I haven’t assigned them a subcommittee yet and the reason I haven’t assigned them a subcommittee is not because I don’t understand the issue of the proponents of those bills, but I also understand the issues on the other sides of those bills. And I think when we talk about topics like this we have to be extremely careful that what we are doing does not come across as hateful. And that’s always what I’m concerned in these particular issues. So those bills have not been assigned a subcommittee in my committee and I don’t necessarily believe that that’s probably going to happen any time soon.”
So instead of protecting 10-year-old Iowa girls from having to use a bathroom stall next to a 40-year-old man in a skirt who thinks he is a woman, Hite is more concerned about coming across as hateful to an LGBTQ crowd that will call any legislation against them hateful no matter how it is worded.
He clearly does not get it.
The Family Leader’s mailer is clearly accurate. Now, it is possible Holt wasn’t aware of Hite’s comments from a couple of years ago. But it doesn’t mean the mailer isn’t accurate.
Here is part of what Holt wrote regarding the mailer:
“What is not appropriate are some of the despicable mailers I have seen that distort his positions and make untrue inferences on his position on obscene materials in schools.”
Holt then says Hite supported a school transparency bill the House passed which included language for all library books being listed for parents to access and a path to challenge materials.
This doesn’t do enough. Not even close. We know the materials are in the school libraries. We know that. The legislature is funding these schools and in turn, funding the obscene materials being on the shelves. They have a responsibility to not fund crap like that.
If Hite were committed to legislation removing these materials from school libraries, Holt would have a point. But he is not.
“I am truly disappointed that The Family Leader, a faith-based organization I have worked with often and have trusted, would send out such mailers. They should know better, and they should know that trust and integrity matter in relationships at the Capitol. Factual mailers are one thing, distortion filled garbage is quite another and should never have been sanctioned by an organization that espouses Biblical values.”
First, let’s address the veiled threat contained there that you might have missed.
“They should know better, and they should know that trust and integrity matter in relationships at the Capitol.”
Couldn’t the same be said of Holt’s endorsement of anti-ESA Hite? Holt tells us all he supports school choice and ESAs, but endorses the biggest vocal critic of them. He is allowed to do that despite the policy difference, yet The Family Leader isn’t supposed to educate voters on the policy differences between Hite and Hayes?
Again, the mailer is 100 percent accurate. One hundred percent.
Holt then dings TFL’s “Biblical values” at the end.
Not good. Siding with moderates only creates fractures within the ranks of actual conservatives. This is yet another example of that.
For its part, The Family Leader responded to Holt’s post.
“We disagree with this interpretation of our mailer, and we stand by its language, even as we stand with parents,” said Chuck Hurley, The FAMiLY Leader vice president of elections and policy. “The mailer compared candidate Helena Hayes as someone who ‘led the fight’ to remove pornography from schools, with Rep. Hite, who did not.
“While Rep. Hite may have voted for transparency, he refused to join parents from and near his own district – including Helena Hayes and the parents of Protect My Innocence – who demanded action to remove pornographic materials from schools. In fact, if Hite would have led on removing these materials, if he would have supported Iowa Senate legislation to remove the porn, Helena Hayes would not be running today to replace him. Helena Hayes is a concerned mother who felt compelled to lead on this issue because Rep. Hite would not. Parents want more than votes on transparency, they want action and leadership.”
Hite received money from the teachers’ union, which also just happens to adamantly oppose the bathroom bill and Education Savings Accounts and removing books from school libraries.
Is it a coincidence?
Loyalty is an admirable trait. But one can also be loyal to a fault.
Hite does not deserve to be re-elected to the Iowa House. Hayes has her pulse on the conservative movement in Iowa. She is part of the conservative movement in Iowa.
Hite is out of touch, more worried about coming across as hateful than he is protecting little girls from using a bathroom stall next to a 40-year-old man in a skirt who thinks he is a woman is a pretty good indicator of that.
The Iowa Standard is thankful for The FAMiLY Leader’s work in this campaign and devotion to their Biblical values — which will guide voters to an obvious conclusion in this race.