Bob Vander Plaats' organization The Family Leader - of which he is the CEO - has come under criticism recently for its "Marriage Vow" pledge; a pledge which not only implied that African-American children were better off being in slavery, but also that homosexuality is a choice and that pornography should be outlawed. Though most of the Republican candidates quickly distanced themselves from the Family Leader and Bob Vander Plaats, presidential contenders Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Republican Senator Rick Santorum quickly signed the pledge, even defending their signatures as the controversy regarding the pledge escalated.
Kauffman, a former employee and organizer of Vander Plaats' failed gubernatorial campaign, stated in an interview with the Des Moines Register,
Kauffman is not the only Iowa Republican that has distanced himself from The Family Leader's pledge. Republican Governor Terry Branstad, in an interview with Politico last Friday, called it "over the top" and that it contained "too much and too detailed and inappropriate language".“I’ve had it with their veiled threats toward people that won’t sign their pledges and do not vote the way they say,” Kaufmann said to The Register. “I think Bob Vander Plaats is more about Bob Vander Plaats than pushing any kind of selfless agenda.”
The full text of Kauffman's email reads,
Bob, Danny, and Chuck:
Just when I thought Bob’s fibs on WHO wasn’t enough then your pledge and its ridiculous implications. Guys your integrity is in question and your political credibility is waning to the point of no impact. I suggest you take a page out of your speeches and reflect. I personally will be sharing my opinion with many. As for the House Republican caucus…keep your primary threats to yourself…you have to have respect to carry out a threat in this great state.
Disappointed and sad,
Speaker Pro Tem, Iowa House