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The Gazette KCRG
Posted September 1, 2011
Iowa Conservative Union uses Obama’s face to introduce itself

MARION – A fledgling conservative political group is introducing itself in Linn County with the help of Barack Obama.

The Marion-based Iowa Conservative Union is displaying this billboard along Blairs Ferry Road in Marion for the month of September. (Iowa Conservative Union photo)

However, it’s not a mutual admiration society.

The Iowa Conservative Union has a billboard on Blairs Ferry Road in Marion with the president’s image on a food stamp below the words “Transforming America.”

“We’re just trying to communicate to people that’s where we’re headed,” explained ICU Co-Chairman Jim Conklin of Marion.

He concedes the 8-foot by 20-foot billboard is “kind of a negative eye-catcher,” but said the group is not trying to come across as negative.

“We’re trying to tell people to step up and to take action and contact the Iowa Conservative Union to learn how they can stand up for smaller government and avoid that future.”

The Obama for America campaign did not reply to a request for a comment on the bill board that went up Sept. 1.

The billboard is a way of telling people about the ICU, which Conklin said has a mailing list of about 50, but a reach that extends into several conservative groups as well as the Republican Party.

“But we’re not just Republicans,” said Conklin, a former chairman of the Linn County GOP. “We’re working with Republican Party, the LOST (local option sales tax) groups, a 9-12 group and tea party groups.

When the billboard comes down after a month, it will be portable so the ICU can display it elsewhere, Conklin said. That would include a “conservative fair” planned for Oct. 23 at the Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center in Cedar Rapids.

For more information, contact the Iowa Conservative Union at http://iowwaconservativeunion.com or call (319) 373-8824.



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