Bob Vander Plaats is the Right Leader for Iowa.
I’m Bob Vander Plaats and I’m running for Governor because I love Iowa. I believe that Iowa needs fresh, bold leadership. I hope that you will join us in this pursuit of excellence.
Bob, one of eight children, grew up in a two-story home on a tree-lined street in Sheldon, Iowa. His dad, a World War II Veteran who ran his own business, worked hard to care for his family. Bob learned the values of hard work and honesty from his Mom and Dad.
Bob was an outgoing basketball star in high school, playing in the state basketball tournament his senior year. Those who knew him say that, even then, he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.
In his senior year of high school, Bob began dating his future life-partner, Darla Granstra. They had completed thirteen years of school together; nursery, elementary, junior high, and three years of high school. It was during their senior year that they began discovering their future. It was Darla who awoke the awareness in Bob that the future was full of exciting challenges and great opportunities. In Bob’s words, “Darla was responsible for raising my expectations for life.”
Both stayed close to home after high school graduation, attending Northwestern College in Orange City where Bob received a basketball scholarship and Darla received a music scholarship. In the summer prior to their junior year, they were married.
Bob pursued a career as an educator, saying “I fell in love with teaching because I saw the difference I could make in the lives of kids.”
His first teaching job was in Boone, teaching business courses at Boone High School, while Darla began working as a certified public accountant.
Two years later they moved to Jefferson when Bob was recruited to teach business and become their head basketball coach. Bob loved teaching and coaching, and also started a landscaping business. Their first two sons, Hans and Josh, were born in Jefferson and Darla chose to stay at home with them.
At twenty-nine years old, Bob’s leadership qualities resulted in a big promotion when he received an offer to become the new principal of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School. The position gave him an even greater opportunity to lead, and he flourished. The success he experienced resulted in a call from his home town of Sheldon, asking Bob to join their staff as the Sheldon High School principal.
Bob went on to earn master’s and specialist’s degrees in the area of educational leadership from Drake University. His leadership ability was evident and his advancement rapid as he served both students and teachers.
In 1993, Bob and Darla’s third son, Lucas, was born with a serious and rare brain disorder. He would be severely handicapped and require constant care for the rest of his life. “If it hadn’t been for the miracle of Lucas,” Bob says, “we would have never looked beyond where we were.” Four years later, their fourth son, Logan, was born and completed the creation of a very special family.
Another unexpected offer came in 1996, when Bob was sought after to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of Opportunities Unlimited, a health and human services organization, providing rehabilitative services for young adults with brain or spinal cord injuries, or other life-altering disabilities. OU needed a strong leader to motivate employees, raise funds and provide a strategic vision with attainable goals. Bob accepted the challenge and, in four short years, turned a struggling entity into one of the top service providers of its type in the United States, with a net assets increase of four hundred and forty percent and the highest accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities - Brain Injury (CARF). With Bob’s leadership, the organization’s design and program delivery were referred to as the model in the country for serving people with disabilities.
In 2002, Bob led a positive and energetic campaign for governor. Although he narrowly lost his first bid for public office, he was highly successful in building a statewide organization which remains motivated and continues to grow. In 2006, he was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. And, he gained national attention as the state chair of Mike Huckabee’s winning campaign in the 2008 Iowa presidential precinct caucuses.
Bob is currently president of MVP Leadership, Inc., which specializes in strategic vision and executive leadership for business and industry, economic development, education, health care, human services, and private foundations.
His professional and personal accomplishments have received high recognition. In March 2002, he was noted as one of the “40 Under 40” – the 40 most influential people under 40 years of age in the Siouxland Region by The Sioux City Journal. In the fall of 2000, Northwestern College bestowed upon Bob the honor of “Distinguished Alumni” for his professional achievement.
Bob Vander Plaats’ entire career has been about maximizing the potential of the people and institutions around him. His life experiences, integrity, and track record of achievement make him a candidate that we can trust to lead us into the future with excellence.
Bob Vander Plaats is the right leader for Iowa.
On his first day in office, Bob Vander Plaats will issue the Foundation Proclamation affirming Iowa’s commitment to traditional marriage and moving to restore the appropriate separation of powers between the judicial, executive and legislative branches of state government.
He’ll show leadership that past administrations have either been unwilling or unable to provide to reform Iowa’s tax and regulatory structures so we finally open Iowa for business. That includes easing the property tax burden on Iowa’s businesses so they’re able to create more quality jobs. He’ll also move to end government’s discredited practice of picking winners and losers, and instead create a level playing field for all businesses to flourish.
Bob Vander Plaats has a history of fiscal integrity and authentically balanced budgets during his time in turning around a nonprofit organization that was facing the bleak possibility of closing. He’s a true fiscal conservative who will break the pattern of current and past governors who promise to curb spending only to give us bigger and bigger state budgets and higher taxes. He’ll rely on his front-line experience in education, health care and human services to lead a major retrenchment of government programs.
Bob Vander Plaats has never been one to walk away from a life. As governor, he’ll lead a culture that champions and celebrates life from conception to natural death. He’ll also lead a state that recognizes the foundation of our culture is the traditional family. He won’t be a governor who ‘nibbles at the margins.’ He’ll be a transformational governor.
In the realm of leadership, Bob Vander Plaats is:
· FOR a stay on same-sex marriages until the General Assembly rewrites state law or Iowans are allowed to vote on the definition of marriage as one man and one woman.
· FOR standing up to the courts when judges overstep their legal bounds and redefine state law from the bench.
· FOR standing up for Iowa’s rights under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
· FOR legal immigration and welcoming with open arms those who come to Iowa via the proper channels and seek to become productive, law-abiding citizens.
· FOR strict accountability and high fines for business and industry employing illegal aliens.
· FOR English as the official language.
· FOR a ban on government assistance to anyone who is in the state illegally.
· FOR aggressively addressing the $900 million shortfall created by Chet Culver and legislative Democrats.
· FOR repaying as soon as possible the massive long-term debt that Culver and legislative created to generate short-term gains in their misguided I-JOBS program.
· AGAINST saddling current and future Iowans with additional debt.
· FOR zero-based budgeting before programs are funded.
· FOR lean-process management of state resources, focusing on results, transparency, the expectation of more services with fewer dollars and threading service delivery with excellence.
· FOR ending Chet Culver’s practice of using one-time revenues to pay for ongoing expenses, which currently sees 13 cents of every dollar in the ongoing state budget relying on income such as the federal government’s stimulus package.
· FOR limiting the scope of state government.
· FOR seeking advice on improving government productivity from Iowa’s top business executives, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders and government innovators.
· AGAINST paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to out-of-state government efficiency consultants.
· FOR hiring department directors and other top state officials with stellar character, exceptional competency and solid team chemistry who understand that their job is to serve constituents rather than be served by taxpayers.
· FOR defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
· FOR protecting the words “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance.
· FOR the right to display the Ten Commandments.
· AGAINST restoring voting rights to felons without proper process.
· FOR the death penalty in the case of pre-meditated murder and multiple felonies that, when combined, result in death.
· FOR a state “shall carry” law that protects Iowans’ Second Amendment rights so they are not subject to the current arbitrary, county-by-county process in which sheriffs can deny gun permits to law-abiding citizens.
· FOR mandatory prison sentence for producers of meth.
· FOR tougher penalties for drug violations involving firearms.
· AGAINST expanded gambling.