Iowa CCI not backing off aggressive approach

Published On: Aug 26 2012 12:40:54 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 26 2012 12:35:36 PM CDT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement admit they're loud and occasionally rude, but they argue that when officials won't listen, activists must demand attention.

The group has a history of confrontational tactics dating to the 1970s, but recent incidents gained more attention, especially when members heckled then-Iowa caucus candidate Mitt Romney at the 2011 state fair.

Iowa CCI members also shouted during this year's state fair for likely Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan to answer whether he intended to cut Medicare. And last week, group members interrupted a state ethics committee meeting to force a discussion of alleged violations by Regents member Bruce Rastetter. The allegations were dismissed.

Hugh Espey, the group's executive director, says Iowa CCI has used confrontational tactics since the mid-1970s and won't stop now.