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Doorstep Politics

WATERLOO, IA (CBS2/FOX28) As Iowa gets closer to Election Day, a gun ownership group is bringing politics to some representatives doorsteps.

On April 17, Iowa Gun Owners, a non-profit group supporting looser gun regulation, posted a picture on Facebook that showed State Representative Anesa Kajtazovics home address and posted her personal cell phone number. That prompted what Representative Kajtazovic says were harassing phone calls.

Late on April 21, the group posted similar information about Representative Bruce Braley.

In both cases, it started with a survey that the group says it sends out to all candidates so that their members can be better informed on who supports what gun policies near election time. When Representative Kajtazovic refused to take the survey, the rejected envelope ended up on Facebook and got upwards of 700 shares.

Iowa Gun Owners Executive Director Aaron Dorr says politicians normally take his groups survey and return it, outlining their positions on gun issues

"Even if a candidate does not agree with our views on the 2nd Amendment, at least have enough respect to tell our members where they actually stand, said Dorr. I'm with you here, I'm opposed to here and so on."

Thats where Dorr says Representative Kajtazovic fell short.

"Right now she's rejected the survey, that's all there is to it, said Dorr. She has not done the survey and our members will be told that."

Dorr says shes trying to run from a record thats hostile to gun rights, so the post calls for members to let her know theyre not happy. Kajtazovic says shes gotten threatening messages and phone calls.

"There's no need to use intimidating factors to try and go after their opponents, said Representative Kajtazovic.

She is currently the Democratic Representative from District 61 in the State House, covering areas near Waterloo. She is also running in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. House of Representatives seat that Democratic Representative Bruce Braley will leave to run for the Senate.

Kajtazovic says shes not hiding anything.

"I've always had a public stance, and public voting, said Kajtazovic. All of my positions on these issues are public information."

She says she supports the 2nd Amendment but is against Stand Your Ground legislation and gun suppressors for public use, an issue she recently voted against.

She says her campaign uses a P.O. Box to receive mail and that would have been the proper way to contact her with a survey. Even though shes a public figure, she says posting this kind of personal information online, and encouraging people to seek her out, takes the political process a step too far.

"I think these are the tactics that a lot of other legitimate groups do not use, said Kajtazovic.

The Iowa Gun Owners say theyre confident in the decency of Iowans to not harass or harm the representatives. Kajtazovic says shes been taking the calls that have been coming in, explaining her positions to the public. She says some people have been receptive to that, others havent.

Congressman Bruce Braleys office declined official comment on the fact that the group also posted his personal address to their page as well.

 
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