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Rally draws support for Taylor’s Maid-Rite

March 13, 2010

A rally at Taylor's Maid-Rite Friday saw approximately 100 supporters turn out to show support for the local eatery as it continues to fight for its traditional cooking operation.

The state has suggested the cooking method is unsafe and wanted Taylor's to change it. An amendment introduced in the Iowa Senate by Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, would preserve the right of Taylor's and other old-time Maid-Rites to continue with their original cooking method.

That amendment, and related bill, passed the Senate and is likely to be taken up by the Iowa House next week.

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Supporters of Taylor’s Maid-Rite in Marshalltown show their displeasure with recent state actions that have sought to change the way the business cooks its meat. Approximately 100 people turned out at a rally Friday to support the business.

However, even if it passes, it is not a sure bet.

"This is on a budget bill, so on a budget bill, the governor could line item veto it," said Rep. Lance Horbach, R-Tama.

Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, said he has tried to contact the governor's office and explain the situation.

"I have recommended that he leave the amendment in there," Smith said.

Horbach noted the governor appointed Dean Lerner, the current director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, who decided to change the longstanding policy the department had over Taylor's cooker. The governor may not be willing against to go against the wishes of a person he appointed, Horbach said.

Overall, the rally focused on the Taylor and Short families, who have been fixtures in Marshalltown for more than eight decades.

"It's not about loose meat sandwiches," said Bill Wilson, who created a Facebook fan page to drum up support for Taylor's Maid-Rite. "It's about this family. ... It's time for the government to leave this family alone."

Don Taylor Short, who owns the restaurant along with Sandra Taylor Short, noted what the outshowing of support means.

"Myself and my family cannot express how much this means," he said.

He also said the issue has nothing to do with food safety. Rather, it is much deeper than that.

"It's an issue of corporate [policy] that is now becoming political," he said. "That's not what we wanted it to be."


Contact Ken Black at 641-753-6611 or



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