Don’t Forget Those State Races When You Vote!
You can vote early now, so let’s get it done!
Don’t forget that much of the impetus for the downgrading of American lifestyles has come from politicians not at the national level, but at the state level. While Republicans have tied our national government into an ineffective knot, statehouse across the country have enacted laws to stifle voting, quash unions and privatize schools, prisons, and as in Iowa privatize the access to Medicaid.
In Iowa this is a critical election. Terry Branstad shows signs of wanting to complete a power grab by his administration that would put Iowa in league with states following the tea bag formula to disastrous government. A one seat swing plus the expected return of David Johnson of Ocheydon to the Republican fold would give Branstad the opportunity to pursue legislation similar to states like Wisconsin and Kansas.
If you have missed it both Kansas and Wisconsin have been the epitome of poorly run states. In Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback stopped the publication of an in house report that was supposed to extol the glory of his tea bag revolution. The results have been disastrous and all he can do is try to pretend they never happened.
In Wisconsin a copy of the federal John Doe investigation revealed that the Scott Walker regime up there has been a cauldron of corruption while unions have been destroyed, judicial chairs auctioned and voting rights taken away.
Given both houses of the state legislature, Terry Branstad would no doubt like to repeat what Republicans see as good policy. Not having both houses hasn’t really slowed him down a whole lot. However he has had to do it with some headwind from the Democratic controlled senate.
To keep any repeats of recent Branstad power grabs from happening Iowans really need to return the legislature to Democratic hands. A major gift that Democrats have been given this year is the candidacy of Donald Trump and his exposing of the Republican Party as a party that favors the wealthy and that has little time for those who are not male and white. With Republican leadership in Iowa backing Trump to the hilt it isn’t much of a stretch to say that Iowa’s Republican Party endorses Trumpian policies.
One race that could be one of the closest in the senate is the race between Chris Brase and Mark Lofgren in senate district 46 which includes western Scott and Eastern Muscatine county.
Just completing his first senate term, Senator Brase has been an absolute bulldog in standing up for Democratic values in the legislature. When it comes to standing up for working people, Brase is one of the go to people in the Iowa legislature. Brase has been a loud and constant critic of the Governor in the whole privatization of Medicaid fiasco. His opponent on the other hand during his tenure in the Iowa house was a tool for the wealthy.
If you want to help Chris Brase retain his seat in the senate you can contribute here.
Another important seat in the Iowa senate is that of Burlington senator Tom Courtney. You have seen many of Senator Courtney’s newsletters on these pages throughout the last several legislative sessions. Senator Courtney was once on the shop floor like many of us. He has not forgotten what it was like to be a working person. As his campaign slogan says “He’s got our backs in the state senate.” That is not just a slogan, but a statement of fact.
Courtney was there to stand up to Matt Schultz when the then Secretary of State tried to single handedly impose voter restrictions on Iowans. Courtney stopped it. Senator Courtney, like Senator Brase was one of the early and loud critics of Branstad’s Medicaid privatization scheme.
In short Senators Courtney and Brase are two of of the best voices for the common Iowan whether they be a farmer, laborer, office worker or small business owner.
More than ever, in this time when Trump has bent policy to the detriment of the vast majority of the citizenry, we recommend voting a straight party ticket. And in Iowa the sooner the better!
Do not forget that you can vote absentee by mail in Iowa. You can check your registration here. If you are not registered you can do so here. Then you can request an absentee ballot here and return this form to the county auditor’s office.
Since requesting an absentee ballot requires a trip to your county auditor’s off why not do what we did Friday and just stop in there and vote. You can vote at your county auditor’s office during regular business hours until election day. It is easy and that way you are sure you voted.