Another Law Signed In Secret

kim reynolds

New boss same as the old boss.

A saying that most workers at the lower levels of employment hear over and over. There is little respect for the dignity of these humans. Most bosses barely treat them as human except when they (the boss) wants something from them. They have little or no input to policies affecting their workplaces and often their lives. Policies are often made up behind closed doors by people who will never have to live by these often arbitrary rules. Then these policies are laid on the workers with a heavy hand that is basically a “my way or the highway” kind of rollout.

And now in Iowa we have a legislature and a governor who act just like the bosses that so many of us are familiar with. If the Republican controlled legislature could they surely would do their business behind closed doors. If you remember the outpouring protest that greeted Republicans gutting labor agreements last year it was quite amazing that Republicans totally ignored the protests. They acted as if there was no one else there.

Then just to add insult to injury, the Governor Branstad had the temerity to sign this bill that had huge effects on hundreds of thousands of Iowans in a private ceremony with only one witness. We could easily say that witness was Branstad’s handler from the Koch brothers. This had to be one of the most obscene photos ever taken.

Image (1) terry-branstad-drew-klein-after-branstad-signs-union-busting-bill-300x169.jpeg for post 36779

In a similar instance the previous year Branstad simply changed how Medicaid is handled in Iowa to private management. This change was greatly protested at the time, but Branstad refused to listen. He was a management tool beholden to hand a huge chunk of our money to private business. 

As many predicted, this change has been a disaster. The Republican Party has had plenty of time and opportunity to fix this disaster. They hear daily from the customers of the system, but simply refuse to do anything. Since 201y our legislature has acted as if their mission is turn government into an appendage of corporations not to act to solve problems of “we the people.”

Continuing this legacy, Republicans passed the highly controversial bill banning so-called “sanctuary cities” while ignoring input from many side and Governor Reynolds snuck behind closed doors to sign the bill. Shows how proud she was of her actions.   

Response from opposition to the sanctuary cities bill was immediate:

After the governor signed the bill, Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa legal director, issued a statement saying her organization views the law as unconstitutional.

“Let’s be clear. It violates a person’s constitutional rights for lowa law enforcement to hold them without a warrant or probable cause of a crime,” Bettis said in a statement. “But that is what ICE detainer requests ask Iowa law enforcement to do. That’s because ICE “detainer requests” are exactly that: an ask of local law enforcement to hold a person without a warrant or probable cause. As a result of this, we are deeply concerned about the passage of S.F.481 and will strive to defend the constitutional rights of Iowans against unlawful detentions.”

Critics opposed the bill as an unfunded mandate for local entities by requiring them to hold people without a court order and makes them potentially financial liable while not providing any money to cities and counties for their costs. Opponents also charged the bill was intended to score political points while scaring, intimidating and dividing Iowans.

“This law does not reflect Iowa values, and we will continue to defend each other because we believe that we all belong. Everyone sill has rights, and we will continue to fight for everyone’s rights.” said American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Iowa Director, Erica Johnson. “Our country has seen unjust laws in the past. And just like we did then, we will stand up against SF481 and call for dignity and justice for all people in Iowa, regardless of immigration status.”

Many folks here know that Reynolds used “sanctuary cities” as her racist dog whistle to raise money last winter. The letter can be seen here.  

It is an incredible shame that Iowa which has one of the greatest histories of tolerance and respect for humanity in the US is being brought to this level by a governor who would pander to the lowest racist instincts of a few Iowans. But then this is a person who proudly has racist Steve King as a member of her campaign committee.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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1 Response to Another Law Signed In Secret

  1. Mateo Raft says:

    Just visited Iowa City and attended an event at Carver. I agree with you regarding Iowa’s former reputation for tolerance–America’s first mosque and the Amana colonies are the foremost examples–but the rest of your post doesn’t seem to add much in the way of substance. In any case, if you’re interested, my thoughts on Iowa as a tourist are here:


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