Be Sure To Add Ernst To This List

Houston Police Chief went off on a much needed rant the other day calling out politicians whose cowardice in the face of the NRA he felt led to the death of one of his officers in a domestic dispute (1.3 minutes):

In the category Acevedo called “others” the first name I would include would be Joni Ernst. In what has to be one of the most cynical of political moves I have ever heard of, Ernst introduced a bill to replace the elapsed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with a bill that would allow partners in temporary domestic violence situations to have guns.

From a previous post on blogforiowa:   

Ernst’s VAWA reauthorization attempt allows convicted stalkers to continue gun possession

Des Moines, Iowa — Progress Iowa released a report today, detailing the failure of Senator Joni Ernst to protect domestic violence survivors in Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization. Ernst’s legislation comes months after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a VAWA reauthorization bill in April.

The report discusses the history of the Violence Against Women Act, as well as the current efforts to reauthorize the legislation, which has lapsed for over a year. After a VAWA reauthorization passed in the U.S. House, the Senate began working on a counterpart. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a version with bipartisan support that closes the so-called boyfriend loophole and includes a number of other provisions backed by advocates and survivors of domestic violence.

Key findings in Progress Iowa’s report include that Ernst’s VAWA reauthorization would allow convicted misdemeanor stalkers to continue gun possession, and it would not prohibit people subject to a temporary domestic violence restraining order from gun possession, and it would adversely impact indigenous women and the LGBTQ community.

“If Senator Ernst continues to refuse to support VAWA as passed by the House and supported by Senators from both sides of the aisle, I can only conclude that she is in denial of the terror these crimes inflict even though she has been subjected to it in her own life,” said State Representative Marti Anderson of Des Moines. “These crimes strike horrific fear in women and children who are targeted. Senator Ernst’s failure to do everything the can to stop this insidious violence gives enormous power and control to abusers — men who say they love the women they abuse and often threaten with death. Senator Ernst must listen to survivors and those who work for their safety. She can distinguish herself by doing all she can to stop violence against women.”

It is readily apparent that the cynical Ernst is trying to earn some chits as a champion for women. Yet, she is very aware that her original election was due to huge support from the NRA. No doubt she realizes her re-election will once again need the help of the NRA. So she is publicly projecting the image of a champion against women’s violence while making sure that her benefactors are not in any way hurt by laws that may cost them a gun sale or two.

Now there is a policeman in Houston dead because of Republicans failure in the senate to act to remove guns from potential domestic violence situations. An Ernst bill would do nothing to change that situation.

Cynical, cynical, cynical.

Don Paulson of Muscatine who writes an occasional letter to the editor sums the Ernst VAWA situation up in this concise LTTE:

Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst is failing us. She is putting her Party over her constituents.

Her latest failure involves the Violence Against Women Act. While the U.S. House passed a good bill last spring, it has been hung up in the Senate. If you are wondering why, it’s because the NRA and Republicans said the House bill “would restrict gun rights by preventing people convicted of stalking or abusing dating partners from buying a gun.” (Jordan Carnay, The Hill, 11/8/19) Senator Ernst has come up with a flawed replacement. Johna Sullivan, from the Crisis Intervention and Advocacy Center in Adel, says, “While it’s true her bill dramatically increases funding for programs like mine, it also rolls bacl existing protections for LGBTQ nondiscrimination provisions; fails to protect Native survivors; cuts important enhancements for under-served communities overall in rape education and prevention, violence reduction and youth programs; and fails to address the epidemic of gun violence against victims of domestic violence.” (“Ernst can do better on legislation to protect survivors of domestic violence”, Johna Sullivan, 11/27/19, Des Moines Register)

Other recent Ernst failures include voting to confirm Steve Menashi to the Second Court of Appeals, voting to confirm Eugene Scalia to be Secretary of Labor, suggested discussions on changes to be made to Social Security be done behind closed doors, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act four times (with no replacement plan), and voted to let insurance companies to sell junk insurance plans.

Iowans can certainly do better than this.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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