A few weeks back I posted a column concerning Ashley Hinson getting caught with her hand in the cookie jar doing some plagiarizing from various sources.
In this instance Hinson did something that has sadly become a common practice by Republicans in state legislatures across the country. That is the practice of taking “model” legislation developed by a Koch brothers think tank ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and introducing it into state legislators. Since ALEC produces “model” legislation there is an expectation that legislators review the bills and make adjustments for their states as needed.
Legislators have been lazy and sloppy and have often been just submitted as the finished product.
From the iowastartingline article:
Last summer, the Des Moines Register detailed how Iowa legislators have copied whole sections of ALEC proposals “word-for-word” when introducing certain bills, such as limiting asbestos lawsuits and strengthening free speech protections at public universities. The Register’s article was part of a broader USA Today and Arizona Republic investigation that found 10,000 “copycat bills” introduced in Statehouses across the country.
In February 2019, Hinson was the sole sponsor of House File 471 to provide businesses liability protection in the event they are sued for hiring a person convicted of a crime. In 2011, ALEC introduced a template for this type of legislation to “immunize employers who hire ex-offenders without a violent or sex offense from being sued on that basis alone.”
The first section of HF 471 reads: “Limitation on liability for negligently hiring or failing to supervise an employee, agent, or independent contractor convicted of a public offense. A cause of action shall not be brought against a private employer, general contractor, or premises owner solely for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee, agent, or independent contractor, based on evidence that the employee, agent, or independent contractor has been convicted of a public offense as defined in section 701.2 .”
The corresponding section in ALEC’s sample bill: “Limitations on Liability for Hiring Employee or Independent Contractor Convicted of a Nonviolent, Non-sexual Offense. A cause of action may not be brought against an employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party for hiring an employee or independent contractor who has been convicted of a nonviolent, non-sexual offense.”
Most voters have become very aware that Republican legislators at whatever level pretty much exist in an authoritarian environment where straying from the party line is verboten. Straying is not allowed in voting nor even in answering questions where talking points are given daily to party members. For you folks up in Iowa’s first district, Ashley Hinson has sure shown that if elected her work will probably be done by someone else.
One thing about Abby Finkenauer she is genuine. Her work is her work. She learned that coming from a long line of union members. When you are looking for someone who truly stands up for her constituents, Abby Finkenauer is near the top.
As Maya Angelou once so clearly stated “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.”