First, this is Halloween. Wishing you a safe, corona virus free holiday.
Now on to the main story. Tuesday will be the end of what is now referred to as the election season. In the US pretty much every state has some form of early voting which begins as much as 50 days prior to the actual Election Day. As someone who has worked a 12-hour shift on Election Day or has been suddenly called out of town on Election Day the expansion of the voting period was much needed. As with most Democrats, we believe the more that can be done to expand the vote is a good thing.
The onset of the corona virus in this country was late February. By the middle of March schools and other public venues and events began shutting down. Americans waited for the administration to lead us in a response. In so many crises during his presidency Trump’s responses had been strange at best. But surely this time even he could not ignore the threat that the country faced.
We were wrong. By late March it was quite clear that the President would not only respond poorly, he would respond in such a way that would cause the virus to spread, leading to much more death and illness than would have happened had he simply did nothing. His actions gave the pandemic new life.
By late March Trump was already talking of reopening the economy that had been shut down pretty much voluntarily by businesses, then made formal by late to the game governors. Trump wanted the economy reopened by Easter. While he didn’t get that wish, most of the economy was reopened by mid-May. The pandemic has just blown up since then.
Many of us have been waiting 4 years to cast this vote. Many have been itching to vote since the pandemic started. Others have slowly come on board to vote against Trump as pandemic numbers have spiraled upward with no response from the administration. The response to the pandemic has been a capsulation of his whole administration – do nothing and claim that anything good that happens is due to your leadership.
A friend of blogforiowa, former Muscatine democratic chair Don Paulson shared his latest LTTE with us. He sums the the situation up in a few pointed sentences:
For those of you who haven’t voted yet, I urge you to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot!
All Americans know of the failures of the Trump Administration. Their response to the pandemic has been a disaster. They are attempting to end the Affordable Care Act (and have for years) with nothing to replace it. Science and climate change are ignored. Fact checkers note that Trump constantly lies on and off the campaign trail. He belittles minorities and his political opponents. The incompetence coming from this White House is breath-taking.
Currently the number of bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to help the American people and the nation is just under 400. They sit idle on Mitch McConnell’s desk.
His enabler, Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst does not speak out. She has failed the ethanol industry. She has stated she wants to talk about privatizing Social Security “behind closed doors”. She is holding up the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act because the National Rifle Association doesn’t want to close the “boyfriend loophole”. She has voted to confirm judges rated as “unqualified”.
At the state level, Republicans control the state legislature. They have failed Iowans on the issues of water quality, public education funding, restoring worker rights, common sense gun measures, and raising the minimum wage. And they will not act on reversing the disastrous privatization of the state’s Medicaid program.
Two Supervisors are up for re-election in Muscatine County. You’ll recall the fiasco with the county and the mental health board, the application of slag on the county’s roads, and the current backroom scheme to install a County Attorney that was forced from office in a different county.
Don’s letter illustrates the absolute rot from the White House to the state house to the county courthouse. The last paragraph of his LTTE refers to the scandal in Muscatine County where Republican supervisors appointed an attorney who had quite a kickback scandal in a previous County Attorney post in Cass county:
A kickback scandal involving former Cass County Attorney James Barry in 2004 was about as big as it gets in Iowa, and, for a time, cast a wide shadow over Iowa’s criminal justice system.
Appalled at the time by a lack of action by state government officials, seven Atlantic residents decided to do something very rare: Petition the district court themselves to have Barry, county attorney for 14 years, and Sheriff Larry Jones removed from office.
Judge Robert Hutchinson ousted the two top lawmen, finding them responsible for willful misconduct and maladministration in office in a scheme to offer plea bargains for cash. In 2009, Iowa’s Supreme Court suspended Barry’s law license for a year, saying what he did cast disrepute on the judicial system and amounted to “justice for sale.”
But on May 11, the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors set aside that history and voted unanimously to resurrect Barry’s career in public office.
From the White House to the courthouse and every stop in between. Governor Reynolds has turned Iowa into one of the most dangerous places to live IN THE WORLD! Ernst is little more than an employee of the gun industry and the Koch brothers. The Iowa legislature is a rubber stamp for business and rich folks wish lists.
Make the change Iowa. Elect Democrats up and down the ballot. There is still time to turn it around and restore true democracy in which WE, The People actually have a say!