About all that Kim Reynolds has done during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis in Iowa has been to grab opportunities to advance her name while actually doing little in the way of helping Iowans crawl out from under the weight of the pandemic.
Her early decisions to force Iowa meat packing plants to remain open with little mitigation of conditions that were helping to spread the disease helped put Iowa in the upper echelon of deaths per population in the US. Her slow response to deaths in old age homes also contributed to that sad statistic.
She has used funds from the federal government meant to be spent to battle the virus instead to pay staff and upgrade an IT system. This was later pointed out by State Auditor Rob Sand to be an illegal use of the funds. The state had to return the money.
As reported by TV station KTIV:
DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has directed the Department of Management to return $21 million to Iowa’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Back in October, Iowa’s auditor warned that the governor’s decision to spend $21 million in federal pandemic relief funds on a new executive branch software system would not be allowed and should be abandoned.
State Auditor Rob Sand said that using the federal money to pay for Workday was an inappropriate use under the law. In a letter sent to the director of the Iowa Department of Management, Sand advised that the millions of dollars used for the system was not allowed under CARES Act expenditure requirements.
Fast forward to today and we find the Governor once again being cited by the State Auditor for questionable use of state funds. In this case Reynolds has been cited by Rob Sand for using state funds to promote herself. From the Iowa Capitol Dispatch:
The governor’s “Step Up, Stop The Spread” media campaign, which was announced in November 2020, was part of an effort to encourage Iowans to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus.
According to Sand’s report, Reynolds spent more than $500,000 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. Specifically, money from the act’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Enhancing Detection supplement were used for the campaign, with $152,585 of the total spent on television, radio and internet advertisements.
In questioning the legality of that expenditure, Sand cited a state law that says statewide elected officials “shall not permit the expenditure of public moneys under the control of the statewide elected official for the purpose of any paid advertisement or promotion bearing the written name, likeness, or voice of the statewide elected official.”
The law goes on to say that any official who willfully violates the statute “shall be subject to a civil penalty of an amount up to the amount of moneys used to fund the communication,” with the penalty paid by the official’s political candidate’s committee.
To go along with that the state of Iowa is falling far short of goals set by the governor for percent of population vaccinated. This should be of little surprise considering that Reynolds has spent much of the past year pretending the corona virus was not a big deal. Now when she wants to feather her cap with gaudy vaccination numbers, many Iowans still think that the virus is not serious or is a hoax. You reap what you sow, Governor.
At a time when leadership and ideas are desperately needed, Reynolds refuses to adapt any programs that have shown to be successful in other states. As pointed out by startinglineiowa:
With vaccination rates stalling and demand plummeting in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds told reporters yesterday she doesn’t plan to offer incentives for getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
That means no lottery, no giveaways, no cash payments.
Reynolds said pop-up clinics at sporting events and the Des Moines farmer’s market are enough to catch those who haven’t yet taken advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re still doing everything we can,” she said at an event yesterday. “We are working with every venue we can.”
Pop-up clinics at sporting events and Des Moines farmer’s markets? She just doesn’t get it does she? She is out of touch with Iowa, but in touch with the Trump wing of the Republican Party that could care less about you or your family or the concept of following laws. For Iowa’s sake she must be replaced as soon as possible.