Editor’s comment: The folks at Progress Iowa run an annual “Extreme 16” yearly to coincide with the NCAA tournament. Sadly, Iowa’s Extreme 16 seldom make it because they are good. Rather, these are people in positions of power who can make life even tougher for the average Iowan:
EXTREME 16 BRACKET: Iowa’s Sinister Senator Earns Top Seed
Gov. Reynolds, Sen. Grassley and Rep. Hinson round out the top four
Des Moines, Iowa — Iowans voted, and the #Extreme16 has been selected! This year, State Senator Jake Chapman takes the top spot in Progress Iowa’s list of the most extreme Iowans.
“It’s a bit of an upset but really should come as no surprise that Sinister Jake Chapman beat out heavy hitters like Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and Congresswoman Ashley Hinson,” said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa. “Chapman sealed his fate as Iowa’s number one most extreme Iowan when he accused teachers of having a ‘sinister agenda’ and proposed a bill that would put teachers in jail.”
Sen. Chapman narrowly beat out Governor Kim Reynolds for the top spot, as the two were separated by just one vote.
“Corporate Kim Reynolds is one of the strongest number two seeds in Extreme 16 history,” said Sinovic. “This year alone Reynolds has proposed a measly and insufficient funding increase for public schools, and suggested robbing public schools to fund private schools instead. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Reynolds has repeatedly sold us out, in favor of her corporate donors, and took her divisive agenda national with the State of the Union response, all while ignoring the workforce crisis she created that has made it tougher for small businesses and schools to stay open.”
Click here to view the bracket and read below to view the entire Extreme 16, in addition to the “first four out.”
2022 Extreme 16 – Tournament Resumes
- “Sinister” Jake Chapman, State Senator – Aside from his attacks on Iowa teachers, Chapman serves as Senate President, meaning he’s responsible for all the terrible legislation that moves through the chamber. And there have been a lot of terrible bills moving through this year.
- “Corporate” Kim Reynolds, Iowa Governor – The Governor has only signed a handful of bills into law this year, and spoiler alert: they’re all bad. She’s signed off on an unfair flat tax, underfunding public schools and keeping transgender children from playing sports. She could have spent that time working to improve the Reynolds Workforce Crisis, but she’d rather score political points than solve real problems our state is facing.
- Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senator (Class of 1959) – Where to begin? He has voted to overturn the ACA, voted against the American Rescue Plan, blocked voting rights legislation, and has threatened to hold up the Supreme Court nomination process of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Let’s hope he does the right thing and votes to appoint this highly qualified candidate. Grassley has been in elected office since 1959, and has not improved with age.
- “Harmful” Ashley Hinson, U.S. Representative – Hinson is no stranger to the Extreme 16, but this is her first appearance as a congresswoman. Hinson just can’t seem to stop taking credit for others’ work. Recently, she touted millions of dollars in funding for locks and dams along the Mississippi. She failed to mention those funds are thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill she voted against and called “socialism.”
- Bobby “The Bird” Kaufmann, State Representative – Bobby previously appeared on our list as part of a duo with his father, Jeff, but this year he’s earned his own spot. The act that landed him the number 5 spot? His infamous flipping of the bird at the Iowa Capitol back in January, which he said should tell constituents who disagree with him what he thinks.
- Mariannette Miller-Meeks, U.S. Representative – Miller-Meeks voted AGAINST a bill that would help veterans exposed to toxic burn pits… need I say more?
- Amy Sinclair, State Senator – As Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Sinclair has happily moved along harmful bills that undercut our public schools and put undue burden on our education professionals.
- Jack Whitver, State Senator – As Senate Majority Leader, Whitver helped usher in Corporate Kim Reynolds’ unfair flat tax plan and had a hand in ejecting media from the Senate floor this session.
- Steve Holt, State Representative – Rep. Holt is one of the most reliably fringe representatives in the state, and this year his continued attacks on the judiciary earned him a top 10 spot in the Extreme 16. His bizarre subpoenas may not have moved forward, but his attempts to undermine fair courts will almost surely continue as long as he’s in office.
- Mike Bousselot, State Representative – Rep. Bousselot has made quick work in joining the ranks of the most extreme in Iowa, as he has only been in the legislature for a short time. He’s more than earned his spot with his consistent and relentless attacks on labor unions and working families. And we can’t forget his demonstrably dishonest attack ads that propelled him to his seat in the first place.
- Jeff “The Toe” Shipley, State Representative – Shipley solidified his spot on the Extreme 16 earlier this year when he said transgender Iowans have a mental illness and compared them to cancer. There are no words. Except, maybe we should fully fund our public schools.
- Pat Grassley, State Representative – As Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives, he’s responsible for every awful piece of legislation that moves. Every corporate sellout, every attack on educators and working families, and every theft of public resources is a betrayal of the vow he and every elected official takes to serve his constituents.
- Roby Smith, State Senator – Smith is another consistent member of the Extreme 16. He’s number 13 on our list this year, for his efforts to help Governor Reynolds avoid transparency and hoard executive power. Smith sponsored a bill that would end confirmation votes for several of the governor’s appointees.
- Sandy Salmon, State Representative – Salmon is a newcomer to our Extreme 16. She earned a spot on the list with her bill that would limit social studies teachers’ ability to hold discussions on current events and require they teach “both sides” of “controversial issues.” Thankfully, it appears that the bill is not moving forward.
- “Phony” Joni Ernst, U.S. Senator – Another familiar face. Ernst has been busy voting against ARPA and blocking voting rights legislation. She also failed to close the “boyfriend loophole” it the Violence Against Women Act, leaving a large group of women vulenrable to domestic violence.
- “Whining” Skyler Wheeler, State Representative – Our final spot on the list goes to Rep. Wheeler, who went on a crusade to “save girls’ sports” by banning transgender athletes from competing in our state. News flash: girls’ sports don’t need rescuing.
Iowans cast their votes for the Extreme 16 over the past week, and the full bracket can be viewed by clicking here. In addition to the 16 who were seeded, the ‘first four out’ that just missed the cut were State Senators Zach Nunn, Ken Rozenboom, Adrian Dickey, and Jason Schultz.