Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 4, 2017 Letter to the Editor - 05-04-2017
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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Reason needs to be

restored in capitol


Mercifully, the 87th Legislative session for this year has come to a close before the Republican majority could do any more damage to Iowa’s well being and reputation as being a civil place to live, work, and retire.

During this session we have witnessed, the Republicans, under the watchful tutelage of the Americans for Prosperity, the political right-wing network, funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers and their extreme agenda for Iowa, enact voter suppression bills, and worker hurting policies.

Tens of thousands of Iowans will have more trouble exercising their fundamental constitutional rights to vote under the controversial new vote identification law.

Although Secretary Pate has promised that valid identification will be provided at no charge to every Iowa voter who doesn’t have a driver’s license, the bill states that “providing voter registration cards is contingent upon adequate appropriations.”

The new requirements for IDs and shortened windows for absentee and early voting create disproportionate hurdles for many people: the elderly, the disabled, rural populations, minorities, and the poor in particular.

As a result, qualified citizens who would like to vote, and who have taken this responsibility seriously in the past, will be unable to do so. Study after study shows that voter ID laws do nothing to stop fraud. Studies also show that Iowa has one of the fairest most reliable voting systems in America.

Voter ID laws are simply a way for Republicans to prevent people, especially people who vote for Democrats from voting. Proponents like to say, “when you check in at the airport you have to show an ID, when you open a new checking account, you have to show an ID” as though that’s reason enough to make the changes, but how many poor elderly handicapped people are flying around the countryside going play golf in Florida with the President or how many are opening new checking accounts?

Secretary Pate is fond of saying one voter fraud is too many; the question should be how many cases of voter suppression is too many?

During this session the Republican majority reduced to rubble a 40-year-old collective bargaining law that was effectively working.

By all accounts, the system established by the act has worked well to promote negotiated settlements of public sector contracts, to prevent strikes, and to promote widespread prosperity and stable communities by aligning standards of employment with regional and occupational trends.

On average ninety-eight percent of all contracts were settled voluntarily.

Nov. 6, 2018, we have the option and obligation to repeal and replace the Republican Majority and restore reason to the legislature.

There can be and there should be political consequences for the reckless disregard for public good forced upon Iowa by this extreme legislative agenda as enacted by the Koch brothers followers.

Harold R. Frakes

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