Another View

Fighting back!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and it is a good time to focus public attention on the epidemic of sexual violence that plagues our communities. The natural inclination for most of us is to say that these problems occur somewhere else, in much larger communities. This type of thinking ...

Random thoughts

Regardless of which political party you claim to be a member of, the issue of nominating a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia is yet another example of obstruction by doing nothing. And it has everything to do with politics.I think it is ...

Happenings in Des Moines

Week 10 was marked by debate on bills sent over from the Senate. The Tax Coupling bill, House File 2433, was debated and passed in the House and Senate on Tuesday and now goes to the governor for his signature.Meskwaki Jurisdiction BillOn Tuesday the House debated Senate File 2022, a bill to ...

New initiatives to protect crime victims

Several bipartisan bills moving through the Senate this session will make Iowa communities safer and ensure justice for crime victims. House File 2265 ensures victims of domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and human trafficking don't have to divulge in court proceedings where they live, unless ...

The iPhone — public enemy No. 1?

In this corner: the FBI, which says that all high-tech company Apple cares about is protecting its mega-profits and not the nation's security.And in that corner: Apple, which says the feds will put everyone's privacy in jeopardy if a court forces them to disable password protection on the ...

Paying for low-wage pollution

Economic justice activists are championing laws that shift the costs of toxic poverty wages from communities to corporations.Imagine if a corporation set up shop in your community and immediately dumped toxic sludge in your local waterways and buried radioactive waste next to your biggest ...

The work continues in Des Moines

The House is now focused on debating bills on the House Floor each day as we work through the many bills that have passed committee. Most of these bills are non-controversial, they generate little debate. I ran House File 2265 which made changes to the Safe At Home program on Thursday, which ...

Where are we at the ‘midpoint’ of the legislative session?

As I write this column, we are at the "midpoint" of the 2016 session of the Iowa General Assembly. We are scheduled to adjourn on April 19 as this is supposed to be a 100-day session. Therefore, I want to comment on several issues that are before the legislature: State aid to our schools: The ...

See Marco run

If the young senator from Florida is their savior, Republicans should be very worried.Since his relatively strong third-place showing in Iowa, the ups and downs of Senator Marco Rubio's GOP presidential campaign are getting more attention. And so are the lefts and rights.After the man once ...

Moving toward the funnel

We've finished a full and busy week five of the session. Many bills are moving through the committees as we keep an eye on the Feb. 18 funnel date.BudgetThe Senate Democrats have released their budget targets, spending $70 million more than the state collects in on-going revenue.They did not ...

That ‘controversial’ Doritos comercial

In a day when the most innocuous thing can quickly become political, a Doritos Super Bowl commercial has upset some people who want abortion to be an unrestricted right.For those taking a bathroom break or watching "Downton Abbey" instead of the football game, here's the scenario. A pregnant ...

U of I secrecy not appropriate for public school

The philosophy behind Iowa's public records and public meetings laws is quite simple: Government in Iowa should be open to the people of Iowa except in a few rare instances.After all, this is their government. Government does not belong to government officials or to government agencies.The ...

America’s hollow paradises

People with working-class jobs in U.S. beach towns and ski resorts are getting pushed away by exorbitant housing costs.Think back to your favorite vacation. Wouldn't it be delightful if that trip never ended?Imagine moving to that fantastic destination town, finding a job and a house, and ...

I’m skipping the Oscars

For two years in a row, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences - the organization behind the Oscars - failed to nominate a single actor or actress of color in the lead and supporting acting categories. Not one.Meanwhile, though women earned more Oscar nominations overall, they were ...

The times they are a changin’

On Sept. 8, 2015 the voters of Marshalltown made a bold and strong statement that they were not satisfied with the status quo and wanted change in the Marshalltown school district.That day brought to the table four new school board members; and after a school board member resignation on Dec. 7, ...

The GOP’s pro-corporate prescription

Tax credits for working families are a better deal than corporate tax breaks.The conventional wisdom in Washington is that tax breaks for corporations lead to economic growth. Tax assistance for working families, on the other hand, may help them make ends meet, but it doesn't have much impact ...

Broadband rates are too high

Low-income communities are being stranded as everyone else catches a ride on the information superhighway.As the digital revolution hurtles ahead, low-income communities across the United States aren't reaping many of its benefits.The less you make, the less likely it is that you're hooked up ...

The year in review

Just over a year ago, Eastern Iowans sent me to Washington to represent them in Congress. I'm humbled by the trust placed in me by the voters, and I see it as my responsibility to report back on my efforts to serve the First District.I told you during my campaign that if you like the status quo ...

Fear-mongering hurts us all

Representative Loretta Sanchez's bogus claims about Muslims reflect the kind of prejudice that holds America back.Representative Loretta Sanchez voiced the fears of a growing number of Americans when she spoke recently with Larry King as details about the San Bernardino shooters emerged."We ...

In dark times, poetry can enlighten us

Artists are coming together to commemorate victims of violence and create bridges between America and the Middle East.Following the Paris terrorist attacks, the colors of the French flag appeared on American computer screens, in the icons of apps and the faces of friends on Facebook.As this ...