[Bleeding Heartland Logo]

About
Bleeding Heartland is a community blog about Iowa politics: campaigns and elections, state government, social and environmental issues. Bleeding Heartland also weighs in on presidential policies and campaigns, federal legislation and what the Iowans in Congress are up to. Join our community, post your thoughts as comments or diaries, help keep our leaders honest and hold them accountable.
Author
- desmoinesdem
Highlights
- Iowa 2012 election coverage
- Who's who in the Iowa House for 2013
- Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2013
- Iowa wildflowers
2014 Election Coverage
- Absentee ballot numbers
- IA-Sen
- IA-Gov
- IA-01
- IA-02
- IA-03
- IA-04
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of State
- State Auditor
- Iowa Senate overview
- Iowa House overview
- Senate district 5
- Senate district 7
- Senate district 9
- Senate district 13
- Senate district 15
- Senate district 17
- Senate district 27
- Senate district 29
- Senate district 39
- Senate district 41
- Senate district 47
- Senate district 49
- House district 8
- House district 15
- House district 25
- House district 26
- House district 28
- House district 30
- House district 33 (2013)
- House district 40
- House district 51
- House district 60
- House district 63
- House district 65
- House district 68
- House district 73
- House district 82
- House district 91
- House district 92
- House district 95
- House district 99
Search




Advanced Search


Paid Advertising


Bleeding Heartland
It's what plants crave.

Weekend open thread: Mind-blowing edition (w/poll)

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 10:50:00 AM CDT


The latest episode to divide Iowa Republicans is a warning from Republican Party of Iowa officials in response to planned traffic safety checkpoints in Polk County. After the jump I've posted more details on that story.

Having grown up during the 1980s, when "card-carrying member of the ACLU" was a term of abuse Republicans used against liberals, I'm still floored whenever Republicans actually care about potential encroachment on civil liberties by law enforcement officials.

That's far from the most mind-blowing political reality of our day, though. Just for fun, at the end of this post I put up a non-scientific poll for any Bleeding Heartland readers, but especially those "of a certain age." Think back 20 to 25 years and ask yourself, what reality of 2013 would be most shocking?

This is an open thread: all topics welcome.

desmoinesdem :: Weekend open thread: Mind-blowing edition (w/poll)
On September 30, Regina Zilbermints reported for the Des Moines Register,

Law enforcement officers will set up a traffic checkpoint Friday evening in the western part of Polk County, officials said.

Officials will set up a neutral system to choose which cars to stop, authorities said. For example, every third or fifth vehicle may have to pull over.

Drivers who are stopped can expect officers to check that all turn headlights, brake lights and turn signals work and that drivers have current license, registration and insurance documentation.

 
Republican Party of Iowa leaders posted this alert to "Iowa Constitutional Activists" on the front page of the Iowa GOP's website and on Facebook:

CALLING ALL IOWA CONSTITUTIONAL ACTIVISTS!
by Republican Party of Iowa
Central Iowa police are planning "traffic safety checkpoints" in Polk county on Friday night. The Iowa GOP strongly urges you NOT to give in to any illegal searches of your car. Only comply by providing your license, registration and insurance if requested.

The Iowa GOP also reminds you that recording police officers, both with audio and video is completely LEGAL and has been upheld numerous times by numerous courts. Be sure to have an objective "witness" by recording your conversations with police.

So if you're around Des Moines friday night and come across an unnecessary "random" police checkpoint, be sure to:

1. Record the conversation
2. Comply only with license, registration and insurance
3. Do not volunteer any additional information and do not permit a search of your vehicle for any reason.
4. Send the Iowa GOP any audio and video you have of your interactions with police.

"Authorities said vehicles will be systematically chosen by officers to enter the checkpoint. For example, it may be decided that every fifth vehicle will be directed to a station within the checkpoint."

I don't agree with Ron Paul-supporting "liberty" activists on much, but as a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, I also would not consent to a police search of my vehicle following a random traffic stop. I wouldn't hesitate to cooperate with requests for license and other documentation, nor would I be confrontational or videotape the encounter. But I think it's reasonable to be cautious about police searches without probable cause. Not to disparage any law enforcement officials in Polk County, but there have been cases elsewhere of police planting contraband in people's cars.

As it turned out, there was no grand conspiracy behind the traffic stop on Friday. KCCI news reported,

"It wasn't bad, (there's) not much to it," said Brendand Burtnett, of Slater.

Authorities said that once stopped, drivers can expect a brief visual verification that turn signals, brake lights and headlights are functioning properly and that current licensing, registration and insurance documentation check out.

"He just had me turn on my lights, make sure the horn works, all the blinkers and everything," said Sharon Born, of West Des Moines.

"I had a right rear stop light out that I didn't know about," said Kermit Veach, of West Des Moines. [...]

Officers will distribute educational material emphasizing traffic safety during the stop.

Authorities said the event is designed to assist drivers and passengers by checking vehicle equipment.

"It's a dangerous world now. It doesn't hurt to go through this once in a while, I guess," said Veach. "It's not an intrusion. It might be a little bit of an inconvenience, but it's not an intrusion to anybody."

Some Republicans were not happy that state party leaders encouraged a hostile attitude toward the police.

It's the most popular Facebook post in Iowa GOP history, with more than 700 'likes' and nearly 1,000 'shares,' said Steve Bierfeldt, the party's executive director.

"I think people believe that if the police are pulling people over for drunk driving or for driving erratically, that's a good thing," Bierfeldt said. "But there's no need for police to randomly pull people over based on no evidence."

Branstad, who has a chilly relationship with party leadership, declined to comment through a spokesman on the Iowa GOP's advice.

But Doug Gross, a longtime Iowa Republican fundraiser and Branstad strategist from Des Moines, called the advisory "nuts" and a distraction that's costing the party at a time when it should be ramping up financially. [...]

"Their function is to win elections and instead they have run the party into the ditch," Gross said, referring to state GOP party leaders.

Several Republicans also renewed calls for Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker to resign. Spiker was not available for comment Friday, a state party official said.

Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, a retired State Patrol trooper, also said he was concerned about the direction the state party is headed and called for change.

"We have a situation within the state party leadership that needs to be taken care of," Baudler said.

Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Troy Price sought to capitalize on Republican divisions.

The Iowa Democratic Party's executive director issued a statement saying he is "baffled" by the GOP's advisory, but he said "not cooperating with the law has been a very real and disturbing trend" from Republicans "in the past few months."
 
Poll
What political reality of 2013 would have sounded most far-fetched to you 20 years ago?
Hillary Clinton is a strong presidential candidate
George H.W. Bush witnessed a legal gay marriage
Terry Branstad is governor & favored to win again

Results

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email
Tweet This!

Maybe I'm not playing the game right (4.00 / 3)
but all three questions seem small next to Black President.

good point. (0.00 / 0)
I will see whether I can edit a poll that's already been posted.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
looks like I can't edit it (0.00 / 0)
but I will take this and other reader suggestions for options in a similar poll for next weekend.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Only three votes? (0.00 / 0)
Where is everybody?  


Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Iowa Liberal Blogs
- Ames Progressive
- Blog For Iowa
- Essential Estrogen
- Iowa .Gif-t Shop
- Iowa Independent (archive)
- Iowa Policy Points
- Iowans for a Future That Doesn't Suck
- John Deeth
Iowa Conservative Blogs
- Hawkeye GOP
- The Bean Walker
- Caffeinated Thoughts
- The Conservative Reader: Iowa
- The Iowa Republican
Journalists' blogs and research
- 24-Hour Dorman
- Cedar Rapids Gazette government page
- Iowa Fiscal Partnership
- Iowa Policy Project
- Iowa Politics Insider
- Iowa Watchdog.org
- On Brief: Iowa's Appellate Blog
- On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts
- Newton Independent (Peter Hussmann)
- Politically Speaking
- Price of Politics, etc.
- O.Kay Henderson at Radio Iowa
Iowa Democrats
- Tom Harkin (U.S. Senator)
- Bruce Braley (IA-01)
- Dave Loebsack (IA-02)
- Iowa Democratic Party
- Iowa House Democrats
- Iowa Senate Democrats
Statistics


 
Powered by: SoapBlox