# Commentary



Iowa doesn't need a gun amendment

Bruce Lear: The constitutional amendment Iowans will vote on in November goes much further than the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

I love the movie Tombstone, featuring Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp, Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday, Sam Elliot as Virgil, and Bill Paxton as Morgan. It’s a little shorter than Kevin Costner’s 3 hour plus marathon Earp, released a few months later.      

Tombstone came out in 1993, but it’s still a good watch even for the fifth time. It’s also relevant now, because the U.S. Supreme Court recently expanded gun rights, and this November, Iowans will be asked to enshrine guns into our state’s constitution.

Continue Reading...

We must not go back

Mary Weaver is a former public health nurse administrator and farm wife who lives near the small town of Rippey, approximately 30 miles west of Ames.

As the newly elected chair of the Women’s Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party, I am incredibly concerned over recent decisions by the Iowa Supreme Court, which overturned a precedent protecting abortion rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned Roe v. Wade.

Those of us who remember life prior to 1973 vowed to never go back to a time when women did not control our own health care choices. The Dobbs decision will cause rights to be lost that women age 60 and older worked to establish. We thought we had guaranteed bodily autonomy for our daughters and granddaughters as well as for ourselves. 

Continue Reading...

Conspiracy theories are undermining democracy

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

A lot of outlandish, hard-to-believe conspiracy theories are witnessed during one’s lifetime. Most thoughts come and go away with no residual effect. But, in today’s politically divisive times, many conspiracy theories are causing long-term damaging effects.

Many people who watched Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “JFK” believed there was a government orchestrated conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Despite the movie’s many inaccuracies, its plot was confirmation to those believers who had a predisposed anti-government attitude.

University of Miami political science professor Joseph Uscinski—considered the country’s foremost expert on conspiracy theories—contends the disinformation (deliberately deceptive) and misinformation (incorrect or misleading) statements don’t persuade people. Rather, it gives them “exactly what they already believed.”

Continue Reading...

Exclusive: New Iowa absentee rules disenfranchised hundreds in 2022 primary

New restrictions on absentee voting prevented hundreds of Iowans from having their ballots counted in the June 7 primary election, Bleeding Heartland’s review of data from county auditors shows.

About 150 ballots that would have been valid under previous Iowa law were not counted due to a bill Republican legislators and Governor Kim Reynolds enacted in 2021, which required all absentee ballots to arrive at county auditors’ offices by 8:00 pm on election day. The majority of Iowans whose ballots arrived too late (despite being mailed before the election) were trying to vote in the Republican primary.

Hundreds more Iowans would have been able to vote by mail prior to the 2021 changes, but missed the new deadline for submitting an absentee ballot request form. More than half of them did not manage to cast a ballot another way in the June 7 election.

The new deadlines will trip up many more Iowans for the November election, when turnout will likely be about three times the level seen in this year’s primary, and more “snowbirds” attempt to vote by mail in Iowa from other states.

Continue Reading...

50 years ago, a victory for women's bodily autonomy in West Des Moines

Ken Tilp was a high school teacher of Latin and French for 21 years before becoming president of the Iowa State Education Association for four years. He then worked for the Michigan Education Association for fourteen years, retiring in 2004.

It’s the 50th anniversary of a significant change in the West Des Moines, Iowa, school district personnel policy manual: teachers were no longer required to tell their building principal as soon as they found out they were pregnant.

The school board authorized a committee to review personnel policy, comprised of Bruce Graves, a school board member and young, progressive lawyer; Assistant Superintendent Mel Antrim (known to the elementary teachers as “Apple ass Antrim”); and Ken Tilp, 7th year teacher of Latin and president of the 300-member teachers association.

Catch this: during our discussion about why the requirement should be removed, Antrim said something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know if I want my child sitting in a classroom with a teacher’s water breaking.”

Continue Reading...

Kim Reynolds doesn't want to know about Donald Trump's crimes

In the immediate aftermath of the January 6, 2021 coup attempt, Governor Kim Reynolds condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol and called for prosecuting those who incited violence “to the full extent.”

But as a U.S. House Select Committee uncovers more evidence of former President Donald Trump’s apparent criminal conspiracy to subvert the peaceful transfer of power, Reynolds is “not paying any attention” to the investigation, she told reporters this week.

Continue Reading...
View More...