Why did Iowa Senate Republicans reject three Culver appointees?

The Republican caucus in the Iowa Senate is the smallest it’s ever been in this state’s history, but they let us know this week that they are not entirely irrelevant. On Tuesday all 18 Republican senators blocked Governor Chet Culver’s appointment of Shearon Elderkin to the Environmental Protection Commission. The 32 Senate Democrats supported Elderkin, but nominees need a two-thirds majority (34 votes) to be confirmed.

The following day, Senate Republicans unanimously blocked Gene Gessow’s appointment as head of the Department of Human Services. Also on April 15, two Senate Democrats joined with the whole Republican caucus to reject a second term for Carrie La Seur on the Iowa Power Fund board.

Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley released statements explaining each of these votes, but I doubt those statements tell the whole story, and I’ll tell you why after the jump.

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Learn how the business sector can solve the climate change problem

I missed these when I compiled my calendar of events for this week, but I learned from the Center on Sustainable Communities that Edward Mazria, an “internationally recognized architect, author, educator and visionary,” is in central Iowa today and tomorrow.

Mazria will present “Now, it’s Personal….A three-pronged solution for achieving energy independence and solving climate change via the business sector, the largest energy consumer in the U.S.. ”

He is giving a free lecture in Ames tonight:

Ames Lecture

Wednesday, September 24th

7:00 pm

Iowa State University

College of Design

Kocimski Auditorium

He will speak on the same topic tomorrow at lunchtime:

Des Moines Luncheon

Thursday, September 25th

11:30a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Arthur Davis Conference Room

Greater Des Moines Partnership

700 Locust St., Suite 100, Des Moines

Cost to attend is $20 for COSC members, $30 for non-members. (Price includes lunch.)

Questions? Contact Meg Fitz at 515-286-4934 or mfitz@desmoinesmetro.com.

You can learn more about Edward Mazria and his 2030 challenge at http://www.mazria.com.

Sounds like an interesting program. If anyone goes to hear Mazria, please post a comment or a diary afterwards.

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New Dodd Ad: "Ready to Lead"

Today the Dodd campaign launched our second ad. “Ready to Lead” is now on the air in Iowa, New Hampshire, and on national cable stations.

Senator Chris Dodd is ready to lead. Through his leadership, we are moving the conversation from half-measures to bold solutions on our most pressing challenges: ending the Iraq War responsibly, stopping global warming and ending our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. On energy, he is proposing the boldest plan of all presidential candidates, which includes a Corporate Carbon Tax and 50 mpg fuel economy standards.

Senator Dodd is receiving wide praise for his leadership on these critical issues.

John Nichols of The Nation recently wrote:

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