Iowans left in the dark on Senate GOP sexual harassment investigation

Iowa Senate Republican leaders have never acknowledged that Kirsten Anderson faced sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation while working for the Senate GOP caucus.

They have stuck to the unconvincing story that Anderson lost her job (hours after she had submitted a written complaint about a hostile work environment) solely because of her writing skills.

They didn’t allow an independent investigation of the allegations Anderson raised in a lawsuit, which a Polk County jury unanimously found credible.

They aren’t releasing any findings from an internal investigation of those allegations.

They have ensured that the legislature’s new human resources director will report to Republican political appointees.

Yet they want us to take their word for it that harassment at the statehouse will not be tolerated.

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If all Iowa candidates had to win under rules Republicans forced on unions

“There’s not one Republican in this state that could win an election under the rules they gave us,” asserted AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan after the first round of public union recertification elections ended this week.

He was only slightly exaggerating.

A review of the last two general election results shows that Iowa’s capitol would be mostly devoid of office-holders if candidates for statewide and legislative races needed a majority vote among all their constituents–rather than a plurality among those who cast ballots–to be declared winners.

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IA-Gov: Ron Corbett to decide soon, previews case on taxes and education

Outgoing Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett will decide “in the next 45 days or so” whether to seek the Republican nomination for governor, he told WHO-TV’s Dave Price on May 8. After months of laying the groundwork for a possible gubernatorial campaign, Corbett launched a tour this week promoting his new political memoir, Beyond Promises. He will use those speaking engagements to see “if people can feel a connection to Ron Corbett.”

Asked how he could compete financially against Kim Reynolds, who will be the incumbent governor, Corbett responded,

Yeah, people have asked me that, “You know, you’re going to have a big uphill battle ahead of you, a big challenge ahead of you.” But you know, what in life isn’t, you know, sometimes a big climb? And I’ve taken on big challenges. Again, when–and I talk about this in the book, when I take on an incumbent speaker of the House or an incumbent state representative, I don’t do it because I want to take on that particular person. I just have ideas that I want to talk about and get implemented.

Assuming Corbett does run for governor, tax and education policy will be central to his message, so let’s take a closer look at his ideas.

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Branstad nominees held accountable for violating women's constitutional rights

Iowa Senate Democrats held two members of the Iowa Board of Medicine accountable yesterday for hasty action in 2013 to approve an anti-abortion rule that had no scientific basis and was later found unconstitutional by a unanimous Iowa Supreme Court.

Iowa Board of Medicine Chair Diane Clark and fellow board member Dr. Hamed Tewfik became the first (and probably the only) nominees for state boards or commissions to be rejected by the Iowa Senate this year. Republicans are predictably denouncing the vote as “petty partisan politics.” But senators have confirmed without dissent the overwhelming majority of more than 200 people Governor Terry Branstad selected.

Clark and Tewfik have only themselves to blame for losing their prestigious positions.

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Iowa House, Senate GOP leaders not co-sponsoring "personhood" bills

While most Iowa politics junkies were absorbed by lengthy collective bargaining debates in the state House and Senate, Republican lawmakers introduced identical “personhood” bills in both chambers on February 14.

Notably, leaders of the House and Senate are not among the co-sponsors of the bills declaring “that life is valued and protected from the moment of conception, and each life, from that moment, is accorded the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa, and the laws of this state.”

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