Iowa values, Iowa justice

The five members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission unanimously elected a new chairman yesterday: Jeff Lamberti, a former State Senator and Congressional candidate who is president of the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team.  

Lamberti had already been running the commission’s meetings since the previous chair’s term ended two months ago. In late June, he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated. He was fined $1,250 and ordered to attend a two-day program for drunken drivers.

Governor Terry Branstad expressed support for Lamberti’s continued service after the incident, since he had taken responsibility for his actions.

So, let the record reflect that endangering others while driving down the highway with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit is no barrier to running one of Iowa’s most powerful state commissions. But some guy who stole a vending machine as a teenager during the 1980s was unable to get even his voting rights restored under the system Branstad created by executive order. In fact, thousands of people who have completed prison terms for non-violent felonies will never get to vote again in Iowa. The governor insists people’s fundamental rights should depend on whether they know the address of the judge who sentenced them decades ago, or whether they have paid the full court costs associated with their crimes. To my knowledge, Lamberti was not ordered to compensate Des Moines police or the judicial system for the cost of handling his case.

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  • Breaking news.....

    Dead horse sighted.  Beat it. Beat it again.

    • it's an obvious double-standard

      why do you think otherwise?

    • so you don't think it's a problem

      for a drunk driver to run a state commission while thousands of people who committed non-violent felonies can never exercise their right to vote again.

  • my thoughts...

    Lamberti is fully qualified to be elected to this position and I expect will do a great job, and yes….I do understand those that want more blood for his conviction.  Time to move on.

    As far as those issues being tied together like you wish to do, I believe that is a leap.  A big leap.

    • That's what they always say . . .

      . . .when the ruling class get in hot water, “Time to move on.”  

      But when the peons get in hot water, they like to turn up the gas.

      Lamberti may be qualified to run the commission.  Most felons are qualified to vote, too.  But that’s not allowed.