desmoinesdem

Hit piece on Matt McCoy cites Bleeding Heartland. Here's the context

Hundreds if not thousands of Des Moines voters received a mailing on May 26 attacking State Senator Matt McCoy, who is challenging incumbent John Mauro in the June 5 Democratic primary for Polk County Supervisor District 5. The piece featured the headline and first two sentences from a ten-year-old Bleeding Heartland post, “McCoy to pay fine to settle ethics investigation.”

That fine stemmed from an illegal contribution to Mike Blouin’s campaign for governor in 2006. But the extortion charge cited in the same mail piece was not proven in court. On the contrary, the case was arguably an abuse of power by then Republican U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker. The third claim in the anti-McCoy mailer seems like a stretch as well.

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Iowa lawmakers drop lawsuit over governor's illegal fund transfer

Catching up on news overshadowed by the biggest Iowa politics story of the week: on May 23 a group of Iowa House Democrats dropped their legal challenge to Governor Kim Reynolds’ use of emergency funds without legislative approval last September. Reynolds transferred $13 million from the Iowa Economic Emergency Fund to cover a shortfall in the fiscal 2017 budget, despite a warning from State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald that Iowa law did not permit that action.

State Representative Chris Hall, the ranking Democrat on the Iowa House Appropriations Committee, filed suit in January, charging that Reynolds and Department of Management Director David Roederer “conspired together to unlawfully appropriate and misuse state funds.” The lawsuit alleged that the governor acted unilaterally in order to avoid the political fallout from calling the legislature back for a special session. House Democrats Marti Anderson, Liz Bennett, Bruce Hunter, Jerry Kearns, Monica Kurth, and Amy Nielsen joined the legal action a few weeks later.

Republican legislators tacitly acknowledged that Reynolds broke the law. They added language to a bill cutting current-year spending that retroactively legalized the governor’s action and appropriated $13 million from the emergency fund to the general fund for fiscal year 2017. (See page 8 of Senate File 2117, which both chambers passed along party lines in March.)

“Our legal challenge held Governor Reynolds and Republicans accountable, and it did so without costing taxpayers a single dime,” Hall said in a news release enclosed in full below. “We have seen too many cover ups and not enough leadership from the Reynolds administration. This is a victory for taxpayers and ensures that our tax dollars will be spent according to the law.”

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that there would be little to gain by following through with this lawsuit. Once the legislature passed and Reynolds signed Senate File 2117, a court would almost certainly have dismissed the case as moot.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Sweet William (Wild blue phlox)

If you venture into the woods or along a wooded trail over the Memorial Day weekend, you will have a good chance of spotting the blue-violet or reddish-purple flowers on this native plant. Sweet William usually begins blooming in April, but I didn’t see any flowers this year until May. Also known as wild blue phlox or woodland phlox, this species is native to most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

What appear to be five petals on each flower are actually lobes. I believe all of the enclosed photographs show the subspecies Phlox divaricata laphamii, which “has a more western range,” according to the Illinois Wildflowers website. A subspecies called Phlox divaricata divaricata has lobes with notched tips and is generally found in Indiana or to the east.

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Boulton's conduct was unacceptable. His response is not credible

Three women have described in detail incidents of non-consensual touching by State Senator Nate Boulton, Brianne Pfannenstiel reported today for the Des Moines Register. Boulton did not deny the women’s accounts but said they did not match his recollection. He also asserted his alleged behavior “in social settings” was not comparable to harassment or assault in the workplace.

Boulton’s alleged conduct was unacceptable. His distinction is not credible. His political career is no longer tenable.

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