Doris Kelley

Ongoing transparency problems in Iowa's GOP-controlled government

Doris J. Kelley is a former member of the Iowa House and former Iowa Board of Parole Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Director.

When former Republican Governor Terry Branstad signed executive order 85 in March 2014, he stated, “transparency provides Iowans the necessary access to information to hold our government accountable and our Open Records Act is essential to ensuring openness,” adding, “Our administration has maintained a steadfast commitment to a transparent government.”

Branstad held weekly press briefings to answer journalists’ questions.

However, when Kim Reynolds became governor in 2017, a few months after Republicans gained full control of the legislature, transparency went out the window. Accessing many kinds of government data has become more difficult.

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The tangled web of the governor's private school voucher bill

Doris J. Kelley is a former member of the Iowa House and former Iowa Board of Parole Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Director.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive,” was spoken by Sir Walter Scott in 1808 to portray the antics a Lord pursued in his lust for a rich woman. The phrase applies to Governor Kim Reynolds and her Iowa GOP peers, but in this case their lust is for using taxpayer money to pay for 2 percent of Iowa’s K-12 students to attend a private school.

Although the bill (Senate File 2369) didn’t get through the state House during this year’s legislative session, Reynolds has promised the issue will be her top priority if she is re-elected. Several of her allies won GOP primaries for Iowa House seats on June 7.

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Iowa women deserve better representation

Doris J. Kelley is a former member of the Iowa House and former Iowa Board of Parole Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Director.

As a state legislator from 2007 through 2010, I was honored to represent 30,000 Cedar Valley constituents. I represented Iowa’s 3 million citizens while in a leadership position with the Board of Parole from 2011 to 2014. To me, people always came before party.

It perplexed many of my fellow legislators when I supported my constituents’ values and went against the party line. Now, I’m perplexed by the actions of Iowa Republicans who are supposed to represent our wishes in Washington, D.C.

In 1972, then State Representative Chuck Grassley voted for Iowa to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). But as a U.S. senator, he’s not carried that banner forward.

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