The inherent culpability of maleness

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese wrote this commentary before The New Yorker published new sexual misconduct allegations about Brett Kavanaugh on September 23. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Let’s get this out there at the outset: I am a person of tremendous privilege. I may not be at the very top of the privilege ladder, but as a college-educated, straight, white cis male who attended both public and private schools during my upper middle class suburban upbringing, as a successful business person, and now as an elected official, yeah, I’m up there.

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Next time, just nominate the competent woman

What was already a difficult race for Democrats in Iowa Senate district 15 became virtually impossible on September 14, when a federal grand jury charged Leesa Marie Parkhill-Nieland with theft and Social Security fraud. Parkhill-Nieland is married to Dan Nieland, the Democratic candidate who will face two-term Republican State Representative Zach Nunn in November.

At an emergency meeting of the Jasper County Democratic Central Committee on September 17, Nieland admitted he knew his wife was facing a criminal investigation before seeking the nomination at a special convention last month.

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How safe do you feel? Your gender likely influences your answer

Amanda Hardy teaches at a state university and is a licensed mental health counselor in Iowa. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I teach a course on poverty and housing at one of our state universities. Every year, I ask my students to explore issues relating to privilege very early in the semester. I believe it is necessary to be constantly reflecting on the ways our positions and experiences play in our thinking and doing while we address heavy and often divisive topics like inequality. I have been teaching this particular course for seven years.

I adopted this particular exercise (an adaptation of Dr. Renee Cramer’s “Continuum of Identities and Experiences”) as a means to begin our conversations and personal reflecting in the fall of 2016. While being intentional and reflective on the role of our personal experiences was always a central part of my course, I–like most instructors–was on the lookout for a better way to enhance our learning and engagement around this issue.

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Dave Loebsack is safe, so why is he still voting like a Blue Dog?

U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack voted for yet another bad Republican bill on September 7. Despite being a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Loebsack has long had a less progressive voting record than most of his House Democratic colleagues.

Occasional conservative votes were understandable after Loebsack survived a close call in 2010 and faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside spending on attack ads before the next two general elections. But the last remaining Iowa Democrat in Congress coasted to a sixth term in 2016 with no groups spending money against him. He outperformed Hillary Clinton by about 9 points in the 24 counties he represents. Iowa’s second Congressional district is by common consent a safe Democratic seat this year. As of June 30, Loebsack’s campaign had nearly $2 million cash on hand, while his GOP challenger Christopher Peters had less than $30,000.

Why isn’t Loebsack a more reliable progressive vote in the House?

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Expungement clinic makes debut in Linn County

Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker and Mahder Serekberhan, a recent graduate of Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, describe efforts to break cycles of hardship stemming from encounters with the criminal justice system. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The Linn County Board of Supervisors, the City of Cedar Rapids and Iowa Legal Aid have teamed up to offer a legal clinic this fall for Linn County residents seeking relief from the consequences stemming from encounters with the criminal justice system. This Expungement and Employment Barriers Resource Clinic will be held Saturday, September 22 in Cedar Rapids at the Linn County Community Services Building located at 1240 26th Ave Court SW.

Anyone who has experienced Iowa’s criminal justice system and needs help with expungement, court debt, background check issues, or obtaining a driver’s license or vehicle registration can sign up by visiting the Linn County Board of Supervisors website at www.linncounty.org, or by calling Iowa Legal Aid at 515-243-1193. In addition, the clinic will host several community organizations that will offer assistance with housing, financial planning, education, and other issues.

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Part 1: How to corrupt a school district

First in a series by Tyler Higgs, an activist and former candidate for Waukee school board. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Let’s say you are a corrupt school administrator, and you want to accept kickbacks from vendors, manipulate time cards, and/or take school property. If you work in Waukee, just go ahead and do it. In this instance, crime really pays. Based on what happened with the the district’s current chief operating officer Eric Rose, here’s what you can expect:

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