How the Iowa House passed the civil rights bill in 2007

Former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy shares his memories of an important legislative victory twelve years ago. -promoted by Laura Belin

Last month Iowans celebrated ten years of marriage equality. Two years prior, the legislature added protections for LGBTQ people to Iowa’s civil rights law. One of my children asked me to share that experience in writing. What you are about to read is an excerpt.

Continue Reading...

The 2007 votes that made 2019 a historic year for transgender Iowans

Only three months in, 2019 is already the most significant year for transgender equality in Iowa since 2007, when state lawmakers and Governor Chet Culver added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in the Iowa Civil Rights Act. That 1965 law hadn’t been significantly amended in decades.

The crucial Iowa House and Senate votes on the civil rights law happened during the first year since the 1960s that Democrats controlled both legislative chambers and the governor’s office. Support for LGBTQ equality is often taken for granted now in Democratic circles, but the issue was seen as more politically volatile twelve years ago. The bill amending the civil rights act came late in the 2007 legislative session and could not have passed without some Republican votes.

Continue Reading...

Iowa's revolving door spinning fast for Doug Struyk

Great catch by Megan Day Suhr, a onetime lobbyist and Democratic candidate for the Iowa House in 2012. Former State Representative Doug Struyk has left his position as chief executive officer to Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a job he had held since May 2012.

Suhr noticed that as of this week, Struyk is now registered to lobby Iowa’s executive branch on behalf of about 40 clients. Struyk’s Linked In page lists his current employment as Carney & Appleby, PLC, a firm specializing in personal injury litigation and lobbying.

First elected to the Iowa House as a Democrat in 2002, Struyk switched parties shortly before the 2004 filing deadline for candidates. He was re-elected to the legislature as a Republican three times and retired in 2010. He then served as an adviser and legal counsel to Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz until joining Paulsen’s staff last year. Although he is not registered to lobby the legislative branch, it seems very soon for Struyk to move from a government position to lobbying.

By the way, Struyk’s departure from the Iowa House staff is another hint that Paulsen is planning to run for Congress in the first district.

Continue Reading...

New Secretary of State Schultz hires Jim Gibbons, Mary Mosiman for top jobs

Secretary of State-elect Matt Schultz has announced several important hires in the past week. Former Republican Congressional candidate Jim Gibbons will serve as Chief Deputy and Director of Business Services, while longtime Story County Auditor Mary Mosiman will run the Elections Division.

Follow me after the jump for background and analysis on those appointments.  

Continue Reading...
View More...