Nate Boulton's victim-blaming is harmful and unnecessary

State Senator Nate Boulton responded this week to the misconduct allegations now standing in the way of his full participation in Iowa Senate business next year.

Two of the points he raised would likely have been sufficient to convince Iowa Senate Ethics Committee members to dismiss the complaint against him when they consider the matter on December 20.

Unfortunately, Boulton chose not to leave it there. Most of his written response supports a third argument, seeking to discredit his accuser. The victim-blaming was not only unnecessary, but harmful.

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They actually brought pitchforks

Tyler Higgs reflects on the Waukee school board’s latest meeting, four days after a state audit identified some $130,000 in disbursements that were either improper or “not in the best interests of taxpayers.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

Passion flared at the Waukee School Board meeting last night in what was the latest display of outrage. Civil uprisings seem to be par for the course these days, from the “Indivisible” movement of the last two years to the “Tea Party” before that. These uprisings are an American tradition going back to the civil rights movement and the Declaration of Independence. Heck, angry constituents demanding to be heard is practically an American pastime. It’s what people do in a democracy when they feel they have no other way of being heard. When politicians ignore the People, open dialogue turns into pitchforks.

Our elected officials are flawed human beings — some more than others. They make mistakes, sometimes big ones, and it’s our job to call them out — to demand them to be “more perfect”. When they mess up, as we all do, elected officials sometimes look at the high standards we have for them and think, “I can’t own up to this. They’ll bring out the pitchforks.” It’s this thought process, I think, that creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. By denying the problem or doubling down on a cover-up, they make it worse.

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Nate Boulton has no Iowa Senate committee assignments, for now

Iowa Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen has not assigned State Senator Nate Boulton to serve on any committees during the 2019 legislative session. In a written statement released on December 7, Petersen said, “I will defer making any committee assignments for Senator Boulton until the Senate Ethics Committee completes its ongoing investigation into the complaint filed against him.” In that complaint, filed last month, Sharon Wegner alleged sexual misconduct occurring in 2015, when Boulton was a candidate for the legislature.

Much of the legislature’s work happens in committees, so Petersen’s action will significantly limit Boulton’s ability to influence bills next year.

The move also indicates that Democratic leaders are unlikely to ask Boulton to lead the opposition to high-profile Republican bills during Senate floor debate, as happened several times in 2017 and 2018.

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Waukee School District audit exposes more shenanigans (updated)

Tyler Higgs is an activist in Clive and a former candidate for Waukee school board. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The audit report of Waukee School District has been released, exposing more incidents of corrupt and/or inept management at the highest levels of the district. The full report is enclosed below, along with a summary of key findings.

I previously discussed some of these issues, but for those unfamiliar with the ongoing saga, here’s a refresher:

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Nate Boulton now subject of Iowa Senate ethics complaint

The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee has received a formal complaint from Sharon Wegner regarding alleged sexual misconduct by Nate Boulton before he was elected to the legislature, Brianne Pfannenstiel reported for the Des Moines Register on November 19. It’s unclear whether the complaint will lead to a broader investigation of Boulton, who has ignored calls from some leaders of his caucus to resign.

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