Historic meetings seek to end racial profiling in Des Moines

Laural Clinton is a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement’s racial justice team and the mother of Jared Clinton, who was the passenger in a recent racial profiling video released to the public. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Racial profiling. It’s a tough topic to discuss. But for us in the Black community, racial profiling is a reality we deal with every day–when we go to the store, when we drive our cars, when we eat at restaurants.

As a mother of three Black sons, I am intimately familiar with this issue.

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IA-01: No, Rod Blum, wife-beaters and child abusers should not have guns

Caleb Gates is a constituent of Representative Rod Blum in Linn County. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In 2014, the National Association for Gun Rights and Iowa Gun Owners sent then Congressional candidate Rod Blum their federal candidate survey about various gun-related issues. This survey (enclosed below) asked if Blum would support repealing the “Lautenberg Domestic Misdemeanor Gun Ban.” The Lautenberg Amendment, enacted in 1996 and named after Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, barred anyone convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun.

The Lautenberg Amendment also made it a crime to knowingly sell a firearm to anyone convicted of domestic violence. Domestic abuse victims need such protections because, according to the American Journal of Public Health, these victims are five times as likely to end up dead if their abuser can access a gun.

But Blum wanted to repeal the Lautenberg Amendment, in essence saying, wife-beaters and child-abusers should have guns.

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Iowa legislative recap: Constitutional amendments

Iowa lawmakers went home for the year on May 5. In the coming weeks, Bleeding Heartland will catch up on some of the legislature’s significant work that attracted relatively attention.

Two proposed state constitutional amendments passed both chambers and could appear on the 2020 general election ballot, if the House and Senate approve them in the same form during either 2019 or 2020.

Three other constitutional amendments cleared one chamber in 2017–in one case unanimously–then stalled in the other chamber as lawmakers completed this two-year session. Those ideas may resurface next year. But since changes to the state constitution must be passed by two consecutively elected legislatures before landing on the general election ballot (the last step in the process), Iowa voters would not be able to ratify those proposals until November 2022 at the earliest.

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Iowa House passes energy giveaway bill like sneak-thieves in the night

Last night’s highly irregular Iowa House proceedings inspired Matt Chapman’s latest commentary. The chamber’s rules do not normally permit debate past midnight, but Republicans approved an amended version of a terrible energy bill a little past 5 am. A forthcoming Bleeding Heartland post will discuss the substantive changes to the legislation, which goes back to the Iowa Senate. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Senate File 2311, the Aliant Energy/Mid-American omnibus energy bill, was trotted out in the Iowa House after a more than eight-hour caucus after 10:00 pm last night. Much like last year’s bill that busted the unions for 180,000 public employees, this cowardly approach of sneaking legislation through while working Iowans are sleeping seems to be on par with the GOP’s values.

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