Iowa House Republican shares anti-COVID vaccine memes

State Representative Ray Sorensen included two negative memes about COVID-19 vaccines in his latest weekly newsletter on Iowa legislative happenings.

Since early March, the Republican has regularly shared memes purporting to be humorous near the end of his online updates about bills the House has approved or is considering. The edition Sorensen sent out late last week, covering week 13 of the legislative session, included the following two images, interspersed with memes mocking public assistance programs, feminists, environmentalists, President Joe Biden, and leftist intellectuals.

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Lessons from Bessemer

Buzz Malone is organizing director of Teamsters Local 238. -promoted by Laura Belin

Regardless of the outcome of the unionization campaign in Bessemer, Alabama, the efforts of workers there have delivered a powerful message to the nation.

Enacted 86 years ago, the National Labor Relations Act sent an equally powerful message to companies large and small: that workers have inalienable rights of free speech, legally protected concerted activity for economic improvements, and the right to form, join, and assist a union of their choosing.

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GOP hardball pays off as Rita Hart drops IA-02 election contest

For the second straight election cycle, Iowa Republicans have gotten away with not counting disputed ballots in a race the GOP candidate won by fewer than ten votes.

Democrat Rita Hart announced on March 31 that she was withdrawing her contest of the election in Iowa’s second Congressional district, where Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks was certified the winner by six votes out of more than 394,000 cast.

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Axne, Miller-Meeks support Violence Against Women Act

The U.S. House voted 244 to 172 on March 17 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with some new provisions. All Democrats present, including Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03), were joined by 29 Republicans, including Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), to send the bill to the U.S. Senate. Republican Representatives Ashley Hinson (IA-01) and Randy Feenstra (IA-04) opposed the legislation.

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Where things stand in the IA-02 election contest

Spenser Mestel is a freelance journalist and author of Spenser’s Super Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about voting rights. -promoted by Laura Belin 

The race in Iowa’s second Congressional district, the closest U.S. House election since 1984, isn’t over just yet.

On December 22, Democratic candidate Rita Hart filed a “notice of contest” in the House, officially challenging the six-vote margin that separates her from Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Now, the issue goes to the House Administration Committee, which recently agreed on rules to hear the case. Should it agree to investigate further, the winner could be decided by a majority vote in the House.

Hart’s bid is a long-shot. In the last 107 elections to be contested under the Federal Contested Elections Act, 104 failed. However, other circumstances favor Hart: Democrats control the chamber (221 to 211) and have already taken the unprecedented step of expelling Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from her two committees. Plus, the Hart campaign has credible evidence that the initial vote-counting and subsequent recounting were flawed.

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Ashley Hinson didn't walk her talk on LGBTQ equality

“No person should be discriminated against, no person should be bullied because of who they are, and no person should be discriminated against in the workplace, for any reason,” Republican Congressional candidate Ashley Hinson told an eastern Iowa magazine geared toward LGBTQ readers last fall.

Hinson had a chance to put her stated beliefs into action on February 25, when the U.S. House considered the Equality Act. The bill would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the areas of employment, education, housing, public accommodations, jury service, and access to credit or federal funding. But the new member of Congress from Iowa’s first district voted against it, as did all but three House Republicans (roll call).

Representative Cindy Axne, the lone Democrat in Iowa’s Congressional delegation, co-sponsored the Equality Act and was part of the 224 to 206 majority that approved it.

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