# Red Brannan

527 group sends another anti-Fallon piece on sex offenders

Wow, I never knew Red Brannan, one of the developers who would like to see a four-lane beltway constructed in rural northeast Polk County, was so mad when Ed Fallon voted against residency restrictions for sex offenders in 2002.

But that vote must have really gotten Brannan riled up, because today I got another direct-mail piece on the issue from the 527 group Independent Voices. On Tuesday a similar mailer arrived from the same group, which I transcribed here. Matt Stoller put a scanned image of the earlier mailer up at Open Left.

Today’s mailer has a large photo of an empty child’s swing, next to these words in large print:

Would you want a sex offender living near your kid’s school?

At the bottom in small print it says, “Paid for By Independent Voices, Red Brannan Chair.” Hey, at least there’s a union bug next to that line!

On the flip side the same photo of an empty swing appears faintly. There’s a smaller picture of Fallon near the bottom of the page, holding up one finger, as if lecturing. These words appear on the page:

Ed Fallon put kids at risk simply to make a political statement

When Ed Fallon had the chance to stop convicted sex offenders from living near our schools, he thought it was more important to make a political statement than to protect our kids. He cast the only vote against this prohibition in the state house.

Our kids have enough challenges, why would Ed let these predators live next to our schools?

Associated Press   October 14, 2005

Fallon concedes he is the only lawmaker who opposed the restrictions.

“There was a fear that if we don’t support this bill we’ll be viewed as weak on crime.”

Call Ed at 515.277.0424

Tell Ed our kids are more important than his politics. As him to oppose letting convicted sex offenders live near our schools.

The hypocrisy of this mailing is breathtaking. As I mentioned in the post about the previous mailer on this subject, residency restrictions for sex offenders do nothing to reduce crimes against children–prosecutors and children’s advocates agree on this point. The proponents of these laws are the ones who would rather “make a political statement” than protect our kids.

The Des Moines Register’s editorial board described the earlier mailer from Independent Voices as “the cheapest of cheap shots.”

This letter to the editor, published today, made several great points as well:

The 2,000-foot law was passed as a knee-jerk reaction to high-profile abuse cases. The result has been a drop in the number of sex offenders registering their address and the creation of rural communities comprising mainly sex offenders. What the law fails to take into account is the fact that only a small minority of sex offenders are playground pedophiles.

About 80 percent of abuse victims knew the offender and 43 percent are relatives. I ask both Fallon and U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, along with all other lawmakers, to take the time to develop sensible laws that promote rehabilitation and judge offenses on a case-by-case basis. Sexually active high schoolers shouldn’t be categorized with rapists and punished just as harshly.

– Jade Howser Nagel, Urbandale

The political posturing of the majority of Iowa legislators has drained law enforcement resources and led to fewer sex offenders registering their addresses. That doesn’t keep my two young kids or anyone else’s kids safer, and Red Brannan’s group should know this very well.

Will this mailing scare third district Democrats away from Fallon, or will it backfire? Your guess is as good as mine.

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