Rudison now accusing Ako of facilitating racial profiling

Yet another direct-mail piece from Clair Rudison’s campaign went out to Democratic residents of Iowa House district 66 this week. Rudison is challenging two-term State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad and sent out at least four other mailers attacking the incumbent’s record. The new piece claims, “When Rep Abdul-Samad voted to ban texting while driving, he opened the door for young black men and women to be potentially targeted for unnecessary stops by law enforcement.” I’m having trouble uploading the image, but you can view the piece at Iowa Independent.

The mail piece is inaccurate, since the new law makes clear that “Law enforcement cannot stop or detain a person only for suspected violations of texting and local governments are not allowed to adopt their own ordinances.” That language was added to the bill after an anonymous group paid for robocalls in February alleging that a texting ban would give police another excuse for racially-motivated traffic stops and arrests. At that time, Abdul-Samad told KCCI,

“If you have officers that are – it’s not going to be because of texting. It’s because they were going to find a reason to do that anyway,” said Samad.

Samad said he heard the same argument when the seatbelt law was first considered and he said that law has saved thousands of lives.

“If we need to look at racial profiling, I will work with the organization that hasn’t left their name yet or who they are — and say let’s do some legislation. Let’s do something on that. But lets not cloud the issue that there are thousands of young people and adults that are dying,” said Samad.

If you know any Des Moines residents who live in House district 66 (map), please urge them to go vote for Ako today. Polls are open until 9 pm.

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Massive Iowa Legislature linkfest (post-funnel edition)

The Iowa Legislature has been moving at an unusually fast pace during the shortened 2010 session. It’s time to catch up on what’s happened at the statehouse over the past three weeks. From here on out I will try to post a legislative roundup at the end of every week.

February 12 was the first “funnel” deadline. In order to have a chance of moving forward in 2010, all legislation except for tax and appropriations bills must have cleared at least one Iowa House or Senate committee by the end of last Friday.

After the jump I’ve included links on lots of bills that have passed or are still under consideration, as well as bills I took an interest in that failed to clear the funnel. I have grouped bills by subject area. This post is not an exhaustive list; way too many bills are under consideration for me to discuss them all. I recommend this funnel day roundup by Rod Boshart for the Mason City Globe-Gazette.

Note: the Iowa legislature’s second funnel deadline is coming up on March 5. To remain alive after that point, all bills except tax and appropriations bills must have been approved by either the full House or Senate and by a committee in the opposite chamber. Many bills that cleared the first funnel week will die in the second.  

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