It appears over the weekend both Chris Rants (via Krusty) and Ted Sporer decided they couldn't actually wait until the open of the legislative session to begin spewing partisan attacks. Rants has one of the greatest acts of hypocrisy I've ever seen in his post on "Ten things the Democrats don't want you to know."
Democrat Pam Jochum, the new chair of the State Government Committee, will bring out of committee legislation that will a) build in incumbency protection by limiting the size of donations, b) provide for public financing of campaigns, and c) further tilt the playing field of independent activity to organized labor at the expense of the business community. Catchy slogans like “voter owned elections” grab more ink than anything about erosion of the first amendment.This is coming from the guy who has taken tens of thousands in campaign contributions from the car title loan and tobacco industry. Rants calls public financing "incumbency protection." I personally also think you're pretty well protected when your big moneyed friends allow you to spend almost $60,000 in the 21 days before an election where you're running unopposed. Maybe that's just me.
According to the Register, no one seemed to anticipate that a tax break for farmland owners would be popular. I applaud the Iowa legislature for taking steps to make it easier for new farmers to get on the land, but I've got to ask, if you didn't think it would work, why'd you do it in the first place?
Dennis Barnum is the president of Iowans Against the Death Penalty, and he had a good letter in Sunday's Register regarding his argument. The facts in the case make it perfectly clear: the only reason to execute prisoners is for vengeance, and it's not the state's job to provide that.
Chris Woods has a great post on the bills that were filed before today's open of session for the legislature. It's a great read if you're looking for a heads-up on some of the things we'll likely be debating for much of the spring.
That's all for now,