Watch for clearance

Today (April 24) another semi is stuck at the overpass just north of Loveland. Why can’t the Iowa DOT have someone at Crescent and at I-29 Loveland, and stop these idiots who apparently can’t read!

Martin Gillespie, Missouri Valley

On McKean’s party switch

Regarding state Rep. Andy McKean’s departure from the Republican Party, I’d like to believe that he bailed out for noble reasons. Maybe Rep. McKean really has been experiencing buyer’s remorse because the no-longer Grand Old Party has invested all of its political capital in anti-democratic and autocratic Trumpism. He may well have experienced a genuinely come-to-your-patriotic-senses moment.

In which case, I sincerely commend his departure. Then, again, like any politician, he wants to get reelected. With the 2020 election approaching, McKean has to have been taking a reading of the public’s increasingly hostile reaction to the ongoing depravity of the entire Trump administration and has found that the buy-in by Republicans to Trumpism has been a very stinky deal, especially for the prospects of Trumpites winning in 2020.

Representative McKean may well be hedging his bet that Democratic candidates at all levels of government in 2020 will sweep aside candidates from a party now so badly incapacitated by corruption and scandal that he has decided to get out of it while the getting out is still advantageous for his own reelection prospects. Whether for noble or for self-serving reasons, Rep. McKean’s flight is an encouraging sign that others from his former party will follow suit.

Steven Pokorny


Democrats need to show up in Iowa

The Democrat’s strategy to win rural Iowa has to be showing up — everywhere — because Democrats are everywhere. From small towns like Neola, Holstein, and Jamaica to Churdan, Tabor, and Grant, Democrats actually do live outside the cities. Rural Iowa deserves a voice and our party needs to be there to listen and learn. If Democrats don’t show up, who’s gonna hear those rural voices? That’s why we must go where it’s tough, where the roads transition from asphalt to gravel to dirt, and where the local grocery store is a Casey’s General Store 10 miles away.

The current administration has an “if it ain’t broke — let’s break it” philosophy. Well, like a rancher, Democrats want to mend fences. Like a farmer, Democrats want to cultivate a brighter future by planting seeds of change in our common ground. Like a rural Iowan, Democrats want to work hard to build a strong foundation for the next generation of Americans. Let’s discuss our plans that do just that.

A signature piece of every Democratic candidate’s policy portfolio should include a national infrastructure plan to invest in the construction of new roads, revitalized bridges, expanded rural broadband, and upgrades to utility networks, electrical grids, and power generation facilities. Now for healthcare. The prices for a doctors visit, a hospital stay, and for prescription drugs are exorbitant. We need universal healthcare and a significant investment in telehealth programs, community health centers, and rural mental health facilities. Now climate change. Democrats support reducing emissions, re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement, investing in clean energy projects, and researching negative emissions technologies. On agriculture, we’ll need to redesign anti-trust legislation to address the concentration of power in agribusiness industries, invest in conservation programs, and expand bio-based manufacturing. We should also create a top-notch educational system that extends from Pre-K through a path to affordable college.

To do all of this, we’ll need to work together, incorporating a strategy to end Citizens United and get dark money out of our politics. Donald Trump says he “knows words” and has “the best words.” Well, Democrats know words too. One of those words is compromise and another is bipartisanship. At the end of the day, America works best when we work together and that’s what the future of the Democratic Party should be all about — progressive ideas and getting things done for the Midwest ... for Iowa ... for America.

Gregory Christensen, Omaha

Lawmakers going back on IPERS promises

During the 2018 campaign, local legislative candidates and gubernatorial candidate Kim Reynolds pledged to “not touch IPERS” (Iowa Public Employee Retirement System). Candidates implied that there was fear-mongering taking place related to IPERS. Unfortunately, actions taken by the Iowa House during the early morning hours of April 25th as it passed Senate File 634 did little to de-escalate concerns of public employees. Trust of the legislative process was first damaged by the gutting of the collective bargaining bill in 2017, and actions related to Senate File 634 did not help heal the wounds.

Perhaps in the days ahead it will become clear that Senate File 634 did little or nothing to impact the viability of the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System. Perhaps Senate File 634 mitigated the potential for damage to IPERS that had been proposed in previous bills during the legislative session. Perhaps in the days ahead, it will be revealed that the legislators had not studied the content of the bill and they trusted someone’s “interpretation” of the intent of the bill.

During the 2016 campaign and after election promises was made by elected officials that they would not touch collective bargaining. The promises were broken less than six weeks into the session. During the 2018 campaign promises were made to not touch IPERS.

The weeks ahead will disclose whether or not promises were broken again regarding IPERS causing a further betrayal of trust. If the trust of public employees has been betrayed a second time, there should be no question about the implications for the 2020 election cycle. I’m hopeful that we will not experience another promise made and broken by the representatives elected to advocate for Iowa constituents and not for a larger national agenda funded by entities that are not Iowa employees and tax payers.

We all must remember that if a choice is to be made over trusting words or actions, actions must be trusted beyond the spoken word. Watch and trust the actions of a person, not what they say. Actions reveal intention.

Pat Shipley, Nodaway

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