Thursday, January 12, 2012

Session Starts Silly

The first week of session is always good for some silly bills. Merlin Bartz has a silly bill about... well, silly bills. The paired-up GOP senator, headed to a fall faceoff with Dem Mary Jo Wilhelm, wants to repeal a whole bunch of "obsolete" laws. But probably not the one that makes your neighbor pay for half your fence.

First term Rep. Bob Hager (R-northeast corner of state) is getting all 1990 on us with a term limits bill. Think Terry Branstad will sign that one? And Hager's very presence in the House doesn't make the best case for his own bill. He was a late-starting candidate who used our present system of term limits, called "elections," to defeat an incumbent. A one term incumbent. (That would be Decorah Dem John Beard, now on the comeback trail seeking an open Senate seat. Despite the name, he does not have one. Much like ZZ Top's drummer.) As for me I like my legislators and want them to keep doing the good job they've been doing for a long time.

With the session now underway Jerry Behn has taken over the Spinal Tap Drummer job of Iowa politics, Senate GOP leader, from Paul McKinley, who's leaving the legislature entirely at year's end. Bleeding Heartland has a good look at the district and the developing race. Former Knoxville city manager Dick Schrad announced this week on the Democratic side; Wayne County Supervisor Amy Sinclair was the first announced Republican soon after McKinley's retirement but we could well see a primary in this relatively even but slightly Republican seat.

Coming soon to a courtroom near you: Iowa’s workers’ compensation commissioner Chris Godfrey's $1 million discrimination lawsuit against Terry Branstad. Part of this is opposing agendas; part of it (charges Godfrey) is homophobia. And making this better, Godfrey's attorney is one Roxanne Conlin... Pass the popcorn, this will be good to watch.

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