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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | NOVEMBER 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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King endorsement appalling

We, the undersigned, write to you as former Daily Iowan reporters, columnists, and editors, appalled at the Editorial Board’s decision to endorse Steve King, the incumbent bigot in the Fourth Congressional District.

Our objection is based both on King’s horrific performance and on the Editorial Board’s flimsy justification for endorsing him.

Experience is no marker of ability. King has spent his six terms in Congress — his qualifications, according to the Editorial Board — comparing immigrants to livestock and dogs, telling gay people they’re going to hell, defending racial profiling, denying both the science and significance of climate change, calling Joseph McCarthy a “great American hero,” claiming women can’t get pregnant from rape or incest in his quest to defend Todd Akin’s “legimate rape” comments, voting against federal aid for Hurricane Katrina cleanup (his “best vote,” he later said), voting against re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and working to defund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain in the only country they’ve ever known.

The Editorial Board’s failure to mention a single one of King’s positions or engage with his loathsome record is perplexing. The best endorsements make ethical claims, charting the future of our city, state, and nation; by contrast, this endorsement is a paean to inertia and vacuous campaigning.

As in the past, King’s Democratic challenger is a nominal one; voters will undoubtedly send King back to Washington. But a party endorsement is not a coronation. King must earn his spot in Congress, and his vile statements alone are disqualifying. Taken together, his unending string of ignominious comments and callous votes don’t add up to an illustrious congressional career but a profound embarrassment to our state.

If it’s unclear why the Editorial Board is making endorsements for congressional districts on the other side of the state, what is apparent is how poorly this endorsement reflects on The Daily Iowan.

Shawn Gude
Shay O’Reilly
Chris Patton
Nate Whitney
Taylor Casey
Chris Steinke
Will Mattessich
Matt Heinze
Ariana Witt
Rachel Jessen
Nina Earnest
Sarah Damsky
Daniel Taibleson
Zach Wahls
Jonathan Linder
Eric Andersen
Katie Gadient
Nick Fetty
Eric Sundermann
Scott Raynor
Ben Fornell
Michael Davis
Alyssa Young
Danny Valentine
Soheil Rezayazdi
Neal Schuett
Paul Sorenson
Andrew Swift
Brenna Norman
Marleen González
Tyler Hawes Porter
Matt Nelson

King endorsement shows intellectual drift

The Daily Iowan’s endorsement of Steve King and a previous right-winger prompts query into how has this college newspaper drifted so far away from the outlook of a university that, like higher education in general, has descended from an Enlightenment and Age of Reason that gave rise to the liberal and progressive outlook of mankind that is at the heart of the view from the ivory tower peering ever deeper and deeper into the bottomless depths of what there is ever more to learn?

Beyond that print journalism has become an artifact of a fast-disappearing age of textual recording and information dissemination (reflected by the stack of papers placed around campus and little reduced by the end of the day, when they are picked up as scrap) today’s liberals and progressives are so busily fragmented into this and that cause of talking about the need to do this and that about some universal problem of great and pressing magnitude that they have not been able to see the trees that constitute the forest.

Those trees are the individual people who awake daily and go to sleep nightly wondering how their dependent loved ones are even going to have it as good and more likely even worse than they think they may have it the day after tomorrow. And meanwhile, those educated people who get accused of such things as being tree huggers because of their justifiable concern over the environment on planet earth had best start reaching out and hugging the folks that would be quite happy to have global warming assist them in paying this winter’s pressing utility bill.

A progressive like Republican Teddy Roosevelt and a liberal like Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt knew how to inspire the masses of all of us common Americans to dig in and get done what needed doing because that was the base that put food on the table, clothing on the body, a roof over the head and provided enough rest and leisure to keep going and to find it worthwhile to do so.

Sam Osborne

Online comment on ‘Vote no on courthouse addition’

These letters kind of miss the point. I couldn’t support the prior proposals, for some of the reasons the letter writers articulate. But this bond issue vote is NOT about those prior proposals.

Opponents of prior proposals wanted alternatives to incarceration with less recidivism. They wanted a cheaper structure. They wanted to preserve views, and this National Historic Register courthouse’s architectural integrity. They wanted a “green” building and accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Well, guess what? The supervisors’ response is government at its best. They not only listened, they responded — with everything opponents asked.

Instead of jail cells, they just received a $192,000 grant for their Drug Treatment Court, with employment opportunities for offenders. Building costs are 25 percent less. Views of the courthouse are preserved. It will receive “silver” LEED certification and be ADA compliant.

It’s ironic, isn’t it: Supervisors proposing legitimate governmental projects (e.g., courthouses, park acquisition) must get public approval to spend taxpayers’ money. Yet city councilors who want to give taxpayers’ money to their friends’ non-governmental, for-profit, private businesses (e.g., luxury condos, grocery stores, motels), can do so while refusing to listen or respond to opponents.

We need and deserve this courthouse improvement; supervisors deserve our thanks.

Nicholas Johnson


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