Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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Women’s basketball accomplishment deserves recognition

The front page layout for the March 23 DI was very colorful. Unfortunately, the winning Hawkeye women’s team was relegated to a small space at the top of the page while the losing men’s team got a big spread on the page. This was a great opportunity for the DI to recognize the hard work and great play by the women’s team. The men’s team also works hard, but they already get plenty of press. Too bad the DI was sexist and didn’t give the women their well-earned reward.

Dave Huling

I’m trying to understand why you would choose to use the loss of the men’s basketball team as your front-page story, not the win by the women’s team. Perplexing. Frustrating. Sexist.

AmyRuth McGraw

Close loopholes in invasion of privacy law

HF3 passed the House with a unanimous vote last week. The bill solves several dangerous loopholes in our invasion of privacy law, making it much easier for victims of the crime to put their perpetrators to justice. I am a clerk in the Iowa House, and I have been emailing and meeting with legislators on both sides of the aisle to promote this bill since it was introduced at the beginning of session.

The legislator I work for, Chris Hall, even spoke in favor of the bill, on my behalf, during debate last week. I am grateful for the compassion and responsiveness that our legislators have treated me with since I have started this process and the vote last week couldn’t be more proof of their sincerity.

This bill is very important to me because I was a victim of this crime two years ago in Iowa City. My landlord at the time, Gene Miller, had systematically built and used peepholes to spy on his tenants in their apartments. Even though my landlord had admitted so much to the police during his initial interrogation, the details in the Iowa Code made it very difficult to convict him for the crime.

The code currently requires that a perpetrator be aroused by spying on their victim and that their victim be at least partially nude. Because of these complexities, I and the other victims were forced to recount every incidence our landlord appeared “aroused” around us on the property prior to being caught to the judge to prove his guilt. It was humiliating and degrading for me as a victim of a sex crime to be forced to visualize their landlord being aroused while looking at them without her consent.

My landlord was eventually charged with a couple counts of invasion of privacy, spent a couple weeks in jail, and paid some fines, and he is still a landlord in Iowa City. I still believe that the code unfairly protected him from additional penalties — the change in the code would have doubled his fines and penalties and made it much less taxing for attorneys and victims to prove his guilt.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will now see the bill. I hope more than anything that this bill will be voted on in this committee before the start of the next funnel in two weeks. HF3 would have solved many problems associated with this case and will save future victims time and energy when seeking to put their perpetrators to justice. Invasion of privacy is a widespread problem, and victims are struggling to find justice all over our state.

This bill was in an unofficial “kill folder” only a couple weeks before its passage, until I started contacting legislators about the issue. Please contact your senators and be sure this bill will pass.

Ruth Lapointe

Voting turnout disgraceful

After President Obama recently suggested more voting could change the nation, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros responded by asking, “Do we really want everybody voting?” She answered her question with, “I don’t think so.” It is not for Fox News to decide who should vote and who should not. It is up to the potential, individual voter to make the decision to vote.

Fox News and the Republican Party do everything they can to keep the elderly, minorities, people of color, poor people from voting, and that is shameful. Our children, all the way from elementary school through high school should be taught the importance of being a good, lifetime citizen that stays informed and votes regularly in primary, general and mid-term elections.

The rich speak with their millions and billions of dollars; all the rest of us have is our single precious vote. To be a true democracy, we should take the big money out of politics and go to public financing of election campaigns.

Only 36.4 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote in our very important 2014 midterm elections. That is disgraceful. In Israel’s recent national election, 80 percent went to the polls to cast their votes.

Obama knows that we will never have mandatory voting in our country. I think he was suggesting that more and more people voting could change our country. He is right, and the change would be a better, more just, democratic America.

Paul Lam Whiteley Sr.

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