Muscatine Journal: "Quit bullying and give up on bad bill"

The Muscatine Journal Editorial Board posted an article on their website this morning:

What does the Muscatine High School Student Council have in common with the Iowa Legislature?

Both taught their superiors a lesson Monday about bullying.

Kudos go to the students. For MHS teachers and administrators, the students conducted a dress rehearsal of an anti-bullying presentation. MHS seniors Taylor Wettach and Jasmine Brent, sophomores Dawn Eichelberger and Giles Joslyn, and freshmen Tony Vo and Sierra Sagastume asked the staff to break into groups and participate in some activities that focused on including others.

They will make their presentation for real this weekend in Chicago at the Leadership Experience and Development Conference for the National Association of Student Councils student leaders and advisers.

It’s too bad Pat Murphy, a Dubuque Democrat and Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives, missed the students’ presentation.

Hearing it might have spared him from the egg he found on his face over a union-backed prevailing wage bill. The bill would have set standards for minimum pay and benefits on government projects.

After failing to pass the bill last week, Murphy kept voting machines in the Democratic-controlled House open from about 6 p.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Monday. His goal was to persuade — a nice, political term for bully — at least one of five Democrats who had voted against the bill to change his or her vote.

It didn’t work. And with the vote remaining 50-48 Monday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines, flipped his vote and filed a motion to reconsider. That procedural move will keep the prevailing wage issue eligible for consideration later again in this session. And Murphy says he still intends to pass the bill.

If the bill was meant to become law, we’re not sure all of this maneuvering would be necessary. And we’re concerned about what this bill could do to the cost of providing government services at a time when property tax valuations — which fund local government coffers — are beginning to cool because of the sluggish economy.

We urge leaders in the Iowa Legislature to move on to other issues that are more important to the majority of Iowans. And then they’ll want to brace themselves for some more bullying, which is sure to come from the labor organizations that helped put the legislative Democrats in charge.

Source: Muscatine Journal

  • Robert Julson

    The way the speaker handled this totally took the focus off the possible merits of the bill. His actions which only served to hold legislators hostage for the weekend until somebody caved in reaks of nothing short of political strong arming to get your way. Forget the people of Iowa while Pat Murphy has his weekend in session and shows he cannot accept the will of the legislature. He prefers to have things his way and will do all he can to get it.

    Mr Murphy left Iowa voters holding the bag while he grandstanded for the weekend. I hope he enjoyed it, because he is souring voters’ opinions of him. It is stunts like this that makes people cynical about politics.