When the Democrats took control of both the House and Senate this past November, many of us worried about what would come out of the State House. However, I don't think any of us could have envisioned the liberal agenda being pushed. We have had "Fair Share", a cigarette tax increase, and now we are treated to.....election day voter registration. That's right, this past Tuesday bill HF-653 passed the Iowa House by a vote of 54-45. This bill will allow people to register to vote at the polls on election day. It doesn't stop there though. An election day voter registration applicant is to provide proof of identity and residency; however, if this applicant cannot provide a valid ID, simply having someone from the same precinct vouch for them being who they say they are will be good enough. An amendment to this bill to require an ID to register was voted down. Amendments to force county attorneys to investigate suspected voter fraud and to make same day voter registration applicant's vote provisional were also shot down. My question is, why? Even if one were in favor of same day voter registration (which I am not), why wouldn't you want to implement these steps to make sure everything was on the up and up? This stinks of voter fraud, and I don't like it.
I attended a trade show today with my mother and wife in Peosta this afternoon. At the show, we talked to several vendors who spoke of how businesses in Iowa have been hurt by the passing of the cigarette tax. One Clinton convenience store has seen it's cigarette sales down 75% since the tax was signed by Gov. Culver. This has resulted in a daily loss of nearly $5,000 dollars per DAY. I am sure other businesses, especially those close to bordering states have felt this as well. If we are to believe Chet Culver and Iowa Democrats, these people have "gotten smart" and sworn off smoking. The reality of the situation is that they are simply taking their business across the river.
I myself am not a smoker, but if someone wants to smoke (so long as they don't subject me to it) I don't have a problem with it. People I have talked to were shocked when I informed them that this "noble" effort to raise cigarettes taxes was just an ordinary tax raise, since all the extra revenue will go directly into the general fund. Raising this tax has been nothing more than a play to give tax and spend Democrats more play money, and smokers are picking up the tab this time.