Friday, September 12, 2008

News From Iowa House Minority Leader Chris Rants


A story broke this afternoon from the Associated Press that “Culver has virtually ruled out the possibility of calling the Legislature into special session to craft a flood relief package.”

What a disappointment.

In my opinion, this decision is a bad one. Instead of worrying about upcoming elections, the governor needs to focus on the local officials and people begging for action and leadership.

Last week we took our caucus to Cedar Rapids and we witnessed that this situation is about so much more than just federal aid.

It’s about people who will pay penalties and interest on property taxes they can’t pay…for homes they can’t live in.

This is about small businesses that are empty—literally, empty—that will see a tax increase if they try to reopen their doors.

It’s about the jobs that will be lost if even one of those businesses has to close its doors.

It’s about the families that are still sleeping outside their dilapidated homes in tents and campers, and with winter right around the corner, it’s about Iowans who will be left out in the cold.

I’m no interested in playing games or competing with others on ideas and proposals—so I will not rule anything off the table. I’m only asking today that the governor just bring us to the table. I’m asking that he consider the pleas of those in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Parkersburg, New Hartford, Columbus Junction, and on and on…consider their need, the way they’re struggling and not turn a blind eye to the action that needs to take place. A special session is necessary.

We get a call everyday from one of the impacted areas, pleading with us to have a special session. I’ve heard that plea and I’m on board. If you agree, I’m asking you to get on board too and advocate for those who are hurting—ask the governor to call a special session:
(515) 281-5211


Two things you should know

1st: The governor took a cheap shot at me today at his press conference. In talking about not having a special session, he also said I was AWOL on flood recovery efforts. The governor needs to do a better job of keeping tabs on me. It’s true that I haven’t been sitting around at a meeting in Des Moines for the past three months. I WAS however in Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City multiple times meeting with local officials, talking with everyday Iowans about their dilapidated homes, and touring damaged small businesses. And I was in Palo where city council members asked me to take up their cause of calling for a special session. So that’s just what I did. The governor can take all the cheap shots he wants, but it’s not going to help one person get back in their home or open one business.

2nd: Apparently my travel schedule isn’t the only thing he got wrong. But don’t take my word for it, read the recent article in the Des Moines Register.