The Iowa House: No Place For The Public

Empty Gallery

Pat Murphy will probably say he was well within his rights to clear the gallery at tonight’s Public Hearing on House File 807, the bill to repeal the deduction of Federal Income Tax from Iowa Income Tax.

But he was so wrong.

The galleries were filled with people who opposed the bill.  It is interesting that Democrats could not raise up any more than a handful of speakers to support the bill, none to sit in the gallery who support the bill.  And those who spoke in favor were the expected litany of social services and union leaders who would either benefit directly from the bill or are beholden to Democrats.  One speaker in favor, it was observed, sounded distinctly as if he did not even believe what he was saying.

It’s intriguing to see people mischaracterize the events in the House this evening.  I was there.  The very first speaker was roundly booed, and I’ll admit that was inappropriate.  The public was warned.  After that, no other speaker in favor of the bill received much more than a low murmur of opposition, and that was not worth talking about.

If you are seeing this, your Custom URL is not pointing to the correct image!The galleries were full of people who could not contain, however, their enthusiasm and support for the comments of those who actually made sense, spoke for Iowans and opposed the bill.  What Pat Murphy (who by the way was not visible in the chamber except when he threw the public out) was facing was an uprising of Iowans who have finally had it with the continued outrageous spending and tax increases being sugar coated as a tax reduction.

Ed Failor Jr., President of Iowans For Tax Relief, was one of many who hit the target on this issue: it will tell our graduating college seniors that there is no room for them or their dreams.  This bill will impact them coming out of school into the work force (those making under $40,000 will be negatively impacted) and will impact their dreams to be successful.  They will be a target.

Many small business owners got up to speak in opposition to the bill.  We already know that small businesses, who employ the majority of Iowans, are at significant risk in the current economy.  And this bill will most dramatically impact their tax burden.  They will pay more.  Several speakers had taken the time to ask their tax preparers to calculate the impact of the bill on their taxes.  One man explained that he would see a 50% increase in his State tax obligation.

Others spoke very eloquently about the absurdity of the bill.  I think there were perhaps 5 or 6 who spoke in favor, and 40 or so against it.

The straw that broke Murphy’s back was the applause after college student Greg Baker spoke.   Busloads of students from Ames and Iowa City came.  It was encouraging to so many students there who share our conservative values.  I just hope they don’t all decide to move out of state after this session is over.

And once the crowd found out they were being ejected, essentially turning the “public” hearing into a private one, that’s when the shouting and anger showed.  People were escorted out, and still in an orderly fashion, but not without getting a few messages in.  The one that rings the loudest is:

“This is the people’s house, but not any longer!”

A later speaker, Ted Morgan, said:

“I’ve never been in a house where the tenants evicted the landlords.”

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn put it well:

“Never have I seen such a gross display of arrogance and disdain for Iowa taxpayers.  The Iowa House is supposed to serve as the people’s house, the house where great ideas are debated and discussed.”

Earlier in the day, Rep. Paul Shomshor, D-Council Bluffs and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was quoted as saying:

“We think eliminating federal deductibility is helpful for families and middle-class taxpayers,” said Rep. Paul Shomshor, D-Council Bluffs and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

I don’t know how an intelligent person can get away with making a statement like that.  Either arrogant or stupid, either way it seems obvious Iowa has made a huge mistake electing Democrats into office.

Iowans are starting to see the truth; Murphy may have single-handedly lit a fire he won’t be able to contain.

About the Author

Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.

 

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  1. Megan Stuhr | Apr 1, 2009 at 9:30 am | Reply

    Really wish I could have been there. Encouraging that many people were there on a Tuesday evening. Maybe our politicians will remember that tax issues were the final straw with the British as well. New slogan could be “No taxation with crappy representation” ;-)
    Thanks for posting on this, Art.

  2. Mike | Apr 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Reply

    Why didn’t the Speaker “clear the house” when they cheered for Shawn Johnson … or for Lolo.. or for the troops.. There was 10 times more raucous, athletic type noise at these events but no one was ever cleared of the chambers (even though people were I guess violating HIS house rules)

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