Category: Public Policy

Finally… Something We Can Agree On

The following is an op-ed I wrote some time ago that was edited slightly and then published by the Des Moines Register.  After turning on the television, which was tuned to MTV, while babysitting my young niece and nephew recently I was reminded how unfortunately relevant this piece still is.  The sections which are redacted below are ones that the Register was uncomfortable printing.  This perhaps make the point most poignantly.

 

The following words were spoken on the floor of the U.S senate by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin in the heat of the recent debate on The Fairness Doctrine:

It takes away the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to basically determine that radio and television stations use their Federal licenses in the public


Iowa’s Expensive Wind Addiction

I recently heard a radio commercial urging me to contact various members of Congress to voice my support for tax credits connected to the wind energy industry. On a lark, I went to the Iowa Legislature website and searched active bills for the word “wind,” and received several dozen hits, many of which seemed to be focused on state tax credits for manufacturing and installing wind turbines. Both state and federal politicians seem to be tripping over themselves to get into the wind energy craze.

Back in 2010 Alliant Energy was petitioning to be allowed to increase the rates they charged for electricity, and one of the supporting reasons they put forward was the $150 million project called the Whispering Willow-East wind farm in Franklin …


A Sweeping Declaration of Intent: Gingrich unveils new “21st Century Contract with America”

If ever there is going to be a moment for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to create momentum and change the flat trajectory of his presidential run—now is the time. One day after the release of a Fox News poll, which surprisingly showed him gaining substantial ground in the race, Gingrich took to the stage at the Principal building in Des Moines to unveil his newly minted “21st Century Contract with America”.

Updated from the 1994 version, this new contract will serve as the backbone of his campaign and its acceptance or rejection will determine his fate one way or the other.

In the world of presidential politics such fate is largely decided by three things—the style, the substance, and …


Why Iowa’s 2011 Legislative Session Matters to Conservatives: The Conservative Reader Interview with Senator Jack Whitver (Part 1 of 2)

Three weeks removed from ending the third longest legislative session in Iowa history, I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with District 35’s representative in the Iowa Senate—Republican Jack Whitver. The main focus of our conversation was the results of the 172 day session and the political clouds already forming on the horizon for next year’s Senatorial get together.

In the interest of adding perspective, here is a brief overview of Senator Whitver’s political and business careers: He joined the Iowa Senate this year by virtue of winning a special election to fill the seat of Larry Noble, first beating five other Republicans in a truncated primary and then defeating Democrat John Calhoun (63%-36%). The district covers most of the northern half …


Spewage

Harry ReidWith the long overdue federal budget negotiations continuing to, well — continue — the vitriol spewing out of every crevasse of Washington is stunning in both its scope and in the absolute levels of personal animus that is on display. Even more stunning than the differences of opinion are the even more spectacular distortions of both the facts and the pertinent arguments attached to elements of the debate. It is one thing to have a contrary set of opinions. It is yet another to deploy a confrontation strategy of “justifiable-deception” (what used to be called “lies”) into that debate. The proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood that was announced last week (for their use in providing abortions) brought out vast quantities of this type of pernicious …


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The Current State of the Union(s)

Unions.

There is a word which is currently stirring much thought and commentary.

With all due solemnity and respect for the people of Japan, I would say that Madison, Wisconsin is the epicenter of an earthquake which is sending tremors into every state capital of our country.

What’s all the hubbub, bub?


In case you have been living in a cave, allow me to enlighten you.  Desperate economic times have apparently called for desperate measures.  State legislatures are looking for ways to cut spending, and they have uncovered a very interesting phenomenon.  Government unions have been very adroit in negotiating excellent financial compensation for their members, including fringe benefits which are outpacing the benefits of many employees in the private sector.

Governors, emboldened by the …


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