Democrat State Sen. Joe Bolkcom offered harsh criticisms of Republicans who still doubt the results of the 2020 Presidential Election during debate on Senate File 413 on Tuesday.
He called SF 413 the “Republican extreme voter suppression bill.” In Iowa, Bolkcom said the 2020 general election was “fair, free and a smashing success.”
He quoted Republican Secretary of State, Paul Pate, when he said “there was no fraud.”
“But here we are, the rationale for this bill from the authors is that a large swath of Iowans don’t have faith in our elections,” Bolkcom said. “We need to restore integrity to our elections — we’ve heard that a lot this afternoon. And Sen. Smith said we have serious vulnerability in our elections.
“If the election was fraudulent in Iowa, I’ve not heard a single member of the legislature show us the fraud. Where is it?”
Bolkcom asked if there was fraud in any Iowa race — while leaving the door open that Rita Hart was declared a loser but may have actually won her race.
“But (Trump) won, and you know what, in Iowa, it was a no-doubter,” he said. “The elections across the rest of the country were the same story. In more than 3,000 counties, every county across America, local election officials, Democrats and Republicans, conducted fair, free, safe elections.
“People did their jobs. No time for conspiracy theories. What was the result of the national election? Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the Presidential election. Joe Biden was elected President. He not only got seven million more votes than the former President but also won the Electoral College 306-232 votes. That is why the photo behind the Senate President’s chair is a photo of President Joe Biden. The person that gets the most votes wins.”
Bolkcom said every legal challenge offered by President Donald J. Trump has been thrown out.
“Just like he was,” Bolkcom said. “He lost. It was a no-doubter. Not even close. But the former President is a prolific serial liar. He told some 30,000 lies in four years. He lied for months about the November 2020 elections.”
Bolkcom said everything came to a head on Jan. 6 — the “day of the insurrection.”
“The day the former President incited a riot to overthrow the United States government and overturn a presidential election,” Bolkcom said. “Overthrow the will of the people, overthrow our democracy, people died. Police officers died defending our Capitol. The coup failed. The former President incited homegrown domestic terrorists and thugs — including white nationalists, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, Neo-Nazis — to overthrow our democracy because he lost the election fair and square.”
He was relentless in his attacks against President Donald J. Trump and his supporters.
“The former President and his supporters enflamed conspiracy theories about the national Presidential Election results being fraudulent,” he said. “With no credible evidence to prove it, while also having virtually zero complaints about Iowa’s presidential election results or any other Iowa election result. No claims of fraud. And now, with a straight face, you tell us that Iowa needs to reform its election laws because a large swath of supporters don’t have faith in our elections we need to restore integrity. Give me a break.
“The reason some people have lost faith or are losing faith in our elections is that Republicans have manufactured, fostered and encouraged through silence and conspiracy theories and cult behavior. And I for one am not going to normalize, I’m not going to normalize this bizarre, irrational, conspiracy theory thinking and behavior. We do not have a democracy anymore as long as this kind of argument stands.”
Bolkcom said SF 413 lacks integrity and is not based in reality.
“It rests on lies,” he said. “It does not solve any real problems, it creates problems.
“This racial bill is not needed. It’s an embarrassment to Iowa’s proud tradition of free and fair elections.”