America is in the midst of a crisis. It’s no secret. Everyone knows it. And, in the midst of a pandemic, it’s not really the time to play politics.
But, some people just can’t help themselves.
I saw a story published on the Des Moines Register’s website Friday afternoon that was built around a private phone call between Sara Craig, chief of staff to Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Democrat state legislators. The conversation happened on Wednesday.
The story was about Craig telling lawmakers that the Governor’s administration plans to release a projection soon that could show more information about COVID-19 cases in Iowa.
“A recording of the call was obtained by the Des Moines Register,” reported Register writer Barbara Rodriguez.
Considering the Governor’s spokesman declined to comment and Reynolds provided no further information when asked about it, it would appear the Governor’s office wasn’t thrilled to have the information made public.
As for the story itself, I’m not sure if it is intended to hurt Republicans or Reynolds or not. Frankly, I didn’t find it all that interesting.
The interesting part was that in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, it appears a Democrat lawmaker in Iowa recorded a private call with the Governor’s chief of staff and then, somehow, magically a copy was obtained by the Des Moines Register.
Crazy coincidence, I guess.
It appears that a Democrat legislator or staffer recorded the call and then provided it to the Des Moines Register.
No, it’s not illegal. But it’s sleazy, DC-style politics right here in Des Moines.
Democrat legislators have been criticizing Reynolds the past week or so for refusing to issue a shelter-in-place order. Were they hoping for something along those lines to come up during the call? I don’t know.
We constantly hear concerns from Democrats about having a seat at the table for important conversations in Des Moines.
But by this private call with Reynolds’ chief of staff being made public — and worse, leaked to the Des Moines Register — it just shows that in a time of the pandemic, Democrats are more interested in politics. In a time of crisis, Democrats sought an opportunity to score cheap political points. In a time of pain, Democrats preferred political gain.
Remember when President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Qassem Soleimani and Democrats were upset for not getting a heads up?
Well, this sort of thing is why.
Put simply, Democrats in D.C. cannot be trusted to act in America’s best interest. Let’s hope that isn’t the case now in Des Moines.
An important point, it isn’t all Democrats. And it likely isn’t most Democrats. But clearly there are some Democrats more concerned about politics at this moment than solutions.
House Judiciary chairman, Rep. Steve Holt (R-Denison) was disappointed to learn of the call being recorded and made public.
“I have no way of knowing, but it certainly seems likely that a Democrat on the call recorded it and then provided it to the media,” he said. “To say the least, this his a lack of honesty and professionalism and is truly disappointing.
“At a time when trust and cooperation should carry the day, it would seem that whoever recorded this call prefers looking for political gain. Were I the Governor’s office, I would think carefully about providing such access in the future.”
Nobody would blame the Governor’s office for restricting future calls. My immediate idea is to simply include the Democrat leaders — in this case Sen. Janet Petersen and Rep. Todd Prichard. That’s it. Those two can then take the information back to their caucus.
The Iowa Standard did reach out to both Petersen and Prichard on Friday night, but as of now neither has returned our messages.