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Last week’s legislator of the week, Sen. Claire Celsi, turned into quite the activist this week at the Capitol. Last week Celsi unknowingly made the argument for Education Savings Accounts, sharing that she attended private schools as a student but then didn’t have that option for her children as a single mom.

This week she led a one-person demonstration against the expansion of educational freedom during Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bill signing.

Celsi shouted “nobody wants vouchers” toward a crowd of more than 150 Iowans who were celebrating the passage of the bill, indicating that perhaps someone in Iowa does indeed want Education Savings Accounts.

After a bit, Celsi returned to yell “rural Iowa doesn’t want vouchers.”

“If she thinks she can flaunt this in front of me and not be challenged by the truth, I have news for her,” Celsi said. “She can’t.”

KCCI pointed out Celsi’s unhinged moment on Twitter, and Celsi proudly shared it, writing:

“As Forrest Gump would say, ‘Sorry I ruined your little party.'”

Prior to her one-person counter protest, Celsi had written the following to her Iowans for Public Education – Discussion Group:

“I am out of sorts today, really down. Teary eyed. It’s because I have fought so long, fought so hard. Used nearly all of my political capital on this one thing.

“KE Nichols, Randy Richardson and Claire Celsi started this group to save public education from the Republicans. It feels like we have lost every fight we’ve ever fought. And it hurts.

“What’s next? I don’t know. We know there are more awful bills coming this session. The Republicans are flexing their power and they are empowered by outside political forces that are bigger than Iowa. Bigger than most of us realize.

“The immoral leadership of Governor Reynolds makes it worse. She does not have a moral compass. She has lost the ability to tell right from wrong. She doesn’t have any compassion or common sense. She readily lies and omits facts. She is apparently unaccountable to even the Republicans who elected her.

“First and foremost, though, I think it is appropriate to thank the Republicans who voted against vouchers, as well as the Democrats who stood strong against this legislation for many years. Here is the list. The Republicans are noted with an (R)…”

At the end of Celsi’s emotional rollercoaster of a week, however, is expanded educational freedom for Iowans.

That’s a win, despite her highs and lows.



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