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I want to address something that, based on some reaction to recent posts and stories, needs to be addressed. And that is the goal of reforming the governor’s emergency powers here in Iowa.

First, this has NOTHING to do with Gov. Kim Reynolds endorsing Ron DeSantis. How her endorsement has anything to do with this issue is beyond me. In fact, her endorsement of DeSantis only makes this issue more pressing.

How? Because both Reynolds and DeSantis have since said there will be another emergency where the government again abuses its powers.

Second, not everything political in Iowa has to be associated with the caucus. We are capable of walking and chewing gum. The presidential caucus and election has absolutely nothing to do with this issue. Zero. The two are completely unrelated.

So let’s address a few of these things…

Why make an issue of reforming the governor’s emergency powers now? Simple, if we wait until the legislative session to ask for legislation, it isn’t happening. Anything that has an actual chance of getting done needs to be in the works right now.

Another reason to generate momentum for the effort now — is because our side is forgetting exactly what happened in Iowa during COVID. Earlier this year, Reynolds claimed that Iowa “stayed open” when the rest of the country shut businesses down. Last week, during The FAMiLY Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talked about the COVID response. He talked about local governments trying to not let people go to church. He immediately issued an executive order providing the right to worship.

DeSantis warned we cannot let something similar ever happen again. Then, Bob Vander Plaats chimed in…

“I do want to give a shoutout to Gov. Reynolds because what she did for us in Iowa is she treated us like adults. She treated us like adults and she allowed us to make our own decisions.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This is a complete rewriting of history.

Let’s be clear and focus on the facts. Gov. Reynolds ordered churches closed in Iowa. Now maybe you want to say but that was early on in the plandemic. That was in April. Well, Iowa was shut down big time in November again. Anyone 2 years old or older had to wear a mask. Youth sports were not allowed. Parties of more than 8 people were not allowed at bars and restaurants. Mask mandates were issued at the state level. And Reynolds herself threatened Iowans would be charged with misdemeanors if they did not obey.

Now listen and listen closely — I know that Gov. Reynolds did better than 45 other governors or so. I know that. But I also know that the standard isn’t the other 49 governors. The standard when it comes to Iowans’ rights is Iowa’s Constitution.

This is really simple — if you are reacting differently to what Gov. Reynolds did as you would if a Democrat governor did the same thing, then you are wrong. If it would be wrong for a Democrat governor to close churches, it was wrong when a Republican did it. If it was wrong for a Democrat governor to order businesses and schools closed, it was wrong when a Republican governor did it. If it was wrong when Democrats required masks on 2-year-olds, it was wrong when a Republican governor did it.

Some folks get upset when we discuss this because they think it will hurt Reynolds in re-election I guess in 2026. She did just fine in 2022. And I’m more concerned with the rights and liberties of Iowans than I am with Reynolds’ re-election if I’m being honest.

We do not know how long Republicans will control the legislature. We do not know how long a Republican will be governor.

We do know we cannot afford to wait until after the next “public health emergency” to protect Iowans’ rights.

So here is the deal. In 2021, the legislature couldn’t touch the governor’s emergency powers because it would have made Reynolds look like she did something wrong. In 2022, the legislature couldn’t touch the governor’s emergency powers because Reynolds was up for re-election. In 2023, the legislature couldn’t touch the governor’s emergency powers because Reynolds wanted to help in the effort to reform them.

Well, if that were the case, why would attempts keep being made to rewrite history? There’s always going to be a reason not to do it. By 2025, COVID will be so far behind us that people will forget about the need for reform.

I am sorry, but that cannot happen.

I will try this one last time — Gov. Reynolds did better than most governors. She had to make decisions no single person should have to make for an entire state. She was operating off the information she was being given. I do not blame her. It is not her fault.

But if we don’t learn from what we lived through then we’re doomed to repeat it. Worse yet, our children and grandchildren will be forced to live through it. And it will not be better, it will only be worse. Government control will only be stricter.

Legislators actually vowed to reform these powers in 2021. Fewer of them made the same vow in 2022. Even fewer in 2023. When is the last time a legislator mentioned this as an action item?

The longer we wait, the less chance there is it gets done. If you are fine jeopardizing the rights and liberties of your kids and grandkids out of some weird fascination with Gov. Reynolds’ feelings and how she handled COVID, that’s your choice. But I care more about the rights and liberties of my kids and grandkids. And I have no intention of just letting it go until the governor’s emergency powers are reformed and Iowans’ rights are maintained and liberties are prized — even in times of emergency.

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Author: Jacob Hall


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