It is an interesting strategy that is devoid of any sense of anything political that has happened in the last two years. There are Republicans in the Iowa House willing to allow county auditors to mail out absentee ballots earlier than law currently allows, but not allow education dollars to follow students based on the wishes of their parents.
Republican State Rep. Dennis Bush of Cherokee introduced a bill allowing county auditors to send out absentee ballots three days sooner than law currently allows. After a 2020 Presidential Election marred in irregularities and controversy — much of which can be traced back to absentee voting — one has to wonder if Bush and other House Republicans who support the measure have any sense of the pulse of the Republican base.
While many grassroots conservatives would like to see more restrictions on absentee voting — like no-excuse absentee voting being eliminated or increased requirements for identity verification, etc. — some Iowa House Republicans are working the opposite direction.
Meanwhile, Bush is the same representative who refuses to support Education Savings Accounts for Iowa moms and dads. While parents are clamoring for more school choice and the right to utilize the money intended for their children’s education to be used how they best see fit, Bush is standing in the way.
Bush doesn’t want taxpayer dollars to go to private institutions, but as best I can tell, he is yet to introduce any bills requiring food stamps be spent at government grocery stores, Medicaid dollars be spent at government hospitals or Iowa Tuition Grant money stop being used at private colleges.
This is what one would call an intellectual inconsistency. And a major, major, major, major blunder when it comes to Republican politics in 2022.
Worse yet, Bush isn’t alone. His bill in the House to allow for absentee ballots to be sent earlier than current law allows garnered support from fellow Republicans. And he certainly is not the only Republican in the Iowa House refusing to grant Iowa parents more school choice through Education Savings Accounts.
I honestly do not understand how any person who has paid any attention to politics at any level the last two years can hold the same two positions and consider themself to be a Republican.
More Republicans than not have real concerns over absentee voting and the integrity it contains. More Republicans than not have real concerns with parents not being able to choose the education system best suited for their children.
So it makes zero sense for the Iowa House, which has a 60-40 Republican majority, to be backward on both issues.
Bush is not the problem on these issues, he’s just one of the problems. There are obviously more than 11 Republicans in the Iowa House who don’t support Education Savings Accounts. In reality, it’s probably anywhere from 20-28 Republicans who aren’t fully supportive.
But he is obviously one of the problems. And he will be facing a primary in 2022. There is a solid, strong conservative alternative running against Bush in the district. Zach Dieken has already collected one major endorsement and will likely garner a few others along the way from conservative groups.
It is hard to imagine Republican voters in Iowa rewarding a Republican who wants to expand absentee voting laws while refusing to support parental rights in education and Education Savings Accounts.
The only way that can happen is if the voters simply do not know. So it will be important for voters to realize they have a choice to make. As long as they know the choices they have, there is no reason to doubt the conservative voters of northwest Iowa will not get it right.
I haven’t even included Bush’s comments on wanting the state to return to may issue instead of shall issue when it comes to concealed carry permits.
None of this is to say anyone is a bad person or a mean person — it just suggests they aren’t the right person to represent what should be a deep red, conservative house district.