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Iowa has got some problems – shrinking rural towns, statewide population decline, workforce shortages, bridges that need to be fixed, county hospitals on the brink. And what’s the most pressing concern for the first hearing of the Republican-led House Government Oversight Committee this year?

Banning books.

Republican committee chair Brooke Boden has invited conservatives from around the state to testify about their demands to ban books in their schools and libraries on Monday night. If you don’t know Brooke, she’s a legislator who was also here in sunny House District 35 this past week for what was billed to be a massive school voucher rally with Kim Reynolds. As you can see below, the tens of people who showed up indicate just how unpopular the voucher scheme is in Iowa (even after extensive marketing from the national group sponsoring it).

Back to the Monday hearing, this is a publicity stunt to get some attention in conservative media, to gin up some content for fundraising emails, and to help turn out their most extreme base in the next elections. As a member of the committee, I’m fascinated that no members from the other side of the debate have been invited to attend. Instead, it will be an exclusive, highly choreographed, ultra-partisan event.

You can help by showing up on Monday evening to show solidarity with our public schools who are, once again, under attack. The speakers, the cameras, and the legislators need to know that the vast majority of Iowa – even in red districts – oppose these extreme politics and hysteria.

The hearing will start at 5:00 PM in Room 103 (the old Supreme Court chamber) of the Iowa Capitol. You can RSVP on Facebook here. All are welcome!

Author: Sean Bagniewski


  1. Protection of the innocence of children supersedes your worries about the declining population in certain rural towns. Whoever wants to ignore the depravity that some schools are encouraging in our children doesn’t have the length of foresight that is necessary to be a good representative of the state.


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