Last week Todd Prichard, the Minority Leader of the Iowa House of Representatives wrote a disparaging letter to the editor to be published in newspapers across the state. In that letter, Leader Prichard made bold, inaccurate claims that Republicans were misinforming the public. Prichard stated, “When Session began in January, I challenge every elected official in Iowa – Regardless of party – to call out the lies and conspiracy theories so pervasive in our political discourse today.”
In his attempts to point the finger at the Majority Party, Leader Prichard did exactly what he was accusing others of – he misinformed the public. Not to mention his letter contained the same divisive language he “condemned” in January.
This playbook is pervasive in the Democrat Party. They seem to prefer to label what the Republican party does as bad, rather than roll up their sleeves and get to work on finding solutions.
I am not going to go into example after example of how Leader Prichard failed in his attempt to “point fingers” at the Republican Party. Instead, let me tell you how this type of political finger-pointing is bad for Iowa. Republicans have been in the Majority in the Iowa House for 11 years and I have been in the House for 7 of those years and we have come up with many good policy and budget items that leave Iowa in good standing in the nation.
Too often, rather than working with the Majority party during the drafting process of the bill, the Democrats come afterward only to criticize the bill, not come up with real, practical solutions. Is that what this State deserves? A minority party who is more focused on criticizing and tearing down the majority party for political gamesmanship than finding solutions? That kind of sounds like D.C. Politics and nobody thinks that is proper. Minority Leader Prichard uses, as an example, the incident of a prison nurse and guard who were terribly killed at the Anamosa State Penitentiary and how underfunding these past 10 years has caused a shortage of prison guards. This doesn’t hold water when one considers that for 6 of those 10 years there were Democrats in charge of the Senate and so budgeting was a bipartisan issue for those years. The investigation into the prison mishap hasn’t even been completed yet and so to say that it is because of one thing or another is, in and of itself, misinformation. Prichard says our state “failed Lorena Schulte and Robert McFarland”. Shouldn’t we wait for the investigation before we start pointing fingers and say it is the State’s fault when two evil people picked up hammers and murdered these two people? Why not blame the evil people who perpetrated this deed? That wouldn’t be as politically expedient for the Minority Leader.
While Leader Prichard’s essay appeared well-intentioned at the start, in the end, his letter misses the mark and just points fingers. My grandma used to say, “be careful when you point fingers because when you do, you have three fingers pointing back at you”.
The most important thing is that Iowa deserves better than to have 1/3 of its legislators who aim only to criticize the solutions presented by other elected officials. Republicans were elected to a 59-seat majority in the Iowa House because Iowans agreed with our agenda. We listened to what our constituents want and need, and we have acted on those items this session. A minority leader and party determined only to criticize our work don’t just dismiss us, they dismiss the very Iowans who elected us because they like the work we do on their behalf. Minority Leader Prichard seems to want it only his way and that way doesn’t represent the majority of Iowan’s. Iowa you deserve better than negative politics and Iowa House Republicans are here to provide a well-governed and well-funded state.