Sen. Dan Dawson expressed disgust with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board Tuesday during his closing remarks on a bill that defines discharge of sentence in regard to a felon having his or her voting rights restored.
“Despite us working 13 months trying to find some kind of compromise here in the State of Iowa so Iowa is no longer the last state in the nation without some type of automatic restoration process, the Des Moines Register editorial board decides to run a hit piece last weekend,” Dawson said. “In their editorial, they don’t talk at all about the merits of the bill. they can’t explain at all about why murder should or shouldn’t be a part of it, rape should or shouldn’t be part of it, they kind of nibble around the edges on victim’s restitution a little bit.”
Dawson said they couldn’t even dig up a garbage study.
“Typically we always go to the Southern Poverty Law Center if you want some garbage study around here in the United States, right,” he said. “The Des Moines Register editorial board couldn’t even find that inside their editorial.”
Dawson said there is not one study out there that shows it is the lowest cost-effective way to reduce recidivism.
“Instead, what’s the Des Moines Register editorial board do? They go slash and burn politics which is what they’re best at,” Dawson said. “So instead of talking about the merits of the bill, they want to talk about the wrong-headed, ancient Greek philosophy and how the majority party wants to make voting as hard as possible. Even though the very substance of what we’re trying to deal with is to try to create some automatic pathway for voter restitution.”
Dawson added that the Register mentioned Iowa Republicans and GOP 10 times.
“You know how many times they mentioned victims in this whole process,” he asked. “Once. And that was when they had to spell out the term victim restitution to try to waylay across that.
“It amazes me the paper of record of Iowa cannot discuss a victim in this entire process.”
He then ripped up the editorial and threw it in the trash.
“Garbage,” he said.
The Register shows an aggressiveness to the Iowa ag economy, disgust with people of faith, contempt for the private sector and downright loathes Republicans, Dawson said before being cut off by Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) who called for a point of order.
At that point, Dawson returned his closing comments to the bill itself.