To the editor:
Actions are continually being taken to make us less of a democracy.
The foundation of our democracy is that every vote counts, and yet Republicans frequently support rules that toss out valid absentee ballots, decrease voting days, close voting locations, shorten voting hours and require IDs.
Imagine what advancements would take place in Iowa if Republicans would focus their creative energies on growing Iowa instead of silencing its voters.
The latest move away from democracy by the “Don’t Tread on Me” party is the action to override the voices of the 880,531 voters who elected Tom Miller as Iowa’s attorney general in 2018. These voters declared their approval of his job performance.
Republican legislators, including Storm Lake Rep. Gary Worthan, are upset that Miller, a Democrat, has joined lawsuits opposing the actions of President Trump. They have passed legislation that requires Miller to get permission from the governor, executive council or legislature to pursue out-of-state lawsuits.
It appears that installing barriers to voting didn’t damage our democracy sufficiently. Now Iowa’s Republican lawmakers want to change election outcomes and ignore voters.
The National Conference of State Legislatures explains “separation of powers”—coined by Charles-Louis de Secondat–as “the division of government responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions of another. The intent is to prevent the concentration of power and provide for checks and balances.” Secondat argued that “to most effectively promote liberty, these three powers must be separate and acting independently.”
The separation of powers promotes liberty. Conversely, dismantling the separation of powers impedes liberty.
Most of Iowa’s GOP legislators recently voted to impede our liberties.
Does the party in power get to decide which election results stand and which require legislative action to be overridden? Did our state motto slip your mind? Is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain” to be interpreted as only what the party in power desires?
We don’t vote only for our president and then make every other officeholder in every branch of government into a party-appointed sycophant to that one position. We vote for various offices under the impression that these are independent votes for independent officeholders.
A Democrat is Iowans’ Attorney General, elected to the position. In a democracy, when a party loses an election, it doesn’t get to create laws to limit the power of every elected office won by the opposing party. Moving to override the desires of Iowa voters is unscrupulous.
Hopefully, Gov. Reynolds is a better representation of democracy than you — the dishonorable legislators who voted to limit the power of the Iowa Attorney General, dismantle the separation of powers, tread upon liberty and trample voters’ voices.