The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

February 15, 2014

Time to take the politics out of the juvenile home discussion

Whoa.

The partisan political horses may already be out of the barn regarding the closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home. But we hope it’s not too late to rein them in.

Polk County District Judge Scott Rosenberg last week ordered the state to reopen the Toledo home, saying Gov. Terry Branstad overstepped his authority when he ordered the facility closed last month.

The Iowa Juvenile Home provided housing and schooling for children in the state’s legal system.

The state-run facility has been the subject of controversy since last summer when an advocacy group criticized the home’s practice of placing young girls in extended isolation.

The revelation led to investigations by other state agencies and a legislative oversight panel. A state task force recommended the home remain open if economically feasible.

Rosenberg’s ruling came as part of a lawsuit filed against the state by Danny Homan, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 and four state lawmakers.

One of those lawmakers is state Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to run against Branstad this fall.

“The judge is the latest in a long line of Iowans who have tried to get Terry Branstad to follow the law. The ruling is another example of how this governor operates above the law, without accountability or respect for the rule of law,” Hatch said in a statement released through his campaign.

Hatch may be referring to a 1992 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that Branstad, in his previous stint as governor, broke the law by withholding a pay raise unionized state workers won in binding arbitration under the collective bargaining process laid out in the state code. AFSCME-affiliated state workers were affected. Branstad complained at that time that the ruling led to a state sales tax increase.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014

  • Wild Rose avoids another distraction Several casino operators in the state of Iowa breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 4-1 to reject a casino in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is close enough to have a possible effect on Wild Rose Casino and R

    April 18, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook