The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

February 15, 2014

Time to take the politics out of the juvenile home discussion

(Continued)

Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers defended the juvenile home closing.

“Because the children weren’t receiving the education they deserve and their safety and treatment were being compromised, Gov. Branstad believed seeking alternative court-ordered placements in licensed and accredited facilities — or in their own homes — was in the best interest of the children,” he said.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Dave Nagle, a former congressman and Waterloo attorney who grew up in Tama County and is working pro bono on behalf of the group “Save Our Home.”

“We have contact with some of the children who were displaced, and we’re hoping they can return to the home soon,” he said.

Nagle and Branstad also are political adversaries from way back. During his first run for governor in 1982, Branstad, then lieutenant governor, referred to Nagle as “a hatchet man” after one of Nagle’s rhetorical salvos against Branstad when Nagle headed the Iowa Democratic Party.

So suffice it to say, some of the antagonists in the juvenile home discussion have a little history.

We would respectfully suggest that those involved put the political baggage aside, keep the welfare of our young people at the top of their minds, engage in an honest dialogue and talk to each other instead of about each other.

And when the urge comes to unleash a cleverly turned political barb, well ...

Just say whoa.

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