There’s some spooky stuff going on in Muscatine these days: shadowy men in black trench coats are reportedly standing on the side of rural and city roads, upsetting local residents. Some have claimed they try to step out in front of cars as they pass by in the night. No one’s really sure who they are, but the rumors have spread like wildfire through Muscatine social media.
It’s very concerning for many in Muscatine, but there’s an even greater threat making its way down the city’s streets, even coming right up to people’s doors. It’s politician Mark Lofgren, candidate for Senate District 46.
Yes, the former Representative may campaign through town with a smile on his face, but underneath that politician’s veneer lies a set of extreme policy views far scarier than anything lurking in the shadows in Muscatine. What goes bump in the night on Muscatine roads pale in comparison to the long nightmare of consequences if Lofgren’s policies are enacted on a statewide level.
Join us, if you dare, in looking through Lofgren’s spookiest policy stances:
Poor Education Funding – During his time in the Iowa House, Lofgren supported the repeated underfunding of Iowa schools. They even violated the law of passing the education budget in a timely manner. Iowa has seen teacher layoffs, unfilled positions and raised property taxes because of the poor funding. Lofgren’s family knows well the impact of losing local school staff. If Lofgren had a vote in the State Senate, it would almost certainly mean more layoffs, larger class sizes and less after-school activities. Which means Muscatine could have that many more teenage delinquents causing havoc in the community.
Refusing To Help Suffering Children – Many parents of critically ill children suffering from epilepsy pleaded with legislators over the past several years to allow heavily-regulated cannabis oil in Iowa. Many Republicans were moved on the issue, but not Mark Lofgren: in 2014 he was one of only 20 House members to vote against authorizing the use of medical cannabis oil to help treat people suffering from epileptic seizures. That’s not just scary, that’s cruel.
Ties To Dark Money Group – Mark Lofgren was discovered to be a member of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) in the past, and even apparently attended their meetings. ALEC is a shadowy, corporate-funded front group that crafts far-right legislation for state legislatures. It’s been described as a pay-to-play organization where top businesses and corporate lobbyists host all-expense-paid retreats for legislators to attend and be instructed on bills to introduce back home. Lofgren’s past membership makes it hard to tell if his policies come from input from voters, or from big money organizations.
Dangerous Roads – What could make Muscatine roads more dangerous than creepy men stepping out in front of cars? Well, if those roads were also crumbling and unrepaired. Swerving to miss dark figures at night is one thing – swerving around holes in the road every day is something else. House Republicans this year slashed $5 million from the Department of Transportation budget at the last minute. Iowa already ranks as the worst in the country for structurally deficient bridges. If Lofgren’s election shifted the balance in the Iowa Senate and those cuts continued, driving over local bridges could be very frightening, indeed.
by Pat Rynard