A guest post from Matt Chapman, an activist from Dallas County, with an in-depth look at one Iowa Republican senator’s Facebook posts. It’s a long but interesting consideration of how legislators use their social media during the legislative session.

Some politicians are embracing Facebook to reach out to constituents and some are not. Some home pages seem benign, and some manipulate and divide the electorate. While his district is to the west of mine, Jake Chapman’s Facebook page is ground zero for this kind of divisive politicking. Most of these posts were during the 2017 session and most of them distract from bills passed that hurt the electorate by baiting them with divisive and inciting headlines.

Bills on scaling back workman’s and asbestos compensation, repealing large swaths of Chapter 20 collective bargaining and repealing counties rights’ to raise the minimum wage was never posted on Senator Chapman’s home page. If nothing else, this demonstrates how unpopular these bills are and it is an acknowledgement that he does not want his base to be informed of his votes.

One thing to be perfectly clear – I don’t think I am smarter than anyone. But I watched closely last session and could see the look in legislature’s eye’s as law was made. I could see how it either pained them or if it made them happy. And there was some BS going on.

I have lived around the poverty line and worked in kitchens my whole life. I learned last session just how wages for myself and my peers haven’t raised and how some were being lowered.

So now you know where I am coming from. And remember I didn’t write these posts. But I did comment on some.

January 4, 2017

“I look forward to getting the bill to the Governor’s desk!”

You can view the article here with the Governor’s pro-voter ID stance.

The voter ID bill works on two levels – the first being roadblocks for some voters and not others.

Low-income folks, minorities and the disabled are more likely to vote Democratic and will need an ID. Seniors in nursing homes who are more likely to vote Republican are granted provisions that they won’t need an ID.

The second is the myth of undocumented and others barred from voting casting fraudulent votes in large numbers. You can fact check these claims with  Snopes and Politifact here. With no evidence of this fraudulent voting, the narrative persists as a wedge issue.

It’s ironic that a year later as I am writing this the President just dissolved his Voter Integrity Commission, headed up by the architect of the Kansas Voter ID law Kris Kobach. The fact that there is only one case of voter fraud in the 2016 election in Iowa and two cases of people who voted absentee and at the polls is not addressed. But the news from anti-immigrant views in right wing media is fueling the false impression that undocumented immigrants are flooding the polls.

The comments always show what posts are about, especially when the one posting is using a dog whistle. Comments from this post on voter ID:

“Fact! The only valid reason not to have voter ID is to allow voter fraud to continue!! Anyone who doesn’t know this has their head buried in the sand.”

“It’s not a small problem! If you cannot trust elections you don’t have a republic!”

“Illegals should be shot on sight their criminals.”

“It is about time. The democrats will hate this. They won’t be able to fraudulently vote. Please make sure the illegals IDs are a different color so it is impossible to use their ID for legal matters.”

January 8, 2017

“A convicted killer serving a life sentence is getting a sex reassignment, bought and paid for by the taxpayers.”

This article accompanied his post.

From the article Chapman posted:

“California was legally required to pay for the operation, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.”

“The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that prisons provide inmates with medically necessary treatment for medical and mental health conditions, including inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria,” Thornton said in a written statement.

“Quine said she tried unsuccessfully to amputate her genitalia when she was about 19, three years before she went to prison and roughly the same time she tried self-medicating with illegally purchased female hormones.”

I had a hard time finding more than a couple other examples of this procedure being performed on an inmate.

But what this post is about is revealed in the comments section:

“Just put it to death then you dont have to worry what sex it wants to be. Put it out of everyones misery.”

“Give him the reassignment and make it stay in the men’s prison.”

“Just take a shotgun and l pull the junk up ….aim low…..all gone in a blast! Sew it shut…everybody is happy! !!”

In my opinion this story was chosen not just to highlight an extreme and very rare case but to give homophobic constituents an outlet to express intolerance and tie that hatred to the opposition party. This is the dog whistle.

From the comments: “This is how insane our Liberal policies have become. This is complete bullshit just like the military doing this. How in the hell does anyone get into our military if they can’t decide what sex they are.”

While the Senator has told me recently he is just pointing out issues that need to be addressed and not trying to polarize constituents, the remedies suggested in the comments section show the results of his posts.

January 12, 2017

The link is about a good Samaritan who killed a man attacking a State Trooper. This is an uncommon incident that is shared in a way to make it seem like a common occurrence.

Here is a study from the Scientific American that disputes this view.

Here is an article from Newsweek and how law enforcement sees the “good guy with a gun” talking point.

Last year at the Capital I talked to Polk County Deputies and got their feedback on the gun omnibus. I did find one younger officer that was excited, but most of the older officers were not. Their reactions went from slight eye rolling to “then why are we even here.” One officer said that they would need an armory with long guns in case something happened.

The notion of a good guy with a gun is dangerous when you consider only 33% of homes have a firearm.

From the comments:

“I hope you’re aware that the Sheriffs are opposed to 2nd Amendment rights of our citizens. We surely need your vote in Congress to keep Iowa Constitutionally correct.”

“Be where asshole that are shooting cops. We the people have guns to. And we don’t mess around. We shoot to kill. And I for one belive in shooting a criminal in the head. Why waste time and money on a trial.”

January 23, 2017

You can view the posted article here.

After the election of Donald Trump around 100 protesters blocked the highway near Iowa City for half an hour. While it would be dishonest for me to say that this is not a bad idea and dangerous, it is another event that was an isolated incident being presented as a common occurrence that needs to be legislated. SF 111 is much more about showing protesters in a negative light than anything else. For perspective – the Iowa Women’s March had 26,000 participants and rallies at the Capital over the Chapter 20 legislation rivaled that attendance. SF 111 is a message to his base, pure and simple.

This bill didn’t make it to the senate floor and I would argue it is more about division and posturing than anything else.

Comments:

“How about a law releasing drivers from prosecution for hitting a trespasser on the highway. Then make sure signage is in place saying do not stop on highway.”

“Hold hand on horn and keep moving.”

“Might want to add a $25 fine for littering, that does not show up on your drivers license, for hitting said protesters. But also, protester or next of kin (if protester is dead) must pay restitution for damages to vehicles. Just throwing it out there as a possibility. This way it covers both The protester and vehicles that might hit them.”

“This would be great but also add to that drivers would be innocent of all charges if a protester was hit and killed by a driver.”

January 26, 2017

As a delivery guy I have a bias and have no love for traffic cameras. But I included it as an example of misleading and distractive posts. When the final vote in the Senate was passed with bipartisan support Senator Chapman voted against it and the House put it on the unfinished business list.

I was at the Capital and talked to Senator Zaun who sponsored the bill right after this vote. He told me that he was surprised that it didn’t have more support from his party. To paraphrase Senator Zaun “I had more votes for this bill” and “I think someone got to them.”

February 6, 2017

The posted article is here.

From the article:

Senate Study Bill 1051 was approved and sent to the Senate State Government Committee, despite strong opposition by lobbyists representing firefighters, emergency medical providers, the insurance industry, and others.”

“Rural officials warned the legislation would create more emergency work for rural fire departments and ambulance crews that are already short-handed. City officials said the proposal would create headaches for police who may think they are responding to incidents of inner-city gunfire and could result in people damaging their neighbors’ property from carelessly launched rockets and other devices.”

When you look at legislation like SF 111 that was introduced due to an isolated event like the blocking of traffic on the interstate and the same concern for public safety ignored with the fireworks legislation that passed you can see how bills are being used not for public safety but to excite a base.

SF 111 was about posing for the electorate (like the suck it up buttercup legislation that preceded it) by highlighting safety issues that arise from the protesting on an interstate that only happened once. It was pandering to a conservative electorate that become angered by pushback of the incoming administration in 2017 like the record shattering Women’s March.

Yet the concerns of first responders of the legalization of fireworks go unheeded. From the article that Senator Chapman posted:

“Bill Halleran of Sigourney, president of the Iowa Firefighters Association, urged a no vote.”

“Obviously we are opposed to this. Injuries will go up,” he said, adding, “We do have some grave concerns.”

Taking the concerns of public safety seriously seems to be subjective to the law being written and it’s political ramifications. What is surprising is Senator Chapman’s family business is an ambulance service.

February 7, 2017

The article is here.

You can see from the comments the divisive nature of this post. The disinformation is on display in them.

“I live in Iowa, I see anchors kids get everything free in schools, supposedly their parents are poor,but this kids wear $ 300.00 shoes,expensive jackets,brand name clothes, all this families live on the government aid,but they don’t like to pay taxes.”

“sensitive location??? Well there you go Nancy. It’s time to put your big boy pants on. There’s a new Sheriff in town now and we’re getting our country back piece by piece. No safe zones period !!!”

“What the hell is wrong with these people?!! Why don’t they just leave and go to their countries. Either ur American or ur not. I never liked Des Moines anyway. Not a place I would raise a family”

This post had hundreds of comments mostly along these lines. The lack of facts as far as undocumented workers has been cultivated by conservative media and cynical politicians only need to nudge the electorate for a reaction.

The reality is Dallas County is booming with new construction. If we were to deport all the undocumented working service jobs, construction and meat packers our economy would grind to a halt as Iowa is at 3% unemployment.

The truth about undocumented and taxes is in many articles like the one here.

This article was posted by Senator Chapman with the intent of stirring up social strife in a district that leans heavily Republican. With the margins of victory in his district, there is no need to scapegoat the undocumented other than to distract from policies that hurt all working-class Iowans.

February 10, 2017

The posted article is here.

Senator Chapman would have a point if earlier in the year he would have not posted articles that were aimed at being divisive, even if it leads to hate speech in the comment sections of his home page. A dog whistle is a dog whistle. You can post divisive content with a smile as well as with ugliness. I would argue that smiling while you are whipping up social strife is the most effective way to do it.

I was surprised that he brought up the story about the alleged union document that leaked. That led to folks being reminded of chapter 20, and I think this post backfired as the usually sympathetic comments were scarce compared to the backlash. It’s not surprising that he didn’t bring it up again.

Comments:

“Where’s the GOP’s civility as you set forth to destroy schools, teachers and all public workers!! Don’t act so shocked as you do the same but in a more sleazy and shameful way. Come to my school and tell the teachers I work with why we don’t matter!!”

“No one had to “push” me to call with my disapproval and disappointment. No one that has voted for this carnage to the collective bargaining bill will EVER get my vote again, and I will actively campaign against them. You did not represent me or most of your constituents.”

“This is so outrageous and misleading. I honestly can’t believe you’d share it. Whether or not this email actually exists, it was not distributed by the union or even widely distributed.”

This highlights who Senator Chapman is working for, and it isn’t his constituents. He is working for Drew Cline and AFP. Jake wasn’t even invited for the photo op when the governor signed the union busting bill in secrecy.

February 15, 2017

No post on this day.

But probably one of the most contentious bills was passed (rivaling the 20-week abortion ban and the gun omnibus that passed later in the session) – the gutting of chapter 20. It passed after debate started on Wednesday the 14th and was debated all through the night and finally was passed around noon on Thursday the 15th.

Whether it was exhaustion or just keeping his head down after voting for this bill, Senator Chapman never posted anything about the chapter 20 legislation again. But to distract on the 16th, the day after voting to bust the unions the old standby of gun legislation was trotted out.

February 16, 2017

“This isn’t a new concept,” Chapman said. “It takes a good guy with a firearm to stop a bad guy with a firearm, and unfortunately that’s the reality we live in today.” View the article here.

A few folks wanted to vent about the chapter 20 legislation.

Like this conversation:

“You voted to screw all federal, state and any kind of government workers. You lost my support”

“Aww, the union label tools appear…”

Jake Chapman I am sorry you feel that way. I believe it is just the opposite, if you are a great employee, you can now be rewarded! Additionally, federal employees are not addressed in collective bargaining as we only have jurisdiction over the state of Iowa.”

This is the second post about firearms. To review:

Here is an article from News Week and how law enforcement sees the “good guy with a gun” talking point.

The comments seemed to reflect a similar view, most surprisingly against this bill.

“NO! We love our weapons, know how to use them, know the places and when it’s appropriate. I know very well what college life was like; my kids have told me what it’s like now. COLLEGE CAMPUSES ARE NO PLACE FOR GUNS. Jake, that’s why you appoint the Regents. You appoint them to make those kinds of decisions. You don’t micro-manage.”

“Is this really the most pressing issue we need to be addressing? Weapons in the classroom is a horrible idea. And right to carry laws have no effect on safety. They just flood the market with guns and lead to higher rates of accidental death and suicide. But they do also help Mr Chapman finance is campaign.”

“I disagree Senator Chapman. Most law enforcement officers are not in favor of this type of legislation, and current research concludes it does not make our college campuses safer.

February 20, 2017

“69% of Iowans support voter ID with nearly half of Democrats supporting the measure. This is commonsense legislation that should receive bipartisan support!” The article is here.

The same poll showed that 75% of Iowans support funding for non-abortion services at Planned Parenthood. That didn’t stop the Senator from voting to cut that funding.

The purpose behind Voter ID is not to stop nonexistent fraud but to cause a hardship for those more likely to vote Democrat. Misinformation has more to do with this perspective than actual fraud.

I commented on this post:

“What about seniors in nursing homes? Or folks with disabilities? Or just poor folks? This is a big sector of Iowans who have every right to vote. This law has nothing to do with voter fraud. This law is about disenfranchising marginalized folks. We are out here and the fact that we are mostly but not all Liberal is the what this bill is about.”

When a post can be tied to Immigrants is when Senator Chapman’s comment section really seems to fill up.

“If you are a “TRUE ” American citizen , by birth or “LEGAL” :immigration then you shouldn’t fear voter ID … now all the illegals ….your not citizens …you have NO RIGHT TO VOTE !”

“so just what are they waiting for as until the illegals are gone for just one example voter fraud will go on and on. You need ID for everything else so just whats the big deal about a voter card.”

“So it would cost more because of 10 improperly cast votes, out of 1.6 million cast??? How does the math work on that? How does costing more for Iowans make sense? So you are trying to make the American people think that our voting system is broken? Why?”

“I worry it doesn’t go far enough to ensure that each ID used is a legal citizen….no person NOT being a citizen should VOTE in our country’s elections, whether it be local, state or federal…NO if’s, and’s or but’s to it. I think a special ID with thumb print should be done to ensure a LEGAL citizen is voting and everything from the past discarded….start over!!”

“First we have to remind the dems it’s called illegal. So what if it’s an inconvenience. So is coming to the United States illegally is an inconvenience. Your want to live here? Its called waiting in line for being legal. What makes illegals so special? Nothing. Go back to where you came from.”

While this post was about the voter ID law you can see how many folks bring up the fear that undocumented immigrants are voting. Putting it into people’s heads that our election system is broken has been the tactic from right wing media for years. When the President claims five million fraudulent votes were cast as the reason he lost the popular vote it’s no surprise that his base believes him. You just need to nudge them in the right direction with a post like this.

Here is more truth from Time.

February 20, 2017 2.0

After the last post stirred up xenophobic comments, the Senator doubled down with some fake news on the same day (one day after gutting benefits for 180,000 Iowans.) The wedge issue of abortion was rolled out but the Opinion Piece he posted exposed the lack of scientific knowledge in the bill he introduced.

You can view the OP here, and I highly recommend it.

He posted a rebuttal to the OP in the comments section of his home page.

“Neocutis is one of the manufacturers using fetal skin tissue in their products. Also, we are learning more about a company that is teamed up with some large corporations to test these aborted cells in different beverages and foods. I will be running an amendment to the bill to ban all such products in Iowa.”

A response from an informed constituent – “Snopes is your friend: (This link debunks his claims)

His Response “visit Neocutis website under their ethical statement…they admit to using derivatives from aborted babies!”

And – “ hek293 known as human embryonic kidney cells is a cellular line derived from an aborted baby in the Netherlands in 1973….”

Informed constituent “Yes. They are cells. I’m glad you cleared that up. And they were donated, not sold as you claimed earlier. The cells are also used to develop many medicines and vaccines. And as far as cosmetics… Ingredients were DERIVED from the study of those cells. When you make statements like “fetal tissue is also used in makeup products,” you are saying that ground up baby parts are in people’s lipstick and that’s just simply not true.

He had no more to say on that thread. Here’s the next one he started:

Chapman: “Let me also add, we have documents received through congressional subpoena and hearings containing horrific information. Without great detail, there are individuals receiving commissions – bonuses to harvest additional organs from aborted babies, we also have the price list for what these body parts are being sold for. This is truly distributing information – facts the DSM Register won’t publish!”

Constituent: “Why aren’t you sharing that info? If you have it and it’s factual and corroborated, tell us.”

Different Constituent: “If you give them the information Mr. Chapman and they fact check it and prove it to be true, I am positive they will publish it.”

No more from the Senator on this thread.

Considering he ended his header with #fakenews, let’s give this one the ugly ironic projection award.

(I had some comments on this post, but the two constituent’s comments here were much better than anything I had to add. Also here is his comment on posting the name of a woman who contributed to Planned Parenthood in his name that was taken down by Facebook)

February 27, 2017

The picture with this post from the east stairs of the Capital. I attended and there were more women there against this bill than were for it. While the stairs and east section of the first floor seem packed, the hearing was in a small conference room making it look like a lot of folks were there. I got a handout from supporters of the bill that claimed women services could be accessed at other places than Planned Parenthood, the majority of which were bogus.

Some comments from Jake’s post:

“I’ll be happy when you women stop chosing to get pregnant, then decide to murder the baby. So wrong, it should be you women that get aborted!”

“Who said anything about religion? You must be a libtard! Killing babies is immoral, plain and simple. You’re the one who should have been aborted! Imagine that!? Remember that, you murderous, uncaring, deluded tramp!”

This was also an enlightening exchange:

“The whores will still find a way to kill them.”

“Classy there. Married women have up to 40% of all legal abortions. Whores, are they?”

“Yep and murder is murder”

“Not your place, sir.”

“Fuck off”

“Did you mention that this bill would ban nearly every form of birth control? No? Hmmm, wonder why that is.”

March 3, 2017

Read the article here.

Using Senator McCoy as a foil on a post about sanctuary cities is a dog whistle to both xenophobes and homophobes and sure to raise their blood pressure.

From the article:

A host of organizations registered against the Senate bill, including the Iowa League of Cities, Iowa Police Chiefs Association, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Iowa Catholic Conference, Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and others. The only organization registered in support is the Iowa Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

Comments:

Jake Chapman’s response to me – “you stated, “All this bill does is hold municipalities accountable for undocumented folks that are released if they commit any crimes for ten years.”

The bill does far more… for example local municipalities are required to comply with federal detainers, it also has specific language prohibiting discrimination, withholding state funding for non compliance, and many more aspects and policy language. I appreciate your willingness to learn and I absolutely agree the legal language can be difficult to read and understand, thanks for listening! Also I’m not sure how the Senate version compares to the bill in the house but these are some of the things in the Senate bill.”

Me: “Thank you for the response! I was mistaken to say that is all this bill does. And I appreciate the decorum you have kept in your reply. I do have some concern about the violent actions being promoted by your followers and wondered if I could get you to respond on that as well. While I know that’s a lot to ask I would also like to know if I am correct on the constitutional protections for the undocumented.”

A few comments on the sanctuary cities and the undocumented as well as legal immigrants:

“Anything giving Muslims anything should be banned in this state. They are destroying other countries and if we allow it here or make special concessions for them, they will bring us down as well. I do not want that for our state or our Country. Ban them Period, Ban Sharia Law and DO NOT give them sanctuary or special privleges. Do not make conceessions for them in our schools either. No special classes or anything of that sort.”

“Iowa needs to get rid of the illegal aliens here! We need to clear them out of the state & help them return to their homeland!”

“UPHOLD AND ENFORCE OUR LAWS. Illegal is AGAINST THE LAW. Americans 1st. We are suffocating under the millions MILLIONS of illegals and so called refugees that have invaded our Country. Stop stealing our benefits and taxpayers $ to instead support them! We didn’t even get to vote. It was forced down our throats! Enough BS. We want them OUT and AMERICANS FIRST IN OUR OWN COUNTRY! YOU WILL BE VOTED OUT…”

March 9, 2017

Here’s the Article.

Nothing new to add but comments:

“I am thinking the Democrats have a very low opinion of constituents if they don’t think they have ID or can get ID. It is an argument that has lost its effectiveness. Like many Democrat talking points.”

“I always love the story about how hard it would be for the poor act. to get an ID….. How the hell are they getting welfare without an ID……”

“If you are putting the hate face on then you must be illegal so you need to get on the band wagon and the hell out our country.”

“In 08 Iowa had 16 counties with more votes than registered voters, all went Democrat”

March 15, 2017

No posts today but an interesting thing happened on the senate floor the night before. I wrote it up and Bleeding Heartland published it. The 20-week ban was being debated and Senator Chapman had a couple of amendments.

When his own party objected to the first amendment he was bringing to the floor as being not germaine and its consideration pulled rather than debated he made a motion to suspend the senate rules and re-consider his original amendments merit.

I saw the same strategy a couple more times last session, but from the Minority party wanting to override the Majority. Senator Chapman attempted to suspend rules after his own party pulled his amendment.

You can read that article here.

March 23, 2017

Nothing new but comments:

“Those who say voter fraud doesn’t happen don’t know how many haven’t got caught.”

(I love the Rumsfeldian quality of this comment)

“When the liberals want to relax the laws and the Republicans want further protections, you know who the illegals and the felons vote for.”

“The Democrats want illegal immigrants voting fir them that’s why they don’t want ids”

An enlightening exchange:

“As I understand it you can be detained indefinitely by law enforcement until you can prove your identity. Just sayin!!!”

“Not true. I was reading all about it tonight.”

“Where I’m from the police make shut up to detain you, not too many illegals used to stick around long”

And this exchange: “they show id for everything else, including taking government(our) money. this is not about invoking hardship on anyone. It is a NO BRAINER to curb voter fraud. of course the dems are against it. without illegals and dead people, they would lose even more seats in the government. Wah!”

“Especially for voters taking government money 💰! If you want the Bennie show the ID I’m sure they were all up for showing ID when they applied for money ”

Nothing divisive here.

March 28, 2017

Here’s the article.

This is the picture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that was posted, sure to trigger a reaction from base constituents.

From the Article: “Write a paper that gives a historical account of 911 from the perspective of the terrorist network,” the project rundown stated. “In other words, how might Al-Qaeda or a non-Western historian describe what happened.”

I watched the bill to gut the workman’s comp law (HF 518)  and the law to lower the minimum wage (HF 295) pass the senate the night before and believe that this post is a distraction for constituents from Chapman’s vote to pass them. He sure didn’t post anything claiming triumph on either of those bills.

My comment on this post – “I think this post is a distraction from the double barrel attack on workers’ rights that passed the Senate last night. That was a shameful couple of bills Jake Chapman and after you threw some BS statistics out you ran away and hid before Senator Boulton could respond. So yea, real courageous.”

Fireworks, sanctuary cities, abortion, voter ID and firearm legislation are proud posts from Senator Chapman.

Lowering the minimum wage, gutting chapter 20, rolling back workman’s comp legislation and capping the payments to those who have been injured due to asbestos exposure, (SF 356), all bills he voted for are not posted.

But his distraction with the Muslim baiting worked well with his base as the comments section shows –

“Liberals have always been Islam sympathizers so it’s really no surprise, just more leftist indoctrination.”

“So where is our education system going. They teach high school kids the 5 pillars of Islam now this.”

“We don’t need to try & see or reason from their perspective. We just need to kill them all.”

“Just shoot him get it over with”

March 28, 2017.2

“This was a great bill and I thank my colleagues for their support. This bill expands Iowas safe haven law!”

I agree this was a great bill expanding the time that unwanted newborns can be given a safe haven at police, fire stations and hospitals. There was a 911 provision as well.  As you can see it was passed unanimously. And after voting to de-fund Planned Parenthood

(SF 515), many more unwanted pregnancies are sure to happen making this legislation even more relevant.

You would think that hundreds of constituents would have applauded it. Only two comments on this post:

“Why not Legalize Iowa Marijuana”

“Next up: Fire DHS director Charles Palmer”

Between the passing of the bill slashing workman’s comp and taking away counties ability to raise the minimum wage the night before and the Muslim baiting post earlier in the day

(I counted seventy comments on that post) folks may have just been disgusted and missed this post.

March 31, 2017

“We had a tremendous turnout for the pro-life rally!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wDt8Ujz2gs&t=198s

I counted six comments against this legislation and three that were pro (and one pro-weed commenter that seems to be a one issue voter)

April 4, 2017

Senate just passed stand your ground as well as many other great 2nd amendment provisions!

There was almost 90 comments, mostly supporting this legislation. As I said earlier – Last year at the Capital I talked to Polk County Deputies and got their feedback on the gun omnibus. I did find one younger officer that was excited, but most of the older officers were not. Their reactions went from slight eye rolling to “then why are we even here.” One officer said that they would need an armory with long guns in case something happened.”

April 7, 2017

You can read the posted article here.

I talked to Representative Windschitl about the enforcement of this legislation in a situation like a Courthouse or City Hall banning guns. My understanding (and please feel free to fact check this) is if you are barred from having a firearm in an area and you get hurt or killed, you or your family will be able to sue for damages if you can prove that you weren’t able to defend yourself or someone else who was injured. But you can’t seek compensation from gun manufacturers because hey, they are donors. His base loved it and would attack anyone disagreeing with that position.

April 15,2017

You can read the article here.

Some choice comments:

“Stop protecting illegals and terrorists, you idiots! It’s about time this bill was made law.

“Not in Iowa shoot those dumb fuckers and send them back in body bags”

“Can we still make citizen’s arrests??”

“Rapeugee problems too, family’s of victims should be able to sue sanctuary city officials”

“Thank God!!! I grew no more government funds. Wake up people. Whether your democrat or Republican. You should be against Muslims and there Shari law in this country. If you haven’t noticed for the last 8 years we have had a Muslim in office and Obama and Hillary started and funded ISIS. There is 6 trillions dollars unaccounted for. AND the hundreds of thousands of Muslim terrorist they brought here collect if they are reporting right $2000.00 to $6000.00 dollars EVERY MONTH”

April 27, 2017

With the session over, I’m not going to go through every post but the misleading comments of these posts I wanted to include.

You can read the article here.

This quote bears repeating: “I am so dissapointed we didn’t get these removed this legislative session. We will take this win!”

Many were disappointed with SF 220, the bill making traffic cameras illegal that passed the Senate and died in the house. When the final vote in the Senate was passed with bipartisan support Senator Chapman voted against it. But that didn’t stop him from championing this bill in April when the session was over, and is a good example of how he misleads his base.

This bears repeating as well – I was at the Capital and talked to Senator Zaun who sponsored the bill right after this vote. He told me that he was surprised that it didn’t have more support from his party. To paraphrase Senator Zaun “I had more votes for this bill” and “I think someone got to them.”

July 7, 2017

You can read the Fox article Senator Chapman posted here

From the Fox article: “At the hearing, Martinez held her arms open and swayed them back and forth as Thorpe read the charges against her. She then pressed her hands together in the “prayer” position.”

From the Chicago Tribune:

“Psychologists and others who study cases of mothers killing their children say it’s not as uncommon as people might believe. But media coverage often focuses on dramatic cases, such as Andrea Yates, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the 2001 drowning deaths of her five children in her suburban Houston home. It is apparent that this woman has a serious mental health issue.”

The Chicago Tribune had much more information on this incident and others similar ones. You can read their article here.

This is an example of exploiting a tragedy to stir up a base. The picture of the woman with her thumbs up and the statement “Sick and disgusting individual, I am speechless” is yet another dog whistle. The goal of this post is to stir xenophobia. While I agree she is sick and what happened was horrifying, when you phrase it as “sick and disgusting Individual,” there is no considering the degree of mental illness it would take to commit this act.

The Fox News report was very light on information and the inflammatory picture has been framed in a way to imply this is a common occurrence with immigrants.

As usual in this kind of manipulative post, the comments express what the post was looking to generate. A stoking of hateful xenophobia and a distraction from the attacks on workers that Senator Chapman voted for.

“I really can’t think of some kind of punishment to give her except for making her suffer life each day by cutting 2 limbs off like 2 fingers one day and continue until she passes. She didn’t care about her kids or husband so why should we care about her!!!!!!!@”

“This is exactly how my DHS caseworker acted after she and Judge destroyed my family by stealing my granddaughters. From the very start all the way to the end, she acted like it was a big joke, all at taxpayers’ expense, of course.”

“And she thinks it’s funny ,I don’t,I’m human she’s not,”

“Hope the same happens to her”

“Hang her then send her back to where ever she came from”

Here is an exchange with Senator Chapman:

“The only people who do things like this are unstable, mentally ill people. Back in the 1600s she would have been executed for being a witch. Today we understand mental illness can cause a person to do things no sane, rational person would do, like smile in a courtroom when you’re charged with murder. She is probably schizophrenic or may have a schizoid personality. You’re absolutely right that she is sick. As people of faith in God, we are called to pray for and care for the sick, as difficult as that can be. Remember that she is sick, what she did was disgusting, but she is ill not disgusting. If she wasn’t ill, she wouldn’t be in the situation she is in.”

Jake Chapman: “I do agree. The court will decide if she is sane. We must be careful however on blaming evil acts solely on mental illness otherwise all serious criminal acts such as this would result in the insanity defense while the reality is there are sane people that commit horrific acts of evil.”

My question would be why post this with the language “sick and disgusting individual” if you knew mental illness was really the issue? To distract and inflame the electorate.

The post below speaks for itself as far as manipulating information to inflame the base and perpetuate that they are victims because they pay taxes. The truth about Food Stamps (SNAP) can be read here by someone who has studied it for 20 years, not just an outlier clip that paints all recipients in a bad light.

I had an exchange with Senator Chapman in the comment section. You must give him props for engaging there no matter what you think of his politics.

Whether it is just posting problems that need addressing or driving a wedge between constituents and distracting from policies that hurt their chances of being the American dream, it is up to all of us to decide. I look forward to getting feedback in comment sections.

 

by Matt Chapman
Posted 1/13/18

One thought on “How A GOP Legislator Distracts, Inflames In A Year Of Facebook Posts

  1. Unless someone successfully votes twice, their crime should be described only as “attempted” voting fraud. Do you know of any “successful” voter fraud? It never happens, even without ID cards at the polls. Don’t say we had three cases of it. We had three attempts, all failures.

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