Guest Post: Some Of Iowa’s Republican Officials Lack Decorum

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Since I became of voting age in 2015, I’ve been involved in politics and have contacted my legislators when I feel bills are against the good of the people in Iowa.

In the last few years, I have encountered a shocking lack of decorum by many of these legislators and I’m finally done with it and think that the people of Iowa should know.

I’m in southeast Iowa, and previously my legislator was David Kerr. We had an exchange at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 when he was incredibly rude. I had started gathering signatures to run for his seat but due to family circumstances and the pandemic, it was unsafe for me to continue. When I contacted Kerr later about the lack of protections for Iowans during the COVID pandemic and the destruction of reproductive rights, he decided to attack me rather than address my concerns. He attacked the fact that I dropped out of running for his seat, saying “if you want change, you should have continued running – he’s not there to address his left-leaning constituents.”

Whether or not we agree on issues, as my representative, he is there to hear out his constituents before making his votes.

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Previously this month, at a town hall in Kalona, Rep. Heather Hora and Sen. Dawn Driscoll egged on a constituent that began verbally attacking another constituent. The attacked constituent was commenting on how harmful these anti-LGBTQ bills are to children and will harm children’s mental health. The verbal attacker started calling her evil, got in her face, and was threatening. Hora and Driscoll started clapping and yelled “parents’ choice.” Cheering on a person verbally attacking another constituent isn’t actually hearing out constituents during a public town hall.

Most recently, I reached out to Rep. Jeff Shipley to address this latest bill banning margarine in schools on top of other education subcommittee bills. I was commenting on the number of mandates that legislators like Shipley are doing while claiming they are “small government.” Shipley responded to me in a disrespectful manner saying “you must really like margarine, huh.”

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While this bill is a small deal, it will cost schools so much and feels like it is not the place of the state government to be mandating. The research doesn’t say that one is better than the other, and Rep. Shipley is ignoring real issues that are present in this state, such as the number of unhoused kids in Des Moines. The government is ignoring important issues that are currently harming the people of Iowa and when constituents exercise their rights to reach out, we are met with rude comments from our legislators.

I don’t know if you have heard this from other Iowans, but I’m absolutely stunned by the lack of decorum and the willingness to attack. We are not being allowed to discuss the issues that matter to us without being attacked or being cheered on while being attacked. We are still a democracy and this kind of treatment by this party cannot stand. I feel like it needs to be brought into the light, so Iowans know who they are voting for.


Abigail Grothe
M.S., Biology, University of Nebraska at Kearney
B.S. Human Physiology/Premed, University of Iowa

2 Comments on "Guest Post: Some Of Iowa’s Republican Officials Lack Decorum"

  • Iowa wasn’t always like this. The Statehouse wasn’t always like this. Constituent meetings with legislators weren’t always like this. The prevailing political attitudes weren’t always like this.

    When some of Iowa’s best young people leave Iowa, and I’ve watched several doing it, I can understand why. To those of you young Iowans who are staying here, keep doing what you can do. It’s your state too. Please, fight for it.

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