An Open Letter to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

Dear Kim-

I have a question.  It’s been bugging me for a while now and I think it’s time I asked.

What the actual fuck are you doing?   Are you trying to ruin everything or are you just that inept?

Iowa used to be number one in the nation for education.  In Minnesota we took the “Iowa Basic Skills Tests” every year.   In 2022 we were 18th and your precious voucher program ensures that we’ll be fighting Mississippi and Arkansas for 50th sooner rather than later.  I guess you don’t care that in every poll 60 to 70% of Iowans are against them.  And you wonder why we can’t get good teachers to come to or stay in Iowa.

Iowa was the second state in the nation to legalize marriage equality.  Yet only a grassroots eleventh hour full court press stopped the passage of a bill to ban it- a bill that you gave every indication you would sign if it had landed on your desk. I guess you aren’t aware the marriage equality is protected at the federal level?  And half your legislature isn’t either?

In spite of overwhelming proof medical marijuana works for a wide range of conditions, there are only four dispensaries in the entire state, and the very limited list of conditions it’s available for-  significantly more limited than any other state.  And even after seeing the benefits to the state coffers in Colorado and other states, you firmly oppose any recreational usage.  So people just to got Illinois and pay sales taxed there.  That’s good fiscal policy.

You were THRILLED to sign a six week abortion ban.  You actually said “Think of all the babies we will save”.  Never mind all the women who will have to travel out of state for miscarriage aftercare- hopefully before THEY die.   Never mind that over 60% of Iowans believe abortion should be legal. Thankfully we have our saner neighbor to the north, Minnesota, who not only has protected reproductive health rights, but has protections in place for women forced to travel for care because of shortsighted, base pandering policies put in place by people like you.  As a woman I just don’t understand how you can be so callous.

And then there is the big Kahuna.  COVID.  You were ranked dead last in COVID protections for your residents in almost every poll, but there were times Georgia gave you a run for your money.  You gave restaurants an entire two hours notice they would have to pivot to take out/ delivery only.  You banned mask mandates in government offices. Fun fact- you signed that bill into law at midnight. Clearly you even knew how bad that one looked.  But you did it anyway.  You made it extremely difficult to get tested for COVID in the early months by limiting the number of testing sites and then only allowing them to be open a couple hours a day.  You pushed for places to open up again way before it was safe and when asked how you could possibly think this was a good idea you simply said “If you don’t think it’s safe, don’t go”.   And even after you did everything you could to poo-poo COVID you happily stepped up to be one of the first people in the state to get vaccinated.  You were vaccinated before 95% of health care workers for a virus you spend months telling us wasn’t a big deal.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.  I don’t know what you are thinking.  I don’t know IF you are thinking.  I don’t know why you are so hell bent on making the state you claim to love the Alabama of the north.

Assuming they haven’t all left in disgust by then, I am hopeful future generations will be able to undo most of the damage you are doing.  But for now you’re just embarrassing yourself and everyone who calls Iowa home.  Please stop.

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