Kirsten Anderson, the Iowa Senate Republican staffer fired during the Statehouse scandal involving a toxic “boys club” environment of lewd jokes, vulgar comments and inappropriate remarks about women’s bodies, had her day in court this week. Kirsten won and the jury awarded her $2.2 million!
Kirsten won. Women won. Justice won.
But alas, Iowa taxpayers lost. We’re the ones now stuck paying the tab.
That ain’t right. And it doesn’t have to end like this. For sure, Kirsten deserves every penny of the settlement. But there’s an alternative to soaking the taxpayers.
Typically, when a party is found guilty and ordered to pay fines and restitution, that party pays. Not someone else. Certainly not an innocent bystander.
If Senate Republicans believe all their talk about fairness, if their clamor to cut taxes isn’t simply a cloud of political hot air, they’ll dig that $2.2 million out of their collective campaign pockets. We know it’s there. But do they have the integrity to do the right thing?
I’m not holding my breath. Politicians are known for clinging to wads of cash like an eagle clutches a dead fish. I suspect it’ll take an outpouring of public pressure to get them to respond.
So, what are we waiting for!
SIGN THIS PETITION! Thank Senator Rick Bertrand (R-Sioux City) for speaking out against the Senate leadership’s culpability in this scandal. (See Des Moines Register story here.) Encourage Bertrand and Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) — rumored to be considering a leadership challenge to Majority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) — to demand that Senate Republicans and the Iowa Republican Party pick up the tab.
I’m elated the court ruled with Anderson. I’m encouraged to see Iowa jurisprudence come down on the side of justice. Now let’s demand justice for Iowa taxpayers, too!
The buzz continues from the important rally and concert organized earlier this month by Indigenous Iowa and Bold Iowa. Check out the collage of photos and videos Shari Hrdina has assembled, including summary video by Rodger Routh.