Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

November 10, 2011

In the House of Wood

Grant me this Wish

Knoxville —  

First of all, I want to congratulate Liz Mathis on her election to the State Senate in District 18. Her election gives me hope for the 2012 session within the Senate. 
It will be good to have a journalist among the ranks of the Senators. There may already be some that I’m not aware of, and if there are, they are not doing a good enough job of standing against the impediment of the democratic process. 
I know Liz to be an independent thinker, someone who will not let Senate leadership, like Mike Gronstal, tell her how to vote. I believe she will vote her conscience, as to the feeling of the people of her district. 
In fact, one of the first things I believe she can do would be to suggest a new Democrat leader in the Senate. Perhaps someone who can first of all, hold his/her caucus together, but someone who will realize that the role of Senate Majority Leader is not equated to dictator. 
If Gronstal could hold his caucus together, he could easily defeat any vote in the Senate. There is nothing wrong with him fighting passionately for his beliefs, trying to persuade others and voting his conscience. There is something wrong with abusing your power to block a vote. 
For all I know, Liz could be tight buddies with Gronstal and will stick up for him. She may be an extreme liberal, as it’s been 13 years since I’ve spent much time with her. But one thing that I’m sure she’s not is a partisan sheep. It doesn’t fit her personality. 
The next item that Liz, or any other legislator for that matter, should address is the proposed 10-cent a gallon gasoline tax. There should not be an increase, at least not without examining current revenue to the state government and reviewing its allocations. 

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