Friday, January 21, 2022

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I read Michael Gartner’s “Comment” in (Civic Skinny, Oct. 10): “But, the poll makes clear, they do not have highly partisan feelings about The Affordable Care Act.” This is wrong and contradicts his previous sentence and the poll. A correct statement would be that they do not have highly partisan feelings about parts of The Affordable Care Act. Only parts of the act have widespread bipartisan support in Iowa and across the country.

It is not an issue of semantics. This is an issue of government, economics and health care. The poll was taken before most Iowans knew the full personal costs of the act and what additional burdens will be placed between the patient and the physician.

“The only possible conclusion: Iowans like the act, but they aren’t crazy about the man.” The correct conclusion is that Iowans like parts of the act but do not like the act in its entirety. The issue is not about the man. Unfortunately, the law was written behind closed doors and forced to a vote within days of it being made public. Congress did not have time to read it, and there was no time for public discussion prior to the vote. The law is very complex, and we do not know the full impact yet.

Obama must take responsibility for his act. Renaming it to shift the blame is offensive. This is not the way to solve a very complex problem for the benefit of all Americans.

If poll after poll show that Americans simply do not like Obamacare, the Republicans are representing their constituents better than the Democrats, and that is what they are suppose to do in their job.

Bryan Pearson
–Pleasant Hill



Great piece (Gartner Comment, Civic Skinny, Oct. 10)! Imagine if they called it Cubbiebearcare.

Michael Wellman
–Des Moines


Names do matter

Obamacare or Affordable Care Act (Gartner Comment, Civic Skinny, Oct. 10)? Gartnerball or America’s Pastime? Rowleyrants or Yourview?

Apparently names do matter. Wished I thought more about that before my kids were born.

Mike Rowley


In defense of Mr. Bisignano

Civic Skinny was way off the mark in its comparison of Sen. Kent Sorenson and former Sen. Tony Bisignano (Oct. 10). Sorenson resigned from the Iowa Senate for violating Senate rules by using his position to line his pockets. Bisignano’s recent DUI might have brought to light some incidents from years ago (that he has been upfront about), but none of those incidents involved the misuse of his office or the violation of any legislative rule.

I’m the president of the Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council and a lifelong south-sider. My organization was the first group to endorse Bisignano, and we reaffirmed that support last week. I haven’t seen any fallout from the people who have been raising money for him or who have volunteered to help his campaign.

The reasons are pretty simple. Bisignano fought for us when he was in the legislature. He didn’t just cast votes; he stood shoulder to shoulder with working people. He wasn’t just a labor legislator. He was a leader who wasn’t afraid to take a stand on controversial issues.

One thing that comes to mind was a quote from Bisignano when he was in the House in 1989, and they were debating a gay rights bill. Hearing a guy from the south side talk about how this was an issue of fairness had more of an impact on guys like me than it would have had coming from somebody from Iowa City. That’s the kind of guy he was then, and he hasn’t changed.

You wrote about the other candidates in the race. Nathan Blake is a nice guy, and I’m sure he’d be a reliable vote, but with Bisignano we’d have a senator who would have an impact on policy before he took office.

You referred to Ned Chiodo as a “golf course operator.” That’s like referring to Warren Buffet as a stockbroker. Chiodo is THE golf course operator in Des Moines. He was a good legislator, but when he left the legislature, he made a lot of money representing business and financial interests who didn’t necessarily care about the best interests of the people I represent.

Considering that the employees of the municipal golf course Chiodo controls lost their union contracts when he took over and when I attended an event at Blank last year and saw he was using a nonunion contractor on a building, it is unlikely that Ned Chiodo will get much labor support.

We knew both Ned Chiodo and Nathan Blake were thinking about running. We went with Tony Bisignano. That’s where we’ll stay.

Earl Agan Jr.
–Des Moines


CORRECTION: The Iowa Wild head coach’s name was misspelled in last week’s edition (“Wild for Des Moines,” Oct. 10). The correct spelling is Kurt Kleinendorst.

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