In the most recent Editorial from the Des Moines Register, Governor Reynolds is raked over the coals for her thin, personal attacks against Fred Hubbell and stunningly bad leadership for Iowa families. Full text of the scorching editorial can be found below:
DES MOINES REGISTER EDITORIAL BOARD: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ comments on rival Fred Hubbell’s wealth are rich with irony
“Gov. Kim Reynolds is apparently fixated on the personal wealth of her Democratic challenger, Fred Hubbell. She brought it up again at the recent Republican Party state convention: “That’s OK, because we do celebrate wealth in this country. But I have to ask, does he really understand the tough decisions families are making every day to make ends meet?”
The irony is almost too much. Reynolds is an enthusiastic member of a political party that has never met a tax cut for the rich it didn’t like and continually seeks to erode the very programs struggling families need, including food assistance and health insurance.
She has been part of a GOP administration in Iowa that busted public unions, starved public services, made it more difficult for women to obtain birth control and refused to raise the minimum wage. Heck, the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2017 proactively eliminated counties’ abilities to enforce local minimum wages higher than the pathetic state rate of $7.25.
So much for local control. So much for the Iowans trying to “make ends meet.”
Since the current governor is apparently now taking an interest in financially strapped families, she should read a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Despite having some of the least expensive housing in the country, Iowa’s minimum wage falls far below what workers need to earn to be able to afford rent.
The report, “Out of Reach,” found a tenant would need to earn $15.01 per hour, or more than $31,000 per year, to afford a two-bedroom rental home. (And two bedrooms might be needed for women who cannot obtain contraception, get pregnant and then must give birth if the anti-abortion fetal heartbeat bill signed by Reynolds goes into effect.)
An individual earning Iowa’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would need to work 83 hours per week to be able to afford a two-bedroom rental at the state’s fair market rate of $781, according to the housing report. A one-bedroom would require 65 hours of work per week.
Perhaps instead of advocating tax giveaways to flourishing big businesses, Reynolds will start advocating for businesses to pay higher wages. The average pay for Iowa renters is $12.50 an hour, compared with a national average of $16.88 an hour.
Perhaps the current governor will push for the state to finally expand eligibility for financial assistance to help more working, low-income parents pay for child care.
Maybe she will start celebrating Obamacare, which delivered health insurance to 150,000 low-income Iowans through a Medicaid expansion created under the law.
Reynolds’ campaign strategy of trying to use Hubbell’s affluence against him is especially ironic coming from a governor who remains a steadfast supporter of the current president. Donald Trump was born into a wealthy family and, as a businessman, underpaid or didn’t pay numerous laborers working at his properties. These include a dishwasher, carpet company, plumber, painters and waiters, according to a USA Today investigation.
If Reynolds wants to help working Iowa families, there is much she can do. That includes calling the White House daily to express disdain for Trump’s tariffs, which could lead to financial disaster for farmers and entire rural communities.”