Posts Tagged ‘bobby kaufmann’
Tuesday night a couple of weeks ago I was down at Muscatine City Hall for a forum for the Muscatine County candidates for state office. At the end of the proceedings, Bobby Kaufmann raised a ruckus about a mailer from his opponent. The mailer apparently listed Mr. Kaufmann’s run ins with the law, including one about 8 months ago. I knew nothing of it at the time, but I asked around after the forum what he was so upset about. I was told about the mailer and told he felt it was a ‘smear.” My first question was is the information accurate? If so, I don’t believe it can be a smear.
Along those lines the Republican Party is the group that calls loudly and often for “personal responsibility.” Seems to me that multiple run ins with John Law would indicate that “personal responsibility” is not his schtick.
He is hardly the first politician to have legal problems. Sometimes a public outing of a problem will bring remorse and a personal rehabilitation. But often the response is arrogance and defiance. Used to be that the voting public had a soft spot for those who show remorse and little time for those who show arrogance. Looks to me based on his response in the forum he is still in that arrogance stage. I used to have a Republican friend who used to speak bumperstickerese. One of his favorite slogans was “you do the crime, you do the time.”
The other thing that kind of surprised me is that surely many people must have known about this record, yet no one stood up and said “maybe he’s not ready yet?” I know had I been in a similar situation, I would not have had to go any further than my father to get a straight answer. He would have told me to clean up my act. NOW!
This is just one local example of a party that is truly arrogant and feels that any criticism of them, their words or actions is wrong and they are therefore “victims” of – well who knows what? – a biased press, distortion, mass hypnosis? Before Youtube and cell phone cameras and other technologies recorded major screw ups for posterity many politicians would deny, deny, deny. Then it became the reporter’s word against the politician’s. But today it is really hard for a politician to deny. Yet they still try to.
Who can forget George Allen in Virginia being recorded calling a member of his opponent’s staff “macaca” knowing full well it was a racial slur. First he denied, then he tried to lie his way out of the incident. I can’t remember whether he eventually apologized, or did the Republican version of apologizing. The Republican apology is the one that starts out “I am sorry if anyone was offended….” No actual feeling of remorse or contrition on their part. No personal responsibility taken. By stating the “apology” that way they set themselves up as a “victim” of those who are too politically correct.
The Romney campaign has been rife with a constant victim mentality. For one thing, they (Romney and Ryan) are constanly lying, then playing a victim card when their lies are pointed out. And they show no remorse for their lies. No siree, they just keep on telling them. Like the one about Medicare, or how about the never happened Obama apology tour? Then there is the one about how they will not turn Medicare into a voucher program, even though that is exactly what is in Ryan’s budget plan. How about the whopper of how Romney really had the plan to save GM. And how he (Romney) never said “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” No contrition for the lies, but when media points out the lies Romney falls into a ‘victim” mode.
Who can forget that poor, poor victim David Vitter? Caught using prostitutes, he tries to lie his way out. When that won’t work, he drags his poor wife on the stage to bring sympathy.
But my favorite this election year is Romney and his financial situation. For one thing as a candidate to lead the most powerful country in the world, he refuses to reveal his financial holdings. These holdings may have information that would indicate that Romney may on occasion make a decision that is not in the interest of the United States, but in his own financial interest. The Sensata incident is a good example of that. Yet when calls are made to reveal his investments, he cries out that his opponents only want to use the information against him. In other words he is saying “I am a victim.” Romney also has investments in tax-avoiding overseas accounts. For the same reason the public should see what his holdings are. Again he claims that he is a victim when someone calls to see these oversea tax avoiding accounts.
And of course there is the tale of his taxes that he refuses to reveal. Again he cries victimhood. It is indeed a very sad commentary that our media simply reports this. And it is also a truly sad commentary on our country that Romeny can get away with playing the victim. He even has his wife running cover for him.
And finally there are the various Republican politicians who have claimed in one way or another that there are no true victims of rape and there is no way possible that a woman can get pregnant from rape (Todd Akin, Richard Murdoch and our own Steve King). When this insane position is taken to task, they act like that they are victims of those who are too politically correct.
Enough with the false victimhood. Take the credit for your actions. Show real personal responsibility.
There are two big reasons why Iowans should not let Bobby Kaufmann anywhere near the Iowa state house as an elected representative.
First, his lack of judgment, indicated by his history with law enforcement should be a disqualifier, at least for now. He should demonstrate that his judgment has improved by going a couple of years without getting in trouble with the law before he decides to run for public office.
More than a single incident or two, Kaufmann the younger has quite a long rap sheet by any standard, so it seems appropriate that he have to at least answer questions about how it came to be that he has 17 offenses, 4 occurring as recently as 2011-2012. It is a matter of public record so it is fair game.
For the curious, Kaufmann’s history with law enforcement is available at Iowacourts.gov and Blog for Iowa did a blog post about it back in April based on a story in the West Branch Times. The Solon Economist conducted an interview with Kaufmann the younger back in July in which Bobby attempted to explain away his most recent drunken mishap. In Wednesday’s Iowa City Press-Citizen Bobby characterized the public intoxication conviction as an “unfortunate misunderstanding.” The QCTimes picked up the story this week: “Opponent Dick Schwab said ‘We’re hiring somebody to represent us in Des Moines. In almost every employment search I’ve ever done, you do a background check.’”
Kaufmann tried to cry smear, but he can’t even do that because “smear” by definition is an unsubstantiated charge. These citations are documented.
Even if you accept Kaufmann’s questionable framing of what happened, when the Solon Economist reported, “out of fear and uncertainty he plead guilty to the charge,” one wonders how, if elected, Kaufmann would stand up for constituents to the increasingly right wing Republican caucus, if he is so easily intimidated.
So let’s say none of the above matters. There is another more important reason to not elect Bobby Kaufmann.
- He would vote for and support extremist, tea party legislation.
-As a “friend of agriculture,” Kaufmann was endorsed by the Iowa Farm Bureau, partly because he supports avoiding “needless regulations.” This is code for underfunding or dismantling the Iowa DNR and regulations that pertain to the quality of our air, water and land.
- He would overturn the landmark Varnum v. Brien decision with a constitutional amendment on the nature of marriage.
- While clerking in the legislature, he was a supporter of a house joint resolution that defines life as beginning at conception, co-sponsored by his father (HJR 2003, 83rd General Assembly).
- Branstad’s Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds has said, “we need to make sure we do everything we can to elect Bobby Kaufmann,” to an audience that included Rep. Dawn Pettingill, who famously led a petition effort, signed by 41 Republicans, to stop abortions in Iowa even in the cases of rape and incest, something Republicans plan to do if they gain control of the legislature. Here is Kim Reynolds weighing in on marriage, and criminalizing abortion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhTIp2hTC1w
In classic George W. Bush 2000 style, Bobby Kaufmann is pretending to be a moderate, bipartisan Republican for campaign purposes, but as with Bush, that is nothing but an election year facade. The reality is that if elected, he would be called upon to push the tea party agenda and it is unlikely that he would be able to stand up to his dad’s powerful GOP cronies when it comes time to call in the votes.
Blog for Iowa and about seventy-five people attended a candidate forum Monday with Dick Schwab and Bobby Kaufmann (HD73) and Sally Stutsman and Steve Sherman (HD77) at the Coralville Public Library.
Civility was on hand but at the end of the day a picture emerged of each candidate as they shared (more or less) where they stand on issues of importance to Iowans.
Betty Kelly, senior advocate and Jeff Charis-Carlson, Iowa City Press-Citizen, were co moderators. Questions were submitted on paper from the audience.
Schwab (D) emphasized his substantial experience in education as a member of the Solon school board for 12 years as well as his work with Dollars for Scholars and Scholarship America.
Stutsman (D) described herself as a proponent of private-public partnerships. The state has a role and a responsibility to educate students with the greatest need – accessible education for all is very, very important she said. Her campaign motto is “Let’s get to work!”
Kaufmann (R) said that education is also important to him and added “if it wasn’t I wouldn’t be invited to Christmas.”
Steve Sherman (R) said education is also a top priority for him.
2012 Legislative Session: The question was posed as to why Gov. Branstad said that seemingly not much was accomplished.
Schwab: I want to be a collaborator, reach across the aisle. Feels the legislature should deal with the big issues first and the smaller issues last which he observed is typically opposite of how it is done.
Sherman: a “do-nothing congress” is somewhat of a “compliment” because “many people want to be left alone by government.”
Stutsman said she feels quite a lot was done in the legislature and that progress was made and gave examples.
Kaufmann said something to the effect of, he can’t be critical because his Dad was in the legislature at the time and some legislators were present in the room.
Voter ID: The question was, with only 8 known cases of voter fraud in Iowa, what is their opinion of current efforts to require photo ID of voters at the polls.
Stutsman: Rightfully pointed out that the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. She mentioned her 43 years of voting in Johnson County where voting has been made as accessible as possible. Said she feels there should be as few obstacles as possible. She stated she is disappointed in the money being spent on hindering people’s voting access.
Kaufmann said he would have to see the exact law.
Sherman said if you have to show ID for a fishing license, why not have to show ID to vote? (perhaps because fishing is not a constitutionally protected right? sorry couldn’t help myself..)
Schwab: “”The foundation of our democracy is the opportunity to vote, and the responsibility of a citizen who lives in our democracy is to vote: to choose the candidate they feel will best represent their interests. So providing the opportunity to vote with as few restrictions as possible is something I strongly support.”
Stutsman’ experience in government was on display as she schooled the others and the audience - if we don’t take the federal dollars, the medical services have to be paid for anyway, and that will come from the local taxpayers. This is a no-brainer (my word, not hers).
Kaufmann: Not going to make a promise to seniors based on an “unfunded mandate.”
Queston: What are your qualifications to manage a budget the size of the state of Iowa’s?
Schwab: Pointed out that the largest portion of the state budget is education – he cited his 12 years on the Solon school board, his experience starting businesses, having worked in a large corporation and his banking experience.
Kaufmann: Pointed out that “none of us are experts on all issues” and cited his clerkship for his dad in which he was allowed to take a leadership role. He said he would ask the experts.
Stutsman: Johnson County supervisor for last 18 years has been an excellent learning tool. Also cited her experience in farming is important because agriculture is such an important part of Iowa’s economy.
Sherman: cited his experience as a small business owner and added he would use “good old Iowa logic” and seek out others that “know more.”
There was a partisan split on the question of whether Iowa should have a motorcycle helmet law with the Republicans’ hair standing up on the backs of their necks at the idea of government’s “constant” interference into “every aspect” of people’s lives. All of the candidates seemed ok with a helmet law for kids. The fiscally responsible candidates in the room (Democrats Schwab and Stutsman) pointed out the societal costs of having to care for individuals with brain injuries for their entire lives.
Since it is going to come up again this time, they were asked, what about MidAmerican Energy being allowed to force taxpayers to fund research for a nuclear facility?
Kaufmann said he would have voted against it. (I’m pretty sure I heard that right).
Stutsman: Would have voted no and added that she was incredulous that a power company could charge its customers to build a facility and then never do it. Mentioned need to study alternative forms of energy.
Sherman seemed sympathetic to the cause saying among other things, “energy companies are frustrated with government in general.”
Schwab mentioned the need to be mindful of alternative sources of energy and said he would have voted against it. Acknowledged that there currently is not enough renewable energy.
An interesting question, probably from the audience: How would you break with your party if elected?
Schwab: Got his second laugh of the day from the audience by his observation that “that is a loaded question.” Believes his colleagues in the Democratic caucus will respect his opinion if he decides to vote against his party.
Kaufmann said that he is beholden to his constituents, not his party.
Stutsman: Proud to be a Democrat, but “I know I won’t always agree. I know if I have thought through my position they’ll be supportive of where I stand.”
Sherman: I am a proud Republican. Problem solving is what I will be sent there to do. ~
The Democrats in my view clearly showed more leadership in the way they answered the questions. The Republican candidates seemed to hide behind generalizations and used words like “theoretically” and “I’d have to see the bill first” more than the Democratic candidates did. The Democratic candidates added information into their responses and displayed more thoughtfulness in their answers. Overall, the Democrats seemed to have a greater breadth of knowledge, were better informed, and better prepared to speak about the issues.
This candidate forum will be broadcast on Channel 4 the Iowa City channel. If you would like to help these campaigns, we located campaign websites for Sally Stutsman, Steve Sherman and Dick Schwab. We were unable to find a campaign website for Bobby Kaufmann but a Google search produces quite a lot of newspaper and blog coverage since he declared his candidacy. His campaign literature lists this as his e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why has Senator Mike Gronstal become the latest target of Republican Freakout? It’s like this. Gronstal stands for the views of the majority and Republicans know that the Iowa Senate is 2 Democratic votes away from Iowa becoming Scott Walker’s Wisconsin [see: Branstad inspired by Scott Walker]. The Republican brain seems unable to recognize or respect a long-standing Iowa public servant who does his job with integrity. Instead the GOP sees Mike Gronstal as a mere gnat on their windshield of career plans that must be gotten rid of. The GOP, awash in too much free flowing cash from corporations who are now fully involved in our politics, seems to have nothing to lose and everything to gain by exhibiting temper tantrums (no offense to actual 2-year olds) when things don’t go 100% their way. In right wing world this is what you put on your resume to get promoted faster. Things went beyond rhetoric last year when Gronstal’s home was vandalized. The following letter to the editor appeared in the August 9, 2011 edition of the Council Bluffs Nonpareil:
“As I drove by Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal’s home last week, I noticed more than a dozen signs scattered throughout his yard and the lawns of his neighbors (i.e. private property). Sadly, the signs depicted Senator Gronstal as a baby killer and Nazi. The vandals’ brazen message, of course, is wildly inaccurate, hateful, and an infringement upon the rights of Sen. Gronstal and his family. Nazis were abhorrent bigots who executed Jews and homosexuals. Senator Gronstal, on the other hand, is a man of honor and integrity who has worked tirelessly over the past quarter century to protect the rights of all Iowans, regardless of race, sex, class, or sexual orientation. The vandals’ malicious comparison is disrespectful, completely false, and creates a hate-filled political environment in Pottawattamie County entirely void of civil discourse.”
The letter drew sixteen comments some from anonymous vandalism defenders wanting to compare the act of vandalizing Gronstal’s personal property to protesters showing up outside of Steve King’s office. Not to get too nuancy about it but peaceful protest, even if not exactly 100% polite and civil, and vandalism are not the same things.
A more recent article published in the Solon Economist had a quote about Gronstal from Bobby Kaufmann, Republican candidate for state representative, who said about the Senate Majority Leader,
“It’s a travesty that one person (Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal) is holding up a vote [on same-sex marriage] with passionate people on both sides. Our voices, on both sides of the issue, for and against, are not being heard. It should be put to a vote”
We wonder if Mr. Kaufmann thinks there are rights that he currently enjoys that should be put to a vote. Kaufmann realizes that in order to win his dad’s seat in the state house he will need to get some Johnson County votes (good luck with that). So he is naturally trying to sound like a moderate even while espousing conservative views. He does this by repeating the term “both sides.” Kaufmann’s talking point that “both sides” want a vote on same sex marriage makes no sense because the pro-same sex marriage side does not want their constitutionally protected right to marry who they choose to be subject to the political winds of the day. Who would? So it is inaccurate to claim that “both sides” want to put this to a vote. Only the conservatives who want to deny same sex couples the right to marry want to put it to a vote.
For his part, Gronstal has said he can take the heat of standing for Iowans.
The truth is that in a representative democracy, the people have spoken and have chosen a state government in which there is a balance of power with 26 Senate Democrats providing a check on the absolute power of Branstad and the GOP controlled house. Senator Gronstal has been a defender of the majority view, something that seems of no import to the current crop of Republican activists.
Whether Democrats can re-gain the majority in the Iowa House and retain the Senate majority will be determined in the November 6 election. Iowans have stood for the Democratic majority before. It is time to do so again.
“Robert F. ‘Bobby’ Kaufmann, Republican candidate for state representative, in District 73, pleaded guilty in late February to public intoxication but has not been convicted on the simple misdemeanor charge. Instead he has received a ‘deferred judgment.’
The deferred judgment means that the 26-year-old will serve a year on probation and, if he breaks no further laws, the case will be removed from his record.
Kaufmann said that he initially pleaded guilty to the charge ‘not knowing his legal rights,’ but his attorney helped him see that he could plead guilty yet avoid conviction under a deferred judgment.
Kaufmann had to pay a civil penalty and court costs of $195 and undergo a substance abuse evaluation.”
So this candidate will be on probation while he is trying to get elected to public office. Has that ever happened?
BFIA went to the online court records at www.iowacourts.gov and found that Kaufmann has received 17 convictions over the span of 10 years. We’ve reposted the information below but anyone can go and look it up. It’s public information.
While it is understood that a mishap here and there can happen to anyone, and we all have gotten the occasional speeding ticket, this is quite an impressive list of legal run-ins by any standard. Except for the public intoxication incident, running the stop/yield sign, and speeding 16-20 miles over the limit a couple of times, most of these are minor traffic violations. But still. It seems to us that a person would really have to be trying to have this many citations.
The point is, is this the track record of someone who is prepared to handle the pressures and responsibilities of holding public office? Just sayin’.
|2/4/2012||Consumption/Public Intoxication||06521 SMSM088584|
|10/20/2011||Operation without Registration||07161 STA0017648|
|5/31/2011||Failure to Maintain Safety Belts||07701 STA0030844|
|4/24/2011||Registration Violation||08791 STA0014571|
|6/7/2009||Operation without Registration||07701 STA0030844|
|12/20/2008||Failure to Carry Registration Card||06521 STA0028354|
|10/3/2008||DNU Expired Registration||06521 COSTA0024149|
|10/3/2008||DNU Excessive Speed 55 MPH (16-20 over)||06521 COSTA0024150|
|8/28/2008||Failure to Carry Registration Card||06061 STA0002777|
|5/19/2008||Failure to Maintain Safety Belts||07161 CLSTA0002754|
|4/30/2008||Failure to Maintain Safety Belts||07161 STA 0002292|
|8/30/2007||Speeding over 55 Zone (16-20 Over)||06521 STIC178051|
|3/13/2005||Failure to Display Registration Plate||04151 STP357617A|
|11/4/2004||Operation without Registration||07161 ST122WF52|
|2/5/2004||Auto Speeding 55 (6-10 over)||07701 WIST335823|
|2/22/2003||Auto Speeding 55 (11-15 over)||07701 WIST335426|
|12/20/2002||Failure to Obey Stop or Yield Sign||07701 ST335320|