Partisan sniping

Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, is traveling around the state this week, holding events to highlight his party's opposition to labor bills which are pending in the Democratically-controlled legislature.  Today's schedule calls for stops in Cedar Rapids at CNJ Investments and in Cedar Falls at Iowa Metal Spinners, Inc.  The stop at the Cedar Falls company has prompted a response from Democrats. 

Here's a bit of Strawn's message, according to an RPI news release: 

Despite over 80,000 Iowans being out of work, including an additional 105 workers at John Deere in Davenport, legislative Democrats have indicated plans to debate and vote on legislation this week that would gut over 90 years of common-sense workers’ compensation policy in Iowa.  The legislation, House File 530, is slated for committee and floor consideration this week and would effectively remove any Iowa employers’ right to choose care for injured employees, paving the way for sky-rocketing insurance costs without any guarantees of quality care and treatment. 
“Iowa currently boasts a worker-friendly workers’ comp program that has served our state well for over ninety years.  It is inexcusable for legislative Democrats and Governor Culver, in this period of economic crisis, to pile additional costs onto the backs of Iowa’s small businesses,” said Strawn, noting that Iowa already boasts one of the nation’s most worker-friendly programs and pays the highest maximum benefits of any state in the Midwest.  

The Iowa Democratic Party is swinging back at Strawn; read the IDP's news release below:

DES MOINES, IA – Today Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn will hold an event at Iowa Metal Spinners Inc in Cedar Falls as part of his “Job Security” tour. Iowa Metal Spinners has been cited for 13 OSHA violations in the last five years which resulted in more than $14,000 in fines.
“This is the height of hypocrisy,” said Michael Kiernan, Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. “Holding events on ‘job security’ in a place run by serial OSHA violators really hits the nail on the head.”
“If the RPI wants to be taken seriously by hard working Iowans they need to take a serious look at their issue positions,” Kiernan continued. “Iowa Metal Spinners Inc is just another example of why working Iowans need the protections offered with the choice of doctor, fair share, collective bargaining and prevailing wage legislation.”
In September 2004, Iowa Metal Spinners Received A $788 Fine from OSHA for a Serious Violation After An Employee’s Fingers Were Amputated By A Lathe.  [OSHA, Inspection #306685298;]
In February 2004, Iowa Metal Spinners Received A $13,225 Fine from OSHA for 12 Violations – 10 Serious.  [OSHA, Inspection #306680976;]

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.