LAKE MACBRIDE— The bills come quickly as the second session of the 85th Iowa General Assembly draws to a close. They are required to produce a budget, and legislators tend to follow this law. It is not every day they comply with the law. For example, they still owe the school districts a 2016 supplemental state aid number. Not likely that will happen before adjournment sine die.
It is not the scofflaw aspect of the group that makes me grumpy, although there is plenty about the legislature’s actions or lack thereof to grumpify a person. In many cases they are puppets for corporations and that isn’t a happy thought. I’d be happier if the members were required to wear lapel pins to show their corporate sponsorships— the way ARCA, NASCAR and other motorsports club drivers adorn their fireproof suits. Maybe then I wouldn’t be appalled by some of the bills they support. It wouldn’t be good, but it might make the citizen experience more tolerable and lower my blood pressure. After all, in the post-Reagan era it’s all about me, isn’t it?
Garrison Keillor’s appearance at the First United Methodist Church in Iowa City at 7 p.m. on May 4 is making me grumpy.
My favorite local bookstore is sponsoring Keillor at a reading from his newly released collection of writing, “The Keillor Reader.” Back in the day I would have been first in line to buy a copy and be inside the church to hear him from the pulpit. But you see, we had a falling out over his acceptance of a sponsorship from the investment firm Allianz which invests in the nuclear weapons complex.
Maybe be he read my blog and dropped them based on the strength of my position, I hoped. Anxiously googling their relationship, it was worse than I thought. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of South Florida tried to get National Public Radio to pull the Allianz ads because the company collaborated with the National Socialist German Worker’s Party in their heyday. No Keillor for me, even though until last year, I listened to his program on Saturday nights, and had done so since our daughter was very young.
Which brings me to the connection. Why do I care about these corporate sponsorships anyway? Whether it is our legislators, or Garrison Keillor, or whoever? Why can’t I just live my life?
Someone has to be engaged in sustaining a life on the prairie, and it isn’t the ones sponsored by corporations.