Saturday, April 7, 2007

Proposed Bill Protects Road Map From Being Defaced

The new Iowa road maps are being widely distributed across the state, but to mixed reviews. It is not accuracy or readability issues that have some people up in arms, but the pictures of Governor Culver and Lt. Governor Judge on the back of the map. Some citizens, upset with all the socialistic bills the Governor has signed this year, don't think they should have to have pictures of him and his lieutenant in their cars.

In response to reports that some motorists are blotting out, or otherwise covering up or defacing (no pun intended) these pictures, Senator Mike Connolly (D-Dubuque) has sponsored bill SF 590 which would make it a serious misdemeanor for anyone to "mark, cover, or otherwise alter" these pictures.

In a rare display of dissent in the Senate Democratic caucus, and a refreshing development for proponents of less government intrusion in the lives of citizens, Senator Frank Wood (D-Scott) has filed an amendment (S-3300) which would allow marking or covering of the pictures, as long as it doesn't bleed through the map. Explaining the reason for his amendment, Wood said, "I don't think the climate is such in Iowa that residents are ready for the government to tell them they cannot cover a picture on a road map." Investigation by this blogger has uncovered the fact that Wood's district is the one most affected by bleed through (see graphic above). Connolly has vowed to have the amendment ruled not germane to the bill when it comes to the floor for debate. Senator Roger Stewart (D-Jackson), whose district is very close to the reverse side of the pictures, is considering offering an amendment to the amendment which would also prohibit tearing the pictures off the map.

Senator Herman Quirmbach (D-Story) filed amendment S-3301, which would change the penalty in the proposed bill from a misdemeanor to a Class D Felony. Explaining the reasoning behind his amendment, Quirmach stated, "Once you allow defacing of one official state document, where does it end? We must send a strong message that we will not tolerate having our state publications defaced by political dissenters." On a related note, Quirmbach revealed that next week he plans to introduce a bill that would make possession of any book, magazine, document, or other publication that contains unfavorable references to homosexuality, gender identity, or related sexual behavior an aggravated misdemeanor.

***OK, calm down! It's political satire, people! I find myself having to add these disclaimers because there are some people who think something like the above (and the previous post about this blog being locked) is not out of the realm of possibility, given the laws we have already seen passed this session!***

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