- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Aug. 13, 2015

Lindaman should not run for school board

In the category of news of the weird, a convicted child sex offender has filed papers to run for the Charles City School Board elections Sept. 8.

We hope district residents don’t give it much serious thought.

No matter how Doug Lindaman frames his position in society today, he is a pedophile who, while legally entitled to run for a school board seat, has no business holding it. If he thinks otherwise, he is as delusional in those beliefs as in the far-fetched arguments that failed him in legal appeals.



Under an order signed by Gov. Tom Vilsack, Lindaman is legally entitled to seek election. Under the order, he had some citizenship rights restored automatically after he was “completely discharged from criminal sentence.” That typically meant such a person had completed prison and parole terms and paid all fines and court costs.

Lindaman told The Courier his infractions were “old news,” that he had paid his debt to society and “would appreciate a halt to the character assassination.”

Sorry, but no matter the situation, the contributions to society over the past 28 years or the legal standing afforded by Vilsack’s order, that’s different than being able to convince society that rehabilitation has taken place.

Lindaman resigned as a magistrate in 1983 after a young man accused him of sexual impropriety. Authorities five years later accused Lindaman of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy.

In stacks of court documents, Lindaman has advanced a number of dubious legal theories, including a claim he and his 11-year-old male victim had “a marriage-like relationship.”

Lindaman’s legal writing also included a call to chemically castrate a judge to “control his heterosexual urges handling evidentiary matters” in Lindaman’s case.

We are stunned Lindaman would consider a school board candidacy. The community and Iowa would feel the sting of negative attention, even mockery, were he to continue to pursue the seat. Any good he thinks he could do as a school board member would be severely compromised by the details of his absurd campaign.

He is a pedophile whose appeals and appalling justifications were rejected time and again all the way to the state Supreme Court.

He should withdraw from the race. If not, we join with those in Charles City who want to make sure he has absolutely no opportunity to serve on their School Board.

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Quad-City Times. Aug. 13, 2015

Fair trade?

Last year, you would find almost every public school student in the Iowa Quad-City region back in classes this week, beginning studies to assure their future, along with the future of our community and state.

Instead, if Gov. Terry Branstad’s dream comes true, they’ll be at the Iowa State Fair.

Branstad did the bidding of fair and some Iowa tourism businesses by using the weight of his office to delay the start of school in order to turn those students into customers.

Whether the kids pay to recreate in Iowa, this week of education is gone.

But make no mistake, the kids are learning a lesson.

They learned that money talks, even when it’s speculative money. The prospect of a couple of week’s worth of commerce trumped education.

Davenport students began their 2014 education Aug. 18. This year, classes start Aug. 24

Muscatine and Clinton kids returned to school last year Aug. 14. This year, Clinton begins Aug. 24. Muscatine begins Aug. 31.

North Scott and Pleasant Valley began 2014 instruction Aug. 13. Pleasant Valley students return Aug. 24. North Scott begins Aug. 25.

Camanche students returned to school Aug. 12 last year. This year they begin Aug. 24.

Bettendorf was among the earliest in the state in 2014, launching learning on Aug. 11. This year most schools begin Aug. 24, except for Neil Armstrong’s balanced calendar which resumes Thursday.

In 2014, each of those dates was set with due consideration by locally elected board members of each district.

This year, a governor’s edict convinced the legislature to set Aug. 23 as the only solution. Iowans might wonder what criteria was used to establish Aug. 23 as the optimum date. Studies? Surveys? Test assessments?

Nope.

The primary criteria seemed to be the scheduling of the Iowa State Fair.

Our Quad-City districts are no exception. Just 14 of Iowa’s 338 independent school districts in 2014 had chosen to begin school on or after Aug. 23. Thanks to the governor, each of those 324 districts were forced to meet again and revise their schedule to Branstad’s preference.

This governor and his House Republican majority have made a mockery of local school control, ignoring their own statutory deadline for school funding, yet requiring local boards to strictly follow state law for school calendars.

This tops-down, big government blunder is unbelievable, unwise and unfair.

___

Sioux City Journal. August 12, 2015

Xs produce magical, record season.

Since the franchise began in 1993, no Sioux City Explorers baseball team has reached the heights of this year’s club.

As we write today’s opinion (before Tuesday night’s game), the X’s are riding a record 13-game winning streak and are winners of a record 55 games (with 27 games left on the schedule).

Their 55-18 record puts them first in the American Association’s Central Division, 15 games ahead of the second-place Kansas City T-Bones.

Eye-popping numbers, indeed.

In fact, the only Association club with a better record is the 58-16, North Division-leading St. Paul Saints who opened a three-game series against the Xs at Lewis and Clark Park on Tuesday night.

We offer our congratulations to the X’s, from owner John Roost and his front-office management team to field skipper Steve Montgomery, his coaches and the players who are providing local fans with an unparalleled summer of first-rate baseball.

In an encouraging sign, on-field success by the Xs is translating into stronger attendance numbers. In a splendid “By the Numbers” feature created by Sports Editor Terry Hersom in Tuesday’s Journal, we learned average home attendance for the Xs through Sunday is up 401 per game from last season’s all-time low of 1,057.

We urge our community to demonstrate their appreciation for the remarkable accomplishments of this year’s team with robust turnout at Lewis and Clark Park for this week’s showdown series versus St. Paul. This club deserves nothing less than a full house for these important games.

After the St. Paul series, 11 home games remain.

If you are a regular for Xs games, enjoy what’s left of this magical season.

If you haven’t made the trip to Lewis and Clark Park this summer, it’s more than worth your time. You will enjoy not simply the unique allure and simple pleasures of minor-league baseball, but an outstanding team in pursuit of a championship.

___

The Des Moines Register. August 14, 2015.

It was his dream machine, but it won’t be pushed to altar

U.S. Rep. Steve King is very upset about the U.S. Supreme Court deeming gay marriage constitutional. Perhaps this is because he doesn’t understand the ruling. According to the Dickinson County News, King recently said he “had a strong, Christian lawyer” tell him “you could marry your lawn mower with this decision. I think he’s right.”

Marry your lawn mower? That sure would be weird.

Riding down the aisle on a John Deere. A Toro stretched out on a couch, drinking a beer and watching television. A marriage license issued to Steve King of Kiron and Cub Cadet of Home Depot. Can you trust a Craftsman to watch the kids?

If the congressman believes people can now marry a Yard Machine, his concern about the ruling is understandable.

Fortunately, Iowa blogger Pat Rynard decided to investigate the claim. Donning a suit and tie, he attached a bouquet to his lawnmower, loaded her up and headed to the Polk County Administration Building. “I’m very happy about it because I’ve kept this lady hidden away in my garage for a number of years out of shame, but now we can finally express our true love,” he said in the video posted on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT67wVE5810).

He told Polk County Recorder Julie Haggerty he was seeking a marriage license for himself and his lawnmower. She said no. At only 6 or 7 years old, the machine is too young. It can’t sign a contract. It doesn’t have a government ID and needs a witness. It is an inanimate object. And Rynard is already married.

“You cannot marry a lawnmower,” she told him. What about a snow blower? No to that, too.

Though the mower was likely disappointed, Steve King should be relieved. The U.S. Supreme Court did not pave the way for Iowans to marry their lawn equipment. But now we’re wondering if maybe a lawn mower can run for Congress. Perhaps to represent Iowa’s 4th District?

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