Friday, May 1, 2015

A little goes a long way in Iowa

Apparently, and despite Citizens United, it does not take big money to corrupt politics big-time. You can buy an important Iowa politician for peanuts.

When this particular scandal broke two years ago, it seemed comical: Earth to Iowa Republicans, the race was not going to either Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul.

This may not be a story about rightwing doofuses, however, or not only. My former Des Moines Register colleague Dan Piller suspects that the delay in sentencing Sorenson, plus the puzzling silence of Iowa Democrats about it, means that Sorenson has ratted out both parties and that this scandal may have broader consequences.

Maybe a big fish on the line?

I recall the excitement in Iowa when it decided to make itself heard politically by creating its first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. The caucuses probably had some good effects early on, but they have degenerated (or been corrupted and I don't mean only by illegal contributions, there are other ways to sabotage an institution) to farce (on the GOP side) and uselessness (on the Democratic side).

It is time for Iowa to back off. It won't happen, in part because the caucuses have become an economic center. Market forces trump good policy, again.

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