By Don Paulson, Letts
All Iowans who live in the 20 counties of the new First Congressional District should be appalled and disgusted with Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
Her campaign manager, Elliott Husbands, displays a photo on his Twitter page of a room draped with the flags of far-right extremist groups on the wall while volunteers hold up Miller-Meeks barn signs. One flag depicts the “Three Percenters” — people who believe in an anti-government concept and who apparently view themselves as modern-day Minutemen. Only they’re not yelling “the Redcoats are coming!”, they think the current U.S. government is tyrannical.
The other flag, the “1776” flag, has been adopted by other far-right militias or extremist groups.
Republican Congresswoman Miller-Meeks should tell Iowans that posting the picture was a mistake and rebuke her campaign manager or explain what she really believes in.
You will recall that members of these fringe groups tried to stop the electoral vote count on January 6, 2021 during the Capitol insurrection. They ransacked the U.S. Capitol and five people were killed.
The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote the following about the Oath Keepers (who also display the Three Percenters flag): “threats to American liberties that Oath Keepers say the federal government is responsible for are in reality a set of baseless conspiracy theories.”
Is Miller-Meeks the person we want to represent the First District, a far-right extremist?
By Trish Nelson, Iowa City
First District Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks is in office because after three failed runs for Congress against incumbent Dave Loebsack she finally managed to get six more votes than Democrat Rita Hart after Rep. Loebsack retired. With not enough time to complete a recount by Iowa law, she was seated in Congress.
Miller-Meeks has turned out to be an ideological politician who has been publicly aligning herself with the extremists in her party. Examples include her virtual town hall in March with Jim Jordan, who voted to overturn the 2022 election results, refused to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and failed to answer questions about his phone calls with Donald Trump on Jan. 6.
And now last week Miller-Meeks retweeted photos posted by her campaign manager revealing the flag of the Three Percenters hanging in plain view on the wall. The Three Percenters are a far-right militia anti-government group. Why would a representative in government display anti-government propaganda?
Add to that her embarrassing wearing of a mask with the number “6” on it in Congress. Did that stand for 6 votes or January 6? Then getting fined for refusing to wear a mask in the House to prevent the spread of COVID. In her mind it was cool to wear a mask for political purposes but not to protect her colleagues from the possibility of getting infected with COVID? Is hers the kind of leadership that is needed at this moment in time?
Miller-Meeks has had her big chance. She’s had her day in Congress, but she does not stand for Iowa values and we cannot afford to give her another term.
Christina Bohannan of Iowa City is a highly qualified Democratic candidate also running to represent District 1. Let’s send someone to Congress in November who will do the job.