Letter: Legislative actions defying any kind of common sense

From: Doug Logan


It is no surprise that the Republicans are pretty desperate to talk their way out of the dead end they created with their plan to take health care away from 25 million Americans. Somehow, letting sick people die so GOP donors can have tax cuts seems a bit stark.

The apologists have hit the airwaves with a new talking point. Now the story is that they are offering the states “choices” because the states can do a better job of taking care of people than Washington can. Let’s consider a few examples of how that care works out for people.

First, the Supreme Court is not going to hear an appeal on the North Carolina voter registration law. That means that the Fourth Circuit ruling that the state law is unconstitutional will stand. Remember what the Republican-dominated North Carolina legislature did? The circuit court found that the law was intended with “surgical precision” to keep minorities from being able to vote.

Here’s one closer to home. Eighty-nine Indiana counties elect judges. What about the other three, you ask? Well, instead of voting, the Indiana legislature gave Lake, Marion and Saint Joseph counties what they call merit selection. That means that the governor appoints the judges in those three counties. Surely, it’s mere coincidence that those three counties generally vote for Democrats.

The last example, also from Indiana, seems more petty than partisan. A convenience store chain figured out that it could legally sell cold beer by adding sit-down restaurants in the stores. So to satisfy the big donors from the liquor store lobby, the wizards in the Statehouse rewrote the liquor laws. The result is that restaurants that got those cold-beer licenses after January 2016 will not lose them, but just will not be allowed to renew them. How many stores does that affect? Precisely two, the Ricker’s stores that have restaurant cold beer licenses.

Mind you, our distinguished public servants chose to punish a convenience store mogul instead of, oh, say, voting on a bill to eliminate gerrymandering. We are certainly better off with the health insurance law we have than any alternative Republicans in the Congress or the state legislatures may offer.