116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
To the editor:
During the 2014 campaign season, I spent hundreds of hours at the Republican Victory Office in Linn County, working tirelessly to get our candidates elected. Among those candidates was Iowa's Speaker of the House, Kraig Paulsen. I have great faith in all of Linn County's Republican legislators, including Speaker Paulsen. Nevertheless, I was deeply disappointed to learn that he had removed two members of the House Ways and Means Committee due to their opposition to the proposed increase in the gas tax, and replaced them with two known supporters - one of them himself - in order to guarantee the advancement of the gas tax bill for a full vote before the House.
If an increase in the fuel tax is as necessary as its supporters claim, such a bill should be strong enough to advance through the proper channels without hasty political maneuvering by the Speaker. This bill did not have the support necessary to ensure its proper advancement because so many Iowans know better than to pin the hopes of fixing our crumbling infrastructure on yet another tax. The members of the House Ways and Means Committee were elected to represent the interests of their constituents. For whose interests was Paulsen looking out, then, if not the constituents of the members he removed? I remain convinced that he is the right person for the job, but Paulsen showed us that even the best legislators are capable of disappointing the people who are counting on them.
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