As a former Republican, I appreciate the accolades the late Gov. Robert D. Ray has been accorded for his humanitarianism. He was truly a governor of the people.
He was responsible for implementing collective bargaining (Chapter 20) for public employees in Iowa.
He expanded and supported funding for K-12 education and supported adequate funding for our universities providing some of the best education of any state in our country.
The elimination of sales tax on food came under his watch, as well as energy efficiency and conservation.
He had compassion for refugees, the boat people from Vietnam, and allowed many of them to resettle in Iowa. He did not want these refugees to die as they were fleeing for their lives. He did not call them thugs, rapists, drug addicts or animals like President Donald Trump calls refugees from Mexico and Central America, many of whom are fleeing for the same reasons as the boat people.
Many of these accolades have come from Iowa’s Republican state and federal legislators who have doubled down and voted against collective bargaining, who keep underfunding education at all levels, support the Medicaid debacle, take health care away from those who need it, ignore environmental quality and support the anti-American policies and actions of Trump.
The Republican Party in Iowa as known under Gov. Ray is nonexistent.
I am very glad I left.