Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nasty attack on Rep. Swaim by R's

As I came back from the mailbox today, I noticed something immediately: VOTE NO ON KURT SWAIM in red stencil letters on a mailer. My interest piqued, I read more. Kurt Swaim is our local representative, and while he is a Democrat, he's fairly conservative and level headed (he got an A from the NRA and a 100% rating from Iowa Right to Life, if that tells you anything).

The mailer, from the Iowa Republican Party, has a picture of a convicted sex offender, Donald Burdett of Bloomfield, IA on the front cover, with the words: "Special Bulletin: Child molester released early into our community" and "Eligible for early release by Kurt Swaim". Basically, the mailer claims that this man, who Swaim represented in Davis County in 2001, was released after serving 4 days in jail instead of a 200 day sentence for "indecent contact with a child" because Swaim was paid $936.50. Furthermore, the flyer claims or infers that Swaim voted to make criminals eligible for early release in a 2003 vote.

Here are my thoughts:
1) I don't know what entails "indecent contact with a child," but it is something worthy enough to put a person on the Sex Offender Registry. Burdett's victim was female age 0-13 in Davis Co. I don't know the background, but if in fact Burdett did something wrong with a young girl, he's a dirtbag. But, he has the right to defend himself in court.

2) Kurt Swaim was Burdett's Public Defender, i.e. Burdett didn't have enough money to hire a lawyer, so Swaim took the job for a small fee. No different than any other situation, just that Swaim is a state representative as well. The judge decided how much time he should serve, not Swaim. Kurt was just doing his job; should he be expected to do less than his duty as a Public Defender because a person is accused of a crime that has taken on a new meaning of "evil" in today's society?

3) Burdett was sentenced in 2001. The early release vote took place in 2003. Swaim's vote in 2003 did not lower the sentence for Burdett; in fact, Burdett was nearing or had ended his 2 year probation (something the flyer fails to recognize) by the time this vote took place.

4) If this is all the Republicans can come up with on Kurt Swaim, they are really at a freakin' loss. Instead of showing off their golden boy, they resort to cutting down Swaim, a very decent guy. I can't even tell you who is running against him; that's how little the Republicans think of their guy, if they can't get his name out to the public.

I've met with Swaim a few times and think he is a pretty good guy. I've even told him I wouldn't consider running for his position until he moved on to something else. I respect the guy too much, and think he's doing a good job for us here in the South of Iowa. So, even when these ads come from my favored (but not favorite) party, I am shocked, dismayed, and pissed off that they'd waste their time and our money on this stuff. Come on, Iowa GOP, can't we have a clean election?


Blogger Jordan said...

Here, Here!

I hate those type of tactics.

Swaim sounds like my type of Democrat and more important a good man and a great public servant.

6:58 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger bgunzy said...

"Here here"? Didn't that phrase go out with "cherrio, ol' chap" and "Father, please flog the servant, he's getting uppity"?

Just kidding. Thanks for the comments. Swaim is a good guy; he gets the work done without any fanfare.

9:24 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Jordan said...

No, no that type of language is still "in" down in the South Of Iowa. I didn't want to come in on your blog and start throwing around hip new terms. Might scare some people away.

7:16 AM, September 15, 2006  
Anonymous John Neff said...

I thought the voters of House District 94 did all Iowans a big service when they elected Kurt Swaim. He is one of the most qualified members of the legislature with respect to criminal justice issues and fortunately he is the ranking member of the judiciary committee and is on the justice systems appropriations subcommittee.

He has provided badly needed leadership and knowledge and is a very approachable friendly member of the legislature. Kurt would never do anything that would reduce public safety. He is still working hard to try to fix a badly broken criminal justice system when many other have given it up as a hopeless task.

I hope the voters of the district 94 will not be fooled by this sleazy smear attempt.

6:51 AM, September 16, 2006  
Blogger Chris said...

You can't throw mud without getting your hands dirty.

4:36 PM, September 18, 2006  

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