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The Epitome Of Ass-Hattery



Geez, really dude?
A group of students from all three regents universities visited the state Capitol on Monday to speak about potential budget cuts. However, they were told by Sen. Shawn Hammerlinck (R-Dixon) to "go home."

"It was nice that somebody asked us to come to talk about what a seven percent cut, a $41 million cut, how that would affect the students of those universities," said Jared Knight, vice president of the Government of the Student Body. "We were happy that somebody asked us to talk about that."

After the student representatives were finished, Hammerlinck gave a response. Hammerlinck told students to "go home" and that they were being used as props in the Democratic propaganda effort to increase state spending.

"We were shocked that he would say that," Knight said. "I was insulted, disappointed and upset that a public leader like himself doesn't like it when students [and] constituents, as well as taxpayers in the state, come and talk to their elected officials about what their votes would do to them. I don't understand why he would feel that way and much why he would say that."

"The government of the student body is apolitical. We don't advocate for Democrats or Republicans, we advocate on the students' interests," Knight added.
My emphasis.

Okay, so I can see what the Senator is saying: he wants to let these guys 'have some fun' and not worry about state-level politics.

But here is the part that bugs me: that's not his job. His job is to listen to testimony given to the chamber -- whether he agrees with it or not. These students were invited to testify about budget cuts and the effects on students. They were not invited to have a state senator belittle them and dismiss their opinions as a 'circus'.

ED Kain:
Republicans could have brought in students who agreed with their opinions, or responded by explaining why the cuts being proposed were necessary. Perhaps a conversation about alternatives to cuts, or about which cuts made the most sense could have have been sparked.

Telling students at a hearing to “go home” because you disagree with what they have to say is just bad form.
Indeed.

It's not that Hammerlinck 'doesn't like it when students [and] constituents, as well as taxpayers in the state, come and talk to their elected officials about what their votes would do to them'. It is that Hammerlinck 'doesn't like it when students [and] constituents, as well as taxpayers in the state' disagree with -- or provide testimony that is contrary to -- his position.

[ed. note: Where you at Vast? Isn't Iowa politics your beat? ]