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Loebsack Statement on Netanyahu Speech PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:40

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech. Loebsack watched the speech from his office.

“The strategic importance between Israel and the United States is as important as ever as we work towards the commonly held goal of ensuring Iran does not achieve nuclear weapons capability. Since being founded in 1948, Israel has been and remains one of our closest allies and the relationship has long been a bipartisan one. But after Speaker Boehner injected partisan politics into the debate, this speech became nothing more than a spectacle where attendance at the speech mattered more than what was actually said. It is my hope that we can now move beyond this speech and continue to move towards a deal with Iran that has strict verification mechanisms to ensure Iran does not get nuclear weapons capabilities."

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Wide Ranging Pro-Second Amendment Bill Filed in the Iowa Legislature PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kurt Liske   
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 14:57
Today Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Dist. 17) formally introduced HSB201. This bill, drafted with the aid of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the National Rifle Association, and the American Suppressor Association, is the largest and most ambitious pro-gun owner bill in Iowa’s history.

Most notably HSB201 would allow Iowans to own firearms suppressors. But the bill also updates several of Iowa’s other firearms laws. If passed HSB201 would:

● Update Iowa’s concealed carry law to move the retraining requirement to every 10 years instead of every 5.
● Simplify the concealed carry permit renewal process and allow a 60 day window to renew.
● Remove the “permit to acquire” mandate for handgun purchases (FBI NICS program would still be used for purchases).
● Remove the age restriction on minors shooting while supervised by a parent or guardian.
● Make it illegal to share any identifying information about any of Iowa’s concealed carry permit holders.
● Strengthen penalties for anyone caught making a straw purchase.
● Make all permits across Iowa uniform in appearance.

Currently residents of 39 other states are free to own suppressors. These accessories work just like a car muffler to reduce noise pollution and hearing loss. If legalized in Iowa, suppressors would still be regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Anyone purchasing a suppressor is required to undergo an additional Federal background check, pay a $200 tax, and join a BATFE registry.

For comment or more details about legalizing suppressors, or any of the other measures included in HSB201, please contact IFC President Barry Snell at: 563-506-3600.

Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group.

Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports in Iowa.

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Lt. Gov. Reynolds launches “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds   
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 11:50

Tour begins Wednesday March 4th

(DES MOINES) – Lt. Gov.  Kim Reynolds today announced that she will launch her “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour” on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Reynolds announced on Monday that she is embarking upon a statewide tour to celebrate “National Women’s History Month” in March.  She will be traveling to several communities to meet with female leaders and highlight women who are positively impacting Iowa with their ideas, actions and ingenuity.

“This year’s national theme for Women’s History Month is ‘Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.’  Every year, during my travels to all 99-counties in Iowa, I witness first-hand how women are making a difference in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities,” said Lt. Governor Reynolds.  “Women have played an important role in Iowa’s history and will continue to be trailblazers who serve as role models for current and future generations of Iowans.”

More events associated with the “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour” tour will be announced at a later date.  The lieutenant governor will use the Twitter hashtag #KimTours99 during her travels.

The following events are open to credentialed members of the press:

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 

 

8:30 a.m. Lt. Gov. Reynolds holds “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour” Women in Business roundtable discussion

Greene County Historical Museum

219 E. Lincoln Way

Jefferson, IA

 

10:30 a.m. Lt. Gov. Reynolds tours Life & Health Care, Inc. as part of the “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour”

Life & Health Care, Inc.

714 Wilson Ave.

Webster City, IA

 

11 a.m. Lt. Gov. Reynolds tours INTANDEM Marketing as part of the “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour”

INTANDEM Marketing

501 Bank St.

Webster City, IA

 

11:30 a.m. Lt. Gov. Reynolds holds “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour” Women in Agriculture roundtable discussion

Farm Credit Services

345 Fair Meadow Dr.

Webster City, IA

 

1 p.m. Lt. Gov. Reynolds tours Buckeye Fish Company as part of the “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour”

Buckeye Fish Company

12282 200th St.

Radcliffe, IA

 

3 p.m. Lt. Gov. Reynolds holds “Stories of Women’s Lives Tour” Women in STEM roundtable discussion

Iowa State University

3630 Extension and 4-H Youth Building

Ames, IA

 

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Update: Police, Health Officials Justify Strip Search, Arrest & Detention of Disabled Man in Mental Health Facility Based on Slurred Speech, Unsteady Gait PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Monday, 02 March 2015 15:26

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have asked a federal court to reject a request by health officials to dismiss a Fourth Amendment lawsuit filed on behalf of a 37-year-old disabled man who was wrongfully arrested, strip searched, handcuffed to a table, diagnosed as having “mental health issues,” apparently because of his slurred speech and unsteady gait, and subsequently locked up for five days in a mental health facility against his will and with no access to family and friends.

In asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia to reject a motion to dismiss filed by the Valley Community Services Board (VCSB) and one of its mental health screeners, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the screener violated clearly established law protecting citizens from unjustified mental health seizures when she allegedly recommended that Gordon Goines, a resident of Waynesboro who suffers from a neurological condition similar to multiple sclerosis, be committed as mentally ill and dangerous. A subsequent hearing showed that Goines has no mental illness and should not have been confined. The lawsuit alleges that the VCSB should be held responsible and liable for the deprivation of Goines’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights because it allows unqualified persons to make mental health examinations.

The Institute’s complaint in Gordon Goines v. David Shaw et al., is available at www.rutherford.org.

“By giving government officials the power to declare individuals mentally ill and detain them against their will without first ensuring that they are actually trained to identify such illness, the government has opened the door to a system in which involuntary detentions can be used to make people disappear,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of the award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “Indeed, government officials in the Cold War-era Soviet Union often used psychiatric hospitals as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally.”

Gordon Goines resides in Waynesboro and suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a neurological condition similar to multiple or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrigs disease. As a result, Goines has difficulty at times with his balance, causing him to walk unsteadily, speaks slowly and with a slur and has problems with fine motor skills. Goines has no cognitive impairment, is of above-average intelligence, and acutely aware of what is happening around him. The complaint alleges that on May 15, 2014, Goines was having problems with his cable television reception, including disconnections and extremely loud line noise and signals, and called the cable company for assistance. A technician determined that a neighbor had spliced into Goines cable and recommended Goines contact police about the theft. Goines walked across the street to the Waynesboro Police Dept. and reported the theft to one officer, who called on two other officers to follow Goines home and investigate his complaint. However, the first officer reported that Goines was having “mental health issues.” The officers then proceeded to question Goines about his  “mental health issues”; Goines told them he did not have any mental health problems. The officers then asked Goines if he wanted to go talk to someone; believing they meant about the cable theft, Goines told them he did. The officers then handcuffed him and transported Goines, who pleaded to be taken home, to Augusta County Medical Center. After he arrived, he was examined by an employee of VCSB who concluded that Goines suffered from a psychotic condition and a petition for Goines’ involuntary detention was filed as a result.

According to the complaint, the VCSB screener was not a licensed medical professional, clinical psychologist or social worker and so lacked the required training to diagnose mental disorders. The petition was granted and Goines was committed to Crossroads Mental Health Center and held against his will and without access to family and friends until May 20, 2014, when a subsequent hearing found that Goines had no mental illness and should not be confined. Affiliate attorney Timothy Coffield is assisting The Rutherford Institute in its defense of Goines.

This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

 
Smiddy Works to Prevent Tragedy on Violence Prevention Task Force PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Paul Ferrero   
Monday, 02 March 2015 15:01
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, is part of a team of legislators that will work with mental health providers and law enforcement professionals to investigate the state of security and mental health care in Illinois to try to prevent incidents of mass shootings.
“The importance of treatment for those suffering from mental illness is too often ignored until violence occurs,” Smiddy said. “Illinois’ public safety system must address both the importance of adequate security as well as proactive mental illness intervention to avoid the tragedies that have recently been far too common.”
The Violence Prevention Task Force was formed to work through the reports from recent tragedies and look for ways these disasters could have been avoided. Smiddy will serve on the bipartisan group and attempt to help keep those suffering from mental illness from falling through the cracks before tragedy occurs.
“As a Department of Corrections employee, I know that many violent offenders don’t have access to the treatment they need. Getting them help can be crucial to preventing tragedy,” Smiddy said. “The safety of our children and our communities is the most important part of my job, and I’m honored to have been selected for this task force with the goal of preventing senseless acts of violence.”
The Violence Prevention Task Force is scheduled to deliver its preliminary report by July 1, 2015 and its final report by the end of the year.
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