The Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO strongly supports the rights of all Americans to express their beliefs and advocate for them. We all have a right to our opinions, but when it crosses over into hate speech, we cannot condone these actions. The recent hate crimes perpetrated on the Black Hawk County Supervisor candidate, Chris Schwartz, paints Waterloo and Iowa in a bad light. These actions are not representative of the great people of Iowa.
The vast majority of Iowans are not members of some right-wing self-proclaimed religious hate group. This is Donald Trump-style politics at its worse and we will not tolerate it. Judd Saul and the rest of Cedar Valley Patriots for Christ should stand up and denounce these actions. Their misguided attempts to deflect suspicions onto the victim is disturbing.
Iowans of good conscience need to stand up and be counted. We collectively need to stand united and say that harassment and hate crimes have no place in our political system. No candidate for office should have to fear for their family's safety and security.
We are proud to stand in support of Chris Schwartz. His actions, taking the high road, prove he is the right person to support in this election. He will serve the people of the Cedar Valley in Black Hawk county with a clear understanding of how all citizens need to be included and represented in our democracy.
Chris Schwartz is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 137.