Friday, June 24, 2005

Making Iowa Blue Again

The AP reports that Iowa's Governor Vilsack is issuing a blanket order restoring the right to vote to all of Iowa's convicted felons who have served their sentence. Here are a couple of choice quotes from Gov. Vilsack:

"We're here today to talk about justice. When you've paid your debt to society, you need to be reconnected to society."

"It has disproportionately affected minority individuals. It's just not fair. Iowa has been a leader in civil rights."

You can always count on politicians to be high-minded, altruistic and to act in ways that bring to mind the nobility of public service. Why else would he be taking steps to ensure that convicted felons get a hand in deciding the leadership of our nation?

It's just about votes.

It's easily more than 50,000 people. Of them, a disproportionate number are from minority and lower-income groups. That means they are demographically more likely to vote Democratic than Republican. (Which is why left-of-center groups are praising Vilsack and why you can look for Democrats to soon begin felon voter-registration drives.)

These new voters could have a huge impact on the outcome of close elections in Iowa, a toss-up state where big elections often are decided by only a handful of votes. According to the latest registration figures, Iowa has 610,000 Republicans, 606,000 Democrats and 752,000 independents.