Today’s Republican Party sees internal struggles and a registration exodus, Iowa’s governor takes heat for easing pandemic restrictions and Democrats in Illinois try to go all in on clean energy.
We got to all of that this week on 4 The Record with former Rock Island County Republican Party Chair Bill Bloom and former Scott County Democratic Party Chair Thom Hart.
Coal in Illinois
Illinois Democrats in the state legislature are making another run at adopting the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
The goal is to make the state dependent on renewable power options only by 2050 — wind, solar, electric cars get a lot of attention.
Democrats claim it would open the floodgates to new jobs, but coal is a substantial resource in Illinois.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration ranked Illinois the fourth biggest coal producer in 2019.
This plan tries to eliminate coal emissions by 2030.
That doesn’t sit well with a lot of Republicans.
This could make Illinois a major player in the green economy.
Bloom and Hart discussed how much this could help or hurt Illinois as the state government struggles financially.
Pandemic in Iowa
Lighter pandemic restrictions took hold in Iowa at the beginning of last week on order from Governor Kim Reynolds.
It came to light that the governor made the decision without consulting the public health department.
Hart and Bloom addressed what this says about her crisis management approach.
Today’s Republican party seems to be at a crossroads that goes far beyond the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has espoused QAnon conspiracy theories, called for the execution of Democratic leaders and spewed anti-Semitic bile.
She got a standing ovation when she apologized for her offensive statement.
Greene mockingly referred to her apology the next day, calling into question her sincerity or understanding of what she said wrong.
Then take Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska — a true conservative on policy.
He’s facing censure from his state’s Republican party for being critical of Donald Trump’s actions surrounding the riot at the Capitol.
Sasse said publicly: “Politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude. The party could purge Trump skeptics, but I’d like to convince you that not only is this ‘civic cancer’ for the nation, it’s also terrible for our party.”
Now consider this: The New York Times analyzed voting records from 25 states that had them available.
That investigation noted almost 140,000 Republicans quit the party since the attack on the Capitol.
Bloom and Hart talked about where the Republican party is headed and what it means if it stands by Greene and punishes Sasse.
Question of the week
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.