14 December 2020

Add another one to the list

The Des Moines Register’s editorial board penned a scathing editorial this weekend, slamming Rita Hart’s attempt to circumvent Iowa courts and have Nancy Pelosi decide her election results instead.

The decision will “forever taint” Hart’s record, says the DMR, adding that she should admit defeat and concede “for the sake of her party and all Iowans.”

Worth noting: the DMR is just the latest editorial board to slam Hart’s anti-democratic decision, adding its name to the list that includes the Quad-City Times, the Omaha World-Herald, the Wall Street Journal and more.

In case you missed it…

Rita Hart’s appeal to Congress doesn’t have a happy ending, especially after she passed over Iowa judges. She should concede.

Des Moines Register

Editorial Board

December 12, 2020


Elections close enough to turn on assessments of stray and incomplete pen markings will always leave lingering questions.

But candidates’ choices can temper or inflame those questions.

In Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, Rita Hart, the loser by six votes to Mariannette Miller-Meeks, has picked a path that will inflame. Her team skipped the appeal process available through Iowa’s courts and elected to petition a U.S. House of Representatives panel to oversee a recount, before the full House decides the outcome.

It’s true that this is a legal path and that there are legitimate reasons to question the fairness of aspects of Iowa’s recount process. But even if Hart prevails, a decision that’s ultimately made by a Democratic-controlled House will forever taint her service in Congress. And the move could well backfire on her party, providing Iowa Republicans a potent rallying cry of Democratic chicanery for years in races up and down the ballot. …

Hart could have granted a powerful endorsement to Iowa’s election system by conceding. She should reconsider and do that now, for the sake of her party and all Iowans. Iowa doesn’t need more partisan bile infecting its politics, especially at a time when state government and its congressional delegation should be focused on helping Iowans stay safe in the COVID-19 pandemic and weather its financial hardships.

And then Hart should run again. She needs only to look at Miller-Meeks, a first-time winner in her fourth bid for Congress, to recognize the virtue of persistence.

Meanwhile, all Iowans should welcome Miller-Meeks as a new member of Iowa’s congressional delegation. Miller-Meeks served in the U.S. Army for 24 years, where she gained her training as an ophthalmologist. She worked in private practice in Ottumwa, served as a director of the Iowa Department of Public Health and was elected as a state senator in 2018.

While this editorial board disagrees with many of her policy positions, she has shown herself to be smart, hardworking and thoughtful, and we believe she will serve Iowans well.