First up, today’s obligatory gay marriage developments. Several papers carry Rod Boshart’s solid overview of yesterday’s Statehouse developments. Republican attempts to force a vote on a constitutional same-sex marriage ban failed. Republican attempts to get a lot of attention for their side of the issue succeeded. But there isn’t going to be a legislative vote on this issue in 2009.
Opponents have to grab the headlines now, because once lawmakers go home, and after the first wave of weddings April 27, the issue falls off the radar for a while.
The best story spawned from the marriage mania was Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal’s declaration that U.S.Rep. Steve “Gay Mecca” King is “too chicken” to run for governor. Later, they met out by the jungle gym and had a push/slap fight. Covering Iowa Politics is among many with accounts of the skirmish.
Nearly lost behind all the much ado is a legislative move to put a $175 million cap on a list of tax credits for businesses and other interests. The Des Moines Register has the story. Currently, those credits are unlimited and nobody’s quite sure exactly what the state gets for all that money. Republicans, who put most of them in place while they ran the joint, are grumbling. But the credits usually don’t exceed $175 million. The full Senate can debate the bill any day now.
Meanwhile, it was planting day for Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who helped First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Victory Garden yesterday:
“Growing your own fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to have healthy food,” Vilsack said. “Working in a garden is a great way to stay physically active and maintain a healthy body. And, USDA is helping schools make sure that every student in America has a healthy and nutritious lunch to eat at school.”
Can’t argue with that. Putting in peas and lettuce at our place this weekend. I call my plot a “Participation Garden.” I have no delusions of victory.
When is the last time you read a dramatic account of a good old-fashioned baby race? The Mason City Globe-Gazette fronts coverage of a competitive crawl at Southbridge Mall. Reminds me of back in the day when they sent me to cover the annual smile contest in Sioux City. Don’t laugh. The winner got a new bike.
And speaking of winning, if you work at Midwest Laboratories in Omaha, you’re feeling pretty good today. The World-Herald reports that an ominous staff meeting (we’ve all been there) turned out to be an announcement that every employee is getting $1,000 to stimulate the economy. (I have not been there).
Have a good holiday weekend. Don’t spend it all in one place.