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Letter to Editor: Senator Merlin Bartz is at it again

Dear Editor:

Senator Merlin Bartz is at it again.

He has decided to take a simple issue and has dressed it up to use it as a political attack.  An article in several newspapers across Iowa reported that Senator Bartz had attacked Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm for voting for SF 2113.  This legislation was supported by Northeast Iowa (foresters) to help address issues with poachers who trespass on their property and damage their valuable trees.  The tagging requirement did not include landowners hunting on their own land and was modeled after the tagging requirements that currently exist for trappers.  Even if you don’t support the legislation, the idea that this is a massive infringement on individual rights is laughable.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the most outrageous comment Senator Bartz made.  He also accused Senator Wilhelm and others in the legislature of wanting to require an individual to get a permit from DNR to trap mice in their home.  That statement is absolutely ridiculous and is utterly disconnected from reality.  I know of no one in the Legislature that is concerned with how people trap mice in their home, and no legislation has ever done that.  Senator Bartz knows better.

These statements are just new examples of Senator Bartz making ridiculous political claims.  In 2010, he made comments on the Senate floor alleging that the federal government was working to ban recreational fishing based on an article from ESPN.com.  That claim was widely debunked.  ESPN.com apologized for the article, but not Senator Bartz.

North Iowans deserve better.

Sen. Tom Courtney
Burlington

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