Editorial: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Source: By Editorial Staff, The Gazette • Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019

Thumbs Up … to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for the formation of a task force to look at criminal justice issues. Announced earlier this week, the governor’s office said the working group, headed by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, will spend much of 2020 on the “very complex issue of unbiased criminal justice in Iowa, looking at the full range of issues including policing, prosecution, and corrections practices.”

The governor said she also would continue to call on the legislature to support a constitutional amendment to restore the voting rights of people with felony convictions after they’ve completed their sentences. This is something we have supported the governor on, and we also applaud her for taking steps to look at disparities in the criminal justice system.

We note a recent report, published in cooperation with the Iowa Policy Project, that showed in many walks of life in Iowa, minorities face significant disparities – in education, the economy and how they are treated in the criminal justice system.

We appreciate the governor’s attention to this issue. We have a lot of work to do.

Thumbs Down … to the failings that led to the Moline Maroons being forced to forfeit a win over the Rock Island Rocks. The Illinois High School Association dealt the punishment this week, because transfer papers for Moline football player Kaeden Dreifurst were not completed on time. Dreifurst also was given a two-game suspension.

The IHSA board made its decision Wednesday.

Dreifurst played for Moline last year but then moved to Arizona, only to come back in June. Unfortunately, there was confusion over the paperwork and the result was the forfeit and suspension.

We noticed in the report from Jeff Wendland of the Dispatch-Argus some finger pointing when it came to blame. We wouldn’t presume to try to sort that out. In the end, we just feel bad for the kids. Rules are important, and they should be followed. But football games should be settled on the field, not in a board room.

Thumbs Down … to the Trump administration’s ever-confusing handling of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Two weeks ago, we praised what appeared to be a deal to boost biofuel volumes that the industry complained were being suppressed by the flood of refinery exemptions handed out by the Environmental Protection Agency.

With biofuel plants shutting down, industry officials have been insisting on a fix.