The death of a Spirit Lake youngster continues to create a firestorm ofcontroversy at the Iowa Statehouse. At issue today is Senator Mary Lundby’spublished comments that Governor Vilsack’s weekend revelations about his ownchildhood abuse were “Clintonesque” in that he deflected attention from the child death’s to himself. Lundby, who’s a republican from Marion, saysshe stands by her opinion of the Governor’s action. She says having watched the President over the last eight years she thought it was particularily like the activity where he cries or elicits some other response so people don’t deal with the real issues. This morning, Senator Mike Connolly, a democrat from Dubuque, asked Lundbyto apologize. He said the Governor was trying to offer empathy and this strikes at the Governor’s motivation. Connolly says Lundby went over the line and nothing short of an apology is acceptable.Lundby says she’s not going to apologize for having an opinion. She says it’s not the republicans’ opinion, so it’s not political. Lundby says she has a lot of sad things that’ve happened to her, but she doesn’t bring them up every time she has an issue to work on.Spirit Lake residents contend Department of Human Services officials WEREnotified of abuse well before two-and-a-half year old Shelby Duis died inJanuary. Senator Jack Kibbie, a democrat from Emmetsburg, said it was timeto stop the blame game. He says before they start asking for people’s heads, they need to get the facts. Senator President Mary Kramer, a republican from West Des Moines, chided Lundby, too. She said it isn’t necessary to add to the hur that is already happening in Spirit Lake.Senator Betty Sukup, a democrat from New Hampton, said she was the first Senator to speak of the incident, and she called for some kind of a cease fire. But Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows defended Lundby, saying every Senator has a responsibility to find out what went wrong.
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