A few Iowa senators are still debating the decision Republican senators made earlier this week to reject a Cedar Rapids woman the governor had nominated to serve on the Environmental Protection Commission.
Senator Dennis Black, a Democrat from Grinnell, raised the subject this morning during remarks on the senate floor.
"I’m kind of digging up an old bone, although hopefully that bone has not been buried," Black said.
On Monday, all 18 Republicans in the senate voted against Shearon Elderkin’s nomination to serve on the Environmental Protection Commission. The top Republican in the senate has said Elderkin "misrepresented" her positions on specific water and air quality issues when she appeared before a senate committee and that’s why she should not serve on the state commission. But Black, who is chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, maintains that he doesn’t remember any senator asking Elderkin about those topics when she appeared before the panel.
"I don’t think I was asleep. I don’t think I had too much coffee," Black said. "I listened and actually was very impressed."
Black Republicans they’ve offended one of their own by voting against Elderkin.
"I wish you would reconsider," Black told Republicans. "Oh, and by the way, David Elderkin was a national Republican committee person; a very strong Republican family. And how could they have values different than you?" David Elderkin, a Cedar Rapids attorney, is Shearon Elderkin’s husband.
Senator David Johnson, a Republican from Ocheyedan, made no apologies for the Republicans’ decision to reject a fellow Republican.
"It is time to move on," Johnson told Black. "We have plenty, plenty, plenty of talent in this state to serve on boards and commissions."
Midnight was the deadline for senate confirmation votes on the governor’s nominees to state boards and commissions, as well as Governor Chet Culver’s picks to head state agencies. Yesterday, Senate Republicans rejected one of the governor’s nominees for the Power Fund Board as well as the man Culver, a Democrat, wanted to lead the Department of Human Services.