Continuing in the longstanding tradition of state lawmakers who ignore the Ames Progressive‘s requests for comments, GOP state Rep. Dave Maxwell of Gibson instead contacted the Des Moines Register to apologize for distributing the racist Montezuma Record report on University of Iowa salaries to his House colleagues.
Maxwell told the Register yesterday that he hadn’t read the report, first covered by the Progresive last Thursday, before asking a clerk to distribute the 99 copies of the paper, and that he was “embarrassed” to be associated with comments that said the “relatively high numbers of employees with names from Asia and the Near East” were “interesting” and “unspellable and oriental names may get you the big bucks.”
On Monday evening, state Rep. David Jacoby (D-Coralville) criticized the Record‘s report on the House floor by invoking his late grandfather, a World War I vet with a Czech name. “I’m proud to introduce my grandfather to the body with a different sounding name,” Jacoby said. “I know as he sits in the northwest balcony he would also say to all of us…’Please do not distribute racist crap to our desks.’”
Maxwell told the Register that he simply wanted his colleagues to see the salaries of U of I employees, “because you get west of Iowa City and you don’t hear it.”
“I authorized passing it out, so the heat comes to me,” Maxwell told the Register, attributing his mistake to “freshman ignorance and exuberance.” He vowed to read materials more “thoroughly” before handing them out in the future, and said, “I certainly want to apologize for any discomfort or hurt that I may have brought to any of my colleagues here in the House.”