SHELL ROCK, Iowa — Protesting members of the state legislature is nothing new, but typically those protests happen in front of the state capitol. This was not the case on Saturday, though, when a group of Iowans protested in front of Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix’s Shell Rock home.
“Bill Dix, he needs to listen to the American people, the Iowa people, and if he’s not going to do it in Des Moines we’re going to come to his house and tell him enough is enough,” said Jesse Case, Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters Local 238.
The protest was organized by the Teamsters, but not everyone there was with the union.
“I am compassionate for the people and I don’t feel he’s been that in return, so I’m here to help the people in Iowa and in my county and in all counties,” said Tammy Gertsen.
Gertsen came from Jones County, Iowa, about an hour and a half away, to take part.
“He’s not listening to all the voters, he’s not shown compassion, he’s not working for the people, and he’s getting fat cat money. So as far as we’re concerned, his report card is an ‘F,’” she said, referring to the mock report card hung around her neck.
The Teamsters accuse Senator Dix of having a “radical” agenda.
“Under Bill Dix’s leadership, they have cut funding for nursing home inspections, they have cut funding for veterans housing assistance, they’ve cut funding for food inspection, they’ve cut funding for investigations of child abuse,” said Case.
Not everyone in the neighborhood was there to protest Senator Dix. One of his neighbors had put up a sign in support, called him a “good neighbor,” and was shooing protesters off her property if they stepped in her yard.
“It’s not radical to have a peaceful protest in Iowa. What’s radical is to cut benefits for veterans and teachers,” said Case.
Protestors say they hope to hear from Senator Dix after taking some unconventional steps.
“I’d like him to come back and tell us what he thinks of what happened today, some of the issues we brought up. I want him to be able to tell us what does he think he can do to help some of the issues that we’ve presented to him,” said Gertsen.
Another issue at the protest was the $1.75 million tax payers are on the hook for, after former Republican Caucus Communications Director Kristen Anderson won a sexual harassment lawsuit against the caucus in 2017.
Anderson was present at the protest and spoke to rallygoers.
In response, Senator Dix released the following statement:
“This is why America is a great place to work, live and raise a family. People are free to exercise their constitutionally protected rights.”