Representative Mary Wolfe – Iowa House District 98

Hi there, and welcome to my blog (which I created in lieu of a website, as for some reason I have been absolutely unable to pull off a website). I am a member of Iowa’s 88th General Assembly, elected to represent House District 26 in November 2010 — but thanks to redistricting, I am running for re-election in new House District 98.   The best way to reach me is at my legislative email, which is:  Mary.Wolfe@legis.state.ia.us.  I live in Clinton, Iowa, (the eastern most point in Iowa) with my 17 year old son,  and when I’m not at the State Capital in Des Moines I practice law with my father, Jack Wolfe, in a 1888 house with a big front porch.

I’m the oldest of 8 children — 6 girls/2 boys — and we moved to Clinton when I was in grade school. I attended North Catholic Elementary School, and went to Mt. St. Clare Academy for the first three years of high school — my senior year Mt. St. Clare merged with St. Mary’s, and thus I was a member of the first graduating class of Mater Dei High School.

I spent a year at Georgetown, a few years at Loyola, and a few more years traveling before  landing back in Iowa, where I settled down and graduated from college, and then from the U of IA’s law school in 1992 — I’ve been in Clinton working with my dad ever since, more or less (had a second office in Iowa City from 2005-2008, but turned out there were already plenty of lawyers out there, and the commute was killing me). I love being a lawyer, and being self-employed, and I am so grateful to have had the chance to work on a day to day basis with both of my parents (my mom’s our office manager) for the past twenty years.

I never considered running for public office until former Rep. Polly Bukta decided to retire after representing our district for fourteen years, and asked me if I’d be interested. I warned her that I don’t have much patience, that I pretty much always say what I think, and that I’m somewhat socially backward — but Polly encouraged me to run anyhow, and I’m so glad she did. My first session was one of the most exciting times of my life, trying to figure out who was who and how things worked; this session I’m concentrating on trying to do a better job of keeping in touch and up to date w/my constituents … thus the blog.

I’m a member of the Democratic minority in the IA House (40-60…good times); I’m the ranking member on our House Judiciary committee and also serve on Human Resources, Transportation, Public Safety, and the Justice Systems Budget Subcommittee. I am a big believer in social justice and smarter sentencing and President Obama (no, he’s not perfect, but hello, the ACA, pretty darn impressive). I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of my district, and I look appreciate any feedback/comments/ suggestions that you care to share on the bills and issues I discuss in my posts.

12 Responses to Representative Mary Wolfe – Iowa House District 98

  1. Lori Larsen says:

    Mary, I want to see Iowa stop the College Tuition requirement for adult children of divorced parents. I am in the same boat,low income and elderly.. It is discriminatory. What can I do to join a group against this?

    • Lori says:

      Ok, so if the courts want divorced parents to pay for college education, I want my child to pay for Long Term Care Insurance for me according to Iowa Code 252.1, 252.2,252.5,252.6,and 252.13, after she is out of college. I have rights too.

  2. Wayne Fesler says:

    Mary met you at Clinton Democrats today and discussed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/us/politics/new-timing-hinted-on-supreme-court-health-care-ruling.html?pagewanted=all

    Look under union dues. This was not picked up by other news as they are all focused on health care. A real bomb shell for unions. Half of union workers declined to pay dues after this occurred in Wisconsin. Union busters know that these dues are used against them.
    Wayne

  3. Wayne Fesler says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/us/politics/new-timing-hinted-on-supreme-court-health-care-ruling.html?pagewanted=all
    Look under union dues. A real sleeper. No assessments(lobbying) without members permission. Show to union supporters and see what they think.
    Talked with you at Clinton Demo today. From DeKalb, IL

    Wayne

  4. Gary Herrity says:

    Mary,
    Great column in the Monday, Nov. 11 Clinton Herald. You covered the Affordable Care Act very well, and your meeting on the ACA at the Clinton, Iowa at Clinton Community College, Nov. 12 at six o’clock will be outstanding and provide a lot of information to people who are craving it. Thanks for being a fine leader for the Clinton Area.
    Gary Herrity

  5. Charles says:

    Why is it that some other states like IL. can pass a law on cell phone usage while driving but IA can not. I drive the highways to the Univ. Hospital to see special doctors. I am sorry to say that I am getting tired of being almost run off the road because someone is to busy talking to someone on the phone and all you people can talk about is texting. The is just part of the problem dailing is just as bad as texting. I wish you could see this. I agree with IL. and the other states that say you should use hand-free head sets and as far as dailing people should use the speech comand that is programed in most if not all cell phones.

  6. Michael Ware says:

    Rep Wolfe,

    I wanted to take a moment and drop you a thank you for your support of the suppressor legislation. People tend to get caught up in party line agendas far too often, and I was glad to learn from IFC and NRA that you asked questions, thought through the aspects and implications of the bill, and made a decision to support it based on merit. Those kinds of reflections are becoming darned rare these days…

    Any time you need to use a range, or would like some information on a firearm issue, you’re welcome to seek me out. I’d be glad to lend a hand or perspective.

    Thanks,

    Michael Ware – Controlled Chaos Arms

  7. Brenda Kadlec says:

    Rep. Wolfe,
    Just read the editorial page to the Des Moines Register regarding funnel week on bills. I am a fifteen year Intensive Care Registered Nurse and find it for lack of a better word, very sad that Iowa could not pass the right to die bill. I ask you to ask the representatives that voted against this bill how many people have they watched suffer and die. I believe if they have done it once they would not feel the way they do. People use religion as a way of controlling the personal decisions of others. Others say that this will promote teen suicide. Really, I ask what do they really know about teen suicide? I have had the end of life conversation and assisting families with making that decision about as much as the representative who voted against this bill has balanced their checkbook. The one thing I always tell people, ” if you think of what your loved one would want you will always make the right decision.” If this bill is ever presented again maybe that phrase should be repeated before voting.
    In regards to the mandatory minimum sentencing. This past weekend Rep. Miller held a conference addressing this. I ask, how many representatives that voted on this bill attended? Or were their minds already made up based on their “own” beliefs and not those of professionals that really understand the facts. There was a discussion from a police officer about the alarming number of people arrested can not even read or write. I had a rough week at work in the Intensive Care, and this was the saddest thing I heard all week. I was embarrassed for our state that is still occurring.
    I thank you Rep. Wolfe for all of your hard work on all of these issues. I believe you took the time to research all of these and base your voting on facts and what is good for the state of Iowa. I will be sending a letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register as well with hopes it helps your future bills. Education is the key to any success.

    Brenda Kadlec RN

  8. Loretta A. Murphy says:

    I just want to thank you for your effort to reform the mandatory minimum law in our state. My son is serving 25 years for a crime that he was convicted on due to another person’s plea bargain. He wasn’t even present, the people who were apprehended said he was in order to get lighter sentences. I think that to be shameful. But anyway, thank you for your efforts! God’s blessings to you!

  9. cynde thomas says:

    Mary my son was involved in a crime which I know he needs to be punished no one person got hurt and I know in my heart this would not of happened if he wasn’t MESSED UP on drugs needing the pills that drs prescribe for people everyday he never even took nothing and he got more time then some murderers mandatory the prosecutor suggested running them together and because the judge was having a bad day he said no and now he has to do two 7year mandatory sentences before he can get paroled Mary I’m 53years old I want to see my child before I pass please help ?

  10. Bertha J says:

    I think its good to have someone as Mary Wolfe in the house and want to make changes in the State of Iowa Justice System.
    IOWA PRISONS AND REHABILITATION PROGAMS NEEDS ATTENTION
    **When it comes to African Americans, Iowa has the 3rd highest incarceration rate in the nation (almost 14%)—yet African Americans
    make up only 3.2% of the state population. The sad truth is that Black people are jailed at a much higher rate than
    whites, receive much harsher sentences for the same offenses, and serve longer
    time on their sentences before being granted parole. This is general information, and while
    general info is one thing, there are too many personal stories connected to
    this injustice.
    “Rehabilitation” does
    not exist in Iowa’s prison system, so any recreation or rehabilitation
    involving music, reading, or writing, or education is initiated by the inmate
    or their family. According to some Black inmates,
    there are also a number of rights being violated such as random
    lock-downs and safety issues regarding specific penitentiaries like Iowa prisons. Complaints are routinely
    ignored or worse, punished; inmates are often placed in solitary confinement
    for extended periods for speaking out about health issues and being provoked by some of the guards. The
    prison system depends on a steady population of inmates in order to keep its
    doors open—prisons are big business. Maybe
    that’s why it is so easy for the administration to find flimsy reasons why
    inmates must serve more time, rather than address the problems and inequities
    that keep Black inmates behind bars far longer than their white counterparts. There needs to be an independent
    investigation of Iowa Penitentiary and the way it handles the sentences
    of Black inmates.
    Enough is enough—where
    does this injustice end? It is one thing
    for a person to be sentenced and to serve their time. It is another thing altogether for the prison
    administration to have practices that routinely set back an inmate’s “finish
    line” again and again, based on racial inequities. Something must be done so that inmate’s can
    finally gain release after serving their time, without being ambushed by
    “rules” that are random and UNFAIR. Institutions
    such as Iowa Prisons. Iowa prisons should be investigated for human rights
    violations. We have lifers incarcerated who should not be doing life in prison. There are some rapist getting in and out for the same crimes. I think these guys should have a second chance at life.

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