Newscast 11.17.23: Voter fraud trial to resume Monday morning in Sioux City; The IA Board of Regents votes to cut unnecessary Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs
The trial of Kim Phuong (Fong) Taylor, the wife of Woodbury County supervisor Jeremy Taylor who is accused of voter fraud resumes on Monday. The prosecution rested its case yesterday afternoon without calling a couple of key witnesses.
Taylor is accused of 52 counts of voter fraud. Prosecutors say she wanted “her husband to win at any means necessary” when he ran for the GOP primary for Congress and for Woodbury County Supervisor in 2020. Jeremy Taylor has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
Investigators say Phuong Taylor illegally filled out election documents and ballots for members of the Vietnamese community.
The jury did not hear from Woodbury County’s sheriff and a former supervisor. They were expected to testify that Jeremy Taylor, said he had a “lock” on votes from the Vietnamese community.
The defense will call its first witness on Monday morning. Taylor’s attorney says she did not take part in any fraud or forgery and has a long history of helping others.
Iowa’s unemployment rate rose slightly in October to 3.2% from the 3% reported in September. But it remains below the national rate of 3.9%, according to Iowa Workforce Development.
The state's unemployment rate has been rising since July, when it was 2.7%. But it is only 0.1% higher than it was in October 2022.
Iowa’s labor force, which includes both people who are employed or actively seeking a job, continues to decline, dropping to 68.4% of the civilian noninstitutionalized population from 68.6%, but remains 0.3% higher than a year ago, the agency said.
Iowa’s public universities will have to cut diversity, equity and inclusion programs that aren’t necessary for research contracts or accreditation. The Board of Regents voted today (Thursday) to adopt that change and others after Republican lawmakers directed them to review DEI spending.
The regents are also asking the three universities to explore strategies for advancing diversity of intellectual perspectives among job applicants.
Regent Abby Crow says that would contradict the order to cut other DEI initiatives.
Crow, who represents students, voted against three of the recommendations.
Regent David Barker supported all of them. He says the universities won’t discriminate even if certain DEI programs are eliminated. The schools are expected to submit their plans for implementing these changes in the spring.