Email from Union leader calls lawmakers degrading names - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Email from Union leader calls lawmakers degrading names

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(KWWL) -

Republicans are being flooded with calls and emails over the union bill. 

While collective bargaining is a topic of conversation and conflict in the state, now so is an email coming from a union leader encouraging people to call their legislators. 

The email written by Erich Schmidt, Political Director for the Laborers International Union of North America in Des Moines, calls republican leaders names including 'douche' and 'super duper douche.' 

We spoke with Schmidt today. 
"The email that was written was written in poor taste and in poor humor. It was intended for people within our organization to really just cause a laugh," he says. 

KWWL obtained the email from the Iowa GOP and the address list shows it has been sent between teachers in the Des Moines school district. 

The district responded today telling us, 

"First of all, the memo was prepared by someone outside of the school district, and is not only crude and inappropriate but also gives lousy advice when it comes to contacting legislators about any issue. It does not represent Des Moines Public Schools in any way, shape or form. Any employees who did share this document using their district email account will be counseled by our Human Resources office, including a reminder that their emails are public and that the use or misuse of district email reflects on both their school and the school district. In regard to the claim that the email was ‘disseminated widely,’ it appears to have been forwarded by maybe 10 of our 5,000 employees at one of our 60 schools."

Meanwhile republican leaders on the list say it feels like  bullying. 

We spoke with Representative Walt Rogers today, he says the email was "not called for" and was "almost bullying."

Rogers says he has been receiving a lot of nasty emails and voicemails including one that he considers threatening. 

We asked Schmidt if he thought the email was bullying. 
"I don't see it as bullying, what I see as bullying is ramming this legislation down working peoples throats," he told us. 

Schmidt says an apology for the email will come soon. 
"Any apology that will be provided to them will be provided to them in person, shortly."

Chairman Jeff Kaufmann also commented on the email,  

“Frankly, I am dismayed that Iowans would stoop this low and act in this manner," Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. "The sexist, thuggish comments in this leaked email are shocking and inexcusable. In addition, this email was disseminated widely on taxpayer-funded equipment during taxpayer-funded work hours. Iowans now expect the union responsible for this email to take the appropriate actions and hold this person accountable. We also expect those aligned with this union will demand changes as well."

"If it wasn’t for the actions of one honorable person sharing this email, we never would have known about these deeply disturbing comments," Chairman Kaufmann continued. "We thank all the good people out there fighting for real change.”

Read the emails and House Target List below: 

Read the Senator Target List below: 


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