Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Jim Hennager

November 9, 2014
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

Age Discrimination Against our Youth

Dear Civil Rights Commission

My name is Jim Hennager. I am an adjunct professor of social problems at a local community college. I am a candidate for governor of the New Independent Party Iowa. In my sociology classes we investigate a wide array of social, political and economic issues that affect Iowa and we develop teams to bring a consensus of new ideas and solutions forward on these issues. We have taken these ideas and presented them in a website at ( and a number of students then expressed interest in actually running for office this November. We have two students on the ballot for Secretary of State (Spencer Highland) and Secretary of Agriculture (Levi Benning) as well as my self and Lt Governor (Mary Krieg).

One of the most contentious issues with my students is the blatant age discrimination against 18/19 and 20 year old's in Iowa. They are legally allowed to vote. They can join the military. They can be drafted by the military. They can die for our country. But they can not buy a beer in a tavern, bet a dollar in any casino, rent a motel room, sign a contract or run for any state office. These conditions have been brought about by legislative actions and blackmail by the US Department of Transportation.

This discrimination has affected these young people adversely. Many hotels and motels will not allow them to rent a room. Students in Travel Club's have not been able to rent hotel rooms on their trips, causing them to sleep in their vehicles at times. This age group is often not allowed into restaurants that serve liquor if they are not accompanied by someone over age 21. They can sign a contract to join the military but they can not sign a contract to buy a car from some banks. They can drink beer on a foreign military base but not when they get home to Iowa. In many cases those young people who wish to visit a night club or tavern find that they must secure a fake ID card to do so.

This age discrimination is wholly political and has been forced upon them by insurance companies and their special interests, as well as the blackmailing by the Federal Transportation Department threatening to reduce funding by ten percent. The Iowa Legislature has decided that they can play the role of surrogate parent to a class of young people simply based on subjective assumptions. The Iowa Legislature has created a situation where people of this age group are legal in some circumstances but not legal in others based entirely on their age.

In addition by not allowing this age group to run for any state offices or Iowa House they have created a situation of Taxation Without Representation for these youths. They work. They pay taxes but they can not elect someone their own age to represent them.

I can see from your website that you will argue that your commission does not have jurisdiction in any of these circumstances. Why is that? Young people in Iowa want to know why you do not represent their interests when this age discrimination is so obvious and blatant?

When are we going to recognize that 18 is the age of maturity and consent? When are we going to recognize that 18 is the age when someone is tried as an adult? When are we going to stop discriminating against this one class of our citizens? They are adults and they deserve to be treated like adults in the eyes of the law. What is happening to them is unconstitutional? Please correct it.

Jim Hennager

Nevada, Iowa



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web