Hangin' in Coralville with Dvorsky and Friends
Greetings from the brand now and very ritzy Coralville Marriott Hotel and Bob Dvorsky's annual birthday party. The governor is in the house along with many other dignitaries.
I'm sitting here with Terri and Dave Loebsack; Dave says the walking/biking tour is going extremely well. He'll be in the Washington area tomorrow.
A big hand for the other guy I'm next to, Senator Joe Bolkcom. Also here are a couple future Senators, Becky Schmitz of Fairfield and Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids.
We have a Dusky Terry sighting as well.
While the introductions continue...
New county attorney Janet Lyness, standing with the living legend Dick Myers. Supervisor candidates Larry Meyers and Sally Stutsman. Also from the board Sullivan and Neuzil.
I swear I'll get meatier later... Just trying to catch the flavor of the room. Coralville and North Liberty councilors, and our friendly neighborhood sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek.
Damn the typos... pretty much the whole legislative delegation is here. Praising the volunteers, and I get a shout out. Had to stop and pose with the laptop.
On to substance. Bob: with a majority we can move the state forward. Intro-ing Becky Schmitz and here she is, direct from Fairfield.
Schmitz: Bob helped twist my arms into this race and you should all be grateful for Bob's work. Knocked on 3500 doors so far. Meeting lots of wonderful people who are ready for a change. On to the biography: school social worker and mediator. Able to listen and advocate and help people reach mutual goals.
My opponent said "he was missing his law practice" and I hope to take that dilemma away from him.
We got 100 or so here, room's really big. Hope to see a lot of presidentials pass through here next year...
Bob intro-ing Rob Hogg who's looking to take Chuckie Larson's seat. "I'm calling Rob Number 26 because he'll be the 26th Democrat."
Rob has Iowa City ties (from just before my time, this is news to me too). Says Bob's a great senator for the corridor. Rob says Linn and Johnson are working together well as a regional delegation, cites thy hygienic lab and community corrections and mental health. But there's larger issues in this campaign...
Affordable health care, econ development… the wifi dropped out and I lost the groove for a bit. Let’s get the rest of the uninsured kids insured. Need to deal with the energy situation.
If we can reclaim legislature and get Chet as guv, we can get on track. (First mention of Chet...)
Just noticing write in school board contender Sam Garchik, he gets a shoutout. Now Dvorsky's intro-ing Dave Loebsack. Dave gives the shout out to Terri who's still next to me. Dave talks about walking tour - he's calling it a "trek" now in part because it's mostly on bike. (Nice pun but no one seems to catch it) We can point out more concerns about energy policy and alternative transport, and it's been the best way to meet as many people as he can.
Only one person in four weeks has said the country is on the right track. I've been hearing and cataloguing hundreds of stories. "Change" is overused but in this case it can't be used enough.
Fellow blogger Nick Johnson is here too but he's not laptop-armed like I am. Update: Nick talked to the Governor and shares some thoughts here.
Dave: I would not be here today without the positive role government has played in my life. (That's the tie-in to the brief background and biography) Despite what Leach says every two years he's a Republican and there's a big difference. We’ll make this district blue.
Dave signs off and Dvorsky is back. Sue Dvorsky called dibs on intro-ing Vilsack. Sue looks back over the Vilsack years and calls the guv her "boyfriend" which gets big chuckles... (It’s kind of an in-joke for an in-joke crowd, folks...) The Vilsacks have been our leaders and friends. "Whatever steps they decide to take next, we will carry that feeling with us."
And here's the governor. This blogger was a Vilsacker back in `98 and it hasn't been perfect but it's been way better than the Branstad years... a nice chuckle at the "diet Coke" reference (Bob's well know for it) "Folks from Johnson County really really believe deeply" (that's a nice euphemism!) "and Dick Myers exemplifies that."
Education corrections, mental health... it made a fundamental difference in the budget to have Dvorsky as appropriations co-chair.
And Johnson County folks look at non-headline issues - like Joe Bolkcom on payday loans. "How much is the interest, Joe?" "264%” Terrific advocates for ordinary struggling folks.
Done with the appetizers on to the main course.
You have the capacity to fundamentally change this state. For 40 years we have talked about that brief period when we held the trifecta. For 40 years we have been in the desert. If election were today we would get that.
In Texas they kicked 100,000 kids off health care because of budget cuts - while Iowa found a way to expand health care. 98,000 kids. Limited mental health parity, but with Dem trifecta we'd get full parity.
It was Democrats who.... cadence list of items. Pause the typing to grab a couple photos.
Talking about regents budget - it wasn't Democrats who reduced the commitment, it was REPUBLICANS. Elect Dems and you'll have more support, less tuition increases. Each year we proposed more than the GOP approved, and I want to set that straight. (A touch defensive?)
Talking of being bullied as a kid - not a story I've heard before. It's important for us to make a statement that every kid should be respected and not bullied (mentions orientation). Dems have proposed anti bullying bill every year and Republicans block every year.
I would not be here if it weren't for a couple of union jobs when I was young. Kept me in school. There's a frontal assault on labor and collective bargaining, and the GOP is attacking. Mentions Dubuque nurses - this'll be a big applause line... (Lots of SEIU folks here)
Gas prices underscore the need for minimum wage increases.
Cost of campaigns and walking trips… we need a debate on how to make it easier to vote, not harder… we need easier voting and campaign finance reform (he's been talkin' to Fallon?)
Winding down... someone's phone just rang, what's with that? Launching into the dig deep, work hard rap. Vilsack's good in this setting with an extremely friendly crowd - but I don't feel like I'm looking at a president...
The closing story, let's see if I've heard it. Nope, haven't. He's talking about Iowa Guard people killed in the war and calling the families. The set up is long... He decided to save the crew, but no one would have known if he hadn't. The widow said "the men he saved needed him more in that split second than I needed him for the rest of my life." (I think I heard the quote.) We all have a responsibility - a brief hint at Bush mis-leadership, but nothing specific about bringing the troops home. Just moving on to concepts of community and responsibility, which seems to be the nascent theme for Vilsack 08.
That's a wrap and the batteries are low. Off to schmooze and fix the typos!
Just one after the fact thought: lots of "elect Democrats" talk tonight, but relatively little use of the name "Chet." Pictures turned out for crap so I'm not posting `em.