Johnson County Dems Liveblog with Bob Krause
Last month I purposely skipped the Johnson County Dems monthly meeting for the first time in forever (I have missed a couple of just before election day meetings for work). Since I didn't run for the executive board, through the month of March my only formal affiliation with the Democratic Party was the D on my voter card.
My intent was to take a break. But in my absence at the April meeting I was elected a precinct captain.
So here I am again. US Senate candidate Bob Krause is supposed to stop by, after a Hamburg Inn visit with the UDems. As for business, we're electing 2nd CD district reps, and Dennis Roseman is supposed to present the chair's two year plan--which as of yesterday was not on the party site.
I actually get to vote now.
The core of the group that was on the anti-Roseman side two months ago is clustered together in the back. The party has no fundraising chair (despite Roseman's begging, a call for volunteers is met by silence: anyone... anyone... Bueller) and attendance is light tonight. We have only one elected: Joe Bolkcom (who praises my Ramones shirt).
Former chair Sarah Swisher is offering a lot of suggestions from the floor, which nudges Roseman forward a bit.
Now Krause speaks. How are you going to beat Grassley? He's dropped from 71 to 59% approval in last few months. "What were you doing in 1958?" is his rhetorical question -- he's using the Greg Ganske Studebaker strategy. "When you become a careerist, something happens."
On prescription drugs, "He's pinching pennies but throwing $10 bills all over the floor."
Krause is leading with issue details (Lilly Ledbetter now), not telling us biography yet. And most of the people in this room -- and this is core activists, at least the ones Roseman hasn't driven away -- don't know this guy yet.
On veteran's issues, he makes his first biographical mentions. Krause's latest gig is chairing the IDP's vet's caucus. After a long anti-Grassley rap sheet, he moves to his lead issues: the green economy and vet's health care.
First question asks to fill in the gaps in biography. Six years in the legislature, regional paratransit was his big accomplishment there. Lost state treasurer race, regional head of US DOT in Carter era. Has done a fair amount of transportation work. Tried to revive Hoover Nature Trail. Consulted in Dubai birefly, got out just in time. 28 years in Army Reserve.
Employee Free Choice Act? "Yeah, absolutely." "I had a perfect labor voting record, except for the bottle bill" (whic labor opposed back then).
An odd duck asks about English Only (which he favors), some audience members hiss the question. Bob: "I'm probably on a side other than you" so points for candor. And we can't send all the undocumented pdeople back. "We can't logistically move that many people out without concentration camps." The answers get applause. Immigration issues are, quote, "complicated as the Dickens." (God bless us every one.)
I ask how do you, another eastern Iowa former legislator, win? "In 1958 he came from one of the most conservative areas of the state, where Democrats wear camouflage. When he ran for Congress he ran from the old HR Gross district. In 1980 he ran against John Culver being ground up in the Reagan landslide." Republican philosophies were ascendant in his re-elect runs, Osterberg (98) and Small (04) got in late. "I've started early, and while yes, I was in the legislature I got out and did some other things in life, many of the things that real people do." He drops the url so I link.
Now we move on to electing 2nd CD committee members. We get 14 members. We elect by the Put Your Hand Up Till We Get To 14 method.
And... Terry Dahms had to leave, wants to be on, but Dennis insists on taking the last seat for himself.
Some complaints that meeting notices for 2nd CD have been poor; Dennis says "I don't want to blame anyone here" which prompts a shout of "you never had a problem with that before."
Dennis presents a two year plan which is pretty bare-bones compared to Flaherty's two years ago which had the whole core of the GOTV plan. Tabled until the next meeting, with only two members (Robin Roseman being one) voting no as the chair had wished. While we slog through this, a quick impression of Krause: issues good, but he needs an overarching theme or story.
Sarah Swisher discusses Iowa City sanctuary city movement.
FOLLOWUP: I realize that one of my critiques of Roseman during the Flaherty administration was how he undercut the chair, and that I'm now here being critical of the chair. How do I rationalize that? Roseman's method was passive aggressive, best demonstrated by his "I don't want to blame anyone here" remark last night even as he was blaming someone else. He constantly denied he was being critical of Flaherty as he was doing it.
I'm being direct here: I don't think Roseman is up to the job, I'm saying it directly and publicly, and I've said it to him. And last night's meeting is just more evidence. The difference is my honesty and openness vs. Roseman's denial.