No Platypus, just lots of Democrats
So we didn't have Rick Perry, like the Johnson County Republicans did last night, but I'll take Dave Loebsack and Sue Dvorsky as keynoters over the Platypus over him any day. (I would have liked to have made it to the other team's event, but I was on daddy patrol Friday and they prefer the actual Perry.) It would have made for a nice compare/contrast of, for example, the relative length of the introduction of elected officials.
Loebsack squeezed the event into what was either a six or seven event day ans stresses his Armed Services committee work. "We need to be out of Iraq by the end of the year (and) we need to make those moves to get us out of Afghanistan as soon as we can," he said.
Loebsack also noted work he's doing on private sector initiatives for the Rock Island Arsenal to potentially do non-military work, and on a project to embed mental health professionals in National Guard units to combat the high suicide rate.
On the latter project Loebsack is working with subcommittee chair Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican best known for shouting "you lie!" at President Obama. Loebsack said he and Wilson both had family members with mental health problems, and that common experience helped them work together on the issue. "I'm doing everything I can to work across the aisle," said Loebsack. But later he added, "but while I'm working across the aisle, we still have some fundamental differences" with Republicans.
Any gathering of Iowa politicos these days is certain to turn to the November 8 state senate special election that Sue Dvorsky simple calls "18." I'll get my Battle of Marion label to stick yet.
"There has never been an election in the history of this state where ONE SEAT could turn the entire direction of government," said the IDP chair, who sees the 2011 special as the first stage of the 2012 campaign battle.
Dvorsky singled out the minority House Democrats for praise, too. "It takes so much courage to keep climbing that hill when you know you can't win. What they did was out the other side's horrendous agenda." Three House candidates hoping to take back the majority that Democrats lost in 2010 were on hand: David Johnson, challenging Jeff Kaufmann in House 73; Sara Sedlacek, taking on Tom Sands in District 88; and county supervisor Sally Stutsman, running in open House 77.
That's the soundbites, but what you really want is the pictures, over in the Facebook album.