Thursday, August 01, 2013

August Johnson County Democrats

I've had such an insane schedule today I haven't had time for more than 140 characters on the Kevin McCarthy resignation. And I still don't because we're at our monthly Central Committee meeting.

We're in North Liberty, the biggest city in the open Senate District 39. Our big name guest is Tyler Olson.

We're greeted by North Librty city council's Gerry Kuhl. North Liberty is a big emphasis for us this fall. We're also having an ice cream social Sept. 16 with Dave Loebsack.

Olson is first up. A lot of us just arrived from Olson's meet n greet in Coralville. He's offered to do Q and A, always risky in the People's Republic.

"Is Iowa going to move forward, or are we going to rehash the same arguments we've had for the last 30 years?"

"More and more people are looking for a place to LIVE, and then a place to work. Quality of life is a big opportunity for Iowa."

"We should be competing on the value of the people we have here, and using that as a tool for our economic development. We need a progressive governor who understands how the world is changing."

Chair Mike Carberry asks about mental health funding and Branstad veto. "The funding was there when we transitioned from a county to a regional system, and he vetoed that funding," tying the veto to the closing of the Abbe Center in Cedar Rapids. "We're spending the money to treat people, we're just doing it in the justice system." (Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek backs him up on that; when dual diagnosis is included as much as 70% of justice spending may be mental health related.)  Olson said in his new job for Atty Gen Tom Miller Kevin McCarthy will be working on this set of issues.

(Tangent: Miller also announced for re-election today. Early speculation: McCarthy getting groomed for 2018 AG run?)

Janelle Rettig follows up: "Our ability to fund that won't be possible with your vote" on property tax bill (which Hatch also made.) Olson: Tried to target tax credit to small business. "That part is good." So is earned income credit. "Overall I felt like those credits were good, the bill was presented as a whole." Rettig: what will you do to support cities and counties? "I've had proposals to allow more local control, I'd be willing to look at it again."

Olson (and Bob Krause) will also be on hand for a Johnson-Cedar County "unity event" Saturday 5 PM in West Branch, at HD73 candidate Dave Johnson's home 326 N 4th. Joint County event ≠ Johnson Campaign event despite location. There are rumors of other candidates. Also noted: GOP incumbent Bobby Kaufmann is having a $ raiser next Wednesday at the family farm with Grandpa Grassley, Grandson Grassley, and Kraig Paulsen. And ther are reportes Branstad is coming in later in the month for a high dollar event in Solon. Whoever the Dems nominate needs to get their hands on that level of money.)

Other electeds not yet named on hand: Brad Kunkel (Solon city council) Mitch Gross (Coralville council). Candidates: Jim Tate, Sara Barron, Jason Lewis (school board), Kingsley Botchway (Iowa City council). For the record: Rettig biked from Iowa City to the North Liberty meeting.  Pulkrabek did not but he did ride all of  RAGBRAI including the Century Loop.

Also on hand is Washington County Dems chair Richard Gilmore. He says he's here on "a party building mission. I haven't YET announced my candidacy." Washington County is another big part of open Senate District 39. He's also run for office before (a loss for county supervisor).

We elected three new central committee members and took one resignation so a net +2.

Fall BBQ set for October 13 at the fairgrounds. We're making a wish list of keynote speakers and twisting the arms of the statewide candidates. Several arms have already been successfully twisted. This is a public meeting, but there's no other media here and I don't have to tell you EVERYthing.)

School candidates speak: Tate, Barron, Lewis in that order. Filing deadline was today and I will talk about that tomorrow.

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