Monday, January 06, 2014

Upcoming Events: January 6-13

Johnson County Republicans have postponed night's central committee meeting till a week from tonight. They'll make it up some time soon because their agenda is no doubt a lot like ours...

The Democrats meet Thursday at the Iowa City school district office, and the main topic is prep for the January 21 caucuses. Prior to the actual meeting we'll be preparing caucus packets, starting at 6. Candidates who want materials and/or nomination papers in the packets should arrive for that or make arrangements.

The meeting proper starts at 7. Also at this meeting: chair Mike Carberry is stepping down to focus on his supervisor campaign. Vice chair Gerene Denning will take over as interim chair until a special election on March 6.

Iowa Democrats begin on-line caucus training on Tuesday. Local Dems, contact me for details.

Tuesday is the special election in House 25 in Madison and Warren counties. The seat opened up when Republican incumbent Julian Garrett moved to the Senate to replace the resigned in disgrace Kent Sorenson.

What's worse for GOP candidate Stan Gustafson? 1) He was an elected official in California as late as 2005. Or 2) He was recalled from that job. I say the latter; it was well known at the nominating convention that Stan was a relatively new Iowan, but the recall angle is new.. (Me, I'm all for people moving to Iowa and running, as long as it's from Bosnia rather than Texas.) Nevertheless, Gustafson is a heavy favorite in the GOP leaning district over Democrat Pam Deichmann. The winner should get seated in time to start the session, a week from today.

Joni Ernst passes through for coffee on Wednesday, 830-930 AM at Press Coffee, 2201 E Grantview, Coralville.

It's starting to look like kickoff week for the June 3 county primary this week - and in Johnson County it really is a COUNTY primary with state house offices traditionally taking a back seat to courthouse jobs. With the governor primary seemingly settled in Jack Hatch's favor last week, it looks like another local-focused primary this year. Favorite historic stat: 1000 more votes for recorder than governor in the 1998 primary.

John Zimmerman has planned an "Announcement Regarding Johnson County Attorney Campaign" for Wednesday at 12:30. "Regarding" is an inexact word but it's followed by "Open House -- Zimmerman for County Attorney" at 6. No formal announcement yet from two term incumbent Janet Lyness but she's presumed to be a go. Lyness won the primary by more than two to one in 2006 when the job opened upon Pat White's retirement.

Incumbent supervisor Janelle Rettig is rolling out listening post events as she gears up to run for a second full term:  "I’ve already scheduled five starting on January 11 in Solon and Iowa City. The details on the rest of the cities will be coming soon." The Iowa City event is also at ICPL, from 2 to 3 p.m. In addition to Rettig and Carberry, Lisa Green-Douglass has also announced in the race for two seats. The second is held by Republican John Etheredge, who won the low turnout March 2013 special but faces an uphill fight for re-election in a general election year.

And space geeks: Want to see a real spaceship? There's good pre-dawn chances all week to view the International Space Station over Iowa. The best view from Iowa City is on Thursday from 6:49 to 7:00. It will be almost straight overhead at 6:55, moving fast and as bright as the brightest stats or planets. Don't worry, they won't flush. Details will vary with your exact location. If you're looking at the right time and spot you can't miss it. You can sign up at for email updates on space station passes.

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