Saturday, March 08, 2014

Johnson County Democrats: Convention Recap

Chair Gerene Denning finds Bob Dvorsky's intro of Jack Hatch amusing.

The biggest actual news from the Johnson County Democratic convention came in a legislative race. Former Cedar County supervisor Dennis Boedeker announced his candidacy in House District 73, now held by freshman Bobby Kaufmann and one of the bluest GOP-held seats. Boedeker faces a primary against the tenacious David Johnson, making his fourth run. During his 2012 primary against Solon-based Dick Schwab, Johnson argued that only a Cedar County candidate could win the seat. So now there's two Cedar candidates.

I missed some stuff but did place myself front row center at the Northwest Junior High auditorium.for Jack Hatch's speech soon after lunch, as the likely gubernatorial nominee described Terry Branstad's tenure as "myths, mistakes, and missed opportunities."

Jonathan Narcisse, the other announced candidate for governor, contacted the JCDems last night and said he'd arrive during the same lunchish window as Hatch. But he hadn't arrived by the time we adjourned to a nearby tavern, at the amazingly early for us hour of 2 PM. (Linn County reports Narcisse arrived there about 2:30.)

And that was after one tangent where we voted to amend the amendment to amend the amendment. But the election of 50 district and state delegates was resolved by the time honored method of getting eight excess candidates to put down their hands to become alternates. Hint to counties facing rowdy conventions: make your sheriff co-chair.

Full participation in an event and reporting on same event in real time can be incompatible. Since I was co-chairing the credentials committee with colleague Tom Larkin, as we've been doing since the Bill Clinton re-election cycle, I missed most of the local speakers Instead I hung out in a science lab with a turtle, snake, and gerbil, data entering the 106 duly seated delegates.. The snake and gerbil were uneasy neighbors.

Honorary credentials committee member Nugget, nesting in what appear to be rejected platform resolutions.

Both county attorney candidates were on hand. Based on the printed materials, challenger John Zimmerman repeated his pledge to "end prosecutions for marijuana for personal use" and "dismiss charges deemed to be based on racial profiling." Incumbent Janet Lyness said "efforts to combat disparity in the criminal justice system need to be increased" As for the drug issues:
The code of Iowa requires me and every county attorney to diligently enforce the laws of the state of Iowa. And that is what I have done for the past eight years, while at the same, time keeping in mind the values and expectations of our community. For example, of every drug-related case that came through my office, only 16% resulted in jail time. My office has created and has successfully implemented one of the most successful drug courts in the United States.
The three announced supervisor candidates were on hand: incumbent Janelle Rettig and challengers Mike Carberry and Lisa Green-Douglass. We also saw both announced Senate 39 candidates, Rich Gilmore and Kevin Kinney, and unopposed county recorder Kim Painter. (Treasurer Tom Kriz, also unopposed, had a family reunion this weekend.) Higher up on the ballot, Secretary of Agriculture candidate Sherrie Taha spoke.

Of course we had the full legislative delegation - Dvorsky Bolkcom Mascher Lensing Jacoby - and the off-cycle courthouse incumbents - Harney Neuzil Sullivan Pulkrabek Weipert, along with scattered city elected officials: John Lundell and Mitch Gross of Coralville and Brad Kunkel of Solon. I also spotted a Ready For Hillary table, but didn't have time to launch That conversation.

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