Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week in Review: April 6-13

Johnson County lost a giant on Friday with the passing of Harry Seelman. Harry was a leader of the Johnson County farm community and a Hall Of Fame Democrat along with his wife Lucille, who he's with now.

And with a dozen children, you could almost win an election just on the all important immediate family vote. Harry and Lucille passed public service on to the next generation and three of their children are in public office: Jim Seelman on the Clear Creek Amana school board, Colleen Chipman on the North Liberty city council, and most prominently State Rep. Mary Mascher.

Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. this afternoon at the Cosgrove Institute, next to the church Harry and Lucille cherished. Mass is at  at 10:00 a.m. Monday at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Cosgrove. The National Catholic Society of Foresters will recite a rosary at 9:45 a.m. prior to the Mass. Burial will be at the Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Harry Seelman Memorial Fund.

Compared to Harry Seelman's 92 years anything I say is trivia, but you must like my trivia because you're here. Yesterday on my bike ride I saw someone simultaneously riding a bike and reading a book, which is probably the most Iowa City thing ever.

I KNEW there was a reason I liked the Democratic candidate for state auditor:


Say what you will about Paul Ryan and his Friday visit to Cedar Rapids for a Republican Party fundraiser. For the record the ONLY thing I agree with him on is the Green Bay Packers. But at least he's willing to visit the first in the nation caucus state. Unlike someone we all know.

HOW do you say it? Anesa Kajtazovic has people mispronouncing her name in a new video, reprising this classic Ed Mezvinsky pronouncer ad.

Where are they now: Dropped out House 28 candidate Jon Van Wyk had his Jasper County voter registration challenged and canceled for non-residency.  Van Wyk had tried and failed to move in March for a primary challenge to fellow Republican Greg Heartsill.

A challenge to a voter registration is extremely rare. The former auditor told me it had only had happened once in his tenure. I remember the case: A homeowner got really paranoid about identity theft because he got a card for someone who didn't live there. We tried to assure him it was a mistake but he insisted on the challenge. We had no phone number or way to contact the kid getting challenged other than sending a letter to the same wrong address. So we had a hearing, the homeowner testified that the kid didn't live there, and we cancelled the guy.

Months later we founds out what had happened which we'd suspected all along: when the kid who got challenged had gone to get his drivers license and registered to vote, the DOT made a typo in the house number. Of COURSE we found out on presidential election day, I want to say 2000 but maybe 2004, and since this was before election day registration he didn't get to vote.

Speaking of the former auditor, he would never have done this:

Nice to smile and laugh at work once in a while nowadays. We public employees get to do that sometimes.

Since we're not in Wisconsin, and since we still have 26 Democratic state senators, we public employees also get to express our political opinions on our own time. Says so in my union contract. Also important for Democratic candidates to use union printers. They teach you that in campaign 101.

John Zimmerman's signs started going out this week and they're non-union printed.  I pointed this out and was met by some very creative mental gymnastics from old-school "progressives" (?) trying to explain away the cognitive dissonance. Gems: the accusation that only campaigns with "lots of money from rich people" used union printing, and the charge that I was being "like a nasty Republican" for raising the point.

Zimmerman himself said I was trying to "nitpick" his campaign, indicating he considers support of labor a trivial issue. Not surprising, as he was the only announced county Democratic candidate who skipped out on the City Federation of Labor's annual chili supper in February, labor's second biggest event of the year after the Labor Day picnic. He seems to have made the counter-intuitive decision that libertarians are more important than labor in a Democratic primary.

My personal recommendation for union printing needs is Adcraft of Cedar Rapids. Most local progressives go there or Carter in Des Moines. Of course, in the local politics context there's a fierce fighting over the definition of "progressive"; I have a future post planned on that.

And if you're looking at Julia Louis-Dreyfus nude on the cover of Rolling Stone and what you notice is that  the signature is wrong…

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