Saturday, September 26, 2015

Notes on the week

Prepping for a big post tomorrow, so here's some notes on the past week for folks who prefer the blog format to the tweet format - yes, it's 2015 and blogs still exist.

Most of my week has been spent in my neutral role of caucus coordinator for the Johnson County Dems, and in trying to convince various buildings that, no, we really don't have caucuses in people's living rooms any more.
There wasn't room in Karen Kubby's living room last night for the crowd of 50 on hand for the four progressive city council candidates, in what's looking like a VERY clear cut Iowa City election. I was torn between "progressive icon" and "Godmother of the Iowa City left" in the tweet; the former was shorter.

Most predictable party change ever: marriage license denier and ex-jailbird Kim Davis, who was amazingly elected as a Democrat, formally made the switch to the GOP this week.  My bet is: Davis, who took over the job from her mom last year, was one of the last vestiges of the days when Appalachian courthouse politics remained nominally Democratic, even as coal country was shifting to the GOP first in presidential elections, then congressional, then state.

Question: What would have happened if the election clerk had refused on religious grounds to accept her change in voter registration?

Coincidentally, Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson, who was increasingly out of step with the Republicans, changed his affiliation to Democratic last week. Oleson had been persona non grata with the Linn GOP since last year, when he backed his lifelong friend, Democratic Rep. Dan Lundby, in his unsuccessful re-election bid against Republican Ken Rizer.

Lundby's mom, of course, was legendary Republican Senator Mary Lundby, a giant of the GOP's centrist wing and Oleson's political mentor. Mary Lundby had personally asked Oleson to run for the Marion-based supervisor seat in 2008 when her terminal illness took her out of the race, and Oleson was sworn in at her hospital bedside, just days before her passing.

Oleson was also seen not long ago walking the Penford picket line with Bernie Sanders. So the change is not a total shock, and I'd say trading Kim Davis for Brent Oleson is a net gain for the Dems. Welcome aboard, Brent!

Longtime senator Dick Dearden is retiring next year and there's a primary lining up between his daughter, Pam Conner, and attorney labor Nate Boulton. Nate's a Columbus Junction native, and was one of my best door-knocking partners when he was still in high school in 1996. Will have to dig out the pix for some Throwback Thursday...

Critter of the Week #1:
Dylan, the older of my two cats, likes to remind me he's a Certified Mouse Killer, but all he ever seems to catch is this pink bunny.

Critter of the Week #2:
Speaking of yards: friendly advice to fellow west siders within earshot of the stadium. Yardsign damage is almost NEVER part of a Grand Conspiracy. It's usually just somebody who had a few too many. I bring mine in before the post-game foot traffic. And don't forget the Saturday before the city election is both a home game day and Halloween.

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