Dems Determined on Labor Day
The big name was grounded but plenty of Democrats were representing at the Iowa City of Federation Labor's picnic.
Tom Harkin's connecting flight was late so instead Johnson County's union friends heard from Iowa Democratic Party chair Sue Dvorsky and Secretary of Agriculture candidate Francis Thicke. The top of the slate - Chet Culver, Dave Loebsack and Roxanne Conlin - were all in Cedar Rapids, and Dvorsky had plenty of praise for them.
"The people we've put up as candidates are people with big ideas. And our staff and volunteers are second to none," she said.
"The choice this year is as stark as we have ever had. (The Republicans) aren't running a stealth campaign, they're telling you exactly what they'll do. Terry Branstad is proud to say he is throwing four year olds out of pre-school."
"What makes a labor union is what makes our Democratic Party," said Dvorsky. "Sisters and brothers working together hand in hand."
Thicke referred to his opponent, GOP incumbent Bill Northey, as "Secretary of Egg-riculture." "He's been hiding out and making apologies, not stepping up and taking action," Thicke said of Northey's response to the salmonella scare. "It's a national embarrassment to Iowa."
Rep. Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) said the labor agenda will still be on the table in the next legislative session. "We will continue to advocate for those labor issues. The majority of our Democrats support that. We have not forgotten who brought us to the dance."
Other legislators on hand were Sen. Bob Dvorsky of Coralville and Rep. Nate Willems of Lisbon. Other electeds on hand: Supervisors Harney, Neuzil, Sullivan, Rettig, Auditor Tom Slockett, County attorney Janet Lyness and Patti Fields of the Iowa City School Board. The only non-incumbent candidate was also the only non-Democratic candidate: David Smithers, the Green contender in House District 89.