Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Peek In My Packet for Petitions

Caucus time is when cats get out of bags for candidates, whether or not there's been an official announcement or even an announcement of an announcement.

Tuesday night's caucuses are a quick and easy way to collect signatures on nominating petitions. Not the ONLY way, of course. There may be a self-starter or late decider out there somewhere.

Here in Johnson County all the action is local, with only one set of nomination papers for each federal and statewide office.

Two supervisor seats are up and for Democrats one seat is open. Republican John Etheredge won an upset in a low turnout March 2013 special election. That'll be hard to replicate in a general election in Johnson County, where any Republican, even an incumbent, starts out several thousand votes behind just on straight tickets.

After facing appointers, delegates and voters four times in a year in 2009-10, Janelle Rettig won a full term and is seeking another one. Two other Democrats are announced: Mike Carberry, an ex-party chair who ran for the nomination in the 2013 special, and Lisa Green-Douglass of rural North Liberty.

And there's another set of papers for a name not yet officially announced: North Liberty city council member Gerry Kuhl. Papers in packets does NOT necessarily mean papers get filed; the deadlines are March 14 for the legislature, statewides and federal and March 26 for the courthouse jobs. Expect my usual OCD level coverage at that time.

Incumbent county attorney Janet Lyness, seeking a third term, has a challenge from recent UI law grad John Zimmerman, running on a platform of various justice system issues. The same cluster of racial/drug war issues held the justice center under 60% twice... but in a two way primary 55ish percent is a win not a loss.

Two more courthouse incumbents, treasurer Tom Kriz and recorder Kim Painter, have papers for another term. Both were first elected in 1998, both had close races that year, and neither has had an opponent since.

All the Johnson County legislative delegation's Democratic incumbents are running with no primary challenges: Joe Bolkcom and Bob Dvorsky in the Senate, and Dave Jacoby, Mary Mascher, Vicki Lensing and Sally Stutsman in the house.

Three non-incumbent locals showed up at our packet party last week petitions in hand (there was at least one grumble that non-incumbents weren't included). In open Senate 39, where Republican Sandy Greiner is retiring, Clear Creek Amana school board member Kevin Kinney of Oxford and Rich Gilmore of Washington are both passing papers. And in Republican Bobby Kaufmann's House 73, David Johnson of West Branch is making his fourth legislative run (one loss as an independent and two primary defeats).

As for the one and only statewide candidates:  Does the senator from Des Moines really wants to be on the ballot as "John G. (Jack) Hatch"?!? That's what the papers say. The Narcisse-ists apparantly JUST NOW decided to get in. They're welcome to show up, but they're on their own.

The two incumbent Democrats. treasurer Mike Fitzgerald and attorney general Tom Miller, are running for the millionth and million-sixth terms respectively. Anyone else remember when Miller was the "pro-life" (sic) candidate for governor in 1990? Must be a Dubuque thing.

Brad Anderson is still the only name for Secretary of State. The current default Democratic slate is filled out - which hasn't happened every year - by Sherry Taha for Secretary of Agriculture and Jon Niederbach for state auditor.

I've seen a couple of platform resolutions floating around but nothing on the Dem side. Anyone heard? Personally I've toyed with the idea of voting NO on the entire platform as there's no way to hold officials to it. And the higher it gets the blander it gets. The fundamental flaw in that strategy: by the end of the convention, when the final approval vote happens,no one's left to vote except the platform committee diehards. So instead I may just pass a resolution that pie is good.

I should post my national and international platform someday. I'm sure it's as offensive as my local one. And does some Republican want to write their version of this post?

No comments: