Is There Any Such Thing as an "Off" Year Anymore?
There used to be specific "seasons" in the US and Iowa political worlds. While most scientists agree that climate changes are scrambling our weather seasons, there appears to be less agreement -or even discussion- about the phenomenon of the "everlasting campaign mode" currently being experienced in America and in Iowa. Perhaps you remember a time when an election was held, a winner announced, and within a week... a month at most... those elected switched from campaign rhetoric to governing or legislating. What happened? Perhaps a better question is, Will it ever end?
In this "off year", there is a lot happening in the Second District to keep even the most avid political junkie engaged. Stay tuned and get involved as we gear up for a VERY interesting 2014. County Democratic Committees are urged to keep their calendar information up to date on the calendar linked above under the Events tab. Campaigns can use a well maintained District calendar to plan their visits across the region. Don't forget that School board elections are September 10th this year. More on those below. City Primary elections are October 8th. City/Municipal elections are on November 5th.
District Workshop to be Conducted on August 24
The District Workshop in Oskaloosa is an important event. The road to success in 2014 for our candidates begins at the Workshop. The sessions presented will provide good information for everyone involved in the process, whether organizer, candidate, campaign staff or general supporter.
If you or someone you know is interested in running for office, attending the Workshop on August 24th will provide invaluable information for both the potential candidate and those who want to help them get elected.
The Party Building and Affordable Care Act presentations at the beginning and end of the workshop will provide good information on how to implement some best practices to create better county structures and to communicate better how the ACA will positively affect us all.
This is a "train the trainers" model of rolling out information and techniques for winning elections and growing a strong Democratic Party structure. Please be sure that your county organization sends multiple representatives to report back to the County Central Committee what was learned. (Having multiple people from each county in each session makes it more pleasant both during the presentations and when explaining details about the topics to others on your central committee.)
Reservations will be accepted until August 21st. Room set-up and food preparation both depend on having accurate counts of those planning to attend. You can use our convenient Pay Pal link at the bottom of this page (even if you want to pay by credit/debit card) or you can still pay at the door, but please send Bob Beisch, our District Treasurer, an email as indicated on the bottom of this flyer. If you prefer, you can mail your payment and the printed form to:
2062 Great Oak Drive
Ottumwa IA 52501-3770
The location for the District Workshop this year is the WILLIAM PENN UNIVERSITY MUSCO TECHNOLOGY CENTER in OSKALOOSA.
Directions: The William Penn University campus is in the northern part of Oskaloosa on Highway 63. Turn into the parking lot of the Atkins Student Union and follow the road on the north side of the building. Follow that road until you can take a right turn into the MTC parking lot. There is plenty of parking in front of the building. The building is in the NW corner of the campus. Here is a map of the campus. The Muscu Technology Center is the area shown as number 1 in the northwest corner of the map.
A map of the area near Oskaloosa is provided for your convenience in planning your trip.
The cost for the District Workshop is $20 per person. Lunch is $10 per person.
Don't forget to send in your reservation by August 21st!
There will be a Wine Down reception after the Workshop where attendees can gather and socialize. Workshop presenters will be available for further questions from attendees and a variety of drinks and snacks will be available. A few special guests have been invited to meet and greet attendees. Cost for the Wine Down is $10.
School Board Elections Scheduled for September 10
Regardless of whether you have children enrolled at your local public school or not, make sure that you vote on September 10th. Your local public school is most likely the single most expensive item on your property tax bill. Keeping up to date on what is happening in your local school district is important. There are a lot of changes happening in Iowa regarding public education. Your local school district needs your support to weather the attacks from "for profit" entities whose interests appear to lie less with student success and more with financial gains. Quiz candidates for Director positions for your school district about their support for online classes, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) enrichment, local input into the school calendar, technology in the classroom, student achievement, new teacher leadership pathways, school reform, and/or innovative classroom instruction. Our job market depends on vibrant and successful public schools which work to maximize student achievement while meeting the needs of local employers and future entrepreneurs. It is amazing how few people vote in school elections given the impact their decisions can have on our communities.
2014 Election Cycle Begins
The Summer Heats Up and so do the Campaigns
Representative Tyler Olson announced his candidacy for Governor of the great state of Iowa on July 9th. His decision to run for Governor made it necessary for him to step down as State Democratic Party Chair. Check out his campaign website here. Representative Olson hails from Cedar Rapids, is married and has two children. A businessman and community leader, Mr. Olson is making his first bid for statewide office.
Congressman Bruce Braley, currently representing the 1st Congressional District, has announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Senator Tom Harkin. Senator Harkin has endorsed Braley and underlined his full support for his candidacy. Senator Harkin has a lot of company - at a recent event, it was noted that Congressman Loebsack and former Congressman Boswell, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, and 71 Iowa legislators have announced their endorsements of Congressman Braley, as well. The Braley for Iowa website, notes that Braley has received support from all 99 counties in Iowa and that "eleven labor organizations have endorsed Braley: the United Transportation Union, the Operating Engineers Local 234, the Iowa Teamsters, the State Association of Letter Carriers, the Iowa Postal Workers Union, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 Iowa Union, UAW Region 4, SEIU Iowa - Local 199, AFSCME Iowa Council 61, the Iowa State Council of Machinists, and the Great Plains Laborers’ District Council."
In January,Brad Anderson announced his candidacy for Iowa's Secretary of State. Anderson, long behind the scene in many high profile campaigns, noted that "Iowa can prevent voter fraud without requiring people to show government-issued IDs, a controversial tactic that can intimidate some voters". In April, Anderson made it clear that he will compete in all 99 counties, unveiling a county captain in each and having raised over $100,000. Earlier in April, Matt Schntz, the current Iowa Secretary of State, spoke to a group of Republican activists and has been widely quoted as saying, "There are a whole lot of issues that we care about: abortion, gay marriage, a whole lot of social issues we care deeply about. But you have to start caring about Voter ID and election integrity as well, because if you don’t have that, you’ll never be able to make a difference in any other issue you care about. Never." Apparently, his recent focus on Voter ID laws is all about winning elections rather than ensuring the integrity of our elections. You can sign up to help make sure that Iowa's elections are open and honest at the Anderson for Iowa website.