Monday, April 14, 2014

Washington County Democrat Minutes
The Washington County Democrats met at the Washington Public Library on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  Chairperson Lorraine Williams called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm with 16 people present (Lorraine Williams, Louise Frakes, Dave and Kay Ciha, Richard Gilmore, Robin Plattenberger, Steve Maxon, John Greener, Shirley Pfeiffer, Ferd Marie, Sandy Johnson, Terry Philips, Ceanne Alvine, Jackie Amigon, Diane Schaeffer, and Jim Gorham.).
The meeting opened by reciting the Pledge of Alllegiance and the singing  “America the Beautiful”.

Guests and Candidates  were acknowledged:  Darlene Olshansky (who is working with Kevin Kinny’s campaign); Kevin Kinny (candidate for Senate District 39) and Ceanne Alvine (candidate for Supervisor district 3).

Minutes of the last meeting were approved as sent out and posted on the blog. Louise Frakes was appointed as secretary in Mimi’s absence.

Treasurer’s report was passed out:  memberships and donations totaled $884.00; bills: printer ink ($6360) and Washington Evening Journal ($40.25), leaving a balance of $2752.16 in general checking and $550 in the candidate fund). Louise Frakes moved that we pay these bills.  Motion passed.

Lorraine spoke to the group about her expectations for Washington County Democrats:
    Show up for meetings and forums
    Keep the chair informed of things going on in the county
    Participate in County activities; be accountable
    Be passionate about Democratic values
    Help get people elected
    Embrace diversity
    Recycle
    Save on water
    Support good wages
    Have a strong local group — get people elected at the local level
    Develop a strong local organization
We are going to turn this county “Blue” we need everyone’s help. Get the vote out; say your piece; don’t be afraid to speak up

Candidate Development:
Ceanne Alvine gave her credentials and spoke about what she has been doing: going over the issues, understanding the different county departments, meeting people, going to County Supervisor’s meetings and setting up “meet and greet” events.  She asked for help printing labels on post cards and stuffing envelops. She announced 2 Forums:
April 22 at Mar Park at 6:30 pm
May 13 at Brighton Community Center at 6:30 pm

It was noted that we still need a candidate for Supervisor district 5.  Anyone with any ideas should contact Lorraine.  It would be especially good if we could find another strong woman candidate.

Kevin Kinny spoke about his background and what he has been doing as a candidate.  The group asked him lots of questions about his stand on several issues. Some of what we learned include: he is a strong advocate for victims of human trafficking, he supports CAFO’s and GMO as ways to support young farmers, he supports GMO crops, The group had lots of comments about his stands, especially about CAFOs and GMO crops.

Richard Gilmore spoke about the need for a county Matrix to help control CAFOs.  He said he has been filling out questionnaires and visiting people. He also said we need to support the rights of people to own guns.

Community Events:  John Greener
John spoke about the success of the Jack Hatch event.  It was a 3-part event starting with dinner at Dodici’s; followed by a meeting at the Triune Building on using Tax Credits for historic restoration, and then the political discussion.  John thanked Terry Philips and Lorraine for their help in getting all this set up.  John and Terry both spoke about the good turn out and the fact that it did get an article in the Journal!  John said KCII will do an interview with Jack Hatch at a later time.

John then passed out a tentative schedule of the summer parades:
June 7  Ridiculous Day parade. Line up at Washington street and B Ave. John is the contact person. Ave.  Put the float together at Greener’s (603 W. Washington)
June 14  Kalona Parade 10:00 am Meet at Maxcast. Steve is the contact person
June 21 Brighton Whoopee Day Parade 10:00 am.  Harold is the contact person
June 28 Trek Fest parade in Riverside. Line up at the usual place behind the bank.  Bob Spenner is the contact person.
July 4th  Wellman parade.  Steve Maxon and Diane Schaeffer are the contact people
County Fair July 13 - 18.  

Other parades/events to check on:  Ainsworth, Keota, Hills, Signorey, Oxford, Lone Tree

Platform:
Steve gave a brief presentation on the 2nd District meeting (one in Newton and one in Salem).  He said the meetings were long and the final 2nd District platform will be put on line.

Old Business:
Lorraine reported that the Heritage Party was a “smashing success”.  We will continue to have similar gatherings where we can just be together as Democrats and get to know each other better.

Lorraine also complimented the group on a successful County Convention.  “Great job, working together.”

New Business:
Lorraine announced that the Hall of Fame is Oct.4th and 2nd District is looking for a place to hold it.  Lorraine said she’d like to propose Washington and asked for suggestions of where we could hold it.  Last year it was in Ottumwa and about 50 people came.  It involves a dinner, awards, and is a gathering of party activists. Places that were suggested were Mar Park and Richard’s new place.

We also need to nominate people for awards.  Suggested categories are Elected officials (at all levels); past and present County chairs; Rising Star (newly active in last 2 or 3 years); Activist (must have provided service & leadership for at least 10 years); County party; Lifetime Achievement (at least 30 years); Recognition & Remembrance.  Nominations must be made by Aug. 2nd; include an essay for each nomination.

It was decided to wait until after the primary to give any money to candidates.  Members were encouraged to give individual donations to those they hope to win the primary.
Location for the Democratic office was announced:  118 South Iowa — next  to Dodici’s, owned by Richard & Robin.  The first floor will be the Democratic Headquarters.

April 26 is the District Convention which begins at 9:00 am.  Our delegates are Harold & Louise Frakes, Lorraine Williams, Steve Maxon, and Doris Park.  Lorraine encouraged our alternates to go to Convention also. After the Convention there will be a fund raiser “Wine down”.  Cost is $20 and those attending are to bring finger food and auction items.  Each county is also to furnish a basket for the auction.

Time for our next meeting was discussed as it is the same night as the Brighton Forum.  It was decided to meet at 5;30 the same night (May13) at Rose Jaynes’s rental house.  Louise will check with Rose to be sure this is OK.  At 6:30 we will go to the Forum to support our candidates.

Lorraine announced that she is going to organize a “Nudge Party” (no use delaying gender equality”).  The goal is to elect 50/50 by 20/20.  More details will be coming.
Details for County Fair were discussed.  Lorraine said she has lots of flashlights we could hand out.  Louise suggested the theme of “Democrats Light the Way”.  John will work on getting candidates there; Lorraine will check with Mike & Patti Rowe, Terry Philips, and Sandy Johnson about setting up our booth.  We will discuss this again at future meetings.

Lorraine wondered about getting new t-shirts.  Several ideas were thrown out but no decision was made.

It was suggested that we have a table outside our headquarters during Ridiculous Days.  Details will need to be worked out if we do this.

Richard said he would appreciate people offering to host “Meet and Greet” get-togethers for him.

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.  Next meeting May 13th in Brighton — first house west of Conoco station — across the street east of BP station.  Hope to see everyone there.

Respectfully submitted,
Louise Frakes, secretary




Friday, April 4, 2014

Washington County Democrats February 11, 2014
The Washington County Democrats met Tuesday February 11, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Washington Public Library.
Chairman Lorraine Williams opened the meeting at 7:00 PM.  The Pledge of Allegiance immediately followed.
The Minutes from the January 8, 2014 were approved as sent.  Everyone who has an e-mail address received the minutes.
Fourteen (14) people attended the meeting.
Treasurer Kay Ciha presented the Treasurer’s Report from January 2014 to February 2014.  She distributed copies to all present.  Cash on hand for February 2014 is $2,522.01.  Income was $0.00.  Expenses were $0.00.  Cash available as of February 2014 is $2,522.01.  Of this amount Candidate Funds are $500.00 and General Funds are $2,022.01.
Report Of The Chair
The Convention is March 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM in the Old Public Library building.  The Washington County Democrats Meeting of March 11, 2014 will be held at the Convention March 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM.
Second District will meet February 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM in Newton, Iowa.  Steve Maxon, Doris Park, Terry  Phillips,  and Lorraine Williams will attend.    
March Immigration Party will be held March 16, 2014 at CafĂ© Dodici.  It will be an Ethnic Potluck.  Each person will have the opportunity to discuss his/hers heritage and the Ethnic Dish which they brought.  Each regular attendee will be asked to invite at least five (5) other Democrats.  A game will be played that will help everyone to participate.   An Ad Hoc Committee will be formed to plan the details.  Progress on this venture will be reported at the March 8, 2014 at the Convention.  
The need to form a Committee for the summer parades was discussed.  It was noted that with this election year, we need to have a real eye catcher of a float.  Our mascot Gloria will be part of the float.   June 7, 2014 is Ridiculous Days in Washington, Iowa.  We will need a great float for this parade.
Richard Gilmore introduced Kevin Kinney who will face Richard in the Democratic primary for Senate seat for District 39. Kevin shared his background and his qualifications.
Committee ReportsThe new chair for the Affirmative Action is Jackie Amigon, to replace Adhali Larios-Hernandez..
 The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.
Respectfully submitted, 
Mimi Jacoby, secretary

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Washington County Democratic Convention
Saturday, March 8, 2014  Old Library 

Lorraine Williams, temporary chair, opened the convention at 9:05 with everyone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing “God Bless America”.  She appointed Louise Frakes to serve as temporary secretary.  Terry Philips moved that Loraine be permanent chair of the convention and Louise be permanent secretary of the convention.  Motion was seconded and passed.

Senator Rich Taylor spoke on behalf of Jack Hatch, Democratic candidate for Governor.  He said Jack is “a good man — down to earth” who will “make a great governor.”  People can look him up at www.jackhatch.com.

Kevin Kinney, candidate for Senate district 39, spoke about why he wants the nomination.  He will face Richard Gilmore in the Democratic primary.  Kevin is a resident of Johnson County.

Lorraine Williams read letters from Bruce Braley who is running for US Senate and from Dave Loebsack, who is running for re-election to the US House.  It is important that we elect both of these men.

Robin Plattenberger spoke on behalf of Richard Gilmore, who is running for Iowa Senate district 39.  Richard will face Kevin Kinney in the Democratic primary.

John Greener spoke on behalf of Barb Edmondson who is running for County Attorney.  We all know the importance of getting Barb elected.

Sandy Johnson reported that 23 elected delegates were present.  She moved that all present be seated at delegates with full voting rights.  Motion passed.

Election of the 5 delegates for 2nd District and State Conventions was held.  Sally Hart nominated Harold Frakes: John Greener nominated Louise Frakes; Steve Maxon nominated Doris Park; Harold Frakes nominated Lorraine Williams; Louise Frakes nominated Steve Maxon.  These nominations were seconded and passed.

It was suggested that those who were interested volunteer as alternates as we can have as many alternates as we want.  The following were elected as alternates:Terry Philips, Pete Morrison, Sara Williams, Lara Williams, John Greener Sandy Johnson, Ceanne Alvine, Bob Spenner, Fred Stark Mary Martin, Jim Gorham, Karen Gorham, Diane Schaeffer, Matt Schaeffer, Jackie Amigon and her son Henrica Sanchez.

The following were elected to 2nd District Committees:  Fred Stark to Rules; Sandy Johnson to Credentials; Sarah Williams to Arrangements; and Steve Maxon to Platform.

Report of the Platform committee was given.  The following new planks were amended:  
MB1 — Sally Hart moved “Should the draft be reinstated, there shall be no deferments.”  Passed.
S2 — Sally suggested to change adequately to increase.
It was moved and seconded that the Platform committee work out the details.

Jim Gorham complimented the Platform committee and Bob Spenner complimented Harold Frakes on the work he has done on the committee.

Lorraine Williams thanked Sandy for getting the room ready and Harold & Louise Frakes for their help and support.

Lorraine invited all to the Immigration party that will be held Sunday, March 16th at 5:00 pm at Dodici’s.  She encouraged everyone to bring others with them.

For a Democratic headquarters Lorraine suggested the place on the square next to her coffee shop.  She has offered the owners $500 a month, but has not heard back from them.

It was noted that there are 2 Supervisor Districts up for election:  District 3 and 5.  Ceanne Alvine spoke about her credentials for running for District 3.  Ceanne is from north of Crawfordsville.  She described herself as a “thoughtful, fair person”.  Her background is in healthcare and she holds a MA degree in business. We need to find a candidate for District 5.

Lorraine spoke about “50/50 by 2020” and developing a “Nudge” group. 

She also encouraged everyone to come to our next monthly meeting which will be Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00pm at the new library. 

Meeting adjourned at 10:48.  Jim Gorham  commented, “this was one of the best County Conventions we’ve ever had.”

Respectively submitted,
Louise Frakes

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Washington County Democratic Meeting
January 8, 2104

The Washington County Democratic party met on January 8, 2014 in the Washington Public Library with 12 county Democrats present: (Richard Gilmore, Kay and Dave Ciha, Louise and Harold Frakes, Mimi Jacoby, Pete Morrison, Bob Spenner, John Greener, Merle Haige, Lorraine Williams, and Jim Gorham).

President Richard Gilmore called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 

Minutes of last month’s minutes were approved as posted on the blog. 

Kay Ciha presented the treasurer’s report that shows a balance on hand of $2522.01. This includes the $500 in the candidate fund. Bills were paid to the Washington Evening Journal and USPO box rent,

It was reported that Jack Hatch is the only Democratic candidate for Governor remaining. John Greener said he will contact Hatch and try to get him to come to Washington County.

In the Senate 39 race, Kevin Kinny has declared his candidacy. There will be a primary vote between Richard and Mr. Kinny. Harold encouraged everyone to know where each of them stands on various issues. Richard said he has a one-page handout that is supposed to be put into all caucus packets. He passed that around for all to see. In the Republican race for Senate 39, there are 2 or 3 other candidates besides Mike Moore. 

Kay has heard that County Attorney Brock may not run again and that rumor has it that Barb Edmondson may run.

John Greener ask that each of us give $10 to the Bruce Braley campaign and that each one ask 10 more people to also give $10.

There will be 2 seats for County Supervisors open this fall. They are District 3 (currently held by Steve Davis) and District 5 (currently held by Richard Young). Harold suggested we try to get Ceanne Alvine or Sally Hart to run for District 3. Merle Haige is interested in running for District 5.

January 21 will be the Caucus. All precincts except Brighton will meet at the Washington Public Library. Louise and Harold will bring punch and cake. Richard Gilmore and Robin Plattenberger will bring coffee and tea. Brighton precinct will meet at Rose Jaynes in Brighton. Everyone needs to be signed in before 7:00 pm and the caucus officially begin at 7:00 pm.

Caucus chairpersons will be W1: John Greener; W2: Terry Phillips; W3:Pete Morrison;
W4: Richard Gilmore; Wellman: Steve Maxim and Doris Park; Riverside: Les Lamping or Bob Spenner; West Chester : Harold Frakes; Brighton: Rose Jaynes; Ainsworth: Ceanne Alvine; Kalona: Not yet decided.

March 8, 2014 starting at 9:00 am will be the County Convention. It will be held in the Old Library. Delegates will be elected at the Caucus.

Under Candidate Development: Harold strongly suggested that we begin holding "Democratic Home Parties" inviting 10 people who are Democrats and encouraging them to become active in the Democratic party. At the very least we should try to get them to commit to voting.

It was moved, seconded and passed that the Washington County Democratic meeting will be moved to the second Tuesday of each month.

Meeting adjourned at 8:15. 

The next meeting will be Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm in theWashington Public Library. 

After the meeting cake was served.

Respectively submitted,

Mimi Jacoby and Louise Frakes

Friday, January 24, 2014

W.J. Astore
I can’t remember where exactly, but I stumbled across this apothegm of Karl Marx:
“In every era, the ideas of the rulers are the ruling ideas.”
Striving for even more brevity, I truncated it to rulers’ ideas rule.
Contrarians of the world should unite to identify and challenge these ruling ideas. When they serve only the needs of the powerful, we should be prepared to mark them as dangerous and most likely as undemocratic. And we should work to change them.
What are some of today’s ruling ideas? I challenge you to come up with some. But on this Friday morning, here are ten that I see as ruling our lives:
1. That capitalism is the only economic system that works, and that rampant consumption is necessary to keep the economy growing.
2. Related to (1) is the idea that GDP and similar economic measures are the best measure of America’s strength.
3. That “success” in life is measured by money and titles and possessions.
4. Related to (3) is the idea that education that doesn’t end in a lucrative career is largely worthless.
5. That poor people and other disadvantaged groups are the way they are because they refuse to work.
6. That it’s absolutely necessary to spend nearly a trillion dollars a year on national defense, wars, homeland security, intelligence agencies, and nuclear weapons, all of which are justified in the name of “keeping us safe.”
7. That privatization is the way to improve everything, including public services like education, the prison system, and health care.
8. That corporate spending in elections is the equivalent to freedom of speech for individuals and is therefore protected by our Constitution as our nation’s founders intended.
9. That there’s no such thing as class warfare in the United States.
10. Related to (5), that there’s equality of opportunity for everyone in the United States, regardless of race, ethnicity, economic background, and so on. Thus those who “fail” do so because of their own failings, not because the system is rigged against them.
That’s my non-rigorous, somewhat off-the-cuff rendering of rulers’ ideas. Please add your ideas in the comments section. Contrarians of the world unite!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Washington attorney Barb Edmondson has announced her candidacy for the office of Washington County Attorney. Edmondson served as the Washington County Attorney from August 1997 until December 2010, and also served as the assistant county attorney from October 1984 until she was appointed as the county attorney. Edmondson brings 30 years of legal and courtroom experience to the position, including 26 years of prosecuting criminal and juvenile cases and providing legal advice to county officials in Washington County. During her tenure as a county attorney in Washington County, Edmondson created or expanded several successful programs such as the bad check restitution program, which collected over $60,000 for county businesses, and the delinquent fine collection program, where the county received a percentage of the overdue fines collected. Her work as a prosecutor received recognition from the Iowa County Attorneys Association, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She also was appointed to several state committees and boards which dealt with issues in juvenile justice, domestic violence, and child abuse. Edmondson will bring professional and fair prosecution and legal advice to the county attorney’s office. She intends to focus on the prosecution of serious crimes with appropriate sentences, protection of crime victims, and ensuring timely and accurate legal guidance for the county officials and boards. Edmondson has been an active supporter of and contributor to Washington County projects such as Community Chest, Friends of Lake Darling, the Library Foundation, and Civil Air Patrol.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Washington attorney Barb Edmondson has announced her candidacy for the office of Washington County Attorney.   Edmondson served as the Washington County Attorney from August 1997 until December 2010, and also served as the assistant county attorney from October 1984 until she was appointed as the county attorney.   Edmondson brings 30 years of legal and courtroom experience to the position, including 26 years of prosecuting criminal and juvenile cases and providing legal advice to county officials in Washington County.

During her tenure as a county attorney in Washington County, Edmondson created or expanded several successful programs such as the bad check restitution program, which collected over $60,000 for county businesses, and the delinquent fine collection program, where the county received a percentage of the overdue fines collected.   Her work as a prosecutor received recognition from the Iowa County Attorneys Association, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.   She also was appointed to several state committees and boards which dealt with issues in juvenile justice, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Edmondson will bring professional and fair prosecution and legal advice to the county attorney’s office.  She intends to focus on the prosecution of serious crimes with appropriate sentences, protection of crime victims, and ensuring timely and accurate legal guidance for the county officials and boards.

Edmondson has been an active supporter of and contributor to Washington County projects such as Community Chest, Friends of Lake Darling, the Library Foundation, and Civil Air Patrol.