Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April Meeting of the Washington County Democrats

Washington County Democrats met Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 6:30 for pizza atBreadeaux Pizza in Washington. At 7:00 pm, Sandra Johnson, chair, calledthe business meeting to order. Twenty-four people were present. Sandra welcomed those who have not come for a while as well as Jim Clegg and RobertSpinner who had been ill. She thanked everyone for coming to work togetherto promote the Democratic Party. A news article was circulated which said that a survey by the nonpartisanPew Research Center for the People and the Press found that since 2002 half of those surveyed identified with or leaned towards Democrats, while only 35 percent aligned with Republicans. What good news!

There were three guests: Craig Muenzer, for the Iowa Democratic Party;Graham Wilson, from the Obama campaign; and Beryl Butterbaugh, from the TerryPhilips 2006 campaign. Graham Wilson reported that Obama would be in Iowa on Thursday. Terry said he would talk to Graham after the meeting about possible office space for the Obama campaign. Craig Muenzer said he will be our contact person to the state party and that we should contact him with any questions we have. IDP will help us with training, organizing the caucus, provide access to information, helping draw up a master time line for when things need to be done, etc. He asked if we had other ideas of how IDP could help us. There was about half an hour of discussion. It was announced that the next caucus would be January 14, 2008.

Next there were reports of Special Projects. Terry Philips reported on the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus that he attended last Saturday in Des Moines. He said their goal is to have at least one person in each county to be a Veteran coordinator. John Greener moved that Terry Philips be our Veteran Affairs coordinator and that we be a committee of the whole to support him. Motion passed. Linda Boston gave an overview of the Renewable Energy on Parade Expo. The main job for our group will be to organize the Democratic Candidates event, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 2 ­ 5:30 pm. at theWashington Fairgrounds. Our representatives to the planning group are JohnGreener, Kay Ciha, and Harold Frakes.

The minutes of the previous month's meeting and the County Convention were approved by acclamation. Treasurer, Kay Ciha, reported a balance of $616.87. She presented a bill of $30.00 for printing the 1500 fund raising letters. John Greener moved to pay this bill. Bob Spinner seconded the motion. Motion passed. Tom Antosiak volunteered to help fold the letters and stuff the envelopes.

John Greener reported that he had seen Hilary Clinton in Iowa City today. Louise and Harold Frakes were also there. John presented Dave Ciha with a button of Bill Clinton, which read, "America¹s First Gentleman". He also presented Bonnie Banister with a Hilary button. John said he has now seenHilary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barrack Obama and thinks all three are really good candidates. Kay Ciha reported on the House party for Obama that was held at her home last Saturday. She thanked Pete Morrison for his help with all the technology. Eleven people attended the event.

A discussion was held about who might run for IA House seat 89. John reported that Jennifer Langford is interested. However, she would have to move in order to live in the district. Bonnie Banister added that Jennifer is chair of the Jefferson County Democratic Party and has worked in the State House for the last three years. No one has heard back from Mark Nolte or SteveMiller. Sandra appointed Terry Philips to contact Steve Miller and see if he is interested. She appointed John Greener to contact Mark Nolte and see if he is interested. The group felt that we should look for the strongest possible candidate and not just support anyone who is interested. Harold suggested that perhaps those who are interested should submit a resume of their qualifications and speak to the group.

Sandra reported that although we had discussed the 2007 State and District convention as reported in the minutes, we have found there is no 2007 State or District convention! The next District Convention is April 26, 2008 and the State Convention is June 14, 2008. It was reported that the Washington County Constitution and By-Laws have not been found. Craig Muenzer said he would look to see if there is one on file at the State level. John Greener moved that Steve Maxon, Doris Park, and Harold Frakes form the committee to work on creating a constitution and by-laws for Washington County and to bring it to next month' s meeting for the group to consider. Terry Philips seconded. Motion passed.

Terry Philips reported on the Special Election petition for how to elect the five supervisors. He said it would be great if this could be finished by the end of April. The last possible date to collect signatures would be May30th.

Under new business, Sandra read the list of precinct captains from 2004. The list from 2006 has not been located. Craig said he would check to see if the list was filed at the State level. Several people remembered who was elected or volunteered to fill in. Sandra would like to see each precinc thave a captain and alternate. Tom Antosiak presented information on free advertising on channel 18, MediaCom. Harold Frakes reported that many county constitutions have StandingCommittees. He asked that group if we would like to consider having standing committees. He felt it would be important to have one onA ffirmative Action since 6 ­- 7 % of the county is Hispanic. He moved that we create such a committee. John Greener seconded. After much discussion, Harold withdrew his motion pending development of the Constitution and By-Laws. Meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm.
Louise Frakes, secretary.