August Meeting of the Washington County Democrats.
Washington County Democrats met in the Day Lounge at Halcyon House on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. In the absence of Sandra Johnson, vice chairman, John Greener, called the meeting to order with 33 people present.
Vice Chair John Greener introduced seven candidate representatives: Ben Young and Ruth Cox from the Chris Dodd campaign; Lara Glauber from the John Edwards campaign; Kianna Scott from the Obama campaign Justin Killian, from the Hillary Clinton campaign, Holly Savage from the Joe Biden campaign, and Travis Levitt from the Bill Richardson campaign. Each of these guests gave an update on their candidate, gave dates of when their candidate would be in our part of the state, and encouraged people to come talk with them after the meeting.
Next John introduced guest Katya Boltanova and her husband, Steven Mitchell. They explained a website that they are creating where people can post interesting articles and information. They asked those present to participate in a General Civics Knowledge Survey. This test, once validated, would be used to screen people wanting to post things. The higher someone scores on General Civic Knowledge, the more weight their article would receive on the website. They passed the survey out to interested people. Those participating were asked not to look things up but to use the honor system and answer truthfully about what they know.
The minutes of the July meeting were approved as sent out.
The treasurer’s report was given with a balance of $884.59. The report will be filed for audit. There was a question about how the quarter voting for candidates at the County Fair turned out. It was determined that Sandra Johnson had picked up everything from our booth, and she would be the one who had that information. Sandra will report the results at the September meeting. Louise thanked everyone who helped with our Fair Booth.
John reported that he and Sandra had not decided on a fall fundraiser, but they would try to bring their idea to the September meeting.
John announced that Congressman Dave Loebsack will be at the Public Library in Washington at 9:00 am this Friday, August 10th. Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting.
Kay Ciha encouraged everyone to get his or her ticket for Renewable on Parade. She also stressed to the candidate representative that it is important for their candidate to attend this on September 22nd.
Larry Marek was introduced and spoke to the group. Larry was seeking support from our group to run for House seat 89. Larry Marek is a Riverside area farmer who lives on a century farm. He and his wife Jan have three grown children and ten grandchildren. He was born and educated in Washington graduating from Washington High School in 1958. He attended Iowa State University where he took a two-year Farm Op. program. He served in the National Guard for eight and one half years. He has been a member of various farm commodity groups including Pork Producers, Cattlemen Association, Corn and Soybean Association. He was a director of a local bank for eleven years. He served on the Washington Co. Fairboard for over twenty years and held several offices as well as president. He is a member of Washington County Farm Bureau and has served on the county board as well as an officer. He has served as a county soil commissioner and is still an asst.soil comm. He has served on various county committees including FMHA, FSA, County compensation board, and extension council. He is a member St. Mary’s Catholic church in Riverside and has served as parish council pres. trustee, and lector. He is currently serving as a district nine director to the Iowa Soybean Association and is on the state executive committee as secretary. Also, he is now serving on the Washington County Riverboat Foundation that awards grants from the Riverside Resort and Casino. He is a lifelong supporter of 4-H and is involved in Foundation support. He has received these awards: Master Pork Producer, Meritorious Service to 4-H, Iowa 4-H Foundation recognition, and Farm Family of the Year in Washington County.
Jim Gorham stated that he wants someone who will fight for the people; someone who can talk to Republicans as well as Democrats. Larry replied that he thinks it is important to work for harmony between urban and rural residents and that he has many Republican friends. He believes he can work with both Republicans and Democrats.
Jim Gorham moved to back Larry Marek and encouraged him to get the petition papers to begin his campaign. Seconded by Ferd Marie. Motion passed. Jim Clegg suggested a kick off BQ at Larry’s place this fall.
Under old business, Harold Frakes moved that the proposed Constitution for the Washington County Democrats be adopted. Richard Gilmore seconded. Bonnie Bannister had several questions about the changes from the May version to the August version. Harold explained why those changes had been made. Motion to adopt the Constitution passed.
Then Harold read an amendment to the Constitution that would make Fund Raising a Standing Committee. Richard Gilmore seconded. Harold Frakes and Kay Ciha spoke against the amendment and in favor of Ad Hoc fund raising committees. Pete Morrison spoke in favor of the amendment. There was a lot of discussion. Louise Frakes called for the question. The motion to amend the Constitution failed.
Harold presented the By-Laws. Bonnie Banister had a question on them that Harold answered. Mike Phenicie moved that we adopt the By-Laws. Harold Frakes seconded. Motion passed.
The Constitution and By-Laws will be ratified at the County Convention in March. In the meantime they will serve as our operating documents. Thus, we will need to elect a Vice-Chairman.
Louise Frakes asked for the list of Precinct chair people and Caucus sites. John replied that Sandra had that information. It will be presented at our September meeting.
Larry Marek spoke about the Second District Workshop and said it was well worth the time to attend it.
There was a round of applause about the outcome of the Special Election. Everyone wondered how the committee to divide the county would be selected. Harold stated that he believed it would be Sandra’s job to appoint the Democratic members. He encouraged those who are interested to write a paragraph about why they want to be on the committee and to submit that to Sandra very soon.
Louise Frakes reminded people that August 13 is Vets Day at the State Fair and that the Veterans Caucus will be hosting Presidential Candidates that day in Des Moines.
Bill McGinnis thanked the young candidate representatives for their work and for coming to our meetings.
Jim Gorham announced that Harold Frakes is running for the School Board, district #7 seat. Several people commented on the poor coverage that was given in the Washington Evening Journal.
Everett Burham re-emphasized the need for people to speak clearly and slowly when addressing the group so that everyone could hear and understand.
Kay Ciha furnished ice tea, lemonade, and cookies for the group.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, September 4th at 7:00 pm in the Day Lounge at Halcyon House.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm.
Louise Frakes, secretary