July Meeting of the Washington County Democrats.
Washington County Democrats met in the Day Lounge at Halcyon House on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. Sandra Johnson called the meeting to order with 34 people present.
Vice Chair John Greener introduced four guests: Aaron Jennings from the Chris Dodd campaign; Lara Glauber from the John Edwards campaign; Kianna Scott from the Obama campaign and Justin Killian, from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Each of these guests gave a brief overview of their candidate and encouraged people to come talk with them after the meeting.
Tom Antosiak moved that the minutes of the June meeting be approved as sent out. Richard Gilmore seconded. Motion passed.
The treasurer’s report was given with a balance of $718.59. The report will be filed for audit. John Greener suggested that we start thinking about fund raising as we are going to be needing a lot more money with all the activities coming up. He moved that fund raising be placed on next month’s agenda. Sandra suggested we have a fall event for that purpose and that she and John put something together to present next month.
Events Chair, John Greener, asked for a committee to help set up at the County Fair on Saturday, July 14 at 9:30 am. The committee will be Terry Philips, Sandra Johnson, Tom Antosiak, Mike Roe, Bob Spinner, and John Greener. There was a sign up sheet for working at our fair booth. That sheet was passed around.
Copies of the revised Constitution and By Laws were passed out. Sandra Johnson and Harold Frakes spoke about some of the changes that had been made from the original version that had been presented a couple months ago. Members were encouraged to read through the new copies and send any suggested changes to Harold Frakes. He will print them out and we will discuss them at our August meeting. We will plan to adopt the Constitution and By-Laws at the August meeting and ratify it at the County Convention in March of 2008.
After much discussion, it was decided to leave our meeting at the regular meeting time for August with John Greener chairing the meeting. Sandra will be on vacation. (The meeting will be Tuesday, August 7th).
Sandra Johnson read through the list of Precinct chairs for the 2008 Caucus. We are still missing several and the list needs to be turned in to the State by August 1st.
There was a ten-minute break during which time the group sang Happy Birthday to Harold Frakes and then ate cake, courtesy of Tom Antosiak. Harold thanked the group for their singing and Tom for providing the cake.
Upon reconvening, there was discussion about the 2nd District Central Committee workshop which will be held on Saturday, July 28th at the North Liberty Community Center. The purpose of this workshop is to train people about what should happen on Caucus night. The registration begins at 10 am and is $10.00; lunch is also $10.00. That evening there will be a Fund Raising Dinner for Dave Loebsack at 6:30 pm. The cost of the dinner is $40.00. Terry Philips encouraged as many people as possible to attend and learn. Sandra Johnson suggested that people car pool. Louise will forward an email about the workshop to all Democrats for whom she has an email address.
Terry Philips reported on the Veterans Caucus. Their next meeting will be July 28th in Des Moines. Also, on August 13th there will be a picnic for this group at the Machinist Hall in Des Moines. They are hoping several Presidential candidates will be there. This will coincide with the “Veterans Day” at the State Fair.
John Greener and Kay Ciha reminded people that Renewal on Parade will be September 21 – 23rd, with the Presidential candidates speaking on Saturday, September 22nd. The Republican candidates will speak from 9:30 am – 12:30 noon and the Democratic candidates from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. The business end of this convention will be held in the Convention Center at the Riverside Resort & Casino and the Consumer end will be held at the fair grounds. A three-day pass is $7.00. That price is good through July 31st.
Harold Frakes asked for and was granted a moment of personal privilege. He suggested people purchase a Washington County Democrat t-shirt. Then he took “the Hat”, made a donation, and passed “The Hat” around.
Under New Business, Sandra Johnson, Terry Philips, and Harold Frakes spoke about the Special election to be held on July 31st. Sandra explained that Option one is to elect all the Supervisors at large with no residential requirement. The group was encouraged NOT to vote for Option 1.
Terry showed and read the ballot. Then he spoke in favor of Option 2 in which the County would be divided into 5 Districts. Under this option the Supervisor candidate must live in the District he/she would represent, but the entire County would vote for all the Candidates. Districts would not necessarily follow precinct lines.
Harold Frakes spoke in favor of Option 3. Under Option 3, the Supervisor candidate must live in the District he/she would represent and people would vote only for the candidate that would represent their district. Under this option, the districts would have to follow precinct lines. Harold encouraged people to vote for Option 3.
Terry respectively disagreed and encouraged people to vote for Option 2. They each gave reasons why they were supporting the option they were. There was much discussion with many questions answered and many opinions given.
Dawn Jones suggested putting something in the papers to explain these options. Terry replied that the County Auditor, Bill Fredrick, will be writing an article explaining the three options.
Sandra Johnson suggested that once Bill Fredrick’s article comes out, people write letters to the editor encouraging others to vote for the option they prefer. Sandra also requested that Terry and Harold email the positive points of Option 2 & 3 to her. Steve Butler spoke about not ignoring Option one. He stated that we need to acknowledge it and explain why it is not a good option. It was decided that at the County Fair, we would talk to people about the Special election, explaining the three options, and encouraging them to vote for the one of their choice.
Everyone agreed that it is imperative that we work to get people to go vote on this Special election. The default position is Option 1. A simple plurality is all that is needed to win (the position that has the most votes will be the Option to win).
John Greener was appointed to go to the auditor’s office and get the facts about absentee ballots for special elections.
Our next meeting will be August 7th at 7:00 pm at the Day Lounge at Halcyon House. The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 pm.
Louise Frakes, secretary