Saturday, September 8, 2007

Minutes of September 2007 Washington County Democratic Meeting

September Meeting of the Washington County Democrats.

Washington County Democrats met in the Day Lounge at Halcyon House on Tuesday, September 4th, 2007. Chairperson, Sandra Johnson, called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm with 31 people present.

Vice Chair John Greener introduced six candidate representatives: Ruth Cox from the Chris Dodd campaign; Lara Glauber from the John Edwards campaign; Ben Farley, from the Hillary Clinton campaign, Jennifer Huson from the Joe Biden campaign, Travis Levitt from the Bill Richardson campaign, and Kianna Scott from the Obama 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. They encouraged people to come talk with them after the meeting.

Jim Gorham spoke on behalf of Larry Marek. He said an event is being planned for Oct. 6th. He also suggested that we write the state party and tell them that we expect their support for our candidate as he felt the state pulled the rug out from under the last several candidates. He said the state should provide staff time and financial support to get our candidate elected. He did not make a motion about the letter and no one was appointed to write such a letter though there were murmurings of approval.

Pete Morrison moved and Fred Stark seconded that the minutes of last month’s minutes be approved. Motion passed.

Kay Ciha reported a balance of $999.99 in the treasury. Her report will be filed for audit. Sandra Johnson reported on the County Fair “Penny Poll” where one coin was equal to one vote for that candidate. Obama was the winner with 21 coins; Kucinich came in with 5; Edwards with 4; Biden with 3; and the remaining candidates with one coin each. The total amount collected by this fun activity was $6.96.

Kay Ciha reported that we now have 74 households on our membership list.

John Greener asked for help to plan special events in November and December. Ferd Marie offered to host a wiener roast sometime in October. No firm date was set.

Kay Ciha reported on Renewable on Parade and passed around sheets for volunteers to sign up to work.

Sandra Johnson reported that the Harkin Steak Fry is Sunday, September 16th from 1 – 4:00 pm and encouraged people to attend. Bill McGinnis offered to buy 2 tickets for someone, as he is not able to attend. Contact Bill if you are interested.

David Smithers gave a report on the second district and encouraged people to go to his blog on My Space. There he publishes information about Second District activities and other political information.

Harold Frakes spoke about running for the School Board and reported that he had had a call from Elizabeth Edwards wishing him good luck and thanking him for running for this important post.

Fred Stark announced that the Jefferson-Jackson dinner is coming up. He thought it would be October 13th in Des Moines at the Wells Fargo Center. (The correct date is November 10th).

Terry Philips reported on the Veteran’s Caucus. John Greener asked for permission to write a letter on behalf of the Washing County Democrats to get the Merchant Marines treated as vets. Richard Gilmore moved and Everett seconded to have John write such a letter. Motion passed.

Louise read an article about the Topsy Turvy Bus sponsored by Sensible Iowans. Pete Morrison spoke about that group and said that you can see a video about them on their web site. Harold Frakes said that he became interested in that group when he realized that Tom Vilsack supports it. Harold suggested that maybe we could use the bus for the October 6th event, the Christmas parade the day after Thanksgiving, or for the Renewable on Parade event. Mike Phenicie moved that we have Pete Morrison look into it. Motion passed.

Louise also spoke about the magnetic pie charts to put on your vehicle and encouraged people to display them to draw attention to the amount of money our government is spending on the Pentagon and national defense.

Sandra Johnson announced the Precinct Caucus chair people and caucus meeting places. They are:
Brighton – Harold Frakes; Brighton Community Center
Crawford – Ceanne Alvine
English River – Kay Ciha; Mid-Prairie Middle School
Kalona – Lonnie Novie; Mid-Prairie Middle School
Iowa – Les Lampe;
Lime Creek – Judy Goodrich and Steve Maxon; Wellman Senior Citizen Center
Washington Ward 1 – Barb Edmondson; Washington Jr. High
Washington Ward 2 – Steve Butler; Washington Jr. High
Washington Ward 3 – Bonnie Banister; Washington Jr. High
Washington Ward 4 - Everett Burham; Halcyon House
Washington Rural – Terry Philips; Washington Jr. High
West Chester – Andi Reynolds; 2050 Keokuk Rd.
Ainsworth –

Under new business, election of a new vice chairperson was held as directed in our newly adopted constitution. (John Greener will serve on the Executive Board as Immediate Past President). Harold Frakes nominated Richard Gilmore, seconded by Robin Plattenberger. John Greener moved that nominations cease. Seconded by Mike Roe. Motion passed. Richard Gilmore was elected Vice Chairman by acclamation.

The Redistricting Commission was discussed. Sandra Johnson announced that she had appointed Rose Jaynes from Brighton and Tina Thomas, city clerk for Riverside who lives in Washington, as our representatives on the commission. She stated that she feels the highway 22 corridor is very important and that Tina is very capable and would serve that area well. The Republican party nominated Bob Stout from West Chester, Sandy Greiner from Keota, and Brian Hora from rural Ainsworth. Their first meeting will be next Monday and they will set their own hours. The general population can have input into their meetings and the meetings will be open to the public.

Terry Philips showed a map of the county which showed the population in each section. The new districts may only vary from each other by 1% with the goal of 4134 in each district.

There was a discussion about Gerrymandering. Terry and Sandy both spoke about the strict state rules to prevent that from happening. Pete Morrison asked if there was software available to actually do the redistricting. Terry replied that there is through Legislative Services but he didn’t know if the county could use it.

Harold Frakes asked Sandra two questions: 1. Since there are many capable Democrats in the county, why did she decide to appoint a Republican (Tina Thomas)? And 2. Why didn’t she use the Executive Board to help make her decision as the newly adopted Constitution says to do in Article 8, Section 2?

There was quite a spirited discussion about these two issues. At the end of the discussion, David Smithers moved and Pete Morrison seconded, that we accept Sandra’s recommendation of Tina Thomas and Rose Jaynes to represent the Democratic Party on the bi-partisan commission. The motion passed with 15 in favor and 3 opposed.

Louise reported that some people had mentioned to her that the Washington County Democratic Blog had not been updated for sometime. Sandra asked if Louise would start being responsible for putting the minutes on the blog. Louise agreed to do that.

The next meeting is set for October 2nd at 7:00 pm at Halcyon House. Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectively submitted,
Louise Frakes, secretary