Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
WASHINGTON COUNTY DEMOCRATS
Meeting, July 13, 2011
Eleven Washington County Democrats met at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in a second floor meeting room of the Washington Public Library. Ten people were present, including Brian Fritsch, political director of the campaign of U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack. Chairman Pete Morrison called the meeting to order with the group’s reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Minutes of the June meeting were declared approved as written and will be filed for report. Kay Ciha, treasurer, provided a printout of the financial report from June 8 to July 13, 2011. Cash on hand was $716.19, income from T-shirts sold was $61.00, and that gave a balance of $777.19. Expenses were $64.35 to Walmart for parade candy and decorations; $46.92 for parade candy provided by Steve Maxon; and $16.74 for candy for another parade, also provided by Steve Maxon. The ending balance of cash available was $649.18.The financial report will be filed for audit.
Pete reported on the Second District meeting on June 26 at the Senior Dining Center in Riverside. Primary areas of discussion were: changes to take place in the Second District because of redistricting; namely, the elimination of Linn County and the addition of several other counties including Scott County. There will be a meeting regarding the transition process. Al Bohanan will speak on that.
Brian Fritsch spoke, stating that he has worked exclusively on the campaign side of things. He said so far there were three opponents running for U.S. representative against Dave Loebsack -- Richard Gates, a Tea Party candidate; Dan Dolan, a house developer from Blue Grass; and John Archer, a crop attorney for John Deere, backed by the Republican Party. The new district is only about half as Democratic as the old Second District used to be.
Flood assistance was passed yesterday (July 12). A bill is being worked on for a national flood center -- so there are fewer surprises but rather an idea ahead of time of where flooding might occur. Defense Act and education and labor legislation have been worked on.
The group discussed some of the negative publicity and ideas that have surfaced already regarding campaigning for the 2012 election. President Obama and the Democratic National Party are working together. President Obama and the DNC administration have raised about $86 million already for the campaign. Republicans are being far less transparent about where their campaign funds come from. Brian said there would probably be fewer ads, because the largest population in the district is centered in the Quad Cities. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are significantly smaller in terms of registered voters. The money will be more spread out than before.
A. Redistricting -- Richard Gilmore said the southern three townships are in a precinct. They have a different representative than the rest of the county. Marion, Crawford and Brighton townships have their own precincts. It is not permitted to have two separate ballots at a polling station. The largest precinct must be limited to 3,500 people, and there are 2,010 people in this precinct.. It has to be considered a block, like a city. Pete commented that redistricting is a “thorny issue” which will be put under the “Old Business” agenda for next month.
B. Report on parades. Pete announced that the Washington County Democrats parade entry had won a $50 prize from the TrekFest event, and we also received a ribbon. The TrekFest parade was very successful, and the Wellman Fourth of July parade was very successful, as well.
C. Executive Board meeting. Printed copies of the budget that the Executive Board had prepared were distributed. Bob Spenner moved to approve the two-year budget as proposed by the Exec Board group. Richard seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.
D. Grant application. The application for a grant was filled out and sent. We will now see if it is “granted” and whether the amount made available to us is $500 or $1,000 from the Iowa Democratic Party. The IDP has sent an acknowledgment of receipt of the application.
E. Verify Fair preparation. A signup sheet for the Democratic Party booth was available, and shifts are three hours in length. Someone should be at the booth on Monday from 1 to 9 p.m., and Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tear-down will be between 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday. The accouterments for the fair booth are with Mike and Patty Roe; and Mike and Patty will set up the booth on Sunday evening with assistance from Sandra Johnson, Terry Philips and Bob Spenner. Brian had brought some Loebsack bumper stickers and other promotional material. Promotional materials at the booth this year will probably be mainly about President Obama and Representative Loebsack, with maybe some material for Senator Harkin, and anything else the Democratic Party wants to come up with.
A. We need committee chairs -- for candidate development. We will need to work on that next year. Pete is somewhat uncertain about Affirmative Action. He has talked to a couple of people interested in being Democrats. He will definitely need a Platform Committee in place by January 2012 if not a little sooner, and there were some names he brought up as possibilities for this committee.
It was noted that new library policy demands that we present a $35 check as a deposit toward any cleanup or damage to a meeting room, whenever we hold a group meeting there. The check is returned if the group leaves the meeting room tidy and in order. Pete reserved the meeting room for August and September.
B. Farmers Market was discussed, and whether we might want a booth or a table there. Sandra Johnson said that there is a limit of two nonprofit groups at each farmers market and we would need to request this a week or more in advance. Candidates are outside the nonprofit status and can roam freely about the farmers market area. We can wear our T-shirts and “roam freely” around, too. Usually farmers market is over after the first hard frost after Oct. 1.
C. Second District workshop. This will be held on July 30.
Pete said he had also been asked by Al Bohanan if he would be interested in doing Web master work. Kay offered to check on whether she has a Papal account that Democrats can use to make payments. This is about registering for the Second District workshop. The Washington County Democratic Party originally budgeted funds to pay for 10 people to attend at a cost of $25 each for registration. If not many people from our group attend, we could perhaps include the price of lunch, since registration would not cost as much as the budgeted amount. Dinner at the site of the workshop would be the responsibility of the people attending. As for payment, anyone can take care of that by computer. Kay will reimburse anyone who wants reimbursement. Each person will register, etc., on his or her own.
Kay moved that everyone should do his or her own signing up (can be on the Web site by next week, and Pete will send the list) to attend the Second District workshop July 30, and she will reimburse anyone who would like reimbursement. Nan seconded. The motion passed.
Louise Frakes moved that we change our meeting time from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, and that the meetings will run from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., so that we could still be out of the building by 9 p.m. Richard seconded. The motion passed.
The meeting was adjourned.
Washington County Democrats will meet again on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Washington Public Library.
Nan Stark, Secretary