Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Meeting - Wash. County Democrats


Meeting, Dec. 14, 2011

Washington County Democrats met Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, in a second floor meeting room of the Washington Public Library, with 17 people present.

Chairman Peter Morrison called the meeting to order led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Minutes of the November monthly meeting were declared ready to be filed for the record.

Kay presented the treasurer’s report and distributed copies of the report, from November 9 to December 14, 2011. There was no action in the account, and so the starting and ending balance of cash on hand was $1,775.07. Pete will file the treasurer’s report for audit.

Report of the Chair: Pete said he had received lots of e-mails from IDP and the 2nd District. Lots of organizational things are going on right now. On Sunday, Dec. 18, the 2nd District will meet at Blair House in Washington. Terry Philips will open Blair House for them. It will be a final combined 2nd District with “old” and “new” members/representatives, and there will be elections for some officers and the transition taking place. The treasurer and webmaster will be resigning at that meeting because he lives in Cedar Rapids. He and possibly some other people will need to be replaced at that meeting. It is assumed that the 2nd District will be taking care of the $20 rental charge for Blair House; but the Washington County Democrats have it reserved, at least. Kay said that a potluck meal will take place at 1 p.m., with the meeting scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Committee Reports. It has been difficult to find key chairpersons willing to serve. A new resident in Washington has expressed willingness to chair the Affirmative Action Committee.

Adhali Larios-Hernandez introduced himself. He has served in Iraq U.S. Special Forces and is a Staff Sergeant. He has been involved in projects in Cedar Rapids, on furthering education and helping the economy, and said he is inexperienced but willing to learn. Adhali has recently been appointed to the position of Affirmative Action Chair and is also going to be the replacement for Patrick Finney as 2nd District Precinct Captain.

The other key chairman is Terry Phillips. He said he had nothing exciting to report, and would not until after the January Caucus.

Old Business. Pete said that at the upcoming 2nd District meeting on Sunday, indications are that the group will choose to meet in Washington most of the time.

New Business. Pete addressed the January Caucus and the need to publish information ahead of time. Kay said the notice must be published twice and must include precinct locations. The first notice should be published between Dec. 20 and Dec. 26, and the second notice between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2.

Adhali lives in the 2nd Ward and can fill in as precinct leader since former precinct leader Patrick Finney has moved away. Suggestions for precinct leaders in Brighton included Dr. Faye Vittetoe, a strong Democrat, or Dr. Louise Frakes. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd wards are scheduled to meet at the Washington Public Library, the 3rd in a small room at the back of the second floor and the others [1st & 2nd] in the break room in the basement. The 4th Ward will meet at Halcyon House. Kalona and English River will meet at the Kalona library. Riverside could meet at Bob Spenner’s home, and Crawfordsville at Mike Mitchell’s home. For Wellman, Steve Maxon will reserve the municipal building tomorrow, or the library next door if the municipal building isn’t available for Jan. 3.

Sandra Johnson questioned whether we would actually need two printings of the Caucus notice. The answer was that we do need two printings. The group then decided that we could have the first printing in one newspaper and the second printing in another publication. We should arrange to do this as inexpensively as possible. Pete said we should meet “the letter of the law” to avoid undue complaints by the Republicans. Kay said she believed it would be necessary to have the notice printed in The Journal once in order then to be eligible to have it printed in the free paper as well.

Kay will sort through the lists and see how many registered voters are listed for Brighton. At last count, it was between 12 and 14 registered voters. She had asked for a CD of the county and has been promised one in the near future.

Terry asked to speak The county attorney had asked who was in charge, and relayed some information he had received from the DCI, alerting Caucus attenders that there may be some orchestrated attempts to create disruptions during the Caucus. One such disruption could take the form of numerous requests to change party affiliation in an attempt to take up precious Caucus time, etc. Kay said we have the right to walk anyone out of the Caucus as long as we have a good reason.

The group explored possible reasons for the turnover of personnel at the courthouse. At least one of the reasons was that the person is ready to retire.

Fred Stark brought up one item -- the need for someone to be willing to be appointed councilor for the 3rd Ward. Anyone interested from the 3rd Ward should express interest to Mayor Sandra Johnson.

Rich Taylor spoke on his candidacy for state senate and told a little of his background in the business of heating and air conditioning. He is a master mechanic, very active in the Union, and has worked at the penitentiary in Fort Madison. As senator he would “have the worker’s back.” He stands up for good contracts, and has been “fairly successful at it” He watches out for the average person. He fully intends to win this primary and then the general election in November. He is retired and has the time and the interest, and is concerned about what every one of us thinks. He plans to work hard for the people of southeast Iowa as well as all of Iowa and pledges to be available to the public and will not dodge people who come to talk to him in Des Moines when he is senator. His Web address is

There are three people running in the Democratic primary for state senate. There are 220 registered Democrats in the “Big Three” in the voting district.

Atalie told us that he is doing continuing education at institutions such as Kirkwood. He is here helping his mother, who has major health problems. He would like to be politically involved and has a network of students as well. He said he believes in the working man and the middle class, and believes taxing the middle class, working people, is not the best idea.

January 11 at 7 p.m. will be the next Democratic Party meeting.

Pete added another reminder to attend the Blair House event if possible on Dec. 18. At that meeting an official vote will probably be taken about having Washington as the permanent meeting area. Rich Taylor said he thought a spokesman from Lee County would make a pitch for the 2nd District to choose Fort Madison as their permanent meeting place instead. Mayor Sandra Johnson said she would probably be able to cut short her weekend plans in order to attend the session at Blair House, and would be there to support and stand up for Washington as the choice for the permanent meeting place.

Respectfully submitted,

Nan Stark, Secretary