Friday, November 23, 2012

November Meeting 2012

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Meeting, November 14, 2012

A dozen Democrats met Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at 7 p.m. in a second-floor meeting room at the Washington Public Library. Present were Washington County Democratic Party Chairman Pete Morrison, Dave Ciha, Kay Ciha, Martha Dahlin, Richard Gilmore, Robin Plattenberger, Steve Maxon, Doris Park, Shirley Pfeifer, Nan Stark, Lorraine Williams and Tyler Woodley.

1. Chairman Pete called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

2. The October minutes had been e-mailed and posted to the blog.

3. Treasurer Kay Ciha presented the financial report and provided a printout of the report. Cash on hand on Oct. 10, 2012, was $2,112.24. Income from 10-10-12 to 11-14-12 consisted of two returned checks, $250 from Dawn McCoy, who had decided not to use the funds for her campaign, and the returned check (for damage deposit) from the Washington County Fair, for $250. That brought the cash on hand to $2,612.24. Expenses from 10-10-12 through 11-14-12 were: Campaign donation to Dawn McCoy, $250; campaign donation to Richard Gilmore, $250; campaign donation to Kay Ciha, $250; and Mediacom, for phone, cable and Internet, $182.04. Cash available on November 14, 2012, was $1,680.20.

Pete said he had taken all of Mediacom’s equipment back to the Iowa City office. may be One more Mediacom bill may be forthcoming. Pete declared the financial report ready to be filed for audit.

4. Report of the Chair --  Election Wrap-up: Pete said in wrapping up the election, members had gotten everything moved out of the office, and the office had been cleaned. One cell phone had been found left behind in a desk drawer, and attempts will be made to find where it needs to be returned. The keys were collected, to return to the landlord.

The election went well -- it was very fortunate that U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack won his election; the opponent, Archer, would have been bad news. We discussed the fact that some people had done canvassing for Loebsack as well as for President Obama, and some canvassing was done locally by the supervisor candidates. We discussed how we could make a stronger showing than usual in the off-year election in two years. Pete thanked everyone who worked diligently to help us move forward. Ian Gray, intern for President Obama and headquartered in Washington, Iowa, has left and had mentioned the possibility that he would be working with the Obama inauguration team.

Pete will try to get Ian’s address so that we can send him a card expressing our appreciation to him. Richard said we should provide something in writing to Ian’s superiors about Washington’s being a Republican county and that Ian is the reason we came as close as we did this time.
It was mentioned that the Hispanic population has increased significantly in Washington. Richard said if we can be a swing county, we can get more attention.

5. Committee reports -- none were presented.

6. Old business was about the headquarters, which has been closed, and we have come to the end of the 2012 elections.

7. New business: We can reserve the room at the library for the second Wednesday in December, if we choose. We discussed whether to have a meeting in December or to have a Christmas party. Robin Plattenberger and Richard Gilmore graciously invited everyone to their home on December 19 at 7 p.m. Their address is 1201 South Iowa Avenue. Everyone attending will bring a dish to pass.

We discussed the Republicans’ (I.e., King’s) attempt to tie the farm bill to the “fiscal cliff,” and that the highest number of hog confinement operations are reportedly in Sioux and Webster counties at this time. Richard said it would be nice if Washington County could be a matrix county. Some of the standards are: being a distance away from a waterway, having fewer than 3,000 head of hogs in a building, etc. Otherwise, the board of supervisors could just approve a confinement building with minimal requirements. Being a matrix would at least give the DNR leverage to use local control.

Robin spoke to the candidates who had run for the supervisor seats. The ones who ran and did not win had certainly succeeded in educating the people, and she said that should still feel good. The candidates had brought issues forward that hadn’t been there before, and that can’t be taken away -- the opponents would just have been more stupid without the input of these candidates!

Another location for holding monthly meetings has become available, and we talked about that option. Pete stated his belief that the library is a good location for us, and consensus was in agreement that we should continue to meet at the library.

Martha suggested that we have some kind of party for the Riverside residents who had worked hard at the satellite headquarters there. Mary Patterson and her husband, Richard, of Riverside had opened their home, and they and all of the other volunteers had done a good job. Robin asked her to invite the Riverside volunteers to the Christmas party at her home on Dec. 19. It was moved and seconded that we pay for a $100 gift certificate to café dodici for Richard and Mary Patterson in appreciation for their great contribution in the use of their home. Motion carried.

Pete also mentioned that he had received an invitation from President Obama, who asks for help in trying to keep the Republicans from blocking everything he tries to do. We must be proactive every minute.

The January meeting will be the second Wednesday in January at 7 p.m. at the library. Richard moved to adjourn, Nan seconded, and the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by Nan Stark, secretary

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Day/Night 2012

Election Day started out like the other days of GOTV [Get Out the Vote], with calling and canvasing, food prep and snacks, with the excitement came the standard election day excitement, challenge and tensions.

The efforts were underway to get the vote out today.

 As the polls closed in Washington, people gathered at the headquarters where all of the action had taken place over the previous 3+ months.

As the returns started to appear on the television the news just seemed to get better and better.  Democrats were turning out in even bigger numbers than in 2008!

With the Obama win announced rather early, the group moved to JP's Club to celebrate the victories.

I want to thank all of the campaign workers that helped narrow the margins here in Washington County.

Peter Morrison, Washington County Chairperson
Washington County Democrats

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Meeting, October 10, 2012

Washington County Democrats met Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Democratic Party headquarters on Main Street. Eleven people were present: County Chairman Pete Morrison, Kay Ciha, Dave Ciha, Robert Spenner, Dawn McCoy, Doris Park, Steve Maxon, Sandra Johnson, Terry Philips, Nan Stark, and Loebsack campaign worker Brian. Campaign Organizer, Ian Gray joined the group with several volunteers later and made a report.

Chairman Pete called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Minutes of the September meeting had been sent to e-mail addresses, and also published in the blog. No changes or corrections were needed, so the minutes will be filed as reported.

Kay Ciha presented the treasurer’s report and provided printouts. The cash on hand as of September 12, 2012 was $1,207.88. Income September 12 to October 10, 2012, was $2,155.00, and came from memberships, fundraiser and donations, breakdown of which follows: Iowa Democratic Party, $600; from 57 meals served at the fundraiser, $570; donations and checks written over the dinner cost and pie raffle, $334; starting cash back, $250; from 2013 memberships, $160; donations received at headquarters, $142; and “pass the hat” at fundraiser, $99. (We cleared $768.40 from the fundraiser.) Expenses were: John Patterson, $500, for rent from 10-15 to 11-15; Washington County Fair (damage deposit, which will go back into the account when it is returned upon inspection of the room), $250; Federated Bank (starting cash), $250; Mediacom (phone, cable & Internet), $173.86; Terry Philips (meat & buns for fundraiser), $446.60; Fareway (supplies for fundraiser, $21.48; Custom Impressions (grommets added to signs), $10.70. Cash available on October 10, 2012, was $2,112.24. There were no objections or corrections to the financial report, and Pete declared that it would be filed for audit.

Pete gave the Report of the Chair. The 2nd District meeting had been held after the fundraiser. Steve Maxon and Doris Park are representatives on the 2nd District and reported that there had been some discussion and concern expressed during that meeting about voter suppression attempts being made in a number of states.

Old Business: A good number of volunteers have been coming in every day to the headquarters. GOTV is designed for the last big effort to get out the vote. There are some supplies, such as printer and clipboards, which can be stored after the election and used again in two years.

New Business: Brian reported that they are looking for volunteers for Representative David Loebsack and for the county supervisor races. Brian said Henry hoped that there could be one night of calling each week. He will send down one of the interns to help with that and to bring the lists of registered voters. We have many cell phones available to us for calling. NRCC has dumped lots of money in the Quad Cities area, and we are being pummeled there. Financially we are doing what we need to do. Brian is finance assistant for the Loebsack campaign. The question of “the John Deere issue”came up. We need to try to find a way to show that Archer is “kind of a slick person” and a little out of touch --has investments in manufacturing in other countries. Dave Loebsack has repeatedly stated that we don’t have an issue with John Deere, as a company; we are proud to have it in our state, etc. The issue has sort of died down now; they are going on to other issues now, such as: “John Archer is the embodiment of management.” Thanks were expressed to Brian for coming and representing the Loebsack campaign.

Ian Gray, the county campaign organizer, is working very hard on the Obama campaign and headquartered in Washington County, spoke about GOTV. He said there were 50 absentee ballots out that need to be collected. He has been doing GOTV recruitment and will try to provide everyone with get-out-the-vote cards. A satellite office will be opened in Riverside and will be run by Mary Paterson of Riverside. Staffing for that will come from the Riverside, Ainsworth and Wellman areas.

He brought up some questions we need to be asking people -- “Have you thought about voting? How are you going to get to the polls? How are you going to get that absentee ballot in?”

Ian has yard signs available and needs to have people come in and get some of them. Sandra Johnson asked about requirements for proof of residency and about valid Iowa-issued picture ID documents. Brian said we should also ask voters if they are registered at their current addresses. The question arose about poll watchers. There will be election judges. Terry spoke and said that the emphasis is to get out the vote. GOTV is to get the people to the polls. If we detect some kind of voter suppression, there is a hot line to call with lawyers in Des Moines. Also, two Republicans and two Democrats are supposed to be present at the courthouse to watch the opening of the absentee ballots on Monday, Nov. 5.

The voter protection hot line number is 855-868-3174. This is the number to call if we are concerned about any aspect of voter registration. This number may be given out to as many people as we want. We should have no problem in finding Democratic lawyers in Iowa City.

Supervisor candidates need funding, and Terry asked if the Washington County Democratic Party had thought about that. Discussion centered briefly on the need to find out how much money we will have in the treasury after a couple of bills have been paid, and from that we could decide out much we have available to give.

Bob Spenner moved that we give to the supervisor candidates. Terry seconded. The amount intended would be $250 for each candidate, for a total of $750. There was also discussion about whether the party should use part of the funding to pay for advertising, or let each candidate take care of his or her own advertising from the funds. The vote was taken on providing each candidate with $250. Kay abstained from the vote. The motion carried. Kay wrote the checks and informed everyone that she was dating them October 15, and a check would be ready for each candidate that evening. The supervisor candidates thanked the group for their support.

Terry noted that the county attorney has been very quiet lately.

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Washington Public Library.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Nan Stark, Secretary

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Early Voting Kick Off 09/27/2012

The Washington County Democrats participated in the Iowa State wide early kick off for the 2012 election season.

A total of some 40 individuals participated is the events organized to kick off the early start of the election period in Iowa.

The day started with a run sponsored by the Obama Campaign and ended with the runners as well as many others meeting at the Washington County Democratic office and walking as a group over to the Washington County Court House across the street, to vote in mass.

The Court House staff at the Auditors office was overwhelmed by the large group that lined up to vote early.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Obama in Iowa City on 09/07/2012

President Barack Obama returned to Iowa City and to a large crowd gathered on the Pentacrest on the campus at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

The arrival some 4 hours after the event started met with a yell that had to be heard over a large area of downtown Iowa City.

Democratic Nomination Acceptance Watch Party 09/06/2012

Democratic Nomination Acceptance Watch Party

Many of us met at the Dodici Coffee Shop on the evening of the final day of the 2012 Democratic Convention to hear the acceptance speech of current incumbent and 2012 Nominee, Barack Obama.

We had a wonderful opportunity to get together with both long time Democratic activists and a few newcomers. The evening included a number speakers including Vice-President and 2012 Nominee, Joe Biden.

Barack Obama gave a great speech that outlined his plans for his second term and our future.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Washington County Fair 2012

Well, the Fair was a hot one again this year. We were at the booth all week to great Fair attendees and hand out literature, candy and let kids ride the donkey.

The kids really liked the donkey again this year. The double booth gave us more room to work with and helped us keep cooler.

The next big project is finding a suitable office location for the campaign season!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 2012 Monthly meeting

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Meeting, July 11, 2012

Washington County Democrats met Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the JP restaurant in Washington for a short meeting and a fundraising social hour for candidate Sara Sedlacek. Sara‘s district is in the Louisa County area and not in our voting district. But she could use some volunteer help from us as well as some funds. There was a cash bar, and Terry Philips provided the food. Present along with Sara Sedlacek were: Chairman Pete Morrison, Kay Ciha, David Ciha, Steve Maxon, Doris Park, Sandra Johnson, Terry Philips, Dawn McCoy, Ferd Marie, Jim Gorham, Karen Gorham, Richard Gilmore, Shirley Pfeifer, Bob Spenner, John Greener, and Nan Stark.

Chairman Peter Morrison called the meeting to order. We dispensed with the Pledge of Allegiance because there was no flag in the restaurant.

There were no objections or changes brought forth for the June minutes, so Pete declared they would be filed for the record.

Treasurer Kay Ciha, who distributed copies of the financial report from 6-13-12 to 7-11-12, gave treasurer’s report. Cash on hand on 6-13-12 was $2,779.22. There was no income. Expenses included $59.28 for the purchase of candy for the Trek Fest parade, and $56.01 for purchase of candy for the Fourth of July parade in Wellman. Cash available on 7-11-12 is $2,663.93.

It was reported that the parades in Riverside and in Wellman were very good parades, Pete thanked everyone for all their help in organizing, decorating, walking, pulling the floats, and participating in any way. Bob especially extended a big thanks to Steve Maxon, Doris Park, and Kay Ciha, for making sure it all got done. Also mentioned was the Kalona parade.

Old Business. We worked on coordinating the fair schedule, and also on locating a Democratic headquarters. Terry may have some options to pursue before the end of the week. We should be ready to operate the headquarters beginning Aug. 15.

Richard Gilmore moved that the Democratic Party should be prepared to pay for or reimburse for the admission fee of anyone who comes to work at the Democratic booth at the fair. Bob Spenner seconded. There was some discussion. Pete will also check to see if we will be issued tickets for admission for volunteers. Motion carried.

There was discussion on the 2nd District County Convention, which is necessary in order to have Dawn McCoy’s name placed on the November ballot. Ten of the 13 delegates need to attend this county convention. Then a date must be finalized for holding the convention.

Terry moved that he, Bob, Pete and Dawn form the select committee that orchestrates putting that together. Doris seconded. Motion carried.

We will have the fair schedule no later than Friday, and everyone was encouraged to sign up to be at the fair booth. Pete will e-mail the fair booth schedule.

There was further discussion on a possible location for our campaign headquarters, and so far leads are not working out as well as we had hoped.

The meeting was adjourned. Terry introduced Sara Sedlacek, who addressed the group on her background and her activities as a candidate.

Respectfully submitted,

Nan Stark, Secretary

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Special monthly meeting in July

The Washington County Democrats will hold a special July monthly meeting, at the 207 Club,  located at 207 Main Street at the normal hour of 7:00 p.m., instead of the normal location of the Washington Public Library.

The meeting will be followed by a meet and greet for Sara Sedlacek, candidate for Iowa House District 88. District 88 includes parts of Muscatine, Louisa and Des Moines counties.

The public is invited.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ridiculous Day 2012

The weather was great and the audience was larger than it has been in several years.  We met on Washington Blvd. and set-up the Democratic float, with donkey and banners.

We really had a good crowd in attendance as the parade proceeded through downtown Washington.

We threw lots of candy to the kids and greeted people as we drove by.  Kay Ciha and Richard Gilmore, who are running for Washington County Supervisor slots in November had their own floats in the parade, in addition to the Washington County Democratic float.

Dave Loebsack, 2nd District Congressman, and some of his team also were in the parade.  Dave walked in front of our float and greeted people along the way.

Look for additional participation on the part of the Washington County Democrats later this summer in other area parades.

The TrekFest [Saturday, June 30, 2012] and Fourth of July Parades are always popular.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May Monthly Meeting - 2012

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Meeting, May 9, 2012

Fifteen Washington County Democrats met Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at 7 p.m. in a second floor meeting room of the Washington Public Library. Eighteen people attended.

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

There was no comment on the April minutes, so Pete said they would be filed for the record. Treasure Kay Ciha presented the treasurer’s report and had printed copies of the report available for everyone. Cash on hand on 4/11/12 was $2,638.09. Income from memberships, from 4/11 to 5/9/12, was $225. Expenses for the same period totaled $200, for the 2012 Washington County Fair booth rent, and this will be for a double booth. Cash available on 5/9/12 was $2,663.09. Kay said this figure was still a little less than what we had in 2008, but not by much. The report will be filed for audit.

Pete gave the Report of the Chair on the 2nd District Convention, which he said was somewhat uneventful. The Wi Fi system was overloaded. Although it was in a high school, it was patched into another system and the process was somewhat snarled. Adhali Larios was named Affirmative Action Chair for 2nd District, and U.S. Representative Loebsack’s office is wanting to talk to him. Terry Philips was elected Liaison for Veterans Caucus. Terry said the Arrangements Committee had done a fantastic job of getting things set up for 2nd District Convention. The state convention will be June 16.

Old Business. Pete had begun working on the parade event schedule. Ridiculous Day has been scheduled after all for June 2, 2012. Mayor Sandra Johnson explained that Washington is now a Main Street community, and Main Street had taken over managing Ridiculous Day from the Chamber. They decided there was not enough interest or revenue to hold the event this year and had announced that it would be canceled. Chamber retail director Dean Kurtz had recruited pledges of support and funds and interest, and the Chamber again took over control of the event, which will take place this year after all. We were reminded that there will also, be an American Legion pancake breakfast available June 2. Our involvement in Ridiculous Day will be a float or some representation. Steve Maxon will provide the donkey and a truck/trailer?

We discussed the Brighton Whoopee Days parade and the Kalona event, which are traditionally scheduled for the same day. In this case, that is June 16, which is also the day of the state convention. We need to decide about which one to participate in, or perhaps we should have representation in both. Kay, a candidate in District One, will need to be in Brighton.

Trek Fest will be the last weekend in June, and Bob Spenner could have the trailer available for the parade in Riverside. The lineup is at 9 a.m., with the parade,  at 10 a.m.

We also discussed the desirability of a Web site or Facebook page to keep people informed about upcoming events. Karen Gorham said it was attempted once by the Chamber but was not kept up to date. She said it was better not to do it at all than to have it be outdated. (consensus agreement)

Pete announced that since the redistricting, Keokuk County and Washington County will share, the same House district. Keokuk County representatives would like to get together with Washington County and probably also Jefferson County, and suggested the place should be the Lake Darling Center. They are talking about a joint effort fundraiser to promote Representative Dave Loebsack. This is something that we will have to figure out, and we will probably want to participate in that. Lake Darling was designed for use with Jefferson County, Keokuk County and Washington County; is used a lot for recreation; and seems a logical center for such a session. They want more than one joint committee event this year before the presidential election. Pete suggested having something there in June.

In 2006 and again in 2008 we had a Democratic rally in Central Park with speakers like Rep. Loebsack. Whether we want to do that again in July is questionable. The county fair begins July 15 through that week. We need to set up our booth on the Sunday of that week.

We will include the Wellman July 4 parade in our plans.

We will meet again June 13 and at that meeting can plan for the county fair and a possible rally. OFA is working on plans for Washington County, for a big joint campaign with IDP, etc., and there will be people here ready to do things like door-knocking.

New Business. The budget should get some attention, because we need to make some decisions about the grant money we received for membership recruitment and development, as well as renting a site for Democratic Party headquarters. It was mentioned that the earliest we should need a campaign office would be August. We also need to remember our other financial commitments, such as rent for the 4-H building for the fundraiser dinner in the fall.

The meeting was adjourned at 8 p.m. so the library staff could close the library. Bob Spenner expressed his preference to return to Halcyon House as a meeting place so that we wouldn’t have to conclude promptly at 8 p.m.

Next meeting will be at 7 p.m., June 13, in the second floor meeting room of the Washington Public Library.

Respectfully submitted,

Nan Stark, Secretary