Saturday, December 21, 2013

An interesting take on  RIGHT TO WORK STATES

The past 24 hours have seen a flurry of activity around the continued employment of one man, a Phil Robertson, who is employed by the network A&E in the state of Louisiana. Mr. Robertson, in a very high-profile venue, made personal statements that are inherently contradictory to the established statements of his employer. In relatively short order he was suspended from his position indefinitely. I have seen Internet petitions that he be suspended, countering ones that he retain his job; posts praising A&E for their decision, and posts disavowing any future relationship with the network. In the midst of all this, I have found myself somewhere between mystified and flabbergasted. This is the case of employment injustice that scandalizes America?

Mr. Robertson lives in Louisiana. A&E could walk into his office (or equivalent) any day and fire him, for any number of reasons. Louisiana is a "right to work" state; employers do not need any reason to suspend a person's employment in that state. However, in light of the fact that Mr. Robertson's statements were in regard to the LGBTQ community, let's be clear on the case of the employer's rights in regards to sexuality and gender definition in Louisiana.

An employer in Louisiana has the right to fire an individual solely because of his or her sexuality. A&E has the legal right to tell Mr. Robertson, "On account of your heterosexuality, and your inability to keep it an appropriately private matter, we are terminating your employment." A&E also has the legal right to tell Mr. Robertson, "On account of your cis-gender expression (that you define your gender with the one you were assigned at birth), we are terminating your employment." That in Louisiana, and across the nation, employers have the ability to terminate an employment based on a person's sexuality or gender definition is a true travesty of justice.

Everyone deserves gainful employment, Mr. Robertson included. Everyone deserves advocates to ensure a termination is a just and appropriate action. In the eyes of the law of Louisiana, A&E has more than sufficient legal right to suspend Mr. Robertson's employment. Advocates for Mr. Robertson's continued employment and advocates for LGBTQ equality should find equal issue with the current employment laws which are inherently unjust to all the citizens of Louisiana.

Benjamin Garren, Integrity Blogger, is a seminarian at Bexley Hall and a candidate for ordination in the Diocese of Maine.  A native of North Carolina, he did his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Richard Gilmore is running for the Iowa Senate and needs your help. 

Please take 2 minutes to read this and I think you will agree with me that he is someone you can support.

Richard has always had passion for fixing things---solving problems. He has made a good living, fun hobbies and valuable community work out of that passion.

Who is Richard Gilmore?
· Resided with his wife Dr. Robin Plattenberger-Gilmore in Washington, Iowa since 1997.
· Grew up on an Iowa farm in Monticello-Anamosa Iowa area.
· Graduated from Anamosa, Iowa HS in 1970.
· Attended electrical trade school in Des Moines.
· Employed by Motorola, Archer TV and Xonics Medical troubleshooting repair solutions.
· Worked at Des Moines VA hospital as an essential employee for CAT and x-ray equipment.
· Married grade school sweet-heart Robin in 1973.
· Adopted two children, 3 year old Michelle and 5 year old Matt.
· Chose Washington for their future by purchasing a home to restore as a bed and breakfast in 1995 and operating it 1997-2007
· Worked to improve family housing quality in Washington since 2008 by buying homes to improve, rent to families and eventually sell.Other information:
· Traveled abroad to Mexico City dumps, Spain and Bosnia and has seen how governments fail.
· Helped build homes with Habitat for Humanity in Washington and does volunteer repair work throughout the community for those in need.
· Assisted with multiple community boards and projects.
· Served as trustee chair and finance chair for the United Methodist Church of Washington and works with the Furniture Ministry to collect good used furniture for distribution through HACAP.
· Served as a volunteer on mission trips to Appalachia, Oklahoma and Mississippi.
· Grew up as a Republican but switched parties during the Reagan era when they dropped support for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
· Worked on bikes from a young age and is an avid bike rider/racer licensed in US Cycling Assoc. since 1993.
· Rode 17 days San Diego to Savannah in 2007 at age 56, 175 miles per day 16-18 mph.

Political Philosophy
· Believes government is about solving problems, making things work properly and for the benefit of the common good.

Richard is at a stage in his life where he has valuable time and experience that he can share and we hope you will join us in supporting him.

Gilmore for Iowa Senate contact
1201 South Iowa Ave

Washington, IA 52353

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December event

Washington County Democrats   6:30 December 11 2013    1201 South Iowa Ave


 If you support the freedom of religion (as per our Constitution), and my church recognizes gay marriage, isn’t your support for the banning of same-sex marriage an attack on my religion’s First Amendment rights? 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Elizabeth Warren's letter

Dear Mr. Dimon, Mr. Moynihan, Mr. Corbat, Mr. Stumpf, Mr. Blankfein , and Mr. Gorman:
Five years ago, the "Too Big to Fail" status of America's largest financial institutions led to the near-collapse of the economy and massive government bailouts.  That crisis was the result of reckless activity on Wall Street and regulatory failures in Washington.  As Wall Street loaded up on risk, regulators failed to identify and to respond to warning signs in the mortgage market and across the financial system.
To avoid repeating those mistakes, and to prevent future crises, policymakers need access to objective, high-quality research, data, and analysis about our consumer and financial markets. As you know, private think tanks are extremely well-suited to provide this research and analysis, but for it to be valuable, such research and analysis must be truly independent. If the information provided by think tanks is little more than another form of corporate lobbying, then policymakers and the public should be aware of the difference.
As you know, your institutions are free to express your views to lawmakers and regulators through your lobbying efforts and those of the trade associations that represent you. But the law requires that there be transparency around your direct efforts to influence policymaking through lobbying, with disclosures about your lobbying expenditures.  Under current law, however, your institutions are permitted to make financial contributions to think tanks without any similar public disclosure. This means that you can make enormous contributions that threaten both the independence and public credibility of the work of think tanks out of the public view.
I am writing to encourage you to voluntarily disclose financial contributions your institutions make to think tanks.  In my view, policies by your institutions to conceal those contributions from public view are wrong.  Greater transparency will benefit your shareholders, policymakers, and, ultimately, the public.
As the CEOs of public companies, you have an obligation to expend corporate resources only in ways that advance the interests of your shareholders.  For that reason, I believe your shareholders have a right to know both which think tanks your companies are supporting and the extent of that support so that they can assess for themselves whether they benefit from these contributions.
When you use corporate resources to support think tanks, there are only two possible outcomes from public disclosure-those contributions do not influence the work of the think tanks or those contributions do influence the think tanks' research and conclusions. Either way, shareholders have a right to know how corporate resources are spent, and, even more importantly, policymakers and the public should be aware of your contributions and evaluate the work of the think tanks accordingly.
To be clear, your institutions have every right under the law to give financial support to think tanks, and think tanks have every right to accept that support. But just as there is transparency around your direct efforts to influence policymaking through lobbying, the same transparency should exist for any indirect efforts you make to influence policymaking through financial contributions to think tanks.
I very much hope that your institutions work to set a new standard in this area by voluntarily disclosing the contributions you make to think tanks.  I am confident that by increasing public disclosure, your companies can generate goodwill from shareholders, policymakers, and the public that will serve your long-term interests and the long-term interests of the American people.
I would be happy to discuss this issue with you further, and I hope you reach out to my office if you are interested in doing so.
Elizabeth Warren
U.S. Senator

Thursday, December 5, 2013

FCNL Priorities are Progressive Priorities

FCNLThe Friends Committee on National Legislation recently re-released their 113th Congress legislative priorities as agreed at their general committee meeting on Nov. 12, 2012. It’s hard to argue that these priorities are not progressive. Your comments are welcome.
  • Reduce the influence of money in political and electoral processes.
  • Increase U.S. government capacity for peaceful prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Promote regional and international diplomacy, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prevent war with Iran.
  • Promote nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Eliminate drone attacks.
  • Reduce U.S. military operations and bases around the world. Cut military spending while supporting programs for veterans.
  • Restore and strengthen programs that prevent or mitigate poverty and that improve access to education, training, health care and jobs.
  • Support progressive tax structures to address poverty and economic disparity.
  • Promote fair, humane and demilitarized immigration policies.
  • Safeguard the natural world. Support solutions to counter and mitigate global climate disruption and assist threatened human populations at home and abroad.
  • Transform U.S. energy policy to support the development and use of safe and sustainable energy sources.
  • Support efforts that respect the tribal sovereignty of Native Americans and indigenous peoples, enhance their well-being and honor treaty commitments.
  • Promote civil liberties and human rights, especially those undermined in the name of combating terrorism. Eliminate torture and suppression of dissent.
  • Reform drug policies that have led to mass incarceration and contribute to institutionalized racism.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The $54 question

Breaking news out of Des Moines is that many Iowa taxpayers will be eligible for an extra $54 tax credit.

This is the result of one of the most short-sighted pieces of legislation passed by the Iowa General Assembly in recent years. Lawmakers created what they called the “Taxpayers Trust Fund,” which we should call the “Giveaway Slush Fund.” It’s a pot of money to dole out to ...taxpayers and boast about at election time. Chances are, the “givers” won’t give you the whole picture.

Their game is an illusion, a political parlor trick: Hold down funding for key priorities, such as K-12 education, or universities, and then when revenues create a surplus, call it an “overpayment” by taxpayers.

Does anyone really believe their spin? The $120 million to be given away represents easily $120 million in services that could have been provided. For K-12 alone, a little over half of it could have been used this year to fully pay the state’s share of allowable growth at the 4 percent level lawmakers authorized. Instead, state funding only supports half of the state share.

By shortchanging school districts with funding for only 2 percent allowable growth this year despite strong revenues, lawmakers compounded a trend of squirreling away big dollars while claiming poverty. This way, they have given themselves $120 million to spend on dessert — the Giveaway Slush Fund — by choosing not to pay the state’s share of the bill for the meat and potatoes: school aid.

One Iowa columnist who has seen through this is The Des Moines Register’s Rekha Basu, who noted Sunday: “Doling out money piecemeal is a gimmick that may bring smiles to some faces but it can’t take the place of sound and consequential actions.” She’s right.

Is it really worth it to you to receive the $54, instead of putting adequate and appropriate funding back into our education system? Or cleaner water? Or safer streets? Or, well, you get the idea.

Give me a break. On second thought, don’t.

Mike OwenPosted by Mike Owen, Executive Director John Carpenter

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Study Shows Iowa Ranks 46th In Job Growth Under Terry Branstad
2013 ranking announced just days after Branstad admitted the inaccuracy of his job creation claims
Des Moines — Iowa ranks 46th out of 50 states in job growth, according to figures released today by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The figures were released just days after the Branstad admitted their past job creation claims were exaggerated.
“This is the latest example of Governor Branstad’s complete failure to work for middle class Iowa families,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “The Governor admitted to overstating job growth on Friday, and today we find out we’re ranked 46th out of 50 states. To create good jobs the Governor should invest in Iowa’s middle class, instead of funding tax giveaways to foreign corporations.”
The Branstad administration claims job growth of 128,000 since taking office, although those figures have received widespread scrutiny as they do not account for jobs lost. Net job growth has been much slower than the administration has admitted, with just 48,200 net jobs added since January of 2011.
Iowa fell to 46th after being ranked 14th the previous year. Only New Mexico, Kentucky, Alabama, and Alaska fared worse in the Arizona State study.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Harkin-Sanchez Bill: Expanding Social Security By Removing Salary Cap

people die when ss is cutIn answer to the cuts in Social Security payments to the elderly and disabled that were proposed by the Simpson – Bowles Commission (aka the Catfood Commission), Democrats in both the Senate and House have proposed SS be increased. The new money would come from removing the salary cap for SS contributions.
The Washington Post took to their editorial pages to denounce this proposal. Raising the boogey man of taxing the rich. They also noted that while the elderly may have problems, theirs are not as bad as some others. Therefore do not tax the rich.
In one of the best responses I have ever seen to such tripe is located in the response portion for this editorial. Someone identifying themselves as “Dryly 41″ looks at the history of our debt and notes SS has never added one dime to our debt. They also note that the debt since Reagan has almost totally been driven by borrowing to give tax cuts to the wealthy.
Let me add that we need a few more taxes to make sure everyone has food on their table and medical care also.
Here is the response:
Dryly 41
11/18/2013 8:04 AM PST
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese Empire attacked U.S. naval and air bases at Pearl Harbor. Thereafter sixteen million young men wore the uniform, and, after 3 years and 8 months secured the unconditional surrender of Italy, Germany, and, Japan, Then, except for 405,399, they came home, went to school of the G.I. Bill or got jobs and entered into delayed marriages. The delayed marriages created the “demographic bubble” known as the Baby Boom generation and the children of WW II vets began to turn 65 in 2011.
In 1946 the Gross Federal Debt amounted to 121.7% of GDP. the Truman administration reduced it to 71.4% of GDP; Eisenhower to 55.2%; Kennedy/Johnson to 38.6%; Nixon/Ford to 35.8%; and, Carter to 32.5%.
Then came Ronald Reagan with massive “supply side” tax cuts primarily for the wealthy and budget deficits in each of eight years increasing the Gross Federal Debt from 32.5% to 53.1% of GDP. Bush I had four more years of budget deficits increasing the debt to 66.1%.
Clinton raised taxes, had 4% unemployment, balanced budgets and reduced the debt to 56.4%.
Bush II instituted two rounds of “supply side” tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, had eight more years of deficits and increased the Gross Federal Debt from 56.4% of GDP to 85.1% with a crippled economy.
In 1983 Reagan signed a regressive FICA payroll increase so as to create a surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund which has a $2.6 trillion dollar reserve as of December 2012.
Social Security did not contribute one thin dime to the massive Federal Debt.
This massive Federal Debt was caused by borrowing all these trillions to fund “supply side” tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens most able to pay taxes.
The massive Federal Debt was not for any great national purpose such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WW I, or, WW II. It was for “supply side” tax cuts for the wealthy.
Start with eliminating “supply side” economics and return to traditional Republican tax and fiscal policy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Washington County Democratic Meeting 

Washington County Democrats met at the library on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 
Vice-Chair Lorraine Williams called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. With he Pledge of 
Allegiance. Those present were Lorraine Williams, Louise and Harold Frakes, John 
Greener, Richard Gilmore, Steve Maxon and Doris Parks. 

Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. Richard Gilmore reported that the 
balance in our treasury is $2695.95 which includes $500 in the candidate fund. 
Treaasurer Kay Ciha was not present because of illness. 

Lorraine announced that Democrat Sandra Johnson was elected mayor of Washington 
and that Kathy Salazar (a Democrat) and Jaron Rosein (leaning Democrat) were elected 
to the Washington City Council. There were no reports of other city elections. 

It was noted that John Greener, Richard Gilmore, Lorraine Williams and her husband 
attended the Braily Blues & Bar-B-Q in Des Moines. Discussion of this event also led to 
a short discussion on gun control. 

Under old business, Doris Park and John Greener reported on the meeting about the 
Richland/Kalona Bridge. They said there is a lot of interest and excitement about 
restoring this historic bridge. 

Richard Gilmore handed out his brochures and cowboy cards. He said he is now ready to 
start Fund Raising. 

For new business, details of the Christmas party were decided. It will be Wednesday, 
December 11 at 6:30 pm at Richard Gilmore & Robin Plattenberger’s home. They will 
furnish soup, everyone else should bring dessert, salad, finger food, or something to 
round out the meal. Each of those who regularly attend the County meetings are 
encouraged to invite 5 other Democrats to join us for the Christmas party. 

Harold Frakes gave an update on the upcoming Caucus which will be held January 21 at 
7:00 pm at the library. We have 10 precincts in our county and each precinct needs to 
have a chairperson and a secretary to run their caucus. Harold handed out maps of the 
county that show the various precinct lines. He encouraged everyone to think of people 
to fulfill those obligations. We will need to finalize this during a short meeting at the 
Christmas party. 

Steve Maxon was reminded to make copies of the 2012 Platform for each Precinct. 
Much of the focus of the caucus will be on making the 2014 Platform. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:01 with a reminder that our next meeting is the Christmas 
Party at Gilmore’s at 6:30 pm. 

Respectfully submitted, Louise Frakes, acting secretary 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Democratic Meeting
The Washington County Democrats met on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in the Washington Public Library.  Chairman Richard Gilmore called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. Those present were Richard Gilmore, Robin Plattenberger, Kay & Dave Ciha, Fred & Nan Stark, Jim & Karen Gorham, John Greener, Lorraine Williams, Sandy Johnson, Terry Philips, and Harold & Louise Frakes.

Minutes were approved as sent out.  Treasurer’s report was given. The General Fund has $1966.97 and the Candidate Fund has $500.00.

Under Old Business, the Fund Raiser Dinner was discussed.  We cleared $1342.78 on it.  Several ideas were presented concerning the auction.  1. Split the auction up between the various speakers. 2. Simply have a silent auction. 3.  Combine the silent auction with the live auction.  Everyone thought Gary Murphy was a great auctioneer and made the auction fun, but we were disappointed that so many people left before the auction was over.  General consensus was that the tables, the decorations, the speakers and the meal were all great.  We just need to decide what to do about the auction.  No decision was made.  It was also noted that we need to have access into the building by 9:30 am.

John Greener moved that we give a monetary donation to our 2 guest speakers.  There was some discussion, but the motion died for lack of a second.

Report of the Special Supervisor Election was given.  Republican Richard Young won and will take office immediately. 

John Greener asked if we are going to support the bridge issue.  It was decided that those interested should attend the Supervisor meeting about it.

Under new business, Kay Ciha announced that there would be a meeting at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center Wednesday, October 16 at 7:30 pm about CAFOs.  Anyone interested in restricting the CAFOs was encouraged to attend. Dr. Robin Plattenberger reported that the high use of antibiotics with animals is causing problems in treating humans.

Candidate Development report by Harold:  Richard almost has 2 pieces of literature ready to hand out.  Many other offices will be up for election: County attorney, a Democrat to run against Jared Klein; 2 Supervisor seats (districts 3 & 5).  We need to be working on filling these open seats.

Terry Philips talked about how to win elections.  He recommended contacting Democrats and then following up with an absentee ballot.  Kay recommended using Becky Schmidt’s “Neighbor to Neighbor” program. All agreed that personal contact and getting a commitment of Democrats to vote is critical. We need to reach all Democrats not just those active in the County Party.

Announcements:  Harold reported that Chris Canney’s wife has been diagnosed with cancer.  They are asking for donations of organic vegetables and fruit.

Meeting adjourned at 8:52 pm.
Respectfully submitted, 

Louise Frakes, acting secretary

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veterans' Day

This story, or a variation of it, could be told a thousand different times I expect. My heritage is poor Irish so as immigrants, we started in the coal mines of Kentucky. From there the Frakes began to move north and west into Iowa. Along the way, my great great grandfather enlisted and fought in the Black Hawk Indian wars. Later, my great grandfather (a Quaker) fought in the Civil War. He was captured and sent to Andersonville prison. My grandfather did not enlist. He chose to uphold the Irish drinking stereotype. My father enlisted in the Iowa State Guard and fought in the Cow War (google it, there really is a cow war). My older brother served in the National Guard for several years, all stateside. He attempted to re-enlist during Desert Storm, but was turned down. I enlisted in the Army and served in Germany during part of the Cold War—though I hasten to point out that I never gave nor received hostile fire. My younger brother enlisted and served in Vietnam until he was killed shortly before the end of his second tour. I discouraged my son from enlisting as I felt the Frakes had done enough. And though he thought seriously about enlisting, he didn’t. After his son enlisted, he tried to enlist as he thought he would then be able to protect his son. He, too, was too old to enlist by then. My first grandson is currently deployed in Afghanistan. He will still have several years left of his current enlistment after he comes home. I have two grandsons and three granddaughters not currently in the military. And, the truth be told, I hope Jake ends our military history. One of my favorite parts of Micah reads, “…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” I am ready for all families to have a different history. We need to remember the specialness of this day, but we need to walk a different path going forward. Normally my family celebrates this day with lemon pie for I believe that is the only way to truly honor a vet. But, with Jake in deployment, we are going wait and make the pie when he comes home and is out of harm’s way. In the meantime, thank you for  your service to all vets. I hope you get your lemon pie.

Harold R. Frakes

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From The Des Moines Register

Iowa View: About my switch - The Republican Party has left me 

Written by


Last week, the news broke that I am resigning as co-chairman of the Polk County Republican Party and changing my party affiliation to independent. This was a difficult and personal decision I struggled with for several months and discussed with my family, friends and pastor.

I felt so increasingly uncomfortable by the inter-party dysfunction, and extreme vision, that I lost faith in the party. Personally, I believe the Republican Party no longer represents Iowa’s values. I plan to move forward to officially switch my party affiliation to Democrat.
Republicans misread the electorate in 2012 and have since doubled down, particularly in their rhetoric and unwillingness to work for solutions on problems facing our country. This objection has pushed me to realize that I needed to make a change as a matter of personal necessity.

Recently, the GOP has clung to views that are out of touch and are too extreme for Iowans. Their resistance to reach out and work with those across the aisle is on full display every day from local, state and national Republicans.

This consistent aversion to move forward harms both current and future generations.
Locally, too many leaders, activists and volunteers became more interested in saying what the far right of the party wanted to hear than doing anything to broaden our appeal to Iowans. It reached the point that hateful slurs and offensive remarks uttered by party members made me uncomfortable.

More than anything, it deterred me from the democratic process I believe in so much.
In the past few years, the Republican Party has been the party of subtraction. When I was younger, I was drawn to the GOP because they espoused “The Big Tent.” I stood behind the ideals of past Republican presidents because they represented freedom and justice for all.

Now, among many segments of the Republican Party, “The Big Tent” has become a negative idea that somehow compromises their most sacred principles.
I am a husband with a daughter in kindergarten and another baby on the way. As a parent, I see my children’s education, and all children’s education, as essential to the future. I want my children to have the chance to receive the best education they can — starting from the first day of preschool straight through college.

Some GOP officeholders and candidates have been vocal about putting measures in place that are harmful to education, ranging from eliminating state-funded early childhood education to actually shutting down the U.S. Department of Education. Our families deserve better.

I was very disappointed to watch how my party responded to the hateful rhetoric of U.S. Rep. Steve King. King has always been an embarrassment to our party, but his latest comments have permanently damaged the GOP’s standing with Latinos and fair-minded Iowans.

Most disappointing to me was that too many leaders of the Iowa GOP refused to stand up to him and offer disapproval. The Republican Party was founded on the ideas of expanding the rights and freedoms of Americans, but today it seems only interested in protecting the interests of a few.

Making this move was not a decision I took lightly. Yet, being a member of the GOP and a leader of the Polk County Republicans has compromised my values, and I can no longer stand behind their mission.

I want to support a party that is working to move our country forward. After a lot of soul searching, I have found that the only party interested in that is the Democratic Party.
While I may disagree on some of their policies, Democrats have a vision to move our country forward. I am proud to work with anyone who wants to grow our state and help every American reach their fullest potential.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

As August 28th will mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King speech, it seems we should pause and reflect upon the issues of his memorial speech and note where we are today.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 
Equal Opportunities 
Full and Fair Employment 
Access to Affordable Housing 
Education for All 
Protecting Voting Rights 

Well, how very odd, these were the issues then, and these are still the issues today! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Washington County Democrats met Wednesday July 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM in a second floor meeting room at the Washington County Public Library. There were 14 members present for the meeting. Chair Richard Gilmore presided. The Minutes for June 12, 2013 were emailed to all of those members with email. No objections were brought forth. The minutes were approved and passed. Treasurer Kay Ciha presented the Financial Report. She also distributed copies of the report. Cash on hand for July 10, 2013 is $1,818.79. Income is $0.00. Expenses were $359.51 (Steve Maxon, candy for two parades $138.68. WalMart, for Trek Fest Parade $63.90. WalMart, for the 4th of July parade, $61.42. Total $359.51.) TOTAL FUNDS IN THE ACCOUNT $1,459.27. OLD BUSINESS Kay Ciha brought in an 8X11 copy of the poster she had made at Custom Impressions. This is a poster for Immigration Reform. There will be one copy in English and another in Spanish. Dave Ciha is making the easel for the posters. This was approved and seconded by the members. It was noted that we need more candidate literature. John will take care of the Braley literature. We still need Loebsack literature. Senate Office: Lorraine was asked to run for the Senate. She meticulously researched this possibility. She feels it is a full time job and then some to campaign. She feels that $100,000.00 must be raised to start of a new candidate. Lorraine felt she was not able to donate the number of hours needed, along with her other obligations. She felt that four steps were very important in relation to the election. 1. Put together a list of community events. 2.Candidate will need adequate financing to be competitive. 3. Enlist key volunteers who will be specially dedicated to this state senate race. 4. Identify a list of key leaders in the community that the candidate should meet. NEW BUSINESSS - GENERAL Everyone agreed that is extremely important to have the next Senate seat filled by a Democrat. Chair of the District wanted to meet with us concerning Fund Raising. Both Harold and Lorraine generously made campaign contributions. The Harkin Grant was discussed. The reasons we determined we need it for were: Infra Structure, Fund Raising and Out Reach. It was decided unanimously that the Washington County Democrats would apply for the Grant. Harold, Richard and John agreed to serve on the committee for this endeavor. They will meet on Tuesday, July 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM. NEW BUSINESS - ANNUAL DINNER The Dinner will be held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in October. This is our major fundraiser, having it catered was discussed, using Lorraine of the Café Dodici was discussed. It was decided that Ione would be asked to make the pies. She likes to remain active with our organization. A pie auction was discussed and it was suggested that we use Keith Murphy as the Auctioneer. It was suggested that we take note of the football schedule. It was agreed that Sunday was the best day of the week to hold the Fundraiser Dinner.


Set up will be Sunday July 14, 2013. Members have volunteered to do this. Gloria will be taken to the Fair on this same day. Robin offered a foldout stool to make it easier for the kids to climb on Gloria's back. Kay will take photos if needed. Literature and candy will be distributed. The Democrats will also be selling t-shirts for $10.00 each. People will also be able to sign up for the chance to win a $5.00 Gift Certificate for lunch or a $10.00 certificate for dinner at the Café Dodici here in Washington. There will be 10 drawings each day. These certificates will expire in October 2013. There will be no passes to get into the fair. Just tell them you are working at the Fair.

Kay will supply Districts maps. Richard will supply a big fan. Sandy will bring a box fan and 4 folding chairs, and tablecloths. Bob, Lorraine and Sandy will supply tables.

The sign up sheet for staffing the Democratic Booth was passed around for signatures.

Respectively submitted

Mimi Jacoby

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dear Second District Democrats,
The second district central committee has selected the date of August 24, 2013, to hold the district workshop.  It will be at the technology center at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.  There will be a suggested and recommended $20 registration fee to attend the workshop.  A flyer and registration form will be forthcoming that will provide the schedule and contents of the program, which will consist of presentations concerning campaigns, technology, party building, organization and affirmative action, and the Affordable Care Act.  There will be a “wine down” after the workshop to allow those present and anyone else to discuss the topics presented at the workshop.  A lunch will be available on-site by the campus food service.
Yours truly,
Alan Bohanan
Second District Democratic Chair

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday 5-7 Richard & Lorrain
              7-9 Kay

Tuesday   1-3 Louise& Harold
                3-5John Greener& Kay
                5-7 Lorrain & Sandra
                 7-9 Robin & Richard

Wednesday  1-3  Kay Ciha & Memi Jo
                      3-5   open
                     5-7   open
                     7-9 Steve & Doris

Thursday  1-3 Louise& Harold
                  3-5 Kay
                  5-7  Steve & Doris
                  7-9 Sandra& Richard

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Republicans in Congress constantly use the word 'entitlements' to refer to Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment. Sadly some in the liberal media also use the term entitlements. Here's the correct way to refer to these benefits.

They’re not “entitlements” — which sounds like something a bunch of spoiled, lazy, undeserving people irrationally think they should get for nothing. Instead, try: Earned Benefits. This term not only sounds better for the progressive cause, it’s also more accurate! Programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment are all forms of insurance that we pay into all of our working lives — via a percentage of our income — and then collect from when the time comes.

Very simply put words matter.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I think we have finally figured out how to update our blog. Look for more information soon. In the meantime, here is an email, the party has received:

Amber asked me to put together a candidate primer for you to use to help the as-yet-unnamed Senate candidate.

For starters, we're still early here—there's on reason to worry that a candidate won't be able to be organized in plenty of time to wage a competitive race in SD39. To help him/her hit the ground running, there are several steps the area county party organizations can take to make sure a solid foundation is in place (in no particular order):

Have each county party put together a list of community events. This would include not only fairs and parades, but also county central committee meetings, city council meetings, chamber meetings, school board meetings, county board meetings, Kiwanis, Rotary, Elks, etc club meetings.

Whoever decides to run, this race is happening in a swing district and the candidate will need plenty of $$ to be competitive. Start raising money now so that the candidate will have some seed money from your party organizations when he/she decides to get in.

Identify key volunteers who will be dedicated specifically to this state senate race. Those volunteer duties should include (but not be limited to) in rough order of importance: voter contact- people to help knock doors and make phone calls; event planners/helpers/fundraisers; envelope stuffers; letter to the editor writers; parade volunteers; yard sign distributors; etc.

Identify a list of key leaders in the community that the candidate should meet. Examples include Mayors, city councillors, county supervisors, business leaders, former elected officials, high school superintendents, community college leaders (if applicable); local union leaders and so forth

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 2013 Meeting

Meeting, Feb. 13, 2013

The Washington County Democrats met Wednesday, February 13, 2012; in a second floor back meeting room of the Washington Public Library.

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

Minutes of the January monthly meeting were declared ready to be filed for the record, with no corrections suggested.  Minutes were sent to everyone on the email list and posted to the blog.

Treasure Kay Ciha gave the treasurer’s report and distributed printed copies. Cash on hand on Jan. 9, 2013, was $1,415.10. There was $275.00 income from memberships. Expenses were $0.00 for the month. Cash on hand on Feb. 13, 2013, was $1,690.10. Kay reminded us that it is time for annual dues.

Chairperson, Pete Morrison, indicated that the Off-year Convention/Election would be held at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting in March.  The Constitution, by-laws and rules of the Iowa Democratic Party had been changed to bring all of the counties in line with the off-year election procedure at the 2012 Convention. Washington County was one of several counties that already had followed that procedure for some time.

Terry Phillips provided some information on the Veterans Caucus and committee actions this past month.

Old Business:

It was noted that the regular monthly meeting would be effectively held at the same time as the elections convention.

New Business:

The County Convention will be held at the same room and location on the Washington Public Library at 7:00 p.m., on March 13, 2013 on the 2nd floor.

Motion was made by Terry Phillips, and seconded, that we consider publishing the notice of the Off-year Convention, in addition to asking that the information be included in the free event calendar sections of the local newspapers and notice via email. He felt that this would give more people the opportunity to attend the meeting. It was suggested that Pete review the Iowa Constitution, by-laws and rules as amended and updated at the 2012 Iowa Convention to determine if there was a publication requirement.

Pete brought up the idea that we might have snacks at the meeting, and it was suggested that people bring something to offer if they wanted to.  It was the consensus of the group that this would work.

There was some discussion regarding the 2014 Elections and the positions of the legislative seats.  It was noted that Harkin had announced his intention not to run for re-election. Everything is very speculative at this point, and we are still very early in the process.  Harold Frakes indicated that he was planning on actively locating potential candidates for legislative and also local positions.   It was noted that we were also going to pursue finding potential candidates for local positions that would be up for re-election, including the County Attorney position.

Upcoming events were noted:  Legislative meeting at the Washington County Court House for February and March.  2nd District was trying to plan a meeting probably in March.

Motion was made and seconded to adjourn, motion passed, and meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Pete Morrison, Acting Secretary & Chair

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January Meeting 2013

Meeting, January 9, 2013

Washington County Democrats met Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 7 p.m. in a second-floor meeting room at the Washington Public Library. Present were Chairman Pete Morrison, Dave Ciha, Kay Ciha, Martha Dahlin, Karen Gorham, Mary Martin, Steve Maxon, Doris Park, Shirley Pfeifer, Robert Spenner, state Senator Rich Taylor, and Nan Stark.

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

2. The November 2012 minutes had been e-mailed to everyone with e-mail addresses, and had been posted to the blog. No objections were brought forth from those, and they will be filed.

3. Treasurer Kay Ciha presented the treasurer’s report and distributed printouts of the report. Cash on hand on 11-14-12 was $1,680.20. Income was $200.29 from a Mediacom refund; and $155.13 from donation of unspent campaign funds from Richard Gilmore. (Donation is required for unspent campaign funds, and Richard donated these to the Washington County Democrats). Expenses were: to Go Daddy, for a three-year Web site subscription, $268.00; Mediacom (for phone, cable and Internet), $182.04; Dodici’s (gift certificate for the Patersons of Riverside), $100.00; one-year box rent for P.O. box 42, paid to the USPS, $56.00; and Walmart (for file folders for audit), $14.07. Cash available on 1-9-13 was $1,415.51. Pete said the treasurer’s report would be filed for audit. Kay said she had received membership money from several people just before the meeting. She reminded everyone that dues should be paid soon.

4. Report of the Chair: Pete stated that he believed we ended up the 2012 election season pretty well and the Democrats fared better than in the previous election. President Obama didn’t lose by much in the county, and Dave Loebsack was re-elected as state representative. He believed that Rep. Loebsack’s coming to Washington a number of times helped a lot.

5. Old Business -- Pete said we had successes in the election and that everything went well. He had e-mailed and texted campaign worker Ian Gray couple of times to compliment him on the job he had done, as well as contacting some of the higher-ups to let them know what a good job Ian had done. Ian may be thinking about running for an Illinois House seat in the district where he lives. Pete has also tried to incorporate some of the younger people who worked during the campaign season, hoping we can keep them involved. He has been encouraged in this effort by Lorraine Williams.

Next on the agenda was naming those people to serve on the nominations committee. A nominations committee needs to come up with new officers to begin their terms in March. Kay said we also need a place to meet for the March convention -- an off-year convention. We will consult the state rules as to what we need to do to prepare for that, such as newspaper advertising. Pete said we have the second floor meeting room reserved for us for the next six months, for the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m., and a deposit is no longer required.

Pete nominated himself and Kay Ciha for the nominations committee. Bob Spenner nominated Richard Gilmore. Richard was not present, so he will be contacted and asked to serve. No one else offered to serve, so Nan Stark was named as a possibility to sit in on the committee as well.

Pete thinks we need to hold a workshop this summer

6. New Business -- State Senator Rich Taylor spoke about upcoming legislation. He believes gas tax will be a big issue. Increasing the gas tax has the support of the governor and the Republicans and limited support of Democrats. He thinks the tax will be increased gradually and may be tied to inflation. Pete brought up the matter of cars that don’t use gasoline. Dave Ciha said those could be set up so their mileage can be read.

Sen. Taylor said legislation would include discussion of the large surplus of funds being held. Commercial property tax will be another issue.

Sen. Taylor’s district includes the southern three townships of Washington County, all of Henry and all of Lee counties, and the eastern four townships of Jefferson County. It is District 42. His e-mail is

Pete needs to find out where concerns from us should be sent. Rich will try to be here for the legislative briefings in January, February and March. The first briefing will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 19 at the courthouse.

Adhali Larios has a Face book page called Iowa Affirmative Action, and we should have that attachment on our Web site, <>.

We went around the room and introduced ourselves and where we were from, and discovered that a wide area of Washington County was represented that evening. Pete remarked that he had met quite a few new Democrats recently and will send them e-mails, etc. The Iowa City Democrats are keeping their office open.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at 7 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of the Washington Public Library.

Motion was made and seconded to adjourn, motion passed, and meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Nan Stark, Secretary