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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Year End Rap Up

Well, now that 2012 has ended, we are going to look forward to 2013.  2013 brings with it the knowledge that we will not have to slug through primaries, elections of any consequence or all of those things which occupied most of 2012, starting with the early caucuses in January of 2012.

We will now have time to build the Democratic Party here in Washington in the upcoming months and we will start with the core group of people that propelled us through the successful election of President Obama and Congressmen Dave Loebsack, this past November.

Local politics will be something that we will have to focus on in the next two years.  It will be an uphill battle in Washington County, but demographics are changing and the recent restructuring of the Iowa Senate district offers some interesting opportunities for Democrats.

Our first monthly meeting will be held at the Washington Public Library on the 2nd Floor, front meeting room, where we have been meeting much of this past year.  In fact, the rules have changed and we now can reserve the room for 6 months vs. the 2 months advance renewal in the past.

Monthly meetings of the Washington County Democrats are as follows:

When:  The 2nd Wednesday of every month, starting in January of 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

Where:  The Washington Public Library on the square in downtown Washington, Iowa

Meetings are subject to change as directed monthly by the group.