"Never discuss politics and religion...and don't gossip!" What fun is that? Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee where we do just that. Some of the stories you've, maybe, heard others might be new. Let's dig in and enjoy a cup...or two on this Father's Day 2016:
The List is Getting Longer
Last week the Washington Post made it to the list of banned media sites meaning they no longer get credentials for any Donald Trump event. They join others like the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, Politico and The Des Moines Register. Yep...we even made the list. Makes me feel all warm inside.
Apple Bans Trump
Yesterday Apple became another on the list of companies who have declined the opportunity to support the Republican National Convention because....of Donald Trump. It's not a bunch of money. Back in 2008 Apple donated equipment to the GOP Convention and reports had it valued at $140,000. What is interesting is the growing list of companies saying no to the Republicans: HP, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase and Ford have all scaled back our cut out the group now headed by Donald Trump. You might say that Trump is "bad for business".
In a relate story Mr. Trump this weekend said that if the GOP doesn't get on board with his campaign he will self fund the effort. Some Republicans are sitting this one out or not offering much support. They have, as my friend Tim Lloyd notes in his cartoon this week "Painted Themselves in a Corner". It was, after all, this same bunch that was obstructing nearly everything for the past eight years and turned a deaf ear to the rabble that wants to turn America back to 1953. Now what are you gonna do? (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
The Iowa Democrats - Hall of Fame Dinner
I attended the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner last week with my friend and former Third District congressional candidate Desmund Adams. It was, pretty much a "love fest" between rivals that just went through a tough primary process. US Senate Candidate Patty Judge had the most interesting pre-party event with a room full of well-wishers who pledged to work hard for her in her contest against Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) who, because of his failure to lead, has become a target for defeat in November. It's an uphill climb but if the Democrats can mobilize, and it is a presidential year, there is that possibility.
Congressman Dave Lobesack (D-IA) offered up a masterful speech. Really, I have seen him before but on this night he was on top of his game. He spoke of party unity (the theme) and how Democrats must get out and work hard. His personal story made the speech.
State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad (D-Des Moines) offered up the opening prayer and, for a bit, it seemed more like a revival than a political function. His call for peace, freedom and acceptance took in all the right stuff to kick off the evening.
Congratulations go out to these Democrats who where honored:
Outstanding Elected Official Award: Senator Mike Gronstal
Outstanding Supporter Award: Ken Sagar, Iowa Federation of Labor President
Minette Doderer Award for Outstanding Leadership: Rep. Sharon Steckman (D-Mason City)
Jim Lodwick Award for Outstanding State Central Committee Member: Jean Pardee, longest serving SCC member
Bob Creech Award for Outstanding Democratic Party Chair: Laura Hubka, Howard County Chair
Dixon Terry Award for Outstanding Democratic Party Activist: Randy Black, Chair of the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Committee
Edward Campbell Rising Star Award: Blake Hanson
Only two of the honorees were allowed to speak. Mike Gronstal gave one of the best speeches I've heard from him and Ken Sagar continued his efforts and the Fight for Fifteen not only in Polk County but across the state. I would hope, in future years, we might allow the others honored to offer some brief remarks. It might add 15 minutes to the event but...we ain't going anywhere.
Biggest THUD of the Night
At the close of the Iowa Hall of Fame event came the biggest THUD of the evening. Iowa Democratic Party Chair announced the new name for the fall event formerly known as the Jefferson/Jackson Day Dinner...or the JJ. A hush descended on the hundreds in attendance as Dr. Andy McGuire revealed the new name. Ready? "I am pleased to announce that the State Central Committee has re-named the JJ Dinner the (wait for it...) Fall Gala.." The "hush" was met by groans. Really Andy? Is that the best we could do? The "Fall Gala"?? This is what took weeks and weeks to decide? Several words come to mind... "Lazy", "Fearful", "Silly". Sounds more like a sorority cotillion than a political rally designed to retain the White House and the Iowa Senate. If that is the best we could do...we are doomed. I, personally liked the Hughs/Harkin Dinner or HH. But..."The Fall Gala"? Yikes....
The Ghost of Bernie Sanders
Groans turned into some arm twisting the following morning as the Iowa Democratic Party State Convention got underway. The result was predictable as Sec. Hillary Clinton won the majority of delegates to the National Convention. The Bernie Sanders wing...the more liberal it would seem...just didn't match the experience of the other side. Several I spoke with were dejected and, frankly, wondered who they might work for and support over the next few months. This is not to say that the vast majority of Democrats will not get behind Hillary...I think they will... However, down ticket, it's difficult to see these energetic, youthful and liberal voters getting jazzed up for what is being offered. Looks mighty "establishment" centered and that is exactly what they are not looking for. If Iowa Democrats are as feckless about reaching out to them as they were in naming the Fall Gala... Look, you guys better get your act together because the GOP is smelling success.
Senator David Johnson
Last week State Senator David Johnson (I-Ocheyedan) made the gutsy move to abandon the Republican Party because of, not only Donald Trump, but a host of other issues. Sen. Johnson doesn't like where his party is headed on education, energy, the environment and economic development. He says he is still a conservative on many social issues and ruled out caucusing with the Democrats but...it will be interesting to see where and what he does next year. I truly hope his stays with it. We could use some help turning this ship back to a progressive line on education, energy and the environment and stop handing out cash to already successful businesses.
Yesterday was also the celebration of Juneteenth in Des Moines. I failed to attend. It was "family day" and we did 20 miles with our kids on the bikes. Twenty miles for an 8 year-old is pretty darn good.
Today is Father's Day....enjoy the day, your family and friends. It's good to be a Dad...and it's better to be a Father. Thank you kids! I was telling a friend of mine last week that clearly our son Aaron has become a better father than I was and I am so very proud of him.
Have a wonderful Sunday and thanks for reading!