Long before the sun comes up on Sunday Morning I get to reflect on the political news that you may have seen, or missed, all laced with my commentary. Why sleep when you can enjoy a steaming hot cup of Sunday Morning Coffee. Let's go!
I Did It
I'm writing this long, long before "45" gathers you together around your video box and tells you he was responsible for taking out the head of ISIS. He did it. Of course back in 2012 all "45" could do was author anti Obama tweets saying that the then president should not take credit for the killing of Bin Laden. For example on October 22, 2012 he wrote: Stop congratulating Obama for killing Bin Laden. The Navy Seals killed Bin Laden. In total over that day there were no less than 8 tweets...saying about the same thing.
But that...was then.
Yesterday about 700 people crowded into Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University for "A Conversation with Nancy Pelosi". It was an event put together by the Polk County Democratic Party. And, frankly, it was a major event. Consider that the Speaker of the House came to Des Moines to answer questions posed by attendees rather than stand and give a speech was remarkable. Following introductions by county chair Sean Bagniewski Congresswomen Cindy Axne spoke about the efforts she and her fellow members have been working on including over 400 bills passed but yet to be taken up by the Senate.
She answered questions for about ninety minutes. Including what led up to that photo of her standing up to "45" which the White House released following that abrupt meeting. She spoke to the efforts of the House to improve the lives of working American families. Such as the move to lower the cost of prescription drugs, end dark money in politics, combat voter suppression, and get health care costs in line.
One of the lines, that I thought was exceptional, was when she quoted Thomas Paine by saying, "The time has found us...". She then spoke to how the unity of so many people from so many different backgrounds, races, religions and lifestyles have formed an organization committed to unity and to the mission of improving the lives of working
Yep, it was pretty good.
But NOTHING like this "just happens". Here are the volunteers and staff from the Polk County Democrats that made this happen. (You can click to enlarge.) Thank you all!
Meanwhile in Wisconsin
You don't have to travel too far to see how folks tend to forget the past. A photo taken this past spring in Baraboo, Wisconsin appears to show dozens of high school students giving the Nazi salute. On the, now deleted, social media post one student remarked, "We even got the black kid to throw it up." At least one student is seen making the OK gesture, which some associate with white supremacists.
Your parents must be so very proud...and I'm sure the colleges and universities that you've applied to will all take this in stride. Not to mention future employers. Here is the full story from CBS News.
Long Term Care in Iowa
Residents in long term care facilities in Iowa are under threat...once again. It appears that the six professionals who work as investigators with the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Cindy Pederson are going to be replaced with volunteers. If you remember, a couple of years ago the vehicles used by the professional investigators were taken away and long-term care complaints and concerns were done over the phone. Yeah...that. In speaking to one of the professionals I was told that in a year this one investigator would receive up to 700 complaints.
For those of you not aware of how the system works. When a complaint or concern is generated by a nursing home resident or family to the Ombudsman an investigator is assigned the case. The case then is handled outside of the punitive area of the Department of Inspections and Appeals. The resolution of the issue doesn't hit the negative reports of the facility. It's a system that has worked well for years but now it appears the State wishes to diminish the effort with, what can best be described, a cost saving measure.
When it comes to the most vulnerable of our citizens...the young and the old Iowa pays lots of lip-service but little in the way of actually care.
Did You Know?
In doing some research on the topic of something called "Right to Repair" I was shocked to learn how Iowa fails it's citizens and small businesses all across the state. Here is the short story: Manufacturers of everything from agricultural equipment to refrigerators and cell phones hold the secret to repairing those devices. That means that small businesses, unless they are "authorized dealers" do not have the right to repair stuff. In one example a person purchased a refrigerator that two years later failed to work. He went online and ordered a part. Once installed he was instructed to "enter the code" to allow it to work. He had no "code" so called the manufacturer who told him he had no right to that code...even though he purchased the product and the part.
Some time ago three members of the Iowa House introduced a bill to allow small businesses and owners to repair their purchased products but every lobbyist from car dealers to manufacturers opposed the legislation and it died in committee. The reason? Manufacturers make millions on repairs. They and their shareholders would hate to see that income erode. Or...so it seems.
This week Iowa House member Representative Kristin Sunde (D-WDM) had a really great idea for a fund raiser. She put together a Halloween themed event where adults and kids dressed up in costumes. It was not only inventive but also big fun.
You know, sometimes you've got to hand it to these creative types who not only seek to actually represent their constituents but raise election dollars in an inventive way.
Well done Kristan and thanks for the invite!
Interesting Times in Windsor Heights
Never a dull moment here when it comes to city politics. Last week former Windsor Heights City Administrator Elizabeth Hanson filed a lawsuit following her termination in April. She is suing the city and Windsor Heights City Council members Threase Harms, Zac Bales-Henry, Mike Jones, Joseph Jones and Michael Loffredo.
From the reporting of KCCI: "The lawsuit indicates Harms spent substantial personal capital making city employees' lives more difficult by attempting to undermine them and berating and bullying them at council meetings. It also says Harms created a work environment sufficiently hostile that two separate complaints had been filed by employees.
Hanson said she believes her contract was not renewed in retaliation for supporting the complaints."
There are also allegations about improper meetings taking place outside of the open meetings law.
It's sort of a mess with the city elections coming up. Harms is seeking a second term while Bales-Henry decided not to run.
All of this has resulted in former City Councilman Tony Timm to mount a write-in campaign. Timm ran for mayor in 2017 but was defeated by anti-sidewalk champion Dave Burgess. It seems, by the phone calls and messages that I've gotten, that there is great interest in the still developing campaign. Mr. Timm, who is a Democrat, will be speaking to the Windsor Heights Democrats meeting later this week. Stay tuned.
Later today I'll be joining other activists who are committed to reducing gun violence in Iowa. There is an active working group formed by the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. As always it's vital that we turn faith into action.
In addition, and in case you are interested, I'm working every day to gather the support of Democrats across the Metro and in Senate District 22 as I run for that office. If your interested in helping this life-long Democrat...you can sign up here!
Thanks for reading and have a fantastic Sunday!