Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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April 26, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 4/28/09

I have to crow a bit… we just got home from watching our daughter Jordan run at the Drake Relays. Jordan is a freshman at City High, and ran on the 4 x 400 relay team.

The weather was lousy, and Jordan’s team just missed qualifying for the finals. But Drake is a neat event, and it was pretty cool to have a child experience it. Thanks for allowing me to brag!

I recently finished an interesting book on political history. “The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be,” by Michael Lux makes the point that bipartisanship may be overrated.

As Lux points out, Lincoln had zero support from Democrats in Congress when passing his agenda. All the opponents were sure his actions would bring the US to its knees. Teddy Roosevelt had zero support from his fellow Republicans when it came time to bust the trusts, siding instead with the William Jennings Bryan Democrats. All the opponents were sure his actions would bring the US to its knees. FDR had no Republican votes in the Congress when Social Security was created. All the opponents were sure his actions would bring the US to its knees. President Obama’s stimulus plan got zero Republican votes in the House and three in the Senate. All the opponents are sure his action will bring the US to its knees. (Time will tell!)

There are several additional examples. Bottom line is, bipartisanship has its place, but not if you need to make significant changes. The opposition party is just that – opposition. They are in place to stop the majority. If you are always looking for compromise, you’ll never get the change you seek.

The other piece of this, of course, is we need politicians at all levels who are willing to take a stand, then accept the electoral consequences. To be an effective elected official, your platform must be more important than your own reelection.

Happy May Day on May 1st! As you probably know, May Day has long been recognized worldwide as a celebration of the worker. The holiday took on special meaning for workers in the US following the Haymarket Square massacres of 1886.

Unfortunately, during the “Red Scare” of the 1950s, the US quit celebrating May Day, fearing that the celebration was too closely aligned with the USSR and too anti-business. The US created “Law Day” to take its place.

While Law Day is certainly a noble endeavor, the US caved in to fear when moving away from the celebration of May Day. And the only people to suffer from this change in emphasis are US workers.

Some folks still do recognize May Day as a worker’s day, and they are gathering on the Ped Mall at noon on May 1. I urge you to join them!

Speaking of Law Day, it is being celebrated at the Johnson County Courthouse on Thursday, April 30 from 3 – 4:30 PM. There are tours, refreshments, and many activities for the kids.

The Johnson County Safe Kids Coalition is holding Safe Kids Day Saturday, May 2nd from 11 to 2 in the south parking lot of Coral Ridge Mall.
There will be lots of events for the kids, plus child safety seat checks, a bike safety rodeo, tours of emergency vehicles, and all kinds of demonstrations. Call Doug Stahl at 339-3338 for more information.

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Walk for the Mind of America is Saturday, May 2nd, at Lower City Park in Iowa City, with check in at 9 and the walk at 10.

This is the biggest annual fundraiser for NAMI. For more information, contact Della McGrath at 358-8448 or

The Crisis Center Pancake breakfast is Saturday, May 2nd from 8-2 at Parkview Church. This is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Crisis Center. For more information, call 351-2726.

The Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Program (MYEP) is holding its 6th annual Youth Festival Saturday, May 2nd from 10 AM -3 PM at 1060 Cross Park Avenue in Iowa City.

The usual bikes, food, fun, games, auction items, and the like will be available; there is no charge for admission. All proceeds support MYEP work with Johnson County youth.

DID YOU KNOW? You can look at and reserve campsites at any county park in Iowa through .

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website- .

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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