Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 5, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 12/8/09

The fall sports season is winding down, with the Hawks headed to a big Bowl game in January. This has been one of the most fun football seasons in memory.

Best of luck to the football Hawks! Meanwhile, be sure to take some time this winter to enjoy the exploits of some of the other athletic teams at the UI, local junior highs, and high schools. There are lots of exciting teams out there that deserve our support!

People who observe politics love labels, particularly “liberal” and “conservative”. I am not sure those labels actually serve much purpose.

I need look no further than my own life for examples. My Republican grandfather was, in many ways, more liberal than my Democratic grandfather. Both men were honest and fair, and they got along very well.

Personally, my beliefs are all over the board. For example:

When it comes to finances, I could easily be described as conservative. I have shirts that are 20 years old. My wife and I bought much less house than the bank said we could afford. We only heat the place to about 62 degrees. I drive people crazy shutting off lights. We bought the most fuel-efficient vehicle available.

In addition to finances, I could be viewed as conservative in other areas. I believe strongly in many traditions. I believe people should stand at attention during the National Anthem, and I get angry when they do otherwise. I believe in individual responsibility. Though I have no interest in it personally, I have no problem with private gun ownership. We are fairly strict parents. We attend church almost every Sunday. I think young people ought to dress more modestly. I love eating meat. I hate eminent domain.

On the other hand, I certainly fit many definitions of liberal. I believe government is good, and I think taxes are the price of a civilized society. I adamantly support gay rights. I believe in unions. I think those with much are morally obligated to help those with less. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe healthcare is an unalienable right. We have African American children. We give thousands of dollars to social services agencies. We are foster parents. I think the death penalty should be abolished in all cases.

Libertarian? That confuses things even more. I believe marijuana should be legal, and the government should stay out of the bedroom. But I also strongly believe in government regulation of industry. I do not believe huge amounts of wealth should be transferred without being taxed.

Some people who really dislike me refer to me as a liberal. Some people who like me a lot refer to me as a liberal. I do not mind the label; I’m not afraid of the word. At the same time, I’m not sure it serves much purpose.

Similarly, I have no burning desire to be grouped with every person that shares most of my views. Some are wonderful people, others are not. Along the same lines, some folks who disagree with me on most everything are really good people. Some who disagree with me on most issues are most certainly not good people. The world is full of both.

I am happy to spell out where I stand on any given issue. I would prefer that we focus on issues rather than labels. What is your take?

Congratulations to Janelle Rettig, who was selected as the Democratic nominee for Johnson County Supervisor for the January 19, 2010 special election.

Please remember to vote in this vital election! If you are going to be away, request an absentee ballot.

Government is GOOD! How do I know? Because our system of parks and natural areas provides a connection to nature and a respite from our busy lives.

Imagine a world with no parks! Scary, isn’t it? Parks - brought to you by your GOVERNMENT!

DID YOU KNOW? Cook County, Illinois (population 6 million) has more residents who speak Polish (150,000) than Johnson County, Iowa has residents!

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.

These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned.

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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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