Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 4, 2010

Sullivan’s Salvos 9/14/10

In this edition:

*Auditor or Political Hack?
*Tax Calculator
*Iowa Women’s Music Festival
*Iowa Peace Initiative
*Fiddler’s Picnic
*Did You Know?

*Auditor or Political Hack?
Representatives from the office of State Auditor Dave Vaught were recently in Johnson County to review our Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) programs. While we have yet to receive a written report, MH/DS Director Kris Artley says the inspectors found no problems, and were very complimentary. They even took some sample forms as examples of "best practices" for other counties.

Obviously, I am pleased with these results. But I have to ask: where is the publicity? Auditor Vaught is pretty quick to put out a press release when something is found to be questionable; why doesn't he publicize the positive results that come from his office? They targeted about two dozen counties; could it be that they targeted Johnson County because it votes heavily Democratic? What would have happened had they found problems?

It is a shame to feel the need to ask these questions, but Auditor Vaught has brought this suspicion on himself. By politicizing his office and doing the bidding of the Branstad campaign, he is making it hard for everyday Iowans to have confidence in his work. Even former Republican State Auditor Richard Johnson takes issue with Vaught for playing politics. National organizations are frowning on his activities.

I truly do not mind the State Auditor running investigations. That is a big part of his job. But Iowans need to be able to trust his work without questioning his motivations.

Meanwhile, congrats to Johnson County MH/DS for passing the audit with flying colors!

*Tax Calculator
From Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ): The Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2010. President Obama wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for all but the very rich, while some lawmakers want to extend them for everyone.

Use CTJ's new online tax calculator to find out how much you would pay in federal income taxes in 2011 under three different scenarios:

1) Congress does nothing and the Bush tax cuts are allowed to completely expire;

2) Congress enacts Obama's proposal to extend some of the Bush tax cuts and some additional tax cuts (expansions of the Child Tax Credit and EITC that were included in the Recovery Act);

3) Congress extends all of the Bush tax cuts but none of the tax cuts included in the Recovery Act.

Unless you are among the richest 2 percent of taxpayers, you will find that President Obama's tax proposal would benefit you as much as, or more than, an extension of all the Bush tax cuts. Unlike other online tax calculators you may have seen, this one also tells you how much of the proposed tax cuts go to people at your income level or below, and how much go to people at higher income levels.

Use CTJ's Online Tax Calculator at:

*Iowa Women’s Music Festival
The 17th annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival is September 16-18 at several venues around Iowa City. Some shows charge a small fee, but most of the entertainment is free!

This is a great event; one of those that makes me proud of our community. For more info, visit:

*Iowa Peace Initiative
The Iowa Peace Initiative Conference (IPIC) is September 18th from 10-5 at Loras College in Dubuque. Over twenty peace & justice groups in Iowa and the region are partnering in this conference, aimed at injecting cooperation, enthusiasm, and substantive action into the quests for peace.

This conference is free, and piggybacks on another major event, Dubuque Day of Peace (, held the following day, so some people may wish to stay overnight.

Visit Iowa Peace Initiative Conference on Facebook or visit Iowa City area groups PEACE Iowa, Veterans for Peace Iowa Chapter, Iowa United Nations Association, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, are involved in organizing this event and coordinating rides from the Iowa City area.

Carpooling from Iowa City: If you need a ride or can offer a ride to the conference, please contact Paul Deaton at 331-0899 or

*Fiddler’s Picnic
The 40th annual Fiddler’s Picnic is Sunday, September 19 from 12-6 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Admission is $5, with kids 12 and under free.

This is a wonderful event, with some of the best bluegrass, celtic, country, and folk musicians the Midwest has to offer. There is a continuous stage show, parking lot jams, a trade show, and clinics.

For more info, please see:

Is access to clean drinking water a basic right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? Join your neighbors for a free film screening on Wednesday, September 15 at 6:30 PM in the Iowa City Public Library! Food & Water Watch is teaming up with the Iowa United Nations Association and Environmental Films Iowa City to bring you the eye-opening film Tapped, followed by a panel discussion.

Tapped examines the impact of the bottled water industry on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil. From the production of plastic bottles, to the growing amount of waste in the ocean, this film follows the path of the bottled water industry into the communities that are caught at the intersection of big business and the public right to water.

*DID YOU KNOW? The Crisis Center Food Bank served 4600 Johnson County households in 2009.

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

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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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