Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 1, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 1/4/11

In this edition:

*Happy New Year!
*My 2011 Committees
*Congratulations, Dave!
*Some 2011 Punditry, Part I
*Did You Know?

*Happy New Year!
Happy 2011 to you and yours! I sincerely hope that this year is safe, successful, and satisfying for you and yours!

*My 2011 Committees
Supervisors serve on several committees. I have some new assignments as of 2011. A few of the things I’ll be doing:

Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Johnson County Empowerment Board, Johnson County E911 Board, Johnson County Emergency Management Association, and the Johnson County Economic Development Committee are all new assignments.

I look forward to getting involved in these important issues! Please let me know if you ever have any questions about these or other County matters.

*Congratulations, Dave!
Congratulations to Assistant Johnson County Attorney Dave Tiffany who is retiring at the end of the week.

Dave has prosecuted some very big and important cases over his 25+ years with the County Attorney’s Office, but to me, Dave’s legacy will be his pleasant smile. I don’t believe I ever saw him frown.

Thank you, Dave, for all your efforts. The criminal justice system does not function without hardworking public servants like you. Congrats, and enjoy your retirement!

*Some 2011 Punditry
There has been a lot happening politically at the National level. I thought I would take a bit of time over the next couple issues of Salvos to share my thoughts on a few things.

As I have written previously, I was quite disappointed in the tax bill. America has a widening income gap that is approaching banana republic status. We have a deficit ballooning out of control. Low and middle-income folks need Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid more than ever. The most effective way to address all these issues is a more progressive system of taxation. The recent tax bill is the worst of all worlds. It rewards the rich, increases the deficit, and puts the safety net at risk.

The tax bill is also bad for other reasons. The estate taxes should be increased, not cut! That was a blown opportunity to address the deficit in a progressive manner. More importantly, it puts Social Security (which has never added a penny to the deficit) at risk by subjecting it to the whims of Congress.

And it did not need to be this way. The chicken____ Democrats in the US House and US Senate should have passed the tax cuts for 98% of us about a year ago. They should have forced the GOP to get on board or vote against the cuts. Then they should have run on the issue!

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how Democrats would have done at the polls running as the party who chose to represent 98% of us, while the GOP chose to represent the wealthiest 2%? What a missed opportunity!

So, like a lot of progressives, I was unhappy with President Obama, the US House, and the US senate. I was ready to give up on all of them. My disappointment was profound.

Then, suddenly, the lame duck Congress! (I know, I know… it does not sound right!)

The list of bills that have been passed during the lame duck session is impressive, and truly remarkable given the conditions. Since the wave election in November, Congress has given us an extension of unemployment benefits, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a 9/11 First Responders Bill, a new START Treaty, and a Food Safety Bill.

Look at that list, and it is really quite amazing. I certainly do not complain about the results. But I still harbor a great deal of resentment. Why? Again, it is the process.

Each of these issues was popular with the American people. Yet the Democrats in the US Senate and US House were too cowardly to take them up a year ago. What happened? The cowards lost! Then, with nothing left to lose, they finally pass some bills.

Again, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how Democrats would have done at the polls with this impressive list of accomplishments? We will never know, because they were gutless. And now additional progressive legislation will likely be delayed at least two years.

My message to Democrats everywhere? Stand for something. Be willing to lose an election by doing the right thing. Do not wait for the perfect timing– just get to work!

That is my take… what are your thoughts?

*DID YOU KNOW? Despite passing 3 million in population for the first time, Iowa will lose a Congressional seat in 2011. Why? Two reasons: First, each state must have at least one Representative. So there are not really 435 seats to allocate; it is more like 428. Secondly, Iowa’s growth is slower than the growth of most US states.

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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