Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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September 24, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 9/27/11

In this edition:

*Dandekar & Iowa Senate
*Utilities Board Pays WHAT?
*Getting Things In Salvos
*Jefferson - Democrat or Republican?
*Harvest Celebration
*Sierra Club Annual Dinner
*Did You Know?

*Dandekar and Iowa Senate
By now you have all heard that Senator Swati Dandekar (D-Marion) is leaving the Iowa Senate for a spot on the Iowa Utilities Board.

It knew she could be bought. I am actually surprised that her price was that high. I have seen her sell out the poor people of Iowa because of $500 per year from the mobile home lobby. I have seen her sell out all the people of Iowa because of $1000 per year from the utility lobby. So Dandekar actual negotiated a much better price this time.

I am hopeful that Democratic candidate Liz Mathis can win the seat, thereby maintaining the 26-24 Democratic edge in the Iowa Senate. I am very disturbed by the thought of handing total control of Iowa’s state government to Terry Branstad. The fight for Iowa’s future is now, and it is being fought in Marion!

*Utilities Board Pays WHAT?
Lost in the discussion over Senator Dandekar’s appointment to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB)…. The job pays $139,000? Really?

Is this even a full time job? Do the appointees actually spend 40 hours per week? If so, how do they spend their time? I have a hard time believing these political appointees deserve $139,000 per year.

I looked at the IUB website ( It looks as though they have no more than 2-3 meetings per month. It does appear that there is a lot of paper to wade through, but it is unclear how much staffing the office has. There are at least 8 additional staff people listed on the website, and they all appear to be professional. So my guess is there is administrative staff on top of that. Look for yourself – does the workload justify three people earning a combined $420,000 plus benefits?

Governor Branstad, you claim to want smaller government. Let’s begin by cutting the salaries of the members of the Iowa Utilities Board to a more reasonable $60,000 per year.

*Getting Things In Salvos
Readers occasionally ask that I mention an issue or event. Unfortunately, these requests often come too late.

I try to get each edition of Salvos out over the weekend. The one you get each Saturday or Sunday is dated for the upcoming Tuesday. This is an old magazine trick; it gives the newsletter a bit more shelf life.

In addition, I attempt to keep each edition to about 1,000 words, give or take 200. I do not have the time to write a book each week, nor do I believe readers want that type of product. I like getting things several weeks in advance; that allows me to choose which week it will run.

I recognize that there are important issues about which I do not write; I want to share my thoughts and feelings, but I never claimed to be a newspaper. I may really care about your issue and still not run it. I do the best I can with a staff of zero.

Because of a combination of all these factors, I will never GUARANTEE that what you send me will be included. I am glad folks send me ideas- I appreciate them tremendously! I simply cannot do it all.

I hope this helps to clarify my “policies”. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

*Jefferson – Democrat or Republican?
Thomas Jefferson is one of my political heroes. I recognize that Jefferson (like all of us) was a very flawed character. But his achievements are truly the stuff of legend.

It should come as no surprise, then, that modern Democrats and Republicans fight over laying claim to Jefferson’s legacy. Democrats have long held “Jefferson-Jackson” dinners and celebrations in his honor; the current Tea Party movement spends a lot of time quoting Jefferson’s thoughts on limited government.

It is apparent to me that this battle will continue, particularly in an environment where Americans long for a government possessed of the ideals about which Jefferson wrote so eloquently.

So I will not pretend to know to which (if either) political party Jefferson would belong were he with us today. I do, however, want to share the following Jefferson quote:

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1816

Interesting stuff, huh? He sounds like a Socialist there! Let the debate continue!

*Harvest Celebration
Potluck & Barn Dance! Saturday, October 8, 6pm
at Local Harvest CSA/ZJ Farms: 5015-120th Street NE, Solon.

Join Local Harvest CSA/ZJ Farm for the annual end of the season farm tour and harvest celebration featuring the Gilded Bats. Farm Tours 3:30pm, potluck 5pm, Music and dancing 6pm-8pm. Bring a dish to share, a beverage and your own place setting.

*Sierra Club Annual Dinner
The Sierra Club is holding its annual dinner on Saturday, October 1 at 6:00pm at the Holiday Inn in Coralville.

Tickets are $35; contact Jane Clark at

*DID YOU KNOW? Johnson County has 6 collective bargaining units, 3 AFSCME and 3 PPME.

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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