Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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November 9, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 11/13/12 In this edition: *Election Observations *Thanks! *United Way *A Favorite Quote… *Seven Myths of Government Bashing, Part 7 *Did You Know? *Election Observations My observations on the results of our recent elections: Starting at the top, President Obama was a clear choice of the American people. He won the Electoral College in a blowout, and won the popular vote by a decent margin. I hope this will convince the House to compromise with him a bit. My guess is that will not occur until voters begin punishing the obstructionists in Congress. Given the many very partisan Districts out there, I’m not sure that will occur. I guess we will see! Congressman Loebsack easily outdistanced John Archer to win reelection. Dave is a favorite punching bag for the media, but the thing they fail to understand is how hard he works the District. His constituents – be they in Clinton, Burlington, or Newton – see him a couple times every month. His staff attends everything. His accessibility is unmatched. People have actually spoken to Dave, and found him to be smart and caring. People like that. The media can continue to punish Loebsack for beating Leach, but the people understand. As for other US House races – It was good to see Bruce Braley win a resounding victory. I was sorry to see Christy Vilsack fall short in her bid. Third District – it is your turn! How about producing a female candidate for Congress in 2014? At the State level, all the Justices were retained- big blow in favor of equality. Democrats made big gains in the Iowa House, and barely held the Iowa Senate. This result made my job MUCH easier over the next two years! At the State level locally, my colleague Sally Stutsman is headed to Des Moines. That will create an opening on the Board; more about that in a future edition of Salvos. I was sad to see friends Dick Schwab, Nate Willems and Sara Sedlacek fall short in their races. I have already reached out to newly elected Representative Bobby Kauffman to see how we can work together. Locally, the 3 Board incumbents and Sheriff won reelection, and Travis Weipert was elected Auditor. The Justice Center received an impressive 57% of the vote, but fell short of the required 60% needed. I was very disappointed by that result. (More about that in next week’s edition of Salvos!) A couple other things worthy of mention: where given the opportunity, voters supported legalization of marijuana and marriage equality. I hope elected officials take note! I do believe there are two central themes to the evening’s results. First, I think the US voted strongly in favor of equality. The people of this country are not mean. They do not want to hurt their neighbors. They may not love everything about their neighbors, but live and let live ruled the day. The people are basically seeking fairness. That makes me proud to be an American. Secondly, this was a victory for government. People know government is not perfect. They know government cannot do everything. But they also know that government does all sorts of good things. They want a strong and effective government. Government is NOT something for 47% of the people – it is for 100% of the people! Thanks again to all who threw a hat into the ring and stood for election. And congratulations to all the winners at every level. I wish you all luck! *Thanks! I was reelected on Tuesday to a third term. It is an honor and a privilege to represent the people of Johnson County. I promise to do my best to earn your trust. My sincere thanks for your support! I am always willing to listen to your comments and concerns. Please feel free to contact me at this e-mail address, or by phone at the Board Office (356-6000) or home (354-7199). *United Way The United Way campaign is underway. I hope you will choose to be a supporter. Melissa and I are big supporters of the United Way and the United Way affiliated agencies. We give generously, I think – about $3300 annually on a combined income of $100k. We also volunteer when and where we can. So United Way is in our blood. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be in the blood of enough Johnson County residents. I just heard a statistic that only 4% of all adults in Johnson County contribute to the United Way. Only 4%! That is simply too low, folks. One in three families in Johnson County uses a United Way service. Let’s get at least one in three contributing to the United Way! *A Favorite Quote… Much as we love and support the United Way, we must also work toward systemic change. Wouldn’t it be great if the United Way agencies were not needed so much? This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes, from education activist and writer Jonathon Kozol: “Charity is no substitute for justice.” Simple, poignant, and true. I LOVE it! *Seven Myths of Government Bashing A friend recently sent me a great piece by Gail Cohen entitled “Seven Myths of Government Bashing”. I like this piece so much that I have decided to divide it into seven parts and run it in Salvos. Today, Part 7: CLAIM: Anything government can do, business can do better. ANSWER: In America, we don’t look to government to take on money-making, potentially profitable ventures. We leave that for the private sector, with its healthy, profit-seeking motivation. We look to government to do things that all citizens require, even those citizens that can’t pay. The postal service delivers mail to everyone, because not everyone can afford UPS and Fed Ex. Public schools have to let in all the kids, even those who might never read or write or do math very well. Not everyone can afford a car, so you have to have busses. Not all goods can be delivered on airplanes, so you have to have trains, even though they’re not profitable. Since we haven’t found a way to keep germs on the poor side of town, we have to have hospitals where poor people can get treated. Notice every institution I just mentioned is the frequent butt of anti-government jokes. It’s true that none of these ventures make money, because they’re not allowed to choose whom they treat, educate, deliver mail to, or drive around town. Now, businesses often say that they can run these ventures “at a profit,” and do them “better than government.” What they mean is that they can cut people off who can’t pay. But profitability is not the point of these services. They are necessities and are provided by government, for everybody, without regard to profit. Therefore, they will forever be considered “money-losers” and “inefficient.” *DID YOU KNOW? 43% of Johnson County residents work in the public sector. 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. If you do NOT want the weekly E-mail, simply reply to this message, and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line. If you know anyone else who might be interested, just forward this message. They can E-mail me at with "subscribe" in the subject line. As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you! ---Rod


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