Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 11, 2015

Sullivan’s Salvos     12/15/15

In this edition:

*Website Correction
*Election Versus Appointment
*Bernie Sanders
*Did You Know?

*Website Correction
         I accidentally gave the wrong website address last week when I announced that I would seek reelection. The correct address is I apologize for any confusion.

         So, Please check it out!

*Election Versus Appointment
         Remember when I noted in a previous Salvos that the Auditor, Treasurer, and Recorder were going to be criticized no matter what decision they made regarding the open Supervisor seat? Unfortunately, I was right!

         Let’s look at some of this criticism, because it really is silly.

         Some are complaining that the decision to hold an election is somehow an “inside job” that will allow the local Democratic Party to anoint a new Supervisor. That is ridiculous! If it were true, how did we end up with Supervisor John Etheredge?

         It is funny, because I look back at the last special convention the local Democratic Party held. Party Chair Terry Dahms was well liked, and made it known he was interested, yet he was challenged by two other candidates (Dawn Suter and Mike Carberry) who combined to get 45% of the vote. Dahms was then defeated by Etheredge in the special election. Folks – that ain’t exactly how they do it in North Korea!

         The current group of partisan elected officials were all over the map in terms of their previous service to the Democratic Party. Representative Mascher, Supervisor Carberry, and myself were all County Party Chairs. I suppose it does not get any more “insider” than that. While registered Democrats, Senator Kinney, Representative Lensing, and Supervisor Harney were not very involved in Democratic Party activities until seeking election. Heck, Supervisor Rettig worked for the GOP not that long ago! So as you can see, there is no single path to elected office in the local Democratic Party.

The idea that certain people are somehow hand picked is crazy! The local Democratic Party is a VERY big tent – about 40,000 registered voters – who most certainly DO NOT just do as they are told. We vote, and it takes a lot of votes to win a nomination!

         The critics think an election is somehow an “inside job.” In what universe is an election – where any eligible candidate can participate – more “insider” than an appointment? You would really prefer to have 3 people choose for you? How democratic is that?

         There is a very credible No Party candidate who has announced he is running. Had they appointed, he couldn’t even run!

         I think this is just an opportunity for angry people to criticize local elected officials and the local Democratic Party. Both deserve better. Taylor Swift said it best: Haters gonna hate.

*Bernie Sanders
         This Salvos is dated December 15, 2015. The Iowa Caucuses are on February 1, 2016. That is just six weeks! Guess it is time to begin making a case for Bernie Sanders!

         As you may know, I have been a supporter of Bernie Sanders for a long time. As a matter of fact, I am told that I was the first elected official in the whole country to endorse the Senator! (I heard that from the Sanders Campaign, and no one has challenged it.)

         I have had the opportunity to speak with him privately. I convinced his staff that he should attend the 2014 Johnson County Democratic Party Fall BBQ. (He attended in 2015 as well.) So I feel very comfortable talking about why I support Bernie.

         It is true that on many important issues, there is little difference between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They actually agree on many things. In my opinion, both would be far superior to any of the candidates put forth by the Republican Party.

         That said, there are 5 key issues that I feel make the case for Bernie Sanders. These are topics that are critical to the future of the US and the world. And they are topics that Sanders addresses better than Clinton.

         1.) Income inequality: If we do not address this issue, the US economy is certain to collapse. When greed and low regulation capitalism meet, the economy loses. We desperately need to create some demand in our economy, and we cannot do that in a country where the majority of the people are poor.

         But those are just the economic arguments. The more important arguments are moral. How can we sit back and allow so many of our fellow citizens to struggle so deeply?

         Other candidates may give this lip service, but only Bernie Sanders has an actual plan for meaningfully addressing income inequality.

2.) Holding Wall Street Accountable: We must restore Glass Stegall, and put an end to banks speculating with our money. Wealthy Wall Street financiers pay the lowest tax rates in the country, when they need to pay the highest. Loopholes must be closed. When people break the law, they need to go to jail. Most importantly, we need to break up the big banks. If they are too big to fail, they are too big to exist.

So – whom do you trust to follow through on this? Candidates who collect millions in campaign contributions from these same bad actors, or the man they hate - Bernie Sanders?

         3.) Peace: My oldest daughter just turned 24. The United States has been bombing people literally her whole life. Has any of it made us any safer? I would argue it has all made us less safe.

         Look at the voting records. Secretary Clinton has always felt the need to show she is tough, so she always chooses the hawkish path. Senator Sanders has routinely made the tougher, less politically popular votes to avoid military conflict.

         Wars cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. They leave our soldiers injured and leave foreign populations hating America. War is no good. And if you want to avoid needless wars, you need to vote Sanders.

         4.) Climate Change: In 100 years, future generations will look back upon us and see complete moral failure. The way we look at witch burners and slave owners? That is how future generations will see us.

         Why? Because we knew climate change was real, knew it was manmade, and did nothing to stop it. We are long past half measures. We need serious government intervention on behalf of our environment before it is too late. Bernie gets this.

         5.) Half Measures: Bernie Sanders is honest, even when it hurts him politically. There are no tortured explanations; he has no need to explain how his position has evolved. He does not call for a half measure when he knows we need to change.

         Hillary Clinton has changed her position on TPP, gay marriage, Keystone XL, mass incarceration, gun control, the Iraq War, and several other issues. Your issue may be next! And that does not include all the issues where a half measure may be taken when more is required.

         These are not the only issues in this campaign. But they are huge issues in this campaign. These issues REALLY matter! If you care about these issues, you really need to consider caucusing for Bernie Sanders!

*DID YOU KNOW?  The median owner-occupied home value in Johnson County is $186,000. The median for the State of Iowa is $124,000. (Source: US Census Bureau.)

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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