Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 21, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     1/26/16

In this edition:

*Election Results
*Elections Still Matter!
*San Antonio
*Congratulations Delaine Petersen!
*Bernie Sanders
*Did You Know?

*Election Results
         Congratulations to Lisa Green Douglass, who won last Tuesday’s special election for the office of County Supervisor with 61% of the vote. I look forward to having a full Board, and I look forward to working with Lisa!

*Elections Still Matter!
         The election is over, turnout was low, and the armchair quarterbacks are out in force. Some folks out there claim the Auditor, Recorder, and Treasurer should have appointed someone rather than holding an election.

         Personally, I am a strong believer in voting. We live in a democracy, for God’s sake! I don’t want anyone taking away my right to vote. I also find it amazingly ironic that most of the folks calling for an appointment are on the left; aren’t you supposed to be for more voting, not less?

         Besides voting being a right, it is the fairest way to select our leaders. Anyone and everyone had the opportunity to run. Look back just a couple years – there is no way John Etheredge would have been appointed. His only opportunity was through direct democracy.

I fail to see how anyone could argue that ANY process is more "small d" democratic than an election! To imply otherwise is just disingenuous. If you actually know of such a process, pass it on, and we'll implement it! It just doesn't get more democratic than holding an election.

         Anyway, the election is over. I’m just glad I live in a country that offers me the opportunity to vote!

*San Antonio
         I will be spending a couple of days in San Antonio this week as part of a delegation of Johnson County folks who are learning about the successes of the criminal justice system in Bexar County, Texas.

         Bexar County is acknowledged nationwide as a leader in jail alternatives. I look forward to learning what they have accomplished, and how we can duplicate it here in Johnson County.

*Congratulations Delaine Petersen!
One of my mentors and heroes is retiring. Delaine Petersen has called it quits after serving more than 27 years as the Executive Director of the Arc of East Central Iowa. 

         Delaine’s retirement is hitting me particularly hard in light of Governor Branstad’s horrible plan to privatize Medicaid. When I first heard of this terrible idea, the first person I thought of was Delaine. I know that even in retirement, Delaine will continue to serve as a voice for our most vulnerable citizens.

I really have no words. Delaine has been a friend, advisor, mentor, role model, and yes, hero to me. I owe her a lot. And I know I am not alone.

         Congratulations, Delaine! You have earned it!

*Free Tax Help!
Don’t pay a fee to get your refund! The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides trained volunteers that will help you file your taxes. This service is available FOR FREE to people who earned less than $55,000 in 2015. E-filing is available, and interpretation services are available at many sites or by appointment.
“You Earned It. Now Claim It!”

Sites are the Iowa City Public Library, SEJH in Iowa City, NWJH in Coralville, and Garner Elementary in North Liberty. Services are available Monda, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday – see
for the complete schedule.

Spanish interpreters are available; interpreters for other languages can be scheduled by calling 356-6090.

*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 4 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 often felt the need to show she is tough, so she almost 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.

         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!

         I am attending the Iowa Caucuses on February 1, and I will proudly caucus for Bernie Sanders. I hope you will join me!

*DID YOU KNOW?  Bernie Sanders’ life before politics featured surprising forays into both freelance writing and carpentry, according to a 2007 New York Times profile on the Senator. He even spent time on an Israeli kibbutz, or communal living collective, in 1964.

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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