Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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September 30, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     10/4/16

In this edition:

*Flooding Update
*Comparing Trump and Clinton
*Did You Know?

*Flooding Update
Floods are ripping through Eastern Iowa once again, just 8 years after the massive ’08 floods. While Linn County and Cedar Rapids are taking a beating, the flood is affecting the Cedar River much more than the Iowa River.

That means Johnson County does not have many residents that are affected, as the Cedar cuts through a mostly-rural area in the far NE corner of the County. That corner, of course, is where I grew up, so I have a deep concern for the people that live and farm there.

And farming is probably the most affected thing. Lots of farmers were forced to combine a very wet crop much earlier than they wanted. Some of it could not be harvested at all, and it is very unlikely that they have storage options for what they could manage to harvest.

There are only a few homes in Johnson County that are affected, as most sit up on the bluff side of the river. From what I could discern on my weekend visits to the area, the few homes that sit below the bluff were getting things moved to higher ground.

Then there is the Sutliff Bridge. Conservation employees and volunteers from the Sutliff Bridge Authority removed the panels from the side of the bridge, which should allow water (and more importantly, debris) to flow across the structure. That meant shutting the bridge down to the public Saturday afternoon.

As I noted, most of the problems were in Linn County. And I am incredibly proud of the way in which Johnson County stepped up to assist our neighbors!

Our Secondary Roads trucks ran 12-hour days on Friday and Sunday, and 14 hours on Saturday, hauling in materials to build berms and levees. These guys had other things to do. They had their own jobs at Johnson County. They missed a weekend with their families to bust their butts helping our neighbors. Kudos!

There are many other stories: Our Emergency Management folks dedicated all our resources, people and otherwise. Johnson County became the dispatch center for both Linn and Blackhawk Counties. Our Facilities crew helped Linn County empty out their Administration Building. Our Auditor’s Office helped Linn County move all their voting equipment. Our Sheriff’s Office deployed people and resources. Mickey Miller, who does Grants and Communications for Johnson County, jumped in to assist at the Linn County EOC. Heck, even Supervisor Lisa Green Douglass and I were moving things for Linn County! I am SO very proud of the willingness of Johnson County folks to lend a hand!

         A few more things about this flooding: First, when are we going to recognize that climate change is real and man made? When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a 5-inch rain. Now we have 12-inch rains like those that fell in the Cedar River basin. We simply must act!

         Secondly, Republicans in Congress have blocked the aid Cedar Rapids requested following the ’08 floods. There would be much better protection in place had the GOP allowed CR the money they need.

         Thirdly, because the federal money was not forthcoming, locals voted on doing some things themselves. A one cent sales tax that would have provided the funding Congress SHOULD have provided failed, 49-51%. Wow. How many people would like a do-over on that vote?

         Rather than focus on these topics, I want to end with a shout out to the many Johnson County folks who pitched in to help. Thank you all!

*Comparing Trump and Clinton
         I have some friends who are adamantly opposed to Hilary Clinton. When I ask them why, they most frequently refer to questions of honesty and business dealings. A few mention Bill Clinton.

         Frankly, these are not the issues that matter most to me. My top issues are social justice, the Supreme Court, and climate change. But this is not about my interests. Let’s compare the candidates based upon the issues my friends have chosen:

Lying: Politifact tested the accuracy of 257 public statements made by Donald Trump. 180 were rated mostly false (44), false (89), or Pants on Fire (47). 70% of all his statements were lies!

Politifact checked 255 statements by Hilary Clinton during the same time frame. They found 70 to be mostly false (37), false (27), and Pants on Fire (6). That means 27% of her statements were lies.
If you purport to care about honesty in a candidate, how can you possibly vote for Trump?

Ill-gotten gains: My friends seem to be concerned over the income the Clintons have earned since leaving the White House. Most of it has come from books and speeches. What’s more, the Clinton’s have produced every tax return they have filed going back decades.

         Trump, on the other hand, refuses to release his tax returns. Trump is being investigated for shady dealings related to Trump University. Trump has been bankrupt three times. He has been sued literally hundreds of times by businesses and people who claim he has failed to pay his debts. If you purport to care about ill-gotten gains by a candidate, how can you possibly vote for Trump?

Charitable Foundations: There have been well-documented questions about the donors to the Clinton Foundation. While the Clinton family has clearly given millions of person money to their Foundation, and the Foundation has clearly done a lot of good, questions remain about some foreign donors.

         The Trump Foundation, on the other hand, has given out very little money. What has been given came from people other than Trump himself. Trump’s own personal giving appears to be unbelievably low – it is hard to know for certain, because he refuses to release his taxes. And the Trump Foundation made illegal political contributions, then tried to cover it up. If you purport to care about the dealings of a candidate’s Foundation, how can you possibly vote for Trump?

Infidelity: Trump has admitted publically to cheating on two of his three wives. Clinton was the victim of her husband’s infidelity, but appears to have never been unfaithful herself. If you purport to care about infidelity in a candidate, how can you possibly vote for Trump?

         I am afraid that the bottom line is, my friends just don’t care about these facts.

         This election is critical. And I am not about to wake up on November 9th and think to myself, “What if I had done just a bit more?” No! I’m going to fight! And I hope you will, too.

         There are many, many volunteer opportunities available every day of the week. Melissa and I have been door knocking every weekend. It is not that hard. Please join us. Our future depends on it!

*DID YOU KNOW?  While the recent flooding is the second worst in Cedar Rapids’ history, it is nearly 10 feet below the 2008 record.

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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