Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 7, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     10/11/16

In this edition:

*We Are All Responsible!
*Privileged NeoLiberals
*Democratic Party BBQ
*Did You Know?

*We Are All Responsible!
You probably never heard of Chris Arteberry. Chris was an 18-year-old young man who lived in Cedar Rapids. Chris was recently murdered. I attended his funeral Thursday. Chris had caused a lot of trouble over the past year; I know that. But we let him down.

Who is “we”, you ask? His family let him down. The Department of Human Services let him down. Four Oaks let him down. Our Governor and our Legislature let him down. I let him down. And yes, you let him down.

We allow this. We allow a kid to fall through the cracks. Chris was crying for help. Screaming for help. I did nothing. You did nothing. Our State “systems” did nothing. And now he is dead.

Chris’ sister lived with our family for over a year. She spent her Senior year staying with us, attending City High, and did really well. Through it all, she said, “My brother needs help.” He spent a couple Thanksgivings and a couple Christmases at our house, but we never really helped him. We let this happen.

Are you OK with this? Because you are responsible. We are all responsible.

*Priveleged NeoLiberals
         There is a group of voters that drives me nuts. But it is not the group you might think.

         Politics in the US has been a binary system for a long time. Two parties, winner takes all. Frankly, I do not believe this is the best system out there; it isn’t even close. Just about any type of Parliamentary system would make more sense for more people.

         But we have the system we have. There are Democrats, Republicans, and “No Party” voters. And within that system, we get subgroups of Democrats, Republicans, and No Party voters.

Within the GOP, you will hear folks discuss Evangelical Republicans, Country Club Republicans, Ron Paul Republicans, Nelson Rockefeller Republicans, Strom Thurmond Republicans, Rural Conservatives, Masters of the Universe, and much more.

Within the No Party group of voters, you find Swing Voters, Suburban Soccer Moms, Wal Mart voters, true Independents, Greens, Libertarians, Socialists, and large swaths of Cubans, Catholics, Military Veterans, senior citizens, the poor, and much more.

Within the Democratic Party, you will find African American voters, Latino voters, Asian voters, Native American voters, Jewish voters, LGBTQ voters, People with disabilities, Union members, young people, highly educated voters, Atheists, and much more.

         Obviously, these groups are not hard and fast. You can be an African American Republican, or an Evangelical Democrat. I personally know people who fit those descriptions. Additionally, many voters move between these groups, or fit multiple categories. The point is simply that political parties are made up of VERY diverse groups of people!

I have been involved in Democratic Party politics for a long, long time. I have held just about every role you can hold. I know how things work. This is why I have such great respect for my counterparts in the GOP. I know that they are doing the same things, fighting the same battles. We are both recruiting candidates, finding volunteers, raising money, maintaining lists, making calls, knocking doors, finding speakers, etc. We are getting criticized for the same things. It is the exact same work.

I know my GOP friends care deeply about this country. They are willing to stand up for something. As Teddy Roosevelt put it, they have “thrown their hats into the ring.” They want a better world for their kids and grandkids, and they are willing to work hard for it. How can I have anything but respect for that?

So yeah, I’m pretty OK with my GOP pals. We disagree on many things, but we are committed to many of the same goals.

         There is one particular subgroup of the Democratic Party that drives me nuts. I’m not really certain how to refer to them; my term of choice right now is “Privileged NeoLiberals”. (I also thought about calling them Omega Theta Pi, fraternity of Greg Marmalard and Douglass Niedermeyer, but I decided OTP were Republicans.)

         Who are the Privileged NeoLiberals? Well, first off, they have privilege of various types. They tend to be over 30, wealthy, straight, white, educated males with no union background. They meet almost every definition of privilege. They have been our Class Presidents since second grade, and they are used to running things. They get VERY testy when they are not in charge!

         This group is also conservative. Not as conservative as more conservative Republicans, but more conservative than some Republicans. Privileged NeoLiberals and their peers own businesses. They see their job as to funnel public money to their friends. They do not see this as wrong; it is simply how you perpetuate privilege. They oppose the basic Democratic Party Platform on economic issues. They are sympathetic on some social issues, but would much prefer to get back to business.

         But basic democratic principals are getting in their way: their demographic group is outnumbered. Their ideas are outnumbered. Unless votes are suppressed, they will not be running the Democratic Party. This is beginning to sink in, and their whining is deafening.

         It is not new to have struggles over the infrastructure of a political party. As a matter of fact, it is constantly occurring. Both Democrats and Republicans are seeing things shift. This phenomenon too, shall pass. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the leaders that emerge from these struggles!

*Democratic Party BBQ
The Johnson County Democratic Party is holding its’ Annual Fall BBQ/Fundraiser on Sunday, October 16, from 4pm - 7pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, Buildings B and C.

Join us for some good food, good camaraderie and some great speakers! A cash bar and vegetarian option will be available.

SPONSORSHIP LEVELS - each includes 2 free tickets: Platinum Sponsor, $500; Gold Sponsor, $250; Silver Sponsor, $100.

TICKETS: Individual, $25; Couple, $35; Family, $40.

EXHIBITOR 6-FOOT TABLES: Local candidates $25; Statewide candidates $40; National candidates $50; Non-profit organizations $25; For-profit organizations $50.

The purpose of this event is twofold: 1.) Raise money to elect Democrats, and 2.) Have fun! We hope to see you at the 2016 JC Dems Fall BBQ!

*DID YOU KNOW?  Johnson County is shooting for 100,000 registered voters for the 2016 elections. That number was 87,000 earlier this year.

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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