Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


November 10, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     11/15/16

In this edition:

*Election Recap
*Election Thoughts
*Monday Morning Quarterbacks
*Did You Know?

*Election Recap
This is going to be one of the toughest posts I have ever written! Here it goes, race by race:

President: Despite losing the popular vote (don’t get me started on the Electoral College!) Donald Trump won it all. He won the State of Iowa comfortably, by 8 points. Clinton won Iowa’s 5 most populous counties (Polk, Linn, Scott, Johnson, Black Hawk) plus Story; everything else on the map is red. I must admit, I did not see this one coming!

US Senate: Senator Grassley won big, 60-36. I wish the DC folks had kept their noses out of this race, and allowed Rob Hogg to offer a real contrast to Iowa voters. In the end, Johnson County was the only county Judge won.
Nationally, Democrats picked up one seat, but Republicans have a 51-47-2 advantage.

US House: Congressman Loebsack cruised to victory over Iowa City physician Christopher Peters, 54-46, but the race was closer than I expected.
In Iowa, the GOP held the other 3 seats, with Rod Blum and David Young each receiving about 54% of the vote, and Steve King about 61%. Nationally, Democrats picked up 7 seats, but the GOP still holds a 236-191 lead.

Iowa Senate: We started the night ahead 25-23-1. Now Republicans have at least 29 seats in the Iowa Senate. Basically, the GOP won every swing district. They even knocked off Senate Leader Mike Gronstal, who has been in office since 1983. Now the GOP controls all three Chambers in Iowa for the first time since 1998.

Iowa House: We started the night behind 57-43. Republicans picked up two seats to go ahead 59-41. Locally, Amy Nielsen won House District 77 by a comfortable 58-42 margin.

Measure C: All the “powers that be” opposed this effort. Yet the public voted for it, 58-42. While this shouldn’t really change things much, it is a tiny victory for small “d” democracy.

Linn County Conservation: Congratulations to Linn County voters, who passed a $40 million Conservation Bond initiative, much like what Johnson County did in 2008.

Linn County # of Supervisors: Shaking my head as those same Linn County voters decided to drop the number of Supervisors from 5 to 3. Stupid, stupid mistake.

*Election Thoughts
         Let me begin by acknowledging – Donald Trump is my President. I am not happy about it, but I am an American. I honor and respect his victory, and I am starting today working to defeat him in 2020.

When you get clobbered, you need to take a step back and reassess things. What went well, and what went wrong?

Misogyny? It is very real, and it mattered in this election. Racism? It is very real, and it mattered in this election. That said, when you look at some of the Iowa House and Iowa Senate results, we have to acknowledge that there are some other things going on.

         Democrats need to figure out how to reach white working class voters. Some Democrats are going to say this requires a move to the right. Others will claim it requires a move to the left. Frankly, I think it needs to be more strategic than that. I have ideas – I hope whoever is in charge is willing to listen!

         I see an opportunity. Democrats have little to lose. So let’s be bold! Let’s really reach for things that seem hard to grasp. Let’s set an agenda of which we can be proud!

         In general? If you are an elected Democrat and you are 62 years old or older – please start grooming a successor or successors. The Party is very gray, yet the future is just sitting there in a great group of young people. Let’s get them in meaningful jobs before they leave us, too!

A parting thought from Salon: “When George W. Bush became president in 2001, it marked the first time in 70 years that conservative Republicans controlled all three branches of government. By the time Bush left office, we were all reminded why. The financial crisis and resulting global economic meltdown Bush left us with were eerily reminiscent of the Great Depression, but there was also 9/11, the Iraq War and Katrina—a multifaceted record of spectacular failure so stunning that it should have disqualified conservative Republicans from holding power for at least another seven decades.  Yet, the Democrats’ political response to the many messes Bush left behind has been so spectacularly inept that they’ve not only lost both houses of Congress, they’ve also lost more state legislative seats than any time since before the Great Recession.”

*Monday Morning Quarterbacks
         You know how this phrase got started…. It is easy to sit in judgment after the fact, and complain about what a quarterback (or coach) SHOULD have done. I am sometimes guilty of this; we all are.

But I see a big difference between a loyal fan questioning her team and a person who did nothing to support the cause. I may question something the Hawkeyes do, but my love of the Hawkeyes runs deep. I support them emotionally, financially, etc. In my mind, I have paid my dues, and therefore earned the right to comment.

The elections are over, and it is time for the Monday Morning Quarterbacks of the political world to rear their ugly heads. Like the football variety, they seem to know what should have happened after the fact.

Both Republicans and Democrats have plenty of these folks. They can tell you exactly what any given campaign SHOULD have done.

So, my question to the MMQs: Did you make any calls? Did you knock any doors? Did you contribute any money? Did you write any letters? Did you pay your dues in any way?

The people who suffer most from the slings and arrows are the local political parties themselves. Apart from several temporary college-aged staff people, local political parties are made up of local people. They are volunteers. And yes, often they do not operate as well as they could. But you know what? Half the battle is showing up! Don’t like how your local party operates? Join it, and try to make some changes.

There is an old saying: “If you don’t vote, don’t complain”. Personally, I would amend that to, “If you don’t volunteer, don’t complain.” But in reality, neither saying is the law. As Americans, we are free to say just about anything we want. So get ready to listen to a whole bunch of people who should be quarterbacks and Presidents.

*DID YOU KNOW?  The Associated Press shows Clinton with 59.2 million votes nationally, compared to Trump's 59 million votes.
That mimics the 2000 results, where Democrat Al Gore narrowly won the popular vote, but George W. Bush won the White House. It is the 5th time in American history this has occurred.

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!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home