Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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November 17, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     11/22/16

In this edition:

*Happy Thanksgiving!
*Thank You!
*A Prescription for the Iowa Democratic Party
*Alternative to Tom Miller
*Did You Know?

*Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving to all Salvos readers! I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday!

         I love Thanksgiving! It truly is one of my top couple holidays! That is likely in large part due to the fact that I have many things for which I am thankful. Family, friends, health, relative wealth… I am a pretty lucky guy!

One thing that I do not acknowledge enough, however, is the Salvos audience! I really appreciate the fact that you take the time to hear what I have to say. It is humbling, and I truly am honored to have this soapbox.

         So thanks for reading, and have a great holiday!

*Thank You!
         I have spent so much time working on other races the past 5 months, I actually forgot my own!

         Lost among the many other results last Tuesday, I was reelected with 45,811 votes. I am taken aback when I really stop and think about that number.

         Trust me, the last thing I want to do is take the people of Johnson County for granted! It is an honor and a privilege to represent these people and this place. I promise to do my best to continue to earn your trust. My sincere thanks for your support!

         I am always willing to listen to your comments and concerns. Please feel free to contact me at this e-mail address, or by phone at the Board Office (356-6000) or home (354-7199).

*A Prescription for the Iowa Democratic Party
         The 2016 election is over, and Iowa Democrats are looking around at something that metaphorically resembles a barren, dystopian Hellscape. This is the Hunger Games, and Iowa is District 12. I am fired up to play the role of Haymitch. Now who wants to be Katniss?

         So where do we go from here? I have a plan. First, the IDP needs to have a 99 county strategy. The IDP should begin by granting $500 to the Democratic Party Central Committee in every Iowa county. As a condition of the grant, the CC agrees to a couple strategic planning/listening sessions with IDP staff. This is a commitment of only $50,000, plus perhaps 600-800 hours of staff time. (Perhaps teams of State Central Committee members could assist, reducing the time commitment of IDP staff.) This would be time and money well spent. It may only result in an updated website, an additional newsletter, or a county potluck. But it is an investment at the most grassroots of levels.

We also must contest every legislative race. Every. Single. One. To put $500 into every House District and $1000 into every Senate District would cost $100,000. That, too, would be money well spent.

         Sure, that is a baseline. You still need to target particular races for greater investment. But we need to make some basic, minimal investments at every level. It is tempting to say, “She will never win in Sioux County. Send her $500 to suburban Des Moines.” That would be a major mistake.

         And it is not just money. Statehouse candidates need advice. Arrange for former elected officials (thinking Dick Myers) to serve as free mentors for these candidates.

         More importantly, we need to look further down the food chain. We need to be actively recruiting candidates for Auditor, Treasurer, Recorder, Attorney, Sheriff, and Supervisor. We should have Democratic candidates for all those offices in all 99 counties. Just look at the backgrounds of Joni Ernst and Kim Reynolds! This will work!

         Democratic Party activists in Adams County can raise $500 and ship it to Des Moines to help Hilary Clinton, or they can put that $500 into a County Recorder race, where it may make all the difference. Which serves us better in the long run?

         I’d actually suggest the new IDP leadership should go even further down the electoral ladder, and recruit candidates for city councils and school boards. Yes, these offices are nonpartisan. But they are potential springboards to higher office.

         I think the new IDP Chair also needs to stand up to the moneyed interests in Des Moines. I am tired of millionaires picking our candidates. (These are the folks who would disapprove of “wasting” money in the way I described earlier.) I’d rather lose a campaign based on $25 contributions from average Iowans than win a “New Democrat” campaign run by the millionaires. Don’t get me wrong – I want the millionaires to be part of the Party. But I am tired of them functionally owning it.

         It is worth noting – these are long-term solutions. It will take 2 years to see any results at all, and much of this work will not fully pay dividends for twenty years. But it will be worth the wait.

         I have other ideas; I hope the new IDP Chair will give me a ring! I really believe we can rebuild this thing!

*Alternative to Tom Miller
         I hear Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is planning on running for another term in office. I am hereby announcing my support for anyone who will oppose him.

Look, I have no major beef with Miller’s performance as AG. Nor am I a huge fan. But he has spent at least 20 + years blocking up-and-coming Iowa Democrats from getting the exposure and experience they need to serve as Governor, US Rep, and US Senator. Seriously – look around nationally and see where the people who hold those offices have served. Several were the AGs of their states.

Miller has been in office for 36 of the past 40 years, the only blip being a brief period where he ran for Governor and lost.

         44 years? That is ridiculous! He would be 78 years old when that term expires. That is absurd! Yes, a person of that age is certainly capable of doing the job – that is not the point. The point is what is the cost of this stagnation to the Party? It is time Mr. Miller took one for the team. He is apparently unwilling to do so on his own accord, so I say we push him out.

         2018 candidates for the Democratic Party nominee for Attorney General – let me know how I can assist you!

Other elected officials who call the Democratic Party home? Let’s elect some of these Milennials. If you are an elected official age 64 or over, you should spend the next 4 years either A) preparing to run for higher office; B) identifying and supporting your successor; or C) both.

*DID YOU KNOW?  Democrats had carried Iowa in 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections.

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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