Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


June 15, 2018

Sullivan’s Salvos     6/19/18

In this edition:

*Father’s Day
*Politics – Now What?
*Early Voting
*Ballot Selfies
*Did You Know?

*Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! Being a dad is the best thing I have ever done. It is also the most difficult. I imagine that is the case for most fathers.

It has been decades now since I have had the pleasure of enjoying a living father or grandfather. If you are lucky enough to have a father or grandfather around, please take a moment to reach out to him this weekend.

*Politics – Now What?
         We talked last week about the results of the Primary elections. I supported John Norris, and was disappointed we did not fare better. But I am ready to move on to November in support of Fred Hubbell!

There is an old saying in politics: You fall in love, then you fall in line. While this might oversimplify things, it pretty much sums up where I am. The last two sessions of the Iowa Legislature have really hurt our state. We need to turn the tide before irreparable damage is done.

         On the other hand, I plan on holding Mr. Hubbell (and all candidates) accountable. They need to be fighting for the least among us, or they will hear from me!

         Meanwhile, if you are a Democrat and you are reading this: please stop sniping at each other. Real people have already been hurt by the Reynolds Administration. Many more will be hurt if we do not come together to elect Fred Hubbell.

*Early Voting
         The scandal surrounding Nate Boulton’s campaign for Governor came to light after early voting had already begun. This has led to a slew of people arguing that “early voting is bad.” I disagree.

         First, beware the messengers. Of COURSE you are going to hear Republicans criticize early voting! They have chosen to adopt a platform that makes voting more difficult. They want “purged lists”, long lines, and lots of IDs; these types of hurdles keep poor people away from the polls. So when you hear members of the GOP advocating against early voting? Take it with a grain of salt.

         Secondly, I have come to realize that many people do not share my background. I served 4 years as the Chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party. (Since that time, I have stayed a more active volunteer than most.) These experiences solidified my belief in early voting. I have seen firsthand how much time, talent, and money goes into getting out the vote. I am not going to force candidates I like to spend one cent on phone calls, mailings, or canvassers. I am going to vote at my earliest opportunity, every time, and get myself off the list!

         Could I get burned in the future? You bet. Is it a chance I am willing to take? Yes, it is.

*Ballot Selfies
         I generally come down on the side of free speech. But new technologies sometimes lead us into interesting territory. One place where I break with free speech advocates – I think it should be illegal to photograph a completed ballot.

         Interestingly, it is legal in 20 states, illegal in 20 states, and unclear in 10 states, including Iowa.

         You have all seen these on social media – an 18 year old smiling and holding up her first ballot. I have seen numerous posts of this nature, from all sorts of people. They are always happy and smiling. But a very sinister downside is possible.

         Here is the problem: if it is legal to photograph your ballot, someone is going to use it against you. It is pretty easy to imagine Wal-Mart requiring workers to show their ballots in a union election. It is not much of a stretch to imagine a County Elected requiring her employees to demonstrate that they voted for her. Farm Bureau or a union could require a photo of your ballot as a condition of membership. Pretty soon it becomes, “What do you have to hide?” If you CAN photograph your ballot, someone is going to say you MUST photograph your ballot. The presumption of a secret ballot is no more.

         Sure, you can write laws to explicitly prohibit coercion of the type I mentioned. But the laws won’t work. Instagram photos go away almost immediately; how would you prove it? Employees are already powerless in this world. Allowing ballots to be photographed just gives the boss another tool. Employees need the law on their side.

         I hope you will join me in advocating for a ban on photographs of completed ballots.

         Iowa law calls for Primary winners to get at least 35% of the vote, or a Party Convention selects the nominee. This is a bad law.

         Acting Secretary of Ag Mike Naig just got 34.7% of the vote in a statewide primary. His closest competitor got 21%. Naig should be the nominee, period. 

         All a convention can do is thwart the will of the majority of voters. It is an undemocratic law, and it ought to be abolished. If you get the most votes, you ought to win. Period.

Join us for a day of family fun, free entertainment, information fair, free food (while supplies last) and more! We are celebrating Juneteenth and the civil rights movements past and present. You won't want to miss this!

Juneteenth will be celebrated Saturday, June 23 from 12-5 PM at Mercer Park in Iowa City. This is just one of several Freedom Week events!

*DID YOU KNOW? Father’s Day has roots in Central Europe in the 1400s, but it did not become a US holiday until 1966, when President LBJ issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.

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