Welcome New Friends, Tear Down Walls, Find the Common Ground

Bill Brauch, a member of the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee and chair of the Third District Central Committee, adds his suggestions for rebuilding the party. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In the past few weeks Iowa Democrats have offered many great ideas to improve our party and election chances following the November 8 debacle. To the extent some of the following may be repetitive, it is only because certain ideas are screaming out to be adopted.

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Mike Gronstal makes seven candidates for Iowa Democratic Party chair

At least seven people hope to lead the Iowa Democratic Party forward after two brutal election cycles. Outgoing Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has made no public statement but e-mailed State Central Committee members on December 1, William Petroski reported first for the Des Moines Register. Gronstal lost his bid for a ninth term last month after leading his caucus in the chamber for two decades.

Gronstal instantly becomes the front-runner, but he doesn’t have a lock on the job yet.

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Next For Iowa Democrats

Thanks to Democratic activist Paul Deaton, “a low wage worker, husband, father and gardener trying to sustain a life in a turbulent world,” for cross-posting these ideas from his blog. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The Iowa Democratic Party should be blown up and its structure re-engineered — from scratch.

There has been a lot of internet discussion about what’s next for the Iowa Democratic Party after three terrible election cycles. That is, terrible in terms of winning elections.

Here are my thoughts, most of which have been expressed previously.

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Gathering Forces and Resources

Sixth-generation Iowan Kurt Meyer chairs the Mitchell County Democrats and is the founding chair of the Tri-County Democrats (Worth, Howard, & Mitchell counties). -promoted by desmoinesdem

After thoughtful consideration and conversations with Democrats throughout the state, I have decided to seek the position of Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP). Our Party has now experienced two devastating election cycles in a row. To address this reality, the IDP must act quickly to a) listen, assess, and incorporate lessons learned from the last election cycle; b) outline plans to chart a different course; and c) enlist and empower leaders at all levels to help us accomplish our plans. Here are my preliminary priorities:

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The First Step for Iowa Democrats

Julie Stauch is a candidate for Iowa Democratic Party chair with a lot of experience on Democratic campaigns. -promoted by desmoinesdem

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” JP Morgan

How do you begin to get an understanding of what is working and what is not working with an organization the size and scope of the Iowa Democratic Party? One way is to start with thematic analysis, an anecdotal way to gather information from within a group of people. How does it work? You ask the same questions of each person in a one-on-one conversation. Then you listen for common themes, new ideas, and where you have the kind of consensus that makes implementing change easier.

Since the election I’ve spoken with thirty-three individual Iowa Democratic activists from all across the state, asking each person the same four questions:
1. What are the problems facing the Iowa Democratic Party?
2. What are the opportunities?
3. What would a successful Iowa Democratic Party look like?
4. What are the obstacles between your vision of success and where we are right now?

The good news is that there’s a tremendous amount of consensus on the problems and opportunities.

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Chuck Grassley's ready to run interference for Jeff Sessions

After meeting with his longtime colleague Jeff Sessions on November 29, Senator Chuck Grassley signaled that he will not only support President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, but also limit Democrats’ ability to expose the nominee’s record during confirmation hearings.

In a statement enclosed in full below, the Judiciary Committee chair warned he will not allow a repeat of the 2001 debate over President George W. Bush’s nominee for the same job, John Ashcroft. In Grassley’s view, those hearings “turned into a reckless campaign that snowballed into an avalanche of innuendo, rumor and spin.”

Citing Senate consideration of the last four attorneys general as precedent, Grassley promised a “fair and thorough vetting process” for Sessions: hearings lasting one to two days, without a large number of outside witnesses. He expressed the hope that Democrats “will resist what some liberal interest groups are clearly hoping for – an attack on [Sessions’s] character.”

Grassley “intends to hold the hearing before the President-elect is sworn in.” His statement explained, “it is customary to hold a hearing for the Attorney General prior to the Inauguration as was the case with both Attorney General Eric Holder and Attorney General John Ashcroft.”

In other words, after presiding over a committee that slow-walked numerous federal judicial nominees, after obstructing a Supreme Court nominee for an unprecedented length of time, Grassley is in a hurry to get Sessions confirmed. He doesn’t want to get bogged down examining the nominee’s extreme views on immigration policy or criticism of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the racially motivated conduct that kept Sessions out of a federal judgeship in the 1980s.

Still no word from Grassley on any of Trump’s abnormal behavior or disregard for the Constitution. Some watchdog.

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