Outlier21st

We are not the ones we were waiting for

Oct 09, 2017

Take a Deep Breath

I read Laura Hubka’s post several times. I still do not find anything that can be used for a basis to find a solution. Was there not something good in all those years of involvement that she could share for others to act upon? I also would like to know what she considers a party should be. I can tell you what gives me hope. It is the occasional candidate/elected official who still believes in listening to the citizens and who can respectfully disagree with parts of the state and national platforms while embracing the general theme.

There are many specific points in Ms. Hubka’s post to which I could offer supporting examples or countering argument. For example, tech-savvy does not mean the same as effective communication. Similarly, knowing by-laws does not mean the same as being able to manage people. I would also add that before Hillary-Bernie there was Hillary-Barack. I find it significant that Ms. Hubka said she wanted to be part of something “big.” She does not provide anything concrete that she expected, just stars in the eyes and dreams in the hearts.

Ms. Hubka, let’s say Democrats regain the Iowa and/or U.S. Senate in 2018, or take back the governor’s office. What would you like to see them accomplish by 2020?

Union-backed candidates win many Iowa school board seats

Sep 14, 2017

What I would liked to have heard

I would have been encouraged by a candidate who said something such as, “My purpose for running is to provide a solid education for our youth. Focused teachers and other staff are an important part achieving that goal. I understand the new legislation curtailing collective bargaining is discouraging many of our teachers. I will work with the unions to be sure our schools’ staff remain pleased to be serving our students.”

Union-backed candidates win many Iowa school board seats

Sep 13, 2017

Unions or Schools?

When a candidate is endorsed by numerous unions, it gives me pause. Certainly staff should be involved in decisions regarding schools in that it is their jobs. Certainly the actions of the legislatures this year deserve strong union reaction. But, schools exist to prepare young people to become engaged, productive, and capable contributors to society as they age. How teachers got treated seemed to be more important in the campaigns, though. For this election, nobody I talked with had anything to say about the candidates, so I went back to notes I made four years ago. Then, I could find nothing of note about what the candidates felt schools should be. My observations also noted the questions asked of candidates did not seem suited to finding out the core beliefs of the candidates. Questions were better this year, but the answers I caught were all platitudes and very little, if anything, of substance. Government uses schools to deliver a plethora of programs because that is where the children are. But those programs do not really reflect what schools should be, and the candidates in Des Moines historically do not seem to know what schools should be either – except all encompassing, greatly funded, and offering good jobs at good wages. I voted, but I did not come away feeling positive for the future of students.

Jon Jacobsen, Ray Stevens, Bryan Jack Holder running in Iowa House district 22

May 31, 2017

No longer mildly hopeful

In a comment to an earlier post I said I was mildly hopeful that a Libertarian candidate could help bring discussion of issues to this special election. Instead of talking issues, Mr. Holder, who has now received the Libertarian Party’s nomination to be the candidate according to a Facebook post, chose to place his focus on the process of the Democratic Party instead of offering his solutions to problems facing the state, or strategy for making a better future. As for the Democratic Party’s actions, I have not looked closely at the decision. However, I am reminded of the numerous complaints of media getting in the way during the presidential caucuses. A camera has been known to influence behavior, for good or bad. Until I hear more from people in attendance, I will keep an open mind. Two comments on journalistic quality: I am concerned at Mr. Holder being identified, at least by suggestion of headlines, as the nominee of the Libertarian Party for the special election before the meeting was held to select the nominee. I hope that is a simple error and not an indication of a pre-determined nominee. I am also curious as to what the heck is happening with the comments the Iowa Democrats have been gathering and the supposed analysis of the presidential caucuses. I have heard nothing in several months and that does not speak of openness.

Special election coming on June 27 in Iowa House district 22

May 18, 2017

Libertarian Participation

I was curious what Iowa’s third political party was doing for this special election. I saw on their Facebook page they will hold a special nominating convention on May 31st. I could not find any information about who might run. I am mildly hopeful that the third-party candidate will help bring better discussion of issues and governing styles to an otherwise bi-partisan contest.

The Iowa Democrats Need a Brand Makeover

Mar 04, 2017

Forget Branding

Political parties are not brands. They are a reflection of the people. Party leadership’s attempts to put a brand on their candidates is why I have struggled in recent elections to support and to vote for the Democrat. Listening to my elected representatives, regardless of party, echo the same wording as every other member of that party, is why I feel disenfranchised. Why contact Sen. Grassley when he makes up his mind in support of a Republican position before his constituents have even had time to process the issue? Why contact my Democratic state representative when he responds by repeating the party-approved language for a given issue? That is what branding does. Instead, I want to know my elected officials, and candidates seeking my vote, are going to listen and consider constituent opinions and suggestions. I want to know that when I give my time, money, and vote to support a candidate or to participate in this representative democracy as a constituent that I am going to help influence the debate and the legislation, not just be counted as a yes or no vote on a brand.

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