Vilsack on Clean Elections Laws in Iowa at DFA

Tom and Christy Vilsack are speaking right now at the DFA training in the Cedar Rapids. They are focusing on clean elections and grassroots organizing.

Christy Vilsack is speaking right now about grassroots organizing and what she would call “going coffee shopping.” When Vilsack first ran for governor in 1998, Christy was first responsible for visiting the second or third tier counties (Tom would go the larger counties). Christy would go into these towns without a schedule and would just stop where Democratic voters might be in the town. She would stop at the schools and talk to the teachers. She would stop at the library, the local small town newspapers, and eventually the stop at the coffee shop.

Tom Vilsack thanks the Dean family for bringing the grassroots democracy back into politics in America. He gives credit to Howard Dean for the 50 state strategy and says that is the only way to do it. It is the best way to grow the party. He thanks the activist who worked the grassroots here in the 2nd district to help elect Dave Loebsack.

The main part of Tom Vilsack’s speech is about campaign finance and specificly VOICE (HF 805). He says his hope for his Presidential campaign was that he could win Iowa and New Hampshire and turn that into the money to run competively in the other states. However, when California, New Jersey and some of the other large states began to move up their primary dates it made it impossible for some to compete

Legislation being considered in Iowa that would put reasonable limits on state house races and for governor. You wouldn’t have to raise the $8 million that Gov. Culver had to raise. At the beginning of the campaign people wondered where Culver was at. He was on the phone raising enough money to run. The legislation would give candidates a chance to actually go around and talk to the voters and hear what is their minds. It is the only way to get a system where the people’s business is taken care of and not those of the special interests.

As he went around running for President he would go and talk to donors. He would go and give his speil about what he wants to do and the first question asked wasn’t how he could govern or what he felt about a specific issue, but can you raise the money.

Vilsack mentions the need to pass HF 805 that is stuck in committee. He doesn’t hold back, saying “the party that is in power today should really be for this.”

He is now doing his best John Madden impersonation and drawing how the money works in the Iowa House. He says that the House members have a limited number of dollars that they can raise within their own district. The Speaker gets all of this money funneled through them where they then give to House members and then makes sure the House member remembers where they got the money from. The VOICE legislation would take this out of our political system.

Now that Democrats are in the majority, they will be focusing on raising money. To raise the money they will not be spending time talking to their constituents. They will be talking to the big money donors and their insterests might not be the same as yours.

Vilsack says that we must contact our State Representives this week because this bill is going to be discussed in committee early next week. Here is the contact information for the leaders in committee that is working on this issue…


VOICE – HF 805


Rep. Dave Jacoby (D)

  House District 30 — Johnson County

  Home Telephone: 319-358-8538


Rep. Jo Oldson (D)

  House District 61 — Polk County

  Home Telephone: 515-255-2805


Rep. Dwayne Alons (R)

  House District 4 — Sioux County

  Home Telephone: 712-439-2479

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