Local Iowa election discussion thread

Iowans will elect county supervisors and vote on many local ballot initiatives across the state tomorrow, so I thought I’d put up a thread for Bleeding Heartland readers to discus any local races of interest. Iowa City’s vote on the 21-only bar ordinance will be the most closely-watched city election result. If the “yes” side prevails, the city’s ordinance barring 19- and 20-year-olds from bars after 10 pm will be thrown out. If “no” wins, the ordinance will stand. Strong early voting among University of Iowa students suggests that the ordinance will be tossed out. If I lived in Iowa City, I’d vote no. To my mind, this is a public safety issue, and the drop in downtown crime since the ordinance went into effect is compelling. I see no reason to make Iowa City a drinking destination for underage people in a large area of eastern Iowa. People who view this as a rights issue should be agitating to lower the drinking age.

In Polk County, the most contested local race is in the third supervisor’s district, where former Republican Congressional candidate Dave Funk is challenging two-term incumbent Tom Hockensmith (more background here). Funk is running on a small-government, lower-taxes agenda. He also claims Polk County isn’t spending enough on public safety. I have heard that Funk is advertising on the radio, but I haven’t caught any of those commercials, so I don’t know the script. Hockensmith has been up on Des Moines television stations with a 30-second ad for the last week or two. A transcript of the Hockensmith commercial is after the jump.

Funk has some ground to make up tomorrow. According to Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald, as of November 1 his office had received 4,588 absentee ballots from registered Democrats in the third supervisor’s district, 2,595 from Republicans, 1,157 from no-party voters and 5 from voters with some other registration. In 2006, Hockensmith defeated Republican Wes Enos by 16,936 votes to 11,121.

Any comments on local Iowa elections are welcome in this thread.

Commercial for Polk County Supervisor Tom Hockensmith on Des Moines television:

Hockensmith speaks to the camera: My parents taught me to work hard, make the right decisions and to always be honest. That is exactly what I’ve tried to do as your county supervisor.

I’ve worked hard for our neighborhoods, communities and services that benefit seniors and children. [photos of Hockensmith with hardhat workers, police officer, what looks like the East High School softball team]

My opponent is trying to distort my record and blur the facts, but in Polk County, hard work and honesty still mean something. I ask for your support, because I consider it an honor to serve as county supervisor, and will always try to make the right decision for you. [words on screen: HOCKENSMITH POLK COUNTY SUPERVISOR Listener Leader Fighter Paid for by Hockensmith for supervisor]

  • Extension funding

    Ag extension funding measures are on the ballot in several counties (mine being one of them). I really hope it passes here, extension does so much good work.

    • from what I've heard

      the extension offices are very badly underfunded. I would think this year’s a tough environment for any ballot measure on funding, though.

  • Iowa City 21

    The bar issue is dominating public discussion here in Iowa City to the exclusion of all else.

    That said, the spike in student turnout from satellite voting isn’t quite big enough, so 19 needs a reeeeeally good day tomorrow to win (election day registration means this is in the realm of possibility).

    Team 21 has put together an unbelievably broad coalition, from business conservatives to Democratic legislators to the feminist community to the full clout of University administration; Team 19 is mostly limited to bar/restaurant folks and students.

    Interestingly, the turnout boost among faculty/staff will probably help Democrats more than the turnout boost among young voters. UI folks remember the Branstad years none too fondly.

    Both sides are talking about “safety” and feuding about statistics. As for me, I rejected that premise, looked at it as a rights issue, and voted yes on 19:

    http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/201…

    However, I’m literally the only person raising this argument.

  • Voted today

    I split my ticket where I felt it necessary.  My county had good pamphlets reminding people to vote on the judge matter.  I also voted to keep Catfish Bend in Burlington.  I hope the political Gods will smile upon Iowa and at the very least Tom Miller gets re-elected and we can maintain both chambers in the legislature.  

    • just an anecdote

      but a friend talked to a gung-ho Vander Plaats supporter today. This woman is voting mostly Republican and against the Supreme Court judges, but she did vote for Tom Miller at least. I hope he gets a decent crossover vote. He should carry the independents.

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