Seven Questions for Iowa Democratic Party Chair Candidates

Seven concise questions for the seven people hoping to lead Iowa Democrats forward. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Thanks for all your comments on my recent post about what we should be looking for in the new IDP Chair. As a continuation of my effort to help vet the candidates, I’m writing this post and asking all the candidates for Chair to submit their answers to questions that will help us determine who the right person is for the job. I’m a neutral observer and have no vote since I’m not on the State Central Committee, but I’m keenly interested in picking a person who has the capacity and skills to lead us forward.

I plan to create a new post here on Bleeding Heartland on Sunday, December 11 with all the responses I receive as of that date. SCC candidates, please send me your responses in a Word Document or an email. My email is: Thanks ~ Claire Celsi

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How to Lead the Iowa Democratic Party

Claire Celsi continues Bleeding Heartland’s series of guest posts on priorities for Iowa Democrats after a tough election. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I’m writing this post because I have a unique perspective. I’m a long-time activist, have been an employee of the the Iowa Democratic Party, have been an employee of a Presidential caucus campaign, managed a congressional campaign and was a recent candidate for the State House. I’ve read a lot of the blog posts and articles from all the supporters from various perspectives – there are very good observations being made.

As a member of “Generation X” I’ve been exposed to the old ways of the Party, all the older activists, all the traditional ways to reach out to Iowans. I’ve also seen and experienced new technology, new organizing methods, and met new people looking for their place in the Party. In my opinion, there is room for both traditional and new outreach methods in our Party. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

First things first: This is a difficult job with no shortage of critics. Thank you, Dr. Andy McGuire, for leading our State Party and for giving your time, treasure and energy. We are deeply grateful.

Here are my priorities for the State Party Chair position, in order of importance. I look forward to hearing your comments on the Bleeding Heartland Facebook page. Or, feel free to call me at 515-554-6754 or email me at

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Peter Cownie Kills Autism Insurance Bill

Claire Celsi is the Democratic challenger to Peter Cownie in Iowa House district 42. -promoted by desmoinesdem

April is Autism month. I wish I had better news for all the parents out there who are trying to provide the best care for their children.

State Representative Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines), Chair of the Iowa House Commerce Committee, single-handedly killed the bill that autism advocates in Iowa had worked all year to bring to a vote in the House Commerce Committee. Cownie had challenged the bill’s advocates to “find him seven Republican votes” so he could bring the bill up and pass it out of his committee for consideration by the entire House. The autism advocates (mostly parents of children who have autism) found the committee votes – both Democrat and Republican. On March 8, the Commerce Committee met, but the bill was never brought up for a vote. Cownie apparently decided that insurance companies were more important than kids. I have heard stories from some of the parents who worked very hard to convince legislators to vote for the bill and they are adamant that the bill would have passed if Cownie would have allowed it to come up for a vote in his committee.

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What to Expect at an Iowa Democratic Caucus

Good advice from Claire Celsi, who is also this year’s Democratic candidate in Iowa House district 42. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I’ve officially turned into my Mother. We used to make fun of her for all the stuff she carries around in her purse, but if you really need some lip balm or some gum, or a piece of chocolate, Mom was there with her 15-compartment bag.

It’s in that “I’ve thought of everything” spirit that I bring you my “What to Expect” tip for a Democratic Iowa Caucus. Republican caucuses are shorter and weirder – they use secret ballots. So, no tips for you!

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